12 Differences between Analog and IP

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Video quality

IP cameras provide much higher video quality than analog cameras. They offer more video site futures, such as a wide or narrow field of view, and better zoom-in capabilities. And because they transmit truly digital signals, they offer far greater video detail, which makes them much better for facial recognition or detecting license plate numbers.
Analogue cameras have lower quality than IP cameras, but perform better in low light conditions. Analog cameras have more limited site ranges and don’t offer the digital zoom-in clarity of IP cameras. When you zoom in the analog image, you’re going to get a grainier, degraded picture.


IP cameras provide resolutions 6 to 20 times higher than analog cameras.
Most analog cameras are limited to resolutions range from 420 to 700; which at the high end can produce sharp images.
IP cameras offer resolutions that can range from 1.3 megapixels to 12 megapixels of compressed, encoded transmissions. This gives you the ability to cover a far wider viewing area or to get far more detailed pictures in narrow, zoom-in viewing areas.

Transmission media

Analog cameras operate over coax cable. They can also work over, twisted-pair cable.
IP cameras operating over network cabling (Cat5e, Cat6)

PoE capabilities

One of the biggest advantages of IP cameras is that they can be powered over the twisted-pair Ethernet cable, thus eliminating worries over running electrical wire.
Analogue cameras cannot be PoE powered.


Wireless IP camera network connections can be a very practical solution in areas where it’s too difficult or expensive to run cable. Wireless can also be used in buildings where it’s impractical or impossible to run cable, such as in historical buildings.


Analog cameras can send video over twisted-pair cable up to 1 mile away and up to 1000 feet away over coax cable, but its losing clarity with increased distance and when the signal is converted from one format to another.
IP cameras can send digital video up to 300 feet over twisted-pair Ethernet cable and unlimited distances over IP networks. Because the images are digital, they maintain 100% of their clarity over long distances and when the signal is converted between different formats.

Intelligence and management

IP cameras offer network intelligence and remote management. They can stream videos, images, and different parts of images, to different recipients simultaneously. They can perform additional tasks such as sending a message when they detect motion.

Ease of installation

Analog cameras require more cabling than IP cameras. For instance, they require a separate cable to control the pan, tilt, and zoom functions. If there is audio, another cable is required. One analog camera may require three separate cables: power, audio, video.
IP cameras can accept power, video, audio, PTZ control, and control signals over a single cable.


Analog cameras are far more vulnerable to security breaches because the feeds can be physically intercepted and tapes and recording devices can be stolen. Analogue video feeds are also not encrypted.
IP cameras make data difficult to intercept. They encrypt and compress data before transporting it over the Internet to your server and they have VPN support.


Analogue security cameras have been around for over half a century and have a long history of reliability.
IP systems have built-in reliability due to the data encryption and compression. They are as reliable as the network is, although backup systems can be put in place to minimize outages.


IP cameras offer more expandability and scalability than analogue cameras because their cabling requirements are less complex. But it is still possible to leverage your existing cabling infrastructure when migrating to IP cameras with the use of converters and extenders.


IP camera systems are thought to be more expensive because the cost of the cameras is higher than for analog cameras, although the price of IP cameras continues to drop. But the overall cost may be less than anticipated due to lower costs for cabling, recording equipment, and labor.

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