For most of us, there’s nothing more precious than our homes and those who live in them, so it makes sense that so many people are currently investing in new technology that helps keep them safe. A security camera is perfect for this as it not only gives us peace of mind, but can also act as a deterrent to criminals.
While security cameras of old are associated with blurry, grainy footage, the best modern cameras are the complete opposite - offering crystal clear 1080p video quality, wi-fi connectivity, night vision and many more features aside.
So how to choose which security camera to add to your home set-up? Depending on your priorities you may want a camera that is weatherproof and so can be placed outside, or it may be that motion detection is more important to you. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve tried to make life easier by reviewing seven of the best examples below.
And if you’re a true home security nut, then take a look at our ranking of the best home security systems and get to work kitting out your entire home.
The best security cameras 2021
The Ring Spotlight is a motion-detecting combination security camera and light, which is packed full of handy features so you can make it your own. It's for this reason, and a few extras, why it gets our vote for the best security camera.
This security camera from Ring, put simply, has it all. With the Full HD video, and built-in microphone and speakers, you'll be able to see and speak with anyone (or anything) who is detected on your property. The 140 degree wide angle camera lens will cover a lot of ground too, so there will be no hiding around any corners.
The built-in motion-activated spotlight will broadcast crisp footage, even when it's lights out, which is a deterrent to crime in itself.
Depending on whether you choose the wired or battery powered Ring Spotlight, the set up requirements may differ but will be just as easy. The most difficult thing you will have to do is to decide where you would like it setup, and then you may need a little patience screwing it to the wall.
The Ring app is intuitive and takes around five minutes to set up. It can sync to all your other Ring devices so you can access, and control, them all on one nifty dashboard.
A tremendous strength of the Ring app is the ability to customise how the security camera works. You can draw your own motion zone for the camera and, when motion is detected, you'll receive an alert on your mobile or tablet device.
What's more, you can launch on-demand video at the sound of your voice with the Ring Spotlights ability to connect with Echo Show, Echo Spot, Fire Tablets Gen. 7+ and Fire TV so you can even control your security camera hands-free!
The Eufycam 2 is the most weatherproof home security camera we recommend. It's also free of hidden monthly subscription fees, thanks to its built-memory for storing videos locally.
The most remarkable feature about this camera is its IP67 waterproofing. The IP67 rating signals that the camera can be dropped into up to a meter of water for 30 minutes — so it won't even blink at something as mundane as a rainstorm.
Another very notable feature on this camera is 16GB of built-in storage for storing videos locally; you can access those stored videos through the mobile app. This is a great feature for anyone who's worried about having their security videos processed or stored by third parties. Artificial intelligence built into the hub/base unit also responds quickly to identify and focus the picture on people as they enter the frame.
The Eufycam 2 allows you to set activity zones, has a built-in 100dB siren, and is compatible with Apple Home Kit, Google Home Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.
One last very notable feature: The rechargeable batteries are meant to last a full year between charges.
Though this camera is built to withstand water exposure, it's not for places with the most extreme cold temperatures; its recommended range of operating temperatures is -4 to 122 degrees F. For a camera that can operate down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, consider the Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor.
Also, although we love this camera's built-in storage, you can get even more local storage space from the D-Link DCS-8300LH — as long as you're willing to provide a suitable microSD card. That camera accommodates cards of up to 256GB.
Last but not least, it's worth noting that this camera is on the pricey end of things.
The Ezviz C6CN is a fab little indoor camera which has all the features you need to feel secure, and it's half the price of the Nest Indoor Cam.
Yep, this security camera is for use indoors. It relies heavily on a strong Wi-Fi connection so it would be best set up in a room where you know you don't get any Wi-Fi dropouts. It will also stream and record footage to your mobile device day and night, undetected, which makes it brilliant for keeping a sneaky watchful eye on the children.
It's not wireless BUT it has a 3m (approx) mains power cable which should be able to reach to a socket or USB plug nearby.
We've briefly touched on the positioning of the camera and really, that's all there is to it. Just follow the very simple instructions on the fab Ezviz app and you'll be away.
Pretty much everything to do with controlling this camera is done through the app. You can pan / tilt, switch between image resolutions, take photos / record, engage in two-way talk and switch on / off the privacy mode. It's so easy – so long as you and the camera are within that Wi-Fi zone!
The Arlo Pro 2 from Netgear is at the more premium end of the scale, but is an all-singing all-dancing security system so could be a worthwhile investment.
The Arlo Pro 2 is a wireless security camera set up which comes with its own hub. This means that you can monitor more than one room in the house, even take it outside, without staying in your home Wi-Fi zone. The cameras are IP65 rated too so they should withstand the rain, cold, heat and sunshine.
Since they're wireless, the system is powered by built-in batteries which could last for up to a couple of months. This removes the hassle of having to change batteries every so often, and faffing with any cables during the set up process.
The Arlo Pro 2 is a relatively compact system which can be set up using your laptop, or via the app. Just follow the step-by-step process, which will start with getting the hub online and then follow suit with the cameras.
Once set up, you'll be able to see the live feeds all through the app.
Through the app you can record, take a picture or speak through the microphone. It also comes with free cloud storage, saving footage of any suspicious movement or sound for seven days.
The Ezviz C3N is a really good choice if you want to keep a watchful eye on the outside of your property in colour, and you're on a tighter budget.
Designed for outdoor use, this security camera has a waterproof rating of IP66. This means that it is dust tight and protected against powerful jets of water, which is plenty enough to face up to our weather systems.
A light is built into the camera which comes on as dusk falls which stays on all night, unless you opt for it to come on when motion is detected, so you can see in colour. We found in testing that this only really works if you're in a good Wi-Fi zone, however. And the camera requires hard wiring or some form of connecting to the mains power so is something to be considered.
As with the other Ezviz cameras we've featured and reviewed, set up is mega easy using the Ezviz app. Just follow the on screen instructions, and stay within the Wi-Fi zone, and you'll be set up in no time.
The most tricky thing to do is deciding on where you want the camera…
Using the Ezviz app, you can engage in two-way conversations, activate the siren, switch between Night Vision Modes, record, take photographs... it's brilliant!
We like the Arlo Pro 3 so much that we almost selected it for the top spot in this buying guide, but a few key issues knocked it into second place. Still, if you prefer an indoor/outdoor security camera that is battery-powered, we think it's well worth a look.
What doesn't this security camera do well? Only a few things — and we'll get to those in a minute. But first, the truly impressive and well-earned kudos: Its video quality is fantastic as is its range of smart features, which include facial recognition, monitoring zones, and distinguishing between people and other moving objects.
This camera is also weatherproof (including an operating range of -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 113 degrees Fahrenheit), has a built-in siren and spotlight, offers colour night vision, and is compatible with each of the "big three" home assistants: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant.
You can use the Arlo Pro 3 on hardwired power, or use one of their proprietary, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Other notable features include colour night vision, a built-in spotlight, and an extra-wide 160-degree field of view.
The manufacturer claims a line-of-sight wireless range of 300+ feet, but we see mixed reviews about how accurate that is. Similarly, we have mixed reviews of how quickly the cameras respond to send a live feed to your smartphone.
In both cases results tend to be either excellent or dismal, and the strength of your Wi-Fi connection plays a big part in determining what sort of results you'll get.
Heads up: You also need a base unit/hub for these cameras — they typically cost around $100.
Finally, some users don't love that once your initial three-month trial has passed, you must pay a subscription fee to use this camera's smart features or store video clips in the cloud. You can store video locally without a subscription, but you won't be able to view it in the smartphone app.
The Ring Stick Up Cam Battery's totally wire-free operation lets it go anywhere: Place it indoors or outdoors, on a ceiling, a wall, or a flat surface.
This camera takes the prize in terms of versatility, thanks to its indoor/outdoor operation and great versatility in placement options.
But of course, there's more — otherwise it wouldn't be here in our list of top buys. The Ring Stick Up Cam Battery also offers a clear 1080p picture, night vision, two-way audio, motion-activated notifications, and adjustable motion zones. It's also compatible with Amazon's Alexa.
You do need a subscription to store video and photo captures, but it's modestly priced and comes with a free 30-day trial to get you started. If you upgrade to the more expensive Protect Plus plan, you also get professional monitoring — a rare find in a home security camera.
Although the Ring Stick Up Cam does have night vision capability, it doesn't have built-in lights to illuminate your surroundings or intimidate potential intruders. You must also purchase a subscription to store any video clips.
How to choose the best security camera for you
As you read through this buying guide, we urge you to ask yourself the following questions. The answers will help you decide which home security camera really is best for your particular situation.
When it comes to camera placement, every home situation is unique. But in general, the front door, back door, and first-floor windows are the most likely ingress and egress points for a criminal.
This article gives you some excellent, further pointers on camera placement.
Keep in mind that your cameras must also be close enough to your Wi-Fi router for a strong signal. Most home security cameras require a minimum upload speed of 1 to 2 Mbps, although one of the systems in this buying guide requires a whopping 5 Mbps upload speed.
Are home security systems worth the investment?
Research has shown that home security systems – whether that's a video doorbell, a single camera, or a comprehensive security system – actively deter criminals . So, yes, we would say that they're worth the investment. Discover more tips and tricks in our guide to how to protect your home.
How much should I pay for a security camera?
While the price point of your security camera should mainly depend on your budget, there are a few things to consider when choosing one. Even the least expensive security cameras on our list offer superbly crisp and clear image quality, which is the most important feature of a security camera. Not all, however, are equal in terms of the area that they cover and their angle of rotation. If you just want something over your front door, that's not a problem. If you're concerned about multiple access points to your home, then you'll need something with a wider angle.
Finally, think about any smart features you want your camera to have: security cameras with smart connectivity, cloud image storage, two-way talk, and other extras do cost more. Whether you think you need these features is entirely your choice.
What is the best security camera?
If you want the best security camera (in our opinion) we wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Ring Spotlight Camera. The camera will not only record in Full HD when triggered, but also has the added benefit of a motion-detected security light. Both are totally customisable, so you'll be able to see any movements from the window or the app wherever you are in the world.