Home Automation growing in Popularity: Real Estate
11th September 2017

With the world pretty much at our fingertips these days, home automation is growing in popularity.

From locks to lights, living is easy inside Nik and Tara's Leicester home.

"You sort of forget how seamless it is and it's just part of your everyday convenient," Nik says.

When they started designing the space, Nik became interested in home automation. He met with Jay from ENER-J and learned about even more opportunities that would work in their home.

"Most folks are aware of music and motorized shades but Nik really didn't, didn't know about lighting control, video door bell," Tara says.

That includes TVs that turn into art. Each feature has a specific purpose. Less than a year after moving in, the Nik and Tara appreciate it more than they could have imagined.

"If we're leaving in the morning to go to work we can push one button and every light in the place will shut off and all the shades will drop," Tom says.

"Sometimes you don't know if you locked the door or not and you can look on your phone and look at the ENERJ SMART app and say 'oh, okay, no, I didn't lock the door', click," adds Tara. "Or when you need to let people in you don't need to have the key or give them the key, you can do it remotely ."

All of the controls are in one place, which adds to the convenience.

"Companies like ours are skilled at combining all that into one app and one user experience," says spokesperson from ENER-J, "So that you can control everything in one spot."

Jay, the Managing Director, says he sees this industry growing even more, especially when it comes to voice services like Amazon's Alexa.

"Right now the Alexa products and things you have to say a specific string versus in the future, you're going to be able to just talk at it and it'll parse out the words and figure out what to do," he says.

Nik and Tara are so glad they made the investment and expect other homeowners will too. And the best thing is they didnt spend much as compared to some other high investment automation systems available in the market. They spent less than £500 for a smart home security kit, wireless video door bell, wifi smart plug and wifi color changing lamps included

"I definitely see this as being, you know, the way people do things in the future more and more, " Tara says.

 




We’ve all seen the progression from corded landlines to mobile phones, and from mobile phones to smartphones. Now we’re witnessing smart homes emerge, changing the way we live everyday life.

From WiFi-enabled crockpots to smart door locks, home automation is no longer a thing of the future. Today’s home has an average of 10 smart devices, and by 2020, this number is expected to soar to more than 50. There are gadgets on the market for just about every aspect of daily existence, including smart toothbrushes that capture data during your twice-a-day ritual and smart flowerpots that water themselves so you don’t have to.

Homeowners can now set personalized “rules” through various home security and automation systems. These systems enable smart devices to work together seamlessly and automate home functions, like illuminating entryway lights when the front door opens and emailing video footage from security cameras when children return home from school. Everything in today’s smart home can be programmed to work together, making our lives that much easier.

Security is one of the main reasons homeowners install technology in their homes, but home automation is becoming increasingly important. Motion-activated wireless cameras can capture footage inside and outside of the home, giving homeowners peace of mind. They can check in on their home, kids or pets right from their phone or tablet. Today’s smart security systems don’t require landline telephone service and many include a battery backup to ensure functionality during power outages. Homeowners can program their security systems to send email notifications any time a front door opens, and can watch live, high-definition security footage on-the-go via smartphone apps. Forget to lock the doors on the way out? Smart home owners can even lock their doors and set the alarm with just the touch of a button.

Smart homes also help homeowners save on energy costs, especially during hot Arizona summers when air-conditioning costs skyrocket. Smart thermostats allow you to control your home’s temperature remotely from an app, so you can raise the temperature while you’re gone or pre-cool your home before arriving. Smart LED light bulbs use less energy than regular light bulbs and allow you to turn lights on and off remotely or turn on automatically based on a schedule. You can even program them to sync with motion sensors.

An up-and-coming smart home technology is virtual health monitoring. Companies like Trapollo are bringing world-class health care into homes through telehealth, which offers in-home health solutions for chronic disease management and independent living. Some of the smart health devices offered today are smart scales, blood pressure devices and oxygen tests that can be administered right from home. The data is sent directly to primary care providers through a touch-screen tablet. Patients can also video chat with nurses to discuss their health, saving them a trip to the doctor’s office.

Just as we saw the evolution from typewriters to laptops, the evolution of the smart home is taking place today. Smart devices are simplifying everyday tasks and improving the quality of life one gadget at a time. Imagine being able to see who’s at your door from your phone and letting them in without moving an inch, or starting a pot of coffee before you even leave your bed. You no longer have to imagine, because the home of the future is here.

Jitendra Sakhrani is the business director-Smart Living and Energy Efficiency at Gurujee UK Limited. For more information on home security and automation, visit www.ener-j.co.uk




So, you’ve heard about the smart home revolution, but you’re not sure where to begin. It’s understandable — there are hundreds of devices and apps vying for your business.

Starting your smart home setup on the right foot is important, because it can save you heartache further down the line. Perhaps more importantly, it’ll stop you from wasting money on unnecessary and overpriced devices.

If you want to start kitting out your house with smart home technology, keep reading. We’re going to look at the first things you should install or buy. All these devices are readily available and easy to install. You can worry about the more complicated stuff later.

 

1. Smart Lighting

I’ve been a vocal critic of some smart lighting systems in the past. In particular, I think the Philips Hue system is pointless and overpriced.

Used correctly, Smart Lighting can save you money on your electricity bill and improve your home’s security. You just don’t need the Hue system to get started.

 

Instead, consider some of the cheaper alternatives. There are lots to choose from. Check Smart RGB+WW LED Bulb from ENER-J. The lights are ideal for beginners because they do not need a hub to work. They simply connect to your Wi-Fi network. You can control them using the accompanying smart phone app.

The lights are also compatible with Amazon Alexa. ENER-J offers the RGB+WW E27 based model, where you can choose either from single warm white color or use RGB color option, dim lights, create scenes such as party, relaxing, etc, for just £23.99 including VAT.

2. Smart Thermostat

Sticking with the theme of saving money, installing a smart thermostat is another way you can shave a significant amount of money off your annual electricity bill.

Again, you have lots of different systems to choose from. They all have varying degrees of complexity, so it’s important to make the right choice.

 

For example, systems such as Nest and Netatmo are ideal for smaller homes. They can work with different zones, but they’re primarily designed to replace your central thermostat and adjust the house-wide temperature.

If you live in a larger home, consider something like Honeywell Evohome or Heat Genius. Their systems replace the valves on your radiators, allowing you to control each heating unit individually.

If you’re just starting out, the Nest range is probably the best choice. It’s easy to use and costs less than £200. Like the ENER-J lights, it also works with Amazon Alexa.

3. Smart Security System

Congratulations, you’ve now installed two of the most common smart home devices. Next up, a smart security system.

Mostly all systems offered by brands such as YALE, ADT, etc are GSM based which means they use SIM card to communicate in case alarm triggers

ENER-J has introduced its Smart Home Alarm Kit which can be managed via your smart phone from anywhere in the world. Again, there is no need to pay for a hub or a bridge and your IP Camera acts as a HUB and pairs with your PIR Sensor, Door Sensor and Smoke Alarm. Their complete system with 1 x IP Camera, 1 x Door Sensor, 1x PIR Sensor is available for £59.99 including VAT. You can add on smoke alarm and more sensors to the system as well.

 

4. Smart Plugs

 

The Wi-Fi enabled, internet connected Smart plug enables you to do that seemingly impossible thing – switch something on of off without you physically having to wander over the wall socket its plugged into and flick the switch. Now you can switch it on or off from anywhere – whether that’s at home, at work, on holiday or somewhere in between.

The best reason to buy a smart plug is that you can embed it into the rest of your smart home setup. For one thing you can set up ‘zones’ that enabled you to smartly control devices in a particular location in your home (your living room or kitchen, say) and then activate them at will. Such is the popularity of smart plugs - and smart homes, of course – that all kinds of big brands are getting in on the act.

 

Our favourite is the value for money ENER-J Smart Plug which works on the same APP as their RGB LED Bulb and is also compatible with Alexa. You can get their wifi Smart Plug for £23.99 including VAT

5. Amazon Echo

You knew it was coming, didn’t you? Amazon Echo devices are like a lazy boy armchair for the 21st Century.

Obviously, you get all the Amazon-based benefits they introduce. That includes having the news read to you every morning, listening to music, ordering groceries, and access to the endless list of skills that can do everything from ordering a pizza to calling an Uber.

 

Which gadgets would you recommend as “must-haves” for beginners? As always, you can leave all your opinions and suggestions in the comments below. And remember to share this article with your friends to see what they think.

 

 

 




About Smart Home automation

Home automation is when different technologies and systems are integrated together into a single control system which allows one system to automatically control another without you explicitly having to request every action.
The extension of commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) controls into the residential market alongside smart lighting and security solutions has since revolutionised how home owners interact with domestic systems and appliances through an expanding combination of hardware, communication protocols and electronic interfaces.


Certainly, the use in domestic environments of IP cameras, motion detection hardware, door opening sensors and remote controls has surged, though from a low base.
The ubiquity of wireless networks using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and to a lesser extent ZigBee and Z-Wave in the home has also helped. They have provided the communications channel that devices, sensors and back-end software systems need to transmit, store and analyse the information collected.

Home automation low in the UK but set to grow extensively

The home automation sector in the United Kingdom is set to grow in spite of the fact that it is seen as one in its infancy stage at the moment when compared to the rest of the developed European countries like Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands or the United States.
Home automation is popular in small households as well as large corporate buildings in many European countries. But the United Kingdom has been quite slow in adopting the new automation technologies and standards. However, there are quite a number of companies that are emerging and moving home automation in the UK to a whole new level. These companies are making use of the UK’s growth potential in this industry and developing technologies that are readily available to end-users.
Though they have steadily fallen in price, home automation devices remain expensive and are likely to remain so until their popularity reaches a tipping point that will persuade large scale manufacturers to drive down costs further by producing equipment in higher volumes

Whats in it for Electrical Wholesalers?

Electrical Wholesalers in the UK are waiting for some new product that will help them increase their sales specially after great success of LED Lighting. Smart Home Automation requires some level of technical understanding and will also require the wholesaler to educate their customers. However due to limited time in hand, electrical wholesalers are not pushing for these products as they don’t have time helping customers with installation of smart home.
ENER-J is a brand dedicated to making smart home solutions easy to use and affordable. Their products will help customer become more energy efficient and also adopt technology to improve their lives and have more free time to spend with their loved ones. You don’t need to buy any HUB for their products and all their products work on wifi. Please see some of their products

  • Wifi Video Door Bell with inbuilt battery
  • Wifi Smart Plug (connect any appliance and manage from your smart phone)
  • Wifi LED RGB Bulb
  • Wifi Switches (1, 2 & 3 Gang)- No need to change wiring. Simple replace your tradition switch with their toughened glass switch & manage from your smart phone
  • Wifi IP Camera with Door Sensors, PIR Sensors, Smoke Alarm & Outdoor Solar Siren- complete Smart Home Security Kit managed via your smart phone




Boxes are unpacked, the couches are unloaded, and you’ve managed to move into your home without breaking any of the dishes during the process. Your new home is larger than the last and you have a lingering question on your mind. “How many home security cameras do I need in the home?”  

The Amount of Cameras Necessary
As you might have guessed, the number of cameras necessary to protect a home is fully dependent on the variables present in the home. How big is the house? How many doors and windows are present? Where is the home located? Is it in the country or farther away from the city? There isn’t a one-size fits all answer for how many cameras a home needs, rather a breakdown of what locations in the home will need cameras, and then homeowners can determine their needs from there. If you have further questions or want to talk to a home security expert to walk through your needs, our ENER-J experts are here to help.

Points of Emphasis

Entryways and Exits
Security cameras should be placed at all entry points and exits in the home. As we’ve mentioned previously, over 34% of break-ins occur at the front door, and other notable locations include back doors, side doors and windows, and garages. It might not be feasible for you to secure every single door and window in the home, but you should begin by accounting for the main points of entry—front door, back door, backyard, garage, and notable side entries.  

All Outdoor Areas That Lead to the Home

Thieves may use foliage and bushes in the front or backyard to hide themselves as they attempt a break-in. Back alleys can also conceal a burglar as they attempt a break-in at the garage. Any area outside that leads to the home should be protected. Cameras should be pointed on the backyard, the driveway leading up the garage, and the front yard.

Monitor Areas in the Home

Security cameras aren’t only about protecting the exterior of the home, but about guarding the interior as well. Cameras should be placed near sleeping areas, and any storage location that houses important items like money, collectibles, and other personal objects. Inside of the house cameras can also be used to monitor children or make sure that no one is getting into places in the home when they shouldn’t be, like pantries or liquor cabinets.

Cater to Your Needs

Remember that your home will likely have unique needs that others do not. You may have additional doors, doors that are uniquely placed, larger than average windows, or a number of other variables. Take an accurate assessment of your home and its needs when you begin to equip it with security cameras, and never assume that what works for someone else will perfectly work for you.




Control options explained...
To help better understand the control options available for our domestic extractor fans, please see descriptions below, along with some wiring suggestions and tips:

Extractor fan controlled on/off via a separate switch...

The on/off control option is basically live and neutral electrical connections to your fan (earth is not needed). As no switch is provided, you can simply wire to your own switch, plug or circuit.

  • Simple live & neutral connections.
  • Connect to your lighting or household electrical circuit to operate via your light switch, pull cord or separate switch.
  • Connect to a cable and household plug for portable use.
  • Connect to an electrical circuit to allow the cooling of equipment after switch off.

Extractor fan controlled by run-on timer...
The run-on timer control option requires live, neutral and switched live electrical connections to your fan (earth is not needed). The switched live connection is used to operate the run-on timer. The fan will continue to run after the switched live has been interrupted by your switch or pull cord. The run-on time can be adjusted inside the fan from between 2 and 30 minutes.

Live, neutral & switched live connections. Connect to your lighting or household circuit to operate by your light switch, pull cord or separate switch. Built-in run-on timer. Connect to an electrical circuit to allow the cooling of equipment after switch off.

Tips
Building regulations state that if your room is enclosed with no opening windows, then a fan with a run-on timer must be used.

Extractor fan controlled by pull cord...
The pull cord control option is basically live and neutral electrical connections to your fan (earth is not needed). The fan can then simply be operated by its own built-in pull cord.

  • Simple live & neutral connections.
  • Connect to your lighting or household electrical circuit.
  • Connect to a cable and household plug for portable use.
  • Built-in pull cord.

Extractor fan controlled by humidity sensor & run-on timer...
The humidity sensor & run-on timer control option requires live, neutral and switched live electrical connections to the fan (earth is not needed). The switched live connection is used to operate the run-on timer. The fan will continue to run after the switched live has been interrupted by your switch or pull cord. The run-on time can be adjusted inside the fan to continue running from between 2 and 30 minutes. The fan will also switch on automatically and independently when humidity levels get high. The humidity level is also adjustable inside the fan to suit different environments.

  • Live, neutral & switched live connections.
  • Connect to your lighting or household circuit to operate by your light switch, pull cord or separate switch.
  • Connect to an electrical circuit to allow the cooling of equipment after switch off.
  •  Automatically works when humidity levels change.
  • Built-in run-on timer.

Tips
Building regulations state that if your room is enclosed with no opening windows, then a fan with a run-on timer must be used. If you want the added option of automatic use when humidity gets high after a shower or bath, choose this control option.

Extractor fan controlled by pull cord & run-on timer...
The pull cord & run-on timer control option only requires live & neutral electrical connections to your fan (earth is not needed). The fan has its own built-in pull cord to switch the fan on or off. When switched off, the fan will continue to run for a preset period of time, this run-on time can be adjusted inside the fan from between 2 and 30 minutes.

  • Simple live & neutral connections.
  • Connect to your lighting or household circuit to operate by your light switch, pull cord or separate switch.
  • Built-in pull cord.
  • Connect to an electrical circuit to allow the cooling of equipment after switch off.
  • Built-in run-on timer.  

Tips

Building regulations state that if your room is enclosed with no opening windows, then a fan with a run-on timer must be used. If you don't have a switched live connection, this option can simply be connected to live and neutral, eliminating the need for additional switched live wiring.

Extractor fan controlled by pull cord, run-on timer & humidity sensor...
The pull cord, run-on timer & humidity sensor control option only requires live & neutral electrical connections to your fan (earth is not needed). The fan has its own built-in pull cord to switch the fan on or off. When switched off, the fan will continue to run for a preset period of time, this run-on time can be adjusted inside the fan from between 2 and 30 minutes. The fan will also switch on automatically if the humidity gets to high, this is also adjustable inside the fan.

  • Simple live & neutral connections.
  • Connect to your lighting or household circuit to operate by your light switch, pull cord or separate switch.
  • Built-in pull cord.
  • Connect to an electrical circuit to allow the cooling of equipment after switch off.
  • Built-in run-on timer.

Tips
Building regulations state that if your room is enclosed with no opening windows, then a fan with a run-on timer must be used. If you don't have a switched live connection, this option can simply be connected to live and neutral, eliminating the need for additional switched live wiring with the added benefit of automatic humidity control.   Please note that this guide is only to be used as general reference. Please ensure that you are fully aware that any electrical and installation work must be carried out in accordance with IEE Wiring Regulations, The Building Regulations and any further compliancy that might be required. If in any doubt, consult professional help from a qualified individual or company.




Advancements in virtual-assistant technology will likely spur growth in home automation. Deciding which digital assistant works best for your smart-home use really depends on individual preference.
Almost everyone with a smartphone is familiar with some of the capabilities of voice-controlled virtual assistants. Siri from Apple Inc. was the first out of the gate and may be the most well-known. Google Assistant from Alphabet, Inc. is the search giant's latest version of Google Now. Amazon.com, Inc. gave us Alexa, though she is mostly limited to home speakers.

Until the release of these virtual helpers, home automation was primarily the dominion of expensive professionally installed systems that controlled everything, or managed services that provided monthly monitoring of things like alarm systems. Both are still available, but the revolution in the smart-home market is playing out in the individual components and smart devices that homeowners can purchase and control with these ubiquitous virtual assistants. One thing to be aware of: Each virtual assistant has advantages and drawbacks, with no clear winner -yet.


VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS WILL DRIVE SMART-HOME ADOPTION.


Apple HomeKit

Siri is the backbone for Apple's HomeKit, the smartphone app that can be used to control a variety of smart-home products. This platform provides a variety of helpful features to simplify the process of adding devices and labeling "Favorites." You can also organize the various components by "Rooms" and create "Scenes" that will control multiple devices with one command.
Another feature is that you can automate certain functions to occur at a specific time of day, or when you leave home. The best feature of HomeKit, in typical Apple fashion, is its ease of operation -- and it can be controlled by the app, or using voice control.
A key point is that HomeKit-compatible devices have been reviewed and vetted by Apple, providing end-to-end security. This limits the number of available devices, but will likely prevent you from being hacked. On the downside, Apple lacks a home speaker system.

Amazon Alexa and Echo

Amazon's Alexa powers the Echo, Echo Dot, and Tap smart-home speakers, but lacks a dedicated smartphone app. Amazon has integrated access to Alexa via its Amazon shopping app on the iPhone by tapping the microphone button in the app. Alexa's advantage is in the number of things she can do -- she accepts over 10,000 commands, called "skills," though they require remembering the very specific wording of each command.
These skills address a variety of areas, not just the smart home, though the system integrates with dozens of smart-home devices that work directly with Alexa, and hundreds that operate using a variety of manufacturer-specific apps. Integrating many of these products requires a special If This Then That (IFTTT) device to connect them and to set up routines to control multiple components with a single command. There's also no independent verification regarding device security.

 

SMART HOMES POWERED BY VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS.


Google Home and Home Control

Google recently introduced Home, a smart-home speaker similar to Amazon's Echo. It's powered by a Google Assistant, though not the same Assistant that operates on Google's Android phones or the Allo messaging app -- and they aren't integrated as of this writing.
The Assistant on Home works with components from four smart-home partners currently (Nest, Philips Hue, IFTTT, and SmartThings) - far fewer than Alexa. Google plans to add additional partners over time, though those currently available cover the most used home-automation components.
Integrating multiple smart-home products through Home requires an IFTTT device to connect them to each other and set up routines, similar to Alexa. Also similar to Alexa, there's no independent verification of device security, which varies by manufacturer. Home has Google search at its heart, so it understands detailed questions and requests rather than the specific skills commands required by Alexa.
Some consumers will be drawn to Echo or Home by the novelty factor, or for the variety of other capabilities, and adding smart-home products will be an unintended result of ownership.




What is an Internet Camera (Also Known as a Webcam)?
Internet cameras go by a lot of different names. You might hear them referred to as "IP or "internet protocol" cams, "network cameras" or "webcams." Whatever you choose to call it, an internet cam is a camera that sends and receives data over a local area network (LAN) and/or

How Do I See what’s happening in My Home or Office When I'm Not Around?
 It's become incredibly easy to check in on your young child and her nanny from your desk at work -- or to monitor your business from your laptop at home, all in real time. Internet cameras allow you to connect to the internet via a broadband network and remotely view live video from any web browser anywhere in the world. Once your system is set up, the only requirement is Internet access. You can even monitor multiple video cameras or DVRs from your tablet or smartphone.
Some internet cameras require a physical cable connection, others are wireless and transmit their data via radio frequency (RF) signals or over a local Wi-Fi network.
Think of internet cameras as mini computers that happen to have sophisticated optics built in. They come with their own software and need to be configured to a network in order to function. The network configuration is a relatively simple process for many devices; generally set up is no more complex than configuring a Wi-Fi network. While some models require a good working knowledge of Internet technology to get them up and running, that's becoming more the exception than the rule. Many cameras now come with their own apps, which make recording and viewing video on the web even easier.
These versatile devices come in a number of "form factors." Many look like traditional security cameras, but consumers have demanded hidden cameras (also known as nanny cams) with webcam capability -- and the market has responded. Internet cams are now discreetly hidden in a wide variety of form factors, from a clock radio to a book to a DVD player.

 
Can I Use a Dial Up Internet Connection to Host My Internet Cameras?
 While it is technically possible, using dial up to host video is virtually impossible. The biggest issue is that the bandwidth provided is insufficient for streaming video.

 Does My Computer need to be On All the Time if I Use an Internet Camera?
 Generally speaking, no, but it depends on the particular camera and how you have it set up. If you are using a PC as a network access point instead of connecting directly to the network from the camera, the PC will need to remain on.

 What is the Difference between a Standard Webcam and a PTZ Internet Camera?
 PTZ is an acronym for Pan, Tilt and Zoom. A PTZ camera can be viewed and controlled by multiple users just like a standard network camera, but has the added ability to be moved remotely. Unlike a traditional fixed camera, a PTZ allows a user to adjust the camera's view as necessary.

 Do I Have to Purchase Additional Software to Use My Internet Camera?
This can vary by camera. Most will come with whatever software is required to configure and view your camera, and usually include recording software. Some may also include more advanced software features, like multiple camera viewing and text/email motion alerts.
If the camera you purchased does not include the features you want, there are many NVR programs available for purchase that can add these and other capabilities.

How Does an Internet Camera Work?

Instead of transmitting video over a video cable to a monitor or DVR, an internet camera transmits digital video over a data connection; ethernet, USB, WiFi, etc. Everything required to transfer images over the network is built into the unit. It is connected directly to the network, just like any other network device, like a printer or scanner. Depending on what type of camera it is, it may save video to an attached memory source, connect to another device on the network for storage, or stream captured video to the internet.

An internet camera captures images the same way any digital camera does. What makes it different is its ability to compress the files and transmit them over a network. If a building is equipped with a network, the necessary infrastructure is already in place to install network cameras. If adding one or a few cameras, a user may use a decentralized network camera, one that has its own control interface and storage medium built in. When installing multiple network cameras it can be wise to use a centralized network camera, which requires a network video recorder (NVR).

An NVR is a program that can store video from network cameras and allow for viewing of multiple cameras at once. It is similar to a DVR, but while a traditional DVR is responsible for encoding and processing video from component cameras, and NVR depends on the cameras to encode their video, simply storing it and allowing for centralized remote viewing. NVR software can be installed on a dedicated device with its own operating system or on an existing computer. There are hybrid systems available that can accept both IP and analog inputs. These will often allow analog cameras to be viewed remotely along with any network cameras.

Here's how it Works:

There are 3 types of networks in common use for security applications.

  • Wired networks will connect to a broadband modem or router through Ethernet cables (RJ45, CAT5, CAT6). These are the fastest and most secure way to connect, removing the chance of signal interception and interference
  • Wireless networks use a WiFi router to transmit data to and from a wired modem. They transmit data at a slower rate than a wired network, and are at increased vulnerability to unauthorized access, though this can be mitigated through the use of encryption. The decreased security is balanced by the ease of setup and customization of a wireless network.
  • Cellular network access tends to be the slowest of the three, but is more secure than WiFi. If the cameras themselves are equipped with cellular transmitters, they don't even require a LAN to be in place, so there's virtually no installation required. These types of cameras, however, can be quite expensive, especially when transmitting high quality video.
What Do I Need in Order to Use a Webcam?
 In addition to internet service and a wired or wireless router (depending on your specific camera), an internet camera requires a static IP address or a Dynamic Domain Name Server (DDNS). It also requires a personal computer to configure your camera and an internet-connected video device to act as a remote viewing station. If you plan to record and store footage, you will also need a dedicated NVR or a PC to install NVR software on, as discussed earlier.

What is a Static IP Address and Why Do I Need One?

 When you have a device on a network, you can access it by entering the IP (Internet Protocol) address into a web browser. Internet service providers (ISPs) supply a dynamic IP address to most customers. A dynamic IP address is like a phone number that changes every time you hang up your phone, while a static IP address never changes.
Only your ISP can provide you with a static IP address and they will usually charge a monthly fee for that service. In order for you to gain consistent access to your network cameras you will need a static IP address. If your ISP is unable to provide you with a static IP, there are third party services that can provide a virtual static IP address. Many are free to use, and a simple web search will provide multiple options.

 
Compression Techniques and Image Resolution
 Digital Image resolution is measured in pixels. The more detailed an image is, the more pixels it is made up of, and therefore the more data it contains. Detailed images require more space on a hard disk and more bandwidth for transmission.
To transmit images over a network, data must be compressed to avoid consuming too much bandwidth. If bandwidth is limited, lowering the frame rate or accepting a lower image quality can radically reduce the size of video files. A number of compression standards exist that deal with the trade-off between frame rate and image quality in different ways, but the most common has become h.264/MPEG-4, otherwise known as AVC (Advanced Video Coding).