Best Cheap Security Cameras Under $50

You don’t have to pay a small fortune for the peace of mind that comes with a security camera. We found the top seven cheap security cameras you can trust under $50.
Top Pick
Zosi 720p CCTV Security Camera

ZOSI 720P CCTV Camera

  • Cheapest of the cheap
  • Reliable inside and outdoors
Smart Cam Pick
Wyze Cam Pan

Wyze Cam Pan Security Camera

  • Works with Alexa
  • Scans entire room
Outdoor Camera Pick
SV3C WiFi Outdoor Security Camera

SV3C HD Wi-Fi Security Camera

  • Night vision up to 65 ft.
  • Quick, easy setup

Home security cameras aren’t reserved 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, this is the resource you’ve been looking for. We found seven cheap security cameras that deliver high-quality reliability—and they’re all under $50.

Compare the Best Cheap Security Cameras

Zosi 720p CCTV Security Camera  Wansview Wireless 1080p Security Camera  Wyze Cam Pan  YI Dome Security Camera  SV3C WiFi Outdoor Security Camera  TBI Pro Security Camera  Alpha Tech Hidden Camera
ZOSI 720P CCTV Camera Wansview Wireless 1080P Security Camera Wyze Cam Pan YI Dome Camera SV3C HD Wi-Fi Security Camera  TBI PRO Camera Alpha Tech Hidden Camera
Price* $14.99 $45.99 $35.98 $37.99 $39.99 $39.95 $39.99
Night Vision Up to 65 ft. Up to 20 ft. Up to 30 ft. Up to 10 ft. Up to 65 ft. Up to 20 ft. None
2-way Communication N Y Y Y N Y N
Motion Detection Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Recording/Storage ZOSI Cloud

DVRs

Max 128GB microSD card Rolling 14-day cloud storage

microSD card

Rolling 7-day YI cloud storage microSD card Max 64GB microSD card Max 64GB microSD card Max 32GB microSD card
App ZOSI VIEW app for iOS,

Android

Wansview App for iPhone, Android Wyze app YI Home app iOS (no Mac access)

Android

iOS

Android

Mac, PC access only
Smart Home Compatibility None None Works with Alexa YI Home products None None None
Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon

*Prices as of 10/2/2018

Best Cheap Security Camera Reviews

Zosi 720p CCTV Security Camera

ZOSI 720P CCTV Camera

Best for scaring off burglars

This is a four-in-one security camera from ZOSI. You can use it inside and outdoors, and it’s compatible with four different video outputs. This ZOSI security camera looks like what you expect from a security camera, which should scare away burglars who are on the prowl. And you can find plenty of videos online from customers who caught thieves in the act thanks to this versatile, cheap camera.

Pros

  • Weather-resistant design
  • 65 ft. night vision
  • Vandal-proof construction
  • Compatibility with other ZOSI cameras

Cons

  • No motion tracking
  • No mobile pan or tilt
  • No two-way audio

Wansview Wireless 1080p Security Camera

Wansview Wireless 1080P Security Camera

Best night vision images

This affordable security camera delivers a lot for under $50. You get 1080p HD resolution, a 350° pan range, and 4x digital zoom. Plus, with two-way communication, this is a great solution if you want to check in on little humans or fur babies. And customers love how crisp the images are—even at night. But that awesome night vision only extends up to 20 feet.

Pros

  • iOS and Android mobile app
  • Smart pan and tilt function
  • Quick setup
  • Broad field of view
  • Excellent night vision clarity

Cons

  • Limited night vision range
  • No smart home capability
  • Glitchy Android app

Wyze Cam Pan

Wyze Cam Pan

Best cheap smart cam

It’s hard to believe that you can get a smart Wi-Fi camera for less than $40. But the Wyze Cam Pan delivers—and it’s become a staff favorite. You’ll love the clear night vision images, built-in speaker for two-way audio, and smart motion tracking that follows movement from start to finish. And if you’ve got a little tyke that likes to sing themselves to sleep, you can check in remotely for a sweet serenade every night. 

Pros

  • Free rolling cloud storage
  • Voice control with Amazon Alexa
  • 360° pan and scan
  • Motion and sound detection
  • Longer power cord

Cons

  • No auto-reboot function
  • Some network security concerns
  • Hit-and-miss motion alerts

YI Dome Security Camera

YI Dome Camera

Best for no blind spots

The YI Dome Camera makes it easy to stay on top of everything in your home when you have to be away. And you can wave goodbye to blind spots because the YI Dome Camera features a bidirectional rotation range that captures panoramic scenes. Best of all, you can store all those sweeping images for free on the YI Cloud.

Pros

  • Unlimited rolling YI Cloud storage
  • Motion tracking
  • Video bookmarks
  • Compatibility with other YI devices
  • Noise reduction

Cons

  • App privacy concerns
  • Some firmware issues
  • No motion alert zone settings

SV3C WiFi Outdoor Security Camera

SV3C HD Wi-Fi Security Camera

Best cheap outdoor security camera

This outdoor IP camera lets you protect your home and property without breaking the bank. The SV3C provides smart motion detection, high-resolution images, and the biggest night vision range of any camera on our list. And at around $40 a piece, you can afford to place a few around your property.

Pros

  • Long night vision range
  • Smart motion detection
  • Compatibility with third-party security software
  • Quick, easy setup

Cons

  • No two-way audio
  • No smart home compatibility
  • Difficult adjustment of recording settings

TBI Pro Security Camera

TBI PRO Camera

Best for easy setup

You’re in for a treat with this Wi-Fi security camera. The TBI Pro packs in night vision, motion detection, two-way sound, and mobile app control into a stylish (dare we say adorable?) package. Best of all, it’s easy to set up and delivers high-res video and picture quality.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Helpful video setup guide
  • High-end feel
  • Excellent video quality

Cons

  • No “home” and “away” settings for motion detection
  • Mobile device requirement for setup
  • Unclear audio transmission

Alpha Tech Hidden Camera

Alpha Tech Hidden Camera

Best for covert coverage

You’ll feel like James Bond when you use this sneaky surveillance camera. Just plug it into an outlet and you’re all set to record what’s going on in that room. And there’s a bonus—it not only looks like a USB charge adapter, it works like one too. So you can monitor the babysitter and charge your tablet at the same time.

Pros

  • Small and discreet design
  • Plug-and-play setup
  • 90° wide-angle view
  • Date and time stamp feature

Cons

  • Limited features
  • No pan or tilt capabilities
  • No live streaming

How to Buy a Cheap Security Camera

It’s fine and good to want an affordable home security camera solution, but you don’t want to sacrifice quality for a few extra bucks in your wallet. Here are our tips for buying smart on the cheap.

Know what you want from your security camera

When you’re buying cheap it helps to know in advance the features that you’re looking for. That helps you weed out cameras that don’t deliver right away. Here are some questions to help you figure out what you want (and need) in a cheap security camera.

  • Do you want to use the camera inside or outdoors?
  • Do you want to install more than one security camera?
  • Do you want a camera to deter burglars?
  • Do you want a security camera so you can check in on people and pets when you’re not at home?
  • Is a mobile app important to you?
  • Do you want motion-activated alerts sent to your phone or email?
  • Do you want to be able to listen in and talk through the camera?
  • Are you interested in a camera that you can move around, or do you want to install it in a permanent location?
  • Are you more interested in wireless cameras, or are you okay with a power cord?
  • Is storing and saving video footage important to you? If so, do you want to use cloud storage or do you prefer an SD card?
  • Do you want to watch a live video feed?
  • Are smart home features and compatibility important to you?

Identify security camera brands that you trust

Finding high quality at low prices is a lot easier when you know which brands deliver at a lower price point. Start with brands that you may already be familiar with, or ask trusted friends and family for recommendations. Then research expert reviews and customer ratings to see what people are saying about the camera after they’ve used it for a while.

Look out for security cameras that come with hidden costs

The purchase price posted for one camera may not be the whole story. Some security cameras are part of a bigger system and require extra equipment to function. Extras can be a base station, playback DVR, or cloud storage subscription. Take time to read the fine print and root out any extra costs before deciding which cheap security camera is right for you.

Our Approach

SafeWise tests, researches, and compares products based on the factors that matter most to the people who want to use them. We get our hands on products, fall into rabbit holes of research, look up customer reviews, contact customer service, and more. Learn more about our rankings and reviews process on our methodology page.

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

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