Best Motion Sensor Security Cameras

Check out our list of the best motion detection cameras on the market in our 2024 roundup.

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Lorex Image
Lorex
SecureScore™: 9.2/10
Known for their well-built, well-designed equipment, Lorex leads the industry in terms of motion-detection cameras. With a deep bench of security cameras suited, Lorex is a great option when you need to keep an eye on things.
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Google Nest Image
Google Nest
SecureScore™: 8.5/10
Google Nest makes some of the smartest security products, including high-tech cameras that outshine the competition in motion sensing. With a Nest Aware subscription, the Nest’s Cam IQ comes alive with artificial intelligence facial recognition and other advanced features.
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Ring Image
Ring
SecureScore™: 9.2/10
Famous for their video doorbells, Ring has expanded their security offerings over the years to include a full suite of Ring security cameras. Through a smart motion sensor and Ring’s Amazon-strong network, features like person/vehicle detection are now included in most Ring devices.
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Top 6 Motion Sensor Camera Systems in 2024

Lorex cameras

  • Lorex - Most Versatile Motion Detection Cameras
  • Google Nest - Best Motion Detection Cameras Overall
  • Ring - Best Motion Camera with Light
  • Arlo - Best Outdoor Motion Cameras
  • Blink - Most Affordable Motion Activated Cameras
  • Kuna - Best Motion Activated Hidden Camera

The hallmark of any security camera worth its salt is the ability to detect, record, and alert you to activity in and around your property. You don’t want to be monitoring cameras in real time all day – you want to be able to, you know, go to work, and sleep, and live your life – so you want to find a camera that can automate this process. And hey, bonus points if it uses AI to protect your family by differentiating between a branch blowing in the breeze and someone walking up to the door.

It’s not easy deciding between all the various companies out there, choosing a model, and picking out which features will best protect you and your family. On the one hand, maybe Ring’s new pet features are just what you need. On the other hand, Arlo’s motion-tracking provides superior detection.

You care about your family’s security, and you’re willing to do your homework, but you don’t want to talk to a dozen different customer service representatives about all the various aspects of their companies’ cameras. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done all the research for you and personally tested security cameras in our homes. So let’s jump right into our roundup of the best motion sensor security cameras.

  • 1 Lorex - Most Versatile Motion Detection Cameras

    Lorex Product Image
    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

    We were pretty blown away by Lorex’s selection. Quite frankly, that selection is way beyond what any other company on the market offers. Lots of security systems come with a choice of two or three models. A fair number don’t get beyond one indoor camera, one outdoor camera, and a video doorbell. With Lorex the choices are seemingly endless. Yet we seldom feel overwhelmed by all the choices. The company does a great job of offering a camera to suit every situation but also of helping us decide which one is right for our particular situation.

    • 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

    Lorex has been providing DIY security solutions for over 30 years. One thing that makes them a leader is their innovation; they are constantly coming out with new products to meet the changing demands of consumers. For example, at the time of this writing, Lorex was launching a 1080p Wired Video Doorbell, a 2K Wired Floodlight Security Camera, and a 2K Battery Video Doorbell.

    When it comes to detecting and capturing what’s happening on your property, Lorex has a few options available. Here’s the breakdown:

    Types of Motion Detection Available with Lorex Cameras

    Type of Detection How it Works
    Standard motion detection These systems pick up any type of movement, whether that’s a person, an animal, a vehicle, or an object. Using the Lorex app, the sensitivity can be customized, and specific motion zones can be set up.
    PIR motion detection PIR, or passive infrared motion detection, will trigger when it detects a heat signature. People, animals, and vehicles will set them off.
    Advanced motion detection Using AI, advanced motion detection will only trigger when it detects a person or a vehicle. This helps cut down on unwanted, unnecessary motion alerts and recording.
    Smart Motion Detection Smart Motion Detection will differentiate between people and vehicles, and you can set up separate alerts for both.
    Smart Motion Detection Plus Like the former, but add facial recognition. With Smart Motion Detection Plus, you can set your camera to only record if a face is detected — meaning someone is walking toward the camera — rather than, say, a person walking their dog past your home.

    Now it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the smarter your motion detection gets, the more you’re going to have to pay — more on that in our guide to Lorex’s prices and products. That said, whatever your need or budget, Lorex likely has a camera that’ll work. And if prices still don’t suit you, check out the Lorex Clearance Outlet on their website. They offer big discounts on Certified Open Box and Last Chance clearance products, or you can head over to our guide to Lorex sales and deals. There you’re going to find the most up-to-date discounts Lorex is offering.

    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
  • 2 Google Nest - Best Motion Detection Cameras Overall

    Google Nest Product Image
    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

    Nest Cams work like a charm when it comes to knowing your home inside and out. In its latest generation of cameras, which includes the Google Nest Cam (battery), Nest Cam (indoor, wired), and Nest Cam with floodlight, motion detection aided by artificial intelligence is a standard feature.

    With the help of AI, Google Nest Cams know not to bother you with unimportant movements, like swaying curtains, a robovac doing its daily cleaning, or pets playing in your yard. They have person detection, which means they only notify you when an actual human is involved. That can save you a lot of time, especially if your cameras are set up outdoors.

    • 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

    In contrast to Lorex’s huge lineup of product offerings, Google Nest only sells three cameras — the wired indoor Nest Cam, the battery-powered indoor/outdoor Nest Cam, and the wired Nest Cam with Floodlight. But you know what they say: Quality over quantity. And in the case of Google Nest, it’s definitely the former rather than the latter.

    There’s a lot to like about the Google Nest Cam, but one particular feature we want to point out is the facial recognition. Plenty of cameras out there offer so-called Person Detection. They can distinguish between the mailman coming up the walkway and a passing car, and that’s pretty useful. The Nest Cam, though, can actually learn the people who visit your home. The app can let you know if it’s someone you know at the door. But more importantly, it can let you know if there’s a stranger lurking on your porch.

    Nest Cams’ facial recognition feature alerts you to anyone it doesn’t recognize, so that when it encounters someone unfamiliar – a burglar, potentially – you’ll know right away via the Nest app in your smartphone. It does require a separate subscription to Nest Aware, but it’s certainly worth the extra few bucks per month to really harness this camera’s potential.

    Another great thing about Google Nest is that it isn’t new to this kind of AI-aided motion detection technology. Even its older cameras, like the Nest Cam IQ that was phased out in 2021, have AI person detection and facial recognition. And in our experience, the AI really does wonders for the camera’s ability to detect important events and activity.

    One thing that might be a drawback for some folks, however, is the price tag. At $179.99, the Nest Cam isn’t exactly cheap, especially if you need multiple cameras keeping an eye on things.

    Check out our Google Nest Cam review to get the full scoop on our live Nest tests.

    Connectivity Wi-fi
    Power Wired
    Field of View Up to 130°
    Resolution 1080p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • 3 Ring - Best Motion Camera with Light

    Ring Product Image
    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

    While motion detection works pretty much the same way across most standard consumer-grade security cameras, it can really get a leg up when powerful lighting is added into the equation. Ring understands this, and offers the Ring Spotlight Cam and the Floodlight Cam. On top of helping them detect and record motion after hours, the illumination adds another layer of burglar deterrent that a lot of other cameras lack.

    Pro Tip: If you’re looking to nail down the differences between the two, we put the Ring Floodlight and Spotlight cams up against each other, head to head.

    • 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 addition to great lighting options enhancing their motion sensor, Ring cameras have People Only Mode. This is great for times when you’re away from home and don’t want to be alerted every time a car passes by your house; with People Only Mode, you’ll only be alerted when a human has arrived.

    For keeping tabs on packages, Ring’s motion-sensing capabilities go even further into features like motion zones and schedules, so you can zero in on the alerts you need. And here’s the cherry on top: You can turn on advanced motion detection, which increases the accuracy of your alerts and even automatically trims recordings so you won’t be stuck sifting through empty footage. See our full Ring Cam analysis to learn more.

    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 Arlo - Best Outdoor Motion Cameras

    Arlo Product Image
    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

    The best feature of Arlo cameras? By far it’s their ability to withstand the weather. We tested a complete Arlo camera system, and even in a torrential rainstorm, we still got regular, accurate alerts. Plus, thanks to a generous 160-degree viewing angle, we only needed one Arlo camera to cover our entire front yards.

    As with many cameras, you have the option of subscribing to an Arlo Smart plan that, like Nest Aware and Ring Protect, allows you access to features you wouldn’t get with Arlo’s free plan, like 30-day video history and advanced object detection. Any person, animal, or vehicle that crosses your Arlo camera’s view will be captured, and you’ll know in an instant who or what you’re dealing with.

    • 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

    Barring some occasional playback failures and lags, Arlo cameras perform pretty smoothly, and much of that is due to the quality of the motion sensor. We recently reviewed the Arlo Pro 4, one of the company’s mid-range cameras, and were immediately impressed by both the image quality — 2K resolution is really something else — and its ability to capture and record anything important that crossed the frame.

    The other factor when it comes to video quality is the Wi-Fi signal, so it’s important to note that Arlo cameras work best with a strong, reliable Wi-Fi connection. All security cameras need a few minutes to load recordings, and Arlo is on par with the others. Arlo’s wire-free cameras are also pretty stylish, so you’re getting a little fashion with your function, too. You can learn more in our full rundown of Arlo’s equipment costs and monitoring.

    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
  • Blink Product Image
    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

    Blink, another Amazon-owned security brand, offers a reliable system of wire-free cameras. While more of an entry-level brand, Blink still packs plenty of power in video quality and motion sensing. It happens to be one of my favorites, simply because we value low-maintenance home security products that still deliver in the features and tech department.

    While far from flawless, Blink’s motion detection handled nicely when I reviewed the Blink system not too long ago. Like so many of these cameras, their default setting is super sensitive, and Blink makes it easy to adjust that slider down and avoid those pesky unwanted alerts.

    • 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

    With Blink, you’re not going to run into too many hassles, and that includes motion detection. These cameras are made for the kind of low-maintenance experience more and more users crave. I enjoyed the no-frills approach, having lots of flexibility to adjust and tweak the app’s settings to conform each camera to our space.

    Best of all, Blink is eminently affordable. In fact, no camera in Blink’s suite is more than $140. Of course, you get what you pay for, and these cameras don’t have extras like fine-tuned motion alerts or color night vision. Still Blink cameras offer great basic security without breaking the bank. Here’s the breakdown:

    Blink Camera Regular Price
    Blink Outdoor 3 $99.99
    Blink Outdoor 4 $119.99
    Blink Mini $34.99
    Blink Mini Pan/Tilt $59.99
    Blink Floodlight $139.98
    Blink Wired Floodlight $99.99

    Pro Tip: Blink recently released a new version of their outdoor camera. For more information, check out our review that’ll be coming soon.

    Connectivity Wi-fi
    Power Battery
    Field of View Up to 143°
    Resolution Up to 1080p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa
  • 6 Kuna - Best Motion Activated Hidden Camera

    Kuna Product Image
    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

    The Kuna system stands out for its smart lighting, which combines a security camera with attractive light fixtures that essentially “hide” the camera and allow it to blend in with your home’s decor.

    From an old-fashioned Dickensian lantern to a high-tech floodlight, Kuna does things differently than rivals in the industry. The Kuna Maximus Floodlight, for example, is a powerhouse of a light fixture that offers motion sensing with a range of up to 70 feet and works similarly to the Ring Floodlight.

    • 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

    Like many other security camera companies, Kuna offers cameras with AI that can differentiate between people, pets, vehicles, and packages. And Kuna promises that its AI is built to grow and develop. It is supposed to learn over time so that eventually, it may be able to tell the difference between various people within your home and recognize burglars by the actions they take. Yet, you don’t have to reinvest in equipment to get those advantages as they are released. Your current cameras will evolve to be better and better. That makes for a solid investment.

    Since light-camera combos are Kuna’s bread and butter, it was nice being able to control the Kuna camera using the mobile companion app. The moment I received a motion-activated alert on my phone, I could react directly from my phone’s lock screen. A nice touch, and a speedy way to monitor my space while I’m on the go. See our full Kuna camera live testing guide to learn the ins and outs and to see if this camera makes sense for you.

    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

Features of Motion Sensing Security Camera Systems

Motion Detection

Since it’s really the backbone of any security camera, you’re going to want a camera with effective motion detection. The most common motion sensor we see in cameras is a passive infrared (PIR) sensor, which detects heat (infrared energy) that humans and animals release from their bodies.

Night Vision

You can’t have truly effective motion detection without decent night vision in today’s security cameras. Have a look at what I discovered when I installed a Ring Floodlight Camera in my backyard:

A family of deer travels across our property.

A family of deer travels across our property.

Not every camera out there has color night vision, though, so you might not get crisp images like this in every motion sensor camera. Arlo’s cameras have full color night vision, too, but you do get what you pay for with those, and the price is not necessarily cheap.

App Control

Every security camera comes with an app these days – as an iPhone user, I’ve found that they’re by and large easy to use across most brands. The best apps I’ve used present the camera’s motion detection features in an intuitive, logical way, so when I check on what time my kids’ school bus arrives, it takes me just a swipe or two to locate the footage.

FYI: We’ve identified the highest-rated home security cameras and ranked them on performance, features, pricing, ease of installation, and more. Check out our top-rated security cameras to find the perfect match.

High Resolution

The majority of security cameras, under the most ideal conditions, will record video at 1080p HD resolution. You’ll see it most often when your Wi-Fi signal is running at full strength.

But getting the best motion detection from your cameras doesn’t necessarily require a high video resolution, so remember that a super or ultra HD resolution (2K or 4K) camera like the Arlo Ultra or Arlo Pro 3 might not detect motion as quickly or as efficiently as, say, a 1080p Blink Outdoor cam.

Field of View

Another important component of motion-sensing cameras is the viewing angle, or field of view. This, in layman’s terms, is the angle between the two horizontal edges of the camera’s display.

The smaller the view, the less motion you’re going to capture from your camera. This is a crucial thing to consider in cameras, as not all viewing angles are the same. Ring’s 110-degree Indoor cam, for example, won’t get you the same viewing possibilities as the E1 Outdoor, one of Reolink’s cameras. With PTZ action, you can stretch out that view to a whopping 350 degrees.

Smart Home Integration

With smart home automation features, security cameras are now functioning less as standalone devices and more like components in a larger smart home setup. For the most part, security cameras today are compatible with at least two smart home platforms. Usually, that’s Amazon Alexa and OK Google. But many other cameras, including Zmodo’s super affordable cameras and Swann’s NVR-based systems, are compatible with Z-Wave, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and other smart home ecosystems, too.

FYI: Our comprehensive Home Automation Guide has lots more information on integrating cameras into your smart home.

Final Thoughts on the Best Motion Sensor Security Cameras

The bottom line on motion sensors in security cameras is that, though they all work basically the same way, some cameras do handle this better than others. Factors like camera location, storage space, and video quality can all affect the performance of a camera’s motion sensor.

That said, you don’t want to skimp on technology like this, either. While advanced features I see in Nest and Arlo cameras do cost more than basic cameras, I can’t overstate the importance of solid, effective motion detection. Hopefully this comprehensive guide helps you to find the perfect camera solution for your home and family.

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.