IP cameras offer advanced functionality that can have a real impact on the safety of your home. But getting cameras connected to the web can be a challenging process. While professional installation can ease the networking burden, choosing the right kind of connection for your needs is key to getting the most out of the solution. There are three primary ways to enable IP camera functionality: Using a data and power line, deploying power over Ethernet or implementing a wireless system.
Using a data and power line
Having a separate line for data and electricity can be somewhat expensive and annoying to deal with. However, it is probably the most reliable and best performing option. Things to keep in mind when considering how you want to connect cameras to the web include what kind of cameras you are using, how much energy they require, how you plan to use them and what your house is like. All of these factors can come into play and the connection option used can dictate how well the camera solution fits your day-to-day requirements. For example, a camera that is connected to the web with a dedicated data line and has a separate power cord can be used in a setup similar to a closed-circuit television, providing high levels of visibility to go along with basic functions like panning the camera. The dedicated data cable also enables you to consider using more advanced cameras that offer sophisticated capabilities.
Taking advantage of PoE
Power over Ethernet technologies represent a solid middle ground in the security system networking world. PoE is a technology that allows data and electricity to travel over the same wire. As a result, you only have to run a single cable out to any cameras that will be used to watch your house. The problem is that PoE can be limiting. While it provides greater cabling flexibility, combining power and data on the same line means that advanced functions, like panning the camera, are often unavailable because their is not enough electricity available through the line. This issue, however, only exists with the older version of the PoE standard. More recent iterations of the technological framework allow for more power to be delivered on the same cable as data, providing the ability to access basic panning capabilities and a few other more advanced functions. However, such solutions are generally more costly.
In the end, a wireless security system has its own set of problems, such as signal interference, but careful installation can overcome these issues and make wireless a nice option for homeowners who want a low-maintenance way to connect their cameras. The issue with wireless cameras is that they do not have access to as much bandwidth as they would if they were plugged in. This means that some alert or remote viewing functions may not be as widely available if you are using a wireless connection. Some advanced functions may also be impossible, but that will vary substantially depending on the actual solution. While wireless cameras have to deal with some limitations, they are generally the easiest and least expensive to install.
Choosing the type of network system you need for security camera is an important process. Working with a vendor you can trust is key to in this area. With a solid relationship with your security system vendor, you can collaborate on the best fit for your needs and find the right option for you. This partnership mentality allows you to benefit more from the vendor’s expertise and can position you for the best long-term IP camera option for your needs.