What You Should Know Before Investing In IP Cameras

Variety of IP Cameras

In today’s digital age, Internet Protocol (IP) cameras have become an integral part of video surveillance systems. These cameras provide digital video surveillance by transmitting footage over the internet or local area network (LAN). IP cameras offer numerous advantages, such as remote accessibility, high video quality, and advanced features like video analytics. However, before investing in IP cameras for your surveillance needs, it’s essential to understand their types, features, and factors to consider. This article will provide you with valuable insights into what you should know before investing in IP cameras.

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Types of IP Cameras

PTZ IP Camera

The field of view and angle of pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras can be adjusted as needed. These cameras feature a remote control, allowing users increased flexibility in monitoring events. Since PTZ cameras can effectively cover large areas, they are frequently used for monitoring public outdoor spaces.

Fixed IP Camera

IP-fixed cameras do not move and only record what is happening within their specific field of view. They keep tabs on people all the time, but only within a limited area. Both indoors and out, retail establishments and corporate headquarters make heavy use of fixed cameras. They have a lower bandwidth requirement when compared to pan-tilt-zoom cameras.

PoE or PoE+ IP Camera

IP cameras that support Power over Ethernet (PoE) can get both their power and network connection from a single Ethernet cable. Since power and data can now be transmitted over a single cable, wiring is greatly simplified. When compared to more conventional systems, PoE networks are both more cost-effective and simpler to maintain. IP cameras with PoE+ support are able to transmit more power, making them ideal for high-powered cameras that require additional heating and cooling systems.

Wireless IP Camera

Video data from IP cameras can be transmitted wirelessly by connecting to a WiFi router. It’s possible to save the clips either on the camera’s internal memory or in the cloud. Wire-based camera systems are preferable for larger areas because they are less vulnerable to interference, but these are more practical for smaller homes.

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Must-Have Features of IP Cameras

Cloud and Built-In Storage

When deciding on IP cameras, storage space is essential. Security footage is something that many businesses must keep for legal reasons. Video captured by surveillance systems is typically uploaded to the cloud, an HDD, or SSD for safekeeping. Hybrid cloud security systems are an advanced solution that stores footage locally on an HDD or SSD and backs it up in the cloud, doubling the security and redundancy of the data.

PoE Capabilities

IP cameras with PoE capabilities eliminate the need for running electrical wires separately. Compared to purely wireless cameras, these have more reliable data transmission and are less likely to experience interference from neighboring devices.

Video Data Encryption

The level of data encryption and network security significantly impact an IP camera’s security. Encryption scrambles data to conceal information, allowing only authorized parties to decode it. IP cameras are often targeted in IoT breaches, making modern security standards crucial to prevent unauthorized access and data breaches. Encryption can be implemented at rest (data protection while on the camera) and in transit (data protection during network transmission).

Extra Features of IP Cameras

 IP Camera

Instant Video Sharing

Sharing video clips via email, SMS text, or live links is a feature of many up-to-date IP surveillance systems. This function shortens the time it takes to notify authorities during emergencies.

Video Quality

IP cameras, in comparison to analog CCTV cameras, are widely regarded as offering superior video quality. They send digital signals, allowing for more precise photography. IP security system software can now incorporate cutting-edge video analytics like facial matching.

Edge-Based Video Analytics

Modern surveillance systems leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and edge-based analytics to detect people and objects in the camera’s field of view. With deep learning capabilities, these systems can perform facial and vehicle matching, alerting users in real-time and speeding up investigations. Additionally, users can define restricted areas within the camera’s view and receive notifications if meaningful activity is detected during specific times of the day.

Steady State Streaming

IP cameras that are in a “steady state” use a lot less bandwidth than those that are not. This makes them more scalable and cost-effective for large organizations and enterprises. In a steady state, every 20 seconds, cameras send a steady stream of encrypted thumbnails and other data to the cloud. This works at about 20 kbps, which is about 1/100th of the bandwidth used by a traditional cloud camera streaming at 1-2 Mbps. Because of this, more than 100 steady-state cameras can share the same network connection and use the same amount of bandwidth as a single traditional cloud camera.

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Factors to Consider When Buying an IP Camera

When investing in IP cameras, several factors should be taken into account:

  • Scope of Surveillance Area: Determine the distance and scope of the area you need to surveil. This will help you choose the appropriate type of IP camera and the necessary features.
  • Internet Bandwidth: Consider the internet bandwidth required to support the camera’s data transmission. Higher-resolution cameras and advanced features may require more bandwidth.
  • Storage Requirements: Assess how footage will be stored and calculate the amount of storage space needed. Consider whether cloud storage, local storage on SSDs or HDDs, or a hybrid solution is the best fit for your needs.
  • Data Encryption: Ensure that the IP camera employs modern security standards for data encryption. Look for cameras that support encryption both at rest (onboard storage) and in transit (during network transmission).
  • Placement: Determine whether the camera will be installed indoors or outdoors. Outdoor cameras require weatherproofing and additional protection against environmental factors.
  • Encrypted Transmission: Verify that the IP camera utilizes encrypted transmission, such as SSL/TLS protocols. This ensures secure data transfer between the camera and the designated storage or viewing platforms.

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Investing in IP Cameras

Digital artwork of Computers and IP Cameras

Investing in IP cameras can greatly enhance your video surveillance capabilities, providing remote accessibility, high video quality, and advanced features. Understanding the types of IP cameras available, the must-have features like storage options and data encryption, as well as the extra features such as instant video sharing and video analytics, will help you make an informed decision. Additionally, considering factors like the scope of surveillance, internet bandwidth, storage requirements, placement, and encrypted transmission will ensure that you choose the right IP camera system for your specific needs. By doing so, you can create a robust and secure video surveillance solution that meets your requirements and safeguards your premises effectively.

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Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by Josh Mahan

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