Best CCTV Systems

Security cameras not only deter thieves (most would prefer an easier target), but they also provide you with footage that can help identify the perpetrator if you do have a break-in. If you have multiple cameras set up, it can be difficult to keep that footage synced and stored; that’s where a multi-channel video recorder comes in. A multi-channel video recorder (MCVR) records and syncs footage from separate security cameras. Should a break-in occur, the footage can help authorities establish a timeline of the crime.

ProductAmcrestSannceNight OwlZosiKKMoon
List price$225.59–$469.99$125.99–$359.99$249.99$109.99–$299.99$45.99–$259.99
View productView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
Video channels488816
Audio channels44241
Max storage3 TB4 TB2 TB6 TB3 TB
Mobile app
List price
View product
Video channels
Audio channels
Max storage
Mobile app
Amcrest Sannce Night Owl Zosi KKMoon
$225.59–$469.99 $125.99–$359.99 $249.99 $109.99–$299.99 $45.99–$259.99
View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon
960H 960H 960H 960H 960H
4 8 8 8 16
4 4 2 4 1
3 TB 4 TB 2 TB 6 TB 3 TB

Amcrest Video security system

Amcrest’s security system takes the top spot on this list for a few reasons. You have the option to purchase the recording unit on its own to use with your existing camera, or you can add on cameras to install throughout your home. This system records at 960H (960 x 480 resolution), and the basic level includes 500 GB of storage but can be expanded up to 3 TB (nearly 2.5 months of video). Keep in mind that this resolution is lower than 720p, so the video may be less clear than you’re accustomed to; however, this resolution is relatively standard for security systems. Lower resolution provides lower file sizes without sacrificing much clarity.

The Amcrest system sets itself apart by providing the option for 30 days of continuous video recording, albeit at a lower resolution. Should you leave for an extended vacation or time away on business, you’ll still be able to monitor your home.

If installation is a point of concern, you have the option to add professional installation to your purchase for an extra $470. Installation can be a bit confusing for the less tech-savvy, particularly the installation of the hard drive—it requires disassembly of the MCVR unit.

Amcrest takes the top of the list because of its affordable price, solid reviews across the board, and the customization it provides; for someone who has never used a multi-channel video recording system before, the price doesn’t pose too great a barrier. It also provides multiple options for channels with a 4-, 8-, and 16-channel MCVR.


  • Expandable storage
  • Night vision cameras
  • Long transmission range
  • USB backup


  • Relatively low resolution compared to 720p cameras
  • Potentially difficult installation
  • Unhelpful tutorial videos

Tech specs

  • 960H recording on four channels
  • 4 audio channels
  • 1 SATA port (expandable to 3 TB)
  • RJ-45 network interface
  • 1 HDMI | 1 VGA port

Sannce 8-Channel security camera system

Like the Amcrest system, Sannce includes multiple security cameras depending on the package you purchase. Unlike the Amcrest system, it doesn’t offer the option to purchase only the multi-channel video recorder. Despite this, the cost is still low, and its multiple features make the Sannce a great choice. Remote access for this system is as simple as scanning a QR code that authorizes your phone, tablet, or laptop to connect anywhere.

The video recorder also has three input modes: the standard 960H DVR, the night vision DVR, and a third mode that allows for recording high-definition video. The package options linked above only include 960H cameras, so if you want to take advantage of the high-definition setting, you can purchase an HD camera with a multi-channel video recorder from Amazon for around $289.99.

The Sannce system is number two on the list because of its value. One package includes the multi-channel video recorder, four cameras, and a 1 TB hard drive for $159.99. If this is your first foray into a security camera system, you won’t find many deals at this level. Purchasing on Amazon allows you to select professional installation for another $470.


  • Built-in motion detection
  • Easy setup for remote access
  • Four cameras + recording system for a low price


  • Confusing assembly instructions
  • Hard disk drive (HDD) not included
  • Issues with crashing software

Tech specs

  • 960H recording on 8 channels
  • 4 audio channels
  • 1 SATA port (expandable to 4 TB)
  • RJ-45 network interface
  • 1 HDMI and 1 VGA port

Night Owl security system

Night Owl provides a great introductory system, but at a slightly higher price than other entries on this list. The eight-channel system records at 960H, and the included cameras boast enough clarity for facial recognition up to 30 feet away.

Night Owl also provides 24/7 phone and web support; if you encounter any difficulties with your recording system, representatives are  available to help. Several customer reviews specifically mentioned how helpful tech support was (even if wait times were a bit long). Night Owl offers its own installation techs if you don’t want to do it yourself.

Where Night Owl truly shines is its mobile app. The free software allows you to view four channels at once on your phone or tablet, and alternative software exists to enable the same functionality on your computer. You can also view any videos saved on your MCVR and receive push alerts when something activates the system.


  • Great customer service (but only available online via a customer account)
  • Powerful mobile app
  • Motion-activated email alerts


  • High price
  • Long hold times
  • Not truly weatherproof, only weather-resistant

Tech specs

  • 960H recording on four channels
  • 2 audio channels
  • 1 SATA port (expandable to 2 TB)
  • RJ-45 network interface
  • 1 HDMI and 1 VGA port

Zosi 8CH standalone video-recording system

You can purchase the Zosi system just as an MCVR unit or as a packaged unit with eight cameras. The system is capable of recording on eight different channels with four separate audio inputs; more impressively, it can record up to 12 days at the highest resolution with its built-in 1 TB hard disk drive (HDD). The recording is motion based, so when it detects motion, it begins recording and sends either an email notification or mobile notification to you. One thing we noted about this system is how polarizing it is: the reviews were either four-star and above, or two-star and below.

What’s impressive are the expansion capabilities; where most systems cap at 4 TB, the Zosi system can support up to 6 TB of storage. That equals two months or more of recording.


  • Easy remote access setup
  • Easy installation
  • Clear picture quality


  • Unhelpful tech support
  • Software doesn’t always work properly

Tech specs

  • 960H recording on 8 channels
  • 4 audio channels
  • 1 SATA port (expandable to 6 TB)
  • RJ-45 net interface
  • 1 HDMI | 1 VGA | 1 CVBS port

KKMOON 16-Channel video security system

KKMOON is a lesser-known company, but it boasts an impressive system with 16 channels, each of which can record at 960H resolution. KKMOON’s products have good reviews, but the company’s website is unfinished and lists little information about the company itself. Multiple reviews mentioned how easy the hardware is to set up, but the software is entirely online and parts are in Chinese. The limited number of reviews (14 at the time of writing) and lack of information and transparency gave us pause; it was difficult to find an email address, and the only listed phone number isn’t a US-based number.

Aside from the 16 channels, this system has another feature that sets it apart: the capability to record at 60 frames per second. This feature means you can view the security video in extremely high resolution, provided your security cameras are capable of capturing that quality. Despite this great feature, we couldn’t place this entry higher on the list. It is a powerful system, but customer support is an equally important feature. If something breaks, you’ll want to reach a representative who can help.


  • 16-channel recording
  • Step-by-step installation manual
  • Multiple recording options


  • No hard drive installed
  • Difficult software setup
  • Lack of available support information

Tech specs

  • 960H recording on 16 channels
  • 1 audio channel
  • 1 SATA port (expandable to 3 TB)
  • RJ-45 net interface
  • 1 HDMI, 1 VGA, and 1 BNC port

What to look for in a multi-channel video recorder

Below is a brief rundown of the features you need to look at when shopping for a multi-channel video recorder.

Number of channels

outdoor security camera

The number of channels (also referred to as the number of inputs) determines how many cameras you can record with at a given time. If you plan to set up four security cameras around your home, you’ll need at least four channels; if you want to set up six, you’ll need at least six channels, and so on. It’s not likely that your home will need a 16-channel video recording system (unless you’re Richie Rich). Most people won’t need more than four or eight channels: a camera on the front and back doors, the garage, and maybe a few inside.

Frames per second

Many systems are limited by the speed with which they can store data to memory. The “write rate” determines the number of frames per second the camera will record; for reference, the human eye captures somewhere around 30 frames per second. Security cameras can record anywhere from five frames per second to 30 frames (cameras that capture 30 frames are called “full” frame).

Ease of setup

Most security camera systems are of the do-it-yourself variety. Evaluate the ease of setup and how difficult it may be for you to install the system, and keep in mind that professional installation is an option, albeit an expensive one.


Most video recording systems are equipped with built-in hard drives to save the data they record. Video files take far more storage space than an image or text, so these hard drives are often 1 TB or higher. Shop for a recorder than can store a large amount of data.

Internet connectivity

Certain video recording systems can connect to the internet and allow you to access their feeds via your mobile phone. This means you can see what’s happening around your home even while you’re away—a great feature for someone who travels.

Deciding which system to use

You probably won’t need a system that can record input from a dozen cameras at once. Even if you only use a few of the channels, it’s important that your security video be recorded in as clear a quality as possible. Good security video can be just what the police need to catch a burglar, and the ability to access your cameras even while away lets you peek in on what’s going on around your home. All of the systems on this list are great starting points that, when combined with a home security system, will work together to keep your family safe.