Let us begin!
Okay, if there’s one thing the Chinese can do, it’s counterfeit products. And that’s why it didn’t take long for Hikvision to bring a similar system to the market like AJAX. Even the name looks like AJAX when you pronounce it quickly.
Here, we discuss whether Hikvision succeeded in copying the AJAX alarm system, and whether it’s worth considering the Hikvision system.
There are a lot of similarities, but probably even more differences between the two. At first glance, the possibilities of both systems are very similar. They secure your home or business with similar detectors, also completely wireless, and notifications arrive for free on your smartphone so you can take appropriate action. Both systems check themselves, so a maintenance contract is not necessary. Just changing the battery every 3 to 4 years is enough to keep the system operational for decades.
Let us state first that our company supplies both systems from stock in the multiple webshops we own, and therefore we are not biased in promoting a specific brand. We just want to share with the world our own experiences with both systems, and why you should or should not choose a particular brand. Our findings are based on at least 6 months of experience with both systems. The Hikvision system has only been available since December 2020, and this article was updated in June 2021. With these months of experience, we think we can paint a good picture of the differences between the two.
AJAX is developed and produced in Ukraine since 2013. Every year they double their staff and release new security products which are of the highest quality level. Just recently the AJAX MotionCAM was named security product of the year 2020.
Hikvision is the largest camera manufacturer in the world and originates from China. And if there is one thing the Chinese are good at, it is copying products. And so it happened that since the end of 2020, Hikvision launched the AX Pro alarm system, which is almost identical to everything from AJAX.
Of course you want to know which system or brand is the best. But for that you need to know the differences and identical features of both systems. Therefore, we’ll tell you step by step what we think you need to know about both AJAX and Hikvision so you can finally decide which system suits your needs the most.
Where AJAX and Hikvision are similar
Both manufacturers have an alarm system on the market that is fully wireless, except for the Hub, the central unit of the system. The Hub connects to the Cloud, and this Cloud monitors the entire system. As soon as a connection is lost, the Cloud will notify the phones of the connected users.
The systems can use their full functionality without subscription fees. Only if you opt for a SIM card as a communication channel or a control room are costs involved. You can read about the necessity of 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, caused deliberately or not by an intruder, should be noticed immediately by the Hub. If a detector does not respond, this can mean that it is no longer working. The Hubs therefore regularly check 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 with AJAX, depending on the setting. With Hikvision this is done every 1 to 5 minutes. An advantage for AJAX, because if a detector stops working, you want to know about it as soon as possible with a notification on your phone.
The wireless signal has a paper range of 2,000 metres in open field, although this varies per product up to a maximum of 800 to 1,200 metres. Usually, this is more than enough to secure even the largest homes without an extender. The wireless signal is called Jeweller at AJAX and Tri-X at Hikvision.
Our own experience is that AJAX’s wireless signal is slightly stronger than Hikvision’s, but with both you don’t have to worry about the range of the signal.
Both AJAX and Hikvision have extenders in their product range that you can use to extend the wireless signal. With Hikvision, you can connect up to 4 extenders and with AJAX up to 5. These numbers only apply to the most luxurious Hub of both brands. But we like to say it again, extenders are only necessary if you want to secure very large complexes.
The detector range also includes motion detectors, door contacts, vibration contacts, smoke detectors, water leak detectors and panic buttons.
All detectors are powered by pre-installed, easily replaceable CR123A batteries. These have an average service life of 3 to 7 years on both systems, depending on the product selected.
The entire installation and operation of both alarm systems is done through 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)?
Outdoor detectors and transmitters. JAX has 3 outdoor detectors:
- AJAX MotionProtect Outdoor
- AJAX DualCurtain Outdoor
- AJAX MotionCAM Outdoor
In addition, you can integrate any other detector brand, for example Optex, into the AJAX system through AJAX Transmitter and AJAX MultiTransmitter. This way you can also use all Optex outdoor detectors in your AJAX system.
At this moment, June 2021, Hikvision does not have any outdoor detector or Transmitter in its assortment, and enquiries at Hikvision learns that these will not come in the near future. A real missed opportunity!
Because you want to detect potential burglars as early as possible in an alarm system, motion detectors outside the house are a good addition to any indoor detectors. In fact, if you can protect all the sides of a house with outside detectors, you won’t even need a detector inside the house anymore. After all, thieves always come from outside, not from the ceiling.
The AJAX outdoor detectors spot burglars in your garden or driveway before a break-in actually takes place. Smart! Very smart!
The AJAX Transmitter is a separate transmitter that you can plug into any other brand of detector. This way you can integrate detectors from other brands into the AJAX alarm system. This way you have even more choice in using motion detectors. Thanks to AJAX Transmitter, every brand of detector becomes wireless and is powered by the AJAX Transmitter.
Since the arrival of the new AJAX outdoor detectors, the need to look for outdoor detectors at Optex has decreased enormously. The possibilities and quality of the newJAX outdoor detectors is really top notch.
AJAX MultiTransmitter is a module for integrating wired third-party devices with Ajax. Dozens of detectors and kilometres of cable can now be effortlessly transformed into a modern security system with smartphone control. The module replaces the old security control panel and connects wired devices to a Hub, making them a full part of AJAX. This way, you can upgrade your old alarm system to AJAX while keeping your existing wired detectors.
What does Hikvision have that AJAX doesn’t (yet)?
Both brands register their detectors by scanning a QR code on the product. However, with Hikvision you can also choose to set the Hub to a so-called “Enroll” function, a kind of registration mode. All products that are turned on in the vicinity of the Hikvision Hub are automatically linked. Handy!
What’s not so handy about the Hikvision products is that you have to unscrew or unclick the detectors before switching them on. Especially with the door contacts, we ourselves had difficulties to click them open without damage in order to set the slider to ON. Because of this, the total time required to log on the detectors is longer than with AJAX. The simple registration mode of Hikvision is nice, but the position of the on/off switches has not been thought through.
Hikvision also offers the possibility to give a detector a doorbell function. For example, if someone opens a door, you will hear dingdong coming from the Hub. This can be useful for shop owners, for example, who want to be alerted when a customer comes in.
The final notable difference is the ability to store images from real Hikvision surveillance cameras locally on the Hub. If a linked motion detector detects a movement, the linked surveillance camera can also display the image directly in the Hik-Connect app. Example: If a front door is opened and the alarm goes off, the outdoor camera aimed at the same front door can display the image prior to the door opening. This way, you quickly know what action to take in case of an intrusion. You can connect a total of 4 Hikvision cameras to the Hub Medium. This is not possible on the Hikvision Low Hub.
With AJAX, a camera system is always separate from the alarm system. You can play the live images from certain camera brands in the AJAX app, but we always advise to use the camera manufacturer’s app as it offers more features. Cameras are a different business, as AJAX says.
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.
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 the Hub 1 from AJAX. The Hikvision Hub Low does support camera-based motion detectors. Additionally, with the Hikvision Hub Low, you can use 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 free of charge in Apple’s Appstore and in the Google Play store. The complete installation of both brands of systems is done with the App on your phone. The AJAX App is easy to use and can import camera images for separate cameras of the supported brands. Don’t get your hopes up too much though, because it’s nothing more than viewing the images you would 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 will not be editable in the AJAX app.
Our preference is to view the camera images in the manufacturer’s app, because then all features of the camera are available.
The Hik-connect App from Hikvision is more convenient, because the camera images from brands like Hikvision, Safire and Ezviz could already be viewed with all features in the Hik-connect App. The AX Pro alarm system from Hikvision is just an extra product that you link to the Hik Connect App. This way, you really have one App for all your cameras and your alarm system. Only Hikvision really lives up to its 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 you can immediately take the appropriate action. This integration of alarm and separate camera doesn’t exist in AJAX. With AJAX, you can only view the live images of cameras, and not look back to the first moment of motion detection.
If you choose to view camera images in the app of your camera manufacturer, you can of course look back in time, provided you have an SD card or a recorder installed.
Update June 2021: With the arrival of the AJAX MotionCAM Outdoor, you will now receive one or more photos of detected motion on your smartphone in 9 seconds. This way you’ll know immediately who or what caused the alarm and can take appropriate action.
Our own experience with the various apps
If you already own cameras from Hikvision or Safire and already use the Hik-Connect app on your smartphone, the operation of the AX Pro alarm system will also look familiar. We ourselves also use Hikvision cameras outside our home, and were therefore also familiar with the Hik-Connect app. As an experienced user and installer, we like the many options that are available in the settings of the AX Pro detectors, but we are also aware that this abundance of settings can scare off a large part of the users, and it becomes difficult to set the most optimal settings. Even we had our doubts about certain detector settings the first time. By playing with it, we found out the consequences of a certain change. So it can sometimes take some testing time at Hikvision. Especially the doorbell function is very poorly described in the detector settings.
The AJAX app offers less setting possibilities, but everything we needed was there. In terms of clarity, this AJAX app leaves nothing to be desired. Even without any technical knowledge, you can use this app. The AJAX app is updated very regularly and you can tell by the stability of the whole system. Everything works flawlessly.
If we have to choose which app is better on the smartphone, we would definitely choose AJAX. Everything is clear and in the right place, wherever you expect it.
Which system is best for you?
Now that we’ve described the most obvious features of both systems, the choice is yours.
Why you should choose the AJAX alarm system
- Early detection of intruders through unique outdoor detectors
- Highest quality detectors not found in any other brand.
- Outdoor detectors with built-in camera immediately verify each alarm.
- Transmitter enables integration of any brand of detector
- Ability to link up to 200 detectors with built-in camera
- Immune to pets up to 20KG
- Faster pinging of all detectors, therefore earlier informed if something is wrong with a detector
- Currently more products available
- MultiTransmitter turns your old wired alarm system into a modern system that can be controlled with your phone.
- More beautiful design
- More economical with batteries
- Wireless range up to 2,000 metres without a range extender
- Widest wireless range: Up to 5 range extenders on Hub 2 and Hub 2 Plus for up to 35 square kilometres of coverage.
- Easily connects to virtually any monitoring station in the world
Why choose the Hikvision AX Pro alarm system?
- True integration of video camera and alarm system in one App
- Image storage of single Hikvision cameras on the Hub Medium
- Slightly cheaper than AJAX
- Higher immunity for pets up to 30KG (can also be a disadvantage because the detector is then less sensitive)
- Better indoor siren, but that can be solved with AJAX by simply mounting an outdoor siren inside. Up to 9 sirens can be connected.
As you can see, the list of benefits of AJAX is longer. And especially the difference in possibilities regarding the outside detection is really where Hikvision leaves it. Hikvision is cheaper, but is in many ways just a fraction less. Therefore, we can only recommend AJAX as the best system of 2021. And most likely, this will not change in the coming years. AJAX is growing enormously, is already sold in more than 120 countries and is currently conquering the American market.
With AJAX you can be sure that your system will only get better with more possibilities in the future thanks to free software updates and new products. AJAX has the largest developer team of any security company, bringing new, top-of-the-line security products to the market. AJAX will be the new market leader in security products in Europe starting in 2021. It won’t surprise you when we write that it’s only a matter of time before they become the new leader worldwide.
Need support before or after purchase? Of course you can contact us, but AJAX also has a very good support department that can help you in several languages. You can find all the phone numbers on the only official website of AJAX itself, https://ajax.systems
There you will also find all the official AJAX sales channels around the world. We from Best Alarm System are listed as a distributor under the country Spain of AJAX since our main office is located in Spain.
Don’t forget to watch the AJAX videos to get an even better view of AJAX.
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 with the above described features you can now decide which system is the most suitable for you. On this webshop you can only order the AJAX alarm system. If you want to see the possibilities and prices of the Hikvision AX Pro system, please go to our other webshop: Hikvision AX Pro. (Opens in a new tab)
Putting together a complete security system starts with choosing the desired Hub, then adding the detectors of your choice.
To make it easier for you to put together your own system, we have created a configuration page with extra information.AJAX Products AJAX configuration explanation
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