Feb 8, 2020
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United States
Newcomer here. Looking to purchase home security/surveillance cameras/system. Looking for something with good quality day/night, something that can notify me if there is motion, but is on continuously and not just when there is motion. Also looking for something I can monitor myself while at home or away via a secure connection. Looking for any help with this as most of what I have seen requires a monthly subscription.
Dec 28, 2019
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New Jersey

Welcome to the land of video surveillance lunatics. Be sure to check the WiKI, in the blue bar at the top of the page. Study, carefully on a real computer, the Cliff Notes in there. There is also a lot of other good information for sizing a system and keeping it safe on the internet, foil the "phone home" features. Read, study plan, ask questions, revise plans and test before spending money. It'll save you time, frustration and money in the end. There's tons of reviews here on cameras, and NVRs to help confuse you even more when trying to make a decision.


Getting the hang of it
Aug 7, 2018
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Welcome! Many of the systems that offer monthly subscriptions or limited cloud storage-only options are inferior to having your own NVR with a well established free app to view your NVR data and to receive alerts/notifications. Most of the highly advertised and highly marketed products are not nearly as good and cost a lot more in the long run. Avoid using any system that is entirely battery-based or wifi-based cameras. Feel free to post your desired setup details (ex: number of cameras, areas of concern to be monitored, indoor/outdoor coverage, budget, etc.) and I'm sure we can help you pick out the best system and camera types.


IPCT Contributor
Feb 15, 2018
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Houston Tx

Read study plan before spending money.

DO not use a cloud service, Do not use WIFI

My standard welcome to the forum message.

Please read the IP Cam Talk Cliff Notes and other items in the IP Cam Talk Wiki. (read on a real computer, not a phone). The wiki is in the blue bar at the top of the page.

Read How to Secure Your Network (Don't Get Hacked!) in the wiki also.

Quick start
1) If you do not have a wired monitored alarm system, get that first
2) Use Dahua starlight cameras or Hikvision darkfighter cameras if you need good low light cameras.
3) use a VPN to access home network (openVPN)
4) Do not use wifi cameras.
5) Do not use cloud storage
6) Do Not use uPNP, P2P, QR, do not open ports,
7) More megapixel is not necessarily better.
8) Avoid chinese hacked cameras (most ebay, amazon, aliexpress cameras(not all, but most))
9) Do not use reolink, ring, nest, Arlo cameras (they are junk), no cloud cameras
10) If possible use a turret camera , bullet collect spiders, dome collect dirt and reflect light (IR)
11) Use only solid copper, AWG 23 or 24 ethernet wire. , no CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum)
12) use a test mount to verify the camera mount location. My test rig: rev.2
13) (Looney2ns)If you want to be able to ID faces, don't mount cams higher than 8ft. You want to know who did it, not just what happened.
14) Use a router that has openVPN built in (Most ASUS, Some NetGear....)
15) camera placement use the calculator... IPVM Camera Calculator V3
16) POE list PoE Switch Suggestion List

Cameras to look at
IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED Review IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED (Full Color, Starlight+) - 4MP starlight
Dahua IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED review
IPC-T5442TM-AS Review-OEM 4mp AI Cam IPC-T5442TM-AS Starlight+ - 4MP starlight+
IPC-B5442E-ZE Review - OEM IPC-B5442E-ZE 4MP AI Varifocal Bullet Camera With Starlight+
IPC-T2347G-LU Review of the Hikvision OEM model IPC-T2347G-LU 'ColorVu' IP CCTV camera. (DS-2CD2347G1-LU)
IPC-HDW2231R-ZS Review-Dahua IPC-HDW2231RP-ZS Starlight Camera-Varifocal
IPC-HDW2231T-ZS-S2 Review-OEM IPC-T2231T-ZS 2mp Varifocal Starlight Camera
IPC-HDW5231R-ZE Review-Dahua Starlight IPC-HDW5231R-ZE 800 meter capable ePOE
IPCT-HDW5431RE-I Review - IP Cam Talk 4 MP IR Fixed Turret Network Camera
N22AL12 New Dahua N22AL12 Budget Cam w/Starlight -- low cost entry

Other dahua 4MP starlight Dahua 4MP Starlight Lineup

My preferred indoor cameras
IPC-K35A Review-Dahua IPC-K35A 3mp Cube Camera

If interested in Blue Iris and other setup items see the following post

Camera Sensor size info Sensor Size Chart Generally bigger is better

Before asking a question search the forum first...
The best way to search the forum is to use Google Advance search
set site or domain to ipcamtalk.com
in the google search window enter.. site:ipcamtalk.com ?????? ..where ?????? is the items/terms you are interested in.
Example site:ipcamtalk.com PALE MOON BROWSER

Read,study,plan before spending money ..... plan plan plan
Test do not guess