Best Wireless Security Cameras of 2020
Installing a security camera in your home is one of the most effective ways that you can secure your belongings and your family. If a break in occurs, a camera can alert you to a breach and it can also provide proof to police which will make it easier for them to find the perpetrator.
Wireless cameras are convenient because you get the security you need without having a messy or confusing setup requiring wires and drilling that could ruin your walls. While you can buy models that still plug into the wall for a power source, there are also models that have no wires to worry about at all, but will require you to change batteries. Our Security Nerd found the 10 best wireless security cameras and broke down the pros and cons of each of them so that you can find the right camera for your home.
Our Top 10 Security Cameras
Best Overall: The Arlo Ultra
This Arlo camera stands at the top of the list of our Security Nerd’s favorite wireless security cameras thanks to its crystal clear picture and powerful security extras like a siren, motion-activated spotlight and color night vision.
We also like the auto-track function where the camera moves automatically to follow motion. You won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for smart home integration, and 30-day cloud recording is included along with a 1-year subscription to Arlo’s Premier home security plan for an all-around value.
- Tech specs: 4K resolution, 12x digital zoom, auto track pan, night vision, rechargeable battery, 180-degree field of view
- Security plan: A premiere security plan from Arlo is included in your purchase of the camera for 1 year
You can use Alexa and some other third party options with Arlo to make your smart home a reality. Although there aren’t as many automation options as some other DIY security companies.
Arlo’s top option is a 4k camera, which is best in class. All other cameras provide HD quality recording.
Being able to talk to someone from your camera as well as listen in can be an invaluable tool for security.
Arlo can tell the difference between a person and a pet, and give you notifications when that happens. You can even be notified when the camera detects a package being delivered.
You’ll get a higher tier plan when you purchase the Ultra, whereas the other cameras get a basic subscription for cloud storage.
The price tag can certainly deter some users. There are other DIY companies who offer similar protection for a lot less money.
You can’t operate one of the cameras without a base station. So if you’re buying an add on camera, you have to make sure you already have an Arlo system purchased.
- UHD video quality - Zoom in to see sharp details with Arlo Ultra’s 4K & HDR advanced image quality technology
- 180 Degree diagonal field of view - see more with a wider angle lens that has auto image correction reducing the fish eye effect
- Enhanced night vision - See what’s lurking with color night vision allowing you to see video in color rather than traditional black and...
- Integrated spotlight - Light up the night using Arlo Ultra’s integrated spotlight
- Smart Home Security featuring superior video and audio quality
Best Video Quality: The Google Nest Cam IQ
If video quality is what’s most important to you in a security camera, the Google Nest Cam could be your best bet. You’ll enjoy a crisp picture along with a useful feature Google calls “Supersight”. The camera automatically zooms and tracks people in its sight to identify them as safe.
The invisible infrared LEDs mean you’ll also get a clear view of your home at night. The icing on the cake of this camera is Google Assistant is already built-in for your smart home integration. By purchasing Nest Aware, you’ll be able to use its facial recognition technology that will send you alerts if someone you don’t recognize enters your space.
- Tech specs: 1080p full HD, 6-core processor, 130-degree field of view,
- Security plan: None required, but needed to unlock some features
HD video is essential for any security camera, and Google Nest Cam IQ delivers.
You can listen in to what’s happening and home and talk back, but the noise cancellation makes it even easier to get a clear idea of what is going on at home.
Having smart home integration already built into your system is a huge plus.
This camera automatically zooms and tracks people as they go by.
The price tag can deter some buyers.
Nest Aware must be purchased for full usability.
Best For Techies: The Logitech Circle 2
The Logitech Circle 2 is perfect for the tech-savvy consumer who wants a fully integrated smart home with multiple options for customization. This model is compatible with Alexa, HomeKit, and Google. Techies can take security even further with advanced analytics, allowing you to highlight motion zones to be alerted when you need to be.
Logitech also has advanced motion filtering, so you don’t have to worry about being notified for something you’re not interested in. It also provides you with a 30-second time lapse of what happened in your house over the course of the day so you can avoid filtering through hours of footage.
- Tech specs: 1080p HD, 24 hours free cloud storage, 180-degree adjustable field of view, night vision up to 15 ft, digital zoom, rechargeable battery, adjustable pan/tilt
- Security plan: Not required
You’ll get some solid smart home integration options as Logitech Circle 2 is compatible with Alexa, HomeKit, and Google.
If you don’t want to go through hours of footage to see what happens at home, this camera puts it all in a 30 second wrap up for you at the end of the day.
You can talk to anyone you see on camera and listen to what they have to say, whether it’s a bad guy or a pet.
There’s nothing more frustrating than your picture lagging while you’re trying to see what’s happening at home in real time. Users have reported this to be an issue within the app before.
To get more cloud storage, person detection, custom activity zones, and the time lapse option, you have to subscribe to a plan with Logitech.
- CIRCLE 2 WIRE-FREE is an easy to install, wireless, Wi-Fi connected home security camera that records 10 to 60-second videos when motion is...
- RECHARGEABLE BATTERY -- operates in low power mode where the camera wakes up when it detects motion to record, and when watching the live...
- FULL HD WIDE-ANGLE VIDEO WITH NIGHT VISION lets you capture the really big picture with 180-degree wide-angle lens, full 1080p HD video day...
- FREE 24-HOUR SECURE CLOUD STORAGE - Stores 10 to 60-second motion based videos up to 24-hours in your own private cloud for free, secured...
- FREE SMART ALERTS WITH SNAPSHOTS - Get mobile app notifications with a thumbnail image of the motion detected, to "see" what's happening at...
Best Value Pick: The Wyze Cam Pan
If you want a great wireless security camera that gets the job done without shelling out hundreds of dollars, the Wyze Cam Pan is a solid option. At a price point under $40, you still get some impressive features like auto track, which follows activity happening throughout your room, along with the option to pan and tilt via smartphone app.
You can still get features like 2-way communication and AI technology that can tell you when a person enters the area. This camera also has night vision up to 30 feet, which is even better than some of its more expensive counterparts. Add in 14 days of cloud storage, and you get some real value out of this inexpensive camera.
- Tech specs: 1080p resolution, auto track pan, night vision, 360-degree field of view, 110-degree/sec rotation speed, 8x digital zoom
- Security plan: None required
Google Home is compatible with this system, so you can incorporate smart home integration.
You’ll be able to talk to anyone in your home and also listen in on what’s happening as well.
You can’t beat these features for under $40.
You must plug this in using a power cord, which could limit where you place this camera based on outlet placement.
You won’t be able to use this camera as a standalone, which could be a turnoff to some users.
- Pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) lets you control Wyze Cam Pan remotely using the Wyze app so you can see every angle of your room while you’re...
- Live Stream from Anywhere in 1080p - 1080p Full HD live streaming lets you see inside your home from anywhere in real time using your mobile...
- Motion/Sound Recording with Free Cloud Storage - Wyze Cam Pan can automatically record a 12-second video clip when motion or sound is...
- See in the dark - Night vision lets you see up to 30’ in absolute darkness using 6 infrared (IR) LEDs. Note: IR does not work through...
- Voice Controlled? You got it! - Works with Alexa and Google Assistant (US only) so you can use your voice to see who’s at your front door,...
Best Smart Home Integration: The Canary All-In-One Indoor
There’s a lot you can do with this security camera, and we like that it comes in one smart package. You can see what’s going on in your home at all times with the sharp 1080p picture, but smart home integration is perhaps its strongest selling point.
The Canary All-In-One can monitor air quality, temperature, and humidity, making it a great pick for overall security. A built-in alarm can scare off the bad guys, and it also offers you the option of contacting emergency responders from inside the smart app. It also gets some bonus points for simple setup right out of the box.
- Tech specs: 1080p resolution, 147-degree wide angle lens, night vision, 90 dB siren
- Security plan: Not required, but features like 2-way communication and video downloads require a security plan
You’ll get a lot of features packed into a small price tag with this option.
You don’t have to get out of the app to call 911 in an emergency. This gives you the option to call immediately with the press of a button in the app.
This option provides plenty of automated options including environmental monitoring.
This camera only provides a day of free storage, which is on the skimpy side when compared with similar options.
Users have reported that night vision could be more crisp.
- Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately). Connectivity: 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n),wired ethernet, bluetooth low...
- 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...
Best Intelligence: The Amazon Cloud Cam
When it comes to intelligence, this could be one of the best wireless security cameras on the market. While it notifies you about motion detection, it also takes it a step further because it can actually tell the difference between glass breaking, dog barking, a baby crying or even your smoke alarm going off. You’ll know exactly what’s going on without the extra guesswork.
It also has night vision and 2-way communication if you need to get in touch with anyone inside. And of course as an Amazon product, you can bet it has smart home integration. It works with Alexa as well as Amazon Key, although some of the more impressive features you’ll have to pay for via a Cloud Cam subscription.
- Tech specs: 1080p full HD, 120-degree field of view, 30 fps, 4x digital zoom
- Security plan: None required
You’ll be able to make automation more simple with Alexa integration, and be able to stream what’s happening live on your television with Fire TV.
This camera will be able to tell you if the baby is crying, the dog is barking, or if the smoke alarm is going off thanks to advanced detection software.
If a bad guy enters and you see him on camera, you can deter thieves with 2-way communication.
If you want to take advantage of person or audio detection, along with customized zones, you’ll have to pay extra for a subscription plan.
Users report night vision isn’t as clear as it could be, which could present a problem if a break in occurs at night.
- 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...
Best Battery Life: The Blink XT2 Camera
If you like the idea of your security camera not being tethered to a wall for its power, a battery powered option is ideal, but you also don’t want to have to change the battery out all the time. The Blink XT2 lasts for 2 years on AA lithium batteries, which is pretty impressive.
Along with the marathon battery life, you will also get great features like a temperature sensor, night vision and options for customizable motion detection. We also like the fact that this camera can be used indoors or outside so you can move it around if you need to. Additional home automation options and free cloud storage are other positives for this camera.
- Tech specs: 1080p HD, free cloud storage, night vision, 110-degree diagonal view, two-way talk, Alexa compatible
- Security plan: Not required
Most 100% wireless cameras can last about 6 months on one battery charge. This camera can last as long as 2 years.
Use Alexa or IFTTT to take advantage of home automation features.
Some users say lagging in the app can be a drag.
Only two hours of cloud storage is pretty dismal when it comes to a security system. You’ll likely want to keep footage longer than that in case a break in occurs.
- Extended battery life – 2 year battery life on two AA lithium batteries with a combination of two-way talk, live view, and motion...
- 2-way audio – Talk to visitors through the Blink app on your smartphone or tablet.
- Customizable motion detection – Use activity zones to choose where motion is detected so you receive the alerts that matter.
- Free cloud storage – Keep hundreds of clips stored up to a year with no monthly fees or service contract required.
- Works with Alexa – View live streams, motion clips, arm and disarm your system, and set up smart reorders for batteries through select...
Best Cloud Storage: The YI Smart Dome
If cloud storage is important to you, the YI Smart Dome camera has a great perk. You’ll get a week’s worth of video cloud storage for free. If you need more, you can pay, but this is a generous amount up front for consumers.
Aside from that, the YI Smart Dome Camera X also has AI technology that can tell the difference between a human and an object, and even sounds like a baby crying or dog barking. The camera’s autocruise mode scans the room however you program it, with a 340-degree rotation and 95-degree tilt capabilities. And if you need help figuring out how to use any of these features, you get a lifetime of technical support with your purchase.
- Tech specs: 1080p HD 20 fps, 4x zoom, 7 days free cloud storage, night vision, 360-degree coverage, time lapse, autocruise scanning
- Security plan: Not required
You’ll get a week of cloud video storage without having to pay a subscription, which is a good deal.
This camera has technology that can tell the difference between a human and a pet, and even let you know if a dog is barking or baby is crying.
The autocruise mode will scan a room however you want to program it, and also track motion throughout the room.
If automation options are important to you, this isn’t your best camera option.
Night vision is not this camera’s strong suit as users reported you can’t see objects very well at night.
- 1080p High-definition, wide-angle advanced glass lens combined with 345° horizontal & 115° vertical rotation range create a complete 360°...
- Responsive and advanced microphone with a built-in anti-noise filter for a clear 2-way Audio experience. Intercom Mode: one party to talk...
- Receive real-time Activity Alerts while you're out. 10-sec motion tracking records and centers the moving object. Bookmark your favorite...
- YI Dome integrates with your YI Home family in one simple interface. User-friendly and intuitive app to customize your settings: activity...
- Supports YI Cloud to avoid the risk of losing footage from a SD card, ensure all your videos are safe and protected. We provide the most...
Best Monitored Camera: The Vivint Ping
If you need a high-quality security camera but aren’t comfortable monitoring it yourself, the Ping camera from Vivint offers the best of both worlds. You can get all the perks of a wireless security camera like live streaming and 2-way communication, with the added peace of mind of professional monitoring.
Paired with your Vivint Smart Home app, this can also become a pretty powerful camera when it comes to smart home integration. The camera can start recording if motion is detected, and even notify the monitoring sensor if an intruder is spotted.
- Tech specs: 1080p HD 20 fps, 4x zoom, 7 days free cloud storage, night vision, 360-degree coverage, wide-angle lense
- Security plan: You get free Premiere monitoring for 1 year, but don’t need to renew after the year is up if you don’t want to.
Users are impressed with the caliber of night vision that Vivint provides.
Being able to play back any action from the day is a valuable tool in a security camera.
You’ll be able to talk with anyone you see on camera, and they’ll be able to have a conversation with you, too.
You will not get to monitor this system yourself, so it will incur extra costs aside from the camera.
You cannot install this system yourself, so be prepared for installation fees.
Best Versatility: The Reolink Argus 2
If you like versatility, this is one of the best wireless security cameras on the market. You can set this camera up indoors or outdoors thanks to its durability, but you can also choose to let it run on battery power or solar power. There’s no need for a base station, so you can set this up anywhere you’d like.
You can easily view what’s happening at your home from the app on your smartphone. And if any motion is detected, you can choose to get a push notification and even customize a voice alert and siren to deter the bad guys in your yard. And if you’ve got a big family, up to 10 people can view the live stream simultaneously.
- Tech specs: 1080p full HD video, 2-way communication, 33ft night vision, cloud and local storage, motion detection, weatherproof, Google Assistant compatible
- Security plan: Self-monitoring only
Night vision is crisp and clear with this camera.
You can charge the camera battery or opt for the solar power option for this camera.
This model is durable enough to set up indoors or outdoors without having to worry about the weather.
You will charge this camera with a battery, so there are no wires to fuss with.
If you’re interested in a camera with a siren, you may not like this one because it isn’t very loud.
If home automation is on your priority list, this may not be the camera model for you due to limited options.
- Work with Alexa & Google Assistant: Works with Amazon Alexa/ Echo Spot/ Echo Show/ Google Assistant – View your live video with a simple...
- Wireless & Standalone Installation – Argus 2 can be easily mounted and installed both indoors and outdoors with comprehensive voice...
- Rechargeable Battery, Solar-Powered - Users save tremendously on battery replacements thanks to a built-in micro USB port. This allows the...
- 1080p Full HD Video Display and Improved Night Vision - Equipped with 1920×1080 resolution, the wireless battery powered security camera...
- Instant Playback - The Argus 2 supports the use of micro SD cards, allowing users to store files locally and add up to 64GB of space to...
10 things to consider when choosing a wireless home security camera
- Field of view: A camera with a wide field of view is ideal so that you can see what’s happening anywhere within the room.
- Pan/tilt: While having a stationary camera is fine, the freedom to pan or tilt remotely from a smartphone app is helpful when you want to figure out what is going on inside your home.
- Resolution: The best wireless security cameras have crisp pictures with high resolution, so you’re never questioning what you’re looking at.
- 2-way communication: Although it’s not required, having the option to listen in to what’s happening at your home while simultaneously talking to someone inside can be a useful feature in a number of situations.
- Motion detection: A camera can alert you of any motion detection, while automatically beginning a recording that you could use as proof in case of a break in.
- Cloud storage: Cloud storage is important if something happens in your home. You don’t want a camera that erases quickly, because the proof goes away with the recording.
- Live view: Being able to look at what’s happening in your house in real time is a must-have with any wireless security camera.
- Night vision: Since break ins can happen while it’s dark, night vision is an important feature to look for in your wireless security camera.
- Smart home integration: If you’re looking to turn your home into a smart home, the best wireless security cameras will allow you to do that by allowing for automation options that will make your life easier.
- Power source: You’ll want to decide if you want a camera that is 100% wireless — meaning that it runs on batteries that you have to change — or if you want a camera that plugs into the wall.
Can a wireless security camera be hacked?
Unfortunately even the best wireless security cameras are susceptible to hackers. But luckily, there are some simple things you can do to make sure your cameras stay secure.
- Buy a camera from a reputable company that you trust. It’s important to make sure you’re buying a camera that supports encryption so you can make your camera as safe as possible.
- Keep your camera updated. That means routinely checking for firmware updates. Companies will release new updates that patch security holes to deter hackers.
- Use strong, unique and new passwords. Security breaches are all too common, and using an old password that may have already been exposed in a breach is too risky. Use a new password that isn’t easy to guess.
- Use two-factor authentication. Some cameras offer this option. The company will send you a text or email with a temporary passcode where you have to prove it’s actually you accessing your camera. It can be tedious, but it’s another layer of security protection.
- Keep your wifi secure. Your camera may be secure, but if you leave your home wifi unprotected, you are at risk for hackers infiltrating your camera system.
The bottom line
Whether you’re looking for a more expensive camera with all the bells and whistles, or a no-nonsense model that gets the job done on a budget, there is an option for every home that will up your security game and keep your home safe from thieves.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.
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About the Author
Erin is a freelance video producer and writer based out of Florida. She works with major retail companies and digital startups as a brand storyteller. When Erin's not writing, you can catch her scuba diving and spending time with her dog (not at the same time).