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What are the best security cameras for protecting your home? Our top picks

The best security cameras have motion sensor detection, night vision, two-way audio, and other high-tech features to secure your home from hooligans

A robust home security setup with cameras, sensors, and night vision can give you peace of mind. Luckily, the emergence of the internet of things (IoT) technology, mobile connectivity, apps, and cloud technologies have radically changed the security landscape and made it easier than ever to set up multi-room and on-premise systems in your home.

The possibilities are endless: Cloud or local feed storage, customizable or automatic alerts and alarms, smartphones and tablet connectivity, wired or wireless, battery-powered or mains options, video capture, night vision, audio feeds of varying quality, and the ability to check in in real-time are all on offer and can be tailored to meet the requirements of your home. 

Must read:

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Flexible and quick setups
  • Professional monitoring available
  • Bolt-on ecosystem additions available, including outdoor cameras
cons
  • Long shipping time
  • Multiple camera costs are high
More Details

Features: Two-way audio | Motion activated | 1080p video

Once the case, heavy-duty, wired surveillance systems were the only options available to protect a premises. Times have changed, and with the explosion in mobile solutions and the increased bandwidth offered by broadband and 4G/5G, there are mobile-friendly options for people seeking a budget-conscious security option. 
 
The benefit of the Ring camera range, including indoor, outdoor, stickup, and floodlights, lies within its flexibility. Each camera can be connected to the same account and accessed via smartphone, alerting users to motion from all areas.
 
Of particular note are stick up cams, which can be placed inside or outdoors and on horizontal or vertical surfaces. Battery and wired options are available as well as devices that come with a solar panel and a backup battery pack. The Spotlight and Floodlight models, too, are of interest, given their inbuilt security sirens.  

As there are a variety of different cameras users can choose from, it's possible to design a mix-and-match setup to protect a premises.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Easy setup
  • Mobile device monitoring and access
  • Flexible options
cons
  • Expensive for single cameras
More Details

Features: 3 color options | Compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa | 135-degree field of view

Google Nest cameras will be of interest to home owners already in the Nest ecosystem -- including users of the Nest Thermostat and Nest CO2 alarms as well as Nest X Yale Locks. 

The Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor cameras are mobile options for on-premise security. They are best suited for budget-friendly users that need basic security measures in place. The cameras can record footage in 1080p HD, and when it comes to the outdoor version, this quality is maintained at night through infrared LEDs. You can pick up battery or wire-powered options.
 
Both versions have inbuilt speakers and will alert users via their mobile devices when suspicious activity or visitors are detected by motion and noise sensors. Once the app has been installed, and an account has been set up, monitoring begins. 
 
Subscriptions vary.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Additional security products on offer to create a wider security network
  • Small, compact design
  • Budget friendly
cons
  • Limited cloud storage included unless subscribed
More Details

Features: Color night vision | Motion and sound detection | 32GB of storage 

If you want to dip a toe into the world of IoT and intelligent home security devices, you may want to consider the Wyze Cam v3, one of the most affordable options on the market today.

The Wyze Cam v3 is a $35 internet-connected camera offering 1080p recording, IP65 quality for indoor or outdoor use, a CMOS sensor designed to improve nighttime vision, a siren, and two-way communication.

The camera can be part of a wider Wyze security ecosystem, which includes outdoor cameras, motion sensors, leak sensors, keypads, and entry monitors. 

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Six months of battery life
  • Magnetic mounts
cons
  • An Arlo Secure subscription is required for premium features
More Details

Features: 12x zoom | Built-in siren | Noise-canceling audio

Another option is the Arlo Pro 4. This slimline option can be used either indoors or outdoors, it being a weather-resistant model with a variety of mounting options that can detect both sound and motion.
 
The Arlo Pro 4, available in black or white, can work as a day-to-day camera on the shop floor; a discreet camera placed outside to act as a night watchman, or as a part of a full network of cameras in a large workplace. A spotlight to improve low-light recording is included alongside object scanning and detection.

Arlo's camera is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
 
Users will receive real-time alerts whenever motion or sound is detected, and footage is captured in up to 2K HDR resolution. The vendor also has implemented Activity Zones, which can be set to reduce unwanted or nuisance notifications.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • No drilling required
  • Stylish, discreet design
cons
  • Expensive
More Details

Features: 1000-foot range | 120-degree field of vision | 24/7 professional monitoring 

SimpliSafe is another worthy addition to our list and would suit users who need a flexible solution for smaller homes and apartments. SimpliSafe is a WiFi-connected security solution backed by real-time monitoring in remote centers. Though wired, in the case of a blackout, devices in the SimpliSafe range have backup batteries. 

The basic Essentials package, starting at $287, includes a base station, a keypad, three entry sensors, and one motion sensor. A free HD camera also is included in the bundle at the time of writing.

Other packages and bolt-on options include panic buttons, freeze and water sensors, smoke detectors, and sirens. 

What is the best security camera?

The Ring Stick Up Cam Solar is the best security camera, offering an exceptional product at an affordable price. We loved the easy setup, professional monitoring, and the entire range of Ring security products.

Security camera

Price

Power source

Video

Ring Stick Up Cam Solar

$149

Solar

1080p HD, Live View, Night Vision

Google Nest Cam

$100

Wired

1080p HD

Wyze Cam v3

$36

Wired

1080p HD, Live View, Color Night Vision

Arlo Pro 4

$180

Battery/Solar

1080p, Color Night Vision

SimpliSafe

$270

Battery

HD video with Night Vision

Which security camera is right for you?

When you are selecting your security camera, you should consider the pain points at home or even in a business location. What areas are the most important when it comes to monitoring? What assets do I need to protect? When might my home or business be most vulnerable?

If you're working from home, for example, you might forgo constant video capture and a subscription, opting instead for clips and the ability to check-in while you're away. However, if there is valuable stock in an office that is shut at night, you might pivot toward an option including night vision and constant video/audio feeds.

Choose this security camera...

If you want...

Ring Stick Up Cam Solar

The best overall option. 

Google Nest Cam

A security camera within the Google ecosystem. 

Wyze Cam v3

A budget-friendly security camera. 

Arlo Pro 4

A security camera for the workplace.

SimpliSafe

A complete security camera system. 

How did we choose these security cameras?

The requirements of home and business security cameras vary: The average consumer may lean toward an easy-to-install, budget-conscious product, whereas a company may be more inclined to invest in a more powerful alternative to protect valuable assets. In each case, we have considered as many aspects of a security system as possible, including recording capabilities, environmental use, and cost -- both upfront and due to ongoing subscriptions.

Where should I place a security camera?

It's best to place exterior security cameras at entry points to your home, like near a front or back door. Be sure to place the security camera in plain sight, so people know they are there and criminals are deterred, since they know you have a security camera. 

Is it necessary to subscribe to a monitoring service?

No, but technology services now -- ranging from streaming to IoT -- will not usually stop at hardware: Revenue models are pivoting to subscriptions, too. If you want constant monitoring and footage to be stored beyond a specific period of time, you may need to sign up.

Will pets trigger alerts on a security camera?

This was once a common problem with earlier forms of IoT and smart cameras, but vendors are constantly improving false-positive rates through improved object detection and the implementation of features such as activity zones. 

Do I have to connect my camera to assistants like Amazon Alexa?

This bolt-on integration is usually added to make products more appealing and for the convenience for users, but you do not need to connect your home security system to anything else in your IoT ecosystem.

Are there alternative security cameras worth considering?

While our top picks have included a variety of functions and uses, these below are still worth consideration.

Editorial standards

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