A Brief Guide for NVR Connection with IP Cameras

Updated on Sep 29, 2021 by

Enhancing security with a robust NVR camera system is essential in today's connected world. The Network Video Recorder (NVR) serves as a hub in this system, managing footage captured by IP cameras. When it comes to NVR connection, several questions often arise. How do IP cameras connect to an NVR? Are PoE switches required? This article discusses the basics of NVRs and how to connect IP cameras to an NVR—with or without PoE switches.

What Is NVR?

A Network Video Recorder (NVR) is a specialized computer system that receives live images or video streams captured by IP cameras and records them digitally to a hard disk, USB flash drive, or other mass storage device. It is typically used in IP video surveillance networks to provide centralized video controls. Users can view, playback, and download video recordings when needed.

An NVR setup typically involves integrating various components within the surveillance network. The core connections include linking IP cameras directly to the NVR through Ethernet cables, optionally using a PoE switch to provide power and data over a single cable. Additionally, the NVR connects to a network router for internet access, and to a monitor or control terminal for local management of video footage.

Read More: What Is NVR? Do I Need NVR for IP Camera?

Two Types of NVR

Network Video Recorders (NVRs) are categorized into two types based on their powering functions: PoE (Power over Ethernet) NVRs and Non-PoE NVRs. The distinctions between them are crucial when choosing the right NVR for your security system, as they impact the ease of installation, overall system complexity, and the type of cameras you can use.

  • PoE NVR:PoE NVRs are equipped with PoE ports and are compatible exclusively with cameras that support PoE specifications. These cameras are connected directly to the PoE ports on the NVR using a CAT 5E or CAT 6 cable. This single cable setup provides power to the camera and facilitates the transmission of data, audio, and video, eliminating the need for a separate power adapter for the camera. The simplicity of this connection method makes installation straightforward and reduces cable clutter.

  • Non-PoE NVR:Non-PoE NVRs, on the other hand, do not have PoE ports for direct camera connections on their back panels. Instead, these NVRs require an external power adapter for each camera or a PoE switch to facilitate the connection. A PoE switch serves as an intermediary, providing power and network connectivity to the cameras, which then transmit data to the NVR over the network. Despite the need for additional hardware, non-PoE NVRs often feature built-in scan functions that can automatically detect and trace cameras within the network, simplifying the setup process.

How to Connect IP Camera to NVR

There are two types of NVRs on the market: PoE NVRs and non-PoE NVRs. They use different methods to connect IP surveillance cameras. Here are the connection considerations and the specific methods for NVR camera system setup.

Preparation for NVR Security System Connection

Before setting up your NVR security system, it is crucial to verify that the NVR is compatible with the cameras you plan to use.

First, make sure that the NVR supports the specific models of IP cameras. This often involves checking for protocol compatibility, such as the ONVIF standard, which facilitates interoperability between IP security devices from different manufacturers.

Then, confirm that the NVR can handle the camera's resolution, as not all currently support 4K or 12MP cameras. If the camera's resolution exceeds what the NVR can process, you may need to access the camera's web interface to adjust the resolution settings downward.

In addition, it is also necessary to configure the network of IP camera and NVR, and any IP device needs to set the correct IP address and gateway address to connect to the Internet. Typically, when initializing the NVR, the NVR will pop up a window for the user to set up the network, usually including an IP address, default gateway (usually found in the device manual), so that it can connect to the Internet and communicate with the IP camera. IP Camera's network setup is similar to NVR's, but it has a unique IP address (to avoid IP address conflicts). It is important to note that the default gateway address of any IP camera and the NVR must be the same, which ensures that the NVR can find the IP camera when performing an automatic search for the IP camera on the NVR.

Option One: Connecting IP Cameras to PoE NVR without PoE Switch

A PoE NVR has a built-in PoE switch, offering PoE ports for connecting IP cameras directly over Ethernet cables. So it does not require a separate power adapter to work. Below is a step-by-step guide for PoE NVR camera system connection

  • Make sure the NVR is powered on. Use an Ethernet cable to link the router and the PoE NVR, so as to connect your NVR to the internet.

  • Connect each IP camera's Ethernet cable to the available PoE ports on the NVR. These connections will enable the cameras to receive power and send video feed to the NVR concurrently.

  • Connect the NVR and a monitor or TV via a VGA or HDMI cable. Make sure the monitor or TV is set to the correct input mode, such as VGA, HDMI 1, or HDMI 2.

Once all connections are properly established, your NVR camera system should be successfully configured, at which point the capabilities of this PoE NVR security system become fully operational. This system is ideal for IP surveillance within homes and smaller-scale commercial settings, such as family villas and chain stores.

NVR Security System without PoE Switches

Option Two: Connecting IP Cameras to Non-PoE NVR with PoE Switch

Non-PoE NVRs come with Ethernet ports but need an external PoE switch or adapter to power network cameras. Follow these steps to configure the NVR camera system with the use of a PoE switch.

  • Connect the LAN port on the PoE switch to the router using an Ethernet cable, and connect the non-PoE NVR and the router. Make sure the PoE switch and NVR are in the same network.

  • Connect IP cameras to the RJ45 ports on the PoE switch by Ethernet cables. The PoE switch will provide power and support video transmission.

  • Connect the NVR and a monitor or TV via a VGA or HDMI cable, ensuring it's set to the right input channel, such as VGA or HDMI1.

Note that users must add the cameras to the NVR to view and record footage from the cameras. Therefore, please follow the steps in the instruction manual attached to your NVR.

NVR Security System with PoE Switches

FAQs About NVR Security System Connection

Does NVR Require the Internet?

Network video recorders can work without the Internet and continue to record and stream the video stream. However, without the Internet, users can not back up the videos on cloud storage, have no access to the recordings remotely, or even won't get push notifications or alerts in case of an intrusion.

What is the Farthest Distance between a Security Camera and the Connected NVR?

The connection between an IP camera and NVR is achieved by Ethernet cables. Because of the signal attenuation, the maximum transmission distance of the Ethernet cable is 100 meters. Thus, the maximum distance that the camera can run from the NVR is also 100 meters. If users require a distance beyond 100 meters, they can use an Ethernet extender to extend the distance.

Can I mix different brands of IP cameras on the same NVR?

Yes, this is often possible if IP camera and NVR are compliant with the ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) standard, which promotes interoperability between different brands' devices. Always check the manufacturer's specifications to ensure compatibility. We recommend buying IP cameras and NVR from the same brand such as FS IP security system, because devices of the same brand are more likely to work properly without any conflict. If something goes wrong, you can contact a single source to identify the problem and fix it in time. Besides, some FS NVR supports ONVIF, so you can easily set up a stable and variable network without having to look through a lengthy compatibility list.

How many IP cameras can I connect to my NVR?

The number of cameras that can be connected to an NVR depends on the specific NVR model and its channel capacity. Some NVRs support 4, 8, 16, or more channels, which corresponds to the number of cameras that can be connected.For example, FS NVR102-16C-16P supports 16 channels and NVR724-256C supports up to 256 channels.


In summary, the process of installing an NVR security system requires careful planning, installation, and thorough configuration. This guide gives you a general understanding of the basic steps for connecting IP camera and NVR, but complex setups may require professional installation for optimal performance and peace of mind. You can choose FS, we will provide you with quality products and after-sales service, and a professional team to provide you with technical support.

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