What’s the difference between an analog and an Internet Protocol (IP) security camera system? How does each system work? Each form of CCTV system records what’s happening on your camera feeds so you can play it back later. IP systems are able to offer much more capability than analog, however. How is each different?
Analog Camera – Analog means that your CCTV system is set up to send its signal to a recording device. These days, that means a digital video recorder (DVR) of some sort. The feeds from your cameras are sent straight to this device, which means you get everything recorded in one place. You can replay the footage as you need. For a long time, that was the height of a CCTV system’s capability.
IP Camera – An IP security camera sends its signal along a network. This isn’t like using the internet to transfer files. It still uses cables (unless you go wireless, which we’ll address next). This is just a form of data transfer that is much more efficient. The network itself is just as secure as an analog feed.
Wireless IP Camera – This brings all the advantages of an IP security camera but with easier installation. Network cabling doesn’t need to be added if the system the camera works off of is wireless. The trade-off is that wireless IP cameras aren’t quite as dynamic as those using network cabling. The network is still secure, however. Another trade-off is that Power over Ethernet allows the signal cables to also act as the power supply. Obviously, wireless IP means the power supply would have to be separate or independent.
An analog CCTV system will still work for many, but there are advantages to a CCTV system using IP: you have higher resolution and more customized scalability. Footage is more easily parsed by using software designed for analysis. Managing the entire system can also be simpler, and less cabling is needed.