Best Security Cameras of 2019

There’s nothing like installing a home security camera— or maybe a few home security cameras — around your home to make you feel like you’ve just gotten a few extra sets of eyes.

These days home security cameras can be set up to keep track of all the goings on at your front door, installed in your basement to catch would-be intruders or even propped on your garage to for an added view of the cars pulling into your driveway. Even better: Researchers have found that spotting a home security system can be enough to send thieves hightailing it down the block.

But how do you choose the right camera for your home? We took a look at some of the best home security cameras on the market to help you narrow it down!

Our Top 5 Security Cameras

Arlo Pro 2Nest Cam IQ OutdoorCanary All-in-OneAmazon Cloud CamSwann SWPRO
HD capability1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD
Field of View130 degrees130 degrees147 degrees120 degrees102 degrees
NightvisionYesYesYesYesYes
Indoor or OutdoorIndoor and OutdoorOutdoorIndoorIndoorOutdoor
Pan and TiltNoNoYesNoNo
Smart Home CompatibleMany optionsMany optionsAlexaAlexaAlexa and Google Assistant

#1 Pick: The Arlo - Pro 2 Indoor/Outdoor

This wireless indoor/outdoor camera system gets top ratings for its compatibility with other smart home devices—including Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands—and its 1080p resolution. The two camera-system comes with a wire-free audio doorbell and two rechargeable batteries that are expected to last up to six months at a time without recharging. When used indoors, the camera can be hooked up to AC power.

The second iteration of the Arlo system, this camera is one of the pricier items on the market, but Arlo owners who have already purchased the Arlo base system can save some cash by re-using their base.

Tech Specs

  • Detection range: Up to 23 feet
  • Transmission range: 300 feet
  • Motion and sound sensors
  • Powered by rechargeable batteries or AC power

Nerd Pros

Night vision capabilities
1080p HD
Smart home integration
Includes two cameras
Easy install

Nerd Cons

Expensive
Some features require the cord

Sale
Arlo Pro 2 Wireless Home Security Camera System with Siren | Rechargeable, Night vision, Indoor/Outdoor, 1080p, 2-Way Audio, Wall Mount | Cloud Storage Included | 2 camera kit (VMS4230P)
  • 100 percent Wire free Free of power cords and wiring hassles
  • 1080p HD High quality video with sharper and brighter details
  • Flexible Powering Options Use wire free, plugged in. Rechargeable battery
  • Weatherproof Pro cameras are weatherproof so you can place them anywhere indoors and out
  • 7 Days of Free Cloud Recordings Pro comes with recurring 7 day free cloud recordings. Live stream or view recorded video and audio for up to...

#2 Pick: The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Known for their smart thermostat systems, the folks at Nest have expanded into the home security camera space with an outdoor camera that boasts facial recognition software and an 8 megapixel 4K sensor.

Like the indoor version of the Cam IQ, the outdoor camera offers 24/7 streaming and recording (subscription plan required), so homeowners can check in on what’s going on at home, no matter where they are. But unlike the indoor version, the outdoor Cam IQ offers an IP66 rating against the elements and two-way audio communication.

Already own a Nest product? The camera can be controlled via the same app, saving space on your smartphone.

Tech Specs

  • Detection range: Up to 50 feet
  • Motion sensor
  • Powered by AC electric

Nerd Pros

Facial recognition
Smart home integration
Night vision capabilities

Nerd Cons

Expensive
Has to be plugged into an indoor outlet
Subscription plan required for some options

#3 Pick: The Canary All-in-One

They call it a security camera, but the wireless Canary All-in-One is so much more than that. This indoor-only option boasts sensor to monitor the climate inside your home, so you can keep track of the humidity, air quality, and temperature from anywhere on the free app. Of course, it also offers the standard camera options, such as 1080p HD video with 147-degree viewing angle, as well as pan and tilt and night vision capabilities.

The Canary All-in-One can even be used as a pet camera to catch your naughty cats on the counters or keep tabs on your dog’s mysterious day activities!

Tech Specs

  • Motion, air quality, temperature, and humidity sensors
  • Powered by a 100-240V power supply (included)

Nerd Pros

90+ decibel siren can be set off remotely to scare off intruders
Built-in climate monitor
Easy install
Up to 25 foot detection range at night
Two way talk option

Nerd Cons

Many features require a paid subscription to activate (such as live video and two-way audio)
No local storage

Sale
CANARY (CAN100USBK) All-in-One Indoor 1080p HD Security Camera with Built-in Siren and Climate Monitor, Motion / Person / Air Quality Alerts, Works with Alexa, Insurance Discount Eligible - Black
  • Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately). Connectivity : 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
  • LET CANARY BE YOUR EYES AND EARS: The Canary All-in-One Home Security System is just what you've been looking for. Featuring a full HD 1080p...
  • BUILT IN ALARM TO HELP SCARE OFF INTRUDERS: The Canary features a built in alarm system that reaches sound levels of 90+ decibels, that's...
  • GET UPDATES TO YOUR SMARTPHONE: Canary works using the wireless internet in your home. By connecting your phone to the Canary system, you...
  • PERFECT FOR PET LOVERS: The Canary Home Security System is also a great tool for pet parents. Have you ever wondered what your cats do while...

#4 Pick: The Amazon Cloud Cam

Alexa fans, meet your new home security camera. Made by Amazon, the cloud cam is designed to work in perfect unison with Alexa, so you can manage your home security from the same app that serves up your morning music and news. The system can also be integrated with Amazon Key, allowing you to not only see who’s at your front door but unlock it for them from your smartphone.

One unit of the wireless indoor system is $120, but Amazon offers discounted pricing for buyers who purchase multiple cameras.

Tech Specs

  • Motion sensor (person alerts available with a subscription)
  • Power adapter and power cord (10 ft. long) included

Nerd Pros

Two way audio
Night vision extends to the entire field of view, not just a spotlight
Free downloads of clips from the previous 24 hours

Nerd Cons

Some options (such as person detection notifications) only available with a Cloud Cam subscription
Smaller field of view (120 degrees) than many other cameras on the market
Limited smart home integrations

Sale
Amazon Cloud Cam Security Camera, Works with Alexa
  • Stay connected 24/7 - Catch activities as they happen in 1080p Full HD. Watch, download, and share the last 24 hours of motion alert video...
  • Notifications – Get notified when Cloud Cam sees activity. Check in anytime or watch motion clips on the Cloud Cam mobile app.
  • See clearly in the dark - Night vision lets you detect what’s happening around the clock. Turn on/off night vision LEDs in the Cloud Cam...
  • Two-way audio - Check in with the family or tell your dog to stop barking.
  • 30-day free trial of Cloud Cam Plans – Get Smart Alerts and advanced features like person and audio detection, Zones, and see up to 30...

#5 Pick: The Swann SWPRO Bullet

This outdoor camera (which can be used indoor as well) may have fewer bells and whistles than our previous choices, but its budget-friendly price point might just seal the deal. At just $60, the Swann offers 1080P (2.1 megapixel) recording and night vision within 100 feet, plus heat sensors that will activate when cars and people show up within its field of view.

So what do you sacrifice for the price? The Swann does require wire installation, and its field of view is considerably smaller than that of many other cameras on the market.

Tech Specs

  • Detection range: Up to 130 feet
  • Motion and heat sensors
  • Powered by a rechargeable battery

Nerd Pros

Affordable
100 decibel siren
Pairs with Amazon Alexa and other smart home devices

Nerd Cons

Wired installation
Field of view is smaller than most cameras

Swann Wired PIR Bullet Security Camera, 1080p Full HD Surveillance Cam with Infrared Night Vision, Indoor/Outdoor, Thermal, Heat & Motion Sensing, Add to DVR, SWPRO-1080MSB
  • FULL HIGH DEFINITION FOOTAGE: Combine the PRO-1080MSB camera with a compatible DVR to see faces, license plates and more in rich 1080p full...
  • DIY SURVEILLANCE WITH NO ONGOING COSTS: This wired security camera delivers reliable home, office and retail protection 24/7. Enjoy the...
  • TRUE DETECT HEAT & MOTION SENSING: Swann's professional-quality thermal sensing security camera detects warm moving objects, like people and...
  • SECURITY MADE SMARTER: Once connected to a DVR you can live stream and trigger push notifications on your mobile device via the latest Swann...
  • WE HAVE YOUR BACK: Not only do our security cameras have your back, we do too. Everything you need to get started is in the pack including...

8 things to consider when choosing a home security camera

Every home is different, and that means different security needs, depending on where you live. Choosing the right camera for your house means debating a few basics:

  1. Outdoor vs. indoor: Some cameras are manufactured with rugged exteriors made to withstand the elements. Some are not. You can mix things up with indoor cameras pointed at your front door and outdoor cameras hanging off a high tree or outer wall, but make sure you read the fine print on your new gadget. You’ll want to stick with a camera rated to withstand rain, snow, or extreme temperatures if you plan to install it in the great outdoors. (Read more on indoor vs outdoor cameras.)
  2. Wired vs. wireless: Once upon a time adding a camera meant stringing a ton of conspicuous (and cumbersome) wires. Today many cameras run on rechargeable batteries, reducing the need to run wires to power the system. (Read more on wired vs wireless cameras.)
  3. Wi-Fi: Another wire you can get rid of with many cameras, is the one that routes video from the sensor to the recorder. Many cameras now come with a Wi-Fi radio to connect to your home network, which makes for quick and easy installation if you’ve opted to DIY your new security system. Best of all, these can typically be run by an app on your smartphone!
  4. Picture quality: It’s great to record what’s going on at your house, but you want to be able to make sense of the footage, don’t you? Higher definition recorders offer better picture quality.
  5. Field of view: This is the area that the camera can see. The higher the number, the more area of your home or yard is being monitored.
  6. Motion detection: Some cameras offer 24/7 recording capabilities, but that’s a lot of footage to comb through, and it can quickly wear down the batteries. A popular alternative? Cameras that offer motion detection, turning on only when something moves within its line of sight.
  7. Night vision: Intruders don’t just appear during the day. Night vision capabilities enable a camera to capture what happens after darkness falls.
  8. Sound capabilities: Some cameras are sound-activated, which means they’ll kick into action based on noises in your home, but that’s not the only sound to consider. Do you want a camera with the ability to have two-way communications? If you do, keep an eye out for a unit that allows you to talk back too.

The bottom line

Adding a home security camera can help make you feel more safe and secure in your home, and you don’t have to break the bank to find the right system either. Take a careful look at your house, yard, garage and any other area that you may want an extra set of eyes on while you’re sleeping or away from home before you buy to determine exactly what you need so that you can get the most bang for your buck.

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About the Author

Jeanne SagerJeanne Sager
Jeanne Sager is a writer and photographer from upstate New York. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram at @jeannesager.