Security Camera Vs Surveillance Camera: Which is Better for You?

Security cameras become the most essential equipment for ensuring the safety and protection of properties and family members. Whether it is your office, store, or home, a security camera is a must to have. This camera helps you monitor your loved ones or employees, also, find out any suspicious activities.

With its emerging popularity, manufacturers come with new technologies to make it more handy to use. Earlier, the security cameras system belonged to the wired connection. Now they have become fully digital with wireless cameras. You can see the differentiation between security camera vs surveillance camera in this article.

Security Camera Vs Surveillance Camera – What’s Difference?

Generally, security cameras are known as CCTV cameras. They transfer the video footage to a digital video recorder from a specific area. Security cameras can protect you from any harm or loss with their sensors and alarm. They can sense flood, smoke, motion, fire, heat, etc., and alert you.


There are security cameras for rural properties also. As you can’t stay there, you can at least monitor and get alerts whenever needed. You will find three different types of security camera systems like monitored, self-monitored, and local security.

On the other side, a surveillance camera works synchronized with the security camera. A surveillance camera will monitor the area where you install it. It can transmit video signals as well as audio signals wirelessly to a DVR.

Surveillance cameras aim to catch a specific individual for certain acts. That is why the police mostly use these cameras for catching criminals. Now, let’s see the difference between security camera vs surveillance camera.

1. Size

  • Security Camera: You can find a bullet, dome, pan, tilt, box, hidden turret, and eyeball sized camera. The size of the security camera lens can determine the image quality of a camera. Also, it affects the viewing angle that a camera can see.

A more zoomed and narrow field of view a camera can provide with its larger lens size. Generally, the lens size ranges from 2.5mm to 100mm. There are 2.8mm, 6mm, 12mm, 50mm, 60mm, 100mm, and 180mm lenses also available.

  • Surveillance Camera: As like security cameras, surveillance cameras also come in several sizes. The most common surveillance camera sizes are bullet, dome, and eyeball. Surveillance cameras use three types of lenses, such as fixed, varifocal, zoom. For monitoring large space, the lens size should contain a longer focal length with a wider angle.

2. Storage

  • Security Camera: Generally, two types of storage are used for security cameras. They are local and cloud storage. 60 to 240 GB is the basic storage capacity for the security camera. With the increasing megapixel, you will need more storage capacity.


Security Camera


  • Surveillance Camera: The surveillance camera’s hard drive has a storage capacity of up to 6 TB. They can provide support to 32 cams per drive and 16 drives in a single system.

3. Using Method

  • Security Camera: Security cameras work in an excellent way to provide safety and security. Some cameras can record 24/7. They are connected to an on-site video storage device like DVR or NVR. Each camera uses a wire or cable for power and transmitting footage to the local storage. For remote footage view, they are physically wired to an ethernet cable or the internet.
  • Surveillance Camera: These cameras use Wi-Fi to transfer surveillance footage to the cloud storage by using the internet. You can view any footage by using your device with an internet connection. Surveillance cameras need to connect with a power cable and some rechargeable batteries. The mobile app controls them, so; it becomes much easier to monitor everything from anywhere.

4. Applicable Area

  • Security Camera: The effectiveness of a security camera depends on its placement. Mounting a camera in the right place can help you to catch thieves and criminals easily. For home security, you can place it at the front, back, or side door. Garage, driveway, yard, living room are the common places for mounting security cameras. These cameras are also used in offices, shops, roads, and malls to maintain the overall security system.
  • Surveillance Camera: Surveillance cameras are placed to detect, record, and deter unwanted activity. A person is required to monitor the activities to take immediate action with these cameras. You can use these cameras to prevent and detect crimes of home, business, and surrounding property.

5. Coverage Range

  • Security Camera: A standard home security camera can cover 0 to 70 feet based on its resolution. Professional cameras can cover 0 to 700 feet distance with high-resolution.
  • Surveillance Camera: They typically have a 250 to 450 feet coverage range for outdoor. This range can be limited to 100 to 150 feet for indoor cameras. The best airport and seaports 24-hour cameras have a 300 meters range.

6. Price

  • Security Camera: Depending on the lens size, area coverage, storage, and additional features the camera price can differ. The average security camera costs around $150-$100 for indoor cameras. For outdoor cameras, it will be slightly increased to $200.
  • Surveillance Camera: The average price range of an indoor surveillance camera is $100 to $400 each. Indoor cameras average cost is $50 to $250 each. It varies due to the different features and benefits.

Security Camera Vs Surveillance Camera: Which Is Better for You?

These cameras can protect your homes, businesses, and loved ones by letting you watch the video footage. Security cameras are used for stopping the crimes before it happens. It also alerts the authorities with real-time footage.

The cameras are best for larger distance areas, capturing day or night footage, and perimeters. So, you don’t need to set up several cameras to cover the larger area. Security cameras are best for observing activities, detecting criminal acts, and providing crime evidence.

On the other side, the surveillance camera prevents intruders from entering a secured area. These cameras are also beneficial for constant monitoring and providing access to recorded footage.

Surveillance cameras are great for reducing the crime rate in public areas; thus, improving public safety.  Security cameras aim for deterring crimes, and surveillance cameras aim for catching individuals.

Using both cameras definitely can increase the safety and security level of an area. It can be a public area or a home space; both these devices will work effectively. Now, compare the differences between security camera vs surveillance camera and your requirements. Then decide which one is better suitable for you.

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About the author - Charles Theisen

Hi, I am Charles Theisen, I am a technical expert on security cameras and its system. I have a shop where I sell security cameras and its accessories. Because of my business, I have to face so many clients of security camera users. I saw many clients face difficulties with installation, maintenance, not getting the proper service, buying the wrong one. All those problems they face because of their lack of knowledge about security cameras.

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