The system comes with 8 720P wireless cameras and a 1 TB hard drive loaded with what seems to be the standard Chinese software of home surveillance systems. To probably save on cost, the hard drive does not include its own wireless network aside from the very low powered initially used then discarded wifi network. To set up, you first must plug all of your cameras in, in a room with the hard drive. The hard drive is connected via Ethernet to your own wireless router. You download the app on your phone, then connect to the hard drive wifi until all of your cameras connect, then you log back into your own wifi network to essentially save your home wifi network password into the cameras. The app lets you name the cameras, however the app does not display the cameras in the same order as you see on your tv, so it's possible that your "garage" camera will actually be in your front yard. The app is horrible and should only be used for the initial installation. There is no documentation, but you will want to hook up a mouse to the USB port on the hard drive. Here, you will find a ton of features as well as be able to access your saved recordings. Accessing your recordings from the app is basically impossible. The hard drive includes a few modes that you can select. Smart recording seems like a good idea, until you want to review your footage. You will find 3 second clips, about 15 of them for every 60 seconds of actual time. Basically, if you have an issue, expect to spend a day tediously going through your recordings. I'd recommend continuous recording (you will only get a couple days worth of footage in continuous, but the ease of fast forwarding one file in review rather than chicken pecking 3000 files to find what you need is worth it). The hard drive itself is probably anemic for the amount of data being thrown at it. I will be looking at purchasing a large capacity hard drive specifically designed for nvr recording, then using a pc to clone this drive, then enlarge the petition on the new drive. I have seen some systems where the software is on the board, and hard drive swaps are as easy as unplug and plug in the new one. I do not know if this is the case with this system yet. You must keep in mind that these cameras use your home wifi to connect. 8 HD streams will inundate most wireless routers and access points to where your normal devices will experience lag due to the wireless bandwidth being swamped. Your cameras must also be within decent range of your wireless router. If your cameras are too far from the router, you will lose signal on the cameras, so range extenders may be needed. I have gone ahead and separated my camera wireless network from my home network (cameras have their own router while the home network has its own). I've also disconnected the hard drive and router from our internet connection, as to relieve the congestion on the network. Being as I have no neighbors close enough to have wireless signals using up the spectrum, I am able to keep the routers in "automatic" mode for the channels that they are broadcasting on. If you have many wireless networks at your home, you may want to consider putting the cameras and home network on channels as far apart as possible. The night vision is pretty darn good. Be careful where you point your cameras, as white painted surfaces close to the camera will wash out your image. I have columns on all of my porches, so had to adjust the cameras so that the columns were out of frame or just on the edge of frame. You will need power to each camera. The camera's themselves are set up with micro USB connectors. I would like to have seen a locking mechanism or clasp on the connection between the power supply and cameras, but you get what you pay for. If your cameras are within arms reach, they'll easily be disconnected by someone reaching up and unplugging them. The mounts for the cameras are also iffy. You need to be sure to push the female end into the male end far enough for the retaining nut to engage the indention on the mounts. Once tightened down correctly, the cameras are pretty stable. The default password for the administrator account is something like 111111. You will not find documentation in the box letting you know this.
These cameras were not rated as 1080 displays, but so what? The cameras are still pretty clear for me, I don't see any difference because the displays are very clear for me. Not only that, I don't have to pay any fees for any recordings. Tested it lot of times and is very accurate when it senses any moving motion within the camera perimeter. I connected the system to my phone and set up a radius perimeter. This way it automatically arms itself whenever it senses that I left the house. Pretty cool isn't it? I don't have to turn it on everytime I leave the house, it does arms itself automatically.
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