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Best Camera Security System Setup using Frigate NVR

Best Camera Security System Setup Using FrigateThe best camera security system setup using Frigate NVR involves using Frigate NVR in a separate Linux manual install, setting up network based storage and then integrating with Home Assistant. This setup is a very powerful, free and open source setup with object and motion detection implemented in a flexible manner, allowing full integration into Home Assistant, easy backups, and NAS based footage storage (not cloud based and fully local). Sound too good to be true? Well, this is one of those rare times when it’s NOT too good to be true and you get all of that and more for your camera security system setup with this Frigate NVR install method.

Frigate NVR is a powerful open source Linux-based NVR software with integrated object and motion detection. Full integration with Home Assistant allows you to have your smart home take action based on detected objects in specific zones on any cameras attached to Frigate NVR. You can create automations and notifications based on the object Frigate detects in your camera. For example, you can get a notification on your phone when a car pulls into your driveway. Or you can have Alexa notify you when a bear is in your back yard. Some really cool stuff.

This post is an introduction to a series of four articles which will walk you through setting up Frigate NVR. Don’t let the number or articles (or the length of the first article) intimidate you. There is nothing super complex here, these post just try to provide as much information as possible. There are also optional portions of articles and articles which you may want to skip depending on your setup.

Article Series Table of Contents

Below is a list of articles in this series. If you’re setting up from scratch, you should start from the first article (exluding this post). Here is a list of the articles in this series for you to jump to:

  1. Best Security System Setup using Frigate NVR (Overview Article – this article)
  2. Frigate NVR: Linux Manual Install
  3. Frigate NVR: Reolink Camera Configuration
  4. TrueNAS: NFS Network Share
  5. Frigate NVR: Home Assistant Integration

What are the advantages of this setup?

Over the last few months, I’ve tried a number of different install methods for Frigate and in the end, I found that the way outline in these series of articles is the the best security system setup using Frigate NVR. Here are some of the reasons and considerations for using this method of installation;

First – this setup is base on Frigate NVR at the core which is an amazing piece of free, open source software developed and maintained by blakeblackshear. It allows both motion and object detection. This means that it can detect if there is a person on your camera, or even in a specific area of your camera. Object detection is not just limited to people as Frigate has dozens of objects to detect! Did I mention its open source and FREE?

Second – Frigate and this method of installation allows for an entirely local installation and does not rely on the cloud. This means there is no way that somebody out there is snooping your camera or your recorded files. This makes it secure to use for camera feeds inside your home as well as outside.

Third – installing Frigate in this manner allows an unlimited amount of storage for your recordings, clips and images significantly increasing your ability for longer retention, larger video and images sizes, longer pre and post object detection capture and stores them on a NAS for easy access, backup and retention.

I’ve tried installing Frigate as a Home Assistant add-on. While simpler, it does not allow the flexibility of using alternate storage which creates limitations on disk space (1023 GB max) and makes backing up your Home Assistant VM or container much more difficult because of the large size. It is also not easy to map a network drive within the Home Assistant containers.

Fourth – this installation method (as I’ve eluded to a couple times above) can be installed as virtual machine or in a container which allows for easy back up and redeployment. Significantly, without the recordings, clips and images being stored locally, the container or Virtual Machine size is very small.

Fifth – as noted in the introduction, integration with Home Assistant allows for some very very powerful automations and notifications. You can create an automation that when Frigate detects somebody in your front driveway, it can turn on the outside lights. You can have Alexa notify you when a bear is in your back yard. All of this is based on the object detection built into Frigate being integrated into Home Assistant.

What is this setup?

Now, that you’ve seen the advantages of this approach, how exactly are we planning to set things up? We are going setup a separate Linux based machine (ideally a Virtual Machine or container for easy backup) for Frigate to allow us the greatest felxibiltiy and customization possible. Then we are going to create a network link to a TrueNAS Network Attached Storage (NAS) over a NFS file share to create a location to store all of the footage and clips recorded by Frigate. We are going to configure and optimize (Reolink) cameras in Frigate. Then finally we are going to integrate Frigate with Home Assistant to give us the option to create very powerful automations and / or notifications based through Home Assistant and your smart home.

This setup is outlined visually below.

Conclusion

Now that you know what we have planned and outlined, you are ready to jump into the first article: Frigate NVR: Linux Manual Install. Jump on in and get started with the best camera security system setup using Frigate NVR.

Happy Frigatin’!

~digiMoot

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