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The NW blog
Archive for the ‘Small Business Security’ Category

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Milestone Essential v Express

November 24th, 2016 by Paul Sandford

Milestone XProtect Essential and Express

On October 10th this year, Milestone replaced XProtect Go with XProtect Essential as their free Video Management Software (VMS) option for entry-level users.

Ahead of this change, we posed the question “What’s the real cost of making Milestone Essential free?” in a blog post that highlighted the known limitations of the newly positioned product. It was clear even back then that it would actually make more sense for many users to use Milestone Express rather than Essential but, the real difference in cost was still unknown.

It’s now 6 weeks since Milestone launched the new free 8ch version of Essential and we now know more about the new annual subscription packs, the availability of key features and software updates plus the associated costs.

Milestone XProtect Essential is now a non-starter whether your CCTV system is large or small and it all boils down to one crucial element – provision of Care Plus.

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What’s the real cost of making Milestone Essential free?

September 15th, 2016 by Paul Sandford

Milestone XProtect Essential and ExpressMilestone has worked hard to nurture XProtect into a mature and comprehensive Video Management Software (VMS) suite and this year they’ve been pruning their offering to promote further growth. We’ve seen the phasing out of Milestone Enterprise and now a further trim has been announced.

Starting October 10th 2016 – Milestone XProtect Go, the free VMS product will be discontinued and Milestone Essential will take its place as Milestone’s free VMS. When this happens, Milestone Express will take up its position as the entry-level product in the “paid-for” software suite.

These changes make sense in many ways and bring distinct benefits for many entry-level users, but unsurprisingly, there will be some limitations in the newly positioned Milestone Essential. It’s these limitations that need careful consideration and based on what we’ve learned so far, it appears that for many users, it may actually make more sense to use Milestone Express.

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Creating a free to use CCTV system easily with an app and no PC

August 11th, 2016 by Paul Sandford

App-based CCTV ideal for small businesses and home usersIf you’re a small business or home user seeking a simple CCTV solution, you’d probably like to be able to mount your new IP camera in a suitable location, connect it to your network and then use a free app on your mobile phone or tablet to access live video and recordings whilst on the go. That’s it – safeguard your business or home with no complicated set-up and configuration. Some might call this approach “Plug and play”.

Until recently, it’s not been that easy and as a minimum, a PC was still required during the installation of the IP camera. Now it’s possible to do using just a mobile app and although we probably wouldn’t use the phrase “Plug and play”, the solution is certainly very straight forward.

Both Axis and Hikvision support this app-based approach and we’ll outline how to get up and running, weigh up each brand’s offering and consider the limitations.

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Build your own surveillance system with the Axis F series

April 27th, 2016 by Paul Sandford

The Axis F series offers a very flexible way of creating a high performance IP CCTV system – complete with video management software and remote access – all without the need for a dedicated PC, server or Network Video Recorder (NVR).Axis F series hardware and Axis Camera Companion

An F series camera consists of separate HD sensor / lens units which connect to a main unit (the body of the camera) via a cable. Axis refer to this design as a ‘divided concept’ and a choice of 7 lenses offers users the flexibility to build a surveillance system to meet their exact needs.

Since the series was launched in 2014, we’ve seen the Axis F series used for a wide variety of indoor, outdoor and mobile surveillance applications. The ultra compact design and options for discreet installation make these cameras particularly popular with small office-based businesses, independent retailers and restaurants.

We’re going to show you how you can put together your own system in 3 easy steps.

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The phenomenon of Viewer Creep in IP video systems

October 21st, 2014 by Frank Crouwel

Photo of Frank Crouwel, Managing Director of NW Systems GroupA well-known form of ‘Creep’ many of you will have heard of is Mission Creep linked to humanitarian interventions in war-torn countries which escalate into, initially unintended, long-lasting military campaigns.

In the world of software coding, programmers talk about Feature Creep as system features or capabilities are extended mid-way through projects. Meanwhile, project managers frequently bemoan Scope Creep, the process by which a project grows beyond its originally anticipated size or complexity.

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Review: Y-cam Cube HD 1080

October 2nd, 2013 by Kevin Bowyer

Y-cam cube 1080 alongside credit cardWe get great feedback on the best seller in the Cube range, the Y-cam Cube HD 1080. The Y-cam Cube 1080 variant of the Cube range is essentially the same camera as the Cube 720 but with an increased sensor size (2 megapixels as opposed to 1 megapixel on the Cube 720).

Following on from our first look at the Y-cam Cube 720 in April 2013 and the recent sales success of the Cube HD 1080 version we thought it worthwhile to take a further in-depth look at the unit and share it with you here.

Ideally placed for surveillance and monitoring in offices, small retail outlets and at home, the Cube 1080 retains the same ‘just right’ small form factor that we noted in our review of the Y-cam Cube HD 720 and with the same 15m infrared night vision capability remains suitable for use indoors all day and in all lighting conditions.

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Top 7 IP Camera Surveillance Trends in 2013

January 23rd, 2013 by Frank Crouwel

Top 7 IP camera trends for 2013Having been in the business for more than the last 13 years, we figure we know a thing or two about a number of things: what’s likely to be a fad; which piece of high-tech is not quite mature enough for the marketplace, and which systems are coming into their own.

At this time of year, it’s always interesting to predict the big hitter developments in the industry. Here at NW Systems, we offer our predictions of what’s hot and what’s not in video surveillance and IP cameras for 2013.

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Lilin starts 2013 with massive price reductions on HD security cameras

January 17th, 2013 by Frank Crouwel

Lilin IPD-2220ES 1080P HD dome IP cameraDuring 2012 we have seen HD 720p cameras below £200 being launched into the CCTV market. Axis, Panasonic, Sony, Vivotek and Lilin all joined the frame. The rapidly, ever improving, price v. performance ratio in the world of IP cameras is great news for CCTV users.

2013 has only just started and we have already seen the first HD 1080p camera dropping below the £200 mark. The trend of 2012 seems set to continue in the coming year.

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Milestone users – Be aware of PMA amnesty expiry on 2nd January

December 20th, 2012 by Kevin Bowyer

We’d like to inform our customers that the Milestone XProtect PMA/SUP amnesty is due to end on 2nd January 2013.

Milestone recently replaced their PMA (Product Maintenance Agreement) with an SUP (Software Upgrade Plan) and with this change introduced a beneficial amnesty meaning that if you were running Milestone without a valid PMA, you could buy an SUP without having to pay for backdating the agreement. This meant great savings for Milestone XProtect users who bought XProtect without a PMA or whose PMA had expired.

That amnesty ends on 2nd January 2013.

If you are running Milestone XProtect without a valid PMA/SUP then you have until 2nd January to pick one up. After that Milestone’s official line is that SUPs cannot be backdated. i.e. If you do not have a valid SUP after this date you will not be able to purchase one and your Milestone system is at risk of quickly becoming outdated.

Importantly, customers not purchasing an SUP will NO LONGER automatically receive Device Pack updates (newly supported cameras, firmware updates, bug fixes etc) with their Milestone license. For this reason we recommend that any customer currently without a valid SUP purchases one within the amnesty period (before 2nd January) in order to get future software upgrades.

Call us now on +44(0)151 633 2111 to make use of this offer before the amnesty runs out.

Evaluation: Panasonic i-Pro WV-SW175

October 24th, 2012 by James Drinkwater

Panasonic i-Pro WV-SW175

Panasonic’s now end-of-line BB-HCM735 was one of the best-selling network cameras in their home/office range, offering very decent VGA resolution footage in an outdoor-ready casing with pan/tilt movement and 2-way audio, while still being very cost-effective. Now that this camera has been discontinued, we’ve taken a look at its replacement; the Panasonic i-Pro WV-SW175. Does this camera still offer the same good value as its predecessor?

First things first, let’s see some sample footage from the camera.

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