Using an Ip Network Camera to Monitor Your Home

Copyright (c) 2008 Wes Fernley

With security being a topic on most peoples’ minds, many wonder what the best way is to monitor their home and belongings. Various security systems exist and using a combined home security system with surveillance cameras can add extra protection against intruders.

IP Network Camera Placement

Choosing the location to install your IP surveillance cameras should be researched and tested. The location should have a broad viewing angle of the area you are looking to monitor. If multiple IP cameras are required to view the whole room, be sure to place them where they don’t overlap, however, to catch every aspect of the room.

Lighting is also a concern. The room should have sufficient lighting allowing the IP camera to have a clear vision of what is happening and who is intruding. When purchasing an IP camera for low lit rooms, be sure to check the lux rating. The lower the lux rating of the IP camera, the better picture it will give in low light. If the room is completely dark, purchasing an infrared (IR) sensitive IP camera would be wise as these can work in zero lighting conditions.

Wireless Connectivity

One of the main benefits of IP network cameras, is the ability to have a wireless connection to your home network. Considering wireless networks are very popular nowadays as many people use laptops, it will be easy to also install your wireless IP camera to your existing network. This will also limit the amount of wires running to the camera as it will only require a power cable.

Remote Viewing

Using IP cameras for home security offers the ability to view the cameras remotely from any location using a standard web browser. By configuring your home network to allow remote access to the IP cameras, you can login securely to each camera to view live video and access PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) controls if supported by your camera. This gives you peace of mind knowing everything is safe back home.

Most IP cameras also support motion detection with alerts via email, SMS text messaging or other means. Having this configured on your camera, will give you the added bonus of being alerted when motion is detected. You can then login to the cameras remotely to view what is happening.

Remote Recording

With traditional CCTV (Closed Circuit Television Cameras), video recordings would be taped to a local VCR or DVR (Digital Video Recorder). If the intruder wanted to find the video recording, it would be possible for him to destroy any video evidence if it was located on the premises. Remote recording is possible for IP cameras. There are a few ways of doing this.

Remote PC – By setting up a remote PC at another location with Internet access, you could install IP camera recording software to monitor and record from each IP camera simultaneously. You could do straight 24/7 recording or on motion detection.

IP Camera Hosting Services – Remote Recording services can also be purchased from professional companies that securely record from your IP cameras to a remote secure location. An example of a company that offers these services is Network Webcams.

Outdoor Monitoring

IP surveillance cameras can also be placed outdoors using enclosures. Like indoor cameras, you will want to place them where they can view the entire monitoring area and have access to power and ethernet if required. Outdoor lighting will also be an issue as the camera will require proper lighting. Only certain outdoor IP surveillance cameras support infrared (IR) as most infrared IP cameras will reflect off the glass of the enclosure and give a white image. If infrared is required, purchase an outdoor infrared IP camera that comes with the enclosure attached as this will give the best image considering the enclosure is built for infrared. Another option is to use external IR illuminators which attach to the outside of the enclosure.

Using an IP camera to monitor your home will give you many benefits and the peace of mind knowing your home and belongings are safe.

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