Pros / Amcrest's daytime video had the second-highest score in our tests.
Cons / The system has a considerable amount of visual noise in its nighttime video.
Verdict / Amcrest is a good option for daytime home video surveillance, but its nighttime video quality misses the mark.
Editor's note: Clicking the product links on this page will take you to a newer version of this product for purchase. We will evaluate this newer model in our next round of Home Surveillance System tests.
Amcrest is a relatively new player in the home surveillance systems market. Its systems have excellent daytime video quality compared to others we tested. The nighttime video quality from this system doesn't match that of its daytime video, but it's good enough for basic home video surveillance. The system requires you to connect many cables and to decide where you want your video cables before installation, but this is an average installation for wired home surveillance systems. Aside from a short one-year warranty, Amcrest has robust customer service offerings.
The biggest strength of Amcrest is its daytime video quality, which makes it one of the best home surveillance systems. Using our test chart, we could clearly discern many details near the home surveillance cameras and at distances of 20 and 30 feet. Only one other camera we tested performed similarly at 20 feet. At 10 feet, however, the system didn't show the same amount of detail as we saw with other cameras in our comparison. The system's video contrast is very reliable at close distances, but it loses effectiveness past 20 feet, which can obscure details if lighting is poor.
In complete darkness, the Amcrest system has decent video quality, but it tends to wash out objects that are close to the camera. The home surveillance camera produced average results at 10 and 30 feet, but excellent results at 20 feet. There was a considerable amount of visual noise that caused distortions in the nighttime video, which is a main reason Amcrest scored lower than higher-ranked home surveillance systems in our review such as Swann and Foscam.
This system is not overly difficult to install, but you need to run cables and connect it to your wireless router with an Ethernet cable. To connect the Amcrest NVR to a mobile app, you scan a QR code on the unit itself to automatically program internet settings. The biggest challenge with running cables is hiding them or making sure they don't detract from your home's aesthetics. You can connect the included mouse to control the system via a computer monitor or TV. This system comes with one camera for each of the four channels on the NVR, which itself has a 1TB hard drive.
For customer support, you can contact Amcrest over email, phone and live chat. Live chat is particularly helpful, since you can get instant responses. Amcrest covers its systems with a one-year warranty, which is average for our review but not as good as the two- or three-year warranties we've seen on some systems.
Amcrest's home surveillance systems are very good, especially for daytime recording. At night, Amcrest has average video quality, but the amount of noise takes important details away. This system isn't too difficult to set up and has good customer support options, but its warranty is shorter than those of the best home surveillance systems.
- Video Quality - Day
- Video Quality - Night
- Ease of Use