Best home security camera 2021

Best home security camera 2021
RyDesk
The best home security camera allows you to check in on your property whenever you like. It connects to your smartphone using Wi-Fi so you can simply view the camera’s live feed, no matter where you are.

The best home security cameras will also notify you if they detect motion, and store a short recording of the activity so if you can’t take action at the time, you can review it at a later date. More affordable than traditional CCTV systems, wireless security cameras also ensure you don’t have to run cables all over your home.

Just like the best video doorbells, some home security cameras require you to subscribe to a cloud storage service if you want to review footage after it’s been recorded, while others can record video clips locally to a micro SD card or memory built into the camera itself.

If you have one of best smart speakers in your home, you can pair it with a wireless security camera so it’ll provide an audible notification when the camera detects motion and even lets you converse with anyone in the camera’s field of view through the speaker. Alternatively, if you have one of the best smart displays, you can view a live feed from the camera on its screen.

And for a more robust home security system, why not consider investing in a smart lock that can be set to work with a home security camera, automatically activating if the camera detects activity.

With such a wide array of home security cameras on the market, covering models designed for indoors and outside home security cameras, selecting the right one for you can become confusing. We’ve put designs from a range of brands including Ring, Arlo, Google, and Blink to the test to discover which is the best home security camera you can buy.

Best home security cameras

The EufyCam 2 2-camera kit on a white background

1. Anker Eufycam 2

The best home security camera you can buy

Resolution: up to 1080p | Footage recording: As much fits onto a 16GB BaseStation | Audio: HD two-way

Clear video record during the day and at night
No monthly subscription needed
365-day battery life is the longest on the market
No color night video
Resolution limited to Full HD

In the very crowded world of home security cameras, the Anker Eufycam 2 is a solid mid-range option at an affordable price. While it doesn’t offer the highest recording resolution, and there’s no color footage at night, for the majority of people this home security camera hits the sweet spot between price and features.

The claimed 365-day battery life is the longest of any home security camera we’ve tested. In fact, it’s double the battery life of top-of-the-range cameras from Arlo and Ring, which is handy considering the battery isn’t swappable so the camera will be out of action when it needs recharging.

It also stores all of its encoded clips directly to the included BaseStation in your living room, which means you don’t have to worry about someone somewhere else in the world looking at footage from your property.

It can identify if humans triggered a motion alert, although it can’t identify animals, vehicles, or other sources in the same way as Arlo’s home security cameras can. However, it does offer integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.

Bottom line? If you want a system that doesn’t cost anything to maintain but still lets you keep a close eye on your home when you’re not there, the Eufycam 2 is great. It gives you complete control with no overhead cost.

 

Arlo Ultra 2 two-camera kit on a white background

2. Arlo Ultra 2

The best home security camera that records in 4K

Resolution: up to 4K (3840×21600) | Footage recording: 30 days with subscription, local storage available | Audio : HD two-way

Extremely detailed color footage
Integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit
Smart features reduce false alerts
Most expensive home security camera on the market
Video stored locally can’t be seen in the app

Looking for a home security camera that ensures tiny details are visible in the footage it records, even if the camera’s field of view is taking in a large area. The Arlo Ultra 2, which records in 4K offers just this and is great for mounting high-up on your property, for example looking over your driveway, ensuring you can still read a car number plate on the drive.

The footage the Arlo Ultra 2 records is extremely clear and detailed, and in color during the day and night, thanks to a built-in LED. It builds on the Arlo Ultra with support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-F bands and an increased range, which should put an end to connectivity issues. It’s also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit, too, and has a range of smart features that help reduce the number of alerts the camera sends you.

However, the Arlo Ultra 2 will set you back at least $599.99 / £629.99 / AU$799 (it comes in different camera configurations) and if you want to store video to review at a later date, you’ll need to subscribe to Arlo Secure at a cost of  $14.99 / £12.99 / AU$21.99 per month.

if you want to continue storing footage in 4K and making use of the various smart features. There is the ability to store footage locally on a micro SD card in the base station, but these videos can’t be viewed through the Arlo app.

If that’s slightly out of your price range consider the Arlo Pro 3, which also comes with a base station for local storage, or the Arlo Pro 4 that connects directly to your home Wi-Fi network. Both these Arlo camera record in 2k, so still offer detailed footage but are more affordable.

 

The Google Nest Cam Battery on a white background

3. Google Nest Cam (battery)

Best home security camera for facial recognition

Resolution: up to 1080p | Footage recording: Three hours free, 30 days with subscription | Audio: HD two-way

Clear footage during the day and at night
Facial recognition
Integration with Google Assistant
No color night vision
The camera is out of action when it needs charging

Not only is the Google Nest Cam (battery) a versatile home security camera that can be used outside or indoors thanks to its rechargeable battery, it also benefits from facial recognition. Using the Google Home app, you can assign names to people detected by the camera, and get an alert next time they appear in the camera’s field of view.

On test, we found this home security camera was simple to use and recorded clear color footage during the day, although the lack of a built-in spotlight meant video recorded at night was in black and white. Unsurprisingly,

it offers Google Assistant integration and even comes with three hours of free storage too, although if you want to review footage captured by the camera after that point, you will need to invest in a Nest Aware subscription.

We were disappointed that the battery is built-in to the camera, so it’ll be out of action when it needs charging, unlike other cameras in this list that offer swappable batteries. That said it’s a versatile camera.

The Eufy SoloCam E40 on a white background

4. Eufy SoloCam E40

Best home security camera with local storage

Resolution: up to 2K (2560×1440) | Footage recording: Local storage | Audio: HD two-way

Great value for money
Detailed footage captured during the day and at night
8GB of built-in local storage
No color night video
Camera is out of action when battery needs recharging

Many of the best home security cameras of the market require an on-going cost in the form of a subscription to a cloud storage service, where video clips can be stored and reviewed at a later date. However, if you’re after a home security camera with the local storage, the Eufy SoloCam E40 is the best on the market in our eyes right now.

It has 8GB of memory built-in to the camera itself where videos are stored – Eufy says this equates to about a month’s worth of footage, based on 30 detections a day, with each video lasting for 10 seconds.

The video it records is detailed, with a resolution of 2K, although while this is in color during the day, it’s only in black and white at night, as the camera lacks any form of spotlight that can illumuniate the video.

However, the battery life isn’t as long as with the EufyCam 2 (above) although at around four months, it’s comparable to cameras from rival brands such as Arlo and Ring. However, the battery is built-in so when it needs recharging, the camera will be out of action. Those compromises aside, it’s great value for money.

Best indoor home security cameras

The Ring Indoor Cam on a white background

5. Ring Indoor Cam

The best indoor home security camera

Resolution: Up to 1080p HD | Footage recording: 30 days with subscription | Audio: Two-way

Clear footage
Value for money
Compact
Requires a subscription
No Google Assistant or HomeKit support

The Ring Indoor Cam is the company’s entry-level security camera, and it offers great value for money. Simple to use, it records clear Full HD footage when motion is detected both during the day and at night.

However, the only way to review footage once it’s been captured is if you subscribe to Ring Protect. It’ll cost you $3 / £2.50 / AU$4 per month or $30 / £24.99 / AU$40 for a year but also provides access to handy features like person detection and activity zones, which ensure you’re not plagued by unwanted notifications.

Ring is an Amazon-backed company, so it’s no surprise that the only voice integration offered is with Alexa. However, that means it’s not suitable if your smart home uses Google Assistant or HomeKit

 

The Blink Mini indoor camera on a white background

The best compact indoor home security camera

Resolution: Up to 1080p HD | Footage recording: Up to 30 days with recording | Audio: Two-way

Extremely affordable
Compact
Crisp video quality
Lacks person detection
Local storage requires additional module

One of the most affordable home security cameras on the market, the Blink Mini may be compact but it certainly packs a punch. The full HD footage it records during the day and at night is clear, and we found the camera simple to set-up, and easy to control using the app.

It offers both cloud storage and local storage, although you’ll need to purchase an additional sync module if you want to use local storage, as unlike the Blink Indoor and the Blink Outdoor (below), this isn’t included. There’s a free cloud storage trial bundled with the camera, but when it ends it’ll set you back $3 / £2.50 per month if you want to continue with that option.

The Blink Mini lacks person detection, something the only slight more expensive Ring Indoor Cam (above) offers, but for those that want a device with a small footprint, you’ll be hard pushed to do better than the Blink Mini

 

The Arlo Essential Indoor Camera on a white background

7. Arlo Essential Indoor camera

The best indoor home security camera for privacy

Resolution: Up to 1080p HD | Footage recording: Up to 30 days with subscription | Audio: Two-way

Clear, detailed video
Privacy shutter
Integration with Alexa and Google Assistant
No HomeKit support
Expensive compared to most affordable home security cameras

Privacy is a huge concern for many when it comes to choosing a home security cameras. If the thought of the camera in your home watching your every move is too much to bear, the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera will be right up your street.

The privacy shutter can automatically be activated when the camera is disarmed, ensuring that the lens and microphone are disabled so there’s no fear of being watched.

On test, we found the camera recorded clear full HD footage during the day and at night, although you will need to subscribe to Arlo Secure, which costs $2.99 / £2.49 / AU$4.49 per month, if you want to review footage after it’s been recorded. On top of that it works with Alexa and Google Assistant, although it lacks HomeKit support.

However, while the Arlo Essentials range is billed as the brand’s affordable offering, it’s more expensive than most affordable home security cameras.

 

Best outdoor home security cameras

The Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro on a white background

8. Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

Best outdoor home security camera for gardens

Resolution: Up to 1080p | Footage recording: 30 days with subscription | Audio: two-way

Clear video quality
Smart features reduce unwanted alerts
2 x 1,000 lumen spotlights and siren
No free video storage
Requires existing mains wiring

If you’re seeking the best outdoor home security camera for your garden, the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro really is the best on the market right now. The Full HD camera, which records clear video during the day and at night, is flanked by two 1,000 lumen spotlights that can be set to bathe your yard in light if motion is detected, deterring any would-be intruders.

A built-in laser enables a number of handy smart features such as 3D Motion that will only alert you about motion when the source has passed a set threshold, to ensure you’re not plagued by unwanted alerts.  Obviously, as Ring is an Amazon-owned company, it ingrates with Alexa too.

However, it’s not perfect. It requires existing mains-wiring for a sensor light, which may mean you need an electrician to install the camera for you and, like all Ring cameras, there’s no free video dotage. To review footage at a later date, you will need a Ring Protect subscription, which starts from $3 / £2.50 / AU$4 per month.

 

The Blink Outdoor camera on a white background

Best outdoor home security camera for battery life

Resolution: Up to 1080p HD | Footage recording: Free local storage or subscription based cloud storageor cloud storage with sub | Audio: two-way

Far longer than usual battery life
Local video storage available
Extremely affordable
No color night video
Lacks person detection

This is one of the most affordable battery-powered outdoor home security cameras on the market right now, and it’s also one of the most compact too.

The Blink Outdoor is simple to use and records clear Full HD video during the day and at night. Powered by two regular AA batteries, Blink promises these will last up to two years, which is staggeringly longer than other affordable security cameras, such as the Ring Stick Up Cam that lasts between three to six months per charge in comparison.

The Full HD footage is clear, although while in color during the day, the lack of any form of light to illuminate the video, means it’s in black and white at night, and one other area where it’s lacking is person detection. Unlike many affordable home security cameras on the market, it can’t distinguish whether a person, or another source created the motion that triggered an alert. However, for those on a budget it represents good value for money.

 

The Wyze Cam V3 on a white background

10. Wyze Cam v3 (US only)

The best budget outdoor home security camera

Resolution: 1080p HD | Footage recording: Free cloud storage | Audio: Two-way

Clear footage during the day and night
Integrated stand
Free cloud service and MicroSD slot for local 
Person detection locked behind paywall
Unreliable sound detection

If you’re looking for an outdoor home security camera on a budget, you’ll be hard pushed to do better than the Wyze Cam v3.

This full HD camera records clear footage during the day and at night, comes with free cloud storage for up to 14 days, as well as a Micro SD card slot for local storage, making it a more than worthy competitor to other budget cameras.

It’s one of the few outdoor home security cameras with an integrated stand so it doesn’t have to be mounted to a wall, although it can be if you’d prefer. That said, it does require a power outlet rather than using a rechargeable battery so its outdoor use may be limited depending upon your set up.

However, if you’re not willing to pay for a monthly subscription, you’ll miss out on person detection, and on test we found it was unreliable when detecting unusual sounds, as well as motion.

 

The Swann Spotlight Cam on a white background

11. Swann Spotlight Outdoor Security Camera

The best outdoor home security camera for poor Wi-Fi

Resolution: 1080p HD streaming | Footage recording: Free seven day cloud storage | Audio: two-way

Good value for money
Built-in spotlight and siren
Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections
Unhelpful app
Narrow field of view

More discreet than the Netatmo Smart Outdoor Security Camera (above) this Full HD home security camera has two built-in spotlights that will illuminate automatically if the camera detects motion or heat.

As well as deterring any potential intruders, the spotlights also ensure footage is recorded in color, even when it’s dark, making it easy to see details in the video it stores. On top of that, like other Swann home security cameras, the footage is stored in a secure area online, for free – so there’s no need to invest in a monthly subscription, making it great value for money.

It also can connect to the internet over Wi-Fi or Ethernet, making it ideal for those that struggle to get a reliable Wi-Fi signal outside their home. However, with a field of view of just 110 degrees, this outdoor security camera doesn’t offer the same wide viewing angle as others on the market.

During our review, we found that Swann’s Security app does have some rough edges, and you may need to be patient as you go through the initial set-up process. Even so, the Spotlight Outdoor camera is a good, affordable option for keeping an eye on your garden or other areas outside your home.

 

How we test home security cameras

To ensure the home security cameras we’ve reviewed can be fairly compared, we’ve tested and analysed a number of key features covering style, performance, and practicalities.

We rated each camera on the quality of the footage it records both during the day, and in the dark, as well as how clear the two-way talk features are, and settings to arm and disarm the camera. For each model, we wanted to know how easy they set-up and installation was, as well as how efficient the camera’s were at delivering motion notifications and whether AI features designed to identify if activity has been created by a personal, animal, vehicle or other source, were accurate.

Where relevant, we compared the battery life of each model and for cameras that have lights and/or siren we also compared the brightness and loudness,, to see if they are sufficient . We also assessed each model for its durability and design,  looking to see if it comes with handy mounting plates and the ability to adjust the angle of the camera to suit your home.

What to consider when buying a home security camera

Start by working out whether you need a home security camera that is weatherproof and can be used outside, or you are looking for a smart security camera you can place inside your home.

You’ll also need to consider how the camera is powered. Some need to be connected to mains power, which may mean you need to employ a professional to install it, whereas other a battery-powered. Look for home security cameras that have swappable batteries, so you can purchase additional batteries and ensure the camera isn’t out of action for several hours when the battery needs recharging.

The quality of the video the home security camera records in, is also important. Many home security cameras record in Full HD, although there are some that record in a higher resolution of 2k and 4k. While Full HD is sufficient for most homes, if you plan to mount the camera up high so its field of view covers a wide area, higher resolution cameras will mean you can zoom into the footage and still pick out clear details such as car number plates.

The majority of home security cameras record footage in color during the day, although it’s in black and white at night. Some come with an LED that can be triggered when motion is detected, to ensure footage recorded at night is in color, as well as a way to scare off any would-be intruders. Some home security cameras even come with built-in alarms that can be triggered manually from the app, or automatically when motion is detected, to help deter intruders.

Finally, consider how video the camera captures is stored – does it require a subscription to save video in the cloud so it can go back and be reviewed after it has happened. These start from $2.99 / £2.49 / AU$4.49 per month, so remember to factor in this cost.

Some cameras offer local storage so you don’t have any ongoing costs associated with the camera, which can either be in the form of memory built into the camera itself or the ability to add a micro SD card to the camera or base station.

Do home security cameras need to be plugged in?

When it comes to powering the best home security cameras, not all models need to be plugged in. While there are plenty of mains-powered home security cameras on the market, suitable for both indoors and outside, if you don’t have access to a power socket where you want to install your home security camera, then fear not – there are many models that can be powered by a rechargeable battery.

How long the battery lasts between charges will depend upon how often the camera detects and records motion and how many times the app is used to view the camera’s live feed, but you can expect anywhere between one month and one year. Some home security cameras have swappable batteries, while other need to be removed completely to be recharged.

It’s also worth noting that some home security cameras that offer a choice of power method, may only offer certain features, such as activity zones when they’re used on mains power.