Looking for advice of Camera and Software

agarwaldvk

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Hi

This is my first post here, so please bear with me if I get anything wrong here. I will try to be careful but as they say, you can never be too careful.

I am looking to get a home security system done now and have some cursory research, mainly based on the information available online.

I was primarily looking at 'Non China' brands of security camera - call me what you will but I have a kind of mental block, hence was considering brands like Bosch, Axis, Avigilon and Unifi. I quickly realized that Axis and Avigilon are definitely out of my budget range. I am not so about Bosch as there were too many options to be considered but more than likely it might be out of my budget. Hence, I am looking at Unifi. Additionally, my currently networking setup is based on Edgerouter modem/router, Ubiquiti Unifi Access Point Lite and multiple Unifi Flex Mini switches. - kind of a Unifi ecosystem although haven't yet finalized the gateway - dream machine, cloud key etc.

Given the above, I am more inclined to go with Unifi cameras to have a kind of closed ecosystem for easier and seemless maintenance and handling - for someone like who is not a networking person as such. I also looked at Unifi NVR but they are expensive and hence am looking at a dedicated computer (desktop) with Blue Iris software to run my security system on a separate VLAN (not yet implemented but would be in time)

I also note the Blue Iris doesn't natively support Unifi cameras but can be made to work with it with a little bit of knowledge and guidance. I am not a networking guy per se but can follow instructions well.

I think my set up might need :-
G3 Flex camera - 3 off
possibly G5 bullet - 1 off and
possibly G5 dome (only because I read that it better IK rating relative to bullet - IK08 v IK04) - 5 off

I am also looking at using my existing desktop (currently with i4790 processor) - upgraded to i6 6700 as per the minimum requirements - with 16 Gb RAM with 4 Tb or 6Tb of WD purple HDD for storage, 1 SSD for OS and I NVMe drive for current footage or for 24/7 monitoring.

Any suggestions and advice if this would work with Blue Iris software or am I on the wrong track entirely.

I intend to buy the full version of the software and test the software on my existing PC (as above). If it doesn't work as intended, I may then need to upgrade my PC and to move the software to the new /upgraded PC. On that note, Just want to know if i ca move the software from one PC to another without having to buy the software again.


Best regards


Deepak
 

djernie

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This link has valuable information on computers to run blue iris software. Good luck!
 

TonyR

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On that note, Just want to know if i ca move the software from one PC to another without having to buy the software again.
You can de-activate it on the first PC, then install and activate it on the new PC with the same key.

Just insure you have the entire key before you do so: on the first PC, on the "About" tab, click on the "E-mail Support" button and that will copy your license info to the clipboard; open Notepad, paste it and save the txt file is place where you can find it later.

Then de-activate it on the first PC, install on second PC, copy from the file and paste it in to activate.
 

fenderman

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This link has valuable information on computers to run blue iris software. Good luck!
You will still need unifi protect to stream rtsp from the camera. You are overpaying for the unifi cams exponentially when comparing quality and needing a protect device. At that point just go all the way and use all ubiquiti...
 

agarwaldvk

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Hi Everyone

Thank you all for providing your leads in to my needs and extremely sorry for the delayed response. Got awfully busy at work. So once, again sorry!

djernie -> I did look at some of the Dell Optiplex and HP Elite options and they look OK for around AUD 200 and 300. So that's OK.
TonyR -> Thanks for your advice of being able to move software from one PC to another

fenderman - > I don't quite get what you mean.
I take it that you referring to Ubiquiti cameras being more expensive than some of the other equivalent brands like Bosch (I couldn't get a price indication for their equivalent Unifi cameras) - other non Chinese brands viz Axis, Avigilon are obviously out of my budget? Whilst I do realize that Dahua and Hikvision are the most popular ones in the market and may even provide better cameras at cheaper proces but I am a trifle reluctant to go for them, hence I was opting for Unifi - unless my apprehensions are unfounded about backdoor entry in their software - not that I have things to hide but I don't like to feel vulnerable.

I have provided a couple of links where I understand that the feed from these Unifi cameras can be sent to Blue Iris - didn't fully understand the details though but got the gist of it, I think

It said something like this
Quote
"by setting the cameras in the 'standalone' mode which allow enables them to send RTSP feed"
Unquote

If that is possible to do, will it not work if I were to install the Blue Iris software on one refurbished PC's from the ones suggested above and buy a Ubiquiti Cloud Key Gen 2 Plus without the HDD (or in the least not use the HDD for anything) and use my desktop to store the current and historical footage?

If this can work, then I don't mind, purchasing the PC,software and a G3 Flex camera to test it out but wouldn't want to try it out if its known that its going to work.

Links
Feeding Ubiquiti Cameras into Blue Iris

Adding Ubiquiti Cameras into BlueIris with RTSP


Looking forward to further advice and/or suggestions.


Best regards


Deepak
 

wittaj

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Regardless of which camera you go with, you should block them from internet access.

Even high end Axis got hacked last year.

Block the cams from the internet and go with the best bang for the buck and that will be Dahua and Hik.

 

agarwaldvk

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Regardless of which camera you go with, you should block them from internet access.

Even high end Axis got hacked last year.

Block the cams from the internet and go with the best bang for the buck and that will be Dahua and Hik.

Hey Wittaj


That is very true.

So, if it is not connected to the internet, how would you then access the footage from anywhere. I can certainly have it setup on a dedicated VLAN but even with that, it can still be hacked right? The only advantage in that secnario would be that the other devices on other VLAN's my home network won't be accessible even if this VLAN was hacked, right?

Or am I on the wrong tram here?

Best regards


Deepak
 

saltwater

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I'm in the Unifi eco-system (UDMPro, 2 x Ubiquiti POE switches, 6 Unifi Wireless Access Points) but elected not to run their protect network. About three years ago, I ran the figures and 13 unifi cameras would have cost me a fortune, AND I would have been locked into the Unifi CCTV system, which was a turn-off. I ended up with a dedicated sff computer for Blue Iris, 16 Dahua cameras (yeah, 3 I haven't installed yet) and now I'm not locked into any brand. Having said that, I am sort of locked into Ubiquiti for the networking component, but I could still add non-ubiquity equipment (switch, access point etc.) if I wanted to at the cost of losing central management of the whole system.
 

garycrist

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Dude do not over think this stuff. Why would anyone want to hack you anyway.
2 factor authentication, no problems.
 

saltwater

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Hey Wittaj


That is very true.

So, if it is not connected to the internet, how would you then access the footage from anywhere. I can certainly have it setup on a dedicated VLAN but even with that, it can still be hacked right? The only advantage in that secnario would be that the other devices on other VLAN's my home network won't be accessible even if this VLAN was hacked, right?

Or am I on the wrong tram here?

Best regards


Deepak
Using your Ubiquiti system, set up a VPN, even use their one-click method, send it to your device and presto, you have access to your locked CCTV system.
 

agarwaldvk

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Hi All


I seem to be totally confused now.

Looks like this might be a reasonably good setup (please feel free to correct me) :-
1. Buy a used machine as suggested above by some of you
2. Buy and install full license Blue Iris software on it
3. Buy Hikvision/Dahua cameras (or Unifi cameras & use Cloud Key Gen2+ to stream RTSP feed to Blue Iris) and have them set up on a dedicated VLAN
4. Set up a VPN service
5. Set up multi factor authentication
6. All good to go - right

Is that the way to go? I take it that this would allow access to the footage from anywhere, right?

Best regards


Deepak
 
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wittaj

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The VPN is one you host and free like OpenVPN. Paid VPN will not work as that hides your IP for illegal streaming and porno lol
 

agarwaldvk

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Hi All


Sorry for the delayed response. Got caught up with work issues.

I found this post on IPCam talk itself

Fully Integrated Ubiquiti or Ubiquiti + Hikvision

One of the options being considered there is like so :-

Quote
Option 1 (fully integrated Ubiquiti set up)
• UDM-Pro with 5 TB HD
• USW-24 port Switch (PoE on 16 ports)
• 2 x UniFi AP AC Lite (1 for ground floor & 1 for first floor)
• TV + Study + Theatre – Hard wired into switch
• 3 x UniFi Protect G3 Bullet Camera (side of the house & backyard)
• 2 x UniFi Protect G4-PRO Camera (for front of the house)
• 3 x UniFi Protect G3 Dome Camera (indoor, garage & doorway)
• HP ProLiant N54L MicroServer (Old NAS server that I already have currently) for data share
UnQuote

Mine looks similar to this kind of setup - with the fully Ubiquiti ecosystem - I do realize that there are better value for money Hikvision/Dahua cameras available but that is something I can live with (Ubiquiti G5 Dome/Bullet and G3 Flex are not so bad from what I read on the net - which is what I was leaning towards).

Can someone please advise me why would an additional server (HP ProLiant N54L MicroServer ) be required if the system includes a UDM Pro with 5 TB of HDD?

I thought the UDM Pro (Or SE - I was looking at SE - both cost around the same money) would be able to manage the Ubiquiti network and also manage the surveillance system using its Protect software with ability to view the footage over the internet securely if its on its own dedicated VLAN, right? In that event, I wouldn't need the additional computer with Blue Iris, right?


Best regards


Deepak
 

saltwater

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I thought the UDM Pro (Or SE - I was looking at SE - both cost around the same money) would be able to manage the Ubiquiti network and also manage the surveillance system using its Protect software with ability to view the footage over the internet securely if its on its own dedicated VLAN, right? In that event, I wouldn't need the additional computer with Blue Iris, right?
That's correct. If using Unify Protect, that is the software that manages your surveillance system.

Out of curiosity have you compared both prices and specs of the Unify cameras against the Dahua 5442 (or Hikvision equivalent) cameras. The 5442 series cameras are the go-to cameras around here, excellent night-time coverage. Also, don't just compare mega-pixels, by themselves they mean nothing.
 

agarwaldvk

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Hi Saltwater and others


Thanks for all the responses for this security system that I am looking at having at my places.

I have noted that Unifi cameras do not compare as well to others (Hikvision/Dahua for around the same money) - that's a given. From what I have seen the footage from those, the image from the Unifi cameras are acceptable to me, particularly from the G5 Dome/Bullet cameras.

The reason that I am leaning to Unifi is because of the simplicity of network and security system management and the ability to view the footage over the internet from anywhere without getting into port forwarding (I understand its required to have a self hosted VPN) and whatever else might be involved - especially for someone like myself who is not particularly comfortable managing the network side of things - even though that would lock me into the Unifi system.

My preference as such remains for the Hikvision/Dahua and Blue Iris way but given my limited networking knowledge and my desire to be able to view the footage over the internet with a relative degree of simplicity (doesn't need to be as simple as offered by Unifi Protect), I was thinking Unifi might be a better option for myself. In fact, I am very keen to try out Blue Iris and a test Hikvision/Dahua camera and see how i go. If anyone can provide some pointers to me tobe able to view the footage over the internet with the simplicity offered by Unifi Protect, that would immensely help

On my previous note, when I said 'both costing around the same money', I was referring to UDM Pro + POE Switch or UDM SE, not the camera price comparison - just in case someone may have got it wrong.

Best regards


Deepak
 

wittaj

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You do not need to port forward if your router supports OpenVPN
 

saltwater

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Hi Saltwater and others


Thanks for all the responses for this security system that I am looking at having at my places.

I have noted that Unifi cameras do not compare as well to others (Hikvision/Dahua for around the same money) - that's a given. From what I have seen the footage from those, the image from the Unifi cameras are acceptable to me, particularly from the G5 Dome/Bullet cameras.

The reason that I am leaning to Unifi is because of the simplicity of network and security system management and the ability to view the footage over the internet from anywhere without getting into port forwarding (I understand its required to have a self hosted VPN) and whatever else might be involved - especially for someone like myself who is not particularly comfortable managing the network side of things - even though that would lock me into the Unifi system.

My preference as such remains for the Hikvision/Dahua and Blue Iris way but given my limited networking knowledge and my desire to be able to view the footage over the internet with a relative degree of simplicity (doesn't need to be as simple as offered by Unifi Protect), I was thinking Unifi might be a better option for myself. In fact, I am very keen to try out Blue Iris and a test Hikvision/Dahua camera and see how i go. If anyone can provide some pointers to me tobe able to view the footage over the internet with the simplicity offered by Unifi Protect, that would immensely help

On my previous note, when I said 'both costing around the same money', I was referring to UDM Pro + POE Switch or UDM SE, not the camera price comparison - just in case someone may have got it wrong.

Best regards


Deepak
I understand where you are coming from. As mentioned previously, I am in the Unify eco-system (UDMPro, 2 x 24 port switches and 5 access points). Management of the network is a dream and I'm no expert. The UDMPro does support incoming VPN as suggested by @wittaj. The VPN I use is what Unify call Teleport and that is based on Wireguard. There are other VPN options to choose from, and one of them is OpenVPN. Have you checked out the TP Link Omada network system, it is so similar to the Unify way of doing things but cheaper? Check out Youtube, heaps of videos there. The software, I reckon, was copied from Unify, it is nearly the same.

If you can, avoid dome cameras if being used for night purposes with IR. They tend to have IR reflection problems that interfere with the image/video.

If you're unsure of the networking side of things, no matter what equipment you get there will be a learning curve but it's not overwhelming if you're prepared to put the time in. I easily manage (not much to do now as everything is setup) my dedicated Blue Iris computer and 13 cameras that are on a separate VLAN, obviously managed by Unify. Just think of the Blue Iris computer as a separate device on the network, albeit an important device.
 

Jim I.

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I understand where you are coming from. As mentioned previously, I am in the Unify eco-system (UDMPro, 2 x 24 port switches and 5 access points). Management of the network is a dream and I'm no expert. The UDMPro does support incoming VPN as suggested by @wittaj. The VPN I use is what Unify call Teleport and that is based on Wireguard. There are other VPN options to choose from, and one of them is OpenVPN. Have you checked out the TP Link Omada network system, it is so similar to the Unify way of doing things but cheaper? Check out Youtube, heaps of videos there. The software, I reckon, was copied from Unify, it is nearly the same.

If you can, avoid dome cameras if being used for night purposes with IR. They tend to have IR reflection problems that interfere with the image/video.

If you're unsure of the networking side of things, no matter what equipment you get there will be a learning curve but it's not overwhelming if you're prepared to put the time in. I easily manage (not much to do now as everything is setup) my dedicated Blue Iris computer and 13 cameras that are on a separate VLAN, obviously managed by Unify. Just think of the Blue Iris computer as a separate device on the network, albeit an important device.
Hi All


Sorry for the delayed response. Got caught up with work issues.

I found this post on IPCam talk itself

Fully Integrated Ubiquiti or Ubiquiti + Hikvision

One of the options being considered there is like so :-

Quote
Option 1 (fully integrated Ubiquiti set up)
• UDM-Pro with 5 TB HD
• USW-24 port Switch (PoE on 16 ports)
• 2 x UniFi AP AC Lite (1 for ground floor & 1 for first floor)
• TV + Study + Theatre – Hard wired into switch
• 3 x UniFi Protect G3 Bullet Camera (side of the house & backyard)
• 2 x UniFi Protect G4-PRO Camera (for front of the house)
• 3 x UniFi Protect G3 Dome Camera (indoor, garage & doorway)
• HP ProLiant N54L MicroServer (Old NAS server that I already have currently) for data share
UnQuote

Mine looks similar to this kind of setup - with the fully Ubiquiti ecosystem - I do realize that there are better value for money Hikvision/Dahua cameras available but that is something I can live with (Ubiquiti G5 Dome/Bullet and G3 Flex are not so bad from what I read on the net - which is what I was leaning towards).

Can someone please advise me why would an additional server (HP ProLiant N54L MicroServer ) be required if the system includes a UDM Pro with 5 TB of HDD?

I thought the UDM Pro (Or SE - I was looking at SE - both cost around the same money) would be able to manage the Ubiquiti network and also manage the surveillance system using its Protect software with ability to view the footage over the internet securely if its on its own dedicated VLAN, right? In that event, I wouldn't need the additional computer with Blue Iris, right?


Best regards


Deepak
I also am using a Unify UDM-SE and a Unify 24 port switch, with Blue Iris running on a separate VLAN. The built-in Teleport VPN works well. It's a great system, but expensive. I already owned the Unify equipment prior to deciding to go with a dedicated Blue Iris server for surveillance. The Blue Iris computer on a VLAN gives me the flexibility to use any camera I want, and not be locked into using only Unify Protect cameras.
 

agarwaldvk

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Hi Saltwater/Jim


Thanks for your suggestions. That's exactly the kind of setup I am looking for.

One question though - if you all are using UDM Pro/SE (which has the facility for a HDD), why do you need a separate computer with Blue Iris on it as a separate device on the Ubiquiti network. Wouldn't you all have been able to do it on the UDM Pro/SE as its supposed to be an all-in-one device with NVR and networking functionality built-in? Or is to be able to use Blue Iris on Unifi cameras or to be able to use any camera brand being managed by Unifi Protect? Or are you all using UDM Pro/SE purely for networking functionality?


Best regards


Deepak
 
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