Comparing Security Camera vs Surveillance Camera

Are you looking to boost the safety and security of your home or business? Choosing the right type of camera is crucial in ensuring your space is well-protected. Security cameras and surveillance cameras are worth considering. But, what exactly are the differences between these two? And how do you decide which one is best suited for your needs?

In this guide, we’ll explore the key differences between security camera vs surveillance camera and the benefits of each to help you make an informed decision, understanding whether a security camera or surveillance camera suits your needs best.


What Is a Security Camera?

A security camera is a type of video recording device specifically designed to monitor and record activities in various environments for security purposes. These cameras are commonly installed in both residential and commercial spaces to deter criminals and to document any suspicious activities. Now, let’s explore the main features and benefits of security cameras.

Main Features Of A Security Camera

Security cameras come equipped with several key features that make them an essential part of any security system.

  • High-Resolution Video Capture:Delivers sharp and clear footage, making it easier to identify people and details accurately.
  • Night Vision:Provides the ability to see and record in low light conditions, ensuring round-the-clock monitoring.
  • Motion Detection:Detects movement and activates recording, helping to conserve storage space and focus on relevant events.
  • Wide Field of View: Offers a broader range of coverage, reducing the number of cameras needed for comprehensive surveillance.
  • Two-Way Audio: Allows for communication through the camera, ideal for instructions or to deter intruders.
  • Remote Access and Control: Enables you to view and manage the camera remotely via a smartphone or computer, providing peace of mind from anywhere.
  • Weatherproof Design: Suitable for outdoor use, withstanding harsh weather conditions like rain and snow.
  • Integration with Smart Home Systems: Works seamlessly with other smart devices for a more interconnected and automated home security system.

Benefits Of A Security Camera

The benefits of installing security cameras are manifold.

  • Enhanced Security:Provides continuous surveillance to deter criminals and monitor suspicious activities.
  • Crime Deterrence:Visible cameras can discourage potential intruders from attempting unauthorized entry.
  • Evidence Collection: Captures vital footage that can be used as evidence in the event of criminal activities.
  • Peace of Mind: Offers reassurance that your property is monitored, even when you are not physically present.
  • Remote Monitoring: Allows you to check on your property from anywhere in the world via internet-connected devices.
  • Cost-Effective: Reduces the need for on-site security personnel, cutting down on security costs.
  • Insurance Benefits: Can lower insurance premiums due to reduced risk of theft and vandalism.
  • Easy to Install and Maintain:Modern security cameras are user-friendly, making setup and maintenance straightforward.

What Is a Surveillance Camera?

Unlike standard security cameras that often focus on deterring crime, surveillance cameras are designed primarily for monitoring and recording continuous activity in various environments, making them indispensable in settings where constant observation is required.

Main Features Of A Surveillance Camera

Here are the main features of surveillance cameras:

  • Continuous Recording:Captures footage 24/7, providing a complete record of events.
  • Remote Viewing:Allows you to monitor live footage from any location via a smartphone or computer.
  • High Definition Video Quality:Ensures clear and detailed images for accurate monitoring.
  • Wide Dynamic Range (WDR):Enhances image quality in varying lighting conditions, reducing glare and shadows.
  • Pan, Tilt, and Zoom (PTZ):Offers flexibility in camera positioning and the ability to focus on specific areas.
  • Weatherproof and Durable: Designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions, suitable for outdoor use.
  • Integration with Alarm Systems:Works seamlessly with existing alarm systems for comprehensive security.
  • Data Storage Options: Provides various storage solutions, including cloud storage and local storage on DVR/NVR systems.

Benefits Of A Surveillance Camera

The benefits of installing surveillance cameras are significant.

  • Constant Monitoring:Provides continuous observation, ensuring all activities are recorded.
  • Remote Viewing:Allows you to access live footage from anywhere using a smartphone or computer.
  • Deterrence: Visible cameras can discourage criminal activity and unwanted behavior.
  • Evidence Collection: Records high-quality footage that can be used as evidence in investigations or legal proceedings.
  • Enhanced Security: Helps monitor large areas, improving overall security coverage.
  • Integration with Security Systems: Can be integrated with alarms and access control systems for comprehensive security solutions.
  • Scalability:Easy to add more cameras as needed to expand surveillance coverage.

Security Camera Vs Surveillance Camera: What's The Difference?

Choosing between a security camera vs surveillance camera? Here's a table highlighting their key differences:


Security Camera

Surveillance Camera


Primarily for deterrence and immediate response

Continuous monitoring and recording


Often visible to deter intruders

May be hidden or less conspicuous

Recording Activation

Typically motion-activated to conserve storage

Continuous recording regardless of activity


Often part of a larger security system

Can be standalone or part of a broader network

Usage Environment

Commonly used in both residential and commercial spaces

More frequently used in commercial and public spaces

Remote Access

Usually accessible via smartphone or computer

Also accessible remotely, often with advanced features


Integrates with alarms and other security measures

Integrates with larger surveillance and monitoring systems


Can be less expensive due to fewer features

May be more expensive due to continuous recording capabilities

Data Storage

Typically stores data locally or on cloud, triggered by motion

Often requires larger storage capacity due to continuous recording

Security cameras are great for home use; they're designed to deter intruders and send alerts to your phone when something’s amiss. Think of them as your personal security guard.

Surveillance cameras, meanwhile, are the go-to for businesses. They monitor continuously, covering wide areas to record everything that happens, perfect for keeping an eye on all activities.

So, when it's about security camera vs surveillance camera, consider whether you need immediate alerts at home or extensive footage from a business. Your needs will guide the best choice for keeping your space safe.

Best Security Cameras For Home

Here are some of the best security cameras for home use, considering factors like image quality, connectivity, and special features.

1. SoloCam S340 Wireless Outdoor Security Camera

SoloCam S340

The SoloCam S340 stands out as one of the best picks for a security camera due to its advanced dual-camera system that offers ultra-clear 3K resolution up to 50 feet. The solar-powered design ensures continuous operation with minimal maintenance. Its 360° coverage eliminates blind spots, providing comprehensive home surveillance. Additionally, the local storage feature saves costs with no monthly fees.


  • High Resolution
  • Solar-Powered
  • 360° Coverage
  • Cost-Effective


  • Firmware Compatibility
  • Limited Storage Capacity

2. eufyCam S220

eufyCam S220

The eufyCam S220 (eufyCam 2C Pro) excels in its impressive 2K resolution, providing clear and detailed footage. With a battery life of up to six months on a single charge, it minimizes maintenance. Its advanced human detection technology ensures accurate alerts, and its IP67 waterproof rating makes it durable in any weather conditions.


  • High-Resolution Footage
  • Long Battery Life
  • Advanced Night Vision
  • Smart Alerts
  • Weatherproof


  • Installation
  • Limited Field of View

3. SimpliCam


The SimpliSafe SimpliCam is a top pick for IP cameras due to its 1080p HD resolution and 120-degree field of view, ensuring clear and wide coverage. Its night vision and instant phone alerts provide constant monitoring, day or night. Additionally, the 2-way audio feature and stainless steel privacy shutter enhance both security and privacy, making it a reliable choice for home protection.


  • 1080p HD resolution for clear video quality.
  • 120-degree wide field of view.
  • Night vision for 24/7 monitoring.
  • Instant phone alerts for motion detection.
  • 2-way audio to communicate directly with intruders.


  • Indoor use only, not suitable for outdoor monitoring.
  • Needs the SimpliSafe Gen 3 security system for full integration

4. Nest Cam Outdoor

Nest Cam Outdoor

The Google Nest Cam Outdoor boasts built-in intelligence to distinguish between people, animals, and vehicles, sending alerts directly to your phone. It offers 1080p HDR video with night vision, ensuring clear footage day and night. With battery power and a magnetic mount, installation is effortless, and it continues recording during power outages, making it a reliable choice for any home security setup.


  • Smart Alerts
  • High-Quality Video
  • Easy Installation
  • Reliable Storage


  • Subscription Needed for Extended History
  • Google Home App Required
  • Additional Costs

5. Swann 4K Master Security Camera System

Swann 4K Master Security Camera System

The Swann 4K Master Security Camera System is top-tier due to its upscaled 4K resolution, providing clear, detailed footage. The color night vision extends surveillance capabilities, ensuring clear images even in low light. With its robust weatherproof design, the system is reliable in various conditions, and the expandable storage ensures ample space for recording.


  • High-Resolution Footage
  • Color Night Vision
  • Voice Control
  • Weatherproof Design


  • Complex Initial Setup
  • High Price


In the debate of security camera vs surveillance camera, your choice hinges on your specific needs - whether it's deterring intruders at home or monitoring extensive areas in a business. Each type offers unique features tailored to different environments. As you consider the best option for your security requirements, remember that the right camera can significantly enhance your safety and peace of mind.


Is A Surveillance Camera The Same As A Security Camera?

No, a surveillance camera is not the same as a security camera. While both are used to monitor activities, their purposes, features, and deployment often differ. Security cameras are primarily designed to deter criminal activities and ensure safety by being visibly placed and sometimes alerting the owners to specific activities through notifications. Surveillance cameras, on the other hand, are more about continuous monitoring and recording in a broader range of environments, from public spaces to high-security areas, where constant observation is necessary.

Do Security Cameras Reveal Personal Privacy?

Yes, security cameras can potentially reveal personal privacy, which is a significant concern. They are designed to monitor and record activities in their field of view, which sometimes includes private areas, depending on their placement. It's essential to position cameras judiciously, respecting privacy norms and regulations. Homeowners and businesses must ensure that their use of security cameras complies with legal standards to avoid infringing on privacy rights.

Do Surveillance Cameras Always Record?

Yes, surveillance cameras typically always record. They are designed to provide a continuous stream of footage, capturing everything in their field of vision 24/7. This constant recording is crucial for places that require ongoing monitoring like banks, casinos, and other high-security areas. The data captured is often stored for a predetermined amount of time before being overwritten or archived, depending on the storage capabilities and policies of the surveillance system.

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