Member Discussion

What Wireless NVRs Exist?


  • Wifi,
  • 720p or more,
  • wired,
  • local storage,
  • ONVIF,
  • free live/recorded remote access,
  • 4 ch or more.

Nice to have: multi-ch sync playback

Can't have: any recurring charges.

Why are there so few?

Considering the popularity of dropcam et. al., with their cloud based recurring monthly ripoff, you would think there would be someone hawking the same capabilities, sans cloud...

Anyway, wtf is up with this cloud based crap? We all know that 99% of all security video is not ever watched, so why are we insisting on pushing it somewhere it doesn't need to go?

So we can pay for it? So we can have reduced resolution and frame rates and greater latency?

It's true they replace the hard drive when it fails but...

When I was looking at the Arlo solution, I was struck by the fact that you need a base station also... But it's still not local recording. Netgear sells routers with hard drives, so why not just make the wifi router with the hard drive with an NVR? One souped up box with everything, no RMR!

Ah, that is the problem, no RMR...

RMR - sellers love, end users not so much.

Sooner or later, there will be a real Dropcam alternative with local / on-site SD card storage?

For example, here's: Testing Samsung vs Google/Dropcam. Samsung just needs to improve software client side and it would be attractive.

I have been using the WIFI NVR from HIkvision for over 9 months now, I have had no issues with it. Cameras integrate easily, range is pretty good. I have not experienced any issues, it isn’t something I would deploy on a large scale but it works for my house just fine. It meets all of your requirements.

Thanks, John... A Few questions?

  • How far away from the NVR are the cameras roughly?
  • Inside/outside?
  • Did you buy it with their cameras?
  • How often do they drop out?

Right now they're only about 25-50 feet away, the first couple of months I reviewed the video footage regularly (both motion and continuious) and didnt notice any dropouts. All of the cameras are inside.

I did add a high gain antenna to the NVR and the signal passed through several brick walls and across our parking lot (next to the airport). I didn’t do any extensive testing with that setup, it worked and I left it at that. In my home I use the stock antenna.
I used Hikvision cameras only.
Most of the wifi cameras we use are sold to customers who have existing hardwired cameras and NVR’s. The customers were looking for a camera they could move from one place to the next (keeping and eye on elderly and pets) and don’t want to pay for the labor to hardwire.

Here is a beauty - Dahua NVR4014-w-834.

Thanks Sharvil, looks cool. Have you used one?

Hi Sharvil, do you have any information about what kind of wireless signal the Dahua NVR4014-W uses? I'm guessing it's not just 802.11n otherwise one might as well use a regular router for the Wi-Fi signal.

I would think it has to be at least 802.11 since it connects to third party wifi cameras. Spec says wifi. Doesn't look to be a router though, just an AP.

Hi Luke

Good question! Though we don't yet know exactly what WIFI standard it uses, I would like to think it's using 802.11n for a few reasons -

(1) The WIFI 1080P IP camera it supports from Dahua has 802.11n (

(2) It also supports other major brands IP cams - don't have to be WIFI, wired IP are okay, so long as they are on local WIFI network using WAP/router etc.

(3) Most WIFI items from good brands nowadays use minimum 802.11n, it's a recognized global standard. We have moved on from old 802.11 a/b/g to n / ac.

Thank you Sharvil, if the camera supports 802.11n, then it makes sense that is what the wireless NVR would be using too.

Where does the need for wifi come from? Is this from an RFP? There are many well documented reasons not to use wifi for cameras. I just don't understand why people always want to cut a corner or two in order to McGuyver solutions. You are going to need power for the camera anyways. Why not run cat5 instead of line voltage, or worse yet, limit yourself to locations where power already exists.

I also find find it ironic that you call cloud based storage crap, yet are OK with a wifi based NVR?

The need came from dear old Dad.

He didn't create an RFP, but he is a mini-MacGuyver.

There are many 'electrical outlets' all over the place in his rented apartment.

The power adapters plug fits easily into these outlets, cat5 cable does not seem to fit very well.

Our scheme was to leverage these various power outlets by plugging wifi cameras into the nearest receptacle we could find, and then transmit the data silently through the air, sometimes hopping 50 feet at a time, or so we hoped.

We heard the data could be "encrypted", even when in the air, so people couldn't take control of my Dad's camera or constantly spy on him.

Where did we go wrong?

Another option is Ethernet over Powerline. This give you a (possibly) more reliable connection that can't be jammer like wifi. Simply plug the powerline adapter in to the outlet and you have a network connection, assuming you don't have power phase issues....

Totally agree, Aaron. But somehow I don't think that will satisfy those who insist that 'real' jobs be 'reel' jobs...

Undisclosed A,

I don't believe you did go wrong given that this is an apartment, there aren't really a lot of options. I don't work with any customers that have apartments, though we do work with apartment oweners to cover their property. I would most likely never use WiFi cameras in someone's home because many don't like to see exposed wiring and the power cord of every camera would be exposed.

I only revert to wireless when necessary but it would be as a backhaul and not wireless built in a camera. Now if I could wirelessly connect with power, that would be awesome. (still probably would prefer the wire though)

Not yet, it's a recent release. It will come in stock shortly, but knowing Dahua - we are excited about it and at the same time not nervous knowing that Dahua doesn't disappoint (like HikVision do at times). It's a big credit to them (Dahua). Aver also used to have a plig n' play WIFI CCTV kit back in the days, but was VGA resolution only. This goes 5 to 6 years back I remember. Someone said it right, these WIFI kits are only good for small installs (4 ch or so), in a limited coverage area. For larger areas, you can consider a mesh WIFI network made up of extenders / WAPs etc with wired IP CCTV.

I can't help but noticing Wi Fi is not exactly a secure way of transferring image especially with security in mind right?

I mean one can buy easily from internet a wireless jammer and render the system useless.

The Wi Fi encryption hacking is probably a lot harder than just jam the heck out of the signal and user became blinded by that. Anyone not complaining about this?

I mean one can buy easily from internet a wireless jammer and render the system useless.

A helpful word of advice, two jammers might provide a better jamming blanket. What kind of radius are you getting out of your handheld jammer(s)? 10m? 15m?

But before you can render anything you will need to come to my residence in person, close-up. And when you get here it sure would help a lot if you could start the jamming ASAP, so if the fact that I lose home Wifi doesn't tip me off, the NVR/cameras tamper alarm can.

But don't get too close to the cameras because you don't want to be seen in the alarm snapshot that goes over the wired Internet to my 4G cell phone (or at least be sensible enough to bring 4G combo jammers). Speaking of mugshots, make sure and grab the SD cards out of the cameras themselves as they will be uselessly recording even when jammed.

Anyway, I'll give you credit for figuring out that I was using only those wireless cameras, and not hooking up any of them using their optional wired connector. And somehow knowing that my home alarm system hasn't worked for years. Now that's doing your homework!

Finally, I don't want you to think I don't appreciate this 'soft' jamming approach to trespass; I do, it's far more elegant and recoverable than at my neighbor's POE fortress, where hooligans actually cut the AC going into their house before plundering. What a mess!

And what protections do you have against power outages? A lot more difficult to provide UPS power without the concentration of PoE. If you have 8 cams, all on different circuits, that's 8 UPS'.

Have you also considered that it might not be a jammer that interferes with your cams? I don't know if many homes without 2.4Ghz WiFi being blasted out by their soho router. Most homes have a single AP and it is turned up to max strength, vs having multiple APs turned down low. How do you know that your new neighbor isn't going to install his WiFi on the same channel and your cams become hit or miss.

Not worth all the effort. Just run a dang cat5 wire!

Most homes have a single AP and it is turned up to max strength...

Who told you that?

Max (legal) strength is actually 1000mw. Typical home routers are a tenth of that power. Like your neighbor's Linksys, even when he's got it 'cranked' up to max strength.

People that are serious about Wi-Fi install ubiquiti or pepwave. Not my neighbors.

How do you know that your new neighbor isn't going to install his WiFi on the same channel and your cams become hit or miss.

My neighbors, as a rule, don't select their own channel, the AP will auto-select the channel that is least used, which will definitely not show as the one I am using, see above pro-wifi gear.

I haven't come across a single soho wifi product that doesn't default to its own max setting for signal strength, have you? How many of these homeowners know enough to lower their radio strength? None. Most can't even set a password.

So you don't have a plan for remote power then I take it, since you ducked that part entirely. For what it's worth, every single install I do has a min of 15 mins of battery run time on power failure. So the power outage hurts your wifi system quite a bit more than my wired PoE network.

Tell me, just how many channels are open in 2.4Ghz where you live? The 2.4Ghz where I live has probably 20 networks within earshot of inSSIDer. There is no open space and auto channel won't fix that.

Now, if the manufacturers wanted to create a secure wireless Backhaul using 900mhz or 3ghz or maybe even 5ghz, that might be more duable. But, 2.4ghz is so saturated anywhere I've been that it's not a very good choice IMO.

The discussion was titled "What Wireless NVRs Exist?".

You are responding like it was "What? Wireless NVRs Exist?". :)

What I am saying is that it's a forgone conclusion that I'm gonna use wireless, and I'm just trying to figure out what's out there. Cause it's for my Dad in a rented space, and in a neighborhood not especially prone to Green Beret attack scenarios.

So it's ok to 'cut corners', just not drywall. :(

Though I swear I would if I could, 'slammers honor, ok? Peace out.

When we install wifi cameras we do not use the customers WAP, we use our own, that does not broadcast SSID and is encrypted. Typical home security installation includes hardwired cameras for outside permitter security and indoor wifi cameras for viewing pets, elderly/kids/nanny…etc. Some of our customers have hardwired indoor cameras, but typically they're looking to have the freedom to move them from room to room depending on what they need it for that day. Most of our customers are in rural areas, if a neighbors signal interferes with ours, they must have some seriously powerful equipment.

Our customers understand the downfalls of using wifi cameras, they understand when the power is out the camera is down. For indoor cameras, they're more concerned with a low price point and ease of installation than anything else. They invest their money on exterior cameras and add indoor cameras as a bonus. All of my customer who purchased wifi cameras have comeback for more. It’s an easy sell for me, I preconfigure it at the office to connect to their system. Ship it to them, login to their system remotely to configure recording and I am done.
Consumers would rather have some security than no security. Of course there’s problems with wifi cameras, but when hardwiring cameras isn’t in the budget and wifi cameras are. They’re going to either buy them from you or someone else. Personally I would rather sell it to them.
In all of the wifi cameras we have installed, we have had zero problems, no service calls or long technical support calls.
The majority of home burglars are intoxicated, I doubt their coming equipped with wireless jamming devices (Could they? Absolutely, thats why we have exterior hardwired cameras). The majority of home burglars come in through the front door. So let’s say they do bring jamming equipment that destroys the wifi signal on indoor cameras, no problem. Front door cams got them. If they get in to the house, they’re going to hear the siren from the alarm system as well.
If they do jam the cameras, the customer will also get a notification of video loss and can view exterior cameras from the app and be at the ready to verify an alarm on the intrusion system app if someone is breaking in. If there is a power loss at the house, the alarm app will send a push notification for that too.
If an intruder has the equipment necessary to disable all security systems theres a pretty good chance their smart. If they’re smart there not breaking in to a small home where the budget didn’t allow for hardwired cameras. Low budget homes attract stupid criminals not Danny Ocean.
I’m on a plane now so I apologize of this is disorganized, just wanted to get my opinion out there.
Whether we like it or now, there are millions of homes in America using wifi cameras. Why not be the one selling them?

John, glad that setup works well for you and your clients. Sounds like you've had success with it.

We rarely get clients out in the rural areas. While Toledo, OH isn't some grand metropolis, it is pretty densly populated and every household or office I've been in has many neighbors blasting 2.4Ghz. The best are the car dealers who hired some schmuck to install wifi and he installs some super high power radios that travel 1/2 mile and ruin that channel range for everyone.

Hiding the SSID doesn't really hide it for people who want to hurt your system. However, that and a hammer are HIGHLY unlikely. Heck, poorly ran, exposed wires are probably more likely going to be targeted by burglars.

My main concern is non-malicious interference. In urban and industrial areas, it's tough to find open channels in 2.4Ghz. That's my main gripe about using wifi based cams.

Hikvision really listens to the market, (and this thread):

Netgear sells routers with hard drives, so why not just make the wifi router with the hard drive with an NVR? One souped up box with everything, no RMR!

And then just days later, Hik announces a new WNVR:

Wireless NVR + Built-in Home Router in one unit. Now that's thinking inside the 'box'.

That looks like an interesting wireless NVR although the design looks very similar to Apple's Airport Time Capsule which is a wireless router with internal hard drive.

Airport Time Capsule

$140 on aliexpress...


hik 4 eth, one usb, one , power ---- app 4 eth, one usb, power