Hikvision alternatives for home security?

ilan1h2020

Young grasshopper
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
70
Reaction score
4
I have an IP cam hikvision security system at work which is NVR based. I am now thinking of hooking up another office and also my home with security camera systems. The problem is that I've hated the IP cam experience. I use IVMS to access the cameras from my android and home computer. The problem is that everything about this system is hopelessly confusing. I realize that many on these forums are extremely knowledgeable about router settings etc but I'm not one of these. I'm very solid when it comes to tech and am no luddite. Both my home and work are completely "paperless" and software driven. However, I can't wrap my head around all this router stuff and I don't want to anymore going forward. My current system has caused me a lot of hassle with various port related issues, ext and int IP address changes etc. From time to time I need to change my router and this always throws the whole thing into chaos. Even when I don't change the router I occasionally find that something changes with the settings and this also eats up hours of my time. I also find that IVMS is way, way too complex for the casual user and I can barely figure out how to look up a recording for a particular day or how to download a snippet of that recording. Nothing should be that complicated! What kind of system would people suggest for the normal individual who wants the security but doesn't want to become a camera expert to maintain it?
 

fenderman

Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
33,883
Reaction score
13,615
I have an IP cam hikvision security system at work which is NVR based. I am now thinking of hooking up another office and also my home with security camera systems. The problem is that I've hated the IP cam experience. I use IVMS to access the cameras from my android and home computer. The problem is that everything about this system is hopelessly confusing. I realize that many on these forums are extremely knowledgeable about router settings etc but I'm not one of these. I'm very solid when it comes to tech and am no luddite. Both my home and work are completely "paperless" and software driven. However, I can't wrap my head around all this router stuff and I don't want to anymore going forward. My current system has caused me a lot of hassle with various port related issues, ext and int IP address changes etc. From time to time I need to change my router and this always throws the whole thing into chaos. Even when I don't change the router I occasionally find that something changes with the settings and this also eats up hours of my time. I also find that IVMS is way, way too complex for the casual user and I can barely figure out how to look up a recording for a particular day or how to download a snippet of that recording. Nothing should be that complicated! What kind of system would people suggest for the normal individual who wants the security but doesn't want to become a camera expert to maintain it?
I recommend you hire a professional. Alternatively, use crap like ring/nest and pay the perpetual stupid tax for subpar performance.
 

ilan1h2020

Young grasshopper
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
70
Reaction score
4
Of course, I will hire a professional I did the first time also. The problem is that professionals will install the system and are then nowhere to be found afterwards. Throughout the years I ran into problems with my system and had a very hard time troubleshooting problems that came up. My last problem (with port forwarding) ate up 4 hours of my precious time and was finally solved in 5 minutes by someone who I found on Yelp (the original installer was nowhere to be found). There's got to be a better way. I don't want to buy crap and I'm not into saving money either. I want a good, stable, solid system which does not require a PHd in routers or NVR's to maintain. I also don't care if it costs me a few shekels in monthly cloud based fees because my time is way, way more valuable than that kind of nonsense. This last system that I got was very cost effective in that it was hardwired IP cameras with a big NVR etc but it more technical than I can manage. Never again.
 

fenderman

Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
33,883
Reaction score
13,615
Of course, I will hire a professional I did the first time also. The problem is that professionals will install the system and are then nowhere to be found afterwards. Throughout the years I ran into problems with my system and had a very hard time troubleshooting problems that came up. My last problem (with port forwarding) ate up 4 hours of my precious time and was finally solved in 5 minutes by someone who I found on Yelp (the original installer was nowhere to be found). There's got to be a better way. I don't want to buy crap and I'm not into saving money either. I want a good, stable, solid system which does not require a PHd in routers or NVR's to maintain. I also don't care if it costs me a few shekels in monthly cloud based fees because my time is way, way more valuable than that kind of nonsense. This last system that I got was very cost effective in that it was hardwired IP cameras with a big NVR etc but it more technical than I can manage. Never again.
You are not hiring competent professionals. You are hiring trunk slammers. You dont need a "phd in routers", if your time is so precious, then pay a legitimate company for installation and support. The problem last time was you hired a guy off the street. It will cost more than an extra few shekels.
Go find someone who is is a licensed DW spectrum ipvms dealer.
 

ilan1h2020

Young grasshopper
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
70
Reaction score
4
Honestly, I'm finding your comments to be unhelpful. I am not in your business; therefore, I don't know these arcane terms you are using. I did what everybody else does in situations such as these ie: Yelp, Angie's list etc. I was not saving money and, in fact, it was quite expensive. Every time I ran into a problem I paid $200-300 to have somebody come and fix it. Last time my port forwarding went south and I could not access my cameras from my android phone I started looking for help. I paid Linksys tech support $100 to fix the problem and they failed. I then hired an IT guy who charged $150 and spent 3 hours looking at the problem and failed (I paid him anyway because I felt bad). I then hired a camera guy from Yelp and he fixed the problem in 5 minutes for $150. He told me that there was some kind of block between the ports of the NVR and the router (I think it was either 8080 or 8000). That's $450 and many hours of my time for a stupid tweak of the port system. And yes, my time is very precious and not worth this aggravation. If anyone else on this forum can give a reccomendation for a safe, good system with 4-6 cameras which does not require interminable fiddling with routers, NVR's etc I would be very grateful.
 

fenderman

Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
33,883
Reaction score
13,615
Honestly, I'm finding your comments to be unhelpful. I am not in your business; therefore, I don't know these arcane terms you are using. I did what everybody else does in situations such as these ie: Yelp, Angie's list etc. I was not saving money and, in fact, it was quite expensive. Every time I ran into a problem I paid $200-300 to have somebody come and fix it. Last time my port forwarding went south and I could not access my cameras from my android phone I started looking for help. I paid Linksys tech support $100 to fix the problem and they failed. I then hired an IT guy who charged $150 and spent 3 hours looking at the problem and failed (I paid him anyway because I felt bad). I then hired a camera guy from Yelp and he fixed the problem in 5 minutes for $150. He told me that there was some kind of block between the ports of the NVR and the router (I think it was either 8080 or 8000). That's $450 and many hours of my time for a stupid tweak of the port system. And yes, my time is very precious and not worth this aggravation. If anyone else on this forum can give a reccomendation for a safe, good system with 4-6 cameras which does not require interminable fiddling with routers, NVR's etc I would be very grateful.
I dont care how you find my comments. Perhaps you dont find them helpful because you cannot read. I suggested a solution for you actually two of them. Perhaps your time is too precious to read the replies. There is no good system that does not require fiddling with routers unless you hire someone. Stop being LAZY!
 

Pierrre

n3wb
Joined
Jun 8, 2017
Messages
17
Reaction score
13
I'll be more polite :) and say can you not find someone through local recommendations rather than websites? I'm in the uk but if I didn't want any hassle and my time was more important than the money I'd take out a contract with a national company like adt who arent going to disappear and you can shout at them till they turn up.

I'd rather use a local established firm who'd been recommended though. I dont advertise or have business cards but I still end up turning work away all through word of mouth, you've just got to find someone local to you. I get work passed from other electricians , maybe you can ask in a local wholesalers?

Although the hardware & frontend's have got easier to use over the last couple of years its still not 'novice friendly' especially if you only use it once every few months. To get round this I offer a service to copy anything from nvr to memory stick for a cup of tea and a biscuit :) Had a job last month where the older gentleman picked up the mouse and aimed it at the screen, its never gonna get that novice friendly:D
 

737mechanic

Young grasshopper
Joined
Sep 20, 2014
Messages
52
Reaction score
13
It sounds like you know the basics but the problem is any other camera system is going to require similar configuration settings to work properly so it won't matter which brand you go with you will need to know how to set up the router and other camera settings for it to work. My recommendation is study and learn how to do this yourself like I did.
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
6,375
Reaction score
4,739
I have an IP cam hikvision security system at work which is NVR based. I am now thinking of hooking up another office and also my home with security camera systems. The problem is that I've hated the IP cam experience. I use IVMS to access the cameras from my android and home computer. The problem is that everything about this system is hopelessly confusing. I realize that many on these forums are extremely knowledgeable about router settings etc but I'm not one of these. I'm very solid when it comes to tech and am no luddite. Both my home and work are completely "paperless" and software driven. However, I can't wrap my head around all this router stuff and I don't want to anymore going forward. My current system has caused me a lot of hassle with various port related issues, ext and int IP address changes etc. From time to time I need to change my router and this always throws the whole thing into chaos. Even when I don't change the router I occasionally find that something changes with the settings and this also eats up hours of my time. I also find that IVMS is way, way too complex for the casual user and I can barely figure out how to look up a recording for a particular day or how to download a snippet of that recording. Nothing should be that complicated! What kind of system would people suggest for the normal individual who wants the security but doesn't want to become a camera expert to maintain it?
Hi @ilan1h2020

Quick summary of what I have learned:

THERE IS NO PERFECT system that has all the following that folks seems to want:
A) Easy to setup
B) Quality of image
C) Alerting w/o significant lag
D) Reliable
E) No professional monitoring fees or monthly cloud fees
F) Embedded time stamps
G) Hack / spy proof
H) ... < add more requirements here > ...

Your best bet would be to outsource all of the setup and monitoring of your home network to a professional service company. However, many people do not want to pay for that... so for those of us who do not - well we take the time and effort to learn it.
 

george dy

n3wb
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
california
Hi, I'm in a slightly different boat. I have installed all Hikvision Dome Cameras around my home and wired the cables through my walls already. I have a Hikvision NVR, but I'm so frustrated with it's complicated GUI and overall fragility. We have had blackouts due to PSPS alerts from PG&E power shutoffs and every time I brace myself with issues regarding my NVR not broadcasting properly. Furthermore, I have had issues since the second reboot relating to my "smart recording" where it picks up everything in a recording and doesn't show me points of interest in the recording.

I'm so frustrated with the NVR product that I am looking for an alternative with a better GUI and seriously have had frustrating thoughts that I should have gone with a much less secure Nest/Arlo system because of these issues. Help?
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
6,375
Reaction score
4,739
Hi, I'm in a slightly different boat. I have installed all Hikvision Dome Cameras around my home and wired the cables through my walls already. I have a Hikvision NVR, but I'm so frustrated with it's complicated GUI and overall fragility. We have had blackouts due to PSPS alerts from PG&E power shutoffs and every time I brace myself with issues regarding my NVR not broadcasting properly. Furthermore, I have had issues since the second reboot relating to my "smart recording" where it picks up everything in a recording and doesn't show me points of interest in the recording.

I'm so frustrated with the NVR product that I am looking for an alternative with a better GUI and seriously have had frustrating thoughts that I should have gone with a much less secure Nest/Arlo system because of these issues. Help?
Hi @george dy -

With the PG&E outages Nest / Alro will still blow chunks when the power goes out.

I'd recommend checking out Blue Iris ( they have a demo version you can try ) and getting a UPS and connecting it to the PC to do a proper shutdown.
 

ilan1h2020

Young grasshopper
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
70
Reaction score
4
Apparently there are some people on this site that think that we have nothing better to do than spend hours of our time learning our camera systems. I am unwilling to spend even one hour doing it. I have hired professional companies that took money and then weren't available for basic troubleshooting. I have already gone that route and not willing to do it again. I think there's something to be said for dumbing it down with a more basic setup which charges monthly cloud based fees. The four hours I wasted on router, NVR, port configuration issue etc would have payed for 2 years of cloud storage fees. Just food for thought.
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
6,375
Reaction score
4,739
Apparently there are some people on this site that think that we have nothing better to do than spend hours of our time learning our camera systems. I am unwilling to spend even one hour doing it. I have hired professional companies that took money and then weren't available for basic troubleshooting. I have already gone that route and not willing to do it again. I think there's something to be said for dumbing it down with a more basic setup which charges monthly cloud based fees. The four hours I wasted on router, NVR, port configuration issue etc would have payed for 2 years of cloud storage fees. Just food for thought.
Hi ilan,

How much time did you take to figure out Microsoft word? How about facebook? How about your mobile phone?

It is up to you to determine what you want and need.

If you want to outsource and hire a company like @bababouy works with to monitor your cameras you certainly can and you will not need to spend any time figuring out how to us an app / software etc.

naturally that will cost you some $. Many of us here are happy to take our time on this topic, and thus expect others who join us to also be interested in DIY learning.
 

bababouy

Known around here
Joined
Mar 29, 2015
Messages
1,055
Reaction score
1,626
Location
almost to the bottom
Professionals - someone that does a job, then answers the phone afterwards, even years afterwards. HikVision ivms-4200 is a complicated software to use for the end user, but somewhat easier to use over the web GUI. If you are having issues with normal functions like playback, you need to spend some time with their manual. Once you get the basics down, you will find the camera system useful.
 

Mike Oz

n3wb
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
23
Reaction score
4
Apparently there are some people on this site that think that we have nothing better to do than spend hours of our time learning our camera systems. I am unwilling to spend even one hour doing it. I have hired professional companies that took money and then weren't available for basic troubleshooting. I have already gone that route and not willing to do it again. I think there's something to be said for dumbing it down with a more basic setup which charges monthly cloud based fees. The four hours I wasted on router, NVR, port configuration issue etc would have payed for 2 years of cloud storage fees. Just food for thought.
It sounds like you are best off with Ring or some other such off the shelf device that is simpler. The only other alternative is you spend some more time finding a good contractor who's really knowledgeable who can help you. As with most contractors these days, it's hard to find good ones that aren't expensive, so I wouldn't expect things to be cheap. I'm sure everyone has hired bad contractors who didn't know what they were doing (or were bad in some aspect), that doesn't mean there aren't some good ones out there. If you don't want to deal with that headache, then Ring/Arlo seems like the obvious choice, or ADT/etc all offer video surveillance packages tied to subscription fees.
 

wtimothyholman

Getting comfortable
Joined
Nov 25, 2016
Messages
323
Reaction score
610
Apparently there are some people on this site that think that we have nothing better to do than spend hours of our time learning our camera systems. I am unwilling to spend even one hour doing it. I have hired professional companies that took money and then weren't available for basic troubleshooting. I have already gone that route and not willing to do it again. I think there's something to be said for dumbing it down with a more basic setup which charges monthly cloud based fees. The four hours I wasted on router, NVR, port configuration issue etc would have payed for 2 years of cloud storage fees. Just food for thought.
I would suggest the following:

(1) Set up internal camera systems at your home and office that record to NVRs. Make no attempt to deal with accessing those cameras outside of the local network. Those cameras will provide high resolution archival video footage.

(2) Add a few Wyze cams set up for human figure detection to send alerts to your smartphone. These will be your "tripwire" cameras. When you get an alert, check the feed, and call the police if needed.

(3) Use UPS backups on your modem / routers / cameras so that a power outage does not disable your system, just in case you find yourself dealing with a more determined thief.
 

Mike Oz

n3wb
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
23
Reaction score
4
^I think that's a very good solution. A friend has this setup and it works well for him.

The problem with the "unicorn system" as mentioned above is it isn't simple. Period. To securely access your home LAN with your NVR, you want to setup a VPN server. Opening ports is not secure. This is inherently slightly complicated. No way around it, and why you usually only see it done on the enterprise level for accessing networks/etc. Software updates can/will break things periodically. This happens in commercial settings as well. You either shell out a lot of cash or DIY it.

The OP mentioned "changing out the router from time to time." That's a pretty large change to be doing willy nilly and I would say to not do that if you want to minimize headaches.
 
Top