Wireless IP Camera

Wireless Internet Protocol cameras, or Wireless IP Cameras, are cameras that can send and receive data over the internet. They are commonly known as “network cameras or netcams” and “webcams.

There are two kinds of Wireless IP Cameras:

Centralized Wireless IP Cameras, which require a central network video recorder (NVR) to handle the recording, video and alarm management.

Decentralized Wireless IP Cameras, do not require a central NVR, as the cameras have recording function built-in and can thus record directly to any standard storage media, such as SD cards, network-attached storage (NAS) or a PC server.

How does a wireless IP camera work?

A Wireless IP Camera captures images the same way as any digital camera does. What makes it different is its ability to compress the files and transmit digital data over a wireless internet network. Everything required to transfer images over the network is built into the camera unit. It is connected to a wireless network similarly as other wireless devices like wireless printers and scanners.

What are the considerations when buying a wireless IP camera?

As not all Wireless IP Cameras are the same, the following features need to be considered:

Lens

Generally most indoor Wireless IP Cameras have a 3.6 mm lens, which is adequate for their intended use. Outdoor Wireless IP Cameras have anywhere from a 6 mm to a 12 mm lens. The larger the lens, the better image you will be able to see. For outdoor cameras, you normally want the best possible image at even great distances.

Resolution/Image Compression

Resolution and image compression are factors in the clarity and size of the images the Wireless IP Camera can deliver. A standard Wireless IP Camera provides 640 x 480 pixels with an MJPEG image compression.

If you need better images and video, consider a Wireless IP Camera that uses H.264 video compression, which transmits high definition video in narrow bandwidth networks. These cameras are more expensive, but the images and video are very clear.

IR LEDs (Infrared Light Emitting Diodes)

If you are interested in using your Wireless IP Camera for night vision, then you should pay particular attention to the number and strength of the IR (infrared) LEDs (light emitting diodes) on the cameras. The LEDs allow the camera to illuminate the viewing area in darkness. The more LEDs, the brighter the viewing area – the better the image.

What are the benefits of a Wireless IP Camera?

  • It can be useful in situations where it is difficult to lay cables
  • It is cost effective to install and maintain (when compared to wired networks involving Fiber Cables, Trenching, etc).
  • It can be deployed quickly for providing temporary Wi-Fi surveillance at fairs/exhibitions, etc.
  • It can be moved from one place to another without worrying if cables/network jacks are available at the new location.