You might have seen a detective show where the detective and his team are sifting through hours of CCTV footage of a potential perpetrator, trying to identify whether he/she is the one when the detective suddenly tells the footage analyst to pause the video feed immediately.
He then tells the guy to make the picture quality clearer and asks him to zoom in so that he can clearly see the perp’s face – but the additional zoom blurs the image – but then the guy does something and voila, instance picture enhancements and now the detective can easily identify the criminal, issue a search warrant and bring the perp in for questioning.
As real and possible as it all seems, everything is indeed fiction. The blurry, dark and grainy analog camera footage when zoomed in will never be clearer. Instead, it will get grainier and grainier.
However, those are analog cameras we are talking about. In these days of technological advancements and limitless innovation, IP cameras have become the forerunners of the high-tech surveillance and security industry.
These cameras are designed to provide enhanced picture quality, in-camera analytics, and enhanced focus. In simpler terms, the best IP cameras are everything that analog cameras aren't and more.
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The best IP cameras trump analog camera in a number of different ways. First of all, IP cameras can be directly connected and integrated into your router or network, enabling you to use them to transmit data throughout out the entire network.
The perquisites of this type of camera is a solid broadband connection, a quality router, an IP address and a Ethernet cable, which you will require to connect the camera with the rest of the network. It is quite similar to connecting your printer to your personal network, printing out documents at home while sitting in your office.
Moreover, these types camera are designed to offer end-to-end functionality. The primary benefit of an IP camera is the fact that the transmission will always be maintained in digital form starting from when it starts to transmit to connecting with your network.
This means you will be able to view high quality surveillance, maintain topnotch signal quality and you won’t have to worry about the data integrity being compromised.
IP (Internet Protocol) cameras enable you to maintain a bird’s eye view of your warehouse, facility, plant or home remotely. Using your tablet or smartphone and a good internet connection you can view a live feed from anywhere in the world and you will not need a video recorded for it.
Internet Protocol primarily refers to the capability of the camera to receive data and send data through a computer network rather than the camera sending the surveillance feed to a DVR, which stands for Digital Video Recorder. The fact that an IP camera does not require a DVR is beneficial in many different ways, some of which are listed below:
Even the most cutting-edge analog camera for surveillance doesn’t compare in functionality and convenience to even low-grade IP camera when you talk about picture quality, image capturing and overall picture resolution.
An analog camera can only handle a picture resolution of less than an entire megapixel, which really serves no purpose. Moreover, wireless IP security cameras capture a wide and enhanced scope of view compared to digital analog cameras.
With an impressive field of vision, just a single IP camera will do the job where you may have to install two to three analog cameras.
This is just sophisticated terminology which essential refers to the fact that you can perform certain settings within the camera that will enable you to flag specific things or events during transmission.
In other words, you can flag whatever crosses the IP camera’s field of vision, you can analyze for motion detection, you can detect any tampering with the camera, etc. Instead of going through a truckload of footage, your network can specifically identify what you want to see, pinpointing where each event took place.
In a general analog camera setup, which always requires a DVR configuration, you have to connect every camera to the Direct Video Recorder. This is where IP cameras are so utterly convenient.
Why? Well, that is because these camera workaround this obstacle using different switches, which is what connects every IP camera in close proximity to other IP cameras – which are overall connected to the same central switch. This central switch is what connects to the Network Video Recorder (NVR).
The NVR system considerably minimizes the use of cables – which also means that you don’t have to waste time setting up IP camera and on top of that, it also means you can connect any number of IP cameras to the a single network and view footage from any one or all of those cameras at single given time.
PoE is short for “Power over Ethernet”. It is essentially a switch that routes electrical power to the Ethernet cable connecting all your IP cameras. What this does is eliminate the need of different switches to connect multiple cameras.
The best PoE switch for IP cameras bundles power along with all the data. Moreover, a good PoE switch also enables you to connect numerous cameras on a single source connecting them with a single NVR.
There are different camera types you can choose from based on your requirements. They come in different forms and shapes that you can easily install in and around your house, your office or any other private facility. In light of this, mentioned below are 4 types of IP cameras:
These IP cameras are perfect for keeping a check on specific locations – where you want to zoom in close and check to ensure everything is fine. Box IP cameras are designed for being fixed in just one direction. In some cases, you may have to buy the C/CS camera lens separately.
The best thing about dome cameras is the fact you can manually change the direction of the camera in any direction you want. In addition, these cameras are also designed with both day and night features and capabilities. They also come with infrared functionality to help display a clear field of view in case of bad or low light.
These are similar to dome cameras in the sense that you can also manually position the face of the camera in any direction you want. However, bullet cameras are designed with enhanced zoom and range functionality than many other types of best IP cameras. However, you have to understand that bullet cameras are bulkier compared to dome and box camera.
While the latter two types are designed to be a bit unobtrusive, bullet cameras can easily be seen from far away. On the other hand, the direction the lens is pointing towards is cleverly hidden by the hut on top of it, which may confuse a burglar – he may not know where the camera is point towards. Bullet cameras are also designed to ensure the elements and are waterproof as well.
Generally referred to as PTZ cameras, these types of IP camera are designed with a diverse range of functionalities and features, more so than the aforementioned types. They are expensive, however, PTZ camera enable you to remotely control the field of vision whenever you want. This means you can use your smartphone or tablet to remotely pan the camera anywhere you want to keep a clear field of vision.
If you have any idea about configuring an analog camera or CCTV setup, you may know that analog cameras have to be connected to a DVR – which is a system that continuously records all data captured by the camera.
The best outdoor IP cameras or the top rated IP cameras on the other hand, require to be linked to an NVR that is pretty much the same thing – strictly in terms of purpose. So, what is the major difference between the two?
As mention earlier, you can use a plethora of PoE switches to connect your IP cameras to a single network video recording system. Plus, NVRs also offer far more convenience and flexibility in terms of network placement because all cameras require the same Local Area Network. Technically speaking, the main difference between the two recording processes is the difference in how they both process their data.
In a DVR setup, the data transmitted is not processed in a single location and you have to manually check the data. In the best IP cameras for baby monitoring, the data is processed within the camera, the processed data is then sent to the network video recorded. You can think of NVR as a dedicated software program for this functionality.
Before buying the best IP cameras, it is important to assess your needs, especially when it comes to the security of your house, office or any other private property. You have to be sure about your specifications and requirements.
You can’t just go out and get an IP camera; you need one that embodies all your requirements. Mentioned below is a guideline on the different consideration you have to factor in before making the purchase.
But first, here is a list of important question to ask yourself:
Are you planning to get the best IP cameras for home security for indoor or outdoor surveillance? This is important because if you are considering setting up cameras outside your house then you need cameras that are built to ensure the elements and are waterproof.
Plus, if you are setting up cameras in an area where there is a lot of crime then you have to invest in a camera that is designed to be tamper proof and cannot be knocked down so easily.
As mentioned, there are different types of IP cameras that you can select from. However, you need to choose the type that suits your surveillance the best. For example, if you want to keep an eye on a specific area or a patch of land that you should go for manually positioned drone cameras that are compact and hard to see.
However, if you want foolproof surveillance of your entire house from the outside, you should consider invest in PTZ camera that can controlled via smart devices. If you want a camera to keep an eye on what is going on inside your home or office, you should consider getting a box camera. It is a matter of functionality – always select one that perfectly fits your security needs.
When you are shopping for the best IP camera, it is essential to determine whether you need one that can provide you with enhanced visuals or not. Do you want an IP camera with a wide area focus or do you want one with enhanced zooming capabilities for facial recognition or license plate monitoring? If you need enhanced visuals, you will have to invest in high resolution best IP cameras.
The resolution quality of any IP based camera is calculated in pixels. High-resolution videos or images consist of a large volume of pixels, which also comprises of more data compared to an image that does not have very high visuals. The camera resolution of the best IP security cameras can be determined by the amount of pixels they have (horizontal and vertical) for example, 1260x1024-pixel resolution.
The greater the pixel resolution of the camera, the more detailed, enhanced and sharp the image will be. This is why it is imperative that you buy the best IP cameras that are designed with enhanced pixel resolution, which will also help zoom and enhance the images of object or people from a good distance.
It is important to understand that an IP camera’s field of view can potentially affect its resolution. The total field of vision of a camera is referred to as the total area that can be seen in the area both width and length and from any other angle. The field of view can be determined using 3 factors; the camera’s sensor, its lens and the area where the camera is positioned.
The lens of the camera you select will affect its FOV. A camera lens that has an increased focal length will provide you with enhanced magnification. A lens with minimal focal length will decrease the total magnification – however, it will provide an increased field of vision.
So, if you choose a camera that is designed with high resolution visual, you will require a high-megapixel lens for a more clearer and enhanced image.
If the camera you bought is designed with high-resolution imagery, but the lens that is not compatible with the sensor’s resolution, you will not get enhanced and clear images.
It is important to buy an IP camera that comes with low-light functionalities that can provide you with clearer visual in case there is bad lighting in any specific area of the property.
An IP camera that comes with a True Day or True Night or both functionalities is one that you should invest in without a doubt. These are some of the most important options to have. These features determine the operational effectiveness of the camera in low-light situations. The best IP cameras are designed to remove their infrared filters for enhanced imagery in low-light conditions.
A majority of IP cameras come with PoE functionality (Power over Ethernet). This is a useful feature that enables the user to power their IP cameras using a single cable, you will not need to buy and install multiple cables for different camera, which is what will happen if you buy analog cameras.
Here are our top 5 recommendations for you IP Camera!
The Amcrest IP2M Wireless camera is a streamlined piece of high-end technology that will have your facility or your house covered from all angles. The camera is designed with easy setup and installation.
Plus, the IP camera enables the user to access it remotely using a smartphone or tablet, helping you to stay in touch with what is going on at all times. The IP camera is compatible with Mac, all Apple devices and Windows OS. Some of its more advanced features include:
A state of the art IP camera that is designed with a multitude of incredible features including a night vision mode for both indoor and outdoor surveillance – the Reolink 4-Megapixel is one of the most trending IP cameras in the market today. The camera also come with autofocus, MicroSD card and has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 megapixels. Some other incredible features include:
The Zmodo Smart Wireless IP camera is a budget-friendly solution for both your indoor and outdoor security surveillance needs. The camera comes with impressive features that comes with remote accessibility and is compatible with Windows and Apple devices. Other features include:
The Nest Cam is the perfection solution for your indoor security surveillance and offer 1080 p HD recording for 24/7 streamlined surveillance. Other features include:
The Skylinknet WC IP camera comes with a 2-way communication functionality enabling the user to remotely access live camera feeds from anywhere in the world. With 720 HD video recording, keeping an eye on things has never been so streamlined before. Some other excellent features include:
So there you have it, an in-depth guide on how you can select the best IP cameras for indoor and outdoor security and surveillance.