IP Camera Failure Rates 2015

By John Honovich, Published May 05, 2015, 12:00am EDT

This research answers:

  • What percentage of IP cameras are dead on arrival?
  • What is the average lifespan of IP cameras?
  • What specific manufacturers had notable failure issues?

125 integrators answered an IPVM survey, providing clear patterns on these questions inside.

Dead on Arrivals

Overall, cameras arriving at integrators not working was very low, with nearly half saying that less than 1% of cameras were dead, as shown by the statistics breakdown below:

Obviously, from time to time, manufacturers will have a bad run with a problematic component or part. However, overall, if more than 1% of cameras are dead on arrival, that is likely to be competitively not acceptable.

From what higher end manufacturers have mentioned to us on their DoA rate, integrator's real world experiences match well at the 1% or less level.

Average IP Camera Lifespan

Survey respondents answered: "How many years, on average, for your IP cameras to die?"

Unlike DoAs, the average IP camera lifespan varied far more. However, 2/3rds of integrators reported an average of 4 to 6 years.

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One challenge that many integrators noted was that a lot of integrators have simply not been deploying IP cameras long enough to truly know as many integrators only started deploying IP cameras in large numbers in the past 5 years.

Average Falling or Rising?

One critical element these statistics cannot answer yet is whether newer cameras, especially the recent wave of $100 MP cameras, will deliver lower average lifespans. Because most integrators have only been using large numbers of these cameras in the last year or two, it is too early to tell if they will have shorter average lifespans.

Notable Manufacturer Failures

Of the integrators with the highest DoA rates and shortest lifespans, the most common pattern was using no-name Asian brands or Arecont.

None of the bigger Western, Japanese nor Chinese manufacturers (Hikvision / Dahua) had significant negative reports. Indeed, Axis and Sony were the brands integrators cited most frequently positively as having the least failures.

Arecont negative reports are consistent with past surveys - Worst IP Camera Manufacturers 2011Worst IP Camera Manufacturer 2014, and Worst Manufacturer Support 2014.

For failures, Arecont was mentioned the most, by far, with comments such as:

  • "Arecont has the most failures, bad quality."
  • "Biggest problems old MegaVideo Areconts."
  • "Highest fail rate by mfr? Arecont."
  • "Arecont Vision - keep losing connection, units have to be powered down and restarted - in addition many have to be readdressed."
  • "Arecont - we don't use them anymore due to the high incidence of out of box and early failures."
  • "Still have issues (although not as many as we used to) with Arecont. My others perform quite well."
  • "Arecont is the worst we've seen over the years. If we used them, our OOB failure would be greater than 10%."
  • "Some Arecont: Seem to have image issues that cannot be resolved."
  • "Arecont 8185DN-HB. It's a decent camera, just not a reliable exterior camera."
  • "Many older Arecont 180 cameras are starting to die off."
  • "Arecont. We got what we paid for. Don't use them anymore."
  • "Arecont AV8185DN: Total failure or image quality issues"
  • "Arecont. we are experiencing very bad results with the arecont 10meg when used outside in the sun."
  • "Arecont - they do not seem to handle extreme temperatures even if equipped with heater/blower"
  • "Arecont- (heating, cooling problems)"

Arecont's more recent counter was these were old problems, now fixed in newer models. Even if true, the issue remains that so many of those 'old problems' are still out there, causing problems.

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