Power over Ethernet (PoE) systems ensure convenience and top-notch home security. A PoE security camera system works so well because it transfers both power and data along just one cable, so you don’t have to manage many wires.
If you want to protect your home and family from intruders, you’ll need the best PoE security camera system, and that’s exactly what we’re here to help you with.
- How We Found the Best PoE Security Camera System
- Reolink The #1 PoE Security Camera System
- #1: Reolink 4K 16CH PoE Security-Camera-System (Best Overall)
- #2: Annke H500 8CH PoE Security Camera System (Most Convenient Cameras)
- #3: Swann PoE Home Security Camera System (Best Premium Cameras)
- #4: Reolink 4MP 8CH PoE Video Surveillance System (Best Low Cost)
- Final Verdict on PoE Security Camera Systems
How We Found the Best PoE Security Camera System
PoE technology has become very popular over the last few years, thanks to its speed, efficiency, and ease-of-use. Finding the best options out of thousands of products on the market was not easy. We have done all the research for you and selected four of the best PoE camera systems based on stringent criteria.
Firstly, we looked at the value offered by each product according to their prices. Then, we examined their set of features and determined if there was anything that set them apart from the competition.
We also studied how easy they are to install and use since that is a major concern for all users of PoE security systems. Finally, the Amazon user reviews were taken into account to see if actual buyers were satisfied with their purchase.
Reolink The #1 PoE Security Camera System
Here are the four best PoE camera systems to help secure your family’s safety.
#1: Reolink 4K 16CH PoE Security-Camera-System (Best Overall)
The Reolink 4K PoE security camera system will meet and exceed almost every user’s needs.
The 4K Ultra HD camera delivers picture quality like no other system, with efficient pixel processing and true color realization. Reolink claims that the camera can deliver over four times the picture clarity of a standard 1080p device. The vivid display allows you to get a detailed look at your feed even when you zoom the camera in.
You won’t find any of the distortions and flaws encountered in other standard cameras.
The package includes a 3TB HDD hard drive that allows users to make reliable recordings 24 hours a day. You don’t have to worry about the HDD either. Just turn on the “Overwrite” option, and the system will automatically overwrite the oldest recordings with the newest ones.
The whole PoE camera system runs through a single network cable. This makes the whole process of installation and setup a lot easier than it is for some other options on the market. You can use T-568B connectors with CAT5, CAT6, and CAT7 ethernet cables for a stable wired connection. CAT5 cables can stretch to 270 feet, while CAT6 and CAT7 cables can be stretched to 330 feet.
The Reolink 4K PoE security camera system can operate with or without an internet connection. The NVR is optimized to handle offline recording and live viewing without an internet connection. All you have to do is connect the NVR to a monitor or TV via HDMI. However, keep in mind that you will need an internet connection to access remote viewing from the app and get push notifications for the motion sensors.
Reolink also makes the security of your data and connection a priority. The device uses an AWS secure server to allow users to gain remote access through the Reolink app safely. There is no Reolink server involved, and none of your information ever reaches the company. All the data on the cloud servers is also encrypted to ensure security.
One of the very few drawbacks of the Reolink is that it does not support two-way audio, like some other PoE camera systems.
You do get a 2-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee. The Reolink tech support is extremely responsive and will replace any defective products.
The reviews reflect the fact that it is the best PoE security camera system offered by Reolink and the market overall. Users are extremely happy with the video quality, DIY-friendliness of the device, and the responsiveness of Reolink tech support.
This security camera system is perfect for most owners and the one we would recommend.
#2: Annke H500 8CH PoE Security Camera System (Most Convenient Cameras)
The Annke H500 is a very interesting option for consumers looking for a convenient PoE security camera system. Everything about this product was created with user experience and ease-of-use in mind.
It features the H.265+ Video Compression, which is a lot more efficient than the older H.265 and H.264 compression technology. Its main goal is to conserve and maximize your storage space and improve your viewing experience by occupying less bandwidth on your internet.
This will help you save money on storage and avoid any unnecessary stress on your network – which is something we see all too often with PoE camera systems.
Where an H.264 might only record about 6 days of footage, the H.265+ and the 2TB HDD will together record continuously for 40 days under normal circumstances.
The OmniVision image sensor in the Annke H500 security cameras has been updated from previous iterations and now displays clearer Super HD images than other 5MP cameras. In fact, Annke claims that this camera is the best 5MP camera in the market!
Their special EXIR 2.0 technology specializes in eradicating underexposure and capturing crisp images even in complete darkness. The 2.8mm lens consists of 6 layers of glass that allow it to get a decent field of view. However, the FOV isn’t as great as some of the other options on this list.
The setup is designed specifically for beginners who’ve never set up a home security camera system ever before in their lives. Each camera comes with 60 feet and 100 feet long network cables to allow you to easily choose your camera distance without worrying about cable length.
Just like the previous Reolink device, the Annke H500 can record videos for offline storage without an internet connection. Again, you will need a network connection for remote play and other smart features.
The Annke app is a big part of their user experience focus. It lets you review any clips you missed out on with just a few taps and allows you to share or save videos and photos with ease. All you have to do is activate the video recording and photo capture features.
The Control Center allows users to add or remove authorized devices, select linked accounts, and shared users with just a few easy steps on your smartphone. This ensures complete security as not just anyone can connect to your camera system.
The camera features an advanced motion detection algorithm that sends you an email and app push notification with a snapshot of the scene upon detection.
Overall, this is a great user-friendly option on our list.
#3: Swann PoE Home Security Camera System (Best Premium Cameras)
The Swann cameras can be considered as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of PoE security camera systems. It may feature a big price tag, but it definitely has a bite to match its bark.
The package includes 8 spotlight bullet cameras packed with all sorts of high-end features and technology. Firstly, you might be wondering what the heck a spotlight even is? The spotlight refers to a set of lights attached to the face of the camera that turns on when the camera detects motion.
This allows you to do two things:
- Record the motion incident in full color and detail.
- Scare off any intruders or at least surprise them.
Once the spotlight turns on, you can also raise a siren and use the two-way audio feature to warn the intruders to get away.
The Swann motion detection system uses new technology that you won’t find in most other PoE security cameras. The devices contain two PIR based sensors: a heat sensor and a motion sensor. It’s very common to get a lot of false detection alerts from cameras that only use motion detection systems. Alerts from flying bugs, heavy rain, and other nonsensical things are not too uncommon.
The heat sensor was added to this device to eliminate false alerts involving these unimportant events. The system uses a combination of both heat and motion detection to smartly detect any vehicles, people, or animals in the FOV of the camera. Once a detection event occurs, the camera fires up and starts recording.
The Swann system lives up to its premium name by recording images in 4K Ultra HD quality that allows users to clearly recognize details, such as faces, packages, vehicle license numbers and so on. The Ultra HD quality also allows you to get a powerful digital zoom and see things you might not normally get.
The infrared night vision and spotlight feature allow you to see color video at night time for a distance of up to 115 feet! Most other cameras offer a maximum length of view of 100 feet at night.
You get a free cloud storage service, which you can access by linking your Dropbox account to the NVR. Plus, you can make this camera even smarter by connecting it to Alexa or other smart home devices. Alexa compatibility allows you to easily access features like two-way audio and live stream footage.
To top it all off, the smart video analytics allow you to use Facial recognition, Perimeter intrusion detection, Line crossing detection, Crossing counter, Person detection, and Static object detection to successfully and smartly identify threats.
Honestly, if it weren’t for the higher price of this product, it would be considered the best PoE security camera system on our list.
#4: Reolink 4MP 8CH PoE Video Surveillance System (Best Low Cost)
If you are looking for something budget friendly, this is by far the most popular.
The Reolink 4MP camera offers exquisite value to customers at one of the most competitive prices in the market. The 4MP camera doesn’t record video in just standard HD; it actually does it in 1440p Super HD resolution. Plus, the IR cut filter allows users to capture vivid images at night up to 100 feet.
The camera system is DIY-friendly and only requires you to plug the cameras into the NVR to get it up and running. Just like the first Reolink product (#1 above), you can use CAT5 ethernet cables up to 270 feet or CAT6 and CAT7 ethernet cables up to 330 feet to connect to the camera. This will give a stable and secure connection.
The NVR on this device can only support recordings on eight channels simultaneously, unlike the first Reolink security system (which could support 16 channels). You get a standard motion detection system that sends you push notifications via the Reolink app whenever it detects something.
However, the camera does allow you to set specific motion zones, such as a driveway or window, to decrease the number of false alerts.
The package includes a 2TB HDD storage drive pre-installed into the NVR. You can set the NVR to automatically overwrite old recordings once the storage starts to get full to allow space for new recordings. You can also replace this drive with another one of size 4 TB. You can also use the NVR in this package with other NVR security cameras.
Like all other Reolink products, users get a 2-year warranty for quality defects and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Consumers also receive lifetime Reolink customer tech support.
One of the few caveats with this package is that you only get four cameras and just one-way audio. The reviews are very positive, but many users say that low light performance isn’t the best.
That being said, the product is worth the price you pay for it.
Final Verdict on PoE Security Camera Systems
Here’s a refresher of all we’ve said in this review:
If you are looking for overall value and performance go with our #1 recommendation the Reolink PoE 4K 16CH.
The Annke PoE H500 8CH focuses on user experience over everything else and is great for beginners or people who need something easy to use.
The Swann Home Security PoE Camera System is for people who want the absolute best features and security without money being a problem.
While PoE systems are excellent systems, they might not be for everyone. If you want to explore more options for your home security, you can check out our 4G security camera review or our top picks on an Amcrest security system.