IP cameras are widely seen as the future of video surveillance. Unlike traditional analog security cameras that require a dedicated cable to connect the camera to video management systems, IP cameras can connect to standard computer networks, allowing dozens of IP cameras to be transmitted over the same cable to any location with Internet access and sufficient bandwidth. As of 2009, though widely promoted, only 1 out of every 5 buyers choose IP cameras. In the next 3 to 7 years, IP cameras are projected to be the dominant camera type selected. However, there are still key challenges for IP cameras and you must understand IP camera advantages and disadvantages before purchasing. If you do choose IP cameras and currently have analog cameras, you will need to determine how to migrate from analog to IP cameras (an often complex and costly process especially because there are no standards for IP cameras).
Most Recent Coverage on IP Cameras
"They are not the same thing. Unfortunately, too many industry people conflate them. Worse, reso..."
"A significant video problem is night time bandwidth spikes. An IPVM study found 250 - 500% incre..."
"Need a camera with a 100° AoV or greater? Want a camera with a built in 20mm lens? Looking ..."
"3mm, 6mm, 2.8 - 9mm, 5 - 50mm, etc. Camera specifications often list lens lengths but what do th..."
"Manufacturers are regularly cryptic about what WDR support they actually provide. They invent ma..."
"The key challenge in designing and using 180 and 360 cameras is to determine how far can they del..."
"Bandwidth and low light can be a bad combination. Despite many assuming / calculating bandwidth ..."
"The new Camera Finder revolutionizes camera selection. Search across 2100+ cameras for 40 criter..."
"Surveillance professionals have been talking about, and wanting H.265 for approaching 2 years. To..."
"IP cameras are famous / infamous for weak default passwords that can lead to major problems. See ..."
"Learn how to properly visualize, design and specify cameras using the industry leading IPVM camer..."
"How much does latency impact IP cameras? We tested a number of combinations, like so: In this..."
"Bandwidth is one of the most fundamental, complex and overlooked aspects of video surveillance. ..."
"License plate recognition (LPR) has historically been very expensive, requiring specialized hardw..."
"Updating firmware can be one of the most tedious tasks involved in any IP camera system. It is no..."
"Theoretically, long lenses should let you capture faces and license plates very far away. For ex..."
"By popular request, now you can visualize and optimize your own applications with your own images..."
"Field of View, or FoV, is deceptively complex. At its most basic, it is simply what the camera ca..."
"960H promises to increase analog resolution by 34%, transforming the traditional 4:3 aspect ratio..."
"Even today, there are remote locations, especially in security applications, where extremely limi..."
"This is the industry's most in depth guide to frame rates in video surveillance. As a precursor,..."
"Can Panasonic make a comeback? One of the early entrants in IP cameras, Panasonic has been slipp..."
"Registration is CLOSED. Next course will start in October. IPVM's industry leading IP camera cou..."
"Miniature HD IP cameras are a growing trend. It started with cameras that had small 'heads' but l..."
"New IPVM statistics show the rate of PTZ declines, where they are still being heavily used and wh..."
"All IPVM members can download our new IP Camera Statistics 2014 report. Here's what's in..."
"Over the past 4 years, the average price of 100+ IP cameras surveyed has decreased ~25%, at an an..."
"Bullet cameras seemingly came from nowhere. Only a few years ago, IP bullets were rare, with very..."
"The best way to conceal where a camera is pointed is to use a smoked dome. Here's an example of a..."
"Panoramic cameras have been around for more than a decade but only in the last 3 years has there ..."
" Though cube cameras may be common in online retail stores, they are the least popular for profe..."
"Box cameras are the 'original' surveillance form factor. But how are they doing today? Over the ..."
"Not too long ago, integrated IR cameras were looked down upon. Like offering the Queen of England..."
"Integrated IR cameras are growing rapidly in popularity, as they help solve a key surveillance pr..."
"Domes are the most popular overall type of surveillance camera but two main types of domes exist:..."
"Choosing between varifocal and fixed focal lens is one of the most fundamental decisions in video..."
"Dome cameras are popular. But how popular? IPVM has conducted a global survey of integrators to ..."
"Low light performance remains the biggest showstopper for multi-megapixel cameras. Test after tes..."
"License plate capture (LPC) is very popular as shown by our License Plate Capture Shootout 2..."
"Low light has been one of panoramic cameras' biggest challenges, with most essentially useless in..."
"This note, based on IPVM integrator surveys, reveals: The average price of IP cameras sold Th..."
"This guide explains the key tradeoffs, issues and options in installing dome surveillance cameras..."
"16 total shots - 6 cameras, side by side, from 720p to 10MP, were recorded at 8 different sc..."
"From 400TVL line analog cameras to 40MP IP ones, surveillance users have a vast range of options...."
" Audio for surveillance is a complex topic with a lot of confusion and poorly implemented system..."
"What should you be using to capture license plates consistently? We tested 3 major types of came..."
"Bandwidth consumption can vary tremendously, even with the same resolution, frame rate, compressi..."
"Honeywell is a huge name, but not one well respected in video surveillance, unless you are an ala..."
"Compression is very important. While resolution gets the attention, compression is critical and c..."
"With the worst manufacturers identified, we now turn to the favorite IP camera manufacturers of o..."
"Can Arecont Vision defend its title? Or will an upstart dethrone them? Our 2011 Worst IP camera ..."
"The $68 SD PTZ we tested disappointed, due primarily to poor image quality and high bandwidth con..."
"This first ever program rates and ranks IP camera low light performance, introducing LL-TVL count..."
"Wrong. Your first impression of an IP camera's performance in low light is frequently wrong. The..."
"A rising trend in IP cameras is adding different profiles for day and night video. While most man..."
"The #1 IP camera problem is cost, as unique IPVM survey results show. Rectifying that is critical..."
"Our first VMD Camera Shootout included Avigilon, Axis, Bosch and Sony. Members enjoyed it and ask..."
"$68 for an IP PTZ? That's what the Foscam FI8910W goes for on Amazon where it is the #2 ove..."
"This is the best, most comprehensive IP camera training in the world, based on our unprecedented ..."
"Integrators love autofocus. It takes the pain out of getting precise focus manually, especially ..."
"Based on our reader statistics, surveys and requests, IPVM sees the top requested new / upcoming ..."
"Resolution has become ridiculous. IP cameras equate resolution with pixels, ignoring that pixels..."
"All sorts of wild guesses and theoretical calculations exist about what the resolution of the hum..."
"VSaaS, overall, has been a disaster with nearly every provider, including gorilla Axis, strugglin..."
"HD cameras are commonplace. Everyone offers 1080p. The big question now is how much better is 5MP..."
"Is H.264 lower quality? Even Avigilon now says no, but many still argue yes. One of These Image..."
"What if an online tool could generate specific recommendations on meeting high quality surveillan..."
"The next two upcoming trends in IP cameras are H.265 and 4K Ultra HD. The questions, then, become..."
"When many think of thermal cameras, they visualize their use in movies and TV, with a multi-color..."
"The most damaging misconception in surveillance is that pixels = resolution = quality. In fact, p..."
"Getting clear facial shots is often one of the most critical tasks in surveillance. Doing so is h..."
"Immervision was one of the earliest providers of 180 / 360 imaging in the surveillance market. Wi..."
"Two of the biggest trends in IP cameras collide in this unique IPVM shootout. In the past few ye..."
"Bad surveillance images are, unfortunately, all too common. The most common 'solution' is to incr..."
"Codecs like H.264 reduce bandwidth by only sending full frames every so often, mixing them with p..."
"A critical debate amongst surveillance professionals is how high should cameras be mounted. The h..."
"IPVM trains professionals from all over the world. We have found 5 particular mistakes that are c..."
"Manufacturer illumination ratings cannot be trusted, so you should use a lux meter and test yours..."
"With the US FTC cracking down on an IP camera manufacturer for security / privacy violations, con..."
"IP camera manufacturer TRENDnet has settled with the FTC after the agency says the company’..."
"The surveillance industry is obsessed with more and more pixels. But color fidelity - accurately ..."
"How much power an IP camera consumes is quite important, especially since most PoE switches do no..."
"Korean company, CNB, is one of the larger analog manufacturers specializing in OEMing to large We..."
"Surveillance professionals prefer motion based recording over continuous but the main weakness of..."
"This 28 page report provides the most in-depth guidance on specifying IP cameras. Specifying IP ..."
" The Q-See HD IP kit may be the hottest budget product around. At just $699 online for (4) 720p H..."
"Often businesses or homeowners want to put remote cameras at a distance from their buildings, to ..."
"When covering a wide area, you may want to choose between a wide angle 'traditional lens' and a 3..."
"Manufacturer calculators are a bad crutch that can increase mistakes. They attempt to make it eas..."
"Recently, a member asked for the lowest cost outdoor IP cameras, observing accurately that the ra..."
"For covert surveillance, pinhole lenses / cameras are a common choice because they can be hidden ..."
"Value / budget cameras are becoming increasingly important for even 'professional' oriented manuf..."
"30 frames per second used to be the maximum practical limit for surveillance cameras. Now, it is ..."
"Megapixel was, far and away, the number #1 cited benefit in going to IP cameras / video. We asked..."
"Outdoors, PTZs tend to be a favorite for covering large open areas but they only see whatever the..."
"The foundation of IPVM's camera testing procedure is simultaneous, head to head comparisons, like..."
"Cost was, far and away, the number #1 cited problem in going to IP cameras / video. We asked over..."
"Focusing panoramic cameras is really important. Indeed, after testing 9 different panoramic camer..."
"This is a very neat idea; One that we have not seen any IP camera / VMS provider offer before. H..."
"Panoramic cameras are one of the hottest growing markets within surveillance. The combination of ..."
"[Update: this product won 'Best in Show' and we have added the rationale based on our interview w..."
"Over the last few year, Axis has expanded into thermal cameras. While the company is well known a..."
"In this report, we share our test findings of Pelco's Sarix TI Thermal cameras. While relatively ..."
"When selecting a camera, you can choose from a number of different form factors and options. Each..."
"Recently, DRS entered the IP thermal market with far lower pricing than any incumbent, aiming to ..."
"The word 'resolution' should be banned in surveillance. What all IP manufacturers mean when they ..."
"Installation quality is one of the most important aspects of a video surveillance system. Not onl..."
"It is quickly becoming the next big CODEC but: How big will it be? and When will it hit? For the ..."
"One of the most important surveillance camera differentiators is Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) perform..."
"Panoramic cameras are increasingly popular but they can suffer from confusion between the many ty..."
"Cameras, like humans, have irises. However, cameras have four types of iris options - fixed, manu..."
"Thermal cameras have long been marketed as able to "see" when traditional cameras cannot, whether..."
"IP cameras remain the main growth and competitive driver within the surveillance industry. Indeed..."
"Almost all surveillance cameras perform worse in low light than they do in the day time. One of t..."
"WDR is one of the most important and highly differentiating capabilities of surveillance cameras,..."
"Camera specifications often list lens length: 3mm, 6mm, 2.8 - 9mm, etc. These metrics are importa..."
"Understanding video surveillance resolution is surprisingly difficult and complex. While the word..."
"What should you do for dark outdoor scenes? Thermal cameras are getting a lot less expensive. Con..."
"Would it be a good idea to embed SD cars inside IP cameras? With edge storage becoming a hot tren..."
"Figuring out the right lens needed for a specific camera location can be difficult, especially if..."
"Compression settings, choosing between CBR and VBR, analyzing video quality, and selecting motion..."
"The most advanced yet most dangerous way to specify surveillance is pixels per foot (PPF, aka pix..."
"Are they a symbol of Big Brother, a good design practice or something in between? Here's a real w..."
"A Swedish manufacturer has taken aim at revolutionizing wearable cameras that could disrupt perso..."
"Lorex has quietly become one of the biggest forces in the consumer / home surveillance market, on..."
"One of the toughest but most important emerging choices is when to use PTZs vs panoramic cameras...."
"Documenting camera layouts can be important: Ensuring that you have a realistic field of view ..."
"Axis and Mobotix are two of the biggest and oldest IP camera manufacturers yet their approaches a..."
"Even once you know what you to monitor - the front door, the safe, the parking lot, etc. - how to..."
"Ignore depth of field concerns for 95%+ of surveillance applications, despite what you hear. Whil..."
"To understand low light surveillance, appreciating the importance and role of the f-stop metric i..."
"This tutorial explains the fundamentals of focusing including: The two fundamental controls - ..."
"Not too long ago, dome cameras were huge, fitting a full-size box camera into a large protective ..."
"Knowing how far a PTZ can see is a critical but tricky question for PTZ use. On the one hand, see..."
"High temperature locations are some of the most unforgiving for surveillance cameras. Dealing wit..."
"Surveillance users do not need to be photography experts but understanding the basics of shutter ..."
"Day / Night cameras are very popular but not often understood. In this tutorial, we explain what ..."
"A common and important mistake confirmed: After years of manufacturer marketing that resolution e..."
"While CODECs, like H.264 and MJPEG, get all the attention, a camera's 'quality' or compression se..."
"Surveillance cameras are expected to work outdoors, ranging from deserts to monsoons to blizards...."
"Choosing the right camera model for the job can be challenging. In high camera count systems, num..."
"You have hundreds of camera manufacturers to pick from. Which one should you use? This is a tough..."
"When low light image quality is critical, Day/Night and IR cameras are two of the top choices. Bu..."
"Increasingly, IP camera manufacturers are dropping low voltage support in favor of PoE power only..."
"This free, online course allows you to learn the basics of IP video in under 2 hours by watching ..."
"Once you can connect to an IP camera, you need to set it up so that the camera can integrate with..."
"Understanding bandwidth is critical to using IP cameras. In this new training, we show how to mea..."
"Using smartphones as surveillance cameras is one of the biggest trends in 2012, with multiple man..."
"Over and over, we are told that this is the most common and fundamental problem techs have gettin..."
"Multiple styles of PTZ are available, though little clear-cut guidance on which is best for a giv..."
"Getting high quality images in low light is a common challenge. With the problem being so widespr..."
"In the past few years, as HD swept into living rooms, people have moved from watching video on 4:..."
"Nighttime video may crash your network. During the day, under ideal conditions, bandwidth remains..."
"How often do integrators fight temperature extremes to keep cameras operating? In our latest Inte..."
"Getting started with IP cameras can be daunting for those without experience in computer networks..."
"Reducing your surveillance bandwidth means lower storage costs and better remote monitoring. As s..."
"Camera installation is fundamental to the security industry, but in many cases, little thought is..."
"Encoders play a secondary, but vital, role to IP cameras in surveillance systems, normally relega..."
"Run as fast and far as you can, if you are looking for a good low light camera and the manufactur..."
"Some of the most popular cameras on the market, like Panasonic and Sony, are especially tricky to..."
"Integrators may find the low price of cube cameras a tempting reason to propose them for surveill..."
"While H.264 is often considered a single 'thing', many different 'types' of H.264 exist. These ty..."
"Using IR for night time surveillance is a popular choice. The added non visible light can improve..."
"Monitoring criminal hotspots, where graffiti, drug transactions, and dumping are taking place is ..."
"Providing backup power for equipment is generally accepted as best practice in surveillance syste..."
"How many PTZs are actually used? What's normal? These are especially interesting questions as mul..."
"How you stream video has a major impact on quality and bandwidth. Typically, when people think st..."
"This directory collects our lens test reports and related lens information. Lens Tests HD Lens ..."
"Installing surveillance in an elevator can be challenging. Small but wide areas, vandal resitance..."
"The following is an alphabetical list of IP camera manufacturers and their default usernames and ..."
"PTZ cameras have been a staple of the industry for years, often being installed as the only means..."
"The following directory lists all of our camera shootouts. These shootouts pit 4 - 8 different su..."
"When selecting lenses for surveillance cameras, there are two fundamental options: varifocal and ..."
"When troubleshooting or testing IP cameras, it is very useful to have clear and immediate visual ..."
"In using fiber for surveillance applications, there are typically two scenarios that users must a..."
"With the growing use of megapixel cameras and associated low light concerns, the use of IR illumi..."
"Iluminar has announced a new IR illuminator for use in 'super' covert applications. Iluminar clai..."
"The question of what recording mode to use is an ongoing debate in the surveillance industry. Som..."
"Auto back focus has become a more common feature in the past couple of years, with many, if not m..."
"Determining the correct Field of View (FoV) for each surveillance camera is one of the most impor..."
"Low-cost IP camera provider Pixord has released two panoramic models targeting much lower price p..."
"What IP camera manufacturers have integrators had the worst experiences with? Over the last month..."
"What IP camera manufacturers do integrators really like the best? Over the last month, we ran an ..."
"One issue which IP surveillance systems must address is syncing of time between cameras and the V..."
"Last month, we released the first ever Megapixel lens test where we did a shootout between 5 lead..."
""Too expensive" is probably the most frequent complaint about IP cameras. While IP cameras have c..."
"IP cameras, like PCs, take some time to boot up. And just like PCs, the amount of time can vary g..."
"While image quality and reliability get the lion's share of discussion when talking about IP came..."
"Before picking a specific camera or manufacturer, you should consider a few fundamental issues. T..."
"Conventional wisdom says that lenses make a big difference in image quality but the question rema..."
"Motion detection is an important element of many, if not, most surveillance systems. It plays a c..."
"Frame rate selection has a major impact on bandwidth consumption for surveillance cameras. While ..."
"PTZs, like fixed cameras, are moving to megapixel. With PTZs, though, real questions remain about..."
"One of the industry's top growing myths is that IR illumination massively reduces storage and ban..."
"Often users will find a camera that they trust and will prefer to get that camera rather than ris..."
"One of the most heated video surveillance debates is when the market will 'tip' to IP cameras, ty..."
"Dealing with direct sunlight is one of video surveillance's toughest problems. Avoiding the sun i..."
"When thinking about maximizing image quality, resolution is usually the first thing that comes to..."
"Getting quality surveillance images at night can be quite a challenge. A number of techniques, wi..."
"Gain control is a critical, though often overlooked, factor in low light surveillance video. It i..."
"One of the most hotly debated topics is the size and growth of IP cameras - both because of futur..."
"If you optimize a camera's settings, how much can you improve its performance? An interesting and..."
"Indoors, surveillance cameras are used all over. Given the generally small areas monitored and th..."
"Capturing license plates is one of the best ways to identify suspects and intruders. As such, it ..."
"Headlights are a painful problem for video surveillance. Figuring out how to overcome headli..."
"The response to our camera shootout series has been phenomenal with more than 10,000 reads in the..."
"With surveillance cameras, deciding what lenses to use for testing can be a difficult decision. W..."
"Parking garages are a key area for using surveillance cameras. Thefts, assaults, vandalism and ac..."
"Intersections are an important area for using surveillance cameras. Accidents, thefts and traffic..."
"As megapixel surveillance cameras become mainstream, many have begun questioning the value of PTZ..."
"Most people prefer color over black and white but when it gets dark out, almost all surveillance ..."
"The whole point of megapixel is better image quality but what if megapixel was actually worse tha..."
"In this note, we examine the DM81xx, a new chipset and camera reference design from Texas Instrum..."
"Ensuring high quality surveillance video can be difficult. The challenge starts with specifying w..."
"The rise of megapixel cameras is literally making Standard Definition cameras look bad. We see th..."
"Video quality at night can be very poor. Even cameras that rate their minimum illumination as .1 ..."
"This report provides in-depth recommendations and a template for optimally specifying surveillanc..."
"One of surveillance's biggest challenges is bright sunlight, especially when that sunlight shines..."
"A new form of iris control, called P-Iris, is emerging as a challenger to manual and auto iris le..."
"In this note, we contrast the cost of powering cameras via Power over Ethernet vs a non-powered s..."
"For home surveillance, you can get really fancy and expensive but how simple and cheap can you ge..."
"On Dec 21st, we held a live 'IP vs Analog' Debate webinar. The full 60 minute webinar is embedded..."
"TRENDnet offers one of the most well known and least expensive IP cameras in the budget/home mark..."
"We disagree with Axis's claim that IP is lower cost than analog for 14 camera installations. We b..."
"In this report, we analyze trends, features and pricing for IP cameras. We achieved this by using..."
"Broken cameras are some of the most common and, ironically, solvable problems in video surve..."
"2010 has been a landmark year for IP camera adoption, with surging sales and widespread mainstrea..."
"We have completed a broad testing program of budget IP cameras for use in the home or SMB markets..."
"Simplifying remote viewing is a key element in choosing and using IP cameras for home and small b..."
"This report provides an extensive comparison of budget, home and SMB IP cameras. Inside the premi..."
"Encoding video optimally is critical for IP video surveillance systems. Should you choose H.264 o..."
"D-Link is one of the most commonly selected IP cameras in the budget/home market. In this report,..."
"This is the industry's most in depth guide to frame rates in video surveillance. As a precursor,..."
"Increases in camera resolution are the most significant force improving the quality and usability..."
"PTZ surveillance cameras remain a key tool for surveillance operators, routinely the cornerstone ..."
"Megapixel cameras foster hope for much higher quality surveillance video but how much more and in..."
"Driven by Hollywood sensationalism, public interest and expectations for miraclous video surveill..."
"As cameras offer more options (storage, analytics, etc.), their power needs will certainly rise. ..."
"A blog post from Genetec offers an interesting example of lower level IP camera optimizations tha..."
"While IP has many advantages over analog, ease of installation is not one of them. IP cameras are..."
"We recommend all surveillance camera comparisons be performed with normalized exposure settings t..."
"Equipment distributor Anixter's deeply flawed H.264 study reveals key issue in the use and market..."
"Exposure, and the tricks manufacturers play with exposure, are key to accurately and fairly asses..."
"In our ongoing camera testing, many of the megapixel cameras get really hot, really fast. So hot,..."
"One of the most misleading and common problems in evaluating IP cameras is drawing comparisons to..."
"Fears are rising that IP cameras can and willl be hacked. At Defcon, a demonstration showed an IP..."
"In a July 2009 report about calculating video surveillance bandwidth, I mentioned that calculator..."
"Megapixel was the most dominant trend in IP cameras over the first half of 2009. So dominant was ..."
"In the last year, IP cameras have made great strides and while there are still important barriers..."
"A few people asked about the difficulties for adding VMS support for IP cameras. A key difficulty..."
"Buying video surveillance cameras on-line is a relatively new but growing trend. Traditionally, e..."
"One of the most frequent complaints by both industry outsiders and megapixel camera vendors is ho..."
"Though popular, PTZ cameras often create a false sense of security. They make for great demonstra..."
"IP cameras have a bad reputation of working poorly in low light conditions. It's part of a greate..."
"What is the best way to test an IP cameras? We have established guidelines for our tests. These g..."
"SVC, or Scalable Video Codec, can dynamically change the resolution and bit-rate of video streams..."
"With hundreds of manufacturers to choose from and little comparative information available, choos..."
"Integrators often cite bandwidth as a key concern for deploying IP cameras. Let's examine what th..."
"This directory collects and presents webcasts from leading IP and Megapixel surveillance cameras...."
"Why are 4 out of 5 of you still not choosing IP cameras? The IP video vendors keep trying to educ..."
"Getting high quality surveillance video can be challenging. Indeed, many reports or surveys indic..."
"SVC will solve a key problem of H.264: While H.264 generates a fixed quality and sized video stre..."
"Though available for many years, Auto-Tracking PTZs are generating renewed interest with Axis' re..."
"Migrating from analog to IP can be tricky, mainly because most everyone has existing infrastructu..."
"An in-depth Q&A with industry leaders on IP vs CCTV has been published by Security Technology..."
"The overwhelming majority of people buying cameras today do not choose IP cameras. While most peo..."
"While Bruce Schneier is a brilliant security thinker, I find his recent arguments against CCTV to..."
"CODECs are a critical element of choosing, designing and using video surveillance systems. CODECs..."
"IP cameras have become accepted by the security industry. Yet most cameras are still analog and ..."