Rated 4.6 out of 5 by 127
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by SecurityShopper Want to give it a higher rating, but two issues keep me from it.
We have been running this system for a couple of months now and have become pretty familiar with the setup and adjustments. I was not able to find any reviews of this system before the purchase and based our decision on reviews of other Defender products and the great specs for this analog camera system, plus is was on sale at the time and was by far the least expensive system with 960H and 2 TB hard drive with 8 cameras. It was even less expensive than other less capable systems at the time. There are things I really like and some I don’t so I am going to talk about them here.
The Pros: This system has great cameras with really good night vision. They seamlessly switch between light and dark situations and seem to have really good build quality. The color is pretty accurate. The pictures that Defender shows of the camera has it being pelted with rain, but their documentation states to keep them out of direct weather, which is how I installed them. The brackets give the best aiming of the cameras if you can mount them on a ceiling, but still work on a vertical surface too.
The DVR is small and does not take up much room, the hard drive is fairly quiet.
It can be accessed via the internet from a cell phone (I have an Android) or a web browser (must be Internet Explorer because the built in web server requires ActiveX).
With all 8 cameras recording all the time at the highest bitrate and 11 fps there is about two to three weeks of video. This could easily be extended if you only recorded on motion. You and also lower the bitrate of the stored video though I wouldn't recommend it because if you need any of the video you will want as sharp of a picture as possible.
For viewing over the internet the DVR sends a lower bitrate stream to you, which is good, and you have the ability to adjust the bitrate to so as not to overload the upload speed of your internet connection. This adjustment must be done from a web browser. The phone apps only let you view live video, no adjustments are possible.
If you want it to send emails or record on motion there are lots of areas on the screen to pick from to mask of as “watch this area for motion”. Make for good customization.
The Cons: Defender does not make the phone apps. They are 3rd party apps that work with lots of China made DVR’s. This is OK, but there is no app supported by them if you need help. The app I use is called “MeyePro HD” which I like more than the Defender recommended “ASee” because you can see all cameras at once and also view one at a time. Also with the phone apps you can ONLY see live video. If you want to play back recorded video you must use a web browser or be at the DVR.
The motion sensing seems too sensitive. I have spent a lot of time adjusting the sensitivity and the area of the screen to monitor motion but I am still inundated with emails. There are two sources of unwanted motion where we live: shadows from the tall trees and insects flying around at night. This would probably be a problem with any system however, but this is our first video security system so I have nothing else to compare too.
The DVR can auto reboot on a schedule, and I have found that I need to set it to do this daily. The default is weekly but I was having some issues with cameras not being visible on the display, phone or Internet Explorer, though they were still recording.
The remote access via a phone or internet explorer is not SSL (encryption), it is open text. This is a huge negative to me, and I would NEVER connect an indoor camera to this system, or have it pointing at anything you wouldn't want anyone to see UNLESS I did not allow my router to port forward for remote access to the DVR. I have no idea if this is normal at this price point but it is not good. What I mean by this is that since it is not encrypted that means when you log into the system the username and password you enter are sent in clear text across this internet. This is easily captured and found, and is very strange to me that a security device does not use SSL encryption. I was able to capture my own login session and see my username and password. There are ways around this if your router supports VPN’s but that starts getting very complicated.
The camera’s and DVR are 960H. This means that they support 960 vertical lines of resolution by 480 horizontal lines of resolution. The resulting display is widescreen like modern televisions and is not supposed to stretch the image to make it that way. I however do not feel that is the case, and I have a ticket open with then because of it. What I find is that images are stretched, circles are ovals and everything looks wider. So far (ticket has been open for three weeks) there is no resolution. I’ve included two pictures. One shows a bell that is suspended in what should be a circle (this is a screen shot of the web interface) and the other is of my car where you can see the image also looks stretched (this picture was attached in an email alert). Again, I have never owned any other security system so maybe this is how all 960H video looks? It doesn’t seem right to me though.
I am really hoping that they add encryption in a future firmware update. If so I will improve my rating. And if the image issue is also fixed I would give this 5 stars. If I had known all of these things before I would not have purchased this system. BUT that being said, it am not so dissatisfied that I want to uninstall all of the cameras and start over either. There is a lot of work involved in running cable for 8 cameras.
August 7, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Pojoe Exactly as advertised
I purchased this system early July 2015 & installed it myself. I must say that the product, delivery & installation instructions where exceptional. The video is crisp & clear, the night vision is better than I expected for the price. The only negative that I can give this product so far is that it does not work with Google Chrome internet operating system therefore I cannot take advantage of or comment on the remote access or the text messaging functions, this is quite dissapointing as I was really looking forward to monitor my home while on vacation. That said I can only rate this at a 5 or 6 instead of a 8 or 9.
August 20, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by AndyH Very Impressive
It's astounding how far the technology has come during the past few years. This system is light years ahead of the old X10 system I had years ago. The picture quality is great, even in total darkness. Installation was no problem (except for the hot attic). The software is pretty straight forward. The biggest challenge is getting it set up for viewing over your local network and the internet. You can probably count on a call to tech support. Sean solved my problems quickly and easily. It now works flawlessly. I can view my cameras from any computer, tablet, or smart phone. I highly recommend this system.
August 15, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by JesseB Great system. Ordered on line, rec'd 1 week
I just received the Defender with four cameras. I am old enough to be considered senile but was able to install the cameras, DVR, connect monitor to router and install mouse, etc. I needed help to set up my laptop and smart phone. I chatted with Daniela and she gave me a contact number. I called and after about ten minutes was connected with Michel, tech assistant. It took about an hour but he stayed with me and set up both the computer and Android phone. He is an excellent communicator and very knowledgeable on all aspects of the system. Bottom line: Great service, good pictures and extremely flexible system. I would not hesitate to recommend to family or friends.
July 20, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Very happy Very comprehensive package.
For the price, this systems performance is far superior to anything I can find in the local big box stores. Since it was purchased and installed only 5 months ago, it has already recorded a break and enter next door, and caught a regular high speed driver in the back lane. All illegal dumping has stopped.
One camera failed, and was promptly replaced with a minimum of effort on my behalf.
Because of its performance I will be adding more cameras in the future.
August 18, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Intern Machine Monitoring
I purchased this system to monitor complex integrated manufacturing equipment so I could record and review the footage in case of a machine malfunction or p.l.c. error. The cameras work great in low light with color without switching to night vision which was a problem with a different Defender system I had purchase in the past. The cameras and DVR work great. I was disappointed with the PC software package that came with the system so I could patch the DVR into my network and view it remotely at another PC. I ended up dumping the software and hard wiring the second pc directly to the DVR running 125 ft of CAT-5 and VGA cable with a KVM switch.
The computer mouse that came with the system and one of the eight cameras were defective. Defender quickly responded to my warranty issue and quickly replaced the defective items. I did not need all the cameras in this set but it was cheaper to buy this set than a smaller set.
Overall, for the price, this is a good system, easily installed, and easy to use.
August 19, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Tracer Great value for home security
I bought the Defender Pro 8 Ch system to protect my family. It was easy to install and the quality of the picture is outstanding. Night vision is by far, the best I have seen. Set up to my living room television and I can instantly watch people coming and going on my property. Love that I can access my house on my mobile phone alos.
August 17, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Gadgit Excellent cameras
Camera are great! Wide angle view is awesome and clear as a bell. Only 4 stars cause the last few I bought don't have a qr code sticker on them.
August 20, 2015