It doesn’t matter whether you live in a single-room flat or a country estate: everyone wants to know their home/office is safe and sound whilst they’re away. It could be to watch out for potential intruders, or just to keep tabs on that party your teenage children aren’t meant to be having. Whatever it is, knowing what’s going on in your house is great peace of mind for everyone. Here you’ll find our pick of the best security cameras IP cameras, along with a quick guide to help you decide which one is right for you.
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Unlike IP cameras designed for businesses and warehouses, home devices are usually much smaller, and often have mobile apps that let you keep tabs on home whenever and wherever you have an internet connection. They can feed back live video of your home wherever you are, capture video recordings when they detect movement, and even let you talk to people in your home – whether they’re meant to be there or not.
An IP camera is simply a device which can transmit video data via any internet or data connection. This means you can use them to live stream whatever they’re seeing via a laptop, smartphone or pretty much any other internet-connected device with a browser, and even if you’re on the other side of the globe. There’s no complicated installation process or expensive wiring costs like there would be with a CCTV camera.
There are two limitations when it comes to where you want to place your indoor security camera. The first thing to consider is whether the camera’s power runs off the mains. So you’ll either need a plug nearby or have to wrangle with some extension cables. The other consideration is what field of view the camera’s lens has – this is expressed in degrees, and the higher the number the larger an area the camera can effectively ‘see’. Before reaching for the drill, make sure to find the best position for the camera you’re installing; you want it to see as much of the intended area as possible.
Most of the cameras on this list provide cloud storage options so that you don’t have to rely on storing the video on a memory card, or on a local computer. You’ll generally get a variable amount of free storage bundled as part of the package, but will then have to pay a monthly subscription charge for extra space. Most devices only record video when they detect movement, or body heat if they have infra-red sensing, but some cameras record constantly – as you can imagine, days and days of video takes up a lot of storage space. Others use an in-built microSD card or allow you to send footage to a network-attached storage drive. You shouldn’t rely on locally-stored footage, however, as a savvy thief could just physically remove the camera or the microSD card, or steal your NAS drive.
The cameras here have sensors which range from 720p, 1080p to 4K resolution. As you’d expect, a higher number normally results in clearer, crisper images. Not all lenses are made equal though, of course, and some cameras give the option to use a less aggressive video compression to maximise image quality. As higher quality video takes up more storage space, it’s about finding a happy compromise. Clearly the better the image the easier it’s going to be to make out the faces of any intruders or see what the kids are up to while you’re gone.
If you want usable video footage day or night, then look for cameras which have a Night Vision mode. And if you want to be able to communicate through the camera, then think about one with in-built microphone and speaker functions.
IP cameras (aka IP CCTV cameras, Network Cameras, security cameras & web cameras) are now commonly available as multi-megapixel cameras.
The best traditional CCTV cameras have a maximum picture quality of about 0.4 megapixels, for this reason above all others IP CCTV is the future of CCTV.
From the menu buttons at the top of the page you can access; our IP CCTV Forum to read and ask any questions on this topic; our IP CCTV Blog; for the latest IP Video News; and our Help & Info pages which includes The Learning Zone with lots of technical IP CCTV explanations.
Finally, our phone number is big and bold at the top left of every page, if you need further help or information don’t hesitate to call.