The best security cameras for your NAS at home

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Reolink RLC-410Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

Best
security cameras for NAS
Windows Central
2021

Network-attached storage (NAS) enclosures are incredibly versatile. They can be used for file storage, media streaming, or even home surveillance. We’ve rounded up the best NAS for home surveillance, but which cameras should you be using to protect your home? That’s where this collection comes into play.

Reolink E1 Pro Hero V

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

Category Reolink E1 Pro
Type Indoors
Sensor 4MP
1/2.7″ CMOS Sensor
f=4mm fixed
Resolution 2560 x 1440
Night vision
Up to 40 ft
Optical zoom
Viewing angle Horizontal: 87.5 degrees
Vertical: 47 degrees
Pan & tilt Horizontal: 355 degrees
Vertical: 50 degrees
Waterproof
Storage MicroSD
Connections Wi-Fi
AC power
PoE
Dimensions 76 x 106 mm

The Reolink E1 Pro takes our top spot thanks to its feature set, size, and support for NAS as well as the official mobile apps. The company as a whole is really crushing it with its latest catalog of home and office surveillance cameras.

They’re all built to a high standard, much like the E1 Pro, and work with the most popular NAS enclosures. Because it’s a compact dome camera, you can install it pretty much anywhere in the home. All you need is a power source, which can be an issue if you already have an integrated wired network. There’s no ethernet port on this camera, nor is there PoE.

Where the E1 Pro really does shine is the optics, thanks to the 4MP shooter. It has IR LEDs for night vision, a built-in SD card reader, and a pretty good smartphone app. The recording quality is good for its size (and price), and the available features like manually setting detection zones are excellent in this class despite being a little fiddly.

Pros:

  • Good image quality
  • Motorized pan and tilt
  • Customizable detection zones
  • IR night vision
  • Handy smartphone app

Cons

  • Detection zones can be fiddly on a phone
  • No ethernet port

Best Overall Indoor


Reolink E1 Pro

Reolink E1 Pro

Great value home security

The Reolink E1 Pro is a brilliant small dome camera with a motorized base and full support for popular NAS enclosures. It’s just a shame about the ethernet omission.

Best Value: Amcrest ProHD

Amcrest ProHD

Source: Amcrest

Category Amcrest ProHD
Type Indoors
Sensor 2MP
1/2.7″ CMOS Sensor
f=4mm fixed
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Night vision
Up to 30 ft
Optical zoom
Viewing angle Horizontal: 87.5 degrees
Vertical: 47 degrees
Pan & tilt Horizontal: 360 degrees
Vertical: 90 degrees
Waterproof
Storage MicroSD
Connections Wi-Fi
Ethernet
AC power
PoE
Dimensions 101 x 124 mm

This shooter from Amcrest is a budget-friendly option, coming in more affordable than our Reolink choice. Even though it’s a little cheaper, the Amcrest ProHD comes rocking Wi-Fi, an ethernet port, IR LEDs for night vision, a two-way microphone and speaker, and a built-in SD card reader. It’s quite the feature set for such an affordable camera.

The 2MP camera is still good for 1080p recording, and while it’s not quite as high-quality as the Reolink Pro E1, you’ll still be able to see plenty of detail in each frame. The 90-degree viewing angle is matched by a motorized base that can alter the pan and tilt to redirect focus. This makes it easy to place the Amcrest ProHD around the home.

What sets this camera apart from the Pro E1 from Reolink is the ethernet port, which allows you to use a wired connection to your LAN. This is ideal if you don’t have great wireless coverage in every room. The MicroSD card reader is great for storing footage locally, but this camera is best used with a leading NAS enclosure.

Pros:

  • Good image quality
  • Motorized pan and tilt
  • Customizable detection zones
  • IR night vision
  • Great value for the price

Cons:

  • No PoE support

Best Value Indoor


Amcrest ProHD

Amcrest ProHD

Excellent value security camera

The Amcrest ProHD is similar in many ways to our top Reolink recommendation, but it’s a little more affordable and comes rocking an ethernet port should you prefer to wire it up to your LAN.

Best Overall Outdoor: HIKVISION EXIR

HIKVISION EXIR

Source: HIKVISION

Category HIKVISION EXIR
Type Indoors
Sensor 2MP
1/2.8″ CMOS Sensor
f=2.0mm fixed
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Night vision
Up to 100 ft
Optical zoom
Viewing angle Horizontal: 87.5 degrees
Vertical: 47 degrees
Pan & tilt Horizontal: 360 degrees
Vertical: 75 degrees
Waterproof IP67
Storage
Connections Ethernet
AC power
PoE
Dimensions 127 x 97.5 mm

The HIKVISION EXIR (2CD2342WD-I) is a pretty good outdoor-focused camera, and it should be considering it’s by far the most expensive camera in our collection. You’ve got a 2MP main shooter with a resolution of 1080p. The IR LEDs are excellent, allowing a night vision range of up to 100ft.

While it doesn’t have optical zoom, HIKVISION does include a rating of IP67, making it suitable for all weather. It’ll pan and tilt around to get the right angle, too, so don’t fret about spending hours trying to position the unit just right. It’ll also take an ethernet connection from a PoE source, allowing you to cut down on installation time, cost, and stress.

It is a little pricey, though, which may put some people off, especially given there’s no internal storage, so you really will need a NAS enclosure connected to really make the most of this camera.

Pros:

  • Great viewing angle
  • Good lens and optics
  • IR night vision
  • Motorized pan and tilt
  • PoE

Cons:

  • No internal storage
  • Pricey

Best Overall Outdoor


HIKVISION EXIR

HIKVISION EXIR

Wide angle security recording

HIKVISION’s EXIR may cost a little more than our other recommendations here, but if you want a more premium experience, this is a solid choice. It’s a high-quality camera with plenty of features to love.

Reolink RLC-410

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

Category Reolink RLC-410
Type Indoors / Outdoors
Sensor 4MP
1/2.7″ CMOS Sensor
f=4mm Auto-focus, f=2.0
Resolution 2560 x 1440
Night vision
Up to 100 ft
Optical zoom
Viewing angle Horizontal: 80 degrees
Pan & tilt
Waterproof IP66
Storage MicroSD
Connections Ethernet
AC power
PoE
Dimensions 186 (82 for mount) x 68 x 83 mm

The Reolink RLC-410 is one of the company’s more budget-friendly outdoor security cameras, but it actually has everything you need for a compelling solution for the front or back yard. The IP66 rating ensures the camera won’t sustain damage from the weather. PoE makes for a cleaner finish, only requiring a single ethernet cable, and it’s elementary to set up and use.

It has everything you need for a starter home surveillance solution, including a 4MP shooter for HD recording, a built-in microphone for capturing noise, great build quality for defending against the elements, and a MicroSD card slot if you don’t plan on hooking up a NAS or NVR just yet.

The night vision works very well, allowing you to view up to 100ft, and although it requires you to manually adjust the pan and tilt to position it just right, Reolink provides all the necessary tools to do so. The RLC-410 works well with the leading brands, including enclosures from Synology, ASUSTOR, and QNAP.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Good lens and optics
  • Supports NAS and NVR
  • MicroSD card support for localized storage
  • PoE

Cons:

  • Motion detection a little basic
  • No internal battery

Best Value Outdoor


Reolink RLC-410

Reolink RLC-410

Great for covering your back

When you want a view of your back or front yard, you’ll want a camera designed for outdoor use. The RLC-410 is a good value option with good optics and excellent connectivity.

Choosing the best security camera

There are so many cameras out there that work with NAS enclosures, but how do you go about choosing one for your home? I’m going to detail a few factors that are (or are not) worth bearing in mind.

View angles

Cameras with motorized pan and tilt are great for use at home since they can be positioned and then configured to get the viewing angle just right. If the camera does not have such a feature, you’re going to need to install it and then adjust it manually. A NAS can even alter the pan or tilt of a camera with a motorized base to track movement.

Storage

When looking at security cameras to hook up to a NAS, local storage using SD cards shouldn’t really play into your purchasing decision-making. We’ll be storing all footage on a server, so the camera shouldn’t utilize local storage. If you want to use a camera on its own, this is when an SD card would come in handy.

Night vision

This is incredibly important for both indoor and outdoor recording. Night vision (utilizing IR LEDs) allows the camera to continue recording through the night or in low-light areas without issue. While the detail won’t be as clear, it’s a substantial improvement over not having night vision support.

Wireless

Should you have decent home Wi-Fi coverage, this shouldn’t be an issue, but you’ll want to ensure your security cameras have good wireless connections. Failure to do so could result in connection drops. Cameras without wireless support will need to be connected to the NAS using ethernet cabling, so plan accordingly.

Power-over-Ethernet (PoE)

PoE allows the camera (or other external devices) to draw power using the ethernet cable alone. Instead of requiring a dedicated power delivery source, you can get away with a PoE switch and a supported camera using a normal ethernet cable. Routing cables around the home can be a pain, but this makes it easier if you don’t plan on relying on Wi-Fi.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author:

Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.

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