The best home security cameras

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Logitech/Business Insider

  • Home security cameras can keep your home safe from thieves, but they also help you keep an eye on your kids and pets.
  • After much testing and research, we found that the Logitech Circle 2 is the best camera for any job, thanks to its excellent image quality, cute design, and competitive price.

Home security is pretty important. If you’re not constantly home, there’s always the possibility that someone could be breaking into your home at any given moment. That problem is heightened if you travel a lot for more than a few days at a time. After all, you wouldn’t want to come home after a long trip to find half your stuff gone.

Thankfully, technology is here to save the day. There are a ton of great home security cameras out there, and every year, they seem to get better and better. You can also use them to watch your pets while you’re at work, keep tabs on your kids when they’re home alone, and monitor your baby in the crib.

Of course, before buying a security camera there are a lot of things to consider.

  • Resolution is key: First up, you’ll want to think about the camera’s resolution. At least a 720p resolution is pretty standard for home security cameras these days, but some now offer an even better resolution than that. Others are stuck in the past with a worse resolution, but there’s no reason why you should even consider one of those. We recommend you go with 1080p if you can or 720p if you’re on a budget.
  • Field of view: Next up, you’ll also want to consider the field-of-view, which is basically how far left and right the camera can see. The bigger the better in this case, because you’ll see more of your space with one camera instead of having to buy extras.
  • Night vision: If you need to see your home at night while you’re away, you’ll want good night vision. Some cameras have better night vision than others.
  • App design: Many of these home security cameras connect to apps and use them for setup. It’s important that the apps be easy to use and reliable. Stick to bigger companies to get better apps.
  • Cloud storage: These days, security cameras store their footage online, and many security camera companies offer a certain amount of free cloud storage along with their products. You’ll want to keep in mind how much cloud storage they offer, and whether or not that’s enough for your use – or if you want to pay more to store more footage.
  • Security and Privacy: Make sure that the camera you’re buying has a strong privacy and security policies. This is footage of your home and your life – You don’t want hackers to get their eyes on it. The companies in our list all offer strong security and privacy with solid encryption and secure cloud storage systems.
  • Strong internet is vital: It’s important to note that you’ll need a strong internet connection for any of these cameras because most of them run over your Wi-Fi. If you have poor signal, you may not be able to support a security camera in your house.

Last but not least, you’ll want to keep price in mind. Security cameras are getting increasingly affordable, but as is the case with almost anything, the more you pay, the better the quality.

We’ve tested nearly a dozen different home security cameras and researched a whole host of others to find the best ones you can buy for your every need. – Christian de Looper & Malarie Gokey

Here are the best home security cameras you can buy:

Updated on 10/23/2019 by Monica Chin: Added four new cameras. Removed older cameras that are no longer the best


The best home security camera overall

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The wireless version is pictured above.
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Logitech

The Logitech Circle 2 boasts excellent 1080p video, an easy-to-use app, two-way audio, many accessories, and a wireless version.

Logitech’s Circle 2 is an excellent deal at $180. It offers many of the same features that high-end security cameras have for less, and it was the easiest to use and set up of all the home security cameras we tested.

As you might have guessed, it’s an upgraded version of the original Circle camera, and it has a few improvements. The biggest one is that you can get it with either a standard AC adapter charger or a wireless version that runs on rechargeable batteries for up to three months on a charge.

Logitech also makes many accessories for the cameras, including a window mount, plug mount, rechargeable battery pack, and a weatherproof extension.

We recommend the wired option for most people because it’s more reliable and you won’t have to worry about recharging the batteries or buying extra accessories for it. However, if you do want to be wire-free and even use your camera outside, the wireless Circle 2 is an excellent buy that costs just $20 more.

Regardless of which one you choose, you can watch 1080p video live 24/7 and get Smart Alerts when motion is detected. The camera has a wider 180-degree view, so you can see more of your space in the shot. Logitech added improved night vision support, too, so you can see the feed in absolute darkness. There’s no delay to the feed, either, so you can rest assured knowing that you’re seeing a real live feed.

Two-way audio lets you talk to your kids or pets while you’re away or to scare away any potential thieves. In our testing, Logitech’s camera was very easy to set up and use. The app is very straightforward, and we loved being able to talk to our cat when we were away from home.

The cute design also helps the camera blend in with any home’s decor. It quickly became our favorite camera in the house, and we kept coming back to it even though we had several others up and running at the same time.

In the app, you can replay, download, or share recorded video for 24 hours from a private cloud account. You can buy additional Circle Safe subscription storage plans with Person Detection and Smart Zones, but you don’t need them. The app also gives you a free 30-second time-lapse of your space during the last 24 hours, so you can get an overview of all activity.

You don’t have to leave it plugged in all the time, either, as it can last 12 hours on a charge. For $140, the Circle is a steal. Don’t be scared off by the Amazon reviews – we’ve used this camera for more than a year without any problems or connection issues. Reviews are positive from Pocket-Lint and Digital Trends. – Malarie Gokey

Pros: Affordable price, 1080p video, two-way audio, works without wires, free app, no delays, easy setup, cute design, wide field of view, great app, wireless option

Cons: You need a good internet speed, accessories add up

Buy the wired Logitech Circle 2 on Amazon for $143.98 (originally $179.99)

Buy the wireless Logitech Circle 2 on Amazon for $119.99 (originally $199.99)


The best budget security camera

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Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

The Wyze Cam V2 does most of the things more expensive cameras do for much less.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a security camera, the Wyze Cam V2 is the best budget device you can get. It offers many of the same features as higher-end cameras at a fraction of the cost.

Don’t be fooled by the price tag: This is a good camera that can easily compete with more expensive products. It’s a small, unobtrusive device that you can easily conceal. It also stands on a flexible hinge that allows you to customize the camera’s height and angle.

The Wyze Cam V2’s video is on par with that of most of the cameras on our list. You get 1080p video at 15fps, just like the more-expensive Wise Cam Pan. It also has up to 30 feet of black-and-white night vision and two-way audio. One drawback: It only has a 110-degree field of view, which is significantly narrower than that of most cameras.

Wyze will store the last 14 days of recorded video in the cloud. There’s also a slot for a microSD card of up to 32GB.

The Wyze app offers most of the same features for the V2 that it does for the Pan. The notable exception is, of course, panning. You can remotely view live feeds, use two-way audio, take photos, and create time-lapse videos. Like the Pan, the V2 can send alerts based on motion, smoke, sound, and CO detection. And it also works with Alexa, so you can display its footage on an Echo Show or Fire TV.

Other reviewers agree with us: PCMag recommends the Wyze Cam V2 as the best budget security camera.

The Wyze Cam V2 is fairly basic, as security cameras go. But if you don’t need advanced features like panning or facial recognition, then this $25 device will absolutely suit your needs. – Monica Chin

Pros: Bargain price, small, 1080p video

Cons: Narrow field of view, doesn’t pan, fairly basic features

Buy the Wyze Cam v2 for $38.96 on Amazon


The best security camera for smart homes

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Nest

The Nest Cam IQ Indoor is both stylish and functional, and it’s integrated with Google’s smart home system.

If you want to equip your entire home with security cameras, you’ll want a system that allows for multiple cameras with an app that lets you quickly and easily manage all those video sources. If that’s you, then the Nest Cam IQ is the camera to buy.

The Nest Cam IQ shoots 1080p HD video with a 130-degree field of view. It also offers night vision and two-way audio.

In our testing, the Nest Cam IQ was simple to set up and easy to use. Its video is crisp and clear, and the night vision feature is effective as well, allowing you to easily make out movement in the dark. Nest will send you movement alerts while you’re out.

There are more advanced features as well, including facial recognition, customizable zones, and time-lapse videos. However, you can’t access these unless you’re subscribed to Google’s Nest Aware plan. This will set you back $5 per month or $50 per year for a 5-day plan.

The Nest app is also a convenient way to control all your smart-home devices in one place. If you have a Nest Hello or a Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, for example, you’ll access those feeds and settings in the Nest app as well. You can easily monitor several parts of your home at once.

Other reviewers like the Nest Cam IQ as well. Digital Trends recommends it as the best indoor security camera. The main downside is the price. At $299, it’s far from a bargain buy. You’ll have to decide if the convenience of Nest integration is worth that price tag. – Monica Chin

Pros: 1080p resolution, 130-degree field of view, excellent app, works well with other Nest products

Cons: Pricey, subscription required for advanced features

Buy the Nest Cam IQ Indoor at Best Buy for $299.99


The best outdoor security camera

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Netgear

The Netgear Arlo Pro offers excellent image quality, can be used both inside and outside, and provides two-way audio.

Netgear may be best known as an internet router and modem company, but it has branched out quite a bit in the past few years. Namely, it entered the home security space with a range of high-quality and easy-to-use security cameras like the Netgear Arlo Pro.

The current iteration of the Netgear Arlo Pro is actually a refresh of a camera launched back in 2015, and the new version brings a number of great features. For example, it offers two-way audio, which allows users to talk to anyone that may be in their house and have that person talk back to them. It can help deter thieves, but this is especially fun with pets when you’re away from home and you talk to them.

Of course, the main thing to discuss is image quality, and the Arlo Pro is excellent in that regard. It boasts a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels and a 130-degree field-of-view. On top of that, you’ll get night vision up to 25 feet and motion detection, as well as sound-triggered recording.

The camera looks pretty nice, too. It’s sleek and white, and it has IP65 waterproofing, so it can be used both inside and outside. While the system is easy to use, it does require a somewhat large hub. Still, reviewers argue that the hub is a minor drawback – PCMag gave the camera 4.5/5, while Tom’s Guide gave it 9/10. On Amazon, the camera sits in at 4.3 stars.

Powering all that technology is a rechargeable battery that is designed to last a hefty six months before it needs a recharge – and when it does, you’ll be notified through the accompanying app. You’ll also be able to monitor the video being recorded through the app, go through previously recorded footage, and check environmental markers like temperature.

The camera isn’t overly expensive, either. Sure, it’s not cheap, but this security camera sits in at $200 on Amazon, which is a small price to pay for keeping your home and belongings secure. – Christian de Looper

Pros: Excellent image quality, nice design, waterproof, long battery life

Cons: Requires a hub to work, a little expensive.

Buy Netgear Arlo Pro on Amazon for $211.63 (originally $249.99)


The best home security camera for your door

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The Nest Hello video doorbell can send you a notification when somebody is at your front door.
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Nest

The Nest Hello isn’t just a security camera; it’s also a doorbell you can control from inside.

Looking for a camera that will blend in with the surroundings? Perhaps replacing your doorbell with one might be the right choice for you. Gone are the days when people used peepholes to see who was outside – now you can harness the latest and greatest technology to see who’s at the door without leaving the couch.

The Nest Hello is our favorite video doorbell. It’s pretty small, at just 4.6 x 1.7 x 1 inches, so it should look fine on most doors. It requires a wired connection, so it’s harder to install than battery-powered devices like the Ring Video Doorbell 2. On the plus side, Nest ships everything you need for the installation.

The Hello also shoots excellent 1,600 x 1,200 video resolution at 30 frames per second, with a 160-degree field of view. It also offers an advanced facial-recognition feature. When a guest arrives, the Nest app will send an alert letting you know not only that someone’s arrived, but also who has arrived if it’s a frequent visitor. In the app, you can see a photo of the guest to confirm their identity. And if you don’t want to respond to the visitor, the Nest Hello can deliver pre-recorded responses such as “No one can come to the door.”

The Nest Hello is also integrated with Google’s smart home ecosystem. That means you can ask Google Assistant to view the doorbell’s feed on any Chromecast-enabled device.

You can get the Nest Hello for $229. That’s pricey, but we’re not the only ones who recommend it; several outlets, including Tom’s Guide, have the Hello listed as their favorite video doorbell. – Monica Chin

Pros: Google Assistant integration, facial recognition, convenient auto-responses

Cons: Requires wired connection, complicated to install

Buy the Nest Hello at Best Buy for $229


The best indoor security camera

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Wyze

The Wyze Cam Pan has motion tracking, 1080p video, and Alexa support – plus, it’s only $37.

The Wyze Cam Pan is missing some of the advanced features that you’ll find in high-end cameras. But it does the basics quite well, and it’s only $37.

The Pan shoots 1080p video at 15 frames per second and has a 120-degree field of view. That’s not as wide of an angle as some cameras, but it covered most of my 18 x 11-foot living room.

In our testing, the Wyze Cam Pan was simple to install and use. The app is intuitive and guides you through the setup process.

When you’re out and about, the Wyze app sends you a notification when it detects motion. You can also enable sound, smoke, and CO alerts. You can view the camera’s feed from your phone, and can also swipe across the live screen to pan it back and forth.

You can also turn on motion tracking, which makes the camera follow whoever triggered the alert around, or you can set the camera to pan automatically between preset points. You can snap photos, and you can use two-way audio to chat with potential intruders.

If you’re a smart home enthusiast, you can also use Amazon Alexa to view your Pan’s feed on an Echo Show device or a Fire TV.

We aren’t the only ones who like this camera: It’s also PCMag’s favorite indoor security camera, and Tom’s Guide’s favorite budget security camera. – Monica Chin

Pros: Affordable, 1080p video, Alexa integration, Alexa support, free storage

Cons: Just 120-degree field of view, lacks some advanced features

Buy the Wyze Cam Pan on Amazon for $37.98