Unless you’re a real life Daredevil, there’s no way our human ears (or human noses) can detect a stealthy trespasser in the most sacrosanct of places - our homes. And besides, work and travel will take our homebodies out and about on most days than not. That’s why a home security camera system is a core pillar of embedding technology into our lives for peace of mind. Motion detection, HD video quality, smart alerts, wireless communication, cloud storage, and on-demand viewing are all features that make home security more effective than ever before. We’ve researched the viable home security cameras on the market; the list below are the latest and greatest that Big Brother has to offer. Keep in mind that an indoor camera is very different than an outdoor camera - an indoor camera monitors your living space, whereas an outdoor camera watches your perimeter. Use either with discretion.
NoteMost of the manufacturers we looked at offers a lineup of products covering a wide spectrum of features and use cases. Our list contains the best, usually, and we encourage researching the other products in the lineup before purchasing. Think hard about whether you really need 1080p video quality, two-way audio, 360° viewing, 24/7 recording, night vision, and any of the other bells and whistles. Fewer features often mean less headache and definitely means more money in your pocket. Remember we have 2017 and beyond to look forward to!
We recognize that security cameras are not one-size-fits-all. So instead of recommending a single product, we’re going to give you the top products to help you pick. Got comments or suggestions? We’d love to hear them below in the comments!
|Best Overall||Amcrest ProHD|
|Big House Small Budget||Blink Camera|
|Money Is No Issue||Netgear Arlo Pro|
|Easiest To Use||Logitech Circle|
|Coolest Form Factor||Yi Dome 2|
|Give Me The Brand||Nest Camera|
Table of Contents
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Product Reviews
Are these good surveillance or CCTV cameras for the home?
No. Surveillance or CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras are meant as an always-on solution, displayed on monitors, and usually requiring someone like a security guard. The products recommended here are more for the casual homeowner and not meant as a commercial solution.
Are these a full security system solution?
Not exactly. While security cameras are the foundational piece of a security system, we recommend including a home automation hub, often in the form of a voice assistant speaker, that you can connect other security elements to. Other great additions to your home security system are a smart door lock and air purification checks.
Are these good for outdoor home use?
All of the cameras here are meant for indoor use. Many of the brands, like the Blink and the Nest, have outdoor equivalents (Blink XT and Nest Outdoor Cam respectively) that you can try. We will add reviews of the outdoor ones when we can!
Started as a Kickstarter campaign in 2014, Blink for home markets itself as an “ultra-affordable, truly wire-free video home security & monitoring system” and we’ve found it to be exactly that. We love the clean form factor, the wireless setup, free cloud storage of a rolling 7,200 seconds of video, and the low cost. The original Blink camera is meant for indoor use, and Blink is taking pre-orders for an outdoor use camera called the Blink XT. (We will update when it comes out!)
Nest, an Alphabet company, commercialized the concept of a smart home to the US and the broader world in 2011 with its Nest Thermostat. Four years later Nest introduced the Nest Indoor Cam, the spiritual successor to Dropcam (acquired a year earlier). Nest strives for simple and intuitive products, and these values are reflected in the design of the Indoor Cam’s hardware, software, and the seamless interaction between the two. Top marks in video and audio quality, performance in all lighted environments, image recognition, and intelligent alerting consistently keep the Nest Indoor Cam near the top of any ranking list. Be prepared to shell out cash though, because access to storage and the most cutting edge features require ongoing subscription fees (up to $30 per month).
The Nest Outdoor Cam boasts most of the same features with the added necessity of weather resistant hardware, rated IP65 (best 6/6 protection against solids, great 5/8 protection against liquids). Comes in a white color versus the indoor black.
Yi Dome Camera 2
YI Technology, founded in 2014, is one of the newest entrants to the video and home security game. YI’s slogan is “Your Innovator” and aims to pack all of the best features available into a massly affordable product. In particular, the Yi Dome Camera allows full 360° viewing with the pan and tilt functionality. We also love that local storage is an option with a microSD card slot, while cloud storage is also available albeit with a subscription fee. The Yi Dome also happens to look the most like a mini robot. Swiveling black eyeball in a white socket!
Amcrest hails from the original founders of Foscam, an “old guard” security camera. The ProHD hosts a lot of the same features as the Yi Dome with a few differences: the Amcrest offers free 4 hours of cloud storage and additional storage connectors, but the Yi Dome has better algorithmic detections and email alert integrations. You can’t go wrong with either though we must note that the ProHD aesthetics are professional and austere.
We know Logitech as the company that makes our random computer accessories. Who knew they also made a killer security camera replete with the latest features. Our favorite feature however is part of Logitech’s software arsenal - the Circle replays a timelapse of the previous 24 hours, showing a quick and meaningful review of your day. On the hardware front, the all-seeing eye can also be picked up and moved for an intra-day or session use before being returned back to its charging “circle”. Customers found the setup to be extremely simple which is a no-brainer but not always a gimme in our day and age of technology.
Netgear Arlo Pro
We’re not talking about routers here. Netgear comes out swinging with a full lineup of security cameras, ranging from professional 24/7 recording (Arlo Q series) to its flagship home product (Arlo Pro), recently introduced in October 2016, all the way to a mobile version for ultra portability (Arlo Go). What makes the Arlo Pro stand out among the rest is its weatherproof IP65 rating, free cloud storage of a massive 7 days, and an on-demand siren that you can blast out to deter intruders (or scare the neighborhood kids). Some customers noted the slightly complex software, but guys... Netgear, remember? Getting into the Arlo suite is also going to make your wallet lighter than usual.
Whatever you choose, make sure everyone involved has a say in the matter as privacy is and will increasingly become one of the most important issues of our age. Until next time.. stay lazy!