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Analog vs. IP Security Networks

Internet Protocol (IP) security systems, and especially cameras, offer a number of exciting benefits and it’s not a surprise that most people putting in new security systems opt for IP cameras. But if the higher costs are a deterrent and you’re not that interested in the features offered by IP, an analog system will still work well. It just depends on what you want and need from your security network.

The Big Benefits of IP Security Networks

IP systems offer something that analog systems never will: super high resolution. All those CCTV videos you’ve seen of faces which are hard to distinguish are analog. If getting high res video and stills is your goal, you’ve got to go with an IP security system. Plus, of course, an IP security camera will work better with a wireless system, which leaves your system intact regardless of cables. Analog cameras are not entirely out of the question for a wireless system, but IP cameras are still the clear frontrunners.

The Benefits of Analog

The biggest benefit of going with an analog security network is the cost. Analog systems are simply cheaper and they do just about everything they are meant to do. Time and again, studies have shown that the presence of a camera is usually enough to deter crime. Add to that 24 hour surveillance with an actual security guard watching the feeds and you can see how an analog system is more than enough. Plenty of businesses want someone on the property anyway, so paying extra for high res footage isn’t a big priority.

Installation and Other Considerations

Another factor which can make an IP system significantly more expensive is the existing infrastructure. If you’ve got coax cables running through the building already, an analog system can use those cables. IP cameras need UTP cables.

Recording is another factor, because analog cameras use DVR and digital IP systems usually use NVR, which is usually used with specific software for each camera. Plus NVR requires more storage space to keep the footage. DVR is just cheaper.

Finally, powering the systems will require additional infrastructure in many cases. Analog systems use central power. IP systems often use Power over Ethernet, or PoE, which requires the installation of PoE switches.

While IP security systems are in general preferable due to the high res, high quality footage, the price is still higher, especially if the entire system needs to be installed from scratch. Depending on your needs and budget, analog is still an option.

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