IP surveillance, NVRs, and digital solutions are the future of surveillance and it’s a good idea to start learning about this vast leap forward in security. There is a range of topics that could be covered from networking basics to IP software support and more, but for now we will go over a few main themes that should be known when first using IP cameras or NVR systems.
IP Addresses & Ports
IP cameras work a lot like a computer on a network, as in that they are assigned their own IP address the same as any other component utilizing the network. An IP address is basically the location within your network where any particular device can be found. So when you install an IP camera it will be set to its own unique address where it can be found on the network. Usually you can use this IP address to access your IP camera on the network internally and change its various settings, including the IP address itself.
Ports in a network are basically a doorway that is used to access a network externally. Every network in the world has its own unique external IP address that is used to access the network from remote locations. Ports are then the doorways that are used with that external IP address to determine where within the network you want to go. This is all handled via port forwarding, which is another topic entirely.
When installing IP cameras each of them will have to be assigned a port that can be forwarded to their internal IP address so you can access the cameras from abroad. If you are using an NVR however in conjunction with your IP cameras, you can then use the NVR on its own port and access all of your cameras at once and only provide one internal IP address and port.
Additionally for security purposes most all IP cameras and NVRs have username and password logins, so even after you access the devices through their respective IP addresses & ports you still have the added security of a login.
The Usefulness Of NVRs
What we’ve talked about so far may seem complicated, but if you use an NVR in conjunction with your IP cameras it can become quite simple. The reason for this is that many NVRs have the capability of searching out and finding IP cameras on the network and incorporating them into their system. Occasionally you may have to save some of your IP cameras settings into the NVR, but once that is done access becomes quite easy.
So instead of having to browse to each IP camera individually be it internally or externally, you can simply provide one IP address and one port and pull all of your IP cameras up at once. Additionally having an NVR to record and store your footage is quite helpful because then you are not filling your computer with video files.
It should also be noted that NVRs come with all the same features and functionality that we’ve come to know and love in standard DVRs. Features such as motion detection, HDD overwrite, video masking, and more are all still present.
The PoE Advantage
PoE stands for Power Over Ethernet, and it is a powerful set of words in the surveillance world. To surveillance installers and users alike PoE means the elimination of power cables to their security cameras, it means the shortening of cable installation time, and it means less time troubleshooting cable issues. The reason it means all this is because a PoE inserter allows the elimination of power cabling that you would have with standard analog security cameras.
Basic UTP cabling does not use all of its twisted pair wires when transferring video over the line, therefore this allows for other data or power in this instance to be transferred over the remaining pairs; so this is where PoE inserters come in. They take the unused twisted pair cables and transfer power to the camera on the same cable run that the video is transferred; thus eliminating the need for an additional power cable.
The only downfall to PoE is that it requires a separate inserter to insert the power over the UTP lines, this is only a minor downfall because the extra cost is balanced out with the savings of not having to install or buy the power cabling. Additionally it should be noted that even though most all IP cameras support PoE, there are some that don’t and even some that have both a regular power option and PoE to provide additional versatility in your surveillance system.
In the end IP surveillance is here to stay and soon dominate the market, so it is a wise choice to be prepared for this HD and networked future of surveillance!
Christian M Gillman has worked in the surveillance industry for over 7 years. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, learn more about surveillance, and find great products at http://www.cu1.com
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