Axis Camera Companion VMS V3 Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Jul 27, 2015

Axis is focusing more on their own 'end to end solutions'.

Camera Companion is Axis' 'VMS killer', which is free and eliminates using traditional VMS software. It jumped off to a great start, then got hammered with SD card problems and constrained by limited cloud and VMS functionality.

Now, Axis has released the third version of the Camera Companion, which aims to fix these problems.

IPVM has tested the new version to determine how well it works and how it changes Axis competitive positioning.

**** ** ******** **** ** ***** *** '*** ** *** *********'.

****** ********* ** ****' '*** ******', ***** ** **** *** eliminates ***** *********** *** ********. ** ****** *** ** * great *****, **** *********** **** ** **** *********** *********** ** ******* ***** *** *** *************.

***, **** *** ******** ******** ******* ** *** ****** *********, ***** **** ** *** ***** ********.

**** *** ****** *** *** ******* ** ********* *** **** it ***** *** *** ** ******* **** *********** ***********.

[***************]

*******

**** **** ***** ****** ***********, ******** ** **** *******, *** enhanced live *** ******** ** *****, **** *** *** * ***-*** 'end ** *** ********' **** ** **** **** *************. *******, despite *** **** *** ********, ***** *** ******** **** ***** of **** ** *******, ******** ** ***** ** *** ** analog *******, ** ** ***** ******* **** *********.

**** ****** ********* * ******** * ******* ***-*** ********** ** a ******* *****, ***** ****** **** **** *** **** ***** insensitive ****** ******* ***** ******** ******* *** ********.

**** ** *** **** **** *** ***** **** *********** **** ****** *****, ** **** *** *** ******** **** ** *** ******* competitive *********, **** ***** ****** ***** ** *** ******* ********* for **** **** **** ****** *********.

Technical *** ********

****** ********* *'* *** ***** ****** ******** ****** **** *** **** live ******* *** ******** (**** ******* ** ** ******* *****), with no ****** ***** ********. ***** ******** ******* ******** *.** *** up, ********* **** ***** (*+ *****) ******* *** ************ ******, though ***** *** ***** ** ********** *** ****** ****** ***** port ********** ** ****.

***** *** ********** *** ******* ** (******** *** *****) ** iOS/Android ****** ****. ** *** ****** ** ****** *** *** ****** is *********.

**** ******* *** **** ********* *****-*********, ***** ******** **** *** quality ** **** ******* ******* ** ***** * ****** **** the ****** *** ****** ** * ****** ******, *********** **** time ***** ** ******** ********.

*** ******** ** *, *, **, *** ** ***** ********** in Investigation **** (********* ******) ******* *** ***** ******* ** ******** than ******** ****** ********* ********, ***** **** **** ** ****** back/forward **********.

Positioning ******

**** *** ******** ** **** ***** ******, **** *** ******* improved ****** *********'* ***********:

  • **** ******* *****:** **** ************* ***** ****** ** **** ***** *** *** set ** ****** ******* ******* ****** **** ********** ** ********** UPnP, ***** *** **** **** ********* ** **** *** *****. Even ******* *********** ****** ******* ** ****** ******* ***** *** appreciate *** ************ ******* ****** ** **** ******, ** ****.
  • ** ********* *******:************, **** **** ***** ****** ** ******* ****** ***** ****** recurring ******* ****** ** **** ***** *********, ********* ***** *** AVHS ***** *******, ****** ****** ********* **** ********** ** ************ typically ****** ** ****** *****.

*******, ** ***** *** **** *********** *** ***** ** ******* VMS ********* ** **** *** **** ****/**** ***** **** ******** users *** **** *******:

  • ** ********** **********:***** *** *** **** **** *** **** ** * ****, with ** ****** ** **** ******* ****** ******** ***** ** * single ******. ************, *****/********/****** ****** *** ********** **** ** ****, not ****** *** ****** ******.
  • ** *****-****** ********:***** *** ******* ** ******* * ****** ****** ** ****, **** no ****** *** ************ ************ ******** ***** ** **** *** platforms. ******** ******* *** ** ******** **************, *** *** ****** singly.
  • ******* ******: ************** *** ******* ** ********* *** ******** ********. ***** *** no ******* *** *****/*** ***** ********, ***** ******, ***., ****** in *****.

SD **** ***********

**** ***** ******** ** **** ****** ********* ***** ** **** issues ********* ** **** *****. ** ****** ****, **** ******** a"************" ** **** ** *********** **** *******. ***** ***** *** ********** ********* *** ********* ** ****. 

**** **** **** ********** ******** ************ ***** ** ********* ** card ****/***** ******** ** ****** *** ** ******** ** ***** before ******** ******* ** ***** *** ****.

** **** ***** ******* ***** ** ***** ** *** ******* (one ****** *********, *** **********), **** ** ****** ** ***. These ********** *** **** ********* *** *** ***** ** **** definite determinations ** ** *******, *** ** **** ****** *** ****** here.

Remote ******

*** **** ******* ***** ******** *.** ** ****** *** ********* via *** ***** ** ****** ******* ****** ****** ** ** Camera ********* *************, * ****** ********. ******** **** *** ******** and ******* ** **** ****** ***********, ****** ***** "**** ****** Access ********", ****** ***** ** *** **** ** (*** ****** they ** **** *****) ********* ******** ** *** ****** ******. 

**** **** ******* *** *** ************* ********* ** *******, *** users *** ******* ********** ******* ** **** ** *** **** them ** ** ******** **********. ******* ***** ******** ***** **** 5.50 *** ***** ** ******** ********, *** **** *** **** or ****** **** **********. **** *** ******** ************ ** *** to ******** ****** *********** ******* ******* *** ******** ****** *****. *** **** ** *** ********** ****** **, *** **** ****** ****** ****** **********.

** ***** ** ****** ** ****** ****** ***** ** *** tests, **** *** ********** ******* ****** **********, **** ** ***** required.

Account/Site ***** 

****** ********* ***** **** *** *** **** *** *********** ***** a ****** ******* (**** ** ******). *** ***** *** ******* created ** ********* *** **** ***** ** **** *******, *** accessible **** ***** ******* ********. **** **** ***** ****** ** "******", i.e., ***** ***** *** *** ****** ** ******* *** ***** email. ***** *** **** ** * ****** ****** *******, ****** a ****** ******* *** **** **** *****.

**** **** *** **** ***** ********* ***** (*****, ********, ******) which *** ************** **** ** ********. ** ******** ** ******** to ***** ** *** ****, **** ********.

** ****** ******** *** ***** ** **** *****:

 

Live **** ************

*** **** ****** ** ****** ********* *, ***** **** ****** design *******, ** **** **** ******* *** **** *****-*********. ******* stream ** *** ******* **** ** ******* "*********" *******, *** ************* switch ** *** **** ****** **** ********. *** **** **** required **** ********* ******* ******** ******* *** **** **********.

 

Search *** ******

*** **** ******* **** **** **** ** ******:

  • **** ***** ************* ****, ***** *** *** **** ****/******* ** 1, *, **, *** ** ***** ********** ******* ** *** 30 ****** ******** **** ** **** ********, ****** ** ****** to ****** ******** ******* ****** *************.
  • ******** ******* *** *** ** ******** (.*** ******) ** ****, instead ** *** ** * ****. *******, *** **** **** player ********** **** *** ***** *** *****-****** ********, ****** ******* files *** ***** ******* ************.

Comments (15)

This is not good news for those left selling Axis AVHS hosted video, as Axis has now stripped AVHS of its biggest competitive advantage, easy cloud access which is now equally available for free with Axis Camera Companion.

Isn't the advantage of AVHS that the video is stored in the cloud, as opposed to SD cards? So therefore possibly better functionality, performance and reliability?

Did people buy AVHS because port forwarding was too hard?

The most compelling buying point we have seen is easy cloud setup / access. Same reason why Dropcam did well, especially considering 60% of the people who buy them do not buy any storage.

So yes, 'port forwarding was too hard'. However, your question is a little like a carpenter asking "Why would anyone buy a bookshelf at Ikea?"

I thought people who bought AVHS were people who wanted/needed hosted (off-site) video, not people who just wanted to get to their own cameras thru the Internet. Admittedly this was an assumption made because that's the main value I saw in the offering.

Do you expect a significant number of AVHS subscribers to drop the service now that they have an easier way to phone home?

AVHS is sold through partnerships, so the key question is what will they do. The reality is AVHS has been on a slow boat to nowhere for years, so it's not as if things were awesome until this (the most famous one being EMC Dumps Axis VSaaS). However, this hurts AVHS because at least Axis could tell the remaining AVHS partners that at least AVHS was the only offering that provided cloud access. Now that's gone.

Even when Camera Companion first came out, AVHS partners were nervous then. Whoever is left should not be happy about Camera Companion significantly cutting the gap.

Axis more recently emphasized AVHS positioning towards multi-site users, which Camera Companion still does not work for. Of course, there are lots of strong competitive products in that market. Lastly, unless Axis is keeping AVHS developments real quiet, it does not seem like the product / service has gotten much better in the past few years.

All of this is really not very important, in the big picture. Axis still needs something that is a legitimate competitor to Chinese low-cost offerings. These improvements make Camera Companion better, but the high price of Axis camera and the ~$90 price tag for SD cards, makes that cost gap still steep.

I would be nice to see a comparsion between Axis Camera Companion and Hikvision's EZVIZ

Ok, we will queue that up.

Btw, crazy website photo:

Do the cameras connected within camera companion have to be on the same subnet? I would like to install this on a PC in our server room so the tech on site could view (not playback, just view) numerous network closets and critical doors at once.

No, they don't. I have a couple of cameras on a different subnet added and it works fine. Network storage may be a bit of an issue, as my standard network shares wouldn't connect across subnets, but local storage works fine, as does live viewing.

Hi I want to add my two cents.

1) First, as mentioned you need first a computer to setup the "site" for the first time, so you need to have a computer. no big deal, but to be clear. It is not possible just using your cellphone's application.

2) In case your customer doesn't have internet, you will NOT able to create/configure the "site". Since its requiere that you logging with a email account, wich will requiere also you to have a email for/from your customer, eather using your customer personal/bussines email to creat an account on Axis.com or you will need to create a separate email in order to create one account at Axis.com for that particular customer.

Even after creating the site, if you want to add another PC or Mobile device to access the cameras, you need internet connection again since the Companion software ask for your email and password to logging the first time. or you could export the site configuration to a .accs file then import in the new pc want to add.

Still is a easy sytem to configure, well designed and good look and feel application and allow outside network access wich this days is a must. and is Free.

We have found that the program automatically reaches out and attempts to upgrade the firmware of all the cameras that it touches. Is there a way to prevent this?

Ross, it updates firmware when you first connect, but it doesn't try to automatically push updates once things are running, correct? This is off the top of my head.

I don't know of a way to stop that, but I'll ask Axis for comment.

Thanks Ethan. Our concern is that if it forces firmware updates it could be an issue with our normal OnGuard VMS. We would like some of our smaller plants/showrooms/stores/etc. to use camera companion and we could log in to each from here in our Ops center. I just don't want to put the program on our Ops center PC's if every time an operator logs in to view something it tries to update firmware on our local cameras that are in OnGuard. Hopefully that makes sense!

Did you ever hear anything back on this Ethan?

About remote access:

"2. Axis solution to remote access Axis Secure Remote Access makes it possible for a smartphone or PC client to access Axis network cameras when the client and the cameras are located on different local networks. Using external mediator servers1 , the client and the camera can find each other and establish a secure peer-to-peer connection. As a fallback the communication is automatically relayed through the mediator servers, when direct communication cannot be established."

From: http://www.axis.com/files/whitepaper/wp_remote_access_63636_en_1504_hi.pdf

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports on VMS

Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Axis Perimeter Defender Video Analytics Tested on Jul 12, 2018
Axis 'high security' video analytics offering is Perimeter Defender, OEMed / developed with Digital Barriers. But how good is Perimeter Defender?...
Drops Dahua, Fenner Becomes ISS CMO on Jul 09, 2018
Hired to improve Dahua's miserable marketing just last year, Janet Fenner has quit Dahua, joining VMS manufacturer ISS as Chief Marketing...
UK VSaaS Startup Ocucon on Jul 03, 2018
Decreasing exposure to fraudulent slip-and-fall insurance claims and lawsuits is one of the oldest selling points of video surveillance for retail....
Digital Watchdog Low Cost 4MP Camera Tested on Jul 02, 2018
Based on member 4MP testing requests, we bought and tested Digital Watchdog's low-cost 4MP DWC-MTT4Wi to see how it performs in real world scenes,...
Panoramic Fisheye Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek on Jun 27, 2018
IPVM tested Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek 12MP panoramic fisheye cameras head to head, as shown in the test setup...
Snap Surveillance Profile on Jun 26, 2018
There are not a lot of video surveillance companies that survive 9 years with only one feature that makes their product stand out. In the case of...
OpenEye Apex VMS Tested on Jun 26, 2018
OpenEye is a US company, founded nearly 20 years ago. In the past few years, OpenEye has been one of a few VMS providers that have pivoted to being...
Most Wanted Improvements In Manufacturer Technical Support (Statistics) on Jun 21, 2018
5 key areas of improvement and 1 clear wanted support feature were voiced by 140+ integrator responses to: What improvement in manufacturer...

Most Recent Industry Reports

AI Startup Anyvision Raises $28 Million Led By Bosch on Jul 20, 2018
Anyvision is the most ambitious heavy-spending video surveillance startup in many years. And, now, the startup has raised $28 million led by...
Fail: Dahua "Didn't Check The Lux Levels but It Was Dark" on Jul 20, 2018
Dahua UK has been promoting their camera quality on LinkedIn: I, and others, asked what the lux level of the scene was. (background: Lux Rating...
Free 100+ Manufacturer-Customized Camera Calculator Released on Jul 19, 2018
Now, any manufacturer has a customized IPVM Camera Calculator, free. The goal is to make it easier for companies to help their customers better...
Improved Security And Surveillance Bidding - 2018 MasterFormat Divisions Examined) on Jul 19, 2018
Navigating the world of system specifications and bidding work can be complex and confusing, but a standard format exists, and understanding it...
Last Chance - Security Sales Course Summer 2018 on Jul 19, 2018
Today is the last day to register. Based on member's interest, IPVM is offering a security sales course this summer. Register Now - IPVM Security...
Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Ladder Lockdown and Ladder Levelizer Tested on Jul 18, 2018
Ladders are a daily necessity for surveillance and security installers, but working on an unstable surface can be extremely dangerous. In addition...
FST Fails on Jul 17, 2018
FST was one of the hottest startups of the decade, selected as the best new product at ISC West 2011 and backed with tens of millions in...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Amazon Ring Alarm System Tested on Jul 16, 2018
Amazon Ring is going to hurt traditional dealers, and especially ADT, new IPVM test results of Ring's Alarm system underscore. IPVM found that...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact