Best home security camera, No home security system is complete without home security cameras. You can’t properly monitor what’s going on in your home if you can’t see it. Of course, technology is constantly changing and it can be difficult to know which cameras are best for your particular situation and needs. We’ve taken the time to do the research and evaluation for you, so you can make comparisons by looking at one page instead of dozens. Read on for our full view of the market.
Advice to use Security Cameras
Security cameras can be very useful, but you have to choose carefully. You may not be as worried about potential attacks as you would be with indoor security cameras, but no one wants strangers logging into their backyard. Choose your brand carefully – there are countless outdoor security cameras on the market at extremely low prices. But unknown brands are a real privacy risk. Some of the major security camera manufacturers, including Ring, Wyze, and Eufy, have been hacked, but public scrutiny has forced them to make improvements. Any system is potentially hackable, but lesser-known brands are less likely to be mentioned and often disappear or change names when they do.
Think about security: a strong password is good, but biometric support is much more convenient and secure. Two-factor authentication (2FA) ensures that someone with your username and password cannot log into your camera. This typically requires a code from a text, email, or authenticator app, adding an extra layer of security. It’s becoming an industry standard, but it’s still something you have to manually enable. We don’t recommend any camera here that doesn’t offer at least 2FA as an option. Keep it up-to-date: Regularly checking for software updates is essential, not only for your security cameras and apps, but also for your router and other Internet-connected devices. Ideally, the security camera you have chosen has an automatic update option.
Arlo Pro 4 (Battery) – Best Overall
It connects directly to Wi-Fi, has a wide 160-degree field of view, and records up to 2K resolution with HDR. (Your stream will not look washed out when there is a light source in the frame.) There’s also a color or spotlight night vision option, which uses the built-in light to illuminate the scene.
Over months of testing, it has proven to be a consistent and reliable tool. Arlo claims up to six months of battery life, but that entirely depends on how busy you are; mine needed a charge after less than three months. It has an easy to use app and the camera filters movement alerts by people, animals, vehicles and packages. The notification system is fast and accurate, offering animated previews and featured theme screenshots that are easy to read even on a smartwatch screen. The problem? You need an Arlo Secure plan ($3 per month for a single camera) to take full advantage of these features, and it also gives you 30 days of cloud video history.
EufyCam 2 Pro (Battery) – No Subscription Required
If you don’t want a monthly fee, choose this EufyCam system, which includes two cameras. Wirelessly record video to a HomeBase hub with 16GB of storage. Video images are mostly sharp and clear at up to 2K resolution, and there’s a fairly wide 140-degree field of view. You also get a two-way audio system and a siren to prevent theft.
Long battery life is one of the selling points here, with Eufy claiming the cameras can last a full year between charges. (Mine are at 88 and 87�ter two months). Eufy’s mobile app is simple and you get features like human detection included in the purchase price. It also has strong encryption, 2FA, and fingerprint unlock just like Arlo.
Live streaming loads quickly, as do recorded videos when you’re at home, but when you’re away from home, load times are significantly longer. I don’t like that the notifications don’t tell you what triggered the motion sensor. Other downsides include limited smart home capabilities (you can only call up a live stream), lack of HDR, and a tendency for night vision to turn off in bright areas. The activity zone (a specific area highlighted in the camera frame to detect motion) is limited to a single rectangle; Arlo Pro 4 allows you to draw multiple areas and adapt the shape.
Wyze Cam Outdoor (Battery) – Best Budget Camera
Deals are a big part of the Wyze brand, and the Wyze Cam Outdoor is no different. It shoots Full HD video with a 110-degree field of view and comes with a base station that plugs into your router for setup, but can then connect wirelessly. This base station accepts a MicroSD card (not included) for local video recording, and I recommend using it. Otherwise, there’s a 12-second limit on video clips and a five-minute cooldown between motion events if you store everything in the cloud (accessible for 14 days). If you prefer the cloud, you can pay $24 a year for unlimited video length and no cooldowns, plus other perks like person detection. The stated battery life is three to six months, but mine needed a charge before it reached three months.
I like that you can schedule recording times and customize the detection area of the camera. And because you can also add a MicroSD card to the camera’s base, a nifty travel mode lets you take the camera with you without needing to connect to the base station or Wi-Fi—ideal if you want to monitor your hotel room. while traveling. . Unfortunately, the overall video quality doesn’t match the more expensive cameras. The low frame rate makes images look choppy, there’s no HDR, and night vision isn’t acceptable. There’s two-way audio, but delays make conversations awkward. Live streaming and recorded videos also take time to load.
Google Nest Cam (Battery, Outdoor) – Best for Google Assistant
The Nest Outdoor camera works best for anyone with the Google Assistant running the show at home. It’s battery-powered and fairly easy for tenants to install, with a simple mounting plate and a unique magnetic mount that makes it easy to customize the angle. The 130-degree field of view is decent, taking in my driveway, front door, and most of my front yard; capture clear 1080p video with HDR and night vision; has transparent speaker and microphone; the alerts are seamless, and the motion sensor was accurate and sensitive enough to tell that the light whip of a passing horsetail was a person.
You don’t need the $6-a-month Nest Aware subscription, but most people who buy Google devices probably aren’t afraid of storing data in the cloud or machine learning. Features like the camera’s ability to learn faces and 60-day event history are worth having, and even more so if you pair it with your Nest Doorbell. The battery needs to be recharged after just over a month.
Logitech Circle View – Best for Apple Home Kit
There are some big caveats about this Logitech security camera. First, it has a permanently attached 10-foot power cord that isn’t weatherproof, so you’ll need to be careful when routing it to an indoor outlet. It also requires a HomeKit hub, such as HomePod Mini, Apple TV, or iPad, and while you can save 10 days of video events to your iCloud account, that’s only worth it if you spit on an iCloud storage plan. There’s also no Android compatibility, so it may be useless for anyone around the house without an Apple gadget.
There’s motion detection, two-way audio and decent night vision. Moreover you can ask Siri to bring up the live stream, which loads quickly. The camera can differentiate between people, animals or vehicles, and rich notifications let you play video clips right from your iPhone’s lock screen.