The last few years have seen a rapid rise in popularity of network attached storage (NAS) systems. Coupled with the increased interest in IP cameras for surveillance, this has led to video management / surveillance solutions becoming an important product line for NAS as well as networking equipment vendors. Companies such as QNAP have dedicated surveillance NAS units (VioStor lineup). Other companies provide surveillance solutions as apps for their NAS platform (Synology's Surveillance Station, for example). At CES, we saw Buffalo working together with AXIS to create a networked video recorder (NVR) using a standard 2-bay Marvell-based NAS.

Linksys is no stranger to the NAS market, though they might not be as popular as more established vendors in the space such as Netgear, Synology and QNAP. They are making a concerted effort to re-enter the small and medium business (SMB) market with recent product introductions in the networking space. Towards this, they recently announced some SMB solutions in the surveillance market. A number of 1080p-capable IP cameras were introduced, but our focus here is on the NVR model, the LNR0208C.

The LNR0208C is a standalone NVR system running an embedded Linux OS. Based on a Marvell 2.0 GHz SoC (likely to be one of the higher clocked Kirkwood variants), it supports up to eight simultaneous video feeds in eight separate channels. There is support for all Linksys IP cameras out of the box, but other vendors' cameras which are ONVIF profile S compliant can also be used with the NVR. There is no license requirement to add cameras, unlike the surveillance offerings from other vendors. With two bays, the end user can have up to 8 TB of hot-swappable storage. The NVR-specific features include remote live view and playback and support for linking with other NVRs on the network (multiple NVR monitoring). The hardware itself is a standard 2-bay NAS with a GbE port, two eSATA ports and three USB 2.0 ports. The differentiating aspect is the presence of four digital in / two digital out (DI/DO) ports for sensors and alarms (This application note [PDF] provides an overview of how DI/DO ports can be used in conjunction with an IP camera / NVR system).

The Linksys LNR0208C diskless version has a MSRP of $799.99 MSRP and will become available for purchase later this month.

Source: Linksys

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  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - link

    None of this is worth it if the criminal just steals the unit. You have to put some form of online backup for it to be useful. Which brings to the next point, good luck with that with the bandwidth it will make daily.
  • Murloc - Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - link

    just hide it and make it complicated enough to get to that it becomes too dangerous to spend lots of time taking it out, since most people who are concerned with security have an alarm too.

    Also I guess you can use motion detection so that it uploads only relevants parts of the video?
  • Einy0 - Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - link

    You are giving your typical criminal way too much credit. Most thieves don't even think about cameras unless they see one staring them in the face. If you put this unit in with other networking equipment /servers will they really know what it is? They will most likely have no clue.
  • groundhogdaze - Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - link

    Hide it inside an empty CRT monitor. No one will steal one of those.
  • extide - Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - link

    LOL, thats a good idea, hahaha
  • hpglow - Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - link

    The price of this thing is what is criminal. $800? There are haswell nas out there for that price. Linksys better have some killer software or something to make people want to cough up $800 for a diskless mac.
  • hpglow - Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - link

    I ment NAS. Damn autocorrect.
  • menting - Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - link

    well, you're not totally wrong...a diskless mac (if there was one), WOULD probably cost about that much :)
  • fokka - Thursday, February 6, 2014 - link

    800?? i was wtf too, i don't know too much about the other features, but a good (consumer) 2bay nas shouldn't cost more than 3-400 bucks without drives. what more is there to handle than a couple hd-streams?
  • Beany2013 - Saturday, February 8, 2014 - link

    It's the licensing for the CCTV you are paying for, not the hardware.

    Synology's midrange 2-bay NASs (DS214+ ) cost about £300 empty in the UK, but you can only hook one camera up to them without buying more licenses, either individually at about £35/each or in groups of four for around £130ish (as I recall - I haven't rechecked the pricing, but you get the idea).

    The QNAP Viostors come with eight camera licenses out of the box, as it were - they cost more like £500 diskless.

    I'm preferring the Synology model meself - most of my customers who want CCTV only want a couple of cameras.

    Also, having worked with both the QNAP and the Syno gear, I can tell you for a fact that you can set up port forwarding, dynDNS etc for the cameras, and have the DVR system on a totally unrelated site - say, your neighbours attic, or the office at work - and it'll still record fine, provided you have the bandwidth.

    I tested this with my Syno and a customers 480p cameras on an Infinity2 (20mb upload) connection, and didn't get a single dropped frame.

    Also, Andrewaggb below is not wrong - you are basically unlimited in the ways you can mix and match recording methodologies, especially where your cameras have the ability to upload footage over FTP/email independantly of what the DVR is doing (and it can upload to a remote site itself) so these devices definitely have their uses for pretty much anyone, from someone who just wants one camera to watch their moped parked outside their flat, to a small business or a school who ideally want offsite replication and multiple redundant copies of the footage; it's pretty much down to how much effort you want to put in; or more realistically, how much money you want to pay someone like myself or Andrew to put the effort in for you.

    None of it would be too tricky for the typical, well versed AT reader, though.

    Steven R

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