What is a Network Camera/IP Camera


2011-06-08

      An Internet protocol camera, or IP camera, is a type of digital video camera commonly employed for surveillance, and which unlike analog closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras can send and receive data via a computer network and the Internet. A Network IP Camera is a stand-alone device which allows a user to view live, full motion video from anywhere on a computer network, even over the Internet, using a standard web-browser.

     There are two kinds of IP cameras:
     · Centralized IP cameras, which require a central Network Video Recorder (NVR) to handle the recording, video and alarm management.
     · Decentralized IP cameras, do not require a central Network Video Recorder (NVR), as the cameras have recording functionality built-in and can thus record directly to digital storage media, such as flash drivers, hard disk drives or network attached storage.

     Like a computer, IP Camera has its own IP address, is connected directly to a network and can be placed wherever there is a network connection. This differs from a web camera, which can only operate when it is connected to a personal computer (PC) via the USB or IEEE 1394 port, and to use it, software must be installed on the PC. A network camera provides web server, FTP (File Transfer Protocol), and e-mail functionalities, and includes many other IP network and security protocols.

    An IP camera can be configured to send video over an IP network for live viewing and/or recording either continuously, at scheduled times, on an event or on request from authorized users. Captured images can be streamed as Motion JPEG, MPEG-4 or H.264 video using various networking protocols, or uploaded as individual JPEG images using FTP, e-mail or HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol).

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