The Best Cheap Security Cameras of 2019

Best Overall
Logitech Circle 2 (Wired)
 
$179.99*
Pro Bullet Motion-activated continuous recording
Pro Bullet 24 hours of free cloud storage
Pro Bullet Indoor and outdoor capability
Best for Indoor Use
Arlo Q
 
$149.99*
Pro Bullet Easy setup
Pro Bullet Seven days of cloud storage included
Pro Bullet Indoor use only
Best for Alexa Fans
Amazon Cloud Camera
 
$119.99
Pro Bullet Live video feed
Pro Bullet 24-hour clip storage
Pro Bullet You can download and share video clips

*Prices listed based on listed retailer prices as of this writing. Data effective 9/09/2019. Prices and availability subject to change.

If you’re just getting into the home security game, purchasing a security camera is an easy, less expensive way to make your home feel more secure without the commitment of a home security system.

Fortunately, keeping your home safe doesn’t have to mean spending tons of money. We’ve put together a list of the best surveillance cameras around $150 or less to protect your family and home.

Top five cheap security cameras


Compare cheap security cameras

*Prices listed based on listed retailer prices as of this writing. Data effective 9/09/2019. Prices and availability subject to change.

What we mean when we say “cheap”
Protip

You may have noticed that we’re talking about inexpensive cameras, but most of them cost between $100 and $150. That’s because cheaper security cameras—like those in the $30 to $50 range—are less secure and easier to hack.

Wyze, for example, makes an HD camera for under $30. But customers complain that after they’ve shut it off, the camera records videos and uploads them to the cloud. We think it’s worth investing in a surveillance system that’s, well, secure.


1. Logitech Circle 2 (wired): Best cheap security camera overall

Best cheap security camera overall
Logitech Circle 2 (wired)
 
$179.99
Tech specs
    Dimensions
    3.4 x 2.8 in.
    Resolution
    1080p HD
    FOV
    180°
    Power source
    AC
    Night vision
    Up to 15 ft.
    Compatibility
    Logitech POP, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

    Logitech Circle 2 pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletContinuous recording activated by motion sensor
    • Pro Bullet24 hours of free cloud storage
    • Pro BulletMultiple mounting options
    • Pro BulletIndoor and outdoor capability
    Cons
    • Con BulletLimited night vision
    • Con BulletDifficult-to-change settings that require system reset

    Why Logitech Circle 2 made the list

    The Logitech Circle 2 is a cool little camera with a lot of useful details, including a built-in speaker and microphone for two-way communication and an expansive field of view. Logitech also offers 24 hours of free cloud storage so you can watch your footage as time-lapse videos in the Logi Circle app.

    Features and flaws

    We love the Circle 2’s versatility. Its multiple mounting options let you put it almost anywhere in your house—or outside since it’s waterproof

    The Circle 2 can do more techy stuff, but you’ll have to pay a $9.99/month subscription fee to access person detection, motion zones, and advanced event and alert filters. Also, some users note that while installation is easy, changing settings within the app requires them to completely reset the camera.

    ASL recommends
    Our Choice
    The Logitech Circle 2 is a solid standalone camera with distinct advantages. It provides clear video, day and night, and is one of the only security cameras out there with continuous recording when activated by motion.

    2. Arlo Q: Best for indoor use

    Best for indoor use
    Arlo Q
     
    $149.99
    Tech specs
      Dimensions
      4.5 x 6 in.
      Resolution
      1080p HD
      FOV
      130°
      Power source
      AC
      Night vision
      Up to 25 ft.
      Compatibility
      Logitech POP, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

      Arlo Q pros and cons

      Pros
      • Pro BulletEasy setup
      • Pro BulletSeven days of cloud storage included
      Cons
      • Con BulletContinuous recording with subscription only
      • Con BulletNo weatherproofing—indoor use only

      Why Arlo Q made the list

      The Arlo Q is equipped with great image and audio quality, a long night vision range, and easily customizable settings. It also offers a generous Basic Cloud Service Plan with one gigabyte of storage, or seven days of cloud recording. Plus, you can easily download video from the app and save it on another device.

      Features and flaws

      The Arlo Q offers continuous recording starting at $9.99 a month. You can choose what length of clips you want it to record—just know that the Arlo Q sometimes has to reboot itself after a recording, leaving gaps between recordings.

      ASL recommends
      Our Choice
      The Arlo Q is a great value. If having more access to video footage is important to you, it’s a fantastic and inexpensive option.

      3. Amazon Cloud Cam: Best for Alexa fans

      Best for Alexa fans
      Amazon Cloud Cam
       
      $119.99
      Tech specs
        Dimensions
        2.4 x 4.1 in.
        Resolution
        1080p HD
        FOV
        120°
        Power source
        AC
        Night vision
        Up to 30 ft.
        Compatibility
        Amazon Alexa

        Amazon Cloud Cam pros and cons

        Pros
        • Pro BulletLive video feed
        • Pro Bullet24-hour clip storage
        • Pro BulletUnlimited sharing capability that allows you to download and share video clips
        Cons
        • Con BulletAmazon Drive subscription required for certain features
        • Con BulletNo continuous recording

        Why Amazon Cloud Cam made the list

        Amazon’s Cloud Cam gives you access to a live HD video feed, night vision capabilities at 30 feet, and 24-hour clip storage. And because it’s an Amazon device, it plays nicely with your Alexa-enabled devices.

        Features and flaws

        The Amazon Cloud Cam lets you download and share video clips, which is a definite plus. But to really use it as a security camera—with person and audio detection—you’ll have to subscribe to Amazon Drive. Without it, you’ll get notifications only when general motion is detected.

        The Cloud Cam also doesn’t offer continuous recording, whether you have Amazon Driver or not.

        >>Learn more: Read our Amazon Cloud Cam review.

        ASL recommends
        Our Choice
        If you’ve started building your smart home with Alexa, the Amazon Cloud Cam is a great fit.

        4. Amcrest UltraHD Outdoor Wi-Fi Bullet Camera: Best for outdoor use

        Best for outdoor use
        Amcrest UltraHD Outdoor Wi-Fi Bullet Camera
         
        $109.98
        Tech specs
          Dimensions
          8.1 x 4.1 in.
          Resolution
          4K Ultra HD
          FOV
          112°
          Power source
          Power over Ethernet
          Night vision
          Up to 131 ft.
          Compatibility
          Amazon Alexa

          Amcrest UltraHD pros and cons

          Pros
          • Pro BulletUltra HD playback
          • Pro BulletLocal video storage
          • Pro BulletLong-range night vision
          • Pro BulletDurability in extreme climates
          Cons
          • Con BulletNo audio
          • Con BulletPower over Ethernet installation
          • Con BulletPOE injector and power supply not included

          Why Amcrest UltraHD Outdoor POE Bullet camera made the list

          Amcrest’s UltraHD Outdoor Wi-Fi Bullet camera is made for the outdoors with its weatherproofing and outstanding night vision. Its 4K resolution lets you livestream footage in ultrahigh definition. You can even record events as they happen and store them in the cloud.

          Features and flaws

          This bullet camera has a higher streaming quality than Amcrest’s older products, with night vision up to 131 feet. Its power over Ethernet (POE) installation may require some technical know-how, but it’s worth it: POE means network interruptions are less likely.

          ASL recommends
          Our Choice

          With its POE setup, the Amcrest UltraHD POE Bullet is great for rural areas where Wi-Fi can be spotty, but it would work in more suburban areas too.


          5. Blink XT: Best basic option

          Best basic option
          Blink XT
           
          $129.99
          Tech specs
            Dimensions
            2.8 x 2.8 in.
            Resolution
            1080p HD
            FOV
            110°
            Power source
            Battery
            Night vision
            Up to 20 ft.
            Compatibility
            Amazon Alexa

            Blink XT pros and cons

            Pros
            • Pro BulletNo subscription fees or data storage charges
            • Pro BulletLive HD video
            • Pro BulletIndoor and outdoor capability
            • Pro BulletBattery power
            Cons
            • Con BulletNo two-way audio
            • Con BulletModerate resolution

            Why Blink XT made the list

            The Blink has a simple, easy-to-use design meant to keep your home safe, whether you use it indoors or out. The batteries last for up to two years, and Blink also offers free cloud storage.

            Features and flaws

            Blink offers solid basics: motion detection, HD video alerts, and live video streaming. But the HD quality leaves much to be desired. Although Blink lists its HD video capability as up to 1080p, some customers note that the quality is closer to 720p. That’s the lowest we’d recommend for a security camera.

            Aren't jazzed about the Blink XT, but still looking for other wireless security cameras? We've got a list on that.

            ASL recommends
            Our Choice

            If you’re looking for a basic, no-fuss outdoor security camera that’s low maintenance and easy to set up, the Blink XT is a great fit.


            How we chose

            To find the best cheap security cameras, we considered price and quality, along with more technical features—like whether the units are waterproof and what image resolution they offer.

            We consider a few features to be nonnegotiable. If the security camera you choose has some or all of these features, you can be sure you’re getting enough security, even at a lower price point.

            What to look for in a home security camera

            Image quality

            With a high-definition image quality—720p or higher—you can see more of what’s happening with a clear picture. Higher HD video quality also gives you the chance to zoom in on important details like faces or license plates.

            Field of view

            Field of view refers to the area that a camera can see. The bigger the number, the wider the image frame will be and the more area the camera will cover.

            Night vision

            Night vision allows your camera to produce a clear image when its dark. That way, your camera captures clear images, no matter what time of day.

            Two-way audio

            Two-way audio is a nice bonus. Security cameras with two-way audio have both a built-in speaker and a microphone, and they allow you to listen and speak—to your family or the FedEx delivery person, for example—in real time.

            IP capabilities

            IP (Internet Protocol) cameras transmit data through an internet source, like Wi-Fi or Ethernet. You can access that data as digital video from your mobile device or web browser. Because they deal in the digital space, all the surveillance cameras we recommend here are IP cameras.


            Other brands we considered

            D-Link

            D-Link’s cameras have some impressive features but poor reviews for the mobile app. The app is where you control everything you want your security camera to do, so a majorly glitchy app is a real issue.

            Q-See

            Although Q-See’s Wi-Fi bullet camera itself is solid, users note a complicated setup process. There are also too many complaints to ignore around unreliable customer support.

            Wyze

            At just under $30, Wyze’s indoor HD camera is a tempting pick. But as we’ve mentioned, cheaper security cameras are often less secure. And Wyze customers complain about cameras recording after being shut off and having no control over data while it’s in the cloud.


            Our recommendation

            For most people, the Logitech Circle 2 is the best choice in inexpensive security cameras. It works both inside and outside, has two-way audio, and includes cool extras like 24 hours of free cloud storage that you can watch as a short time lapse video. It’s a great choice whether you’re new to home security or a seasoned pro, and is a much better choice than installing one of those fake security cameras.

            Ready to secure your home from the inside out?

            Best cheap security camera overall
            Logitech Circle 2 (wired)
             
            $179.99