outdoor or indoor security camera

A safe home is a happy home, and these days it seems like you can’t do enough to protect the security of your family and property. Outside of traditional alarm systems, security cameras are increasing in popularity among homeowners as a way to keep unwanted threats out, while simultaneously acting as a way to capture evidence should the need to use it arise.

However, with so many options available from which to choose, where do you start? A good place is by determining whether an indoor or outdoor camera is right for you.

There are a number of similarities between indoor and outdoor security cameras insofar as features are concerned. However, whether you choose an indoor our outdoor version depends entirely upon your living situation.


When to choose an indoor security camera

If you’re like me and live in an apartment building or condo, an indoor security camera is likely the best choice. I don’t know about you, but I have little interest in monitoring what happens outside my apartment door when I’m not home (and when I’m home I can do just that by looking out my peep hole!), and my building has its own outdoor security camera system, so I’m covered there.

indoor security cameraFor me, the most important thing is to monitor what is happening inside my apartment when I’m not there. With an indoor security camera like the Canary All-In-One Wireless System, I can keep an eye on the people I let in to tend to my plants while I’m out of town, and will be alerted to any suspicious incidents when I’m not home thanks to its motion detection capabilities. In fact, if there is suspicious movement when I’m away, HD video and audio will automatically be streamed to my smartphone through the Canary app.

Even better, you can stop burglars with the tap of your finger via the Canary app. If you’re alerted to suspicious behaviour, you can sound the built-in 90-decibel siren or connect directly to your local emergency services for immediate response.


When to choose an outdoor security camera

As far as I’m concerned, outdoor security cameras are entirely different beasts than indoor cameras. That might be because I don’t own property so have no need nor desire to monitor what happens outside the comfort of my small apartment, and outdoor cameras do exactly that: they monitor the outdoors.

nest indoor security cameraOutdoor cameras can make sense if you have a home with a yard that you want to monitor and protect. Or because you want to keep an eye on your children or pets playing in the backyard. For example, with the Nest Cam Outdoor you can see what’s going on at your home simply by looking at your smartphone. It’s also fully weatherproof, so you can install it anywhere outside and it will still function as intended.

In my opinion though, I feel like outdoor cameras have become commonplace enough that they aren’t the deterrent they once were to thieves. Don’t get me wrong, they absolutely do provide a layer of security, but if a thief or vandal sees one, will it be enough to make them run? I don’t know the answer, but to me there is something to be said about being able to see and monitor what is happening inside your home when and if a vandal makes his or her way in.


Which do you choose?

So, which do you choose? It really comes down to your living situation. That said, I truly think there is a higher level of security that comes with an indoor security camera. Sure, there is something to be said about being able to see what is happening outside of your home at any given time, but isn’t there more to be said about being able to see what is going on inside your home, and better yet, to be alerted to suspicious movements in your home when you aren’t there?

The way I think of it is like this … Imagine that your car is being broken into. Do you want to be alerted that there is a potential perpetrator while he or she is lurking around your car and hope that your alarm is a deterrent? Or, understanding that the perpetrator is likely going to break in regardless of your alarm system, would you rather see him or her in action so you can stop him or her in the act and call the authorities?

You may think my rationale is backwards, but I live in an urban area where alarms are largely ignored. For me, security doesn’t come from the first line of attack, but from the second. So for me, indoor security cameras are where it’s at.

Call GeekSquadGeek Squad can help  

If you want to install a security camera, regardless of whether it is of the indoor or outdoor variety, and aren’t quite confident doing it yourself, Best Buy’s GeekSquad has your back. No matter what your needs, they can help you choose the best products to suit your needs and then install those products for you.

Stacey McGregor
Stacey McGregor is a marketing and communications professional based in Vancouver, BC. She has a passion for the written word, loves learning about new technology and gadgets, and enjoys sharing what she learns through Best Buy's Plug In blog.


  1. Something to keep in mind for surveillance cameras. Avoid using an indoor camera for monitoring outdoor movement through a window.
    It will not detect motion through the window, and at night, when the Infra-Red ( IR ) LED’s turn on to light up the affected area, the infra red light will reflect from the window onto the lens, causing a washed out image.
    As mentioned, Geek Squad has a free in-home / in-store consultation service, which will be of great help in determining various aspects of surveillance.

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