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
Amazon Cloud Cam
|Read Review||Ring Camera Review||Nest Cam Review||Arlo Review||Blink Camera Review||Wyze Cam Review||SimpliCam Review||Lorex Review||Swann Review||Amazon Cloud Cam 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
- Amazon Cloud Cam - Best Cloud Video Storage
- 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
How Ring Has the Best Security Cameras Overall
Ring is an Amazon-owned company known best for 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, as you can choose from wireless and hardwired models with competitive prices.
Similar to the doorbell cameras, other Ring camera models have motion detection, two-way voice, and other special features. Also adding appeal are Ring’s industry-best integrations with Amazon Alexa and Echo screens. These let you control your home alarm system with voice commands and send security video to various displays. With an Echo screen in your kitchen for instance, you won’t need to have your mobile phone handy in order to see security footage.
DIY monitoring is low-cost at $2.99 per month for one camera. Optionally you can pay $9.99/month for professional monitoring of all connected Ring devices. This can include 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) is one of the best weatherproof cameras for scaring off prowlers. Highlights include a motion-activated LED floodlight, a 110db siren, and two-way audio. This battery-powered security camera is available in black and white. It can generally be installed on a flat surface (horizontal or vertical) with just five to 10 minutes of work. The camera’s one-year warranty allows operation from -5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
As for Ring door cameras, the wire-free Door View Cam ($199) is an exciting new addition to the line. It behaves like other Ring doorbells but can easily be installed over a peephole; installation and connection to home Wi-Fi typically takes about ten minutes. An integrated motion sensor lets you know via mobile alert when someone’s at your door. Video is stored to the cloud automatically, and you have 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 pairs naturally with Amazon Alexa and Echo Home, Nest is best with Google Assistant and other Google Home products. Nest cams work intuitively with Google Home speakers; some even have the smart speaker technology built in. “Hey Google, play the backyard camera on the kitchen Chromecast.” Choices include indoor-only, weatherproof, and doorbell cam styles.
Without paid service you can get basic mobile notifications from the system. With paid service called Nest Aware you can 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 lets you build an image database of familiar faces. For example, add family members and your professional dog walker. This lets you get customized alerts stating who’s in view of the Nest Hello doorbell or other Nest camera.
- Professional monitoring of Nest equipment is 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) is a popular indoor security camera with 130-degree viewing angle and 1080p resolution. It can distinguish a person from other movers and shakers, which helps reduce false alerts. With cheap paid service called Nest Aware, Nest Cam IQ can also distinguish one person from another and announce their presence with a mobile app. Continuous recording is available with paid service too. Check the mobile app anytime to see snapshots of the past three hours’ activity, then tap the screen to watch videos. Along with great video quality by day or night, you’ll get crisp two-way audio with noise suppression and echo cancellation.
This camera is easily set up indoors, as it plugs into a standard AC outlet. Backup battery power is included in case of a short power outage. Nest Cam IQ is 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
The current standard for high-definition security video is 1080p resolution. Arlo pushes the envelope with 4000K ultra high-definition on their weatherproof Ultra security camera ($299.99). Also for sale are Arlo doorbell cameras, indoor cameras, and outdoor cameras with 1080p and 720p HD… and Arlo cameras automatically lower their resolution if they detect low bandwidth.
While Arlo Ultra boasts the best security video resolution, each camera model is 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 make Arlo cameras popular too: Cameras can plug in or operate wire-free, and magnetic mounts make setup hassle-free.
Video is saved to the cloud free for seven days, or longer with an Arlo subscription. You can 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 impresses with exceptional resolution, Arlo Baby ($199.99) helps keep a nursery safe and soothing. This unique security camera can be outfitted as a bunny or a puppy, and it’s loaded with smart technologies. Arlo Baby has high quality infrared for clear views in the dark, and a mobile app lets you check in anytime. A cry sensor, general sound detector, motion detector, and air quality sensor also stand guard. To soothe your baby, the camera’s two-way voice lets you interact. You can also activate lullaby mode and/or a nightlight with adjustable color.
For convenience this freestanding camera is powered by rechargeable batteries; move 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 Are Wyze Cameras?
With prices starting at just $19.99, Wyze makes some of the most affordable indoor security cameras with mobile app integration. Cloud storage is free for motion-triggered events, making Wyze a very cheap home security solution overall. Wyze cameras are made for totally DIY monitoring.
Wyze cameras are under warranty for a year and shouldn’t be considered cheap quality. Special features include geofencing (motion detection zones), Alexa compatibility, and the ability to detect specific frequencies. For instance, the camera can send 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 is a bargain with mere $29.99 MSRP. This smart camera can cover 110 degrees per second, and it rotates and pans to capture video all around. The Wyze app lets you set up to four waypoints as planned pause points as it spins. If you like, add voice controls with Alexa or Google Assistant. With 1080p plus infrared night vision, you can get clear footage anytime.
You can check the Wyze mobile app anytime for streaming video, plus 14 days of motion-based cloud storage are provided free. Local storage is 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 Are Best
Lorex specializes in professional-quality security cameras for indoor and outdoor use. Their outdoor security cameras, or all-purpose/weatherproof cameras, are set apart from the competition with up to 4000K resolution and the ability to capture full color video at night. Many Lorex camera models are vandal-proof as well; they have heavy duty metal casings, and the power cords are protected.
Lots more features are available too. For instance, various Lorex cameras can support two-way voice, allow geofencing, have extra-long vision (depth of field), and let you pan/zoom with Internet access.
A wide range of Lorex camera systems are prepackaged. Some sets include control hubs and widescreen video monitors. You can also buy Lorex cameras separately. All carry two-year warranties if purchased 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
A bestselling Lorex camera for home use is simply named the 1080 HP Outdoor Wireless Security Camera. At $149 it’s low-priced for a Lorex, and you can save on two units or more. However, keep in mind that this unit is for non-freezing climates only. You can 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 can be triggered by off-screen audio as well as by on-screen motion.
Another mid-priced option is the weatherproof 4K Ultra High Definition Security Camera ($159). It has 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 Is Best for Local Video Storage
Swann sells high quality indoor/outdoor cameras and video doorbells for do-it-yourself monitoring only. Their prices are competitive, and Swann camera features are impressive: color night vision, heat sensing, two-way talk, floodlights, and long range even at night are among the highlights. Select models are compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Local storage and cloud storage are available for Swann security cams. With free local memory, each clip can be saved for seven days. Camera ownership also includes two days of free cloud storage per clip. With minimal payment you can 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) shows off lots of Swann technology. The 1080p camera has 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 can clearly record nighttime action up to 100 feet away.
With two-way talk you can frighten prowlers… and with max floodlight brightness of 2500 lumens, criminals will have trouble finding cover! The siren can automatically sound in response to motion, plus you can activate it via the Swann mobile app.
9. Amazon Cloud Cam - Best Cloud Video Storage
A weatherproof security camera with continuous recording and free storage of the past 24 hours
How Amazon Is Best for Cloud Video Storage
The Amazon Cloud Cam is a top choice for capturing motion-triggered video inside your home. This plug-in camera doesn’t suffer the lag time of other wireless camera models, and it saves footage to the cloud in case crime is detected. Each video clip is stored free for 24 hours, and you can store to 30 days per clip with $6.99 monthly payment. The plan covers up to three cameras.
Amazon’s camera cloud storage plan also activates the Cloud Cam’s camera zones and person detection. Zones let you specify sections of the viewing field to exclude from alerts. For instance, you might want to monitor door entries but ignore other activities in a room. This premium feature is easily adjusted; just tap a grid on your smartphone screen to set viewing areas. Person detection lets you know that a person (not mere motion) was detected on-screen.
As you’d expect, the Cloud Cam works well with Amazon Alexa. The Alexa app will automatically connect when your cam is added to Wi-Fi. With voice commands you can send footage to Amazon Fire and other screens.
What We Like
- Clear 1080p Full HD video quality
- Free 24-hour video clip storage
- Affordable, no-contract security
- Works well with Amazon’s Alexa
What We Dont Like
- No local video storage option
- Subscription required for some features
- Does not offer professional monitoring
- Prone to trigger false alarms
The Amazon Cloud Cam sells for $119.99 with free Prime delivery. This indoor security camera takes USB power only and includes a 10-ft cord. Highlights are a wide-angle lens (120°), infrared night vision, two-way talk, and automatic integration with Amazon Alexa. An integrated motion sensor can trigger recording and send encrypted files to the cloud.
10. Zmodo - Best Security Camera Selection
A wide range of affordable smart doorbells, indoor cameras, and outdoor cameras
How Zmodo Has the Best Security Camera Selection
Zmodo sells a wide selection of smart doorbell cameras, indoor-only cameras, and weatherproof surveillance cameras for DIY monitoring. You can choose from cameras that are especially meant to be crime deterrents, or get Zmodo video cams for keeping an eye on dependents. Some are hardwired and others are wire-free.
Prices are relatively low for equipment and optional cloud storage. You can own a four-pack of Zmodo Mini Cams, for instance, for just $99.99. These indoor cameras have night vision, two-way audio, Alexa compatibility, and optional continuous recording in 720p. With free service you can review alert clips from the past 36 hours. Longer-term cloud storage costs $9.99 per month.
Another cheap but effective option is the $39.99 Zmodo 1080p Indoor/Outdoor Security Camera. Along with HD color vision in daylight, it can make crisp low-light recordings with up to 65 feet depth of field. The option to set motion detection zones helps limit false alerts.
At the other end of the price spectrum, owners of large properties can invest in a diverse 24-channel security system for $2199.99. It features a mix of hardwired and wireless cameras. This system is 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 carries an impressive three-year warranty. The cameras have a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Note: As of January 21, 2020, the Wyze Cam V2 doesn’t have person detection temporarily, but Wyze is adding it back in as soon as possible.
When it comes to selecting your perfect security camera, you may not know where to start. Well, I’ve done my research, tested all the cameras, and written about what I believe are the best cameras out there. If you’ve ever read any of my camera reviews, you know that I hold all my cameras up to our Necessary Features Test, which makes sure that they’re up to my high standards in terms of video, audio, night vision, storage, smart platform integrations, artificial intelligence, convenience, and value. After many months of reviewing different cameras from top brands like Arlo and Canary, I’m ready to show you the best security cameras of 2020.
If you want to learn more about how I chose my top picks, check out the Methodology section at the end of this best home security cameras review. Let’s get started!
|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 comes to pricing, you have a pretty big range and an average price of $168. At only $20, the Wyze Cam is by far our cheapest camera, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on quality! Then you have the most expensive cameras at $200 or more. Nest in general has high prices, and the highest storage prices that I’ve seen for a home security camera. The Netatmo costs more mainly due to its amazing artificial intelligence capabilities, while the Arlo Pro 2 pretty much crushes it in every category. So even those these cameras may seem a bit pricey, the value they give you surely makes up for it.
A magician never gives away his tricks but luckily, I’m no magician. There are a few easy ways to judge if a security camera is up to par. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you: my methodology.
If you’ve ever read any of my reviews, than you know that I judge all my cameras based on our Necessary Features Test, which evaluates cameras based on their video, audio, night vision, storage, artificial intelligence, smart platform integrations, convenience, and overall value. Of course, cameras don’t have to receive full marks in every category to be worth buying, but I want to describe my ideal camera so you know what to look for. Let me show you what I mean…
We’re talking home security cameras so obviously, a clear and detailed picture is a Necessary Feature. It’ll come in handy if you need evidence to hand in to the police, or if you just want to save some footage of a special event like a birthday party. No matter the occasion, you want to make sure your camera’s video is up to snuff.
For a really clear picture, you’ll want a camera that has at least 1080p HD video display. 1080p HD is the current industry standard, while 720p HD is below the standard. If you want even clearer video, you can invest in a 2k or even a 4k camera, although these will be significantly more expensive. Also, something to keep in mind is that most phones can’t stream in 4K, so it may be a little early to start investing in 4k cameras. If you don’t believe me, check out our review of the Arlo 4K (which was taken off shelves soon after its release).
Unfortunately, many cameras that come with security systems have 720p HD displays, so it might be worth it for you to buy a separate camera with 1080p HD.
Field of Zoom
Next, you want a camera that can zoom in optically— optically being the key word. Many camera companies claim that their cameras zoom in, but it only works digitally, meaning you can zoom in on your phone but not in real life. Zoom is important because it allows the camera to capture details that it otherwise couldn’t. I prefer cameras that can zoom in optically at least three times. The most I’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, the field of view shouldn’t be more narrow than 120 degrees. Keep in mind that the widest a field of view can be is 180 degrees, so anything between 120 and 180 is suitable. A great example of a camera with a 180-degree field of view is the Logitech Circle 2. I wouldn’t buy a camera with a field of view under 110 degrees because the more narrow the field of view, the more cameras you’ll need to buy in order to reach every corner of your home.
You’re going to want a camera that has both a microphone and a speaker so you can communicate with whoever you’re recording, a feature known as two-way audio. This can be really useful for a few reasons. One, it can help you communicate with people in your home, whether you’re watching TV in the next room or on vacation in the Bahamas. Two, if you do have an intrusion, two-way audio can literally stop the robbers in their tracks. I’ve seen videos of people scaring intruders away using two-way audio, which is why it’s a Security.org Necessary Feature.
Unlike a bright white light, infrared night vision from LED sensors is invisible to the naked eye, so the person you’re recording will be completely unaware that they’re being recorded. Of course, the clarity of infrared night vision doesn’t hurt either. Most cameras nowadays have infrared night vision, but I take points off for color night vision. Although it sounds better in theory, I want my security cameras to be kept a secret from everybody but me.
In case you want to back up any footage, you should look for a camera with both cloud and local storage. Storage is important for a couple of reasons. One, you might be interested in the video your camera records, like a birthday party. Two, the photos and videos that the camera captures can be helpful evidence if you do have an intrusion.
Local storage can be through a micro-SD card, like the Honeywell Lyric C2 above, or it can allow you to download the files to a hard drive or device. While some companies make you pay for cloud storage, some give it to you for free. The same goes for local storage. I’ve seen some companies provide free 32 or 64-gig micro-SD cards, which is awesome. If I had to pick between having cloud or local storage, I’d choose local. Once you download the footage and pictures, you can always back it up to a personal cloud service like Dropbox.
Artificial intelligence may sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but it’s actually a major part of home security. A.I. usually refers to person detection, meaning that your camera can differentiate between people and other moving objects like cars, pets, or shadows. It’s important because it leads to more specific and necessary notifications. Of course, you didn’t buy a home security camera so that you could be notified whenever your pet bird flaps its wings!
Aside from person detection, more advanced cameras like the Netatmo Welcome Indoor Camera have facial recognition so you can be notified that specific people are in your home. You can also be notified if an unfamiliar face is detected, very useful for your home’s security. Other detections include pet detection, baby crying detection, smoke, and C.O alarm detection, and package detection. Of course, we only consider person detection to be a Necessary Feature, but these are some nice extras.
Smart Platform Integration
Here at Security.org, we’re all about that smart home life, so having integrations with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant is a Necessary Feature. If you’re already in the Google or Amazon ecosystems, you want to make sure your camera can easily integrate within your smart home.
Not only will you be able to command the camera with your voice, but you can also link your camera up with other smart home devices to create some convenient home automations. For example, you could set your smart light bulbs to go off whenever your camera is armed, and you can have them turn back on the moment your camera is disarmed. The possibilities are endless, which is why integrations with either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant is a Security.org Necessary Feature. Extra points for integrations with both Amazon and Google, or even the third most popular smart home platform, Apple HomeKit.
No one wants to spend hours setting up a security camera. I look for cameras with installation that integrates with an app for step-by-step instructions, or has an easy setup. Now, some cameras come with hubs, which I don’t prefer as they take up more space. Keep in mind that while wireless cameras can lead to easier setup and less clutter, you will have to change their batteries periodically. That’s why it’s more convenient if cameras are wired. Many cameras like the Arlo Pro 2 have both wired and wireless options, which is nice.
Cameras should be simple to mount, with minimal tool use and drilling. They should also easily connect with their respective apps, which could happen over Wi-Fi or a cellular connection.
When it comes to your home’s security, you don’t want to skimp on quality, but you also don’t want to break the bank. Security cameras come in a huge range of prices. The least expensive camera I’ve reviewed is the Wyze Cam, which costs only $20. The average range is usually somewhere between $100 to $200, while the most expensive camera I’ve reviewed is the Arlo Ultra 4K for $400 (currently only available for pre-order). In my opinion, there’s no reason to spend $300 on a security camera when high-quality cameras exist for much less.
FAQs About Home Security Cameras
- What are the best outdoor security cameras?
The best outdoor security cameras include the, Swann 4K Camera, Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, Blink XT2, Canary Flex, Swann Dome Camera and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery.
- What are the best home security camera systems?
The best home security camera systems include Frontpoint, ADT, Vivint, Protect America, Link Interactive, Nest Secure, abode, SimpliSafe and Ring Alarm.
- Is there a security camera that works without Wi-Fi?
The Wyze Cam works without Wi-Fi. You can upload your continuous recorded footage to the camera’s micro-SD card.
- How much are security cameras for the home?
Security cameras for the home can range from $20 to $400.