The Best Home Security Cameras (Review & Buying Guide) 2021
Keep your home safe by installing home security cameras
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BY Andra DelMonico / LAST UPDATED 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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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
- 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.