CCTV cameras, short for Close Circuit Television, are in many places being replaced with new Internet cameras, also known as IP cameras. These cameras send video information via the internet, rather than an on-site location in the method of CCTV. So which is preferable? This article highlights a few key differences that should convince you of the superiority of IP cameras in protecting your home or business. A major advantage of IP cameras is compatibility. If you were to purchase a CCTV security system, the analog based cameras would all have to be similar models, and are more or less "attached" to the central monitoring system. It would be inconvenient, if not impossible, to set up a different camera that was not adaptable with the settings of your current system. The software that runs an IP based system, however, is much more compatible with various models of IP cameras on the market. What this is means is that if you'd like an AXIS wireless camera with audio capabilities in one room of your office, to monitor the sounds that occur, and a Sony PTZ camera with pan, tilt and zoom functions for outside, this won't be a problem. Then if you find one of these cameras should be replaced, this can be easily done with very little overall changes needing to be made to your server. In fact, if the server software itself isn't to your liking, this could also be changed without needing to replace the cameras. Such compatibility is not apparent with CCTV cameras. Another great feature of IP cameras not available in older technology is Power Over Ethernet (PoE). What this refers to is the fact that the wire plugged into the camera to send video data can also act as a power cable. There are two benefits of this. One is that you won't be paying for extra work of completing additional wiring and the maintenance involved, and the other is security cameras can be installed far more neatly and discreetly than previously possible. IP cameras can also be combined with other security hardware that utilizes the Internet. This can include card readers, glass breakers, access controls and alarms. Say, for example, you'd like to arrange your cameras in such a way that they turn on and film your front door whenever a card is read and determined to be illegitimate, or when glass is broken or an alarm set off. Such capabilities that are quite manageable with the power of the internet would be highly inconvenient and expensive when utilizing the technology of CCTV. Another advantage of IP cameras is the ability for IP camera hosting. This is a service that allows video to be recorded from the IP camera itself to a remote location over the Internet. The video recorded is securely saved and can also be monitored by remote guards or advanced monitoring software. This provides the benefit of having the cameras monitored for you without the need of onsite recording software. The high levels of compatibility, PoE convenience, and interactivity with other security hardware that are provided by IP cameras have never been so easy to achieve. While some of the features that this exciting new technology provides could be possible with CCTV, the level of monetary cost and inconvenience usually served to make such solutions impractical. Nowadays, security technology available to only the richest of businesses a few years ago is within the reach of small to medium level companies, and should be taken advantage of.