If you want to protect your home from burglars and other invaders, getting a reliable security camera is a great way to go. However, with the home security market growing rapidly, it can be tough to know which camera is right for you.
One convenient, versatile option is a power over ethernet (PoE) camera. With this option, the camera is connected to a cable that transmits both data and an electric current. This eliminates the need for separate data and power cables, and it supplies a reliable connection that doesn’t depend on wifi.
As a home security enthusiast of over 10 years, I want to help you keep your own home as safe and secure as possible. Today, I’ll take you through my top picks for the best PoE cameras, and we’ll also talk about PoE security camera system reviews and what you need to know before purchasing your own system. Let’s dive right in!
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best PoE Security Camera Systems
A PoE system is a wise investment, but it’s important to know a little about PoE systems in general before choosing one. Here are some of the main factors you need to consider:
What are the advantages of PoE?
Before choosing a system, it’s good to know a bit about what PoE is. PoE stands for “power over ethernet.” This means that all cameras receive power and internet connection from a single cable. This is an advantage over wifi cameras, as weak wifi signals and vulnerability to hackers are two of the major downsides of using wifi cameras.
Think about motion detection
Just about every PoE system will send you motion alerts. However, some options use AI to determine whether the motion is caused by a human. Facial recognition and human recognition are often major benefits — you can avoid annoying alerts for vehicle or animal motion and only get alerts when there’s an intruder.
A clear picture is a must when it comes to home security. Look for cameras with higher megapixel counts, as this tends to lead to a better picture. Most of these systems come with cameras of 2 MP up to 5 MP.
Another clarity option to consider is that of the display. If you will only view footage on a phone or tablet, this may not matter. But if you’re using a monitor, you’ll probably want a display with better resolution.
Do you need audio?
Many systems don’t record audio at all. But if you want audio, you might consider a system with two-way audio. This lets you address an intruder directly, and it also lets you hear their replies to you. This feature isn’t common in PoE systems, but if you want to be able to address anyone on your property, it’s a good option to consider.
Best PoE Security Camera Systems:
REOLINK 8CH 5MP Home Security Camera System, 4pcs Wired 5MP Outdoor PoE IP Cameras, 4K 8CH NVR with 2TB HDD for 24-7 Recording, RLK8-410B4-5MP
A home NVR security system is a great investment, and this system lets you make that investment for a fair price. You get four 5 MP cameras and two terabytes of storage, and the crystal clear HD display offers valuable peace of mind.
Smart motion detection sends you an instant alert when motion is detected, so you can instantly access the camera feed to assess any disturbances.
Weatherproof: All cameras are waterproof and weatherproof, and each comes in a metal housing.
The night vision is clear, but it’s not as long-range as some options here — it works up to 100 feet. The system comes with an NVR box with two terabytes of storage included (which is more than what you get with most systems). You can connect more storage up to four terabytes via the e-SATA port. The box has an HDMI and VGA output, as well as a port for connecting additional storage. It can be used with CAT5 or CAT6 ethernet cables. Each camera is 5 MP which gives you considerably higher-quality pictures than the 2 MP cameras found with many systems. The HD display is 2560 x 1920 HD.
Buyers seem to really like this system, and most think it’s an excellent value. In particular, they say that the Reolink app is much easier to use than other system apps. Buyers also like the clear display on phones and tablets.
- Five MP cameras offer a clearer picture than most
- Cameras also record audio
- Reolink app is easy to use
- Most buyers say installation is very straightforward
- Some buyers have reported many false motion alerts
- There is no option to go instantly to a motion alert when viewing recorded footage
ZOSI 1080p H.265+ PoE Home Security Camera System Outdoor Indoor,8CH 5MP PoE NVR Recorder, and (4) 1080p Surveillance Bullet IP Cameras with 120ft Long Night Vision ( 1TB Hard Drive Built-in)
If you’re looking for the best PoE HD security camera system, we think this set from ZOSI is worth a look. With four cameras, excellent night vision, and a full terabyte of hard-drive storage, this is an option that really packs a punch.
Advanced motion detection lets you set an area on each camera to watch for motion. You’ll get the instantaneous phone and e-mail alerts if any motion occurs in the areas you specify.
All cameras are also designed to be weatherproof with metal housing, and they’re suitable for indoor or outdoor use.
You get 120-foot night vision, and the camera will automatically switch from day mode to night mode, making it easier to keep an eye on your property at any time. This set has an NVR box, which means data is processed at the camera and then streamed to the included recorder, which has one terabyte of storage. Footage can be viewed via the HDMI or VGA output (you can also view it via free ZOSI client software). The NVR box will need to be connected to a power supply and an ethernet port. The display is in HD, with 1080 hp resolution and 2 MP cameras.
Most customers seem to really like this system, and many have praised the company’s excellent customer service. In addition, plenty of buyers have praised the system’s value.
- It’s an excellent value – customers have said that it offers the quality of many more expensive systems for a fraction of the price
- Many buyers have praised the customer service
- Ruggedized cameras can withstand even harsh weather
- Nigh vision is more precise than that on many other units
- Some buyers have said that the visual quality starts to deteriorate after a year or so
- In some cases, buyers have said the motion sensor goes off for no apparent reason
5MP PoE Security Camera System, SANNCE 4CH NVR with 1TB HDD and 4Pcs Wired Security IP Cameras for Indoor Outdoor 7/24 Recording, Remote Access, AI Human Detection, Plug & Play
The best affordable outdoor security camera system can be tough to find. However, this is one of the most affordable options, and it still has plenty to offer — you get four cameras with 2 MP resolution with a 1080 HP display as well as instant alerts sent to your phone.
Like many systems on our list, this one comes with smart motion detection, which sends you an instant alert when needed. You also will get alerts if the video feet cut out or if there is another issue. Cameras come in a metal housing and are weatherproof, making them reliable for 24/7 outdoor surveillance, and night vision works up to 100 feet.
This system has an NVR box with a built-in one terabyte of storage. Each camera has a 2 MP resolution, and the display is 1080 HP. The connection is through XPoE, a modified form of PoE that requires a single ethernet cable.
Most buyers seem to really like this system. The XPoE connection appeals to some buyers, but others say they would prefer a true PoE connection. Many have praised the clear display quality, although some have said the night vision needs at least some illumination to work.
- Although it’s one of the most affordable cameras on the list, it is one of the more reliable options
- A high-quality display can be viewed on a monitor or on your smartphone or tablet
- You get alerts when camera lenses are blocked or when other issues occur
- XPoE system offers reliable power transmission to each camera
- Some buyers don’t like the XPoE connection
- Cameras are only 2 MP
Hiseeu 4K PoE Security Camera System,8CH 8MP NVR with 4Pcs 5MP IP Security Camera for Outdoor, Face/Motion Detect, Waterproof,1TB Hard Drive, H.265+ Home Surveillance Kit
This is another ethernet camera system that manages to offer you a lot while still staying fairly affordable. This one also comes with one-way audio, which you don’t always see on camera systems. And with four 5 MP cameras and built-in face detection, you’ll get a clear picture of any intruders.
Motion detection alerts are included, and face recognition lets you record faces within 20 feet. You can also go directly to these events in the recorded feed. This is a major advantage since it saves you the effort of sorting through hours of the video feed in order to find a disturbance.
All cameras are rugged and come in weatherproof housing, and you get clear night vision up to 100 feet. The system NVR box has VGA and HDMI outputs, as well as an audio output. It has a built-in terabyte of storage, and the extra-clear display is 2592 x 1944 HP, which is 10x the clarity of 1080 HP. The audio output is also a bonus — most surveillance systems we’ve found don’t include audio monitoring.
The PoE plug-play connection delivers both power and a reliable internet connection to all cameras, and each camera has a clear 5 MP resolution.
Most buyers seem to really like this system – they say it’s easy to install and that clarity is unbelievable. Additionally, many of them also have praised Hiseeu’s excellent customer service.
- 5 MP cameras combined with an ultra-HD display give you excellent clarity
- Face detection technology makes it easier to identify intruders
- Onvif-compatible input lets you connect Onvif devices
- Built-in terabyte of storage and the ability to navigate to events is a bonus
- Some buyers have said that instructions for putting together the system are very confusing
- In some cases, buyers have said that customer service responses were lacking
WESECUU POE Security Camera System with Motion Sensor, Phone app, Floodlight, Audio, Outdoor, Indoor
An outdoor home camera system can be helpful, but some buyers want something that can also scare away intruders. This system includes a floodlight and siren alarm designed to go off when a human is detected. It also comes with two-way audio.
This system relies on AI human detection, which eliminates many fake or unnecessary alerts. This is a real bonus, as plenty of property owners become annoyed with repeated false alerts due to animals or vehicles. All cameras are weatherproof and can be used outdoors, and infrared night vision offers you a clear picture even in darkness.
The NVR box has a terabyte of included storage. All cameras connect via an ethernet cable — you get four 70ft cables, but you can replace these with longer cables if needed. Each camera has 3MP of resolution (which is a nice medium between 2 MP and 5 MP), and the display is 1080 HP.
Buyers seem to like this product — most have said that it’s easy to install and reliably offers a clear picture. In particular, many buyers like the AI human detection and alarm/floodlight function.
- 1080 HP display with 3 MP cameras gives you a very clear picture
- Alarm and floodlight options let this work as an alarm system too
- Two-way audio lets you talk to intruders or visitors
- Given all of its features, this system is a great value
- Some buyers have said that the app malfunctions regularly
- Some have had problems with getting false motion alerts
Hopefully, this list has helped you get on your way with choosing the right PoE system for you. And while I think any system on the list is a great option, my top pick is the WESEECU system. It has an incredibly clear display, but what really sets it apart is the siren and floodlight functionality.
You effectively get an alarm system and a surveillance system in one. Whichever one you choose, be sure to do your research, think about what you need in a PoE system, and choose the right one for you.