Difference Wiki

IP Camera vs. CCTV: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 30, 2023
IP cameras transmit digital video over a network; CCTV (closed-circuit television) uses analog video and is transmitted over coaxial cable.

Key Differences

An IP camera, or Internet Protocol camera, is a digital camera commonly used for surveillance. It sends and receives data through the internet or a computer network. On the other hand, CCTV (closed-circuit television) represents traditional analog cameras that transmit video over a closed circuit through coaxial cables.
IP cameras provide footage via an internet connection, meaning they can be accessed and managed remotely. CCTV systems require a direct cable connection to a recording or display device, limiting remote accessibility.
IP cameras generally offer higher resolution and clearer footage compared to traditional CCTV cameras. Additionally, adding new cameras to an IP system can be simpler since they integrate into existing networks, whereas CCTV setups might require more extensive wiring.
IP cameras often save footage to cloud storage, network servers, or onboard storage like SD cards. CCTV systems typically record to DVRs (digital video recorders) or NVRs (network video recorders) and might require physical access for footage retrieval.
With technological advancements, IP cameras have become more prevalent due to their flexibility, quality, and remote access capabilities. However, CCTV systems still find use due to their reliability and established presence in surveillance scenarios.

Comparison Chart


Digital video over internet or network.
Analog video over coaxial cable.


Generally higher.
Generally lower.


Easier to integrate into networks.
Might require more wiring.


Cloud, network servers, SD cards.
DVRs or NVRs.

Remote Access

Easily accessible remotely via internet.
Limited remote access; often local display.

IP Camera and CCTV Definitions

IP Camera

A digital camera that transmits data over a network.
The IP camera allowed homeowners to monitor their property while on vacation.


A camera system where footage is transmitted to specific monitors, not publicly broadcasted.
Airports utilize CCTV to keep a watchful eye on passenger activities.

IP Camera

Surveillance camera using internet protocol to send and receive data.
Businesses prefer IP cameras for their ability to stream footage directly to smartphones.


Traditional analog surveillance system transmitting video over coaxial cables.
Many older buildings still use CCTV systems for their reliability.

IP Camera

A camera system that can be connected and accessed via the internet.
The school installed IP cameras to enhance security and grant remote access to administrators.


A system where video is captured and displayed on a private closed circuit.
The bank relies on CCTV to monitor all its branches.

IP Camera

A camera that operates over internet protocols and is often used for security.
Many modern homes are equipped with IP cameras for enhanced safety measures.


A surveillance method where video is recorded and displayed within a closed system.
The department store installed CCTV to deter shoplifters.

IP Camera

Digital surveillance equipment using networks for data transmission.
The mall used IP cameras to cover large areas with fewer devices due to their high resolution.


Security cameras transmitting footage over a direct wired connection.
The parking lot had CCTV cameras positioned at every corner.


Can I access my IP camera footage remotely?

Yes, IP cameras often allow for remote access via the internet.

What's the primary difference between an IP camera and CCTV?

IP cameras are digital and use networks for transmission, while CCTV is analog and uses coaxial cables.

Is the video quality better in an IP camera or CCTV?

Generally, IP cameras offer higher resolution and clearer video than traditional CCTV.

Can CCTV be integrated into modern digital networks?

With certain equipment like encoders, CCTV footage can be digitized for network access.

Can IP cameras work without the internet?

Yes, they can operate on local networks without internet, but remote access would require an internet connection.

How do IP cameras store their footage?

They can store on cloud servers, network servers, or onboard storage like SD cards.

What's the advantage of using CCTV?

They are robust, reliable, and have a straightforward setup with a direct connection to display or recording devices.

Can I upgrade my CCTV to an IP system?

Yes, with certain adapters and equipment, an upgrade is feasible.

How secure are IP cameras?

While they offer advanced features, they might be vulnerable to cyber threats if not properly secured.

Is there a significant cost difference between IP cameras and CCTV?

IP cameras might initially cost more due to higher resolution and features, but prices vary based on brands and specifications.

Can I view multiple IP camera feeds at once?

Yes, using software or apps, multiple feeds can be viewed simultaneously.

Are CCTV systems outdated?

While IP systems offer more modern features, CCTV still finds use due to its reliability and direct wired connection.

Do CCTV cameras need power?

Yes, they need a power source, typically through a separate power cable.

How do IP cameras get power?

Many use Power over Ethernet (PoE), allowing them to get power and data through a single cable.

Can I integrate my IP camera with other smart home systems?

Yes, many modern IP cameras can integrate with home automation and security systems.

How long can CCTV cables be?

Commonly, they can be up to 300 meters without signal loss, but this can vary.

What's the lifespan of an IP camera?

With proper maintenance, they can last several years, but this varies based on usage and environmental factors.

Which system is easier to install, IP cameras or CCTV?

IP cameras often have simpler installation due to network connectivity, while CCTV might require more extensive wiring.

Are there wireless CCTV systems?

While traditional CCTV systems are wired, there are now wireless options that use radio frequencies for transmission.

Is night vision better in IP cameras or CCTV?

Both can offer night vision, but the quality depends on the specific camera model and technology used.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons