Articles by Neil Heller

Designing an IP/PoE network infrastructure: Factors to consider

If one component within the infrastructure changes, other components may need to be changed too Developing a bill of materials for an infrastructure is not difficult if you have the right information. One word of caution: Infrastructures are unique. Each is individual, so don’t depend on drop-down menus; it simply will not work. If one component within the infrastructure changes, take the time to check and see if the rest of the components need to be changed, too. Let&...

Extenders convert media for longer video distance runs

IP/PoE systems eliminate the need for local power, thus saving installation costs Cost considerations are an important reason to use existing installed cable as part of a new system infrastructure. Extenders in the form of media converters can help. For almost three decades, video surveillance systems existed in the form of analogue systems. Video coaxial cable was the primary method of transmission with a limited distance of about 750 feet. Analogue systems required separate...

Beyond PoE standards – factors that can cause component failure

When a manufacturer states a specific PoE power for a camera, always count on the maximum class power source Power over Ethernet (PoE) is an important consideration in IP video security infrastructures, and many people believe Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards are the last word. However, when it comes to PoE, there is a wide range of both voltages and wattages that can qualify as being within an individual IEEE power class. This applies to both...

Choosing the right cable for networking infrastructure

The use of multiple wires has advantages for network transmission Network connection to a remote device begins by considering the type of cable. In some cases, installed cable may already be present and available for reuse, or you may have the option to install a new cable. Let’s review the major types of cable used for most security applications, their advantages and disadvantages. Types of cables In general, there are four major types of cable. First is coaxial cab...

Considerations when designing an IP video security infrastructure

Too often we attribute failure of connected devices to the devices themselves when the problem is actually an infrastructure failure Network infrastructures for security devices are complex. It may seem simple to connect an Ethernet cable to a cable modem, but the connection of IP cameras, access control devices and other IP/Power Over Ethernet (PoE) devices is not nearly so simple. Infrastructure is the heart of any system; and too often we attribute failure of connected devi...

Wireless devices vulnerable to security network hacking – are closed network security systems the solution?

Any wireless device can be a soft target for hackers Security network hacking is one of the hottest topics today. The ability to access security systems or devices anywhere, leaves them vulnerable and prone to hacking. Any wireless device can be a soft target for hackers. Let’s start with the concept that nothing on a network is really secure. Let’s admit this to ourselves and take the next steps to make our security networks more secure. Internet of Things securi...

Networking basics for security professionals: Understanding the role of midspans to supply power

Just as with network switches, there are no real standards for midspans In general terms, a midspan is a power over Ethernet (PoE) power source that is placed between a network switch and the device being powered, hence the term midspan. The real question is, with almost all network switches providing PoE power, why do we need a midspan? The answer is, in some cases we don’t, but in others we do. As with any other product we have discussed, we need to first consider that...

Networking basics for security professionals: What do layers really mean?

Layering as applied to computers is a made up term having no relationship to any particular standards When it comes to setting the criteria for network switching, we often hear “I only want a layer 3 switch.” We naturally assume that since the number 3 is bigger than the number 2, a layer 3 switch must be better than a layer 2 switch. It may surprise you, but when it comes to video security applications, this may not be the case. In fact, just the opposite may...

Networking basics for security professionals: Misinterpreting product specs – temperature, latency and more

Too often a valid assumption turns out to be the opposite in practical operation It’s easy to misinterpret product specifications of IP video transmission products to the detriment of system functionality. We have seen how this problem relates to port speed, power over Ethernet (PoE) and transmission media. Now let’s look at some additional aspects of product specifications – and how they can be misinterpreted. Importance Of Temperature Rating What about te...

Networking basics for security professionals: Considering 4k’s impact on networks

Since last year there has been a lot of talk with regard IP security cameras with 4K resolution. As with any advancement in video security, this too has come about due to advances in consumer electronics. While being the “latest and greatest,” it still raises questions as to actual, practical everyday usage. What Is 4K Resolution? Let’s start by defining 4K. Back in the day we had HDTV, which in some cases was defined in terms of its resolution of 1920 hor...

Networking basics for security professionals: Do you believe in specifications?

Misreading specifications of transmission products can lead to making the wrong selection Manufacturers’ product specifications are the main source of determining product purchases for video security users. In many cases, the ability to pretest a product under the actual operating conditions is almost impossible. Often the choice is between several different product manufacturers. The time and expense it would take to install and evaluate each one in the actual applicati...

Networking basics for security professionals: What network switches don’t do

Differences between standard data applications and the requirements of networks designed for IP video security applications are critical for your system's performance When the need to purchase a network switch arises, many IT directors immediately turn to two favourites, HP or Cisco. They have become to the networking environment what IBM was to computers: “No one ever got fired for buying IBM.” Certainly, switches play a crucial role in enhancing your network by i...