Synology Surveillance Station VMS Tested

By Sean Patton, Published Aug 22, 2018, 10:27am EDT

With so many low-cost NVRs and enterprise VMSes, is there any place in the market for NAS-based VMSes?

Recently, IPVM bought a Synology NAS for general data storage. The NAS comes with Synology's own VMS software (Synology Surveillance Station) built-in.

NAS-based VMSes are not new. Synology and QNAP, e.g., have been offering them for a decade or more. But are they still relevant today in a world of $200 NVRs? And has Synology improved their software much?

In this test, we examine:

  • 5 key strengths
  • 4 key weaknesses
  • How Synology integrates with Axis
  • System Management operation
  • Camera support capabilities
  • Video export limitations
  • Search performance
  • Contrasted to NVRs
  • Contrasted to Enterprise VMSes

Chinese **** ** ********

*** ******* ***** **** Synology's *** ******** *** overall ******** ** ******* NVR ******** **** *****-** RAID ****** *** ************ as * ******* ******* storage ******. *******, *** total ***** ** ******* higher ***** *** **** for ********'* *** ******** + *** ****** ********* costs. *** ***** ************ lowest **-***** ****, **** remain ****** *** ******** offers ** *********** *********** of ********** *** **** and ****** *******.

Mid-Tier **** ***

******** ** **** ********** up-market **** *** **** camera *** *** *************, especially ***** ***** ** IT ******* *********** *** maintaining *** ****** ******. Synology **** ****** *** ability ** ******* ******* and ******* ******** *** multiple ******** ******* ****** surveillance.

Enterprise ***** ** ********

******** **** *** ***** any *** ***** ****** control, *********, ** *** integration, *** ****** ** run ** **** ********, which *** ****** ******** features *** **** ********** VMSes. ****, ********* ******* is ** ***** ****, which ** *********** *** quick ******** *** *** in-depth ** *********** ****** that ***** **** ********** systems.

*********

******** *** ******* ******** strengths:

  • ****** **********
  • **** ******** ***********
  • ****** *******
  • ****** *************
  • ****** *** ********

**********

******** *** * *** fundamental ******** **** *** missing ** ******** ******** to *****:

  • ***** ****** ***********
  • ********* ******
  • ****** ********
  • *** ***** ************

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

******** *** * ***** of *********** ** **** camera *** ****** ******* hardware ******* ** **** Enterprise *****. ****** ******* Synology ********* *** */* motion ******, *** ******** PTZ ************/***** *** *********. We **** **** **** to ******* ******** ******** Axis ********* ********, ***** Line *********, ******* ************ and ********** ********.

************, ** **** **** to *** *** ********* an **** ***** **** controller. ***** *** ** manually ******** ** *** Thick *** *** ******, but *** ******* *** mobile ******.

******, ******** **** ***** support *** *** *****-** and *****-* ********* *** A9161, ***** *** ***** I/O *******.

System **********

******* ****** ****** ************* and ********** ******* **** logically ********* *** ******* labeled. ************* ******* *** made ** ********* ********** tasks ****** *** ******* Client *********** ** ******** web *********. **** ****** and ***** *** ***** and *******.

***** *** ******* ********** and/or ** ****** ****** "Privilege ********", *** ****** granular ******* ** ****** and ******, ****, *** and ****** ***********.

****** *********** ** ***** in *** "******" **** and ***** ******** ***********, hard ***** ********** (*********** and ******), ******* *********** and ******** ******* **********. This ** * ****** feature ** *** ********* interfaces:

******* *** *****, *******, and ********** ** *** IP ****** ****. ** also ******** *** **** cameras *** *********, ******, offline, ** *******. **** you ****** * ****** the ********* ****** ************ (audio, *********, ***, ***) are ********* ** *** bottom ** *** **** window, **** ** * nice *******, *** ********* clear ** **** *****. These *** ****** ***** to ****** **** ******* configuration ******* ****** ** browse ******* ***** ** menus:

***** *** ** ********* in ******* ** * similar ****** ** ******* or ***. *** ****-***-**** operation ** **** ******, and *** **** ******* can ** *******:

Camera *******

****** *******, ** **** able ** ****** *** record *.*** ***** *** had ** ****** **** configuring ******** ******* *** High *******, ********, *** Low *******.

*** ******* ****** **** and *** ********** ****** to ****** ******* ******* through *** ***. ** were **** **** ** configure *** ******* *** presets ******* ********.

* *************** ******* *** a ***-**** ***, ** were **** **** ** configure ******-***** ****** *********. This *** ** **** accurate **** ******-***** ********* but ** * ****** feature ** *** ****** is *** ********* ****** events **** * ******.

************* ****+ ******* ********* on ***** *******, ******* ****** *** ONVIF ******* (********** **********). Synology ********* ******* **** IPVM ** *** *** direct ***** ****** **** available, ***** ***** ** a ********* ******.

Cloud ********** ******* *** *** ********** **** **********

******** ***** * ***** connection ****** **** ******** client ******** ****** ** your ******, *** ***** when *** *** **** connection ****, **** ******* a ******* **** *********** could ** ******** *** that *** ****** ********* Port **********. ****** *******, when ********* ******* ** we ******* **** ******** delays (**-** *******), *** otherwise, *********** *** **********. The **** **** **** provide **** ********** ******* and ***** ********* **** Forwarding ** *** ********.

Client *************

** *******, *** *****, web, *** ****** ****** applications ******* ******** ** the ******** ****** ** server ****/**, ** ******* a ******** ***** ******* cloud **** ** ***** the ******* ***** ******* ID. ***** ***** *** no ********** ***** *** the ***** ******* ****, there *** * *********** delay (**-** *******) ** the ***********(*) ********** ** the ******.

******** ******** ******** ***** for *** ******** ******* the ****** ********** **** on *** ******. **** simplified *** ******* ** locating *** ******* ****** version ** ****** ***, versus ****** ** ****** the ************'* ******* ** App *****:

Client *** ********

*** ***** ****** ******** decoding ** ***** ****, and ******** ******* ********* or ******** ********* *** much ******** ** ******* to *** ***, ***** is *** * ****** feature ** **** ****** applications. *******, ****** ******* GPU ************ *** *** supported **** *.*** *******, Fisheye *******, ** ******* running **** **** ********* in *** ******.

Video ****** ***********

******** **** ******** *********** in ** **** .*** format, **** ** ****** for ********** ** ************. It ******** ************ *********, but **** ***** **** must ** ******** ************ for ********. ***** *** both ****** *********** ** NVR ********* ****** ******** but *** ******* ** many ********** *****.

Server ******** *******

************ ******* ****** ** only ********* ** *********** NAS ********. ****** **** dedicated *** **********, *** Synology ***** *** *******-******* VM ***** *** ******* controllers, *** *********** ******** for *** ******** ***** operation ** * ***.

3rd ***** ************

* ********** ** *** Synology ******** ** *** lack ** *** ***** Integrations. ***** *** ** access *******, ********* ******, Internet-of-Things ********, ** ******** systems ********** ************. ***** is * *****-**-**** / Serial **** *********** ******** for *********** ** *** systems, *** ** ******** level ************.

Odd ********* ********

******** ******** * *** software ****** ******* **** could ***** ***** *** system ************** ********:

  • *** ****** *** ******** to **** **/*** *** adjust ***** *** * fixed ****** **** ********* lens, ******** * **** to ****** *** *** of *** ****** **** the ******. **** ***'* be ****** ***.
  • ***** ** * ******* for *** ******* ****** "PTZ *******", ***** ****** continuously **** *** ****** to *** **** ***** the **** ******** ***** it.
  • *** ***** *** *** client ********** *** **** pop-over *****, ***** *** be ********** ** * mobile ********* *** ** distracting *** *********** ** a ******* ***********.
  • *** ***** ****** *** a ******** ********, *** the ********* **** *** a ********** ********, ***** could ** ********* *** users.

Timeline ***** ******

*** ******** ****** ************* is ******* ** **** other *** *******. *** Synology ****** ************ ******** of ***** ** *** Timeline ******, *** *** toggle **** **** ** or *** ********. *** vertically ******* ******** ** atypical *** *** ********:

Time ******* ***** ******

*** *********** ***** ****** function ******* ** *** Recording **** ** *** Time ******* ******. **** automatically ****** ** * single ***** **** **** 4 ***** **** ******* and ***** **** **************. To ***** ** *** individual **** ***** *** can ****** ***** ** expand **** **** ******** to **** ******. ** this ******* **** *** test, * **-****** **** was ***** **** * minute *********:

Mobile ***

****** ******* ********'* ****** app ******* **** *** recorded ******* ************, ****** or *****-****** ********* ****** to *** ****** ******, and *** ******* ** receive **** ************* **** the ******** ******. ** experienced **** *********** **** the *** ******* ****** testing, *** ** ******* on *******:

Home ****

* ******* **** ****** place ** ******** *********, Synology's **** **** ****** a **** ** ************* or ******** *** ****** to ****** ******* ********* recording ********, ***** ********, and ************ ******. **** function *** **** ** tied ** * ***-***** location ** *** ** Cam *** ******* ** an ********* ******, ** automatically ****** **** ****.

**** ***** ** ****** in **** *********** *** small ****** ************, ****** system ********* ** ************* adjusting ********* ******** ***** someone ** ** ****:

*******

******** ** ********* *** purchase ** ******** ******** for ~$** *** ******. This ** *** ************* expensive ******** ** ***** low-cost ******* **** ***** or ********* *** ** still ********** **** ** an ***-** ******* **** a ************ **** ********* sells *** ********. ********* on *** ****** **** is *********, * - 10 ****** ******** *** included **** *** ********.

******** ******* ***** ** pricing **** ~$*** ****** (diskless) *** * *-*** server **** ******** (*) 1080P *******, ** ~$*,*** retail (********) *** *-*** to ******* ** ** (40) ***** *******.

Comments (7)

QNAP QVR Pro are not to bad either.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful: 1
Funny

I own a 2-Bay Synology device and initially used their Surveillance Station app when I first installed my cameras at home. It does record fine, but playback and export was still not as simple as a VMS, so I built a DW Spectrum server instead and have never been happier. I would only recommend the Synology solution for clients that already own a Disk Station and are on a tight budget. Otherwise, a NVR is cheaper and a VMS is better. 

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

You could try QNAP QVR Pro. Very easy for export video. 

QNAP - QVR Pro

Agree: 2
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Wholeheartedly agree. There are even ways to run DW Spectrum on some diskstations. ;)

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I did the same with mine. Actually I could offer this solution to my enemies only.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

Both Synology and QNAP have made huge strides in terms of their GUI and features.  Both good companies with strong NAS reputations.

BUT, their pricepoints are just waaaaaaaay out of whack.  It is not justifiable just like the report says.

Where they both fit are for IT departments who use NAS alot and thus have strong brand recognition there otherwise no chance.

They also do well for the niche high end residential integrators.  These integrators deal with customers that generally have looser wallet/purses and trust their integrators do do everything AV/Security related.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

In the Pros I will certainly add their VS (Visual Station) products when you need multiple clients on site.

I will also add their notifications (using push on mobile phone is great) that is far better than the cheap NVR.

I will also add the redundancy possibility with 2 NAS by just 3 clicks. No competitor at this price (you need the corporate license with Milestone for that).

Even if the export is not the best in the market, you could save in 2 seconds the recording using DSFILE on an other folder of the disk, and then share the recording to the police by sending a protected link again in 2 seconds with your mobile phone.   

In the Cons, I will add their update. Always deactivated the automatic update that could stuck the recording with no reason.

 

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny
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