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Home » Indoor vs. Outdoor Security Cameras: What’s the Difference?

Indoor vs. Outdoor Security Cameras: What’s the Difference?


Thanks to advancements in technology, security and surveillance are more advanced than ever. Complex security systems can monitor a property inside and out to provide peace of mind and deter potential thieves.

If you are considering a security system for your home or business, you might be wondering what is the difference between indoor and outdoor security cameras. What is the best outdoor camera security system and can you use indoor cameras outside?


A home outdoor security camera is usually larger than an indoor camera. The larger size is usually due to the weatherproof housing that protects the camera from the elements. Plus, the larger size and waterproof construction make the outdoor cameras more durable overall.

Indoor cameras tend to be smaller in size and stealthier in design, so they don’t stick out like a sore thumb. However, despite their small size, indoor cameras can still monitor large spaces. For example, an interior 20x PTZ camera can zoom in on a subject up close or use its wide-angle lens to survey a large area.

There are solutions for indoor and outdoor cameras that work for spaces of all sizes.


Another difference between indoor and outdoor security camera is softwares. An outdoor wired security camera can be designed for use in low light situations, allowing you to see the image even at night or in shaded areas.

Many newer indoor security cameras also have this capability, but their outdoor counterparts have become more advanced and able to handle complex lighting situations.

Indoor and outdoor security cameras can be controlled via software and remote controls. These advancements make monitoring easier because you can control cameras from virtually anywhere.

In the future, software and technology differences between indoor and outdoor cameras may be non-existent.

Lighting situations are another important thing to consider here. Outdoor cameras are generally able to handle low light situations better than indoor cameras. The software may be able to correct low light issues with indoor cameras, but the image may not be as clear. Not all cameras support this feature either.

Durability and sealing

Indoor and outdoor cameras also differ in their durability and waterproofness. These are some of the biggest differences between the two and should be considered carefully if you are buying security cameras.

Both types of cameras can be very durable and reliable. However, outdoor cameras tend to be more durable as they are designed for outdoor use and can withstand wind, rain, and snow. Indoor cameras are still durable, but they’re probably more fragile than their outdoor counterparts. Also, indoor cameras usually don’t have the same rugged housing as outdoor cameras.

Outdoor cameras usually have a sturdy metal or resin casing that protects its fragile internal components and lens. Of course, durability and construction will depend on the model and type of camera.

When it comes to waterproofing, the biggest difference between indoor and outdoor cameras is that indoor cameras are not waterproof. They are not designed to be exposed to the elements like an outdoor camera.

That being said, you can purchase a special enclosure for indoor cameras that will protect them from the elements. However, in this situation an indoor camera will need to be placed under an eave or protected area as it is still not 100% waterproof.

Outdoor security cameras, on the other hand, are waterproof and designed to withstand the elements.

Can you use an indoor camera outdoors and vice versa?

Many people buy cameras without realizing that they are designed for indoor or outdoor use. Others buy kits and wonder if they can use the cameras indoors and outdoors to get the most out of their investment.

  • As a general rule, indoor cameras cannot be used outdoors without special weather protection measures. Even then, you risk damaging the camera or voiding the warranty if you do not use the camera as directed.
  • Outdoor cameras can be used indoors, but they may not be a practical solution. Many outdoor cameras are large and heavy, making them ill-suited for indoor use.

For best results, use the camera as directed. If it’s an indoor camera, use it indoors only. If it is an outdoor camera, use it only outdoors. If you need cameras for both types of spaces, buy models designed for each application.


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