Many Video Management Software (VMS) providers offer free versions, either open source, for a limited number of cameras, or for a limited amount of time.
Minimal Changes in 2021
The free VMS market has shown minimal changes over 3-4 years, with limited adoption of free open source offerings. Large VMS free/trial offerings remained relatively unchanged.
These options may help users with limited needs or those looking to test out VMS before buying it.
We have compiled a list of open-source, restricted use, and trial-version VMSes in this report.
Open source options for VMSes are limited, with only a handful available:
- Bluecherry – Free with an optional paid support subscription. Linux, Windows, Mac OSX support, ONVIF/RTSP camera support.
- Camlytics – Free, unlimited camera VMS. A paid premium version adds video analytics, camera events, and heat mapping features. And a paid cloud version allows for real-time occupancy alerts, automated charts/data analysis, multiple users, and greater scalability.
- iSpy – Visual Studio 2019 source code is available as well as precompiled installable versions.
- Kerberos – Free open source VMS for Docker, Kubernetes, and Raspberry PI. Kerberos.io connects to IP cameras through RTSP streams. Optional people counting analytics and cloud storage of alarm/motion events.
- motionEyes – Open source, Linux distribution that turns a single-board computer (Raspberry PI and others) and USB camera into an IP camera with embedded VMS.
- OpenCVR/Rapidvms from Linkingvision
- Shinobi – Open source VMS, developed in node.js. Linux, Windows, and Mac OS support. Offers a mobile app, PTZ controls, and some analytics. A paid version exists with developer support, a commercial use license, and more regular updates.
- Valkka – Open source VMS, python codebase, ONVIF camera support
- Zoneminder – Offers precompiled packages for Linux distros, and also open source code.
Free With Restricted Use
These products all work without any timeout period, but generally have limitations around the number of channels or the amount of storage supported in the free version.
- Alnet Systems Netstation – 128 channels, 7 days recording, software login required every 8 hours
- Argus DVR – Fully functional demo, displays “Unregistered” watermark on video
- Arteco PURE – 10 channels
- ATVideo VMS – No restrictions
- Axxon Next – 4 channels, 1TB storage
- Decline Line – 16 channels, no time limit, but only offers live viewing, no recording
- Eocortex – video streaming stops every hour, limitation of up to 400 IP channels and 1 server, up to 4 GB storage; free full-featured trial upon request
- GeniusVision NVR – 2 channels, non-commercial use only
- Herospeed VMS – 64 channels, but partially stolen from Milestone / Video Insight
- ipConfigure Orchid – 4 Channels/128GB storage free. Single-board computer (Raspberry Pi and others) version with no hard limits, effectively limited to 4-8 cameras, depending on resolution
- ISS SecureOS – 4 channels
- Luxriot Evo – 1080p max resolution supported
- March Networks Command Lite – 6 channels, 1 week of recording
- Milestone Essential – 8 channels, no storage limits, requires annual renewal for free license key
- NovoSun – 64 channels
- Pelco VideoXpert Professional – 1 year trial (renewable) for 4 channels
- Sighthound – 1 channel, low-resolution only
- Trassir – 8 channels
Free For Trial Period
Products in this group generally offer full functionality, but timeout after a limited period.
- 3dEYE – 30-day trial, up to 5 channels, 14 days cloud storage
- Avigilon Control Center – 30 day trial of Enterprise product, salespeople can provide 180 day trial keys
- Axis Camera Station – 30 day trial
- Blue Iris – 15 day trial with a watermark on the video
- CathexisVision – 2 channels and cap of 2 days recording, 60-day trial
- Digital Watchdog Spectrum – 4 cameras, 30 day trial
- Exacq – 4 cameras for 45 days, after that you can use in restricted more on a single camera, request key here
- Hanwha SSM – 45 day trial with all features, free with limited features after 45 days (discontinued in U.S.)
- Hanwha Wisenet Wave – 30 day trial, up to 4 cameras
- IndigoVision Control Center – 5 camera/45 day trial, longer trial periods can be requested
- Logiware go1984 – 30 day trial
- Obseron (previously Ksenos) – 90 day trial
- Macroscop – 30 day trial
- Milestone XProtect – 30 day trial of any version, 8 channels/5 days storage
- netavis Observer – 30 day trial, 20 channels
- Network Optix nxWitness – 4 cameras, 30 day trial
- Panasonic i-PRO VMS – 60 day trial, up to 99 cameras
- Qognify Cayuga/Ocularis – 30 day trial, requires providing project/user details
- SecuritySpy – (runs on OS X) 30 day trial
- Senstar Symphony (previously Aimetis Symphony) – 30 day trial
- Vicon Valerus – 30 day trial
- Videonetics – 30 day trial
- Wavestore VMS – 30 day trial
Free With Same-Brand Cameras
Several manufacturers have VMSes that do not require a license when used with their own brand of cameras, these are listed here.
- ACTi NVR – Free for use with ACTi cameras + 1 free channel for non-ACTi cameras
- Axis Camera Companion – Only works with Axis cameras, 16 channel limit
- GeoVision G-VMS – Free for up to 32 GeoVision devices
- Mobotix Mx Managment Center (MxMC) – Free for Mobotix cameras, up to 8 third party cameras free
- Panasonic i-PRO VMS – Free when used with Panasonic cameras
- Ubiquiti Unifi NVR – Free for Ubiquiti cameras
- Vivotek VAST – 32 channels free when used with Vivotek cameras
If you know of other free VMSes please post comments and we will add them to the list.