Best IP Cameras
One of the biggest benefits of Best Wireless Security Camera smart home is being able to know what’s going on when you’re not actually there. Whether you’re checking in on your kids, pets, or an exotic jewel collection, a home security camera is a great tool for keeping an eye on things from afar Best Wireless Security Camera .
Although capabilities vary from device to device, security cameras allow you to monitor what’s going on in your home through live or recorded video. But not all cameras are created equally. Some have alarms or can send you notifications when they detect activity,Best Wireless Security Camera some offer two-way audio, some are meant to monitor your baby, and some even double as full-on
We’ve tested lots of home surveillance cameras over the last few years, so we know what’s important to look for. For instance, you want a camera that’s simple to set up and use. Additionally, one of the very first qualities we notice is an attractive—though discreet—design. It’s important that the camera looks like something you actually want in your home, but depending on your needs, you may not want it to stand out too much.
Device support is critical as well. Our favorite cameras allow you to check in from anywhere, whether it’s an app on your phone or a web browser. Additional features vary from camera to camera, and Best Wireless Security Camera each of our top picks offer just enough variety to set them apart from the rest of the competition.
Here are some other important factors to consider when buying a home security cam:
How’s the View?
Even though 1080p is generally the standard resolution for cameras we’ve tested, there are benefits to cameras with higher resolution sensors. Few home security cameras have optical zoom lenses, but almost all have digital zoom, which crop and enlarge whatever the camera is recording. The more megapixels a camera sensor has, the more you can digitally zoom in and still be able to see things clearly.
Most security cameras use Wi-Fi, but not all rely on it exclusively. Some add Bluetooth for local control and easier setup through your smartphone, while others incorporate separate home automation networking standards to interact with other devices, like Zigbee or Z-Wave. For most cameras, all you need to do is follow instructions on an app to connect them to your home network.
Best Wireless Security Camera Once your camera is connected, you’ll almost certainly be able to access it through your smartphone or tablet. The vast majority of home security cameras today have mobile apps, and many focus entirely around those apps for doing everything. Some have web portals as well, which add flexibility for accessing your videos and alerts from anywhere.
The videos your camera records probably won’t be saved on the camera itself. Most home security cameras use cloud services to store and offer remote access to footage. Some models have microSD card slots so you can physically pull the video from them when you want to review footage, but this is a rare feature.
Keep in mind that not all cloud services are alike, Best Wireless Security Camera even for the same camera. Depending on the manufacturer, your home security camera will store different amounts of footage for different lengths of time. This service is often a paid subscription on top of the price of the camera itself, though some cameras offer free cloud storage to varying degrees. Cloud storage service is usually offered in tiers, letting you choose between keeping footage for a week, a month, or more.
Most security cameras simply send you a notification when they detect any type of activity. Others can identify who—or what—is causing the commotion. The Nest Cam IQ is the first camera to offer face-recognition technology, for instance. It automatically zooms in on people who enter its field of view, and sends alerts when it recognizes a face (and also tells you when it spots an unrecognized face). These technologies help eliminate needless alerts.
What’s the Best Outdoor Security Camera?
If you want to monitor the rooms of your home, there are plenty of options. If you want to keep an eye on your driveway, backyard, or front porch, you need to be more choosy. Not all home security cameras are rugged enough to be mounted outdoors. You need a camera that’s waterproof and can stand up to rain, snow, and sun, and survive the extreme temperatures of summer and winter. Our current favorite camera for outdoor surveillance is the Netgear Arlo Pro 2.
Best Wireless Security Camera If your outdoor needs are limited to your front porch, or you simply want to be able to view who’s at the door, a video doorbell, like the Editors’ Choice Ring Pro, might be worth considering instead. For more, see our picks for the Best Video Doorbells.
As you can see from our picks, many of the top-rated home security cameras on the market are roughly in the $200 range, and some of them also require an additional fee to store recorded video in the cloud. We break down any extra fees in our reviews, so it’s worth taking a look at each to find out which one fits your budget. The good news is that prices are coming down, and you can get a quality model for around $20! Then again, you can’t really put a price on peace of mind.
If you need better peace of mind than a single connected camera can offer, check out our picks for The Best Smart Home Security Systems.
Picture quality is kind of a big deal for an outdoor security camera. Grainy, garbled footage defeats the purpose of capturing a would-be intruder on camera. You can’t catch the bad guy if you can’t make out what they look like. That’s why I chose Amcrest ProHD Outdoor as the top pick for an outdoor security camera. It has 1296p HD resolution, whereas most competitors max out at 1080p. On top of extra-high resolution, its 98 feet of night vision range, mobile access to live and recorded video, and motion detection make Amcrest ProHD hard to beat.
Keep in mind Amcrest ProHD Outdoor acts as a stationary camera, which means you’ll have a fixed 100-degree field of view, so if you’re looking for something with any range of motion, this is not it. It also lacks sound. That said, Amcrest ProHD Outdoor offers excellent picture quality and long-range night vision, which makes it an excellent choice for outdoor surveillance for properties of any size.
Amcrest ProHD camera takes the top spot for pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras because it offers a 360° view, digital zoom, and a full range of motion. The Amcrest mobile app—one of my favorite features—lets you set up motion alerts and access live video from your smartphone so you can keep an eye on things while you’re away.
You’ll get four hours of free cloud storage, but if you want more than four hours you’ll need to pay a monthly fee.
- 7 days: $6 per month per camera
- 14 days: $10 per month per camera
- 30 days: $15 per month per camera
The Am crest Prod PTZ also offers file transfer protocol (FTP) server storage, an Amcrest NVR (network video recorder), or local storage up to 64GB with a MicroSD card. With so many storage options, 1080p HD video, and a full PT range of motion, the Am crest ProHD PTZ was an easy choice to make this list.
Find out what we thought about other popular PTZ cameras in our best PTZ cameras review.
Home security cameras and Best Wireless Security Camera systems provide an extra layer of protection to your home and can act as excellent preventative measures against break-ins. But picking the best security camera for your home can get a little tricky with all the endless features and tech specs to choose from. I’ve researched and reviewed dozens of security cameras to provide you with the top choices for each camera type available so you can make the best pick for your home. But first, let’s dive into some things you should look for when considering a home security camera.
What to look for in a security camera
Although security cameras come in many varieties, they share some important features you should look for when choosing the right camera for you:
Picture quality (resolution)
Higher resolution means you’ll get a better overall picture. Don’t settle for anything less than 720p HD, but if you can find a camera with 1080p, you’ll be able to zoom in farther and uncover more descriptive details like facial features or license plate numbers.
Field of view
Field of view refers to how wide of an angle the camera can see without moving. This generally presents itself as a numerical degree in the tech specs for each camera. Example: 130-degree wide-angle FOV. The wider FOV you can get, the better, but keep in mind it will vary drastically between types of cameras.
Motion detection does two important things: it triggers the camera to record activity when it detects motion, and it sends you a notification that something has happened within your camera’s view. These notifications and Best Wireless Security Camera alerts can be particularly helpful with doorbell cameras and indoor cameras.
A camera with good night vision range will uncover more activity in the dark. Look for a camera with long night vision range (30+ feet indoors and 60+ feet outdoors) and multiple infrared (IR) LED sensors. The more IR sensors a camera has, the better it can reconstruct low-light images into clear video footage.
Not all security cameras need to capture sound, but the ability to communicate from your smartphone to your camera with a two-way voice feature can prove useful with nanny cams and doorbell cameras.
A camera that can connect to your home Wi-Fi network adds an extra layer of protection because an intruder can’t simply cut the wire and interrupt your video feed. Connecting to your in-home Wi-Fi also makes it possible for you to check in on your live video feed remotely.
A quality security camera exists for every budget. Best Wireless Security Camera Decide on a range you’re willing to spend, and you should be able to find a camera that will fit your needs. Keep in mind higher-resolution cameras generally cost more.
The Amcrest 960H 4-channel security camera system uses a heavy-duty metal design that allows it to work in subzero temperatures as low as -22°F. It uses 24 infrared LEDs to capture images in low-light and no-light environments so you can discover would-be intruders in the dark. Amcrest 960H offers 800+TVL resolution—comparable to 720p HD—which captures high-quality video footage and allows you to capture more details.
One of my favorite features of this security camera system is the ability to create active zones, which detect motion within your specified zones and then alert you of any activity. Amcrest comes with plenty of local storage—a 1TB hard drive—that holds up to 30 days of recordings depending on your resolution settings. You can set the resolution as high as 960H and record at 30fps (frames per second), but keep in mind it will eat up your storage space if you leave it that high.
Amcrest 960H’s durability and range make it a perfect 4-channel security camera system with room to build on.
The Q-See supports up to 32 cameras, so if you have a large home, small business, or other sizeable property you want to monitor, the Q-See should cover it. I recommend it over competing security camera systems for its long-range night vision—up to 100 feet. With all 32 cameras able to reach so far into the darkness, the Q-See will cover more surface area, which means you’re less likely to miss anything important. The Q-See lets you monitor video footage from your smartphone through the mobile app, so it’s a great choice for anyone looking for instant access to video.
You can buy the DVR by itself or with 16 cameras to start, but in order to reach a full 32-channel camera system, you’ll need to buy the additional 16 cameras separately.
The Lorex LW series is an all-in-one security camera system that comes with a 7-inch LED monitor and an SD card slot (up to 32GB), so you have everything that you need to get started. Considering the LED monitor is included, the entry price point is a reasonable deal. This product includes a night vision capability up to 65 feet and a host of other great features. The secure video signal covers up to 150 feet indoors and 450 feet outdoors.
Wired vs. wireless security cameras
Most modern-day residential security cameras—and all of the cameras we recommend in this article—use wireless technology. This means that you don’t have to run wires from the camera to a central station inside your house in order to access your video feed. You can usually access your video through a smartphone app or computer.
Wireless technology saves you money on costly installation and doesn’t require you to drill holes in your wall. Some larger CCTV or security camera systems still use wired technology, but these are generally used for commercial areas or large estates. Most homes can get away with using wireless cameras that connect through your in-home Wi-Fi network.
Keep in mind that even wireless security cameras run on power. Very few cameras use battery power, so you’ll most likely have to install your camera close to a power outlet, even if it’s wireless.
Which security camera is right for you?
Whether you’re considering one or multiple security cameras, wired or wireless, indoor and/or outdoor, our goal is to give you the information you need to help you decide what’s best for your home and your family. If you don’t already have a home security system or you’re not satisfied with the one you have, see our comprehensive reviews of the best home security systems of 2018.
Also if you’re interested in reading more specific security camera reviews and how we ranked them, check out any of these articles: Best Night Vision Cameras, Best HD Security Cameras, Best Cheap Security Cameras, Best Hidden Cameras, or Best Dash Cams.
Still didn’t find what you’re looking for? Check out other options on Amazon to find the solution that’s right for you (can’t see our recommendations? Make sure to disable ad blocking for ASecureLife):