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

In our technological era, there has been a tremendous increase in families building their own custom intelligent homes, otherwise known as properties equipped with security, home automation, and round-the-clock surveillance. The development of technology has also led to an increase in the variety of cameras homeowners can use to protect their homes, with the popular being security cameras and surveillance cameras. 

Security cameras, also known as CCTV cameras, convey signals from one particular place to a monitor situated at a distance. In contrast, surveillance cameras usually work on IP networks that link the camera from the remote area to the assigned security location. Security cameras are something many of us take for granted in our everyday lives, and surveillance cameras have gained great significance in various sectors because of their benefits.

What Is Surveillance?

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Surveillance is generally used for the act of watching someone or something (i.e. home, business, surrounding property) to prevent or detect an intruder entering a secured area.

Systems are set up by strategically placing a network of video cameras in a designated area to capture events as they occur. Surveillance footage is either broadcasted to a monitor and recorded for future use. Let me give an example of what a surveillance system will do.

Let's say you are leaving for the week and you've installed surveillance cameras around your property. If a burglar comes and breaks in, your cameras will capture everything, and you will have footage of the entire intrusion. 

The negative aspect is that by the time you receive this information, a significant amount of time will have already passed before the intrusion is reported. The presence of surveillance cameras helps deter crime, constant observation, and access to recorded footage. 

Unfortunately, they are of little use until someone has seen the footage, which results in a very delayed response time. You may ask, "what if the cameras are being constantly monitored by a person?" That is common, especially in and around more prominent buildings and properties. However, issues with this option come down to attentiveness. 

Can you imagine staring at a motionless screen for 12 hours? If not multiple screens? Guards have been an essential piece of security for a long time in various industries, but there is only a certain extent of ability one person can achieve.

Surveillance camera

Surveillance cameras or known as automatic number plate recognition systems, work on an IP network that links the camera from a remote area and transfers the video to the security area. This allows for a longer recording time, which is perfect for surveillance activities.

Compared to security cameras, whose aim is to deter criminals, surveillance cameras aim to catch a targeted individual for certain acts. Thus, this is typically used by police officers to catch a criminal. 

What advantages does this deliver? Read on. 

It Reduces The Crime Rate In Public Areas.

Criminals will be less likely to commit a crime where they see cameras, even in public places. This reduces the crime rate in areas where there is a high number of criminal acts.

It Allows For Easy Monitoring From Afar.

You can easily monitor areas wherever you are. You can see the feed from the camera through the internet or your mobile device, as long as there's an internet connection.

It Helps Improve The Public's Safety.

Public safety is improved at public places such as street crossings, malls, and parking areas. With the help of surveillance cameras, criminals are deterred and prevented while safety is increased.

Consequences Of Surveillance Cameras

You should know that ordinary citizens are not allowed to install surveillance cameras easily. This requires a particular permit from the government and a justifiable reason why this has to be installed in your private property or business.

Why? This is because it is:


People who are not tech-savvy can get lost in using surveillance cameras. It would be best if you learned how it works to use its full potential.

Easy To Abuse

Surveillance cameras placed in public areas are prone to abuse and misuse. Someone can collect the data from it and use it to blackmail another person.

Costly Installation

To use surveillance cameras, you'll need to purchase different system accessories, which is, by the way, costly. Repairs can be expensive too.

What Is Security?

Security systems go a bit further by keeping you safe from harm or loss with a network of alarms and sensors. They will also protect you from non-crime related situations that are potentially harmful to you, your family, or your assets. Security systems enable 24/7 monitoring, with sensors for floods, heat/smoke/fire, motion, glass break, doors, and windows, and real-time alerts sent directly to you and proper authorities. The only disadvantage would be a lack of recorded video. 

There are three different types of security systems:

  • Monitored systems are the most common. A monitoring agent working at your company's security centre is notified when an alarm is set off at your residence and contacts local authorities. In addition, you are also alerted via cellphone.
  • Self-monitored systems act the same as a monitored system, but instead of an agent being notified, you receive 24/7 alerts over your cell phone and are responsible for contacting authorities. With this option, you save on extra fees and risk missing a watch if you are preoccupied.
  • Local security systems are the most basic. These systems set off loud alarms or sirens that can be heard in the immediate area. These alarms rely on alerting you or your neighbours to call proper authorities.

One more option we'd like to cover is what is called video security. Video security uses smart video detection cameras and incorporates the strengths of both systems. Intelligent video detection uses thermal cameras and video analytics which can accurately identify targets on a real-time site map with the ability to zoom in on the target automatically.

These cameras are suitable for large distance areas and perimeters, which can potentially cut down on the number of cameras you may otherwise have to set up. They also work equally as good during the day as they do at night. Regular high-definition cameras can be used with video analytics but are hindered by creating images using visible light.

Daytime reflections from the sun or car lights can interfere with accuracy and cause false alarms. During the evening, there wouldn't be a sufficient amount of light for the cameras, and you risk missing an intruder altogether. High definition cameras are, however, helpful in keeping detailed video quality if an intrusion does occur.

Security Camera

Security cameras or also known as CCTV cameras are used to transfer signals from a specific area to an exact monitor located at a distance spot. It provides the following advantages:

It allows you to observe activities.

Security cameras are an effective way to keep track of suspicious visitors in your area. This helps allow you to observe various activities in your home or business. 

It deters criminal acts.

Whether it is placed tactfully at home or the office, security cameras discourage any criminal intent. Since the criminals know that they're being watched, they'll stop with their plans in fear of getting caught.

It provides evidence for a crime.

Security cameras are great for obtaining evidence of any unexpected or expected events, especially nowadays where CCTV's have high-quality audio and video. This makes it easier to track culprits of criminal acts.

Consequences Of Having Security Cameras

Vulnerability To Hack

Due to the advancement in technology today, criminals have also made themselves tech-savvy. Thus, they have also acquired knowledge on how to disconnect the cameras from the power source.

Your Privacy Can Be Compromised

Security cameras in the office areas compromise the privacy of the staff. It makes some employees feel that the employer doesn't trust them. Nevertheless, prevention is still always better than cure. Thus, having a security camera placed in your business to deter any criminal acts.


Again, due to the advancement in technology, security cameras have many improvements now, but the cost of these has also become more expensive.

Security Cameras vs Surveillance Cameras: Pros and Cons

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Security cameras 

The best home surveillance cameras are an effective security measure due to the benefits they offer. Plus, they're great tools for when you need to protect your home. Here are some pros and cons of the best home surveillance cameras. 


Hinder Crime

This is the most significant benefit of security cameras. Whether the cameras are placed discreetly at home or the workplace, the sight is usually scary to anyone with ill motives since they will know that their illegal activity has been captured. This is an excellent solution for areas with a crime problem and can help keep your office or home from being an easy target. 

Observing Scenarios And Activities

Security cameras can be placed anywhere as long as there is a power source nearby. Depending on your needs, you can install either mountable or hidden cameras to help monitor the activities of people visiting your home or office. This is an excellent way to detect and keep track of dubious visitors. 

Pick Up And Assemble Evidence

Strategically installed cameras are perfect for monitoring people's words and actions. Plus, with the improvement of technology, modern cameras are equipped with high-quality audio and video ability for recording and documenting events. 



Compared to dummy cameras, real cameras are costly to install and maintain depending on the features, the number of cameras, and monitoring systems. 


Advancements in technology have led criminals and other intruders to be more tech-savvy, which enable them to identify natural or dummy cameras and work out ways to disable or disconnect the power source of the cameras.  

Privacy Compromise

Security cameras have created controversies across the board, especially in the professional sector. Frequently, employees cite them as an invasion of privacy or make their presence imply that their employer doesn't trust them. 

Surveillance cameras 

The use of these types of cameras has increased tremendously because of their advantages which include: 


Public Video Surveillance Improves Public Safety

When we install a home security camera, we gain increased house safety. Just like that, the main benefit of surveillance cameras in public spaces is also the increase in public safety. Public surveillance cameras help you stay safe while clubbing, shopping, and travelling.

Public security cameras can be used as a way to keep an eye out for crimes. PTZ security cameras put in public spaces, like a crossroad, a retail store, parking lots, museums, concert halls, do an excellent job in providing 360° seamless surveillance solutions.

Additionally, crimes can be deterred before they even begin in some cases. If a suspicious individual or individuals or items are seen in an area, the appropriate authorities can be contacted to move into the room before any damage is done or any crime is committed. Moreover, any people in the area can be cleared as a precaution.

Since public safety is guaranteed, people's fear of crime can also be reduced while their sense of security is created.

Public Surveillance Cameras Reduce Crime Rate

Video surveillance statistics show that camera surveillance does reduce crime – after security cameras were put in public, crime incidents dropped 20%.

If individuals know that there are live surveillance cameras in a specific area, they may be less willing to commit a crime near the location for fear of being caught.

Some authorities place public cameras in Walmart and other shops, hoping that the cameras will help prevent crimes.

Public Video Surveillance Helps Catch Criminals

If a crime is committed in an area where a public surveillance camera has been set up, the chances of catching the criminal are much higher.

Facial recognition software has significantly improved over the years. So, if criminals are captured by security cameras in public places, the local authorities can recognize and catch them easier with facial recognition technology. Posters can be created, and the images can be aired on network television to help spread the word about the criminal.

Without the surveillance cameras in public places, it can be complicated to gain a quality description of the person who committed the crime, even if there were eyewitnesses.

Video Cameras In Public Locations Provide Evidence And Gather Clues

Another benefit of surveillance is that any footage that captures a committed crime can be used in a court of law as evidence against the accused.

In some cases, if there were no CCTV security camera systems in public places, there would be little or no evidence to convict the person of the crime, and the individual may go free. With night vision security cameras on watch, robbers can be recognized even if they commit a crime in dark areas.

Additionally, in some cases, the public video surveillance footage can also help prove someone's innocence if they have been accused of a crime that they did not commit.

Research on the value of CCTV systems shows that CCTV footage is classified as applicable in 62.2% of robbery investigations and nearly 61% of assault investigations.

Public Video Surveillance Brings Convenience For Everyday Life

Some cities have placed cameras on stop lights to help prevent people from speeding or from going through a red light.

And also, relevant authorities can monitor road conditions with live surveillance cameras. So they can make real-time traffic reports, helping people choose the right time and road when going out.

A few things to keep in mind while shopping around for surveillance cameras: 


Costly To Install

This is a significant drawback of surveillance camera use since they often require purchasing the system accessories separately. Plus, repairs to these systems can get expensive very quickly. 

Complex To Use

If you are not a tech-savvy individual, then you might find it challenging to use some of the top-quality cameras on the market. 

Easy Abuse Of Surveillance Systems 

Surveillance cameras placed in public places can be easily abused and misused. 

A con of surveillance cameras in public places is that these security cameras may be abused. One example of how a general camera may be misused is that information gathered by law enforcement can be used as a form of blackmail.

Another form of abuse is voyeurism. Spying on women with public surveillance cameras is quite common, which becomes quite an issue that needs to be dealt with.

Overall, the simple lack of control or limits on public camera use is one of the biggest problems. Until now, there is no sound check-and-balance system to prevent abuses from occurring.

Effectiveness Of A Public Security Camera Is Doubted

Another controversy of using surveillance cameras in public places is that their effectiveness has not been proven. While there has been a push for more public CCTV cameras to be placed in public places because of the threat of terrorist attacks, it is pretty clear that a suicidal bomber is not going to be deterred by the fact that there is a camera in place.

Both cameras are used for protecting specific areas where it is located, but they differ in application. Nonetheless, using them both accurately can increase the security level of a room. May it be public safety or home safety. Make sure that you choose a reliable security company to provide you with either of the two.

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