How Does an IP Camera Work?

HB IP Camera
The IPCamera or Network Camera is an all-in-one system with built-in CPU and web-based solutions providing a low cost solution that can transmit high quality video images for monitoring. The system can be managed remotely, accessed and controlled from any computer over the Intranet or Internet via a web browser.

Instead of transmitting video over a video cable to a monitor or DVR, an IP Camera transmits digital video over a data connection; Ethernet, USB, Wi-Fi, etc. Everything required to transfer images over the network is built into the unit. It is connected directly to the network, just like any other network device, like a printer or scanner. Depending on what type of camera it is, it may save video to an attached memory source, connect to another device on the network for storage, or stream captured video to the internet.

An internet camera captures images the same way any digital camera does. What makes it different is its ability to compress the files and transmit them over a network. If a building is equipped with a network, the necessary infrastructure is already in place to install network cameras. If adding one or a few cameras, a user may use a decentralized network camera, one that has its own control interface and storage medium built in. When installing multiple network cameras it can be wise to use a centralized network camera, which requires a Network Video Recorder (NVR).

An NVR is a program that can store video from network cameras and allow for viewing of multiple cameras at once. It is similar to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR), but while a traditional DVR is responsible for encoding and processing video from component cameras, NVR depends on the cameras to encode their video, simply storing it and allowing for centralized remote viewing. NVR software can be installed on a dedicated device with its own operating system or on an existing computer. There are hybrid systems available that can accept both IP and analog inputs. These will often allow analog cameras to be viewed remotely along with any network cameras.

There are 3 types of networks in common use for IP Camera applications:

·     Wired networks will connect to a broadband modem or router through Ethernet cables (RJ45, CAT5, and CAT6). These are the fastest and most secure way to connect, removing the chance of signal interception and interference.

·     Wireless networks use a Wi-Fi router to transmit data to and from a wired modem. They transmit data at a slower rate than a wired network, and are at increased vulnerability to unauthorized access, though this can be mitigated through the use of encryption. The decreased security is balanced by the ease of setup and customization of a wireless network.

·     Cellular network access tends to be the slowest of the three, but is more secure than Wi-Fi. If the cameras themselves are equipped with cellular transmitters, they don't even require a LAN to be in place, so there's virtually no installation required. These types of cameras, however, can be quite expensive, especially when transmitting high quality video.


A network camera has its own IP address. It is connected to the network and has a built-in web server, FTP server, FTP client, e-mail client, alarm management, programmability, and much more options. A network camera does not need to be connected to a computer; it operates independently and can be placed wherever there is an IP network connection.

25 comments: Leave Your Comments

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