What is IP surveillance camera

In this article, I answer the question, "What is IP surveillance camera?."

It looks like people are very interested in surveillance cameras for their homes and small business, and there's a buzz out there about small IP cameras.

Let's understand how an IP camera works and how you can use it to monitor your home or small business.

IP camera connected to Ethernet cable

IP surveillance cameras

Surveillance cameras are devices used to monitor a place and record the footage for evidence. Professional surveillance cameras are designed to work with a local recorder and don't depend on the Internet to operate.

I've noticed that people are too excited about small and easy-to-setup IP smart cameras and usually confuse them with an IP surveillance camera.

Be aware that smart cameras such as Wyze CamBlinkArlo, and many others like them, are not surveillance cameras. They can help you monitor your pets, your home, and your kids, but they are still different from a surveillance camera.

The IP surveillance camera diagram

Here's a basic diagram to help you understand how the IP surveillance camera is connected to your network. This is a basic representation of a small system.

In this example, the camera is connected to a router via UTP (network) cable.

Zosi IP network diagram-final

This diagram shows all the devices with their respective IP addresses.

Just in case you don't know, an IP address is how the devices are identified in the local network; it's a unique number just like your license driver or ID.

In the example, I'm using the IP range 192.168.2.x but yours could be different.

The IP surveillance camera can communicate with the laptop, so you can watch live video and even use  software (such as Blue Iris) to record the footage,

You can also use an NVR (Network Video Recorder) to record your videos.

Network Video Recorder Diagram

The picture represents the physical connection of an IP surveillance camera to the recorder, which is connected to the Wi-Fi router and the Internet.

How to connect the surveillance camera to the network

You need to use a UTP cable to connect the camera to the local router.

UTP cable

The UTP cable is known as network cable or computer cable.

If you want to connect the IP camera to a laptop without Internet, just ignore the router and connect the UTP cable as shown in the picture below.

IP camera connected to laptop without Internet

After connecting the cables, you work on the device setup by following the instruction in the product manual. It's pretty simple, and you can get it done fast.

Even if you consider yourself a dummy, it's not that hard. Let's do it.

==> To learn more about how to set up an IP camera in your network, please read the article: IP camera setup for dummies.

How to access the IP surveillance camera

At first, you can use a web browser to access your surveillance camera.

Use the camera IP address to bring the login screen.

Zosi IP camera web browser login

Enter the username and password to login to the camera.

The information is also in the manual, in this case, they are admin/admin.

You will be able to see the live video stream from the camera (as shown below).

Zosi IP camera live video via web browser

Video: IP camera setup

Here's a video IP camera setup for dummies, just watch it to learn more...

Extra information

If you need more information about basic IP camera setup, read the articles:

Want to learn more ? 

If you want to become a professional CCTV installer or designer, take a look at the material available in the blog. Just click the links below:

The Ultimare Security Camera Guide V3

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