Best Home Security Cameras for 2019

We’ve picked the best home security cameras based on image quality, price, smart features, and more.
Written by | Updated December 13, 2019
Best Wireless Cam
Arlo Pro Security Camera product imageArlo Pro
  • 100% wire-free operation
  • Free cloud storage
  • Indoor/outdoor durability
  • 100% wire-free operation
  • Free cloud storage
  • Indoor/outdoor durability
Best Motion Detection
Wyze Cam PanWyze Cam Pan
  • Cheap price
  • Free cloud storage
  • Motion tracking
  • Cheap price
  • Free cloud storage
  • Motion tracking
Best Outdoor Cam
Ring Spotlight CamRing Spotlight Cam
  • Three power options
  • Voice control with Alexa
  • Built-in motion light
  • Three power options
  • Voice control with Alexa
  • Built-in motion light

With so much to choose from, it’s hard to know which security camera is right for you. That’s why we break down everything from video resolution to smart home compatibility to help you find the security camera that meets the needs of your home and family.


best home security cameras line-up


Compare the Best Home Security Cameras

Camera
Price
Video Resolution
Smart Home Compatibility
Learn More
Wireless Pick
Motion Pick
Outdoor Pick
Monitored Pick
Best Image
Easy Setup
Most Versatile
Best Baby Monitor
Best Night Vision
Best Pan-and-Tilt
Arlo Pro Security Camera product image white wyze cam Ring Spotlight Cam vivint ping camera Nest Cam IQ Indoor Vimtag P1 HD Ultra IP Camera black canary flex camera with cable YI 1080p Indoor Security Camera SereneLife Indoor IP Camera Wansview 1080p WiFi Security Camera
Arlo Pro Wyze Cam Pan Ring Spotlight Cam Vivint’s Ping Indoor Camera™ Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor Vimtag P1 HD Ultra IP Camera Canary Flex YI 1080p Indoor Security Camera SereneLife Indoor IP Camera Wansview 1080p WiFi Security Camera
$249.99 $36.59 $199.00 $199.99* $299.99 $69.95 $199.00 $25.99 $65.03 $39.99
720p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 720p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p
Digital only None None None None Both None Pan only Both Both
130° 120° 140° 155° 130° 112° 116° 112° 90° 65°
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
IFTTT
Samsung SmartThings
Amazon Alexa Amazon Alexa Vivint Sky Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Nest
None Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
None None None
View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Ring Visit Vivint View on Kohl's View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon

Amazon.com List Price as of 11/21/19 3:38 p.m. MST. (Full disclaimer)
*Vivint Ping camera not sold separately; requires a Vivint home security system.

Best Security Camera Reviews

Arlo Pro: Best Wireless Camera

Arlo Pro Wireless Camera

View on Amazon

Netgear’s Arlo Pro is a SafeWise favorite—in fact a few of us have bought them for our homes after testing because we couldn’t bear to give them up. It also tops our list of best wireless security cameras.

The Arlo Pro is a solid all-around camera that works inside or out, and it’s super-easy to install. The biggest drawback is the investment. You need to purchase a base station in addition to the camera, which makes the up-front cost more hefty than other cameras.

Read our full Arlo Pro review to get all the details.

Pros

  • 100% wire-free operation
  • 7 days of free rolling cloud storage
  • Quick, easy setup
  • Sensitive motion detector

Cons

  • Required base station
  • Limited configurations and settings

Wyze Cam Pan: Best Motion-Activated Camera

Wyze Cam Pan with Dog in Living Room

View on Amazon

The Wyze Cam Pan has quickly become a staff favorite. Whether you want to use it as a baby monitor (like one of our testers did) or as a means to keep Fido off the sofa (like me), this camera’s advanced motion tracking won’t disappoint.

Instant alerts plus motion tracking let you see exactly what’s happening while it’s happening. And two-way talk is a great way to settle down upset kiddos or excited pets—not to mention scaring away would-be burglars.

Learn more in our complete Wyze Cam Pan review.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • 360° coverage
  • Motion tracking
  • Free cloud storage

Cons

  • No email alerts
  • Glitchy sound quality

Ring Spotlight Cam: Best Outdoor Camera

Ring Spotlight Cam

View on Ring

You might recognize the Ring brand for its doorbell cameras. But the company has branched out and added its smart surveillance technology to this compact outdoor security camera.

Because it can be difficult to find power sources for outside cameras, we like that the Ring Spotlight Cam has three power options: battery, hardwired, or solar.

It also has a built-in, motion-activated spotlight that will stop trespassers in their tracks. Plus added features like two-way audio, a 110-decibel siren, and integration with Amazon Alexa make this camera a leader in outdoor surveillance. That’s why the Ring Spotlight Cam was ranked our number one choice for outdoor security cameras.

Read our full Ring Spotlight Cam review.

Pros

  • Battery, wired, or solar power options
  • Built-in motion light
  • Voice control with Alexa
  • Loud siren

Cons

  • High cost
  • Limited battery life

A Word About Wireless Security

Several Ring Alarm and camera users have reported breaches in their accounts that allowed a stranger to use the two-way communication to intimidate them. This is a risk every user takes when they use any internet-connected wireless system.

The good news is you can minimize the risk with proper internet security. Here are a few easy tips for securing your system from online threats:

  • Use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts
  • Opt for extra security measures like two-factor authentication
  • Add shared users instead of sharing login credentials
  • Change your home Wi-Fi password frequently

We still confidently recommend Ring and other similar wireless internet-connected systems. And while these threats are real, they can be avoided with a few extra precautions.

Vivint Ping Indoor Camera: Best Monitored Camera

Vivint Ping Indoor Camera

View Packages from Vivint

Vivint has a reputation for innovative home security solutions, and the Ping Indoor Camera doesn’t disappoint.

This home security camera stands out with customized notifications, video analytics, and seamless integration with the Vivint Sky smart home platform. And if you’ve got kids or parents at home, you’ll love the one-touch callout that lets family members call your cellphone right from the camera with the touch a button.

But you can’t buy this camera on its own—you need to add to a full Vivint home security system.

See all the smart home security solutions from Vivint in our full review.

Pros

  • Two-way communication
  • Personalized alerts
  • One-touch calling
  • 45 days of free recorded footage

Cons

  • Only available with home security system purchase

Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor: Best Image and Video Quality

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

View on Kohl’s

While the Nest Cam is one of the more expensive stand-alone security cameras for home use, it makes our list for crisp image resolution and its forward-thinking smart home design.

The Nest Cam IQ comes with a built-in Google Assistant and integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Nest home automation suite. It stands out with an 8x digital zoom feature and large 130° field of view.

But there is no pan-and-tilt capability, and you need to get a Nest Aware subscription ($5 to $30/month) to access advanced features like facial recognition.

Learn more in our Nest Cam IQ product review.

Pros

  • High resolution
  • Supersight zooming and tracking
  • Person alerts
  • Built-in Google Assistant
  • Up to 50 ft. night vision range

Cons

  • Expensive price point
  • No pan-and-tild-capability
  • Required subscription to use all features

Vimtag P1 HD Ultra IP CameraBest for Easy Setup

Vimtag P1 HD Ultra IP Camera

View on Amazon

This little security camera delivers a lot at a reasonable price point. You get pan-and-tilt functionality, two-way voice, 4x digital zoom, and clear night vision—all for under $80.

Best of all, you don’t have to worry about complicated setup. The Vimtag P1 is plug-and-play with built-in Wi-Fi to make setup a breeze.

Pros

  • 4x digital zoom
  • Pan-and-tild functionality
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • No smart home compatibility
  • Inconsistent app notifications

Canary Flex: Most Versatile

Canary Flex in window with books

View on Amazon

This home security camera from Canary packs a big punch in a little package. It works either connected to power or with its built-in battery—and it’s the only Canary camera that you can use inside and outdoors. 

It also features other home security perks that Canary is known for like the built-in Noonlight safety panic button and person detection alerts.

Pros

  • Weatherproof for outdoor use
  • Equipped with emergency contact button
  • Designed for two-way communication

Cons

  • No built-in siren
  • No climate sensors

YI 1080p Indoor Security Camera: Best Baby Monitoring Camera

Yi 1080[ Indoor Security Camera App

View on Amazon

If you want a security camera that can double as a nanny cam, then you’ll love the YI 1080p Indoor Security Camera.

This camera features baby crying detection—that means you’ll get different alerts depending on whether the camera detects motion or picks up the sound of your little one giving their lungs a workout.

And you get free app-sharing with up to five family members, plus seven days of free storage in the YI cloud.

Pros

  • Cheap price tag
  • Baby crying detection
  • 7 days of free cloud storage
  • App-sharing with up to 5 people

Cons

  • Some privacy concerns
  • Hit-and-miss customer service

SereneLife Indoor IP Camera: Best Night Vision Camera

SereneLife Indoor IP Camera

View on Amazon

The SereneLife Indoor IP Camera offers superb image quality that isn’t compromised once the lights go out.

The night vision on this camera is praised time and again in customer reviews, and it delivers a crisp picture up to 32 feet. And even though the app and software are easy to work with, it’s a bit of a letdown that you can’t integrate this camera with any smart home hubs or gadgets.

Pros

  • Excellent night vision
  • Intuitive ap
  • Good motion sensitivity
  • Sharp image quality

Cons

  • Limited Wi-Fi range
  • No smart home integration

Wansview 1080p WiFi Security Camera: Best Pan-and-Tilt Camera

Wansview 1080p WiFi Security Camera

View on Amazon

It’s easy to scan an entire room with the Wansview’s advanced pan-and-tilt capabilities—and you can control it completely from your phone.

If you check in on the Wansview mobile app, you can scan the room by simply swiping your finger in the direction of whatever it is you want to check out.

So if you have a sneaking suspicion that your kitty is clawing the ottoman while you’re at work, you can catch her in the act with just a flick of your finger.

Pros

  • Easy setup
  • Talk and listen features
  • Good picture clarity
  • Responsive customer service

Cons

  • Loud beeping if Wi-Fi disconnects
  • Lackluster app

Types of Security Cameras

There are a lot of security cameras to choose from. It’s important to understand the differences so you can find the security camera that fits your needs.

Indoor Security Cameras

Indoor cameras can be part of a complete home security system, or used on their own to add extra protection to your home and your loved ones.

And today’s indoor security cameras deliver a lot more than recorded video footage. Most come with the option to view live action video, and cameras with two-way communication let you check in with kids after school, tell Rover to get off your favorite chair, or scare the daylights out of someone who doesn’t belong in your home (plus you’ll have their picture, to boot!).

But—big surprise—indoor cameras are designed to be used inside. You probably won’t be able to make an indoor camera do double-duty by pointing it out a window to see what’s happening on the street or in your yard.

Make sure that you select an indoor camera based on the need to keep an eye on what’s happening inside your home, not with fingers crossed that it can do the job of an outside camera.

Outdoor Security Cameras

Outdoor cameras are one of the best ways to deter (and catch) burglars, vandals, and other miscreants. Like indoor security cameras, they can be integrated as part of a home security system or used individually to up the security level around your home.

Whether you’re interested in a camera to deter thieves or a way to make sure packages don’t walk off the porch, there are a number of cameras designed to meet your outdoor security needs.

One of the most important things to look for is a high weatherproof rating. You need a durable camera that can stand up to the elements and drastic changes in temperature. If you live in a climate with extreme hot or cold weather, make sure the camera you choose is rated to withstand those types of temps.

Another big feature is night vision. You might also consider a camera with a built-in motion-activated light—all the better to scare you with, my dear! But before you commit to a camera, find out which outdoor security cameras made our top 10 this year.

Wireless Security Cameras

There’s a lot of talk about wireless cameras, but that term can be confusing. Some manufacturers call a camera “wireless” because it uses a Wi-Fi  connection, and others refer to cameras that don’t need to be plugged into an outlet.

When we picked the best wireless security cameras, we focused primarily on cameras that are 100% wire-free, meaning they use Wi-Fi and a wireless power source. But we do acknowledge the broader usage of the term, and included a little of both in our annual roundup.

Things to consider when it comes to choosing a wireless camera include your home Wi-Fi network speed, the number of devices already using your home Wi-Fi, and whether or not you’d prefer the freedom of a cord-free camera.

Completely wire-free cameras also eliminate the risk of someone cutting the cord to stop the feed.

Monitored Security Cameras

Security cameras that are part of a monitored security system usually have the same features and options as stand-alone cameras.

But one advantage of ordering your camera as part of a whole-home security system is that you don’t need to worry as much about the details of each specific camera—you can tap into the expertise of the home security company for help picking the right cameras to protect your home.

Each security company’s cameras will have the functionality to work best with its system, eliminating some of the guesswork. Plus, monitored security cameras come with the added reassurance of extra eyes on your home and loved ones. That means someone will be looking out for trouble 24/7, so you can close out your camera’s app and get a good night’s sleep.

Security Camera Features

In addition to picking the best type of security camera, you also need one with the right features to protect your home and family the way you want to.

Do you want a camera to deter burglars, or are you more interested in keeping an eye on children or pets? These are some of the most important features to keep in mind when comparing home security cameras.

Motion Detection

Cameras with motion detection can send you notifications when the camera observes motion within its field of view. These notifications can alert you to suspicious activity so you can monitor the situation.

If you’re concerned about break-ins or keeping deliveries safe, a security camera with motion alerts might be the best fit.

Night Vision

The distance from which your camera can record images in low- to no-light situations can have a great impact on its effectiveness if you want to capture activity after the sun sets.

We’ve all dealt with photos that are too dark to make out any details. It’s frustrating when it’s a wedding photo, but it’s nerve-racking when you’re trying to capture a face or license plate after a break-in.

Pay attention to the existing lighting in the areas where you want to install security cameras. Look for the night vision range of each camera and consider how much area you want to cover. And beware of using an indoor camera to look outside; they can’t usually capture images through a window or after dark.

Field of View

Field of view refers to how wide an angle a camera can record. This is important because it will affect how many cameras you’ll need and where you should place them.

Sound

The sound feature can refer to your camera receiving sound via a microphone, emitting sound via a speaker, or both. If you want to give directions to a delivery person or check in on the kids after school, two-way talk is the way to go.

This feature turns your home security camera into an intercom. Cameras with two-way communication have a mic that picks up sound near the camera, plus a speaker that lets you interact with people or pets on the other end.

Wi-Fi Capability

A camera with Wi-Fi can communicate with your home network wirelessly, which can be handy for installation. It also makes your camera more tamper-proof because it doesn’t have wires that can be cut.

But home surveillance cameras that stream video and send alerts via email and text can use up a lot of data on your home network.

How much bandwidth your camera uses depends on many factors. Some of the considerations include image resolution and whether your camera records everything or only clips triggered by motion or sound.

If you have caps on your internet data usage, make sure you understand how your security camera(s) could impact your monthly bill. You should also verify that your router can handle the extra devices and output.

Movement

A camera that can pan and/or tilt may be able to record a larger area than a static camera and could reduce the total number of cameras needed to observe a particular area.

Smart motion detection features let you follow the action, whether it’s a pet racing around the living room or a youngster toddling toward trouble. If you set up motion alerts, you can check in right away to make sure everything’s okay—or respond if it’s not.

Cost

Obviously, if a camera costs so much that you can no longer afford the valuables you’re trying to protect, then it doesn’t serve a purpose.

Fortunately, you can find quality security cameras for under $50, or splurge for more expensive setups with advanced features and support.

Monitored security cameras are more expensive because they come with a crew of pros that watch your footage 24/7. But if you don’t need that level of protection, you can find stripped-down self-monitored cameras ranging from $20 to $50.

Just be sure to weigh the investment against the level of security you’re looking for.

Image Quality

Image and video resolution can impact the quality of your home security footage. Resolution defines how clear the image from your camera will be.

A clearly visible image can help you identify faces or items in the video your camera records. Make sure the camera you choose produces high-resolution images that can help identify culprits if your home is ever targeted.

Smart Home Integration

Today there’s a lot more to a home security camera than video surveillance. Many of the best security camera systems also help turn your house into a smart home. Security cameras can often integrate with a smart home hub like Amazon Echo or Google Home.

This can give you a huge home security advantage—the ability to remotely control lights, door locks, and your security cameras. You can also program your system to boost security measures when you’re out of town or during the holidays when lots of packages are delivered.

If home automation is something that matters to you, keep this in mind when selecting your security camera.

You don’t fool around when it comes to keeping your home and family safe, and neither do we. A home security camera is just one part of protecting what matters. If you’re ready for a full-on defense against burglars, vandals, and porch pirates, check out our comprehensive collection of safety insights, tips, and expert advice.

More Home Security Resources

Disclaimer

Amazon.com list price as of 11/21/19 3:38 p.m. MST. 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.

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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  • https://avitha.co.uk avitha.co.uk

    Hi Rebeca, thanks for this blog. I am so glad that you have mentioned about smart home integration . Just last week I was given bunch of cameras to install by a home owner, unfortunately the owner did not buy cameras compatible with his home automation systems. So we had to purchase new cameras.

  • Rod C

    It would be interesting to know how quickly the motion recording is triggered and then uploaded. Theres nothing to stop a burglar seeing the cam, ripping it off the wall and smashing it up before it has manged to upload anything of use. There seem to be quite a few security cameras that dont pickup the postman until after hes gone past the camera 🙁

    • Rlight

      It is better to have a separate computer (server) for uploading video to the cloud. In this case, until the robber gets to the server, the video has already been sent. But it is pointless if you are using a wireless connection for cameras, as in this case it is quite easy to turn them off with a jammer.

  • Jeremy King

    You cannot use cameras alone for home *security*. That needs a different approach of boots on the ground, regular patrols and guard dogs, proper perimeter fencing, security floodlights, sirens, physical access barriers, electronic barrier breach detection with security cameras being one of the devices used.
    Considering just the camera part, a security audit is needed to identify weak points, and how to address them one-by-one with the optimal number and placement of cameras.
    Apart from physical security, one issue with wireless cameras, and in particular IP cameras is whether they can be accessed from an external network, how frequently vulnerabilities are patched so the window of available exploits remaining viable is short, and how to secure the vast amount of data generated, all to ensure that someone isn’t using it to monitor a range of targets over time to learn patterns/routines.
    One often sees comments about unexplained “voices” over the camera two-way speaker speaking to the kid when the parents are away, and the suspicion that if that’s the case, someone is also watching.
    This focus on security is missing from this write-up.

  • Pb

    How can you recommend the Ring as best outdoor when from the reports I read from users is that it fills up with water if exposed , mists up as it gets colder , outdoor has to mean waterproof not weather resistant if it is to be of genuine use .

    • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

      We just haven’t had those issues with the Ring outdoor camera. In fact, we’re currently working on a full-length review, and our tester has had the camera for over a year in her backyard with no such problems.

      Have you used any outdoor cameras yourself? We’d love to hear about your experience or what other questions you might have.

  • G Cruishank

    Nevermind how great the cameras are. The first question you should be asking is which of these companies is selling your data to third party companies? I’ve ditched my Nest Cams since they were bought by Google. Something we all need to think about.