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Best DVR for security cameras in 2021: digital video recorders for CCTV

Best DVR for CCTV Hero
(Image credit: Annke)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

Digital video recorders (DVR) are integral to modern security camera systems, allowing for the recording of security footage from your CCTV security cameras, for playback when required.

These days most DVR's allow for multi-channel recording in order to be able to support up to 16 individual security cameras, ensuring that there are no blind spots in your CCTV monitoring.

As well as having numerous cameras streaming high-definition footage, the best DVR for CCTV setups will also offer large – and dependable – hard drives that can hold all of the recordings your cameras capture.

The best DVR security camera solutions will also offer additional features, such as apps that you can download to monitor camera footage in real-time from any location, and support cloud storage.

So, if you want to make sure your home or office is protected, we’ve listed our picks of the best DVR security systems for CCTV. Be aware that some include cameras in the box, whereas others require them to be purchased separately along with hard drives.

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Best digital video recorders for CCTV - at a glance

  1. Sansco S4D4C1T All-in-One Smart CCTV camera system
  2. ZOSI 8CH Security Camera System HD-TVI Full 1080p Video DVR Recorder
  3. ANNKE 8 Channel Security Camera System 1080p
  4. Samsung Wisenet SDH-B84040BF 8
  5. OHWOAI Home Security Camera System
  6. Westshine 16 Channel 1080N DVR 5-in-1 Hybrid

Sansco S4D4C1T All-in-One Smart CCTV camera system

(Image credit: Sansco)

1. Sansco S4D4C1T All-in-One Smart CCTV Camera System

An affordable and capable DVR system

Specifications
Number of cameras: 4
Channels: 4
Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Storage: 1TB HDD
Features: Smartphone app support, Night vision, IP66 weather protection, Smart motion detection, video backup
Reasons to buy
+Good value+App support
Reasons to avoid
-Feels cheap-UI awkward to navigate

This Sansco model is an attractive deal. While the DVR unit itself is not particularly robust (its front-facing buttons are audibly ‘clicky’), it records good quality video in Full HD with enough storage to give you around 2-3 weeks of playback footage. 

There’s also the option to tweak the frames per second recorded if you want to extend that. Connectivity-wise there’s HDMI and VGA for hooking it up to a monitor, and you can also download Sansco’s XMEye app (available on iOS and Android)  to quickly flick between cameras and hit record.

ZOSI 8CH Security Camera System HD-TVI Full 1080p Video DVR Recorder

(Image credit: ZOSI)

2. ZOSI 8CH Security Camera System HD-TVI Full 1080p Video DVR Recorder

Comes with weatherproof cameras

Specifications
Number of cameras: 4
Channels: 8
Resolution: Up to 1,920 x 1,080
Storage: 1TB HDD
Features: Motion alert, Smartphone compatibility, PC Easy Remote Access, Expandable camera system
Reasons to buy
+Weatherproof cameras+Remote viewing app+Night vision
Reasons to avoid
-Finicky motion detection

Another wireless camera setup, this Zosi 8-channel system records in Full HD and comes with four weatherproof cameras that can be affixed outside to walls. And if you want to add more cameras – both bullet and dome varieties – you can add another four to the setup in total. 

This model also comes with a smart app that lets you see through the eyes of your cameras and quickly record at any time. On the downside, when motion detection is activated, its cameras are occasionally overly sensitive and send alerts even if minimal movement outside has been detected.

ANNKE 8 Channel Security Camera System 1080p

(Image credit: ANNNKE)

3. ANNKE 8 Channel Security Camera System 1080p

For when you have your own hard drive ready

Specifications
Number of cameras: 4
Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Channels: 8
Storage: None
Features: Expandable camera system, 8BNC ports, H.264+ tech, smart-motion triggered alerts
Reasons to buy
+Lets you use your own hard drive+H.264+ encoding allows for long recording time
Reasons to avoid
-Basic build quality

If you already have a hard drive for your DVR lying around, you can pair it with this affordable unit which does not come with one pre-installed. That’s not a requirement either – it can be used purely for monitoring (and not recording) in real-time view with no hard disk installed. 

If you do choose to record footage, the Annke model uses H.264+ tech to compress recorded video which allows it to record for up to 50 days in 1080p. Through an accompanying Annke Vision app, you can watch live streams and view playbacks instantly on a smartphone on the go.

(Image credit: Samsung)

4. Samsung Wisenet SDH-B84040BF 8

A typically well-built Samsung offering

Specifications
Number of cameras: 4
Channels: 8
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
Storage: 1TB
Features: 4MP Super HD Video, 1TB Hard Drive, Tue Day & Night vision, QR code to download accompanying app
Reasons to buy
+Sharp 1440p (2K) picture+Night vision+Weatherproof cameras
Reasons to avoid
-App sometimes forgets devices

If you’re looking for a robust DVR system that feels premium and records in 2K quality, this model from Samsung Wisenet will fit the bill. It ships with four white and sleek bullet-style cameras designed for indoor and outdoor use. They’re equipped with night vision tech that uses infrared LEDs and smart IR to provide up to130ft (or 40m) night vision range. Like others on our list, the DVR system works with a mobile app that lets you view what the cameras are seeing in real-time, though we found in our testing that the app occasionally forgot cameras which then needed to be re-added.

OHWOAI Home Security Camera System

(Image credit: OHWOAI)

5. OHWOAI Home Security Camera System

Wireless cameras make for a convenient option

Specifications
Number of cameras: 4
Channels: 8
Resolution: 1080p
Storage: 1TB HDD
Features: Wireless cameras, waterproof and night vision, app support, email alerts, 65ft night vision, IP67 waterproof
Reasons to buy
+Wireless cameras+App-based motion detection alerts
Reasons to avoid
-No HDMI cable in the box-Night vision not as capable as other cameras

If you’re not keen on the idea of snaking cables around the house, this model reduces the clutter. As an NVR (networked video recorder), its four wall-mountable cameras are wireless and can be positioned anywhere so long as they are in range of your router’s WiFi signal (and they must be plugged in a power socket. Like the DVRs on our list, this uses motion detection; however, we prefer that it sends motion alerts when detected directly to the app, versus emailing them to the user.

Westshine 16 Channel 1080N DVR 5-in-1 Hybrid

(Image credit: Westshine)

6. Westshine 16 Channel 1080N DVR 5-in-1 Hybrid

An affordable16-channel DVR

Specifications
Number of cameras: None
Channels: 16
Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Storage: None
Features: Motion detection, 1080N resolution, P2P Cloud Remote app, VGA/HDMI video output
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Two USB 2.0 ports+Good picture quality+Feels a bit flimsy

Easy to setup, this DVR system from Westshine is an elegantly designed unit that supports up to 16 channels (or cameras) being used at the same time, which comes in handy for monitoring larger premises or estates. There’s no hard disk or camera included, so you’ll need to purchase those separately. It records up to 1,920 x 1,080 resolution output with clear colours and as crisp image as you’ll get at Full HD. As with other DVRs it supports a cloud service that lets you remotely log in using a smartphone or tablet to view and record camera footage in real-time.