The 7 Best Home Security Cameras

Ludovic Rembert —

Last Updated on

When most people were growing up, they had an idea in their head about what made a person rich. My idea of a rich person was probably different from other kids—rich people had security cameras.

Yep, that’s it, if you had a security camera somewhere in your house, you were officially a rich person in my mind. I knew that one day I would have a security camera in my home.

People with security cameras had objects worth protecting. They most likely also had pictures that swung open revealing a safe and a secret staircase leading to their secret gem room—or so I thought. I knew my parents weren’t keeping a bunch of money a secret because they had no cameras to watch over it.

With current technology, you don’t have to be 10-year old me’s idea of rich to own security cameras. They’re relatively cheap, extremely easy to install, and a lot of people have them for more reasons than protecting their vast wealth.

Some people need to make sure their cat isn’t scratching up their couch so they opt for an indoor security camera that has speakers to yell at their misbehaving feline friend. Others may think their mailman is moving their decorative rock an inch to the left every other day and want to catch him red-handed with an outdoor camera pointed at their garden.

Whatever your reason is for wanting a camera, there are a lot of options in surveillance technology and many of them are fun to play with while monitoring your home.

Best Indoor Cameras

Indoor cameras—these are the cameras you put inside. The place inside your walls and behind your door. I guess behind is subjective. You know what inside is!

Indoor cameras differ from outdoor cameras in several ways. For one, they don’t have to be weatherproof. The other big difference is that the video quality and night vision doesn’t have to be as good as an outdoor camera. The video quality can be as good but when you’re just observing an indoor room, it isn’t necessary to see every carpet fibre.

Indoor cameras also tend to come with more fun features. The reason for this is indoor cameras aren’t always necessarily “security” cameras where outdoor cameras are usually used strictly for security purposes.

Indoor cameras are definitely security-focused but a lot of the uses for these cameras can be put under the category of “lifestyle”. Integrating with your smart home and two-way audio are two examples of these features.

1. Frontpoint Premium Indoor Camera

Frontpoint may seem familiar if you perused our site for the best home security systems. The home security company made the cut as our number one home security option. One of the reasons we ranked them as number one was because the hardware they provide is just as good as their customer support and monitoring. The hardware is also paired with a home security app that just works how you would think a home security app should work—unlike a lot of other companies out there and complete with live streaming.

Frontpoint offers two options for indoor cameras but we suggest opting for the premium indoor camera as it has superior video quality and useful added features like 180-degree field of view and two-way audio. One added feature of the camera that puts it above the rest is the way it looks. If I was designing an indoor camera, this is what it would look like.

Pros

  • Aesthetic
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Echo-canceling microphone
  • Advanced digital pan and tilt
  • Wide-angle lens
  • 180-degree field of view
  • Enhanced zoom
  • HD video
  • Two-way audio
  • Frontpoint app
  • DIY installation
  • Access to Frontpoint monitoring services

Cons

  • A little more expensive
  • Purchase of monitoring service necessary
  • Long-term contract necessary
  • Monitoring service not available in Quebec

Is This Camera For You?

The Frontpoint Premium Indoor Camera is for people who want to install their system by themselves but also have access to one of the best monitoring systems in Frontpoint. If streaming video footage right to your phone using an app is important to you as well then look no further for your indoor security camera.

Our Opinion

We think Frontpoint is the best home security company on the market today for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is that they have some of the best hardware. Their indoor security camera is one of those pieces of hardware. As we mentioned earlier, indoor cameras are more fun than outdoor cameras. Frontpoint cameras are fun because you can move the camera around using their 180-degree field of view and zoom while talking to people using their two-way audio and Bluetooth speakers.

2. Wyze Cam Pan

You need to monitor the inside of your home but you don’t want to break the bank. Your friends have cool new and high-quality security cameras but they spent almost $1,000 outfitting their entire home with multiple cameras. You also want to purchase three to four cameras and have the exact same features at your fingertips but you only want to spend a few hundred dollars at most.

This situation occurs with almost every product in existence. The bad news is that for most products, there isn’t any way around spending all of that money to have those features and quality. The good news is that for indoor security cameras, there is an inexpensive option that is close to the expensive options.

The Wyze Cam Pan comes in at under $40. You can buy ten of these things for $400 and watch every inch of your home.

Pros

  • 1080p HD video quality
  • Smart home integrations
  • 360-degree rotation
  • 120-degree field of view
  • Eight times digital zoom
  • Infrared night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Price
  • Extreme value
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Video quality suffers with motion tracking
  • No web portal
  • Not all features are perfect
  • Aesthetics

Is This Camera For You?

The Wyze Cam Pan is for pretty much everyone. It isn’t unequivocally the best security camera on the market but it’s at least close and that comes with a ridiculously low price tag.

The only people I wouldn’t recommend it to are the type of people who like to spend more money on something than they have to.

Some of us at Privacy Canada do tend to be those types of people so we won’t fault you for checking out other options.

Our Opinion

If you’re looking for the best security camera dollar for dollar look no further than the Wyze Cam Pan. It has everything anyone could want in an indoor security camera for a fraction of the competitor’s prices. Unless you have a lot of money to spend and you’re attached to a certain setup then you should definitely take a hard look at this camera.

3. Google Nest Cam Indoor

All the cool kids are using Google’s smart home products. Okay, maybe the nerdy kids are the ones using the products. Either way, automating your life with Google’s various products such as the Google Home and the Google Nest Thermostat makes people’s lives much easier. Adding Google security cameras just adds to the impact.

Pros

  • 1080p video quality
  • Easy installation
  • The best indoor night vision
  • Excellent for general Nest integration
  • Innovative features
  • High level of automation
  • Aesthetics

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Monthly subscription is expensive
  • Weak microphone
  • Weak speakers

Is This Camera For You?

You should buy the Google Nest Cam if you are using the Google suite of smart home products and services in other areas of your life. Automating your entire home with Nest products is rather satisfying and there aren’t too many hiccups involved.

Our Opinion

The Google Nest Cam is the best home security camera on the market when you’re using it in concert with other Google products. The reason that the Wyze Cam Pan is ranked a step higher is that it’s less than 25% of the cost and offers almost the same quality. If you don’t use other Google products then we would venture to say the two cameras are almost equal.

Best Outdoor Cameras

Think of your outdoor security camera as your ever-watching sentinel protecting you and your family. It needs to be rugged and powerful with the ability to stop your enemies at the sight of it while also being extremely intelligent.

One of the most overlooked features of an outdoor security camera is how it looks. I’m not talking about it being pretty, I’m talking about it being noticeable. If a burglar sees your security camera, it should make them think twice about entering your home.

Outdoor security cameras differ from indoor security cameras in that they’re mainly there for your security and not always for lifestyle improvements—although, those are nice.

1. Frontpoint Outdoor Camera

There are a lot of neat indoor security cameras out there with great features that look nice in a home. The Frontpoint Premium Indoor Camera is number one on the list because it functions well but the Frontpoint monitoring does give it a slight boost as there are a lot of similar indoor cameras.

However, the Frontpoint Outdoor Camera could have no monitoring and still be the best outdoor on the market. One of the biggest pain points of outdoor security cameras is installation. Frontpoint solved that by making it so you just have to plug it in. It’s really that simple. The camera also only records moments that have movement and you can live stream from the app.

Pros

  • Aesthetics
  • Wifi camera
  • Comes pre-configured
  • Easiest installation
  • Far detection range
  • HD video
  • Night vision
  • Live stream
  • Encrypted video
  • Customizable motion recording settings
  • Weatherproof

Cons

  • A little more expensive than other options
  • Purchase of monitoring service necessary
  • Long-term contract necessary
  • Monitoring service not available in Quebec

Is This Camera For You?

The type of person who would want the Frontpoint Outdoor Camera would be the people who would want the Frontpoint Premium Indoor Camera. The Frontpoint Outdoor Camera is for people who don’t want to pay installation fees but also don’t want to spend 10 hours of their day installing a camera.

It’s also for people who want the ability to customize when their camera records footage with the ability to live stream for you peace of mind. It’s also for people who want professional monitoring on top of all of these features.

Our Opinion

Just like we said earlier, Frontpoint is the best home security company on the market today for a few different reasons and one of those is that the cameras they make are excellent. The outdoor security camera they offer is ranked number one on our list because it’s so easy to use. All you have to do is plug it in and it will be ready to go. Once that’s done, you have a great security camera ready to go.

2. Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Just like the Google Nest Cam Indoor, the Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is ideal when you use the rest of the Google suite of products. However, it’s also a fantastic outdoor security camera for everyone else.

The Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is this high in our rankings because it provides a fantastic overall experience with facial recognition and other advanced features. We also like the way the camera looks. If a burglar comes across it there won’t be any question whether or not they’re being recorded.

Pros

  • Weatherproof
  • 4k sensors
  • 1080p HD video quality
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Aesthetic
  • Facial recognition
  • Integrations
  • Mobile app
  • Extra features

Cons

  • Installation
  • Price
  • No local storage
  • Plans are pricey

Is This Camera For You?

You should buy the Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor if you are using the Google suite of smart home products and services in other areas of your life. Automating your entire home inside and out is extremely painless with the Google suite of products. If you plan on using the Google Nest Cam Indoor then you should definitely opt for this camera for your outdoor camera use.

Our Opinion

The Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is a must-have if you’re already using other Google products and a strong contender in every other situation. We suggest checking out the remaining cameras on our list before making a final decision between our top two outdoor cameras.

3. Ezviz C3W ezGuard Wi-Fi Security Camera

Outdoor security cameras without a million bells and whistles are going the way of the Dodo. These extra features really aren’t necessary in a way that they are with indoor cameras. Outdoor cameras just need to monitor your home in case something happens while showing burglars they’re on camera. Added features like a siren are nice but other features aren’t needed as much.

The Ezviz C3W ezGuard Wi-Fi Security Camera won’t win any awards for its name but it’s the best affordable option on the outdoor camera market.

Pros

  • Price
  • 1080p HD video
  • Smart home integrations
  • Local and cloud storage
  • Siren
  • Strobe light
  • Easy to install
  • Aesthetics

Cons

  • Cloud storage isn’t free
  • Local storage can be limiting
  • Not as many features as other options

Is This Camera For You?

This camera is for someone who doesn’t want to break the bank for an outdoor security camera. It isn’t as feature-rich as the Frontpoint Outdoor or Google Nest but it provides similar video quality and durability while also being quite intimidating looking.

Our Opinion

The Ezviz Outdoor Camera is kind of the outdoor equivalent to the indoor option of the Wyze Cam Pan. However, it doesn’t provide as many features and it’s more expensive. With that being said, it’s definitely the best cheap option for outdoor security cameras and we would purchase it if we were on a tight budget.

Best Hybrid Camera

Most security cameras can be placed in two main categories: outdoor and indoor. Some cameras work inside and outside but most of these aren’t that great as they sacrifice different features as a hybrid solution. Indoor cameras are usually good at some things such as two-way audio while outdoor cameras have superior features such as night vision.

Wouldn’t it be nice if a camera existed that was equally as good of an indoor camera as it was an outdoor camera?

Luckily, that mythical device came into existence when the Arlo Pro 2 was made. It isn’t the best indoor or outdoor camera available but it’s pretty dang good. This made it hit our list as the best hybrid camera.

1. Netgear Arlo Pro 3

The Arlo Pro 3 has made a name for itself by being one of the more versatile cameras on the market. It can be used indoors or outdoors and doesn’t need to be plugged in when being used.

There is also the option to opt for the 4k Ultra version Arlo recently released but the price doesn’t justify the upgrade in our opinion. The Arlo Pro 3 records in 2k and provides almost the exact same quality as the Ultra option.

Installing an outdoor camera isn’t always easy and there are times where you wish you could just grab your security camera and use it elsewhere for a few days.

With the Arlo Pro 3, there’s no need to do any installation and moving your camera is as easy as picking it up and moving it.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Wireless
  • The charge holds for 6 months
  • Indoor and outdoor
  • Interface
  • Great video quality
  • Free cloud storage
  • Full duplex audio
  • Siren
  • Floodlight
  • Weatherproof
  • Two-way audio

Cons

  • Have to pay for cloud storage
  • Have to pay extra for person detection, motion zones, and rich notifications
  • High price
  • Not all features work when not plugged in

Is This Camera For You?

Arlo Pro

The Arlo Pro 3 is the security camera for you if you just want to use one camera for all of your needs. You can buy this camera in multiples and use one hub for all of them while controlling them from your phone.

With pretty much every advanced option a person could need for a security camera, the Arlo Pro 3 covers all the bases. Some outdoor security cameras are better than this camera and some indoor security cameras are better than this camera. However, this is by far the best hybrid camera and is almost as good as the cameras specifically in the indoor and outdoor categories.

Our Opinion

If you’re looking for a no-fuss camera for indoor and outdoor with easy installation, a small learning curve, and a worry-free type operating procedure—opt for the Arlo Pro 3.

Important Aspects of a Security Camera

There are many important things to look for when buying a security camera. Some features are more important for indoor cameras than outdoor cameras and vice versa but there are a few aspects that should be on any type of security camera.

High Resolution

Resolutions on every type of device have improved drastically over the last few years. That isn’t any less true for security cameras. Some cameras now record in 4k and gone are the days of a fuzzy picture on your security camera making it hard to figure out who the weird hooded guy standing in your front yard from 1:00 AM – 3:00 AM is.

This is something you should not sacrifice on. At a bare minimum, your camera should record at full HD which can also be seen as 1080p. Going below that threshold just leaves you open to not being able to see exactly what is going on inside and outside your home.

Video Recording

Some people may be confused by this, “It’s a security camera… obviously it will record video.”

Not so fast, many security cameras don’t actually record what is going on, they just let you see what is going on live. I agree with your current thoughts. That type of camera sounds kind of useless. That’s why it’s important to see if your camera offers video recording and to check where and how it stores these recordings. Some cameras only store the recordings for a day or two which isn’t all that helpful.

Video recording is obviously important because you can go back to old footage. If you notice something is amiss in your home and you want to check out your video recordings, you should be able to.

We’ve also found it’s really good for catching your kids in a lie if they claim one thing happened but you can tell something doesn’t add up.

Live View

On the flip side of cameras with no recording capabilities, some cameras don’t let you check out a live view of your camera. It’s almost as if people making security cameras have a very different idea of what a security camera should actually do.

The benefits of being able to check in on the live view of your security camera are numerous. Being able to check in on the live-stream of your camera is important for checking in on kids and pets while also checking up on your home if you have an uneasy feeling.

The good cameras will even send you a notification if there is any reason you should check your cameras. It may just be a massive bug flying around your living room but it also could be a burglar. We’d probably be happier about the burglar.

Important Aspects of an Indoor Security Camera

The most important aspects of an indoor security camera can also be applied to an outdoor security camera but these should top your list for an indoor camera while they would be lower on the list of features for an outdoor one.

Smart Home Integration

If you’re not trying to build a complete smart home this isn’t a big deal but there is something awesome about being able to control everything from your Alexa or Google Home.

Pairing your security camera with your other smart devices can make you feel like you’re living in the future. The best security cameras will allow you to turn yourself into a home automation expert and a certified techie.

App Control

This is important for every type of security camera and you would be surprised by how many security cameras still don’t offer this functionality.

Luckily, the best cameras do offer fantastic applications. With app control, you can check all of your security cameras inside the house. From the app, you should be able to control your camera completely to ensure you are the master of your own home. One great thing is that you can use these apps from anywhere in the world.

One great feature that a lot of cameras offer from your app is two-way voice control.

Two-Way Voice

This is my favorite feature that security cameras have on them. Some outdoor cameras even have two-way voice even though it isn’t as necessary. I guess it’s always fun to frighten the neighbor kids by yelling at them.

I think this feature was created for indoor cameras when security companies realized their kids were ignoring their phone calls. They probably decided they could just yell at them through their security cameras.

Even if that wasn’t the case, two-way voice brings a whole new world of functionality to the home security game. Imagine opening up your security app and seeing a stranger ruffling through your belongings. You could yell at them to leave, scare them by acting like a ghost, and even ask them to sing a song with you.

On a more serious note, being able to quickly communicate with kids or telling a pet to stop doing what they’re doing is kind of amazing. With the microphone on the security camera, your kids and pet can even respond.

Many security cameras now come with this functionality so there really isn’t a reason to choose a camera that doesn’t.

Important Aspects of an Outdoor Security Camera

Weatherproofing

Canada isn’t exactly known for having the best weather. While we all know that we have much better weather than the rest of the world thinks we do tend to have rather extreme weather patterns from time to time.

We happen to have blazing hot sun, extreme winds, rain, and of course, a lot of snow. Any security camera we use has to be weatherproof. That means it can hold up to everything, especially cold and moisture.

Our futuristic cameras won’t be worth much if they don’t work in the middle of January. There are different weatherproof and waterproof ratings that aren’t extremely important to understand deeply. The important thing is that they are rated as weatherproof in general and offer some kind of guarantee regarding the camera holding up.

Motion Detection

Bears, angry moose, and neighbors that won’t leave you alone but you’re too nice to say anything. Detecting motion is one of the most important aspects of a modern security camera for avoiding nefarious threats.

Security cameras that are plugged in don’t necessarily need motion detection. They’re plugged in so they can be “on” all day. However, it is nice to be alerted when motion is detected in certain areas even when you have a wired security camera.

Where motion detection becomes extremely important are outdoor cameras that are not wired. These cameras run on batteries and it’s kind of a waste to have them on when they don’t have to be on. If they are prompted to turn on when motion is detected, it extends battery life by a lot.

Night Vision

If you don’t have an outdoor security camera with night vision you have an outdoor security camera with an asterisk next to it. Your camera only works during the day—congratulations, you purchased half of a security camera.

A lot of action happens at night. Kids may be out looking to throw toilet paper over your trees and raccoons may be digging around your trash cans. It’s important that you can actually see what’s going on. It wouldn’t be good if you thought the raccoon in your garbage was your leftovers coming back to life or the kids pranking you were vicious murderers.

Camera technology is such that night vision can film in color and high definition so you can see just as well at night as you can during the day.

Final Thoughts

I think we now realize you don’t have to be a rich person to own a security camera. You could just be a regular person looking to protect your family through better monitoring.

The great thing about taking the first step towards safeguarding your home is that it’s actually fun. New security cameras feel much more like toys than security equipment. You can opt for one that you can control via your phone or even get one you can specifically program to point in specific directions at specific times.

Whatever you plan on doing with your camera, just know that you will be more protected if you have one.

Also, if you ever do get a security camera, just know that ten-year-old me would think you’re basically Mr. Money Bags.

FAQ

Are wireless or wired security cameras better?

Most new security cameras coming out today are wireless. With that being said, you can still buy awesome security cameras that are wired.

One major advantage of a wireless camera is that it will be batter operated which means during a power outage it won’t go out. Most wireless systems also have internet connectivity built-in so you can just use software to access your footage.

Is there a security camera that works without Wifi?

There are cameras out there that work without wifi. Rather than storing everything on the cloud, you can use local storage for your videos. However, the newest and best cameras all use wifi and the companies that make them are the ones pushing all of the advancement. Not using wifi can be a hindrance.

Where do you put outdoor security cameras?

The real answer is anywhere. A more specific answer is anywhere important enough to watch over. If you’d like, you can put a camera in a spot that can survey an entire yard. Other options include pointing them at your door or even your car.

What Internet speed do you need for security cameras?

2.5Mbps to 5 Mbps is enough for HD video. You really don’t need fast internet to utilize a security camera. The slower the internet, the worse the streaming definition will be but there should be no issues with accessing videos that are saved.