IP cameras are digital cameras that operate based on Internet Protocol networks, unlike those that depend on electric signals. For instance, the Internet is an IP network that utilizes the IPv4 protocol. Likewise, IP cameras use the IPv4 protocol, hence, they are called network cameras. Before you ever consider buying an IP camera, you need to take into account some things to make the most out of your hard-earned cash. Here is a list of tips to get you started.
Think Carefully Where the Cameras will be Installed
The installation location depends on the type of camera you have. If you bought an outdoor IP camera, it should not be installed in exposed areas since they are vulnerable to being knocked off. With their bullet-like design, outdoor cameras are best installed under the eaves.
For dome style IP cameras, while they are quite finicky to install, they can be used inside of homes, restaurants, and retail stores. The good thing about these cameras is that they are resistant to the weather and vandalism.
Features to Look For
Wireless – If you have 1 or 2 IP security cameras in your network, then wireless is the way to go. Otherwise, opt for powerline networking that can support faster network speeds and is very reliable.
- Infrared – While the majority of IP cameras come with an Infra RED (IR) illumination, they produce an IR that is usable only in enclosed spaces. For this reason, you will need to get an external IR illumination that will help your IP camera produce a long-lasting and stronger IR.
- Supports ONVIF and RTSP Protocols – Make sure your camera supports these protocols, as they establish compatibility with network video recorders (NVRs) and other automation devices at your home.
- Weatherproof Protection – A waterproof rating of at least IP66 is one of the things you should consider before you buy an outdoor camera. And once you have a weatherproof IP camera, it’s best to top the connectors with a layer of sealant for extra protection.
- Built-in Storage – The IP security camera you’re considering should come with an SD card slot that can support capacities of up to 128 GB. This is an ideal feature to have if your network only has 1 or 2 cameras.
- Resolution – The resolution of IP security cameras is determined by the number of pixels. Standard resolution is 3 MP, while the minimum is 2 MP. If you want professional-quality footage, choose one with a 4MP resolution which is now becoming mainstream.
- Power-over-Ethernet – With this feature, there’s no need for you to run a separate ethernet cable and power cable to each camera in your network. The Power-over-Ethernet transmits power from the data cable, making it quite convenient to use ethernet cords that can run up to 100 feet.