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What Is One Difference Between a Video Surveillance Camera and a Webcam

A video surveillance camera and a webcam both have their respective purposes. It is not ideal to always use one in the place of the other. But if you want to know whether to get a webcam or a video camera for your intended use, you must first learn their differences. 

Most professionals and commercial shooters know the dissimilarities between the two very thoroughly. So, whether you are a novice at surveillance cameras or don’t know much about a webcam, this article is for you. Let’s break down the differences between the two below. 

What Is a Video Surveillance Camera? 

A video surveillance camera is a portable imaging device capable of shooting high-definition pictures. They are suitable for any professional shoot. But you can also use them for surveillance purposes. Moreover, their video quality is high, with an average 8-12 MP resolution. 

As a device, it may require a battery to run. While some can be pretty bulky, almost all video surveillance cameras are portable. They are meant to be installed at any home or office to monitor different activities or areas. 

Modern video surveillance cameras come with different features, including face recognition, anti-vibration, auto lock-on, night vision, thermal vision, etc. 

What Is a Webcam? 

A webcam is a small device that you can find attached to a computer with the primary purpose of video chatting and streaming. Because of their lower quality in video shooting, they are unsuitable for professional shooting and can be a wrong choice for surveillance. 


As their video data are directly streaming online to the recipient, there is no necessity for any storage. So, they have no SD card slot. Moreover, as a part of another device, a webcam doesn’t need its own batteries. 

Difference Between a Video Surveillance Camera and a Webcam 

There are so many differences between a surveillance camera and a webcam. Let’s show you a list- 

Video Surveillance Camera

Using Differences 

The apparent difference between a video surveillance camera and a webcam is their intended usage. The former has many built-in functions to monitor areas from a remote place. Some surveillance cameras can also stream the video data in the cloud, allowing the viewer to view it from anywhere. 

Meanwhile, a webcam is usually for online chatting, video calls, meetings, and streaming. As such, they are mounted on a laptop or such devices. Because of their different usage, their lenses are also different. 

Configuration Difference 

Unlike the webcam, surveillance cameras come equipped with high-quality lenses and functionalities, capable of shooting high-pixel video with high resolution. They also have anti-vibration, anti-glare, thermal vision, night vision, etc. 

A webcam needs almost none of the above since it is not monitoring any area. Since surveillance cameras are meant to operate in different environments, they are also built that way. 


One has no reason to conceal a webcam, and all parties usually know about it while operating. Meanwhile, a surveillance camera often remains hidden or semi-hidden from at least one party. 

Can You Use Web Cameras for Surveillance? 

Even if we cast aside the issue of low resolution and light glares, it is almost impossible to use webcams for surveillance. It is so because webcams are mounted on a computer screen. Their hardware is not meant for monitoring. It is only suitable for streaming and video chatting. 

How to Secure Web Cameras? 

Because webcams usually do not come with high-security systems or protection, it is easy for many to hack them. That is why if you want to avoid hackers monitoring your room without your consent, it is mandatory to secure your web camera. 

  • The best and most straightforward method is to cover the webcam with scotch tape. Many recent laptop and desktop models come with a webcam cover that you can shut off to keep the webcam concealed. 
  • If you need to join video chatting or meeting often, covering the webcam is not the best solution. In that case, try not to open attachments via E-mail from any unknown sender. 
  • Additionally, you can get and use anti-spyware software. Note that it is different from regular antivirus software. The latter can’t often catch spyware or malware on your PC. 

Final Note 

Now that you know the difference between a surveillance video camera and a webcam, you use the proper term when discussing them. A surveillance camera only keeps your house, workplace, or other areas on watch. Meanwhile, one can only use a webcam for surveillance when they keep the laptop open at home and are on a video call to monitor the other side. But that is highly impractical. 


nahidEditor, 10louder