Best Home Security Cameras of 2024

We tested the best home security cameras on the market and ranked them in our list of favorites.

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5,000research hours
1,800+customers interviewed
26cameras reviewed
12experts consulted
10systems recommended

Best Indoor Camera

SimpliCam
SecureScore™: 9.3/10

The SimpliCam now comes in indoor and outdoor models. These DIY products are a cinch to set up and come with HD video resolution, two-way talk, and other burglar-busting features. Just don’t expect a ton of bells and whistles.

 

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Most User-Friendly

Lorex
SecureScore™: 9.2/10

Lorex offers plenty of powerful cameras with reliable technology and image resolution up to 4K in some models. And with lots of equipment and bundling options, Lorex cameras won’t break the bank.

 

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Most Versatile Camera

Ring
SecureScore™: 9.2/10

The Amazon-owned Ring cameras are wireless, easy to install, high definition video cameras with inexpensive cloud storage. We love Ring’s app. You can share videos with family, neighbors and even local law enforcement.

 

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The Best Home Security Camera Companies of 2024

Best Home Security Camera Brands

The Best Home Security Cameras of 2024

  • SimpliCam - Best Indoor Camera
  • Lorex - Best User-Friendly Camera
  • Ring - Most Versatile Camera
  • ADT - Best Camera in a Complete Home Security System
  • Wyze - Best Value
  • Canary - Best All-in-One
  • Google Nest - Best Google Home Security Camera
  • Arlo - Best DIY Install Camera
  • Blink - Best for Renters
  • Kuna - Best Cheap Option
  • Zmodo - Most Affordable
  • Night Owl - Best Customizations
  • Reolink - Most Options

You might have noticed that nip in the air. It’s getting colder out there. Time to gather around the hearth with kith and kin and celebrate the holidays.

Or, if you’re a burglar, time to find some houses to burgle while homeowners are out of town.

Crime is an unfortunate reality of our modern lives, and if you don’t want to fall victim this year, one of the best deterrents available are security cameras. And don’t worry — they’re not as expensive or as complicated as you might think.

Modern security cameras are much more accessible than their counterparts of yesteryear. They’re easy to set up, relatively affordable, and their mere presence tells would-be thieves that you’re serious about security. Oftentimes that’s all you need to deter criminals.

On top of that, today’s security cameras also offer a wealth of features that can help simplify your life, from knowing when a package is delivered to being able to have a conversation with the dog walker while you’re away on vacation, they’re a great addition to your home.

So how do you go about selecting the best home security camera?

Let us lend you our expertise. We spend thousands of hours testing home security cameras hands-on, so we know the best security cameras for specific budgets, lifestyles, and scenarios. From wireless DIY cameras to robust HDR camera systems, we’ve compiled the best options for your needs. Here’s our roundup of the top security camera picks in 2024.

Looking For Specific Cameras? Check Out Our Other Security Camera Reviews:

 

Compare the Best Security Camera Systems

  • 1. SimpliCam - Best Indoor Camera

    SecureScore™ 9.3
    Customer Service
    9.4
    Value
    9.2
    Equipment
    9.1
    Features & Technology
    9.0
    Ease Of Use
    9.7
    SecureScore™
    9.3
    • Easy Installation and Everyday Use
    • Smartphone Controls
    • Fast Performance
    • Smart Motion Detection
    • “Wetsuit” for Outdoor Use
    • 60-Day, Money-Back Guarantee
    • Three-Year Warranty
    • Cloud Video Storage Available
    • No built-in local storage
    • Limited Features
    • Comes in Black Finish Only
    • No Battery

    Simply put, the SimpliSafe Camera lineup is one of the best out there. They strike a near perfect balance between functionality and affordability, they’re easy to install, and even easier to use on a day to day basis.

    We really appreciate this uncomplicated approach. There’s not going to be a mile-long list of cameras to choose from with features you’re never going to need. In fact, there are only two cameras to choose from – an indoor model and an outdoor model. The indoor model is compatible with their new Fast Protect Monitoring service — $29.99 per month — and we have to say, it adds a pretty impressive layer of security. There’s more information in our updated SimpliSafe review, but the long and short of it is this: When your alarm is tripped, a SimpliSafe Security professional will be able to take a look at the situation through the camera and relay important information to the authorities.

    Pro Tip: SimpliSafe is phasing out their original SimpliCam for a newer, wireless model, but you can still find them at third-party retailers. They cost about $99.99, and have all of the basic functionality you’d need.

    The outdoor model is pretty standard, but don’t let that fool you. This is a really solid camera for the money. We’d much prefer the simplicity of a camera that just does what you need it to when you need it over a much more expensive model with overly complicated bells and whistles. That said, here’s a quick look at how SimpliSafe’s cameras stack up against each other:

    Indoor Camera (Wired) Indoor Camera Wireless Outdoor Camera
    Resolution 1080p 1536p 1080p
    Night Vision IR IR IR
    Field of view 120-degrees 125-degrees 120-degrees
    Two-way audio Yes Yes Yes
    Smart alerts Yes Yes No
    Power source Battery Yes Plug-in
    Price $99.99 $139.99 $189.99

    At the end of the day, a SimpliCam combined with other SimpliSafe security products can provide you with that invaluable peace of mind you’re looking for. It’s not the perfect security camera, but when the rubber meets the road, it is our favorite.

     

    Connectivity Wi-fi
    Power Wired and Wireless
    Field of View Up to 125°
    Resolution Up to 1536p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • 2. Lorex - Best User-Friendly Camera

    SecureScore™ 9.2
    Customer Service
    8.8
    Value
    8.9
    Equipment
    9.6
    Features & Technology
    9.7
    Ease Of Use
    8.9
    SecureScore™
    9.2
    • HD Video Quality (4K in Some Models)
    • Long-Range Color Night Vision
    • Lots of Equipment and Bundling Options
    • Smooth App Experience
    • No Contracts or Monthly Fees
    • Up to 1 Terabyte of Internal Storage
    • Long History in the Home Security Industry
    • Lorex Website Is Hard to Navigate
    • Occasional False Notifications
    • No Professional Monitoring Options
    • Limited Customer Service Hours

    The Lorex security camera system includes some serious tech. The company offers models with Power over Ethernet (PoE) for instance, a little outside the norm in the home security business. The truth is, Lorex began life providing security solutions for businesses, and that means its cameras a somewhat more sophisticated than most. That can actually be a little intimidating to some homeowners. And there’s no question installing and maintaining these cameras does take a little know-how. If you’re looking for the highest quality cameras on the market though, Lorex is difficult to beat.

    The other aspect of Lorex that’s hard to beat is their list of options. Whether you’re just looking for a simple wireless camera to keep an eye on your front yard, or if you need a professional grade IP camera network with on-site storage, Lorex has you covered. And they’ve got several dozen other options to choose from as well. And you’re usually going to be able to find what you need on sale. Their discount section is always filled to the brim — more on that in our guide to Lorex’s sales and deals. Of course, this too can be a little intimidating. It’s easy to get lost on their website. Generally speaking, though, we like lots of options and we prefer having them to the alternative.

    Read more about our thoughts with our Lorex camera review.

     

    Connectivity Wi-fi, ethernet
    Power Wired, battery, PoE
    Field of View Up to 160°
    Resolution Up to 2160p
    Storage Cloud, Local
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • 3. Ring - Most Versatile Camera

    SecureScore™ 9.2
    Customer Service
    8.0
    Value
    9.3
    Equipment
    9.9
    Features & Technology
    9.3
    Ease Of Use
    9.5
    SecureScore™
    9.2
    • Easy DIY Installation
    • Wireless models available
    • 1080p HD Video
    • Designed for Indoors or Outdoors
    • Highly Customizable Settings
    • User-Friendly Mobile App
    • Live Video Streaming
    • Two-Way Talk
    • Motion-Activated Notifications
    • Infrared Night Vision
    • Works Well With Alexa
    • Occasional Missed Motion
    • No Advanced Video Resolutions (2K or 4K)
    • Equipment Costs Can Add Up
    • Professional Monitoring Only Available in U.S. and Canada
    • History of Privacy Issues/Hacking

    In contrast to Lorex cameras, Ring security cameras are exceptionally easy to use. That includes both setup and maintenance. We also like the fact that they’re part of an entire smart home security ecosystem. That’s another difference from Lorex. Aside from security cameras, Ring offers several smart video doorbells, sensors, and even smart plugs–everything you need to automate your house. On top of that, Ring is owned by Amazon, which means its products work well with Alexa smart speakers and displays.

    Ring security cameras are an all-around good investment for property owners because they’re designed to provide the features most folks want. That includes two-way talk, notifications triggered by motion, smooth live playback, and an easy-to-install design.

    Pro Tip: Although Ring does offer some pretty “smart” products, you do need to be aware that without careful consideration, this connectivity can open you up to all sorts of threats. Read our guide to smart home dangers for more information.

    As a provider of security cameras, Ring’s reliability and affordability make them a great choice for many homeowners. Their most expensive camera, the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro is just $249.99 at its retail price, and Ring also offers tons of deals throughout the year. If you’re looking for a seamless, affordable way to monitor your property, Ring is a strong contender.

    Read our full Ring security camera review.

     

    Connectivity Wi-fi, ethernet
    Power Wired, battery, PoE
    Field of View Up to 140°
    Resolution Up to 1080p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • 4. ADT - Best With a Complete Home Security System

    SecureScore™ 8.3
    ADT Indoor Camera (left) and Outdoor Camera (right)
    877-959-7762
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    Customer Service
    8.6
    Value
    8.7
    Equipment
    9.5
    Features & Technology
    9.6
    Ease Of Use
    9.6
    SecureScore™
    8.3
    • Wireless connectivity
    • Motion detection
    • Live streaming
    • Local storage
    • ADT Pulse app integration
    • Remote access
    • Requires a high end ADT monitoring package
    • Cameras aren’t 1080p resolution

    With ADT’s traditional system, you can’t just buy an ADT camera, hook it up yourself, and self-monitor. It is a full-service home security company that does it all for you. You are required to use their professional installers to set up your system. On the plus side, every ADT plan includes full-service 24/7 monitoring, so you can rest assured that trained emergency personnel are always at the ready.

    ADT cameras include all the features you’d expect from a company that’s been in business for 145 years. They include 1080p HD resolution, two-way audio, and infrared night vision. Both the indoor and outdoor cameras utilize person detection to cut down on false alarms. The outdoor camera is designed for all kinds of weather. It’s rated IP65, which means it is dust-tight and can handle low-pressure water jets. In addition, it has a built-in heater that allows it to work in temperatures of up to 40 degrees below Fahrenheit.

    Read more about ADT and camera features in our ADT review.

     

    Connectivity Wi-fi, ethernet
    Power Wired, battery
    Field of View Up to 128°
    Resolution Up to 1080p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • 5. Wyze - Best Value

    SecureScore™ 8.7
    Customer Service
    8.5
    Value
    9.4
    Equipment
    8.1
    Features & Technology
    8.5
    Ease Of Use
    8.8
    SecureScore™
    8.7
    • Low-Price and Feature-Rich Smart Home Cameras
    • Easy Online Shopping with Clear Product Selection
    • 14-Day Free Cloud Storage
    • Unique Motion Tagging Accelerates Video History
    • Motion Detection Zones Reduce False Alerts
    • Advanced Sound Recognition
    • Smart Home Accessories Available
    • Compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT
    • Face recognition requires monitoring plan
    • Corded Cameras Require Power Outlets
    • No Backup Batteries
    • Limited Video Storage without Upgrade

    Wyze is another one of those companies, like Lorex, that’s dedicated to security cameras and offers an absolutely huge line of models. In fact, we feel pretty confident saying that no matter what your security needs the odds are you can find a Wyze camera that will work for you. Plus, All Wyze cameras include the latest innovations in security technology. And, they’re all relatively affordable.

    We love a good floodlight, for instance. Nothing scares away potential intruders like a powerful floodlight. Trouble is, our neighbors don’t always like our floodlights as much as we do, especially when they pop on for no reason in the middle of the night. Wyze’s AI technology meant we could set the floodlights to come on only when they detected a person. The cameras are that smart. Yet, they are far more affordable than comparable cameras from competitors like Ring and Google Nest. Ring and Google’s floodlight cams are nearly $300 a piece. The Wyze version? $149.98.

    Also new to the Wyze lineup is the Wyze Cam v3 Blue edition. While it doesn’t have any new features or anything, it does have a snazzy blue paint job — you know, if you’re looking for a little flair compared to the standard white or black security cameras on the market today.

    The most exciting news in Wyze cams, though, is the company’s introduction of a 24/7 professional home monitoring option. For years, we’ve sung Wyze’s praises as a self-monitoring system. The fact is, though, that systems with professional monitoring plans are always the better choice since they ensure that your home is protected even if you’re in the middle of a root canal. At long last, Wyze has partnered with Noonlight to offer 24/7 eyes on your property. You get a text in seconds, a phone call in around 20 seconds, and if you don’t respond after a minute, Noonlight calls 911 for you. Plus, that coverage comes at one of the lowest prices on the market, just $9.99 a month with an annual subscription.

    While these cameras aren’t going to blow you away with cutting-edge technology, they’re going to do exactly what you need them to at a more than reasonable price point. Here’s a quick breakdown:

    Wyze Camera Costs

    Wyze Camera Price
    Wyze Cam OG $23.99
    Wyze Cam OG Telephoto $33.99
    Wzye Cam V3 $35.98
    Wyze Cam V3 Pro $53.99
    Wyze Cam Pan V3 $33.99
    Wyze Cam Outdoor V2 $73.99
    Wyze Cam Floodlight $93.99
    Wyze Cam Floodlight Pro $149.98

    There’s free cloud storage, too, which makes it perfect if you want to avoid monthly fees. And if you’re a fan of smart home tech, Wyze cameras play well with Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and a bunch of other smart home brands.

    Of course, the setup is completely DIY, but the Wyze cameras are simple plug-and-play devices. Just download the Wyze app and from there, you can add and monitor any number of cameras.

    However, keep in mind these cameras are plug-in devices and don’t have batteries, with the exception of the Wyze Cam Outdoor. So if the power goes out, you’re out of luck for video monitoring. Finally, the customer service experience could use some minor improvements. But all things considered, it’s a great camera option — especially considering the rock-bottom prices.

    Read more in our Wyze camera review.

     

    Connectivity Wi-fi
    Power Wired
    Field of View Up to 110°
    Resolution Up to 1080p
    Storage Cloud, local
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • 6. Canary - Best All-in-One

    SecureScore™ 8.6
    Customer Service
    8.6
    Value
    8.8
    Equipment
    7.9
    Features & Technology
    8.7
    Ease Of Use
    8.9
    SecureScore™
    8.6
    • Modern, sleek design
    • Works indoors or outdoors
    • Canary Pro has air quality monitoring and a built-in siren
    • AI-powered person detection
    • Smart home automation with Google Assistant and Alexa
    • Occasional missed motion
    • Only three cameras available
    • Somewhat pricey cloud storage fee
    • No package detection

    Sometimes we go into Starbucks, and we’re so thankful to have the choice to get a Quad Venti White Mocha Frappaccino. Sometimes, though, we just want a plain old regular cup of coffee. Black. The same logic is at place when it comes to security cameras. Yes, you can go with Lorex or Reolink, both of which offer a mind-bending number of camera models. Seriously, it melts our brain sometimes just visiting their new model pages.

    On the other hand, there’s something nice about Canary cameras. There are only three to choose from: the Flex, the View, and the Pro. All three are discreet though, designed with both style and simplicity in mind. Yet, underneath all that simplicity, they each work as mini-security systems. There’s something very refreshing about that. How could we not recommend these cameras?

    Canary’s all-in-one security approach includes air quality monitoring, which is something you don’t see every day in traditional cameras. With the brand’s robust premium service plan, Canary also offers a useful panic button option that can be activated if you ever feel unsafe.

    The brand’s panic button feature accessed through the app is a refreshing addition. Wherever you may be, you’re always just one button away from help. This proves that Canary is a forward-thinking player not just in home security but personal safety.

    See if Canary is right for you with our full Canary review.

     

    Monitoring options Professional or DIY
    Installation options DIY
    Smart platform integrations Alexa and Google Home
    Equipment cost From $99.00
    Monthly monitoring cost From $9.99
    Contract length Month-to-month
  • 7. Google Nest - Best Google Home Security Camera

    SecureScore™ 8.5
    Customer Service
    8.9
    Value
    7.5
    Equipment
    8.7
    Features & Technology
    8.5
    Ease Of Use
    9.0
    SecureScore™
    8.5
    • Plenty of features
    • Simple set up and installation
    • Great UI in app
    • Exceptional design
    • Long battery life
    • Somewhat pricey
    • No color night vision
    • Resolution just average

    The Nest Cam is perhaps one of the most recognizable names in home security cameras today. You might also have noticed that ADT recently started offering Nest cameras to all its home security customers. That’s a pretty good endorsement. Why are Nest cameras so well known? They offer a wide range of benefits including exceptional durability and overall ease of installation. Nest lets users access their cameras from any location with their phone. It works well even when it is dark, raining, or bright sun. It offers a variety of features that make securing your home a bit easier to do.

    The Nest Cam is the type of home security camera you need when it comes to protecting your home. The company’s security camera is highly reliable and quickly recognizes actions occurring in a space. It provides an immediate alert to the user’s smartphone. And, from there, the user has options. He or she can simply contact the police, or they can use the voice component to interact with the person at the house. This can scare away an intruder, or it can help to clarify why someone is present.

    Read our full Nest Cam review.

     

    Connectivity Wi-fi
    Power Wired
    Field of View Up to 130°
    Resolution 1080p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • 8. Arlo - Best DIY Install Camera

    SecureScore™ 8.0
    Customer Service
    8.0
    Value
    7.1
    Equipment
    7.8
    Features & Technology
    9.0
    Ease Of Use
    8.9
    SecureScore™
    8.0
    • Detailed 2K resolution
    • AI-friven detections
    • Wi-Fi connectivity
    • Long battery life
    • Great app experience
    • Expensive
    • Requires a subscription to access all features
    • Mounting hardware a little flimsy

    The keyword with Arlo home security cameras is versatility. As a starting point, there are four models to choose from: the Essential, the Pro, the Ultra, and the Go. These fit every budget. The more you pay, the more features you get. And keep in mind there are wired and wireless versions of most models, and you can get additional features like spotlight attachments. Most cameras are hardy enough to work inside or outside, so you can use them anywhere from an apartment in the city to a remote cabin (we used ours in the suburbs). You don’t even need a Wi-Fi connection if you choose the Arlo Go. It transmits video using 4G LTE.

    Add to this versatility the fact that Arlo cameras are among the easiest to set up. It took us no more than 30 minutes to get our entire system up and running. The app is simple and straightforward as well. It’s easy to set up instant alerts and to review footage.

    All-in-all, we had a great experience with our Arlo cameras. See more of our thoughts with our Arlo camera review.

     

    Connectivity Wi-fi, ethernet
    Power Wired, battery, PoE
    Field of View Up to 180°
    Resolution Up to 2160p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • SecureScore™ 7.6
    Customer Service
    7.5
    Value
    9.0
    Equipment
    7.5
    Features & Technology
    6.5
    Ease Of Use
    7.5
    SecureScore™
    7.6
    • Fully Wireless Cameras
    • Easy DIY Installation
    • Lightweight, Minimalist Design
    • 1080p HD Video Resolution
    • Two-Way Talk
    • Infrared Night Vision
    • Low-Cost Cloud Storage
    • Local Video Storage
    • Smart Home Integration
    • Lacks Advanced Motion Features
    • App Setup Can Be Glitchy
    • Relies on Wi-Fi Connection
    • No Continuous Recording
    • Requires Separate Hub to Connect

    What makes the Blink home security camera system ideal is the low cost. The cameras do not have a contract requirement, which makes them easy for most people to invest in. They are also wireless and easy to maintain. Overall, this system offers nice benefits including integration with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

    Despite its low cost, Blink offers solid products. The company began on Kickstarter with just one option, but today they have indoor, outdoor, and mini camera models, plus extras like a solar panel mount and a floodlight. And Blink is always working to improve its technology. The most recent addition to the camera line, the Blink Outdoor 4 features person detection to help cut down on false notifications. We don’t always need fancy AI to be impressed, though. We’re just as excited that Blink cameras can run for up to two years on battery power alone, depending on how you use them, of course.

    Blink’s cameras remain easy to install, though. All their products are plug-and-play. The entire set-up process took us no more than 30 minutes. No complicated wires to slow things down. Before we knew it, we were in the Blink app and fiddling with features.

    Read more about Blink in our full review.

     

    Connectivity Wi-fi
    Power Battery
    Field of View Up to 143°
    Resolution Up to 1080p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa
  • 10. Kuna - Best Cheap Option

    SecureScore™ 7.3
    Customer Service
    6.0
    Value
    8.5
    Equipment
    8.0
    Features & Technology
    7.5
    Ease Of Use
    6.5
    SecureScore™
    7.3
    • Attractive Light Fixtures
    • Good for “Hidden” Installation
    • Easy DIY installation
    • Basic Features Are Free
    • Affordable Monthly Plans
    • Artificial Intelligence Features
    • 60-day Money-Back Guarantee
    • Founded by Caltech Ph.D.s
    • Attractive Modern and Traditional Designs
    • High Up-front Cost for Equipment
    • Limited Camera Choices
    • Limited Smart Home Functionality
    • Kuna AI Only Available With Subscription
    • Mixed User Reviews
    • Products Not Widely Available

    Kuna is unique in the home security world for offering some unusual camera models. The company offers a traditional video doorbell, or you can purchase an outdoor camera with a spotlight. Kuna’s biggest sellers, though, are its porchlight cameras. These are exactly what they sound like – attractive porchlights that include an outdoor camera.

    All of these cameras include advanced features like HD video and smart detection technology. And, you can get basic self-monitoring for no cost. That includes three video downloads a month. Or invest in a subscription plan and get up to 14 days of video lookback, unlimited downloads, two-way talk, and custom greetings.

    The downside of Kuna is that the company’s camera selection is fairly limited. In fact, all its cameras are made for the outdoors. If you’re in the market for outdoor home security, though, Kuna offers some home decor options you just won’t find with other companies.

    Get more info in our Kuna security camera review.

     

    Connectivity Wi-fi
    Power Wired, battery
    Field of View Up to 155°
    Resolution Up to 1080p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • 11. Zmodo - Most Affordable

    SecureScore™ 7.3
    Customer Service
    6.9
    Value
    8.1
    Equipment
    7.4
    Features & Technology
    6.8
    Ease Of Use
    7.2
    SecureScore™
    7.3
    • Low-Cost Cameras
    • Simple, Discreet Design
    • No Paid Subscription Required
    • Clear 1080p Video Quality
    • Numerous Indoor Camera Options
    • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
    • 30-day Money-Back Guarantee
    • 1-year Warranty
    • Limited Features
    • Some Delay on Wake Time in App
    • Bulky design

    The Zmodo security camera system is known for its reliability. For those who want a simple system to set up and that they can begin using right away, Zmodo is a great choice. The equipment is of good quality and the system remains overall easy to use. Here’s our look at what you can expect:

    The Zmodo camera is a good option for those who want a simple product. The system will allow you to capture images reliably. One of the nice features about it is the range of camera options on the market. There are numerous options – the Greet Pro Smart Doorbell, Greet Universal Smart Doorbell, and the Greet Smart Doorbell are basic options. Additionally, users can select the Outdoor Camera Pro with various pixel qualities.

    A few nice features about the brand stand out. The company offers a long 60-day money-back guarantee. This is longer than many other providers. What’s more, users get free lifetime support (which can come in handy for troubleshooting some of the connectivity errors this company’s products seem to have). The equipment also has a three-year warranty.

    See our full review of Zomdo cameras.

     

    Connectivity Wi-fi, ethernet
    Power Wired, battery, PoE
    Field of View Up to 360°
    Resolution Up to 1080p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • 12. Night Owl - Best Customizations

    SecureScore™ 7.2
    Customer Service
    7.4
    Value
    7.1
    Equipment
    7.7
    Features & Technology
    7.9
    Ease Of Use
    6.1
    SecureScore™
    7.2
    • Choice of Wired or Wireless Cameras
    • No Contracts
    • 1080p HD Video Resolution
    • NVR, DVR Systems Stabilize Connection
    • Night Vision
    • Two-Way Audio
    • Facial Recognition and Human Detection Features
    • Works With Google Assistant
    • App Is Buggy
    • Wide Selection Can Be Overwhelming
    • No Livestreaming on Battery-Powered Cameras
    • Limited Home Automation Integrations

    Night Owl offers features like night vision, two-way audio, and easy pairing with Google Assistant. If you can look past the buggy mobile app, these indoor/outdoor cams might be a great fit to secure your home.

    If you like options, you’ll like Night Owl. In fact, this company offers so many options that it can be difficult to decide on a package. They have analog and HD cameras, wired and wireless cameras, single cams, and multi-packs, and the list goes on. But don’t worry, if you get overwhelmed easily, Night Owl will be there with their “pre-sales support” team to help you along. And, once you’ve made your equipment choices, you never have to worry about paying a single penny, since monitoring is entirely DIY.

    The standout features are easy DIY installation (setup only takes 2 minutes per camera), night vision, two-way talk, dual-sensor technology (heat detection!), and a well-designed mobile app for smartphone controls. But remember, Night Owl doesn’t offer a professional monitoring option, so this truly is a DIY system through and through. You can learn more with in-depth Night Owl camera review.

     

    Connectivity Wi-fi
    Power Wired, battery
    Field of View Up to 180°
    Resolution Up to 1080p
    Storage Cloud, local
    Smart Platform Compatibility Google Home
  • SecureScore™ 6.6
    Customer Service
    6.2
    Value
    7.3
    Equipment
    7.2
    Features & Technology
    6.3
    Ease Of Use
    6.2
    SecureScore™
    6.6
    • Wireless Outdoor Cameras
    • Some Cameras Work with Reolink Solar Panel
    • Flexible, Easy Installation
    • Full HD Resolution
    • Two-Way Talk
    • Color Night Vision
    • Built-In Siren
    • Low-Cost Cloud Storage
    • Local Storage Option
    • Smart Home Integration
    • Some Cameras Have Basic Features
    • App Setup Can Be Glitchy
    • Relies on Wi-Fi Connection
    • No Continuous Recording in Battery-Powered Models
    • Solar Panel Not Included

    The Reolink camera system has been in the home security game for a while now, and they’re still running strong with their flagship Argus 2 camera. Although it’s limited in features, these cameras offer 1080p HD video, 30+ feet night vision range, and loads of useful upgrades. Also, with a field of view of 130-degrees, you’ll get the whole picture instead of just a glimpse.

    Users who don’t go for the Argus 2 typically spring for the new Argus PT camera. Reolink’s Argus PT (pan & tilt) rotates 355° horizontally and 140° vertically to really supercharge your field-of-view. They also sell the Reolink Go, which is a wireless, solar-powered security camera that’s powered by 4G LTE mobile networks. Finally, all of Reolink’s products offer easy DIY setup.

    However, if you’re the type to get overwhelmed when presented with too many options, you’ll want to pass on Reolink. They sell enough products, accessories, and upgrades to make your head spin. Also, keep in mind that most models are somewhat lacking in the features department. This is another company with DIY monitoring as well, so you want to make sure you’re prepared to keep an eye on your home security yourself. But overall, their lineup of cameras might be worth a closer look. We go more into all of it with our Reolink camera review for you.

     

    Connectivity Wi-fi, ethernet
    Power Wired, battery
    Field of View Up to 140°
    Resolution Up to 1080p
    Storage Cloud, local
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home

What are Security Cameras?

The purpose of a security camera is to surveil or monitor your home. The devices are quite useful in fending off thieves and burglars. In fact, the very presence of a security camera is often enough to stop a criminal and make them think twice about their life choices.

However, if and when a crime does occur on your property, the security camera will record the activity so that you can use it for evidence. Video footage is hard evidence, and it can be helpful in a number of scenarios when seeking insurance compensation, restoration, and even justice.

Security cameras are ubiquitous today, as they are sold by most home security companies. They will be advertised for either indoor or outdoor use; though anytime you see “indoor/outdoor,” that simply means the camera is built for pretty much any conditions.

Google Nest Camera

Google Nest Camera

Also, they come in hardwired or wireless options. A more permanent solution for property surveillance is the hardwired camera. On the other hand, wireless cameras are typically DIY and can be set up and functioning in a matter of minutes.

With many home security cameras, you can choose to sign-up for 24/7 professional monitoring, or choose to monitor the security camera yourself. More homeowners are opting for this “self-monitoring” option, as today’s cameras make it easy to remotely view your property via the camera’s companion app.

Did You Know? Home security cameras are more affordable than you might think. Some brands sell indoor cameras in the $20-$30 range, and outdoor cameras start around $60-$70 and go up from there. Check out our full security camera cost guide to learn more.

Many camera systems will actually send a text alert when activity is detected in or around your home. You then simply hop on the app and see exactly what the camera sees, and of course, either call the police on the perpetrator, or open the door because it’s just the pizza guy (after all, cold pizza is a crime).

Most home security cameras are built to withstand the elements, so you can rest assured your home is protected when it’s raining, hailing, snowing, etc. Also, the image quality on today’s cameras is impressive to say the least. Many offer full-HD imaging with 1080p resolution, night vision, the works.

Whether you choose to outfit your home with a single security camera at your entryway, or set up multiple cameras to cover every nook and cranny of your home, you have options galore. Today’s home security cameras can come stacked with anything up to and including:

  • Wireless technology (battery operated)
  • Smart home compatibility
  • Easy, DIY installation
  • Mobile alerts and connectivity
  • Durable, weatherproof equipment
  • Free cloud storage (in some cases)
  • Facial recognition features
  • Two-way communication
  • Voice response
  • And more

FYI: Many security camera brands offer cloud video storage plans. It only costs a small monthly fee of about $3-$6 per camera, and you’ll have access to all of your footage that’s securely stored in “the cloud.” Many cloud plans also include video downloads, video sharing, and other neat features.

You can see why security cameras are becoming more popular. But… they aren’t a perfect solution. One disadvantage is that static cameras don’t pan or tilt to get the whole picture of a person. Another disadvantage, specific to wireless cameras, is that the batteries can run out of juice fairly quickly. So that’s something you should always keep in mind if you go wireless.

>> Related: How Wireless Security Cameras Work

Finally, one last disadvantage of (Wi-Fi) home security cameras and monitors is that they can be hacked into by criminals. While the hardwired cameras can be bypassed by a cord-snipping burglar. Cases like these are rare, and rest assured there are measures you can take to safeguard against these criminal acts.

All in all, it’s a smart call to purchase one or several high-quality home security cameras. Because you can never be too safe.

 

Features Matter in a Home Security Camera

We hope that at least one of the security camera options above meets your needs. Of course, you may still be undecided or would like to gather more information. Here’s a look at several key issues and questions.

 FAQ List Image

Is it better to have wired or wireless security cameras?

Although wired cameras are generally more reliable because they aren’t susceptible to signal interference, wireless cameras are quickly catching up. Just recently, Lorex released wireless cameras that use Wi-Fi 6, which is supposedly much more reliable than previous Wi-Fi standards.

It all comes down to your preference. Wired cameras are harder to install because of the wires, while wireless cameras can often be installed in less than 10 minutes. However, wireless cameras can be harder to maintain, especially if they’re powered by batteries, as opposed to wired cameras that are often set-and-forget type of devices.

What is the best outdoor security camera without a subscription?

Our top two picks for the best outdoor security cameras without a subscription are Lorex and Nest. Lorex’s DVRs and NVRs record videos locally, so even if you don’t buy a cloud subscription, you’d still get the ability to playback recorded videos.

On the other hand, while Nest requires a cloud subscription to record videos, the Nest Cam Battery is one of the smartest outdoor cameras even without a subscription. Its person detection still works, so it can still give you insightful alerts. You just have to be available enough to check each and every notification from Nest, as the camera captures snapshots only without a cloud subscription.

Which security camera has no monthly fee?

A lot of security camera brands still let you use their cameras without a monthly fee. The catch is that you’ll likely lose some functionality if you opt out of their subscriptions.

SimpliSafe, Ring, Nest, Canary, and Blink, for example, all let you use their cameras without a monthly fee. However, you won’t be able to record footage.

There are some brands that offer free cloud storage, in which case, your camera will still record, but videos are saved for a shorter amount of time. Look into Wyze and Arlo for such free cloud storage options.

Lastly, there are brands like Lorex and Reolink that rely on local storage rather than cloud storage. Videos are stored on a DVR or NVR, and because of that, there are no monthly fees.

What should I look for when buying a security camera?

There are a number of things to look for when buying a security camera. Of course, you should start with the video quality. A resolution of not lower than 1080p and a viewing angle of no less than 120 degrees are recommended. A security camera also needs night vision.

Next, look at the recording options. Most cameras these days record either locally or to the cloud. We recommend choosing a camera with local storage and cloud backup so that your videos are always safe and accessible.

Lastly, check the camera hardware. Is it suitable for your planned placement? Is it watertight? Can it live in frigid environments?

There are so many more factors to consider, but those are the most important ones.

Do you need Wi-Fi for security cameras?

A typical security camera nowadays requires a Wi-Fi connection, so yes, you’ll most likely need Wi-Fi and a working internet connection to use security cameras. There are a few exceptions, though. The Arlo Go line, for example, uses 4G/LTE instead of Wi-Fi, allowing the camera to go in places where Wi-Fi is not typically available, such as in cabins, boats in a marina, or outdoor sheds.

 

Written By
Jaime Fraze
Security Camera Expert

Jaime Fraze has 16 years of writing and editing experience, with seven years spent writing about emerging technologies. As our home security camera expert, she has hand-tested and reviewed every major security camera brand and has written more than 300 articles on the topic. Previously, Jaime has contributed to award-winning media outlets such as the Rocky Mount Telegram and the Daytona Beach News-Journal. As a homeowner and mother of two, Jaime is constantly looking for ways to keep her home and family safe. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English/Journalism from the University of Delaware.