IP Surveillance Cameras in the Home
If you have (or are going to have) people working in your home on a regular basis, you may want to invest in an IP camera or an IP camera system for your home. IP cameras, sometimes referred to as “network cameras”, are a form of closed circuit television that works using Internet Protocol. In layman’s terms, this means that a single camera (or multiple cameras) can be set up in your home to transmit a signal over an internet Ethernet cable, in the same way that your computer connects to the internet, and record to a digital recording device. Because they are set up broadcast their images via an Ethernet connection, the videos can be viewed by an authorized user from any computer, phone or other device with an internet connection.
You may be wary of setting up an IP camera system, simply because doing so may seem to indicate a mistrust of your employees which you may not feel. You should know, in that case, that being suspicious of your employees activities while you are not at home is hardly the only reason to consider installing an IP camera system. Obviously, that is one reason, and quite a good justification, but there are many businesses which are monitored by surveillance at all times, just as a precautionary measure.
In fact, IP surveillance protects your trustworthy employees as much as it protects you. For instance, if you have a person working in your home and that person claims to have sustained some sort of injury under what sound like strange circumstances, IP recordings can prove immediately that they are telling the truth. Or what if your child sustains an odd or unusual injury while under the care of a nanny? If either of those example accidents has been recorded by the video, there will never be a need to question the nanny’s integrity.
On the other hand, you may be leery of setting up an IP camera surveillance system just because it sounds complicated and very expensive. In 1996 when IP cameras were first introduced, that may have indeed been the case. However, advances in camera, internet, recording, and computer technology have all worked in favor of the IP camera system. Of course, the old adage that “you get what you pay for” is likely just as true with IP cameras as with anything else. If you buy cut rate cameras, you are likely to get cut rate footage.
If you choose a wireless configuration, cameras can be places virtually anywhere, without having to drill into or open up any walls or run any unsightly wires around your home. Since it can be run from a regular computer, there is no need for a cumbersome machine to run the cameras and record the data. The system can be set up to record to a DVR or directly to a dedicated hard drive on the computer. The use of Ethernet means that even a wired system will be less bulky, since it can be powered with the same cable by which it transfers data.
If you are picturing the grainy output of a convenience store video you saw on the news when you think of surveillance cameras, forget it. Today’s IP camera systems use digital recording technology for sharper, cleaner images, with very little risk of the interference or “snow” associated with old analog surveillance cameras. Additionally, unlike their analog ancestors, IP cameras don’t require the use of videotape. That means not only that more footage can be stored for much longer periods of time, but the video itself is more secure. It is no longer possible to just remove a tape or rewind it and record over it to remove what has been filmed. The video can be encrypted and the viewing program can (and should) be password protected, so that only an authorized person has access to the videos.
If you decide to try an IP camera system, you should take the time to shop around and find exactly the camera or system that is right for your needs. Ignore costlier options like night vision and super zoom, for instance, unless you are really going to need them.