A security camera is a smart investment if you want to monitor your property while you're at work or on an extended vacation. With seemingly endless options and customization, it can be hard to know what exactly to look for. Read our guide to find the best home security camera for you.
What are the best home security cameras?
We started with a list of more than 20 popular home security cameras. To select our favorites, we considered verified customer reviews on our site as well as reviews and ratings from across the internet. The ConsumerAffairs research team also compared picture quality, smart integrations and storage capabilities, among other features.
Our pick for wireless communication technology Arlo Pro4 spotlight camera
The Arlo Pro 4 is a spotlight camera, which means a light comes on when there's object detection. It's connected wirelessly and has a six-month battery life. Other features include enhanced night vision, color pictures at day or night and two-way audio. As of publishing, pricing starts at $199.99 per camera, with kits available.
Blink Indoor cameras are wireless and have a two-year battery life. They also include motion detection and two-way audio. Motion alerts can be sent to your phone, and the cameras work with Alexa. As of publishing, prices start at $79.99 per camera, with bundling options available.
Our pick for Google compatibility Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor
Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor is an indoor camera that's compatible with other Google home devices. It's hard-wired, so you don’t have to worry about charging the battery. We also like that this high-definition camera has noise cancellation and echo suppression. As of publishing, pricing starts at $287. Refurbished Nest Cams are also available for a cheaper price.
Our pick for compact indoor camera Ring Indoor Cam
Ring Indoor Cams are indoor-only cameras that are hard-wired for power. The camera offers two-way audio, motion-activated notifications, night vision and easy installation. It can also work alongside other Ring cameras, smart doorbells and other smart home devices. As of publishing, prices start at $59.99. Bundled packages are also available.
Our pick for local video storage SimpliSafe SimpliCam
SimpliSafe SimpliCam is a hard-wired, indoor security camera. Pricing starts at $90 each at the time of publishing, with the option of adding an outdoor kit. Features include 24/7 live video access through the mobile app, motion detection, a recording feature, 30-day storage and the ability to download clips. Keep in mind that you'll need a strong Wi-Fi signal to get the most out of this camera setup.
Our pick for affordable indoor camera Wyze Cam Pan
Wyze Cam Pan is an indoor camera that has 360-degree horizontal panning, which allows for quick access to an entire room. Other features include motion tracking, compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant, clear night vision and two-way audio. It plugs in for power and transmits over a Wi-Fi connection. As of publishing, prices start between $30 and $40 per camera.
Our pick for professional monitoring ADT Pro HD Indoor Security Camera
ADT indoor security cameras are high-definition with 24/7 professional monitoring. Monitoring and camera packages are customizable. Standard features include two-way audio, motion detection, high video quality and mobile app integration. We also like that the camera comes with smart home automation capabilities. For the most accurate pricing, request a quote from the company.
What to look for in a home security camera system
When you’re ready to start looking into home security camera systems, it's important to know that there are two types of camera options: wireless and hard-wired. Wireless cameras are easier to install and move, but hard-wired cameras may be less vulnerable to interference and aren’t dependent on a wireless signal. Other considerations include:
Picture resolution: Higher-resolution cameras will produce clearer, sharper images. This can be particularly helpful at night or in low-light situations.
Video display: A camera’s field of view is the maximum area that the camera can see. Cameras have different maximum fields of view, so choose one that can surveil the right space.
Audio quality: Audio is a bonus feature for home security cameras. If you have a camera that has a speaker, you may be able to further deter unwanted visitors. You’ll also want a camera that can capture audio.
Night vision: Night vision is an important part of home security cameras — especially outdoor cameras. Night vision gives you extra comfort in knowing your home is protected through the night.
Smart home integrations: Many home security cameras can be integrated with other smart home features. These include motion detection, glass break sensors, smart locks and doorbell cameras.
Storage: Home security cameras have varying levels of storage to keep footage available for viewing. Storage is important in the event that something happens at your home and you need video evidence.
Mobile app: Many home security cameras are linked to a mobile app. This helps when you’re on the go but need access to video of your home. Some apps can also send you notifications if your camera detects motion.
Privacy features: Privacy is a huge factor when it comes to home security cameras. It’s imperative that the cameras are encrypted and not vulnerable to hacking. Be sure to check out a camera’s privacy and security features before purchasing.
Home security camera FAQ
How much do home security cameras cost?
Home security cameras range from $29.99 to $299 or more. There are several factors that affect the price, including the technology, features and the number of cameras you purchase. Some companies offer bundling discounts for buying more than one camera.
How many home security cameras do you need?
This really depends on how much coverage you need. You may only want outdoor cameras, or you may want a combination of indoor and outdoor devices. The nice thing is that many home security camera companies offer customizable options so you can choose exactly what you want based on your home.
How do wireless cameras work?
Wireless cameras transmit over the internet by connecting to your router. You’ll need a strong wireless connection. The nice thing is that wireless cameras are typically easier to install than wired cameras. For more, read about how to find the best wireless home security systems.
Can a security camera be hacked?
With any technology, there is a risk of hacking. There was a Wyze data breach in 2019, and Ring had a similar problem the same year. Before purchasing a security camera, ask if the company has had any privacy breaches and what measures it has in place to protect your privacy.
Where should I place an indoor security camera?
You might put an indoor security camera so it faces doors or windows, or in a child’s room for monitoring. Consider placing the camera high up on the wall so it provides a better view and is harder to interfere with.
Can you use an indoor security camera outdoors?
Some cameras are made for both indoor and outdoor use. Outdoor cameras need to be weatherproof, so make sure you’re using the right type of cameras outdoors.
Bottom line: Are home security cameras worth it?
Home security cameras typically cost $29.99 to $299.
Home security cameras add a powerful layer of security to your property — whether you place them outside only or get interior protection as well. People who travel frequently or spend a lot of time away from home especially benefit from home security camera systems. Shop around at multiple companies and you’ll find cameras at different price levels, depending on features and technology. Most companies will help you customize a solution that fits your budget and security needs.
As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kathryn Parkman believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase, which is why she spends hours researching companies and industries for ConsumerAffairs. She believes conscious consumption is everyone's responsibility and that all content deserves integrity.
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