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Powerful cameras with reliable technology, and no monthly fees
Recent News: Lorex’s newest security camera comes in the form of an outdoor, dome-type camera that can pan, tilt, and zoom. The 2K Pan – Tilt Outdoor Security Camera features a 2K HD resolution, motion detection, active deterrent lights, and a siren.
The first thing to note about Lorex is that they’ve been around a long time. This massive Canadian brand launched in 1991, and they’re still going strong over thirty years later? How have they managed to remain a top security equipment company for so long? They don’t just sit on their hands. Lorex is constantly evolving, constantly developing new products and new cutting-edge approaches to security cameras.
Within the last six months, Lorex has released a new 4K Nocturnal Motorized Camera, and a 4K Camera that features Smart Security Lighting. In addition, they plan to release a 2K battery video doorbell in November 2022, as well as a 2K Wired Floodlight Camera before the end of the year.
Pro Tip: Looking for smart home-ready security cameras? See our Nest Cam review. With facial recognition and lots of smart integrations, Nest Cams are a great alternative to Lorex. And, they’re cheaper than you think.
I took a pair of Lorex cameras home for a hands-on review, testing and analyzing each camera from unboxing to everyday use. These cameras pack some serious security power – but they weren’t without a few drawbacks. As you make your way through the full Lorex experience, you’ll learn how the cameras stack up against their biggest competitors, namely the DIY favorite Ring cameras I’ve tested over the years. And you’ll get the best advice on buying, installing, setting up, and living with Lorex cameras. There’s no shortage of surprises here!
Lorex sells security cameras — a lot of them. A quick look at its website and you’ll see hundreds after hundreds of Wi-Fi cameras, digital IP cameras, wireless cameras, and even old-school analog cameras. You’ll also find lots of bundles with cameras and recorders, as well as accessories such as Ethernet and coaxial cables for wiring those cameras. Although Lorex is a security-focused company, its offerings are quite different from the more traditional ADT home monitoring packages. That’s for sure.
Feature-wise, Lorex has everything from 4K,1 8-channel NVR security systems and wire-free floodlight and spotlight models, to outdoor bullet-shaped styles and indoor dome models. Lorex’s fleet is indeed vast, so surely there’s something for everyone in this lineup.
FYI: If you’re looking for something simpler and even easier to install for your home security setup, consider a brand like SimpliSafe, but first, visit our full SimpliSafe system review.
Lorex also offers a handy beginner’s guide to their cameras, which will help you narrow down the selection. You’ll start by choosing from the four main camera categories: IP cameras, analog cameras, Wi-Fi cameras, and wire-free cameras.
For today’s review, I put Lorex’s Smart Wi-Fi indoor security camera and Smart Outdoor Wi-Fi camera to the test. Both fall under the Wi-Fi camera category, as their names suggest. You’ll get a feel for how these cameras would work both inside and outside your home while monitoring everyday mischief from pets, kids, and anything going bump in the night. And, you’ll learn what makes their cameras different from the rest – including the lesser-known YI/Kami security cameras I tested recently.
All things considered, these are really good cameras, with just a couple of downsides. Read on for much more, but first, here’s a quick look at the stats on Lorex:
|No. of Cameras||30+|
|Video Resolution||Full HD|
Now, let’s dig into the full experience with Lorex.
In any security camera setup, Step One is pretty obvious: Open box, remove contents. Luckily, Lorex’s equipment isn’t complicated or intimidating. Everything is pretty much ready to go, aside from some mounting hardware attachments to screw in and a couple of power cords to tame. As a side note, if you’re not fond of cords, Lorex has wire-free cameras that run on batteries as well as Power over Ethernet cameras that use a single wire for power and internet connectivity.
Going back, the next step will be to download the Lorex app2 that pertains to your camera. You’ll find three under the Lorex umbrella: Lorex Cirrus, Lorex Home, and Lorex Cloud. Actually, there are several other apps, but these three are the most compatible with Lorex’s current lineup. But which one is the most compatible for your camera? You’ll find the answer in the user manual.
FYI: It’s a big company, so it’s not surprising to see the three Lorex apps. They all work pretty much the same, but if you’re still wary, visit our Wyze security camera unboxing and review for a truly no-frills camera experience.
After the app processes your cameras’ QR codes3 and begins the syncing process, it shouldn’t take more than a few more clicks and maybe 10 minutes to get up and running.
Then, you’re at a good place to begin installing the cameras.
Let’s start with our first-hand experience with the Lorex outdoor camera. The Smart Wi-Fi Outdoor camera is a true outdoor camera and among the most rugged on the market. How rugged? It’s rated IP65. That means it’s completely dust-tight and that it can withstand low-pressure water jets.4 It can also withstand temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and down to 22 degrees below Fahrenheit. In short, unless you live at the North Pole or someplace in the middle of the Sahara Desert, you can count on this camera to withstand the elements.
As with many of the best outdoor cameras, choosing a location is usually the most time-consuming part of the installation process; the rest is just attaching the mounting plate or stand, drilling in a few screws, and adjusting the camera to the angle you want. This can take a few tries, so patience is advised here.
The Smart Wi-Fi Outdoor plugs into a power outlet. It is — in a sense — a wireless camera because it connects to Wi-Fi, but it still requires a power cord. As such, you’ll need to find a good place to install the camera, ideally somewhere within 20 feet from a wall outlet since it comes with a 10-foot power cord and a 10-foot USB extension cord.
Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to install cameras as close to your Wi-Fi router as possible, and avoid any obstructive objects like pillars. For more tips, visit our complete security camera installation guide.
Now, you’ve got lots of options for locating a camera like this. If you’re thinking about placing it outside on a porch or patio like I did here, you can fasten the camera pretty easily to a ceiling or wall. It’s a standard mounting plate with four screws, attached to a weatherproof (thankfully) camera.
This type of camera is ideal for high corners or ceilings. It was reminiscent of a Reolink Argus Eco camera I analyzed for a few days of outdoor testing, but this Lorex camera felt a bit sturdier and generally looked nicer in that space.
Camera installations can be one of those trial-and-error experiences, not unlike figuring out where to place a light fixture or that strange wedding gift from your great aunt. It might take some backpedaling, but you’ll find the angle that works for you in little time. Here’s a tip: Keep your smartphone handy so you can check how the footage looks from the app. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss a blind spot.
Pro Tip: Did you know that Lorex makes a pretty decent doorbell camera, too? Learn more in my hands-on Lorex Doorbell Camera experience, where you’ll get to see Lorex in 2K (read: upgrade!) video resolution.
If you stand back to take in the view for a moment, you should be able to see this camera in full 1080p HD resolution most of the time. The technology didn’t seem to overwhelm my Wi-Fi or slow down recordings for too long, so the performance was overall smooth, day or night. That being said, if your internet connection can handle the bandwidth strain, 4K cameras from Lorex offer much clearer videos. They have four times as many pixels as 1080p cameras, so the videos remain clear even if you zoom in several times.
From there, it’s a good idea to do some exploring in the app. If you’re worried about the strain on your Wi-Fi, this is when you can reduce the default HD setting on your outdoor camera to standard definition (SD).
One big advantage here is that this is a spotlight camera, so you’ll get some really nice illumination on some dimmer areas of your yard with Lorex. For more ideas on lighting up your property with cameras, check out my full review of Arlo Pro 3.
In testing this camera repeatedly, it was clear that the Lorex motion sensitivity feature would be needed. These cameras are sensitive, not unlike the majority of wireless cameras available today. You can also limit what types of motion the camera will record – another way to cut down on unwanted alerts.
This common feature is another layer of control over motion detection. Sensitivity sliders aren’t new or revolutionary in security cameras; the feature made a prominent appearance in my analysis of D-Link cameras. But no matter the brand, sensitivity adjustment is a great tool to understand how security cameras work in different scenarios and positions.
Lorex’s Sound Detection represented yet another example of the high level of control this camera offers. If you live in a high-traffic area, for example, you won’t want to be notified every time a car passes by. But would you want to be notified if a drinking glass fell off a table in your kitchen in the middle of the night? Absolutely!
The Lorex indoor cam takes a pretty simple approach. It’s shaped like a raindrop (or a navigation marker, if you’re feeling worldly). The design and build are lightweight and slim, not intimidating, and it blends easily with home decor. The lone gripe here would be the cumbersome adjoining power cord; it’s always nice to have a battery option to avoid wire exposure. But you can check out our full roundup of the best battery-powered cameras for more ideas.
Since these are plug-in cameras, you’ll want to plan to place them somewhere near a working power outlet.
There’s really no shortage of scenarios where a camera like this would come in handy; if your kids ever have to attend school from home again, and you fall short at being in two places at once … it’ll be nice to have one, two, or maybe three of these Lorex cameras around the house to do just a little bit of the grunt work.
Like the outdoor Lorex, the indoor cam includes person detection, which is not entirely common in indoor cameras. Typically, detection of specific objects, like animals, people, or vehicles, is reserved for outdoor models. So it’s a nice leg up on a few of the best indoor cameras in this industry, but keep in mind that more and more cameras are putting their spin on person detection into their feature set these days. The newly released Nest Cam Battery is an example, which follows the footsteps of the Nest Cam IQ we reviewed in the past.
“Alexa, show me my living room!”
Lorex cameras are compatible with both Amazon Alexa devices and the Google Assistant to display cameras using voice commands, but there are some limitations to note. (For the latest guidance on smart home devices, see our full home automation guide.)
Setting up both Lorex cams to stream onto our Amazon Echo Show for smart home automation was not terribly difficult. Was it as easy as setting up, say, an Amazon-owned Ring camera to work this way? Not exactly; you do have to go into your Alexa app, search for the Lorex skill, and link the accounts, a process that took no longer than four minutes. Surely that’s time well spent, right?
Of course, if you’re loyal to Alexa, a brand like Blink might suit you better. These cameras, as noted in my hands-on Blink camera review, are one of the easiest options you’ll find for automating with Alexa since they’re owned by Amazon.
With Lorex, I find that monitoring and storing your cameras’ recordings yourself is pretty easy. Is it as intuitive an experience as the stealthy set of Google Nest Cams I reviewed? Hardly, especially without an option for professional monitoring. That’s just not Lorex’s strength; however, they are very useful if you’re looking for high-quality self-monitoring of your property.
As for video storage, it’s relatively easy to activate cloud recording. That is, if you have the right app and the right cameras. Thankfully, the cameras I tested were compatible with the Lorex cloud app. If you end up with Lorex cameras without cloud storage, though, you’re going to need either a microSD card for local storage or an NVR. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Despite the limitations of local recording, there’s one thing I’ve found you can always count on with Lorex: Not having to worry about monthly subscription fees to store all those recordings in your timeline. Subscriptions have been the standard model in the vast majority of cameras I’ve tested, so Lorex does offer a refreshing break from the norm.
That said, for a camera system with a pretty remarkable monitoring package, consider Canary. Visit my full Canary Pro Cams analysis to learn more.
And here’s some more good news: My Lorex cameras actually came with a micro SD card for local storage, built right into the camera. So after the initial setup process, I got immediate and complete access to all of Lorex’s camera features, without having to pay. Gotta love that!
Quick Take: I’ve reviewed a large number of cameras that include a built-in micro SD card slot. But they rarely include the actual card. So Lorex’s inclusion of a small but mighty card in each of its cameras was another big plus.
Lorex has been lapping up the praise over the years for their 4K Ultra HD camera packages, most notably due to their DVR and NVR5 camera systems. Lately, their Wi-Fi cameras, namely the two I reviewed, have been gaining steam in the market as well.
At $39.99, the Lorex indoor camera earned points for affordability. The outdoor version I tested retails normally for $130, but right now Lorex has it on sale for just $80.
Of course, remember that those are just two in a pretty massive variety of cameras. (For more help narrowing down the right home security equipment for you, visit our in-depth security system comparison guide.)
Above all that, though, it’s important to note that surveillance camera systems are really the brand’s bread and butter. Here’s a breakdown of pricing for Lorex cameras, keeping in mind that cost will vary depending on how many cameras you need:
|Smart Indoor Wi-Fi 1080p Stand-alone Camera||$39.99+||Requires a power cord
Runs off Wi-Fi
Color night vision
Magnetic mounting base
|Smart Outdoor Wi-Fi 1080p Stand-alone Camera||$79.99||Requires a power cord
Runs off Wi-Fi
Color night vision
|Wire-Free Security Cameras||Starting at $69.99||Battery-operated
No DVR or NVR box needed
|Outdoor Security Cameras||Starting at $89.99||Long-range color night vision
Wide angle options
Up to 25X optical zoom
|PTZ Security Cameras||Starting at $199.99||Continuous 360-degree rotation
Quickly pans, tilts, and zooms
|Wired IP Cameras||Starting at $169.99||Two-way audio
Uses power-over-Ethernet technology
NVR box for storage
4K video quality
There’s a lot of power in these little gadgets! I felt secure and confident with a set of Lorex cams manning the station. By day, they deliver crystal-clear resolution through the wettest of Ohio rainstorms; when the camera’s night vision kicks in, you’ll see consistent high-quality nighttime images. Combined with the outdoor camera’s active-deterrence light, the whole package should handle pretty well, either in conjunction with a bigger Lorex camera system or as a couple of convenient cams to keep around.
As with all cameras I come across – even the best security cameras in the industry – the experience wasn’t flawless with Lorex. Selection was a bit overwhelming, and it was a slight letdown to learn that not all of Lorex’s apps allow access to the cloud for video storage. So you do have to be careful if you’re planning to store large amounts of video to the cloud.
I’ll end with one last parting thought: If you’re someone who likes to customize your technology to suit your lifestyle, you’ll really like Lorex. These cameras offer a lot of customization, which can be great for folks who like to tinker with their gadgets and tailor them exactly to their needs.
If you’d prefer a more intuitive, hands-off home security approach, there’s always Cove, a system that rivals SimpliSafe for ease of use. Check out our full Cove Home Security review for more.
With so many camera options available, it’s hard to say whether Lorex is an expensive camera brand. A Ring Indoor camera, for example, costs $59.99; the Lorex Wi-Fi 1080p indoor camera is $10 less. In my experience, Lorex’s pricing falls around the middle range. Keep in mind, though, that many of Lorex’s cameras are sold as part of surveillance system packages as well as individually. It’s not uncommon to see Lorex camera systems sell for thousands of dollars.
A bit restrictive, but overall good. There’s no 24/7 support, and hours are limited. But I did get a friendly, helpful agent to answer a quick question on a recent customer service call.
All of Lorex’s outdoor cameras are built to at least an IP65 weather rating. This basically means the cameras can withstand any weather except extreme flooding.
Yes. Lorex has a line of pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras that are great if you want 360-degree coverage.
Lorex is great for high-quality nighttime viewing, in color. Overall, I was pleased with the cameras’ night vision.
University of Michigan Library. (2020). 4K: What is Resolution?
Lorex. (2021). App Compatibility.
Nippon.com. (2020, Feb. 10). The Little-Known Story of the Birth of the QR Code.
Poly Case. (2019, Sept 13). IP65 vs. IP67 Enclosure Ratings.
General Security. (2020, April 6). NVR vs. DVR Surveillance Systems.