When you try to purchase Hikvision cameras you’ll listen/read a lot about “Hikvision Logo cameras, Hikvision USA, Hikvision International or Hikvision Chinese cameras”. This article will show you how to identify each camera and most importantly how to tell if a camera is Hikvision US or not.
One of the biggest potential pitfalls for Hikvision customers is not being aware of the fact that Hikvision cameras are region-specific. There are Chinese region or Western Region cameras, and they must only be used for the region they were intended for. We’ve seen countless people suffer no end of headaches because they bought a camera from the Chinese market, imported it, and then tried to use it in the Western one.
This is because the two regions use different firmware, and the firmware versions are not interchangeable across regions. Upgrading a Chinese camera with WR firmware (and vice versa) can cause a number of complications, up to and including total camera failure, rendering it inaccessible and unusable.
The Hikvision USA and Hikvision International cameras come in the same packaging/box with white and red as main colors. These boxes have a few small differences/ characteristics that will help you to identify which camera is the Hikvision USA version. These characteristics are listed below:
1. The grey sticker. The Hikvision US cameras always have a gray security sticker taped on the box. The international version is missing such sticker. Be careful: many online sellers are putting fake gray stickers.
2. The Hikvision US cameras have an extra barcode taped on the right top side of the box. Only the Hikvision US resellers are allowed to put such barcode on the box.
3. The Hikvision US camera have a UL Listed sticker on the side. The UL mark means that UL has tested representative samples of a product and determined that it meets UL’s requirements. These requirements are often based on UL’s published and nationally recognized Standards for Safety. The Hikvision International cameras are not UL listed, hence missing the UL mark.
4. The UL mark is found on the camera’s body as well. Below are shown two camera, as you can see the UL sticker can be found on the Hikvision USA camera but is missing on the International version (note the “European Conformity” mark).
5. Mounting bracket. Certain cameras come with brackets, for example the Hikvision US full dome IP camera comes with a mounting bracket. The International version never have brackets included.
What about the cameras that come in brown boxes?
There are two types of Hikvision brown boxes: Hikvision OEM cameras and Hikvision Chinese cameras. The Hikvsion OEM cameras usually come on brown boxes and they are not Chinese cameras. These camera are still Hikvision, same hardware but no logo and slightly different firmware that are sold by Hikvision OEM resellers. Hikvision USA doesn’t support these cameras (for firmware or general tech help), however the reseller fully supports them (you need to ask/call them for support). Make sure your supplier is respected and professional.
On the other hand the Hikvision Chinese camera are easily to identify since their stickers/labels are in Chinese. Stay away from these cameras! They are meant for the Chinese market and are not upgradable. On some occasions they have modified/hacked firmware that have major problems with the security. My recommendation: never purchase these type of cameras.