Types of Security Cameras

Types of Security Cameras Featured Photo

I go through intensive research and reading before I buy an dinvest on a home device. This is especially true for something concerning home safety like security cameras.

As you type in your search bar security cameras to consider and buy, you will encounter many options to choose from. And reading through them, you might encounter different cameras advertising themselves as this type or that type.

Understandably you can be confused and daunted, especially if you’re encountering these words for the first time. But fear not because we are here to help you choose a type of security camera!

If you’re hunting down the best security cameras for your personal use and would like to know the types of security cameras \you’re choosing from, I’ve got you covered right here!

Types of Security Cameras

To discuss the different security camera types, we grouped them in six categories: by location, by power, by connection, by storage, by movement, and by shape. And under these categories, we’ll break them down even further for a complete guide!

Types of security cameras: by location


Indoor cameras are meant to be installed inside your home. Whether it be your family’s living space, garage, or kitchen, these work great at keeping an eye on kids or pets.

Of course, it goes without saying, you should avoid placing them inside private rooms like bedrooms or bathrooms.

Indoor cameras are typically cheaper than its outdoor counterpart.


Outdoor security cameras are meant to be installed and placed outside your home.

Many homeowners choose to install these in their property to ward off intruders and be alerted of people going in and out of their homes. Most homeowners install these on gates, fences, by the garage, and even on patios and backyards.

As mentioned above, these are much pricier than indoor security cameras. This is because they are designed to withstand the constantly changing conditions of the outdoors.

Whether it’s raining, sunny, or snowing outside, they can withstand these conditions and still function properly.

Video doorbells

Video doorbells can be categorized under outdoor cameras.

They are meant to be installed on the door, door frame, or wall beside your door. These are a two-in-one device that combines a doorbell and a video camera.

They let homeowners know if there’s someone at the door and who it is.

Doorbell cameras offer an array of features including motion detection, two-way communication, and real-time alerts.

Types of security cameras: by power


Wired cameras need to be hardwired or plugged in for power. When it comes to installing and setting up wired security cameras, you should always be considering the place of installation. These should always be placed and installed near a power source, otherwise, you won’t be able to power it up, defeating its very purpose.

The downside to wired cameras are they are dependent on electricity. This means if there is a power outage, your security cameras also cease to work and function. Only when the power goes back does it continue to function.


When we say “wireless” security cameras, these usually mean a camera without cables and wires for video and data transmission. Oftentimes, these do require to be plugged in for power. This means they also rely on electricity so when power goes out, your wireless cameras also go out.


Wire-free cameras are often confused with wireless. And while both technically are “wireless”, we’ll use the term wire-free for the sake of clearing up confusion.

When we say wire-free, these are truly free-from-wires cameras. This means they don’t need wires and cables to transmit videos or for power. They are usually operated with either rechargeable or removable batteries.


Power over Ethernet (PoE) security cameras use one Ethernet cable for both video transmission and power. Because they need to be plugged in, when the power goes out in your home, the camera will also die until power is restored.

Solar panel

Another security camera power option that’s gaining popularity are solar panels. With a solar panel, this gets its energy to power up right from the sun. Whenever there is sunlight, this continues to function. Some units come with their own solar panel while others are sold separately.

When it comes to solar-powered security cameras, you have to think carefully about the location and ensure that wherever it is, your panel gets enough sunlight during the day for all-day function.

Types of security cameras: by connection


Wi-Fi cameras are one of the most common types of smart security cameras in the market right now. They need to be connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network to function properly.

Most security cameras in this category have a lot of smart features including motion detection and push alerts and notifications. Many can also be controlled remotely wherever you are in the house or elsewhere.


For places without internet or Wi-Fi access, a cellular security camera is the choice to go with. These use cellular data plans as internet sources. They also often have features like motion detection and can send you real-time alerts and notifications.

These are often battery-operated and are wireless cameras, making it a viable choice for remote areas without power and electricity.


Analog cameras don’t need Wi-Fi. These record and transmit data and footage directly onto an SD card or hard drive on site. The downside to this is it lacks features like live streaming, motion alerts, and remote access.

Types of security cameras: by storage


Most smart indoor and outdoor cameras in the market right now use cloud storage. This allows for remote cloud backup you can access anywhere.

Though convenient for many, this does require a subscription plan you need to pay for. There also have been rising concerns for hacking and data breach on these cloud services.


Some security cameras come with on-board storage often in the form of SD cards, micro-SD cards, or hard drives in the camera itself. This wouldn’t need cables or Wi-Fi to transmit data and video.

One major drawback to this type of surveillance cameras in your security system is you can’t access your videos remotely as you would with cloud storage.


Network Video Recorders (NVRs) use a special type of computer to record and store videos and footage on-site. A Network Video Recorder can host multiple camera setups and IP cameras around your property. But much like on-board storage, this doesn’t allow for remote access or remote live streaming.

Types of security cameras: by movement


Pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) cameras give users complete control over how a camera moves. This type of camera can move left or right (pan), up and down (tilt), and zoom in or zoom out.

This camera setup usually has someone always on standby on a monitor to view the feed in real-time.


Fixed cameras are ones you cannot move remotely through an app, unless you physically move them and the mounting bracket.

Types of security cameras: by shape


Dome cameras are a discreet security measure that can effectively ward off intruders. The dome in the name refers to the dome-shaped casing the camera sits on.

Dome cameras give intruders an air of uncertainty because the shape and casing makes it difficult to see which angle the camera is facing.

These are usually placed on ceiling or other flat surfaces.


Bullet cameras are long and usually thin security cameras. They’re often seen in outdoor settings as these have a weather-resistant casing. These boast of a wide range of coverage, perfect for identifying intruders’ faces and identifying marks.


Box cameras are box-shaped security cameras rarely used in home settings. This camera type is often customizable i.e. the lenses are separate from the body and you can buy a specific lens to cater to your needs.


Turret cameras are like mini dome cameras in the way of their shape. These are usually smaller than both dome or bullet cameras.

While dome cameras have that casing on the camera, a turret camera would eliminate that casing. They’re also great at having a wide field of view.

These are also usually found in commercial settings instead of home settings.


Security cameras come in an array of types and classification. But before you get surprised and scared of all the new terms you can encounter in your search for new home security cameras, let us guide you through it.

To make matters simpler, we’ve grouped these many types into five classifications: by location, by power, by connection, by storage, by movement, and by shape.

These five classifications are further broken down to give you a detailed guide on the different types of security cameras.

By locationBy powerBy connectionBy storageBy movementBy shape
Solar panel

And that has been our guide on the many different types of security cameras! Happy security camera shopping!