Best Home Security Camera Systems
Below we have listed the top ten best home security cameras in the market today including detailed criteria for each product to help you decide which one suits your family or home best. There are many different features for each security camera so keep in mind to read all of the details each has. Of course, no matter if it is designed for indoors or outdoors, there are various mounting options available. Some models can merely be placed on a table or stand while others can be mounted on a wall or ceiling. You may prefer one method over the other, so pay attention to that and really find the best security cameras for you and your home. Whether you are looking for an indoor or outdoor unit, there are several available that will blow your socks off and keep you safe while giving you peace of mind.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research
Can operate in 32 to 122-degree weather
It is weather-resistant
Night vision can extend up to 25 feet
Top Ten Home Security Cameras
1. Netgear Arlo Pro 2
Can operate in 32 to 122-degree weather
It is weather-resistant
Night vision can extend up to 25 feet
Some buyers have reported issues with the wireless connectivity
Even the best devices in the world are flawed in some way so the key to success is that the positives outweigh the negatives by a large margin. Well, that is the Arlo Pro 2 in a nutshell.Read more
As with most top-end units, this sports 1080p video which is full high-definition. On top of this, the Arlo Pro 2 has a wide viewing angle of 130 degrees.
What is nice is this unit is 100 percent wireless with no power cords or wires to speak of. However, as one buyer alluded to, several consumers have reported issues with the wireless connectivity in the past.
Besides Arlo Smart which adds a powerful amount of intelligence to the Arlo Pro 2, this also works in conjunction with several top-end artificial intelligence programs such as Alexa.
When mounted, which is quite simple and can be done with a metal ball mount, you never have to worry about weather damage as this unit is weather-resistant.
During the night hours, the night vision mode will automatically be triggered and it allows you to view any potential burglars. All in all, it can illuminate up to 25 feet away.
All the tremendous functionality aside, perhaps the most convenient aspect of this unit is that you can select the number of cameras you want. The more you get, the more security placement you have.
Equipped with two-way audio
Features cloud storage
With Nest Aware, you get 24/7 continuous recording
Without the monthly subscription, the features are limited
What is ironic about the top model on this list is it can very easily be mediocre. The reason for this is without the monthly subscription, you miss out on a lot of the key features.Read more
To allow you to see every detail with absolute clarity, this security camera is equipped with a high-quality glass lens, 8x digital zoom, and full 1080p high-definition video.
All DSL users out there, you may not have a fast enough internet connection for this device. Nest recommends at least two megabits of upload speed.
Straight through the Nest app, you will receive notifications whenever the camera detects movement. Also, if you have an Alexa device, this can work with it.
In addition to the compact size, the indoor stand of this model will work in all kinds of homes. Plus, you can use the removable wall plate to mount it to a wall.
First off, this does come with cloud storage so you can access your video history from anywhere. Also, with its built-in speaker and microphone, the camera can receive audio.
When asked what is your favorite feature of the Nest Camera, you could have a plethora of different answers. That alone speaks volumes of the greatness personified here.
Engineered to survive extreme weather
You have full control over your recordings
Features HTTPS and WPA2 security
Installation can be difficult
The outdoor security camera system needs to be heavy-duty and Amcrest more than understands that. Their model is engineered with heavy-duty metal and is waterproof to IP67 standards.Read more
At three megapixels and 20 frames per second, this can record 2K footage. The frames increase to 30 per second when recording in 1080p, though.
This security camera system is built with a powerful 2.4-gigahertz detachable antenna that can surpass ranges of five gigahertz. Overall, the setup is also very simple.
If you so wanted to, you could receive alerts straight from your connected smartphone from this camera.
Unfortunately, the installation process can be a major hassle as you can’t remove the camera from the base. But, when you do get it mounted, you will never need to worry about damage as the heavy-duty metal constriction is waterproof.
The night vision mode can sense movement up to 98 feet away. Plus, for peace of mind, this has both HTTPS and WPA2 encryption for maximum security.
When you do finally get this bad boy installed, you can enjoy one of the best-designed security cameras on the market. The advanced security is simply icing on the proverbial cake.
4. Ring Floodlight
You can customize the motion zones
Equipped with a built-in microphone and speakers
Comes with two floodlights
Mounting this vertically is nearly impossible
The beauty of this next security camera lies within its technical specifications as it sports 1080p high-definition video and a massive 270-degree field-of-view.Read more
As was just mentioned, the specifications are a true highlight of this security camera system. It can’t be overstated enough how impressive the 270-degree viewing angle is.
With the Floodlight Cam, you can take the power right from your smartphone or tablet. With either an iOS or Android device, you can hear and speak to anyone near the camera.
The primary smart feature that can be utilized in this model is with Alexa. Now, an external device that features Alexa is required, though.
Even though the included mounting hardware is heavy-duty, one buyer noted how it was nearly impossible to mount it vertically because you can’t position the camera and the lights optimally.
There are two-kelvin floodlights that come equipped with this camera and on top of that, the camera sports a built-in microphone and speakers. Oh yeah, and you can customize the motion zones to focus on areas you want.
Thanks to the addition of the two floodlights, this truly is one of the most complete units on this entire list. At its core, it will alert you to potential threats to your home.
5. Amazon Cloud
Built with two-way audio
Features motion detection and computer vision technologies
Designed with a live view
Does not have text or email alerts
You know if you see a technology device designed by Amazon that one of two things are most likely present. One, it is overflowing with advanced features and two, it sports Alexa. Check both off of the Cloud Cam’s checklist.Read more
Amazon does not steer off the so-called written path of most models as their camera can record 1080p Full HD. At its peak, also, it can record 30 frames per second.
The Cloud Cam is equipped with a single-antenna with diversity. This will support both private and public Wi-Fi networks so your current network will be accounted for.
Outside of being compatible with Alexa, the Cloud Cam also has a dedicated mobile application that allows you to watch motion clips and check-in on the current activity.
While you could merely place this on a flat surface if you wanted to mount it on a wall you could. Additionally, it can be rotated 180 degrees if you want it ceiling-mounted.
With the two-way audio, you can communicate with other people through the camera. Also, with the use of the app, you can actually turn off the night vision LEDs.
Some features, such as text and email alerts, were questionably omitted from this design which is a bit surprising for Amazon. Still, there Cloud Cam more than delivers the goods.
The set up is designed to take around five minutes
No browser is needed
Comes with a night vision mode
The viewing angle is a bit limited
If you constructed a checklist of all the key features you look for in a home security camera system, the VT-361 would fulfill a lot of those points. But, a few drawbacks to weigh it down a bit.Read more
In terms of the specifications, the VT-361 is a bit of a downgrade (but not much). The HD quality is 720p instead of 1080p but the camera does record 25 frames per second.
One important note is that internet access is required for VT-361. But, with its integrated three dBi antenna, the wireless connection provided will be reliable.
Via your smartphone or tablet, you can view live video streaming. Even if you wanted to use your personal computer, there is an app for that, as well.
Due to the large RJ-45 coupler, according to the experience of one buyer, installing this device outdoors can be a tricky endeavor.
With the integrated night vision mode, you will be able to see intruders in the dark up to 10 meters away. Plus, the built-in microphone and speaker ensure you can hear what is going on.
Consistency is one of the keys to success and this is what makes the VT-361 one of the best models in the world. Sure, it is limited in some respects but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.
7. Phylink Network
Features infrared night vision
Has a built-in micro SD DVR
The apps are free of charge
Changing the streaming rate can be difficult
There are a few areas where this network camera falls short but all things considered, its weatherproof design is ideal for outdoor use and its 30-foot night vision is fantastic.Read more
With the latest chipset integrated into this system, the video quality (1080p) is of no issue here. Yet, the 90-degree viewing angle is a bit limited, so be wary of that.
Even though this does come equipped with an Ethernet port, it does have the ability to use Wi-Fi technology. But, the main unit needs to be powered via the attached cable.
For those using an Android or an iOS device, the dedicated apps for this camera are free to use.
When it is claimed that this is weatherproof, it is not an exaggeration. With a weatherproof rating of IP66, you never have to worry about rain deterring the recording.
This is yet another motion-activated security camera system and on top of this, the infrared night vision will extend up to eight meters for optimal nighttime viewing.
This is a compelling, yet limited system. It misses some important features with its software and is a bit narrow. But, at the same time, the quality and build are there.
8. Ezviz Mini
Multiple storage options are available
Is compatible with Alexa
There are two surface adapters included
In general, several users have criticized the wireless connectivity
After you glance at the design features and specifications of the Mini O, you may be wondering why it is so low on this list. Well, its flawed wireless connectivity is the primary reason why.Read more
As Ezviz is fully aware, it is all in the details. Well, their Mini O lives up to that end of the bargain with Full HD capabilities and a wide 135-degree viewing angle.
Here is where things get a little dicey for the Mini O. As a notable amount of consumers have reported, the wireless connectivity can be both unreliable and slow acting.
With the use of Alexa, you can fully control this security camera system. In addition to this, other smart home devices such as IFTTT can also gain control of the Mini O.
Although wireless connectivity can have issues, the mounting should be straight-forward. Both a magnetic base and included mounts make the process easy and you can do so on virtually any surface.
As soon as this system detects motion, it will record automatically. In the instance where you miss something, this camera will detail it for you.
Clearly, a more reliable connection would have propelled this to another level. But, this is a legitimate concern but know this, everything else is spectacular.
9. Netgear Arlo Q
Designed with 8x digital zoom
Sports two-way audio
Comes with seven-day free cloud recordings
The speaker on the camera is not the best
The Arlo Q is packed with impressive features and top-end specifications. While the lag on the video feed can be frustrating at times, the Arlo Q remains one of the best models out there.Read more
Much like the Arlo Pro 2, the Arlo Q sports a camera with a viewing angle of 130 degrees and a resolution of 1080p.
Even though this requires the use of a power source, it does sport wireless technology. Granted you are within 300 feet of the camera, you should be good to go.
If you have an artificial intelligence device, such as Alexa or Google Assistant, this should be compatible with it. With this, you can view your live video feed with a simple voice command.
The Arlo Q is a fully weatherproof camera and is intended for outdoor use. In addition, it attaches magnetically to appropriate surfaces or via a wall-mount.
Thanks to the two-way audio system, you can talk into this system and hear audio from it. Furthermore, the night vision mode allows for uncompromised vision in the darkness.
With two models in the top five, it is quite clear that the Arlo model of security camera systems are top-notch. The Q model is right up there with the best, quite honestly.
Can recognize smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
The lens can be moved from the app
A wall mount is included
Will only record clips in 10-second intervals
The iCamera is more than just your basic security camera system as it is equipped with several smart features. One of which is its ability to detect smoke and carbon monoxide sirens.Read more
All the specs are there, such as 1080 Full HD, four-megapixel resolution, and 8x digital zoom, to make this one of the best top-end cameras on the market.
The iCamera supports 2.4 and five-gigahertz Wi-Fi connectivity. Overall, this is about what you would expect from a system of this caliber.
By using the IFTTT channel, you can connect this bad boy to hundreds of connected devices. In addition, you can also utilize voice control with the Alexa skill.
Included with your investment is a wall mount if you did not want to merely leave this on some sort of stand.
Even though the two-way audio is present, it is a bit flawed. The reason for this is you have to manually push talk-to-talk and listen-to-listen. But, there is also a night vision mode.
This is fully equipped as a motion-sensor security camera system and while the good certainly outmatches the slight flaws, be knowledgeable of the slight issues here.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
At the heart of every computing device, which is technically what a camera is, there hold the specifications that make them tick. To the average person, these arbitrary ramblings usually glance over and they might as well be written in Mandarin. But, when you are in the market for a home security camera, there are two very important specifications that stand above the rest. The first of which is the video quality. Back in the day, these types of cameras really could not deliver a vibrant and clear picture. Instead, the videos were choppier with a much lower pixel count.
Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see models 1080p (which is 1920 x 1080 and classified as Full HD). But, remember this as well; the higher the quality a camera produces the more it will require from your internet bandwidth. The second primary specification is the viewing angle and it is just as important. If a model can view 270 degrees around it, it is more likely to catch something passing by. On the contrary, a narrower model is going to be restricted with what it can cover.
With most of the top-end models in the world, an internet connection will be required to maximize the functionality. As such, the cameras themselves will be engineered with wireless connectivity. But, there is more to it than just assessing this fact. Some models will either have a poor reception or constantly go in and out and be unreliable. Remember, a better signal between the camera and the receiver will result in smoother videos. Then again, your internet connection also plays a role.
Speaking of this, you can really be your own worst enemy in regard to the wireless connectivity. Be sure to try and limit the number of obstructions from the receiver to the camera. Also, avoid placing the receiver near other wireless signals as this can cause disturbances. One other note and this is in regard to storage, you can look for models that allow for cloud storage. This allows you to view your uploaded content anywhere you so wish and works wirelessly, technically.
What would a modern device be without smart features? At this point in the world of technology, that would be a rare device. Anyway, it is not uncommon for modern security cameras to be accessible through your smart devices (such as Android or iOS devices). From these devices, there will typically be a dedicated app that you can download to use in conjunction with the camera. While each app will work a little differently, they typically allow you to view your activity logs, operate night vision mode, access the two-way audio feature, and also set motion and sound alerts.
The other main smart feature that some models are beginning to implement is functionality with artificial intelligence programs. Given the popularity of voice commands, with software such as Alexa and Google Assistant, this is not a bad move. Granted you have access to one of these popular devices, you can function the camera with the use of voice commands. It is quite amazing how technology continues to find a way to link itself, is it not?
There is a really important question that you need to ask yourself and answer. Do you want the security camera to be monitoring indoors or outdoors? The reason this is important is not all models will be designed to handle the extremes of the outdoor world. With models that are designed outdoors, they will typically be weatherproof. Speaking of which, if you want to look even deeper into this, pay attention to the IP rating. No, this is not referring to the internet protocol but rather to ingress protection. You may see a rating of IP65, for example. The first digit indicates its protection against intrusion (solids) and the second against water (liquids). The larger the number, the more protected the system is.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Do you ever feel in danger when you are sitting in your home or sleeping at night? Better yet, do you ever fear that while your house is empty, there may be a burglar that comes sneaking around? Investing in a home security camera can solve all the issues that you are having with your insecurities. Then again, home invasions do happen and it is a legitimate fear. Even if the camera never captures a glimpse of an intruder, it is better to have it than need it.
Other Factors to Consider
Alright, now, it is time to wrap up the remaining critical design features that have not been touched on yet. For starters, let’s begin with motion sensing. What is nice about this is instead of constant recording, which can easily and quickly fill up your storage, the footage can be paused until motion is detected. After all, why do you need to see nothing happen? Another feature that many consumers crave is two-way audio. In order for this to be possible, the camera needs to have a speaker and a microphone built-in. With this integration, you can physically communicate with someone on the other end of the camera.
Next up, let’s talk about night vision. Most cameras will attempt to improve their effectiveness at night by emitting infrared energy. Given that home burglaries can happen at night, this could be a critical feature to consider. But, most models will have a limited distance in this regard so be wary of that.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do Companies Have Access to the Camera Footage?
With the accelerated rate at which technology is progressing in this world, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to stay in the shadows, so to speak. It is even harder when billion-dollar companies have access to your secure files and documents. So, that leads to the question of whether or not that is an issue with these types of security camera systems. Here is the good news; the security companies in the world (which includes Protect America, Vivint, ADT, and Frontpoint) do not have access to the footage and files of your camera.
However, if these same companies happen to offer a video monitoring service then yes, they will have access. But, given that they are security companies, they are out to increase your security.
q: Will a Pet Trigger the Motion Detector?
So, no matter if you set up the camera indoors or outdoors, are you going to need to be wary of your pets? After all, specifically with indoor units, it sure would be a nuisance for the motion detector to trigger every time your pet came across the viewing distance of the camera. Well, take a deep breath as most models out there will not detect this action. The reason for this is some sensors will be unable to detect movement of something that is under say 40 pounds.
Yet, motion sensors are also designed with intelligence in mind. As such, they can typically detect the differences in movement patterns and speed from humans and animals. Given that animals are not what the sensors are aiming to detect, the worry is non-existent nine times out of ten.
q: What Are Your Options Without Wi-Fi?
Wireless technology is quickly becoming a necessity for home security cameras. Your life will be much easier and convenient if you have a stable internet connection with a home wireless router. But, let’s say that you do not; what exactly are your options here? Look, this is not going to be sugarcoated; your options, in this case, are severely limited. What you need to do is invest in a model that does not operate with Wi-Fi.
However, as you have seen throughout this guide, most of the top-end models today will require a stable internet connection. You can either dig in the past for a camera that could be severely outdated. Or, you can swallow your pride and invest in an internet provider (which is recommended in this day and age, anyway).
q: Can These Systems Help When Prosecuting?
It needs to be 100 percent understood that these types of security camera systems are not for your enjoyment or personal satisfaction. Instead, much like any other type of emergency device, they can be used to protect you and your family. If you live in a rough and tough neighborhood, in fact, they can provide you peace of mind to know you can stop an intruder if they attempt anything. So, what about a potential prosecution? Could this type of camera assist with that?
The obvious answer is yes and to be quite honest, it is a definitive yes. If you possess security footage that proves someone entered your home or attempted to commit a home invasion, you are then obligated to report that to law enforcement. In fact, if you do not, that could be considered obstructing justice.
q: Can You Use an Indoor Camera on the Window?
When you think about it, this is potentially a very clever way to get around not having the ability to mount your camera outdoors. The only problem with this, however, is that cameras do not work well when there is an obvious obstruction in the way. Considering you would be attempting to aim the camera through a window, the results would be less than desired; let’s just say that.
Instead of focusing on the events that are proceeding to happen outdoors, the camera will more focus on the imperfections of your window. The video footage may not be clear enough to see what is truly happening so even though it is a clever thought, it may not turn out how you imagine it in your mind.
q: Are They Completely Wireless?
Given the fact that all of the models on this list are enabled with Wi-Fi connectivity, this could lead to this question. Here is the thing, though, this is not indicative of the entire picture. Even though a security camera can have the most advanced wireless connectivity in the world, it still may not be completely wireless. The issue comes with how it draws its power. Some models you are looking into may need to be plugged into your home AC receptacle.
However, there will also be other models that use the power of batteries to draw their power. In this case, the camera can be 100 percent wireless. Then again, they could be wired into a DVR or VCR. Truth be told, even if you have to deal with some wires, the hassle should be kept to a minimum as all you need to perform is a bit of cable management.