Best home security cameras 2021: ranking the best Wi-Fi security cameras we’ve tested

What's the cheapest security camera? (Image credit: WyzeCam) The cheapest smart security camera we feel confident in recomme...

What's the cheapest security camera?

A photo of the WyzeCam V2 mounted on a white wall

(Image credit: WyzeCam)

The cheapest smart security camera we feel confident in recommending is the Wyze Cam that's sold on Amazon for $26. It's not as feature-rich or as detailed as our top picks, but for the money it's impossible to beat.

The best home security cameras can provide peace of mind, allowing you to check what’s happening both inside and outside your home. 

Unlike traditional security cameras, which store data to a small PC and require cables running all over your home, or enterprise systems that charge you for a subscription package, Wi-Fi security cameras use both a real-time video feed and cloud storage. As well as letting you log in and view a real-time feed from the camera at any point, they also record short video clips when the camera detects motion. This footage is either stored in a secure area online or on a microSD card so you can go back and review it at any point. 

What's more, most home security cameras work with the best smart speakers and best smart displays, so you can get alerts about motion detected by the camera through your smart speaker and even view a live feed from the camera on a smart display, such as an Amazon Echo Show 10 or Google Home Hub. They can also be programmed to work with other smart home devices such as smart lights, so if motion is detected, lights in your home will switch on, giving the impression there’s actually someone at home, deterring any potential intruders. 

That said, the security camera you choose to buy shouldn't be the only line of defense for your home. Instead, it should be part of a defensive strategy that keeps you and your family safe, so don't forget to grab one of the best smart locks, one the best video doorbells and an alarm system, too 

Best home security cameras

Anker Eufycam 2

(Image credit: Eufy)

1. Anker Eufycam 2

The best home security camera you can buy

Resolution: up to 1080p | Footage recording: As much fits onto a 16GB BaseStation | Audio: HD two-way

No monthly subscription needed
365-day battery life
Weather-proof IP67 rating
Only records when triggered
1080p video resolution

In the world of home security cameras, the Anker Eufycam 2 is known for being a solid mid-range option at an affordable price. It has a seriously large feature set and while it doesn't offer 24/7 monitoring, it also doesn't require a month subscription whatsoever.

Eufy’s wireless outdoor camera has an IP67 rating that makes it almost entirely weatherproof and a claimed 365-day battery life that never seems to quit. It also stores all of its encoded clips directly to the included BaseStation in your living room, which means you don’t have to worry about someone somewhere else in the world looking at your clips.

Bottom line? If you want a system that doesn’t cost anything to maintain and love being in charge of how/where the video is stored, the Eufy Video Doorbell is great. It gives you complete control with no overhead cost.

Read our full review: Anker Eufycam 2

Arlo Pro 3

(Image credit: Arlo)

2. Arlo Pro 3

The best 2K home security camera

Resolution: up to 2K (2560x1440) | Footage recording: Free cloud recordings for seven days | Audio: HD two-way

Free cloud recordings
Crystal-clear video
Expensive system
Limited without subscription

Home security cameras with resolutions higher than Full HD ensure tiny details are visible in the footage it records, even if the camera's field of view is taking in a large area. While we rate the Arlo Ultra home security camera, which offers a 4K resolution, the Arlo Pro 3 is a more affordable option that records video in 2K - more than detailed enough for the average home. 

The highly versatile home security camera, which is the successor to the Full HD Arlo Pro 2 camera, can be battery-powered or connected to mains power, and has a classy weatherproof design so it can be used outside or indoors. 

There's also a version with a built-in floodlight that will automatically illuminate when motion is detected - the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight is good for gardens and driveways. 

To get the most out of it, such as being able to review footage it stores for up to 30 days after it's been recorded, and make use of the smart identification that can determine whether the motion is caused by a person, animal, vehicle or other sources, you will need to subscribe to Arlo Smart, which costs from Prices start from $2.99 / £2.49 / AU$4.49. 

Read our full review: Arlo Pro 3

Best indoor security cameras

Ring Indoor Cam

(Image credit: Future)

3. Ring Indoor Cam

The best indoor home security camera

Resolution: Up to 1080p HD | Footage recording: 24 hour as standard, 30 days with subscription | Audio: Two-way

Clear footage
Some features need monthly fee

The Ring Indoor Cam is a great addition to the company’s growing suite of security products. It may be cheap, but the Ring device doesn’t disappoint when it comes to features or performance. 

We particularly like just how customizable the device is, making it suitable for placement in any room of the house. As well as being able to control the camera via your mobile device, it’s also useful to log into your Ring account via the web so you can keep an eye on your property from your office PC should you wish. Set-up is fairly straightforward too, helped by the flexible mounting options as well as video tutorials available via the app.

If you’re in the market to beef up your home security then this Ring is for you.

 Read our full review: Ring Indoor Cam

Blink Mini

(Image credit: Blink)

The best compact indoor home security camera

Resolution: Up to 1080p HD | Footage recording: Up to 30 days with recording | Audio: Two-way

Very Affordable
Crisp video quality
Lacks person detection
Local storage requires additional module

One of the most affordable home security cameras on the market, the Blink Mini may be compact but it certainly packs a punch. The full HD footage it records during the day and at night is clear, and we found the camera simple to set-up, and easy to control using the app. 

It offers both cloud storage and local storage, although you’ll need to purchase an additional sync module if you want to use local storage, and unsurprisingly when the free trial of the cloud storage ends, you’ll need to fork out $3 / £2.50 per month if you want to continue with that option. 

The Ring Indoor Cam beats the B;link Mini thanks to the inclusion of person detection but for those that want a device with a small footprint, you’ll be hard pushed to do better than the Blink Mini

Read our full review: Blink Mini 

Arlo Essential Indoor camera

(Image credit: Arlo)

5. Arlo Essential Indoor camera

The best indoor home security camera for privacy

Resolution: Up to 1080p HD | Footage recording: Up to 30 days with subscription | Audio: Two-way

Clear, detailed video
Privacy shutter
No HomeKit support
Expensive compared to most affordable home security cameras

Privacy is a huge concern for many when it comes to choosing a home security cameras. If the thought of the camera in your home watching your every move is too much to bear, the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera will be right up your street. 

The privacy shutter can automatically be activated when the camera is disarmed, ensuring that the lens and microphone are disabelled so there’s not fear of being watched. On test, we found the camera recorded clear full HD footage during the day and at night, although you will need to subscribe to Arlo Smart, which costs $2.99 / £2.49 / AU$4.49 per month, if you want to review footage after it’s been recorded. On top of that it works with Alexa and Google Assistant, unlike many of the home security cameras in this list, which only work with one voice assistant. 

However, while the Arlo Essentials range is billed as the brand’s affordable offering, it’s more expensive than most affordable home security cameras. 

Read our full review: Arlo Essential Indoor Camera

Eufy Indoor Security Camera

(Image credit: Eufy)

6. Eufy Indoor Security Camera 2K

The best indoor home security camera for local storage

Resolution: Up to 2K | Footage recording: Free local storage or up to 30 days with subscription | Audio: Two-way

Clear, detailed video
Local and cloud video storage
HomeKit integration doesn’t work at 2K resolution
Doesn’t come with a microSD card

With a micro SD card that can save footage recorded by the camera, as well as the option of subscribing to a cloud storage offering, the Eufy Indoor Security Camera 2K is an affordable home security camera that offers the best of both worlds. 

Simple to set-up, the camera records detailed 2K videos when motion is detected both during the day and at night. On top of that it integrates with Alexa, Google Assistant and has HomeKit support too - so no matter which smart home system you use, the camera can easily be integrated into it. Although it’s worth noting when used with HomeKit, the video resolution is restricted to full HD. 

Read our full review: Eufy Indoor Security Camera 2K 

The Wyze Cam v3

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Future)

7. Wyze Cam v3

This cheap cam offers great value

Resolution: 1080p HD | Footage recording: Free cloud storage | Audio: Two-way

Effective color and IR night vision
MicroSD slot for local storage
Person detection locked behind paywall
Unreliable sound detection

This full HD camera has a 130-degree field of view and comes with free cloud storage for up to 14 days, making it a more than worthy competitor to other budget cameras.

While other cameras on our list may offer a better resolution for clearer footage, Wyze's full HD video can upload more easily on slower wi-fi networks. The Wyze Cam v3 is weatherproof, but requires a power outlet rather than using a rechargeable battery so its outdoor use is certainly limited. 

If you're looking for an affordable home security camera with free cloud storage, and the ability to save video clips locally, then this certainly fits the bill. However, if you're not willing to pay for a monthly subscription, you'll find the camera provides too many unwanted notifications if use outdoors, and lacks handy features such as person detection.

Read our full review: Wyze Cam v3

Nest Cam IQ

8. Nest Cam IQ

The best home security camera for facial recognition

Resolution: 4K sensor, 1080p HDR streaming | Footage recording: with subscription | Audio: HD two-way

Fantastic build quality
Very high video quality
Quite expensive
Subscription fees

The Nest Cam IQ is intelligent. Really intelligent. Not only can it notify you if there’s movement in your home, but it can also differentiate between people and animals, and – what’s really remarkable – it can even identify if it’s a familiar or unfamiliar person. 

The Nest Cam IQ records Full HD footage in HDR (high dynamic range), so if someone is in your home, you’ll have clear images of them. 

The main drawback with the Nest Cam IQ is its price. Not only is it fairly expensive to start with, to use its full range of functions you’ll have to purchase a subscription to Nest Aware. But if you want the best quality, and are prepared to shell out for it, the Nest Cam IQ is probably the camera for you.

Read our full review: Nest Cam IQ 

Best outdoor security cameras

Netatmo Presence

9. Netatmo Presence

The home security camera for gardens

Resolution: 1080p HD streaming | Footage recording: microSD | Audio: One-way

Powerful, dimmable LED floodlight
Accurate motion sensor
Large and unwieldy design
Quite expensive

The Netatmo Presence is a definite statement of a security camera. Its hefty black body feels significant to hold, and is difficult to miss. This is both a strength and a weakness, as aesthetically it’s probably not going to complement your house design, but it does mean it’s a strong deterrent for anyone thinking about breaking in. 

Adding to the deterrence factor is the powerful dimmable LED floodlight, which you can adjust to your specified brightness. The Presence itself is an all-metal unit waterproofed to IPX7 standard, so you don’t have to worry about it being outdoors in a storm.

You can adjust your notifications so that you’re only alerted when the camera identifies a person (or animal, or car).  One frustration is that the camera works over Wi-Fi, and that means it needs to be within communicating range of your router to work. A clear benefit is that the Netatmo has a slot for a microSD card, meaning you don’t have to pay hefty subscription fees to record video, so you can quite quickly recoup the price difference for the fairly expensive unit.

Read our review: Netatmo Presence 

Nest Cam Outdoor

10. Nest Cam Outdoor

A fantastic camera, but vulnerable to being stolen

Resolution: 1080p HD streaming | Footage recording: With subscription | Audio: two-way

Good smart home integration
Excellent app 
Recording requires subscription
Design is susceptible to theft

The Nest Cam Outdoor is, unsurprisingly, the outdoor camera from Google's Nest brand - it's also the most affordable weather-proof camera Google offers.

Much like its indoor counterpart, the Outdoor boasts brilliant image quality and a fantastic app. It'll even identify whether the motion it detected was created by a person, and let you set activity zones so you're only notified about motion in these areas - reducing unwanted alert. However, you will need to subscribe to Nest Aware, which costs from $5 / £5 / AU$9 per month to access these features and review footage for up to 30 days after it has been captured. 

The one fault we have to pick with the Nest Cam Outdoor is that it connects to its base with a magnet, meaning a thief could feasibly pluck it from the base, and, er… steal it.

Read our full review: Nest Cam Outdoor 

Swann Spotlight Outdoor Security Camera

Image Credit: Swann (Image credit: Swann)

11. Swann Spotlight Outdoor Security Camera

Swann's latest outdoor camera is a safe bet

Resolution: 1080p HD streaming | Footage recording: Free for 7 days | Audio: two-way

Good value for money
1080p camera lens
Built-in spotlight and siren
Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections
Unhelpful app
Requires mains power
Only 7-day cloud storage

More discreet than the Netatmo Presence (above) this Full HD home security camera has two built-in spotlights that will illuminate automatically if the camera detects motion or heat. 

As well as deterring any potential intruders, the spotlights also ensure footage is recorded in color, even when it's dark, making it easy to see details in the video it stores. On top of that, like other Swann home security cameras, the footage is stored in a secure area online, for free - so there's no need to invest in a monthly subscription.  

During our review, we found that Swann’s Security app does have some rough edges, and you may need to be patient as you go through the initial set-up process. Even so,  the Spotlight Outdoor camera is a good, affordable option for keeping an eye on your garden or other areas outside your home.

Read the full review: Swann Spotlight Outdoor Security Camera review

How we test home security cameras

To ensure the home security cameras we’ve reviewed can be fairly compared, we’ve tested and analysed a number of key features covering style, performance, and practicalities. 

We rated each camera on the quality of the footage it records both during the day, and in the dark, as well as how clear the two-way talk features are, and settings to arm and disarm the camera. For each model, we wanted to know how easy they set-up and installation was, as well as how efficient the camera’s were at delivering motion notifications and whether AI features designed to identify if activity has been created by a personal, animal, vehicle or other source, were accurate. 

Where relevant, we compared the battery life of each model and for cameras that have lights and/or siren we also compared the brightness and loudness,, to see if they are sufficient . We also assessed each model for its durability and design,  looking to see if it comes with handy mounting plates and the ability to adjust the angle of the camera to suit your home.  

How do home security cameras work? 

Home security cameras work in the same way as the best video doorbells, by using Wi-Fi to send a notification if motion is detected in the camera’s field of view. Tapping the notification will open the camera’s app, allowing you to see a live feed from it, and in many cases converse with anyone in the camera’s field of view using the built-in microphone and speaker. 

Home security cameras also capture and store footage when motion is detected so it can be reviewed back at a later date, and even downloaded to your smartphone to be shared if necessary. 

Many home security cameras require a monthly subscription, which costs from $2.99 / £2.49 / AU$4.49, for this feature, although some offer free online storage or provide a microSD card slot so the video can be locally stored without the need for a monthly fee. 

Do home security cameras need to be plugged in?

When it comes to powering the best home security cameras, not all models need to be plugged in. While there are plenty of mains-powered home security cameras on the market, suitable for both indoors and outside, if you don't have access to a power socket where you want to install your home security camera, then fear not - there are many models that can be powered by a rechargeable battery. 

How long the battery lasts between charges will depend upon how often the camera detects and records motion and how many times the app is used to view the camera's live feed, but you can expect anywhere between one month and one year. Some home security cameras have swappable batteries, while other need to be removed completely to be recharged. 

It's also worth noting that some home security cameras that offer a choice of power method, may only offer certain features, such as activity zones when they're used on mains power. 

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