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Buying Guide

The best home security cameras (2024)

Want to build your own home security system? Here’s our favorite security cameras to do just that.

google nest home security camera on wall
Image: Google

Home security cameras don’t just deter criminals anymore. They can keep an eye out for packages, trigger your security system, or tie into your smart home appliances to save you money on energy costs.

With how many cameras are on the market now, it can be challenging to research which are best. Add to that decision that there isn’t a one-camera-fits-all option, and it gets even more complex.

You don’t have to do any of that, though, as we’ve spent countless hours researching the market while doing hands-on testing on many of the brands on the market.

If you already have smart home devices, you’ll want security cameras that work with your voice assistant, whether Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, or HomeKit for Apple users.

And some security cameras can control your other smart devices, like your smart thermostat, so you don’t waste money running the air conditioning while a door or window is open.

Any of our camera recommendations will do the job, so finding the right fit for your home comes down to the additional features you need.

The best security cameras to roll your own security

TP-Link has been building a name for itself in the home security market, and this Tapo security camera system is an affordable way to cover multiple angles of your home.

This kit gets you two 2K wireless video cameras with color night vision and a 180-day battery life, and the hub to connect them to your network.

The cameras are IP65 weatherproof rated, which means they’ll survive in the rain, and they have two embedded spotlights so they can light up your yard if they sense motion.

You can record video locally by popping a microSD card into the hub or subscribing to the Tapo Care cloud subscription for 30 days of unlimited recording history ($3.49 per month per camera or $11.99 per month for up to ten cameras).

Best with sensors
ecobee SmartCamera Smart Security Bundle ecobee SmartCamera Smart Security Bundle
$179.98 $139.98

Ecobee makes super stylish smart home devices, and this SmartCamera kit with SmartSensors for doors and windows is no exception. It works with HomeKit and connects to Ecobee's thermostats to control your A/C if a door or window is left open.

What We Like:
  • Stylish camera and small, unobtrusive sensors for door and window monitoring
  • Can sense movement, when doors or windows are open, or smoke alarm sounds and alert you or trigger responses like pausing your A/C
  • Quick setup process
  • Automatic pan and tilt, plus doubles as base unit for your home security system
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.
03/07/2024 10:48 am GMT

The Ecobee SmartCamera is a great way to add interior monitoring to your home, and it also doubles as a hub to pull in notifications from the SmartSensors included in this kit that monitor the doors or windows they are installed on.

It features a 1080p video feed, looks stylish, and is pretty small and unobtrusive. What it also can do is act as an Alexa device, including responding to voice commands, playing music, giving you the news, or running Alexa Routines.

While the camera is capable of motion sensing, you won’t get alerts unless you subscribe to Ecobee Smart Security, which is $5 per month for one camera or $10 per month for an unlimited number of cameras.

The plan also enables video clip recording, as you only get a snapshot image without it.

The window and door sensors also need the subscription for advanced features like being able to pause your A/C when they’re open (this also requires an Ecobee thermostat).

Best without subscriptions
Eufy Security eufyCam S330 2-Cam Kit Eufy Security eufyCam S330 2-Cam Kit
$549.99 $479.99

Eufy's new S330 cameras are battery-powered and record 4K footage, but what makes them stand out is including solar charging, which only needs a couple of hours of sun per day to supply all of its power needs. The system needs a hub (included) but that enables local recordings without needing a subscription.

What We Like:
  • 4K resolution for crystal clear video footage
  • Local expandable storage in the HomeBase 3 hub (included)
  • Solar panels on the cameras only need two hours of sunlight a day to charge the batteries enough for 24hrs of use
  • Completely wire-free install
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.
03/07/2024 10:22 am GMT

Eufy’s EufyCam 3 S330 kit isn’t just a great pair of 4K resolution wireless battery-powered security cameras that are IP67-rated and weatherproof. It is, but that’s not what’s so great about them.

The killer feature is the solar panels on top of each camera, which continuously recharge the internal battery. It only needs two hours of sunlight to get enough power for the other 22 in a day, which is incredible.

That means no more having to go up a ladder to recharge batteries every six months, like on competitor’s units, or even yearly based on Eufy’s estimates for this camera.

The cameras do need a hub to connect to the app and your network, but that’s included in this bundle and it also enables local recordings with the ability to expand storage up to 16TB with a 2.5-inch hard drive.

Best for advanced setups
Ubiquiti Networks UVC G5 Bullet Camera Ubiquiti Networks UVC G5 Bullet Camera
$152.95 $139.99

These G5 Bullet cameras from Ubiquiti are perfect for making your own self-hosted security camera system, with 1440p resolution streaming, PoE installation, IR night vision and weatherproof construction. They do need a more involved installation though, with Ethernet cables and your own on-premises server to store video footage.

What We Like:
  • Professional quality for making your own self-hosted security camera system
  • 4MP (1440p) resolution with 24 FPS video streaming
  • Powered by Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) so only one cable is needed for installation
  • Weatherproof so can be used indoors and outdoors
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.
03/07/2024 09:41 am GMT

To unburden yourself from subscription fees and to get the best image available, you’ll have to hardwire cameras into a video storage solution in your home.

Ubiquiti makes this process easier, with PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) cameras like the G5 Bullet, which give you a 2K resolution feed and only need an Ethernet cable run to them, and a switch that supports PoE.

They’re IPX4 weatherproof, can record sound and have 30ft of IR night vision, and are pretty easy to mount once you’ve run the cable.

This is a more expensive system overall than most of this list and might need a professional to install. Still, then you’ll have a more robust security system with local storage and the ability to monitor remotely through an app.

Surprisingly affordable
Zmodo Security Outdoor 1080p Wi-Fi IP Camera Zmodo Security Outdoor 1080p Wi-Fi IP Camera
$34.99 $31.99

For a more traditional look, this Wi-Fi IP camera from Zmodo is an affordable way to add a visual deterrent to outside of your property, while gaining 1080p streamed video, motion alerts, and the ability to link to Alexa and compatible smart displays.

What We Like:
  • Traditional design is a visual crime deterrent
  • 1080p video streaming and night vision with adjustable sensitivity
  • Motion alerts
  • IP65 weather resistance and metal case
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03/07/2024 09:28 am GMT

There’s no rule about good security cameras needing to be expensive, as evidenced by this Zmodo model. The only real tradeoff is that it needs wiring to power, but that can also be supplied by a USB power bank if you get creative.

It’s got Wi-Fi for its video feed, although only on the 2.4GHz band, and the Zmodo app can monitor up to four cameras at one time which is handy.

Adding a monthly Zmodo cloud subscription of $9.99 adds long-term cloud storage, up from 36 hours without paying. And you also get AI-powered motion notifications from the subscription.

They also have adjustable night vision so you can tweak things to get color images at night, or find the level of night vision that your environment needs.

Best with pan and tilt
Wyze Cam Pan v3 Indoor/Outdoor Wyze Cam Pan v3 Indoor/Outdoor
$39.98

Wyze makes some of the best affordable security cameras, and the Pan v3 adds remote controlled pan and tilt motors so you can get the view you want without a complicated setup process. It's also weatherproof, so it can be used outdoors and gives a sharp video feed that can be stored locally or in the cloud.

What We Like:
  • Mechanical pan and tilt controls for getting the perfect field of view
  • Local and cloud storage options
  • Weatherproof design so can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Affordable price for the number of features it has
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.
03/07/2024 09:22 am GMT

Wyze makes impressively affordable security cameras that can be used all over your home. This model is IP65 weatherproof rated, so it can be used outside, and it has mechanical pan and tilt functionality.

That’s a rarity even among more expensive cameras, so to see it on one that costs less than $40 is astonishing.

You also get a 1080p video feed and automatic motion tracking to keep a subject in frame for longer. Or set up to four predefined waypoints, and the camera automatically scans between them to cover a larger area.

You can record continuously to a local microSD card, or the three subscription options enable 14-day cloud storage and smart alerts, or facial recognition and agent-based monitoring on the higher tiers to create a full security system.

Best for cellular connectivity
Arlo Go 2 LTE/Wi-Fi Spotlight Camera Arlo Go 2 LTE/Wi-Fi Spotlight Camera
$249.99

The Arlo Go 2 is a perfect choice for those wanting to cover a larger property with recorded video. That's because it's battery-powered and has optional cellular connectivity so you can install it out of range of your home's Wi-Fi (but you can use Wi-Fi too if you wanted).

What We Like:
  • Completely wire-free installation and operation
  • Color night vision and 1080p video feed
  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT
  • Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity options so it can be placed further away from your home
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.
03/07/2024 09:17 am GMT

Sometimes you want to monitor part of your property that isn’t close enough for Wi-Fi signal to reach reliably. The Arlo Go 2 fixes this by also offering 4G LTE cellular connectivity, and local microSD card recording.

That means it requires a data plan from either T-Mobile, US Cellular, or Verizon, and you’ll use anywhere up to 2GB of data a month depending on settings and how often it’s recording.

But that might be the best option for monitoring a remote garage, trail, or anywhere else on your property, like an access gate at the end of a long driveway.

You get 1080p video and night vision, Alexa and Google Home integrations, and a spotlight in case you want color video at night.

Just to let you know, some other features need a subscription, which starts from $4.99 a month per camera or $12.99 per month for an unlimited number. That gets you a 30-day cloud-based video history, various AI detection features, and better notifications.

You can also pay for Secure Plus at $17.99 monthly, which adds 24/7 emergency response, or for Safe & Secure Pro at $24.99 monthly, which adds 24/7 professional monitoring and more.

Blink is owned by Amazon, so you get deep Alexa integration from all of its affordable security cameras. The video doorbell and Outdoor 4 cameras in this bundle are battery-powered, with up to two years of battery life.

All three cameras offer 1080p video through the Blink app, infrared night vision and two-way audio. You can set up local recording by plugging a USB drive into the Blink Sync Module (included in the kit).

A Blink subscription plan ($30 per year for one camera, $100 per year for unlimited cameras) is needed for several functions.

That includes live view watching over five minutes, where you get 90 minutes with a subscription, recordings triggered by motion detection, a 60-day recording history, and easy sharing of clips.

You also get a few more notification options and an extended warranty.

Best for easy install
Ring Stick Up Cam Pro Battery Ring Stick Up Cam Pro Battery
$179.99

The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro with battery is a completely wire-free security camera that can be used indoors or outdoors and installed in minutes. It can record motion-activated video and stores it in the cloud, but you'll need a subscription to access more than the last few days of recordings.

What We Like:
  • Easy installation with no wiring necessary
  • Integrates with Alexa and IFTTT
  • No hub needed
  • Inbuilt siren and 1080p video feed
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.
03/06/2024 07:31 pm GMT

Ring’s Stick Up Cam Pro Battery is its most advanced security camera, able to be placed anywhere as it’s completely wireless. You can expect at least six months of use between charges, depending on how often it records.

You get crisp HDR-enhanced 1080p video footage, advanced motion detection, color night vision and dual-band Wi-Fi so you have a better chance of solid connectivity.

The motion detection is helped by radar, so it pulls fewer false alarms than camera-only detection systems.

It does have one main drawback though, in that you need a Ring Protect subscription to access recorded events. That’s $3.99 per month or $39.99 per year for one camera, or $10.99 per month, $100 per year for unlimited cameras and a longer warranty.

And for $20 per month or $200 per year, you also get 24/7 professional monitoring, cellular backup, and a few Ring Alarm Pro services. That’s still highly competitive when you look at other professional monitoring options from the big brands.

Best for Google Home users
Google Nest Cam Outdoor or Indoor Battery Google Nest Cam Outdoor or Indoor Battery
$179.99 $169.99

The Google Nest Cam uses a rechargeable battery for power, so it can be installed in minutes at any location, providing excellent video streaming from the dual-band Wi-Fi. It's also usable indoors or outdoors, thanks to a weatherproof exterior.

What We Like:
  • Weatherproof housing so can be used anywhere
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi for better connectivity
  • Installs quickly with no need to run wires
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.
03/06/2024 07:03 pm GMT

For those heavily in the Google Home ecosystem, only one name will do for a security camera. That’s the Google Nest Cam, which runs on a rechargeable battery and can be used indoors or outdoors.

That means no wires to install, and as it has dual-band Wi-Fi, you can often get a stronger video stream than cameras with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi only.

You get 1080p video and great motion detection, but you’ll need a Nest Aware subscription to view any recorded events older than three hours ago, limiting its utility until you pony up $6 per month for 30-day history or $12 per month for 60 days.

Everything is handled in the Google Home app, whether that’s live viewing the feed or checking notifications or watching recorded clips.

The best security camera is the one you’ll use

With smaller camera sensors getting ever cheaper, even the most affordable security cameras can give you 1080p video recording and live feeds.

The question is which other added extra features you want, and if you are okay paying for a subscription to cloud recording (handy if the power goes out) or if you prefer local recording options.

Whatever your needs, you’ll find something on this list that will fit the bill.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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