Despite the best intentions of retail operators, it is virtually impossible to keep human eyes on everyone who enters their stores all of the time (well,without alarming their customers, anyway!) This is where the use of security cameras can help; able to keep a constant lookout for staff who have been charged with looking after shop security, they provide a visible deterrent to anyone with nefarious intentions too.

The issue is that many cameras have grown obsolete; their abilities to create a robust network have deteriorated or they simply aren't capable of capturing high-quality images. Fortunately, IP CCTV systems are here to create a strong network; making use of the latest CCTV cameras to deliver high-quality videos, recorded or live, to wherever the retail operator may be.

What Are IP CCTV Systems?

IP stands for 'Internet Protocol'; IP cameras send the images they capture and the data (instructions) they receive through the same local network. This makes it possible for the user to have a better-defined, customisable security network.

How Do IP Cameras Work?

Instead of sending videos through a cable to a monitor or a DVR, IP CCTV systems transmit digital video over a data connection, such as Wi-Fi, Ethernet or USB. Everything that is needed to transfer images over the network will be included in the unit – all it needs is to be connected to the network, just as you would with any other device (such as a phone, tablet or a printer etc). Dependent on the type of camera, it may save the video to an attached source, connect to another device on the same network for storage or stream the video over the Internet.

Although IP CCTV systems will capture images in the same way as any digital camera does, what makes it different is its ability to compress videos and transmit them over a network. If a building already has a good network in place, the necessary infrastructure is there to install network cameras. If adding one or a couple of cameras, a user may want to install a decentralised network camera; these each have their own control interfaces and storage mediums built-in. If multiple network cameras are required, it is wise to use a centralised network camera, which uses a single Network Video Recorder (NVR) to store the captured images.

Aside from storing videos from network cameras, NVR's also allow for the viewing of multiple cameras at once. In that respect, it is similar to a DVR – but whilst a 'traditional' DVR encodes and processes video from component cameras, NVR's depend on the cameras to encode the video for them – they simply work as a centralised storage system and viewing platform (for remote viewing).

The software required for an NVR can be installed on any dedicated device that has its own operating system. There are even hybrid CCTV systems available that can accept both IP and analogue inputs– these will often allow analogue cameras to also be viewed remotely alongside their network camera friends.

The Networks IP Cameras Use

For security applications, there are three types of networks that can be used by IP cameras. They are:

  • Wired networks will connect to a broadband modem (or router) through an Ethernet cable, designated CAT5, CAT6 or RJ45. These are fast, secure ways to connect an IP CCTV system together – removing the chance of any interference or interruption with their signal.
  • Wireless networks make use of Wi-FI to transmit data to and from a wired modem. Although they tend to send data at as lower rate than a wired network (as well as being vulnerable to unauthorised access), this can all be alleviated through the usage of CCTV encryption. This slight decrease in security is balanced by the easy set-up and customisation of a wireless CCTV network.
  • Cellular networks tend to be the slowest option, but they are more secure than the average Wi-Fi connection. If the cameras are fitted with cellular transmitters, they do not even require a Local Area Network to be in place – so there's virtually no installation needed.However, this is offset by the expense of these cameras, which can grow exponentially – especially if transmitting high-quality video.

So that was our guide to how IP CCTV systems work. If you're interested in learning more about how they could benefit your business, why not checkout our blogs on the subject or even better, get in touch with our expert retail security team today?

Choose Maxtag For High-Quality Retail Security

If you are looking to take advantage of the many benefits that can be provided by IP CCTV systems, then the expert security team here at Maxtag can help you to establish a bespoke network.

No matter the scale of your requirements, the set-up of your building or even the budget you have available, we have proven experience of creating security systems that are able to protect and even improve the operational capabilities of our clients.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you too, then please feel free to get in touch with us directly today. You can call us on 0800044 3160 or you can reach us by e-mail at
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MAXTAG (UK) Limited

8 Suttons Business Park Reading Berkshire RG6 1AZ United Kingdom

0800 044 3160