Best Security Cameras of 2021
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 2||Nest Cam IQ Outdoor||Canary All-in-One||Amazon Cloud Cam||Swann SWPRO|
|HD capability||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD|
|Field of View||130 degrees||130 degrees||147 degrees||120 degrees||102 degrees|
|Indoor or Outdoor||Indoor and Outdoor||Outdoor||Indoor||Indoor||Outdoor|
|Pan and Tilt||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Smart Home Compatible||Many options||Many options||Alexa||Alexa||Alexa 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.
- Detection range: Up to 23 feet
- Transmission range: 300 feet
- Motion and sound sensors
- Powered by rechargeable batteries or AC power
- 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 days free cloud recordings. Live stream or view recorded video and audio for up...
#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.
- Detection range: Up to 50 feet
- Motion sensor
- Powered by AC electric
#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!
- Motion, air quality, temperature, and humidity sensors
- Powered by a 100-240V power supply (included)
- INDOOR HOME SECURITY CAMERA: 1080p HD wifi IP camera with high quality sound, 147° wide-angle lens and automatic night vision, intelligent...
- HOME SECURITY PRO EXCLUSIVE: 90 dB Burglar Alert Siren, HomeHealth Technology (monitors air quality, temperature and humidity)
- INCLUDES PREMIUM SERVICE (1 year FREE included): 24/7 watch live, two-way talk, 30-day video history, unlimited video downloads, full-length...
- EASY SETUP: No installation required. Simply plug it in, connect to wifi, and all systems go
- AWARD-WINNING DESIGN: Blends beautifully into your home and can hide in plain sight
#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.
- Motion sensor (person alerts available with a subscription)
- Power adapter and power cord (10 ft. long) included
- 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.
- Detection range: Up to 130 feet
- Motion and heat sensors
- Powered by a rechargeable battery
- 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:
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Night vision: Intruders don’t just appear during the day. Night vision capabilities enable a camera to capture what happens after darkness falls.
- 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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