What is the difference between indoor and outdoor security cameras?

What is the difference between indoor and outdoor security cameras?

To fully protect your home or business it’s worth installing security cameras both inside and outside. There are differences between cameras designed to be used outside and those for inside use.


Weather changes

The British weather is variable. One day it's freezing then the next raining and shortly afterward temperatures can rise. You can control the temperature indoors, but not outside. Outside a security camera must cope with extremes of temperatures, be waterproof and not seize up during freezing weather.

The best outdoor security cameras in the UK have been designed to be used in all weathers. They are normally cased in metal to protect them.


Most outdoor CCTV cameras are visible. This can act as a deterrent to intruders who know they are likely to be caught on video if they break into the property. An outdoor camera needs to tamper-proof so it is not easily broken. Outdoor cameras tend to be sturdier than indoor security cameras. A determined burglar can destroy a camera, but most burglars do not want to run the risk of being spotted or making a loud noise caused by trying to destroy an outdoor camera.

A miniature camera could be used outdoors, but most users prefer a larger camera because they want it to be noticed and act as a deterrent.

Light levels

Indoor and outdoor light levels vary between day and night. Both inside and outside cameras need be able to operate in the dark.

During the day there are times when dark clouds outdoors create low light levels. Therefore, the outside camera needs to have infra-red LEDs that enable the cameras to record video images in dark light levels. Infra-red systems should be quick to react when there is a sudden light change. The outside camera should be able to see at least 15 metres when it is dark.

difference between indoor and outdoor

Detecting movement

Typically, indoor and outdoor CCTV cameras record images when they detect movement. They can also send alerts to an app to make the user aware that movement has been detected. The user can then view the live video stream to determine whether it is an intruder or a false alarm such as an animal.

The only difference between the indoor and outdoor security cameras is that it can help to have the outdoor camera detect motion from further away. The indoor security cameras should be able to detect movement when anyone enters a room. An outdoor camera guarding a driveway should be able to detect movement a few metres away so that they spot intruders before they reach the front or back door.


Cameras should be placed at entrance and exit areas. In the home, an outdoor CCTV camera should cover the front and back doors, with perhaps an additional one covering the driveway.

Indoor security cameras should be placed in the main rooms. For most homes, this will usually be the hallway, living rooms and kitchen areas.


The best outdoor and indoor security cameras are mains-powered. An inside camera should either be near a mains socket or have an extension run to it. For some rooms, an electrician may be required to create an extra power line buried in the wall so it doesn’t look unsightly.

An outside camera will require a power socket, but most people are not too concerned if power lines running to the cameras are visible.

indoor and outdoor

Connecting to the CCTV network can be done wirelessly so there is no need to run ethernet cables to the router. If you have an outdoor CCTV camera far from a router you may need a router extender to extend the range of the router. We can help you find the best wireless CCTV system for your home.

The CCTV network

The ideal CCTV cameras are connected via a wireless network. By connecting with a broadband router, they can send images to an app or computer software which displays live feeds from all cameras on the network. Using the internet these images can be viewed from anywhere with an internet connection. The software that comes with the camera system can display single or multiple images from more than one camera so the user can fully monitor the areas in and around the property.

With the best wireless home security camera system, it helps that both outdoor and indoor cameras use the same software, then only one app is needed to monitor all cameras.

How to choose the best outdoor security cameras in the UK

When shopping for the best WiFi outdoor security camera there are several things to look for. The camera must be rated to operate in all weather and light conditions.

Picture quality should be high definition (HD) with at least a 1270x720 pixel definition. This will enable you to see clear images and help the police identify intruders in case of a break in.

The outdoor camera should be sturdy and preferably be housed in metal. The camera needs to be reliable so look for a long warranty and good customer support in case there are any technical issues with the camera.

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