Looking for a new security camera system

This is a “where do I start?” post.

I have 3 Ring cameras, and use the Ring integration to trigger some automations on motion detection. It all works. But I’ve burned out on the Ring system because of endless hassles with logons, passwords, 2-factor, “shared access” etc. It’s way too complicated, is changed too often, and they have some bug involving app logins which has driven me nuts. I won’t bore you with the details. I just want to hang up on Ring.

I want asimpler system: just detect motion and show me who’s at the door. And if someone breaks in, I want a video later. That’s it! I don’t even need online storage - SD cards in the cameras would be fine. I want local control: NO CLOUD ACCOUNT, no subscription, no demands to change passwords, no 2-factor authentications.



Amcrest and dahua are best offline

I prefer amcrest even though the are literally same but slight different software

I use amcrest IP5M-B1186 5MP but will be adding amcrest IP8M-2496 8MP. DO NOT get the wifi models.

Im basically in the country with no street lights and dusk looks like noon. If there is any lighting it picks it up. Ive turned off all the LEDs as there just wasn’t a need. I had unifi cams for a while and they were quite horrible at night (useless for me). At $45USD the 5MP cams are amazing.

The 5MP has an wide field of view which is also nice.

I use frigate and just record 24/7. I use that for Object Detected trigger. The cameras have a good integration and you could use that for motion detected trigger in HA. I just hadnt installed SD card and have tons of storage and compute so i went with frigate

For doorbell i have Dauhua VTO but Reolink just release a wifi and a POE doorbell. I bought it and its great. I belive HA integration exists for th reolink. The integration for Dahua works great. Doorbird doorbells look nice but they have this weird, " you must connect to our server and validate your device, setup process that concerns me. After i buy it, I should not even need to know the company name, I definitely dont want to connect to use device.


Good recommendations above, I personally have Reolink POE setup around the house and on our outbuildings. So far all 5 have been bulletproof including the two-headed one that looks like Wall-E. The Reolink doorbell is also great, best on the market at the moment.

I use the Reolink NVR with 16 ports, takes load off my switch and is easy enough to manage. It does not have the same level of smarts as Frigate or Blue Iris, but it gets the job done for what I need. Biggest thing they need to fix is the bug detection as movement in IR mode.

Only go for POE, Wi-Fi cameras do not send on RTSP feeds and won’t connect to HA directly. The Reolink HACS app works as advertised. Biggest issue is there can be up to a 7-8 second delay on the feed, there is a fix but I don’t look at it that often to notice on the front end. All Reolink cams do have SD card access but don’t use due to faster NVR access.

Any of the big China cams work mostly the same, go with an NVR for simple setup or roll your own with Frigate/Blue Iris. Remember to completely block cameras/NVR from outside access, notoriously insecure and should be on its own VLAN.

Best advice ever


I use the Wyze Cam3 flashed with the RTSP, and the Frigate DVR add-on. No Wyze cloud necessary.

Thanks to all.

I’d love to use POE but running the cables would be a real challenge. You guys with POE on garages, sheds etc - did you run buried cables?

2 other things that I’d really like:

  • send notifications to our phones, somehow - email, txt or app
  • work in sub-zero temperatures

I don’t think I need RTSP or a storage server. I just need a notification of motion, and a way to then see the recorded video on a phone. A few years ago I put some Amcrest cameras in a friend’s retail store. The Android app (Amcrest View Pro) works, but it’s clunky, and very slow to connect to the cameras. Hopefully there’s a better, newer system for Amcrest cameras today. What do you Amcrest users have to say about the app?

I could try to get started by buying a current Amcrest POE outdoor camera, and experimenting with apps and HA. I’d like one with fast (streaming) motion detection via the HA integration, to turn on outdoor lights when I come home. What model should I get?

I have a Reolink RLC-511WA that absolutly sends rtsp and rtmp over wifi. RLC-511WA | Smart 5MP HD Wireless WiFi Camera with Zoom Or do you mean wifi only cameras?

Edit: The integration I use is JimStars reolink_cctv

buried cable or take the easy way out, Wifi Bridge using two Ubiquiti Nanostation Loco

I run the wifi bridges to switches that supply POE to cameras. Not sure if that was obvious. It was just the easy way out of digging 200’ trench and running wire under concrete driveway. If it was just dirt I would consider conduit and hardwire.

Good to know, last I looked into it most Reolink wireless couldn’t be integrated. I’ll have to check the integration out.

Buried cable, tons of it. For the one to my outbuildings I put cat 6e underground compatible sheathed in old garden hose for extra protection (spouse is an avid gardener and loves her shovels!)

In the country with a lot of property so I have Ubuiqiti outdoor repeaters and cameras on one run. Takes care of the power and network issue in one go.

POE would probably mean the cameras work at lower temperatures. The LION batteries cut out at -5 F.

I may order an Amcrest IP5M-B1186. Which integration are you using with it?


Amcrest and frigate

I just got 8MP version today. I will let you know result

The 5MP vs 8MP doesnt have big leap difference in daylight.

I believe low light(night time) is biggest difference. 5MP has a LOT of flaring from lights when present. The 8MP must have some filtering that greatly improves this, that along with better white balance under low light conditions make image much much better.

I got 5MP for $50USD and the 8MP cost is now $100USD. Seeing the difference im not sure if i would go with 8MP if i was building my system again since im using about 15 cams and that extra $50 adds up. I would have likely mixed and got 8MP in speciific locations which is what im doing now since i still need cams for 4 locations.


  • i did try to adjust video settings in 5MP to eliminate the flaring for lights all adjustments had 0 effect. 8MP definitely has IR filtering or something physically preventing this and it is not adjustment. As I thinking about it if you have this cam near lights the 8MP will be best since flaring makes 4sqft space around light blinded(60 watt led 30’ away). Im sure this will help the problem I had with cars pulling in driveway and blinding cam.

  • i turn OFF IR night light and use color at night. Image on both is amazing under these dark conditions (country, little ambient light in many area, no street lights). Default night settings are terrible and make useless images and ir lighting is useless for large area(over 225sqft). Turning that off worked best for me

  • we are literally talking about 2k to 4k difference. Its noticeable but honestly at some point good is good. The night difference is big.

Thanks for the info. My main goal right now is to get something with a working HA integration, one that’s being maintained and developed. I’ve been using Ring, but that integration no longer works properly, and seems to be dead code. Ring has also made their software a PITA due to frequent 2-factor logins, and I want to get away from any cloud dependency in the future.

So I think I’ll order an Amcrest and start learning that system.

I completely understand your frustration with the complexities of the Ring system. It’s good that you’re looking for a simpler and more reliable alternative.

I recently switched to Vivint’s security cameras, and they’ve been a breath of fresh air. They offer a simpler approach: motion detection and easy access to see who’s at the door, plus video storage on SD cards right in the cameras. There is no need for cloud accounts, subscriptions, or the hassle of changing passwords.
The setup process was a breeze, and their customer support has been helpful when I had questions. It’s a more straightforward and reliable option, providing peace of mind without all the complexities. You can find more info here at https://www.vivint.com/packages/security-cameras