Best Cheap Security Cameras (Under $150)

On a budget? These wallet-friendly cameras offer some serious bang for buck.
Best overall and pan/tilt
TP-Link Tapo C200
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • pro
    1080p resolution
  • pro
    Local storage
Best features
Eufy Solo IndoorCam P24
Eufy Indoor Cam 2K
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • pro
    2K resolution
  • pro
    Smart motion tracking and detection
Best outdoor
Reolink Lumus
Reolink Lumus
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • pro
    Colour night vision
  • pro
    Local storage
Best solar
Reolink Argus 2E
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • pro
    1080p resolution
  • pro
    Battery powered w/ solar panel included
Best under $50
TP-Link Tapo C100
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • pro
    1080p resolution
  • pro
    Local storage

Home security cameras aren’t only for people who can drop a wad of cash on a fancy surveillance system. If you want to add a security camera but have a budget to stick to, we think that the TP-Link Tapo C200 is the one to beat.

While most cheap security cameras sacrifice features like image quality and smart home compatibility to push the price lower, TP-Link delivers an unexpectedly solid experience that rivals the best home security cameras at any cost.



Compare the best cheap security cameras

Camera
Best for
Price
Video resolution
Field of view
Power source
Smart home compatibility
Learn more
Best overall (and best pan/tilt)1080p360° horizontal and 114° verticalWiredAlexa, Google Home
Best features2K360° horizontal and 96° verticalWiredApple HomeKit, Alexa, Google Home
Best outdoor1080p100°WiredAlexa, Google Home
Best solar1080p120°Battery/solarAlexa, Google Home
Best under $501080p105°WiredAlexa, Google Home

*Prices are accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Best cheap security camera reviews

1. TP-Link Tapo C200: Best cheap security camera overall (and best pan/tilt)

Best overall (and pan/tilt)

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

For overall value for money, the TP-Link Tapo C200 is very hard to beat. It's got just about everything you could possibly need in a security camera, budget-friendly or otherwise: Great video quality, solid night vision up to 9 metres, motion detection, two-way audio, smart home compatibility (Alexa and Google Home), and it even has an SD card slot, so you don't have to fork out for monthly cloud fees (unless you want to, of course!)

I've been using the Tapo C200 for over six months now to keep an eye on my puppy while I'm out and about. It's been an invaluable pawrenting companion, since it can pan 360 degrees horizontally and 114 degrees vertically, allowing you to cover a whole lot more ground than a simple static camera would allow.

pro
Pros
pro 360° pan and 114° tilt
pro Excellent video quality and night vision
pro Two-way talk
pro MicroSD card storage up to 128GB
con
Cons
con Motion tracking and cloud storage costs extra
con Continuous streaming requires feed refresh every five minutes

The only real downside to the Tapo C200 is that some features (like motion tracking) are locked behind a paywall. If it's a feature you have your heart set on, you can purchase a Tapo Care subscription from $4.99 per month, which also includes 30 days of cloud storage.

It's also worth noting that, if you plan on watching the camera's live stream continuously while you're out of the house, you will need to refresh the feed every five minutes. Still, for under $60, we reckon these small caveats are well worth it.

2. Eufy Indoor Camera 2K: Best cheap security camera for features

Best features
Eufy Solo IndoorCam P24
Eufy Indoor Camera 2K
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$98.95

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Considering even some security cameras over $300 don't offer 2K video resolution, the fact that the Eufy Indoor Camera 2K does (and costs a third of the price) should tell you just how good of a deal it is.

Think of it as a beefed-up version of our top pick above. It offers the same pan/tilt functionality, two-way audio, night vision and even local microSD storage. So, you might wonder, why is it almost double the price?

The Eufy Indoor Camera 2K goes above and beyond, doubling the video resolution, adding Apple HomeKit compatibility, as well as motion tracking at no extra cost.

pro
Pros
pro 360° pan and 96° tilt
pro Ultra-crisp video quality
pro Motion tracking at no extra cost
pro MicroSD card storage up to 128GB
con
Cons
con Cloud storage costs extra
con One of the pricier picks on our list

It's not all perfect, though. Like TP-Link Tapo, Eufy charges extra for cloud storage (starting at US$2.99 per month), and the camera itself, though cheap in the grand scheme of security cameras, is one of the pricier options on our list.

3. Reolink Lumus: Best cheap outdoor security camera

Best outdoor
Reolink Lumus
Reolink Lumus
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$79.99

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Reolink Lumus packs a big punch for a sub-$80 security camera, since you're also essentially getting a motion sensor security light thrown in, too.

Boasting 1080p video resolution, PIR motion detection, two-way audio, a siren, and IP65 weatherproofing, the Lumus is surprisingly feature-packed for its pint-sized price.

The best part, though? In addition to up to 64GB of local storage (via microSD card), Reolink also gives users seven days of cloud storage completely for free.

pro
Pros
pro Colour night vision
pro Bright LED spotlight
pro Two-way audio with siren
pro 7 days free cloud storage
con
Cons
con Wired installation can make outdoor placement difficult
con Comparatively narrow field of view

Unfortunately, because the Reolink Lumus is a wired security camera, placement can be difficult if you don't have an outdoor power point. It also has a narrower field of view than we'd like. If you've got a little extra money to spend and would rather not worry about wires, our next pick is for you.

Light Bulb
Cheap cameras at Bunnings

Looking for more cheap cameras? We've rounded up the best Bunnings security cameras so you can get your next sausage sizzle with a side of safety.

4. Reolink Argus 2E: Best cheap solar-powered security camera

Best solar
Reolink Argus 2E
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$134.99

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Reolink is once again bringing the goods with the solar-powered Argus 2E. Retailing for under $150, this battery-powered security camera comes with its own solar charging panel and offers 1080p video resolution, PIR motion detection, a 75dB siren, and IP65 weatherproofing.

Like the Lumus, the Argus 2E offers local microSD card storage (this time up to 128GB) along with seven days of cloud storage at no extra cost. It also has a broader 120-degree field of view, allowing greater coverage of your outdoor area.

pro
Pros
pro Battery-powered for easy installation
pro Solar charging panel included
pro 120-degree field of view
pro 7 days free cloud storage
con
Cons
con Most expensive pick on our list
con No colour night vision

On the flip side, it's hard to ignore that the Argus 2E is the most expensive camera on our list. Though we think the flexibility and ease of installation that comes with a truly wireless security camera is worth it, it may not be for everyone. Also, with no LED spotlight, don't expect anything more than black and white night vision.

5. TP-Link Tapo C100: Best cheap security camera under $50

Best under $50
TP-Link Tapo C100
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$47.97

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If you're stuck to a hard $50 limit, avoid the temptation to go for a no-name, untested brand and stick with the tried-and-true TP-Link Tapo C100. It doesn't have as many bells and whistles as some of our other favourite cheap security cameras, but it's still a great buy.

It offers most of the same features as our top pick (the C200), but without the pan/tilt functionality. If you ask us, it's worth the extra $5 or $10 for the C200 if you can swing it, but if not, the C100 will do you just fine. Just keep in mind that it has a narrower field of view (105 degrees), so if you're planning on watching something that moves (like, say, a cheeky pup), you might find yourself wishing you could swing horizontally and vertically.

pro
Pros
pro Excellent video quality and night vision
pro Two-way talk
pro MicroSD card storage up to 128GB
con
Cons
con Narrow field of view
con Motion tracking and cloud storage costs extra
con The better Tapo C200 is only $5-$10 more

Final word

TP-Link is the clear leader among budget camera brands with the Tapo C200. It offers exceptional quality for under $60: 1080p resolution, wide pan/tilt functionality, local storage, smart home compatibility and more. The only drawback is that cloud storage and motion tracking costs extra.

Cheap security cameras offer more features and better quality than ever before. So much so that it's hard to recommend anything else for those wanting a quick, easy way to check on your home with a smartphone. If your budget's a bit more flexible, consider checking out our review of the best wireless security cameras to see how pricier cameras compare.

Cheap security cameras FAQ

If you want to keep your research light, focus on familiar brands. Ask trusted friends and family for recommendations to see what they use and if it's a good fit for you. For a more comprehensive search, look at expert reviews (like this one, wink wink) and customer ratings on retail websites.

While cheap, reliable, and secure security camera brands seem too good to be true, it's fairly easy to find them with a bit of research.

There are three common costs beyond the purchase price of a cheap security camera:

  • MicroSD cards: While most cheap security cameras have a microSD slot that allows you to record video locally, the card is usually a separate purchase. Buying one of these cards will cost less than the camera, but it's still an extra expense. A 32 GB card is generally large enough for most people and costs around $10 on average.
  • Cloud video storage: If you're keen to store security footage longer than a few seconds for more than a day online, you’ll need a subscription. Most cloud storage plans for cheap cameras aren't a good deal. Considering pricier brands like Ring and Arlo charge about $4-$5 a month for their single-camera plans, anything more than that is too much unless it supports multiple cameras.
  • Overall quality: Cheap cameras usually have shorter warranties, less durable materials, and fewer features than models costing around $100. Not accounting for the environmental impact of e-waste, a $30 camera replaced every year is still cheaper than a $100 camera replaced every three years. Thankfully, most cheap cameras last much longer than a year.

Take time to read the fine print and root out any extra costs before deciding which inexpensive security camera is right for you.

There are various apps (Alfred is our pick) to turn that old smartphone from your junk drawer into an instant security camera. (You might want a long power cable and mini tripod first.) These apps give you most of the core features you expect from a security camera, like motion detection, live video streaming, and two-way communication.

They can't really do night vision since most smartphones don't have the right tech, mainly infrared LEDs. Still, they're worth considering for a temporary or permanent security camera.

Checklist
Watch out for fake reviews

Approach online customer star ratings with a grain of salt—some brands encourage positive reviews in exchange for freebies, and it's not easy to spot. Instead, focus on longer written reviews, photos, and videos, especially in neutral or negative reviews. Reviews that criticise a product are an easy way to learn about potential drawbacks.


Disclaimer
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time of publish and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer’s website at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise Australia utilises paid affiliate links.
Georgia Dixon
Written by
Georgia Dixon

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