A growing technology in CCTV is internet protocol cameras or IP cameras. IP cameras use the Internet Protocol (IP) to connect to Local Area Networks (LANs) or Wide Area Networks (WANs) to transmit video across data networks in digital format. IP can optionally be transmitted across the public internet, allowing users to view their cameras through any internet connection available through a computer or a data enabled phone. For professional and public infrastructure security applications, IP video is restricted to within a network or VPN. It can also be recorded onto a remote server.
IP camera, unlike analog closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, can send and receive data via a computer network and the Internet. Although most cameras that do this are webcams, the term "IP camera" or "netcam" is usually applied only to those used for surveillance.
Main Types of IP cameras:
Centralized IP cameras- require a central network video recorder (NVR) to handle the recording, video & alarm controlling.
Decentralized IP cameras- which do not require a central NVR, as the cameras have recording function built-in and can thus record directly to any built-in storage media, such as SD cards, NAS (network attached storage) or a PC/server
IP Camera advantages
- Two-way audio via a single network cable allows users to communicate with what they are seeing, Moreover, IP cameras can be moved around anywhere on a network easily
- Transmission of commands for PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras via a single network.
- Remote accessibility: live video from selected cameras can be viewed from any computer, anywhere, and also from many mobile smartphones and other devices.
- Distributed intelligence: with IP cameras, video analytics can be placed in the camera itself allowing ability in analytics solutions.
- Encryption & authentication: IP cameras offer secure data transmission through encryption and authentication methods such as TKIP, AES, WPA & WPA2.
- IP cameras are able to function on a wireless network.
- PoE - Power over Ethernet: Modern IP cameras have the ability to operate without a power supply. They can work with the PoE-protocol.
- IP camera communication signals are not electronic voltage, it is numerically decoded as bits and bytes with security features and TCP/IP protocol.