ip camera

What is IP Camera

Basically IP camera is different with CCTV. You can control the IP camera from anywhere around the world from any Smartphone, laptops or other computers as long as you can connect the internet. The need and the way they work are different.

What is IP Camera

Have you ever heard of IP protocol when you learn about computer networking? That’s the Internet Protocol that is commonly used for communication between nodes within the internet. The node can be any networking devices including computer, a router, a server or any networking devices that has unique public IP address that can be accessed by other host within the internet.

In the world of surveillance we know security camera or IP camera, a video camera that can be viewed from other monitoring devices including any types of computers, any Smartphone or mobile devices via the internet. Generally we can call this IP camera as known as webcam that is typically connected to the computer monitor, network camera or IP CCTV. CCTV is different principally, knowing the meaning of CCTV is closed circuit television is connected using the coaxial cable to the monitoring device (monitor TV).

It’s a surveillance system

Typically IP camera or security camera consist of not only one camera, it can be one or more cameras that form a surveillance system that is controlled by software application to control the way the camera works. IP camera comes integrated with the existing computer networking in homes, offices or other building. They can send or receive video or audio data via local computer network (aka LAN), or they can traverse via the WAN cloud or the internet. Unlike CCTV, IP camera is more flexible and has better performance and control as well as easy to install.

security or ip camera

Alert system

Unlike CCTV, IP or security camera convert video and audio data into the digital form that can be sent and received via the existing computer networking system either via wired cable or wireless or Wi-Fi connection. A small webcam is typically connected to the computer to get the power via USB port, but security camera has separate power system and some models come with PoE (Power over Ethernet) feature – a feature that power the camera via the Ethernet port using the UTP network cable and connected to the POE Switch.

IP camera or security camera comes with sophisticated software that control the camera and it can detect the motion and or voice and then send the alert to the eligible users to take action via email or SMS.

Some models come with two way audio system to let you interact with the camera to talk to the people within the camera coverage. For example in a retail shops you can call the supervisor to come to the unattended area or any action need to take. You can also monitor the camera via the Smartphone or any mobile devices and take any necessary control with the camera.

Types of IP Camera

A security camera generally comes with built-in memory to record the video. But you can also save the video recording to the network storage (NAS). Based on the storage and video recording system, there are two types of camera:

Centralized IP camera

The camera system uses network video recorder (NVR) for any recording tasks and other alert management system including digital alert via email and SMS and alarm system.

Decentralized Camera

The second types of security camera is decentralized camera. The camera doesn’t require a NVR device but the camera comes with built-in memory system to store the recording such as SD Card, NAS or any other storage in the network.

IP Camera Vs CCTV

CCTV has been around for tens of years and have mature technology. The camera resolution is getting higher and sharper with better technology, you can also find bigger zooming both optical and digital zoom capability. CCTV sends the video data in analog form via coaxial cable to the TV monitor, but IP camera sends the video data in digital format via the computer network medium. IP camera is relatively new technology and evolve in line with the digital camera technology.

Advantages of IP camera

IP or security camera have more advantages over analog camera including the following benefits:

  • More flexible
  • Better camera performance
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to integrate with computer system
  • Better added value

You can setup and install one or more camera from within local area or you can setup and install the camera across the globe from different remote sites.

The security camera system is typically install in business area including homes, retail shops, offices, workshop, parking area, airports, campuses or schools, high security building or plants, or any other recreational areas.

There are many vendors that offer various models of camera including Sony, Samsung, X-Vision, D-link, Bosch, and more.

Video Data Resolution

Based on the video resolution you can classify the camera under the following category:

Pixel resolution Horizontal pixels Vertical pixels Megapixel Rating
VGA 640 480 0.3
WVGA 752 480 0.4
720P (HD) 1280 720 0.9
1080P (Full HD) 1920 1080 2.0


New video resolution that comes in Smartphone and Television technology is now Ultra Full High Definition or commonly known as 4K video technology. So far this 4K video resolution is not coming in IP camera technology, well I think the urgency is not existing.

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