How safe do you feel in your home? Fortunate people are able to answer that they feel total peace of mind within the four walls of their own house.
However, this may be a false sense of security. The Canadian government reported 159,336 breaking and entering crimes in 2017 alone. Is it possible that a combination of indoor security cameras and outdoor security cameras could have prevented at least a portion of these crimes?
By learning more about the top-rated security cameras, you’ll begin to see why your home really isn’t safe without a camera system. Countless options exist in the marketplace for home cameras, both of the smart variety and the traditional variety. That is why we have thoroughly reviewed the available products to determine which ones are going to be the most reliable choices for your family.
Why People Need Home Security Cameras
The top reason for installing indoor or outdoor security cameras is to ensure the safety of your family. Home cameras are a known deterrent to burglars, which means that they will move on to easier prey if they know that you’re protecting yourself with top-rated security cameras.
Security cameras also help you to watch over your children when you can’t be at home with them. You can monitor when they arrive and what they are doing so you can be certain that they are safe.
A security camera further will alert you whenever someone approaches your house, no matter the hour. Whether it’s a neighbor or a total stranger, it’s always worthwhile knowing when someone is in the vicinity.
Many people install outdoor security cameras to give themselves peace of mind when they’re on vacation. From thousands of miles away, they can keep an eye on what’s going on back home. It’s nice to know that all’s well when you’re trying to relax.
True-Life Crime: Cases in Which Cameras Could Have Saved the Day
Cameras are a large part of the best home security system. Examples are all over the news, indicating that if people had just installed outdoor or indoor security cameras, a break-and-enter might not have occurred.
Consider the case of a Langley, B.C. woman who was awakened in the small hours of the morning because a man was stealing things from her living room. She ended up chasing the intruder out of her house, but the situation was fraught with danger. What if the burglar had been armed and intent on causing her physical injury?
Or, what about the Montreal-area criminal who went on a spree of break-ins in 2017? He was eventually apprehended, but it is easy to imagine that all of his victims wish that they had installed a system of home cameras before their homes were burglarized.
Smart Home Security Cameras
“Smart” cameras are those that operate wirelessly. When a breach occurs, the cameras begin taping footage. A smartphone can be used to access the camera from anywhere in the world so that you always feel like you know what’s happening at home.
Many of these systems can be installed without the assistance of a professional. They are easy to use, and with the proper encryption to protect your privacy, they are remarkably trustworthy.
The results of our exhaustive research indicate that these five options are the best home security cameras on the market today.
1. Nest Cam IQ Indoor – Best Overall
While the Nest Cam IQ Indoor is a fairly costly option, it comes with plenty of bells and whistles. The 4k, an eight-megapixel image sensor is definitely a huge selling point. The 12X digital zoom also is impressive. However, this smart camera is not one of the easiest to install.
- Compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa
- Plenty of features
- Alert time and reaction time are quick
- Images are good quality
- Capable of custom person alert service
- Costlier than other options
- Installation can be difficult
Software Functionality and Features
The Nest Cam IQ costs more than competitors because of its high-quality, six-core processor. This just makes it faster than other systems. Plus, it works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
The optional Nest Aware service is available for an extra charge. This software enables the system to actually recognize faces so that you can program it not to send alerts when friendly faces appear.
A 4K sensor and 1080p HD make for clear images, and the microphone and speaker system may help you scare away potential intruders.
Nest Cam IQ is a wired system, which is what makes installation a challenge. Power is supplied by a plug-in adapter, and the system runs over WiFi. The mobile app is straightforward and easy to use.
Most people interact with Nest customer service when trying to install the system. Responses tend to be prompt, though not everyone reports an overall positive experience. Still, it can easily be argued that customer service reps are always there and willing to help.
The Nest Cam IQ Indoor runs about $299. When buying cameras in multiples, discounts are available. Customers who opt for Nest Aware have three service levels from which to choose, involving pricing that starts at $5 per month and goes up to $30 per month.
2. Netgear Arlo Q – Best for New Users
The Arlo Q is an overall security monitoring system. Many of its features are designed to make it incredibly user friendly. With night vision and high-quality video, this offering from Netgear is ideal for home use.
- Decent video quality
- -Night vision
- -A DIY home security camera
- -Available activity zone programming
- Five seconds of lag time
- Not as many features as others on this list
Software Functionality and Features
If you’re looking for a straightforward home camera system, this may be the one for you. Some of its key features are two-way audio and people detection. A powerful app makes it easy to use the system. However, if you’re looking for a lot of bells and whistles, you won’t find them here.
Its simple design might be exactly what some people are looking for. Features include a 1080p HD video and a 130-degree monitoring view. These cameras further are equipped with Arlo Basic, a feature that provides seven-day cloud storage of images and video. The Arlo Q may be connected to smart home devices like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Stringify. A basic plug-in adapter makes the Arlo Q a cinch to install.
Most people seem to contact Netgear’s customer service reps in connection with Arlo Q’s cloud storage. While some of them express frustration, most people note that their interactions with representatives tend to be positive.
A single Arlo Q camera runs $199.99, though two can be purchased for just $349.99 and three may be had for $599.99. Customers also may opt for the Arlo Smart monitoring feature, with plans starting at just $2.99 per month per camera.
3. Amazon Cloud Cam – Best Cheap Option
As an inexpensive option, the Amazon Cloud Cam has a great deal going for it. The video quality is good, and the cloud storage options are varied. With the ability to integrate with other Amazon devices, this is an excellent option for those who are big-time fans of the online retail giant.
- An affordable camera
- Video quality acceptable
- Able to distinguish between people and pets
- App features intuitive design
- Extra features only available with monthly subscription
- Smart home integration options are limited
Software Functionality and Features
Its frame rate of 30 fps and 1080p video make it competitive with other cameras on this list. However, its field of vision is only 120 degrees unlike the 130 degrees for Nest and Arlo. A powerful sensor makes it possible to see fairly clearly even in dark areas. The Amazon Cloud Cam features a ring of eight LED lights to enable night vision.
The app can be programmed to deliver as many notifications as you like, such as when a person or motion is detected. There’s even a geofencing feature that activates when you take your phone outside of a pre-set area so that you’ll only receive alerts when they’ll be most helpful and necessary.
Of course, the cloud cam is able to fully integrate with Alexa, Fire TV and the Echo Show. Simply direct Alexa to show you a view from a certain camera, and you get the feed instantly. If you prefer other smart home devices, it’s important to realize that they likely won’t integrate with the Cloud Cam.
If you’re satisfied with Amazon’s customer service options for their other products and devices, then you’ll probably be pleased with this too. You can call, email or engage in a live chat. Most people have a perfectly acceptable experience with representatives who are polite and helpful.
Priced at about $119.99, this is an economical option among indoor security cameras. Without an accompanying subscription, you’ll be able to save clips from a maximum of three cameras for 24 hours. You’ll also receive alerts.
A subscription gets you more storage, person detection, zones and unlimited sharing. Seven days of storage costs $6.99 per month while 14 days of storage will run you $9.99 per month. The biggest plan gets you 30 days of storage for as many as 10 cameras for $19.99 per month.
4. Logitech Circle 2 – Best Wireless Camera
Easy to install and with a user-friendly app, you’ll probably also admire the 180-degree viewing angle on the Logitech Circle 2. The camera itself is an economical choice. However, you will need a subscription plan to access some of its best features.
- Completely wireless cameras
- Can be used indoors or out
- Two-way audio
- Wide viewing angle
- Video recording triggered by motion
- Integrates with Google Assistant and Alexa
- Subscription needed for premium features
- Barrel distortion in images
- No option for audio detection
- Wake-up has an extended lag
Software Functionality and Features
The Logitech Circle 2 has nice features like motion-triggered video recording, person detection and motion detection zones that can be customized to suit your needs. The 1080p camera records motion at 30 fps and an infrared LED provides night-vision capability of up to 15 feet.
Using WiFi to connect to your router, the Circle 2 features a speaker array and built-in microphone along with a motion detector. However, it does not have audio-trigger capabilities. The free Circle Safe storage plan provides you with 24-hour storage of recorded video. You also get push alerts when motion is detected.
Logitech customer service is available by phone or live chat. Response times can occasionally feel slow, but most people report overall satisfaction with the support they receive.
The MSRP on the Logitech Circle 2 is $199.99. However, prices as low as $130 frequently are found online. Invest in the Circle Safe Basic plan for $3.99 per month to get 14 days of storage or try the Premium plan at $9.99 per month for 31 days of storage. With this plan, you also get advanced filtering for events, motion zones and person detection.
5. Wyze Cam v2 – Best for Indoors Only
These cameras are offered at incredible, rock-bottom pricing. For the most budget-minded among you, this is the ideal choice. Despite the price, these cameras pack in plenty of features. However, keep in mind that these cams are suitable for indoor use only.
- Incredibly affordable
- Integrates with Alexa
- Excellent sound recognition
- Free, 14-day cloud storage
- Motion tagging
- Product line-up is easy to understand
- Doesn’t integrate with smart home devices other than Alexa
- Cameras must have a power outlet
- Professional monitoring not available
- Cameras are indoor use only
Software Functionality and Features
The creators of the Wyze Cam are based in the Seattle area, which perhaps makes it less surprising that the cameras only integrate with Amazon’s Alexa.
Among Wyze Cam’s features is its use of motion tagging technology in addition to being motion activated. The cameras sense both sound and motion, providing you with better coverage. You get 14-day cloud storage using HTTPS secure transfer protocol. End-to-end encryption ensures your online privacy.
The 1080p HD images are pretty clear, and you get day and night vision along with two-way audio. With a time-lapse video option, you’ll be able to get a clear picture of what happened over a span of hours in just minutes.
Wyze Cams are pretty easy to use and set up. However, each camera does need to be connected to an electrical outlet.
Both phone support and live chat are available. Although 24-hour support is not available, you can contact personnel between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm PST. Customer support is located in the U.S. A list of commonly asked questions on the website may provide help at other times.
Most of Wyze Cam’s products are offered at between $20 and $30, ensuring that anyone can afford the best home security cameras. No subscriptions are required for use.
Traditional Home Security Cameras
Perhaps you want to capture the clearest videos possible with your outdoor security cameras. Or, maybe you’re concerned about the security of using WiFi for your security system. Whatever your reasons, you may be interested in a traditional home security camera rather than a smart one.
That’s all right, because we’ve performed that research too. It led us to uncover three incredible traditional home security camera systems that will help to keep your family and property safer. Choose any of these top rated security cameras for old-school peace of mind.
6. SANNCE 4CH 1080P DVR Security Camera System – Best Support Service
This wired CCTV system features clear 1080N recording. The system includes a powerful DVR unit along with four sleek, bullet-shaped cameras for indoor or outdoor use.
- Connection modes including TVI, AHD, Analog and HD IP cameras
- 960*1080 pixels
- Monitor by mobile device
- Motion activated
- Email alerts
- 24/7 support service
- DVR with full HD VGA and HDMI outputs
- Four cameras with night vision and 720p HD
- Cameras are bullet-shaped and weatherproof
This five-piece system can be purchased for approximately $247.
7. Smonet 4CH 720P HD NVR Wireless Security CCTV – Best Weatherproof
If you’re looking for indoor security cameras, this may be the ideal solution for you. Of course, this package of four cameras and an NVR actually also is suitable for outdoor use, so it truly is an all-around solution. The manufacturer describes the system as being plug and play for the ultimate in ease of installation.
- Four weatherproof cameras operate day or night
- Video only supported, not audio
- 24/7 live surveillance
- No Internet connection required
- All data saved for a one-month period
- 720p HD security cameras
- 1TB HDD pre-installed
- Remote access from smartphone
- Four-channel 1080p hard drive
- One TB of memory in hard drive
The entire system can be purchased for $309.99.
8. JOOAN CCTV Security Outdoor Cameras – Best for Easy Installation
If you’re looking for something that’s really economical but still effective, this could be the perfect top rated security cameras for you. It captures exceptionally clear images thanks to a CCD chip that is actually industrial grade. Color video is captured during the day with black and white being recorded at night. Pair these cameras with a DVR for a DIY security system that really works
- Industrial-grade CCD chip
- Compatible with DVRs
- Night vision
- Aluminum alloy shell for better lifespan
- Full HD 720p resolution
- 4-in-1 video output
- Easy to install
- 3.6 mm lens
- Array of lights for night recording
- Maximum 130 foot IR distance
One of these cameras can be purchased for just $29.99.
How a Camera System Works
The best home security cameras provide peace of mind by enabling you to see what’s going on in and around your house even when you’re miles away. According to statistics from the Canadian government, most break-ins occur during the daylight hours when criminals feel fairly confident that no one is at home. This is why it is critical to have outdoor security cameras operating on a 24/7 basis.
Thanks to your outdoor and indoor security cameras, you can monitor and even record the activity that takes place in and around your home. Home cameras come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some may be quite large and highly visible. Typically, these are outdoor security cameras that are meant to deter criminals from trying to enter your home.
Other cameras are quite small and virtually impossible to detect unless you know they are there. Frequently used indoors, these home cameras are meant to provide functionality while not spoiling the aesthetics of the décor.
When you begin considering the installation of top-rated security cameras, several questions must be answered. Foremost among these is how many home cameras should be installed. Some people are only concerned with one area, such as the front or back door. Others have concerns about a dark corner next to the garage as well or perhaps they are worried about someone being able to get through certain ground-floor windows.
Accordingly, the homeowner must decide whether one camera is sufficient or if several are needed. New parents often like to install a security cam in a baby’s room to ensure that they haven’t fallen out of the crib. The answers really are entirely up to you, and you can typically add additional components as they become prudent or necessary.
The best home security cameras may be either wired or wireless. The wired versions are the traditional choice. Harder to install, it is not always easy to conceal the wires that go with these systems. Wireless versions are easier to install and tend to be less obtrusive. However, the images transmitted by a wired camera system tend to be sharper and clearer than those provided by a wireless system, which sends signals via the air.
Wireless cameras are far more flexible as they can be placed almost anywhere. However, it is important to note that the signals from baby monitors, wireless Internet connections and cordless phones interrupt the camera system’s signal on rare occasions. Also, hackers are able to get into wireless security systems to observe what you’re doing and whether or not you are home. If you go with a wireless system, ensure that its signals are heavily encrypted to avoid this possibility. As those of you who are already using quality VPN services are aware, advanced encryption is one of the main security elements that protects you from intruders.
Q: Is it better to have a CCTV system or a Smart Home Camera?
A: Both options have advantages and disadvantages. Either one could be ideal for you depending upon your circumstances.
Keep in mind that many CCTV systems must be professionally installed. However, the ones presented here may be just a DIY project. If you aren’t particularly handy with this sort of thing, you may need to enlist some outside help. Some people don’t like being inconvenienced by a complicated installation process.
It’s pretty much a given that you can install a smart home camera by yourself. Nonetheless, you likely will need to pay a monthly subscription to access all of the camera’s functions. This ongoing expense is a deal breaker for some people. Keep in mind that some free options are presented here, so you can get basic functionality without extra expense.
Ultimately, your choice may come down to price, as both types of systems are quite functional. There are individuals who may prefer to stay away from a smart home camera because they fear the system being hacked. With appropriate security measures in place, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Q: Can Smart Home Cameras be hacked?
A: Smart home cameras can be hacked. However, this is less likely to happen if you ensure that the product and service that you choose properly encrypt data. Moreover, you can password protect your router and WiFi to provide additional layers of security. Make certain that you go with a data-conscious provider when you buy a smart home camera.
Q: Do I need to buy a hard drive with a Smart Home Camera?
A: A hard drive is not necessary when you install a smart home camera. Most of these systems operate on a cloud-based system. Cloud storage is the more convenient option, though some cameras do enable you to use a micro SD card if you prefer to store your footage locally.
Q: How can I protect my Smart Home Camera from hackers?
A: You can take several steps to ensure the security of your smart home camera. These include securing your home wireless network with encryption and passwords. You can also create a strong password for your cameras themselves. Remember to never use the default password that may have come with the smart home camera. Also, make certain that your camera’s firmware is regularly updated, and turn off remote monitoring when it is not likely to be used.
Whether you prefer smart home cameras or the more traditional route, it is essential that you protect your family and your property. Breaking and entering and other related crimes are on the rise in Canada. Would the best home security cameras prevent you from becoming a victim?