The Best PoE Security Camera Systems of 2022

Boost your security presence and keep a watchful eye on your property with the best PoE security camera systems.

By Jasmine Harding | Published Jun 30, 2022 4:52 AM

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Best Poe Security Camera Systems

Photo: amazon.com

PoE (Power over Ethernet) security camera systems are a reliable choice for both home and business monitoring. These wired security camera systems use Internet Protocol (IP) cameras with PoE technology. Instead of requiring separate ethernet and power cable, a PoE security camera uses a single ethernet cable to draw power, connect to the internet, and transmit video footage to the network.

PoE security cameras offer several benefits, including simple installation, less cord clutter, a consistent connection, and no need for a Wi-Fi network. Like other security camera systems, a good PoE system is reliable, easy to install, and simple to access and monitor. There are different types of systems, however, and not all features suit all users. So read on to learn a bit more about PoE security camera systems and check out our recommendations for the best models to monitor your property.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Reolink RLK8-810B4-A Smart 4K Security Kit
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Zosi 1080p H.265+ PoE Home Security Camera System
  3. BEST DOME: Amcrest UltraHD 4K 8MP Dome POE IP Security Camera
  4. BEST PTZ: Reolink RLC-823A Smart 8MP PTZ PoE Camera
  5. BEST TWO-WAY AUDIO: Hiseeu 4K PoE Security Camera System
  6. BEST NIGHT VISION: Reolink RLK8-812B4-A 4K 8MP UHD PoE Camera System
  7. BEST HEAT-SENSING: Swann Master-Series 8-Camera, 8-Channel NVR System
  8. ALSO CONSIDER: Sannce 4-Camera, 4-Channel 5MP PoE Security System
Best Poe Security Camera System

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best PoE Security Camera Systems

Most PoE security camera systems include one or more PoE cameras as well as a network video recorder (NVR) to store the video footage. Stand-alone PoE cameras are also available for those who only need a single camera or for adding onto an existing system. The important features to keep in mind when choosing the best PoE security camera or camera system are explained ahead.

Type

PoE cameras are available in the most popular security camera types, which include bullet, dome, turret, and pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ).

  • Bullet cameras, named for their cylindrical shape, are a basic and popular option. They have a fixed viewing angle and tend to offer great image quality. Plus, they obviously look like a camera, which by itself can make them a good visual deterrent against intruders.
  • Dome cameras, so called for their rounded housing made of break-resistant glass or plastic, also have a fixed viewing angle. Their small size and protective housing make them discreet and vandal-resistant, but the dome can cause glare, which can negatively impact image quality.
  • Turret cameras have a compact design and fixed viewing angle similar to that of a dome camera but without the glass housing. While this makes turret cameras less tamper-resistant, it also eliminates the image quality issues that can be caused by dome glass.
  • PTZ cameras are able to pan, tilt, and zoom, offering variable viewing angles. Users can  move the camera’s field of view and zoom to see the area in more detail.

Video Quality and Viewing Angle

PoE cameras can have excellent video quality with a resolution range from 1080p up to 4K. The higher the camera resolution, the more detailed the video image, which can mean the difference between identifying an intruder and useless footage. Most folks concerned about security will want a PoE camera with the best resolution they can afford.

The viewing angle, also called the field of view, refers to the visible area that the camera covers. The viewing angle can range from around 80 to a full 360 degrees. Some cameras also have a zoom feature, which allows users to zoom in on the camera’s field of view.

Security Features

The security features available with PoE cameras include motion detection, night vision, facial recognition, vehicle recognition, and audio.

  • Motion detection will notify users and/or start recording as soon as the camera detects movement in the area. Effective motion detection means the camera won’t miss a thing.
  • Night vision cameras make it possible to see footage taken in the dark, providing 24-hour security. This may not be necessary in areas that are well lit around-the-clock (such as inside a store), but it could be backup in an emergency should the lights go out. When evaluating night vision, consider how far the camera can capture footage. Most can capture black-and-white footage up to 100 feet away; some cameras have powerful built-in spotlights to capture color nighttime footage.
  • Facial recognition is a high-tech feature available on some cameras that can identify and/or confirm identity by a person’s face. Typically, most PoE cameras can discern between a human being—which will trigger an alert and/or record—as opposed to a windblown leaf or a neighborhood critter passing by.
  • Vehicle recognition can be especially useful for business security. Cameras with vehicle recognition will send an alert or start recording when a vehicle comes into view. Some have a license-plate-capture feature for even more robust security.
    Audio allows users to hear as well as see what’s going on in the field of view. This adds an extra level of security since many cameras are video only.

Storage Capacity

PoE security cameras can have onboard storage, but most security camera systems will connect to a network video recorder (NVR) to store video footage. A larger storage capacity means the NVR can store more footage. These camera systems will overwrite old footage as they record more.

Many of the best NVR camera system options come with at least 1 terabyte (TB) of storage. For four-camera systems, look for at least 1TB of storage, and for eight-camera systems, look for at least 2TB. Video quality and clip length will affect storage space, but even in camera systems with 4K video, 1TB or 2TB of storage space should allow the system to store days to weeks worth of footage. Many systems also have an expandable storage capacity.

Smart Integration and Notifications

One major advantage of internet-connected cameras is the ability to respond to problems quickly. For this reason, remote access is a crucial feature to look for. Many cameras can be viewed remotely from a smartphone. These camera systems can be set up to notify users when motion or sound is detected; users can then log in to view a live stream or stored footage.

Along with remote access, some PoE security camera systems also have smart-home integrations. This is less common in PoE cameras than wireless cameras, but the most common integration is voice-assistant compatibility. This feature allows users to access the system using voice commands and/or receive audio notifications as well as an alert to their phone.

Waterproof and Vandal Proof

A security camera is only useful if it’s running properly, so ensure that the system is equipped for its environment. Weather-resistant construction is essential to ensure that an outdoor security camera will not be damaged by stormy conditions.

Look for a camera with an IP66 rating or higher. The IP (Ingress Protection) code measures how well protected a device is against dust and water intrusion. IP66 cameras are dustproof and protected against powerful water jets, meaning they’ll hold up well to bad weather or an accidental spray from the garden hose.

A vandal-resistant design is also an important feature for some homes and many businesses. A dome camera, with its break-resistant glass or plastic shield, will offer the best protection against tampering.

Ease of Installation

One of the main draws of a PoE security camera system is its ease of installation. Since each camera only needs to connect to an ethernet cable, most systems feature a plug-and-play design where users simply connect the camera, the NVR, and the router to start monitoring and recording.

The best PoE security camera systems make installation even easier on consumers with complete sets that include the NVR, power and installation cables, and mounting hardware. When looking at these systems, consider cable length to ensure it will suit space. For adding cameras down the road, also keep compatibility in mind. Some PoE cameras are only compatible with other devices from the same brand.

Our Top Picks

System setup, video storage, and home/business monitoring can be easy with the best PoE security camera products ahead.

Best Overall

The Best PoE Security Camera Systems Option: Reolink RLK8-810B4-A Smart 4K Security Kit
Photo: amazon.com

The Reolink RLK8-810B4-A Smart 4K Security Kit pairs classic bullet cameras with several smart security features, making it the best PoE security camera system for most homes. The presence of a bullet camera makes it obvious that the home is being monitored, but if that’s not enough of a deterrent, this camera has several security features for added protection.

This security kit includes four PoE cameras, an eight-channel NVR with a 2TB storage capacity (expandable to 12TB), the necessary cables to get started, and a mounting template and hardware. The cameras capture sharp 4K footage within the 87-degree viewing angle, and the IP66 weatherproof housing means this camera is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Other features include human and vehicle detection, audio recording, night vision up to 100 feet, video playback filters, record schedules, and motion zones. It’s simple to access live viewing, video footage, and security features from the Reolink app, which is available for smartphones and computers.

Product Specs

  • Type: Bullet camera
  • Video resolution: 4K
  • Storage capacity: 2TB

Pros

  • All-in-one starter kit
  • Excellent security features
  • Easily expandable

Cons

  • Rather narrow 87-degree viewing angle

Get the Reolink RLK8-810B4-A PoE security camera system on Amazon or at Lowe’s.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best PoE Security Camera Systems Option: Zosi 1080p H.265+ PoE Home Security Camera System
Photo: amazon.com

With four PoE cameras, an NVR, and the necessary cables and hardware for setup, the Zosi 1080p H.265+ PoE Home Security Camera System offers a great way to boost home security for less. This budget-conscious PoE security camera set includes everything needed to get started and has several features that beat out more expensive competitors.

An IP67 metal housing makes these cameras a durable choice for indoors or outdoors. A 110-degree viewing angle provides a wider field of view than many competitors, while night vision up to 120 feet provides effective monitoring in darkness.

Where this camera falls short is in its video quality; with 1080p video resolution, it’s still HD quality but lower than many modern cameras. This camera system also lacks certain desirable security features: It only has basic motion detection, doesn’t record audio, and has simple live view and playback features. However, for homeowners looking for a budget-friendly option with a wide-angle view, this camera is a solid pick.

Product Specs

  • Type: Bullet camera
  • Video resolution: 1080p
  • Storage capacity: 1TB

Pros

  • IP67 weatherproof
  • Wide field of view
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Lower video resolution
  • Basic detection features

Get the Zosi PoE security camera system on Amazon.

Best Dome

The Best PoE Security Camera Systems Option: Amcrest UltraHD 4K 8MP Dome POE IP Security Camera
Photo: amazon.com

A dome camera is the best choice for those seeking a tamper-resistant option. Amcrest UltraHD 4K 8MP Dome POE IP Security Camera has a range of attractive features that make it an excellent option for home or commercial use.

With an IP67 housing, this camera can be installed indoors or outdoors. The vandal-resistant camera records in 4K resolution, day or night, with a 112-degree viewing angle. Night vision illuminates the view up to 98 feet away. Motion detection alerts make it simple for users to keep a watchful eye when away, with live view and video footage playback accessible from the Amcrest app. The app also allows users to set detection zones (as well as detection sensitivity) to cut down on false alerts.

This product only includes the camera, so users will need to pair it with a compatible NVR and hardware. Amcrest also offers an optional Cloud storage service for those who want to store videos online.

Product Specs

  • Type: Dome camera
  • Video resolution: 4K
  • Storage capacity: N/A

Pros

  • Weather- and tamper-resistant
  • Wide viewing angle
  • Advanced zone detection

Cons

  • Camera only
  • Lacks human detection

Get the Amcrest PoE security camera system on Amazon.

Best PTZ

The Best PoE Security Camera Systems Option: Reolink RLC-823A Smart 8MP PTZ PoE Camera
Photo: amazon.com

PTZ cameras allow users to pan, tilt, and zoom to follow the action and capture footage in better detail. Those looking for this step-up in security should consider the Reolink RLC-823A Smart 8MP PTZ PoE Camera. This system can pan 360 degrees, tilt 90 degrees, and boasts 5X optical zoom on top of a range of other useful security features.

Like many other Reolink PoE cameras, this one includes person and vehicle detection to cut down on false alarms. Alerts, live view, video playback, and motion zones are all accessible from the corresponding app.

Standout features include color night vision, a built-in siren and motion spotlight, and two-way audio with the built-in microphone and speaker. These features come at a cost, and this PoE camera is pricier than many other options. Plus, this product is camera only; users must purchase appropriate hardware (such as a microSD card for local video storage or an NVR for separate video footage) separately to create a camera system.

Product Specs

  • Type: PTZ
  • Video resolution: 4K
  • Storage capacity: N/A

Pros

  • Excellent pan, tilt, and zoom features
  • Robust security features
  • 2-way audio
  • Color night vision

Cons

  • Camera only
  • Expensive

Get the Reolink RLC-823A PoE security camera system on Amazon.

Best Two-Way Audio

The Best PoE Security Camera Systems Option: Hiseeu 4K PoE Security Camera System
Photo: amazon.com

Two-way audio makes it easy to communicate with whoever is in front of the camera, whether to speak with an expected visitor or spook an intruder. The Hiseeu 4K PoE Security Camera System is an affordable PoE camera system that includes two-way audio. This security camera kit includes four PoE cameras, an eight-channel NVR, and installation and mounting hardware. The IP67 weatherproof housing means these cameras can be installed indoors or outdoors.

This system also boasts face detection to notify the mobile app as soon as a person is detected, so users can respond and communicate immediately via two-way audio. The camera features night vision up to 100 feet as well. In terms of storage, this system includes a 1TB NVR, which will hold several days’ worth of footage from the cameras, each of which offers 5MP video resolution (a step down from 4K resolution that still offers an excellent picture).

Product Specs

  • Type: Bullet camera
  • Video resolution: 5MP
  • Storage capacity: 1TB

Pros

  • 2-way audio
  • Face detection
  • IP67 weather-resistant
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not the most user-friendly interface

Get the Hiseeu PoE security camera system on Amazon.

Best Night Vision

The Best PoE Security Camera Systems Option: Reolink RLK8-812B4-A 4K 8MP UHD PoE Camera System
Photo: amazon.com

Most PoE security cameras offer black-and-white night vision, which can obscure details somewhat. The full-color night vision on Reolink’s RLK8-812B4-A 4K 8MP UHD PoE Camera System offers video quality that’s as sharp and clear at night as it is during the day. With 4K cameras, this system does boast excellent video quality, although it has a rather narrow 85-degree viewing angle. The set includes four 4K PoE cameras, a 2TB eight-channel NVR, and installation and mounting hardware.

Each camera is equipped with four bright spotlights that light up the field of view to provide color night footage. The spotlights are bright enough to illuminate nearly the full field of view for all-day coverage. Other features include the IP66 weatherproof camera housing for outdoor installation, two-way audio, person and vehicle detection, motion zones, smart playback, and record scheduling, all accessible from the app.

Product Specs

  • Type: Bullet camera
  • Video resolution: 4K
  • Storage capacity: 2TB

Pros

  • Color night vision
  • 2-way talk
  • Person and vehicle detection

Cons

  • Narrow viewing angle

Get the Reolink RLK8-812B4-A PoE security camera system on Amazon.

Best Heat-Sensing

The Best PoE Security Camera Systems Option: Swann Master-Series 8-Camera, 8-Channel NVR System
Photo: amazon.com

When motion detection doesn’t offer enough security, a heat-sensing camera can ensure no intruders are missed. The Swann Master-Series 8-Camera, 8-Channel NVR System includes both, as well as eight cameras, a 2TB eight-channel NVR, and installation and mounting hardware. Each camera features a heat and motion sensor, which can be set to trigger the sensor lights, start video recording, or send a push notification to the user-friendly app.

Each audio-enabled camera can be installed indoors or outdoors to record clear and crisp 4K footage. There’s also a spotlight on each camera, which enables the system to capture color night footage up to 32 feet (or black-and-white night footage up to 130 feet). Another stand-out feature of this camera system is that it’s compatible with Google and Alexa smart devices. The 80-degree viewing angle is decidedly narrow, but with such great detection features, it’s unlikely that the system will miss a thing.

Product Specs

  • Type: Bullet
  • Video resolution: 4K
  • Storage capacity: 2TB

Pros

  • Motion- and heat-sensing capabilities
  • Color night vision
  • Bright sensor spotlights

Cons

  • Very narrow viewing angle

Get the Swann PoE security camera system on Amazon.

Also Consider

The Best PoE Security Camera Systems Option: Sannce 4-Camera, 4-Channel 5MP PoE Security System
Photo: amazon.com

The Sannce 4-Camera, 4-Channel 5MP PoE Security System is another affordable PoE camera system that includes four PoE cameras, an NVR, and installation and mounting hardware. The four cameras have a 5MP video resolution—high-quality enough to capture details—and they’re IP66 weatherproof for indoor or outdoor installation. They also offer night vision up to 100 feet.

Though budget friendly, this camera still includes several extra security features. With the corresponding app, users can view live and stored footage and receive push notifications (with a photo snapshot taken by the camera when it is triggered). Human motion detection helps alert users to possible intruders while cutting down on false notifications. The camera system’s major downside is its narrow 70-degree viewing angle. However, for its budget-friendly price, it’s a solid choice for smaller monitoring areas.

Product Specs

  • Type: Bullet camera
  • Video resolution: 5MP
  • Storage capacity: 1TB

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Human detection
  • Indoor or outdoor installation
  • Great night vision

Cons

  • Very narrow viewing angle

Get the Sannce PoE security camera system on Amazon.

Our Verdict

With human and vehicle detection, excellent video quality (day and night), and audio recording, the Reolink RLK8-810B4-A PoE security camera system is the best PoE camera for most homes and businesses. Those who want a simpler system at a more affordable price should consider the Zosi PoE security camera system, which offers motion detection, night vision, and a wider viewing angle for less.

How We Chose the Best PoE Security Camera Systems

A security camera system is an investment in your safety and peace of mind, so it’s important to find the right option for your home. When selecting the best PoE security camera systems, we kept reliability, ease of installation, and security features in mind. We chose camera systems from reputable brands, conducting extensive product research and reviewing shopper feedback to find dependable cameras.

Installing a security camera system can feel daunting, so to make the task easier, we prioritized camera systems with plug-and-play installation processes. When looking at full-system products, we also considered what came in the package; systems that included an NVR, cables, and mounting hardware rose to the top.

For better security (and the best value), we looked for cameras with robust security features, including motion detection, human recognition, night vision, and even a model with heat detection. We also prioritized systems with ample storage space that make it easy to store footage. Lastly, security shouldn’t come at an exorbitant price, so we chose several budget-friendly options.

The Advantages of Owning the Best PoE Security Camera Systems

The best PoE security camera systems offer a host of benefits, including reliable connectivity, ease of installation, and ease of use.

As a wired and often self-monitored system, a good PoE system will be less prone to slowed speeds, unreliable connectivity, or cyber attacks when compared to Wi-Fi camera systems. However, since they’re still connected to the internet, the best PoE systems can also offer many of the benefits of internet-connected security cameras, including real-time alerts, remote viewing and control, and Cloud storage.

Since they only need to connect to an ethernet cable, PoE cameras aren’t restricted by outlets. This setup results in less cord clutter and more installation flexibility. The best PoE camera systems have a plug-and-play design that is easy to set up and expand, so they’re great for both home and commercial use.

A PoE system from a reputable brand will be safe and efficient. These devices will have checks in place to prevent overloading, under powering, and short circuiting. These reputable products will often come with many of the same features as the best security cameras, including good camera resolution, motion sensing, zone controls, and smart integrations. Best of all, the top PoE camera systems can still keep recording, even if the internet goes out. In short, the best PoE security camera systems can offer the following features:

  • Plug-and-play setup
  • Easy to expand
  • Reliable connection
  • Continuous recording, even if internet connection cuts out
  • Remote alerts, viewing, and control
  • Local NVR and/or Cloud storage options available

FAQs

With many options available and several technical features to consider, looking for the best PoE camera system can feel overwhelming. With no subscription costs, PoE security camera systems are affordable and easy to maintain over the long run, but it’s worth making sure you have the best one for your needs. Still deciding if a PoE camera system is right for you? Read on for some frequently asked questions and their answers.

Q. What is a PoE security camera system?

A PoE security camera system utilizes PoE (Power over Ethernet) technology to power its IP cameras and transfer data. A PoE security camera draws power from and connects to the network via an ethernet cable. The same ethernet cable also feeds video footage back to the network for storage or remote viewing, creating a reliable and simple camera monitoring system.

Q. What type of cable do PoE cameras use?

PoE cameras use an ethernet cable that supports PoE to draw power and transmit data.

Q. Is PoE better than Wi-Fi?

Both PoE security systems and Wi-Fi security systems have their distinct advantages. Those looking for a reliable, wired, and internet-enabled security camera system should consider a PoE system. Those looking for a wireless system would prefer a Wi-Fi security system.

Q. Can I use PoE cameras at home?

Yes, PoE cameras are a great choice for home security.

Q. How much power do PoE cameras use?

How much power a camera uses will depend on the camera (for example, a fixed camera tends to use less power than a  PTZ camera). However, in general, PoE cameras don’t use very much power.

Q. Is there any possibility of a security system getting hacked?

Yes, it is possible for any security system that is connected to the internet to be hacked. However, the overall risk is low and many consumers feel the benefits of having a camera security system outweighs the small risk of being hacked.