About IP cameras
- This is how IP cameras work
- This is what matters for IP cameras for outdoors
- Our practical tip: Ensure power supply
- FAQ - Frequently asked questions about IP cameras for outdoor use
This is how IP cameras work
IP cameras or network cameras consist of an analogueue video sensor (CCD or CMOS), whose signals are digitally processed and made available via an integrated web server via Ethernet cable or WLAN in the network. The retrieval of individual pictures or the live stream is done via a normal browser, the video stream can also be recorded directly in the camera on memory cards or in the network on suitable recorders.
Resolution (for example in HD) and compression quality of the image data are essential for the comfortable use of IP cameras, while the camera can be moved over two axes (pan and tilt). High-quality cameras offer HD picture quality and also an optical lens with zoom function. Many indoor surveillance cameras and almost all outdoor IP cameras have the ability to view night vision through built-in infrared LEDs with different ranges. Many surveillance cameras are also equipped with a built-in microphone for transmitting outside noise, a small loudspeaker and a switching output (trigger), which can be used to switch on external devices such as alarm systems or lamps for the outside, for example in the case of recorded movements in the picture.
Purchase criteria - this is what matters for IP cameras for outdoor use
In comparison to indoor surveillance cameras, the ruggedness of the housing plays a greater role in the external IP cameras. The so-called IP protection class is an indicator of the quality of the housing. In this case, the abbreviation IP does not apply to the Internet protocol, but rather the two letters in this context stand for "International Protection". The IP codes usually contain two digits (DIN EN 60529). They indicate the protection offered by a housing against contact or foreign objects (first digit) and against moisture or water (second digit). A weatherproof housing must be sufficiently protected against rain water.
If possible, an IP camera should be protected against dust of a damaging quantity (first digit: 5) or even dust-proof (first digit: 6). For water protection, the numbers 4 to 7 are sufficient for IP cameras. The "protection against all-sided splash water" (4) is covered up to "protection against temporary immersion" (7).
The shock resistance of the camera housing is also a quality factor for external surveillance cameras, standardized in the so-called "IK shock resistance". This ranges from IK00 (no protection) to IK10. The latter certifies to a housing that it can withstand a shock energy of 20 joules – this corresponds to the hit of a five kilo heavy weight from a drop height of 40 centimeters.
Why shock resistance is important is obvious: Surveillance cameras are installed outdoors and can be seen by everyone. A throw or strike with a long stick should ideally not put the cameras out of combat. Dome cameras are particularly well protected against vandalism. They are enclosed in a semi-circular, tinted plastic dome. The protects dome cameras from knocks on the one hand, and the safety is increased by the fact that the camera's viewing direction is not visible.
Our practical tip: Ensure the power supply of the camera
All surveillance cameras for outdoor use require a constant power supply and – with a pure LAN connection – the cable connection to the router or switch. Before purchasing, you should make sure where and how the cables can be laid or where holes can be drilled through the outer wall. It is also important to use a fixed attachment with dowels that are not too small.
FAQ - Frequently asked questions about IP cameras for outdoor use
Are there IP outdoor cameras for WLAN?
Numerous IP cameras, especially in the favorable price segment, offer a data transmission via live image over a wireless network. This is optional, but a LAN connection in Ethernet format is always available. It should be borne in mind that the radio transmission of the image data can be specifically disturbed by so-called jamming. The distance from the camera to the next "access point" is also important: The farther away the camera is, the worse the connection is.
Can I access the IP camera using the smartphone app?
The option offers almost all IP cameras. The corresponding app is usually available for free download for iOS and Android. Usually, the camera can be configured via the app and – if it is capable of doing so – moved. In addition, the owner is informed about movements in the field of vision of the surveillance camera via push message on request.
(This text is machine translated.)