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Mobile vs. Remote Monitoring: Pros and Cons

Remote video surveillance is one of the luxuries of owning an IP security camera system. What matters is most is that you have access to your IP cameras when you’re physically away from the home or office. Mobile and remote video surveillance offer several advantages, but what are the key differences between the two? VideoSurveillance.com has laid out the pros and cons of remote video surveillance and mobile monitoring so you can decide which solution is best for you.

Mobile Video Surveillance – Pros

Access Wherever You Go - Many people use their smartphone as they would a PC or laptop. What can be more advantageous about this method is that you can check up on your IP camera system from places where it wouldn’t be possible with a PC or laptop such as the grocery store, gym, the mall, and in the car (not while driving, of course!).

Ease of Use - In just a couple of clicks, you can monitor and manage all of your IP cameras. Once installed, most mobile surveillance apps make it incredibly easy to view your live video feed and even search and scroll through previously recorded video. By simply touching your screen, you can easily slide through multiple camera views and configure them in different display modes for utmost convenience.

No PC or Laptop Needed - As mentioned above, you don’t need an actual PC or laptop to access your video in real-time. So, forget about stopping by the office, driving to your library, logging on to your computer at home, or bringing your laptop to your hotel. You can do all your monitoring from a device that fits in the palm of your hand.

Mobile Video Surveillance – Cons

Limited Number of Features - Mobile video surveillance apps typically provide fewer features than PC web interfaces. The features available on some of today’s advanced video management software (VMS) platforms far exceed what you can do on a smartphone. VMS for PCs usually offer more configuration controls and flexibility when it comes to operating your IP camera system. Playback features tend to be much greater in scale, and give you the ability to carefully scrutinize recorded video. When you log into a cloud service or video management platform from a PC, you can do much more with recorded video such as send it in an email if you need to.

Screen Size - Even if you’re using the same IP camera resolution as you would on a PC, it’s still difficult to discern important details, which includes people and objects. This is due to the size of a smartphone, as the screen size is significantly smaller than a PC. A security camera app can be harder to decipher on smartphones because of the screen size.

Data Usage - Few mobile phone carriers offer unlimited data plans. One should monitor their data usage, as streaming can use more bandwidth than static images. Thus, it’s good to keep an eye on your data usage each time you view live video.

Remote Video Surveillance – Pros

More Features, Better Control - On a smartphone device, users typically rely on an app to access their IP camera system, whereas on a PC or Mac you can log into a web interface and/or cloud service, which tend to offer a much more comprehensive selection of features than an iPhone security camera app does. There are several advantages to using remote monitoring, such as being able to export video, continuous and scheduled recording, faster download times, and higher frames per second.

Higher Resolution, Larger Screen - You’re not going to get the same quality of video on a handheld device as you would on a PC, plain and simple. It can be more challenging to depict the video on a smartphone, and thus easier to miss something incredibly important because of the size of your screen. Depending on the app, one can digitally zoom on an image to see a close-up view.

Remote Video Surveillance – Cons

You Can’t Take a Computer Wherever You Go - Despite the many advantages of using a remote monitoring web browser interface over a smartphone, the fact is that you can’t lug around a computer everywhere, especially when you’re out and about, running errands, or relaxing in a park on your day off. This is where a smartphone becomes handy and convenient.

Browser Support - Some cloud services and VMS platforms do not support every browser, including Safari and Internet Explorer, which would make it incompatible with a Mac device. While there are some that do support Safari, it’s not offered by every IP camera and NVR manufacturer. Make sure to confirm compatibility with your desired computer platform and browser before purchasing a new IP camera system with video management software or a NVR.

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