Monday, June 8, 2020
Ubiquiti
Alex Lowe

Ubiquiti launches the UniFi Protect NVR

Today, Ubiquiti has launched the all new ‘UniFi Protect Network Video Recorder’ or the UNVR4 as we’ll refer to it in this article. This is a 1U, rack mountable network storage and camera controller server for UniFi Protect, Ubiquiti’s proprietary network video system. For those out there familiar with UniFi Protect, this is big news in a few ways.

First, a little history

Before UniFi Protect, the options for UniFi Video were pretty simple, you could either purchase Ubiquiti’s NVR, which in the early days came with 1TB built in and then later in its life, a 3TB version was released. Or, you could build your own server, running Windows, Ubuntu or anything else other than macOS. This provided incredible flexibility and reach for users, if you wanted a couple cameras at your house, the easiest option was to get the Ubiquiti NVR and that was pretty simple. If businesses wanted 50 or more cameras, then the option was to build a server.

With UniFi Protect, things changed for better or worse – depends how you look at it. When UniFi Protect launched at the end of 2018, the only way to get it – was to purchase the new Cloud Key Gen2+ which is still on sale and is a small unit, which runs the UniFi Controller and UniFi Protect. The Cloud Key Gen2+ can only run about 20 or so cameras and comes pre-installed with a 1TB 2.5-inch HDD. This can be very easily, upgraded to a 5TB HDD. The Cloud Key is perfect for home users, it can run about 5 or so cameras with ease, it doesn’t make any noise and 5TB for 5 cameras would provide a fair amount of historical data.

However, UniFi Video isn’t being worked on by Ubiquiti anymore, a few new features, bug fixes and security holes have been added in the year and a half UniFi Protect has been out, but all the new features and hardware Ubiquiti is working on, will only come to UniFi Protect. For someone looking to get into Ubiquiti’s camera world, UniFi Protect would make sense as you get all the new features. This has presented a problem for those users who want more cameras. This is where the new UNVR4 comes in.

The NVR

The UNVR4 has four full size 3.5-inch hard drive bays which can take 14TB drives each, although no drives are included, Ubiquiti will sell you 8TB drives on the store as an ‘add on’. The bays can support 2.5-inch also, with an included adaptor. In terms of redundancy, the software will automatically configure RAID 1 or RAID 5, depending on how many drives are installed. On the back, there is one gigabit RJ45 connector and one 10G SFP+ port. It also supports the USP-RPS for PSU failover. USP-RPS is a managed power distribution unit, for secondary power.

Ubiquiti say

“Using four 8 TB drives in a RAID 5 configuration, the UNVR-4 can provide up to 30 days of 4k video storage for 15 cameras or Full HD video storage for 50 cameras”

And for even larger installations, Ubiquiti is also working on stacking, a tiny footnote says the following: “Note: stackable support for multiplying capacity is coming soon.”

The UNVR4 is now up for order on store.ui.com, for a reasonable $299 in the US. No UK website, or even the UK/EU Ubiquiti store has this listed yet. It must be noted, that the UNVR4 doesn’t come with any drives included.

Update 12/06/20 20:53 – The UNVR is now listed on Ubiquiti’s Europe Store for £295.89 / €336.60 (Link here)

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