17
May
12

Milestone XProtect Go NVR Software


Moved to www.NetworkCameraCritic.com

Milestone is one of the leaders in NVR software. About a year ago, they release a free version call “Go” that’s a limited version of their commercial software. The key advantages to XProtect is the wide variety of device support that is updated regularly with drivers for over 1,000 cameras from almost 100 different manufacturers.

The “Go” version has limitations and it’s geared for a home or small business user. Key limitations include;
• 8 cameras maximum
• 5 days maximum retention on recorded events
• single user version (only one concurrent user connected at anytime)
• You have to register every year to get a license key
• Splash screen reminder that you can upgrade

Upgrading to XProtect Essential removes these limitations at the approximate cost of $50 per camera license.

There’s two programs, the Management Application and Smart Client. Configuration, for example, adding cameras and setting motion detect events is done in the Management Application. Viewing the cameras and recorded events are done in the Smart Client. All this runs on Windows only. Free IOS and Android applications are available to access the cameras remotely.

When you launch the Management Application, it starts in their wizard screen which includes the ability add cameras, configure recordings, set motion detectoin and add users.

Milestone XProtect Go NVR Software

The first thing you will do is add cameras and there’s several options here. I tried Express and Advanced without much luck so I chose Manual.

Milestone XProtect Go NVR Software

In the manual configurations, you enter in the camera address, port number, userid & password and click Auto-Detect and it finds the appropriate driver. Selecting the driver manually did not work (Next button is grayed out and you can’t proceed). This worked on most cameras available to me, but was not able to add an Axis Q6035-E, even though this specific model was available in the hardware device drop down.

Milestone XProtect Go NVR Software

Once the cameras are setup, you can setup motion detection for recording. You can motion detect the entire screen or quickly draw boxes of motion detect areas and set sensitivity levels. This worked very well, easy to use, and was effective at capturing motion.

Milestone XProtect Go NVR Software

While it only supports one user at a time, you can setup multiple user accounts.

Milestone XProtect Go NVR Software

The available wizards are a great start, but day to day configurations changes are made from the windows style menu tree on the left and is easy to navigate.

Milestone XProtect Go NVR Software

The Smart Client is their viewer application. There isn’t a web browser based interface. When you start the application, it will default to a certain view. In my case, the 4 cameras I added are displayed. From this screen you can click setup and add views (camera layouts) and drag/drop cameras into the sections of the screen you want. You can zoom in using your mouse scroll wheel. As you can see, cameras that are actively recording are noted on the window.

Milestone XProtect Go NVR Software

Recorded events can be viewed the by clicking the playback tab. Initally it shows the window below with the most recent events and a vertical timeline display on the right. Scrolling the timeline shows the relavent events on the camera display in the middle.

Milestone XProtect Go NVR Software

There’s also a thumbnail view at the camera level wher you click on a thumbnail to play that event.

Milestone XProtect Go NVR Software

Conclusion
If you can live with the limitations and the product works with your cameras, free is hard to beat. If you can’t live with the limitations, then the $50/camera price is comparable to ExacqVision Start that I previously reviewed. The two differ in the way they work in many ways, including the way motion detection is handled, the operating systems supported, web browser vs. client/server approach. XProtect Go uses a lot of resources, making my quad core server seems slow with just 4 cameras so make sure you have a decent sized server to handle the amount of cameras you intend to use. Also, derived from commercial grade software, it should be a reliable and stable solution.

Support comes in the way of community support on their forum. This seemed weak to me as they have not really built up a community like Zoneminder has (previously reviewed). There’s people on the forum complaining that something doesn’t work, but rarely seen helpful responses.

More information, specs and download available on Milestone’s website by clicking here.


8 Responses to “Milestone XProtect Go NVR Software”


  1. 1 Daniel
    May 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Again, thank you!

  2. May 18, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Another great review, very interesting. Will be recommending your blog / site to our customers.

  3. May 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Great Job! Love this Blog! You have any plans to look at Axxon’s offerings? Couple of points you made clear in this review and the reviews of other NVR software is CPU performance. Was looking at Axxon and they claim to use in camera motion processing to take the load off the CPU. Since the majority of users are on a budget, older computers are likely to to be used. Do you think you will get a chance to see if Axxon’s CPU usage is as they claim?
    Thanks and Great Job!

    • May 30, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      I’ll check that out.

    • June 1, 2012 at 2:22 am

      I just tried Axxon and wow, with just two 1.3MP 8FPS cameras armed with motion detection I was at 100% CPU on my quad core computer. If you read the fine print, they claim to use the camera’s detectors only for Axis and Sony. I tried to get it to recognize a couple of Axis cameras from the low end M1011-W to a Q6035-E and no luck. No luck with the ubiquitous Panasonic BL-C230A either. It did recognize various ACTi cams. It was actually working well until I armed the camera which in their terminology means active event recording. As for which process is the culprit, it’s a program called AppHost.exe sucking up my CPU, even without the client running, just the server with two cameras armed. ===> avoid this free app <===

  4. June 30, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Hi, how about NAS type NVRs like Synology and QNAP? Do you have reviews on these items? Also, what’s your thoughts on using iSpyConnect?

    • June 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      I have not tested NAS or NVR hardware products, mostly because I believe in the software model. I preserves your investment better, you can upgrade hardware without re-licensing software and vice-versa, swap out software without re-purchasing hardware. I’ll take a look at iSpy, never seen that before.

  5. July 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I have setup the XProtect GO now on a Windows 7 computer to act as a server. I basically purchased a small form factor Asus eeeBox and mounted it to my monitor so it is all self contained. I am driving 8 cameras and it is working quite nice. Indeed, running the Client software on it is slow. But the mobile Android client is working very well. So far, the only concern I have is the fact that I can only store 5 days of data. I am going to assess if it is worth shelling out the extra cash for unlimited storage capacity.

    I wrote an article on my journey and findings here:

    http://blog.prolecto.com/2012/07/04/discoveries-building-an-ip-based-surveillance-system/


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