Let us begin!
AJAX is being developed and produced in the Ukraine since 2013. Every year their workforce doubles and new security products of the highest quality are released.
Hikvision is the largest camera manufacturer in the world and comes from China. And if there’s anything Chinese can do well, it’s counterfeit products. And so it happened that Hikvision launched the AX Pro alarm system on the market at the end of 2020, which is almost identical to everything from AJAX.
Of course, you want to know which system or brand is the best. But there is no single answer to this as long as you do not know what the differences and identical characteristics of both systems are. That’s why we tell you step by step what we think you should know about both AJAX and Hikvision so that in the end you know which system meets your requirements the most.
In what are AJAX and Hikvision equal
Both manufacturers have marketed an alarm system that is completely wireless, with the exception of the Hub, the system’s central unit. The Hub connects to the Cloud, and this Cloud monitors the entire system. As soon as a connection is lost, the Cloud will report this on the phones of the connected users.
The systems can use their full functionality without a subscription fee. Only if you choose a SIM card as a communication channel or an incident room are costs involved. You can read about the need for this, or not, in our article “SIM card & control room“.
Both systems are so-called 2-way systems, the Hub communicates with the wireless detectors, but the detectors also communicate back to the Hub. This is very important, because a defect, whether intentionally or not caused by a burglar, should be immediately detected by the Hub. If a detector fails to react, this may mean that it no longer works. The Hubs therefore check very regularly whether the correct response from the detector is received back.
This check, also called pinging of a detector, is done every 12 to 48 seconds at AJAX, depending on the setting. At Hikvision this is done every 1 to 5 minutes. A small advantage for AJAX.
The wireless signal in both cases has a range of 2,000 metres in open field, although this varies per product up to a maximum of 800 to 1200 metres. Usually more than enough to be able to secure even the largest homes without an extender. The wireless signal is called AJAX Jeweller and Hikvision Tri-X.
Incidentally, both AJAX and Hikvision have extenders in their range with which you can extend the wireless signal. The range of detectors also includes motion detectors, door contacts, vibration contacts, smoke detectors, water leakage detectors, and panic buttons.
All detectors are powered by pre-installed, easily replaceable batteries of model CR123A. These have an average life span of 3 to 7 years on both systems, depending on the chosen product.
The entire installation and operation of both alarm systems is done via an App on your smartphone. At AJAX this is called AJAX Security System and at Hikvision Hik-Connect.
What does AJAX have that Hikvision doesn’t (yet) have
At the time of writing, December 2020, AJAX has a number of products which you will not yet find at Hikvision. The three most important are the AJAX MotionProtect Outdoor, AJAX Transmitter and AJAX MultiTransmitter.
Because you want to be able to detect potential burglars as early as possible with an alarm system, motion detectors outside the home are a good addition to any indoor detectors. Because with outdoor detectors undesirable persons are already detected outside the house and chased away with a siren. The AJAX MotionProtect Outdoor detects burglars in your garden or driveway before a burglary actually takes place. Clever!
The AJAX Transmitter is a separate transmitter that you can connect to any detector of any other brand of system. This way you can, for example, integrate detectors of the Optex brand into the AJAX alarm system. In this way you have even more choice in the use of motion detectors, because Optex has a very wide range of motion detectors for outdoor use. Thanks to AJAX Transmitter, every brand of detector is wireless and powered from the AJAX Transmitter.
AJAX MultiTransmitter is a module for the integration of wired third party devices with Ajax. Dozens of detectors and kilometres of cable can now be effortlessly transformed into a modern security system with control via a smartphone. The module replaces the old security centre and connects wired devices to a Hub so that they become an integral part of AJAX. In this way you can upgrade your old alarm system to AJAX while retaining your existing wired detectors.
What does Hikvision have that AJAX doesn’t (yet) have
These differences are mainly due to the possibilities of the Hub and the activation or deactivation of the alarm system. At Hikvision, for example, you can connect a separate Tagreader with which you can operate the system at any desired position with a tag. Simply hold the tag in front of the reader and the system switches on or off. No remote control or code input required.
Detectors can be registered with both brands by scanning a QR code on the product. However, with Hikvision you can also choose to put the Hub in a so called “Enroll” function, a kind of registration mode. All products that are subsequently switched on in the vicinity of the Hikvision Hub are then automatically linked. Convenient!
Different versions of the Hub
At AJAX you can choose from 4 different Hub versions. With Hikvision there are 2.
What are the differences: All Hubs are connected with internet cable for the connection to the Cloud, but also have a SIM card as backup. There is a difference in the network frequency on which this SIM card can work. The Hubs can be active on the following networks:
- AJAX Hub 1
- AJAX Hub 2
- Hikvision Hub Low
Support for 2G and 3G:
- AJAX Hub Plus
Support for 2G and 3G and 4G:
- AJAX Hub 2 Plus
- Hikvision Hub Medium
As providers will switch off 2G and 3G in the future, and only 4G and the new 5G will remain active, it is important to determine how necessary a mobile connection via the SIM card is for you.
If you use a fixed internet connection at home, the SIM card only serves as a backup, and this communication channel with the Cloud is less important. If, however, you do not have a fixed internet connection and the SIM card is your main connection to the Cloud, it is important to check whether the provider you choose maintains the network that supports the Hub.
So the fact is that the most reliable and future-proof Hubs are the AJAX Hub 2 Plus and the Hikvision Hub Medium, as they support all networks. Of course, these are also the most expensive variants of both brands. As you can see, however, there is a considerable price difference between both top models.
Both Hubs models therefore use the following communication channels with the Cloud:
However, the Hikvision Hub Medium is considerably cheaper than the AJAX Hub 2 Plus.
In general we can say that the price of all Hikvision products is slightly cheaper than the AJAX products.
There are 2 further differences between the AJAX Hub and the Hikvision Hub. The AJAX Hub has no speaker or siren and is therefore always silent. However, the Hikvision Hub does have a built-in speaker that tells you exactly what you are doing during installation, and in the event of an alarm, it emits an audible alarm tone that cannot be compared to the volume of a real siren. This can be useful for some people, although we personally see little added value in spoken guidance.
During installation you can see everything clearly in the App for both brands, so a spoken confirmation would not be necessary for us. Once everything is installed, the Hub will probably end up somewhere in the meter cupboard, and you won’t hear any more of the internal siren or spoken messages. You could, of course, mount the Hub in a location where you can hear it, but that would probably be in sight, and it is unwise to mount a Hub in sight of burglars as well, as this is the heart of the alarm system. You want to make it inaccessible to uninvited guests.
Another difference is that the Hikvision Hub Medium also has a built-in Tagreader to operate the system with a Tag. Because it is unwise to mount the Hub at the front door, as this facilitates sabotage of the Hub, we would always opt for the separate Tagreader if a Tagreader is required, rather than using the built-in reader in the Hub. This additional option in the Hikvision Hub is also of little added value to us.
The fact is, however, that for the money you get from a Hikvision Hub Medium, at AJAX you only get a Hub 2. The Hikvision Hub Medium then has the following extras:
- Support for 3G and 4G as a backup channel with the Cloud
- Wi-Fi as backup channel with the Cloud
- Spoken messages
- Tagreader built-in, including 3 Tags
- Built-in audible siren
- Coupling with separate Hikvision cameras (4x)
What if we compare the cheapest hubs of both brands
If you do not wish to use motion detectors with a built-in camera, you can also choose Hub 1 at AJAX. The Hikvision Hub Low supports up to 4 motion detectors with camera. You can also use the Hikvision Hub Low Wi-Fi as a backup channel to maintain the connection to the Cloud. The AJAX Hub 1 does not support Wi-Fi.
Both Hubs have a SIM card as a backup connection for the Cloud, but only support 2G networks.
Now that we have discussed the main differences of the Hubs we can continue with the most important detectors.
AJAX MotionCAM and Hikvision PIRCAM
Motion detectors with built-in photo camera, both brands have them in the range, with an equal photo resolution of 640×480 pixels and infrared lighting. These motion detectors are very popular because you can immediately see who or what is sounding the alarm. You will immediately receive several photos on your smartphone in case of an alarm. The AJAX takes 3 to 7 photos with every movement and the Hikvision 9 to 20, depending on the chosen resolution.
The Hikvision PIRCAM can be connected to any Hikvision Hub model. So both the Low and Medium Hubs are suitable. The disadvantage, however, is that a maximum of 4 PIRCAM detectors can be connected per Hub. Although this will be sufficient for most homes.
Detectors without a built-in camera can be connected up to 96 pieces with Hikvision Hub Medium.
With AJAX, the MotionCAM can only be connected to Hub 2 and Hub 2 Plus. The regular Hub 1 and Hub 1 Plus are therefore not suitable for the AJAX MotionCAM.
The advantage with AJAX is that you can connect up to 100 MotionCAM with Hub 2 and even 200 with Hub 2 Plus.
Comparing the Apps
Both Apps are available for free in Apple’s Appstore and in the Google Play store. The complete installation is done on both brands of systems with the App on your phone. The AJAX App is easy to use and can import camera images if you have separate cameras from the supported brands. However, don’t imagine too much, because it’s nothing more than viewing the images that you would otherwise have seen if you had opened the App of the manufacturer of that camera brand. If you have a PTZ camera with a movable lens, it is not editable in the AJAX App.
Our preference is to view the camera images in the manufacturer’s own App, because then all the possibilities of the camera are available.
The Hik-connect App from Hikvision is more convenient in this respect, because the camera images from the brands Hikvision, Safire and Ezviz, among others, could already be viewed including all the possibilities in the Hik-connect App. The AX Pro alarm system from Hikvision is simply an extra product that you link to the Hik-connect App. This really gives you one App for all your cameras and your alarm system. Only Hikvision really lives up to the slogan “Alarm system and Camera system in one”.
An additional advantage is that with the Hikvision alarm system you can link up to 4 separate cameras to detectors. If one of these detectors detects something, the image of the linked camera will immediately appear on your smartphone so that you can immediately take the right action. This integration of alarm and separate camera does not exist with AJAX. With AJAX you can only view live images from cameras, and not look back to the first moment of motion detection.
If you choose to view camera images in the App of the manufacturer of your camera, you can of course look back in time, provided you have inserted an SD card or a recorder.
Which system is best for you?
Now that we have described the most striking features of both systems, the choice is yours.
Why you choose the AJAX alarm system
- Early detection of burglars by unique outdoor detector
- Transmitter makes any detector of any brand suitable for integration
- Possibility to connect up to 200 detectors with built-in camera
- Immune for pets up to 20KG
- Faster ping of all detectors
- More products currently available
- MultiTransmitter turns your old wired alarm system back into a modern system that can be operated with your phone.
- More beautiful design
- Wireless range up to 2,000 metres without range extender
- Widest wireless range: Up to 5 range extenders on Hub 2 and Hub 2 Plus for a maximum coverage area of 35 square kilometres
- Easily interfaceable with virtually any control room in the world
Review AJAX alarm system in Smarthome magazine
Apart from some very minor improvements, the AJAX Systems alarm system is, as far as we are concerned, the best, smart alarm system we have tested to date. There is nothing that does not work well with this system: the improvement lies mainly in extending the possibilities of linking the alarm system with home automation applications.
Smarthome magazine rating: 9.0/10 (Excellent)Read full review
Why you choose the Hikvision AX Pro alarm system
- Real integration of camera and alarm system in one App
- Image storage of genuine loose Hikvision cameras on the Hub Medium
- 4G Cloud backup support at an affordable price
- Generally cheaper than AJAX
- Immune for pets up to 30KG
- Better indoor siren
- Many of the same possibilities at a lower price
- Wireless range up to 2,000 metres without range extender
- Wireless range even more expandable with 2 or 4 range extenders, only necessary for the security of large factories
Welk systeem is voor jouw het beste?
Nu we de meest in het oog springende kenmerken van beide systemen hebben beschreven is de keus aan jouw.
Waarom je voor het AJAX alarmsysteem kiest
- Vroegtijdige detectie van inbrekers door unieke buitendetector
- Transmitter maakt elke detector van elk merk geschikt voor integratie
- Mogelijkheid om tot 200 detectors met ingebouwde camera te koppelen
- Immuun voor huisdieren tot 20KG
- Snellere ping van alle detectors
- Momenteel meer producten beschikbaar
- MultiTransmitter maakt van je oud bekabeld alarmsysteem weer een modern systeem dat met je telefoon is te bedienen
- Mooier design
- Draadloos bereik tot 2.000 meter zonder range extender
- Grootste draadloze bereik: Maximaal 5 range extenders op Hub 2 en Hub 2 Plus voor een maximaal dekkingsoppervlak van 35 vierkante kilometer
- Eenvoudig koppelbaar met vrijwel elke meldkamer ter wereld
Review AJAX alarmsysteem in Smarthome magazine
Afgezien van wat hele kleine verbeterpunten is het AJAX Systems alarmsysteem wat ons betreft het beste, slimme alarmsysteem dat we tot op heden getest hebben. Er is niets dat niet goed werkt aan dit systeem: de verbetering zit hem vooral in het uitbreiden van de mogelijkheden om het alarmsysteem met domoticatoepassingen te koppelen.
Smarthome magazine beoordeling: 9.0/10 (Excellent)
Waarom je voor het Hikvision AX Pro alarmsysteem kiest
- Echte integratie van camera en alarmsysteem in één App
- Beeld opslag van echte losse Hikvision camera’s op de Hub Medium
- 4G Cloud backup ondersteuning voor een gunstige prijs
- In zijn algemeenheid goedkoper dan AJAX
- Immuun voor huisdieren tot 30KG
- Betere binnensirene
- Veel dezelfde mogelijkheden tegen een lagere prijs
- Draadloos bereik tot 2.000 meter zonder range extender
- Draadloos bereik nog eens extra uitbreidbaar met 2 of 4 range extenders, alleen noodzakelijk voor de beveiliging van grote fabrieken
We hope that you can now use the features described above to determine which system is most suitable for you.
Composing a complete security system starts with choosing the Hub of your choice, and then expands to include the detectors of your choice.
To make it easier for you to put together your own system, we have created a configuration page for the AJAX system with additional explanations.AJAX Products Hikvision Products AJAX configuration explanation
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