Surveillance Camera FAQs

IP surveillance cameras take security and video monitoring to the next level. Here we address some of our most frequently asked questions when it comes to IP surveillance systems.

What is an IP Camera?

IP stands for Internet Protocol. An IP camera is a digital video system that can transmit data over a network. These systems work with mobile devices so that you can view your security feed from anywhere with an Internet connection. IP cameras may also be referred to as network cameras or webcams.

How Do IP Surveillance Cameras Work?

In a traditional security system, data is transmitted through a cable to a DVR (digital video recorder). With an IP camera, the Internet is used to transmit digital video. The unit contains everything it needs to do this. It’s connected to your network much like other external IT equipment like a printer. To store video, your IP camera may contain storage in-unit or it may transmit video to a device also connected to the network to be stored, also known as a network video recorder (NVR). Digital cameras and IP cameras capture images the same way, although the transmission method is different. Your quality won’t be compromised with an IP camera—in fact, the resolution is better.

What Type of Network Connection Will I Need for an IP Camera Surveillance System?

You can use either a physical router for your network (wired) or a WiFi connection (wireless). Wired networks tend to be more secure and reliable, although WiFi is easier, it leads to the increased need for security. Surveillance Secure can help you encrypt these networks and customize a wireless network to minimize chances of any problems with a WiFi setup. You may also choose to use a cellular network, which tends to be safer than WiFi, but also slower. Surveillance Secure can discuss your options with you to determine which one would be best for your custom setup and security needs.

How Are IP Cameras Different from CCTV Cameras?

Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras are a traditional analog system of using cameras that use a DVR to record video. They’re reliable, relatively inexpensive, and easy to install. However, they don’t offer you the same versatility, high resolution, and higher security that IP cameras do.

What Components Will I Need for This System?

For an IP surveillance system, you’ll need the actual IP cameras, an NVR or other type of storage system, accessories such as a microphones and speakers generally will come built into the cameras so additional parts will not be required. At Surveillance Secure, we can help determine your needs and set you up with the best equipment for your budget.

What Are the Advantages of IP Surveillance Systems?

IP surveillance systems offer you many advantages that traditional CCTV systems don’t. They offer: · Higher resolution · Easy install · Improved capabilities for the cost · Faster and more reliable · Easy to manage · Easy to meet IT compliance regulations · And more!

What is a Security DVR?

DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder. A Security DVR is a device that takes the video from analog cameras and converts it to digital format to be recorded on a hard drive. HD video can be recorded. These devices can go weeks or even months with no maintenance.

What is a Security NVR?

NVR stands for Network Video Recorder. This type of recorder is used only with digital cameras (IP cameras). It functions the same as DVR.

What is a video capture card?

A video capture card, or DVR card, is the graphics card inside a DVR system that is used to capture the video feed and store it on the hard drive.

How many hours of video can the Security DVR/NVR store?

There are a number of factors that come into play. How many cameras are in the system? At what framerate (FPS) is the video being recorded? What size hard drive does the DVR/NVR have? Our preconfigured systems usually provide several weeks of archive when set to motion detect mode.

How does motion detection work? Through the camera or software?

Motion detection is a software-based feature. When pixels in the image change, the software alerts the system to begin recording. You can set the sensitivity on most DVR/NVRs so that drive space isn’t wasted on every stray cat that wanders through the property.

Can I view live and recorded video locally?

Yes. Onsite monitoring of both live and recorded video is possible.

Can I view live and recorded video remotely?

Yes. All of our Security DVR/NVR systems are Internet enabled. That means you can view live and recorded video from anywhere via an Internet connection.

What kind of broadband do I need? How much bandwidth?

Basic DSL or cable will suffice in most cases. DSL works for DVRs, but Cable is recommended for NVRs.

Can several users view the same site at once?

Most Internet-enabled Security DVR/NVR systems allow multiple users to view the same site simultaneously. However, as more people look at the same cameras/DVR/NVR at the same time, the bandwidth will be shared between them. This reduces image quality.

Can I record audio?

Yes. Make sure the Security DVR/NVR system you select comes with an audio option. Most analog cameras do not come with built-in audio, so you will probably need a separate audio kit if you chose analog cameras over digital.

Can I listen to live and recorded audio remotely?

Yes. All of our Security DVR/NVR systems come with this feature. However, an optional audio module is needed to allow you to listen to live and recorded audio from anywhere via the Internet.

How many cameras do I need?

This will depend on the size and layout of the area you wish to survey. On average, we recommend one camera per 600 square feet for an Analog System and per 1200 square feet for a Digital System.

Can I use my existing cameras?

Yes. You can use your existing CCTV cameras. We offer a hybrid NVR which gives you the ability to use both Analog and Digital Cameras.

What camera lens size is the best for my application?

Surveillance Secure carries a large selection of security camera lenses, but the lens you will need depends on where and how you plan to use it, so check with our professionals to learn more and make a good choice.

What is an Auto-Iris Lens?

An auto iris lens provides a consistent video image in areas where light levels vary. This is important for maintaining a viewable stream in both high and low light situations.

What is Lux?

Illumination is measured in units called Lux.

Can I zoom in with a camera?

Yes, but you need a special camera called a Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ camera. Browse our selection of PTZ cameras, and find the one that is right for you. Or we can make recommendations based on your specific needs.

What type of Operating System (OS) does the Security DVR use?

Most PC-based Security DVR Systems use Windows 7 Professional or above, and Standalone Security DVRs are Linux based.

What kind of cable should I use?

Use Siamese cable, which is an RG59 coaxial cable and a pair of 18-gauge wire in the same jacket, to make installation easy for Analog Cameras. Use Cat 5 or 6 for IP cameras.

What happens if there is a power outage?

Security DVR/NVRs will come back on as soon as power is restored. However, we suggest an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) which provides a short period of backup power and also serves as a surge protection device. This ensures your video surveillance will still be online in the event someone cuts the power to break in unnoticed.

Can I use my cash register with your POS interface?

Our Security systems work with most PC-based and electronic cash registers. Contact us with the make and model of your register, and we can tell you if your system is compatible.

View our Demo here.

Can the Security DVR/NVR report an alarm?

Yes. If the alarm is triggered, the DVR/NVR can reach out to a monitoring service.


Contact us at Surveillance Secure Phoenix to discover how an IP surveillance system could be your best choice for total security in today’s digital world: 602.730.4479.


    Request a free estimate for your electronic security project.

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