Skip to main content

Best Wireless Home Security Cameras 2019

Need to keep an eye on your house from anywhere? Small, stand-alone Wi-Fi or wireless security cameras (also called IP cameras) are easy to set up; can stream video to your phone, tablet or PC; and will send you alerts if they detect motion or loud noises. Most cameras also provide night vision and automatic motion-activated recording, and some can be connected to other smart-home products, such as security systems and smart lights.

After testing dozens of wired and wireless options, our favorite security camera is the Arlo Q ($149). We found that it had the best software, the most flexible options and the most affordable cloud-storage subscription plan of the home security cameras we tested. Our favorite fully wireless, battery-operated camera is the Arlo Pro 2; this 1080p camera's rechargeable battery can last for up to six months, and features two-way talk capabilities.

If you're looking for something under $100, our favorite budget security camera is the Wyze Cam 1080p, which costs about $25, yet has a surprising number of features for the price, and gives you 14 days of rolling cloud storage for free.

Can't decide which Arlo camera you should get? We've put together this handy Arlo security camera buying guide.

Latest News & Updates (September 2019)

  • Individuals with multiple Ring devices can now link them together. For example, if a person's Ring floodlight detects motion, they can set their Ring Video Doorbell to start recording. 
  • Google announced to Nest security cam owners that status lights on the devices will now remain on permanently while recording. The status light will also blink when the camera is live video is streamed from the Nest app. 
  • Swann's Floodlight Cam ($179) is $50 less than the Ring Floodlight cam, and offers 1080p video, 2500-lumen floodlights, two-way talk, up to seven days of local storage and two days of cloud storage for free. However, its field of view (125 degrees) is narrower than Ring's (140 degrees).

Best overall security camera

Arlo Q

Best overall security camera

SPECIFICATIONS

Video resolution: 1080p/30fps | Field of view: 130 degrees | Night vision: 25 feet | Audio: half duplex | Local Storage: none | Battery Powered: no | Weather resistant: No | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: seven days' footage free;longer periods start at $10/month

Reasons to Buy
Simple, trouble-free setup
Intuitive, flexible scheduling
Unusual level of control over motion detection, scheduling
Excellent video quality
Generous free cloud plan
Easy social sharing of videos
Reasons to Avoid
Single-user mobile app
Difficult Custom Mode setup
Activity Zones not part of motion-detection controls
Timeline requires expensive subscription

With its top-notch video quality, excellent motion detection, flexible scheduling and intuitive user interface, the Arlo Q would be a contender as our best security camera even without its very generous basic cloud-subscription plan. That plan gives you the past week's recordings at no cost for the lifetime of the unit (although higher tiers aren't free), and more than justifies the unit's relatively high price. The Arlo Q is the Wi-Fi security camera to beat.

Read our full Arlo Q review.

Best value security camera

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Wyze Cam 1080p

Best value security camera

SPECIFICATIONS

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 110 degrees | Night vision: Yes | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: Yes | Battery Powered: No | Weather Resistant: No | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant | Cloud Storage: Free cloud storage for 14 days (rolling, in perpetuity)

Reasons to Buy
Inexpensive
Free 14-day, rolling cloud storage
Works with motion and door sensors
Local storage
Reasons to Avoid
Limited field of view
Cloud storage clips limited to 14 seconds

Don't let the low price fool you; the Wyze Cam 1080p is an excellent security camera, and our best pick for its price. This device comes with two weeks of free cloud storage, as well as a microSD card slot which you can use to enable continuous recording and create time-lapse videos. With an add-on module, you can link this camera to Wyze's motion sensors and smart bulbs, as well as to third party smart-home devices with Alexa and Google Assistant. 

Best battery-powered security camera

Arlo Ultra

Best battery-powered security camera

SPECIFICATIONS

Video resolution: 4K | Field of view: 180 degrees | Night vision: 25 feet | Audio: full-duplex | Local Storage: Yes (in base station) | Battery Powered: Optional | Weather Resistant: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: 30-day rolling-cloud service (1080p) for up to 10 cameras free for one year;$9.99/month afterwards. Upgrade to 4K recording for $1.99/month per camera.

Reasons to Buy
Excellent 4K video
Optional color night-vision videos
Comprehensive, easy-to-use software
Good audio
Reasons to Avoid
Can log in from only one device at a time
Web portal requires Adobe Flash:Expensive

Not only do the Arlo Ultra’s 4K cameras deliver the best quality we’ve seen from a wireless security camera, 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. Plus, the Arlo Ultra’s base station will be compatible with the company’s smart home security kit, due out later this year. All of this will cost you, though: A single camera (with the hub) is $399, and extra cameras are $299 each. And if you want to save 4K videos, it’s an extra $1.99 per camera per month, on top of the $9.99 monthly plan, the latter of which is waived for the first year.

Read our full Arlo Ultra Review.

Best 1080p battery-powered security camera

Arlo Pro 2

Best 1080p battery-powered security camera

SPECIFICATIONS

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 130 degrees | Night vision: 25 feet | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: Yes (in base station) | Battery Powered: Optional | Weather Resistant: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: seven days' footage free;longer periods start at $10/month

Reasons to Buy
Simple installation
Clean, intelligent interface
Flexible and easy scheduling
Geofencing turns system on/off depending on the phone's location
Very good daylight video quality
Free seven-day rolling cloud storage
Reasons to Avoid
Can login from only one device at a time
No auto-rotate of live or playback videos on mobile devices
Motion detection tools separate from setup section

Like its older sibling the Arlo Pro, the Arlo Pro 2 has motion detection, night vision and an intercom function, but the Pro 2 has a higher resolution (1080p vs. 720p) with a wider 130-degree field of view. The Arlo Pro 2 can be plugged in or run off battery power, and can last for up to six months without needing a recharge. You'll also get Arlo's generous cloud-subscription plan, which offers seven days' worth of footage for free.

Read our full Arlo Pro 2 review.
  

Best smart home integration

Nest Cam Indoor

Best smart home integration

SPECIFICATIONS

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 130 degrees | Night vision: 25 feet | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: No | Battery Powered: No | Weather Resistant: No | Smart Home Compatibility: Google Assistant, Philips Hue, Nest, Leviton, Lutron, August, Abode, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: Starts at $5/month for five days' footage

Reasons to Buy
Excellent 1080p video quality
Easy setup
Impressive night vision
Programmable with Nest Protect and Nest Thermostat
Reasons to Avoid
Pricey
Requires monthly subscription for extra features
Microphone/speakers not very powerful

The Nest Cam Indoor is the third generation of the celebrated Dropcam, and bumps up its predecessors' video quality to 1080p. It's easy to set up and, thanks to its magnetic, swiveling base,it  can be installed almost anywhere indoors. The video looks sharp; night vision is clear; the camera can be used as an intercom; and it interacts with the Nest Thermostat and the Nest Protect smoke detector, as well as numerous third-party smart- home devices. But to really make use of the camera's features, you'll have to shell out $10 or more per month for the Nest Aware program, which gives you access to cloud storage, person detection and customizable activity zones.

Read our full Nest Cam Indoor review.
  

Best floodlight camera

Ring Floodlight Camera

Best floodlight camera

SPECIFICATIONS

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 140 degrees | Night vision: Yes | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: No | Battery Powered: No | Weather Resistant: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: $3/month ($30/year) for 60 days of video

Reasons to Buy
Wide field of view
Lets you set motion zones
Affordable subscription plan
Reasons to Avoid
Saving videos requires a subscription

In addition to a sharp 1080p camera, the Ring Floodlight camera has two powerful LEDS that turn on when motion is detected. Plus, Ring's app has a neighborhood-watch feature, which lets you see what's happening in your hood from other Ring users, as well as police and fire departments. Unfortunately, to view recorded video, you'll need to subscribe to Ring's cloud storage plans, which start at $30/year.

Read our full Ring Floodlight Camera review.
  

A less expensive Arlo

Arlo Pro

A less expensive Arlo

SPECIFICATIONS

Video resolution: 720p | Field of view: 140 degrees | Night vision: Yes | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: Yes (in base station) | Battery Powered: Optional | Weather Resistant: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: seven days' footage free;longer periods start at $10/month

Reasons to Buy
Simple, quick installation
Clean, intelligent interface
rich set of features
Excellent video capture
Very good audio quality
Geofencing
generous cloud-subscription plans
Reasons to Avoid
Can access from only one device at a time per account
No continuous-recording option
Limited sharing

For those looking for a less expensive outdoor security system, the Arlo Pro costs just $189 for a single camera/base station setup; the newer Arlo Pro 2 is $299. The main tradeoff? The Arlo Pro records video at 720p versus 1080p for the Arlo Pro 2. Otherwise, you get a generous storage plan, a two-way audio, a weatherproof camera and an excellent app with a lot of features.

Read our full Arlo Pro review.
  

Budget outdoor camera

Kasa Cam Outdoor

Budget outdoor camera

SPECIFICATIONS

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 130 degrees | Night vision: Yes | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: No | Battery Powered: No | Weather Resistant: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant | Cloud Storage: two days' footage free;longer periods start at $4/month ($40/year) for 14 days storage.

Reasons to Buy
Excellent audio, daylight video
Reasonable cloud storage plans
Simple to use, flexible software
Reasons to Avoid
Blurry night video
Mobile app not optimized for tablets
Cord isn't fully weatherproof

Kasa's lower-cost outdoor security camera is a good deal if you don't mind a few tradeoffs. Daytime 1080p video from this camera was excellent, but nighttime video was less defined; it was hard to make out people's faces. The camera is weather-resistant, but the connection between its cable and power supply is not. We also liked that its app lets you set up custom motion zones. In addition, you get free rolling two-day cloud storage, and  a 14-day plan that's a very reasonable $40 per year.

Read our full Kasa Cam Outdoor review.
  

Facial recognition for a price

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Facial recognition for a price

SPECIFICATIONS

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 130 degrees | Night vision: Yes | Audio: full-duplex | Local Storage: No | Battery Powered: No | Weather Resistant: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: Starts at $5/month for five days' footage

Reasons to Buy
Generally acceptable to excellent video
Clean, easy-to-navigate web portal and mobile apps
Tamper-proof design
Deep feature set
Reasons to Avoid
Key features (including video history) available only to subscribers
No local storage
expensive

Nest’s outdoor camera isn't cheap, but the feature set may be worth it. This weatherproof camera has a tamper-resistant design, a triple microphone array and HDR support for better-quality videos than what other cameras produce. It can distinguish between people and animals, and can even recognize individual faces. However, a lot of the features are available only with a Nest Aware subscription, which starts at $10/month, or $100/year.

Read our full Nest Cam IQ Outdoor review.
  

Budget motion tracking

Wyze Cam Pan

Budget motion tracking

SPECIFICATIONS

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 120 degrees | Night vision: Yes | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: Yes | Battery Powered: No | Weather Resistant: No | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: Free cloud storage for 14 days (rolling, in perpetuity)

Reasons to Buy
Bargain price
Very good video quality (with motion tracking turned off)
Loud, clear audio
Smoke, CO alarm alerts
Wide range of useful features
Reasons to Avoid
Significant motion blur when motion tracking turned on
No web portal
Some features lack depth

Unlike most security cameras, the Wyze Cam Pan can actually move a full 360 degrees as it tracks a subject walking across a room. Unfortunately, video captured while the camera is moving looks very blurry. When the camera is still, though, it produces quality video for its sub-$40 price. It also has a number of useful features, such as sending you an alert if it hears a smoke or CO2 alarm. Plus, you get 14 days of rolling cloud storage for free — a real bargain.

Read our full Wyze Cam Pan review.
  

Budget security camera

EZViz Mini O 1080p

Budget security camera

SPECIFICATIONS

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 135 degrees | Night vision: 26 feet | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: microSD card | Battery Powered: no | Weather Resistant: No | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: $5.99/month ($59.99/year) for seven days' footage

Reasons to Buy
Bargain price
Good daylight video
Excellent audio
Flexible scheduling
Reasons to Avoid
Web portal works only in Internet Explorer or Safari
Options very limited if you don't subscribe to cloud plan
Timeline view difficult to navigate

This budget Wi-Fi camera offers 1080p video that's pretty good in day and night settings. EZViz' app also lets you set a schedule for when the camera turns on and off, and lets you set motion sensitivity as well as zones — a feature typically found only on more expensive cameras. The Mini O 1080p has a microSD card slot, so you can save videos locally. If you don't buy cloud storage (which starts at $5.99/month for seven days of storage), your options are limited to the live camera feed, push notifications with a snapshot and having your device settings saved to the cloud (rather than only locally). You can also control the camera using Alexa and Google Assistant.

Read our full EZViz Mini O review.
  

Packed with environmental sensors

Canary Pro

Packed with environmental sensors

SPECIFICATIONS

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 147 degrees | Night vision: 16 feet | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: No | Battery Powered: No | Weather Resistant: No | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant | Cloud Storage: Free one-day video history;$9.99/month ($99/year) for 30 days footage, additional features

Reasons to Buy
Crisp 1080p video quality
Very loud siren
Auto on/off features
Inexpensive video storage
Temperature, humidity and air-quality sensors
Reasons to Avoid
Web interface could use improvement

The sleek Canary Pro (the company recently changed its name from the Canary All-in-One) has environmental sensors that monitor heat, humidity and air quality. It also includes an intercom, a very loud siren that should scare off any intruder and a geofencing feature that automatically turns on motion detection when the user leaves the house. The Canary can interact with Alexa and Google Assistant. The 1080p video looks crisp and clear, the sound quality is excellent and the mobile app is intuitive.

Read our full Canary Pro review.

Credit: Tom's Guide