What’s The Difference Between Surveillance Cameras And Security Cameras?

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Last Updated on November 23, 2022 by Thomas S. Tucci

If you have heard about the terms surveillance camera and security camera, it’s easy to get confused between them. Both of them serve similar purposes. That’s why it gets a bit vague what’s the difference between surveillance cameras and security cameras.

Security cameras are used in places like buildings, parking lots, stores, and other businesses to prevent crime. On the other hand, surveillance cameras are mostly used for increasing public safety by law enforcement.

The similarity between them can be confusing. So, make sure to read the entire article to get a clear idea about the differences.

What’s The Difference Between Surveillance Cameras And Security Cameras?

There are differences in functionality, system, pros, and cons between surveillance cameras and security cameras. To understand the difference better, you need to take a deeper look at both options.

Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras are often installed in public areas to prevent certain crimes or identify specific individuals. These cameras are usually installed by law enforcement to boost the security of the public.

Surveillance cameras not only monitor certain areas but also gathers evidence for crimes. When a crime takes place, surveillance cameras can be used to gather important information from the footage.  

Installing surveillance cameras can be complex. You may need a special permit from a governing body with an appropriate explanation of why you need the camera installed. The downside of surveillance cameras is that in case the footage falls into the wrong hands, the privacy of many people is compromised.

Implementing surveillance cameras can also be expensive. So, the authority has to evaluate high-priority areas to decide which areas need surveillance. The cameras then monitor and record that area regularly.

When a crime takes place, the footage is used for identifying the person involved in that crime. The footage can also be helpful when collecting evidence for a crime that took place nearby. If you’re interested to learn more about street surveillance, the Electronic Frontier Foundations offer an excellent explanation of different types of cameras.

Security Cameras

A security camera is often used by business owners. You will often notice these cameras in shopping malls, parking lot of a building, or any corporate building for that matter. Specific areas are covered by those cameras.

The motive for installing security cameras is to prevent crime in specific areas. For instance, shopping malls use security cameras to prevent shoplifting. Besides, if there’s some confusion about anything, it can be resolved by using the footage from the security cameras.

These cameras usually record everything covered by the frame. They’re installed in visible locations, which also helps prevent crime. When criminals see security cameras, they don’t commit any crime.

The downside of a security camera is that the privacy of workers is somewhat compromised. They’re under a monitoring system all the time, which may not always bring the best results. On the contrary, security cameras can be really beneficial for those who want to keep their business safe from criminals.

As for cost and privacy, security cameras are exposed to threats too. Criminals can hack those cameras and manipulate them according to their necessity. You can read our article can someone hack my Ring doorbell to learn more about hacking security cameras?

That’s why people are investing in high-tech cameras that boost the security of their businesses. Nonetheless, investing in better cameras only means more cost for the purchaser. That’s one of the downsides of security cameras.

To Sum Up

There aren’t many differences between a surveillance camera and a security camera. The purposes of these cameras are somewhat similar. Both of them boost the security of certain areas and prevent crimes from happening.

In case there’s criminal activity, the issue can be resolved using the footage from the cameras. It can be identifying a shoplifter using a security camera or running a number plate of a vehicle using a surveillance camera.

Both cameras do a great job of preventing crimes too. When criminals detect cameras in certain areas, their activities are reduced to a minimum. The only difference between the cameras is the users.

Whereas security cameras are used by private individuals for keeping their property, business, and relevant areas safe from criminals, surveillance cameras are for public authorities. The police and other law enforcement bodies are the primary users of surveillance cameras.

A few other differences include cost, subject to hacking, areas covered by the cameras, and complexity. Security cameras are comparatively simpler whereas surveillance cameras are a bit complicated. This goes for everything starting with installation and ending with operating the cameras.

As for cost, Surveillance cameras are more complex and require better monitoring, which makes them comparatively more expensive than security cameras. That’s why hacking into a surveillance camera is a lot more difficult than hacking into a security camera.

Security cameras monitors and record areas like buildings, floors, parking lots, houses, shopping malls, retail stores, etc. Surveillance cameras, on the other hand, are installed in public areas like roundabouts, parks, traffic lights, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is meant by a surveillance camera?

Surveillance cameras observe a certain area. The cameras are often linked to either an IP network or a recording device. Law enforcement uses these cameras for monitoring the area and controlling crime.

Q. Can I use a security camera without a subscription?

All home security cameras these days will offer you advanced features. However, most of them require a subscription to enjoy those features to boost the security of your home. Nonetheless, it’s not impossible to find a camera that will not charge you any money to provide your home with a sufficient security boost.

Final Words

Hopefully, you got a clear idea about what’s the difference between surveillance cameras and security cameras. Despite a few differences between them, the primary function remains the same. Both these cameras are installed for increasing the security of certain areas. Security cameras are for preventing and detecting crime, whereas surveillance cameras are installed for increasing public security in case of criminal activities.

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