IP Vs Analog Cameras: Is It Worth The Switch?

IP Vs Analog Cameras: Is It Worth The Switch?

No home security system is complete without the addition of security cameras and video recorders. Despite the fact that they are critical parts of any secure home, selecting the right camera types and styles for your home is not always easy.

Security cameras need to be functional and sturdy enough to handle exposure to extreme conditions including heat, cold, and rain. Moreover, you need to select between different types of video recorders that have different features when comparing IP vs analog cameras.

With one in every five crimes being a burglary, it?s more important than ever to create a secure environment to safeguard your family and your valuable possessions.

In this article, we will discuss the difference between IP cameras vs analogs, compare them head to head, and let you decide if it?s worth making the switch from analog to IP cameras.

Traditional Analog Security Cameras

The most common types of video surveillance cameras are analog models. Analog cameras send videos via a digital signal. This transmission is then converted and delivered in a format that can be interpreted by a monitor, television, VCR player, or other analog devices.

Analog security camera.

The biggest advantage to analog cameras is that they don?t come equipped with internal web servers, so they don?t require much technical knowledge, maintenance, or setup. Having control of recording equipment is what allows you to access the video recordings later on.

Analog cameras need to make use of a digital video recorder or DVR in order to store videos. Moreover, these traditional cameras require specific wiring that is connected directly to a DVR, which has to be located no further than 1000 feet away from the recording unit.

IP Cameras

IP cameras, also called IPTV or digital security cameras, are advanced video recording options that are regarded as an upgrade over traditional models. The main reason for this is that digital cameras are more flexible and offer higher quality recordings.

Because they offer higher resolutions and better video quality, IP cameras allow easy facial recognition, license plate identification, and the ability to zoom into distances of more than 100 feet.

Digital security cameras boast of numerous features that traditional models don?t have. For instance, an IP video recorders can provide motion detection or image compression features, depending on the model of your camera.

Wansview Outdoor 1080P WiFi Wireless IP Security Bullet Camera

source: wansview.com

Similarly to analog models, IP cameras make use of storage devices known as NVRs, or network video recorders, to store the images they record. Digital security cameras come in various shapes and sizes, but they can be classified in one of the following categories:

  • Box Cameras: Box cameras are often fixed in a single direction and offer a great alternative if you need a small, discreet cameras both indoors or outdoors. Note that most of the time they don?t include a lens, so you have to purchase it separately.
  • Dome Cameras: Dome cameras can be manually adjusted to aim in different directions and often feature night vision capacities. They come in two types, which are either outdoors or indoor models.
    EHN (Outdoor): These outdoor models are designed to withstand inclement weather and offer the lowest vandalism rates when compared to other models, but tend to be more expensive.
    EDN (Indoor): Although these cameras are not designed to perform under extreme conditions, they often provide ultra-high-definition images that are ideal for indoors and dark areas.
  • Bullet Cameras: Bullet cameras are named after their shape and they usually provide better performance than dome cameras. However, they are not discrete, so you may want to choose another model if you don?t want to make your camera obvious.
  • PTZ Cameras: Point-Tilt-Zoom cameras can be remotely controlled to look in different directions. They?re the most versatile cameras as they feature optical and digital zoom as well as the ability to scan a particular area.

CCTV Vs IP Surveillance

Choosing the right type of cameras for your home will depend heavily on the size of your house, the neighborhood you live in, and the quality of the recordings you want.

Keep in mind that more than half of all burglaries committed in 2015 came during day time2, so having a high-quality camera can help identify the culprits if worse comes to worse.

Your budget will also be a big factor as IP devices tend to be a bit more expensive, but they offer better video quality. There are four major factors you need to consider when comparing IP vs analog cameras head to head.

Flexibility And Scalability

One of the biggest setbacks of analog cameras is that they require a significant amount of wiring. Most traditional video recorders need to be connected to DVR while featuring a separate power connection.

IP cameras don?t need to be connected directly to the NVR device in order to store video recordings. Instead, you can use switches to connect two or more cameras and send a single line to the NVR recording in a tree-style configuration.

Lastly, because digital security cameras can use Power Over Ethernet, or POE, the network wire can double as a power source as well, reducing the amount of necessary work at least by half.

Video Analysis

Digital cameras often feature video analysis, which is the ability to flag specific events that occur in its field of vision and tell you exactly when they occurred. These can range from tampering with the camera to moving specific items and simple motion detection.

Picture Quality

One of the biggest differences between analog vs IP cameras is picture quality. Digital cameras offer considerably better video quality, so you can identify facial features or zoom in read license plate numbers.


Although the concept is the same, there are some key differences between NVRs and DVRs. Digital video recorders need to be connected directly to analog security cameras and are often limited to a set number.

Digital Video Recorder.

NVRs allow for tree-style connections, so you can use a switch so link several cameras and send the video recordings through a single line directly to the recording device. This means you can connect several different cameras to a single device, as long as it?s powerful enough.


There is no doubt that IP cameras offer a significant upgrade when compared to traditional models. However, you have to consider the fact that they are a hefty investment, so you want to make sure you find the perfect model for your home.



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