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Reolink and Lorex are esteemed and recognized pioneers in the field of consumer security cameras. Their primary goal is to offer a wide array of security cameras and systems, without shifting their attention to other areas where security equipment isn't the primary concern. As a result, the core business functions of Reolink and Lorex primarily revolve around security cameras and systems.

Catering to DIYers and installers alike, they each sell directly to customers via their website and their cameras are generally well-regarded.

In my research, I analyzed 45 cameras (17 Lorex models, and 28 Reolink models), along with a selection of kits and recorders.

I’ve also tested a number of cameras from both brands over the years and have found them to be pretty good quality and very reliable. The list of cameras analyzed along with links to my individual product reviews is at the bottom of the page.

The Winners

Best for Home Security

Reolink 1

View Cameras & Kits

Best for Commercial Security

Lorex 2

View Cameras & Kits

Best for Home Security: Reolink

If you are a homeowner looking for a few cameras to help improve your home security, then I’d definitely recommend Reolink over Lorex. 

They have better budget and mid-range camera options, particularly in the wireless and wire-free categories. Wireless cameras are also easier to install with less pulling cables.

Reolink cameras usually have local and cloud storage, decent image quality and night vision, two-way audio, and a solid mobile app.

Best for Commercial Security: Lorex

For large homes or businesses looking for a more comprehensive security solution, then I’d recommend Lorex over Reolink. 

Their cameras have bigger image sensors and therefore better night vision, stronger build quality, and offer more commercial-grade models.

They support coax cabling, offer more variety in NVR and DVR packages and have financing options available.

Winners per Category

Below is a quick look at the winners in each category.

CategoryWinner
1. Power & DataTie
2. Camera & LensLorex
3. VideoTie
4. StorageReolink
5. AudioReolink
6. Smart Integrations and NotificationsReolink
7. Night VisionLorex
8. PTZ CapabilitiesTie
9. Camera BuildLorex

Overview

While the consumer market is a target for both companies, Lorex has a more business-leaning focus than Reolink, with a range of higher-end cameras.

They both offer a wide range of products, including NVR, PoE cameras, Wi-Fi cameras, wire-free cameras, NVR camera packages, indoor cameras, and video doorbells.

Company Origins

Lorex has a longer track record than Reolink, having been established in 1991 compared to 2009. 

Originally a Canadian company, Lorex was acquired by the Chinese manufacturer, Dahua a number of years ago. However, with the impending NDAA regulation in the USA, the company has since been sold to a Taiwanese company, Skywatch.

Reolink is owned by Shenzhen Baichuan Security Technology Co., Ltd, based out of China.

Camera Types

Both Reolink and Lorex offer a wide range of security cameras in different budget ranges and camera types. These include PoE (Power over Ethernet), Wi-Fi, wire-free, PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras, and video doorbells.

Reolink also develops some specialty cameras like the Reolink Duo 2 which is a multisensor panoramic camera, the Reolink TrackMix, which is a multisensor PTZ and the Reolink Go, which is a 4G/LTE camera.

Lorex sells analog cameras like the C861XC-W, while Reolink does not have any analog cameras on offer.

Wired vs Wireless Cameras

Both Reolink and Lorex offer a mix of wired (via PoE), wireless (Wi-Fi with DC power), and wire-free camera models. However, Lorex’s catalog is very much weighted toward fully wired camera solutions (IP or analog).

Apps & Cloud

Unlike Lorex, Reolink has a cloud storage offering, with a free plan and paid plans starting from $3.49 per month.

Both brands offer Android and iOS apps. The Lorex apps have a higher rating on the various app stores, however, I have had more joy in personally operating the Reolink app.

Price & Budget

When considering price and product range, Reolink cameras tend to feature a broader selection, with models available in the budget to mid-range brackets. The majority of Lorex cameras fall within the mid-range to high-end price category.

This reflects Reolink's focus on the consumer market, while Lorex targets both consumers and businesses alike.

Warranty

Reolink offers a standard two-year warranty on its cameras, while Lorex only provides a one-year warranty. This may be an important factor for those seeking additional assurance on their investment.

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The Reolink Argus 3 Pro plus solar panel during my unboxing

1. Power & Data

Winner: Tie

Not much to set them apart. Lorex does sell analog cameras for older setups but that's not enough to win the category

When it comes to power options, both brands offer versatile choices such as DC Power, PoE (Power over Ethernet), Battery, and Solar Panels, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Transmitting Data

One advantage of Lorex cameras is that they have a range of both IP and analog, while Reolink only uses IP. This means that if you prefer an analog connection, Lorex would be the better choice for you.

Reolink cameras predominantly use 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, 5GHz Wi-Fi, or PoE for transmitting data, whereas Lorex cameras offer these methods or coax cable. 

In terms of wireless connectivity, both Reolink and Lorex offer both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi options. This is great for users who experience network congestion or interference, as the 5GHz WiFi option can provide a faster and more stable connection.

2. Camera & Lens

Winner: Lorex

Lorex cameras have bigger image sensors on average and offer more options for motorized lenses.

Lens type is an important consideration in choosing a security camera. Reolink mostly offers cameras with fixed-focus lenses, which means that they have a predetermined focal length for capturing images. 

In contrast, Lorex offers models with both fixed focus and motorized lenses, the latter of which allows you to adjust the focal length for greater flexibility in image capture.

Motorized lenses generally have a variable field of view, depending on the optical zoom level you are at.

Field of View

On average, Reolink cameras tend to have a wider field of view, with some like the Reolink Duo 2 offering 180 degrees horizontal thanks to its two image sensors. 

In contrast, Lorex cameras have a mix of wide and narrow fields of view, depending on the lens type.

Resolution

Another factor to consider is the camera's resolution, which affects the clarity and detail of the images captured. Lorex offers models with resolutions ranging from 2MP to 4K (8MP) while Reolink has models that deliver 12MP resolution (RLC-1224A). Night vision tends to degrade the higher the resolution, with ghost effects and artifacts. So it's not always advisable to go for the highest resolution.

CMOS Sensors

When it comes to image sensors, Reolink and Lorex both predominantly use CMOS sensors. These sensors are commonly used in digital cameras due to their lower cost and ability to deliver high-quality images.

Lorex sensors tend to be bigger from 1/1.8″ (in the LNZ81P25) to 1/3″ (in the C861XC-W). This is how these cameras can achieve night vision in low-lighting conditions.

Most Reolink sensors range from 1/2.7″ to 1/3″

3. Video

Winner: Tie

Nothing to set them apart

When it comes to continuous recording, Reolink’s catalog is more skewed to battery / solar-powered cameras. These cameras cannot support continuous recording.

Lorex offers more wired cameras than battery cameras, and wired cameras generally do support continuous recording.

In terms of frame rates, both Reolink and Lorex cameras generally have a maximum supported frame rate of 15 to 30 frames per second (fps). A higher frame rate typically results in smoother, more fluid video playback.

Motion-Activated Recording

Both brands offer models with motion-activated recording (standard in battery/solar-powered cameras). This feature allows cameras to start recording when there is movement detected, which is a useful way to save storage space and minimize unnecessary recordings.

On the video coding front, Reolink provides cameras that support either H.264 or H.265 video coding. H.265 is known for its enhanced video compression and efficiency compared to H.264. 

In contrast, as Lorex also offers analog cameras, they have a wider range of video coding formats, including H.265, H.264, H.264H, HEVC, and NTSC/PAL. 

With these additional options, certain Lorex cameras may provide higher compatibility with older playback and storage devices.

WDR

From my research, it looks like neither Lorex nor Reolink offers True WDR. They both have cameras that offer Digital WDR also known as HDR.

WDR technology helps balance the exposure in challenging lighting situations, such as when there are bright and dark areas within the same frame, to create a clearer, more detailed image.

Additional features available in select camera models include Privacy Masking (offered by the Reolink Argus 2E), Noise Reduction, 3D Digital Noise Reduction (DNR), White Balance Control, and Gain Control (primarily offered by various Lorex models). These features contribute to enhancing the overall video quality and user experience.

4. Storage

Winner: Reolink

Most Reolink cameras have a local storage backup. Also, Reolink offers Cloud Storage options and is upfront about its compatibility with other systems.

Reolink models generally offer more onboard storage capacity, better compatibility with other systems, and versatile storage options, including cloud storage.

Lorex cameras tend to rely more on external storage systems like NVR and DVR. Up to the end of 2022, their cameras were manufactured by Dahua and were usually ONVIF compatible (despite not advertising them as such). With Lorex’s acquisition by Skywatch, it will be interesting to see if Dahua continues manufacturing Lorex cameras and how that will work in the United States with the NDAA ban.

Local Storage

Firstly, when it comes to local storage capacity, Reolink offers a broader range of choices as compared to Lorex. 

Most Reolink models come with either 128GB or 256GB storage capacity, while only a few Lorex models offer 128GB or 256GB. 

Network Video Recorders

Most Lorex and Reolink cameras work with their respective NVR recorders. 

Lorex cameras, however, tend to rely more heavily on Network Video Recorder (NVR) or Digital Video Recorder (DVR) systems for storage, as opposed to on-board or cloud.

External Connections

Interoperability is another important factor to consider. Most Reolink models are compatible with Synology systems, Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), and Peer-To-Peer (P2P) connections. This allows for more flexible integration with other devices and systems, making it easier to set up and manage your home security network. 

On the other hand, Lorex does not advertise how compatible their cameras are with other systems. (Probably to push you to buy a full package). As mentioned, Dahua systems are typically ONVIF compatible so the PoE cameras should work with other systems (unofficially at least)

Cloud Storage

Reolink cameras also generally include cloud storage support. 

This means that Reolink users can access and manage their recorded footage from anywhere with an internet connection, providing an additional layer of convenience and security. 

5. Audio

Winner: Reolink

Most Reolink cameras support two-way audio with an integrated microphone and speaker. Lorex cameras tend to be pretty good at their main job, which is to capture video, to the detriment of audio.

A crucial feature of a security camera is its audio capabilities, and there are several aspects of audio to consider: integrated microphones, sirens, speakers, and two-way audio communication.

Two-way Audio

Based on my research, Reolink typically offers cameras with more comprehensive audio features. The majority of Reolink models come with integrated microphones, sirens, and speakers, which allow for live audio monitoring, intruder deterrence, and enhanced user interactivity through two-way audio.

Lorex, on the other hand, offers a more varied range of audio options. Some models, like the E881AP-W, have an alarm interface, enabling the camera to connect to an external alarm system. 

However, many Lorex models lack built-in microphones and two-way audio communication. With that being said, there are still a good number of Lorex models that do offer these features, such as the F461AQD-E and the W461ASC-E.

Sirens

Some Lorex cameras, like the U471AA-E, offer a recorded siren loudness of 84.4 dB, which should be loud enough to alert you and possibly deter intruders.

6. Smart Integrations and Notifications

Winner: Reolink

Reolink cameras tend to be more consumer-grade so have more compatibility with smart devices and systems. They also typically support Person and Vehicle detection. Lorex has more sophisticated intelligence features, however, these are usually reserved for their more expensive cameras.

When it comes to smart home integration, Reolink generally offers better compatibility, with most models supporting Alexa, Google Assistant, Chromecast, and Google Nest Hub. On the other hand, Lorex models tend to have more limited integration options, often supporting just one or two platforms like Alexa, Google Assistant, Chromecast, Fire TV, or Apple TV. 

Motion Detection

As for motion detection features, both Reolink and Lorex cameras have configurable motion sensitivity settings with most offering customizable motion zones.

Motion alerts play a crucial role in home security, and both Reolink and Lorex provide motion-based alerts. Most Reolink camera models offer push notifications and email alerts, while Lorex cameras typically provide push notifications. (Depending on how the Lorex NVR is setup)

Smart Detection Features

To avoid false positives, it's essential to discuss smart motion detection features. In this regard, Reolink tends to offer person detection and vehicle detection across a range of their models. 

Some Lorex models also include these features, but not as consistently as Reolink. Higher-end Lorex cameras even offer face detection and the ability to detect abandoned or missing objects.

20210526 101129
The Lorex H871T6D installed on the wall of my house

7. Night Vision

Winner: Lorex

Lorex has better camera sensors that work in low-light conditions. Also offers a floodlight camera

Most Reolink models have night vision enabled, and many offer multiple types of night vision. 

The majority of Reolink devices utilize infrared night vision, whereas several devices offer full-color night vision, either via a built-in spotlight with a couple through low-light sensor technology. 

On the other hand, Lorex cameras also come with night vision functionality, but the distribution between infrared and full-color is more evenly split. Like Reolink, full-color night vision in Lorex devices is offered through low-light sensors or a built-in spotlight/floodlight.

Low Light Sensor

Compared to Reolink, more Lorex cameras, such as the LNB9242B-W and E841CA-E can achieve color night vision without a spotlight, in low ambient light conditions, thanks to its low-light image sensor.

This generally means, Lorex image sensors are bigger and can let in more light.

Spotlights / Floodlights

Most Reolink devices come without a built-in spotlight feature. However, there are a few models that do include this feature. 

Via the integrated light, these models usually offer full-color night vision capabilities, with spotlight lumens ranging from 180 to 945, depending on the model. 

In contrast, a significant number of Lorex cameras offer built-in spotlight functionality with full-color night vision capabilities, with the brightest being the Lorex Floodlight with 4000 lumens.

While not a camera per se, Reolink has released a 2000-lumen floodlight.

argus pt 4
The Reolink Argus PTR 2K in my testing

8. Pan-Tilt-Zoom Capabilities

Winner: Tie

Reolink generally offers budget to mid-range consumer PTZ cameras, while Lorex offers a number of high-end PTZs with impressive optical zoom.

Reolink has expanded its PTZ offerings in the last 2 years and now sells multi-sensor PTZs (TrackMix Series) along with 4G, Battery/Solar, Wi-Fi, and PoE options.

While Reolink offers a wider variety of cameras with zoom capabilities and PTZ features, Lorex provides more advanced PTZ options with a wider range of optical zoom magnification in their models.

Digital Zoom

Firstly, let's discuss the zoom capabilities of the cameras from both brands. Digital zoom is a feature available in practically all Reolink and Lorex models. 

Reolink cameras typically have digital zoom magnification of 6 or 16 times. Digital zoom essentially crops the image and enlarges the cropped area, which usually results in lower image quality. 

Optical Zoom

On the other hand, optical zoom allows the camera lens to physically move to magnify the image, resulting in better picture quality. 

Optical zoom is a feature more commonly found in Lorex models compared to Reolink models. For example, the Lorex LNZ81P25 and E881AP-W cameras both have an impressive 25 times optical zoom.

Pan-Tilt-Zoom

Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) capabilities are also essential for those seeking a camera with enhanced coverage and movement. In Reolink's offerings, the RLC-523WA, E1 Outdoor, and Argus PT 2K models have pan and tilt features. 

The RLC-523WA and RLC-823A models also offer preset, pattern, and tracking capabilities. They have also released the Reolink TrackMix PoE which looks like an interesting mix of multi-sensor and PTZ.

Lorex, on the other hand, has multiple models like LNZ81P25 and LZV2925SC with full PTZ capabilities, featuring 360-degree panning, 90 to 180-degree tilting, and features like tours, presets, scans, and patterns.

9. Camera Build

Winner: Lorex

Some Lorex cameras tend to be more commercial grade and robust, with higher IP ratings, sturdier build quality, and can operate in sub-zero temperatures.

Reolink tends to offer more consumer camera models than Lorex. So these cameras tend to be lighter and have a more compact design.

Ingress Protection

IP rating indicates how well a camera can resist dust and water. Reolink cameras mostly have an IP65 or IP66 rating, meaning they are designed to be dust-tight and withstand water jets from any direction. 

Lorex cameras have a wider range of ratings, with some models like the LNZ81P25 rated IP67, providing protection from dust and immersion in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. If you need a camera to be placed in a wet or dust-prone environment, Lorex may be a better choice due to its higher-rated models.

Build Quality

Reolink cameras often use metal aluminum, while Lorex cameras can be found in aluminum, aluminum alloy, polycarbonate, metal, and plastic. A difference in materials may affect durability and resistance against potential vandalism. 

For example, the Reolink RLC-542WA is made of IK10 vandal-proof materials, providing added security against tampering.

Temperatures

Operating temperature is another crucial factor, especially if you live in an area with extreme temperature fluctuations. Both brands perform well in high temperatures, with Reolink cameras generally operating at a maximum temperature of 131°F (55°C) and Lorex cameras ranging up to 158°F (70°C). However, Lorex cameras tend to have a wider range, with some models like the LNZ81P25 capable of operating down to -40°F (-40°C).

Research & Citations

Hands-On Product Testing

Camera Models included in Research

Reolink Argus 2ELorex LNZ81P25
Reolink Argus EcoLorex E881AP-W
Reolink Duo 4GLorex F461AQD-E
Reolink Argus 3 Pro SolarLorex C861XC-W
Reolink RLC-812ALorex LBV2531W
Reolink Go PlusLorex W461ASC-E
Reolink Argus 3Lorex V261LCD-E
Reolink RLC-511WALorex B451AJD-E
Reolink Duo and Duo 2Lorex LZV2925SC
Reolink RLC-523WALorex U222AA
Reolink Go PT PlusLorex U471AA-E
Reolink Argus ProLorex W282CAD-E
Reolink E1 OutdoorLorex LNE9292B
Reolink Argus 2Lorex LNB9242B-W
Reolink RLC-410WLorex E841CD-E
Reolink RLC-520ALorex E841CA-E
Reolink RLC-510ALorex E892ABW
Reolink RLC-542WA
Reolink E1 Pro
Reolink RLC-810A
Reolink RLC-822A
Reolink RLC-823A
Reolink RLC-511W
Reolink RLC-820A
Reolink Argus PT 2K
Reolink RLC-811A
Reolink Lumus
Reolink Argus 3 Pro

Sources

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