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Last updated on Aug 13, 2020

Best Home Security Cameras

An easy, reliable way to keep an eye on your home ​
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Feeling safe is a basic human need. And your home should be the place where you feel the safest. Even though crime rates around the U.S. are decreasing consistently, studies show that homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized. In particular, security cameras not only have proven to deter home burglaries but they have also become a key tool to solve crimes. 

When it comes to getting security cameras, you can find a myriad of options to fit your budget and concerns.

With all the possibilities out there to choose from, we understand the research could be exhausting. We recommend that you consider quality, value for money, features and technology capacity before choosing the right system for you. To find the best home security cameras, we evaluated their resolution, technology, perks, smart alerts, and ease of installation. Based on our research, we came up with a list of top cameras to make you feel at peace, even when you are not home.

The Best Security Cameras

  • Arlo Pro 3: Best Overall
  • Ring Spotlight Cam: Best Built-In Motion Detection
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor: Best High-Quality Picture
  • Wyze Cam Pan: Best Budget-Friendly 
ProductStarting priceVideo Quality and ResolutionFree StorageCompatibilityAudio
Arlo Pro 3$499 (bundle with two cameras)2,560 QHD3-month trial of cloud storageGoogle Home Hub, Alexa, Apple WatchYes, two-way audio
Ring Spotlight Cam$199.991080HD VideoNoIFTTT, Alexa and Amazon EchoYes, two-way audio
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor $3991080p Full HDNoAlexa, Google Assistant, Hue Personal Wireless Lighting, NestYes, two-way audio
Wyze Cam Pan$29.991080p Full HDYes, 14-daysIFTTT, Alexa and Google AssistantYes, two-way audio

Information accurate as of: 08/03/2020

Arlo Pro 3: Best Overall

Best Overall
Image for Arlo Pro 3
Arlo

Arlo Pro 3

Pros

  • Package includes everything you need to set it up
  • Waterproof and weather-resistant
  • Wire-free setup
  • Magnetic charge cable
  • Built-In Smart Siren

Cons

  • Some features require a subscription
  • Requires purchase of  Arlo SmartHub 
  • Rechargeable battery only lasts three to six months

Pricing

The Arlo Pro 3 starting pack costs $499.99, which might sound expensive, but it is not when you think about all that includes. This package comes with two cameras, two rechargeable batteries, and a wall-mount screw set for each of them. It also includes the required smart hub, a magnetic charging cable, an ethernet cable, and a power adapter. This is a great value when you compare it with our other picks that don’t include accessories..

Installation

Since the Arlo Pro 3 is wire-free, the installation tends to be easy and does not require professional installation. But keep in mind that if you are a first-timer with an Arlo camera, you will need to download their app to connect the hub to your router and power it. But once you are done, adding the cameras should be intuitive. When you are ready to install your cameras, the magnetic mounts are easily screwed in any surface and the magnetic charging cable allows you to recharge your cameras easily. 

Ease of use

The mobile app for Arlo Pro 3 is an intuitive application. Once you are on it, you can access each installed camera as a part of your home surveillance system, play live videos, have a two-way conversation and check the battery level. In case you have an emergency, you can tap the red alarm button to activate its built-in siren, call 911 or even a friend.

Storage

In terms of storage options, the Pro 3 offers a free three-month trial with Arlo Smart. Once the trial period is over, subscription starts at $2.99 per camera with up to 2k camera quality on their Premier Plan. In case you want to keep your videos on 4k, you can pay $4.99 for each camera with the Elite Plan. The price on both plans includes cloud video storage, activity zones on your hub, and package and person detection. 

Compatibility

This security camera hub works on third-party integrations, allowing you to control and integrate devices from manufacturers like Bose, Philips Hue, Sonos and LIFX. Their app will be able to connect other devices and control them all in the same place. Another great thing is that the Arlo Pro 3 security system can be accessed with your Apple Watch. The Pro 3 is compatible with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Ring Spotlight Cam: Best Built-In Motion Detection

Best Built-In Motion Detection
Image for RING spotlight cam
Ring

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

Pros

  • Adjustable motion zones and motion detection
  • Instant motion-activated alerts
  • Remote-activated 110-decibel siren
  • Infrared night vision
  • Live View on-demand video and audio

Cons

  • Requires subscription to access and share recorded videos
  • No pre-buffering, provoking live video lags
  • Minor distortion on fisheye view

Pricing

Our top pick for motion detection, the Ring Spotlight Cam, starts at $199.99, and the package includes one camera, a battery, mounting base, a quick-release battery pack, a USB charging cable and the installation tools. Something that stands out is that Ring offers a Lifetime Theft Protection, replacing the stolen device with no charge. Doubling down the equipment would be $368.99, making it a cheaper option than the Arlo Pro 3 and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor.

Installation

Ring Spotlight is easy to install, but  you will have to work with the cords during the installation process, and this could be a deal-breaker for some people. Before setting up the camera, you’ll need to charge the battery to download the Ring app and create an account while being close to your router. Once you set up your camera on the app, screw the mounting brake to the wall, attach the camera with your preferred angle and tighten the clamp screw. That’s it! Your camera is ready to work

Ease of use

Ring’s app is intuitive. It not only makes this system easy to install, but it activates the LED light of the camera you are installing, flashing it for a few seconds and then turning them off. The app also allows you to control motion alerts in all available cameras, do live streaming of the feed, communicate with your visitors and even turn on the camera spotlight with the click of a button. 

Storage

The Spotlight Cam does not include free storage, but it does come with a 30-day trial to record video. When this period ends, you will have to choose between a protection plan like Protect Basic for $3 per month per camera or a year subscription at $30 per year per camera. With this plan, you can store, review and share your videos for up to 60 days. The premium plan is the Protect Plus, which offers the same storage as their basic plan, but this time for unlimited Ring cameras across your home for $10 a month or $100 a year. 

Compatibility

The Ring Spotlight Cam is compatible with IFTTT devices, such as Wink Home Hubs and with any Ring products such as Ring Alarm Security System. You can use voice-control to manage the camera functionalities with Amazon Echo home hub. It will also allow you to connect your camera with Alexa to get motion alerts and enable the two-way communication features.

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor: Best High-Quality Picture

Best High-Quality Picture
Image for Nest-Cam-IQ-Outdoor
Nest

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Pros

  • Top-of-the-line video quality
  • 4K sensor with HDR and close-up tracking on live video
  • Facial recognition capacity
  • Simple installation and set up
  • 12x digital zoom

Cons

  • Needs a power cord
  • Requires a subscription for facial recognition
  • Expensive

Pricing

The Nest IQ Outdoor Camera starts at $399 per camera pack. It does include a wall plate and the necessary screws and cables for installation, but if you want to have more than one camera, the price goes as high as $798 for a 2-pack. This camera offers a more extended field of view than other competitors, with a 4k sensor for 50-feet recording for excellent video quality, but it comes with a high price tag. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is the most expensive, but also the best outdoor security camera option in our list, so it might be worth paying extra.

Installation

From our top picks, the Nest IQ Cam Outdoor is the hardest to install. The instructions are easy to follow, and it comes with images that can walk you throughout the process, but if you are not too handy, you might want to hire an expert to route the power cables and drill holes around your house to secure the cameras. As with all the previous home security cameras, you will need to download the app and create an account to set your camera.

Ease of use

Nest offers a mobile app and a web-based app to access your cameras. You can easily open a live video screen, and if you are on your mobile device, you can view your videos in landscape mode. If you have advanced features, you can access activity zones, facial recognition, use its digital zoom, and have a loud and clear two-way conversation. 

Storage

We acknowledged above that this camera is expensive, and the same applies if you want to have cloud storage. The Nest Aware subscription cost is based on storage capacity. For the five-day cloud storage you’ll pay $5 a month or $50 if you pay for the whole year. If you want a 10-day plan, the cost is $100 a year. 

Compatibility

The IQ Outdoor interacts with other Nest products and smart home devices such as Philips Hue lighting, Chamberlain and Skybell garage door openers and August Home locks. It is also compatible with any IFTTT systems, Alexa and Google Assistant voice. 

Wyze Cam Pan: Best Budget-Friendly

Best Budget-Friendly
Image for Wyze-Cam-Pan
Wyze

Wyze Cam Pan

Pros

  • 360° coverage in under 3 seconds 
  • 120º wide-angle lens 
  • 2-Way Audio 
  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Night vision with six infrared LED’s

Cons

  • Needs a mounting kit to use outdoors, sold separately
  • Does not reconnect automatically to the internet if it goes down
  • Might not last long

Pricing

This camera offers a lot of great features for an impressive low-value price. Our cheapest option starts at $29.99 per camera and includes the Wyze Cam Pan, a power adapter and a USB cable. If you want to mount it on a wall, you will need to buy a separate mounting kit for $8.99. This camera comes with local storage, but if you want to keep continuous recording, you will need to get a microSD card for about $16.99 per 64gb. 

Installation

Installation for the Wyze Cam Pan is easy and user friendly. As with the other cameras, you will need to create an account with the Wyze App, and add the camera connecting it to your internet network. Once you follow all the instructions, your camera will be ready to use. In case you want to mount it on a wall, you can do it yourself with a separate mounting kit that comes with the screws and an easy-to-follow installation guide.

Ease of use

Even if this camera has some exciting features, the Waze Cam Pan is not really high-tech so the app is more user-friendly and straightforward. This camera starts recording 12-second event videos once it detects sound and motion. If you’ve turned on the push notifications, it will alert you of this sudden activity without the need to monitor the app all day long. 

Storage

The Wyze Cam Pan offers to upload your videos on a cloud storage platform for 14 days, without requiring a subscription or additional fees. It also supports local storage, allowing you to record to a microSD card that is sold separately. You can access these videos directly from your smartphone with the Wyze app.

Compatibility

For home automation, the Cam Pan works with Google Assistant and Alexa. And it is also compatible with IFTTT to set the camera to work with other smart devices. Wyze is also a manufacturer of smart products, such as wall plugs, light bulbs and door locks, so if you have any of these smart products you can automatically activate them once your Cam Pan detects motion. 

What you Need to Know About Home Security Cameras

When you are looking for a home security camera, you should know precisely what you expect from this camera. Some of the questions you could ask yourself incluse if you plan to use it for indoor or outdoor surveillance. Are you looking for the best wireless security camera or would you be more comfortable with a wired option? How many cameras do you need  to feel safe? Once you are ready to buy it, consider the image quality, features like night vision, the field of view, alerts and motion detection. We know it can be a lot to think about, so we created a checklist of minimum requirements you should look for when making this investment. 

Shopping for Home Security Cameras 

  • Image Quality 

Before choosing any camera, you should check the quality of image it offers. For best quality, we would recommend at least a 1080p resolution for the camera. 

  • Power Source 

Another thing to check out is where the power comes from, consider if you want a wired or wireless camera. A wired camera would never run out of power, unless there is no electricity, but it tends to be harder to install. On the contrary, wireless cameras are easier to install, but they could be harder to maintain because you’ll have to remember to charge it once in a while. If you are forgetful or have a busy schedule a wired camera might be a better option for you.

  • Night Vision 

Night vision is nice to have on a camera, since its infrared lights will allow your camera to take better videos all day long. There are a variety of cameras that offer night vision on black and white and even color.

  • Field of view 

The field of view or viewing angle indicates the angle that your camera covers. The size of the camera lens and the focal length is what determines this. A larger lens means a narrower distance. In this case, we would recommend making sure that it ranges from 110 to 180 degrees.

  • Person detection 

A camera worth having at home should have some sort of person detection support. This will save you from receiving alerts every time your dog, another animal or other inoffensive object shows up in the camera’s range. 

Accessories you will need

  • Mount 

When we were researching the best cameras, we noticed that not all  included the necessary tools to mount them on walls or other surfaces. Depending on where your surveillance system will be located, your camera will need a camera mount. A pro tip will beto check for generic options and compare them with the brand’s original mounts.

  • Solar Panel Chargers

If you want battery charged cameras to last longer, we recommend a solar panel charger. It is a nice add to have and a more eco-friendly option than typical charging settings. 

  • External storage

Cloud storage seems like a great option. Before deciding between any camera, make sure that you understand that you may need a subscription to keep the recordings in cloud storage and to access some premium features.

  • Internal storage card

Some cameras allow you to add an internal storage card in which you can record your footage. If your new camera has this option and you don’t want to pay an extra subscription for cloud storage, make sure to buy the storage card before you install the camera.

  • Internet connection

Even cameras with an internal storage card will need an internet connection for live streaming, two-way conversations, and motion detection alerts. The most important thing is to have an internet speed of up to 2.5Mbps or more for high-quality video.

  • Outdoor camera cover

If the outdoor camera is not weatherproof, you must get a cover. Protecting the equipment from rain and sun damage will make it last longer and prevent charging errors.

FAQ

About the Authors

Nina Rodríguez-Quirós

Nina Rodríguez-Quirós Feature Writer

Nina Rodríguez-Quirós is a feature writer for Reviews.com. Over the last year, she has covered insurance providers, claims handling, coverage and more. She has been featured in Allconnect.com and holds a Master’s Degree in Theory and Research of Communications from the University of Puerto Rico. Her favorite review is Millennials and Auto Insurance.