The best home security cameras help you provide peace of mind by monitoring your home day and night, inside and out, and sending you an alert when they detect an intruder. These smart security cameras automatically send video to your smartphone, so you can see what's happening in real time, wherever you are. Home security cameras have night vision and automatic motion-activated recording, and some even have built-in speakers, so you can talk with whoever you see, or sound an alarm.
We've tested dozens of the best cameras in our own homes, both indoors and out, to see how they worked in real-world environments. We tried them on ourselves and our pets to see which work the best, capture the sharpest video, and bring the most value for your money.
Now is a great time to pick up a camera, too. While not as plentiful as during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are still lots of great holiday deals on the best security cameras. For example, the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera Security Bundle is now $299 at Best Buy - that's a pack of three cameras for $200 off the regular price. If you're looking for something cheaper, the Blink Outdoor 4 is now $71 at Amazon, a discount of 40%. If you want a camera that doesn't require a subscription, the eufyCam 3C 2-Camera Wireless 4K Camera Kit is $299 at Best Buy, a savings of $170 off its regular price.
The quick list
Best indoor camera
Best indoor camera
High-quality video, free person detection, and three hours of video history without a subscription make this our favorite indoor security camera.
Best indoor value
Best indoor value
This camera can be used indoors or out, but wherever you put it, you'll get good video at a fraction of the price. And, we like that it has local storage, too.
Best for Ring
Best for Ring owners
If you have other Ring devices, the Ring Stick-Up cam is the best indoor camera for you, as it integrates well with the company's other products.
Best outdoor camera
Best outdoor camera
The same reasons we liked Nest's indoor camera apply here: Great video and great features at a good price. Plus, the outdoor version is very easy to set up and place just about anywhere you want.
Best no-subscription camera
Best no-subscription camera
While the EufyCam costs more upfront, the company doesn't charge a subscription for storing video or for features, making this very economical in the long run. And, it's an excellent camera, too.
The best home security cameras you can buy today
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Best indoor security camera
The redesigned Nest Cam (Indoor, wired) is the latest generation of the celebrated Dropcam—one of the first, and one of the best home security cameras—and brings a number of improvements, including a lot of intelligence, such as on-device facial recognition and three hours of video storage.
Video quality from its 1080p sensor was excellent in both day and night settings. We were also impressed with audio; its microphone picked up sounds very well. It was really easy to set up, too; its magnetic base made it super simple to adjust the camera to capture exactly what we wanted.
To really make use of the camera's features, you'll have to shell out for the Nest Aware subscription, which starts at $6 per month. Even without a subscription, you'll get three hours of video storage, person detection and customizable activity zones, which is more than you can say about cameras from Ring and Arlo.
Read our full Nest Cam (indoor, wired) review.
Best indoor camera value
Don't let the low price fool you; the Wyze Cam v3 is the best home security camera for those on a budget. As its name suggests, it can record video at a resolution of 1080p, and while the quality isn't up to the same par as the 4K Arlo Ultra 2, it's still sharp enough to see who's there. Its color night vision is especially impressive.
Without a subscription, the Wyze Cam v3 will save 14 days of video history, but clips are limited to 12 seconds, and there's a "cool down" period between each recording, so you might not capture what you want. However, the camera also has a microSD card slot which you can use to enable continuous recording and create time-lapse videos. You can get unlimited-length videos and no cool-down periods if you subscribe to Wyze Cam Plus ($1.99/month per camera) — that's by far the least expensive security camera subscription, even if Wyze doesn't offer as long as video history as its competitors.
Read our full Wyze Cam v3 review.
If you don't mind spending a bit more, the Wyze Cam v3 Pro ($49, Wyze.com) has a 2K camera for even sharper resolution, and has a small, 70-lumen spotlight that adds a tiny bit more light. It's just as small as the Wyze Cam v3 and has all the same benefits, including local storage and a dirt-cheap subscription plan. However, like the original, it has to be plugged in to get power. We liked it just as much as the original, so spending the extra $15 could be worth it.
Read our full Wyze Cam v3 Pro review.
Best indoor Ring camera
Ring's Stick Up Cam Battery functions as an outdoor or indoor security camera. It features a minimalist design which can be mounted via its base or back, giving you versatility. Although, if you want to mount it from your ceiling, you will need to buy a separate $20 ceiling mount kit. As this camera is battery powered, there's no wires and one charge will last for months according to Ring.
It has good coverage on the whole, with the view being wider than it is tall, and features a speaker which allows you to chat to any visitors, or raise the alarm if necessary. It's waterproof to an IPX5 rating and can withstand temperatures of -5°F to 113°F (-20° to 45° Celsius), so it can handle the elements.
Our only qualms are that you need a subscription to store videos, as there's no local storage. It's also only compatible with Alexa in terms of smart home integration, so if you have Google Home, we recommend the Nest Cam ($99, Amazon); if you use Apple HomeKit, the Logitech Circle View ($159, Amazon) is your best choice.
Ring offers several different variations this model; you can get either the Stick Up Cam Battery or Stick Up Cam Plug-in for $99, or opt for the Stick Up Cam Pro (battery or plug-in) for $179; the Pro version has a wider field of view, dual-band Wi-Fi, HDR video, and 3D Motion Detection.
Read our full Ring Stick Up Cam Battery review.
Indoor security cameras compared
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Nest Cam||Wyze Cam||Ring Stick-up Cam|
|Resolution||1080p/30 fps||1080p/20 fps||1080p/30 fps|
|Field of view||135º||110º||130º|
|Local storage||3 hours||Yes (microSD)||No|
Best outdoor security camera
Below is a selection of some excellent outdoor security cameras; however, we have a more comprehensive list at our best outdoor security cameras page.
The well-designed Nest Cam (battery) has a simple shape and is one of the easiest home security cameras to install, thanks to its magnetic base. Its 1080p camera captures sharp images day and night, and its microphone and speaker made conversations a breeze.
The Nest Cam (battery) also offers three hours of rolling video storage for free, as well as person, vehicle, and animal detection. If you sign up for a Nest Aware subscription (starting at $6/month), you also get familiar face detection as well as the ability to store up to a month's worth of video.
Read our full Nest Cam (battery) review.
Best no-subscription camera
While the EufyCam 3 has a high upfront cost — $549 for two cameras and the base station — you can make it up on the back end, as you don't need to sign up for a subscription to store video. But that's not all that impressed us; the EufyCam 3's 4K resolution was sharp and clear both day and night, and the massive battery and built-in solar panels meant we never had to recharge or replace the batteries, even after months of use.
The AI built into the cameras can be trained to recognize familiar faces, as well as vehicle and pet detection. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant. Video is saved locally on the HomeBase 3, which has 16GB of storage built-in; however, you can increase its storage capacity all the way up to 16 TB using a 2.5-inch HDD or SSD.
A wireless 4K security camera that never needs to be recharged and doesn't require a monthly subscription? That's a winner in our book.
Read our full EufyCam 3 review.
Best with 4K video
Not only do the Arlo Ultra’s cameras deliver the best home security camera video, but it also uses that extra resolution to enable digital track and zoom, which makes it easier to follow and ID a person as they move across the frame. A built-in spotlight also enables color recording at night, and it has dual microphones for better audio, as well as a built-in alarm loud enough to startle anyone nearby.
Arlo's cameras are completely wireless, with batteries that can last up to six months on a charge; the company also sells solar panels, which helps extend the endurance of the cameras even further.
All of this will cost you, though: A two camera kit (with the hub) is $599, and extra cameras are $299 each. The Arlo Ultra 2 doesn't come with a free tier of cloud storage, so you have to spend at least $4.99 per month for a single camera ($12.99/month for unlimited cameras) if you want to save any videos. That's the priciest of all the security camera storage plans on the market. But if you want the absolute best when it comes to video quality, the Arlo Ultra 2 has it.
Best budget outdoor cam
The Blink Outdoor 4 is the best home security camera for those looking for a truly wireless option for around $100. The camera runs off two AA batteries (which should last up to two years), and communicates wirelessly with a small base station that's connected to your Wi-Fi network.
The Blink Outdoor 4's case is weatherproof, so you can stick it either indoors or outside, and comes with a convenient mounting bracket. While not tops, the 1080p video is records is good for the price. While it lacks free cloud storage, you can save videos locally to a USB drive. Cloud storage starts at $3/month or $30/year, and also gets you person detection, faster access to your videos, and extended live views.
Blink's app is fairly robust, and while it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Arlo's cameras, this camera has plenty of features for the price. As an outdoor budget camera, we give Blink an edge over Wyze, for the simple fact that you can mount it anywhere, and not have to worry about plugging it in.
If you want to see even better in the dark, Blink also sells an Outdoor Floodlight Mount that adds two motion-triggered 700-lumen floodlights to the Blink Outdoor 4. You can purchase the mount for $39.99, or as a bundle with the Outdoor 4 for $159.99.
Read our full Blink Outdoor 4 review.
Best floodlight cam
The Ring Floodlight Cam combines two essential devices in one: A home security camera and a motion-activated floodlight. When the Floodlight camera detects movement, it turns on its two powerful LED beams as well as its sharp 1080p camera, and starts recording. The Floodlight Cam also has a loud speaker, so you can talk to whoever's in front of the camera, and hear their responses.
Ring's app offers a variety of settings, such as custom motion zones, scheduling and more. Add to that Ring's neighborhood-watch feature, which lets you see what's happening in your area from other Ring users, as well as from your local police and fire departments. (You can also post your own videos to the Neighbors app). Unfortunately, to record and share video, you'll need to subscribe to Ring's cloud storage plans, which start at $3 per month.
Ring offers two versions of its floodlight camera: The Ring Floodlight Plus ($199) and the Ring Floodlight Cam Pro ($249), the latter of which has dual-band Wi-Fi and 3D Motion detection. Both are available as either a hardwired or plug-in camera.
Read our full Ring Floodlight Camera review.
Outdoor security cameras compared
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Nest Cam (Battery)||EufyCam 3||Arlo Ultra 2||Blink Outdoor||Ring Floodlight Cam|
|Field of view||135º||135º||180º||110º||140º|
|Local storage||3 hours||Yes (base station)||Yes (base station)||Yes (microSD)||No|
How to choose the best home security camera
Privacy and law enforcement
Generally, security camera companies will not share video with law enforcement unless compelled to do so by court order. However, some companies — most notably Ring and Nest — have policies where they will share video without an owner's consent and without their knowledge, if the company deems the incident to be time-sensitive.
If you do not want your video shared without your consent, you have several options. Arlo and Wyze do not provide user data without a warrant or court order. Cameras that use Apple's iCloud to store video and Eufy's cameras store user footage through end-to-end encryption, so they cannot even provide user footage to law enforcement even if they wanted to. Additionally, you can set up end-to-end encryption on some Ring devices, though by enabling this feature, you will disable a number of other Ring camera features.
Indoor or outdoor?
When shopping for a home security camera, the first thing you'll need to consider is if you're planning to mount the camera indoors our outside. Only those cameras that are designed to withstand the elements should be placed on the outside of your house.
Wired or battery-powered?
With both indoor and outdoor cameras, you also have to decide if you want a battery-operated model or one that has to be plugged in. The former are easier to install, but you'll have to recharge or change their batteries every few months. (Some companies also make solar panels, which can extend the life even further.) The latter might require you to install an outlet or drill holes through your wall, but then you won't have to worry about it afterwards.
Don't buy a security camera that has a resolution less than 1080p. Some cameras can now even record in 4K, which not only means much sharper quality, but also means you can zoom in and still see features clearly.
Local vs. cloud video storage
You also want to think about what each home security camera offers in terms of video storage. Most will let you store videos in the cloud, but many require you to pay a subscription to do so. A few cameras have memory card slots, so you can save video locally; however, if someone steals the camera, you lose your recordings with it. Be sure to check out our comparison of which home security camera has the best storage plan.
Person, animal, and vehicle detection
A camera that can distinguish between people, animals, and vehicles means that you can get smarter notifications about what's happening; this way, you don't have to open your camera's app every time it senses something.
Spot- or floodlight options
Some outdoor security cameras have spotlights or floodlights built in; not only does this make it easier for the camera to see things, but it's also handy for you to see in the dark outside your home.
Smart home compatibility
The majority of security cameras will work to some degree with Alexa or Google Assistant. (Fewer work with HomeKit). This means you can connect them with other smart home devices, so that the camera will turn off automatically when you're home, or start recording if a motion detector senses something.
Some cameras will even connect to a smart display, such as an Echo Show 8, so you can view a live feed from the camera. While not a critical feature, it's one that's nice to have, as it'll keep you from having to use your phone to see what's on the camera.
How we test home security cameras
To find out which is the best home security camera, we set up each of the models inside or outside a home, noting the difficulty or ease of installation. We then use the camera over a period of several days. The first thing we look at is the quality of the video it records, both day and night. As a person walks through the frame, were their faces clear and well-defined, or was it a blurry mess?
We also look at the features that are available through the camera's app. Does it have such things as customizable motion zones? If you live on a busy street, you don't want the camera recording video and alerting you every time a car drives by. A good home security camera should also have a scheduling feature, so that you can turn it off while you're home, and on when you leave.
Last, we also consider how much it costs to view, save and share recorded video. While some cameras still let you view a few days of recorded video, the trend has been to only let you watch live video from your camera unless you sign up for a subscription. That means you can't look back a few hours or days to see who was walking through your yard. And, most subscription plans also include extra features, such as custom motion zones.
For more general information on how we review and rate products, be sure to check out the Tom's Guide how we test page.