Suggestions for Cameras to use with Synology NAS

We have a grant that we can apply for that will enhance our technology for a small school. One area that is in need of an update is the school security camera system. I would also like to add a NAS for file syncing and backups, since now the main solution for the small staff has been to use Google Drive, USB drives, and our local drives.

It appears that I can do both of these using a Synology NAS with Cameras. We would like to replace a 4 camera SD DVR system with a 6-7 camera system.

  • Which Synology NAS would you recommend for a staff of 6 (so file syncing and back up of 6 computers) and a 6-7 cameras attached to it?
  • Are there certain brands of cameras that work best with Synology (We don’t need 4K cameras since SD cameras have served them well, but our DVR is starting to fail)?
  • Will the cameras only record when there is movement with the Synology solution (they only need video recorded and stored when there are people coming into or out of the buildings)?
  • I was hoping for this part of the grant that we could have a budget of around $2000-$3000, but I don’t know if that is in the ballpark for that kind of system. The current network is small, hooked up to the provider’s router and then network printers and access points hooked to simple switches. So no server rack or POE switches on the network.
  • Is the Synology NAS with Cameras a good solution or is it better to look at different systems for those functions?

Thanks for your suggestions and input. Your suggestions will help formulate the specifics asked for by the grant.

I’ve been running IP cams at hone for nearly 10 years (the same ones), they are now connected to a QNAP NAS.

For what it’s worth these are my suggestions:

  • QNAP have served me well without any issues, so you might also wanna consider them.
  • Synology / QNAP will list supported cameras, they will also support the ONIVF protocol so if the camera has that protocol but isn’t supported it may still work.
  • I’ve got Trendnet dome cams, they are still going after 10 years, though no longer receiving updates. Perhaps you can expect updates for 3 years of the life of the product. Hence best to understand how you can secure your cams. A good idea to put them on their own vlan with no internet access.
  • The gotcha will be the IPcam license, you might get a few free, it will vary by NAS model but those costs will add up. With QNAP you get more “free” licenses with the 8 bays, so could be cheaper to buy the larger NAS.
  • You can configure the recording to be on action or continuous, over-writing the oldest if you run out of space.
  • I’d also go for a 4 NIC ports on the NAS and have dual LAGs for file server and the cam recording.
  • Get a PoE switch for sure, there now seems to be more than one standard so make sure your switch supports the IPcam and its total power requirement.
  • My cams connect to the vlan with 802.1x (you need to have a RADIUS server), as these are outside anyone could just connect to my network, but now they need a username and password, with no DHCP.
  • You might be able to just do it with 3k, but perhaps consider slightly older cameras that you lock down, they will eventually not be supported but still work, I’d say if your vlan is secure then you’ll be ok.
  • if you need brackets and supports for the IPcams you need to budget for them too.
  • If you get it wrong we can see you on shodan :slight_smile:

You bring up a good point. Their current setup is closed off from the Internet. I would want that for the new system as well. They don’t need their camera feeds on the public internet.

The Synology system is nice and works with a very wide variety of cameras. We have found the HikVision cameras and they have plenty of supported models listed on their page here Surveillance Station IP Camera Support List | Synology Inc.

I do have a video reviewing the Synology Surveillance station platform

NAS Choice and sizing are very dependent on the your video retention needs and they offer a NAS selector tool here NAS Selector | Synology Inc.

Thank you @LTS_Tom for the links to the video and the NAS Selector and cameras. I used all of them to provide the research information for the grant writer. I believe I was able to put together a “good faith” estimate on what network upgrades the grant could help the small school achieve.

Here’s a review of different ones that show picture quality in day and night and so forth. Which PTZ Camera is Best? Lets Find Out! - YouTube

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