Fri. Apr 19th, 2024


A Security camera’s main role is to monitor designated areas, helping to secure lives and property. The best ones will do this while being easy to use, offer notifications depending on what’s outside, and offer additional safety features to keep you and your home secure.


What to Look For In a Security Camera in 2024

A modern security camera should be easy to set up and support high-resolution video, for clear and detailed footage. It’s also important for these cameras to have night vision, so it can catch movement and possible intruders at all hours of the day.

A wide-angle lens covers a broader field of view, reducing the number of cameras needed for comprehensive coverage. Therefore, consider security cameras with wide-angle coverage, especially for larger properties.


Security cameras also feature motion detection, with alerts, to notify you whenever someone or something comes within range. The best security cameras even feature two-way audio and a warning siren to scare off people or animals that venture too close.

If you are looking for an outdoor camera, go for weatherproof cameras, with an IP65 or IP68 rating. Since outdoor cameras need to deal with adverse weather conditions (and even severe temperatures depending on where you live), they need to be able to withstand that and continue to work. If our pick below doesn’t suit your needs, you can check out our best outdoor security camera roundup for more choices.

Making sure your camera stays powered on is also important. Solar-powered cameras can let you set and forget about charging them, but if you’re in an area that’s cloudy or your house is in a shaded area, a battery-powered or wired camera would serve you better.


Storage is also one of the key factors to look for in a security camera. You can choose to store your surveillance footage in the cloud for a monthly fee or on a removable SD card. The former may offer more storage and more privacy, but may be targeted by hackers, while the latter may be easily lost or stolen.

Smart integration is also desirable if you want or already have a smart home. In addition, some of the best security cameras offer facial recognition as well as tamper-proofing to prevent theft.

This is a lot to keep in mind, but we’ve done a lot of the research for you. The security cameras will suit most needs, so let’s dive in.

How Did We Research

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Hours Researched

Reviews Analyzed

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How-To Geek’s product recommendations come from the same team of experts that have helped people fix their gadgets over one billion times. We only recommend the best products based on our research and expertise. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product.
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Blink Mini Indoor Camera on gradient background
Blink


Pros

Cons

Easy setup with 110-degree field of view

No continuous recording

High quality 1080p video at 30fps

No SD card, no free cloud storage after 30 days

Great night vision with two-way audio

Alexa support with long-lasting battery life

If you’re looking for a great indoor security camera, you can’t do much better than Blink’s Mini Indoor Security Camera, which balances ease of use with price to make it the best security camera for most people.

For starters, the Mini Indoor Security Camera is easy to set up. Simply plug it into an outlet, download the Blink app on Android or iOS, and walk through the instructions to connect the camera to Wi-Fi.


The Blink Mini supports a 110-degree field of view, which should be able to adequately cover the inside of most rooms, allowing you to easily monitor your children or pets as they move around your home. It supports motion detection with alerts and allows you to customize motion detection zones and motion detection sensitivity within those zones, plus the length of motion-detected clips.

With the Blink Mini’s two-way audio feature, you can easily communicate with your family or call out your cat just before it pushes your favorite ceramic plate off the countertop. You can also control the camera with voice commands via Alexa.

Blink’s Mini camera supports HD recording (1080p at 30fps), which ensures that nothing will be blurry should you need the footage. It doesn’t matter whether it’s night or day either, as you can still see everything thanks to its night vision abilities. However, it only records on-demand (5 to 90 minutes) and does not offer free cloud storage, but with the Sync Module 2 (sold separately), you can save and share clips locally. You can’t install an SD card either, so you’ll need the Module 2 for local sharing.


You can get the Blink Mini Indoor camera in black or white, and there are a variety of bundle options so you can get exactly what you need for your home.

blink mini camera

Blink Mini

Best Security Camera Overall

$70 $100 Save $30

The Blink Mini Indoor Camera is an excellent security camera that is easy to set up, with 110 degrees field of view, HD-quality video, night vision, two-way audio, and Alexa integration.

tp-link tapo 2k header
Tapo

Pros

Cons

IP66 water-resistant

Reports of pairing issues

Magnetic base makes installation easy

Need subscription for all the features

Person, pet, and package detection

Can use microSD for local storage

Trying to find a reliable budget security camera can be tricky. Even if you don’t have a lot of cash to spare, you still want something that will keep watch over your home, give you clear video, and won’t leak your data. Thankfully, the TP-Link Tapo C120 Security Camera does all that and more.


This small security camera works well both indoors and outdoors, and give crisp 2K video, wherever you place it. Initial installation is easy, with a magnetic base you can stick anywhere. There is no need to screw the camera in, which makes it great for renters.

TP-Link also includes people, pet, and package detection for free—something that other companies sometimes hide behind subscriptions. However, there are other features locked behind the Tapo Care subscription, including a 30-day clip history. You can store footage locally on a microSD card, so it’s up to you whether the additional features are worth $35 a year.

Given the low price of the camera, with a listing price of $40, the C120 is nearly perfect, but as with any product, there are some flaws. The main sticking point is users reporting issues with connectivity, which can be frustrating during set up. However, this isn’t an experience for all users, so if you have a steady Wi-Fi or phone signal, setting up the C120 should go smoothly.


tp-link tapo 2k

TP-Link Tapo C120 Smart Camera

Best Budget Security Camera

$35 $40 Save $5

If you’re trying to stay safe on a budget, TP-Link is a good bet. This water-resistant camera will get you clear 2K video.

Google Nest Cam on gradient background
Google

Pros

Cons

Up to 130 degrees field of view

Not compatible with Nest app or Nest site

1080p HDR video with 24/7 live-streaming

No SD card for local storage

Easy integration with other Google products

Event history playback

If you’re on the lookout for a reliable outdoor security camera that lets you check in on your home no matter where you are, you can’t go wrong with the powerful Google Nest Cam.

Being a Google product, the Nest Cam easily integrates with many other Google smart home products (such as the Google Nest Hub), which makes set up a breeze. As such, it also easily integrates with Google Assistant and Alexa.


It comes with a magnetic mount for easy, anywhere installation.

The Google Nest Cam covers an impressive 130-degree field of view, which is sufficient for most indoor or outdoor surveillance. It records crystal clear 1080p HDR video and live streams 24/7 with impeccable night vision and a great spotlight feature. This security camera also supports Activity Zones, can accurately differentiate between people, pets, and vehicles, and has facial recognition for when familiar faces approach.

Two-way audio not only lets you talk and listen, but you can also call your local emergency service via the Google Home app if you have a Nest Aware subscription.

If your Wi-Fi connection or power goes off, the Google Nest Cam can record up to an hour of events you missed, with up to 3 hours of event history for free, and up to 60 hours of event history with the subscription.

google nest cam

Google Nest Cam

Best Outdoor Security Camera

$150 $180 Save $30

The Google Nest Cam works both indoors and outdoors, records 1080p HDR video and live streams 24/7. It has a wide field of view and night vision, and can even record events if your Wi-Fi or power goes out.

Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera on gradient background
Arlo


Pros

Cons

Robust wireless surveillance camera

Battery may not last very long

Clear 1080p video with night vision support

130 degrees field of view with spotlight

Two-way audio with voice control integrations

Not everyone likes wires or having to deal with the hassles of wiring. If you’re looking for the best wireless security cameras for your property, go for the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera.

The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is so easy to mount and set up that you can have it up and running in a minute. All you need is a stable Wi-Fi connection and the companion Arlo Essential app for Android or iOS, and the app will walk through the setup for you. It’s also compatible with Alexa, HomeKit, Google Assistant, and SmartThings, and can even be controlled by voice, so Arlo made sure the Essential Spotlight camera was easy to use.


Arlo’s security camera supports 1080p recording, providing clear footage with color night vision across a 130-degree field of view. It also has a spotlight feature that lights up once a subject steps into focus, which can serve as a deterrent to intruders. You can also use the clear two-way audio on the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera to ward off unwanted visitors, or simply speak to whoever is in view.

You can also get alerts for motion detection, but you’ll need an Arlo Secure subscription for more granular control over motion detection and notifications, including separate notifications for pets, people, or vehicles.

Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera pfp on transparent background

Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera

Best Wireless Security Camera

$200 $350 Save $150

The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is a wireless security camera that is easy to set up and use. It features HD video recording, a 130-degree field of view, night vision, a spotlight, two-way audio, and motion detection.

Kasa KC420WS Security Camera on gradient background
Kasa


Pros

Cons

Weatherproof outdoor camera with 256GB storage

Noise detection way too sensitive

4MP camera with 2K video recording and night vision

Up to four custom Activity Zones

Compatible with Alexa and supported displays

If you’re searching for a solid security camera with built-in storage to store footage locally, then check out the Kasa KC420WS Security Camera.

The Kasa KC420WS is made by TP-Link and is easy to set up via Wi-Fi using the companion TP-Link Kasa Android or iOS app. Like the WYZE Cam OG, it is also IP65-rated, meaning you can mount it indoors or outdoors as it can withstand adverse weather conditions.

Covering a wide field of view and providing wide-field surveillance of your home, office, or property, the Kasa KC420WS captures footage continuously monitoring your space 24/7, and you can use up to a 256GB microSD card to store footage locally. In addition to local storage, it also offers cloud storage options with a Kasa Care subscription, in case you want an additional backup.


The Kasa KC420WS supports 2K video recording for a clear view, and far-reaching dual-integrated night lights let you view distant faces and objects even in the dead of night. You can use the two-way audio to deter unwelcome guests, set off a warning siren across your network of cameras, check up on your pets, or have a quick video conversation with your loved ones at home.

Finally, Kasa’s security camera provides motion detection alerts whenever movement is detected within an Activity Zone, which you can customize to your liking.

Kasa KC420WS Security Camera pfp on transparent background

Kasa KC420WS

Best Security Camera with Built-In Storage

$40 $45 Save $5

The 256GB Kasa KC420WS Security Camera supports local and cloud storage. It has a sleek design, is easy to set up, weatherproof, supports 2K video recording, and has a Starlight Sensor for clear color night vision.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 on gradient background
Ring

Pros

Cons

Premium hardwired video doorbell

Existing doorbell wiring required

2K video quality with night vision

Most features locked behind a subscription

Full Head-to-Toe video capture

3D Motion Detection with Bird’s Eye View


If you have an existing doorbell wiring and are looking for a powerful video doorbell that ticks all the boxes and then some, we recommend the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, a popular product that earns its reputation.

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 covers a 150-degree x 150-degree field of view, allowing it to capture objects in full and in crisp 1536p HD+ video quality. With its night vision feature, you can continue to see even at night. There is also the Head-to-Toe feature, which lets you view people from head to toe, so you can ensure that someone at your door isn’t hiding anything out of sight.

Not only can you see clearly, you can also communicate clearly with the built-in Two-Way Talk with Audio+ feature, whether you’re talking to your family members, your pets, a handyman, or the pizza delivery guy.

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 lets you map out activity or detection zones for which you’d like to receive alerts, as well as pinpoint with precision the motion and distance of objects, and track their motion with aerial view around your property.


With a Ring Protect plan, you can use Alexa to answer the door, record all your videos, review what you missed for up to 180 days, and get a live video feed on an Echo or Fire device when the doorbell detects a person or package.

ring video doorbell 2

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

Best Video Doorbell

$230 $250 Save $20

This HD video doorbell detects who is at your door and lets you see them in HD head-to-toe video, no matter if it is daytime or nighttime. Plus, it has built-in Alexa Greetings.

FAQ

Where is the best place to install a security camera?

Some of the best places to install a security camera include the front, back, and side doors; these are most accessible to burglars. Others include driveways, stairways, common areas, and any area that offers good visibility of your property.

Do security cameras have audio?

Yes, most security cameras have audio. The featured security cameras all support two-way audio, allowing you to speak and be spoken to.

Is there a security camera that works without Wi-Fi?

Yes, there are wired andwireless security systems that work without internet, such as IP security cameras, CCTVs, and analog cameras.

Can security cameras see inside cars?

It depends. The ability of a camera to see inside a car depends on factors such as night vision, backlight, proximity, car window tint, and more.

How long do security cameras keep footage?

As a general rule of thumb, security cameras will keep footage for anywhere between 30 and 90 days. Make sure to double check your potential purchase, however, as this can vary from product to product.




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By John P.

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