Night Owl Security Cameras Review: An Innovative Approach to Wireless Security Technology

This company set out to provide safe and reliable home security systems and tech for residents all over the country.They were overall successful and continue to supply camera packages and kits that are durable and easy to use. This review will look at products like cameras, sensors, and more. Everything was reviewed based on the following criteria:

Brad Smith

Brad Smith - Editorial Staff

Updated: January 17, 2020

Night Owl Review

Night Owl Security Review: In-Depth

Not only does this brand try to offer affordable options, but they also provide a wide range of products for consumers. They have both wired and wireless cameras as well as a variety of audio and visual equipment. They may not have an exclusive reputation, but they do their best to help customers from all walks of life.

Key Features

While the company focuses on security technology, they have a few key features that they try to make available to everyone, not just wealthy markets. These include:

  • Image file transfers
  • In-browser editing software
  • Mobile app
  • Text and graphics overlays
  • User-friendly interface

Night Owl Security System Review: Background Information

The company was founded in 2009 and included a team made up of engineers and software designers. While their parts and components are manufactured overseas, the team is located in the U.S., with its headquarters in Naples, Florida.

The company is dedicated to user-friendly, affordable products, and they want everyone to have access to high-quality security. Night Owl cameras and technology are suitable for businesses, homeowners, federal organizations, retailers, and more.

Night Owl Security Features: Audio, Visual & Cutting-Edge Options

Below is a review of the top features that they have to offer. This includes things like night vision, audio functionality, and compatibility with a variety of services and capabilities. There is something for everyone, whether it’s a retail business or a busy family.

Remote Monitoring

These days people want to be able to monitor their homes and valuables from just about anywhere. The remote capabilities of these security cameras mean that customers can take a look at what’s going on at home, even while they’re away. They can access video footage from a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Dual Sensors

Night Owl Dual Sensors

Most people don’t realize that sensors are responsible for plenty of false alarms. By having dual sensors, Night Owl products reduce the occurrence of faulty alerts by up to 90%. Also, two sets of sensors allow the Night Owl cameras to monitor heat and motion for a more comprehensive security system.

DVR and NVR

Customers can choose between digital video recorder (DVR) and network video recorder (NVR) depending on their preferences. NVR provides better image quality, but it can be more expensive. They can work via ethernet cable or WiFi. DVR is more accessible and uses coax cables. The good news is that both options can work without an Internet connection.

Two-Way Audio

Night Owl Two Way Audio

Both the DVR and NVR options come with two-way audio. This is a good choice for those who want to listen in on their homes while they’re away. They can get a better picture – auditory and visual – of the surroundings and feel more attuned to any unusual behavior. While this feature is not necessary, it can help homeowners feel more aware and secure.

Google Assistant Compatibility

For those who use Google Assistant, they will be happy to learn that these cameras are compatible with the smart device. This makes it a bit easier to access security footage, simply by asking Google to do it. Paired with the camera’s mobile app, this capability means quicker access to footage and security images.

No Monthly Storage Fees

Clients do not have to worry about paying for cloud storage because this provider has no monthly storage fees. They bypass these payments by allowing customers to store footage on a hard drive or micro SD card. They can also take a look at their pictures and videos via the mobile app. This keeps things simple and convenient and cuts down on user costs.

Night Vision

Night Owl Nightvision

As the name Night Owl suggests, their cameras can see in the dark, too. This is crucial since clients want to be sure that their homes and businesses are protected at all hours of the day and night. For interior settings, the night vision extends up to 20 feet, while it goes up to 100 feet outdoors.

Internet-Free Recording

Night Owl Internet Free Recording

For people who do not have access to the Internet or don’t want to record online, these cameras will still work just fine. The ability to record Internet-free means that clients never have to miss a moment of the footage. They can also access their security video from a smartphone if they do not have a home computer to use.

IR Cut Filter

The cameras have the ability to filter out infrared light, which helps with image quality. For those who don’t know, infrared (IR) light can discolor things that the human eye can’t pick up on its own. As a result, it can make pictures look distorted. The IR cut filter makes it easier to get a clear idea of what’s going on without those pesky distortions.

Wide Viewing Angle

Night Owl Wide Angle

The standard viewing angle on traditional security cameras is just 42 degrees. Night Owl’s technology allows for wide angles of 100 degrees for a clearer, more accurate picture. This is a great feature for areas that might be harder to see, such as around corners or in places with lots of shrubs and trees.

Pre-Installed Storage

Customers do not have to worry about storage space because all of the Night Owl cameras come with two terabytes for storing digital information. This means that over half a million images can fit on the pre-installed storage. With the ability to transfer files to a hard drive or micro SD card, users will never run out of the room.

Digital Zoom with Multiple Viewing Options

Night Owl Digital Zoom

Clients can use this feature to see the same location from different viewing angles. This gives them a more comprehensive look at the area and allows for better digital playback, too. The digital zoom function makes it easy to access footage from a mobile device. This means that people can zero in on a particular spot whenever they want.

Dual Audio

Not to be confused with two-way audio, this dual function makes it so a client can listen to the video footage while also communicating with someone on the other side of the camera. For example, a customer can speak with people in their home via the camera’s mobile app. This adds even more security and accessibility to the user experience.

Waterproof

All of the Night Owl cameras have a waterproof rating of IP-65 and can stand up to moisture and dirt. While they will not withstand things like severe storms, they can handle a bit of water and dust without compromising the system. This is especially important in locations that experience lots of wet weather and high humidity levels.

InstallerNet Third Party Installation Service

The setup of the security system includes InstallerNet service, which will install the camera and get the technology up and running. This can be particularly useful for older customers who might not know how to calibrate the product and get everything started. This does cost a bit extra, but it is available to all customers in the United States.

Smart Devices Support Using App

Night Owl Smart Device

The mobile app has high definition video quality and can be accessed on a variety of smart devices, including phones and tablets. Plus, the app is free to download and will sync to the DVR automatically. If clients put all of their security cameras on the same wireless network, they can look at all of the footage directly from the app.

Equipment & Installation

Below is a look at the accessories and other options that the brand offers in 2020. Consumers can choose from wired or wireless cameras, as well as a variety of video systems to meet their needs. Again, professional installation is available for those who want it. Now, here’s a closer look.

Night Owl Cameras

Night Owl Wired Wireless System
DEVICE DESCRIPTION
Wired Camera The wired systems can work with either DVR or NVR and most commonly use a CAT5 or CAT6 cable. While these Night Owl cameras are reliable and provide great video footage, they are best used in an indoor setting or at least one that is protected from the weather.
Wireless Camera The wireless cameras connect to NVR for a high-quality image and video experience. They are simpler to use from a customer point of view since they don’t have to worry about wires. They are slightly better in terms of clarity and performance and do a better job of connecting to the network.

CL-HDA30-161022P-B16 Channel 3MP Night Owl Security Camera

CL-HDA30-161022P-B 16 Channel 3MP Security Camera
  • This camera can work both indoors and outdoors and comes with customizable DVR tech. This grants the user the ability to start and stop recording at any time. Moreover, the dual sensors help to eliminate false alarms, providing a more dependable and trustworthy security product.
  • This system comes with DVR technology that makes it compatible with up to 16 cameras. The package price includes ten units in total: eight bullet cameras and two domes. It is an example of a wired security system and has an HD resolution of three megapixels. The audio functionality allows the user to listen in on the recording while also speaking to people on the other end.
  • Overall, clients can expect higher quality out of this product, although it does come at a higher price point. Even so, the ultra HD resolution and accuracy make it a competitive choice.

Pros:

  • Accurate motion detection
  • Dual sensors
  • Higher resolution image quality
  • Smarter sensor technology
  • Wide viewing angle

Cons:

  • More expensive option
  • Not wireless

Security AHD7-841 8 Channel Smart Video System

Security AHD7-8a41 8 Channel Smart Video System
  • The convenient shape and size of this camera mean that clients can fit in just about anywhere, making it a great choice. It’s portable and will work just as well inside and outside. It is the only Night Owl camera that doesn’t have to be affixed to a surface.
  • This is one of the Night Owl cameras that has a wide viewing angle for a better line of sight. These bullet-style devices feature 720 pixels of HD quality and come with a terabyte of storage space included. The package price includes four units that are compatible with Night Owl and standard analog cameras. Users can playback footage on their mobile device, and no wiring is required for ease of use. The sleek and simplistic look of these units makes them a hit with customers.
  • Overall, this choice will provide some of the best clarity and accuracy out of all of Night Owl’s products. The ability to focus in on things like license plates makes it a popular choice for families and business owners alike.

Pros:

  • Better zoom and enhancement features
  • Clearer HD quality images and videos
  • Convenient NVR system
  • Reasonable price
  • Portable option

Cons:

  • No two-way audio
  • Prone to mechanical issues

THD301-88P-B Best Wired 8 Channel Night Owl Security Camera System

THD301-88P-B Best Wired 8 Channel Security Camera System
  • This camera offers professional graphics, but may also require an expert to install it. The motion detection is spot-on and can identify humans and animals. It is compatible with the mobile app and will send customizable alert notifications as needed.
  • Camera comes with a wired security system for cleaner and clearer views. The 1080p HD resolution and stable network connection make it a solid choice. The package price includes eight DVR units which end up being less expensive than competitor brands like Swann. Even though it is meant for outdoor areas, it still does a good job inside, too. This is the top option for those looking for a wired Night Owl product.
  • The motion detection and activation is one of the coolest features of this set. This is because of the dual sensors on each unit. On the downside, its functionality with the app can be a bit wonky.

Pros:

  • Dual sensor technology
  • Includes 8 cameras
  • Professional quality graphics
  • Stellar motion detection
  • Three megapixel HD resolution

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Tricky installation

HD201-86P-B Video Night Owl Camera

Security HD201-86P-B Video Security Camera
  • This affordable option includes four bullet-style DVR units with HD in 720p. It should provide a great picture no matter what, thanks to its night vision capability and its wide-angle viewpoint. It doesn’t need any rewiring, which makes it a convenient and accessible choice.
  • This deal will get clients all of the top features they want without the hefty price tag. This includes 1080p HD, smart detection thanks to dual sensor technology, and night vision up to 100 feet in exterior environments. The camera pack includes one terabyte of storage built-in, too. Besides that, there is a wide viewing angle for better views and crisper images. For those who are buying their first product from the company, this is one of the best choices.
  • Comes with the promise of no monthly cloud storage fees while also providing a complimentary terabyte for storing files. Playback functionality on the app allows customers to keep an eye on their property at all times, although its connectivity isn’t great.

Pros:

  • 1080p resolution
  • Dual sensor tech
  • Indoor/outdoor capability
  • More affordable
  • No rewiring necessary

Cons:

  • No two-way audio
  • The app isn’t too reliable

8-Channel 1080p Wireless Smart Security Hub IP Night Owl Camera

8 Channel 1080p Wireless Smart Security Hub IP Camera
  • Yes, this is a more expensive option, but it also offers excellence. The pack comes with six cameras and eight channels, all wireless and available on the app via smartphone or laptop. The picture resolution is great, as is the 100-degree viewing angle.
  • Like most of the cameras, this one comes with one terabyte of NVR hard drive storage. There is also 300 feet of wireless signal for greater dependability, and remote access via the mobile app. The two-way audio is particularly useful, and the playback ability works from remote locations, too. Overall, this wireless system allows for uninterrupted video footage of any property. The primary disadvantage here is that the price will be too high for some consumers.
  • All in all, the price and maybe motion detection are the downsides to this camera. Other than that, it offers prime features and functionality that will make customers glad they splurged on the price.

Pros:

  • High definition 1080p resolution
  • Multiple cameras
  • NVR system
  • Two-way audio
  • Wide-angle viewing (100 degrees)

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Motion detection is lacking

Night Owl Accessories

Night Owl Packages & Prices

Below are the 2020 prices for the different plans and kits that the company offers. Consumers can also compare costs on sites like Amazon. Keep in mind that there are initial start-up costs as well as monthly fees to take into account. It may seem like a hefty expense now, but this is only considering the upfront costs. On a monthly basis, the packages look much more approachable.

Wired DVR Systems

Wired DVR Systems

Customers can choose from standalone devices or kits, along with a wide selection of accessories. Below are just a few of the options available.

MODEL PRICE
XHD301-88P-B $429.99
THD301-88P-B $549.99
WM-861-3MP-B $399.99

Wired NVR Systems

Wired NVR Systems

These kits rely on true CCTV footage for uninterrupted recording and imaging. Below are a few examples of these options.

MODEL PRICE
8 Channel 1080p Hub IP $449.99
IC8-862-B $679.99
IH802-84BA-B $599.99

Comparison Chart for Five of the Most Popular Models on Offer

INFO CL-HDA30 AHD7 THD301 HD201 8-CHANNEL 1080P HUB
Price$399.99$349.99$549.99$379.99$649.99
Cameras104848
SystemDVRNVRDVRDVRNVR
Resolution3MP720p3MP1080p1080p
WirelessNoNoNoNoYes
Storage1TB1TB1TB1TB1TB
Dual SensorsYesYesYesYesYes
2-Way AudioYesNoYesNoYes
Wide ViewYesYesYesYesYes

Ease of Use

Overall, these camera systems are easy to use both in the home and at a retail location. It may be a bit more burdensome to install wired technology since the cables should be out of sight. In that case, it might require the help of a handyman. Even so, it shouldn’t be too disruptive, and the payoff is worth it. Once everything is installed, and the app is set up, users can access their recordings and information from just about anywhere.

Customer Experience

The company has a great reputation and a solid support system on their website. Below are more details about the policies as well as a closer look at ways to get in touch with the team.

Terms & Guarantees

The company’s terms and conditions are easy to find on their website and include information about shipping, returns, warranties, and more. For instance, as long as the item is in stock, it gets shipped within three business days. Out of stock items could take up to 10 weeks to ship out.

Requests for returns and refunds are acknowledged up to 30 days after a purchase has been sent out. The returned product needs to be sent to the Naples, Florida warehouse within 14 days to be considered for the return policy. Most products are under a one year warranty that protects against defects.

Night Owl Customer Support

Night Owl Customer Support

The website has a complete support page where clients can search for answers to questions relating to specific products or categories. There are even how-to videos on this site. Customers can also submit request tickets to technical staff via the website. The contact page includes the team’s email address and phone number. Trilingual and 24/7 support is also available.

Trust Score (Trustpilot & BBB.org)

The majority of user reviews on sites like Amazon and Trustpilot state that these camera systems are great for first-timers. That is, anyone jumping into home security for the first time should be in good hands with Night Owl. The company is quick to offer assistance, and they do their best to make the software user-friendly, especially for those who don’t have any prior experience.

Most reviewers say good things about the availability of packages and kits, as well as the variety of options. For instance, they can choose from wired or wireless systems, as well as indoor and outdoor cameras. The resolution might not be the best that money can buy, but if someone is on a budget or doesn’t know where to start, these products will be just fine.

The biggest complaint about this service seems to be with their app, and this is quite common for businesses. Both iOS and Android users have found mobile applications to be slow and unresponsive, but customer support is usually helpful and reliable.

FAQ Section

  • Does Night Owl Security Need Internet?

    No, it does not. That is one of the great things about this security system. It works without Web connection and is compatible with either NVR or DVR depending on the kit. Being able to record video footage without access to the Internet is one of the primary reasons first-timers should check it out. Plus, for those who are more Web-savvy, there is mobile applications and cloud storage.

  • How to Install a Night Owl Doorbell?

    The company offers a smart doorbell system that can replace an existing doorbell. The current unit needs to be functional, and there should be at least 50% WiFi connectivity in the general vicinity. The faceplate replaces the old unit and goes onto the mounting template and then connects via wiring. For easier installation, the kit includes a screwdriver, screws, and the necessary mounting hardware.

  • What is Free Night Owl Data?

    Via the mobile app, clients can connect their doorbell or security cameras to the company’s data storage. Typically, this includes one terabyte built-in, but they can also store information in the cloud for free. There, customers can manage their accounts, add multiple devices, and view live feed while listening to two-way audio. Other enterprises charge clients to store data and security information, but Night Owl customers can access this feature at no cost.

  • Are Swann Cameras Compatible With Night Owl DVR?

    No, it doesn’t look like Swann units will work in conjunction with Night Owl devices. If someone already has a Swann product, then they will not be able to combine its technology. This competitor offers its own range of security systems, so consumers should weigh the pros and cons of both companies before making a decision. Both feature HD quality and options for night vision and two-way listening.

  • How to Check Night Owl Balance?

    Anything related to account management is easily accessible via the mobile app. Also, when the system is first set up, it will walk the user through a Startup Wizard program. This is where they can address things like balance, configuration settings, and more. Customer service is always available as well, both over the phone or via email.

Night Owl Security Cameras Pros & Cons

On the plus side, these cameras come with a wide range of benefits and functions, such as motion detection sensors, night vision, and two-way audio. For the most part, they are dependable and quite easy to access, both from the property and remotely. A couple of disadvantages include the mobile application, which tends to be buggy, as well as the initial set-up. For those who are inexperienced, configuring the systems could get tricky, which is why the company offers professional installation.

Pros:

  • Customization settings
  • Dependable security features
  • Google Assistant compatibility
  • Remote accessibility and control
  • Zero monthly fees

Cons:

  • Mobile app crashes often
  • Not the easiest set-up

Final Overview: Does Night Owl Shine?

With its availability of features and customization, this company has something to offer to everyone. They provide both wired and wireless options, and consumers can choose how many camera units they want for their properties. All in all, the functionality and compatibility with smart devices is great, and the prices vary to meet different budgets. When comparing this business to competitors, buyers will find that they share many of the same benefits. It is just a matter of what the person needs and how much they are willing to spend.


Brad Smith

Editorial Staff

Brad has worked as a sales manager in the security sector for 10 years. He is curious, attentive to details, and hard-working. He has dedicated several years to helping customers with their safety and protection. His background has helped Brad to write comprehensive security and life safety materials, which he has been writing for about 4 years. Brad has contributed work to The Washington Post, DailyJournal, Los Angeles Times, and many others.


Comments

11 comments

  • Lol

    April 2, 2020

    These cameras are garbage lol stop pretending they are good.

  • Joy Stephens House

    April 21, 2020

    We are on our second Night Owl HD 8 camera Security System. The first one my husband became very Ill and we didn’t get it up for 9 months.
    When we finally got around to it installation was easy. Camera shows great color views. Playback of recordings terrible. Constantly skips motions. Night Owl reps walked me through factory reset. Same issue as before. Eventually warranty expired. Bit the bullet and purchased another because the cameras were so good. Just thought we got a bad DVR. A couple of weeks ago we purchased another set. Using same cameras but new DVR. Very same issues. Excellent live views, recording playback the pits. Misses 75% of motion. Very stressful. Now I guess we have no choice but try to find a compatible DVR to the cameras. Not willing to chance a third DVR. Just convinced it is a bad product.

    • Jim Khder

      May 12, 2020

      Oh my God finally I found someone with the same problem, I went exactly with the same thing as you did. this night owl system is TRASH skips motion recording a lot, I spent hours and hours with tech support they never admit they have a major problem with their system.

      • Andrew Keller

        June 2, 2020

        I, at first, had the same problems. I worked with their tech support for a few WEEKS because I was certain that it was because of a failing hard drive and I finally got them to replace it. Once they replaced it…magic! It’s been working great ever since.

        Also of note: wireless signal and distance. I have the wireless system and at the first house I had it installed in, some of the cameras were not in a great location relative to the receiver, and it showed. The type of material that the house was made of _really_ blocked the signal. When I moved and the new house was just typical wood and such, every single camera I installed worked fast and easy. So, that’s not really on them…”you can’t change the laws of physics, Captain!”.

        So: (1) get a new hard drive…heck, if it’s out of warranty, replace it yourself with a fast SSD! What do you have to lose! (A 256GB SSD is only like $31 now!) (2) Make sure you have great signal and position for your cameras relative to the NVR. If your close cameras are working great and your far/blocked cameras are working poorly, then consider using the extension antenna to route the signal to a better location. (Do not splice/cut/extend the wire, fyi…it will not work.)

  • Carlyle A Brathwaite

    May 23, 2020

    purchased a 16 channel system and it has stopped functioning after 2 1/2 yrs of service.. Defective DVR. Need a replacement

  • Christine Balser

    May 31, 2020

    Why does my camera keep going out doesn’t work very well wish I hadn’t gotten it thinking about returning it

  • Christine Balser

    June 2, 2020

    My camera works great when I’m home but won’t work when I’m away from home it use to work great but stopped working when I’m away from home

  • Steve McClaran

    June 4, 2020

    Junk.So tired of not being able to log in on my device.I’ve followed all of the trouble shooting tips on the site.It keeps saying incorrect pw or username but it recognizes my info when I use it to try creating a new account.Junk.

  • Aloha Jones

    June 10, 2020

    My cameras are showing black. I’m 3 days and 16 hours trying to get support via your phone and chat advertised info. Nothing in the entire time to resolve this problem. I got disconnected 2xs after waiting 4 1/2 hours between the 2 calls. Chats were never answered numerous times. Bad business NO CUSTOMER SUPPORT!!! Don’t buy this piece of crap!!! Taking it back!!

  • ryan

    June 13, 2020

    anyone wanting to use this at a business should be made aware that there is no way to disable the camera during the day. You can only set it to record constantly or motion based. So every time an employee moves the led goes on and the DVR starts recording. Totally useless.. there isn’t another security system on earth that works this way. Luckily, I only had to wait on hold for 45 minutes to find this out …

  • SH

    June 19, 2020

    This night owl camera sucks!!’ It didn’t capture a person stole our bike! I had strange person sitting in the car In front of my house and my camera angle doesn’t show the license plate but when she left and it’s turns which the back license was facing the camera and the camera didn’t capture it!!!! I get 20000 frames of winding beaches of trees All day but didn’t capture who stole the bike or stranger in front of my house as if they would planning something. I wouldn’t waste money on these cameras. These camera really missed lots of motions. Also when it’s recorded and on my phone shows blanks. Don’t buy these cameras