Internet cameras offer a great way to keep track of what’s happening in your home. They come loaded with features, like streaming video and remote access, and can ramp up your security or act as a useful tool to keep a watch on the kids while you’re away. If you’re in the market for a Wi-Fi camera, here are a few of the best options:
The wonderful thing about the Nest Cam is its ability to sync with the Nest Smart Thermostat and Nest Protect. You can get updates on the status of your system through your phone with the Nest Aware, though it’ll cost you extra. Aware also allows you to record up to 30 days of continuous footage and create time-lapse videos to share on Facebook or Twitter.
Nest Aware also uses algorithms that can detect the difference between someone breaking into your home and tree branch falling against a glass window.
Even without Aware, the Nest Cam is a good deal. It provides a 130-degree wide-angle view of the room, with zoom capabilities and 1080p HD video streaming. It also comes with night vision to help keep you safe at all hours of the day. And with its $199 retail price, the Nest Cam definitely falls on the more affordable side of the market.
Withings is known mostly for activity trackers and health devices, but they’ve entered the Internet camera and security market with a strong showing in the Withings Home. The camera contains a 5-megapixel CMOS sensor that can alert you when motion or sound is detected in the room. It also allows you to store recorded video in the cloud and can sense changes in the air quality of your home through multiple environmental detectors.
The camera has a 135-degree wide-angle lens, an Ethernet port, digital microphones to pick up sound, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios. In short, it’s packed with features that many other home Internet cams don’t include.
One of the drawbacks of the Withings Home system is that it only works with iOS devices, meaning Android and Web users are unable to use the system until Withings opts to expand compatibility to all web-enabled devices. If you do happen to use iOS device, however, the device’s price tag of $199.95 is certainly reasonable.
NETGEAR designed the Arlo with security in mind, and they’ve delivered a well-rounded camera that works both indoors and out. It’s weatherproof, small, easy-to-install, and contains motion detection and night vision up to 25 feet, so your home is protected around the clock.
The Arlo system allows you to place one or more cameras just about anywhere on your property. The cameras then communicate with the system’s base station via the Wi-Fi, allowing you to track movement and more. The Arlo cameras feature a 130-degree field of view and 1280 x 720p resolution.
One downside to this system is that the camera can’t pan or tilt—your field of view is static. Also, unlike the cameras above, the Arlo doesn’t include sound capture technology. So, if your system detects movement and starts to record, you’ll only be able to see what’s going on—you can’t hear.
While the Arlo system is convenient, it can get pricey. For a basic system with just 1 camera, you can expect to pay roughly $200, though systems with four cameras get as high as $499.99.
Each of these Wi-Fi cameras has a lot to offer in terms of functionality and home security. The Arlo is the best option for recording outdoors, while the other three provide reliable security features for the indoors. In the end, the system that will work best for you will depend on your needs and budgetary restrictions.
Written by Hillary Johnston
A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more