Network or IP security cameras
A network camera (often called an IP camera) is basically a CCTV or security camera that has a computer built-in. Most network cameras can independently monitor, detect and send (push) notifications to computers in a home network, or on the Internet, mobile phones, smart phones or any email address. Some can also record footage locally to SD cards or to Network Attached Storage (NAS) drives, upload snapshots to FTP and much more. In a sense they perform the function of a camera and Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or Network Video Recorder (NVR) combination.
A quick note: This article may contain affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and then purchase something, we may receive a fee. This does not cost you anything extra. Also note that Hikvision and Dahua do not consider certain platforms including Amazon as an authorised seller platform, so we recommend instead B&H Photo who are authorised resellers of Hikvision and Dahua products.
Hikvision – who are they?
Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. Ltd. popularly known as simply Hikvision, is a Chinese surveillance product company started in 2001. It is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. It claims to be the world’s largest supplier of video surveillance products and solutions including security cameras. Indeed, many of the popular security camera brands (such as Swann and older Lorex) are rebranded Hikvision products. Hikvision is a name that is quickly becoming popular in the home security and surveillance market owing mainly to their inexpensive but reliable and high performance network (or IP) security cameras and Network Video Recorders (NVR). In a crowded market with names such as Dahua and Foscam, Hikvision stands out as a great first choice for a network camera.back to menu ↑
Network camera range
Hikvision divides their network cameras into three product lines, rather interestingly called 2-Line, 4-Line and 6-Line. Please note that these terms have nothing to do with the analog resolution term ‘lines’ (TVL). Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera models are not included in the scope of this guide, as they are more expensive and probably not of interest to the average homeowner.
What can these cameras do? As a standalone device, they do not need a computer to function. So if you are looking for an inexpensive, simple, energy bill friendly CCTV solution that you can monitor through email, FTP, or from your smartphone, without having to run a computer 24/7 the Hikvision cameras are perfect.back to menu ↑
Model naming convention
The full Hikvision IP camera naming convention is:
‘DS-2CD’ ‘1234’ F/H/WD – I (A) (H) (P) (S) (W) (Z)
- A fixed prefix:
- ‘DS-’, then
- ‘2CD’, then
- 4 digits:
- product line number 2,4,or 6
- a digit from 0 to 5 representing the type of IP camera.
- a digit representing the number of megapixels.
- a digit representing – currently unknown.
- The next set of alphabets of F, H or WD indicate the presence of certain features:
- F indicates Flash memory. This means that the model has the on-board flash storage option. Remember you will have to add a suitable SD-Card.
- H indicates a built-in heater.
- WD indicates Wide Dynamic Range (WDR).
- The suffices are:
- I indicates a true IR cut filter with auto day/night switch.
- A indicates Auto back focus.
- H indicates HD resolution (1080p).
- P indicates P-iris.
- S indicates Sound or what Hikvision calls Smart Audio Detection – 2 way audio using either inputs or a mic and a built-in speaker as in some indoor models.
- W indicates WiFi.
- Z indicates a Motorized VF lens.
- The last digit indicates the range of the camera infrared LEDs. Model specific details can be found below.
For the Hikvision NVR model naming convention, check our detailed NVR Buying Guide.back to menu ↑
We have grouped Hikvision’s network camera range so that you can easily find the model you are looking for.
Fixed focus / Standard IR LED
|Megapixels||Fixed Bullet||Fixed Dome||Mini Dome / Turret / Eye-ball|
Fixed focus / EXIR LED
|Megapixels||Bullet (30M Range Dual EXIR)||Bullet (50M Range Dual EXIR)||Bullet (80M Range Dual EXIR)||Mini Dome / Turret / Eye-ball||Cube|
As one of our readers pointed out, the last digit in the DS-2CD2T32-I3 / DS-2CD2T32-I5 / DS-2CD2T32-I8 models represents the claimed range of the infrared LEDs:
I3 = 30 metres
I5 = 50 metres
I8 = 80 metres
Variable focus / Standard IR LED
Indoor Dome / Standard IR LED
Outdoor Dome / Standard IR LED
|Ultra lowlight||Fisheye IR||Covert||Intelligent|
|3MP||-||Not launched yet||-||Not launched yet|
Where can I buy them?
Hikvision network cameras have good reviews on the Internet and we you can check out our reviews of the Hikvision 2CD-2132F-IS and the Hikvision 2CD-2542FWD-IS. The cameras are officially allowed to be sold via designated distributors only, however it is often cheaper to source them directly from China via AliExpress or via Amazon.
You can read more Amazon user reviews and buy them here:
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As always on an online marketplace, please ensure you are buying from a genuine seller.back to menu ↑