Networked / IP (Internet Protocol) technology comes with a number of labels and acronyms including TCP/IP, Ethernet, networked, IP, LAN, WAN. But they all relate to the same technology, and refer to systems that use a local or wide area network. Such a network, which may use existing IT infrastructure, becomes the means for transferring data within the system, and allows remote sites to be managed from a central monitoring location.
The benefits of Networked / IP and centralised management are wider than simply reducing monitoring expenses. Integration with other systems can be more easily accommodated when standard protocols are adopted. Real time information can be made available for remote sites across the globe, to multiple users. Simultaneous alarm signals from a number of remote locations can be sent to an operator, without loss or delay in their presentation. Digital video also offers advantages with storage, and access to historical footage without holding or managing tapes.
The adoption of Networked / IP technology in the security industry does present several important considerations, including demands on bandwidth and network congestion. Systems must be IT friendly, for example only pushing video streams when requested, or when linked to an alarm. Local recording / storage is also a consideration to ensure data and video capture continues in the event of a network failure.