Best 8 Channel NVR Security Systems in 2018
Good video home security has two main elements – surveillance cameras and NVRs (Network Video Recorders). Although good quality cameras essential to capture all the details, it is an NVR system that applies the intelligence to your feed alerting when there is any movement and recording at motion. 8 channel NVR Security system is the most appropriate choice for average homeowners, but finding the best model for you can be intimidating. This buyers guide aims to give you a comprehensive advice on how to buy the best 8 channel NVR system available on the market.
After testing and using many Network Video Recorders, we decided that Amcrest NV4108E-HS is our top pick for the best 8 Channel NVR security system. It supports up to 4K camera resolution, has full ONVIF compliancy (meaning that you can connect almost any camera to it) and easy to install. Various playback options like seamless real-time viewing and security features all make its software features impressive, although UI can be improved. But above all that, the fact that all of these features come in an affordable price range made it the number one choice.
There are also other options on the market. Reolink RLK8-420D4 is similar priced unite with slightly better reviews compared to Amcrest, but it can only work with ReoLink cameras. Zmodo-ZS-2008-B-1TB is the cheapest NVR 8 Channel option, but comes with issues around reliability and also using sPoE protocol. Finally,
Lorex 8 Channel NR9082 4K Home Security System is an impressive device, with great hardware and highly configurable software, but comes at a price for the consumer.
But lets go into more details.
- Best Overall 8 Channel NVR: Amcrest NV4108E-HS
- Best 8 Channel 4K PoE NVR: Reolink RLK8-420D4
- Best 8 Channel PoE NVR Camera System under $200: Zmodo-ZS-2008-B-1TB
- Best High-end 8 Channel PoE NVR: Lorex 8 Channel NR9082 4K Home Security System
- How to Install 8 Channel Security Camera System in Steps
- Top Concerns About 8 Channel Security Systems
WHAT WE LIKED
- Best value for money for the specs provided
- Great camera feed quality
- Compatible with all third-party ONVIF compliant cameras
- Fast real-time playback
- Great customer support
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- The web client can only be accessed via IE. No other browser support.
- Motion detection responds to heavy rainfall and snow. The configuration for this is hard to perform.
- Manuals are unclear and too generic.
Amcrest has been delivering quality NVR systems for years. NV4108E-HS has consistently been rated the best 8 Channel NVR systems with all-around good features and considerate pricing.
The NV4108E-HS comes with many great features and only a couple of black spots to mention. The system supports resolution of 4K, cameras that go up to 8MP sensors and storage of 6TB. The compatibility is its major attraction as it supports third-party ONVIF IP cameras and USB backup. Motion detection, lock, video loss, multiple alarm triggers and custom record modes all give you the power to boost the security of your home. Overall, there’s nothing this system lacks except maybe an included HDD.
On testing, however, we came across minor issues that were raised by past customers of the NV4108E-HS. The software and mobile app need some major overhaul for it to be user-friendly. Even with our experience in tech, we had to spend a while trying to figure things out. Along with difficult navigation of the software, it is hard to configure the motion detection to not go off on heavy rain or snow. The user manual is another pesky issue.
Among other concerns are that the manuals are not model specific so the instructions are generic and there aren’t troubleshooting solutions. You can call the tech support for these issues, for the most part, the tech support is known to be helpful especially if you can get some senior tech to help you out. Some issues can’t be fixed with tech support either.The web client can only be used via Internet Explorer. No Chrome, Firefox or even Edge support. The cooling fan can also be a bit noisy, but this is product specific.
However, these flaws are minor once you set up the system and start running. You can easily view the past recording and configure other security features perfectly. The continuous recording is never hindered, and the playback speed is also very good. There’s a lot of adjustments you can do on the software to view the clips however you want.
Most Common Questions about 8 Channel PoE NVR
- Are the playback and video saving functionality user-friendly on this NVR?
- Overall user experience can be improved, but it is not a functional side but esthetics. Overall, you will have no trouble navigating and configuring the playback, but the interface is a bit outdated.
- The hardest part is setting up the remote viewing on the phone. You’ll have to do port forwarding to connect the cameras to the app and the NVR. Configuring the features like zone alarms and alerts were easy.
- My cameras are not PoE camera. Can I connect them with ethernet cables to this unit(each has its power supply already)?
- Yes, you can, but then I would recommend taking a cheaper version of this NVR that has the same features except for POE support
- I only have an iMac computer. Do I need to purchase a separate monitor to install and configure this NVR? or is it plug and play?
- This particular unit can be run on an iMac computer using Surveillance Pro. You will need a separate monitor connected to the NVR so you can manually local use the mouse at the unit as a way of managing the system. You will also run POE Cameras on this 8 channel POE NVR. The cameras will connect to the NVR with the Ethernet Cables where the NVR will work like a POE Switch in the NVR. The NVR will create a different Class of IP Address for the cameras so there will be no IP Address Conflicts.
Installation and Use
Installation is similar to any other NVR 8 channel. Since the product doesn’t come with an HDD, you will have to install one yourself. The monitor needs to have HDMI compatibility, and the NVR needs to be connected with HDMI directly into the monitor.
Follow the following steps:
- Install your HDD; The screws for the HDD are located on the sides and back of the NVR; Slide the cover back after unscrewing; SATA cables and power connectors which were supplied with the NVR will be used to connect the HDD; Slide the lid back and screw it tight.
- Plug your POE camera into one of the camera RJ-45 ports
- Plug the NVR into your router using an ethernet cable
- Plug the NVR into a monitor using HDMI
- Plug the included USB mouse into the NVR. Don’t worry, and you can use your mouse too
- Plug the NVR into the power brick
Afterwards, start the system and create an account. Make sure to give a strong password, so attackers don’t get into the system. Configure the camera settings and then start recording.
- Cheaper model without built-in WiFi- Amcrest NV4108-HS
- The cheapest model but has no built-in WiFi, HDD and only supports up to 6MP- Amcrest NV2108E
“Great NVR. Has 4 POE ports which are a bonus. Easy setup and excellent support. Still learning a few things but all in all a great buy and an excellent value.”- Lewis Helt
“I was having difficulty connecting my Amcrest NV 4108E via the Amcrest application connection issue- Dylan Russell was an OUTSTANDING technician! Highly recommend Amcrest NVR and cameras.”- Monica Walters
Good quality in both day and night
Lots of configuration features
No requirement of third-party plugins to view on browsers
Good software interface
Only Supports Reolink Cameras
Can be noisy
The customer support is weak Some configuration features are not available on the Mac Reolink client (such as MPEG profile)
A good alternative 8 channel PoE NVR to Amcrest but is downgraded in some of its features. The system is only compatible with ReoLink cameras so none of your third-party ONVIF cameras will work. Camera resolution only goes up to 1440p, and the camera sensors only support up to 5MP although the picture quality is enough for a home security system if the coverage areas are not too big. The system could be noisy, and any installation troubles you may have will be hard to solve because of the poor tech support. The tech support has to be directed to Chinese techs so not only will you be delayed, but you might have communication issues.
Best 8 Channel PoE NVR Camera System under $200: Zmodo-ZS-2008-B-1TB
Easy plug and Play
Great camera quality
Motion detection and alert features works fine
sPoE is not a valid alternative to PoEs since they use proprietary wiring.
The doorbell functionalities on the app are unreliable. Sometimes the doorbell rings for no reason and other times it is hard to connect to the phone when someone approaches the door.
No timestamp for recorded videos
The speaker on the wireless cameras records unclear audio with lag.
Zmodo has brought a cheap NVR system with standard hardware features. The storage, 1080p resolution support and free 1TB HDD are all attractive offers. Very easy to set up too and the sPoE wiring is simple and efficient, but they aren’t true PoEs so if you have damaged your wires, you will need to replace it with Zmodo and nothing else. The system has good specs and functions well, but it may act up once in a while especially with the doorbell features. Don’t expect much from the wireless camera either, and wired options are much more effective. If you want a cheap system with almost similar specs as Amcrest then Zmodo’s 8 channel PoE NVR is a good option.
Good playback quality
Features like motion detection work without complaint
Lots of configuration options
Slighthly outdated PC software
Doesn’t allow connection of external keyboards
Only allow 6 character passwords which can be exploited by knowledgeable attackers.
The Lorex system is high-end and offers software features like advanced motion detection, alarm triggers and tons of configuration settings. Along with software features, Lorex has checked off all the major hardware features like high megapixel support, ONVIF camera compatibility and Full HD footage. The collection of all these features come with an expensive price tag. However, the features are all perfectly functioning; there is no malfunction or lag with the software like many other NVRs. The only downside (although it is the same for Amcrest NVR) is that the software of the desktop client is very outdated. But besides that, the footage and playback features are working perfectly. If you’re looking for a PoE NVR 8 channel system that has the best hardware features, then Lorex is the best option to choose.
How to Install 8 Channel Security Camera System in Steps
- Step 1) Install hard drive into NVR
- Step 2) Connect VGA/HDMI/RGB cable to NVR
- Step 3) Connect the power cable to power adapter
- Step 4) Plug power adapter to the power supply
- Step 5) Plug power cable into NVR’s back panel
- Step 6) Plug mouse into the USB port
- Step 7) Plug network cable
- Step 8) Plug the other side of the cables to the power supply
- Step 9) Connect the camera brackets to the camera
- Step 10) Plug network cable to the network port
- Step 11) Plug power cable
- Step 12) Plug IPC’s power adapters to the power supply.
Top Concerns About 8 Channel Security Systems
- #1. Could the 8 channel CCTV systems work without Internet?
- Yes, these 8 channel NVR security system can record video footage even without internet connectivity, but you would not receive push notifications, emails or get remote viewing in your smartphone.
- #2. How to prevent 8 channel NVR system from being stolen?
- The best trick is to install the 8 channel NVR security system somewhere not easily accessible or visible. Hiding the camera between bookshelves is a great trick to secure with discretion.
- #3. How to save money for 8 channel security camera systems?
- 8 channel NVR security systems are already the cheapest choice for complete home security but if you want to buy it with more price cuts then use holiday sales and limited time offers as your chance for purchase. You should also buy brands that offer free shipping to cut further expenditure.