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Every day, new innovations are created for providing home security. One of the latest is the wireless IP camera. If a home is equipped with a wireless network for connecting computers and appliances, one or more of these cameras will be a breeze to bring into the system. However, there are many different levels of camera models available, making choosing the best wireless IP camera a matter of what is expected of it.

For example, the TENVIS wireless IP camera support mobile surveillance & Pan/Tilt control via iPhone, Android, Windows, etc. (Pan: 230° & Tilt: 90°)

Embedded “IR-Cut Filter” provides enhanced picture & color quality.

Mobile view allows you to realize remote view & recording anywhere & anytime.High image & video quality, no any color difference.

Support motion detection alert via email or upload image to a specified FTP server.

Two-way audio monitoring, built-in microphone and speaker.

The Wanscam Multi-level users management with password protection

* Allow remote viewing & record from anywhere anytime

* Support IE8.0, FireFox, Google browser, you can use and control the webcam anywhere in the world

* Built-in microphone, speaker allows you to communicate with people directly

* Allow remote Pan/Tilt control (Pan: 270° & Tilt: 90°)

* High image & video quality, two-way audio monitoring

* Simple and quick to setup, friendly user interface


The Internet Camera Server is a slightly higher end camera that includes the ability to manage and view of to four separate cameras from a remote location using a web browser. In addition to recording action video and the ability to take stop action photos, the operator can zoom in to get a clearer image when needed and email recordings to a secure location.

Most of these cameras feature the ability to set them up and walk away knowing that they will snap a photo and email it to the owner in the event the motion sensor is activated. This is done using the existing wireless network without any direct connection to a computer. Another advantage is the ability to record images to a DVR without having to connect directly to a computer.

Being wireless also makes it possible to conceal these cameras so that those entering a monitored area are not aware that they are being watched. Many who practice breaking and entering know how to spot the wires that connect older types of security camera to their recording and monitoring devices and break the connections. With wireless technology, IP cameras can transmit their images to anywhere in the world that has an internet connection and images can be recorded in secure locations that thieves would not be able to find and destroy.

Even with the advanced features shared by all these cameras, there are many different features that make one stand out from the others for a specific application. Therefore, choosing the best wireless IP camera is a matter of personal preference and how much one is willing to spend.

Advances are taking place almost daily in the field of home security. Wireless IP camera systems have changed the way people monitor their possessions in many ways. These devices can be used anywhere that has a wireless network up and running without having to connect directly to a computer. They are more secure than traditional wired security cameras in many ways, including the ability to conceal them more easily and the ability to record data and transmit it offsite over the internet.

When looking for an IP camera I like to keep the following in mind:

H.264 vs. MPEG4 vs. MJPEG – Compression is where it’s at. H.264 gets you the same video quality as the other compressions at lower bit rates – which translates into less bandwidth and less storage = lower TCO.

Resolutions Supported – Only buy a camera that supports what you need. You don’t need megapixel resolution if you have a good lens and you’re looking at a fairly focused scene.

Lens Support – Garbage In = Garbage Out. To get a good picture you need a good lens. Make sure you can get a variety of lenses for your cameras for different types of scenes.

PoE – Power over Ethernet. If you’re replacing an existing analog camera with IP this is less of an issue since you’ll have already run power out to the camera’s location. But for a new camera location, PoE is where it’s at. “1 cable to rule them all” and you don’t necessarily need a PoE switch. Just get a PoE injector and you’re good to go.

PTZ Latency – This one is tougher. It’s all about personal feel and the network in between the workstation and the IP PTZ camera. This is a “kick the tires” differentiator and you really need to try the PTZ camera on your own network to get the best idea of how the camera will feel when you own it. Network conditions really do matter.

Audio Support – Audio In/Out capabilities matter and affect cost. Please check your local audio recording laws and statues. You have been warned.

Event/Non-Event Skip – Here’s a little known eye-catching differentiator. All IP cameras can change their resolution or frame rate based upon an event – whether it’s from an internal VMD or a TTL/Relay contact closure, or from API integration into an Access Control System or VMS. Did you know that for some IP cameras there can be a few seconds of dropped video while this changeover to the new resolution or frame rate occurs? Think about it. Seconds of dropped video could occur just when you need it most – right when the event occurs. Incredible but true. If you’re recording the same resolution and frame rate 24/7, it won’t be an issue. But if your recording specifications are dynamic, this is a huge deal breaker.

Now, these are not all of the differentiators out there when it comes to buying IP cameras. These are the ones that come to my mind when someone asks me what to look out for in IP cameras. Do you have other differentiators that didn’t make my list? I’d be interested in hearing which ones are important to you – because in the context of my automobile metaphor, it’s not the fancy features of the car that matter, it’s what they can do for you.


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