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Network IP Security Camera Buying Guide



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Our comprehensive buying guide features everything you need to know about network IP security cameras, so you can make an informed buying decision.

What is IP Technology?

Internet Protocol cameras (IP cameras) or network cameras were first introduced in the 1990s. IP technology is the communications protocol that is used for transmitting digital data network packets over an existing computer network and the internet.

How an IP Camera Works

An IP camera plugs directly into your network router and transmits data through the network. A network camera requires a high speed internet connection, router, Ethernet cable and IP address to function, and it connects to the network just like a printer and other network devices.

IP cameras are digital end-to-end. The advantage is the video signal remains in digital form throughout the entire transmission process from camera to network, maintaining extremely high video signal quality and ensuring data integrity. IP cameras also allow for remote viewing of video from any internet or network connection without requiring a video recorder.

Important Considerations for IP Network Cameras

Before you purchase an IP security camera, it’s important to determine the needs for your security application. Here are a few considerations to help with the process:

  • What form factor(s) are most appropriate?
  • Will you be monitoring indoor or outdoor environments?
  • What level of detail do you need to see?
  • How many cameras do you need?
  • What about low light conditions?
  • Do you have enough network bandwidth?
  • Is your IP camera compatible with other IP devices?

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Do You Need an Indoor or Outdoor Camera?

If you plan on monitoring outdoor locations, you’ll need an IP camera with a weatherproof enclosure. Make sure it has a sufficient IP weather rating to withstand the elements in your area. If you need to target high crime areas that are prone to vandalism, you’ll want a vandal-proof network IP camera. Review the security camera specifications to make sure you get the appropriate camera for your application.