The Boring Lab

Spend all day in Milestone Management Client? This tool will save you time and stress in managing XProtect.

If it feels like you spend all day, everyday in Milestone Management Client, you aren’t alone. Managing XProtect can be a full time job but it doesnt have to be. In this side-by-side comparison of Milestone Management Client and The Boring Toolbox, you will learn exactly how this one XProtect integration can save countless hours and headaches in managing your VMS.
Team Boring

Team Boring

Your go-to XProtect eXPerts. We learn the technical stuff that will save you time and make it less boring.

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There is a reason why Milestone XProtect has 500,000+ installations worldwide and is used by both huge brand names and small brick and mortar companies. Because its the best! As far as Video Management Software goes, Milestone XProtect offers robust functionality with flexible implementation. 

The power of Milestone's open platform model

The Milestone open platform enables you to add custom, best-in-class security solutions to your surveillance, such as access control, cameras and video analytics.

AKA thanks to Milestone’s open platform model, the global security company can focus on creating a solid foundational software, XProtect, and leave the party tricks to their technology partners. 

The end result? A super powerful and customizable security solution that can serve the needs of companies from all industries, of all sizes, all over the world. 

It doesn’t get much better than that. 

The Boring Toolbox is the peanut butter to Milestone Management Client's jelly

What makes XProtect versatile enough to serve the needs of big and small companies alike, is also what limits it at times. XProtect’s built in management tool, Milestone Management Client, being the one part that seems to have some of the more challenging limitations.. 

Basic tasks that are critical to your VMS’s overall health and security, such as updating camera hardware names or running compliance reports, can be both tedious and time consuming. No exaggeration here, updating the names of 1,000 cameras in Milestone Management Client would take the average person 25 hours to complete.

It was these monotonous repetitive tasks that gave us the idea for The Boring Lab in the first place! Wanted to eliminate boring work from our lives, and the lives of other security professionals, foreverrrrrrrrr. 

At The Boring Lab, we don’t believe XProtect admins should have to toggle between sites to monitor cameras and servers across multiple locations. Whether you are managing 5 cameras or 1,000, 1 site or 12, your experience managing your VMS should be seamless.

Tightly integrated with Milestone XProtect, The Boring Toolbox adds functionality that speaks directly to Milestone Management Server so you never have to skip a beat or do duplicate work again. 

Designed exclusively for Milestone XProtect, The Boring Toolbox is an all-in-one solution that allows you to monitor and manage your VMS from one location – no matter how many sites or servers you have. 

We’re going to walk you through a few of the basic functions that a security professional encounters on a day-to-day basis in XProtect. But before we do that, let’s answer one the biggest, and most searched queries out there:

What is Milestone Management Client?

The Milestone XProtect Management Client is the primary administrative user interface used for managing cameras and video security. It’s a free software that allows users to check camera status, update software, manage events and alarms, and generate reports as well as monitor live video and recorded footage.

What can you do in Milestone Management Client?

Milestone’s default video management tool, Management Client, is your best friend and go-to tool for managing every aspect of your VMS. Don’t be turned off by the retro aesthetic of their dashboard. Instead, think of it as a refreshing reprieve from the white-on-white, icon-tastic, CSS-heavy tech websites that you see all day, every day. 

✅ Retro aesthetic

✅ Adding camera and device hardware

✅ This is done by right-clicking on the recording server and adding hardware.

✅ Changing camera settings including frame rate, resolution, codec but more importantly the device-specific settings like Axis Zipstream

✅ Renaming individual cameras and devices

✅ Creating camera device groups for bulk settings application, device permissions, etc.

✅ Adding roles/users for granular permissions on who can see what camera or device (ie. go-to roles, create a role, and then add Windows users or basic Milestone users to that role)

✅ Set up automation rules

✅ Configure alarms, events, and everything you need to manage Milestone XProtect on a daily basis

Is Milestone Management Client good for large-scale security systems?

Milestone Management Client is suitable for getting started with your XProtect system. But as your system and system requirements grow, basic management tasks will become increasingly more tedious and time-consuming.

So much so that, for a 500 camera system, a full-time dedicated employee would be needed to manage manual tasks such as adding hardware, bulk updating camera names and passwords, and managing device groups.

Not to mention that live health monitoring, multi-site management, and customizable notification settings aren’t possible with Milestone Management Client alone, leaving admins with the chore of finding suitable add-on solutions to simplify VMS management.

What is The Boring Toolbox?

While Milestone Management Client is a powerful VMS management interface, the Boring Toolbox makes it better with the power of bulk operations, a simple user interface, and intuitive workflows. It’s designed exclusively to make managing your Milestone XProtect VMS easier, more efficient, and less boring.

We’ve created solutions that will not only help system admins gain more insight into the health of their VMS and increase cyber security but will also give them more control and require less time to manage their VMS. 

It's like adding a 50+ person team to take care of all of the boring stuff.

Management Client Dashboard Experience

The Boring Toolbox Dashboard Experience

Dashboard of Milestone Management Client and The Boring Lab

Improved security and 99% more efficient bulk updates

 With cybersecurity threats and IoT vulnerabilities present constant dangers to your data, updated camera passwords and performing bulk hardware updates are essential steps to protecting your VMS and its assets.

With The Boring Toolbox, you can update your camera passwords in just 1% of the time it takes on Milestone Management Client.  Admins have historically had to manually update each camera password, taking on average about 60-90 seconds per camera. Therefore, it would take you approximately 8 – 12.5 hours to update the passwords for 500 cameras.

With the Boring Toolbox, it would only take you two minutes TOTAL to update all of the passwords for the same 500 cameras.

Rich reporting in a fraction of the time

Creating a camera inventory report in XProtect is a pretty repetitive process that involves either a 1000 page PDF or hours of copying and pasting IP addresses, names, passwords, and more from different parts of the management client. 

But when all the information you need is already in Milestone, why spend time recreating it?

The Boring Toolbox uses the data already stored in Milestone to quickly and easily create auto-generated reports, ensuring your reports are always up-to-date with more valuable data and insights.

You’ll save time while creating useful, filterable Excel reports on camera hardware, devices, and stream information.

Instead of using Milestone Management Client for standard PDF summaries, amp up your reporting game with the Boring Toolbox and collect more actionable insights and data.

The value of the Boring Toolbox reporting:

  • Included device credentials and exportable camera snapshots 
  • Device Video Retention Audit (Days) for easier compliance
  • Filterable Excel spreadsheets for auditing
  • Scheduled reports via email or save to a shared drive for more efficient workflows or BI tools

Our reporting functionality could save you countless hours, while increasing the quality of your data as well as your management oversight. No catch.

Reduced liability with reliable health monitoring and valuable notifications

We created our live monitoring smart notifications with one goal in mind: to give you peace of mind and confidence in knowing that your video footage will be there when you need it.

The standard method for health monitoring through the default management client is clicking on a recording server and looking for the little black tile where the video should be or email alerts. But historically, the alerts have been known to cause thousands of false alerts, which typically ends in one of two ways

  1. You confused and questioning which health alerts are legitimate and which can be ignored 
  2. Alerts are being filtered out of your inbox entirely

Either way, you are left with little to no insight into the health of your VMS unless you manually check the health of each camera and server on a daily basis. Yikes. 

The Boring Toolbox sends you automatic live monitoring health alerts by leveraging an ongoing background service that creates events based on thresholds that YOU define. This gives you more control over what qualifies as a VMS health issue and ensures you only receive notifications that matter.

Alerts are only sent when a camera or recording server’s health events pass the threshold level that you establish. Once the issue is resolved, you’ll get an update about that as well.  

You’ll never have to worry again about whether your VMS is functioning properly or not.

Streamlined control and increased visibility with multi-site management

As a larger enterprise with hundreds or thousands of cameras in several locations, it isn’t always ideal to be logging in and out of management servers to get a full scale view of your global VMS health.

Because of this, you may not check each server as regularly as you should. But that leaves your system, assets, and clients at risk.

At Boring, we’ve simplified the process of checking in on the health of your VMS by consolidating the information onto one multi-site dashboard. View all sites together on your global dashboard or zoom in on local single-site locations by toggling between the tabs.

No more logging in and out; with The Boring Toolbox the information you need about the health of your VMS is always just one click away.

You can even customize alerts for each location using unique notification thresholds so there is never a need to second guess if your cameras are online or not.

How does The Boring Toolbox compare to Milestone Management Client?

Feature Management Client Professional Corporate
Multi-Site Management
Manage multiple management servers in one client
Real time global camera health
Real time global server health
Global camera status report (Excel)
Global notifications report (Excel)
Local Dashboard
At-a-glance camera storage used per device
At-a-glance recording server storage health
Real-time display of cameras not providing video
Real-time display of offline recording servers
Report on hardware count per server
Report on camera brand distribution
Export cameras not providing video to Excel
Export offline recording servers to Excel
Camera & Server Health Monitoring
Always on monitoring of cameras & server failures
Proactive notifications when cameras & servers come back online
Set a time threshold before notifications are sent
Filter out interconnected servers from health monitoring
Customize the frequency of notifications
DEVICE GROUP MANAGEMENT
Create Device Groups
Add device group members
Create Auto device groups by camera model
Create Auto device groups by storage configuration
Add device group members using search
HARDWARE MANAGEMENT
Rename hardware and devices
Enable/Disable hardware and devices
Update settings per device
Rename hardware and devices in bulk
Enable/Disable hardware and devices in bulk
Set Resolution & Frame-rate per stream in bulk
Update hardware IP address in bulk
Enable HTTPS in bulk
Search for camera by name, IP/MAC address or subnet
Reboot Axis & Hanwha Cameras directly from the client
Auto-focus Axis & Hanwha Cameras directly from the client
Zoom Axis & Hanwha veri-focal cameras
Enlarge and replay video from connected cameras
REPORTING
Create PDF Reports
Include camera snapshots in report
Create filterable Excel spreadsheets for auditing
Include device credentials in report
Device Video Retention Audit (Days)
Scheduled Reports via Email
PASSWORD MANAGEMENT
Update camera passwords in Milestone
Update camera passwords in Milestone in bulk From 2019 R2 From 2016 R2 From 2016 R2
Change passwords on camera hardware in bulk From 2019 R2 From 2016 R2 From 2016 R2
Quickly copy passwords for hardware devices
Bulk update passwords in Milestone for non-supported hardware

Your time and video are valuable

The Boring Toolbox saves you both

We know implementing new tools into your workflow can be a drag. Especially when there is software that needs to be downloaded and blah blah blah BUT trust us when we tell you, it’s worth it. 

The time you spend on your Boring Toolbox free trial, you will get back 10x. We guarantee it.

Within the first few moments of using The Boring Toolbox, you will know:​

  • How many and which cameras are down
  • Which servers are low on storage 
  • The retention times for each of your cameras

How do I get started using the Boring Toolbox?

Start using The Boring Toolbox for free when you sign up for the 30-day free trial. The typical installation time for The Boring Toolbox is just 15 minutes.  Our product comes in two parts: a server and a client. 

The server is installed on the management server, feeding data to the client, monitoring system health, and more. The client is a Windows installable application that runs on any workstation or server on your network.

For more information about what’s required to get started with The Boring Toolbox, check out our System Requirements 

Sign Up for a 30-Day Free Trial of The Boring Toolbox