Security cameras exist to make people safer—and what better way to accomplish that than with the very best security cameras? In order for a security camera to fulfill its purpose, it needs quality resolution, great compatibility, good installation, and smart alerts. We evaluated nine highly rated security cameras on these criteria and narrowed it down to the four best.
The 4 Best Home Security Cameras
- Arlo Pro 3: Best for Compatibility
- Wyze Cam V2: Best for Budget
- Nest Cam IQ Outdoor: Best for Facial Recognition
- Blink XT2: Best for Home Businesses
|Price and warranty||Resolution||Free Storage|
|Arlo Pro 3||$499.99 for two cameras and hub. 1-year limited hardware warranty.||2,048p (2K)||3-month trial of Arlo Smart and cloud storage.|
|Wyze Cam V2||$19.99 with a 30-day warranty||1080p Full HD||Free cloud storage. Saves clips for 14 days.|
|Nest Cam IQ Outdoor||$329 for one or $548 for two.||1080 Full HD||No free storage. Nest Aware subscription required.|
|Blink XT2||99.99 for one. Package prices available.1 year limited warranty and service||1080p Full HD||Free cloud storage. Saves clips for up to a year.|
Arlo Pro 3
The starting package for the Arlo Pro 3 is $499.99 and comes with two cameras, the required smart hub, and various cords and mounts. For cloud video storage, activity zones, and other extra features, the camera requires an Arlo Smart subscription. The Arlo Pro 3 includes a free three-month trial of Arlo Smart, after which the subscription costs between $2.99 and $14.99 monthly in the U.S. The camera also comes with a one-year limited hardware warranty.
The Arlo Pro 3 offers some impressive technical specs, with resolutions just a step higher than other cameras. It records and streams in 2K HDR with a 160-degree viewing angle, even using a built-in motion-sensitive spotlight to record color footage at night. It also features two-way audio and an integrated siren that goes off in response to specific events, or your signal.
It’s also very compatible, syncing with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. It detects the differences between people, animals, and other motion and sends customizable alerts.
Installation is easy with the Arlo Pro 3. It comes with a versatile, durable magnetic camera mount that adheres to any surface. The magnetic charging cable ensures that even recharging is intuitive.
Related: Best Outdoor Cameras
Wyze Cam V2
Home security tie-ins
Audio and night vision quality
Wyze Cam V2 is one of the most affordable cameras out there, costing you only $19.99 each. With its impressive list of features, such as 30-foot night vision, 8x zoom, and microSD card capabilities, the Wyze Cam V2 is well worth the money. If you buy directly from Wyze, the camera comes with a 30-day warranty.
The Wyze Cam V2 is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT. It runs on Wi-Fi and plugs in for traditional power, as well. You can establish motion detection zones to avoid alerts for busy streets and receive a unique notification from the Wyze Cam V2 if your smoke alarm or C02 detector goes off.
Additionally, customizable motion and audio sensitivity levels make the camera an even better fit for your unique needs. Cloud storage is free, and the camera automatically saves 14 days of footage for you. Alternatively, insert your own microSD card for local storage that lasts much longer.
The Wyze Cam V2 comes with a metal plate and adhesive tape, making for easy installation. Its power cord only reaches 6 feet, however, so you may need extension cords to facilitate optimal placement.
Related: Best Nanny Cams
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
Responsive motion sensitivity
One Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is $329, offering a 4K sensor for 50-foot recording accuracy and 1080p full HD video streaming. For advanced features like facial recognition, activity zones, and access to video recordings, consumers must purchase a Nest Aware subscription. Plans vary from $5 to $30 monthly, based on storage capacity. Nest equipment comes with a 30-day return policy.
As Nest is owned by Google, the IQ Outdoor camera is compatible with Google Assistant. Conveniently, it also pairs with Amazon Alexa. It runs through Wi-Fi, but also connects to an indoor plug as an extra safety measure. Without a Nest Aware subscription, the Nest app sends customizable alerts and takes still shots of motion-activated events for the past three hours.
In addition to the camera, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor kit comes with a wall plate, necessary screws and cables, and instructions. You’ll need a power drill, home Wi-Fi, and some caulking to seal around the plate. Though it’s not mentioned explicitly, users may also want extra caulking or a staple gun to secure the cable.
It’s not the simplest of installs, but the instructions are clear and come with plenty of images. If you’d like some help, however, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor can be installed by a Google Nest expert for $99.99.
Related: Nest Thermostat Review
Blink XT2 cameras are priced at $99.99 each, with bulk prices available for three or five cameras. They record 1080p and use infrared technology at night. The Blink XT2 sends alerts to your mobile phone when it detects motion, and it allows two-way communication at the front door. Mounts come separately at about $12 for a three-pack, and the equipment comes with a one-year limited warranty and service.
Because Blink is an Amazon-owned company, the cameras easily integrate with Amazon Alexa. They’re not compatible with Google Assistant, however. The cameras run on a Wi-Fi connection, so signal strength is important. One of the biggest perks with the BlinkXT2 is its free cloud storage and year-long clip database. This is a huge asset for businesses and any consumer.
The first step of the installation is plugging in and scanning the QR code of the “Sync Module,” a little box that connects the cameras to your home Wi-Fi. Once scanned, it appears in the Blink app and then prompts you to scan the QR code of each Blink XT2 camera. Next, simply place cameras in the desired locations. Camera mounts come with two screws or you can place the boxy cameras independently on flat surfaces.
Related: Blink XT2 In-Depth Review
How We Chose the Best Security Cameras
We combed company websites, review-based pages, and customer feedback to examine popular security cameras. The cameras listed above excelled in compatibility, smart alerts, high-resolution recording capabilities, and smart installation tactics.
Are home security cameras worth it?
According to the FBI, the average cost to homeowners from a burglary is $2,799. Investing in cameras typically costs much less than the cost of a burglary, not to mention, added benefits like peace of mind, increased home value, and more.
What do I need to know before buying a security camera?
Cost and quality of security cameras vary, so consider your needs and priorities. If you live next to a busy street, you’ll want activity zones. If you have pets, prioritize smart motion sensors. Video storage also varies greatly, so consider how much footage you want to keep and how long you’d like to store it.
Where should I put security cameras outside my house?
Most robberies occur through first-floor entries, so consider placing them near possible entry points on the ground level of your home. It’s also smart to conceal your camera, if possible.