There are a lot of choices for security cameras these days, and for the home or small business owner the choices can be overwhelming.
I have installed and used systems ranging from the costco/best buy/amazon security appliance with wired (and sometimes wireless cameras) to systems with a standards-based security DVR (I usually get a refurbished business-class desktop running Windows 10 Pro to install security DVR software onto, adding extra disks for the video storage) and open standards-based wireless and wired IP security cameras. There are a wide range of cameras available from different manufacturers to meet different requirements. Prices for cameras can range from $30 for a pan-tilt-zoom capable 1MP indoor camera to $460 for a high-end pole-mounted PTZ camera with a 30x power zoom. The nice thing about open systems is being able to fit the hardware to your needs and not being locked into a single vendor for parts or service. The open system may take a little more effort to set up than puling out an appliance and plugging it in – but the end result is a much nicer system that is easier to use with much higher quality web, android and iOS apps.
Of the appliance-based security DVRs – the ones from Revo, Lorex and Q-See are the safest choices. None of them are going to be as good as an open ONVIF/Milestone Xprotect system, but there are a lot of lesser systems than those three that are real garbage. I won’t name names here – but some of the systems from Costco that aren’t the 3 brands listed above are real stinkers. Access is only from android and iOS apps, no web access at all, for example. The other systems listed above do have web access, but some are limited to only working with Internet Explorer. The web access from Milestone Xprotect Essential is HTML5-based and works in multiple browsers on multiple platforms. The situations where I would use an appliance over a Milestone system is if all the cameras can be easily wired to the appliance – like to cover a specific room or area rather than a whole house or trying to cover indoors and outdoors with the same system.
If you are considering a security system – find an installer you can trust that can recommend the best solution for your situation. Work with them to come up with a reasonable plan, and you will end up with an easy to use functional security cameras across your property.