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In the past, home security cameras were expensive and many required professional installation, keeping them out of reach for the average security-minded homeowner. That isn’t the case anymore, though.
Modern home security cameras are affordable and easy to install. And these aren’t cheap in the pejorative sense. Although many cameras on our list retail for under $100, these are sophisticated pieces of equipment with all of the features necessary for keeping your family and your property safe.
Zmodo offers a variety of inexpensive indoor and outdoor security cameras, and at $39.99 for their hybrid model, you’re not going to break the bank. Their flagship indoor/outdoor model has 1080p resolution — more than enough to record clearly — motion alerts, and night vision.
Zmodo isn’t going to blow you away with a long list of high-tech features, but they do offer durable indoor and outdoor cameras that get the job done for a more than reasonable price. One of their newest offerings, the Zmodo Mini Pro, offers AI alerts, records in 1080p, and is about the size of a coffee mug. It’s discrete and affordable at less than $40.
Zmodo is a good choice for anyone looking for variety and flexibility when it comes to choosing a security camera. The company offers a huge variety of indoor and outdoor security cameras and doorbells. All of the cameras are affordable considering the range of options they offer. Because Zmodo’s products all work together, it is easy to upgrade to more cameras at any time.
The Blink camera system is an “ultra-affordable” home security camera system. The most affordable — the Blink Indoor Mini — retails for $34.99. If you’re looking for an outdoor option, though, they’ve got you covered. The Outdoor Wireless Cam costs just $99.99.
Another point to consider when you’re shopping for budget cameras — you’re never going to pay subscription fees with Blink. You get totally free cloud storage. These budget-friendly cameras also offer high quality night vision, two-way talk and record in 1080p resolution.
Blink’s cameras are ideal for customers who want a cheap home security camera system with remote viewing and control. For customers who want a cheap way to see what is going on at home, then Blink’s cameras are perfect. To read more about our experience testing Blink, see our Blink camera review.
Ring is known for their line of high-quality video doorbells, but over the years the company has expanded their offerings to include a range of indoor and outdoor security cameras. Like their video doorbells, Ring security cameras are affordable and offer DIY installation.
One of the things we really like about Ring is that they’re always innovating. Be on the lookout for their new “Always Home” Cam — a security camera attached to a drone that will patrol your home while you’re away, and their car cam — a smart dashboard cam that will ensure any important moments are recorded while you’re behind the wheel.
Ring also offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to your equipment. The cameras run on a range of energy sources. You can choose from solar, battery or wired power. Using the Ring app, you can monitor your indoor and outdoor security cameras in clear 1080 HD anytime.
Cloud storage plans are available for an extra fee. The Ring Protect Basic Plan is just $3 a month. It includes video storage. You can also share videos with this plan. The Ring Protect Plus Plan is ideal for multiple Ring cameras as it allows you to store footage from more than one camera.
Best known for their popular video doorbells, Ring has branched out into the greater security camera industry extremely successfully. Their versatile line of indoor and outdoor cameras start around $99.99 and offer a range of features that you’d see in cameras double that price.
To read all about our experience testing Ring’s lineup of indoor and outdoor security cameras, head on over to our in-depth Ring Cam review.
Google Nest home security cameras are a great option for folks looking for a high-tech security solution that’s not going to cost an arm and a leg. These cameras are slightly more expensive than the others on our list — their battery-operated indoor/outdoor camera costs $179.99 — but we’d argue that the price is absolutely worth it for the features Google packs into these cameras.
Their AI-powered smart alerts help you keep an eye on important events while being able to ignore the things that don’t matter, and their super-long battery life means you’re not going to constantly be taking them down to recharge. The two-way audio feature is perfect for having a conversation with visitors without having to open the door, and the easy DIY installation process will have you up and running in minutes.
If you sign up for Nest Aware, the company’s storage service, you’ll increase your recording capacity and access more features, and at just $6 per month, it’s almost a steal.
Google Nest cameras are well-designed, durable, and reliable. Their smart, AI-driven feature set is impressive (facial detection feature included!), and their subscription costs are low. Overall, they’re a great choice for people looking to protect their families and their properties while keeping costs under control.
Arlo is one of those companies that almost seems too good to be true. Their cameras are feature-packed, they record in super-high resolution, and they are well-designed and stylish to boot. You might expect to pay a premium for this type of equipment, but Arlo surprises again by keeping costs fairly low.
Arlo keeps things simple by powering their cameras with batteries rather than having to hardwire them in, which means their perfect for DIYers. The Arlo Pro 4 is a perfect example of this ethos, recording in 2K HDR and only costing $199.99.
Most of their cameras feature AI-powered intelligent motion detection and some models offer loud sirens or onboard motion-activated floodlights. See our full Arlo camera analysis to learn more.
Arlo’s home security cameras are a great option for customers who want a high-tech camera at an affordable price. Although they are pricier than some of the other cameras on the market, Arlo’s offers include a lot of helpful features.
We understand that protecting your home with modern day security equipment can get expensive pretty quickly. So if you’re looking to save money on a budget security camera, just be sure not to go too cheap.
If you go too cheap, you risk buying an unreliable product. And when you’re talking about a security system, unreliable is one thing it cannot be. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be if your packages were swiped from your porch and that $15 dollar no-name camera you bought was on the fritz? What if something even more serious happened, and you couldn’t give the police any information because its night vision stopped working?
You see our point.
That said, we do recommend affordable cameras. Those cameras are absolutely worth your time and money.
A common bit of wisdom you might be familiar with is to never go cheap on things that go between you and the ground. Your mattress, your tires, your bicycle helmet. We’d also add to that maxim that you want to spend an adequate amount of money on items that deter folks from breaking into your home — i.e., security cameras.
That said, we’re not saying you have to go out there and buy the most expensive camera on the market. For most folks, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either. What we are suggesting is that you take a closer look at the camera manufacturers on this list. They were selected specifically because they strike the right balance of features, reliability, durability, and cost. We’re sure you could find a cheaper camera somewhere, but we’re also pretty sure you’d be throwing it away in a month or two.