Video Surveillance Systems

Video Surveillance Systems

Deciding If IP Cameras Are a Smart Choice for Your Property

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As technology surges forward with new developments, business owners are forced to examine their old methods in order to adopt new ones. For video surveillance, this means researching IP cameras, instead of the traditional analogue variety. Digital has the potential to be more versatile and more revealing than analogue could ever hope to be.

What are IP cameras?

IP stands for Internet Protocol, which means everything it implies. Video that is captured on an IP camera is transmitted in digital form over a network where it is received and translated to a viewing device. In layperson's terms; video taken on an IP camera can be viewed on a PC on or offsite and even on mobility devices such as smart phones and tablets.

What are the benefits of these cameras?

The major benefits of using IP cameras for your video surveillance are the flexibility and storage options offered by these units. IP cameras can be of either the wireless or "hard wired" variety:

Because this is a digital solution, camera shots and time frames can be stored on a hard drive for easy access. This means back-ups are easier to make and storage does not require hours and hours of video taking up space.

Cloud storage is another option. With cloud storage the owner has the ability to access their video but the data its self is stored offsite. This means should there be a disaster or a computer go down, the owner's video is still available to them.

Better Options?

For storage, IP cameras are a very economical investment. Cloud storage can be as inexpensive as $9 per 10gig of storage space; roughly 14 days of storage if the camera stores one frame every two seconds. For the owner who wants to keep video longer, these images can be compressed and saved to other media, such as a DVD or SD card. This is much better than saving tape after tape.

The video quality on IP cameras can be much better than analogue as well. Digital pictures have the potential to be much sharper than traditional cameras. Resolution can be higher or lower depending on the user's settings, thus they can dictate how much storage is used.

IP cameras offer the ability to view your video in real time from wherever you might be. There is no need to go to the guard station or other stationary locations such as there is with analogue solutions. Depending on the set up, one can view, edit, and store their video from their laptop, PC, or mobile device. This type of flexibility is a real time saver.


In the beginning IP security systems were fairly price prohibitive, but as manufacturing practices became more refined and the demand for these systems began to rise, the price began to fall. Typically, a camera, card for the PC and storage can run from $100- $300 per camera, but after the first camera and card is bought additional cameras can be as inexpensive as $100 for a pair or more.

Typically, once more than one camera is added, a DVR (digital video recorder) or network switch will have to be added. These range in prove from $100- $1,000 per unit. Cost is dependent on camera type and the level of function one requires on their network.

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