Best Wireless Home Security Cameras 2017

Need to keep an eye on your abode from anywhere? Small, standalone Wi-Fi security cameras (also called IP cameras) are easy to set up, can stream video to your phone, tablet or PC, and will send you notifications if they detect motion or loud noises. Most cameras also provide night vision and automatic motion-activated recording.

We tested several of the best IP cameras on the market and rated each based on its performance, ease of use and affordability. Based on these criteria, our top pick is the Netgear Arlo Q ($150 at Amazon). We found that it had the best software, the most flexible options and the most affordable cloud-storage subscription plan of the cameras we tested.

A close runner-up is the Nest Cam Indoor ($199 at Amazon), which matches similarly excellent software with an attractive and sturdy design. 

How We Tested

We evaluate each Wi-Fi security camera's design, setup process, feature set, mobile app, video performance and overall value. In terms of design, we note each camera's aesthetics but pay particular attention to its size relative to other cameras.

We penalize a camera if it requires an excessive amount of time to set up, or suffers from a confusing setup process. We also dock points if a camera lacks important features offered by the competition, such as programmable security modes or scheduled recordings. However, this can be offset if a camera provides other unique or particularly helpful features.

We rate each camera's mobile app for its reliability and its design, and pay particular attention to the intuitiveness of the interface. We gauge performance by the camera's resolution and field of view, the reliability of remote viewing and the quality of the video (colors and detail).

Finally, we factor in whether a camera offers cloud storage for recorded video clips. Although manufacturers charge up to $30 per month for this service, cloud storage lets you access video without the hassle of removing a storage card from the camera and inserting it into your computer using an adapter. Cameras that use only local storage also run the risk of losing any recorded video if the camera itself is stolen.




Editors' Note: Are you looking for a complete home automation system? If so, fill out this quick form and our partner, BuyerZone, will connect you with home automation companies to walk you through integrated options for your home:

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  • kanewolf
    Maybe this article should be titled "Best $250 Wireless Home Security Cameras 2015". The best cameras cost a lot more than that, IMO.
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  • childerse
    Canary and Piper are good cameras and I was looking into getting those for my home. But they're very expensive and can't be considered standalone home security systems. I have an HD100 camera connected to my alarm system that I bought from Armorax. This camera is 2GIG and it's great. Has motion detection as well.
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  • TheSicilian
    First of all, this may be logitechs "first foray into wireless security cams", but its not their first "foray" into security cameras!, I wanted to share what I feel is extremely pertinent information for anyone considering this product, as well as anyone who still has a chance to question what support, if any, you may or may not receive if and when you have issues with a logitech security camera: For those contemplating a logitech security camera of any kind, allow me to enlighten everyone on their history in this market. Personally, when I consider a high end purchase of any product I do not have adequate and thorough knowledge and or experience with, I ALWAYS turn to the company's history of support for said product. So with that said, I have Extensive knowledge and experience with logitechs previous "foray" into security cams systems ie (logitech alert 750e & 700n or 700i systems) which were high priced in the market, and seemed to work great, until EVERY SINGLE CAMERA they sold for inflated prices to consumers, FAILED. They ALL failed, A 4 cam system boasting 720P playback and recording would run you well over $1000, and suck up ALL your HD space if you allocated the default amount. Then when they FAILED, and they all did, logitech LITERALLY pulled out of the security cam market and left ALL THEIR CUSTOMERS SCREWED OVER for any and all warranty service / support. Its Amazing, yet Pathetic how short of an attention span world wide consumers have, especially Americans. So a FOOL and their money are soon parted apparently rings true once again. How many of these "fools" are going to trust such a company who SCAMMED SO MANY of their customers out of their money and left them ALL scratching their heads over a FAILED security camera system that all sites like these raved about? How soon people forget. logitech currently has a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT against them for what they did and how they disrespectfully mistreated all their customers regarding these defective cameras/equipment, and instead of owning up to, and taking responsibility for getting caught manufacturing and selling faulty and defective products, and instead of doing the RIGHT thing and reimbursing all their customers with some sort of restitution-"al" effort, theyd rather spend millions of $$ denying any responsibility for STEALING their customers money and Abandoning them, and in some rare cases if the customer REALLY fought for their rights, they offered some worthless scam "warranty", where as they just sent out all the returned failed cameras to different customers after they cleaned them up and replaced the defective ones with these alternate defective ones. To all the SCAMMED people, what do you think they learned from this? Well Apparently, That the consumer population has no clue and will just keep wasting their money on their defective products manufactured with poor quality standards, and they will hide behind a weak warranty, and the "electronics industry standards" SCAM" created and put into law by these same lobbying company's so they can lawfully rip everyone off with ZERO Accountability and Responsibility. Ill say it again, "A Fool and their Money are soon Parted". Best of luck to all who fall back into their money pit, and if I have helped at least one fellow consumer with this factual information and experience/findings, then I am glad to stick my neck out to share one of Many real world experiences with this company's attitude and history in this specific market.
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  • JohnBraun76
    Oco is another option, as well as D-Link. But Oco have true cloud and really great apps
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  • TheSicilian
    Anonymous said:
    After looking reviews on amazon.com and bestadvisor.com , we purchased the VIMTAG 361HD for our home. What do you think about our choice?


    Hello Anna, it looks like the same physical characteristics as the foscams I am very familiar with. I don't really consider 720P, HD, but apparently the industry does-lol. So many at 1080 standard these days, but as long as it meets your needs, that s all that counts. the Sd card backup is good, POE capable good too, just in case your positioning doesn't agree with WiFi, its good to have that option to run a Cad5 line directly to it. depending on what you decide to use this for, I would definitely mount it somewhere high and in a well thought out spot to cover as much of your chosen area. the pan and tilt is fun, but unless youre monitoring it 24-7, its only useful if youre at the controls, but its still a fun and cool option. This will come down to the Sw client that they give you for the cameras many features and operations, again, you will be the judge of that cuz only you know your OS's on computer(s)/phones/devices and the compatibility is key. Ask any specific questions and I will do my best to give you the facts.
    wishing you and your family the best experience with security you need.
    The Sicilian
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  • Andrew_161
    What about Piper NV? It has a z-wave controller to remotely control lights and appliances and they recently added IFTTT functionality (auto-arm and disarm for example). Piper NV can also be the hub of a home security system with door/window sensors, motion sensors, and water leak sensors. It also has a 180 degree full HD camera and free cloud storage of video clips, which are only recorded when the device is armed and a specified event occurs (like motion detected). A powerful siren. 2-way audio. Live stream video. Auto re-arm. It is highly customizable too. You choose how it notifies you when a sensor is triggered. Piper will actually phone you when an alarm is triggered if you check that box. They also keep improving it and adding more functionality and ensuring compatibility with more z-wave devices. Users ask for more functionality in reviews and Piper keeps improving the app/software to provide it. And they have had a couple of years now to iron out bugs in the software too. It is stable. And you think Belkin HD+ is superior? Hardly.
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  • Paul Wagenseil
    Andrew_161, our review of the Piper NV is here:
    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/icontrol-network-piper-nv,review-2736.html
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  • Paul Wagenseil
    JohnBraun76, our review of the Oco is here:
    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/oco-security-camera,review-3614.html
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  • toulcaz31
    I bought a Factory Refurbsihed camera from Piper and got one of the worst experience I ever got with electronics. The camera kept freezing few minutes after connection. You could leave home with the camera triggered and suddenly receive a notification about the camera losing connection. When contacting support, their only interest was to find a reason to blame our local network and other devices. I switched off everything and still had the same issue, but still Piper came only with points on trying to blame anything but their camera. The only solution left was to return the camera within the 30 days covered. Needless to highlight that my other connected devices have no issue.
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  • Belkinsucks
    I have a real problem with Belkin FORCING customers to use the subscription for additional features that are free with other cams. I will never buy another Belkin product.
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  • gordokc77
    D-Link doesn't have very good cameras I don't know what you guys are talking about they are not very good they are real fuzzy and we have it hooked up to a D-Link home security system and every time a cat walks by it goes off it's real finicky and like I say the camera part is real foggy I think I'm looking at a picture of Sasquatch
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  • dfly19
    Your link for the Arlo Q goes to a wired camera, not wireless - the wireless version is (plus a wired one) double that cost - seems a little bait and switchy, no? (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017B2043W?tag=bom_tomsguide-20&ascsubtag=site:tgus|tid:147951561435915)
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  • GearHeadZ
    The Netgear Arlo Q is NOT a wifi camera. It's WIRED. False information in this article.
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  • Paul Wagenseil
    Anonymous said:
    The Netgear Arlo Q is NOT a wifi camera. It's WIRED. False information in this article.


    That's a power cable, not a data cable. All data is transmitted via Wi-Fi.
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  • Paul Wagenseil
    Anonymous said:
    Your link for the Arlo Q goes to a wired camera, not wireless - the wireless version is (plus a wired one) double that cost - seems a little bait and switchy, no? (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017B2043W?tag=bom_tomsguide-20&ascsubtag=site:tgus|tid:147951561435915)


    We're talking about wireless data transmission, not wireless power. Many of the camera on this page, including the Nest models, have to plug into the wall. That's the only way they can record continuously -- without a power cable, they'd drain their batteries in a day.
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  • Ransarge
    I have Nest Products, Thermostat (Awesome Product already paid for itself in savings) and two cameras mounted outside. ISSUE: Uses a lot of bandwidth for each camera and shuts off/loses connection often. I called them and they were very nice folks who connected me to an expert techie. This is when I was told of the bandwidth issue. My home is in the country and 5mbs is tops! each camera needs 2mbs so forget streaming movies or other devices. I lowered the resolution to minimum 360 and still have bandwidth issues. I bought an extender for my wifi( my house is 1200 sq ft) and the router is in the attic and 35' away from farthest point. Awesome Cameras, Ingenious mounting but has freeking wires running outside house to electricity, unplug camera and house is yours! The Nest folks were very concerned and gave me a credit on next years subscription! To see live feed and talk or listen not both at a time you need a subscription of $100 a yr and $50 a year for the two cameras! I think they consulted Apple on how to squeeze money beyond the purchase as both never stop costing you for a clever popular product. Overall I like the Cameras in spite of drawbacks and cost but am looking for a better option at a better price. AND WIRELESS MEANS WIRELESS NOT SOME WIRES!!!!!
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