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How to Choose the Best IP Video Surveillance Camera System?

CCTV Camera Types

Looking to secure your home or office with video surveillance security system? Not sure how to choose the best CCTV camera? Don’t worry, in this article I will show you the type of different IP cameras and will guide you on how to choose the best security system for you.

With the advancement of the technology, the systems are being upgraded every year. There is plethora of security cameras available in the market from budget to expensive prices. When we are talking about CCTV cameras a simple comparison comes into the mind of a layman, i.e. the difference between the IP cameras and analog cameras. IP cameras are the advanced and modified monitoring devices. These systems have several competitive advantages over the conventional analog security cameras such as large scale integration, better online monitoring, high-end video quality and futuristic scalability.

When the users are purchasing these ultra-modern systems, there are certain things they need to keep in mind in order to get the best possible outcome. This all involves a proactive approach.

So let’s discuss the various elements required for employing an effective IP CCTV system:

Considering Camera Options

Choosing your security camera is the first and the most important step when you want to get the most out of your system. As everything will be recorded through the cameras, it is best to know all your options and then choose the best one according to your specific requirements.

There are many things that one should look for while looking for details in an IP camera, i.e. focal length, field of view, type of zoom, etc. There is a wide variety of them available in the market. Although I have shortlisted the six important ones so that it becomes easier for you to understand and choose.

  • Dome cameras: As the name suggests, the camera is secured in a dome case and can move in all the directions. As it is closed in a dome, so it is difficult to guess in which direction the camera is recording. Moreover, these cameras are enclosed in sturdy camera housings which make them both weatherproof and difficult to tamper with.
  • Fixed cameras: It is a traditional type of camera, which is fixed for recording in one single direction and cannot move in any other direction. If you want to provide a stern visual warning with a visible security camera, then this is the best option in the market.
  • Covert cameras: As the name suggests, these cameras are hidden and cannot be easily discovered. From the security point of view, they are used to keep things discreet and capture the surveillance footage for future purposes. They are helpful for monitoring places like ATMs, malls, hospitals, jewellery stores, etc.
  • PTZ cameras: PTZ stands for Pan-Tilt-Zoom and these cameras can move left and right, up and down and can zoom in and zoom out. This multidirectional motion capability makes these cameras monitor wide areas with ease. You can keep a watch on parking lot and warehouses with lesser number of PTZ cameras as compared to conventional analog cameras.
  • Thermal cameras: Thermal cameras convert infrared radiation into visible light and generate pictures when the heat is radiated from a vehicle, object or person. These cameras have the capability to detect and capture the images even in the darkness and smoke. As these cameras are housed in rugged camera casings, these cameras are heatproof as well as weatherproof.

Network Bandwidth Consumption

While planning the design and implementation of IP cameras systems, it is very important to consider the network bandwidth requirements. When you are streaming the security footage over an internet connection, the network bandwidth can directly affect the speed of uploading and downloading of security data.

When the IP cameras and NVR (network video recorder) are on different networks, there is a need for transmitting the video data over the Internet for remote viewing. While contemplating about the network bandwidth, you should consider the following factors:

  • Image Resolution
  • Total number of cameras
  • Video compression method
  • Frame Rate or FPS (frames per second)

It is a simple logic that when you are using lesser camera stand not using digital HD resolution, the bandwidth requirements would be minimal. With increasing number of cameras, increase frames per second, and detailed image resolution, the network bandwidth increase exponentially.

Video Management

When you have installed a surveillance system then there must be times when you would want to review the video footage of ambiguous events. As a user, you will be accessing the images and security video from the video management system (VMS).

There is a remarkable difference between IP surveillance systems and analog security systems when it comes to the management of stored security footage. When you have installed an IP system, you can retrieve the images in real-time as well as record the footage passively to access it later. The user can also set instant triggers and alerts in IP systems to get notifications for emergencies and break-ins.

Video management software (VMS) makes live surveillance and also makes it easy to integrate into other systems. Solutions include single PCs to complex client/server-based software that consists of thousands of cameras. This is a key feature as easy integration with access control devices and other systems allow users to manage video and other building controls, such as access control and badging systems, through a single program.


ONVIF plays an integral role when it comes to IP surveillance and we can also say that it would be incomplete without ONVIF. ONVIF stands for Open Network Video Interface Forum. This non-profit corporation began in the year 2008 by Axis Communication, Bosch Security Systems, and Sony. Its main function is to achieve the interoperability between different video monitoring devices irrespective of the manufacturers.

The ONVIF doesn’t constrain you and allows you to choose from the wide variety available in the market. You can choose any brand you want as it is cross-compatible, hence making your camera work.

ONVIF offers you an awesome opportunity of a decision and you can choose interoperable IP surveillance cameras from various brands. Fundamental characteristics of ONVIF incorporate being interested in all organizations and associations, interoperability and institutionalization between system video hardware. Aside from this, ONVIF has many core specifications, for example, IP setup, PTZ camera remote control, continuous video gets to, upgraded security and gadget administration.

Final Word

The user needs to balance the available equipment choices and rapidly advancing technology with specific video surveillance requirements while designing and planning an IP based security system to ensure sure shot security.

The main aspects while employing IP based systems are choosing the correct camera, according to the functionality and requirements, deciding the required network bandwidth as per the system configuration, video management, and storage etc. It is also very important to check whether the devices and equipment you are selecting are ONVIF compliant or not.