The best home security cameras allow you to check in on your property when you’re not around, but without having to run cables all-around your home as traditional CCTV systems do.
The best wireless security cameras work in the same way as the best video doorbells, connecting to your home internet connection and sending a notification to your smartphone if they detect motion, or in some cases sound.
You can use the app to view the camera’s live video feed and check nothing untoward is happening at your home, but the footage is also stored in a secure area online or locally so you can review it at a later date - ideal if you miss the original alert on your smartphone.
The best Wi-fi security cameras are compatible with the best smart speakers and best smart displays so they will alert you when the camera detects motion, as well as letting you speak to, and see if you have a smart display, anyone in the camera’s field of view.
On top of that, the best home security cameras can be used in home automations, working with the best smart locks to secure your home, or the best smart lights to simulate occupancy when the house is empty and the camera detects motion.
With so much choice when it comes to the best wireless security cameras, choosing the right one for you can be a mystifying task. You’ll need to decide whether you want a camera that’s weatherproof and can be used outside, or you’re looking for an indoor device to soothe your pets or check the kids are doing their homework rather than playing if they get home before you.
Also, consider how the camera will be powered. Battery-operated models can be easily moved around, while mains-powered devices may require professional installation if they connect directly to your home's wiring.
We’ve put some of the biggest names in Wi-Fi security cameras to the test to find out just which are the best home security cameras you can buy right now.
Best home security cameras
In the world of home security cameras, the Anker Eufycam 2 is known for being a solid mid-range option at an affordable price. It has a seriously large feature set and while it doesn't offer 24/7 monitoring, it also doesn't require a month subscription whatsoever.
Eufy’s wireless outdoor camera has an IP67 rating that makes it almost entirely weatherproof and a claimed 365-day battery life that never seems to quit. It also stores all of its encoded clips directly to the included BaseStation in your living room, which means you don’t have to worry about someone somewhere else in the world looking at your clips.
Bottom line? If you want a system that doesn’t cost anything to maintain and love being in charge of how/where the video is stored, the Eufy Video Doorbell is great. It gives you complete control with no overhead cost.
Read our full review: Anker Eufycam 2
Home security cameras with resolutions higher than Full HD ensure tiny details are visible in the footage it records, even if the camera's field of view is taking in a large area. While we rate the Arlo Ultra and Arlo Ultra 2 home security cameras, which offers a 4K resolution, the Arlo Pro 3 is a more affordable option that records video in 2K - more than detailed enough for the average home.
The highly versatile home security camera, which is the successor to the Full HD Arlo Pro 2 camera, can be battery-powered or connected to mains power, and has a classy weatherproof design so it can be used outside or indoors.
There's also a version with a built-in floodlight that will automatically illuminate when motion is detected - the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight is good for gardens and driveways.
To get the most out of it, such as being able to review footage it stores for up to 30 days after it's been recorded, and make use of the smart identification that can determine whether the motion is caused by a person, animal, vehicle or other sources, you will need to subscribe to Arlo Smart, which costs from Prices start from $2.99 / £2.49 / AU$4.49.
Read our full review: Arlo Pro 3
Best indoor home security cameras
The Ring Indoor Cam is a great addition to the company’s growing suite of security products. It may be cheap, but the Ring device doesn’t disappoint when it comes to features or performance.
We particularly like just how customizable the device is, making it suitable for placement in any room of the house. As well as being able to control the camera via your mobile device, it’s also useful to log into your Ring account via the web so you can keep an eye on your property from your office PC should you wish. Set-up is fairly straightforward too, helped by the flexible mounting options as well as video tutorials available via the app.
If you’re in the market to beef up your home security then this Ring is for you.
Read our full review: Ring Indoor Cam
Privacy is a huge concern for many when it comes to choosing a home security cameras. If the thought of the camera in your home watching your every move is too much to bear, the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera will be right up your street.
The privacy shutter can automatically be activated when the camera is disarmed, ensuring that the lens and microphone are disabelled so there’s not fear of being watched. On test, we found the camera recorded clear full HD footage during the day and at night, although you will need to subscribe to Arlo Smart, which costs $2.99 / £2.49 / AU$4.49 per month, if you want to review footage after it’s been recorded. On top of that it works with Alexa and Google Assistant, unlike many of the home security cameras in this list, which only work with one voice assistant.
However, while the Arlo Essentials range is billed as the brand’s affordable offering, it’s more expensive than most affordable home security cameras.
Read our full review: Arlo Essential Indoor Camera
With a micro SD card that can save footage recorded by the camera, as well as the option of subscribing to a cloud storage offering, the Eufy Indoor Security Camera 2K is an affordable home security camera that offers the best of both worlds.
Simple to set-up, the camera records detailed 2K videos when motion is detected both during the day and at night. On top of that it integrates with Alexa, Google Assistant and has HomeKit support too - so no matter which smart home system you use, the camera can easily be integrated into it. Although it’s worth noting when used with HomeKit, the video resolution is restricted to full HD.
Read our full review: Eufy Indoor Security Camera 2K
The Nest Cam IQ is intelligent. Really intelligent. Not only can it notify you if there’s movement in your home, but it can also differentiate between people and animals, and – what’s really remarkable – it can even identify if it’s a familiar or unfamiliar person.
The Nest Cam IQ records Full HD footage in HDR (high dynamic range), so if someone is in your home, you’ll have clear images of them.
The main drawback with the Nest Cam IQ is its price. Not only is it fairly expensive to start with, to use its full range of functions you’ll have to purchase a subscription to Nest Aware. But if you want the best quality, and are prepared to shell out for it, the Nest Cam IQ is probably the camera for you.
Read our full review: Nest Cam IQ
Best outdoor home security cameras
The Netatmo Presence is a definite statement of a security camera. Its hefty black body feels significant to hold, and is difficult to miss. This is both a strength and a weakness, as aesthetically it’s probably not going to complement your house design, but it does mean it’s a strong deterrent for anyone thinking about breaking in.
Adding to the deterrence factor is the powerful dimmable LED floodlight, which you can adjust to your specified brightness. The Presence itself is an all-metal unit waterproofed to IPX7 standard, so you don’t have to worry about it being outdoors in a storm.
You can adjust your notifications so that you’re only alerted when the camera identifies a person (or animal, or car). One frustration is that the camera works over Wi-Fi, and that means it needs to be within communicating range of your router to work. A clear benefit is that the Netatmo has a slot for a microSD card, meaning you don’t have to pay hefty subscription fees to record video, so you can quite quickly recoup the price difference for the fairly expensive unit.
Read our review: Netatmo Presence
The Nest Cam Outdoor is, unsurprisingly, the outdoor camera from Google's Nest brand - it's also the most affordable weather-proof camera Google offers.
Much like its indoor counterpart, the Outdoor boasts brilliant image quality and a fantastic app. It'll even identify whether the motion it detected was created by a person, and let you set activity zones so you're only notified about motion in these areas - reducing unwanted alert. However, you will need to subscribe to Nest Aware, which costs from $5 / £5 / AU$9 per month to access these features and review footage for up to 30 days after it has been captured.
The one fault we have to pick with the Nest Cam Outdoor is that it connects to its base with a magnet, meaning a thief could feasibly pluck it from the base, and, er… steal it.
Read our full review: Nest Cam Outdoor
How we test home security cameras
To ensure the home security cameras we’ve reviewed can be fairly compared, we’ve tested and analysed a number of key features covering style, performance, and practicalities.
We rated each camera on the quality of the footage it records both during the day, and in the dark, as well as how clear the two-way talk features are, and settings to arm and disarm the camera. For each model, we wanted to know how easy they set-up and installation was, as well as how efficient the camera’s were at delivering motion notifications and whether AI features designed to identify if activity has been created by a personal, animal, vehicle or other source, were accurate.
Where relevant, we compared the battery life of each model and for cameras that have lights and/or siren we also compared the brightness and loudness,, to see if they are sufficient . We also assessed each model for its durability and design, looking to see if it comes with handy mounting plates and the ability to adjust the angle of the camera to suit your home.
How do home security cameras work?
Home security cameras work in the same way as the best video doorbells, by using Wi-Fi to send a notification if motion is detected in the camera’s field of view. Tapping the notification will open the camera’s app, allowing you to see a live feed from it, and in many cases converse with anyone in the camera’s field of view using the built-in microphone and speaker.
Home security cameras also capture and store footage when motion is detected so it can be reviewed back at a later date, and even downloaded to your smartphone to be shared if necessary.
Many home security cameras require a monthly subscription, which costs from $2.99 / £2.49 / AU$4.49, for this feature, although some offer free online storage or provide a microSD card slot so the video can be locally stored without the need for a monthly fee.
Do home security cameras need to be plugged in?
When it comes to powering the best home security cameras, not all models need to be plugged in. While there are plenty of mains-powered home security cameras on the market, suitable for both indoors and outside, if you don't have access to a power socket where you want to install your home security camera, then fear not - there are many models that can be powered by a rechargeable battery.
How long the battery lasts between charges will depend upon how often the camera detects and records motion and how many times the app is used to view the camera's live feed, but you can expect anywhere between one month and one year. Some home security cameras have swappable batteries, while other need to be removed completely to be recharged.
It's also worth noting that some home security cameras that offer a choice of power method, may only offer certain features, such as activity zones when they're used on mains power.
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