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Pros: This is a very simple entry level surveillance system, it contains the 4 cameras, the DVR unit and a few more accessories and instructions.
Having some knowledge of computers and electronics I found it very intuitive to set up this system, the hardest part was of course running the cabling from point to point for each camera.
For anyone wondering the DVR unit inside has a standard 3.5'' SATA hard drive, so you can replace it with a different one easily. I switched the included 1Tb with a 2Tb I had spare and it was recognized and worked perfectly after formatting.
I didn't have a 4Tb or larger to test at the time but they might be compatible as well.
Cons: Be very careful when changing resolution settings for the TV/monitor as it may render the device unable to view the screen. I bumped up the resolution of my TV in the defender software settings and after rebooting I could not see anything on screen, no signal. Had to plug it to a computer monitor, undo my changes and then was able to use the TV again.
Also, I highly recommend using the included mouse with it, trying to maneuver the menus with the remote is extremely time consuming.
Remember that after applying most settings on the defender software nothing changes until you actually reboot. A reboot is necessary for applying settings changes.
On the side of the iOS/Android software, it worked for the most part with some quirks. Android used a different barcode on the device to register than iOS. There's 2 barcodes on stickers on the device so if one doesn't work try the other one. Cameras on Android app every now and then drop and have to be reconfigured.
Other Thoughts: I give it 4 stars because although it has its number of flaws the price point indicates that this was never intended to be a top of the line solution. This is a very good solution for beginners to start with and to learn how to set up and work with networked surveillance systems.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: It's very sturdy, the locking mechanism works, unlike others I will not run my arm against this one and accidentally pull out a drive while the PC is running.
Cons: Each drive has its own presence/activity LED, but for me they don't work well, only one of the two lights up for activity and it does not seem to be exact. However I have two of these cages connected to an Adaptec 6405E, and not directly to the motherboard so that might be part of the issue.
Other Thoughts: I have two of these running a RAID-10 connected to an Adaptec 6405E and apart from the activity LEDs it works perfectly. I benchmarked it with CrystalDiskMark and my four little old 80Gb hard drives, which are over 5 years old, in RAID-10 still pushed past 100Mbytes/sec.
All in all I think these are very good units, and they would be best combined with SSDs in RAID.
This review is from: SUPERMICRO AOC-SAT2-MV8 64-bit PCI-X133MHz SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card
Pros: Back in 2012 I needed to expand the capacity of my old storage server and didn't have the money to go all out and buy new case, motherboard, etc. I came across this controller card and in having several 5.25'' slots available I also purchased a 3x5.25'' to 5x3.5'' drive cage, which instantly gave me 5 new slots for 5 more hard drives.
After opening up and installing everything, installing drivers, etc, it worked like a charm! It's not the fastest thing out there, my motherboard doesn't have PCI-e anyway, so for pure cold storage it's plenty fast and reliable.
I was also amazed I could run this controller in Windows Server 2012 R2, had a bit of complication with the drivers, but managed to get it to work. Running it with 4Tb hard drives and they are recognized perfectly too.
Cons: Over the years I upgraded my storage server to Windows Server 2012 and had a bit of a fight with the drivers. I think it's a shame Supermicro doesn't continue support for this controller anymore, and for a bit I thought I was going to have to get a different one. After looking around for answers I found that this controller card is driver compatible with the Sonnet Tempo Sata controllers, so if anyone needs to find a driver to get this controller working on newer OSes, look up on google for "Sonnet Tempo SATA X4i 4.2.0".
After installing those drivers Windows Server 2012 recognized it instantly and all my drives came online, I imported them and all data was there and RAID redundancy across drives maintained.
Other Thoughts: Some people reported this controller was not capable of handling large hard drives, but I have it hooked up to hard drives of 1Tb, 2Tb and 4Tb capacities and they are recognized without any issue.
I don't know if it's because I'm using the Sonnet Tempo driver, or if it's because it's Windows Server 2012, but larger hard drives had no issue. The only thing to notice is that with hard drives over 3Tb you have to convert them to GPT to get the full amount of space in one partition. Otherwise it creates a 3Tb partition and a second partition with the remaining space.