Best home security cameras of 2021

Safety & Security

Home security cameras enable you to monitor your home, even when you’re thousands of miles away. You can take advantage of Alexa compatibility and night vision video.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Home security cameras

If you want to protect your home from potential intruders, home security cameras are a must-have. You can use a security camera to keep an eye on your property in real-time from anywhere in the world. With over two million home burglaries a year in the United States, it’s never been more critical to take proactive steps to protect your property from potential intruders. 

If you are thinking about investing in a home security camera, you may have some questions about what features to look out for. Whether you want to know how they work or why they’re a must-have, you can find the information here. This handy buying guide covers everything you need to know about home security cameras. Our top recommendation is the Arlo Ultra, with its crisp 4k video quality and 180-degree viewing angle.

What to know about home security cameras

How home security cameras work

You can install home security cameras in the interior or exterior of your property. Most are made for one specific area. Outdoor cameras are weather-proof to protect them from the elements while also having night vision capabilities. While you can use an outdoor camera indoors, your indoor security camera wouldn’t be resilient enough to use outside.

Advantages of home security cameras

When you have a home security camera installed, you have extra peace of mind that your home is secure and protected. Security cameras allow you to monitor your home from anywhere in the world. You can choose to always keep the cameras on or to utilize motion detection to save your camera’s battery life. You can utilize home security cameras as a “nanny camfor your child’s nursery.

Over 80% of burglars check for a home security system before trespassing onto someone’s property, with 60% deliberately avoiding homes with a security system. The best way to protect your home is to take the proactive step of installing a home security camera.

What to consider when buying a home security camera

Night recording

Whether you’re installing your home security camera inside or outdoors, you want to have night vision recording. These cameras will have a near-infrared chip that can record in low-light or will utilize LEDs to illuminate the area around the camera. These LEDs could also be motion activated.

Video quality

The main feature that divides different home security cameras is their quality. More cameras are starting to utilize 4K video quality, but full 1080p HD is still the standard option. 720p HD gives you HD quality but with less storage space and bandwidth requirement. 

Motion detection

If you don’t want to fill your home security camera with data, you can opt for a motion detector. Your camera will only start to record whenever it detects motion within the viewing area of the camera. Some systems will send you a notification alerting you that activity has been detected in your property. 

Movability 

A home security camera is either fixed or movable. While the latter is usually more expensive, it allows you to remotely pan your camera across the area for a more comprehensive view of the area. If you’re regularly traveling, this feature is essential to keep an eye on your property. 

How much can you expect to spend on a home security camera?

You can expect to pay anything from $100-$500 for your home security kit. You’ll also want to factor in the fact you may need to upgrade your Wi-Fi router to handle the dependency of the security cameras. If you want to store a set period of footage, you may also need to pay for extra storage capacity.

Home security cameras FAQs

How can I view my security cameras remotely?

A. The majority of home security cameras are connected to your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to access a real-time video signal of your camera from anywhere. If this feature is essential to you, it’s a good idea to look for a home security camera that comes with an app.

Do I have to install my home security camera myself?

A. Home security cameras are becoming easier to install, especially battery-powered and wireless cameras. As these cameras are intended for home use and utilize cloud storage and an app, you can usually install them yourself. If you’re buying a more expensive system that includes wiring, you’ll likely need to call an engineer to help.

What are the best security cameras for the home?

Top home security camera

Arlo Ultra

Arlo Ultra 

What you need to know: This home security system has a crisp 4K camera with excellent zoom capability and a large field of view.

What you’ll love: The Arlo Ultra has superior battery life and night vision capabilities. It offers a 180-degree viewing and is compatible with most smart home systems.

What you should consider: Although this system is expensive, it is worth it for the features that come with it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top home security camera for the money

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

What you need to know: You get a high-quality system for an affordable price point that is comparable to its more expensive counterparts. 

What you’ll love: The Nest Cam is easy to set up and offers a 1080p HD video camera and a broad 130-degree view. As an outdoor unit, it’s waterproof and wired, meaning you don’t have to worry about the elements or battery life.

What you should consider: If you want additional features like emergency alerts or a cloud-based video history system, you’ll need to purchase a subscription.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Ring Indoor Security System

Ring Indoor Security System

What you need to know: Ring is a small indoor camera that you can place discreetly in your home.

What you’ll love: This model is compatible with Alexa, providing you with a live view and two-way talk. You can purchase the optional protection plan to store videos and photos for up to 60 days. 

What you should consider: If you are not placing this home security camera on a wall mount, you’ll need to install it on a level surface. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

David Heiling is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss