IP Camera vs HD Camera

IP Camera vs HD Camera

The biggest difference between an HD camera and an IP camera are what they’re designed to do. First and foremost, HD cameras are generally used for recreation while IP cameras are used for surveillance. IP cameras are specifically designed to be tied together with your computer network to be used whenever and wherever, whereas HD cameras are generally not.

IP Cameras

IP cameras are commonly referred to as network cameras because they’re connected through a single Ethernet cable. The Ethernet cable supplies power and network functionality that the camera needs to be able to perform its job of being on one inter-connected surveillance system.

These cameras generally have common features that include infrared night vision, motion detection capabilities, 720P+ HD video output, and most also have two-way audio functionality that works sort of like an intercom system.

The best benefits of IP cameras are the display resolution and image quality. This allows an incredible amount of detail and can help the user make out even the most trivial objects on screen.

Obviously as a result, this feature provides for a greater identification ability if the need should ever arise to take advantage of it. This also includes infrared night vision, where the image quality is often jut as incredible.

Other benefits of IP cameras include the ability to transmit data, power, and video over one Ethernet cable, and act as a standalone network device, which means it can function without any sort of network video recorder. However, these cameras generally experience a high amount of video latency, have a smaller video transmission distance, and require quite a bit of network bandwidth.

HD Cameras

HD cameras are simple to install and they don’t require the technical networking knowledge that is often associated with IP cameras. They offer up to 1080P display and also don’t require the various recurring fees that IP camera systems generally have.

HD cameras also transmit signals more efficiently than IP cameras, and this efficiency is reflected in the minimal video latency that HD cameras experience. HD equipment is also much, much more affordable than a comparable IP camera system. HD systems are often sold for less than half the price of an IP camera system.

Which is better?

While there are great advantages of HD cameras, they still pale in comparison to IP camera systems in quite a few ways. IP cameras tend to have better image quality and more advanced technology overall.

The features that IP cameras are capable of are generally better than HD cameras, assuming that the user is interested in surveillance systems. HD cameras are great for basic recreational activities like skype, YouTube, and streaming services.

However, if having the best affordable and functional surveillance system is the goal, it’s really hard to argue that HD camera systems are better than IP camera systems.


Like most things in the realm of technology, choosing a camera is best decided by the expectations and requirements of the user. Both IP cameras and HD cameras have their respective benefits, and there is a reason why almost all home surveillance systems use IP cameras as opposed to HD cameras.

That being said, there is also a reason why most people use HD cameras for recreational use. The fact of the matter is that no one can decide what type of camera someone needs other than the person who needs the camera.

If you want a camera to Skype your family while you’re away, get an HD camera. They’re simple, usually high quality, and affordable.

If you want a camera for a home surveillance system, you are obviously better off buying an IP camera that comes equipped with infrared night vision, motion sensor capabilities, two-way audio, and a high-quality camera resolution that can pick out even the smallest details. Neither camera is the best at literally everything, so you have to choose one that suits your individual needs.

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