Wireless security cameras seemed impossible just a few decades ago, but now, they’re everywhere. Some are wireless in the sense that they transmit data (a.k.a. video and audio) over wireless networks instead of cables. Others are completely wire-free: They use wireless networks to transmit video and they run on batteries, completely eliminating the need for power cables.
In our quest to find the best security cameras, we’ve come across and tested dozens of wireless security cameras. And while testing them, we noticed a number of benefits to going wireless. First, wireless cameras are easier to install. Second, with battery-powered cameras, there’s no need to worry about where outlets are. Three, in case of power outages, battery-powered wireless cameras continue to guard our homes.
So if wireless security gadgets are your thing — or rather, if wiring security gadgets is NOT your thing — keep reading for the best wireless cameras on the market today.
Best Wireless Cameras: What We Tested For
First, here’s a quick specs overview of the best wireless security cameras we reviewed.
Not all models support smart home integrations with Alexa or Google Assistant
No Monthly Fees
It has become so common for security camera brands to require a monthly fee for cloud storage. And to incentivize folks to pay, they don’t give their cameras local storage. Well, Lorex isn’t one of those brands.
Most Lorex camera systems come with a DVR or NVR, essentially a computer box with built-in storage drives. Once you pay the equipment fee, you won’t ever have to pay a monthly fee because recordings are saved in the storage device.
There are a few Lorex cameras that don’t come with a DVR or NVR, but for those, there’s usually a microSD card for local storage. Of course, backup cloud storage is also available for some models. Lorex offers up to two days of backup storage at no cost and only if you need more will you have to pay Lorex a monthly fee. One way or another, you can enjoy Lorex cameras free of monthly fees.
Tons of Choices
One thing we can say for sure about Lorex is that you’ll never run out of options. Whether you’re looking for wire-free cameras or just wireless (i.e. plugs into a wall but uses Wi-Fi), you’ll have tons of choices.
You’ll find a variety of features from Lorex cameras. Some offer a 1080p HD resolution, while others go as high as 4K HD. There are basic indoor cameras just for motion detection and there are outdoor cameras with person, package, and vehicle detection as well. There are also cameras with integrated special features like a spotlight or floodlight.
Smart Home Integration
Not all Lorex cameras support smart home integrations, but those that do integrate pretty well with both Alexa and Google Assistant. That means you can use voice commands to operate everything hands-free, from pulling up video footage on your Alexa smart display to arming and disarming your camera’s motion sensor.
If you’re particularly interested in smart home integrations, we suggest looking for Lorex camera systems with DVRs or NVRs that explicitly mention Alexa or Google Assistant support. That will ensure that your system will work with either voice assistants.
We set up our eufyCam E in three simple steps. First, we downloaded the Eufy Security app, which walked us through the setup process step-by-step. In a nutshell, we plugged in the eufyCam E’s HomeBase to power our router via an ethernet cable, which was included. After running through a firmware update, we added the camera to the app and mounted it magnetically outside our front door. All in all, the process took less than 20 minutes!
Discounted Packages Available
If you want to buy more than one eufyCam E, the company offers two and three camera packages, which both include the eufy HomeBase. Although the HomeBase is an added cost compared to other cameras that didn’t include hubs, we liked that eufy at least gave us discounted options if we wanted more than one of their cameras.
Note: The eufyCam E requires a HomeBase, although add-on cameras are also available if you already have one.
This may sound hard to believe, but lots of wire-free cameras don’t have audio. That’s likely because they want to save battery power, but it’s just not the same when your security camera footage is lacking sound.
The eufyCam E makes sure you get audio with your video, and on top of that, you can speak through your camera using two-way audio. With this feature, you can yell at trespassers to shoo them away, or greet guests as they approach your front door. You can also use two-way audio to instruct delivery drivers when leaving packages at your door.
3. Ring Spotlight Cam Battery - Best Outdoor Wireless Camera
Works in temperatures from -5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
What We Don’t Like
No local storage
No artificial intelligence
No free cloud storage
No person detection
Security by Lights
You can probably tell already what made the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery the best outdoor wireless camera. Yes, it’s the built-in spotlight. Beyond the normal features of a security camera — motion detection, two-way audio, video recording — the Ring Spotlight Cam features a spotlight that shines the light on would-be package thieves and burglars.
Ring’s spotlight can be set to trigger with motion, meaning if someone walks into your property, only then will it turn on. That’s a nice surprise factor for anyone planning to rob your house. If that doesn’t get them to scram, Ring will notify you so you can check on the live feed, and if it’s indeed an intruder, you can use two-way audio to give them a scare.
Rather than having to go to the hardware store every time our camera’s battery ran out of power, with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, we could simply recharge it. When the battery was charging, we placed it with another battery so that the camera could still run, but we also had another option of using a solar panel that charges continuously. This is a pretty cool feature that not many companies aside from Ring offer, and in our opinion, the more options, the better. Plus, Ring’s pricing doesn’t break the bank — another advantage in our book. The Ring Spotlight Cam costs $200, a typical price for an outdoor camera.
GO GREEN: If you’re using the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery outdoors, we recommend adding the solar panel so it’ll charge continuously. You’ll never have to recharge the battery again!
LifeTime Theft Protection
Fortunately, we didn’t actually have to use this offer, but if our Ring Spotlight Cam Battery was stolen, the company would have replaced it for free. Another area where Ring is unique (not to mention ahead of the game).
The Arlo Pro 3 has the best video quality out of any of the wireless cameras on this list. It’s 2560p HD compared to the industry standard of 1080p HD, plus, with HDR, our outdoor footage was free of glare and shadows. Especially if you’re using the Arlo Pro 3 outside as we did, expect video that’s as close to real-life as possible.
Night Vision Options
Due to the camera’s spotlight, our night vision was in color, although when we wanted to be less conspicuous, we opted to turn the spotlight off and depend on the infrared LED sensors. Either way, we could see clearly at night, whether it was in full color to greet our friends or in black and white to give directions to the takeout delivery men.
Tip: While we appreciate a spotlight, they can also make cameras very conspicuous, which may not be the best for home’s security. We recommend only using the spotlight when you’re speaking to visiting friends and family rather than having it on all the time.
Works with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Watch
There were a bunch of ways to control the Arlo Pro 3 aside from using the Arlo app. If we were feeling particularly lazy, we did voice commands through Alexa or Google Assistant, pretty common integrations when it comes to smart security cameras. However, Arlo took it a step further than most. It also worked with our Apple Watch, so whenever the Arlo Pro 3 detected motion, we got alerted and could even speak through the camera right from our wrist. And during our three month trial of Arlo Smart Home, we made it so we only got alerts when the camera detected people or packages, making for less checking of our Apple Watch throughout the day.
5. Ring Stick Up Cam Battery - Best Wireless Camera with Alexa
Amazon owns Ring, so it’s not exactly shocking that the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery works with Alexa, their voice assistant. Using Alexa, we had our footage shown on our Echo Show 8 along with our Fire TV, even speaking through the devices. Whenever our Stick Up Cam detected movement, Alexa let us know along with our app notification. But the Stick Up Cam also works with Google Assistant, for those in the Google smart home ecosystem, as well as a bunch of other connected devices from brands like Dome and Geolink. All in all, we love how seamlessly the Stick Up Cam Battery fits into our larger smart home.
If you’ve turned on the news in the past few years, then you’ve probably noticed that Ring has its fair share of security breaches, and they can be downright creepy. Fortunately, Ring has created a couple of privacy features in response that definitely made us feel better about the whole situation. For example, with privacy zones, we could block our bathroom from the camera’s vision so it wouldn’t detect any motion within the area. On top of that, we also had the ability to completely disable motion recording, audio and alerts, which was really good for those private nights at home watching movies. While Ring certainly has a long way to go to gain back customers’ trust, this is a step in the right direction.
Two-Way Audio with Noise Cancellation
Two-way audio is a feature we’ve come to expect from smart security cameras, but Ring takes it a step further with noise cancellation. When we used the Stick Up Cam Battery outside, we noticed that when talking to our visitors, we couldn’t hear the background traffic noise as much, making for more distinct and easy to understand audio. In New York City, there’s always something going on in the background, so we loved that the Stick Up Cam Battery had that in mind when it came to audio.
Did you know that Security.org is on Youtube? Watch our video review of the best wireless cameras to see their footage during the day as well as at night.
Wireless Camera Methodology
When it comes to reviewing wireless cameras, we like to combine technical specifications along with our experience installing and testing the cameras to judge it in terms of its video, audio, night vision, storage, smart platform integrations, convenience, and overall value.
We prefer cameras with 1080p HD video, the ability to zoom in optically, fields of view of 120 degrees or wider, two-way audio, infrared night vision, free cloud and local storage, person detection, integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, simple installation and a low price. We also look at each camera’s app to make sure that it’s user-friendly and has high ratings from either the Apple or the Google Play stores, depending on what kind of mobile device you have.
For wireless cameras, in particular, we’re looking for long battery lives and easy installation especially. Most battery-powered cameras can last anywhere from three to six months without needing a recharge or replacement, although we’ve also tested out options that worked for one to two years. Some companies offer solar panels with the cameras, which allow them to be charged continuously. If you’re using the camera outdoors, there’s no reason not to use the solar panel, as you’ll never have to take the camera down to recharge or replace its battery, but if not, we recommend getting a second battery pack so the camera can stay on all the time.
If it’s an outdoor camera, we want it to be completely dust-tight and able to handle water jets at the very least. It should also have a temperature range that works for your climate. You should always look at the camera’s IP rating to determine whether it will work for your outdoor conditions.
A large body surface like the back of a hand, but no intentional contact with a body part
Dripping water falling vertically
Fingers or similar objects
Dripping water falling from 15 degree tilt
Tools, thick wires, etc.
Most wires, screws, etc.
Water jets 6.3mm & below
Powerful water jets 12.5mm & below
Immersion up to 1m
Immersion over 1m
In addition to that, we prefer cameras with artificial intelligence, which usually comes in the form of person detection or, with more advanced devices, facial recognition. Person detection means that we didn’t just get notified whenever the camera detected motion. Rather, we got notified only when it detected a person, which made for fewer but more important notifications. Cameras like the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor also have the option for facial recognition, which meant that we could name our friends and family in the Nest app. However, note that this camera is plug-in, and none of the wireless cameras on this list have person detection or facial recognition.
Finally, for someone looking for additional security, we appreciate companies that offer 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup, especially useful for someone with a larger home security system. Professional monitoring can cost anywhere from $10 to $60 a month and usually encompasses the cost of cellular backup, which keeps the system connected to the app and monitoring center in case of a power outage. To explore our favorite tried and tested options, check out our list of each best home security system of 2022.
The best wireless outdoor security cameras are from the brands Lorex, eufy, Ring, and Arlo. Lorex has the widest selection, eufy has the cheapest options, Ring has the best Alexa integrations, and Arlo has the smartest features.
Some but not all wireless security cameras require WiFi. For example, the eufyCam E can record directly to its 16 GB micro-SD card, which doesn’t require WiFi, although the user won’t be able to livestream the footage or receive notifications. Most cameras that have a corresponding app require WiFi.
There are many wireless security camera systems to choose from. Eufy, for example, offers systems of two or three camera kits, while Ring also offers packages for the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery and the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery.