Installing dash cam, nanny cam and hidden cameras for security reasons can be very decisive, so it is important to know the basics, specs, and fun-facts about some of these spy cameras and the purposes meant to achieve before installing them for your office space or building. When it comes to security cameras, there are four types, namely; fixed indoor cameras, Dome cameras, PTC Cameras, and bullet cameras.
Fixed indoor cameras are stationary cameras that comes in variety and different styles; very popular over the years. Dome cameras are the ones you can easily find in the ceiling areas, department stores or public places, while PTC cameras made especially for zooming purposes. Bullet cameras are the ones used for indoor and outdoor purposes; they are a little bit larger than the other options.
Now, the camera types we just mentioned can be breakdown into two Categories, and they both have the Pros and Cons, they are namely
- Wireless Cameras
- Wired Cameras
This type of camera is very popular over the years and they are used for general surveillance on monitors just to see what is going on. There are two types; Traditional wireless cameras and the Wire-free cameras. Now, this may seem a little bit somewhat complicated but it will soon make sense when you continue to read through.
The traditional wireless camera also known as IP cameras has a power cord that has to be plugged into the wall of buildings in order to power the camera. Now, this is true for indoor and outdoor wireless cameras but it can be frustrating when installing for outdoor cameras considering that you may have to drill a hole in order to get the wire inside the house or office complex. The wire-free cameras are operated with the use of the battery and are connected through a Wi-Fi, so they have no wires; this means they can be placed just about anywhere you want. Most of these wire-free cameras like the ArloHD Camera and Stick-up Cam are weather resistant so they can also be placed outside. Keep in mind for some of these wire-free cameras for example; the Arlo HD Camera does have a base station that needs to be wired, so even if these cameras are wireless, you do have to wire them to a router.
In addition, when it comes to wired cameras; there are two types, namely;
- Analog Cameras
- POE (Power Over Ethernet) Cameras
Before we explain the differences between these two, let us differentiate between DVR and NVR
DVR (Digital Video Recording): This is a box that you need to connect your analog end to your camera with, and this will allow you to manage and record from those cameras, while NVR (Network Video Recorder) works for POE Cameras and IP Cameras. The NVR works like the DVR, but it has an extra feature; one thing is that some of them have POE ports in them, so if you have POE Camera, you can just plug it directly to your NVR to record your video and manage the cameras. In addition, you have the ability to connect your IP Camera that you have on your networks to that NVR as well. Even though they are not directly connected to the Wi-Fi, it can still manage them. Another thing to keep in mind is that NVR supports way higher camera resolutions than DVR.
Now, the Analog security cameras use a technology called BNC (Bayonet Neill–Concelman); an older version of video cable technology that is majorly used for older surveillance and video equipment but it is also capable of supporting 4HD Cameras. This means if you have a new analog camera, you can use BNC to support HD resolutions. However, analog cameras are going to require you to have a DVR; which you will need to connect to so that you can see a video and manage the cameras. Analog cameras do come with a long cable, because you do have to wire them around your building, and the cables used are going to have BNC connected to both ends and power cord for you to be able to power your camera.
The POE camera is going to use a single Ethernet cable for power and video, so it’s a single cable solution. Note that for you to be able to use POE Cameras; you need to have a switch that supports POE. Also be aware that most consumer network switches don’t normally support POE, so you may have to go and buy a switch that has POE Port on it, but instead of doing that; its recommended that you buy an NVR which has POE points on, the reason is that; it will help organize your network traffic. So rather than clogging up your network with a video data, you can just go to your NVR and use it to manage your cameras and recordings.
Therefore, we can say POE Cameras definitely provide the best image quality of all camera types, because of its Ethernet usage that supports high bandwidth. This means if you need a real high- resolution camera, you can buy a POE camera, which will also allow you to do things like zooming to get a license plate without losing image quality. Speaking of image quality, we need to talk about resolutions because that can also be complicated as well with these cameras.
Depending on which camera you buy, its either measured in pixels or TVL (TV Lines) – older terminology. For example; if you see a camera that says 90TVL, that is roughly close to 10APD resolution. Another measure you see is megapixels; you may see some cameras with 2-3 megapixels. 2.1 megapixels is roughly close to 10APD and any camera beyond 2 megapixels is usually going to be POE Cameras since Ethernet supports extra bandwidth.
Now let’s talk about the Pros and Cons of using these categorized two types of cameras
Advantage And Disadvantage of Wi-Fi / Traditional Wireless Cameras
Since Wi-Fi cameras or Traditional wireless cameras are one of the most common cameras you will see out there, its usually going to have better image quality than most wire-free cameras. With a lot of Wi-Fi and IP Cameras out there, do keep in mind that the difficulty can range from easy to moderate depending on which one you get especially if you are going to keep it outside. In addition, if you want to buy a lot of wireless cameras, you need to be careful because you can bug-down your Wi-Fi and cripple your network, so you definitely want to be careful with that. The simplest of all these camera options is definitely going to be the wire-free cameras, because they are easy to install and set-up. It is also recommended if you are renting an office space or building and you can’t run wires, so it can be easily moved around since they are battery operated. Another thing about wire-free cameras is that most of them actually have reasonable price monthly storage options if you want to store up videos on the cloud. They also come with Smartphone apps that work through the install and have a lot of different features which makes it simple for an average user.
Now the disadvantage of these wire-free cameras is that they are battery operated, in that when you put in high traffic and its getting a lot of motion, it will draw your battery really quickly. Furthermore, the image quality isn’t that good because the videos are so highly compressed; this is done to conserve battery life and to make files smaller in order for them to get stored up in a cloud. If you have one of these cameras in a high traffic area, you may find yourself replacing the batteries every time, which can be stressful. Now, one exception to these is the stick-up cam, because if you put them outside, they do have an option solid panel so that you don’t have to worry about changing them.
Advantage And Disadvantage of Analog Cameras / Wired Cameras
Analog security cameras are the least expensive if you want to use multiple cameras. Note that running cables throughout your whole building is not that difficult and its installation also. However, DVR takes more patience, but installing the camera itself is not that difficult. You need to pay attention to the resolution of your camera you are getting because there are some kits out there that are not HD and have some false names claiming that the cameras are clear and they are not. This gave way for POE.
POE Cameras are definitely the favorite; they have the best image quality and they are reliable. They have the ability to have a higher resolution like 5 megapixels and only uses a single cable. This is a great option for business people or for someone who just wants high video quality.
The shortcoming of using POE cameras is that; they are difficult to install, and they may require you to make your own Ethernet cables throughout your house as well. That is something to consider. Another important thing is that; they are much more expensive compared to the analog cameras and even some wireless cameras.