Difference Between IP Camera and CCTV

IP cameras and CCTV cameras are two types of surveillance cameras that record high-quality video and audio used to track the movement of people.

Usually, such cameras are used for security purposes in public or private property to safeguard themselves from malpractice like theft, destruction of property, or even in traffic regulation.

IP Camera vs CCTV

The main difference between IP cameras and CCTV is that IP cameras are digital video surveillance cameras while CCTV is an analog video surveillance camera. This major difference gives rise to the differences in their video and audio quality due to differences in resolution, and also, ultimately, there exists a price difference.

IP Camera vs CCTV

IP or Internet Protocol camera is a digital video surveillance camera available in the market to help monitor and record areas of interest.

These cameras make use of an Ethernet link and IP addresses of devices to transfer data and broadcast video that are digitally captured and mastered without the use of any power cables.

CCTV or Closed Circuit Television cameras are simpler cameras in terms of technology.

These cameras are analog video surveillance cameras that use DVR technology to convert analog signals into a digital signal that is transmitted to short distances only to a monitoring device like a computer or smartphone.

Comparison Table Between IP Camera and CCTV

Parameters of ComparisonIP CameraCCTV
TypeIP cameras are digital video cameras.CCTV cameras are analog cameras.
Full-FormThe full form is an Internet Protocol camera.The full form is closed-circuit television.
CablesIP cameras do not require cables.CCTV cameras transmit data via cables.
Power SourceNo power cables are plugged into IP cameras.CCTV cameras are constantly plugged into a power source.
Video QualityIP cameras have higher resolution video capturing.CCTV cameras have lower resolution video capturing.

What is IP Camera?

IP is the abbreviation of Internet Protocol. IP cameras are digital video surveillance cameras that make use of the internet to transfer data.

An Ethernet link is required for transferring data via an IP camera. Data is transferred to recognized IP addresses, and hence the cameras get the name IP camera.

The video captured by an IP camera is broadcasted over an IP network. Here a Network Video Recorder (NVR) decodes and records the transmitted data.

The advantage of using an IP camera is that the video resolution is high. Higher video resolution leads to the better picture quality of whatever is meant to be recorded.

Multiple cameras can be added to the same IP network, which is the reason why a large number of cameras can be employed over a large area for surveillance.

Also, no cables are required to transfer data as the data transfer is via the internet, and hence there are no issues with tangled cables or short cables.

IP cameras also do not require a power cable as they use Power Over Ethernet (POE) protocol that is the only power source, and hence it is easily managed and installed without a tussle over power cables.

It works under a Wi-Fi or mobile data connection and is comparatively cheaper than a CCTV camera.

What is CCTV?

Closed Circuit Television or simply CCTV are analog cameras that are used to capture video for video surveillance. These cameras are simpler than IP cameras as they have limited actions.

In the simplest terms, data recorded by these cameras are transmitted to devices that are connected in a closed circuit via cables and broadcasted over television, or any viewing device like a monster, computer, or even recently Smartphones to view either live telecasts or recorded versions.

This closed circuit of data gives it its name. The data transferred via a cable limited its remote access, as in the case of IP cameras.

CCTV cameras are equipped with a DVR or Digital Video Recorder that converts its analog signal to a digital signal that can be viewed over the television.

CCTV cameras are also required to be plug-in into a continuous power supply, and that is the reason why they are always near their power sources like a switch or even solar power.

They do not require internet connectivity like IP cameras. They are also comparatively harder to install than IP cameras.

The price of CCTV cameras also tends to be higher in comparison to IP cameras.

Main Differences Between IP Camera and CCTV

  1. IP cameras do not need any cables to transfer data as they make use of the internet to do so, while CCTV cameras are linked to their monitors via cables.
  2. IP cameras are also powered by POE technology, while CCTV cameras are plugged into a power source.
  3. The video quality of IP cameras is better in comparison to CCTV.
  4. IP cameras also possess data encryption, while CCTV cameras do not.
  5. IP cameras have more remote access due to the absence of any cables and the ability to add multiple devices to the same IP network while. These features are limited in CCTV.
Difference Between IP Camera and CCTV


In terms of cost and the purpose it serves today, most places are replacing their CCTVs with IP cameras because not only are they cost-effective but also have better video resolution and hence are preferred over the latter.

However, in the case of a small area of surveillance, CCTV is preferred. There are various types of such cameras available in the market, and the choice of camera depends on your requirement.

Security cameras are being used in multiple places like shops, boutiques, hotels, traffic points, and even in personal homes to make sure everything is monitored at all times.

It is increasingly becoming a part of everyday life, and knowing the two types of surveillance cameras will better help to understand our needs.


  1. https://ojs.library.queensu.ca/index.php/surveillance-and-society/article/view/3369
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5138638/
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