IP cameras can be wildly useful, and therefore they can assist in a range of situations and circumstances. To choose the right IP camera for your situation, first you should nail down exactly what you’re going to use the camera for. Is it for security at your restaurant? Do you want to keep a watchful eye on an employee you don’t trust? Or a babysitter? Before you start seriously looking for a camera, you also want to decide what your price range is. Only look at cameras within your budget.
Once you’ve decided on its function and a reasonable budget, answering these questions will help you hammer out what your ideal IP camera is.
Indoor or Outdoor?
For outdoor use, look for a camera that is waterproof, weatherproof, and vandal proof. Usually these types of cameras will be made out of metal or an alloy, which makes them more rugged and able to withstand the potentially harsh outside conditions. Conversely, if your camera will be used inside, none of these features will be necessary.
Do you need PTZ or a fixed lens?
A PTZ function can help you cover “dead areas,” areas which otherwise wouldn’t be covered by a fixed lens camera. PTZ stands for pan, tilt, and zoom and cameras with this feature can usually cover up to 350 degrees panning and 90 degrees tilting. On the flipside, if you only want to monitor a set scene (for example, a baby room) you won’t need a camera with this functionality.
How Clear Does the Image Need to Be?
The next factor to consider in your search for the right IP camera is image quality or resolution. Megapixel IP cameras provide much higher resolution and therefore better quality images that VGA cameras. VGA cameras compress images into MJPEGs, a lower quality image format, than megapixel IP cameras. If you need clear, sharp, detailed pictures, the megapixel IP camera is the right choice.
Wired or Wireless?
If the camera you’re installing is far away from a router and will not be able to pick up a wireless signal, obviously the camera needs to be wired.
The last, but certainly not least, factor to consider in your search for the perfect IP camera is installation. Some cameras can be easily installed by yourself and others require costly installation by a professional. Avoid complicated DDNS network setup and look for cameras with a P2P function instead. It is the fastest and easiest network setup function, even for someone with no technical knowledge.