Understanding The Difference Between Analog and IP security systems

When it comes to choosing the right security system to protect your business the choices between which type of system to invest in along with all of the networking jargon can be a little overwhelming as a business owner making this decision. In simple terms there are really two options to choose from; Analog or IP.

But what are the differences and which is the best security system to secure your business?

If we compare an analog security system to an IP security system, there are a few differences that you should understand in order to know which type of system makes sense for your business specifically however, the most important difference is in the resolution of the video recorded. On an analog system the maximum resolution the camera is able to record is typically about 580 TUL or 0.4 mega pixels at the high end of their capability. An IP camera on the other hand, records at a much higher resolution, usually anywhere between 2 and 5 mega pixels or higher depending on your model of choice. Why the resolution of your camera is an important factor when deciding which type of security system you should invest in, is because, if anything were ever to happen like a break-in for example your ability to clearly view and identify the intruder is much higher. An IP camera because of its higher resolution will also allow you to zoom in on the recorded footage whereas with an analog camera you aren’t able to zoom in and the image produced is much grainier making identification very difficult.


A few other things that are different between an analog security system and an IP system are in cabling, network usage, software and power source. In terms of cabling, an analog system uses either COAX or UTP cabling (with a minimum of CAT3) whereas an IP system uses only UTP cabling (with a minimum of CAT5) which, when compared by cost can increase the cost of an analog system because of the difference in the actual cables needed to wire the system. In terms of network usage, your IP system will require more bandwidth on your network because it transfers a higher resolution of video than an analog system does which can lead to higher costs in an IP system opposed to an analog system. In terms of software, the analog systems use a software that is usually a one-time download and purchase to operate, whereas an IP system because of constant improvements and updates made to improve the software on an on-going basis it is usually subscription based with a monthly ongoing fee. Lastly, in terms of power source, an analog system often requires a power source, local to the camera location, whereas an IP system uses what is called a PoE power which refers to ‘power over ethernet’ in which all cameras are powered from the switch in a centralized closet. This allows battery backup for all cameras to easily be used, in the event of power outages.

As you can see choosing the right security system for your business involves more than selecting an out of the box solution in-store as there are many variables along the way to crafting the right system for you to secure your facility. If you’re looking to invest in a new security system, would like a recommendation on whether your current security system could be or needs to be upgraded or you would like to upgrade your current system to a higher resolution camera system, feel free to give us a call at 1-877-497-1996. Our experienced, trained and certified technicians are always happy to help you navigate the complex world of security while providing you all of the options you need to rest at ease, knowing that you’re covered if any issues were to arise.

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