The notion of security property through the implementation of security camera systems is not a new concept. Businesses of all types have continually used CCTV and other security camera models to safeguard their product, customers and employees. Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes a property owner can make is relying on outdated technology to maintain high levels of security.
Although the Federal Bureau of Investigation has reported a decline in property crimes throughout the United States, the need to continually monitor and protect your property is higher than ever before. As a business or homeowner, a security camera system not only wards off potential the thieves, but aids law enforcement in the identification and capture process of an investigation.
While the security industry is flushed with various security camera systems, perhaps the most user-friendly and effective for busy professionals is an IP security camera system. Developed to continually monitor property while simultaneously streamlining the ease of viewing the happenings on your property, IP cameras are the next generation of property safeguarding.
It has been said that knowledge is power. Within the realm of camera security systems, this proverb is rich in truth. While IP security camera systems are among the most user-friendly and powerful methods of property monitoring, few understand exactly how this method of the monitoring works.
IP cameras, which are also known as network cameras or Internet protocol cameras, send and receive data through the Internet or a computer network. A more common camera of this type is a webcam found on virtually every laptop in the country. IP cameras are separated into two types of camera formats:
The primary components of an IP security camera include a lens, memory storage, image processors and an image sensor. The processors of this type of camera act as the brain of the system. They are responsible for the processing incoming images, compressing these images for storage analyzing the videos and dealing with the various functionalities of a network.
The memory within an IP camera also plays a vital role as its responsible for storing the computer programing, or the firmwire, as well as actually storing incoming video sequences. Much like a computer, an IP camera actually has its own IP address. Therefore, the camera directly connects to a specific network. This is where the similarities between an IP camera and a webcam end. Webcams can only operate when directly connected to a computer while an IP camera may operate wherever a network connection exists.
When it comes to viewing images, an IP camera may be configured to stream video in several methods. It may live stream images over an IP network, which is viewable only by authorized users, or it may continuously record video to be viewed later. IP cameras may also be setup to only record at specific time intervals or only when the camera detects motion or audio.
Types of IP Cameras
As with any other type of security camera system, IP security cameras are available in several designs. Of course, these cameras are classified as outdoor or indoor cameras; however, these cameras may also be further categorized. The following are the four most common types of IP cameras:
Perhaps the most notable benefit of IP security cameras is the screen clarity. The minimum image resolution of all IP cameras is 640 x 480 pixels; however, the screen resolution can be enhanced up to HD quality with a recording rate of 30 FPS, or frames per second. Another notable benefit is its ability to be relocated anywhere there is an IP network. This adds a great deal of flexibility, especially in large commercial properties. These cameras may also run through a wireless Internet network. Typically, the user must configure the wireless router to work with the camera. Once configured, the IP cameras may then stream video through wireless networks. This offers even greater flexibility when it comes to camera placement.
The security of an IP camera signal transmission is a great benefit for users. Transmissions are authenticated and encrypted through various methods, which may include WPA, WEP, AES and TKIP. Yet, the most prominent benefit of an IP security camera system is its ability to be remotely accessed. Authorized users may view streaming video from selected cameras on any computer as well as through various smartphone devices. Lastly, IP cameras are able to operate without additional power sources through a PoE-protocol, or a Power over Ethernet. Basically, IP cameras may be connected to a PoE-protocol device, which supplies power to the cameras directly from the Ethernet cable.
Disadvantages of an IP Security Camera System
While IP security camera systems offer benefits not seen in other security camera systems, there are several notable disadvantages. Perhaps the first disadvantage a property owner will notice is a significantly higher cost per camera. While the cost of low-end IP cameras are in line with analogue cameras, advanced level IP cameras are still significantly more expensive than its analogue counterparts. However, as the use of IP cameras increases, expect the price per camera to drop.
Another significant disadvantage is the bandwidth requirements for an IP camera system. A typical IP camera with a 640 x 480 resolution and a 10 FPS rate requires an average of 3 MB per second. Although this may not negatively affect all users, it is worth noting. Lastly, if an IP camera is used through a public wireless signal, it opens up the possibility of third-party monitoring. If done this way, it allows criminals the ability to monitor the store security measures and may actually facilitate criminal activity.
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