Hi all, my name is Mike, and I'm brand new to the world of IP cameras. I have vaguely considered putting in CCTV for the past year, but didn't get serious until recently. This time last year, my wife and I were getting ready to welcome our first child into the home. My wife planned to stay home to care for her and in preparation, I made a few changes around the house to improve security; but nothing serious...we live in a nice subdivision, not high class, but solid middle class new construction and not many issues with crime. So I added a security glass screen door, reinforced the dead bolt strike plates and upgraded the locks. I didn't know diddly about cameras then, and it was around that time when I saw an advertisement in Harbor Freight for a complete CCTV system. Side note - If you're not familiar with Harbor Freight, just imagine if Home Depot and Ali Express had a baby...it's filled with no-name, house brand power tools that are shipped direct from the same build houses in China where DeWalt and Bosch, etc., make their power tools. SO, it's not a bad place to shop if you're on a budget, and you don't expect your $20 jig-saw to last very long. Back to the system. It was their store brand, "Cobra". It was advertised as '4 HD cameras and 1TB HDD DVR' for $249. With a 20% coupon, you could pick it up for $199 pre-tax. Not bad for 4 cameras and a DVR. I was momentarily tempted to buy it. However, in my ripe old age of 33, I've learned 1 or 2 things about impulse buys...they usually cost me more money in the long run after I've realized that my first purchase was crap, and then spend more money to get what actually meets my needs. So, I didn't buy the Cobra. Fast forward a year later, and we've got a 7-month old munchkin in the house. Our neighborhood is growing, and so are the incidents of random crimes. Mostly stupid things done by stupid kids. Pulling on car doors, checking for unlocked cars, stealing stuff if they find an open car. Then one day a neighbor is going to work at 5am and catches one of these kids trying to break in to their car. The homeowner freezes, and the kid pulls a gun out and takes a few shots at the homeowner. No one is hurt, but the kid got away and everybody is shaken up. A few weeks after that happened, a neighbor was car-jacked at gun point in his own driveway, just as he pulled in from work - this was at 5:30 in the evening. Oh, and it was a block away from our house. Obviously this is concerning, and I'm looking around at options to secure the house beyond a security glass screen door. That's when the wife approaches and says 'Are we gonna get a doorbell cam like our neighbors? I really want one.' I said I would investigate, but deep down I had a feeling that a doorbell cam just wouldn't cut it. I did search on Amazon for CCTV kits. It was like drinking from a fire hose. By now, I've done a few other big projects and I've realized that to cut through the B.S., you can't rely on Amazon or Google - but there is a good chance you can find a forum that knows what is what. And that's how I wound up here. I was, and still am, completely overwhelmed by the amount of information there is to learn about IP cams. And I'm not talking about the deep stuff, I just mean the beginner level stuff you need to setup a system like this. However, I'm committed to the journey. Partly for the safety of my family, and partly because I believe in doing something right the first time - even if means taking more time and spending more money than doing a quick google search and buying cheapo crap on Amazon. So, with that said, I've pulled the trigger on the supplies needed to setup a basic IP cam network. I welcome any and all feedback - I'm a total noob at this. I was trying to go for high quality components that would be durable and as future-proof as I could afford. I do plan to expand and upgrade eventually. Camera: IPC-HDW2231R-ZS 2MP Purchased from Andy's Amazon store NVR: Dahua NVR4104HS-P-4KS2 4 Ch HDD: WD Purple 2TB Misc: Wall mount, Cat 5e cable, 128 gb microSD I know a lot of folks recommend an 8CH NVR, but I don't have a ton of square footage to cover. 3 cams in the front and 1 in the back will be enough for now. If/when I need more, I'll upgrade to a dedicated PC running BI, and of course upgrade the HDD. Also, I probably will add a doorbell cam at some point, but only if it's compatible with the NVR. Last, I've got a lot more work to do on the network side before I can call it day. That said, I don't plan to connect the NVR the LAN until I understand more about security protocols. I'll just have it hooked up to an accessible monitor in the house for now. Edit - Thanks all for the feedback. I read the cliff notes before buying this gear, and will read it again. And again. And spend much more time on the wiki. Also, I completely agree about situational awareness; not making yourself an easy target; etc. The problem is, most of my neighbors don't get this. And habitually poor habits have put a big mark on our neighborhood. We're working on it, but it will take time to rectify.