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. The best security cameras are perfect for this as they give us peace of mind and 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 weatherproof camera 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 in 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. In addition, the 140-degree wide-angle camera lens will cover a lot of ground, 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.
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 decide where you would like it set up, 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. In addition, 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. For example, 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!
Real Homes rating 5 out of 5 stars | read our full review of the Ring Spotlight Security Camera
The Ezviz C6CN is a fab little indoor camera that 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 you would best set it 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 reach 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 straightforward 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!
Real Homes rating 4.5 out of 5 stars | read our full review of the Ezviz C6CN Security Camera
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.
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 of 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 of 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 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. Consider the Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor for a camera that can operate down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
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 security camera is a compelling option to soup up your home security, so it gets our vote for the best security camera for value and ease of set-up.
Like the Amazon Blink, this security camera is weather-resistant, so you can use it around the home or in the garden – as long as it’s within Wi-Fi range. This offers incredible flexibility and is one that is likely to save you time and money in the long run because it's also battery operated.
Roughly the size of a coffee mug, the Ezviz C3A will take just a few minutes to set up (depending on whether or not you can agree where to put it!) and connect it to the app. After that, a quick and easy registration is all you'll need before you can start using your new security camera.
With the app on your phone or tablet device, you'll be in a position to watch over your home wherever you are in the world. Through the app, you can adjust the motion sensors so you can really hone in on the areas you're most concerned about. And if / when anyone triggers the motion sensors, you'll get an instant alert straight to your device.
Real Homes rating 4.5 out of 5 stars | read our full review of the Ezviz C3A Security Camera
The Ezviz C3N is an excellent 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.
Light is built into the camera, which comes on as dusk falls and stays on all night unless you opt for it to come on when motion is detected to see in colour. However, we found in testing that this only really works if you're in a good Wi-Fi zone. And the camera requires hard wiring or some form of connecting to the mains power, so it 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!
Real Homes rating: 4 out of 5 stars | read our full review of the Ezviz C3N Security Camera
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 a couple of months. This removes the hassle of changing batteries every so often and faffing with any cables during the set-up process.
The Arlo Pro 2 is a relatively compact system that you can set up using your laptop or the app. Follow the step-by-step process, starting with getting the hub online and then following suit with the cameras.
Once set up, you'll be able to see the live feed 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.
Real Homes rating 4 out of 5 stars | read our full review of the Arlo Pro 2 Security Camera
How to choose the best security camera for your home
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.
Remember 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 actively deter criminals – whether a video doorbell, a single camera, or a comprehensive security system. 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. However, not all are equal in terms of the area they cover and their angle of rotation. If you just want something over your front door, that's not a problem. However, 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 cost more. Whether you think you need these features is entirely your choice.