Best home security cameras: top 8 buys for protecting your home

Today's best home security cameras offer amazing video quality and a bevy of special features including night vision, smartphone alerts and voice control

Best home security camera: Google Nest IQ indoor cam
(Image credit: Google)

The best home security cameras help you make sure everything is as it should be at home. But although it is extremely useful for deterring home intruders, a good security camera's usefulness doesn't stop there. Indoor cameras also make excellent nanny cams, letting you look in on your children or pets while you're out. Outdoor cameras also are excellent for keeping an eye out for parcel deliveries. 

Most cameras nowadays have two-way speakers, allowing you to communicate directly with your kids or the delivery person, and many have built-in night vision so you can still see what's going on, even in the dark. Some also sport bright floodlights to illuminate and intimidate any potential intruders. Often, that's all it takes to convince them to leave you alone.

When you've chosen the best home security camera, check out the best smart doorbells, too. 

If you're hesitating to buy a home security cameras because of the price, it's Black Friday soon, which means lots of opportunities to get one of our favorites at a heavily discounted price. Keep checking this guide for up-to-date pricing. throughout November.

Google Nest Cam Indoor

(Image credit: Google Nest)

1. Google Nest Cam Indoor

Best home security camera overall: Great image quality, features, and reliability, all at a reasonable price

Specifications
Best for: Almost any indoor use
Max. video resolution: 1920x1080
Field of view: 130 degrees
Two-way audio: Yes
Night vision: Yes
Storage/subscription fees: From $6/month
Power source: Wired
Reasons to buy
+Great picture quality+Versatile placement options+No hub/base required+Listens for unusual/loud sounds+Optional smart features
Reasons to avoid
-Extremely limited free storage-Power cord is only 10'

The Google Nest Cam Indoor offers fantastic picture quality, versatile placement options, an impressive range of smart features, and a great track record for reliability — all reasons we've ranked it at the top of our list.

What we like about it

You don't need a hub or base for this camera — just plug it in, download the smartphone app, and go. In return for this easy setup you get great 1080p HD video, night vision, alerts about loud or unusual sounds, great reliability, and lots of versatile placement options: You can place the Google Nest Cam Indoor on anything flat, attach it to a wall, or use the built-in magnet to hold it against anything metal. It even screws into a standard mount or tripod.

If you sign up for the subscription-based Nest Aware service, you gain access to intelligent alerts you can set to signal you when there's activity in specific zones or when a person (any person) enter the frame. You can choose between continuous or activity-based recording, and create and download/share customized clips from your video footage.

The wired power helps with this camera's reliability score — you never have to worry about replacing batteries before they go dead.

Things to note

There is, of course, a downside to using wired power. If the power goes out, so does your camera; and it needs to be within reach of a power outlet. The included cord is just 10 feet long.

This camera is a little on the pricey side, but it makes up for that by not requiring a hub or base unit, which often drives a camera's price up by around $100. 

However, the free storage that comes with this camera is very limited — you can only see still snapshots from the last three hours. So, make sure you factor the cost of storage fees, which start from $6/month, or a Nest Aware subscription into your final price. 

Arlo Pro 3 camera kit

(Image credit: Arlo)

2. Arlo Pro 3

Runner-up, best home security camera overall: A great combination of video quality and smart features

Specifications
Best for: Versatile use — if you have strong, fast WiFi
Max. video resolution: 2560x1440
Field of view: 160 degrees
Two-way audio: Yes, full duplex
Night vision: Yes, color
Storage/subscription fees: 3-month trial, then from $2.99/month
Power source: Hardwired or rechargeable battery
Reasons to buy
+Great picture quality+Wide field of view+Color night vision+Weatherproof+Built-in spotlight+Compatible with home assistants+Can be hardwired or battery-powered
Reasons to avoid
-Subscription required-Some issues with WiFi range-Mixed reviews of response time-Pricey

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 we like about it 

What doesn't this security camera do well? Only 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 color 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 color night vision, a built-in spotlight, and an extra-wide 160-degree field of view.

Things to note

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 WiFi 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.

Wyze home security camera

(Image credit: Fair Use)

3. Wyze Indoor

Best value home security camera: It's not just good for the price — it's good, period

Specifications
Best for: Security-conscious buyers on a budget
Max. video resolution: 1920x1080
Field of vision: 110 degrees
Two-way audio: Yes
Night vision: Yes, color
Storage/subscription fees: $1.49/camera/month
Power source: Hardwired
Reasons to buy
+Excellent value+14 days of free cloud storage+Listens for unusual sounds+Flexible mounting/orientation options+Works with Alexa, Google Assistant+Local storage on microSD card
Reasons to avoid
-Not compatible with Apple HomeKit-Short power cord-Field of view is slightly narrower than competition

The Wyze Indoor home security camera is so good, it easily stands up to competition that costs several times as much. 

What we like about it

This camera offers similar image quality and features to cameras that cost significantly more. For about the price of a hardcover book, you get crisp 1080p resolution, motion/sound notifications (including smart detection of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms), motion detection zones, a nifty time-lapse option, and adjustable sensitivity for sound and motion alerts. 

The Wyze Indoor's three-axis design, magnetic mount, and included adhesive tape make it easy to place almost anywhere, and it's compatible with two of the three big home assistants: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Wyze also offers a great value in storage. You can record continuously to a local microSD card (up to 32GB), or get free 14-day cloud storage of video clips up to 12 seconds long. If you want unlimited clip length, extra storage fees start at $1.49 per camera, per month. 

Lastly, paying for a Cam Plus subscription gets you a few extra smart features, including person detection. 

Things to note

Like we said, it's hard to find fault with this camera. But we do note that the power cord is short (just 6 feet), and the Wyze Indoor is not compatible with Apple HomeKit. 

Also, this camera's field of view is 110 degrees — slightly narrower than the more typical 130 degrees. 

This camera is not weather-resistant, so it's not designed for outdoor use. But take heart: Wyze is on the verge of releasing an outdoor version of this camera. It'll cost almost twice as much, but we expect great things from it. (At the time of this writing, they are only taking pre-orders for the Wyze Cam Outdoor.)

Ring stick up cam battery

(Image credit: Ring)

4. Ring Stick Up Cam Battery

Best battery-powered security camera: This clever camera is tops for versatile placement and totally wire-free operation

Specifications
Best for: Versatile uses
Max. video resolution: 1920x1080
Field of view: 130 degrees
Two-way audio: Yes
Night vision: Yes
Storage/subscription fees: From $3/month
Power source: Battery; solar and hardwired options available
Reasons to buy
+Indoor/outdoor use+Great versatility in placement+Solar and plug-in options available+Weatherproof+Optional professional monitoring
Reasons to avoid
-Subscription required to store footage-No built-in lights

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.

What we like about it

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 (starting at $3/month) 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. 

Things to note

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 (starting at $3/month) to store any video clips.

D-Link DCS8300LH home security camera

(Image credit: D-Link)

5. D-Link DCS-8300LH

Best indoor security camera for local storage: Save videos locally, in the cloud, or even on your phone

Specifications
Best for: indoor use, free cloud storage
Max. video resolution: 1920x1080
Field of view: 137 degrees
Two-way audio: Yes
Night vision: Yes
Storage/subscription fees: From $2.49/month
Power source: Hardwired
Reasons to buy
+Up to 256GB local storage on microSD+Good image quality+Smart automations+Add-on motion, entry sensors available
Reasons to avoid
-Mixed reviews of compatibility with Apple HomeKit-Only one day of free cloud storage-Mixed reviews for mobile app

While you can buy a very reasonably priced subscription for cloud storage with the D-Link DCS-8300LH, it's this home security camera's capacity for local storage that really impresses us.

What we like about it

The D-Link DCS-8300LH offers all the usual features you'd expect from a modern home security camera, including sound and motion detection, sound/motion-triggered recordings, and compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant.

The real standout feature here is the ability to record videos locally on a microSD card of up to 256GB — far beyond the usual 16GB or 32GB limitation for many security cameras. Also unusual, you can purchase add-on entry sensors and standalone motion detectors to turn this camera into part of a full-on home security system.

Once you download the mydlink mobile app to your smartphone, you can also customize your alerts to include person detection, multi-zone detection, priority zones, and notifications if somebody crosses a pre-set boundary.

Also worthy of note, this security camera's 137-degree field of view is a little bit wider than the typical 130-degree FOV on most cameras.

Things to note

You do get free cloud storage with this security camera — but only for 24 hours. You can buy longer storage plans starting at $2.49/month for 7-day retention of your video clips, or $4.99/month for 14-day retention. 

If you're an Apple user, this security camera isn't compatible with Apple HomeKit — although of course you can still use the mydlink app on iOS devices. The app itself garners mixed reviews, with some people warning that it can be clunky and counterintuitive to use.

Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

(Image credit: Nest)

6. Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Best outdoor home security camera: This wireless wonder does almost everything well

Specifications
Best for: Outdoor use
Max. video resolution: 1920x1080
Field of view: 130 degrees
Two-way audio: Yes
Night vision: Yes
Storage/subscription fees: From $6/month
Power source: Wired
Reasons to buy
+Excellent video+Great WiFi range+Good alert sensitivity+Weatherproof+Facial recognition+Works in cold weather
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-Not the widest field of vision-Subscription required for some features, storage

It's hard to beat the Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor's splendid picture quality, smart functions, reliable WiFi connection and serious weatherproofing.

What we like about it

The Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor offers crystal clear images, even through its night vision function, and it receives some of the best feedback on its alert levels. While no security camera is perfect, this one comes pretty close by reliably recognizing potential intruders with very few false alarms. 

This camera is great in challenging weather conditions, too — its IP66 rating means it is "dust tight" and can stand up to a pressurized spray of water. This camera is also rated for operating in an impressive range of temperatures, from -40 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor's smart features include sending live alerts to your phone if it hears loud, unusual noises, and the ability to automatically identify people (versus other moving objects) and pan/zoom for greater detail. You can also program it to recognize familiar faces, thus reducing the level of alerts. 

And finally, users report that this security camera's WiFi range is great — a standout feature that might even inspire you to use it indoors. 

Things to note

There's no way around it: This is a very pricey camera. We've chosen this version because we like the smart features. But if you don't need automatic tracking of people or recognition of familiar faces, you can get a near-identical camera for about half the price: The Google Nest Cam Outdoor. 

The Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor also runs off wired power instead of batteries. That's a good thing, because you never need to worry about changing batteries; but it can also be a negative, because if the power goes out so does your security camera, and you'll need to drill a hole in a wall to run the power cord to an indoor socket. You can use an outdoor socket, instead, if you buy a separate, weatherproof power adapter. 

Finally, like most high-end smart security cameras, this one requires a subscription to unlock most of the smart features; prices start at $6/month. If you don't want to pay a subscription, you'll only be able to view still snapshots from the last three hours.

If you want a camera with the very widest field of vision, consider the Arlo Pro 3. It is weatherproof, too, but it can't handle the same extremes the Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor can.

Eufycam2 home security camera

(Image credit: Eufy)

7. Eufycam 2

Best weatherproof home security camera: For when you really have to contend with the elements

Specifications
Best for: Weatherproofing
Max. video resolution: 1920x1080
Field of view: 140 degrees
Two-way audio: Yes
Night vision: Yes
Storage/subscription fees: From $2.99 (optional)
Power source: Rechargeable battery
Reasons to buy
+IP67 weatherproof+Long-lasting battery+No monthly subscriptions
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-Somewhat limited storage capacity-Limited cold-weather capability

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.

What we like about it

The most remarkable feature about this camera is its IP67 weatherproofing. 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.

Things to note

Though this camera is built to withstand water exposure, it's not for places withthe 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.

Deep Sentinel home security cameras

(Image credit: Deep Sentinel)

8. Deep Sentinel

Best home security camera with monitoring: Splurge on human "guards" to help watch your back

Specifications
Best for: Combination of AI and human attention
Max. video resolution: 1920x1080
Field of view: 130 degrees
Two-way audio: Yes
Night vision: Yes
Storage/subscription fees: From $60/month for LiveSentinel service
Power source: Rechargeable batteries; solar and hardwired available
Reasons to buy
+Monitored by AI and professionally trained guards+Good video quality+Feature-rich+Solar, battery or hardwired power options+Water-resistant
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-Requires a subscription-Not for use in private areas

The Deep Sentinel home security camera combines the best features of a DIY home security camera with the knowledge that live guards are watching out for you.

What we like about it

The Deep Sentinel's most distinguishing feature is lightning-fast artificial intelligence processing via a local hub/base unit in your home, which analyzes everything the camera sees and alerts professionally trained human "guards" to any potentially suspicious activity.

The guards work remotely, so they won't actually come to your house — but they can and do intervene through the camera's 100+ dB loudspeaker to address would-be intruders directly, and of course they can call authorities to report trouble.

Aside from peace of mind, this human-based monitoring service also reduces the endless alerts you'd typically have to deal with if you monitored the security cameras yourself.

The Deep Sentinel cameras are weatherproof (rated IP65 or "water-resistant"), with clear 1920x1080 video resolution, night vision capability, two-way audio, an illuminated ring to signal potential criminals that a human guard is watching, and 64GB of free, revolving cloud storage. 

If your budget allows, you can purchase plenty of upgrades — including solar or hardwired power setups, or "extreme" batteries that expand the camera's lowest rating operating temperature from -4 degrees Fahrenheit to -40 degrees. The default battery power system is rated to last 3 months between recharges.

Things to note

This camera is very pricey, at about $400 for a single camera and data hub — plus the added price of live monitoring, which starts at $60/month. And needless to say, that live monitoring means that Deep Sentinel shouldn't be used in private areas of your house. But it's great peace of mind as a sentinel at the front door or other key entry points.

The 100-foot wireless operating range could be a little short if you live on a large property; if the camera isn't close enough to "talk" to its wireless hub, it's useless.

This system also requires a higher-than-usual minimum upload speed (5 Mbps), and it's important to remember that this is an augmented security camera, not a complete home security system. It doesn't have intrusion monitoring sensors to tell you if a door or window has been opened.

Finally, the Deep Sentinel camera isn't compatible with third-party home assistants. That's a small inconvenience for anyone who enjoys hands-free operation for their smart devices, but a great perk for anyone who's worried about data privacy and security.

What is the best home security camera?

We think the best home security cameras for most people are the Google Nest Cam Indoor, if you want to place your cameras inside, and the Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor if you want to place your cameras outside.

But keep on reading, because we've also highlighted an objectively great home security camera that only costs about as much as a hardcover book, along with other models that represent the best in storage options, weatherproofing, battery-powered mobility, and even professional remote monitoring. 

Almost every camera in this buying guide also sports an impressive array of smart features, from person recognition (telling people apart from objects or animals) to facial recognition, and customizable alerts so you can tell the cameras where, and when, to watch for activity.

Heads up: Many (though not all) home security cameras require you to pay a monthly subscription fee for anything more than minimal storage of your security videos, or to access extra smart features. 

When appropriate, we've detailed the starting price for these subscription services. But there are often more expensive tiers you can opt in to, so make sure you check all the manufacturer's subscription options before you decide what to budget for.  

If you'd rather skip those monthly subscriptions altogether, we also cover several models that can store your videos locally.

How to choose the best home security camera

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.

  • Where will you put the cameras? Some offer more flexible mounting options than others.
  • How many cameras do you need? For some systems, adding a few extra cameras can be quite costly.
  • How do you want to store your video clips and still photos? In the cloud, or locally?
  • If you're using any outdoor cameras, what sort of operating temperatures and weather are they likely to endure? 

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 WiFi 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. 

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