What is the difference between a network camera and a pc webcam?

The difference between a network camera and web camera is that network cameras (sometimes called IP cameras) are webcams which have built in web servers. PC web cams are webcams which do not have built in web servers and need to be plugged into a PC USB port to function. Network cameras only need to be plugged into a network. For a network camera to be viewable via the internet the network router needs to be configured to allow access to the camera. In general a PC web camera needs software installed on the PC for it to work, MSN or EyeSpyFX Webcam for example. A network camera has its own built in software.

There is a price difference. A PC webcam generally costs about $40 but a network cam generally will not cost less than $120

Network cams are generally used for security and monitoring applications. PC webcams are generally used for video chat applications such as skype, msn, yahoo etc. and to a lesser extent for monitoring.

Well known PC webcam manufacturers include: Logitech, Creative, Phillips

logitechcam.jpg Logitech Orbit (OrbitFX software)

Well known network cameras manufacturers include: Axis, Sony, Panasonic

205.jpgAxis 205 Network camera

If you visit a famous webcam online say for example looking at the Eiffel Tower it is not a PC Webcam but is most likely in fact to be a network camera. Public network cameras are often described as webcams. This is because the word “webcam” has become a catch all phrase for all sorts of online cameras including network cameras.

EyeSpyFX provides monitoring software for PC webcams that feature mechanical pan tilt. Using EyeSpyFX software users can remotely control the pan tilt features. EyeSpyFX also allows the software to be used for remote monitoring offering the ability to view via the web or via the mobile phone.

CamToMobile offers a service where network cam owners can view their network cams via a mobile phone.


Setting up security cameras around the home can be somewhat expensive, depending on the suveillance camera system you choose, but if you go online to shop for security cameras you very well might be able to save money on surveillance cameras with prices you won’t find locally.