The best home security cameras ensure you can always have eyes on your property, even when you’re not at home. Unlike traditional CCTV systems, home security cameras are more affordable and ensure you don’t have to run cables all over your home, too.
Home security cameras connect to your home Wi-Fi network and will alert you if motion is detected. You can view the camera’s live feed for peace of mind, or review the footage at a later date if you’re not available at the time – although this may require a monthly subscription, as not all home security cameras offer local storage for the videos.
Wireless security cameras work in the same way as the best video doorbells – you can find out how to use a home security camera and whether it can replace a video doorbell in our article. They also work with the best smart speakers and best smart displays and can be set to play a sound when motion is detected as well as letting you converse with anyone in the camera’s field of view. You can even see the live feed on a smart display’s screen too.
You can also include wireless security cameras in home automations too; for example, ensuring the best smart lights illuminate and your smart lock is activated if the home security camera detects motion, in a bid to deter intruders.
Still not convinced? We spoke to a former burglar about whether security cameras really deter crime – and he believes Wi-Fi security cameras are a useful tool when it comes to protecting your home.
There’s a huge range of home security cameras on the market, with big brands such as Ring, Arlo, and Google competing with smaller, but no less capable names, such as Blink, Swann, Wyze, and Netatmo. Find out what we thought when we compared Ring vs Arlo.
With such a wide array of models to choose from, picking the best one for you can be a perplexing task. So we’ve put a selection of some of the most popular to the test, to discover just which are the best home security cameras for 2021.
Best home security cameras
In the very crowded world of home security cameras, the Anker Eufycam 2 is a solid mid-range option at an affordable price. While it doesn’t offer the highest recording resolution, and there’s no color footage at night, for the majority of people this home security camera hits the sweet spot between price and features.
The claimed 365-day battery life is the longest of any home security camera we’ve tested. In fact, it’s double the battery life of top-of-the-range cameras from Arlo and Ring, which is handy considering the battery isn’t swappable so the camera will be out of action when it needs recharging. 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 footage from your property. It can identify if humans triggered a motion alert, although it can’t identify animals, vehicles, or other sources in the same way as Arlo’s home security cameras can. However, it does offer integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.
Bottom line? If you want a system that doesn’t cost anything to maintain but still lets you keep a close eye on your home when you’re not there, the Eufycam 2 is great. It gives you complete control with no overhead cost.
Read our full review: Anker Eufycam 2
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. This means they are great for mounting high-up on your property, for example looking over your driveway, ensuring you can still read a car number plate on the drive.
Currently, the highest resolution home security cameras on the market can record in 4K, and our pick is the Arlo Ultra 2. The footage it records is extremely clear and detailed, and 180 degree field of view is great for covering wide areas. There’s even an LED on the camera so video at night can be recorded in color too. It builds on the Arlo Ultra with support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-F bands and an increased range, which should put an end to connectivity issues. It’s also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit, too, and has a range of smart features that help reduce the number of alerts the camera sends you.
However, the Arlo Ultra 2 will set you back at least $599.99 / £629.99 / AU$799, as it comes in a kit with a Smart Hub and two cameras, although variations with even more cameras are available. This means it’s the most expensive home security camera we’ve tested to date. On top of that, the kit comes with a free three-month trial of Arlo Secure, but once that expires you’ll need to subscribe at a cost of $14.99 / £12.99 / AU$21.99 per month if you want to continue storing footage in 4K and making use of the various smart features. There is the ability to store footage locally on a micro SD card in the base station, but these videos can’t be viewed through the Arlo app.
Read our full review: Arlo Ultra 2
If Full HD video won’t be detailed enough, but you just can’t quite warrant forking out for the eye-watering price tag of the Arlo Ultra 2, Arlo’s latest 2K camera is worth considering. The Arlo Pro 4 records detailed color video when motion is detected both during the day and at night, thanks to the built-in LED spotlight.
It looks identical to the Arlo Ultra 2, although as it’s more affordable it has a slightly smaller field of view, and doesn’t require a SmartHub as it connects directly to your home Wi-Fi network. However, while this is a good thing in terms of price, it does mean that storing video locally and support for HomeKit are off the menu, unless you purchase a hub separately.
The highly versatile home security camera, which is the successor to the Arlo Pro 3 and the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight, has everything you’d expect from a more expensive home security camera including a built-in siren and the ability to automatically track the source of motion.
The lack of local storage does mean. Once the three-month trial to Arlo Secure runs out, you will need to subscribe at a cost of $2.99 / £2.49 / AU$4.49 to review footage after it’s been captured and to access the handy smart functions.
Read our full review: Arlo Pro 4
Many of the best home security cameras of the market require an on-going cost in the form of a subscription to a cloud storage service, where video clips can be stored and reviewed at a later date. However, if you’re after a home security camera with the local storage, the Eufy SoloCam E40 is the best on the market in our eyes right now.
It has 8GB of memory built-in to the cameras itself where videos are stored – Eufy says this quotes to about a month’s worth of footage, based on 30 detections a day, with each video lasting for 10 seconds. The video it records is detailed, with a resolution of 2K, although while this is in color during the day, it’s only in black and white at night, as the camera lacks any form of spotlight that can immuniate the video. It uses AI to identify whether the motion is caused by a human or another source, too.
However, the battery life isn’t as long as with the EufyCam 2 (above) although at around four months, it’s comparable to cameras from rival brands such as Arlo and Ring. However, the battery is built-in so when it needs recharging, the camera will be out of action. Those compromises aside, it’s great value for money.
Read our full review: Eufy SoloCam E40
Best indoor home security cameras
The Ring Indoor Cam is the company’s entry-level security camera, and it offers great value for money. Simple to use, it records clear Full HD footage when motion is detected both during the day and at night.
However, unlike some indoor security cameras in this list, the only way to review footage once it’s been captured is if you subscribe to Ring Protect. It’ll cost you $3 / £2.50 / AU$4 per month or $30 / £24.99 / AU$40 for a year but also provides access to handy features like person detection and activity zones, which ensure you’re not plagued by unwanted notifications.
Ring is an Amazon-backed company, so it’s no surprise that the only voice integration offered is with Alexa. However, that means its not suitable if your smart home uses Google Assistant or HomeKit
If you’re in the market to beef up your home security but you’re on a limited budget then this Ring is for you.
Read our full review: Ring Indoor Cam
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, as unlike the Blink Indoor and the Blink Outdoor, this isn’t included. There’s a free cloud storage trial bundled with the camera, but when it ends it’ll set you back $3 / £2.50 per month if you want to continue with that option.
The Ring Indoor Cam beats the Blink 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
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 disabled so there’s no 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 Secure, 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
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. It really is excellent value for money. 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
Best outdoor home security cameras
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
This is one of the most affordable battery-powered outdoor home security cameras on the market right now. The Blink Outdoor is simple to use and records clear Full HD video during the day and at night. While there are some compromises to keep the price tag this low, it will be suited to anyone on a budget that doesn’t need extremely detailed footage.
The Blink Outdoor is powered by two regular AA batteries, which Blink promises will last up to two years, which is staggeringly longer than other affordable security cameras, such as the Ring Stick Up Cam that lasts between three to six months per charge in comparison.
The Full HD footage is clear, although while in color during the day, the lack of any form of light to illuminate the video, means it’s in black and white at night, and one other area where it’s lacking is person detection. Unlike many affordable home security cameras on the market, it can’t distinguish whether a person, or another source created the motion that triggered an alert. However, for those on a budget it represents good value for money.
Read our full review: Blink Outdoor
Many of the best outdoor security cameras that feature built-in lights and sirens are mains-powered, which means they require professional installation, and for some just aren’t an option without some serious electrical work in their home. However the Ring Spotlight Cam offers all this but is also powered by a removable, rechargeable battery, meaning installation is far less of a worry.
The camera records clear Full HD video, which thanks to the built-in spotlight is in color both during the day and at night. There’s also a built-in siren , which can be triggered manually from the app, hopefully scaring off any potential intruders. Ring says the battery will last between three and six months too, which matches up to many other battery-powered home security cameras on the market – although the more the light and siren are triggered, the quicker the battery will drain. Additional batteries are also available to purchase, so the camera doesn’t have to be out of action when it needs recharging.
However, the camera does require a subscription if you want to review footage at a later date, and to access handy features such as person detection or activity zones, both of which can help in reducing the number of alerts the camera sends you each day.
Read our full review: Ring Spotlight Cam (battery)
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
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, making it great value for money.
It also can connect to the internet over Wi-Fi or Ethernet, making it ideal for those that struggle to get a reliable Wi-Fi signal outside their home. However, with a field of view of just 110 degrees, this outdoor security camera doesn’t offer the same wide viewing angle as others on the market.
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.
What to consider when buying a home security camera
Start by working out whether you need a home security camera that is weatherproof and can be used outside, or you are looking for a smart security camera you can place inside your home.
You’ll also need to consider how the camera is powered. Some need to be connected to mains power, which may mean you need to employ a professional to install it, whereas other a battery-powered. Look for home security cameras that have swappable batteries, so you can purchase additional batteries and ensure the camera isn’t out of action for several hours when the battery needs recharging.
The quality of the video the home security camera records in, is also important. Many home security cameras record in Full HD, although there are some that record in a higher resolution of 2k and 4k. While Full HD is sufficient for most homes, if you plan to mount the camera up high so its field of view covers a wide area, higher resolution cameras will mean you can zoom into the footage and still pick out clear details such as car number plates.
The majority of home security cameras record footage in color during the day, although it’s in black and white at night. Some come with an LED that can be triggered when motion is detected, to ensure footage recorded at night is in color, as well as a way to scare off any would-be intruders. Some home security cameras even come with built-in alarms that can be triggered manually from the app, or automatically when motion is detected, to help deter intruders.
Finally, consider how video the camera captures is stored – does it require a subscription to save video in the cloud so it can go back and be reviewed after it has happened. These start from $2.99 / £2.49 / AU$4.49 per month, so remember to factor in this cost. Some cameras offer local storage so you don’t have any ongoing costs associated with the camera, which can either be in the form of memory built into the camera itself or the ability to add a micro SD card to the camera or base station.
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.