IP Camera Technology 101: What is it, what are the benefits, Wi-Fi vs PoE

Fierce Telecom has recently reported that more than 24% of American households with broadband Internet connectivity will also have an IP camera by 2020.

IP camera

That’s how prevalent IP cameras are.  But what is IP camera technology and what are its benefits?

What is an IP camera?

An Internet protocol (IP) camera is like a closed-circuit television camera in that it is also used for security and surveillance.  The difference lies in the fact that the IP camera can transmit data over the Internet or computer networks.  While the CCTV involves looking at the signals or footage using a monitor, the IP camera is networked and digitized.

An IP camera has a number of advantages over comparable analog technology.  These include:

  • Remote viewing. Remote viewing without having to buy additional hardware/software. Instead of being physically in the same room as the monitors you set up for CCTV cameras, an IP camera can send footage and feeds to any location. That means that whether you are in your bedroom at home or dining at a restaurant in a different state, you’ll still be able to check video clips of the areas covered by your IP cameras. Of course, there are analog cameras that can be paired with a network enabled digital video recorder (DVR) to allow it to be viewed remotely. The DVR is connected to the analog camera and it records the video footage in digitized format, allowing for remote viewing over networks.
  • Enhanced Video Resolution. While traditional analog systems max out at 2-Megapixel resolution, modern IP camera systems are capable of up to 24-Megapixels. This helps with digital zoom allowing for a more detailed image especially useful in applications requiring facial & license plate recognition.
  • Communication device. IP cameras can also work like a two-way intercom, where you can have a conversation over the said platform. This is perfect for the home, wherein you do not have to open the door to talk to the person knocking outside.
  • Send or store the footage anywhere. Footage can be sent virtually anywhere as long as you have Internet connectivity. IP cameras can record direct to a cloud, on board memory card or a network video recorder (NVR).
  • Adjustable resolution and frame rates. IP cameras allow you to adjust the camera resolution and frame rate to account for network and bandwidth limitations as well as hard drive and storage limitations.
  • IP cameras can be set up to send you e-mail, SMS or push notifications to alert you of motion and sound activity that it detects.
  • Minimal Cables. Some IP cameras only need a few cables to set up. You can even go wireless.

Some IP cameras also provide intelligent video.  Intelligent video is a digital technology that comes with an analytical program or software.  This enables you to track a moving person, search for an object, count the number of people entering your office or home, and trigger alerts or alarms.

All of these benefits do come at the cost of consuming higher bandwidths.  According to IP Video Market Info Inc., IP cameras used in 2012 used up 1 to 2 Mb/s of bandwidth, giving you high-definition video with around six to ten frames per second with a H.264 codec.  If you need higher resolution footage and greater frame rates, then be prepared to provide your IP cameras with more bandwidth. However, you can determine how much available bandwidth you have available and then easily adjust the frame per second and resolution of your IP camera to work within this available bandwidth.

The benefits of having an IP camera far outweigh the potential disadvantages, which easily plugged anyways.

Wi-Fi vs. PoE

Another area that you should look into when considering security (not just IP cameras) is whether to go wireless or take advantage of Power over Ethernet (PoE).

PoE is when you have a wired Ethernet network that courses electrical current through data cables.  There is no need for power cords and you will be working with lesser wires.  That gives way for lower costs, lower complexity, quick and easy maintenance, and more flexibility with your installation when compared to traditional wiring.  PoE can give you more flexibility with the placement of your cameras because you no longer have to place it near an available socket or install an outlet near the camera.

You can also remotely manage power supply to your cameras, so you can still maintain those cameras that you have placed out of reach.  It also lowers total cost of ownership.  However, PoE can only produce power of up to 15.4 W and this might not be enough if you have a PTZ IP camera, or those that allow you to pan, zoom and track movements.  Plus, you might want to consider having separate power sources for your IP camera because if there is a problem at the PoE switch, then all your cameras will go down.

Meanwhile, Wi-Fi IP cameras eliminate the need for cables altogether.  You can put up your IP camera in places where it is difficult to lay cables.  But these Wi-Fi networks are prone to interference as well as overcrowding.  That means that your camera may fail to transmit when too many Wi-Fi devices are in used or if somebody operates a Bluetooth device or microwave ovens and other appliance that may interfere with the signal.  You are also limited by the signal strength and availability, and sometimes the packets that you get may not be in order.

This is just the basic information you need when considering IP cameras used to view camera footage remotely via internet connectivity.

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Top Gas Station Security Tips

If you are looking for a wireless security camera, you need to look into the online retailer, Amcrest. One of the best ways that you can keep your gas station secured is with the use of one of these types of cameras. The following article will give you other security tips to use to keep your gas station as secure and safe as possible for you, your workers and everyone that comes into and out of your gas station business on a daily basis.

wireless-security-camera

Introduction

Everyday, millions of people come and go from the gas stations. Whether people coming and going from gas stations realize it or not, they have just walked through the doors of one of the most challenging places to successfully operate in a safe and secure manner.

Why Gas Stations Are Targeted

Gas stations are a target for criminal activity for quite a number of reasons. The main reason is that access and opportunity are the biggest threats facing them. Many gas stations are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which provides criminals with a continuous window for theft and armed robbery. Gas stations are an easy target because they are not staffed sufficiently. Robbers can slip in and out completely unnoticed. Other concerns for gas stations may include:

  • Small floor plans allow criminals to navigate to get in and out quickly
  • Cash registersare located near the entrances
  • Are largely cash-based businesses

Impact of Crime

The impact that crime has on gas stations is significant. The loss includes cash and merchandise, as well as potential for physical damage to the location and injury to the employees.

  • Violent incidents involving employees can cost the gas station $250,000 in lost work time and legal expenses
  • Most of the crimes are going to occur during the late hours of the night
  • Most of the crimes are going to happen on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights
  • Many of the crimes are more likely to happen in the cold months
  • Gas theft is at a record high

Taking Action

Installing a wireless security camera is the first step in deterring crime and aiding law enforcement in punishing thieves and robbers targeting your gas station. Many of your cameras come with a variety of added features. The cameras are going to help keep your business and all of your employees safe at all times. No matter if your business is big or small there is a security camera that is customizable to the needs that you have. You cannot afford to not put some type of camera in your gas station to help monitor it.

Conclusion

A wireless security camera can help your gas station survive and thrive in today’s challenging economy, and rapidly changing security landscape that we all see today. When you are ready to have a camera installed or many different cameras installed in your gas station, you need to look into the variety of security cameras that you will find at Amcrest.

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The New Camera Technology – IP Cameras

An IP camera, or Internet protocol camera, is a type of digital video camera employed for surveillance. Unlike analog CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) cameras, IP cameras can receive and send data via the internet or a computer network. Although a majority of the cameras that do this are webcams, the phrase “netcam” or “IP camera” is normally applied to those used for surveillance.

IP camera

There are two types of IP cameras. Centralized IP cameras and decentralized IP cameras. Centralized IP cameras require a central NVR (Network Video Recorder) to handle the video, recording and alarm management while the decentralized IP cameras do not require a central NVR, this is because the cameras have a recording function built-in and thus making it record directly to any storage media such as PC/server, network attached storage or SD cards.

Though IP camera is a new technology which has developed quickly in the recent years and even threatens the market of the analog security camera, many customers hold some kind of suspicion about it. In this article, the author illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of IP cameras so as to grasp a better understanding of IP cameras.

The advantages include:

High Image Quality

Image quality is clearly one of the most important features of any camera. Superior image quality enables the user to closely follow changes and details in images, making way for faster and better decisions to more effectively safeguard people and property. It also ensures greater accuracy for automated analysis and alarm tools.

Flexible and cost-effective

Using standard PC server hardware radically reduce equipment costs, particularly for large systems where servers and storage have a significant portion of the total solution cost. IP-based systems provide a means for network video products and other types of applications to share the same wired or wireless network for communicating data.

Remote accessibility

IP cameras can be monitored timely from any computer anywhere in the world, and from many mobile devices including iPhone, laptops, etc.

Encryption and authentication

IP cameras offer the transmission of data through authentication and encryption methods such as WPA, WEP, WPA2, AES, and TKIP.

IP cameras post some disadvantages which may include:

  • High initial price for high-quality cameras.
  • Lack of standards. Various IP cameras can encode video differently or use different programming interface, which may require camera recorder combination.
  • Technical barrier. IP camera requires IP address, network settings, and DDNS, for this services one should hire a specialized technician who is familiar IP cameras.
  • Network traffic requirement is high. A simple IP video in MJPEG mode requires about 3 Mbit / s.

IP cameras are used in an unlimited number of places; however, most of them fall under the security surveillance or remote monitoring of people, property, places and operations. Some typical place that has applied IP cameras includes retail sectors, schools, industries, banks, government offices, etc.

IP camera is relatively new and underdeveloped technology, but in time its improvements to encoding, image processing, and networking technology will surpass over the cost and reliability advantages of analog cameras.

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