What is the difference between an IP camera and CCTV?
Table of Contents
- IP Cameras Features
- CCTV Analog Features
Among the different types of security cameras available on the market today, the two most popular options on the market today are CCTV and IP cameras. While each is highly effective in their own right, the two are entirely different in multiple ways in design, installation, protection, and more. To make a more informed decision before settling on a system, here are several examples of the differences between the two surveillance cameras:
IP Security Cameras
- Uses ethernet Cat5e or Cat6 cables if not wireless for connection
- Can utilize cellular, Wi-Fi, or LAN
- Can use power over ethernet cable
- Processes video footage internally before sending it to an NVR
- Can store footage internally
- Installation can be inexpensive due to lack of labor
- Enhanced capability with motion detection, video analytics, and other added software functionality
- Uses and transfers digital data
CCTV Security Cameras
- Uses twisted pair, RG59, or RG6 coaxial cables for connection
- Can only use a wired connection
- Can be powered by coaxial cable
- Only captures video footage and sends it to a DVR for processing
- Cannot store footage internally
- Installation is generally expensive due to requiring excessive labor
- Enhanced capability in low light environments and durable external design
- Uses and transfers analog data
As can be seen, these cameras have many differences that set them apart from each other. A significant difference, in particular, can be seen in the upfront cost of the devices and the following price of installation. While most of an IP camera system is made up of more expensive devices due to how new each is, the installation typically costs far less due to less necessity on direct wiring, if any wiring at all. The opposite is true for CCTV, which boasts an inexpensive price tag for equipment due to each device using older technology. However, at the same time, the installation is more expensive due to the requirement of heavier direct wiring.
Our dedicated staff is ready to help you decide between CCTV or IP security cameras with a sales team that can provide detailed information on each of our products. For either system, A1 Security Cameras provides extensive installation services for homeowners and businesses of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas in the United States. At the same time, those outside our reach can still enjoy our products, customer support, and further services.
IP Cameras Features
Are IP cameras CCTV?
Without the steps shown above, closed-circuit television and internet protocol are considered two distinctly different types of security cameras. The distinction is set because CCTV directly refers to the hardwired connection and focuses on broadcasting directly to a managing system. On the other hand, IP cameras are defined by their access to the internet and capability with a wireless connection. While the latter is not necessarily a defining feature, the ability is.
IP cameras can be considered CCTV or closed-circuit television, depending on how they are installed and set up. While the majority of closed-circuit devices use analog, that is not necessarily a condition. However, exact requirements must be fulfilled before any internet protocol camera can be considered closed circuit. These requirements include:
- The camera must have a wired connection to the internal network
- The camera exclusively broadcasts to the local system upon installation
- The camera should be connected to a managing system
As defined, the IP camera being considered CCTV must be limited to a wired connection, only stream data directly to a central NVR or memory managing device and broadcast internally. That being said, due to the innovation of the present and future models of security cameras, surveillance cameras that have the capability to stream and are configured to do so can still be defined as CCTV due to the direct and wired connection.
What does an IP camera do?
Specifically, an IP camera is an advanced security camera that records video footage, has the capability to store recorded data, and transfer it through a wired connection or directly to the internet through a wireless connection. Unlike other prior generations of surveillance cameras, IP cameras do not require a central recording and management system, only a wireless network for streaming and external storage. Furthermore, these devices process incoming video or imagery into digital data internally as opposed to prior analog cameras, which required a DVR to do so. Other features of IP cameras include:
- Provides high-resolution video footage
- Allows for enhanced capabilities
- Expanded area of coverage
- No drop in quality with distance
Whereas other types of cameras are for casual image capture or video recording, security cameras are meant to do so in a secure manner, and IP cameras are no different. Whereas past generations of security cameras like CCTV are only expected for perimeter surveillance, IP cameras do more. With additional software and hardware, these devices are capable of:
- Motion recognition and tracking
- Infrared viewing and detection
- High definition
- Night vision
Whereas analog is considered the prior generation of security cameras, IP cameras are the present and most advanced. While CCTV analog cameras have an edge in low light without zoom, internet protocol is superior as an aspect of a security camera system.
How do I know if my camera is an IP camera?
Identifying whether your camera is an IP camera or not is a relatively simple matter. However, before all else, a physical inspection will likely answer the question because most digital cameras feature an ethernet port on the back or connected to a wire with a port for audio. That is distinctly different from analog cameras, which feature a video output in the form of a BNC port with several more plugs than what is generally found in the former.
If getting your hands on the camera is impossible for whatever reason, there are still methods that will help identify your camera. A distinct difference between analog and IP cameras is the wires that connect the devices. As mentioned above, while general CCTV analog cameras use coaxial cables, IP cameras use ethernet, if any at all.
An easy method to find easy access to the cables and another way of figuring out if your device is an IP camera is to inspect the central recording system. Typically, if an IP camera uses a recording device, it will use a network video recorder or a digital video recorder with decoders. This stands opposed to older CCTV analog cameras, which use digital video recorders.
For more information about security cameras and the best options for IP cameras, contact A1 Security Cameras today. Our massive catalog can provide you with detailed information on every product we have available.
How do IP cameras get power?
Unlike past generations of surveillance cameras, an IP camera system can power each camera in one of two ways. The first comes in the form of power over ethernet or PoE, which saves room on wiring and simplifies the installation process. The capability is made possible with specific switches and Cat5e or Cat6 ethernet cables. If such a switch is not present in the present system, the classic method for keeping an IP camera powered is to use transformers like a 6 or 12 volt AC adapter. Whether you use either cord or both for your security camera system, these surveillance devices require far less wiring, primarily when relying on a wireless connection.
Can I connect an IP camera directly to a PC?
Absolutely, nearly all modern security cameras can be connected to a PC one way or another. Specifically for IP cameras, however, there is more than one way to do so. Assuming your devices are powered or can easily be powered, the first method comes in the now commonly used direct connection using an ethernet or network cable.
With small operations that only feature one to three IP cameras, very little additional equipment beyond ethernet cables is necessary. However, unique software will need to be installed to make the system applicable for on-site recording, streaming, management, and more. Fortunately, such software at the basic level is free and can be generally found through manufacturers or trusted resellers. For more advanced options, A1 Security Cameras offer a wide variety of options that can easily benefit everything from the smallest home to the largest of enterprises.
The second method is exceedingly similar to the first, using the computer as shown above but adding additional equipment like a larger hard drive and switch for enhanced support to a more extensive IP security system. Unlike before, a more extensive operation with more cameras connected to the computer will require higher-tier software that can manage each device and provide superior processing.
What should be mentioned for both methods is that using a computer in an IP camera system will effectively remove any other functionality to it besides the ability to manage each IP surveillance camera and manage recorded data. While that is not necessarily true across the board, the majority of computers used in any security system are meant to be entirely devoted.
Can IP cameras work without internet?
Yes, but with the caveat that it must be hard-wired and not use a wireless network. Directly wired security cameras, regardless of type, will continue all regular services like direct streaming and storage of video footage to the NVR or connected computer. However, without an internet connection, an IP camera system will not be capable of remote viewing nor storing to a cloud network. That is why each A! Security Cameras professional will recommend a wired connection as opposed to wireless. As highlighted in a prior post about Ring cameras, wireless cameras have more than one weakness that can make an entire security camera system vulnerable. However, the average IP camera system features an added level of security that will be discussed later. However, the final note concerning IP cameras is that when wireless, some can record video footage internally, but for a severely reduced amount of time.
Can IP cameras be hacked?
If boiled down to a yes or no answer, yes, an IP camera system can be hacked. However, like other more advanced devices of a similar nature, there are several measures that can be taken to protect against or outright thwart hacking. In this case, the act of hacking made illegal in the United States by the federal Wiretap Act is generally a mix of maliciously achieving unauthorized access to applicable devices and physically tampering to gain specific information or access. Such methods employed by hackers or malicious parties may thus include:
- Ascertaining the IP address to a device or IP camera system
- Physically tampering with a machine to find model information
- Physically adding malicious hardware to a device
- Phishing or scamming for access to the security system
- Dishonestly gaining access to the physical system
- Creation and distribution of malware
- Password cracking
As seen by these methods and shown in the previous jamming post, the act of hacking is more sophisticated than other crimes and can either be as simple as an email or as advanced as a process going several months to years. However, the good news is that hacking is typically not as expected at the residential level and can be easily deterred through the most straightforward measures. Some measures a home or business owner can take to have a defense in their IP camera system against hacking include:
- Password protection
- Use Dynamic IP address
- Keep everything updated
- Practice discipline with email
- Directly wiring each IP camera
- Never download unvetted software
- Limit access to the IP camera system
- Secure surveillance camera placement
While using all of these options may not be possible, these suggestions and more will quickly help protect an IP camera system from malicious entities. One proper method of keeping your security system secure is building common sense when working with your electronic devices. Password protection, updating each device promptly, practicing discipline online, and limiting access to your security apparatus are all techniques that are free after the initial installation while depending on your personal decisions. The surefire way to reduce any threat of hacking is by directly wiring each camera to a local network.
Are IP cameras safe?
Despite the above section, an IP camera system is safe for homes and businesses. Like all other devices with higher functionality and can use an internet connection, a regularly updated device with passwords features extensive security even when wireless. In addition, the systems have comprehensive cybersecurity measures made immeasurably better when personalized off of default. Finally, as mentioned, security cameras that are also directly wired to the local network are much more capable of security and safety.
Each IP camera system is proven safe based on legal and industry standards in terms of physical safety. Examples of such standards include:
- IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
- ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum)
- SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol)
These standards and more are followed by manufacturers worldwide, which help deliver products that are secure to handle and use. Further qualifications and processes can be found through individual manufacturers and can be requested from A1 Security Cameras today. Our experts are ready and waiting to provide you with all the exact information you require before deciding on an IP camera system.
CCTV Analog Features
What CCTV means?
Specifically, the term is an acronym that means closed-circuit television. When generally used, CCTV is in reference to security systems that use analog equipment like analog security cameras and digital video recorders. Specifically, devices with this term are the opposite of wireless cameras that require little to no wiring. In contrast, a security camera system with this label uses coaxial cables for the transmission of video data to a DVR for processing, storage, and viewing. In the most recent generation of security equipment manufacturing, the definition of CCTV has also been expanded to include a purely digital system like IP cameras. As mentioned before, IP systems will fall into this definition if entirely wired and not in any way wireless.
What are the seven components of CCTV?
Depending on who you ask, a security camera system will be made up of a few or several different pieces of equipment. However, in the view of A1 Security Cameras, the seven components of CCTV systems include:
- A recording device (NVR or DVR)
- Wired security cameras
- Mounts for each device
- Transformers or a connection to a power supply
- Switches for channels
Whereas making a mention of a security camera system will cause someone to imagine a system with security cameras, a CCTV system distinctly requires those surveillance devices to be wired to a local system. As mentioned before, closed-network television does not necessarily have to be exclusively analog or digital, but it can fall under the category as long as it is wired. Why it is essential to know the components of a security system is to know if all the parts are present for an installation. Generally, every camera will require separate mounting equipment, power supply, and wiring. A recording system likewise will need a monitor and switch for the cameras to connect.
What is CCTV used for?
CCTV and all security camera systems, in general, are not just used for deterring criminals, but for several other important reasons like:
- Hazard or valuable material monitoring
- Perimeter control and security
- The recording of daily events at points of importance
- Residential and commercial insurance
- Traffic monitoring
On top of crime deterrence, CCTV is a perfect answer for monitoring points and areas of prime importance. Explosion-proof cameras, for example, help to monitor and spot problems in hazardous material facilities or storage. Other closed-circuit television cameras provide proof for insurance, innocence or guilt in court proceedings, and more.
Security camera systems, CCTV included, provide home and business owners with special protection not found in other systems. When cameras are added to a security apparatus in any environment, they enhance access control, individual safety, and amplify overall security in any location. CCTV can thereby be used to sustain an area and be an investment for long-term protection.
Will CCTV work without Internet?
Yes, a closed-circuit television system will work without the internet because it does not depend on anything outside the local network. However, CCTV without internet will have no remote capabilities. Nevertheless, it can still monitor, record, communicate with applicable connected systems, and remain functional. Still, anything not hardwired to the system will not be able to have an effect without an internet connection.
What are the advantages of CCTV?
The distinct advantage of CCTV, regardless of if it is digital or analog, is based on security. Whereas pure access control like turnstiles or recording aspects of security systems like DVR and NVR serves does so as well. As shown above, such cameras benefit home and business owners through:
- Constantly recording areas of importance
- Deterring or scaring off criminal behavior
- Provide crucial information for court proceedings and insurance
- Monitor specified areas or valuable materials
It is absolutely proven that CCTV benefits homes and businesses in more ways than one. Whether for security, monitoring of local laws, or for keeping an eye on internal company processes, the system enhances an area immediately after install. In the opinion of A1 Security Cameras, having closed-circuit television security cameras is far better than having wireless.
It should be noted that while wireless cameras may take up less space and generally cost less too, surveillance cameras with that specific classification also have significant shortcomings. One specifically has to do with performance, which CCTV does not experience. In addition, wireless cameras heavily rely on a Wi-Fi or similar network while reducing other services like streaming, gaming, and other online services. As mentioned above, a wired connection does not experience such a problem and will not be affected by the loss of the internet.
Are IP cameras better than CCTV?
As mentioned above and throughout the post, IP cameras are the most recent generation of security cameras and can be both CCTV or wireless in form. From the point of view of A1 Security Cameras, an IP camera system is superior to past systems when specifically wired into the local network and not wireless. A wired system provides reliable and direct transmission of recorded video footage even when the wireless services go down. While internet protocol cameras are more expensive, they will also withstand future advancements in security better than general CCTV systems. For further information on either type of camera, reach out to A1 Security Cameras today!