UniFi Video 3 vs. UniFi Protect [Ultimate Review]

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Ubiquiti’s UniFi Video Digital camera platform provides professionals and prosumers a compelling various to consumer-grade residence safety digital camera techniques. On this evaluation, I’ll inform you all about UniFi Video 3 (UV3) and UniFi Protect (UP). Plus, I’l share with you ways I migrated from UV3 to UP, and what the variations are between these two video platforms.

Background: I have used UniFi Video round my home since mid-2018, but in 2019 I made a decision to upgrade to Ubiquiti’s next-generation video surveillance platform UniFi Protect.

This text is cut up into three main elements, together with an summary of both platforms as well as a side-by-side comparability. That will help you navigate, you should use the shortcuts under.

Platform Overview | Getting Started | UniFi Video 3 Overview | UniFi Protect Overview | UniFi Video 3 vs. UniFi Protect

UniFi Video Platform Overview

The UniFi Video Digital camera System strikes an inexpensive stability between flexibility and ease of use. Ubiquiti designed UniFi Video to offer superior steady monitoring capabilities with a ton of choices to fine-tune and customize both the cameras and network video recorder.

Where consumer-grade methods, resembling Arlo or Nest are better is within the space of bridging the gap between residence safety cameras and alarm techniques. For instance, UniFi Video 3 does not but help geo-fencing or advanced movement detection that can differentiate between an individual vs. an animal.

Nevertheless, distinctive features, similar to help for Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), on-premise video storage, and flexible multi-user help make UniFi Video a favorite amongst tech-savvy users.

General Score (4/5)Hardware (5/5)Software program (3/5)Ease of use (Four/5)

Getting Started With UniFi

In case you are new to merchandise from Ubiquiti, and especially their UniFi brand, I’d advocate taking a peek at my AmpliFi vs. UniFi comparison. That provides you with a sense of what the differences are between Ubiquiti’s consumer-grade hardware, akin to AmpliFi, and their business offering (UniFi).

Notice that you simply don’t necessarily require UniFi networking infrastructure to make use of UniFi Video Cameras, but I feel it makes the deployment a bit simpler. Under is an inventory of the hardware I already owned before I put in the digital camera gear.

UniFi Networking Gear

  • UniFi Security Gateway (USG)
  • Two UniFi Switches (US-8-150W)
  • UniFi CloudKey Gen1 (UC-CK)

UniFi Video 3 Gear

All the UniFi video digital camera gear I owned was third era (G3), as you possibly can inform by the naming conference of the merchandise listed above.

With the upgrade to UniFi Protect, Ubiquiti offered me with the next hardware additions:

I started out with a single UniFi change however decided to purchase a second one. The rationale was that I needed to leverage Ethernet to ship power to a lot of the cameras, particularly those I had deliberate to put in outdoors of the home.

My present change had just one Ethernet port left, and so I needed further ports by way of a second change.

UniFi Video 3 Evaluation

UniFi Video Administration Console

In a nutshell, the UniFi Video platform consists of a network video recorder (NVR), cameras and non-compulsory equipment. Under is an inventory of the units that I’ve already put in and might be testing shortly.

One of the main advantages of the UniFi video system is what Ubiquiti calls Hybrid Cloud Know-how. Most shopper residence safety digital camera techniques require a paid subscription to offer such providers as:

  • Continuous monitoring and recording
  • Management of greater than 5 cameras
  • Distant streaming of reside and recorded footage

Plus, a lot of the digital camera techniques I had examined up to now store video footage in the cloud, which raises privacy considerations. Ubiquiti goes a unique route with its UniFi Video answer by offering local video storage, combined with a secure, cloud-based remote entry.

To handle the UniFi Video infrastructure, Ubiquiti provides a web-based management console as well as cellular apps for iOS and Android.


UniFi Network Video Recorder (NVR)UniFi Network Video Recorder (NVR)

The UniFi NVR (Network Video Recorder) is the central hub of the UniFi Video system, and it comes pre-installed with UniFi Video software program to deploy and handle your cameras. Moreover, the UniFi NVR has a 2 Terabyte inner arduous disk that can retailer up to 700 hours of video at 1080p, and more in case you use a lower resolution.

Ubiquiti recommends the appliance for as much as 20 UniFi Video Cameras. When you’ve got greater than 20 however lower than 50 UniFi cameras, you need the united statesXG appliance ($1,999 on Amazon), which options an Intel Xeon CPU and 32 GB of DDR4 memory to handle the load.


Dimensions5.31 x 7.48 x zero.98 in (135 x 190 x 25 mm)
Weight17 oz (483 g)
ProcessorIntel J1800
MemoryFour GB
Inner Arduous Drive2 TB (Spinning)
Network Interface(1) 10/100/1000 Ethernet
Power Supply65 W, 19V, 3.42A
Further Ports2x USB, 4x USB, MS/SD/MMC Slot, 3.5 mm microphone and headphone jack, HDMI, VGA
Supported CamerasAs much as 20

It’s value noting that Ubiquiti has disabled most of the further ports and interfaces on the UniFi NVR. Particularly, the following ports do not work:

Nevertheless, the USB ports on the back and front do work, and you should use them so as to add further video storage. Word that including an exterior exhausting drive shouldn’t be a plug and play operation. Meaning you’ll need to SSH into the NVR and partition/format the exterior drive earlier than you should use it. Ubiquiti has revealed a help article that explains how one can do it.

UniFi Video 3 Cameras

On the time of this writing, Ubiquiti has 5 UniFi cameras in its lineup. All of them function a 1080p Full HD decision, however they differ in the image sensor and lens they use, amongst other issues.

If you need to receive a PDF copy of this desk, you possibly can request a obtain hyperlink by submitting your e-mail handle using the form under.

UniFi Video 3 Camera Comparison TableUniFi Video 3 Digital camera Comparability Desk

UniFi Video Digital camera G3 (UVC-G3-AF)

UniFi Video - G3UniFi Video – G3


  • 1080p Full HD Decision
  • Flexible Mounting Choices
  • Excessive Dynamic Range (HDR) Sensor
  • Weather Resistant


  • Subject of View
  • Efficiency in full darkness w/o IR Range Extender

The G3 is a reasonably priced video digital camera that you should use indoor or outside, and it provides flexible mounting choices, because of Ubiquiti’s ball joint mount design. Whereas the digital camera presents an inexpensive night time imaginative and prescient efficiency, I might advocate getting the non-compulsory LED IR Ranger Extender (Amazon) to reinforce its efficiency in full darkness.

The drawback of the UVC-G3-AF is its relatively slender subject of few of 85 levels (horizontally). After applying lens distortion correction (LDC), the FOV drops to a fair smaller 72 levels.

In case you are not using a change that helps Energy over Ethernet (PoE), such as the UniFi US-Eight-150W (Amazon), you must purchase a separate PoE adapter (Amazon) to provide the digital camera with power.

Decision1920×1080 Full HD
Sensor1/3″ 4MP HDR
LensEFL 3.6mm, f/1.8
Frames per Second (FPS)30 FPS
Area of ViewEarlier than Lens Correction: 85° (H), 44.8° (V), 98.1° (D)
After Lens Correction: 72° (H), 42.9° (V), 80.4° (D)
Optical ZoomNo
Network Connection10/100 Ethernet Port
Two-Approach AudioNo
Picture SettingsBrightness, Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Noise Reduction, 50/60 Hz
Mounting ChoicesWall/Ceiling/Pole
Energy Provide802.3af PoE Change

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UniFi Video Digital camera G3 Dome (UVC-G3-Dome)

UniFi Video - G3 DomeUniFi Video – G3 Dome


  • Versatile Mounting Choices
  • Adjustable lens and swivel base
  • You possibly can mount it outside beneath an overhang


  • Efficiency in full darkness

The pancake-style G3 Dome encompasses a glossy design and numerous indoor and outside mounting options. Observe that when you can mount the digital camera outdoor, it’s a must to do it underneath an overhang due to its limited weather resistance.

I have mounted the G3 Dome beneath the overhang next to our storage to watch the driveway and the world surrounding the garage. You’ll be able to swivel each the lens (vertically) and the bottom (horizontally) after installing the digital camera to fine-tune the viewing angle, but I’d advocate testing the swivel of the mounting plate before you fasten the screws. That means, you realize the path you possibly can swivel the base. I noticed only after I had locked the mounting ring that I might rotate the digital camera in the direction of the home, but not away from it, which is what I needed.

I’ve little to complain concerning the G3 Dome’s video quality, apart from its efficiency in full darkness. For my part, the digital camera would profit from an IR Range Extender, but unfortunately, Ubiquiti doesn’t promote one for this mannequin.

Decision1920×1080 Full HD
Sensor1/3″ 4MP HDR
LensEFL 2.8mm, f/2.0
Frames per Second (FPS)30 FPS
Subject of ViewLens Distortion Correction Off: 100.4° (H), 59.1° (V), 117.3° (D)
Lens Distortion Correction On: 87.8° (H), 55.4° (V), 96.4° (D)
Optical ZoomNo
Community Connection10/100 Ethernet Port
Two-Method AudioNo
Image SettingsBrightness, Distinction, Sharpness, Saturation, Noise Reduction, 50/60 Hz
Mounting OptionsCeiling/Table/Wall/Pole
Energy Supply802.3af PoE Change or 24V, zero.5A PoE Adapter

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UniFi Video Digital camera G3 Micro (UVC-G3-Micro)

UniFi Video - G3 MicroUniFi Video – G3 Micro


  • Extensive Dynamic Vary (WDR) Sensor
  • 124° Area of View
  • Two-way Audio
  • Wi-Fi Help
  • Mounting Options

The G3 Micro is the one video digital camera in Ubiquiti’s lineup that does not have an Ethernet port, but as an alternative, helps Wi-Fi. Meaning you don’t have to run an Ethernet cable, thus including more flexible mounting options. In fact, when you don’t leverage PoE, you need to connect the G3 Micro to a standard power outlet.

Notice that the G3 Micro is an indoor digital camera as a result of it isn’t weather-resistant. On the brilliant aspect, this digital camera features two-way audio, a comparatively vast subject of view of 124 degrees, and a picture sensor that help Broad Dynamic Range (WDR).

UniFi Video - G3 Micro Magnetic Desktop MountUniFi Video – G3 Micro Magnetic Desktop Mount

WDR is just like Excessive Dynamic Range (HDR), which improves image high quality in difficult lighting circumstances.

What makes the G3 Micro notably versatile indoors is its magnetic base that you could hook up with quite a lot of mounting options. For example, we now have mounted the digital camera on its desktop stand and placed it on prime of the mantle of our chimney in the family room.


Decision1920×1080 Full HDSensor1/3″ Four-Megapixel Sensor with WDRLensEFL 2.7 mm, f/2.2Frames per Second (FPS)30 FPSSubject of ViewLens Distortion Correction Off: 124° (H), 65° (V), 150° (D)
Lens Distortion Correction On: 92° (H), 60° (V), 100° (D)Optical ZoomNoNetwork Connection2.4 GHz/5 GHz Dual-Band Wi-FiTwo-Approach AudioYesMicrophoneSurePicture SettingsFlip, Brightness, Contrast, AE Mode (50/60 Hz), WDR, Hue, Infrared, Sharpness, Saturation, Noise ReductionMounting OptionsMagnetic Base/Wall/DeskPower ProvideAC Adapter or Prompt PoE Adapter

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UniFi Video Digital camera G3 PRO (UVC-G3-PRO)

UniFi Video - G3 PROUniFi Video – G3 PRO


  • Sony Picture Sensor with Vast Dynamic Range (WDR)
  • 124° Area of View
  • Enhanced Performance in Complete Darkness
  • IP67 Water-Resistance Score
  • 3x Optical Zoom
  • Improved Microphone

The G3 PRO is Ubiquiti’s flagship digital camera that includes a professional-grade lens and Sony picture sensor that leads to better picture quality, particularly in low-light and no-light circumstances.

Ubiquiti has achieved this considerably improved low-light performance, compared to different UniFi cameras, by including high-power infrared LEDs and, a bigger picture sensor and bigger lens aperture.

The wider aperture (lens opening) permits extra mild to succeed in the sensor, and the bigger sensor means less digital noise and thus sharper photographs. In case you are a photographer, you’ll be able to certainly relate to that.

Apart from the improved image high quality and 3x optical zoom, the G3 PRO additionally features an IP67 weather-resistance score. As I have already explained in my evaluation of workout headphones, the acronym IP stands for Ingress Safety and the numbers 6 and seven indicate how properly the system is protected against mud (6) and water (7).

Particularly, IP67 signifies that the digital camera is dust-tight and that it may possibly stand up to the immersion in water of as much as 1m depth for 30 minutes.

Resolution1920×1080 Full HD
SensorSony IMX290, half.Eight″
Lens3-9 mm, f/1.2 – f/2.1
Frames per Second (FPS)30 FPS
Area of ViewExtensive Angle: 108° (H), 58° (V), 125° (D)
Zoom: 37° (H), 20° (V), 43° (D)
Optical Zoom3x
Network Connection10/100 Ethernet Port
Two-Approach AudioNo
Picture SettingsFlip, Brightness, Contrast, 50/60 Hz Flicker Reduction, WDR, Hue, Sharpness, Saturation, Noise Discount
Mounting ChoicesWall/Ceiling/Pole
Energy Provide802.3af/802.3at/24V Passive PoE Change

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UniFi Video Digital camera G3 FLEX (UVC-G3-FLEX)

UniFi Video - G3 FLEXUniFi Video – G3 FLEX


  • Flexible Mounting Choices
  • Adjustable lens and swivel base
  • Elective skins to raised blend into the setting


  • A slender subject of view
  • Performance in complete darkness

The UniFi G3 FLEX is among the most versatile video cameras Ubiquiti has to supply, because of its flexible mounting options. The indoor mounting choices embrace:

  • Desktop Mount
  • Wall Mount
  • Arduous-Ceiling Mount
  • Ceiling Mount
  • Conduit Mount

The outside mounting options embrace:

Along with the numerous ways on how one can mount the digital camera, you’ll be able to horizontally regulate the lens by 63° and the swivel base by 60° (vertically). Meaning, you’ll be able to place the G3 FLEX virtually anyplace and then regulate the viewing angle accordingly. That’s a very good factor because of the cameras comparatively slender area of view, which is wider than that of the G3 but under the G3 Micro and G3 PRO.

UniFi Video - G3 Flex Mounting OptionsUniFi Video – G3 Flex Mounting Options

The other thing I like concerning the G3 FLEX is the choice to customize the cameras look to raised blend it into the surroundings. Ubiquiti will quickly start promoting so-called skins to vary the digital camera’s look.


Resolution1920×1080 Full HDSensor1/3″ 2MP HDRLensEFL Four mm, f/2.zeroFrames per Second (FPS)25 FPSSubject of ViewLens Distortion Correction Off: 87.Four° (H), 47° (V), 104° (D)
Lens Distortion Correction On: 80° (H), 46° (V), 92° (D)Optical ZoomNoNetwork Connection10/100 Ethernet PortTwo-Method AudioNoMicrophoneSureImage SettingsBrightness, Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Noise Reduction, 50/60 HzMounting ChoicesCeiling/Table/Wall/PolePower Supply802.3af PoE

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Installing the UniFi Video 3 System

Putting in the UniFi Video System isn’t rocket science, however it doesn’t harm if you already know a factor or two about know-how and networking. For instance, you ought to be conversant in phrases like IP handle or port. If these terms mean nothing to you, it gained’t forestall you from installing the cameras, but I might in all probability ask for help from somebody who works with pc networks.

As talked about earlier in this article, I already had the required network infrastructure in my home to “plug” the UniFi Video gear right into. Specifically, I had CAT6 Ethernet cables operating from a UniFi change in my house office, by way of the surface wall and into the attic the place they might terminate on a patch panel. As a part of the initial setup, I added a second UniFi change, positioned it within the attic and related it to my main change.

In case you marvel, an unconditioned attic often is just too scorching for many electronics, but we’ve a stairwell main as much as the attic. On the backside of the stairs, the temperature is simply ~10 degrees Fahrenheit greater than in the house and thus suitable for the change.

Establishing the NVR

UniFi NVR with StandUniFi NVR with Stand

To arrange the UniFi NVR, I related the system to my Ethernet change and a nearby UPS, so it might proceed working within the event we misplaced power.

Then I logged into the UniFi administration console and verified what IP handle the UniFi Safety Gateway (USG) assigned to the NVR by way of DHCP. At this point, I opened a browser and navigated to the NVR’s IP tackle.

In my case it was: but your IP handle may be totally different, relying in your community configuration. Nevertheless, the port must be the same.

Chances are you’ll get a certificate (SSL) warning as a result of the NVR makes use of a so-called self-signed certificate, which you’ll be able to exchange afterward.

For now, just settle for the notice and proceed. Ubiquiti has a help article explaining methods to substitute the certificate. Moreover, I found these step-by-step directions, posted by another consumer.

For those who can’t work out the IP tackle of your NVR, you possibly can download and set up the Ubiquiti Gadget Discovery Software, which works on Home windows, Mac and cellular units.

Operating System and Browser Help

I first tried to complete the preliminary configuration of the NVR utilizing Safari operating on macOS 10.14 Beta. Once I acquired stuck, I noticed that the UniFi Video administration console and Safari aren’t the most effective pals. So I might advocate utilizing Chrome, which is what I did from that time ahead.

Initial NVR Configuration

In the course of the initial configuration, you may give your NVR a name and connect it to a UniFi Cloud account. Should you don’t have a cloud account but, you possibly can create one. Otherwise, you should use your present account.

The UniFi Cloud account is significant to enable remote entry to your UniFi Video system for if you end up not related to your LAN or Wi-Fi.

Final but not least, I adopted the NVR by way of the UniFi Dashboard and upgraded its firmware to the newest launch.

Connecting the UniFi Cameras

Once I had successfully arrange and configured the NVR, it was time to connect my cameras. I started with the UVC-G3-Micro as a result of it shipped with a daily energy plug and I might use Wi-Fi to connect the digital camera.

One of many best ways to add UniFi cameras to the NVR is by way of “auto-discovery” utilizing the UniFi Video cellular app (App Retailer). All I had to do is choose the found digital camera, give it a reputation and add it to the administration console.

Then I repeated the steps for the other cameras that I had related by way of Ethernet as an alternative of Wi-Fi.

UniFi Video Options

Earlier than we get into the weeds of how one can customize your UniFi cameras, let me highlight the important thing options of UniFi Video.


  • UniFi shops all video footage regionally
  • Seamless integration with different UniFi gear
  • Help for Power-over-Ethernet (PoE)
  • See all your cameras on a map
  • Versatile movement detection settings
  • 24/7 recording with timeline scrubbing
  • Customizable video/image settings
  • Enterprise-class multi-user help
  • Net and cellular apps

Not Supported

  • Geo-fencing
  • PIR Movement Detection
  • Integration with Residence Automation platforms
  • Trigger recording if the digital camera detects sound


Right here is an summary of the important thing features of the UniFi Video Digital camera Platform.

Hybrid Cloud with Local Video Storage

UniFi video shops your whole footage regionally on the NVR. Meaning, in contrast to Google Nest and others, Ubiquiti does not get a replica of your footage. Connecting your NVR to your UniFi Cloud account for easier distant access and streaming is non-compulsory. Should you don’t feel snug exposing your units to Ubiquiti’s cloud, you’ll be able to configure your community for remote access using a DMZ or VPN.

In addition to privateness, the other advantage of storing all footage “on-premise” is that you simply don’t need to pay a subscription charge and you may broaden the storage by plugging in an external exhausting drive to the NVR.

Seamless Integration
UniFi Video IntegrationUniFi Video Integration

Since I already personal UniFi networking gear to energy my LAN and Wi-Fi community, with the ability to integrate the video cameras seamlessly is a large benefit.

In the company world, “integration” is very valued. I’ve been selling Enterprise software program for over a decade, and anyplace I’m going, clients ask for integration with their present options. Shoppers often don’t care as much about that. I began appreciating that time period once I realized how properly all the things within the Apple ecosystem matches collectively.

That’s why I couldn’t probably imagine altering from an iPhone to an Android gadget or from a Mac to a PC. Even when the non-Apple gadget provided better features in sure areas, it will break my integrations.

Long story brief, the truth that UniFi Video integrates so nicely with my community is a large plus.

Help for Power-over-Ethernet (PoE)

Conventional house safety cameras often require batteries, or it’s a must to plug them into an influence outlet. For indoor cameras, that is typically not an enormous deal. You simply need to discover a close by power outlet.

For outside cameras, many users go for a wi-fi mannequin operating on batteries because it’s a problem connecting a digital camera to the house’s energy supply. Plus, until you already know what you’re doing, I’d advocate staying away from doing electrical work in your house.

UniFi Cameras have an edge as a result of they help Power-over-Ethernet (PoE). Meaning the digital camera can draw power from a daily Ethernet cable, as long as you join the cable to a PoE-enabled change. That’s one of many the reason why I like my UniFi switches – they help PoE.

Working with Ethernet is rather more handy and significantly much less dangerous than doing electrical work. Plus, you’re unlikely to violate any native building codes by adding Ethernet wires to your property.

Initially, I didn’t see PoE as a big advantage over battery-powered cameras. But as soon as I started having to exchange or recharge the batteries of my Arlo outside cameras each few months, I modified my mind. With PoE, you possibly can significantly scale back the continued digital camera maintenance.

Plus, so long as you could have your change related to a UPS, you don’t have to worry about your cameras going offline when the facility goes out.

Digital camera Overview on a Map
How I positioned two of our UniFi video camerasHow I positioned two of our UniFi video cameras

Utilizing the UniFi Video management console, you possibly can place your cameras on a satellite map, or you possibly can add a fowl’s eye view drawing of your house. That approach, you get an summary of the place you could have placed the cameras and what areas they cowl.

Versatile Motion Detection Settings

Whereas UniFi Video doesn’t help Passive Infrared movement detection, UniFi provides a ton of features to customise how motion detection works. Meaning you possibly can arrange triggers that decide when the digital camera data. Or you possibly can outline movement zones that embrace or exclude sure areas from triggering a movement occasion.

Additionally, you possibly can arrange recording schedules and combine them with flexible, per-user alert settings.

24/7 Recording & Timeline

Alternatively, to establishing motion triggers, you possibly can document 24/7 after which use the timeline function (presently in Beta) to wash by way of movement events.

24/7 recording works in combination together with your alert settings. Meaning you’ll be able to limit alerts to particular occasions of the day or to when sure circumstances are met.

Customizable Image/Video Settings

For every digital camera, you’ll be able to tweak the video and movie settings for when the digital camera data footage and through the Reside view. That approach, you possibly can configure each digital camera to suit your specific necessities and the setting the digital camera is in.

Multi-Consumer Help

UniFi Video supports multiple users and consumer teams that can have totally different roles. Moreover, each consumer can have dedicated permissions and settings, resembling a custom alerts profile.

Net and Cellular App
UniFi Video App - Live StreamUniFi Video App – Stay Stream

UniFi presents each a web-based interface in addition to a cellular app. The online app works greatest in Chrome (and perhaps Firefox), however a lot of the features additionally work in Safari and other browsers. What I like most about it is that UniFi doesn’t require Adobe Flash or another (crappy) third-party know-how to stream video and watch the recorded footage.

The cellular app has barely fewer options than the online app, however it’s been working nice on iOS 11 and iOS 12, and I’ve no complaints.

Missing Features

The significance of the gadgets on the “Not Supported” listing finally is dependent upon how you plan to use your UniFi Video gear. For my part, a lot of the “missing” options are solely essential for residential use, and you gained’t miss them in a business setting. I am using UniFi video cameras in my house, and so I needed to provide you an concept of why these features could possibly be useful.


Geo-fencing is a function to detect the presence of a tool (i.e., a cell phone) based mostly on its GPS location.

I’ve configured my indoor cameras to document provided that they detect movement whereas we are sleeping, which is between 9 pm and 5 am. Nevertheless, it will even be nice to set off a recording if the digital camera detected motion through the day while no one is at house. That doesn’t occur very often because I do business from home and my wife is a stay-at-home mom, however nonetheless.

In fact, there are occasions once we are all out, and it will be nice if the digital camera might detect that by way of the UniFi Video cellular app. For extra prolonged durations of absence, for example, once we are on trip, I can add a trip schedule by way of the UniFi Video console.

Passive Infrared (PIR) Movement Detection

Whereas geo-fencing may also help you to mechanically activate the digital camera’s movement sensors when no one is house, it’s not foolproof, and you might find yourself with further false-alarms.

As of this writing, the UniFi video cameras help solely pixel-based movement detection. Meaning the digital camera can detect pixel differences between each video frame the digital camera data. That can leads to a whole lot of false-positives because issues like leaves or changing shadow patterns (i.e., when a cloud moves in front of the solar) can set off a movement occasion.

Most shopper residence safety cameras, particularly battery-powered ones use PIR sensors to detect the infrared mild radiated by a warm object (a person or an animal). Since PIR sensors are passive by definition, they eat much much less power.

A person PIR sensor detects modifications within the amount of infrared radiation impinging upon it, which varies depending on the temperature and floor traits of the objects in front of the sensor. When an object, similar to a human, passes in entrance of the background, corresponding to a wall, the temperature at that time in the sensor’s subject of view will rise from room temperature to physique temperature, and then back once more. The sensor converts the resulting change within the incoming infrared radiation into a change in the output voltage, and this triggers the detection. Objects of similar temperature however totally different floor traits may additionally have a special infrared emission pattern, and thus shifting them with respect to the background might trigger the detector as properly.


But even with PIR sensors, chances are you’ll end up with false-alarms, triggered by pets or different individuals, corresponding to their caretakers while you’re away.

For that cause, some shopper residence safety cameras supply intelligent motion detection that may differentiate between a person and a pet or shifting object. Google’s Nest pushes the envelope even additional through the use of synthetic intelligence (AI) to determine the individual. So it will not set off an alarm if the digital camera detected a “trusted” face. In fact, those superior options come at a prize and that is privateness as a result of Google handles the footage evaluation within the cloud.

Integration with House Automation Platforms

House Automation platforms, similar to Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Residence, or IFTTT may be extremely convenient. I exploit them to routinely flip lights or fans on and off based mostly on schedule, voice commands and extra. Many shopper residence safety cameras supply such integrations. For example, you’ll be able to have a light-weight mechanically activate if the digital camera detects motion.

Sound Detection

Sound detection is a helpful function for indoor security cameras to detect, for instance, breaking glass. For outside cameras, it’s less crucial as it could actually lead to plenty of false alarms.

The excellent news is, Ubiquiti might add a lot of the lacking options by way of software program updates. Only the advanced movement detection features, comparable to individual detection, may require the computing energy of a cloud platform.

Using the UniFi Video 3 Digital camera System

Under is a quick overview of how I’ve arrange and configured my UniFi Video system. A lot of the configuration settings I have modified are digital camera particular, but there are a number of settings that I modified on all cameras, together with:

  • Disable Standing LED – The LED might appeal to insects and give away the digital camera, so I turned it off.
  • Override Decision Settings – I increased each the FPS and Bitrate and turned on Adaptive Streaming. The previous two choices improve the wanted space for storing, however I respect the improved video high quality.

To satisfy my house safety wants, I have decided to use totally different configuration settings for indoor and outside cameras.

Outside Digital camera Configuration

UniFi Video - G3 Dome Motion DetectionUniFi Video – G3 Dome Motion Detection

For the cameras I have put in outdoors of the home, I monitor 24/7 however only report once they detect movement.


  • Report Mode: Report solely motion
  • Resolution: High (1920 x 1080)

Motion Detection

  • Minimum Motion Occasion Trigger: 3 seconds
  • Finish Motion Event Delay: 10 seconds
  • Seconds to Document Before: 10
  • Seconds to Data After: 10

Initially, I might make sense of three of the 4 settings simply based mostly on their naming. But I wasn’t positive what “End Motion Event Delay” would do. Then I discovered the explanation in the Ubiquiti Group Forum and figured I’d paste it right here.

Minimal Movement Event Set off (a.okay.a. MMET) = The variety of seconds should occur earlier than the digital camera considers one thing a real movement event. Use Case: helps get rid of false positives like mud, bugs, and so on.

Finish Movement Occasion Delay = In prior releases, this was fastened at 5 seconds of cool-down after a motion occasion passed off before contemplating the movement ended. Use case: an setting where there may be loads of motion with temporary situations of no movement. Take retail for instance. There are doubtless situations the place an employee is doing a transaction with a buyer. There shall be motion when he/she is working with the register, but while getting into the order on a keyboard, there isn’t sufficient motion to trip the sensitivity. You’ll be able to set this worth greater so you report the whole transaction in a single movement occasion moderately than lacking something because of the cool-down.

Seconds to Document Earlier than (a.okay.a. Pre Padding): The variety of seconds that is always cached on the UniFi Video server. When a motion occasion happens, the cached video is prepended to the recording. Use Case: You could need to hear the conversation that is happening previous to movement inside the video frame or in situations the place there’s sudden and temporary motion.

Seconds to Document After (a.okay.a. Publish Padding): Comparable conduct to the above however to not be confused with the End Motion Event Delay. The End Motion Occasion Delay is the amount of time the digital camera considers motion to be ongoing while the Seconds to Report After is video taken after movement has ended. Use Case: similar as the above, you could need to catch a conversation after motion has ended.

Ubiquiti Group Forum

To study extra about these settings and see some examples, take a look at this discussion board publish.

UniFi Video G3 Dome Motion ZoneUniFi Video G3 Dome Movement Zone

You can too configure so-called Zones, to limit the surveillance space of the digital camera’s movement sensor. Here’s a screenshot of how I set the zone of my G3 Dome digital camera that I mounted above the storage.

Indoor Digital camera Configuration

UniFi Video - G3 Micro Motion DetectionUniFi Video – G3 Micro Motion Detection

My indoor cameras report only on a schedule. In our case meaning when everyone is sleeping between 9 pm – 5 am.


  • Report Mode: Report on schedule
  • Schedule: Night time (My custom schedule)

In fact, I might use the identical strategy as I do for my outside cameras and restrict movement alerts to a selected schedule (night time time). That method, if we are out of the home and someone breaks in, I no less than have it on tape, even when I don’t get alerted.

UniFi Video - Custom Recording ScheduleUniFi Video – Customized Recording Schedule

I made a decision towards that because any intruder would get caught by the outside cameras anyway.


With UniFi Video, you possibly can set up alerts on a per-user basis. Meaning you and another person might have solely totally different alert settings.

I have limited alerts for my consumer account to an “Over Night” schedule, which is a replica of the “Night” schedule I exploit to limit when the digital camera data.

Unfortunately, you can’t share schedules between customers, so every one has to arrange her personal schedule.

UniFi Video 3 Troubleshooting Ideas

As part of testing the UniFi Video platform, I’ve run into a couple of minor points that each one had a simple answer. However it some instances, it took me a while to determine it out.

Push Notifications Don’t Work

To enable push notifications, be sure to have the UniFi Video app put in on your mobile phone and allow notifications.

Moreover, verify you could entry your NVR from the cellular app.

Unable To Join To NVR

UniFi NVR - Disconnect from Ubiquiti AccountUniFi NVR – Disconnect from Ubiquiti Account

For some time, I used to be unable to hook up with the NVR using the UniFi Video app on my iPhone. I might connect directly to the IP handle of the NVR, however I used to be not capable of attain the equipment by way of the UniFi Video Cloud.

To repair the problem, I disconnected and re-connected the NVR from my Ubiquiti account using Chrome.

The UVC G3-Micro Beeps

For those who use the G3-Micro in a residential setting, I’d advocate disabling “System Sounds.” On one event we observed a recurring beep coming from an unidentified gadget in our family room. Later we realized it was coming from the digital camera which had an alert pending.

G3 Dome Picture Seems to be “Dirty”

UVC G3 Dome with dirty lens coverUVC G3 Dome with dirty lens cover

If your digital camera picture appears just like the one within the photograph, it’s possible as a result of both the digital camera’s lens or lens cowl are soiled. To repair the issue, just clean it with a delicate material.

UniFi Protect Assessment

UniFi Protect Video Surveillance PlatformUniFi Protect Video Surveillance Platform


  • Highly effective and high-quality hardware
  • Straightforward to arrange and use
  • Intuitive net interface and cellular app


  • Lacks some features present in UniFi Video 3

UniFi Protect is an evolution from, and the subsequent era of, UniFi’s Video Surveillance System (UniFi Video 3).

With Protect, Ubiquiti decided to rethink video surveillance totally and rewrite the related software (apps) and providers.

With UniFi Protect, Ubiquiti’s objective was to deliver customers the best-possible video viewing and reviewing experience. With the ability to skim via previously-recorded footage shortly is especially essential for video techniques that document 24/7, resembling UniFi Video.

I’ve been using and testing different safety digital camera methods, similar to those from Arlo, they usually often document provided that the digital camera detects movement. Consequently, you find yourself with particular person clips which you can evaluate and replay.

UniFi Video and Protect document on a regular basis, so it’s necessary to have the ability to determine the elements of the video that have motion and quickly scrub via the timeline.

Conditions for UniFi Protect

UniFi CloudKey Gen2 PlusUniFi CloudKey Gen2 Plus

Whereas UniFi Protect helps all kinds of older UniFi video cameras, you want new hardware and software to make use of that platform.


As of this writing, UniFi Protect requires a second-generation UniFi CloudKey Plus to work. The new CloudKey comes built-in with a 1TB spinning onerous drive that you could upgrade to 5TB in the event you run out of area.

In consequence, UniFi CloudKey Gen2 practically replaces each the previous era CloudKey as well as the UniFi Community Video Recorder (NVR) that you simply may need used with UniFi Video 3.


UniFi Protect App - Remote Access from iPadUniFi Protect App – Distant Entry from iPad

With the brand new CloudKey hardware, you also get a brand-new controller program and an internet interface that at present works greatest with Chrome or Firefox. Help for Safari, Apple’s net browser, is coming as nicely, pending the help of further options UniFi Protect depends on.

WebRTC is a free, open-source challenge that provides net browsers and cellular purposes with real-time communication by way of easy software programming interfaces.

In addition to the online interface, UniFi Protect also has a new cellular app for iOS and Android.

UniFi Video Camera G4 ProUniFi Video Digital camera G4 Pro

IP Cameras

UniFi Protect supports all second-generation (G2) UniFi video cameras or newer. As of this writing, meaning all G2 and G3 fashions, as well as the newest G4 cameras. UniFi Protect doesn’t help the first-generation airCams (and doubtless never will).

The UniFi Video Digital camera G4 Professional is the perfect IP digital camera I’ve ever tested. It looks like an expensive lens of a DSLR digital camera. I used to shoot Nikon cameras and lenses and the G4 jogs my memory of the super-fast 24-70mm f/2.Eight lens I had again within the days.

The place Can You Purchase UniFi Protect Hardware?

ProductUniFi CloudKey Gen2 Plus(UCK-G2-PLUS)AmazonUniFi Video Digital camera G4 Professional(UVC-G4-PRO)Amazon

UniFi Protect Features

UniFi Protect App - Timeline ScrubUniFi Protect App – Timeline Scrub

Past what I already talked about, under is an summary of the technical options of UniFi Protect, as of April 2019.

Net Interface

UniFi Protect - Camera DetailsUniFi Protect – Digital camera Details
  • Add/take away cameras
  • Digital camera overview (status, IP tackle, last movement, hyperlink state, reside feed)
  • Change the identify of the digital camera
  • Detailed digital camera overview with filtering functionality (sort, link state)
  • Restart digital camera
  • Un-manage a digital camera
  • Customizable reside view
  • Record of (motion) events with thumbnails and timeframe selection shortcuts
  • Timelapse
  • Consumer administration with rudimentary help for consumer roles (administrator or view only)
  • Manage cloud/distant access
  • Allow automated updates
  • Handle backups
  • Manufacturing unit reset
  • Primary alert configuration

IP Digital camera Settings

  • Flip status mild on/off
  • Overlay info (time, digital camera identify, emblem, bitrate)
  • Video high quality settings (FPS, bitrate)
  • Motion zone configuration (together with privacy zones)
  • Turn microphone on/off (if applicable)
  • Set RTSP settings (high, medium, low)

UniFi Protect Cellular App

The cellular apphas numerous features that the online interface doesn’t have, and vice versa. I have marked in daring the ones which might be only obtainable in the app.

  • Add/remove cameras
  • Watch digital camera stay stream or time-lapse
  • Consumer management
  • Activity and alertsoverview
  • Basic settings (Time zone, location…)
Digital camera Settings
UniFi Protect App - Camera SettingsUniFi Protect App – Digital camera Settings
  • Infrared (night time vision) settings
  • Microphone sensitivity
  • Image settings (brightness, distinction, and so forth.)

UniFi Protect Missing Options

Ubiquiti’s new video platform isn’t good. In the mean time, it doesn’t even supply all the options UniFi Video 3 had. Nevertheless, Ubiquiti built this new providing on what appears to be a strong basis that may shortly grow into something more.

I have used UniFi Protect for some time now and love the Apple-like simplicity of both the online and cellular apps. It’s a joy to wash by way of previously-recorded footage to see when the youngsters fell asleep or what animals visited our backyard in a single day.

UniFi Protect - Alert ConfigurationUniFi Protect – Alert Configuration

What I’m missing most with UniFi Protect is the power to get notifications from motion occasions only throughout certain hours of the day, or once we are away from house. As of this writing, you’ll be able to solely turn notifications on or off on a per-camera basis; you possibly can’t set custom notification rules.

I turned notifications off utterly because, if I didn’t, I’d be flooded with them. Sooner or later, I’d like to be able to get notifications only at night time or when no one is house. For the latter to work, UniFi needs to add some type of multi-user geo-fencing mechanism to its app, just like that provided by Arlo.

Replace: UniFi just lately introduced multi-user geo-fencing permitting the cameras to solely set off alerts if no one is inside the geo-fence.

Additionally, I’d like UniFi Protect to get smarter by better understanding what it sees. For instance, it makes a difference if the digital camera’s motion sensor detects an individual, an animal, or an insect that’s flying in entrance of the lens.

Shopper-grade house safety cameras deliver such capabilities already, because of machine learning and synthetic intelligence. Sadly, pretty much all of these options provide such “smart motion detection” options in combination with a cloud backend.

In other words, your footage will get analyzed in the cloud and not on-premise. I’m hoping that UniFi Protect will have the ability to ship such superior features utilizing the hardware and software program I already have installed in my community, with out the necessity to send my footage to the cloud.

Enhancements to Present Options

UniFi Protect does a superb job using its present capabilities and options. I’ve solely discovered one small difficulty — which Ubiquiti might shortly repair — within the software.

When scrubbing by way of the timeline of any of my video cameras, the UniFi Protect app exhibits me a thumbnail to indicate when the digital camera detected motion. That makes it straightforward to seek out the a part of the recording that’s value taking a look at.

Unfortunately, the app typically fails to point out a thumbnail, regardless that there was movement on the recording. I assume there’s some kind of threshold that determines how a lot movement should happen before a thumbnail is generated; that threshold must be tweaked.

UniFi Protect – Conclusion

UniFi Protect is a strong safety digital camera system with a ton of potential for future enhancements.

Whereas I acknowledge the shortcomings of this new platform, notably compared to UniFi Video 3, I’m proud of what I have seen to date.

I’m very a lot wanting ahead to Ubiquiti delivering extra superior software program features that can harness the facility of its hardware.

Have you tried UniFi Protect already? In that case, or when you’ve got any questions about this new platform, let me know by leaving a comment under.

Why I Determined to Migrate

I decided emigrate to UniFi Protect because I’m a technologist and I’m excited concerning the potential of this new platform. I take pleasure in being an early adopter of latest know-how and with the ability to present suggestions that can help vendors enhance their merchandise.

UniFi Protect is an exciting new platform with the potential to develop into a video surveillance platform in contrast to something that’s presently available on the market. It’s not troublesome to think about what Ubiquiti’s software program could be able to doing, contemplating the highly effective hardware the corporate already gives.

I’m envisioning UniFi Protect to grow to be a digital camera safety system in your residence or enterprise that:

  • Data footage 24/7
  • Doesn’t require a cloud subscription
  • Stores all footage on an area onerous drive
  • Makes it straightforward to seek out and consider previously-recorded clips
  • Doesn’t require altering or charging the batteries every few weeks or months
  • Supplies advanced recording and notification settings
  • Gives superior movement detection capabilities

The cool thing is that the present version of UniFi Protect already supplies a lot of the options listed above. The one two gadgets lacking are the last two, which we’ll get into more in a moment.

Migration from UniFi Video to UniFi Protect – Step-by-Step

UniFi CloudKey - Replace Internal Hard Disk DriveUniFi CloudKey – Substitute Inner Onerous Disk Drive

Once I realized that I needed to substitute my CloudKey Gen1 with the new version, I was a bit concerned as a result of I exploit CloudKey for greater than my video gear.

Luckily, replacing the CloudKey and migrating from UniFi Video 3 to UniFi Protect was lifeless easy and took just a few minutes.

Ubiquiti has the method properly documented on its help portal, but under are the top-level steps I took:

  • Replace the firmware and controller software program of my previous UniFi controller and CloudKey to the newest model.
  • Obtain a backup of the configuration file.
  • Plug within the new CloudKey by way of ethernet (or USB-C) and update it’s firmware to the newest version (I might do this through the initial setup wizard).
  • Import the previously-exported configuration file (backup).
  • Take away cameras from the previous UniFi Video Recorder (NVR).
  • Assign cameras to the new CloudKey by way of the UniFi Protect app.

Observe: When you plan on promoting the previous CloudKey and NVR, don’t overlook to erase and reset them utterly.

UniFi Video vs. UniFi Protect

Once I first heard about Protect, I assumed it was an add-on or update of UniFi Video.

I didn’t understand that Protect was a completely new platform, with a brand new codebase, that was incompatible with the previous era NVR and UniFi Video app (App Retailer).

UniFi ProtectUniFi Video 3Digital camera HelpG2, G3, G4, and laterG2, G3Cloud Key HelpUniFi CloudKey Gen2 PlusUniFi CloudKey Gen1Software Server XG Help✘●Community Video Recorder Help✘●Browser Help (Net Access)Chrome, FirefoxChromeCellular AppUniFi ProtectUniFi Video 3Variety of Cameras Supported15-Limitless20-50Recording ModesAll the time OnAll the time, On Movement, On ScheduleNotificationsOn/OffAdvanced schedulesImproved Timeline Scrubbing●✘

When you’re a Mac consumer, you may keep in mind when Apple determined to relaunch its iWorks suite, substitute its skilled photograph modifying app (Aperture) with Photographs, and exchange Remaining Reduce Professional with Ultimate Reduce Professional X.

In each of these examples, Apple launched a brand new product that had fewer options than its predecessor. The company did that for the sake of building a brand-new framework that may permit it to add new features that the older apps and codebase wouldn’t have supported.

Ubiquiti went an identical route with UniFi Protect by releasing a first version that has fewer features than UniFi Video 3. A few of the key options which are lacking embrace:

  • Recording modes
  • Advanced notification settings

For example, in UniFi Video 3 you would configure each digital camera to document constantly, only when it detected movement, or based mostly on a predefined schedule. Additionally, you might set every digital camera to all the time send notifications when it found movement, or to take action based mostly on a schedule.

The UniFi Micro G3 digital camera we now have in our household room would previously only report at night time, and limit notifications of detected motion to that time.

Often Requested Questions

Under are answers to questions I’ve seen users ask lots. As I get more suggestions from readers of this evaluate, I’ll update this section.

Can UniFi Video and UniFi Protect Run on the Similar Network Concurrently?

You possibly can undoubtedly operate each platforms on your community. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to solely use your cameras with both UniFi Video 3 or UniFi Protect.

Technically that signifies that a digital camera can only be associated with an NVR or CloudKey Gen2 Plus, but not each.

What NVR Hardware Does UniFi Protect Help?

As of this writing, UniFi Protect solely works together with the UniFi CloudKey Gen2 Plus, which doubles as an NVR and comes with a built-in exhausting disk.

UniFi Protect doesn’t help the previous UniFi Video Recorder 3 or another hardware, together with the UniFi Software Server XG.

What Digital camera Fashions Does UniFi Protect Help?

As talked about above, UniFi Protect supports all UniFi cameras which might be second-generation or newer.

Does UniFi Protect Have the Similar Features as UniFi Video 3?

No, it doesn’t have function parity with UniFi Video 3 yet. But Ubiquiti is constantly rolling out updates to get UniFi Protect nearer to and beyond the function set UniFi Video 3 supplies.

Can a Digital camera be Managed by Both UniFi Video and Protect on the Similar Time?

Nope, you need to choose one platform.

Will Your Present Video Cameras Work with UniFi Protect?

For G2 via G4 cameras, the answer is sure. For the first-generation AirCams, the answer is not any.

What Browsers are Officially Supported for Net Entry?

Proper now, UniFi Protect supports Google Chrome and Firefox as a result of solely these two browsers have carried out all the WebRTC options that UniFi Protect relies on.

For those who’re a Safari consumer (like I’m), you would attempt the Safari Know-how Previewthat Apple supplies. While I haven’t tested any pre-release versions of Safari yet, I do know that Apple has just lately made enhancements to its WebRTC help.

What’s the Distinction Between the Previous and the New CloudKey?

In comparison with the earlier era, the new CloudKey G2 Plus is a completely totally different animal.

From a type issue perspective, the UCK-G2-PLUS seems to be like a tiny community change with a glass entrance panel and ports on the again. The front panel is actually a display that shows some standing info, corresponding to the present knowledge throughput, the number of related cameras, the time, IP handle, and so on.

What’s new is that as an alternative of utilizing power-over-ethernet, now you can use USB-C with QuickCharge to energy your CloudKey. I’m utilizing a daily PoE-enabled ethernet port with my CK, so I don’t need to occupy another port on my uninterruptible power provide (UPS).

Storage-wise, UC-CK had a small built-in storage unit and a microSD card slot to store its configuration knowledge and UniFi controller software program, amongst different things. UCK-G2-PLUS has a built-in 1TB arduous drive that you could improve to up to 5TB.

From a controller and software perspective, the new CloudKey consists of not solely the UniFi SDN community management software program but in addition the UniFi Protect Video surveillance software program. In different phrases, the brand new CK has inherited the capabilities the NVR used to offer. UniFi Cloud Key Gen2 Plus

Is UniFi Protect Suitable with my UniFi Networking Infrastructure

Completely! While UniFi Protect requires using a brand new CloudKey and controller, it doesn’t matter what networking gear you could have. So your present UniFi Safety Gateway (or UniFi Security Gateway Pro) and community switches, as well as VPN and other providers, will continue to work as before.


I have been a glad UniFi networking customer for a number of months. So I anticipated rather a lot from Ubiquiti’s video digital camera platform. UniFi Video has delivered on my expectations by seamlessly integrating into my community infrastructure and by offering wonderful video surveillance know-how for my residence.

Whereas each platforms are missing a number of features, UniFi is on target with UniFi Protect.

UniFi’s video platform could also be an excessive amount of for the typical shopper. But when you’re into know-how and know a bit about networking, you’ll respect the pliability and superior options that UniFi Video brings to the desk.

Do you might have experience with UniFi Video, UniFi Protect or have any questions? Let me know by leaving a remark under!