We tested the undemanding security camera system KGuard EL821
Everyone wants to secure their property. At a time when we are thinking about something, we get a camera system with the full name KGuard EL821 Easy Link 8-Channel 960H HDMI DVR, which is proof that today a camera system can protect and run everyone to protect their property. The installation took about 10 minutes, the understanding of the system took another 10 minutes and the discovery of its interesting features and benefits took another 10 minutes. It just takes the right camera layout and deciding where to display and where to record.
This particular set has four cameras, connectable cabling 18 meters long, which is often enough for a smaller household or a smaller company. The main unit, which can be connected via a video cable to a computer or via HDMI to a PC or TV. To connect the whole set, you need two free sockets for adapters, preferably further apart. The package also includes a driver, USB mouse, necessary cables, in addition to a VIDEO cable for a PC monitor. With us, the system is connected to the LCD TV via HDMI, where it responds immediately after switching on within a few seconds by displaying all channels directly. In total, up to 8 different cameras can be monitored. The basic set contains 4 of them. The ports on the main unit are, of course, for 8 cameras, so you can buy them at any time as needed. The wiring is simple and there is nothing wrong with the system, the system gives an audible signal when the camera is connected or disconnected, so you can’t do anything, for example when trying to cut off the camera from the outside. The whole set does not contain a storage device, so it is necessary to have your own external drive, which can be connected via USB. The advantage is to have an available LAN cable for internet connection. You can easily playfully connect your camera system to your smartphone with iOS or Android. At the same time, the Internet connection is used to send images when motion is detected. The system sends the photo in an attachment by e-mail directly to the address you entered. However, you need to set up your email account correctly, which I will still be able to access.
The benefits that you will soon discover are the capabilities of the camera system, which you can work on by planning and setting up. You can set the resolution of the recorded video to be usable. From 800 × 600, but also higher than 1024 × 768, 1280 × 1024, 1440 × 900, or 1920 × 1080. Here, a higher resolution cannot be used unless the TV itself, where the resolution is to be displayed, can handle it. This setting is possible for each channel individually. You can rename each channel so you can immediately see which room or space is actually in the picture or video. Recording that supports PAL, but also the foreign NTSC system, accepts an external drive up to 2TB capacity and will please the most demanding users of non-demanding systems, you have recording options based on scheduling, manual start, but also based on movement.
Set up upload protection anyway
Each episode and therefore each channel on a split screen, which can be switched between 4 screens or more, has a small icon that indicates whether the image is moving or at rest. You will still encounter these icons, as they are also included in the settings in which you plan to record. It is important to set the correct date and time, then you can fully devote the time to scheduling the recording. For example, you can schedule MOTION hours during the night and in the morning when you are at work. The camera then captures the surroundings in MOTION mode, but activates as soon as motion is detected. In the settings, you can also set the image to be sent by e-mail, so that wherever you are, you will receive a picture of what appeared in your house or yard. This detection has one interesting thing. The user has an adjustable area that can be measured and scanned as part of detection. This is a screen divided into small squares in which the user selects in detail the area to be counted. With this selection, it is possible to completely bypass, for example, an aquarium or a parrot cage, a path where the dog walks, or you can include animals in the sensitivity of the camera system and its detection by setting the sensitivity level.
The adjustable recording time, as well as motion detection, is entirely up to you. You can give a different schedule on weekdays, a different one on weekdays. This avoids recording family members when you don’t need it, or a quiet night without moving, for example, to avoid recording 8 hours of empty hallway during the night. In places where there is constant movement or movement is expected within the surrounding vegetation, such as courtyards, front gardens and streets, MOTION no longer makes much sense and you will use direct recording.
Set up email and image uploads
Setting up sending emails seems complicated for the first time. In the whole setting with the remote control, you will encounter a slightly different control in the camera system than in the settings on the TV. When you enter an option and setting, the yellow text entry window lights up. Confirming the SEL key as “select” will take you to the keyboard, where you will type the address and confirm by pressing the ENTER key. You can exit this specific box by pressing the MENU button. Otherwise you won’t get out. This is a slight imperfection, where not everyone understands that it is necessary to restart the MENU in order for the entry in the field to be accepted. When setting up e-mail, you will need the SMTP address of the e-mail server that you will use as the sender. You will find the most frequent and fastest information about the SMTP address of the e-mail server via the search engine in the “SMTP server *” connection, while the asterisk is the e-mail service you use in the search. Many email service providers also provide this information in the help for various connectivity options. The other fields will be the entry EMAIL ADDRESS SENDER, which is the email address of the sender and his PWD, which is actually a PASSWORD, in translation password. You can use a box created purely for this purpose. The last field EMAIL OF RECEIVER in this selection will be entering your real email address as the recipient’s address where you want to receive motion detection images. You can be alerted at night, for example, when the children from the disco came home, but also about who ever entered the garage and what he took. However, the system sends the image one at a time.
Video straight to your smartphone
When monitoring the system via a smartphone using an app on iOS or Android, it is possible to receive live streaming directly to your mobile. You can activate this option using the QR code on the package, through which you can download the application, and the QR code on the main unit, where you can log in to gain access to the cameras. Here again, it is interesting that each camera can record in this quality for this type of transmission and it is possible to adjust the recording both within the fps, but also for the connection speed in the given device. At slower speeds, you can watch videos on your smartphone with lower fps when connected slowly, but still in nice quality. Something like this is even useful on a holiday abroad with a good free internet connection. Thanks to it, you can connect to a camera system and see the situation at home or in the company. And that is a very big advantage. A potential perpetrator of a crime, an overly curious neighbor, or the (non) attendance of employees can then be checked at a distance.
The night or darkness will not hide the perpetrator
Although even the darkest night brings a sense of impeccability to thieves, sprayers and various speculators, they have done very well in all the tests of these cameras. Rooms that are completely extinguished without a pinch of light are no problem. The cameras activate night vision on their own and automatically without the need to switch modes. Thanks to two infrared lights, they can see their entire field of view with perfect accuracy. However, not in color, but in black and white, but you won’t miss anything. Even in the event of an absolute failure or disconnection of light in completely dark areas, you do not lose control of the scanned area. Switching when the light goes out is a matter of two seconds or seconds. Official figures indicate visibility in the dark up to 20 meters.
Design and contents of the package:
The whole package is in a box with a handle, complete with a weight of exactly 5 kilograms. The four cameras are made of solid metal materials. It is not a soft plastic, but a quality workmanship that has three holes in its holder for mounting on a solid base. The cameras can be rotated in different directions, but you can make a fixed setting with a small Allen key. Each can be connected with an 18 meter cable still with two terminals. One to connect to the main unit and the other to connect the power supply. The cameras have their own power supply, the main unit their own power supply. The main unit has a USB port for HDD or USB flash drive. Also on the back via HDMI port
Pros of this system:
- Rich quality settings
- Motion detection and motion-based recording
- Recording scheduling options and choosing when to record based on motion detection or when to record continuously, both of which can be shuffled.
- Instant upload option
- Individual settings applicable to all channels (cameras), copy settings to all, or set some channels individually
- Ability to send motion detection emails
- Ability to save to the cloud (untested)
- Ability to monitor the situation on your smartphone
- Support for external drives up to 2 TB
- Ability to select the sensitivity and specific area to capture for motion detection, thus avoiding animals in terrariums and aquariums, for example.
- Ease of setup and installation
- High quality metal water resistant camera design
- The choice of languages allows for different world languages, but neither Czech nor Polish, which could make it easier for those who are unsure of English.
- Images are detected immediately upon detection. Therefore, if the perpetrator opens the door and does not enter the room immediately, you will get a picture of the open door. The perpetrator entering the object would have to stay in the frame for a few more seconds to receive another image by email. I admit, if I had a system set up in a home where no one is and I received an image of an open door, it would be a scarecrow. In fact, the system is set up correctly so that it does not overwhelm the e-mail box and cause a capacity problem. It would not hurt to send a few images in the first email, or just a few after the change of detection. Of course, video recording is always without problems. The images actually only show the change and movement in the measured area.
- If you destroy the packaging boxes, you will also destroy the brief manual and especially the QR codes for downloading the application.
- The controls in the settings menu are a bit confusing.
This is a simple solution that every user will understand. It allows you to control 4 rooms with 4 quality cameras day and night, whether outdoors or indoors, wherever you are. Of course, in order for the cameras to be able to run and do their work, it is not necessary to turn on the TV or computer screen. but will also appreciate emails with motion detection at the set address. No unpleasant surprises awaited us during the installation and everything is well understood. The recording quality is very nice in high definition. The camera handles well even in absolute darkness.
The purpose of these systems is to record potential criminals, to have a secured commercial space, or a private building and premises. If the camera is located in a public place and captures a public space, it is necessary to place a warning in a visible place that the space is being monitored. Basically, placing the camera system in a place that does not belong to you and captures part of the foreign space is subject to the consent of the owner of this space. It is impossible and inadmissible to record a neighbor’s yard, or, for example, a foreign commercial space, to place cameras so that they capture a public space of personal use, such as a toilet, a changing room, or a doctor’s office, and so on. In order to use the CCTV system in companies that record the work of employees, it is necessary to inform employees about this intention and to proceed within the limits of the law and obligations arising from the use of the CCTV system in the workplace.