IP Surveillance vs Analogue Surveillance Systems

A suitable surveillance system can go a long way toward protecting your home or office.

Not only do these valuable safeguards catch would-be intruders in the act, but they also serve as a powerful deterrent. Studies have found that most burglars will move onto a softer target upon spotting a CCTV system.

Two main types of CCTV surveillance systems are available today, each with distinct pros and cons. In this post, we will explain the difference between IP and Analogue surveillance systems so you can choose the ideal option for your needs.

What Is An IP Surveillance System?

An Internet Protocol (IP) system is the more modern option of the two.

The IP system has one or more cameras connected to a Network Video Recorder (NVR), the central hub that stores and processes your footage. IP cameras can record and compress the footage before sending it to the NVR, which helps reduce storage space requirements.

Most IP systems operate through a Power over Ethernet (PoE) cable. The simple solution can power the camera and send and receive data through one single cable. As it is a plug-and-play innovation, it is easy enough for a non-technically minded person to install.

DIY IP surveillance cameras and kits are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. These easy-to-install solutions deliver a high-resolution image accessible on any internet-enabled device—smartphones, tablets, laptops, and so on.

However, as you’ll be dealing with large file sizes, you will need a high-speed connection with a generous download limit to use the remote monitoring function.

What’s more, IP cameras are the preferred wireless system. The signal is better at penetrating obstructions, has superior encryption, and won’t suffer from 2.4GHz interference.

The pros of an IP surveillance system include:

  • Easy to install (only one cable required)
  • Can access footage remotely through any internet-enabled device
  • High-resolution images
  • Easy to update firmware
  • High-level of security and encrypted data
  • Preferred option for a wireless system

The cons of an IP surveillance system include:

  • More expensive than analogue systems
  • Requires a significant amount of storage for high-resolution footage

What Is an Analogue Surveillance System?

The analogue system, as the name suggests, records footage in an analogue format. However, after capturing the footage, the system transmits it to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) via a coaxial cable and converts it into digital format.

Therefore, although the video is recorded in analogue format, it is actually processed and stored in digital format.

As the system requires a coaxial cable and a power cable, you’ll need to fiddle around with more wires during the installation. Nonetheless, analogue is still within easy reach of a skilled DIYer. What’s more, it is cheaper to purchase outright, especially when multiple cameras come into play.

Much like the NVR in the IP system, the DVR serves as the central processing and storage hub, compressing digital footage and keeping it on a hard drive. While the latest analogue systems from brands like Pinkerton can enable remote monitoring on a smartphone, many older models cannot.

Some HD CCTV camera suppliers sell analogue products that can be configured to function wirelessly. However, an IP surveillance system is usually the wireless preferred option.

The pros of an analogue system include:

  • Cheaper to purchase outright, especially if you need numerous cameras
  • Lower resolution footage uses less storage space than IP cameras
  • Accessible to most DIYers
  • High-resolution cameras are available if required

The cons of an analogue system include:

  • Requires two cables (coaxial and power) instead of one PoE cable (and a third cable is needed if you want audio)
  • Extra cabling makes it harder to expand the system with more cameras
  • Resolution is lower than IP cameras, which equates to inferior image quality
  • No encryption leaves you vulnerable to hacking
  • Does not work as well with wireless technology

IP vs Analogue: What’s Best For You?

Although they come at a premium, IP camera systems afford excellent image quality, remote accessibility, and an easy, single-cable installation. These internet-enabled devices are also superior if you prefer to go down the wireless path.

Analogue systems, on the other hand, are quite a bit cheaper to purchase outright. The savings become increasingly noticeable when you add multiple cameras into the mix.

Regardless of which option appeals to you, PSA Products offers the ideal home security solution. We work with a wide range of security camera wholesale suppliers and CCTV suppliers to bring you the best tech in the business at an affordable price.