Everything You Need to Know About Network Security Cameras
Find Out Why You Should Upgrade to a Connected Surveillance System
There are a lot of things to consider when buying home security cameras. One of the most frequent questions we get from clients is whether it makes sense to have cameras connected to their network. Most surveillance companies now offer IP-based cameras. But are they the best option for your Lakeville, MN home? Below we explain what IP cameras are, what their primary benefits are, and address common concerns regarding network security.
What Are Network Cameras?
IP cameras include processors, firmware, and memory necessary to process, compress and analyze video. These cameras then send live and recorded footage through your network either continuously or at scheduled or triggered times (like when the security alarm goes off). They also have added server, FTP, and email capabilities.
Why Should You Have Network Cameras?
The natural question to ask is why you want to have your cameras using your network. Your network helps them integrate video analytics and audio and tamper detection while taking advantage of Power over Ethernet. The latter means you only need one wire to power the camera, send footage, and input commands. This streamlined installation makes it easier to upgrade or expand your system in the future.
You also get better image quality with no degradation as it travels through the network. Due to the way these cameras scan and send their digital feeds, you also reduce blurriness when it comes to moving images compared to their analog counterparts.
Many people also like to opt for IP cameras since they offer remote accessibility. From a mobile app or desktop, you’ll be able to access live or recorded footage no matter where you are so long as you have an internet connection. You can even pan, tilt, and zoom as needed if you have PTZ cameras installed.
What Type of IP Cameras Are Available?
Pretty much any home security camera you might need is available in the IP variety. You’ll find fixed bullet cameras, dome cameras, 360° field of view cameras, thermal cameras and even covert cameras.
The model that may benefit most from a network connection is PTZ cameras. You can send pan, tilt, and zoom commands through the same Ethernet cable you use for your video feed. IP-based PTZ cameras include digital zoom, so your image doesn’t deteriorate when you close in on it.
How Do They Connect to Your Network?
We recommend using a wired connection to link the cameras to your network. You should also have switches to manage traffic since high definition footage can take up a lot of bandwidth. Most cameras also include wireless capabilities if there are specific situations in which a wired option is not feasible.
How Can You Protect Your Footage?
Many people worry hackers will be able to look in on their surveillance footage if they use network cameras. There are a variety of ways you can protect your network to make sure only authorized people access your feed.
Your network and connected devices should have firewalls in place to keep unauthorized users from accessing them. It's also advisable to have vulnerable devices—like security cameras—on their own dedicated virtual local area network (VLAN). These networks should have WPA/WPA2 protection to block access and encrypt data.
To further protect your information, you should have user/passwords and HTTPS encryption enabled for all your cameras. Ensure that any passwords or security keys are not easy to guess or hack.
Do you want to learn more about network cameras and how they fit into your home surveillance needs? Reach out to our security experts by calling (612) 353-5087 or filling out our online contact form.