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Web Cameras vs. Internet Cameras

Web Cameras and Internet Cameras are very cool, compact video cameras, each of which may be connected to your PC. They have a good many similarities but are typically used for very different purposes.

Popular uses of Web Cameras include video chatting with friends online, video e-mailing, video conferencing, capturing live photos and even monitoring the dog's behavior while you're at work. Web Cameras plug into the USB port of your PC, using your broadband Internet connection to enable live video connection to another Web-camera-enabled PC.

Internet Cameras or IP (Internet Protocol) Cameras, also known as Network Cameras, are most commonly used as security cameras for the more serious business of monitoring and maintaining surveillance of your home, office and property to help protect against burglars, thieves and vandals. They may also be used for monitoring behavior of workers or in-home care providers. Internet Cameras connect to the Internet via your Ethernet network and do not require direct connection to a PC. You can then access and control your Internet Camera, via your Web browser, from virtually any Internet-connected PC. Internet Cameras include more sophisticated monitoring capabilities such as motion-sensing, automatic recording and low-light recording.

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At-A-Glance Features Comparison
Web Cameras Internet Cameras
 Recommended for  Video messaging, e-mailing, phoning and conferencing    Video monitoring and surveillance  
 View live video   Yes  Yes 
 Video phoning
 and conferencing 
 Most models   Some models 
 Video instant
 Yes   Some models 
 Video e-mailing   Most models   Some models 
 Record video   Most models   Yes 
 Still photos   Most models   Most models 
 Automatic recording   No   Yes 
 Timer recording   Some models   Yes 
 E-mail alerts   No   Yes 
 Motion sensors   Some models   Yes 
 No   Yes 
 Heat sensors   No   Some models 
 No   Some models 
 saves recording 
 No   Some models 
 Sensor alarm   No   Some models 
 Built-in mic or
 Yes   Yes 
 PC connection
 Yes   No 
 Internet required   Yes, high speed recommended   Yes, high speed recommended 
 Connection   USB port   LAN Ethernet 
 Wireless capability   No   Some models, via 802.11g 
 Camera access   Local, from connected PC   Remote, from any
Internet-connected PC 
 Remote camera
 Generally not   Yes, via PC's Web browser 
 Control via cell
 phone or PDA 
 No   Some models 
 Most instant messengers
(not included) 
 Most Web browsers
(not included) 
 software included 
 Yes   Yes 
 See *Note below   See *Note below 

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*Note: PC-compatibility of Web Cameras and Internet Cameras is subject to certain hardware and operating system requirements. Internet service required. Ethernet network required for Internet Camera use. Please be sure to read the System Requirements listed under the Product Details section of Camera product pages before ordering.