IP Security Cameras 101

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For most businesses, the safety and security of employees, customers, and property should be top priorities. As a result, business owners often turn to the most nimble, cost-effective, versatile rockstar of the video surveillance world: the IP security camera. In this article, we discuss the fundamentals of IP security cameras, and the benefits of employing them as part of any video surveillance and analytics program.

What Is an IP Security Camera?

An IP security camera is a digital camera that sends and receives data via a private or public network. Every IP security camera has its own unique IP address, and it only requires a network connection in order to transmit the video that it takes. Further, many companies choose to connect their IP security cameras to a network video recorder (NVR) via USB, a WiFi connection, or an ethernet cable to ensure captured film is recorded in a safe place.

How Do IP Security Cameras Work?

IP security cameras function similarly to most digital cameras – they capture footage and create compressed files that can be transmitted through a network connection to either a viewer and/or a recording device. Most IP security cameras store and send footage in high definition; therefore, IP security cameras require a significant amount of storage and network bandwidth to transmit compressed file data – a strong, reliable internet or network connection is a must.

What Are the Benefits of IP Security Cameras?

IP security cameras are more versatile than their analog CCTV counterparts. For business owners who want 24/7 access to their security systems from anywhere in the world, IP cameras are the way to go. Further, consider that IP security cameras:

  • Require no additional hardware or software to operate
  • Transmit footage live to any authorized mobile device or computer
  • Offer remote access to camera controls (panning, zooming, etc.)
  • Can be used in both indoor and outdoor settings
  • Issue notifications based on movement, noise, and other sensors
  • Operate in both daytime and nighttime
  • Can be hidden or located conspicuously

What Are the Challenges with IP Security Cameras?

IP security cameras are popular with business owners because they have very few drawbacks. It is important, however, to correctly configure security settings on IP security cameras, so unauthorized users are unable to gain access to a company’s footage and data. For example, many IP security cameras come with a generic username and password – if these credentials are left unchanged, hackers can easily access a company’s camera feeds. To ensure IP cameras are secure, take the following steps:

  • Immediately change usernames and passwords
  • Ensure that all firmware is up-to-date
  • Ensure that internet connections are highly secure
  • Turn on WPA2 encryption for wireless cameras

How Can a Business Get Started with IP Security Cameras?

If a company requires only one or two IP security cameras, then business owners can likely undertake system setup (with the help of a tech savvy employee, if necessary). Each camera will come with a set of instructions regarding login credentials, equipment setup, and data transmission. Decision makers will also need to decide if they want to attach an NVR to the surveillance system, which will materially increase the costs.

For companies seeking to install a full-scale IP surveillance and analytics system, partnering with a managed video service provider (MVSP) offers a comprehensive setup and management solution. MVSPs like Qnectus have extensive experience in creating, maintaining, and managing IP-based video surveillance systems, and they can advise on hardware and software investments that will best suit a company’s size, industry, and business goals.

Conclusion

IP security cameras provide a wide range of benefits that empower business owners to take charge of their companies’ security. IP cameras are versatile, durable, and highly capable, allowing authorized users to know immediately if something has gone wrong at work. Whether you already have IP-based video surveillance infrastructure or are hoping to put a new security camera system in place, our designated team of security camera experts at Qnectus is ready to help you get started. Contact us today.

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