Reviews of 2019’s Best Home Security Cameras

Best Indoor Security Camera
Nest Cam IQ Indoor
 
$229
Pro Bullet Full HD resolution
Pro Bullet Familiar face recognition
Pro Bullet Built-in Google Assistant
Best Doorbell Camera
Nest Hello Doorbell
 
$229
Pro Bullet Sharp 1080p video
Pro Bullet Familiar face recognition
Pro Bullet Google Home integration
Best HD Camera
Arlo Ultra
 
$399
Pro Bullet 4K HD resolution
Pro Bullet Automatic zoom
Pro Bullet Weatherproof
Best Wireless Camera
Arlo Pro 2
 
$479.99 
(2-camera system)
Pro Bullet Crisp 1080p video
Pro Bullet Wireless design
Pro Bullet Water-resistant
Best Budget Security Camera
Logitech Circle 2
 
$179.99
Pro Bullet Continuous recording
Pro Bullet Indoor/outdoor capability
Pro Bullet 24 hours of cloud storage
Security System Products
Updated November 25

Black Friday 2019
You don’t need a security camera to spot great deals for Black Friday. Here are a couple of our favorites from Kohl’s:

  • Starting Thanksgiving Day, Kohl’s has the Nest Hello for $149 ($80 cheaper). Plus Kohl’s is giving $15 of Kohl’s Cash for every $50 you spend (November 25-29) so you’ll get another $45 to spend between November 30th and December 9th.
  • We didn’t find any discounts on the Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor, but you can get $90 in Kohl’s Cash this week (November 25-29) with your purchase. You’ll need to spend your Kohl’s cash between November 30th and December 9th.

Overview

Home security cameras don’t just add an important layer to your home security system by giving you an extra set of eyes inside and outside your home. They can also deter break-ins, capture and store important event footage, and offer a little more comfort when you leave the kids and pets back at home.

We’ve looked at dozens of home security camera systems on the market to find the best ones for your house, whether you want to keep a (digital) eye on your toddler, your new puppy, or just your backyard.

Here are the best security cameras of 2019, summed up


Compare security cameras

Data effective 09/18/2019. Offers and availability subject to change

Nest Cam IQ Indoor: Best indoor security camera

Best Indoor Security Camera
Nest Cam IQ Indoor
 
$299.99
    Dimensions
    4.9 x 2.9 x 2.9 in.
    Resolution
    1080p
    Field of view
    130º
    Power source
    AC

    Pros and cons of Nest Cam IQ Indoor

    Pros
    • Pro BulletFull HD resolution
    • Pro BulletFamiliar face recognition
    • Pro BulletBuilt-in Google Assistant
    Cons
    • Con BulletSlightly bulky design
    • Con BulletHigh price

    Why we recommend Nest Cam IQ Indoor

    The Nest Cam IQ Indoor comes loaded with some pretty impressive features. This camera can recognize familiar faces, automatically zoom in and track motion, and tell the different between people and that tree branch blowing in the wind outside your window. Plus, it has built-in Google Assistant.

    High-end equipment

    Everything about the Nest Cam’s hardware is top of the line. Its camera records in crystal clear 1080p resolution, and its speaker automatically suppresses ambient background noise, so you can listen in on your phone and hear your kids talking instead of just the neighbor mowing their lawn.

    Built-in Google Assistant

    If you’re tired of pulling out your phone every time you want to turn on the camera or even just check the weather forecast, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor makes your life a little easier with its built-in Google Assistant.

    We haven’t seen any other security camera build a voice assistant right into its system. With the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, you don’t have to buy a separate device to get all the same benefits of a smart speaker.

    Our Choice

    Pro tip: Nest also includes a built-in Google Assistant in its Nest Guard hub. (That’s part of the Nest Secure system.) Check out our Nest Secure review to learn more.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: The Nest Cam IQ Indoor is great if you want a top-notch camera with some high-tech features. (And if you don’t mind paying top dollar to get the best quality.) Learn more in our Nest camera review.

    >>Convinced? Buy the Nest Cam IQ Indoor today.


    Nest Cam IQ Outdoor: Best outdoor security camera

    Best outdoor security camera
    Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
     
    $399.00
      Dimensions
      5 x 3.7 x 3.7 in.
      Network
      Wi-Fi
      Resolution
      1080p
      Field of view
      130º
      Power source
      Hardwired (has to be plugged into an indoor outlet)

      Pros and cons of Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

      Pros
      • Pro Bullet1080p HD resolution
      • Pro Bullet4K image sensor
      • Pro BulletFamiliar face detection
      Cons
      • Con BulletNo wireless option

      Why we recommend Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

      The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has a lot of the same top features you get with the Arlo Ultra but at a slightly lower price point and with a few downsides.

      You get person detection and automatic zoom and tracking (a feature Nest calls “Supersight”) the same way you do with the Arlo Ultra, but the Nest has a 4K image sensor instead of 4K resolution, and you have to drill a hole in your wall.

      4K image sensor

      A 4K image sensor is not quite the same thing as 4K resolution. (The Nest Cam IQ’s resolution is still a solid 1080p.) But the image sensor does make it so you can zoom in on details in an image and still see a high-quality picture.

      If someone walks across the street from your house and you want a closer look at their face, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor gives you 12x digital zoom so you can get a way closer look, and that 4K image sensor means you’ll still be able to see their features clearly.

      Wired installation

      The Nest Cam IQ doesn’t come in a wireless model, and to install this outdoor camera you do have to drill a hole through your wall.

      Nest has installation videos and guides so you won’t totally mess up your house trying to install the cam. (Or at least, you probably won’t.) But it’s definitely still annoying to have to break out the drill.

      That said, a wired camera has a more stable power source and you’ll never have to pull down the camera to recharge the battery.

      ASecureLife’s recommendation: The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is a hardy all-weather camera that gives you a lot of similar features to the Arlo Ultra but in a slightly less expensive (and slightly less convenient) package.

      >>Ready to have eyes outside your home? Get the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor.


      Arlo Pro 2: Best wireless security camera

      Best wireless security camera
      Arlo Pro 2
       
      $479.99  
      (two-camera set)
        Dimensions
        3.1 x 2.9 x 2.9 in.
        Weight
        4.8 oz.
        Resolution
        1080p
        Field of view
        130º
        Operating temperature
        -4º F to 113º F
        Power source
        Rechargeable battery
        Night vision
        Yes
        Warranty
        1 year

        Pros and cons of Arlo Pro 2

        Pros
        • Pro BulletWireless, rechargeable design
        • Pro BulletCrisp 1080p video
        • Pro BulletWater-resistant exterior
        Cons
        • Con BulletHigher price than the Arlo Pro

        Why we recommend Arlo Pro 2

        With its wire-free design, the Arlo Pro 2 excels as a wireless security camera. You can put it anywhere, and it comes with an impressively long battery life so you won’t have to bring it down to recharge too often.

        Wireless security camera systems

        Because it’s wireless, the Arlo Pro 2 makes it easy for you to connect multiple Arlo cameras together in one system to give you a more complete view of your property—and you can control them all within the same Arlo app.

        The app also lets you set zones to limit unnecessary motion detection notifications, like when your neighbor takes their dog past the house twice a day. Read our full Arlo review to learn more.

        Hub required

        Keep in mind when you buy Arlo Pro 2s that they’re still Wi-Fi cameras, which means that you also need a hub. The hub connects the cameras (whether you have one, two, or six) to your Wi-Fi network, as well as to each other.

        Heads up!
        Remember

        The Arlo Pro 2’s wireless design does mean you need to recharge its batteries now and then. Luckily, the battery lasts a long time between charges—Arlo says around six months.

        ASecureLife’s recommendation: We like the Arlo Pro 2 outdoor camera for its high-resolution image recording and its wireless design that lets you set it up anywhere.

        >>>Want an excellent wireless camera at a reasonable price? Buy the Arlo Pro 2.

        >>>Looking for more wire-free options? Check out our roundup of the best wireless cameras.


        Logitech Circle 2: Best budget security camera

        Best budget security camera
        Logitech Circle 2
         
        $179.99
          Dimensions
          3.4 x 2.8 in.
          Resolution
          1080p HD
          Field of view
          180º
          Power source
          AC
          Night vision
          Up to 15 ft.

          Pros and cons of Logitech Circle 2

          Pros
          • Pro BulletContinuous recording
          • Pro BulletFree 24-hour cloud storage
          • Pro BulletSeveral mounting options
          • Pro BulletIndoor and outdoor capability
          Cons
          • Con BulletLower-quality night vision
          • Con BulletFull system reset to change settings

          Why we recommend Logitech Circle 2?

          The Logitech Circle 2 packs a bunch of features into one (relatively) cheap security camera package. You get a superwide 180º field of view, full HD 1080p resolution, and a full 24 hours of free cloud storage. Plus, a bunch of different mount options to fit your needs.

          Indoor/outdoor functionality

          This camera is nothing if not versatile. You can put it either indoors or outdoors, depending on where you need it. You can also choose different mount options for the Circle 2, including wall and window mounts.

          HD resolution

          You won’t get 4K resolution or a 4K image sensor with this camera, but you do still get super-clear 1080p footage. Before 4K came along, 1080p was the industry standard for high definition, so it’s still pretty good.

          Is the Logitech Circle 2 really affordable?
          Protip

          This isn’t the cheapest security camera we’ve come across, but it offers the best balance of affordability, reliability, and security––since cheaper security cameras can be hacked.

          ASecureLife’s recommendation: We recommend the Logitech Circle 2 to anyone looking for a cheap(er) security camera that still gives you a great set of base features like 1080p video, 24 hours of cloud storage, and two-way communication.

          We think it’s the best security camera you can buy on a budget without having to worry about quality or security issues (like the camera being hacked).

          >>>Found the affordable camera you’ve been looking for? Buy the Logitech Circle 2.


          Nest Hello: Best doorbell camera

          Best doorbell camera
          Nest Hello
           
          $229.99
            Dimensions
            1.7 x 4.6 x 1 in.
            Network
            Wi-Fi
            Resolution
            1080p
            Field of view
            160º
            Operating temperature
            5ºF to 104ºF
            Power source
            Hardwired

            Pros and cons of Nest Hello

            Pros
            • Pro BulletSharp 1080p HD HDR video
            • Pro BulletFamiliar face detection
            • Pro BulletGoogle Home integration
            • Pro BulletMotion & sound detection
            Cons
            • Con BulletNo Alexa integration
            • Con BulletTricky hardwired setup

            Why we recommend Nest Hello

            The Nest Hello is our favorite video doorbell camera because it gives you sharp video footage with a ton of useful features like powerful night vision, full HD resolution, and a unique facial recognition software that remembers familiar faces, so you’ll know who’s at your door before you open it.

            Reliable performance

            In our testing we found that the Nest Hello looks better, sounds better, and functions more reliably (no Wi-Fi connection issues or fuzzy video) than competing Ring doorbell cameras.

            Nest integration

            If you already use Nest cameras, a Nest thermostat, or the Nest Secure alarm system, then the Nest Hello will fit right in. It works seamlessly with all other Nest products and you can control them all from the same app. Plus, it has Google Assistant integration.

            ASecureLife’s recommendation: We like the Nest Hello for its powerful camera and app that includes useful features like motion zone settings and facial recognition. Learn more about the Nest Hello.

            >>>Want the best video doorbell on the market? Buy the Nest Hello.


            Arlo Ultra: Best HD security camera

            Best HD Security Camera
            Arlo Ultra
             
            $399.99
              Dimensions
              4.9 x 2.9 in.
              Resolution
              4K HDR
              Field of view
              180º
              Power source
              Wireless battery
              Night vision
              25 ft.

              Pros and cons of Arlo Ultra

              Pros
              • Pro Bullet4K HDR resolution
              • Pro BulletAutomatic zoom and smart motion tracking
              • Pro BulletWeatherproof exterior
              • Pro BulletTwo-way audio
              • Pro BulletPeople, pet, and vehicle detection
              Cons
              • Con BulletHub required
              • Con BulletHigh price

              Why we recommend Arlo Ultra

              The Arlo Ultra is one of the best cameras we’ve ever seen. It gives you 4K video footage with a 180º field of view, which makes for some of the highest-quality footage and one of the widest fields of view on the market.

              This camera also comes with color night vision, which gives you clear, full-color video in the dark without washing out images like we’ve seen from lower-quality night vision cameras.

              Ultra HD resolution

              The Arlo Ultra is the first camera we’ve seen to give you full 4K resolution. Some other cameras, like the Nest IQ Outdoor and the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, give you a 4K image sensor, but that’s not quite the same thing as ultra HD, 4K resolution.

              That high of a resolution means the Arlo Ultra lets you see every leaf on a tree and every stray dog in your yard with the utmost clarity. And if an intruder ever steps foot on your property, you’ll have no problem seeing their face.

              Color night vision

              Most outdoor cameras these days include night vision, but it’s almost always in black and white. Arlo Ultra is one of the few cameras to give you full-color night vision, so you can still see the color of someone’s clothes or the color of their car—even in the dark.

              Plus, with color night vision, you don’t get that zombie-eye silver glare on people’s faces that you see sometimes with traditional black and white night vision.

              One downside
              Take Note

              As impressive as the Arlo Ultra’s features are, you’ll definitely pay a higher price for them. This awesome camera comes at a high price of $399.99. But that might be worth it to you if you want one of the most cutting-edge security cameras on the market.

              ASecureLife’s recommendation: We recommend the Arlo Ultra to anyone who wants the best and isn’t afraid to pay for it. You’ll benefit from a high-quality security camera with incredible resolution and smart features.

              >>>For ultra-sharp security camera video, buy the Arlo Ultra HD.


              Amcrest UltraHD PTZ: Best PTZ camera

              Best PTZ camera
              Amcrest UltraHD PTZ
               
              $89.98
                Network
                Wi-Fi
                Resolution
                1520p
                Field of view
                120º
                Power source
                Adapter
                Night vision
                32 ft.

                Pros and cons of Amcrest UltraHD PTZ

                Pros
                • Pro Bullet360º viewing
                • Pro Bullet1520p Ultra HD image quality
                • Pro BulletMultiple storage options
                • Pro BulletONVIF compliant
                Cons
                • Con BulletComplicated setup

                Why we recommend Amcrest UltraHD PTZ

                The Amcrest UltraHD PTZ gives you a super-crisp HD resolution and an expansive viewing angle. But what sets it apart is its PTZ (pan, tilt, and zoom) capabilities.

                The Amcrest gives you 360º pan, 90º tilt, and up to 16x digital zoom. That gives you a view of everything in the room as opposed to just a stationary feed based on where you place the camera.

                You also have the choice between cloud storage through the Amcrest app or local video storage through a hard drive or micro SD card.

                ONVIF compliant

                If you want to use different security cameras together as part of a CCTV system, then the Amcrest UltraHD PTZ will fit right in. This camera is ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) compliant, so you can use it with other compliant devices and control them through third-party apps like Blue Iris.

                ASecureLife’s recommendation: We really like the Amcrest’s ONVIF-compliant, high-resolution camera, plus its pan, tilt, and zoom functions that give you a much broader range of view than most cameras. That versatility is useful if you want one camera that covers the field of view you’d get from multiple cameras.

                >>Buy the Amcrest UltraHD PTZ.


                Furbo: Best pet camera

                Best pet camera
                Furbo
                 
                $249.00
                  Dimensions
                  8.9 x 4.7 in.
                  Weight
                  2 lb. 2 oz.
                  Network
                  Wi-Fi
                  Resolution
                  1080p HD
                  Field of view
                  160º
                  Power source
                  Micro USB

                  Pros and cons of Furbo

                  Pros
                  • Pro Bullet160º HD camera
                  • Pro BulletRemote control treat dispenser
                  • Pro BulletBark alerts that warn you when your dog barks
                  • Pro BulletTwo-way audio to talk to your pets
                  Cons
                  • Con BulletHardwired connection
                  • Con BulletBulky design

                  Why we recommend Furbo

                  No one wants to leave their furry friends at home, but if you don’t have a pet-friendly office, you might not have a choice. The Furbo gives you a window into your pets’ lives at home while you’re not there.

                  ASecureLife’s recommendation: We recommend Furbo to pet owners who have to leave their furry ones home during the day. Two-way chat and a treat dispenser make time away easier for both parties.

                  >>>Ready to shoot treats at your dog from work? Buy the Furbo.


                   Bark detection

                  The Furbo notifies you when your dog barks, so you can check if something’s wrong or if it’s just the squirrels cavorting across the street again.

                  Treat dispensing

                  This camera also lets you talk to your pet and dispense treats, which is sure to make your time apart more bearable for both parties. How sweet is that?

                  The Furbo gives you a window into your pets’ lives at home while you’re not there.

                  How to choose the best home security camera system

                  What features matter?

                  Security cameras offer a lot more than just video footage of your home. While there are more options than ever, there’s also more to consider. Between the confusing tech specs that come with these cameras and all the extra features, here are some things to look for when searching for the best security camera for you.

                  Resolution

                  Resolution determines the quality of a security camera’s video. Not all cameras with high resolution will look the same, but for high-quality HD footage you should look for something with 720p (standard HD), 1080p (full HD), or 4K (ultra HD) resolution.

                  Field of View (FOV)

                  Resolution determines the footage quality, and field of view (FOV) determines the observable field of your camera lens. Wider FOVs help you see more at once, which can reduce the number of cameras you need. But wider isn’t necessarily better. Security cameras with fields of view around 180º and wider can look distorted. The FOV sweet spot is around 160º, which gives you a plenty large viewing area without sacrificing quality.

                  Two-way voice

                  Families with kids or even pet owners might benefit from two-way audio. This allows you and whoever’s at home to communicate with each other if you see something urgent happening. Two-way chat is also useful on doorbell cameras like the Nest Hello so you can communicate with people at your door and give the impression that you’re home.

                  Power source

                  This is an important consideration if you’re looking for a camera you can set up anywhere in or outside of your home. Cameras have a few common power sources.

                  Security camera power sources:

                  1. Battery (either rechargeable or replaceable)
                  2. AC power (this kind plugs into a wall)
                  3. Power Over Ethernet (POE) (this kind gets power through an Ethernet cord)

                  How do I install a security camera?

                  How to Install Security Camera

                  If you choose wireless IP cameras, then it’s as easy as turning on the cameras, connecting them to a hub (which you usually have to buy along with the cameras), and then just installing a mount for wherever you want to put the cams.

                  Wired outdoor security cameras can be a little trickier. Some cameras, like the Nest IQ Outdoor, require you to drill a hole through your exterior wall so you can keep the camera plugged into an indoor wall outlet while the actual camera goes outside your house.

                  >>Check out our full article on how to install security cameras.


                  Do you have to subscribe to cloud storage?

                  It depends on which camera you buy. Some cameras give you a certain amount of free cloud storage for video clips (anywhere from 3 hours to 30 days). Some cameras also let you store footage locally, such as on a micro SD card.

                  For the most part, yes, you probably will want to subscribe to a cloud storage plan. Your camera provider will usually offer a few different plan options for you to choose from, and many, such as Nest Aware, start as low as $5 per month.


                  How do security cameras recognize faces?

                  Cameras that have “familiar face detection” basically let you name people the camera has spotted. So you can pull up the clip the camera took of your kid and name them in the camera app. Going forward, the camera will know who that person is and name them in any alerts it sends you.


                  What is the best security camera?

                  The best security camera for you depends on what you’re looking for. Whether you want an outdoor camera, an indoor camera, or a pet cam you can use to hand out treats while you’re gone, you can choose the model that works for you.

                  Contributing author: Mindy Woodall