For most of us, there’s nothing more precious than our homes and those who live in them, so it makes sense that many people are currently investing in new technology that helps keep them safe. A security camera is perfect as it gives us peace of mind and acts as a deterrent to criminals.
While old security cameras 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.
So how to choose which security camera to add to your home set-up? Depending on your priorities, you may want a weatherproof camera that you can place outside, or motion detection is more important. 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 genuine 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: tried and tested by us
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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, that it gets our vote for the best security camera.
This security camera from Ring, put, has it all. With the Full HD video, 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 lights out, which is a crime deterrent.
Whether you choose the wired or battery-powered Ring Spotlight, the setup requirements may differ but will be just as easy. The most challenging 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 customize how the security camera works. For example, you can draw your 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 Spotlight's 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 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 setup.
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 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 on where to put it!) and connect 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, you'll be able to watch over your home wherever you are in the world. Through the app, you can adjust the motion sensors to 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 Arlo Pro 2 from Netgear is at the more premium end of the scale but is an all-singing, all-dancing security system so it could be a worthwhile investment.
The Arlo Pro 2 is a wireless security camera setup with its hub. This means 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 a couple of months. This removes the hassle of changing batteries frequently and faffing with any cables during the setup process.
The Arlo Pro 2 is a relatively compact system you can set up using your laptop or the app. Follow the step-by-step process, starting with getting the hub online and 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
The Ezviz C6CN is a fab little indoor camera with 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 solid 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, making 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 camera's positioning, and 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 Google Nest Cam Indoor offers fantastic picture quality, versatile placement options, an impressive range of smart features, and an excellent track record for reliability — all reasons we've ranked it at the top of our list.
You don't need a hub or base for this camera — plug it in, download the smartphone app, and go. In return for this effortless setup, you get excellent 1080p HD video, night vision, alerts about loud or unusual sounds, outstanding 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 an activity in specific zones or when a person (any person) enters the frame. In addition, 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.
There is, of course, a downside to using wired power. If the power goes out, so does your camera; it needs to be within reach of a power outlet. Unfortunately, the included cord is just 10 feet long.
This camera is a little pricey, 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 with this camera is minimal — 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.
Real Homes rating: 4 out of 5 stars | read our full review of the Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor
The Ezviz C3N is an excellent choice if you want to keep a watchful eye on the outside of your property in color 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 water jets, which is plenty 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 color. However, we found in testing that this only 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, setup is easy using the Ezviz app. Just follow the on-screen instructions, stay within the Wi-Fi zone, and you'll be set up in no time.
The tricky thing to do is deciding 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 best security cameras: more top picks
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 you can drop up to a meter of water into the camera 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 an excellent feature for anyone worried about having their security videos processed or stored by third parties. In addition, artificial intelligence built into the hub/base unit 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 whole 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 run 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.
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 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 pretty costly.
- How do you want to store your video clips and still photos? In the cloud, or locally?
- What operating temperatures and weather are they likely to endure if you're using any outdoor cameras?
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.
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 essential feature of a security camera. However, not all are equal regarding the area they cover and their angle of rotation. If you want something over your front door, that's not a problem. However, if you're concerned about multiple access points to your home, you'll need something with a broader angle.
Finally, consider 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.