IP based security camera is a useful tool that finds its use everywhere – office, home, backyard or public places. Internet Protocol (IP) camera is fast replacing the traditional analog Close Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras as the former uses computer networks to stream data. Also known as network camera, IP camera can be viewed as a technically advanced, contemporary version of CCTV camera.
Buying an IP/Network camera can be a tough job, especially if you are not comfortable around the technical jargon that manufacturers love to use in product descriptions. This guide will help you cut through the noise and list out what you need to watch out for while buying the best IP camera for your requirement.
Top 9 IP Cameras Comparison Chart
|1. HooToo Indoor Security Camera with HD Video Streaming (Upgrade Version)||1280X720||$||4.9|
|2. Amcrest ProHD Outdoor 3 Megapixel POE Vandal Dome IP Security Camera IP3M-956E||2048X1536||$$||4.4|
|3. TENVIS TH661 H.264 Megapixel P2P Wireless Surveillance (JPT3815W-HD Plus)||1280X720||$||4.3|
|4. GW Security 5MP 2592 x 1920 Pixel Super HD 1920P High Resolution Network PoE 1080P Security Bullet IP Camera||2592X1920||$$$||4.3|
|5. Reolink 4MP PoE Home Security Camera System 8 Channel 2TB Hard Drive with 4 Outdoor Surveillance||2560X1440||$$$$||4.1|
|6. Amcrest ProHD Outdoor 3-Megapixel (2304 x 1296P) WiFi Wireless IP Security Bullet Camera||2304X1296||$$||4.1|
|7. Wansview Wireless IP Camera, WiFi Home Security Surveillance Camera 1080P Video Stream at 30fps||1920X1080||$||3.9|
|8. Reolink RLC-410WS 4MP Super HD 2.4/5Ghz Dual Band Wi-Fi Wireless Security IP Camera||2560X1440||$$||3.9|
|9. Amcrest IP2M-841 ProHD 1080P (1920TVL) Wireless WiFi IP Camera, Black||1920X1080||$$||3.9|
- Mobility – Do you intend to fix your camera at a particular spot or want a wireless version that will help you move it anywhere within your home Wi-Fi network?
- Video Quality – While nothing beats a high resolution video feed, it requires higher investment. It will be a good choice if you want to monitor the finer details of the feed. Otherwise, if your purpose is just to monitor your home/office while you are away, a standard resolution, inexpensive camera would work just fine.
- Storage – Are you planning to store your video over the cloud or locally? In the latter case, it is best to buy a camera with in-built storage mechanism that can easily be accessed through your personal computer or smartphone.
- Low light coverage – If you are buying a camera for security purpose, night vision is an important feature. Infrared enabled cameras are becoming affordable by the day and is a worthy investment especially for property that are not lit at all times such as office, backyard, terrace, etc.
- Audio and microphone – Cameras with in-built microphone allow you to listen to sounds within its recording range. A number of cameras take this a step further and ship with on-board speakers, facilitating two way communication. This is ideal for your main entrance, where you might want to talk to the visitor before allowing them in.
For a casual household user, an entry level, easy to set up wireless camera would be a good choice. These can be integrated to your home network at the push of a button and live feeds can be monitored from your smartphone, computer or a television screen. Features like motion triggering, scheduled recording and mail alerts are few useful features available at an affordable price.
Commercial spaces typically require professional grade network cameras. They have features such as night vision, two way audio communication and can be integrated to trigger the building’s alarm system on noticing unusual movements.
With these parameters in mind, let us have a look at top five cameras from the table.
Top 5 Best IP Camera Reviews
The best IP camera has to have that perfect balance of features, utility and price. HooToo has clearly struck the sweet spot with this one. A portable, easy to set up camera is all you need when you look for indoor network cameras and this one has it all.
It comes with a high definition 1080 X 720p recorder to capture crystal clear footage. It can be stored locally or directly to the cloud storage. It has ample flexibility (320 degree Pan, 120 degree Tilt and 4X optical zoom) for wide coverage. Night vision (up to 33 feet) is an additional feature that is uncommon in this price range and two way communication (built in mic and speaker) is what really seals the deal in its favor.
It is all you need from an entry level camera that packs in a couple of professional features at an affordable price.
Amcrest is a well renowned brand for professional security cameras and the ProHD is yet another bestseller from their stable. Dome camera is a popular choice for commercial and household purposes alike.
Once you open the box, you would not need more than 15 minutes to set it up, though you need to buy POE injector and additional Cat6 cable. 3 MP video feed can be viewed live across devices – smartphones and computers – and works well with Android as well as iOS. Cloud storage, Night vision and Intelligent Digital Zoom are nice add-ons that tick all the boxes, though it is not the best IP camera when it comes to night vision.
IK10 Vandal Resistance (high impact protection) and IP67 Waterproof housing make it robust, perfect to use in testing weather conditions.
Tenvis has made a name for itself when it comes to manufacturing long lasting, user friendly cameras at an affordable price. TH661 is a good update over jpt3815w and offers easy set up with hassle free operation. If you have not configured an IP camera and done port forwarding before, installation might seem difficult.
Once you have it set up, it does everything you want your wireless IP camera to do – record and store full HD videos, capture screenshot, send alert e-mails and cover a wide range with 340 degree pan and 90 degree tilt. It does a great job with transmitting video and audio right to your smartphone and can easily be controlled from a browser, even if you don’t want to install their software.
Other than a minor blip that it cannot directly store a video to a computer hard drive, it is a very good entry level camera that does what it says.
Looking for a dome IP camera that captures Super High Resolution (2592X1920) video? A camera that is handy to use both indoors and outdoors and delivers superior performance during low light and dark conditions? Look no more, as the GW super HD camera comes bundled with all these features, and many more.
It is not the easiest camera to set up and is more suited for a user having basic network understanding. The fun begins once you have it set up. Super High Resolution and zoom work well together to capture those small details that get pixelated in entry level cameras. It also has a superior IR illumination and the controls can be managed well from the web interface.
It is a value for money camera with superior performance and even if you have to hire a tech person to get it fixed, results are worth the investment.
If you are looking beyond single cameras and want a comprehensive monitoring solution for your home or small business, you have this ReoLink monitoring system that stands out. This is a set of four cameras (4 MP resolution) with a Powered over Ethernet (PoE) NVR system that has huge 2 TB on-board storage.
The setup process is remarkably easy for a home monitoring system and the “plug and play” promise on the box is for real. You can count on the tech support to walk you through it, should you get stuck. It takes great daytime pictures and night time performance is decent, which can be enhanced by buying an IR camera. The app is amazing and works well with iPhone, Android, Mac OS and Windows.
A great investment for your home monitoring, though the only pain point is that it is a fully wired setup – a small compromise given the awesome results!