Home > IP Cameras - A Short Introduction
IP Camera Finder - select features to find the IP camera best suited to your security camera needs
IP camera brands
IP camera types
Recording & Software
PoE & Transmission
Encoding & Decoding

IP Cameras - A Short Introduction

IP cameras (also called network cameras, IP CCTV cameras, IP webcams, Internet cameras or IP security cameras) allow you to have access to live or recorded video from your PC, or any other PC connected to your computer network or the Internet. For example, your IP security cameras could be located in your branches in London, Manchester and Glasgow and you would be able to view them all via your own PC or any other PC connected to your network or the Internet.

IP camera security systems allow you to monitor and control your security cameras from any remote location. Remote monitoring of multiple locations from one central station offers huge cost saving potential and is one of the many advantages network video (also called IP video) has to offer. IP cameras are used as security cameras, as "webcams" on company websites and intranets and as remote monitoring and management tools in many sectors and environments.

These days, IP camera-based security systems are state-of-the-art, cost-effective and highly flexible, and are always the preferred choice for any new CCTV installation of any size.

Convert analogue cameras into IP cameras with network video encoders

If you have an existing (conventional) security camera system, it can easily be converted into an IP camera solution without the need to invest in new cameras. In this scenario network video encoders are used. These convert the analogue output of the existing security camera into a digital signal that is transmittable over IP (Internet Protocol) networks, such as Local and Wide Area Networks (LAN / WAN) and the Internet.

In addition to being able to view live cameras over a network, remote access to recorded video material is also available from your PC. To achieve this network video recorders or IP video recording software is used.

Network Video Recorders (NVR)

A Network video recorder is used in combination with IP cameras and in some cases conventional analogue cameras. The analogue cameras (which may be existing ones) are connected to the network video recorder or through a network video encoder. The NVR records the video images in digital format and also converts them into an IP signal that can be sent over IT networks, such as Local and Wide Area Networks (LAN / WAN) and the Internet. Basically, a network video recorder is a digital video recorder and a network video server combined in one device. It is this combination that gives you the access to live and recorded video from wherever you are.

IP Video Recording Software

IP video recording software (also called video management software) is used in combination with IP cameras (video recording software may not work with conventional analogue cameras). The software is installed on a standard PC or server that is connected to a network or the Internet. By doing this, the PC or server becomes a powerful station for the recording and management of CCTV video (no separate video recorder required). This setup will give you access to live and recorded video, as well as the cameras' and system's functionalities, at any time and from any location.

General benefits of Networked Video (IP Video) through deployment of IP cameras:

  • Remote access to live and recorded images of any location, at any time and from wherever you are
  • The possibility to monitor a large number of remote sites from one central location offers huge cost-saving potential
  • Networked video systems have many automated and advanced features, significantly reducing the time and resources spent on monitoring, managing and maintaining a video security system
  • These automated and advanced features enable improved security operations to be implemented
  • Reduce installation cost by utilising existing communication networks
  • Protect existing investment in analogue security systems with network video encoders
  • Easily scale up and increase the size of your security system as and when you need to


NetworkWebcams.co.uk enables you to buy IP cameras and related network products online, in a time-saving and efficient manner and at competitive prices. Utilising our wealth of experience in this field, we carefully select the products we offer and only include in our range products from the leading, most trusted manufacturers and of the highest quality standard.

Besides being a source of products for your network video requirements, we offer you access to a source of information about IP cameras, network video technology, network video applications and network video installations and management. All this is freely available to you through our blog. Post a comment or a question and someone from our knowledgeable support team will respond.

The people behind networkwebcams.co.uk and what we offer

Networkwebcams.co.uk is operated by NW Systems Group Limited. The people in our company have been involved with network video and IP cameras from the technology's first appearance in 1996/97. As a result we have a thorough understanding of the technology, the great benefits it offers and the wide range of applications it can be used for.

Above all, we know how to make it work.

Network Video is a specialist field. Although many companies and organisations have been using networked video systems for some time and have become familiar with the technology, we also recognise that a lot of people and companies would like to reap the benefits but don't know where to start. At NW Systems Group, we provide you with as much or as little help as you need. If you just want to buy equipment at a great price and get on with it yourself, networkwebcams.co.uk caters for that. If you are unsure which product to choose, give us a ring and we can advise what is best for your application. If you need just a little help to get you started, use the IP Camera Learning Blog or IP Camera Forum available through this website or use our Pre-configuration Service, which takes the initial set-up process away from you and delivers Network Cameras and Network Video Servers to you in a Plug and Play setting, ready to go. If you do not have the resources to install the equipment, then make use of our Installation Service. We can advise you on what equipment is best for your application and take care of the whole installation.