Best Home Security Cameras of 2020
Security cameras are our specialty, and these devices are the best available online today.
Comparison of the Best Security Cameras
eufy 2K Camera
|Read Review||Ring Camera Review||Nest Cam Review||Arlo Review||Blink Camera Review||Wyze Cam Review||SimpliCam Review||Lorex Review||Swann Review||eufy 2K Camera Review||Zmodo Review|
Best Home Security Cameras of 2020
- Ring - Best Home Security Cameras Overall
- Nest - Best Google Home Security Cameras
- Arlo - Best Video Resolution
- Blink - Easiest to Use Security Cameras
- Wyze - Most Affordable Security Cameras
- SimpliCam - Easiest to Use Security Camera
- Lorex - Best Outdoor Security Cameras
- Swann - Best Local Video Storage
- Eufy - Best Apple HomeKit Integration
- Zmodo - Best Security Camera Selection
A Detailed List of the Best Home Security Cameras
1. Ring - Best Home Security Cameras Overall
Video doorbells and weatherproof cameras powered by batteries, mains electricity, or the Sun
Why Ring Is the Best Security Cameras Overall
Amazon-owned Ring originally gained popularity for its doorbell cameras, but they also sell indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, an over-the-peephole camera, and other home security equipment. The Ring camera selection satisfies a wide range of shoppers and gave us the option to choose between wireless and hardwired models with competitive prices.
Similar to the doorbell cameras, other Ring camera models had motion detection, two-way voice, and other special features. Also adding appeal were Ring’s industry-best integrations with Amazon Alexa and Echo screens. These let us control our home alarm system with voice commands and send security video to various displays. With an Echo screen in our kitchen, for instance, we didn’t need to have our mobile phone handy in order to see security footage.
DIY monitoring was low-cost at $2.99 per month for one camera. If we preferred, we could pay $9.99 per month for professional monitoring of all our connected Ring devices. This included security cameras as well as environmental safety sensors.
What We Like
- Wide-selection of indoor/outdoor cameras
- Easy DIY installation takes only minutes
- Crisp and clear HD video image quality
- Integrates with third-party smart platforms
What We Dont Like
- Some Ring cams are too large
- High-end Ring cameras are expensive
- Ring Pro cam requires hardwiring
- Can be prone to trigger false alarms
A Ring camera example: For most climates, the Spotlight Cam ($199) was one of the best weatherproof cameras for scaring off prowlers. Highlights included a motion-activated LED floodlight, a 110 decibel siren, and two-way audio. This battery-powered security camera was available in black and white. It could generally be installed on a flat surface (horizontal or vertical) with just five to 10 minutes of work. The camera’s one-year warranty allowed operation from -5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
As for Ring door cameras, the wire-free Door View Cam ($199) was an exciting new addition to the line. It behaved like other Ring doorbells but could easily be installed over a peephole; installation and connection to home Wi-Fi typically took about ten minutes. An integrated motion sensor let us know via mobile alert when someone was at our door. Video was stored to the cloud automatically, and we had the option to interact in real time with two-way talk.
2. Nest - Best Google Home Security Cameras
Smart doorbells & indoor/outdoor security cams with facial recognition and continuous recording
Why Nest Is Best for Google Home Security Cams
While Ring paired naturally with Amazon Alexa and Echo Home, Nest was best with Google Assistant and other Google Home products. Nest cams worked intuitively with Google Home speakers; some even had the smart speaker technology built-in. “Hey Google, play the backyard camera on the kitchen Chromecast.” Choices included indoor-only, weatherproof, and doorbell cam styles.
Without paid service we got basic mobile notifications from the system. With paid service, called Nest Aware, we were able to record continuously for up to 10 days; save video to the cloud; use facial recognition technology; and get 24/7 professional monitoring of alerts. Some notes about these features:
- Nest’s facial recognition technology let us build an image database of familiar faces. For example, we chose to add our family members and professional dog walker. This let us get customized alerts that stated who was in view of the Nest Hello doorbell or other Nest cameras.
- Professional monitoring of Nest equipment was available month-to-month or on a yearly basis through Brinks, a home security company known for extra-fast emergency dispatching.
What We Like
- Smart features like facial recognition
- Access and stream live-video 24/7
- Crisp 1080p HD video quality
- Compatible with Z-Wave technology
What We Dont Like
- Expensive if purchasing multiple cams
- No local video storage options
- Camera must connect to internet
- Customer service could be improved
Nest Cam IQ ($299 MSRP) was a popular indoor security camera with an 130-degree viewing angle and 1080p resolution. It could distinguish a person from other movers and shakers, which reduced false alerts. Nest Cam IQ also distinguished one person from another and announced their presence with a mobile app. Continuous recording was available with paid service, too. We were able to check the mobile app anytime to see snapshots of the past three hours’ activity. To view the videos, we just had to tap the screen. Along with great video quality by day or night, we got crisp two-way audio with noise suppression and echo cancellation.
This camera easily set up indoors, as it plugged into a standard AC outlet. Backup battery power was included in case we experienced a short power outage. Nest Cam IQ was under warranty for two years when purchased directly from Nest.
3. Arlo - Best Video Resolution
Cutting-edge indoor and outdoor cameras with up to 4K resolution
How Arlo Has the Best Security Video Resolution
During our evaluations, the standard for high-definition security video was 1080p resolution. Arlo pushed the envelope with 4K ultra high-definition on the weatherproof Ultra security camera ($299.99). Also for sale was the Arlo doorbell cameras, indoor cameras, and outdoor cameras with 1080p and 720p HD… and Arlo cameras automatically lowered resolution if they detected low bandwidth.
While Arlo Ultra boasted the best security video resolution, each camera model was loaded with special features such as two-way voice, a siren with remote control, and compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Multiple setup options made Arlo cameras popular, too: cameras plugged in or operated wire-free, and magnetic mounts made setup hassle-free.
Video was saved to the cloud free for seven days or longer with an Arlo subscription. We could also store video locally by connecting a USB to the Arlo base station.
What We Like
- High-quality home security cameras
- Offers a wide-range of camera options
- No long-term contracts required
- 100% wireless, can be installed anywhere
What We Dont Like
- Steep upfront equipment cost
- Does not offer entryway sensors
- Limited home automation options
- Not sufficient for complete home security
While Arlo Ultra impressed us with exceptional resolution, Arlo Baby ($199.99) helped keep a nursery safe and soothing. We had the option to outfit this unique security camera as a bunny or a puppy, and it was loaded with smart technologies. Arlo Baby had high quality infrared for clear views in the dark, and a mobile app that let us check in anytime. A cry sensor, general sound detector, motion detector, and air quality sensor also stood guard. To soothe a baby, the camera’s two-way voice let us interact. We also had the option to activate lullaby mode and/or a nightlight with adjustable color.
For convenience, this freestanding camera was powered by rechargeable batteries, and we moved it from room to room as needed.
5. Wyze - Most Affordable Security Cameras
Budget-priced indoor security cameras with free cloud storage for motion-triggered video
How Affordable Were the Wyze Cameras?
With prices that started at just $19.99, Wyze made some of the most affordable indoor security cameras with mobile app integration. Cloud storage was free for motion-triggered events, which made Wyze a very affordable home security solution overall. Wyze cameras were made for DIY monitoring.
Wyze cameras were under warranty for a year and were quality products. Special features included geofencing (motion detection zones), Alexa compatibility, and the ability to detect specific frequencies. For instance, the camera sent mobile alerts in response to a smoke alarm.
What We Like
- Lowest priced cameras (starting at $20)
- Free 14-day cloud video storage
- Works with Alexa for voice control
- Innovative features like motion tagging
What We Dont Like
- No outdoor camera options available
- No pro monitoring, only self-monitoring
- Has long power cord/must be plugged in
- Does not offer geofencing technology
The Wyze Pan Cam with two-way audio was a bargain with a mere $29.99 MSRP. This smart camera covered 110 degrees per second, and it rotated and panned to capture video all around. The Wyze app let us set up to four waypoints as planned pause points as it spun. If we’d liked, we could have added voice controls with Alexa or Google Assistant. With 1080p plus infrared night vision, we got clear footage anytime.
We could check the Wyze mobile app anytime for streaming video, plus 14 days of motion-based cloud storage were provided free. Local storage was also an option with the camera’s integrated microSD drive.
6. SimpliCam - Easiest to Use Security Camera
An easy to use home security camera that works seamlessly with SimpliSafe security systems
Why is the SimpliCam So Easy To Set Up?
Setting up the SimpliCam only took a few minutes from start to finish. First, we plugged the camera into an outlet, then downloaded the SimpliSafe app, available on the Apple and Google Play stores. Next, we logged into our SimpliSafe account and clicked a button to set up our camera, entering our Wi-Fi passwords, and waiting a few seconds for the camera to connect. Once it was connected, we immediately saw our camera’s footage directly on the app.
Since we signed up for the Interactive Plan, we got notified whenever the SimpliCam detected movement. Once we got alerted, we would check in with the app’s livestream to see what was up. Plus, if we forgot to arm our camera upon exiting the house, we could also do so through the app.
What We Like
- DIY installation
- Privacy shutter
- User-friendly mobile app
- Two-way audio
What We Dont Like
- Need to pay $24.99 a month to receive cloud storage, notifications and remote control of camera
- No person detection
- 720p HD resolution
- No smart platform integrations
Not only was the SimpliCam easy to install and use, but we were also pretty satisfied with the camera itself, from its two-way audio, allowing us to speak to whoever was at home, to its infrared night vision, which helped us see clearly even in the middle of the night. But when we wanted privacy, we simply used the camera’s privacy shutter that physically blocked the lens itself. This is a feature we haven’t seen from any other security camera, and it’s nice to know especially given IoT devices’ propensity to hackers.
Since we eventually bought the rest of the SimpliSafe system, detailed in our SimpliSafe review, we signed up for the Interactive Plan, which allowed for notifications and remote control. In addition, our footage was kept for 30 days in their cloud server, and we got 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup. That meant that we weren’t solely responsible for our camera and security system; we also had a team of people to check in and call for help at all times. Cellular backup, on the other hand, ensured that even if our power went out, our SimpliSafe devices like the SimpliCam would stay on, still connecting to the monitoring center.
7. Lorex - Best Outdoor Security Cameras
High-end WiFI and IP cameras with 4K color night vision
How Lorex Outdoor Security Cameras Were Best
Lorex specialized in professional-quality security cameras for indoor and outdoor use. The company’s outdoor security cameras, or all-purpose/weatherproof cameras, were set apart from the competition because of their 4000K resolution and the ability to capture full color video at night. Many Lorex camera models were vandal-proof as well; they had heavy duty metal casings, and the power cords were protected.
Many more features were available. For instance, various Lorex cameras supported two-way voice, allowed geofencing, had extra-long vision (depth of field), and let us pan/zoom with Internet access.
A wide range of Lorex camera systems were prepackaged. Some sets included control hubs and widescreen video monitors. We could also buy Lorex cameras separately. All carried two-year warranties if we purchased them directly from Lorex Technology.
What We Like
- Clear HD video quality up to 4k
- Long-range night vision feature
- Professional-grade design and build
- Feature-rich cameras with smart tech
What We Dont Like
- Expensive high-end camera system
- Easy to be overwhelmed by options
- Cameras must plug-in to power outlets
- Customer service is not the best
One bestselling home-use Lorex camera was simply named the 1080 HP Outdoor Wireless Security Camera. At $149 it was low-priced for a Lorex, and we could save on two units or more. However, we could not use this camera in freezing climates. We could accomplish professional-quality DIY surveillance with this camera’s 118-degree wide lens, up to 115-ft night vision range with infrared, and ability to record audio as well as video. Unlike most security cameras, this Lorex could be triggered by off-screen audio as well as on-screen motion.
Another mid-priced option was the weatherproof 4K Ultra High Definition Security Camera ($159). It had color night vision but a narrower field of view compared with the camera above.
8. Swann - Best Local Video Storage
Smart doorbells and indoor/outdoor cameras with long range and local storage
Why Swann Was Best for Local Video Storage
Swann sold high quality indoor/outdoor cameras and video doorbells for do-it-yourself monitoring only. Their prices were competitive, and Swann camera featured impressive color night vision, heat sensing, two-way talk, floodlights, and long range even at night. Select models were compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Local storage and cloud storage were available for Swann security cams. With free local memory, each clip could be saved for seven days. Camera ownership also included two days of free cloud storage per clip. With minimal payment we had the option to expand that to 30 days per clip.
What We Like
- Full lineup of versatile cameras
- Wireless, wired, and wire-free connections
- Free local video storage (microSD card)
- Robust, weatherproof cameras
What We Dont Like
- Relatively expensive equipment
- Cloud storage requires subscription
- No professional monitoring available
- Cancelling paid plans can be tricky
The Floodlight Security Camera ($179.99 MSRP) showed off lots of Swann technology. The 1080p camera had a 125-degree lens, color night vision, a heat sensor, two-way talk, a siren, and a motion-triggered floodlight with dimmer. The Floodlight Security Camera clearly recorded nighttime action up to 100 feet away.
With two-way talk we could frighten prowlers… and with max floodlight brightness of 2500 lumens, criminals would have had trouble finding cover! The siren could automatically sound in response to motion, and we could activate it via the Swann mobile app.
9. Eufy- Best Apple HomeKit Integration
A budget camera that doesn’t sacrifice quality with all of our necessary features for home security cameras.
Why the eufy 2K is Best for Apple HomeKit
Although we use Siri for everything on our iPhones, it’s rare that a security camera works with Apple’s voice assistant…that is, until the eufy 2K indoor camera. It works with Siri, so we could view the live feed on our phones simply by asking our trusted voice assistant, in addition to Alexa and Google Assistant. Siri also gave us end-to-end encryption for our footage along with a whopping 10 days of extra cloud storage through HomeKit Secure Video. All in all, if you have an iPhone or iPad, you’ll love using Siri with the eufy 2K camera.
What We Like
- Affordable $40 price tag
- 2K video with 125-degree field of view
- Two-way audio
- Integrations with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and Alexa
What We Dont Like
- Not compatible with 5G networks
- No wireless option
- Cloud storage makes for a lower video resolution
- 2K HD streaming uses a lot of data
There was a lot we liked about the eufy 2K, which is a very affordable indoor camera at only $40 (normally, we shell out around $100 for similar devices). We set it up in our living room, and because we had pet detection turned off, we didn’t get notified every time the kitten we were cat-sitting played with its ball of yarn. Rather, we only got notified when it detected people, like when our plant sitter walked in (we have a lot going on at home, as you can tell). Everything recorded directly to our 128 GB micro-SD card in 2K footage, which wouldn’t have been quite as clear if we had used cloud storage.
The Eufy Security app made it easy to check in at home from anywhere with Internet access, arming and disarming our camera remotely, setting in on a schedule when we get tired of doing it manually, and getting notified of people walking by, which thankfully didn’t include any intruders. Again, for just $40, the eufy 2K was a fraction of the cost of some of the other cameras on this list, but quality was not sacrificed, thankfully.
10. Zmodo - Best Security Camera Selection
A wide range of affordable smart doorbells, indoor cameras, and outdoor cameras
Why Zmodo Had the Best Security Camera Selection
Zmodo sold a wide selection of smart doorbell cameras, indoor-only cameras, and weatherproof surveillance cameras for DIY monitoring. We chose these cameras to serve as crime deterrents, but we had friends who used the Zmodo video cams for keeping an eye on their dependents. Some were hardwired and others are wire-free.
Prices were relatively low for equipment and optional cloud storage. For instance, we could own a four-pack of Zmodo Mini Cams for just $99.99. These indoor cameras had night vision, two-way audio, Alexa compatibility, and optional continuous recording in 720p. With free service we were able to review alert clips for the previous 36 hours. Longer-term cloud storage required a $9.99 per month payment.
Another cheap but effective option was the $39.99 Zmodo 1080p Indoor/Outdoor Security Camera. Along with HD color vision in daylight, it made crisp low-light recordings with up to 65 feet depth of field. The option to set motion detection zones helped limit false alerts.
At the other end of the price spectrum, owners of large properties could invest in a diverse 24-channel security system for $2199.99. It featured a mix of hardwired and wireless cameras. This system was equipped for storage locally and to the cloud.
What We Like
- Surprisingly affordable equipment
- Full lineup of camera options
- Simple DIY setup and easy to use
- 720p video quality with two-way audio
What We Dont Like
- Cheap design, flimsy construction
- Power cord is much too short
- Does not offer third-party integrations
- Camera options are too similar
Zmodo security equipment carried an impressive three-year warranty. The cameras had a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Through rigorous research and testing, we identified the best security cameras out there. We used our Necessary Features Test to make sure each product met our high standards, and we even included a methodology section at the end of our review with all the details of how we chose our top picks.
|Nest Cam IQ Outdoor||$399|
|Nest Cam IQ Indoor||$300|
|Arlo Pro 3||$200|
|Nest Cam Indoor||$199|
|Swann 4K Camera||$170|
|Rick Stick Up Cam Battery||$100|
|Ring Indoor Cam||$60|
|Tend Indoor 2||$60|
When it came to pricing, we looked at a big range, with an average cost of $168. At only $20, the Wyze Cam was, by far, our cheapest camera. However, that doesn’t mean it skimped on quality! We also had cameras that reached as high as $200 or more. For example, Nest, in general, had high equipment prices Their storage prices were some of the highest we’d seen for a home security camera. Netatmo and Arlo Pro 2 was also priced rather highly, but we figured this was mostly due to Netatmo’s amazing artificial intelligence capabilities and Arlo Pro 2’s excellence in crushed in every category. Even though those cameras seemed a bit pricey, we agreed the value they gave made up for it.
We used a few ways to make sure the security cameras we chose were up to par. First, we judged each product based on our Necessary Features Test, which evaluated cameras based on their video, audio, night vision, storage, artificial intelligence, smart platform integrations, convenience, and overall value. We didn’t expect cameras to earn full marks in every category for us to consider them worth buying. Our test simply laid out the ideal characteristics we looked for in security cameras.
One of our Necessary Features was video with a clear and detailed picture. We knew it would come in handy if we needed evidence for the police or wanted to save some footage of a special event, like a birthday party. No matter the occasion, we wanted to make sure our camera’s video. If we wanted more clear video, we had to invest in a 2K or 4K, a significantly more expensive technology. We also needed to keep in mind that most smartphones couldn’t stream in 4K, so 4K cameras likely weren’t worth it, especially since the Arlo 4K was discontinued so soon after its release (although it was later put back on shelves).
Next, we wanted to find a camera that zoomed in optically. We discovered many camera companies claimed their cameras zoomed in, but the truth was they only did so digitally. This meant we could only zoom in on our phone, not in real life. Zoom was important to us because it allowed the camera to capture details it otherwise couldn’t. We preferred cameras that could zoom in optically at least three times. The best optical zoom capability we saw was from the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, which could zoom in a whopping 12 times.
Many security system cameras, such as Frontpoint’s indoor camera, could not zoom, which we thought was disappointing.
Field of Zoom
Next, we wanted to be sure we got a camera that could zoom in optically— optically being the key word. Zoom is important because it allows the camera to capture details that it otherwise couldn’t. We prefer cameras that can zoom in optically at least three times. The most we’ve seen is from the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, which can zoom in a whopping 12 times.
Again, many cameras that come with security systems, like Frontpoint’s indoor camera, cannot zoom, which is disappointing.
Field of View
Additionally, we determined the field of view should be no less than 120 degrees. The widest a field of view could be was 180 degrees, so anything between 120 and 180 was suitable. A great example of a camera with a 180-degree field of view was the Logitech Circle 2. We did not even consider cameras with a field of view under 110 degrees because the more narrow the field of view, the more cameras we would have needed to buy to reach every corner of our home.
We wanted a camera that had both a microphone and a speaker, so we could communicate with whoever we were recording, a feature known as two-way audio. This was potentially very useful for a few reasons. First, it could help us communicate with people in our home, whether we were watching TV in the next room or on vacation in the Bahamas. Additionally, if we had a break in, two-way audio could have stopped the intruders in their tracks. We actually saw videos of people who scared burglars away by using two-way audio.
Since infrared night vision from LED sensors is invisible to the naked eye, it allowed us to record anyone in our cameras’ view at night without them realizing they were being filmed. In contrast, the bright white light of color night vision made it obvious when we were recording. The clarity of infrared night vision didn’t hurt either. Most cameras had infrared night vision, but we took points off for color night vision. Although it sounded better in theory, we wanted our security cameras and what they recorded kept secret.
It was important to us that the cameras we selected had both cloud and local storage. Storage was important for a couple of reasons. First, we figured we might be interested in the video our cameras recorded, like a party or event. Second, the photos and videos that the camera captured would have been helpful evidence if we had an intrusion.
A micro-SD card, like the Honeywell Lyric C2 above, allowed us to get local storage or we could download the files to a hard drive or device. While some companies made us pay for cloud storage, some gave it to us for free. The same went for local storage. Some companies provided free 32 or 64-gig micro-SD cards, which was awesome. If we had to pick between having cloud or local storage, we’d choose local, as we could have downloaded the footage and then backed it up to a personal cloud service like Dropbox.
During our evaluations, A.I. was a large part of home security. A.I. most often referred to person detection, meaning the camera differentiated between people and other moving objects like cars, pets, or shadows. This led to more specific and necessary notifications. Of course, we didn’t want a home security camera, so it could notify us whenever our pet bird flapped its wings!
Aside from person detection, more advanced cameras like the Netatmo Welcome Indoor Camera employed facial recognition. With this technology, we were notified when specific people were in our home or an unfamiliar face was detected. Other detections included pet detection, baby crying detection, smoke, and C.O alarm detection, and package detection. Of course, we only considered person detection to be a Necessary Feature, but those are some nice extras.
Smart Platform Integration
Smart home quickly became a norm for us, so we also considered having integrations with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant a Necessary Feature. If we were already in a Google or Amazon ecosystem, we’d want to make sure our camera could easily integrate within our smart home.
One of the primary things we enjoyed about cameras with smart home integration was that we could command the camera with our voice. We could also link our camera up with other smart home devices to create some convenient home automations. For example, we could set our smart light bulbs to go off whenever our camera was armed and to turn back on the moment our camera was disarmed. The possibilities were endless, which was why integrations with either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant was a Security.org Necessary Feature. Extra points went to integrations with both Amazon and Google or even the third most popular smart home platform, Apple HomeKit.
None of us wanted to spend hours setting up a security camera. We looked for cameras with installation that integrated with an app for step-by-step instructions or had an easy setup. Some cameras came with hubs, which we didn’t prefer, as they took up more space. While wireless cameras may have meant easier setup and less clutter, we had to change their batteries periodically. That was why it was more convenient if our cameras were wired. Many cameras like the Arlo Pro 2 had both wired and wireless options, which was nice.
We want cameras that were simple to mount, with minimal tool use and drilling. We also wanted them to easily connect with their respective apps over Wi-Fi or a cellular connection.
When it came to home security, we didn’t want to skimp on quality. We also didn’t want to break the bank. Security cameras came in a huge range of prices. The least expensive camera we reviewed was the Wyze Cam, which was priced at only $20. The average range was usually somewhere between $100 to $200 while the most expensive camera we reviewed was the Arlo Ultra 4K for $400. In our opinion, there was no reason to spend $300 on a security camera when high-quality cameras existed for much less.
FAQs About Home Security Cameras
- What were the best outdoor security cameras?
The best outdoor security cameras included the Swann 4K Camera, Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, Blink XT2, Canary Flex, Swann Dome Camera and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery.
- What were the best home security camera systems?
The best home security camera systems included Frontpoint, ADT, Vivint, Protect America, Link Interactive, Nest Secure, abode, SimpliSafe and Ring Alarm.
- Was there a security camera that worked without Wi-Fi?
The Wyze Cam worked without Wi-Fi. It let us upload our continuous recorded footage to the camera’s micro-SD card.
- How much were security cameras for the home?
Security cameras for the home ranged from $20 to $400.