Ubiquiti UniFi Protect VMS/Analytics Tested

By Ilya Ignatenko and Sean Patton, Published Aug 31, 2021, 11:01am EDT

Ubiquiti offers its own low-cost NDAA compliant UniFi Protect VMS as well as people and vehicle analytics from its G4 cameras. How well do they work compare to IT competitors Meraki and Verkada and low-cost competitors Dahua and Hikvision?

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We tested UniFi Protect using a Dream Machine Pro, and several cameras: G3 Flex, G3 Instant, G4 Bullet, and G4 Pro. In this report, we examine:

  • How well do live and viewing and video playback work?
  • How much streaming latency is there through the cloud?
  • What client UX (user experience) issues exist?
  • What common VMS features are missing?
  • What issues and limitations are there with the system?
  • What video analytics are offered/supported?
  • How well does motion detection work?
  • How well does the mobile app work?
  • How does this compare to Dahua/Hikvision
  • How does this compare to Verkada/Meraki
  • How does this compare to Genetec/Milestone/Network Optix

*******

******* ****** ******* ********** people *** ******* ********* and ***** ***-******* **** streaming ** *** *** mobile *******. *******, ** is ******* ****** *** and ***** ******** (*.*. multi-camera ********, *******, *** party ****** *******, ***** video ******, *****-****** ****** support, ***.) *** ** found ******* ** ****** and *************** ******* *** web ****** *** ****** app.

****** *** ******* ********* analytics ******* ** ** cameras (******/****/****** ***) **** generally ********, ****** ************ missed ******* ******** *** infrequently ********** ******** ** people ** ******** ********** vehicles.

*** *** **** *** tight *********** **** ********'* networking ******* **** ** a *** **** ********* option ** ****** *** Verkada ***** *** ******* is ******* ** ***** and ********* ***** ***** NDAA *********. *******, ********'* VMS *** ********* ** lack ******* ******** ** we ******** ** *** individual ********.

Overview *****

*** ********* **-****** ***** overviews *** ***** ******* interface, ********, *** ****** encountered ****** *** ****:

*******

***** ******* ** ********* on********* ****($***-***) ** **** ** the******** **** ****(******* ********** $***) ******* ******* ***(******/******** $***). *** ******** is ******** **** * purchase ** *** ** those ******** ** ** additional ****.

************ ** **-** ******* (G3 *******) ******** * Wi-Fi ****** *****, **** as** ****($**), ** ********* * wireless ********** ******* *** camera *** ***** ** Console.

****** ****** *** *** Ubiquiti ******* **** ** this **** *** ****** below. **** **** ******** is ************ ******** ********* and **** ** *** cameras *** **** ***.

  • ******** ** **** - $79
  • ******** ** ******* - $29
  • ******** ** ****** - $199
  • ******** ** *** - $449

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

******** ****** ******* ***-**** analytic ******* *** *****-********* features ** ********* *** Dahua *** ******** ** NDAA *********. ***** ********* and ***** ***** *** party ****** ******* *** analytic ****, ********'* ****** point ** *** ***-**-*** network **********/****** *******/***, ******-***.

* *** ******* ********* for ******** ** ******* availability, ************ **** *** cameras. **********, ***** *** Hikvision **** *** ******* are ******* ********* *** any ****** ** ************.

*** ***** ******* *** a ***-****, ***-**-*** *********** to ***** *** ********* and *** ****** *** lack ** *** ***** camera ******* *** ******* camera ******, ******** *** a ******** **** ***** well.

Verkada *** ****** **********

******** ** *** **** expensive **** ****** *** Verkada ***** ******** * similar ************ (******, ******* integrated ********* *** ***) targeted ** ** *****. Ubiquiti ******* *** **** the ***** *** ** not ******* ** ****** $199 ************ *** ******.

*******, ******** *** ********** limited ********, ********* ** cloud ****** ******* *** no ****** *********** ** environmental *******, ** **** a *** **** ******* has **** ******** *****.

Genetec, *********, ******* ***** **********

******** ******* *** *** analytics *** *** ** enterprise ******, **** ******* advanced *************, *** ** third-party ****** *******. ********'* VMS **** **** ** basic *************** *** *** too **** ******** *************** missing *** ***** ***** who **** ** '**********' VMS.

Mobile *** *********** ******

*** ****** ****** ******** less *******, ******* **********, more ********* **********, *** similar ** ****** ************ than *** *** ******.

** ***** * ***** of *******, *** ****** app *** ***** ** and *********** ****** *** was **** ****** **** the *** ******. *** the *** ****** ****** (explained *****) **** *** not ******* ** *** hardware **** *** *********** in *** ***.

Web ****** ******

***** ********'* *** ********* is ***** *** *** intuitive ********, ***** *** some ** *** ************ issues **** ********** ****** performance *** ********* ***********.

* ************ ***** *** occurring ***** ****** ** load ***** ******* **** the "*********" ***. ***** it **** ***** ~*-* seconds ** **** * video ** *** ***, it ***** ***** **** more **** **-** ******* to **** * ***** in *** *** *********, and ***** ******* * warning *******:

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*** ** *** ** issues ** *** *** client ** ****** ****** image ********. ** ***** to ****** ****, * user *** ** **** a **** ****** ****** from *** ****** ******** and ***** *** **** icon. **** *** *** simply ***** **** ***** configuration ******* (*********, ****** zones, ***.).

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********, ******** ******* ** Unifi ******* *** ********, meaning **** **** ***'* close ***** ********* ** another *** ** **** and ****** **** ** the ********** ***** ******** closed.

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*******, ******** *** ******** by * **** *** created **** *** "********* Motion **********" ** ******* while ******* * ********* from *** ****** ***. Whereas, ************ ***** **********, only ********* ** ***** ****** ****, ******* * *** surrounding * *******/******* ******* covering *******.

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Low ******* ******* *** / ****** ******* ******* *****

** *** ****, ** found **** ***** ******* has *** ******* *********, consistently ******** * ****** or **** **** ****** through *** ****** ***.

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*******, ******* ** ****** for *** *** ******, but ***** *** ******** to*******, ******* ******* * and * *******.

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Strong ****** ********* ***********

******** ****** ******-***** ***** analytics **** ** ******* ****** ****. ** *** *******, Unifi ******* ****** ********* properly ******** ****** ** day *** ***** ****** with ** ***** *********.

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********* ******** ******** **** correctly ******** ******* ****** them ** ******* ** detect **** ** ***.

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************, ******* ****'* ******* false ****** ** *******, such ** *** *** below.

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*******, ******* ***** ******** alerts **** ********* ** the **** ** * truck ********** ** * person. ** ******** ******* improved **** *********.

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************, ***** ****** ********** were ************ ********. *** example, **** ****** *** camera ****'* **** ** detect *** ******* ** the ***** *****, ** only ******** *** ** he *** ******* *** scene.

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*******, *** ***** ****** analytics ************ ****** ** detect * ******* ******* across *** *****.

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Vehicle ********* (****) ** ****** **********

** *** **** ** testing, ******** *** ******* a **** ******* ** vehicle *********. *** *********** of *** ******* ********* was ***** ********* ********* vehicles *** *** ***** with ** ***** ********* in * **** ** testing.

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****** ******** **** ********** detected **** ******** ******* were ****** ******* *** scene ********* ********* ****.

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Occasional ********** ******* ******

*******, ********** ******** **** seldom ******** ** ***** creating ***** ****** *** notifications.

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************, ********* ****** ******* in ***** ** ******** triggered ******* ********* ******* of ******. *** *******, in **** *****, ***** ************ ***** ********** ****** a ********** ******* ****** rather **** * ****** person ** *****.

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Pixel *** **********

***** *** ** ****** includes ****** *** ******* detection, ** ******* (** *******,** ****) ******* **** ***** motion *********, **** ** differentiation ** ******, ********, or ***** *******. ** our *******, ****** ****** were ********* ** **** nuisance *******, **** ** shadows:

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*** ****** ***** ****** on/off ** *** *****:

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******** ** ********* ** the *********** ***** ** AI *********. **** **** us **** ** **** include ****** *********, ** addition ** *** ******/******* detection, ****** **** *** not **** *** ******** for *******.

Dynamic **********

******* *****, ***** ******* **** dynamic ********** **** ******* live ***** **** *******. Cameras **** ************* ******* live ******* ** * lower ********** **** ******* a ****, **** *****. However, ** ***** ******** a ****** ****, *** requested ********** ***** ** to ** ** ***. The ***** ***** ************ this *******:

No ***** / *** ***** ****** *******

***** ******* **** *** support *****, ****, ** direct ****** ******* *** any ***-***** *******. ******* may ** ******** ** other ******* ***** ****, but **** ********* ** from *** *** ******, not ******** **** *** camera, ********* *********.

No *********** ****** ******

***** ******* ****** * single ******, *** *** exporting *****. **** ***** format ** **** ** playback ** ******* *******, however, ** ******** ** security, ************, ** ******** of *** ***** **** it ** ********. ************, because ******* **** *** have * ***** **** player, ***** ** ** multi-camera ******** **** *** video ** ********.

**** ********** *** ********* provide * ***** ******** format **** * ********** player. ******* ************ ** typically **** ** ****** when ***** * *********** video ******.

Limited ********* *******

******* ******** *** ******** is * **** ** live ***** ********* *******. We ****** ******** **** Chat *******, ***** *** responsive, ****** ******* *** chat **** ** ********* to **** ** ************ ****.

*** * ***** ** entered * ******* ******* and ******** **** ****, we **** *** ***** person ** *****:

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*** ******* ***** ** connected **** *** *************, but ***** **** ****** in ********* **** *** consistent **** ****-***** ******* from ****, *******, *******, etc.

******** ********* ****** ** its********* ******** ****** *** ********* support **** ******** *****.

Beta ******* ******

** *** ********* ** testing, ******** ***** ** to *** *** ****** beta ******* ** *** Unifi ******* ******** - 1.19.0-beta.18. **** ****:

******* ***** *** ****** come * **** *** in **** *** ******

**** ****** *** *** interface ********* **** ***** visual *******, *** *********** of *** ****** *** unstable, ************ ********* ******** settings ** ********, *** inability ** ******** ***** detections (***** *****), *** frequent ************ ******.

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** ****** **** ** the ****** ****** *******, 1.18.1 *** *******. ******** some ************ ****** ********* after *********** *** ********, we **** **** ** turn *** ***** ********** on.

******** **** **** ******* 1.19 **** ** ******** with ***** ******* ******** 1.11 ** *** **** few *****. **** ******* was ********** ******** ** be ********* ***** ** publishing *** *** ****** back.

********

********* ******** ** ********/******** were **** ** *** test:

  • ******** ** ****, ** Instant, ** ******, ** Pro - *.**.*
  • ***** ***** ******* -*.**.*
  • ***** ******* - *.**.* and *.**.*-****.**

Comments (3)

****** *******, ***** *** and ************** *** *** good ****.

* ** ********* **** when *** ******** *** to ***** *** ** the ******, *** **** reference ** [********* - Genetec - ******* *****]. Because **** ** **** my ********* ******** **** it ***** ** ******* VMS *********.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

****** *** **** *********** review ***** ** ****** spot-on. **** *** **** 2 */* ***** * have ********* ***** ** Unifi ******* ******* ******* between * *** ** cameras. **'* **** ** "goto" ******** *** ******* commercial *** **** *********** customers ******* * ** a *** ** ******** and ****-***** ********** *********** and *** ***** ********** gear ** ********* *********** in **** ******** *** software ******* *** ***** (while *** ******* ****** is *** **********-***** *** networking **** **** **** is).

**** ** * ******* of *** **** *** CONS ** ***** ******* from ** *********** ** an ********** ***** ****** mirrors **** ************:

****

+ ******** ******* ** the ******* *** **** is *********; **** *** had *** ****** ** NVR ******** **** ** in-field ********.+ *** ******* software **** ******-**** *** client **** ** ********* excellent ******* ** *** tight *********** **** *** hardware. **** ** *** benefit ** * *********** or ****** ****** (******* to *** ***** *********), but ** **** *** drawbacks ** *** *****.+ Very ****** *** **** to ******* *** ********* and ***** ********* **** few ****** ***** *** UniFi ******* ****** ***. No **** ** ********* VPNs ** **** ***** in **** ******** *** off-LAN ****** **** *** mobile ** *** ***.+ Good *********** **** *** UniFi ********** ****, ***** makes ******* * ******* choice *** ********* *** already **** ** ********** in ***** ****** ****** and ******** ********. + Ubiquiti ** ****** ********** with ********* ******** ******* and *** *****. **** the **** *-* ***** I **** **** ****** improvements **** ** *** quality *** ********** ** the ********. * ** currently ******* ******* *.**.* on *** ** ********'* sites *** *** **** stable (**** * *** annoying ** ******).

****

- ** ** ****** 2021, ************ ** **** of *** ******* ** atrocious ** *** *** least. * ** ****** some ***** ************ *** Ubiquiti ** ****** ** to **** *** ****** to *******.- ***** ** no ****** *** *********** on ******* *****, ** you ****** ** ******** to **** **** ****** on ******** ***/** **** up *** ******** ***** list *****.- ** ***** in *** ******, **** support ** ** ***** chat *** ** ******** to **** **** **** are ****. * **** heard ******** ** ******* on * *** ***** support ******** *** ******* official. ***** ** * lot ** *********** ** their ******* **** *** it's *** ****** **** to ****.- * ***** avoid *** ***** ******* Pro ** ***** *** Plus ** ** *** for ********** ************ ** they **** ******* * single **** ***** *** video *******.- ****** ******** claims *** *** **** models ********** *** ******* up ** ** ******* my ********** ** **** this ** ******** * stretch.- **** **** ** offer * ***** ********* of ******* (*.*. *****-*****/****-****, etc.) - *** ******* needs ** ** **** transparent ** ** ***** long-term ******* ********, ********** for ***********. **'* ********* impossible ** **** ** anyone **** ******** ** they **** *********** ** work *********** ****** ***** commercial ************. **** ** have ** "***** ******" program *** **** ******* new ******** *** **'* hard ** ******** *** access ** *** ******** and **** *** ********* the **** *** * product *******.

**** **** ** ******* and **** ** *** great *******!

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative: 5
Unhelpful
Funny

* ****'* ******* **** they ***** ****'* **** multi-view ********. **** **** seems ***** ** ** and *** * ******* request ***** ***. * haven't ******** ****** ** their ****** ******** ***** they ***** **** ***. Their ****** ******* *** way *** ********. ** they **** ******* **** fit ***** ***********, **** would ** *** *****, but **** ***'*. **** also ***'* ***** *** multiple **** ******* **** a *** ** *******. I **** ******** ***** purpose-built *** ******* *** I've ***** ****** **** that ****** *'* ******* something.

* **** * *** of ******** ******** *** I ***** ***'* ******** this ******. * ******* consider ** * ***** use * ******* ** my *** ***** ****** considering ******* ** ** someone. * **** ** Spectrum, ****, *** ****** at ** ***** *** I ***** ******'* ******** the ******** ****** ****** for ** *** *****. I **** **** ******** Access ****** **** **** great ****** *** ************ of *** ******** ******** is ** *****.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny
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