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What is an IP camera?

June 17th, 2008 by Greg

Sony IP camera

IP cameras are known by many different names such as IP camera, network camera, IP network camera, Internet camera, network webcam, and so on but they all refer to the same item: An IP video device which which can deliver live images over IP-based networks such as a Local Area Network (LAN) or the Internet.

Stand-alone device

The IP camera is a stand-alone network device which can operate without the support of a PC. This means the camera does not rely on software from a PC to help it produce images in the same way a USB web cam would, but instead the IP camera can be connected to a local network based in any home or business and deliver images to any connected PC be it at the same location or half-way round the world across the internet.

IP cameras come with a wide variety of features such as fixed lenses, pan-tilt-zoom control, endless 360 degree panning, indoor or outdoor use, 2-way audio, infrared illumination, intelligent video analytics etc. There’s always a camera to suit your needs.

Benefits of IP video

Flexible and powerful, IP video provides many advanced features not found in traditional analog CCTV systems making it ideal for video survelliance, monitoring and recording. Examples of advanced features include remote access from anywhere in the world, motion/audio detection, object detection, people counting, image upload by FTP, alarm notifications by email or SMS text messaging, true digital recording to dedicated recording devices or to hard disks on local PCs or across the Internet, and many more features which enhances the level of protection you can offer your property or business and its personel.

Many IP cameras also now include Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology which allows the camera to be powered using the same Ethernet cable as the data. This simplifies installation and allows a camera to be placed at a location where there is no convential means of power.

Applications

Security is but one of the many uses for IP cameras. Some other applications include health & safety, retail marketing, remote management of construction projects, web attraction for leisure and tourism industries or keeping an eye on loved ones or pets…

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