Google Nest Cam
Best Smart Cam
Lorex 4K Ultra HD
Google Nest Cam is a Homeowners Top Pick
While manufacturers of home security systems offer lots of similar features, during our research, we discovered that some products stand out from the rest. By combining careful product testing and correspondence with experts, the Google Nest Cam emerged as our top pick. This is all thanks to its durability, affordability, and an array of impressive features that contribute to its ease of use, robust lens action, and quality video recording.
In terms of its price, this product costs a lot less than other home security cameras of its kind. The Nest further offers 3 camera eyes for an affordable $365.79, giving you the liberty to choose the areas more prone to high activity around your home.
Taking it up a notch, the robust lens offers impressive coverage of 130°, making the Google Nest Cam really stand out from the rest. With this range of coverage, you’re guaranteed a wide angle of view, significantly eliminating blind spots that give undue access to intruders.
The Nest cam further raises the bar with an equally impressive motion-tagging tech that enables it to distinguish between a human intruder as opposed to animals and objects. Altogether, with the added convenience of contacting law enforcement agencies directly from the app makes the Nest Cam our number one.
Reviews: Best Home Security Cameras of 2020
- Google Nest Cam – Best Overall
- Wyze Cam – Best Smart Cam
- Lorex 4K Ultra HD – Best Compact
- Arlo Pro 2 – Also Great
- Arlo Pro 3 – Best Affordable
1. Google Nest Cam
In close comparison, action cameras used to capture high-speed predator-prey chases deliver a similar level of video quality. Even more, the camera is fully equipped for night mode operation, so there’s no capturing-downtime whether it’s day or night.
One of the most exciting things about the Nest Cam is its smart capabilities, Altogether, this brilliant camera doesn’t just load you with tons of notifications anytime a dog barks or a fly jumps in front of the lens, it solely identifies humans. This is good news seeing as you won’t be receiving unnecessary notifications resulting from anything and everything crossing the camera’s line of vision.
That’s not all, you can equally easily spook an intruder by engaging the audio feature so they think you are in the house. If it’s someone you want to chat with, the voice tech is two-way designed, so you can communicate clearly.
2. Wyze Cam
Best Smart Cam
Day or night, there’s no stopping as the camera is equipped with four infrared LEDs for night mode operation. Furthermore, recorded videos are stored on the cloud in real-time for easy access regardless of where you are. It’ll interest you to know the package comes with a 14-day free subscription of cloud storage, which is a thoughtful feature from the makers.
What if you don’t want to use cloud storage? To that effect, there’s a microSD card slot which offers more recording time. Keep it in mind that you will need to purchase one if you need it and that FAT32 type microSD cards are recommended. Furthermore, the Wyze Cam’s recording operation brilliantly synchronizes with Alexa and Google Assistant to offer you unbridled control via voice control.
You can literally tell the camera to switch views to any location it’s mounted from the comfort of your phone and smart device. Wyze further equipped this one with advanced motion tagging tech so you are rest assured no intruder escapes the 110-degree wide-angle lens.
3. Lorex 4K Ultra HD
You’ll rest easy knowing the recording operation isn’t held back due to low storage space. Recording videos in 4K, this device gives you quality ultra HD delivery you’ll be proud of during playback. Even more, each of the 6 security cameras offers a 128-degree wide-angle view.
So be rest assured your home is fully covered and, in turn, protected. You can even communicate with visitors or anyone within the range of the camera since the device is furnished with inbuilt speakers for adequate two-way communication via the Lorex cloud app. Asides remote viewing, you can equally trigger the alarm remotely to scare off trespassers and also alert available help.
Furthermore, there’s no downtime with this camera, whether it’s night or day, in rain or sunshine, Alaska cold or tropical temperature, your camera keeps recording. For the most part, the Lorex 4K ultra package offers you unrivaled peace of mind.
More Home Security Systems that Are Worth a Look
We found a few more that didn’t quite make the top three but had enough good qualities that we think they’re worth considering as you shop around.
4. Arlo Pro 2
Nevertheless, the security camera itself does have some impressive features. The fact that it records videos at a resolution of 1080p is a guarantee of crystal clear footage. It further sports the unique feature of intelligent 3-second capturing before the trigger moment.
This is incredibly good news if you want to view the playback of some footage. That way, you can see what actually happened even before the trigger moment. Furthermore, this brilliant security camera is powered by rechargeable batteries and an optional solar panel that is sold separately. It’ll further interest you to know, the Arlo Pro-2 is completely weather-proof, so there’s no worrying about recording in the winter, summer, or heavy rain.
At an affordable subscription fee, you can add more cameras to cover more ground. Even more, Arlo generously added a 7 days free cloud recording offer to your package. Combine this with the remotely triggered loud siren and 2-way communication and you’ll have to agree it’s a good buy.
5. Arlo Pro 3
The video quality is clear during the day and equally full color at night so tracking down intruders will be a stress-free process. The Arlo is equally furnished with a bright white spotlight to ward off unsuspecting intruders trying to gain access to your property.
Taking it up a notch, you get a whopping 30 days of cloud storage so you can access your recording anywhere and anytime. Even better, set up is a breeze, there are no wires or screws to make the installation process difficult. With the simple magnetic mount, you don’t require the service of a handyman or special installation by your service provider.
While the device comes in at less than 200 dollars for a one-camera kit, it might be a bit on the pricey side if you require multiple units. On top of all that, the device is enabled for voice control but this requires a hub and echo which cost extra to acquire.
Things to Consider Before You Buy
Types of Best Home Security Systems
The best type of home camera system should check out in basic areas such as advanced camera tech operation, camera quality, and storage. There’s also easy access to storage, two-way communication, and of course, they must have extra perks for convenience and affordability. Examples include:
- Google NetCam: This is a very high tech home security camera that offers robust lens capabilities.
- Lorex 4K Ultra HD: It’s a little more pricey than your average home camera but it’s often recommended for its high local storage which circumvents extra cost on cloud space.
- YI Dome Camera: It’s highly recommended for it for its impressive audio quality which makes two-way communication a breeze.
Do I really need a Home Security Camera?
Many years ago, having a home security system was considered an extravagant luxury. Only the rich, big organizations, and high-class commercial areas had them. But, thanks to advances in technology, not only is it more affordable it has also become more of a necessity. Even if you live in a crime-free area, their benefits go far beyond keeping the home safe. If you’ve got kids, pets, or elderly relatives, it’s a good monitoring tool. Here are a handful of benefits that come with owning a home security camera.
while a security camera might not be totally sufficient if you want to keep criminals away, it’s a red flag for low budget burglars. Since these criminals often check out the homes they intend to hit in advance, having a camera could be the reason they look elsewhere.
No matter how valuable the goods are, no thief wants to be caught on camera since that may very well spell the end of their freedom as they know it.
Assist police investigation
In the event that you do get robbed, having a camera is incredibly useful because you can get a good look at the perps. Any physical features the police can use to identify them is a huge step in the right direction. That coupled with any data from other streets and local cameras will surely go a long way. Aside from helping the police, a camera mounted in front of your house can pick other activities and help solve crimes targeted at your neighbors.
Monitoring the kids
Security cameras do a whole lot these days, it’s not all about safeguarding your home and belongings. If you’re a working parent, home security cameras can come in handy because you can keep an eye on the kids when you aren’t home. While this isn’t an opportunity for parents to pull irresponsible stunts, like leaving toddlers at home without supervision, it could be useful to remotely monitor pre-teen children that already stay home by themselves. Furthermore, it can come in handy to check in on babies without necessarily moving up and about.
Convenience for the physically challenged
For folks that are physically challenged and can’t afford the luxury of navigating back and forth to see who’s at the door, a wireless security camera will definitely come in handy. With this, they can easily see who’s at the door, speak to them, and decide if they want to go through the hassle of opening the door.
In the world of insurance claims and legal proceedings, proof is everything. The presence of a good home security camera with high definition can make it so that a claim is easily validated by the insurance company in cases of burglary, fire damage, etc. In the present day where insurance fraud has reached an all-time high, insurance companies want to be sure policy owners are not trying to make money cheaply by reporting fake claims.
Wireless vs Wired
Wireless home security systems come with camera units that can be mounted with little to no hassle when it comes to concealing data cables through walls or cable-concealers. While some wireless cameras still require a minimal amount of wiring to power them, others run on rechargeable or solar batteries. Unlike wired security cameras that need a wire connection to power the units and record the footage, wireless cameras store recordings into memory cards as long as they have adequate slots for that. The footage can equally be stored on an online cloud space which usually attracts recurring costs.
Since they can be mounted just about anywhere and do not require a handyman or security system installer, individual homeowners or small offices usually find wireless cameras ideal. Furthermore, they offer cool features such as a smartphone-compliant app which makes it easy to access and monitor events from any location.
The downside is that they are not as reliable when compared to wired cameras. Furthermore, the operation of wireless systems is completely dependent on the availability of a wireless network. Any interference with the network can completely impair its operation. Furthermore, wireless cameras usually operate with limited camera units and as such, they are not ideal for large facilities and establishments.
Another downside to using wireless cameras is that criminals can hack into the network quite easily and completely interfere with their operation as well as the user’s data. So, large companies with permanent facilities find wired security systems more ideal.
Even more, since wired cameras require larger equipment for the tons of storage they have to manage, large companies are able to easily adapt them, unlike homeowners who have limited home space. Therefore, choosing a wireless or wired security camera is totally based on your specific needs.
Professionally Installed vs DIY Camera
It’s only logical that simple wireless home security cameras that offer less than 3-4 camera units are easily mounted. For the most part, they don’t have any screws and as such, you don’t need a screwdriver to get them set up. If you live in a small apartment or a rented property, a do-it-yourself (DIY) camera may be the best option.
On the other hand, If you are a large business owner, a professionally installed camera is more suited to your needs. This isn’t just so you can get someone to correctly install the system, but also to neatly secure the cables.
However, it’s not uncommon to have homeowners who opt for camera systems with the capability of recording large amounts of data. In this case they may not even want to use online cloud storage. In this regard, a professionally installed wired or wireless system may be the ideal choice.
Basic Components of Home Security Camera
These are some of the basic components of a home security camera.
The Wireless Camera itself
These devices are obviously cameras that are easily mounted anywhere surveillance is required. They usually come with fantastic features, such as a high video resolution, which records video in crystal clear quality. Furthermore, they are furnished with infrared capabilities so that recording can continue even when the sun sets.
Network Video Recorder (NVR)
NVRs are video recording units with wireless network detection capabilities. They record videos by accessing mounted cameras via a wireless network and, in turn, store the footage on an in-built hard disk. Even more, they come with a number of wireless cameras that circumvent cloud storage. Despite all this, they virtually offer unlimited video capturing. They also constitute a major component of the wired security camera system.
Wireless Access Point
This aids the connection between a wireless camera and a network using WiFi. The access point is also responsible for the secure connection between the network video recorder, the viewing device, and the camera units.
View unit. ( Monitor, laptop phones, iPad)
In order to view the recorded footage captured by a wireless camera, you need a device that can receive video data and show it in real-time on a user-interface. Regardless of the device used, it will need a wireless or wired access point that can enhance the connection between the camera for a seamless view. Using any smart device, this can be adapted for any location view.
Best Home Security Systems FAQs
What specific camera features may be relevant to my security needs?
Home security cameras have recently become more common in domestic settings. But whether they are meant for commercial or private use, there are some features that are common to all security cameras. For instance, every security camera needs to be fitted with a high-resolution lens to capture videos in a clear format, night mode to capture videos after dark, and the ability to work in all weather conditions, etc. If you want the luxury of communicating with the person on the other side of the screen, then you’ll have to get a camera with a two-way communication feature.
Furthermore, if you’re not constantly at home, you’ll be needing a remote- monitoring and remote alarm trigger. Some manufacturers even furnish their mobile app with a handy “call the cops” feature, so it’s quite easy to notify law enforcement agents.
Can Wi-Fi security cameras be hacked?
Yes, it’s not impossible for security cameras to be hacked. One of the common ways hackers get unauthorized access is through “credential stuffing.” They basically use common passwords people share online by collaborating with fellow hackers who have successfully hacked other users. Since users repeat virtually the same passwords, they make themselves open to a possible hack.
Is one camera sufficient for my needs?
If your facility or home is relatively small, with just one access route, you won’t be needing more than one camera. However, lots of homes have access from the front entrance, the back, and the kitchen. In that case, they may need multiple cameras to establish secured coverage.
Will a security camera help me prove an insurance claim?
Insurance fraud is getting more common by the day, so, if there’s a slight reason for the insurance company to doubt your claim, they can delay your claim. In the case that you have a security camera, you’ll have infallible proof especially when it’s stored on a network cloud where its authenticity cannot be challenged.
Do I have the skills required to install a home security camera?
If the camera you opt for is wireless and simply works using Wi-Fi and a network connection with phone-compatible apps, then it’ll be relatively easy to install. Even more, they require zero or little skill to set up as they typically come with a magnetic base for easy attachment. Making it even more stress-free is the fact that they don’t come with any screws, so you don’t require screwdrivers for installation.
However, if you opt for a wired camera system, you will require some skill or need the services of a security system installer.
Do I have the necessary tools to install one?
The tools required to install a camera depend on the type of camera system. Basic wireless home security cameras require little or no tools while wired systems usually require tools a professional would be more knowledgeable on.
Is it necessary to have 24/7 monitoring?
This is totally dependent on individual needs. If the reason you got a home camera is simply to keep an eye on your kids or pets, 24/7 monitoring might not be required. However, if your home is located in a high crime area or you have valuables worth being stolen by burglars, you may need 24/7 monitoring. Furthermore, if your home or the valuables are insured, it’s advisable to opt for 24/7 monitoring since you cannot really predict the exact time damage or crime can occur.
Do I need cameras, or will sensors be sufficient?
Some motion sensors are incredibly useful and intuitive too. They not only trigger alarms, but they can initiate a lockdown in smart homes once an intruder gains access. Even more, they go as far as to alert the police or owners immediately. However, if the intruders are able to get away it’s still not a loss. The cameras may have recorded some very useful footage. So, it’s advisable to go for a combination of a camera and a sensor.
How We Picked the Best Home Security Camera
These are some of the features we considered before picking out the best home security camera.
Video quality delivery
People set up home security cameras so they can still see what’s going on at home even when they are out and about. So, you really need to look for one that can deliver crystal clear videos, in turn, playback will be as useful as can be. All in all, you should go for something that can deliver a maximum resolution of 1080p and over. With this level of clarity, there will be no blurriness or poor contrast.
Needless to say, houses are a lot more vulnerable at night than they are in the daytime. So, you’ll want a camera that can function just as well at night as it does when the sun is out. These high tech cameras are equipped with infrared LED features capable of recording even in pitch black settings.
The area of coverage a camera’s lens can view determines what the camera will record, it’s simple logic. In summary, a camera cannot record beyond what it can see. As such, the higher the angle of view, the higher the coverage. A camera with a small view angle is sure to expose your home to blind spots giving intruders easy access since they can exploit areas not covered by the lens. A good camera should have at least a 110-degrees view angle and over.
Advance motion-sensitive technology
Most wireless home security cameras are designed to detect movement and send signals to your device so you can either call the cops or trigger the alarm remotely. However, if a camera is equipped with motion sensors that cannot tell the difference between an actual threat and a bee flying across the lens, your smart device will be loaded with false notifications. On the other hand, a camera with advanced sensitive technology will be able to sense and differentiate humans from every other thing. So, you can keep all those false notifications at bay.
A loud audio system
If an intruder steps within the proximity of the lens coverage, you’ll be notified immediately and can further activate the voice feature. This will undoubtedly scare the intruder away, keeping your home and the environs safe. Furthermore, you can communicate with visitors using the audio system if your wireless camera comes with two way audio for easy communication.
Storage & Easy access to data
The essence of a security camera is to record footage that can later be viewed by its owner, the police, an insurance company, etc. If there isn’t unlimited storage to record data continuously, the essence of acquiring the camera is practically defeated.
Based on that, we selected the best camera because it comes with an unlimited storage option for users via the cloud. This further offers easy access from any location at any time as long as you have an app compatible mobile phone.