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What is IP CCTV?

IP CCTV has been available for some years although in its early days cameras were quite expensive and were not that competitive compared with tradition analogue cameras.

It’s fair to say that over the last 5 years, technology has developed significantly and cameras now deliver high quality images using megapixel technologies we have seen with Smartphone and tablets.

It’s very much the future of CCTV.

So how does it work?

IP Cameras convert image and audio into a data stream that transmits over a local area connection and out across the Internet in a secure envelope. On sites where there is already a network installed for computer, it’s very easy to add an IP camera to the existing network.

What are the benefits of IP CCTV?

The benefits of IP CCTV over traditional analogue CCTV systems are;

Easier to install
Better image and audio quality
Easier and improved system integration

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each type of CCTV system:

Analogue CCTV versus IP CCTV systems

IP CCTV systems transmit data packets of images and voice across local computer networks, wide area networks and the Internet to selected locations programmed at installation time. The storage location can be on the local network, in the cloud (off-site) or to SD cards in some cameras themselves.

Analogue CCTV systems rely on recording to a dedicated video recorder located on the premises. These DVR’s can be connected to a local area network which again allows internet and Smartphone access but it adds another layer to the system and evidence storage is not easily moved off site for secure storage.

IP CCTV cameras deliver high quality resolution and in many cases have their own web server component. This allows easy viewing both from on and offsite locations using virtually any type of device.

Analogue CCTV cameras although having a number of features and functions, rely heavily on the quality and performance of their associated Digital Video Recorder. For some users this is fine, but the degree of camera “intelligence” is lower and options of surveillance can also be restricted.

IP CCTV systems runs over wired or wireless networks. Although wireless networks were more difficult to configure securely in the early days of IP CCTV, the latest industry standards have effectively removed restrictions and security has been vastly improved.

Analogue CCTV does not have wireless networking technology although there are units that can adapt Analogue CCTV cameras and turn them in to wireless operation. It adds cost and simply doesn’t look as neat. Analogue CCTV cameras still, in most cases, require their own dedicated wiring systems which adds further cost to the project and takes longer to complete an installation project too.

IP CCTV systems communicate using IP, which is the same as all computers. This allows IP CCTV cameras and systems to co-exist and integrate to existing computer networks and offers an opportunity to integrate with other IP based technologies such as Access Control and IP Digital Telephone systems. An example of this would be that images “seen” by IP CCTV cameras could be displayed on the screens of an IP phone automatically. IP CCTV cameras allow straight forward email of captured images and options for storage of images etc to offsite locations using industry standards of secure file transfer protocol.

Analogue CCTV systems do not have integration options as flexible as IP CCTV systems. Many modern and higher end systems are capable of emailing images but offsite storage remains a problem. As they are a dedicated CCTV system, they do not easily integrate with other systems. For simpler applications Analogue CCTV systems may still be able to fulfil requirements but to allow integration and developing more comprehensive alarm and surveillance systems, they cannot match IP CCTV cameras and systems.

We hope this has been a useful comparison of the two types of systems available, Analogue CCTV versus IP CCTV.

The details explained on this page are based on questions we are often asked about the two systems. However for a more comprehensive explanation of Analogue CCTV and its more modern counterpart, IP CCTV cameras and systems please don’t hesitate to contact us at Electric Spider CCTV by using details on our contact page or simply

Call 0844 357 7125 – Monday to Friday 8:30 to 17:00 UK time

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