Security cameras are now omnipresent in society; protecting property and people from theft, damage and antisocial behaviour, they give us the opportunity to not just monitor and record what's going on, but they also provide a deterrent against incidents happening in the first place too.

There are two types of systems used for video surveillance – IP cameras and Anlogue CCTV systems. Whilst both are used for the same basic purpose, they differ in the way they function in order to meet whatever the specific needs of the operator dictate.

An IP (Internet Protocol) camera, is a digital video camera used for surveillance and is also able to capture images and transmit them over the Internet (via a fast Ethernet link). The system behind analogue CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) is designed to closely monitor signals for security and surveillance purposes.

If you're interested in improving your current security camera set-up or are wanting to establish a new fit out altogether, we're going to offer a comparison between the two to help you understand which may be best for your needs.

The Differences Between IP Cameras and Analogue CCTV Systems

The technology

IP cameras are networked digital video cameras that transmit video in real-time, via a computer network as well as on the Internet. They are generally used for IP surveillance; they are essentially a digitised version of CCTV cameras but with a much higher picture quality and advanced recording functions. Thanks to these abilities, IP cameras are very quickly becoming the standard for video surveillance. Their qualities help to pay back the investment made in them very quickly.

Analogue CCTV cameras, on the other hand,transmit their signals to a specific place onto a limited number of monitors within a closed system.


Analogue CCTV systems rely on the strategic placement of cameras to get the best out of their monitoring capabilities. The cameras communicate via the monitors and the video recorders, and footage is stored digitally on a DVR (Digital Video Recorder). Recordings are sent to a DVR via private coaxial cables or wireless communication links (remote viewing is possible when the DVR is connected to the internet).

IP cameras will generally be' plug-and-play' devices that make use of an NVR (Network Video Recorder), rather than the conventional DVR, to store the images. Also, IP cameras can be used alongside CCTV cameras to provide coverage in spots or areas that the less-flexible CCTV may not be able to guard.


IP systems are able to send video footage as a digital data stream over a local computer network (LAN) or over the wider internet to an NVR through an internet protocol. This is something that an analogue CCTV system cannot do.

To achieve this, IP cameras will need a connection to the same network as the NVR. They make use of a POE (Power Over Ethernet) so that only a single cable will be used for both the power supply and the video transfer, eliminating the need for power cables. With analogue CCTV cameras sending their signals to a DVR via a coaxial cable, the DVR will need to process the signal for viewing. Unlike IP, CCTV needs a direct link to its recording medium.


In terms of growth, all of the cameras within an analogue CCTV system will need to be placed in one location at a time and will require a direct connection to their base station or DVR. This makes the expansion of a CCTV system more time and effort-consuming, meaning that it will be costly. In addition, there is only a limited number of cameras that can be added to a single CCTV network because a DVR can only accommodate up to 32 cameras – adding more will require an additional DVR.

There are no such limits for IP security systems so you can add as many as you need to create a network. The only additional costs would be if you require more storage space.

That was our guide to the differences between IP and CCTV systems. If you're interested in improving your current security camera set-up or simply would like to learn more about some of the products mentioned here, why not get in touch with our expert team today?

Maxtag – Leading Providers of Security Cameras

Here at Maxtag, we have been installing security camera solutions for a wide range of clients for well over 20 years now. In that time we have seen the capabilities of cameras change – changes that we have kept pace with, establishing ourselves as innovative suppliers of the latest insecurity camera technology.

Regardless if you operate a single premises or a chain of them – we have proven experience of helping our clients to create a purpose-built security camera network that not only looks after everyone (and everything) on site but also helps to create a friendly and amiable atmosphere too.

If you would like to discuss how we can help to create a bespoke CCTV or IP security set-up for you or if you have any questions about anything you may see on our website, please feel free to give us a call on 0800 0443160. Alternatively, you can send an e-mail to us at and we'll be in touch as soon as possible.
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MAXTAG (UK) Limited

8 Suttons Business Park Reading Berkshire RG6 1AZ United Kingdom

0800 044 3160