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Compare IP vs CCTV Security Camera Cost

IP Security Camera Overview

IP (Internet protocol) cameras rely on digital technology to record and transmit live images to an IP network. IP cameras are more technologically advanced than CCTV cameras, and they’re eventually expected to replace them altogether.

With IP cameras, it’s possible to view, store and manage video images over the Internet, even from remote locations, in real time. IP cameras use a network video recorder (NVR) instead of a VCR or DVR. There are no tapes to change, and IP cameras are compatible with wireless networks.

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How Much Do IP Security Cameras Cost?

IP cameras start at about $50, but most high-quality models fall in the $200 to $400 price range. Very high-end models can cost upwards of $1,000.

A complete system with four cameras, software, a network video recorder (NVR) and all cables and accessories might cost $1,500 to $3,000.

IP Security Cameras Pros

  • Better quality - IP cameras produce a much clearer picture, not the blurry or grainy images you’re used to seeing with CCTV. The images are high resolution and, in some cases, high definition.
  • No live monitoring - With IP technology, you’ll never need a person to sit in a room full of monitors. You can watch the images over the Internet from anywhere in the world.
  • More secure - With IP cameras, you can encrypt the images for security purposes so that only you can see them.
  • No proximity issues - A security system using IP cameras can be spread across a large area and still function properly. IP cameras do not have to be in close proximity to an NVR. And the systems can be completely wireless, with the exception of a power cord.

IP Security Cameras Cons

  • More expensive - IP cameras are much newer and superior in technology. Thus, they’re more expensive.
  • Compatibility - IP cameras from different manufacturers often are not compatible with one another. You might run into some trouble if you try to mix and match or buy additional cameras down the road. Also, most NVR software only works with certain brands and models of IP cameras.
  • Fewer models - Because IP cameras are newer, they’re not available in as many styles and designs as CCTV cameras. It’s also more difficult to find CCTV cameras that are undetectable to the eye or difficult to spot.
CCTV Cameras

CCTV Security Camera Overview

CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras are used to transmit a signal to a specific place, to a limited number of monitors. The analog technology is older than IP cameras, but it is still commonly used where 24 hour surveillance is required, particularly in banks, casinos and department stores.

With CCTV, the analog cameras are connected to a coaxial cable and video tape recorders or DVRs. The tapes must be manually transferred and changed, and real-time transmission over the Internet is not possible.

How Much Do CCTV Security Camera Cost?

CCTV cameras start at about $30, but plan on spending closer to $80 to $160 for a brand name model. With CCTV cameras, you usually purchase the entire system in one package, including cameras, monitors, cables and a recording device. For the entire system, budget anywhere from $300 to $1,000 per camera.

CCTV Security Camera Pros

  • Less expensive - CCTV cameras cost less to purchase than IP cameras because the technology is older and inferior.
  • Better compatibility - CCTV cameras from different manufacturers are generally compatible with one another, so you don’t have to stick with the same brand or model if you need to purchase additional cameras.
  • More models - CCTV cameras have been around for more than 60 years, so it’s no surprise that they’re available in a wide range of models and designs. You’re also more likely to find CCTV cameras that are undetectable or covert.

CCTV Security Camera Cons

  • Inferior quality - Footage from CCTV cameras is often grainy and blurry.
  • Requires live monitoring - Generally, CCTV camera security systems require a staff member to watch the monitors. It’s not possible to transfer the images over the Internet in real time.
  • Not as secure - With CCTV cameras, it is not possible to encrypt the images for security purposes.
  • Proximity issues - All of the equipment needs to be in close proximity because it is either connected by cables or broadcast over a short-range wireless network. It is difficult to get a CCTV system to work over long distances.

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Author: Ashley Smith


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