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What is an IP Camera?

Posted by Gregory DeRouanna on Dec 16, 2019

IP camera setup

An IP camera means internet protocol. These types of cameras connect with one CAT5 or CAT6 Ethernet cable to transfer its power and video feed. They’re exceptionally capable and easy to set up for both outdoor and indoor security camera systems.

While there are various types of security cameras and systems that offer continuous surveillance, none provide flexibility and effectiveness like IP cameras. If you’re planning on installing an advanced security system, chances are your first option will be an IP camera setup. Here you’ll learn everything you need to know about the benefits of IP security cameras, the features, and how they work.

What is an IP Camera? - The Basics

IP (internet protocol) cameras, sometimes referred to as network security cameras are digital video cameras that function like analog surveillance security solutions. However, an IP camera has a web server and is assigned an auto internet protocol address on the same subnet as the IP camera’s surveillance software. This software acts as a hub interface for control, adjusting settings, viewing images, and watching recordings.

Internet Required

Network IP cameras must be connected to an internet network. But the benefit of this is the capability to produce crystal clear high-resolution video. When combined with a network video recorder, the complete system can archive the footage and enable live viewing access through your smartphone, tablet or computer. The cameras are connected to the NVR via an ethernet cable, the same used by computers for internet access.

Power Over Ethernet (POE) Explained

PoE technology is what allows you to supply power and network connections to your IP camera setup using a single CAT5 or CAT6 ethernet cable. With PoE technology, you have the ability to connect your IP cameras to a wider area without worrying about the need for separate power outlets. Internet Protocol security camera systems are the most cost-effective and scalable video network monitoring systems available today. Having an IP camera means having the most modern security solutions available.

Benefits of IP Security Cameras

Modern Technology

  • IP security cameras are considered state of the art for commercial-grade security.
  • Simple to install with single power over Ethernet (POE) technology
  • The ability to send data over a network allows IP cameras to transfer large video files than analog security systems can.
  • IP camera systems provide embedded video analytics via an NVR, meaning they can highlight or mark events based on motion detection, facial recognition, how long a person has been in the area, and other events. 

Superior Video

  • IP security cameras offer high resolution compared to traditional systems - they offer 1080p up to 4K resolution for excellent video surveillance. 
  • IP security cameras offer better zooming capabilities because of the advanced lens features and higher image resolution. Learn more about what an IP camera recorder is here.

Better Coverage

  • Internet Protocol camera systems are scalable and can cover a larger and wider area. You can install up to 64 IP cameras per recorder and the cost is affordable because there is minimal cabling and maintenance required. This scalability means an easy setup for both indoor and outdoor security camera systems.
  • Where maximum visual clarity, ease of installation, and maximum coverage are needed, IP security cameras are recommended as a large number of cameras can be rigged to a single network video recorder. IP cameras mean a complex security network made simple.

Outdoor security camera system

What is an IP Camera? - Current Features

Internet Protocol cameras come with a wide variety of features and innovations that allow users to record video in high definition, adjust light levels during the day, view recordings, and adjust settings remotely. With the right network video recorder, you can adjust surveillance settings from any location based on your surveillance needs, making your advanced security system powerful and useful. For instance, HD resolution allows you the opportunity to capture clear video, license plates, or people's faces in the best quality possible so you can identify what is happening around your property with ease. An IP camera is what most modern surveillance tools should aspire to reach.

Advanced Features

Camera iris and image sensors are physical features that have a great impact on video recording. These features are responsible for adjusting lighting levels in order to record clear footage. Another advanced feature of IP cameras with NVR is motion detection. When motion is detected, these systems can send you an email or an SMS notification in the event someone attempts to tamper with your security camera. Other features of Internet Protocol cameras include wide dynamic range viewing, infrared night vision for day and night surveillance, pan-tilt-zoom capability, zoom, video compression, and others.

What is an IP camera? - Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Set up an IP Camera?

The installation of IP cameras and software is not complicated as most people assume. You only need to invest in the right security system and equipment and follow a set of network camera installation guidelines provided by the manufacturer. In this case, you’ll need to connect your IP camera through software or a mobile app that can discover your network camera or cameras. IP cameras are easy to calibrate.

Setup Continued

Next, plug in the IP camera to connect it to the same network as the video management software and ensure an Internet Protocol address is auto-assigned, then configure the camera's recording settings, including the image capture quality,  frame time rates, and time schedules depending on when you would like to record videos with the network camera. 

Before you can complete the installation process, you must set up a user interface and set rules for the video management software based on your surveillance needs to improve efficiency and security. Overall, an IP camera means a smooth setup.

What is an IP Camera’s Security Level?

In 2018, the global Internet Protocol camera market was valued at $5.2 million, and it’s predicted to cross the $18 million mark by 2025, with a 19.8% CAGR over the forecast period, according to Market Watch. IP cameras are the fastest growing security camera types in this market. In essence, professionals are confident in the current results and potential of IP camera setups.

Multiple Options Available

Wall of security cameras

Like all devices connected to the internet, your IP camera can be open or secure, depending on the configuration of the camera's network connection and access rights. Network security cameras are installed on private networks that are out of reach from other IT infrastructures. 

Nonetheless, you can improve your IP camera security by following simple steps such as setting up your system on a LAN network, assigning a password to your security cameras, renaming the admin default account, and setting up a new admin password. Discover more at our Learning Center.

What Should I Look for When Buying IP Cameras?

Internet Protocol cameras vary in shape and size, making the selection process tricky. The security camera you choose to install depends on several factors like internet speed, cabling, location, and costs. Plus, you must determine whether a wireless or wired system meets your security needs for both indoor and outdoor surveillance.

The type and level of quality of surveillance you want in your property, as well as the level of detail you want to be captured, will influence your purchasing decision. Will you optimize for an indoor security camera system or an outdoor security camera system? In addition, the field of view you want to be covered is a key factor to consider before buying an IP camera. What is an IP camera? - A camera with many available options to consider.

IP camera surrounded by lights

Shop IP Security Cameras at CCTV Security Pros

Getting an IP camera means getting one with advanced features that guarantee improved surveillance for your residential and commercial surveillance needs. Find the best IP security cameras and software at CCTV Security Pros. We’re a trusted brand by 60,000+ customers and offer remote viewing with all our cameras and complete systems via PC, smartphones, and tablets at no monthly cost. 

If you still have questions about what an IP camera is, don’t hesitate to call 888.653.2288 to speak with a security expert and get a free quote. Order now and enjoy Unlimited USA-based support over the life of the product, a 3-Year warranty, free shipping, and a 100% money-back guarantee for 30 days.

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