Selecting a Security, Surveillance Camera : CCTV or IP Camera
When you want to protect your home or business, one of the best way is by using security cameras. You need to decide whether to go for the classic CCTV (Closed Circuit TV) based surveillance, web cameras attached to your PC, or IP cameras.
Video security can be both a defense and a deterrent. As they say: Better safe than sorry! If you are considering installing or upgrading the video surveillance system for your business or home then choosing the correct cameras will ensure your surveillance is effective.
Originally, video surveillance was done using closed circuit television. This technology uses analog video cameras, coaxial cable and video tape recorders. The cameras transmit a signal to a specific, limited set of monitors. CCTV systems typically involve a fixed communications link between cameras and monitors, using wires and cables. This method records what is happening, but does not send you alerts. CCTV works like a VCR, you have to change cassettes, image quality is average, storage tapes wear out over time, and storage is bulky. Also, the cameras, monitors, and recorders must be physically close enough together to be connected by cables.
A webcam or web camera is connected to the PC, either directly via a USB port or wirelessly. It can also be built into computer hardware, such as a laptop. Images from a web camera can be accessed over the Internet with the help of monitoring software. Web camera images can be uploaded to a web server, either continuously or at regular intervals.
Webcams can be used effectively for security purposes. Use a webcam to monitor and record activity in small offices, shops and homes. Monitoring software, such as WebCam Monitor, is needed to complete a video security system using a webcam. A web camera works only if it is directly attached to a PC. You will need a long cable if you want to monitor something that is not near the PC the web cam is attached to. Web cameras can only be directly read and controlled by one host computer and cannot be shared across a network.
The IP camera is a digital video camera designed for surveillance that can be viewed over a network. IP cameras are stand-alone devices that connect to your Ethernet or wireless network. You can monitor multiple IP cameras in different locations from a PC using your local network or the Internet.
Let’s look at the benefits of an IP camera over CCTV.
Live Remote Monitoring: Monitoring multiple locations becomes easy and economical with IP cameras. The camera doesn’t need to be connected to a PC. You can view the camera images from any place that has an Internet connection. All you need is a PC with access to the Internet to view all the activity live.
Motion Detection and Alarms: When IP cameras are used with motion detection software such as Security Monitor Pro, you will be informed and alerted instantly when motion is detected. The software allows you to view and control multiple IP cameras from a single PC interface.
Better View and Control: Some IP cameras have features like Pan, Tilt and Zoom (PTZ). You can control the camera remotely, adjusting the focus, angle, and field of view without being actually present at the camera site. You can track and zoom to reveal more about the exact person, place or thing you are concerned about.
IP camera-based systems are the future of video surveillance. In the short term they may be a bit more expensive, but it is obviously an investment in superior quality and flexibility. As the surveillance technology of the future, you won’t be outgrowing an IP camera-based video surveillance system any time soon. You will be able to upgrade and improve this system for years to come while older systems will become obsolete.
When setting up a video security system with Security Monitor Pro you can choose from the list of supported IP cameras. Over 2000 IP cameras from leading camera manufacturers are supported. More cameras are added to this list regularly. Please see our full list of supported IP cameras. The software will work with most cameras that stream MJPEG over HTTP. Network IP cameras are a proven technology that has many advantages over traditional analog CCTV systems. An IP camera can be best used for surveillance as it covers a wide area.