Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Unsecured IP security cameras used in my books

Tom Connor has a good "how-to" article in Ars Technica about internet-enabled camera systems and how to see what they see.
Peep show: inside the world of unsecured IP security cameras
Though they are relative newcomers to the surveillance market, IP cameras caught on quickly and are rapidly stealing market share and consumer preference from traditional (analog) cameras. In an analog system, all cameras need to be wired directly back to a central recording system using analog cable (typically RG-59 or RG-6 coaxial). Installation can be a financial and practical nightmare, especially on larger properties where there may be hundreds or even thousands of feet between cameras and their base station.

IP cameras often present an attractive alternative. Using the same basic technology that your computer uses, IP cameras take their own IP addresses and stream video directly onto a network without connecting to a DVR or control platform. Larger systems can integrate multiple IP cameras together using an NVR (network video recorder) that connects to and records multiple cameras at the same time. This capability can cut installation cost by literally thousands of dollars on sites where analog cameras would require long or complex cable runs.

Additionally, IP cameras frequently offer the additional benefits of higher resolution (with some models capable of 10 megapixels or more) and a more familiar platform for users to work with, meaning that they are also frequent favorites for smaller installations, too. Many forward-looking government, commercial, and even residential users are already standardizing their security on an entirely IP-based system, and most surveillance industry insiders feel this trend will continue into the foreseeable future.
More great stuff in the article too.  IP cameras are something I have used in every book that I have written.  The current series are present day and all of the technology is available today, including the cameras that Nancy pulls data from to blackmail Sarah.  I use that in both Controlling Sarah and the darker, Nancy and the Boss.  In both Suki series, I take the technology twenty years into the future and call them voyeur cams.


  1. IP Cameras have been a great help for most of us purchasers, especially to those companies and private houses. They are something like guardian angels, you know.

    Fernando Severns

    1. Guardian angels! Great comparison, Fernando. I believe, the basic resolution for an IP camera is 640x480. At this resolution, the camera gives a higher quality image than the traditional CCTV at 30 frames a second with HDTV quality. Plus, this camera is also portable, making relocation and redeployment easier.

      Harvey Shepherd

  2. With its high-definition feature and user-friendly capabilities, it’s no wonder many are installing IP security cameras in their homes and establishments. These two factors are the ones that should be considered the most when choosing a CCTV camera. Of course, you wouldn't like to install a blurry CCTV camera, because if ever a crime occurs, the police officers will have a difficulty recognizing the suspect. That would clearly not contribute much to the investigation. Lastly, the easy-to-use configuration will help you make the most out the CCTV camera, since you, or your personnel, don’t have to undergo any special training just to learn how to operate it.

    Alexander Landrum