Top Recommended Home Video Surveillance Systems By Integrators

By IPVM Team, Published Dec 01, 2017, 08:59am EST

Friends regularly ask security integrators for their recommendations for video surveillance systems, trying to tap into the expertise of their security integrator friend.

But what do integrators actually recommend? Is it:

  • Consumer products like Nest, Ring or Blink
  • Low-cost professional products like Dahua or Hikvision
  • Higher-end professional products like Axis or Avigilon

150+ integrators told IPVM their choice, producing definitive recommendations that might surprise you.

Professional Brands Top Consumer/DIY

Overall, integrators recommended professional brands like Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, etc. over consumer or DIY-oriented products by a margin of nearly 2:1:

Hikvision **** ******** ***** ***************

********* *** *** **** commonly ********* ******** *****. Factoring ** *****, ********* OEM ***, **** **** "Other" ******, ******* ******** accounted *** **** **% of *** ************ ****** recommended, *** **** ** ~40% ** *** ******* recommendations.

Hikvision / ***** ***************

*********** ********* *** ***** much **** ******-******* **** commercial ********* *** **** tend ** **** **** basic ************. ***** ******* contributed ** *********** ******* for ******** *********, *****, and ***** ******* ******** overall. ***** ******** ******** with ***** ******** **** generally *** ***** ** integrator *********.

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

  • "********* ** *** *****, easy ** *******, ***** first **** *** **** 4500 *** ***** * treat *** ***** ******** guy ******** **."
  • "*********. ***** *******, **** App ** *** ****** and ***** *****."
  • "********* - ** ***** and ** ** ***** expensive."
  • "********* ** ** ** now *** **** *** that ***** **** ** have **** **** *** these ** *** **** to *** **** *****."
  • "********* **** *****"
  • "*********. ** ** *******, they **** **** ****/******** ratio."
  • "********* ****** ** *******. Cheap *** ****** ******* for ***** ************."
  • "**** ********* *** ******* alarm ******* ******* ***********. Fow *** *** ********* they *** **** ****** systems."
  • "*********. **'* ***** *** works."
  • "*********; ****** ** *********, free *******, ****** *** easily ********* *** ** is *******."
  • "*** ** ********* *** to *****."
  • "********* *** ********** ******* is ***** *** **** good ****** **** ******* and ************ *** ****** viewing." 

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

  • "********* ******* *** ******* for ***** ** * recommend *****."
  • "*****, ***** *** **********"
  • "********* *****. **** ***** and ******* ******* *** security ******. **** ** they're ** *** ***** network ** ** **** behond * ***."
  • "***** ***** ****** **** acceptable *******"
  • "*****, *** *********** **** a ****** **** ****** warranty (* ***** **. 2 *****). **** ******* from ***** ***** ****. So *** *** ******* is ****** ********. *** home ****, **** *** price ********* ** ***** can ***** ***** * chance ** ******** **** Hikvision ** ***** ******* non-famous ******."
  • "*****. ******* ** **** it :-)"
  • "* *** ** **** experience **** ********* ***** systems"
  • "*****. ***** ****** ** features ** ***** *****."

******:

  • "*****/********* ****** *****"
  • "****** ********* ******* ******** like ( *********, *****). Because ** ** **** cost ********* ******* ** other ******."
  • "*** *********** * ******* will ** ********* ** Dahua ******* **’* ***** and *** *** ** decent. "
  • "********* ** ***** **** with ******** *********... **** bang *** ****"
  • "***** ** *********. ****** friendly *** *** *** the ******** ****** *** residential ************."
  • "***** ********* -******"

Axis ***************

**** *** **** ******** associated **** ******* ******* or ******* ******* *** recommendations, ****** **** *** budget *******. *****, **** integrators *** **** **** Axis' *****-**** ********* ******** were ******-******** ****** *** residential ************.

  • "***** ***** **** ******* and **** ****** *********. Good *******, **** ********. FOr * *****, **** is *** *** ****** need."
  • "**** **************, ******** *** secured"
  • "**** ********* ** **** are ** * ******, since ** ** **** to *** *** ****** a **** ***** ** camera *******."
  • "****, **** **** ** install *** * *** give **** ******* ** needed"
  • "****: ***** ****, ********* app **** ** *****, easy ** ******* **** home ********** *******."
  • "****, ********** ****** ******* available ** *********, **** friendly *** **** ********* software."
  • "* **** ********* **** camera ********* ***** *** when **** ***** ** the ***** * **** just ********* **** ****** something **** *** ******** camera."
  • "****. ***** ***** *********...**** to *** **** ***."
  • "**** *********. * ***'* recommend ******** * *****'* used *** *** ***** level ******* **** **** is *** ******** ******** we ****."

Hanwha ***************

****** ******** **** *********** for ***** ***** *****/******* ratio, *** **** ** integrators *** ********** ***** security ****** ****** ** Hikvision *** *****.

  • "******. **** *** ****** for **** **** ** market *** ***'* **** the ******* ***** ******** issues."
  • "****** - * **** they **** * ****** product ** * ****** price *** *'* *** too ******* ***** ******** loop-holes."
  • "*******/****** - * ******** brand *** *** ********** clients *** **** **** the ***** *** "****" products **** **** **** for *****."
  • "****** - **** ******* and ******* *** *** price - ***** ****"
  • "* ********* ******, * can ***** *** ** integrator ******** ** **** sure *** ***** ***** low *** **** ***** get *** ******* ** a ************ ***** (****** Q ****** ** **+)"

DIY *******

*** *********** ************ *** or ********-******** ******, **** version ** "**** *** whatever **** **** ** Costco" *** *** **** common **************. *** ******** brands ** **** *******, Nest *** *** **** commonly *********, ******** ** FLIR, ****, *** ****. Combinations ** *****, *** ease ** ***** *** use **** ****** ******* integrators *********** ***** ******* to *******.

** ** ******:

  • "******* ** *** **** of *** **** *** security *****. **** * send ** ****** *** a ******** ******, ****** I ********* * ****** from *** ** *** residential ***** *********** *** for * *** * have ******** ******* **** HIKVision ** ********."
  • "***'* ********* ********. **** them ** ** ** Costco. * ** **********."
  • "* **** **** ** go ** ******. *** sure **** ***** **** carry."
  • "****** *****, ** **** do *********** *************"
  • "* ********* **** **** to *** **** ******. The ****** ** **** are ********* *** ********* for *********** ************."
  • "******. *********** ****** **** only * ******. *** video ** ***** *** cheap. ****'* *** * don't ** ***********"
  • "* ********* *** ******/**** Club ****** ***** **** are **** ****** *** a **** ****** *** much **** ********* **** professional *******. ****, **** are **** ****** ** install *** *** ** than ************ ******* ***** require **** ********** *********"
  • "* **** **** ** go ** ******, **'* or **** ***"
  • "****** ********** ****** ***** with ***** ******* **** BJs, ****** ** ******** they *** **** **********. Homes **** **** ** capture ****** *** ******, Insurance, ***.*********** ***** *** explore ******* **** ********* options."
  • "****** *******. ***** *** it **** ***** *******. "
  • "******. * *** ***** these ***** ** ****. Everybody ** **********, *** few **** ** *** me **** *'* *****. The *** ******* *'** done **** ****, *'** put ** * ***** Hik ******."
  • "** **** **** ** do ** **********, ** to **** ** ****** and *** **** **** like. ***** ** *** a ********* *** *** price ** *****."
  • "* ***** *** **** they ****** ** **? if **** **** * dvr *** *****. * tell ** ** ** Costco *** *** *** off *** *****. "
  • "** **** **** **** cheap **** *** ******** Costco ** *******."

****:

  • "****, ******* **'* ******. For **** *******, ***-********* guy **** *** ***** recommendations *** **** **'* got ** ** ** DEAD ******. **** **** a **** *** **** that. ** ***'* *********** the **** ******/********/******** ***, but *** ***** ****** is ******** ****** ***-***** and ****-**-***. ** ********* anything **** ***** ************ to "****" (****: ** the **** ********)."
  • "******* ********* **** ****. They ***'* **** ** mess **** ****** *******, storage ********, ********** ** things **** ****. * give **** *** ******* about *** ******* *** risks ** ***** ******."
  • "**** ** **** - I ***'* *** ******** with *******...* **** **** the ******** ***** ** hook ** ** ***** own."
  • "******* ** **** ****'** looking ***. * ****** only, * ******* ********* Nest. **** ** ***, setup *** ****** *** being *** **** ******."
  • "****. ** ******* **** to *****, ***********."
  • "******** ******** **** ****. Most ******* ***'* *** premium *** ********** **** products."
  • "******* ** *** ***** - * ** * camera - ****** ****."
  • "* ********* *** "****" products. ****** ** *** cloud ***** *** **** seem ** **** ****."
  • "****. * ***'* **** to **** ** **** them **** **."

**** (****** *** ************ stated ** **** *********, it ** **** ** assume *** **** ********** are *** ****'* ********-********/***** products, *** ***** ************ systems):

  • "* **** ********* ********* a **** ** ******. Hopefully, *** **** ******* is ****. *** **** IP ******* *** ****** solid *** ****** ***************. The ******* **** ** getting *** **** ******* in *** ***** ******."
  • "**** *********, ****. *****, and **** **** ************."
  • "**** ******* ** *** price *** *******. **** search **** ** **** but **** ****** *** home *** *** *** IP ******* *** **** day *** *****."
  • "****** *** ** **** can ***** *** *****-******** side ** **, ** the ***-*** **** ********, due ** *** *********** of *********** *** ***** on ****."
  • "***** ** **** **** want ********* ***** **** local *******"

****:

  • "******* ** **** **** are ******* *** *** most ** *** **** a **** *****."
  • "**** ******* **** *** the ****"
  • "**** ** ***** - In ****** ****** **** not ** ****** *** verified *** **** **** they *** ********* *** slow"
  • "****. *'** ********** ********* a *** ** ********** to ***** ******. *******, works ****, *** ***** up ** **'* **********."

****:

  • "******* **** *** *****, easy"
  • "*** ****, ****. *** is ******* *** ***** cost ** ******* * hardwired ****** ******* ******* the ********* *********** *** the ****. **** ** is *** ** *** machine."
  • "* *** ** **** them ******* ********* **** Blink ** ****."
  • "**** - **'* **** to ******* *** *******"

Free ********* *** - ********* *******

**** ******* ******* ** camera ****** ************, ** products **** *********, ***** and ****** ******* **** would ******* ********* ** well. *******, * ******* of *********** ********* *********, ************ their **** ******** *********+ ********** ***** ***** *************** to *******.

  • "** ***** ** ** object **** ******* *** Milestone *** ** ***** is * ****** **** of ******* ********* ******* and ********* *** *** if ***** ** ********** Hikvision *** ** ***. I *** ** ***** towards ********* ******* *** the **** ** *** and * *** ****** hik ******** ** *** internet *** ******* *** i ********* **** ******* there **** *****."
  • "********* - ******* ** is ******* **** *** I ******* ** ***%"
  • "***** + **** ********* VMS ** * **. "
  • "********* *** *****, **** to *******, ******, ****** client, ** **** **** need * ******* ** cameras ** ** ****. "
  • "********* *** * **** edition ** *********."
  • "** **** **** ****, I **** **** ** Netgear ** **** **** a **** ******, * recommend ********* ** **** have * **** ******* for ****, **** ******** what ***** **** **** for ****** *** ******* they **** ***** *** or ******** **** **** warts."
  • "********* ** ***** **** with ******** *********... **** bang *** ****"

Avoid ***************

********* ****** ********** *************** to ******* ** ****** can ******** **** **** expect *** ** ****** their **-**** *******. ** suspect **** ** *** some *********** ***** ** avoid ****** ***************:

  • "** ** *** **** in **** ******, ** I ***** ****** ***************."
  • "* *** *** **."
  • "* ****** ** ********* any ****** ** ** friends."
  • "*** ** **** *** of *** ******* *** family ********, *** **** it ****** ** ******* we ******* ***** ** purchase * *** *** them ** ******* **********."
  • "***'* ********* ********. **** them ** ** ** Costco. * ** **********."
  • "* ***'*"

Comments (17)

Dealing with a “friends/family deal” issue right now.  Didn’t make any money on it.  Another person hung the cameras and programmed the Recorder, configured the app, and guess who’s phone keeps ringing?  Not his.

Agree: 6
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny: 9

guess who’s phone keeps ringing? Not his.

This.

That's why I recommend pure consumer offerings that are simple, cloud-based and with direct phone support. Most homes don't need the upsides of professional systems and the downsides are the much higher complexity. Agree/disagree?

Agree: 14
Disagree: 2
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

You touch it, and these days if you even mention it, you bought it.

For our non-North American colleagues, that's a phrase common in North America that means if someone asks you to look at something or work on something technical like a computer, and you do, anything that happens to that computer or system afterwards you are considered somehow responsible for fixing.

Agree: 10
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 3

For our non-North American colleagues, that's a phrase common in North America that means if someone asks you to look at something or work on something technical like a computer, and you do, anything that happens to that computer or system afterwards you are considered somehow responsible for fixing.

Luis I'm guessing you and I are close to the same age, because ALL of my friends that know my business either want me to show them how apps work on their phones, or fix something on their PCs. I'm my social circles "Geek Squad" 

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Approaching the half-century mark. Been there, suffered that.

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

John, you could not be more on target with that statement.   It is a harsh lesson I am learning right now.  The end user demanded enterprise grade product but also wants it to be user friendly/idiot proof.  These are conflicting requests that I should have pushed back on early on.  This one residential project frequently derails high value projects due the high level of visibility and customer maintenance needs.  While Nest would not fit the end user’s need I am certain a basic NVR would.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

Most homes don't need the upsides of professional systems and the downsides are the much higher complexity

 

I pretty much agree with this. But there are very few commercial customers that have an employee qualified to manage the systems. And the ones that do have qualified employees are gonna have them do the work.

Basically we can expect to support more business customers during normal business hours. Then they go home and we can expect more residential customers that need support after normal business hours.

But if I had to choose Business or residential based on strictly on support, I would say Business on average is easier. And the main reason for that comes down to KIDS. They are brutal. 

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Yeah, at first I enjoyed sharing my security camera wisdom...Then I realized security system wisdom meant free tech support for life. Yuge demand for free security camera wisdom.

Agree: 6
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

I worked in IT/technical support in high school and college...I'm already tech support for life in my family, no matter how many years it's been since.  I've learned after many mistakes to say, well I've never used it but I heard...."blank" is good.  I use things like, I deal in commercial high/end space, you don't want to use what I do...etc.  Funny enough I do still steer them away from Hikvision because of cyber though.

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

I helped put a Hik in a couple years ago about 4 hours away...been begging me to help fix it since about 2 days after the URL vulnerability posted on this site.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny: 3

Friends don't let friends install Dahua or Hik.

Agree: 7
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

Just recommend they go to B&H order cameras that costs $600 each, they'll stop asking for help and run to Sams or Costco.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

I installed a Lorex system for some friends in their pharmacy after they had purchased it at Costco.  Now I get calls every time they forget their password, want to find footage or even just have a general question.  Last phone call came at 7:30 PM on Friday night as I was taking my daughter to a Daddy-Daughter Winter ball.  I saw the Caller ID and didn't answer, then they started texting me every couple minutes - finally I called them back and it turns out they had noticed a scratch in their front door and wanted me to help them go through all available footage to see if we could find what happened...I said no.

In short, lesson learned - I won't do that again.

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

Gets tiring helping people that won't help themself, read the damn manual!!!

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative
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Funny

This is why we stopped residential installs :

Lowered the phone bill

Created more time, less frustration for ridiculous service

less consumer change of mind issues, Comparison to Tv, Seen somewhere else, at someone else's house

less problematic hormonal issues , unhappy people 

Easy to set a standard and stay to the task 

Willingness to pay for what you get, and additional change orders 

never worry about the customer redesigning the system while your installing it with inferior products purchase from cost co, walmart, etc. 

 

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
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Funny

Excellent Job on this one 

But it depends on who you are working for. 

What Specified, how much latitude for changing products 

 

Agree
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I've had all these examples happen to me as well. It use to bother me and I would do everything in my power to keep them happy. For free. 

But if you want to keep your sanity, your friendships, or family peace, you have to keep your business and personal separate.  And any friend or family that is basically taking advantage of you should be politely made aware of your thoughts. If not, the tension keeps building and one day it blows up. 

It's simple. You treat them like any other business customer. 

And choosing not to do residential work all together is just another decision that needs to be made depending on how successful it is for the business.

Commercial customers can be just as bad. Remember they are residential customers after 5. They don't change their ways just because they are at work. Not much at least.

For us, we pretty much treat the every customer the same. Including pricing. Obviously the customer who pays us the most gets priority. But I could care less if it's my Mom, Friend or President Trump. It's business. And you are in business to make money.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
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Funny
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