Lorex vs YI Cameras

If you want to upgrade your home security, a quality security camera is the best way to do that. But hundreds of home security cameras are available and just as many providers. Lorex and YI are two good providers of home security equipment.

YI Technologies is a modern security provider founded in 2014. The company sells various cameras, including outdoor security cameras and dashcams. They sell some equipment under their sub-brand, Kami.

Lorex is a North American provider of advanced security cameras, including 32-camera set-ups. Let‘s take an in-depth look at what Lorex and YI offer.

Lorex vs YI: What do they have in common?

  • Night vision: Lorex and YI offer several cameras with night vision capabilities, including color night vision.
  • Two-way talk: Several cameras offer two-way audio capabilities.
  • Voice control: You can use voice control with these products, thanks to compatibility with Amazon Alexa.
  • Doorbell camera: Lorex and YI offer video doorbells, an excellent and straightforward way to increase your home security.
  • Weatherproof cameras: Cameras offered by each provider are weatherproof.
  • Local storage: Lorex and YI cameras often have MicroSD card storage, reducing reliance on cloud storage.
  • Mobile app: You can manage your system via a handy smartphone app, available on Android and iOS. You‘ll also receive motion alerts.
  • Customizable motion detection: Most YI and Lorex cameras have customizable motion detection and sensitivity.

Lorex vs YI: What are the differences?

  • Speaker quality: Some customers report an intermittent issue with speaker quality; it may not pick up all sounds. This is a negative quality for security equipment.
  • Pricing: Lorex's cheapest camera starts at $99, but YI offers cameras for less than $30, making them near impossible to beat.
  • Security system size: Lorex security bundles have up to 32 cameras and can be used to cover businesses and large residences. YI Cameras are designed for home security only.
  • Video quality: YI has a lower frame rate than Lorex cameras, and Lorex offers 4k resolution. Overall, video quality is quite different, with Lorex offering more.

YI: What you need to know

YI is an affordable provider launched in 2014, offering great technologies, 1080p HD video surveillance cameras, dash cams and other convenient devices. All equipment is easy to install and DIY compatible. Let‘s take a look at what they offer.

Installation

Aside from the Kami wire-free outdoor camera, all cameras are wireless. YI cameras are easy to install, and everything you need will arrive with your purchase, but customer services can be hard to contact. If you can‘t find the answers online, troubleshooting is complex.

Equipment

YI offers a range of equipment compatible with the YI Home app. Popular equipment includes:

  • Baby monitors
  • Wi-Fi security cameras (including indoor and outdoor cameras)
  • Dash cams
  • IP cameras
  • Doorbell cameras

YI cameras are wireless with motion-activated video recordings and 1080p resolution, most are plugged in, but battery life could be improved for battery-powered cameras. Most YI cameras have a 110-degree field of view; compared to Lorex’s cameras (field of view up to 360 degrees), they're not as advanced, but affordable.

Home automation

YI Smart cameras have plenty of advanced features, but third-party integrations with smart home devices are almost non-existent. The only real integration offered is compatibility with Amazon Alexa, and even that is limited, being provided by some indoor cams.

Costs

Equipment costs: YI cameras are cheap, the 1080p Home Camera starts at just $24.99, and the YI Dome Camera, which has more features, costs $59.99. No matter which you choose, you'll have an excellent piece of kit without paying much.

Monthly costs: YI only stores short video clips when motion triggers; if you need additional cloud storage, you‘ll need to pay for the privilege. There are three storage plans.

  • Entry plan: $5 per month and covers one camera with seven days of history.
  • Standard plan: $12 per month covering five cameras and 15 days of history.
  • Plus plan: $19 per month, covering five cameras with 30-days of history.

Nerd pros

  • Cost: At around $20 for a security camera, Lorex can‘t beat YI on pricing.
  • User-friendly: YI cameras are easy to use and install. Everything you need will come with your new camera.

Nerd cons

  • Quality: To cut prices, YI makes sacrifices such as frame rate and good customer service. Many would rather pay a little more and have access to better services.
  • Professional installation: YI doesn’t offer professional installation.
  • Professional monitoring: There's no professional monitoring offered.

Lorex - What you need to know

Lorex is known for offering some of the best outdoor security cameras with 4k resolution and advanced features. Lorex has decades of experience offering various home security cameras, including everything from individual Wi-Fi cameras to 32-camera NVR systems. Lorex can provide services to homes and businesses, and professional installation may be available depending on your location.

The high-quality app can provide motion-activated notifications and is available on Android and iPhone.

Installation

Your security camera system will be easy to install; everything you need is included. But the complexity will vary depending on your purchase,

For example, you can purchase Wi-Fi security cameras, hardwired systems, and POE (Power Over Ethernet) options. Each comes with a clear instruction booklet; the only required tools are basics (screwdrivers, etc.). But if you're not confident at DIY, you can purchase professional installation via a licensed third-party, InstallerNet.

Equipment

Lorex offers a decent selection of security cameras, including:

  • Outdoor security cameras (including floodlight and spotlight cameras and smart security cameras with built-in motion detectors)
  • Wire-free security system kits
  • NVR 4k systems with 8+ viewing channels
  • Indoor security cameras
  • Video doorbells

Lorex cameras are all 1080p HD+, and many offer 4k resolution. Lorex also offers rechargeable batteries, power cords, and related accessories. Lorex doesn't provide any dedicated smart home options.

Home automation

Lorex offers good basic smart home security, such as compatibility with If This Then That (IFTTT) and Z-wave technology, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, and more. But if you want a dedicated line of smart home products, you‘re better off looking elsewhere.

Costs

What you pay will depend on your choice, but prices will start at around $99 for a single camera, and NVR recorders supporting 8+ cameras start at $1000+. Homeowners can expect to pay under $500 for a basic home security system.

You won‘t need to pay monthly fees since Lorex doesn‘t force you to pay extra for video storage. There are no professional monitoring services to pay for.

Nerd pros

  • Camera quality: Lorex offers some of the best HD camera systems, with 4K video resolution.
  • Variety: Lorex offers some of the best options; you can purchase a Lorex system whether you‘re securing a modest home or a large business. There's something for everyone, from 32-camera CCTV systems to video doorbells.
  • Customized motion detection: False alarms can be prevented with customizable activity zones and sensitivity.
  • Camera view: Most cameras offer pan-tilt zoom, and many offer a 360-degree field of view.

Nerd cons

  • Lack of home integration options: There are only a handful of third-party integrations offered; there aren‘t any dedicated smart home automation such as smart locks or lights.
  • Professional monitoring: Despite offering almost everything, you can't access professional monitoring.
  • Cost: $99+ for one camera is steep compared to home security providers such as YI Technologies.

Lorex or YI?

Lorex and YI are two solid providers, but they cater to different markets. If you‘re looking for a cut-price deal, you won‘t find better than YI. But you get what you pay for — YI cuts many corners, frame rate, customer service, resolution, and longevity.

If you want the best long-term experience and product, Lorex is a good choice. If you‘re looking for the best home security cameras in the business, Lorex can‘t be beaten. But if you just want one or two small cameras or a video doorbell for peace of mind, you can save a lot of money by choosing YI.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James Banta

Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.

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