Many of the best home security cameras have similar specs: 1080p cameras, night vision and person detection. But which offers the best deal when it comes to cloud storage for all the video they record?
Apart from the price, there are many differences in the companies' plans, such as the number of cameras included, the length of time video is stored, as well as extra features, such as person and package detection.
We compared the video-storage plans offered by the best home security camera companies — Arlo, Blink, Canary, Nest, Ring, and Wyze — to see which one offers the best video storage plans.
Because many of these companies also make video doorbells, these storage plans also include those devices as well, where applicable. So, for example, you could get a Ring Video Doorbell, as well as one of Ring's other cameras, and have both included on the same plan.
Nest updated and simplified its Nest Aware cloud storage options to just two tiers: Nest Aware ($6/month, $60/year) and Nest Aware Plus ($12/month, $120/year). Both options include an unlimited number of cameras, which makes these plans more compelling than before.
Apple will begin offering cloud storage for HomeKit-connected cameras from Eufy, Logitech, and Netatmo security cameras. Video footage will be securely analyzed on a HomePod, iPad, or Apple TV device before being encrypted and sent to iCloud for storage. If you have a 200GB iCloud storage plan ($2.99/month), you can store 10 days of footage from one camera for free. If you have a 2TB iCloud plan ($9.99 per month), you can store footage from up to five cameras.
If you don't sign up for a subscription plan, most cameras are limited not only in how much video footage you can view but also in what features are enabled. Here's a summary of the features available in each company's subscription plan (and a source for more details on each product).
Blink: 120 minutes of free video storage (up to 60 seconds in length), custom activity zones, two-way audio.
Canary: One-day history, video clips, custom activity zones, person detection, for up to four cameras.
Nest: 3-hour history and snapshots of significant events.
Ring: View live video and receive notifications.
Wyze: 14-day rolling cloud storage (up to 12-second clips), custom activity zones, 2-way audio, smoke & CO2 alarm detection.
If you want to go the free route, consider the Arlo cameras, which offer the most recording history for the greatest number of cameras. However, both Blink and Wyze have free storage, as well as a number of other features that are only available via subscription with other security cameras.
Paid subscription features
When you step up to paid plans, each company offers extra features in addition to cloud recordings. We'll get to the pricing in a moment, but here are the features that are enabled once you subscribe to a plan.
Arlo: 2K and 4K video; downloadable 30-day video history; Person/vehicle/animal detection; package detection; customizable activity zones, and e911 (contacts emergency services near your camera's location), but only for multi-camera plans
Canary: Unlimited video downloads; desktop streaming; two-way talk; custom arming modes
Nest: Continuous recording; Person detection; Facial recognition; customizable activity zones
Ring: Save and share live video.
Wyze: Complete motion capture. Will record the entire motion event, rather than just a 12-second clip.
Arlo users can also subscribe to a CVR (continuous video recording) Plan, which will continuously record video to the cloud. However, you can only view this video, not download it. A 14-day CVR plan costs $10/$100 per camera, and a 30-day CVR plan costs $20/$200 per camera. The price plan for each additional camera is 50 percent less.
Security camera cloud storage plans compared: Basic plans
|Storage||1 cam||2 cams||3 cams||4 cams||5 cams|
|Arlo Premier||30 days||$3/mo||$6/mo||$9/mo||$12/mo||$10/mo|
|Nest Aware||30 days||$5/mo||$5/mo||$5/mo||$5/mo||$5/mo|
|Ring Basic||60 days||$2.50/mo||$5/mo||$7.50/mo||$10/mo||$12.50/mo|
We kept Canary out of this tier, as its least expensive plans is $10 per month.
Arlo Premier starts at $3/month for an individual camera, or $10/month for up to five cameras; additional cameras are 50% off. There's no discount if you opt for a yearly subscription. This plan lets you save 30 days of recordings up to 2K in quality (good if you have the Arlo Pro 3). You also get additional features, such as customizable motion detection zones, person detection, and e911.
In this bracket, Ring's plan is the most economical if you have only two cameras, such as an indoor camera and a video doorbell. It also gives you the most storage, at 60 days. However, Ring lacks features such as person and package detection.
If you have three or more cameras, then Nest Aware is the most cost-effective option, as its plan costs $6/month (or $60 annually), and includes an unlimited number of cameras.
Note: For all of these prices, we used the price for an annual plan (where applicable) to calculate the price per month.
Security camera cloud storage plans compared: Premium plans
|Storage||1 cam||2 cams||3 cams||4 cams||5 cams|
|Arlo Elite||30 days||$5/mo||$10/mo||$15/mo||$20/mo||$15/mo|
|Nest Aware Plus||60 days||$10/mo||$10/mo||$10/mo||$10/mo||$10/mo|
|Ring Plus||60 days||$8.34/mo||$8.34/mo||$8.34/mo||$8.34/mo||$8.34/mo|
In this bracket, Ring is the most cost-effective plan if you have two or more home security cameras, as you can add an unlimited number of cameras and you get up to 60 days of storage.
Nest Aware is slightly more expensive, but its plan also covers an unlimited number of cameras, and in addition to 60 days of storage of motion events, you also get 10 days of continuous video; that means, you can look back at any moment over the preceding 10 days, regardless of whether there was a motion event.
Canary gets you 30 days of storage for up to five cameras, and includes features such as person detection, e911, custom activity zones, and two-way talk. (Additional cameras are $49/year.
Arlo Elite is in third place, which is $15/month for five cameras (additional cameras are $30/year), but you can save recordings at 4K resolution; this really only makes sense if you have the Arlo Ultra home security camera.
If you're going the free route, Arlo offers the best value.
Among paid plans, if you have three of fewer cameras, then the Ring Basic plan makes the most sense. If you want to install more than three cameras, then the Nest Aware plan is the most cost-effective.
Keep in mind, though, that while Ring's plan offers the most in terms of cloud storage, it lacks some of the features Arlo and others offer, such as person and package detection.
Unless you have the Arlo Ultra, there's no sense in opting for the Arlo Elite plan; you get all of the same features with the Arlo Premier plan, which costs $10/month for a five-camera plan.