When it comes to peace of mind, there’s nothing like having a network of high-quality security cameras installed around your property. Whether you’re keeping an eye out for illegal activity, dissuading would-be intruders, or just making sure the cat sitter actually shows up this weekend, adding cameras to your home security network is always a great idea.
What’s not so great, though, is having to deal with the installation process. If you’re not a certified electrician, getting your security cameras up and running can be a bit of a challenge. Not to worry, though. There are several security camera manufacturers out there offering DIY-friendly wireless models that make setup a cinch.
We put many of the industry’s top-selling cameras to the test to help you narrow down your search for the perfect security cameras to protect your family and property. Here are our top picks:
Ring’s home security cameras, both indoor and outdoor, can help minimize risks and improve home security with wireless technology. Ring, which is known for its ability to work so easily with Amazon’s Alexa platform and for its video doorbell, is a leader in home security cameras, too. Easy to use, comprehensive features, and simple to install, the Ring Cameras are an important consideration.
Ring security cameras are an excellent option for wireless protection throughout the home with both indoor and outdoor options available to you. The company has several versions, including the Stick Up Cam, which is available in both battery power and solar power. These range in price from $69.99 to $139.98. The company also features the Spotlight Cam in both battery power and solar. These range in price from $139.99 to $169.99.
All of the Ring Cameras are designed to be very innovative. They include easy mounting options to make putting them in place simple. In addition, they offer features such as two-way talk, night vision, and sirens that can help to scare off anyone who visits your home uninvited. The cameras offer excellent video quality with 1080p HP video with zoom.
The Ring Cameras are connected through the Ring app, and you can link your Ring Video Doorbell to it as well. When someone trips the sensor, the motion-activated notifications are sent to you. You can then see what’s happening in real-time and respond with the two-way talk and the siren feature.
Those that want to record this information will need to purchase the Ring Protect Plan, which is $3 a month for recording and sharing. If you have numerous Ring Cameras (and it is very easy to do this to get full protection around your home), you can upgrade to the Ring Protect Plus Plan at $10 per month. It allows you to record from unlimited cameras and the Ring Doorbell.
With home automation connections to Amazon Alexa’s platform and features like customized zones for protection, the Ring Cameras really are an excellent, all-around choice for wireless home security. They are also very affordable and simple to install, meaning you can have a home security system in place within a matter of minutes with this system.
To learn more, check out our full Ring Cam review.
Nest offers a range of home security cameras that are designed to be part of a Nest connected home. These cameras work with other Nest home security and monitoring products to help you monitor and secure your home. You can also use Nest Cams independently.
All Nest Cams feature 24/7 live video, alerts on your phone, 1080p HD, night vision and a three-hour snapshot history.
Nest is a great option if you’re looking for a high-quality camera with advanced features without the hassle of having to hardwire anything. These sleek, easy-to-use cameras are simple to set up, and their long list of sophisticated features like face recognition and package detection make Nest a great choice for folks looking for something a little more technologically advanced.
To read about our experience using Nest, have a look at our Nest Cam review.
Arlo is another high-tech wireless home security camera system that offers a variety of features that tech-savvy customers will love. The equipment is quite smart and can differentiate between humans, animals, and cars.
Read more about its features and tech in our hands-on review of Arlo.
Arlo home security cameras are offered in a range of devices and prices. From outdoor security to nursery monitoring, Arlo covers just about everything. Arlo Baby is for the nursery and features 1080p HD video, a nightlight and lullaby player. While the Arlo Go is a mobile, wire-free video camera that you can place anywhere indoors or out. This camera is weather-resistant and features advanced motion detection.
Arlo offers a comprehensive app that lets you receive instant notifications when audio or motion is detected at your home. You can then watch the footage live from your smart device. Arlo’s cameras feature “intelligent detection” that can distinguish a person’s movements from a pet’s movements. Arlo also offers “activity zones” which lets you choose a specific area to monitor.
Arlo also offers an video doorbell camera that you can pair with Arlo outdoor cameras to see who is on your front porch anytime day or night. When someone rings the doorbell, you’ll get an instant alert on your phone. Then, if you want to see who is at your door, you can access your outdoor cameras via your phone, as well.
Arlo’s outdoor cameras feature “smart” technology. Person detection provides instant alerts to your phone when the camera detects a person. Package detection notifies you when a package is delivered to your home. Vehicle detection lets you know when a car pulls up. And, animal detection alerts you when an animal passes by the camera’s sensor. Another of Arlo’s features that is very helpful is the Arlo Smart e911. This service connects you with emergency services closest to your home. This may be different from the emergency responders near your cell phone.
The Blink outdoor camera and Blink indoor HD camera are perfect for customers who want an affordable home security camera system. Unlike other home security cameras, there are no monthly monitoring fees. Blink offers completely free cloud storage.
See our Blink analysis for the full scoop on our experience with these cameras.
Blink offers two wire-free, ultra affordable home security cameras — one for indoor use, and one for outdoor. If you’re looking for comprehensive protection without breaking the bank, Blink is certainly a manufacturer to consider.
The indoor HD camera is ideal for keeping an eye on things inside your home. Keeping track of your kids, making sure the pet sitter is taking care of Fluffy — Blink can handle it all. If you’re looking for outdoor protections, though, they’ve got you covered, too. The weatherproof outdoor camera is rugged enough to stand guard over your home while standing up to mother nature.
And there are other ways to save, too. With Blink, you can choose a one, two, three, or five camera system to protect your entire home. Plus, you can add on additional Blink cameras as needed. Since they’re battery operated, you won’t have to fool around with installation, and blink cameras can last up to two years without a charge.
Zmodo offers a complete range of home security cameras, which makes them perfect for a wide range of uses. They are low-cost and easy to install. These cameras can be integrated with Zmodo’s other smart home devices, which makes them ideal for customers who want a complete smart home system.
Head over to our hands-on Zmodo analysis to see our full experience with these cameras.
Just like many of the other manufacturers on our list, Zmodo cameras come in both indoor and outdoor varieties. While many of their cameras are a little bare-bones, you’re not going to be paying tremendous amounts for them either. A single indoor&outdoor Zmodo camera costs less than $30, and offers many of the same core capacities of the other cameras on our list.
If you’re looking for features, The Zmodo Sight 180 features a 180-degree wide viewing angle, night vision, two-way audio and more. Other offerings include the low-priced EZ Cam, which detects motion and lets you see clearly in the dark and the Zmodo 1080p HD Pan and Tilt Camera.
Just as Zmodo offers a whole range of indoor cameras, they also offer a complete selection of outdoor home security cameras, as well. There is a solution for every need. Choose the 1080p Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera for remote viewing day or night. The Zmodo Sight 180 Outdoor features a wide 180-degree viewing angle and smart night vision.
Zmodo’s indoor and outdoor cameras all integrate with the company’s other smart home security solutions. Zmodo offers cloud-recording, time-lapse videos and the ability to share video clips. However, you’ll need a cloud storage plan.
Guardzilla is a great home security camera solution for anyone who is looking for a simple, affordable way to monitor indoors and out. Guardzilla’s cloud storage plans are affordable, as well, and set-up could not be easier.
Guardzilla offers a simple and affordable way for you to monitor the interior and exterior of your home with security cameras. The cameras are connected with Guardzilla’s intuitive, simple app. You can get notifications instantly on your phone.
Guardzilla offers a complete family of Wi-Fi home security cameras that deliver crystal-clear live HD video. These cameras offer 360-degree viewing areas, two-way audio, motion alerts and much more. You can automatically arm your home security system using Guardzilla’s Auto Arm feature. Guardzilla’s app allows you to take photos, monitor live HD video and talk with anyone in the camera’s viewing angle.
With Guardzilla, you get two days of video cloud storage for free. If you want more than two days of cloud storage, then you’ll have to purchase a video cloud storage plan.
One of the biggest breakthroughs we’ve observed in our years testing and interacting with security technology is the rise of the wireless camera. Thanks to advances in video surveillance and Wi-Fi speeds, wireless security cameras are now able to connect to most home internet networks through a simple, step-by-step DIY setup process.
This means you’re not going to have to go through the hassle of hardwiring anything to get your new cameras installed. This is a huge time-saver, and also makes it so home security cameras are far more accessible regardless of budget or ability level.
Personally, we’ll take the added convenience of a wireless camera over a wired one any day. As homeowners, we want technology we can tailor to our needs, but more than that, we want technology that moves with us, that can be altered if our needs change.
Of course, the industry is still loaded with wired camera options, if that suits your fancy. In these cameras, once they’re installed, you’ll get stable, uninterrupted performance – which is a huge plus in security equipment. After all, what good is a camera if it doesn’t start recording the moment danger is present? With wireless cameras, there’s always a chance of missing activity, because you just can’t guarantee a seamless connection with the average home Wi-Fi network.
Pro Tip: If you’re interested in how a wired setup would perform in your home, we recommend starting with a classic, full-service security system like ADT, where you can choose your package of cameras, alarms, sensors, and professional monitoring. Check out our full ADT system review for more.
With such a broad selection in this industry, we still think it’s beneficial that so many brands are offering high-quality wired cameras. You might want to look into Ring’s options for wired cameras with motion-activated lighting. Those, we found, offer one of the best ways to secure the outside of your home, since they project ultra-bright LED light in addition to recording powerful HD video.
It’s important to note, though, that some of these models, like Ring’s Floodlight Cam, will still require some hardwiring. Just something to keep in mind, especially if your electrical skills are lacking.
The bottom line here is this: If you’re buying wireless security cameras, you will need a stable internet connection to use them. As long as you understand that going in, we think you’ll end up with a smarter, better system.
From what we’ve seen, there are plenty of affordable wireless devices that’ll do a great job of protecting your home and family. With that said, we hope this guide on how security cameras work has helped you on your journey of finding the perfect fit.
Pro Tip: If these wireless cameras don’t fit the bill, we recommend reading our latest roundup of the highest-rated security cameras in the industry to find the right fit.
As the home security industry has evolved over the years, we’ve really seen an explosion in demand for wireless cameras. This doesn’t surprise us; as mentioned, wireless cameras install easier than wired systems in most cases, since they rely on the Internet rather than physical wires to work.
So that’s something to remember about wireless cameras: In most cases, they do need the Internet. A standard home Wi-Fi network usually does the trick.
And as far as the connection itself, keep in mind that almost every camera we test these days has app-guided setups to connect the cameras to our Wi-Fi with very little work required on our end. We just need to enter our Wi-Fi credentials and wait a few minutes for the camera’s firmware to update.
The Amazon-owned Blink camera system, with its simple, minimalist build and wire-free, super-easy installation, connected to our home Internet in under three minutes per camera. That kind of convenience is hard to beat, but this is the beauty of a wireless camera: They’re made for almost anyone, regardless of your home Wi-Fi’s signal strength or your individual tech skills, to set up and use.
You’ll get a decent upgrade in technology over Blink by going with a Google Nest or Arlo camera, if Blink cams seem a bit too simplistic. And of course, keep in mind that Ring is our top pick for wireless cameras. But regardless of brand or model, if it’s labeled “wireless,” this always means the security camera needs an Internet connection.
If you are looking for a wireless home security camera system for your home, then you will want to make sure it has all of the features that you need. Here are some of the most important features to look for when choosing a wireless home security camera.
Most wireless security cameras come with built-in motion detection. This feature automatically records video when the motion sensor is tripped. Many wireless cams with motion detection boast a number of impressive functions, not the least of which are two-way voice and automatic alerts to your smart device. Some can even differentiate between people and pets.
Many of today’s wireless cameras come with two-way voice. Now you can listen in on the happenings of your home, anytime, from anywhere. This feature also lets you talk to those within earshot of your wireless camera. Going wireless is all about simplicity, and two-way voice truly makes it simple to secure your home.
Night vision is a powerful feature to look for in a wireless security camera. Night vision delivers crisp, clear images when you need it most — in the ink-black middle of the night. Don’t let criminals have their way. Get a wireless cam with night vision. Better yet, spring for infrared LED night vision for the clearest picture.
Control your wireless security camera with app control — from Boston to Beijing, and anywhere in-between. Cameras with this feature put home protection at your fingertips. Simply open the app on your smartphone and voilà! Many wireless cameras let you arm and disarm the system, view live-streaming video, and the list goes on.
Wireless cameras and high resolution go hand-in-hand. Companies offer these easy-install DIY cameras without sacrificing on quality imaging. Look for a security camera with HD 1080p resolution. Some even offer full color video, day or night. Because the last thing you want is a blurry burglar. Catch the bad guys with high resolution.
Video recording comes built-in to many wireless security cameras. You’ll find that certain cams offer continuous recording, while others deliver on-demand recording when it detects activity in the field of view. Video recording unlocks a whole new level of home protection. So be sure that your wireless camera comes stacked with this valuable feature.
Gone are the days of having to store footage on SD cards and hard drives. Cloud storage is the simple way to store video recordings. With cloud storage, you can safely and securely keep loads of surveillance video. Sure, it costs a little extra each month, but a wireless camera that sends footage to the cloud is a must have.
Keep a finger on the pulse of your home security with Live View. This feature allows you to pop in to see live-stream video of your wireless camera. It’s especially useful for those who travel often, or for those who wish to monitor activity in and around their home. Stop intruders in their tracks with live view.
Easy does it. Wireless cameras are all about simple setup and ease-of-use. In fact, some security companies pride themselves on offering DIY cameras that take mere minutes to set up. In the time it takes to scarf down breakfast, you can have your wireless cameras up and running. (Psssst… don’t skip breakfast).
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.