Network Security Camera

By: Mel Joelle


A network security camera provides users with the ability to record high quality video over a LAN (Local Area Network) or WAN (Wireless Area Network). A network security camera can also enable you to transform your current computer network into a digital video security system highway.



Let’s compare a network security camera with a non-network security camera to give you better idea of how a network security camera works.



For a non-network security camera the camera is the device responsible for capturing the video image and sending it off to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR via a video transmission cable, usually RG59 coaxial cable. The data may also be sent wirelessly with an on-board transmitter and antenna. Connected to the DVR by a cable, the corresponding receiver gathers the signal sent to it and passes it along to the DVR.



The DVR may do some further manipulation of the data, but its primary function is to store the digital image file on the Hard Drive Disk or HDD and make the video available for real-time (live) viewing using one or more monitors.



The DVR is really the central “brain” of the system and coordinates the functions of the system. The key point for a non-network system is that each camera is wired directly to the DVR or sends a radio frequency transmission to a corresponding receiver that is connected to the DVR.



There is very little difference for a network security camera system. These cameras function the same as non-network security cameras with the exception of how they deliver their video image data. These cameras are either connected directly to the Internet via a broadband connection or indirectly via a LAN or WAN.



Usually the network security camera is an IP ready camera. “IP” stands for Internet Protocol and means the camera has its own web server technology to network via the Internet.



There are two giant benefits of a network security camera system. The first is accessibility. Once the cameras are connected to the Internet, they can be viewed using a standard Internet browser like Internet Explorer. That means the cameras can actually be accessed anywhere in the world where there is broadband Internet and that includes 3G and 4G smartphones.



The second benefit of a network security camera system is that the cameras can be separated far apart, but still be viewed and controlled as if they were all together right inside the building where they are being monitored. That means you could have a camera in Singapore, one in Berlin, and another in Montreal and all three can be viewed and controlled as if they were all on one small property. In this case the unit used to record the video and manage the system is called a Network Video Recorder or NVR.



Typically, network security cameras are connected to the network via an Ethernet cable and not an RG59 coaxial cable. Of course the camera may be wireless as well, but unlike the non-network security camera the network security camera normally works wirelessly using WiFi (or another) technology. The wireless network security camera transmits its data to a wireless router which then sends it to the network or more typically the Internet.



Another technology to emerge from network security cameras is Video Servers. If you have and older analog camera system but want to make it a network system, use a video server. Video servers contain the programming and circuitry needed to make each camera IP addressable. In other words, video servers can actually turn older CCTV analog cameras into IP Network cameras.



There are a few down sides to network security cameras. One disadvantage is that they are more expensive than their non-network camera cousins. Another is that if your Internet Service Provider or ISP’s network goes down, so does your system. Finally, some brands of cameras require that you use their proprietary NVRs or the cameras will not work properly.



This should give you a good start on learning about network security cameras. If you have any questions or are considering a purchase and would like more information, please contact one of our security experts today. They can be reached by on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday EST.

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