Digital Concept’s IT and Managed Services Blog

IP Surveillance – Does Your Business Need It?

Several bullet cameras

Yes – That would be the simplest answer to the question. Even if you have other security measures in place, whether they include several layers of protection and walls (literal and fire) or simply a burly guard with a surly expression, IP surveillance is something you might want to consider for your organization.

What is IP Surveillance?

The simplest answer to that is “digital CCTV” or digital alternative to the analog CCTV. IP means internet protocol, and IP surveillance simply means a surveillance system or a network/collection of security cameras that rely on the internet for transmitting data.

Cameras in an IP surveillance network can be both wired and wireless, and that’s because it’s more than just about transmitting the data from the camera to a screen/system. It’s about transmitting the data to a remote location via the internet. That’s what gives IP surveillance an edge over the conventional systems.

Cameras in an IP surveillance network offer better control, quality, and are usually able to save, process, and transmit better quality data over long distances. And the best part is that improvement doesn’t come at a higher cost. IP surveillance systems are relatively cheaper than CCTV cameras used to be. This is one of the reasons why you see them used so readily and commonly by businesses, where only sizeable organizations could afford traditional systems.

How IP Surveillance Works?

The key components of an IP surveillance setup are the cameras. It’s important to note that IP cameras or what we call digital cameras have replaced the obsolete CCTV system almost completely, so now there is little distinction between the term “CCTV camera” and an “IP camera”. Almost all CCTV cameras you now need are essentially IP cameras and part of an IP surveillance network.

IP cameras are divided into several types based on their shape, design, functionality, and data transmission. But to understand how IP surveillance works, we can divide the cameras into two types:

1.Wired IP cameras
2.Wireless IP cameras

Wired IP cameras are usually connected to an NVR (Network Video Recorder), a modern version of the DVR (Digital Video Recorder) via an Ethernet cable. The connection is stronger and much crisper than traditional analog cables and relatively more secure than wireless IP cameras. If the data has to be transmitted to an off-site location, the NVR is connected to a router and can use the internet to send the surveillance footage to another location. It’s a two-way connection, and the off-site viewer can control the camera as well.

Wireless IP surveillance is a bit different. Many wireless IP cameras are standalone, which means they aren’t part of a network. They can connect directly to the WiFi and ride the internet signal to transmit video footage (and offer control) to the authorized user. Wireless IP cameras can be part of a network as well. And if you don’t mind spending more on your IP surveillance setup, some wireless IP cameras can transmit directly using cellular signals, which means that you don’t need a WiFi device nearby. They are more expensive but can be invaluable in certain cases and locations.

There are other camera types you should know about as well.

Bullet IP cameras and Dome cameras get their name for their shape. The bullet camera is elongate, like the shell of a bullet, whereas a dome camera is in-cased in a hard transparent case. Both cameras can either be fixed (which means you will have to change where they are pointing manually), and they can also be PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom), so you can control them remotely. IP surveillance cameras can also be battery-powered. They are usually deployed on temporary locations or under construction sites.

Advantages of IP Surveillance

Video surveillance has some inherent advantages; this is why CCTV cameras got so popular, especially in the 70s, when VCRs were first integrated with the surveillance. IP surveillance has taken these advantages to the next level. And if you are still uncertain whether or not you should invest in an IP surveillance system, learning about its advantages can help you decide.

1. One of the key advantages of an IP surveillance system is video quality. Thanks to high-res cameras, you can identify objects and details with much more accuracy.

2. Night vision is another major advantage. Unlike old analog cameras that struggled in low-light environments and at night time, most IP cameras come equipped with IR sensors, and they automatically adjust for changes in lighting. This means if someone flashes a light to these cameras, they won’t go blind but adjust for the change.

3. IP cameras can record and play simultaneously. Even wireless cameras are equipped with their own memory cards, so when they are not connected to a network, they can still store video feed for extended time periods.

4. The major advantage of IP surveillance systems is remote transmission without delays or complications. So no matter where you are, you can keep an eye on your facility and your business locations, as long as you have a phone and an active internet connection.

Key Considerations When Choosing An IP Surveillance System

Like any other security system or protocol you might have in place at your business location (whether physical or digital), the first step is to determine why? Why are you investing in an IP surveillance system in the first place? Whether you want to observe your facility better, you need more eyes and better supervision in certain places, or are you worried about property crimes (theft, destruction, etc.).

This will help you determine the IP surveillance system you want and how much you should invest. Similarly, environmental factors are another consideration. If you have to mount a camera outside your business facility, they should have an adequate IP rating (i.e., an IP66 camera might handle snow or powerful rain, whereas an IP65 might only handle a light shower).

Final Words

IP surveillance is important for almost all businesses. The investment you make in this security measure can save you several times more in damages and liability. And that’s just one use of an IP surveillance system. But just because you need it doesn’t mean you have to have to pick up the top of the line system is something you will never be able to utilize fully.

The easiest way to figure out what you need and how you need it when it comes to IP surveillance is to contact the field experts. They might be able to help you prepare proper feasibility and inform you about your options depending upon your budget. But that’s not necessary. An IP surveillance system can be deceptively easy to set up and run with just a little research.