Best HD Security Cameras

HD cameras don’t miss a thing. They produce a clear picture of fine details like faces, license plates, and visitors.
Best overall
Amcrest HD security camera
Amcrest UltraHD
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
  • pro
    4K UHD video
  • pro
    112º field of view
  • pro
    Local storage
Best field of view
Arlo Ultra 2 Kit
Arlo Ultra 2
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
  • pro
    4K UHD video
  • pro
    180º field of view
  • pro
    Built-in light and siren
Best image
Nest Cam (Battery)
Nest Cam (Battery)
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
  • pro
    1080p HD video
  • pro
    130º field of view
  • pro
    Excellent video quality
Best for HomeKit
Logitech Circle View
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
  • pro
    1080p HD video
  • pro
    180º field of view
  • pro
    Apple HomeKit Secure Video
Brightest floodlight
Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus
Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
  • pro
    1080p HD video
  • pro
    140º field of view
  • pro
    2,000-lumen floodlights
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The Amcrest UltraHD camera is subtle, powerful, and sharp. It sends cinema-quality 4K footage directly to your phone through the Amcrest app. Its 16x zoom, clarity, and video quality are powerful enough to see the fine details of faces or license plates.

The Amcrest HD security camera uses local storage to save footage. Its small microSD card reduces risk of online attacks without sacrificing wireless security.

Overall, the Amcrest UltraHD camera delivers the picture quality, convenience, and privacy features that make it the best HD Wi-Fi security camera in our lineup.



Compare security cameras with the best image quality

Product
Best for
Price
Resolution
Field of view
Local storage
Learn more
Best overall2160p (4K) 112°
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best field of view 2160p (4K) 180°
Icon Yes  LightOptional
Best image 1080p 130°
Icon Yes  LightBackup only
Best for HomeKit 1080p 180°
Icon No  LightNo
Brightest floodlight 1080p 140°
Icon No  LightNo

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Best HD Wi-Fi security camera reviews

1. Amcrest UltraHD: Best overall 

Best overall
Amcrest HD security camera
Amcrest UltraHD
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
$119.99

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Amcrest UltraHD holds a lot of power for a little dome camera. It shoots in 4K, has a powerful 16x zoom, can detect motion, and sees in the dark up to 98 feet away. These powers combined give you a clear view of your driveway whether it’s the middle of the night or high noon.

pro
Pros
pro 4K video quality
pro 98-foot night vision range
pro 16x zoom
pro Local video storage
con
Cons
con Limited field of view

But the cherry on top of this little wireless security sundae is its microSD card. Similar HD Wi-Fi security cameras require a subscription to access video history. The local storage on the Amcrest UltraHD allows you to watch past video footage without a monthly fee. Plus, keeping your video history on a local drive makes it harder for hackers to access your past footage.

The Amcrest claims a wide-angle lens, but it’s certainly not the widest available. It can capture 112° around it (just a little more than the human eye), but that doesn’t compare to Arlo Ultra’s field of view.

Overall, the Amcrest UltraHD outdoor security camera delivers a sharp picture, day or night. Its motion detection and continuous recording features make it the perfect digital watchdog for your doorstep, backyard, or walkway.

2. Arlo Ultra 2: Best field of view 

Best field of view
Arlo Ultra 2 Kit
Arlo Ultra 2
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.05
$580.64
(2-pack)

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Arlo Ultra 2 is the pick of the litter in Arlo’s suite of outdoor security cameras. It’s expensive, but its 4K video quality and wide-angle lens make it a worthy investment.

pro
Pros
pro 4K resolution
pro Widest field of view of the bunch
pro Built-in light and siren
con
Cons
con Expensive price tag
con Extra features require a subscription

This outdoor security camera catches what other cameras only get in the periphery. Its 180° field of view can see it all, from your dog digging up the flowers again to a suspicious character looming around the corner. Its built-in floodlight and siren also come in handy when there’s trouble.

The Arlo Ultra 2 comes in a two-pack with a base station that connects the camera to your home’s Wi-Fi network. You can view footage live from the Arlo app and interact with anyone on the other side through the two-way talk feature. The speaker and mic have noise-canceling technology that blocks out ambient noise like wind or cars.

Some of the Arlo’s best features require a subscription, though. Arlo Secure is affordable (under $5 per month for one camera) and offers 30-day video history, person detection, and e911, a service unique to Arlo that calls emergency responders nearest to your house.

Our biggest complaint about the Arlo Ultra 2 is its price. If you want to add an Arlo camera, but don’t want to drop a ton of money, read our Arlo cameras review to see if it would better meet your needs.

3. Google Nest Cam (Battery): Best image

Best image

The Nest Cam (Battery) outdoor security camera looks like it belongs in an art museum. Its smooth white weatherproof casing adds security and curb appeal to your home no matter where you put it.

pro
Pros
pro 6x digital zoom
pro Wide field of view
pro Quality design and aesthetic
con
Cons
con Facial recognition requires subscription

But it’s not just a pretty face. The Nest Cam (Battery) shoots in 1080p HD, has a field of view of 130°, and boasts a powerful 6x digital zoom. That’s enough to clearly see a license plate from the street or identify visitors’ facial features from far away.

It’s no surprise that the Nest Cam (Battery) can connect with your Google Assistant but it also works with Amazon Alexa. You can view footage on your Google Assistant speaker or set up alerts when your Nest senses something.

The best features for Nest Cam (Battery) don't require a Nest Aware subscription. A three-hour video history, clips, and smart motion detection are just a few of the features that work without a subscription. Though you still need to pay for longer cloud storage and facial recognition.

If you’re ready to invest in outdoor security cameras, the Nest Cam (Battery) is a worthy choice.

Learn more in our Nest security cameras review.

4. Logitech Circle View: Best for HomeKit

Best for HomeKit

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Logitech Circle View shoots 180° in clear 1080p HD, enough to catch the whole living room or your entire backyard. Its night vision is better suited for indoor security, but you can still see 15 feet in the dark (enough to help see who’s sleepwalking or getting a midnight snack).

pro
Pros
pro Works with Apple HomeKit Secure Video
pro Indoor and outdoor functionality
pro 180° field of view
con
Cons
con Wired power cord
con No local storage

The Logitech Circle View is compatible with Apple HomeKit Secure Video, so you can use Siri to control or sync it with smart home devices. Secure Video also means you can store security footage on iCloud+ instead of subscribing to Logitech's cloud storage plan.

The amount of cameras ultimately depends on your iCloud+ plan. HomeKit Secure Video isn't available on the free iCloud plan but you can store video for one camera—without affecting your data limit—on the 50GB plan for around $1 a month. This is great for checking on a recent event like package thievery or a trash can raid by rogue wildlife.

5. Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus: Brightest floodlight

Brightest floodlight
Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus sheds light on the darkest parts of your property. Install it on the garage or on the side of your house to light the backyard. The camera and lights activate when the motion sensors detect objects. These lights are bright too, about 300 lumens, about as bright as one car headlight.

pro
Pros
pro Motion activated camera and lights
pro Compatibility with Amazon Echo
con
Cons
con Subscription required for video history

The Ring Floodlight continuously records in 1080p video quality. While it lacks the ultra HD you might see in our 4K picks, it’s still high quality. If you have an Amazon Echo Show or Echo Spot, you can see Ring camera footage by asking Alexa. So you can check in on the backyard from the kitchen or wherever you keep your Echo device.

Ring also has a few extra features like 30-day video history and professional monitoring available through a Ring Protect subscription.

Learn more in our Ring Floodlight review.

Things to consider before you buy

Resolution

Resolution quantifies the number of pixels a camera can fit onto your screen. The more pixels, the sharper the image. Today’s HD Wi-Fi security cameras are the standard, but even HD footage can appear fuzzy if you watch it on a screen that’s too big.

Think of the screen you'll use when you watch your footage. If it’s smaller than a phone screen, you might not need a super-crisp 4K resolution. But if you plan to use a TV or computer screen, opt for a higher resolution.

Field of view 

The average human eye can see about 100° from side to side, so look for a security cam that can see at least as much.2 Basically, the wider the area you want to cover, the wider your field of view needs to be.

The most we’ve ever seen in a Wi-Fi security camera is 180°. You can commonly find cameras that range from 120° to 140°. Cameras with a field of view of 120° should be enough to cover your front porch or living room, but aim for more if you want to cover your whole backyard or a wide room inside.

Paid features

Some IP cameras like Arlo offer a subscription service that delivers more features to your camera. Typically, these features include access to in-depth video history versus the few minutes you might get for free. It’s always worth looking into these paid features, but they require a monthly fee and can build up fast if you’re on a budget.

HD Wi-Fi camera FAQ

Yes, privacy poses a valid concern for anyone with an IP camera. Nest and Ring have recently come under fire for serious breaches in security.3 While companies tighten security measures over time, you can take these precautions to reduce the risks:

  • Change Wi-Fi and camera app passwords often. 
  • Use unique, complex passwords. 
  • Log out of the camera app after checking in. 
  • Use two-way authentication when available.

While you can buy indoor and outdoor models, HD security cameras are well-suited for the outdoors. Their power makes them a better fit for viewing things at a distance. When you start installing home security cameras, look at the surfaces at the front, sides, and back of your house. 

We recommend positioning a camera at the front of your house, whether on the porch or near the garage. Most intruders or threats tend to come from the very front of the house, so you can at least see who’s snooping around.

If your internet download speed is under 25 Mbps your normally sharp video can turn blurry or lag. If your internet speed affects your camera’s video quality, you can adjust settings in the camera app to take up less bandwidth. 

HD, or high definition, is measured by the number of pixels in a video. Cameras that shoot in 720p are HD ready, while full HD starts at 1080p. Generally, the higher the pixel count, the better the picture quality. 

How we reviewed the best HD security cameras

We started by shopping around for cameras with resolutions of 1080p and up. From there, we read through customer reviews for each camera, combing through details on installation, video quality, price, and features.

We also watched installation and testing videos to get a feel for how these cameras work firsthand. We’ve tested Ring and Nest HD cameras before, so it helped to compare past notes to what we learned about installation and features in other cameras.

Once we had our lineup, we compared the most important specs side by side to finalize our decision. Learn more about how we review and research security products like this in our full methodology.

Related articles on SafeWise 


Sources

Disclaimer 

*Amazon.com list price as of post date. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided "as is" and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

Katie McEntire
Written by
Katie McEntire
As a renter, pet-owner, and woman living alone, Katie McEntire takes safety seriously. She’s tested devices like pet cameras, home security systems, and GPS trackers in her own home and devices in the name of safety. In addition to testing, writing, and reviewing for SafeWise, she also makes videos for the site’s YouTube channel. She’s been featured on publications like TechGuySmartBuy, Forbes, Healthy Moms, and Digital Care. Katie has a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She’s held previous writing positions at Overstock.com and Top Ten Reviews.

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