LAST UPDATED: January 2, 2021
The Best Home Security Cameras (Review & Buying Guide) 2021
Keep your home safe by installing home security cameras
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PUBLISHED ON January 2, 2021
Whether you are worried about home security, want to check in on your pets, or just want to keep abreast of the activity going on in your home, nothing beats the flexibility and convenience of a good home security camera. These WiFi-connected cameras can record and stream videos straight to your phone or tablet, and best of all, getting one for your home won't break the bank. Closed-circuit cameras with local storage provide the ultimate in privacy and home security.
Unfortunately, not all home security cameras are created equal. Some can detect motion and send alerts, some have two-way audio features, and some are solar powered and won't need their batteries replaced. Below is a roundup of some of the best home security cameras available to help you with your purchase.
Choose from black or white for your security camera. The housing is weather resistant. The camera includes three months of Arlo Smart 30-day rolling cloud recording storage.
- Six-month battery life
- HD video quality
- Integrated spotlight
- Limited free video storage
- Lacking technical support
Enjoy convenient voice control through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant integration. Recording begins when motion or sound is detected, and the clip is saved for 14 days.
- 1080p Full HD live streaming
- Free cloud storage
- Night vision infrared LEDs
- Lack of system security
- Audio feedback
Keep your home secure with 1080p recording, Wi-Fi, night vision, motion detection, and an easy-to-use app. The system comes with four cameras.
- Local storage option
- Activity alerts
- Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration
- Trouble connecting to Wi-Fi
- Questionable picture quality
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Home Security Cameras
- Peace of mind. Having security cameras mounted on your home immediately lets criminals know that you take security seriously. Your home becomes harder to rob, making it less of a target than other less protected homes.
- Evidence production. Should anything happen on your property or within view of the camera, you now have evidence. This will make it easier to determine the facts of the incident for a criminal prosecution, civil matters, or insurance claims.
- Pet and family monitoring. Sometimes you just need to check in on your favorite four-legged furry friend. You can also use it if your children have friends over, and you want to make sure everything is OK.
Types of Home Security Cameras
These cameras require a wire that connects them to the central recording device. Some have a second cable that serves to power the camera; others have these two cables combined into one. It typically requires professional installation because you’ll need to run the wires through the walls and ceiling. Exposed wires could get cut, so make sure they aren’t visible.
These cameras connect to your security system by using your home Wi-Fi network. You can then have the footage stored on a cloud service or to a connected local storage device. These cameras will either run on battery or still have a power cable. This type of camera presents a risk of someone hacking into your system.
This style of camera is designed for use inside of your home. They’re typically dome-shaped and mounted on your ceilings, giving them a wide vision field so that a single camera can capture an entire room. There are specialty indoor cameras that perform additional functions, like throwing treats or monitoring air quality.
These are the cameras you’ll want to install on the outside of your house. They typically have a long cylinder bullet shape. You can mount them on a ceiling, overhang, or wall. Most outdoor cameras don’t need to be plugged into an outlet, which makes installation easier. Some include a spotlight for additional visibility.
Founded in 2017, Wyze is based in Seattle and specializes in wireless cameras and smart home products. What makes its products stand out is their ability to integrate into your smart home systems. The Wyze Cam Pan won’t let you down with its reliable performance.
Founded in 2012, Ring has become one of the most well-known brands in home security cameras and video doorbells. Its products are durable, dependable, and come with plenty of features. You’ll appreciate the quality performance and features of the Ring Stick Up Cam.
One of the newest security camera companies on the market, Arlo was founded in 2018. Its product line includes baby monitors, smart security cameras, and audio doorbells. Its products are quickly making a name for the company as high quality and loaded with features.
Home Security Cameras Pricing
- Under $50: Cameras in this price range are simple, affordable, and easy to install. They may have lower quality video and lack some features.
- $50 to $100: The majority of security cameras are in this price range. They range in features, quality, and ease of use. You can’t go wrong when you find the right camera for your needs.
- $100 and up: These cameras have the most features and options. You’ll find included storage services and other system integration abilities.
The type of camera that you buy will depend on where you plan to install it and the field of vision you want to achieve. Indoor cameras are dome style, while outdoor cameras tend to be a bullet style. Consider the camera’s size; larger cameras can look bulky, be obvious, and hard to install.
Some cameras are hard-wired into the electrical system in your home. They will have a constant power supply as long as your home has electricity. The other option is battery-powered cameras. They have an advantage because they continue running when the power goes out. The disadvantage is that you’ll have to replace the batteries.
Consider how you want to store your video footage. You could have local storage, which will require a separate memory device. Several security camera types require you to pay for a cloud storage service. This lets you access your footage from anywhere but does present an additional cost and security risk.
- Night Vision. Night vision cameras have capabilities that make them more efficient at capturing details when it gets dark. Since most criminal activity happens at night, this feature is essential. Consider the quality of the footage, as video tends to degrade when there’s minimal light. Some cameras can produce better quality night video than others.
- Ease of Use. The cameras and system that you choose need to be easy to use. Otherwise, you’ll spend more time being frustrated than actually using your cameras. The cameras should be easy to install and set up. There should also be a user-friendly system or app that allows you to access your video footage, edit, and share it.
- Price. Before you start comparing, decide what your budget is. You’ll quickly realize that cameras come in a wide range of prices, and the more expensive you get, the more features they have. It can be easy to fall in love with a camera system that’s significantly outside of your budget. Start with how much you’re willing to spend, then look for the best system that falls within that amount.
Best Home Security Cameras Reviews & Recommendations 2021
Installation of the system is quick, straightforward, and easy. Its weather-resistant design makes it great for outdoor use. Video recording is in 2k HDR, and the camera has a wide, 160-degree field of view, allowing you to see more and in more detail. Each camera has a spotlight that can be either manually or automatically activated and a color night vision feature that allows it to record in total darkness. Each camera is powered by two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that Arlo claims will last three to six months on a full charge. It works with both Google Assistant and Alexa.
Unfortunately, there’s a lack of knowledgeable technical support, leaving you to figure out solutions on your own. Also, there is limited free video storage.
You can stream what your camera sees in 1080p Full HD from anywhere using your mobile phone. The camera allows two-way audio to speak through the Wyze app. It has a motion/sound detection feature whereby the camera can record a 12-second video when motion or sound is detected and upload the video to the cloud. It can alert users via mobile notifications whenever motion or sound is detected, removing the need for constant app monitoring. The night vision feature allows recording in pitch black. Additionally, it can be integrated with Alexa or Google Assistant, giving users more control over the app. Lastly, it supports local storage via microSD.
Unfortunately, this system requires you to use it with an app. The camera can also lack the level of security that some users are looking for. You may find the audio quality lacking when compared to other cameras.
If you want to make the most out of your budget, then the YI 4pc Home Camera, 1080p Wireless IP Security Surveillance System might be the best choice for you. Each camera unit can record in Full 1080p HD. Each unit has an integrated infrared camera that will automatically turn on at night or in low light conditions. The two-way audio feature allows users to talk to visitors from any location via a WiFi connection. A motion detection feature can send notifications to users' mobile phones when motion is detected. Users can view up to nine camera streams simultaneously through the YI desktop app. It can be integrated with Alexa to allow for a range of voice commands. And, lastly, it supports micro SD cards for storage.
However, users report some trouble connecting to WiFi. Also, the camera has questionable picture quality and is not as good as others.
This outdoor security camera is solar and battery powered. It records in 1080p video resolution. You can tilt and pan this camera to get the exact angle of footage you want. Adjust the camera horizontally 355 degrees and 140 degrees vertically. It also has night vision for complete around the clock security. You can send recordings to the Reolink cloud, Google Assistant, or the integrated micro SD card. If you choose to use the cloud service, it’s encrypted to ensure your privacy. To improve the night vision footage, the camera has a starlight CMOS image sensor. The housing is weatherproof for durability, and you’ll find the camera easy to install.
Unfortunately, the camera mount isn’t as strong as other cameras, making it less durable. You may also have connectivity issues when trying to view the footage on the app.
It records in Full 1080p HD and has an infrared night vision feature that allows it to record in total darkness. It has a two-way talk feature that allows users to talk to visitors through the camera via the Ring app. The motion detection feature can be customized to enable the camera to focus on specific areas and alert you when motion is detected. The camera system works with Alexa and can be controlled with voice commands. Each unit connects to a standard outlet, so you won't have to replace batteries regularly. Lastly, the setup is fast, easy, and won't require wiring or special tools.
The downside of this camera is that you have to pay for the yearly subscription to have playback and recorded video access, presenting an ongoing cost to include in your overall purchase.
This outdoor security camera comes with a built-in battery capable of powering the camera for five to eight months between charges. There are two antennas to enhance the camera’s WiFi connectivity. Included features are PIR motion detection and two-way audio. Video is recorded in 1080p HD quality with night vision, and you’ll enjoy a viewing angle of 120 degrees and a visible range of 50 feet. The camera will automatically switch to night mode when ambient light gets too low. The camera is durable thanks to the housing being IP65 waterproof and can withstand temperatures from -4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
One drawback of this camera is that the motion detection isn’t as strong or sensitive as other cameras on this list. The camera also stops working when the app stops working.
Install your cameras anywhere with this 100 percent wireless camera system. The included battery lasts three to six months when fully charged. One feature of this camera is PIR motion detection and real-time altering notifications. You can store recorded videos on a micro SD card or paid cloud storage. The video is 1080p resolution and comes with IR night vision. There are four infrared lights. The viewing angle is 120 degrees and can record night time activity up to 55 feet away. The housing is IP65 weatherproof and vandal resistant. The integrated microphone and high powered speaker lets you communicate through the camera from anywhere.
One drawback of this camera is that there’s a delay in the recording when motion gets detected, causing you to miss some of the action. You may also find that the battery doesn’t last as long as other cameras. Thankfully, it’s rechargeable.
Install this bullet-style camera outside your home and enjoy 1080p HD quality with a two-megapixel lens. It works during the day and also has night vision. You can integrate your camera with Amazon Alexa to view your cameras on Fire TV and Echo Show. The night vision is enabled by 24 infrared LED lights with a visual distance of 20 meters. Other nice features included are motion detection and real-time alerts. The camera’s housing is durable, with a rating of IP66 waterproof, and is safe for use in temperatures from 14 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
One drawback of this camera is that the motion sensitivity is hard to manage. It will either miss motion events or alert you to every little bug that flies in front of the camera.
This easy to use security camera comes with a rechargeable battery and has a long standby mode. It should last two to five months on a single charge. You’ll find this camera easy to install thanks to there being no wires to hook up. There is a magnet bracket screw and double-sided adhesive tape, so you can install the camera anywhere you want. The image quality of the recordings is 1080p HD and captures a 130-degree viewing angle. You can also communicate through the camera with the two-way audio ability. The camera can detect motion up to 32 feet away during the day and night with the advanced PIR motion detection.
Unfortunately, the directions for installation and setup are hard to follow. You may also find the video quality isn’t what you’d hope for.
This set stands out because it comes with two cameras. They have a wide-angle lens with a 110-degree viewing angle and 1080p video quality. Six IR LED lights support the camera automatically switching from day to night mode. The night vision can record action up to 32 feet away. These cameras support two-way audio and are compatible with integration into your Amazon Alexa home system. Storage of your videos can be either to cloud storage or to a local 6-64GB micro SD card. Upon motion detection, the camera will automatically record and store a six-second video. Installation is easy with the included necessary hardware. There’s also an associated app for remote monitoring.
One drawback of these cameras is that you cannot adjust them remotely. This can limit what you can see if you aren’t standing there physically moving the camera.
- Check the angle of your cameras to ensure you have a full viewing angle. You want to get the maximum amount of your property in the video footage.
- Occasionally check your cameras and clean their lenses if necessary. Wipe them down and clean off dirt, debris, or water spots.
- Place your cameras to film the entrance points of your home. Don’t forget about your windows.
Q: Which is better: wired or wireless security cameras?
Wired cameras are more secure. Be sure the wires aren’t exposed. Otherwise, you risk them getting cut. Wireless cameras can have connectivity issues and be a hacking risk.
Q: What's the difference between surveillance cameras and security cameras?
A security system monitors a location and continually records. A surveillance system requires someone to physically monitor the system and watch for activity to take action.
Q: Do you have to put up signs if you have security cameras?
You do not need to post a sign if you’re installing cameras on your home for monitoring your property. People tend to put up signs as a crime deterrent.
Q: Is it legal to have security cameras with audio?
It is not legal to record sound on surveillance cameras. The federal wiretap law makes it illegal to record conversations without at least one party's consent.
The Arlo Pro 3 Two Camera System is a sleek look and reliably performing security system. The cameras have a long battery life and produce HD video quality. For a more affordable option, the Wyze Indoor Smart Home Camera records in 1080p HD video and has night vision infrared LEDs.