A home security system is becoming a necessity these days. Well, maybe it was always a necessity, but they are just more affordable nowadays. Security cameras are the most popular home security devices alongside firearms. Which is why our topic today is the best home security camera.
Is it really necessary to have one? How to choose a security system anyway? Are we becoming a little bit paranoid while at it?
All of these questions have simple and definite answers. Keep reading, and you will find out all you need to know about home security cameras and how to decide if you need one or not.
Why You Need Home Security Camera
If you think that taking precautions is going over the edge and that we are becoming a little bit paranoid, think again!
Depending on the methodology, official estimates of burglaries range between 1 and 2 million each year! And I am talking about the US only!
It means that every 15 to 30 seconds there’s a robbery going on somewhere.
Now, I know that some neighborhoods are much safer than the others, but these numbers really speak for themselves. Natural disasters and crises of all kinds tend to increase these already large numbers.
Not to mention worldwide political and economical instability. It’s not an imminent threat, but you never know when we can reach a tipping point that can cause mayhem and anarchy.
Sooner or later the order will be restored, but when an SHTF scenario occurs it’s better to be prepared.
Burglars Often Avoid Homes with Security System
So, what can you do about all of these threats?
Here are some more numbers. Around 40% of American households have some kind of security system.
While our security systems are evolving, so are the criminals. But, there’s an ancient rule that the vast majority of criminals follow: grab an opportunity when you see one.
This means that perpetrators always look for easy targets to minimize the risk. As a result, the FBI estimates that 1 out of 250 households with a security system will face attempted burglary.
So the chances are 1 out of 3, for households without a security system! I rest my case!
Seriously, you can never be 100% safe, but taking precautionary measures dramatically reduces the number of attempts and even further diminishes the chance of success for perpetrators.
At the end of the day, it’s up to each one of us to make a decision. Maybe you don’t need to make your home bulletproof.
But, if you want to improve the safety of your home, a security camera isn’t a placebo device to give you peace of mind or provide a false sense of security. It really helps.
Benefits of Home Security Cameras
Obviously, the main purpose of security cameras is to improve the safety of your home. Modern technologies have improved these cameras immensely in the last 10 years or so.
As a result, modern cameras can capture live footage with great video quality.
Also, they come with plenty of smart features. You can connect your camera(s) to your smartphone and monitor your home at any time from any place.
And most of them will send alert messages if any unexpected activity happens. Most of the cameras have some options for storing videos. So, even if your home falls victim to a burglary, recorded footage can help the police to capture the burglar.
Protection is an obvious and the most important role of home security cameras. However, the list of benefits doesn’t stop there.
Long-Distance Monitoring and Communication
In the internet-connected world, you can see what’s going on inside your home or in front of it, wherever you are.
This feature is convenient not only for safety reasons. It also allows you to communicate with your loved ones.
Yes, I know we have phones for this purpose, but a camera can be useful as well.
For example, you are at work and when you take a peek at your home, you see that your kids play in the backyard instead of doing homework. Or they climb a tree that they’re not allowed to. You can use a two-way audio function and your camera will warn the kids: “Stay away from the tree!”
It sounds a little bit spooky, but it’s effective.
And what about your pets? You can see if your dog’s water bowl is empty on a hot day, or your cat gets stuck in that same tree.
So, you can call your significant other or your kids or a neighbor to resolve the situation.
I know this sounds a little bit excessive, but it doesn’t need to be.
I don’t think you should become some kind of spy that monitors everything and everyone all the time. Once you get used to your security system, you won’t need to check on your home all the time.
But, you will be able to take a peek occasionally and react immediately if needed. Whether it’s a burglary attempt or mischiefs from your kids and pets, it’s convenient and helpful.
Possible Medical Problems
Your kids and your pets might get injured while playing, but they are probably not all alone.
Besides taking care of our kids, we also have parents. While they don’t necessarily need our assistance, it is useful to check in on them occasionally. This becomes important if one of our parents lives alone and/or has chronic medical issues.
Timely reactions can mean a difference between life and death in some situations.
You didn’t see this coming, did you?
Well, many insurance companies offer better deals to homeowners who have security systems and cameras.
And it’s only natural. Houses with security systems are safer and if any kind of undesired event occurs you’ll probably have footage as proof of what happened.
How to Choose a Home Security Camera – Main Concerns
First of all, take your time and don’t rush things. You want your cameras to run for years, so you should take it easy and consider your needs before you analyze camera features and quality.
Your friend or colleague may be thrilled and delighted with his camera, but it doesn’t mean that the same camera will work best for you. Your first decision is probably about the budget – how much you want to spend on your security system.
Next, you should consider the number of cameras you want. You can choose to set up an indoor or outdoor camera or both.
If you have a larger backyard or an easy approach from several sides, you might even consider several outdoor cameras. Once you determine your budget and develop your strategy, you can delve into the camera features.
Gone are the days when most cameras offered blurry images.
While the image quality is very important, today cameras usually offer decent to excellent quality. Unless you choose some obscure camera that no one has ever heard of, you probably can’t go wrong when it comes to image quality.
But, depending on your budget, you can choose not only decent but crystal clear video quality.
720p videos are decent but 1080p resolution is the most common to achieve excellent video quality. There are cameras out there that can shoot 4K videos but be wary: your network connection might not be strong enough to support these videos.
As a result, you may end up with beautiful choppy and jerky videos that require a lot of storage room.
Also, pay attention to night vision video quality and range. Some cameras offer color night vision features, but it’s not necessarily better.
As for the night vision range, it should be 30 feet or more.
Besides picture quality, look for cameras with wide-angle lenses and larger sensors for a wider field of view. If the camera has a narrow field of view, you might need another one just to cover a couple of square feet.
Almost all security cameras of today come with a motion sensor to trigger recording.
Motion detection can be accompanied with tons of additional features. Sound detection provides possible alerts even before someone enters the field of view of your camera.
Other useful features include monitoring particular areas, syrens, spotlight, smart detection (recognizing if it’s a person or animal or car), facial recognition, intelligent alerts, and more.
If you want to mount an outside security camera, make sure that it can withstand the weather. Every camera should have an IP rating that shows how resistant it is to dust, dirt, and water.
IP rating has two digits. The first one ranges from 0 to 6 and it shows the level of protection against dust and dirt. 0 means no protection while 6 means 100% protection. 100% protection means that no dust or dirt can enter the inside of the camera.
The second digit ranges from 0 (no protection) to 9 (it can withstand steam cleaning and immersion into deep water).
Commonly, security cameras have an IP66 rating which means that they are completely safe from dust and heavy rain or snow. Cameras with an IP66 rating will only drip if immersed into water.
This is pretty important and different cameras offer very different plans for storing videos.
Some of them come with microSD for local storage, but storing videos on a cloud is the most common option. Usually, it comes with a subscription or free storing with time and space limitations.
8 BEST HOME SECURITY CAMERA OPTIONS WITH REVIEWS
1. Arlo Pro 3
This wireless camera is one of the best outdoor security cameras out there.
Arlo Pro 1 and Arlo Pro 2 are pretty decent cameras as well, but new models usually offer some improvements and so is the case here.
It produces excellent video quality, with a wide field of view (160 degrees). I said it was an outdoor camera because it is wireless and weather-resistant, but it’s actually an indoor/outdoor camera, so you can use it indoors as well.
Furthermore, it comes in a set of two cameras. It’s easy to install, packed with features, and it integrates with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
- Easy to set up.
- Excellent video quality.
- Built-in siren.
- Integrated spotlight.
- Color and black-and-white night vision options.
- Smart motion detection.
- Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.
- It’s pricey.
- Two cameras require a hub.
- After three months you’ll need a subscription for smart features.
2. Google Home Security Camera – Nest IQ Indoor
If you’re looking for an indoor security camera, Google Nest IQ offers more features than you can think of.
It works with Google Home to provide the most intelligent home surveillance and control system. This camera can communicate with other smart devices in your house.
A supreme video and sound quality, facial detection and recognition, night vision, and alert notification make this camera a great addition to your security.
- Great video quality.
- Excellent two-way audio.
- Facial detection auto-zoom.
- Facial recognition.
- Integrates with Google Assistant, Alexa, and other Google Nest products.
- Intelligent alerts.
- Advanced features such as cloud storage require a subscription.
- It doesn’t come with a wall mount.
3. Google Nest IQ Outdoor Home Security Camera
This is one of the most versatile and intelligent outdoor cameras.
It has an excellent IP66 weatherproof rating. Basically, it means it has maximum protection from dust and dirt, and it can withstand heavy rain or snow.
It offers many cool features such as facial recognition, intelligent sound and motion alerts, configuring activity zones, and accessing video history. However, most of the advanced features come with a subscription only.
- Great video quality.
- It integrates with Google Assistant, Alexa, Nest, and IFTTT.
- Excellent weatherproof rating.
- Lots of features.
- Two-way audio.
- Not very affordable.
- It can only be plugged into an indoor power outlet.
- Advanced features require a subscription.
4. TP-Link Kasa Cam Outdoor KC200
Not everyone wants to splash hundreds of dollars for a security camera.
If you’re looking for a decent but affordable home security camera, Kasa Cam is a great choice. It doesn’t have bells and whistles like some more expensive cameras, but it offers a few excellent basic features, and then some.
These include free cloud storage for two days of recorded video, 4 activity zones, sound and motion detection among others.
- It is affordable.
- Sound and motion alerts.
- Free cloud storage.
- Very good video quality.
- Customizable siren.
- It doesn’t directly interact with other smart devices.
5. Wyze Cam Pan
This is an indoor budget option. Wyze Cam is very affordable, yet it offers a lot.
It can pan up and down, left and right, so you get 360 degrees coverage with this camera. Motion detection, motion tracking, and motion tagging functions allow you to customize and choose monitoring areas.
And you get free cloud storage for 14 days of recorded video.
- Very affordable.
- Good image quality.
- 360 coverage.
- Motion tracking.
- No wireless option.
- Limited options for motion sensitivity.
- Low speaker sound quality.
6. Blink XT2
Blink is an Amazon company. It focuses on simplicity and reliability.
This camera is wire-free, it comes with 2 AA lithium batteries that should last for about two years. Completely free cloud storage is the most generous offer when it comes to storage options. Naturally, it integrates with Alexa, but not with Google and other smart home systems.
- Very good video quality.
- Integrates with Alexa.
- Two-year batteries.
- Free cloud storage.
- It requires Blink Sync Module.
- It integrates with Alexa only.
- No person detection.
7. Ring Stick Up Cam Battery
The Ring Stick Up Cam Battery is a versatile and convenient home security camera. It’s very easy to install and it offers many decent features.
It is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. Video quality is pretty good, night vision included.
It is wire-free and very customizable motion detection. You can set motion alerts, designate motion zones or set schedules to disable motion alerts.
- 1080p video quality.
- It is versatile.
- Motion detection.
- Integrates with Alexa and IFTTT
- Two-way audio.
- You need a subscription to view recorded videos.
- It’s not tested against dust.
8. Amcrest 2K 3MP Wireless Outdoor Security Camera
This wireless camera is a great choice overall. It is affordable and offers decent features.
But, it really shines when it comes to bad weather. It has an IP67 weatherproof rating. It means that it’s completely safe from dust and dirt particles and it can withstand extremely cold temperatures and even immersion into one-meter deep water.
Okay, you probably don’t need a security camera in your swimming pool. But, if you live in a colder climate, this sturdy camera will do a great job. It also has excellent video quality and cloud storage for four hours without a subscription.
- Excellent video quality.
- It is affordable.
- It integrates with Alexa.
- 98 feet night vision.
- It withstands severe weather conditions.
- 100° is not the widest field of view.
- No two-way audio.
- Not too many advanced features.