What’s An IP Camera In CCTV Systems & How Do They Work?

Security cameras help keep businesses safe by deterring crime, and they are a staple in most businesses today. The question shouldn’t be whether you should have security cameras installed; rather, the question should be what type of security cameras you should have installed in your business. 

Two types of security cameras are the most popular and well-known: IP cameras and CCTVs. Here, we’ll cover each type and a hybrid of the two: IP CCTV camera systems.

Keep reading to learn more about each type of security camera and which type of IP camera might be best for your business or commercial building.

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What Are IP Cameras? 

Internet Protocol (IP) cameras, known as IP cameras or network cameras, offer digital video surveillance by transmitting and receiving footage via the Internet. True IP camera systems don’t have a recorder, often called a head end.

Instead, every IP camera in the system is connected to the Internet, and the camera footage and video files are typically stored in the cloud. Because each camera is connected to the Internet, IP camera systems are not closed systems.

IP CCTV Camera

How Does It Work?

IP cameras capture video footage digitally and transmit data over a network, such as the Internet or a local network. They encode the video signal into data packets sent to a network video recorder (NVR) or a centralized server for storage space. Users can access the footage remotely.

What’s CCTV? 

CCTV stands for closed-circuit television, and cameras in these systems run on an analog system. In a true CCTV system, there is never a connection to the Internet.

CCTV is a series of cameras connected to a recorder, known as the head end. The fact that these cameras and the head end never have an internet connection makes CCTV a closed circuit. 

Many people mistakenly believe that CCTV is the same as video surveillance, but this is not the case. There are many different types of surveillance systems, which are not all CCTV. 

What’s The Difference Between Internet Protocol & CCTV? 

Internet Protocol and CCT security camera systems record footage and make that footage available for you to watch. The main difference is in how the video clips are recorded and how the video footage is stored.

IP cameras utilize digital technology to transmit video data over computer networks, such as the Internet (wireless networks) or a local area network (LAN). These cameras encode the video feed and transmit digital signals using a network video recorder (NVR) or a centralized server for storage.

The footage can be accessed remotely from any device with network access, offering flexibility and convenience for monitoring.

avigilon dome camera

On the other hand, CCTV systems traditionally rely on analog cameras (analog CCTV cameras). These analog cameras, traditionally connected to a closed circuit, transmit data through coaxial cables to a digital video recorder (DVR) for recording.

Unlike IP cameras, CCTV systems typically require physical cabling for signal transmission, limiting flexibility in installation and remote access capabilities.

What Is IP CCTV?

It’s clear that IP and CCTV are two different things, but there is a type of security camera system that combines them, called IP CCTV. Of course, this system is neither a true IP nor a true CCTV system because one connects to the Internet, and the other does not.

Instead, an IP CCTV system combines the best of both worlds. Each IP camera is not connected to the Internet in these systems as it would be in a true IP cloud-based system.

Each camera in the system connects to a head end, and then that head end connects to the Internet.

Which Is Better: IP, CCTV, or IP CCTV?

Each type of camera system has its benefits and drawbacks, which we’ll examine below. All three systems provide network security to your business, giving you peace of mind and protecting your assets. The systems are also priced more similarly than they were in the past. 

Previously, it was cheaper to install and maintain CCTV systems because IP cameras were expensive. Now, however, unsecured IP cameras have gotten cheaper, and IP systems are also cheaper to maintain. 

IP camera systems typically allow you to see a larger area and the recorded footage more clearly. This is very important when using cameras to protect your business, as they’ll give you a better view of what is happening on your property.

This increased range of vision can also decrease the cost of your camera system because you don’t need as many IP cameras if they can capture more than a CCTV camera. Sometimes, one IP camera can replace as many as six CCTVs.

Internet Protocol (IP) and IP CCTV camera systems also allow you to zoom in, which can help you identify people or view license plate numbers. They also often come with additional features like motion detection and edge-based video analytics (advanced video analytics). 

Types of IP Cameras 

Fixed IP Cameras

Fixed cameras have a stationary lens and provide a fixed viewing angle. They are suitable for monitoring specific areas or points of interest.

PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) IP Cameras

PTZ IP cameras can pan, tilt, and zoom remotely, allowing users to adjust the camera’s position and focus as needed. They offer greater flexibility in surveillance coverage.

Dome IP Cameras

Dome IP cameras are designed with a dome-shaped casing, offering a discreet and vandal-resistant surveillance solution. They are commonly used for indoor and outdoor applications.

Bullet IP Cameras

Bullet IP cameras are cylindrical and typically mounted on walls or ceilings. They are known for their long-range capabilities and are often used for outdoor surveillance in high-visibility areas.

Wireless IP Cameras

These IP cameras connect to a network wirelessly, eliminating the need for Ethernet cables. They offer easy installation and are ideal for locations where running cables is impractical.

Hikvision camera

Factors to Consider When Choosing an IP Camera 


When setting up IP cameras, consider the network connection—whether wireless or wired camera system. They operate within the IP and local area networks (LAN), facilitating seamless communication. Ensure they’re on the same network connection for optimal performance.

Also, an IP address serves as a unique identifier for devices on a network. A DHCP server assigns Dynamic IP addresses automatically and can change over time, while a static IP address remains fixed.

PTZ Functionality

If flexibility in IP camera positioning is required, consider Internet Protocol cameras with pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) capabilities. PTZ cameras allow remote adjustment of the camera’s direction, tilt, and zoom for enhanced surveillance coverage.

Storage Options

Choose cameras that support onboard storage via SD cards, network-attached storage (NAS), or those that integrate with cloud storage solutions for convenient video storage and retrieval.

Multiple cameras use network video recorders and sometimes digital video recorders.

Integration with Other Systems

Consider whether the IP camera needs to integrate with other security or surveillance systems, such as access control or video management software. 


Determine your budget for the IP camera system, considering the upfront costs of cameras and accessories and ongoing expenses such as maintenance, licensing fees, and storage costs. 

Modern Security Camera Systems

Businesses widely use most security cameras because they’re tried and truly reliable systems. However, many people like the benefits of most IP cameras in our modern world. 

When deciding what is right for your business, consider whether it’s more important to have the benefits of an IP system or if you feel more comfortable having a closed-circuit system.

There are many IP security systems on the market, but either way, you’ll have security footage of your business that can help you potentially catch criminals and keep your buildings safe. 

If you’re torn and want a closed-circuit system but also yearn for the benefits of an IP system, consider an IP CCTV system. Choose whether you need a wired network or a wireless network. You can access your footage on the Internet, but the footage will be recorded on a closed-circuit system.

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