6 Things to Consider Before Buying a PoE Security Camera System

6 Things to Consider Before Buying a PoE Security Camera System

Power Over Ethernet (PoE) is a simple and reliable way to power security cameras. A PoE security camera system is an excellent option for home and business surveillance. There are a few essential things you should consider before you begin selecting the right IP security camera system for your needs. Let’s explore six crucial aspects of security camera systems, including location, camera type, focal length, special features, number of cameras, and types of PoE switches.

1. Location

Will your camera system utilize indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, or both? It’s important to know where your cameras will be located and choose cameras that are suitable for their environment. Indoor and outdoor cameras similar, but outdoor cameras require extra protection. Outdoor cameras are rugged and designed to withstand the elements. Wind, rain, and snow are just some of the harsh conditions that outdoor cameras have to work in. Outdoor cameras rank by the Ingress Protection (IP) rating. The IP rating determines how durable a camera is against solids and liquids; lower numbers indicate less protection, and higher numbers indicate more protection.

2. Types of Cameras

IP security cameras are available in four primary styles- bullet, box, dome, and turret.

  • Box cameras are the traditional model of security cameras; they are durable, long-lasting, and are useful in a variety of locations. However, bullet cameras do need an external light source for use in poorly lit areas.
  • Bullet cameras are box cameras that are protected by an outer shell, which makes them great for outdoor use. Bullet cameras are often equipped with larger lenses, which enhances the visual field.
  • Dome cameras are small cameras tucked inside of a transparent dome. The clear dome protects the camera from vandalism and other problems. Dome cameras come in various sizes: standard, mini, and micro. Dome cameras are often equipped with Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) capabilities.
  • Turret cameras are similar to dome cameras. Turret cameras are small and dome-shaped; however, they utilize a ball-and-socket design.

3. Focal Length

The focal length determines the depth and width of the camera view. There are three main types of focal lengths:

  • Fixed lens cameras use a non-adjustable lens and are unable to zoom in. Cameras with fixed focal lengths provide basic surveillance and tend to be cheaper than cameras with other focal types.
  • Varifocal lens cameras can be manually adjusted to customize the angle and zoom of the camera.
  • PTZ enables a camera to pan out for a broad view, tilt or rotate for an increased visual field, and zoom in on areas of interest. PTZ cameras offer the most control over the focal length and tend to be more expensive than cameras with other focal types.

4. Special Features

Another factor to consider when deciding which PoE security camera system is right for you is to explore unique features and the needs of your environment.

  • Night vision is a useful feature that will enable your security camera system to provide a good visual in dark areas and at night time. Security cameras equipped with night vision typically use EXIR or infrared (IR) technology. EXIR is an advanced technology for night vision and provides nighttime surveillance footage to be observed and recorded with increased clarity, depth, and detail than traditional LED lighting.
  • Audio recording is available on many models of security cameras. The audio feature requires a built-in mic or external mic and transmits sound one-way. Security cameras with audio capabilities provide an extra level of security; it is essential to consider local and state laws before installing a camera that records sound.
  • A Network Video Recorder (NVR) is an optional feature for IP security camera systems that can connect your cameras via an ethernet cable and record audio and video.

5. Number of cameras

It is crucial to consider the size of your camera system. The number of cameras on your surveillance network will determine the size of the PoE switch you will need to support your cameras.

6. Types of PoE switches

PoE switches provide reliable power for security cameras and can support for four-48 cameras on a single system. PoE switches come available in managed and unmanaged units. PoE switches offer many benefits for IP security networks. Managed PoE switches include a Device Management System (DMS), which makes it simple to monitor, control, troubleshoot, and reboot your surveillance network remotely. AETEK’s C50 Series Smart PoE Switches provides reliable power, high-speed data connectivity, and advanced DMS. Unmanaged PoE switches provide power and connect your cameras to one system; however, unmanaged PoE switches don’t include advanced diagnostic DMS.

IP security camera systems are an excellent way to monitor your business, home, or property. There are many factors to consider before deciding which PoE IP security camera system is the best fit for your needs. Determine the location of the cameras and if you will need indoor or outdoor cameras or both. Camera types and focal lengths vary greatly and should be selected based on the unique environment. Night vision, audio, and NVR are optional special features that provide additional surveillance protection. The number of cameras on your network will determine the type and size of the PoE switch that is needed to support your PoE security camera system. PoE switches can support up to 48 cameras on a single system and come in unmanaged and managed models. Carefully considering each aspect of PoE security cameras will help you find the camera system that will fulfill your needs.