What is the difference between IP camera and CCTV?

“In the good old days the world was a safe place, people could let their kids go anywhere they wanted, and unicorn-like kings ruled the country” – that’s the image we get when listening to the elderly and their sweet memories of the past. The fairy tale about the safety of the past is quite dubious and is based mainly on illusion. The crime level was even higher than now, however, it was almost impossible to keep track of everything, and find the criminals or law-breakers due to the lack of proof.

Sad to say, but the level of crimes didn’t get any lower in our time. However, we must give credit to our highly-technological world. Because we have a chance to be more vigilant and aware of everything happening around us using specific devices or the so-called “third eye”. The diversity of the cameras knows no limits, as well as the number of manufacturers.

A typical household requires up to 4-6 cameras, while the business security system needs 16-70 cameras placed in various parts of the buildings and premises. Considering the number of cameras and spending for the installation, it’s worth checking the reliability of the company which offers the services.

There are two simple ways to do it:

  • – Reviews online – checking all the possible websites with reviews, making sure there are no breaches. Besides, it’s important to filter the paid-for positive reviews, as it can cost a fortune in the future in case of an emergency;
  • Competitor Research Survey – hiring a company to check the competitors, in order to see the big picture, all the ins, and outs.

Having all the data about an appropriate company available, it is important to decide on the type of camera. Generally, we can distinguish two main types of cameras available: CCTV and IP cameras, or the most effective – the combination of both.

Typically people take them as the same thing – a camera, which allows you to watch the surroundings and protect your property from intruders, and feel safer outside. However, there’s a great deal of difference, which is important to consider when choosing the cameras for your business or home.

security camera for business

CCTV is a closed-circuit television or analog camera; IP cameras are also called network cameras and have better quality video with a better resolution. Both technologies have benefits and downsides, depending on the purpose of the potential users:

        1. Convenience and security

CCTVs function as a self-sufficient system, hence their signals and images are sent to directly connected equipment and you can see everything on television connected within the system. They work through the coaxial and UTP cables, which makes them easy to disarm (a possible breach in security). Besides, the video feed is never encrypted and the tapes with the information can be stolen.

IP cameras are more reliable, as they transmit data via the Ethernet link. It can be controlled regardless of the distance and type of device. It uses WIFI, a cellular network, or LAN. All the data before being submitted is encrypted and compressed, which adds another layer of security.

        2. Control

CCTV cameras are always wired and are hard to control over the Internet, which creates extra inconvenience. It sends video through the cable up to 1.5 km away (with twisted-pair cable) or 300 meters (over coax cable). However, the clarity may be lost with the distance.  The footage is typically available on the attached television

IP cameras are easily connected to smart homes or workspaces, letting the user be aware of everything happening around any time when using a special application. The live feed is available with a smartphone or any device which has an installed app. IP cameras can send digital video 100 meters over twisted-pair Ethernet cable and unlimited distances over IP networks. Because the videos are digital they never lose their quality.  Yet another benefit is intelligence, as they can send messages when the tilt or motion is detected, etc.

        3. Video quality

CCTV didn’t go further than an analogous picture and low-resolution video. They work successfully when there’s a need to see the big picture, yet they fail with the details. Such videos can’t be shared and controlled online, or publicly viewed.

 IP cameras, on the other side, offer top-notch video quality with high pixel density. Besides, they have a zoom in – zoom out option, which is extremely helpful when there’s a great need for details.

        4. Costs

CCTV cameras are considered cheaper, regarding the quality of the received picture. However, it requires extra costs for cabling and recording equipment and the price for the installation itself. Every option requires another cable – for audio, video, and power itself.

IP cameras may seem to be more expensive, as the quality of their picture is better. However, if you count the costs of cables and work, the difference will diminish significantly. IP cameras can receive all the information through a single cable and can even be installed using the available cabling infrastructure with the help of extenders and media converters.  

Side view portrait of black man looking at surveillance camera footage in security center office, blue and red tones

In our day and age safety is the foundation for secure, danger-free company work and peaceful home. Admittedly, it can cost a significant part of the budget (depending on the number of cameras), yet the peace of mind is priceless.