What Is An IP Camera & Why Do I Need One?


You may have stumbled upon the term IP camera before, and are curious about what it means exactly. An IP camera is commonly a digital camera used for surveillance. Network cameras are the successor to the analog closed-circuit TV (CCTV) systems that have been widely used for a long time, but instead of a dedicated network, they use the local IP network, which also happens to provides Internet access (hence the term Internet Protocol camera).

And if you’re interested in acquiring security for your home or perhaps your business enterprise, you’ll probably be keen to know more about them, i.e. why they’re so important.

IP systems simply don’t suffer from the limitations of analog. IP cameras capture high-definition video and digitize it before it’s transmitted over a LAN (local area network) to a computer or web server. Each IP camera acts as an individual network device and systems such as this give users many more features and options that are not traditionally available on purely analog systems.

The following key points outline the immediate benefits you’ll experience when using a digital IP camera system for your security needs:

Better resolution

IP cameras have image resolutions that are incredibly higher than analog. Using HD (high-definition) technology, IP systems result in greater source image quality and video that can be further enhanced with many powerful software options.

Remote access

IP cameras exist as part of a network that can be connected to the internet. This allows features such as off-site storage and management. Also, IP systems are compatible with a wide range of software and Apps that allow for remote access. Users can log into their security system from anywhere and view their home or business.


Analog systems encounter difficulty when it comes time to expand with additional cameras because of the limited number of ports available on typical CCTV equipment and may require additional components, which may prove to be expensive. IP systems, on the other hand, are designed with scalability in mind. They can accept a near unlimited number of cameras, can be combined with existing systems and typically do not require professional installation. Thus, they are cheaper and easier to scale up as security needs change.

Mass storage options

Analog video is difficult to store, requires antiquated equipment such as VCRs and is susceptible to physical damage when stored on tape. IP systems use digital technology and massive amounts of surveillance video can be easily stored on computer drives and web servers. In addition, digital storage is easy to backup for redundancy and protection as well as from data loss.

Cost effective

While IP systems may have some higher initial component costs over analog, their advantages in features, media storage and scalability result in greater cost savings over the long term. In fact, using a combination system with an analog to IP converter could allow  users to take advantage of existing analog cameras while simultaneously adding additional features that are only available on digital systems.


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