Best Wireless Home Security Cameras 2018

Product Use case Rating
NETGEAR ARLO Q Best Security Camera Overall 9
Belkin NetCam HD+ Best Value 8
Nest Cam Indoor Best Smart Home Integration 9
Netgear Arlo Pro Best Outdoor Camera 9
Ring Floodlight Cam Best Floodlight Camera 9
Canary Best Environmental Sensors 8
D-Link DCS-2630L Best Local-Storage Camera 8
Netatmo Welcome Best Facial Recognition 7

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. 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. Our best value is the Belkin Netcam HD+. Although it delivers only 720p resolution, you can find it for less than $100, and it works with WeMo smart home devices.

Latest News & Updates (May 2018)

  • Ezviz cameras now work with Google Assistant-enabled devices, such as the Google Home Mini. Using voice commands, Ezviz owners can turn their cameras on or off. Only the Mini O, Mini O 1080p, Mini 360 Plus, Mini Plus, Mini Trooper, Husky, ezGuard 1080p, and ez360 Pano are compatible, though.
  • Amazon is currently offering a deal on its Cloud Cam; a two-pack is $199 (a discount of $40), and a three-pack is $289—a discount of $70. We've also reviewed Amazon Key, a service which combines Amazon's cloud cam with a smart lock, and lets approved delivery people to drop off Amazon Prime packages inside your front door.
  • Canary is offering its View, Flex, and All in One cameras for free or at a reduced cost with the purchase of a one- or two-year subscription to Canary's subscription plan, which costs $99/year. With that, you get 30 days of video storage and two-way talk capabilities. To see how Canary stacks up against its competition, check out our comparison chart of cloud-storage plans.
  • The Nest Cam IQ indoor now has Google Assistant built in; if you update its software, you will be able to interact with Google Assistant through the camera the same as you would with other smart speakers, such as the Google Home Mini.

 

How We Test Security Cameras

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 an extra fee 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:

Smart Home Guides and Products

The Best Smart Speakers
The Very Best Alexa Skills
Top Home Security Cameras
The Best Smart Home Devices
Light Bulb Buying Guide
Best Smart Home Hubs
Easy-to-Use Smart Plugs
Best Smart Light Switches
The Best Smart Thermostats
Tips to Keep Your Smart Home From Being Hacked
Top Smart Door Locks
ZigBee, Z-Wave, Thread and WeMo: What's the Difference?
Best Video Doorbells
Smartest Smoke Detectors
The Best Smart Vacuums
Top Universal Remotes
Smart Garage Door Openers
Create a new thread in the Streaming Video & TVs forum about this subject
2 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • Luke in Texas
    My wife and I went to Scotland, Ireland and England in 2015 and prior to our departure, I purchased 4 of the original Arlo cameras to install at a ranch we have in Texas. I also purchased a Canary to install at a second ranch in a nearby county. Both locations were served by the same internet company. While we were on our trip in the UK, the Canary was basically worthless and about 85% of the time, we were only able to see black images in our well illuminated house. The Arlo cameras impressed me. They were ALWAYS available when I used the Arlo app to view the cameras live.

    I purchased an Arlo Go earlier this month to replace the Canary (which I plan on crushing with my tractor and posting on YouTube) and the Arlo Go, while impressive, has a few problems... #1. Battery life is short, even using their optional solar panel in brilliant Texas sunlight. #2. The cord from the solar panel is very, very short which means the panel can not be concealed very easily. #3. If a tree limb blows, the Arlo Go triggers and then it eats up the data plan. #4. Mounting the Arlo Go on the supplied mount is a royal pain. It is difficult to tighten the camera onto the very small threaded attaching device that screws into the Arlo Go, and to make matters worse, large thumb tabs (for lack of a better word) at the terminal end of the attach rod (about 3 inches long) make it difficult to tighten that too, because they easily come into contact with the bulky camera. The "ghilley" suit is an excellent was to conceal the Arlo Go in a tree, but the fuzzy strings easily blow into the front of the lens and ruin the night vision capability of the camera.

    I like the Arlo products (especially my "old" original Arlo but the Arlo Go has some drawbacks, but it is vastly superior to the Canary. I can hardly wait to upload the Canary being crushed on YouTube.