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Security Cameras vs Surveillance Cameras: Pros and Cons

With the rising fear of threats and attacks to both homes and businesses, people are becoming more careful about securing themselves, their assets, and their properties.

A sense of safety and security is detrimental to human well-being with a single break-in incurring not just financial losses, but leaving a lasting impact on the victim’s mental and emotional health as well.

The majority of theft, burglaries, and break-ins take place because criminals are aware that no one is watching them and they can do whatever they wish and run scot-free.

But what if there was a way to always keep an eye on your property to ensure it remains safe from such constant threats of attacks? Well, good news, because there is!

People have been using security cameras and surveillance cameras to deter criminals for quite some time and they have proven to be extremely efficient in doing their job.

Read on to find out how security cameras and surveillance cameras are different from one another, their pros and cons to homeowners, business owners, law enforcement agencies, and the general public, and how to choose the best ones for your property.


Security cameras, also known as CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) cameras, are independent security systems that record images and videos and transfer them from one particular place to a recorder (DVR) either digitally or through cables and wires.

On the other hand, surveillance cameras work in conjunction with security systems and are used to monitor the area where they are installed. They are commonly found in homes, offices, hotels, shopping malls, retail stores, and general public places.


The Pros

Security cameras provide a range of benefits that include:

Crime deterrence

Considered as one of the most effective deterrents against all sorts of crimes, security cameras provide a great solution for home and business owners in protecting their properties from being easy targets.

They do not just protect from external threats but also help businesses keep employee theft and misconduct at bay. The presence of security cameras tends to make people behave and helps them stay away from any kinds of mischief, fraud, or felony.


Security cameras record all that is in their surroundings and help property owners observe the scenarios around to keep track of suspicious activities.

They can be placed both inside and outside, depending on the area you’d like to secure, and all they require is a power source nearby. The systems can be used to keep an eye on the people visiting your home or office, with the playback feature providing an excellent way to always stay in the know.


Security cameras are strategically installed to record the actions of people, the footage for which can be used to collect evidence in case a crime has taken place and the owners wish to see who entered their properties and at what times.

Suspects can be easily identified with the help of CCTV recordings and there’s a higher chance of the perpetrators being caught.

The Cons

There are a few drawbacks associated with the use of security cameras that include:


One of the things that make people sceptical about investing in a security camera system is the costs involved, such as professional installation, maintenance, and the hardware itself.

The prices for the systems, however, have gone down considerably, and given that you choose the right system according to your requirements, they should be considered as security investments rather than a cost since they provide their money’s worth by keeping you and your property safe.


As is with all things, if not used smartly, security cameras can be made vulnerable and prone to being tampered with and even damaged. Installing the system within reach, and with the power source nearby, gives intruders the chance to disable it and render it useless.

Sadly, with the advancement of technology, criminals are become more tech-savvy too, enabling them to hack the cameras from afar. However, with certain best practices, you can prevent hackers from gaining access to your system.


Security cameras have always been associated with controversies related to the infringement of privacy. It is very easy to misuse them, and if controlled by the wrong people, they can be used for spying purposes as well.

To stop the misuse, the government has laid down certain legal requirements with respect to the use of CCTV cameras in homes, businesses, and public places. Anyone found breaking the law has to face the consequences in the form of heavy fines and jail time.


The Pros

Surveillance cameras have massively grown in popularity over the years due to their advantages that include:


By definition, surveillance means keeping a watch over or monitoring a certain area. Installed in places like homes, offices, shopping malls, parking lots, and even on main crossroads, surveillance cameras help keep them safe bit by preventing and deterring crime.

In public spaces, the cameras record all activity that occurs at any given time, that is monitored by law enforcement agencies, enhancing the overall safety of the area.

Crime reduction

“These premises are under 24-hour CCTV surveillance”. How often do you come across such signs on your way to work? Probably many. There’s a reason why so many people rely on surveillance cameras for security. It is because they are proven to reduce crime rates.

When people know they are being watched, they are less likely to commit a crime for the fear of getting caught. This fear results in criminals staying away from areas under CCTV surveillance, providing a more safe and secure place for people to live and work in.

Remote monitoring

In comparison to placing a security guard at all the key points on a property, remote surveillance via CCTV cameras helps monitor them from afar at a fraction of the cost.

You can conveniently access the camera feed from absolutely anywhere in the world; all you need is a smart device such as a mobile, tablet, or laptop, and a good internet connection. To take things up a notch, you can opt for professional monitoring services where experts trained at doing their job will be monitoring your property.

The Cons

Surveillance cameras have a few drawbacks that include:


Like security cameras, surveillance cameras can also be costly to install and maintain. Plus, there’s the added cost of purchasing the accessories, having them repaired if the need arises, and having the footage monitored through professional services.

You must understand, though, that these costs must be considered as long-term investments providing you with unmatched security and crime deterrence.


Unless you have some technical knowledge, surveillance cameras can be a little difficult to use and operate, especially to their full potential.

However, that shouldn’t put you off from investing in one since all things require some training to use and getting the hang of. Once you know how to operate the systems correctly, it should be a breeze.


It’s ironic how a device used for your safety and protection can be used against you. But sadly, that’s how the world works. With all the great advantages that surveillance cameras offer, it comes as no surprise that their benefits can also be abused and misused at times.

Surveillance cameras installed in public places can be an easy target of misuse and used for blackmailing people. It must be ensured that the systems are made to be impenetrable by hackers and that the people running and controlling the systems go through a strict background check. You can read the surveillance camera laws for business & property owners here.


To enjoy the full benefits of security and surveillance cameras, you must choose the right ones for your property. There are a few questions you need to ask yourself to help make a more informed decision, such as:

Why do you need security cameras?

This should be the first and most obvious question to ask yourself before you make a decision since the answer to that will determine which features you require and the number of cameras to install.

There are several reasons why you might require CCTV cameras on your property. They include enhancing your security capabilities, reducing thefts and break-ins, and staying in the know.

Where do you need them?

Depending on where exactly you need to install the CCTV cameras will determine what type of system you require. You must run a risk assessment on your property to find out the areas that need to be put under surveillance.

Haphazardly placing any type of camera, and just about anywhere, will defeat the entire purpose, which is why they need to be strategically installed.

Do you need a wired or wireless system?

All CCTV camera types come in two variants; wired and wireless. Wired cameras are known for their high-quality footage, consistent monitoring capabilities, and less susceptibility to interference and interruptions.

Wireless cameras, on the other hand, are made for the sole purpose of minimising the installation time and use of excess wires for a cleaner appearance. They transmit both live and recorded forage via a Wi-Fi network, but still require a power cable connection like their wired counterparts.

What type of CCTV camera do you need?

There are many different types of CCTV cameras to choose from, each made for a specific purpose and having specific features. Here are the most popular types:

  • Bullet CCTV cameras: one of the most common types of CCTV cameras out there, ideal for outdoor use, and used in applications that require long-distance viewing.
  • Dome CCTV cameras: ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, have a discreet shape, and allow wider angles to be monitored via 360-degree rotation.
  • C-Mount CCTV cameras: bulkier in size and come with detachable lenses that can be switched to adapt to the distance and field of view.
  • PTZ Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras: offer impeccable video quality and allow more control over what is being recorded with the camera panning sideways, tilting up and down, and zooming in and out of objects.
  • Day/Night CCTV cameras: built specifically to work during both the day and night-time, regardless of the lighting conditions, and ideal for premises that require round-the-clock CCTV monitoring.
  • Infrared/night vision CCTV cameras: use infrared technology to record images and videos in absolute darkness.
  • Network/IP CCTV cameras: connected over a network that allows the live footage to be accessed from anywhere in the world via the internet.
  • Wireless CCTV cameras: work best in situations where good presentation is key and the display of excess wires might ruin the aesthetics such as in museums, churches, heritage sites, and other tourist attractions.
  • High Definition (HD) CCTV cameras: come in a variety of resolutions ranging from 720p going all the way up to 4K.
  • What features do you need?

You can choose the best type of CCTV camera only after you know which features you require. For instance, if you need a camera for night-time surveillance, you must get a system with night vision, or else the system won’t be able to work as effectively as you’d like it to.

Some of the core features of a CCTV system are:

  • High resolution: the amount of information the image or video can store. As is obvious, the higher the resolution, the clearer the picture.
  • Night vision: used to capture high-quality footage even in the night-time in complete darkness.
  • Motion detection: video recorded only after motion is detected by the sensors. Can also send push-notifications to your smart device to alert you about the activity.
  • Weatherproof and vandal-proof design: essential for systems installed outside or exposed to harsh weather conditions. It protects the system from being tampered with or malfunctioning due to dust, heat, or water.


If you are unsure about which CCTV security system to choose, don’t worry! Calder Security is here to help!

We offer a comprehensive range of CCTV services ranging from professional installation to monitoring, maintenance and repairs.

CCTV installation

We are expert SSAIB-approved security system installers and supply only high-quality CCTV equipment from trusted brands such as Hikvision, one of the world’s leading CCTV manufacturers.

We supply both analogue HD and IP systems as well as advise you on which system would be most appropriate for your property.

We don’t just install your CCTV system and leave, but also provide full training on the equipment making sure our customers are comfortable with it and know how to use it properly.

CCTV monitoring

Our CCTV monitoring services ensure that your property is being watched over by professional monitoring staff when it is unoccupied or most vulnerable.

The real advantage of detecting a break-in while it is in progress is the action that can be taken to deal with it such as notifying your keyholders or alerting the police.

We use only Trusted Remote Video Receiving Centres (RVRC) and offer peace of mind that any incident detected would prompt an appropriate response.

CCTV maintenance

Annual servicing is vital to keeping your CCTV system in good working order. Even if it seems that the system is running fine, the checks and measures involved in a service help with the early detection of any potential issues.

During a service, we undertake a visual assessment of all equipment, check connections and cabling, clean the cameras, lenses and housing, assess playback and recording quality, and test remote signalling (if applicable).

CCTV repair

Even well-maintained CCTV systems can develop faults such as loose connections, cameras failing, the system not recording, playback not working, or poor-quality images.

If your system fails to record properly, loses clarity of picture, experiences drop out, won’t playback, or faces any other issue, our experienced engineers can diagnose and repair any faults quickly and with minimal disruption.

Contact us right away for a quick consultation with our leading experts regarding our state-of-the-art security and surveillance cameras!

Photo by Sacha T’Sas on Unsplash