Are Reolink NVRs Worth The Price? (And How Reolink compared to Amcrest NVRs)
When buying a network video recorder for your home or business can be a huge gamble when you do not know what exactly to look for. If you want good quality cameras, with integrated technology and one that works without hitches, you might need to check out Reolink. The company has been operational since 2009 and they offer an amazing middle ground for getting decent cameras without costing you an arm and a leg.
We have had the privilege of using several of their cameras and we were always impressed. You get 1080p resolution, impressive night vision, full waterproofing, motion detection and intelligent sensors.
Our readers always ask several questions:
- Since Reolink have outstanding cameras, what about their NVRs?
- Do they have the same quality and richness of functionality?
- Amcrest is the primary rival for Reolink in the same price segment, but how do their Network Video Recorders rank up against each other
ALSO READ: Amcrest NVRs: In-depth review
This article tried to answer both of the above questions.
- How do they compare: Reolink vs Amcrest NVRs
- Detailed Overview of Reolink NVRs
- Reolink NVRs: Detailed Review
- Best 16 Channel Reolink NVR: Reolink RLN16-410
- Final thoughts
To provide a fairground to each brand, we are going to compare key features from both companies. This guarantees we provide an honest, unbiased review.
Reolink NVRs come with a preinstalled HDD from 1TB to 3TB depending on the model of the device and number of channels. Amcrest on the other hand does not provide preinstalled storage for most of its devices.
Each brand allows you to expand the storage capacity by using an external HDD.
- Both companies have devices that offer HD Resolution.
- In terms of camera resolution, Reolink supports up to 4K Ultra HD, 8MP cameras. Amcrest also offers 4K Ultra HD camera support.
- Both Reolink and Amcrest have NVRs that support the connection of 4 – 16 cameras.
- Both companies have devices that support wireless and POE.
In terms of price comparison, some Reolink NVRs are inexpensive compared to Amcrest. Reolink price their NVRs together with the cameras as part of the package. If you have the cameras already, you can buy their recorder as a standalone.
For Amcrest, you can buy their NVR as a standalone and get cameras from their own company or a different brand depending on the compatibility of the recorder.
If you buy a Reolink recorder, you need to buy their own cameras as well since their device does not offer support for third-party cameras. When it comes to Amcrest, they have recorders that are compatible with cameras from other manufacturers.
There are several crucial things to consider in an NVR. For this portion, we will cover the exciting, yet deciding factors about Network Video Recorders from Reolink.
1. Simple User Interface
Reolink has an interactive system that allows you to access and view your videos remotely. You can use their desktop client application for PC and Mac, or a mobile app compatible with Android and iOS.
The user interface is simple and you can access remote video playback, multi-screen live streaming, and set notification and motion alerts.
2. POE Support
The company has devices that support POE with a different number of channels. Their POE is more of a plug and play setup where you only need a single cable. It cuts down on the need to have a spaghetti of wires in the house since you use one cable for video transmission and power supply.
3. Camera support
In essence, Reolink design their NVR to work best with their own brand of cameras. This means support for 5MP/4MP cameras. With their new 4K UltraHD RKL8-800B4 security system, you can use 8MP cameras.
4. Support of e-SATA Drives
While other companies provide USB backup support, Reolink has an e-SATA interface on their device. This enables you to use an e-SATA drive to upgrade your storage capacity. This is worth getting excited about as e-SATA drives have higher data transfer rates than Firewire or USB ports, unless you have a 3.0 USB.
5. HD Resolution
Getting high-quality videos should be a priority when searching for a surveillance system. All NVRs from Reolink record videos in HD. This means you get to view crisp videos, with easy detection of images and better identification of details.
6. Advanced Motion alerts
The whole point of having a security system is to detect any activity in your location. Every recorder you get from Reolink has the capability to not only detect movement, but also send push notifications and alerts. This can be either to your email or as text depending on how you set it up.
It is obvious that there are many companies in the market working hard to push out their products to the masses. It all boils down to who has quality products and provides consumers with value for their money.
For NVRs, you have the likes of Amcrest, GW, Lorex and Reolink competing for the top spot. What clearly sets Reolink apart from the rest has to be the reliability of their system and great price points. When compared to other recorders in the market, it is evident you do not need to break the bank to have CCTV.
Couple that with their innovative technology and you have a solid system for your home or business premise. All of their NVRs come with preinstalled storage, which is a great feature for a recorder. Once you install the device, you can start keeping track of your videos as you make plans of purchasing an additional storage device.
Their recorders are not ONVIF compatible, which says something about the confidence of the company in its products. With high competition in the market, Reolink trust that their cameras are enough to beat any other brand. Their range of cameras are reliable, have a good quality resolution, and great picture clarity. If you go for Reolink, you get a fully integrated video surveillance system.
When stacked against all other brands in the market, Reolink does have incredible features that make it a great choice for anyone desiring quality and is looking to spend their money wisely.
This 8 channel comes as a standalone or you can buy it as a kit together with cameras. Just like any other product from Reolink, it has an eye-catching appearance with an imprint of the company logo at the front.
Since it is POE NVR, you need to link to your monitor or TV using a VGA or HDMI cable to view the videos. Other than the basics, let us look at what you get:
- Support for 8MP, 5MP and 4MP cameras
- Only compatible with Reolink Cameras
- 8 POE channels
- 2TB Preinstalled HDD
- Real-time viewing
- Remote access
- 1080p Video Resolution
- 8TB Maximum Storage Capacity
WHAT WE LIKED:
- Great picture quality
- The recorder has a decent build quality
- Great value for money
- Easy setup
- You can upgrade the NVR firmware
- Supports up to 8TB storage capacity
- Connects easily to the mobile app and desktop client application
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- High possibility of failure if you use Onvif cameras. Works best with Reolink Cameras
- Tedious process of selecting time stamps for motion detection
- Has a loud fan
- Night vision has a slightly grainy picture quality
- Browser support is limited to IE. Chrome might work, but you have to install a plugin.
- The ability to get firmware updates on this device is grand. Installing the update allows the recorder to operate better by fixing possible bugs and glitches.
Similar Amcrest NRVs
If you are interested in alternative 8 channel POE NVRs you can sample a few of the popular models from Amcrest.
- In comparison to the one from Reolink, this Amcrest version supports cameras from 3MP to 4K, while the one from Reolink starts at 4MP to 8MP.
- The maximum storage capacity is 6TB while Reolink RLN8-410 supports up to 8TB.
- RLN8-410 comes with an HDD of 2TB already installed in the device, while NV210E-HS does not have preinstalled storage as part of the package.
- Amcrest NV210E-HS allows external backup using USB, while RLN4-410 requires an e-SATA drive and supports USB backup.
Compared to Reolink, Amcrest NV4108-HS has the following differences:
- Camera support starts at 3MP to 4K
- Maximum storage is 6TB
- Does not come with pre-installed HDD
- USB backup option
- Has ONVIF compatibility while RLN4-410 only works with Reolink cameras
RLN16-410 is a great choice for someone who has multiple cameras. The exterior of this recorder is no different from a basic recorder from the company, apart from the additional POE ports.
- Works with 5MP and 4MP cameras
- Functional compatibility with Reolink Cameras
- 16 POE channels
- 3TB Pre-installed HDD
- Real-time viewing
- Remote access
- 1080p Video Resolution
- 12TB Maximum Storage Capacity
WHAT WE LIKED:
- Maximum storage capacity of 12TB
- Has a rather simple installation process
- The client software is intuitive and easy to use
- The recorder has a great build
- The device works well with the mobile app and client software
- Great picture clarity
- You can update the firmware
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- Few instances of the recorder dropping videos. You have to reboot to have it function properly.
- A few cases of the power supply not functioning.
- One key feature of the RLN16-410 that stands has to be its fan. It has a quiet fan, which is incredible considering how NVRs can become a noise nuisance when the fan is loud.
- Its maximum storage capacity of 12TB makes it a great device when compared to other models with almost the same setup.
- The company provides firmware updates for both the NVR and the cameras.
The best Amcrest alternative to the Reolink RLN16-410 is NV-4116E and it has the following differences:
- It provides Camera support from 3MP to 4K, while RLN16-410 works with 4MP and 5MP cameras.
- The maximum storage space is 6TB, while for RLN16-410 it is 12TB.
- Amcrest does not provide the recorder with a preinstalled HDD, for Reolink you get the RLN16-410 with 3TB already installed.
- The NV-4116E has a USB backup option while RLN16-410 uses an e-SATA drive plus USB option as well.
- NV-4116E is ONVIF compatible, which means you can use third-party cameras. RLN16-410 lacks that feature and only supports Reolink Cameras.
Reolink has come a long way to make a name for themselves. Their NVRs have a solid build that gives off a premium outlook. In terms of functionality, their device has slight issues like the 16CH recorder rebooting on its own. The good news is that you can fix that issue by restarting the device.
Honestly, it would be ideal if such slight problems were nonexistent. The company has come up with a range of quality products meant for anyone interested in a good surveillance system with easy installation. It is great if you have multiple locations and you want a reliable system that works well in different weather conditions.
Overall, their comprehensive security system allows you can keep a watchful eye over your property at all times. As we wrap up, we hope you have found value in this review and you will use the information provided to get a quality, reliable NVR.