Best IP Camera 2022 • 6 IP Cameras Reviews
In a world where everyone is under surveillance, where we are constantly surrounded by cameras of all kinds, IP cameras are one of the best tools to protect your home or business. Their direct connection to the Internet allows you to access their content anytime, anywhere in an instant. Most frequently used for video surveillance tasks or to watch a baby or pet, there are currently two main types of IP cameras: models for indoor use or those for outdoor use. However, many other criteria come into play when the time comes to buy your very own IP camera.
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What is an IP camera and how does it work?
These digital video cameras let you record and send video and audio over the Internet. This way, you can view the footage live from anywhere in the world. Much like computers, these cameras have their own IP address that allows them to connect to a network independently.
What are the types of IP Cameras?
As we mentioned earlier, the most important criterion to classify IP cameras is the location for which they are designed. We can identify two main types: exterior and interior models. The former tend to be fixed cameras, while the latter are mobile devices. We summed up their main features.
- Outdoor cameras: They are generally fixed. Since they are designed for outdoor use, they are resistant and waterproof. They are more expensive than others.
- Indoor cameras: They are usually shaped like a dome or lamp. Most of them are very affordable.
Advantages and disadvantages of an IP camera
These devices offer a wide range of benefits. First of all, they can directly connect to the Internet, unlike webcams that require a computer to establish the connection. Additionally, IP cameras are much easier to install and configure than CCTV surveillance systems.
As if that wasn’t enough, you can watch the video in real time from anywhere around the world once your IP camera is installed and configured. The vast majority now offer applications to control them from your smartphone. We have listed their perks and drawbacks in the list below:
- They can connect to networks independently
- You can watch video in real time from anywhere in the world
- They are much easier to install and configure than CCTV systems
- Many include applications to control them from your cell phone
- Fixed models require installation
Shopping Criteria for IP Cameras
If you are seriously considering getting an IP camera for your home or business, there is a series of essential factors that you need to analyze first. We want to make this whole process easier for you, so we have detailed those key criteria in the section below. We hope that this will help you choose the right model with the best possible value for money.
- Intended Use
- Fixed vs. Mobile Device
- Image Quality
- Connectivity & Compatibility
- Storage Space
- Additional Features
How you want to use the IP camera is naturally the very first question you should answer. You won’t need the same device to watch over your baby or to monitor access to a large industrial building. In the same vein, you cannot use the same IP camera indoor and outdoor – the latter application requiring weather-resistant models.
It is equally vital that you determine the location(s) of your camera since this will influence its viewing angle. Keep in mind that it will generally vary between 120º and 160º. If you are purchasing an IP camera for a bar, discotheque, or parking lot, you may be interested in a camera with a vandal-proof system.
Fixed vs. Mobile Device
Directly linked to our first criterion, the choice between a fixed and a mobile IP camera is crucial. Fixed models are widely used in stores to monitor access to the cash register. Mobile cameras, on the other hand, are often dome-shaped to look like a lamp or spotlight.
This allows them to offer a 360-degree view. Also, most feature a dark dome that makes it impossible to see in which direction the camera is recording. Some models even present designs specifically designed to go unnoticed. The main perk of this type of camera is that you can use it in various locations.
The maximum resolution of your device is what you want to focus on when looking at image quality. You will notice that the cameras currently on the market offer either high-resolution HD or Full HD images. We recommend that you pay close attention to the overall quality of the zoom too – be it digital or analog.
Connectivity & Compatibility
As you now know, the two main options to connect your device to the Internet is either using an ethernet cable or a Wi-Fi connection. The second option is naturally much more convenient, but it can be more unstable.
In addition, you should also look into which operating systems your camera and its software are compatible with. Many people also find it particularly interesting to have the possibility of controlling their device remotely using a cell phone or tablet. Nowadays, some cameras even support 3G and 4G network connections.
IP cameras are specifically designed to send the data gathered over the Internet. That being said, you can find models with their own internal memory or a microSD or SD card slot. This allows them to store the content they record content. Many IP cameras are also compatible with cloud storage services.
Whether the model you are interested in has a microphone or not could be a decisive factor in your purchase. If the IP camera does have a microphone, you will want to check its range. Also, keep in mind that certain models integrate sound recording activation systems. If you are looking for a camera to monitor your baby, you may want one with a built-in speaker.
IP cameras with zoom allow you to look closer into the images that you are recording, which can come in very handy. You may also find the motion-activated functions interesting while opting for an infrared camera is essential if you want to set it in a nighttime environment.
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For whom are IP cameras useful?
There are many reasons why you may want to install one of these devices. Many people decide to install them to protect their homes, while others want a surveillance system for their business. IP cameras are also a perfect alternative for monitoring a baby. You can indeed use them in a wide variety of situations.
Are IP cameras secure?
These devices are fully secure since you can configure their access to be restricted by a username and a password. This means that only you and the people you authorize can view the content of the camera. That being said, you can make your content available to everyone online if you so wish.
How do IP cameras work?
These digital devices transmit their signals using two main channels: directly via the Internet or using a computer. This is all made possible thanks to their processing system that compresses the images so that they can be sent over the Internet. Virtually every IP camera uses the MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) compression format. You need software to access and control the camera. They generally come with the camera, but you can also get them separately. In fact, the vast majority of IP cameras now offer applications with which you can control the device or view images from a smartphone or tablet.
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