The Arlo Q is an excellent security camera with great video quality, strong motion and sound detection and a generous free cloud-storage plan.
Wyze Cam 1080p
Don't be deceived: This $25 wireless security camera is very good for the price.
Arlo Pro 2
The Arlo Pro 2 provides a great combination of software, free cloud storage and video quality.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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'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’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
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
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
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