What is the IP rating – IP65, IP66 or IP67 what do they mean

By | November 6, 2016

Have you been researching security cameras and come across an IP rating? Then you might be asking, what is the IP rating? What does it mean? Well, I am here to answer these questions and give you an explanation which may help you make your decision on the best security camera or alarm for your needs. Let’s get straight into it.

What is the IP rating?

The IP rating, otherwise known as the IP code, is a standard that has been developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission that defines and measures the degree of protection by enclosures for electrical devices (IEC standard 60529). The ‘IP’ stands for the International Protection marking, or it is sometimes known as the Ingress Protection marking. In other words, the rating describes how well the device is sealed from objects entering the enclosure and how waterproof the device is.

IP codes or ratings are being used more frequently for devices such as mobile phones, tablets, outdoor speakers, and of course, cameras. This is because these devices are increasingly improving their quality, including becoming dustproof and waterproof.

What do the numbers mean?

There is a specific meaning for the numbers that follow IP. The first number indicates the level of protection against solid foreign objects, such as dust. The second number indicates the level of protection against the ingress of water, or in other words, the level of waterproofing.

I have outlined a brief summary of each number and what they mean below.

First Number – Protection against solid foreign objects

  • 0 – Not protectedWhat is the IP rating
  • 1 – Protected against objects of 50mm and greater
  • 2 – Protected against objects of 12.5mm and greater
  • 3 – Protected against objects of 2.5 mm and greater
  • 4 – Protected against objects of 1mm and greater
  • 5 – Dust-protected (however, not completely protected against dust)
  • 6 – Dust-tight

Second Number – Protection against ingress of water

  • 0 – Not protectedWhat is the IP rating
  • 1 – Protected against vertically falling water drops
  • 2 – Protected against vertically falling water drops when enclosure tilted up to 15 degrees
  • 3 – Protected against spraying water
  • 4 – Protected against splashing water
  • 5 – Protected against water jets
  • 6 – Protected against powerful water jets
  • 7 – Protected against the effects of temporary immersion in water
  • 8 – Protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water

As you can see, the higher the numbers, the better the protection. Please only use the above as a guide and refer to the user manual of your device for further information. For example, your device might have a rating that indicates it is protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water, but it could be limited to a specific depth, pressure, or time period.

Of most of the outdoor security cameras I have researched so far, they have had an IP rating between 65 and 67. So applying these figures to the above meanings we get the following:

IP65 – Dust-tight and protected against water jets

IP66 – Dust-tight and protected against powerful water jets

IP67 – Dust-tight and protected against the effects of temporary immersion in water

So that’s it. Even though this is a short post, I hope it gave you all the information you need in regards to the what the IP rating means, and that is is helpful when you need to make a decision on your next purchase.

Feel free to leave me a comment below if you have any questions. I will be more than happy to help.



14 thoughts on “What is the IP rating – IP65, IP66 or IP67 what do they mean

  1. Darren

    I was looking for a thorough explanation of this because I’ve been wondering what the IP codes all mean. So I’m glad I came across your post. I now know.

    I really need a good security camera or two set up around my warehouse as there have recently been some break ins in the area. What do you suggest would be the best for a two storey concrete warehouse that houses alcohol products?

    1. Andrew Post author

      Hi Darren, Thanks for the comment!

      If you’re looking for a simple security camera system with two cameras, I suggest this system from Annke. It comes with everything you need to connect it up and start monitoring your warehouse. It is a wired system, but it would be more reliable than a wireless system.

      I’ll be reviewing many more security camera systems in the future, so feel free to come back and check them out!

  2. ches

    I had heard of an IP rating but certainly didn’t understand what the numbers meant. It’s good to learn the meanings of these spurious ratings.
    So in effect, a rating of 68 would be the best you could get for dust and water ingress.
    I haven’t looked, but we have one of those GoPro cameras and going by this post, the rating for our camera should be 68 because they can be fully immersed in water.
    Mind you, that’s only if we have it’s waterproof cover on so perhaps it is rated without its cover? I must have a look! Thanks for the info. Ches

    1. Andrew Post author

      Hi Ches, Thank you for commenting!

      I just researched GoPro cameras and couldn’t find their IP rating advertised anywhere, which is interesting. Unless I missed something. There is every chance their IP rating is within their documentation or user manual. Based on the ratings and what they mean, if GoPro cameras are dust and water tight, then you would expect them to have a rating of IP68.

  3. Mike

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the info. We recently moved to a more secluded house so I invested in a nest system for piece of mind. I purchased it because it appeared to provide good value for mones as well as decent image quality and durability. Looking back at the prduct spec, I can’t find anything with an IP number on – is this a requirement fro manufactureres to provide? If so, where would I look?

    I wish I had found this blog before I purchased – I’m pretty sure I would have made a more informed decision if I had!



    1. Andrew Post author

      Hi Mike,
      I’m glad you liked my post. You have looked in the right places for the IP rating. Based on my research, while the IP rating is an international standard, it is not compulsory. It is, however, a rating that can help back up statements that the manufacturer makes like “water resistant”. So in essence, if they do not publicize an IP rating or another type of recognized code that represents it’s ingress protection, I would treat their claims of waterproofing very carefully.

      In saying the above, if a manufacturer claimed that their device was water resistant to splashing water and it turns out it wasn’t, I would suspect that they would have to honor quite a few warranty/refund claims from consumers.

      Thanks for your comment Mike. The nest cam is a great system!

      All the best!

      1. Mike

        Great, thanks Andrew.

        I must admit I’ve had no issues with the camera so can’t complain. I was just worried I’d missed out on something obvious I should have been looking out for. You’ve also endoresed the product so I’ll sleep easy now!



  4. Craig | UK TV Services Abroad

    Hi Andrew,

    This is a great explanation. Who would’ve thought? I was unaware that these IP ratings are also applied to mobile devices but I suppose they should be. After all, these are also prone to water ingress or can be if we are not careful.

    I’ve no idea how you done your research but it’s great to know. Do you have a list of items that have IP ratings? It would be interesting to see.

    1. Andrew Post author

      Hi Craig, Thanks for your comment.
      Surprisingly, the IP rating is not a well-known standard. And there are devices that don’t even use the IP rating to back up their claims. Yes, you are right about mobile devices. The new iPhone 7 comes to mind as it has been designed with a level of water resistance. Unfortunately, I don’t have a list of items that have IP ratings. It would certainly be interesting to see. At the moment, I believe the only way to know the IP rating for any device is to read the specifications or the documentation that comes with the device.

  5. ArtByHeart

    Hi, this is extremely important information, thank you for it. I have always wondered what those numbers actually mean. I was wondering why the camera we put in a rather wet place, such as the back door, where the ventilation is pushing out wet air from the shower room and sauna, stopped working.

    Dust tight is something that I have to consider when looking for a camera setup for my atelier, because since the break-in last night. They destroyed a lot just to take some of my rubbing alcohol, so I definitely want to have also security setup.

    The higher number makes the cameras more expensive though, right?

    1. Andrew Post author

      Thanks for the comment! Firstly, sorry to hear about the break in. It is so inconvenient especially when they cause a lot more damage than ends up costing more than the items they stole. Hopefully a security camera setup with deter any further thefts.
      Generally, it would make sense that the higher the number, the more expensive the camera as they would need to build the device to the standard required to pass the tests for a high IP rating. However, I don’t think it is true in every sense because there are so many other features that can impact the price. For example, video quality, night vision, field of view, etc. If you need help to choose a camera suitable for your situation, let me know and I’ll help tp point you in the right direction.

  6. David

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for sharing this information. I knew there was devices that could be submerged in water now like phones but I didn’t know they developed a rating system for these cool gadgets. Obviously dust has been a challenge for technology for sometime now but I never heard of IP rating until I came across this page.

    This brings up a topic I like to talk about when technology is the subject. They have computers now that are submersible into mineral oil. This makes for a dust free system! You can check out a link here https://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php

    Thanks for sharing


    1. Andrew Post author

      Hi David. Wow, I have never seen this before. I never knew they could submerge PC components in mineral oil! It certainly would be completely dust free. Amazing that someone has thought of this as a cooling system for their PC. Obviously, it doesn’t work for everything, for example, moving parts in Hard Drives. But nonetheless, amazing! Thanks for sharing that site.


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