Internet Protocol (IP) Camera

Internet Protocol cameras, also called IP cameras or network cameras, provide digital video surveillance by sending and receiving footage over the internet or local area network (LAN). Like their name suggests, IP cameras connect to a network through WiFi or a Power over Ethernet (PoE) cable. They’re often used with network video recorders (NVRs) and sometimes digital video recorders (DVRs), making them a common solution for enterprise video surveillance.

IP cameras are commonly used in:

  • Business Offices
  • Government Buildings
  • Industrial Sites
  • Banks
  • Military Facilities
  • Traffic Intersections

Types of IP Camera:

  • PTZ IP Camera

    Pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras can adjust their field of view and angle via a remote operator, allowing users to track events with greater control. They can cover potentially large areas and are commonly used to monitor public outdoor spaces.
  • Fixed IP Camera

    Fixed IP cameras operate in a static position and provide a single view within the camera’s field of vision, continuously surveilling subjects within a predetermined frame. Fixed cameras are widely used both outdoors and indoors, typically in retail stores and business offices. Compared to PTZ cameras, they require less bandwidth to support.
  • PoE or PoE+ IP Camera

    PoE IP cameras use an Ethernet cable (usually Cat 5 or 6) to supply both electrical power and data simultaneously. This eliminates the need to run two cables for power and data separately, thus reducing the amount of hardware required. With fewer parts to deal with, PoE systems tend to be easier to install and cost less to maintain compared to traditional systems.
  • Wireless IP Camera

    Wireless IP cameras connect to a WiFi router to send video data. The footage is then transferred to cloud storage or the camera’s local built-in storage. Wireless IP cameras can be a good solution for small homes, but a wired camera system is less susceptible to interference and recommended for larger areas.

Must-Have Features of IP Cameras

  • Cloud and Built-In Storage

    Cloud and Built-In Storage: Storage space is a huge consideration when surveying IP cameras. By law, many companies are required to retain security footage for a specific amount of time depending on their industry and local mandates. Most surveillance systems will transmit video data onto cloud storage, a Solid-State Drive (SSD), or a Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Advanced solutions store footage locally on an SSD or HDD while also backing it up in the cloud; these “hybrid cloud” security systems are considered safer and more reliable than systems that rely on just one method.
  • PoE Capabilities

    IP cameras that can be powered over a PoE connection eliminate the risk and cost of running electrical wire. Compared to purely wireless cameras, PoE IP cameras tend to have more data transmission and less likely to encounter interference from nearby devices.
  • Video Data Encryption

    Video Data Encryption: How secure an IP camera is depends on its level of data encryption and network security. Encryption is a way to conceal information by scrambling data so that only authorized parties can decode it. Since IP cameras are often targeted in IoT breaches, utilizing *modern security standards]( is key to prevent hackers from lifting company information and even disabling whole systems. There are two states of encryption, at rest and in transit.

Extra Features of IP Cameras

  • Instant Video Sharing

    One capability of modern IP surveillance systems is the ability to share video clips through SMS texts, emails, or live links. This decreases the amount of time it takes to alert authorities when incidents occur and immediate action is required.
  • Edge-Based Video Analytics

    Modern surveillance systems incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and edge-based analytics to detect people and objects in the camera’s field of view. Software with deep learning capabilities can use facial and vehicle matching to alert users of incidents in real-time and speed up investigations. These advanced surveillance systems also allow users to define restricted areas within the camera’s view and be notified if meaningful activity is detected during a certain time of day.
  • Steady State Streaming

    IP cameras that operate in “steady state” consume significantly less bandwidth, making them more scalable and less costly for enterprises and large organizations. In steady state, cameras send a constant stream of encrypted thumbnails and related metadata to the cloud once every 20 seconds. A steady state IP camera operates at about 20 kbps, which is roughly 1⁄100 of a traditional cloud camera that streams at 1-2 mbps. Given the low bandwidth footprint, over 100 steady state cameras can share the same network connection and consume the same bandwidth as one traditional cloud camera.
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