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What is a network camera?

A network camera, often also called an IP camera, can be described as a camera and computer combined in one unit. The main components of a network camera include a lens, an image sensor, one or several processors, and memory. The processors are used for image processing, compression, video analysis and networking functionalities. The memory is used for storing the network camera’s firmware (computer program) and for local recording of video sequences.
Like a computer, the network camera has its own IP address, is connected directly to a network and can be placed wherever there is a network connection. This differs from a web camera, which can only operate when it is connected to a personal computer (PC) via the USB or IEEE 1394 port, and to use it, software must be installed on the PC. A network camera provides web server, FTP (File Transfer Protocol), and e-mail functionalities, and includes many other IP network and security protocols.
Network camera illustration
A network camera connects directly to the network.

A network camera can be configured to send video over an IP network for live viewing and/or recording either continuously, at scheduled times, on an event or on request from authorized users. Captured images can be streamed as Motion JPEG, MPEG-4 or H.264 video using various networking protocols, or uploaded as individual JPEG images using FTP, e-mail or HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). More on video compression formats and networking protocols.
In addition to capturing video, Axis network cameras provide event management and intelligent video functionalities such as video motion detection, audio detection, active tampering alarm and autotracking. Most network cameras also offer input/output (I/O) ports that enable connections to external devices such as sensors and relays. Other features may include audio capabilities and built-in support for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Axis network cameras also support advanced security and network management features.


Introducing the new family of Lorex Wireless Network Cameras, the LNC Series brings easy set-up & connection to a whole new level. The first IPcamera on the market that is capable of having a complete set-up without the need of a personal computer or a tech wiz. You can connect within minutes with a quick QR code scan using the free Lorex Ping mobile app and configure the ip camera settings all from your mobile device! Using Lorex's secure cloud connectivity ensures you stay connected to what matters most, anywhere you go.

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