Digital IP technology has revolutionized the physical security industry. Video IP surveillance was once affordable only to large enterprises, but several factors have changed that picture. Today, most organizations have already installed IP networks upon which surveillance video transmissions can run and prices for IP video cameras and recording devices have fallen dramatically. So, as a result, IP surveillance is a viable choice for organizations of any size.
An Internet Protocol camera, or IP camera, is a type of digital video camera that receives control data and sends image data via the Internet. They are commonly used for surveillance. Unlike analog closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, they require no local recording device, but only a local area network. Most IP cameras are webcams, but the term IP camera or netcam usually applies only to those used for surveillance that can be directly accessed over a network connection.
Some IP cameras require support of a central network video recorder (NVR) to handle the recording, video and alarm management. Others are able to operate in a decentralized manner with no NVR needed, as the camera is able to record directly to any local or remote storage media. The first centralized IP camera was Axis Neteye 200, released in 1996 by Axis Communications.