Everyone likes to know that their home is secure and that everything and everyone inside is safe while we’re gone. In years past, that meant using a CCTV system to record, but few had remote access or alerts. Now you can buy a Wi-Fi-connected camera you can view from your phone.
Modern home security cameras are very easy to set up. Some use cloud storage, so any evidence is saved online and safe from thieves who might steal your camera.
How to choose a security camera for home
Most home security cameras perform the same basic functions - they detect an event, record the event and send you an alert - but they don’t all do it in the same way.
Also, there are two main types: those that record only when motion is detected and those that record constantly (like CCTV).
Certain cameras go beyond those basics and some can be mounted outdoors. Don’t forget to read our reviews to find out how well each camera works in practice and whether its day and night video quality is any good: don’t rely on a manufacturer's specifications or claims.
Below the best security cameras list we explain all their features in detail. And, if you're looking for a security camera bargain, take a look at the best smart security camera deals.
Best home security camera reviews
- Reviewed on: 6 February 2019
The Hive View Outdoor is an excellent combination of things including style, design and features. Only those scared of power tool need to pay extra for installation.
We're impressed with the range of features and the durability here. It's easy to set up and use, and the View Outdoor makes even more sense if you already have a Hive system.
It's an all-rounder and you don't need to take the monthly subscription unless you really need more than 24 hours of footage.
Read our Hive View Outdoor review.
- Reviewed on: 15 January 2020
The Ring Indoor Cam offers incredible value for money, boasting impressive features like 1080p video capture, full night vision with optional colour support, a built-in 110db siren, two-way talk and more that align it with premium smart security cameras in our chart.
The Ring app offers privacy-focused features like disabling audio recording, ideal for an indoor camera, along with access to previous recordings and other customisable settings.
It’s not perfect; the cable is too short to mount the camera far away from a plug, and the lack of location-based motion alerts can get a little annoying, but that doesn’t detract from the fact the Ring Indoor Camera is one of the best value options on the market right now.
Read our Ring Indoor Cam review.
- Reviewed on: 6 December 2019
We're big fans of the Netatmo Outdoor Camera for a number of reasons. It doesn’t look like a security camera and the built-in floodlight is great.
But it's really the generally good reliability of motion detection, good quality video and the fact you don't have to pay any subscription fees which make it a more compelling choice than many of its rivals, despite the relatively high price.
Read our Netatmo Presence review.
- Reviewed on: 16 September 2019
You'd be forgiven for thinking that the SmartCam won't be any good because of it's price. But in fact, it does almost everything you need it to and is great value if you don't need the best image quality or all the frills and features.
Read our Neos SmartCam review.
- Reviewed on: 19 October 2017
It isn’t flawless, but for this price the Mini 360 Plus is a very good security camera which records great-quality video. It undercuts all the big names despite offering pan and tilt with motion tracking.
There’s no free cloud storage, but recording to microSD means you get the full quality and not a compressed, lower-resolution stream.
Read our Ezviz Mini 360 Plus review.
- Reviewed on: 15 June 2018
The Argus 2 might not offer 4K but for most people that doesn't matter. What you get here is a versatile security camera you can use inside or outdoors and it's still cheaper than a lot of rivals despite a price rise.
Reolink has made a much welcome change to a rechargable battery and the optional solar panel makes this even better.
The camera itself offers a decent set of specs and features including 1080p streaming, a microSD card slot, smart sensors, two-way audio and night vision. There's not much more we could ask for.
Read our Reolink Argus 2 review.
- Reviewed on: 5 September 2017
The Logi Circle 2 is a vast improvement on the original Circle, with higher resolution streaming, a wider viewing angle and a range of accessories that extend the functionality of the smart camera. It’s small, robust, and the Logi Circle app is well-built with a range of features and options for the camera.
It is a little pricey, though, and it’s worth bearing in mind that some features (person detection, dedicated motion zones) are locked to the £7.99 per month Circle Safe Premium subscription.
Read our Logi Circle 2 review.
8. Arlo Pro 2
- Reviewed on: 27 June 2019
We have no quibbles with the quality of the Arlo Pro 2, so this is certainly one of the best 1080p cameras you can buy.
The kit is easy to setup and use, with a great image and lots of features - especially if you use it wired. You don't even need to pay for any subscriptions if 7-day cloud storage is enough.
That's a good thing because this kit is fairly expensive so that's the main issue here. You'll want to carefully consider how many cameras to buy from the start. Adding more later is not good value.
Read our Arlo Pro 2 review.
9. Canary Flex
- Reviewed on: 27 September 2018
The Flex is a great security camera. It's simple to set up, monitors your home and offers good-quality video.
It's unfortunate that you now have to pay to access certain features, but this is par for the course with security cameras that record to the cloud these days. If you really don't want to pay for a subscription, you'll have to go for a camera that records to an SD card such as the Netatmo Presence or EZVIZ Mini Plus.
Read our Canary Flex review.
10. EufyCam E
- Reviewed on: 22 April 2019
The EufyCam E is a decent home security system for all users. It lacks motion zones and continuous recording, but has some nice features with integrated smart assistant support and the choice of free local storage or paid cloud storage. It's also affordable, easy to install and has incredible battery life.
Read our EufyCam E review.
You should get notifications on your phone when the camera detects an event. Without watching the live feed constantly, this is the only way to keep tabs on your home in relative real time.
Some can send alerts to multiple people; others will send emails in addition to text messages.
Many manufacturers now offer cloud-storage plans with their camera. They record video to a server in the cloud and store it for anything from 24 hours to a couple of weeks. Sometimes offered free, these cloud plans typically require a monthly subscription, but may be worth buying for their convenience and 24/7 recording.
Important note: Y-Cam has changed its policy on free cloud storage. Previously it offered seven-day rolling storage for free, which made it the most generous of any smart security camera. Now, it says it cannot afford to do this for longer than one year. After that the storage costs £2.99 per month per camera, or £4.99 per month if you opt for the Plus Premium service (this is a 50 percent discount off the usual price and the deal lasts for one year).
Netatmo's Welcome (and Nest with its Cam IQ) offer facial recognition so you can get alerts when certain family members arrive home - or only if an unfamiliar face is spotted. It does work, but not as well as you might hope.
Neither of these cameras makes it into our top chart here, for different reasons.
Some cameras include memory card slots so you can store video on the device. We like this option as it can eliminate the cost of monthly storage fees - but if a thief steals your camera they take the evidence with them. Ezviz's cameras let you record both locally and to the cloud simultaneously.
All the latest cameras can be accessed (some even set up) via a smartphone or tablet app. In addition to offering a way to view the camera’s live feed, apps often let you adjust settings and turn on and off recording, motion detection and more.
Often you'll only be able to customise notifications, adjust motion and sound detection sensitivity, and set detection areas via the web portal, but it's great if you can do this in the app.
Motion detection is one of the most desirable features in a security camera. Built-in sensors (or software algorithms) pick up movement within the camera’s field of view and trigger video recording. Because you're not interested in any old movement, it’s important the system also offers the ability to narrow the range of detection, adjust the sensor’s sensitivity or otherwise customise this feature to cut down on false alerts.
Some cameras can identify people, cars and pets, while others aren't as smart.
Most burglaries happen after dark, so this feature is nearly as important as motion detection. Every camera here will switch to night vision automatically in low-light conditions, and most allow you to customise when and how it should be activated. This won't work through windows, where you'll see a reflection of the LEDs - that's why you need an outdoor camera to monitor your garden or driveway.
Pan, Tilt & Swivel
Most security cameras can be manually tilted and swivelled to focus on a certain viewing area. A true pan/tilt camera is equipped with a motor so that you can move its lens using its app or browser-based app, such as the Ezviz Mini 360 Plus.
No amount of security video will help you if it’s blurry, jittery or otherwise distorted. Look for a camera that offers the highest possible resolution. However, bear in mind that many 1080p cameras will reduce the quality to 720p in order to upload it to the cloud, so it's not the advantage you might think. In most cases, it's only 1080p cameras with local storage benefit from the extra resolution.
Scheduling features allow you to tell the camera to turn on and off, detect motion, and/or send alerts at specified times. This is useful when you want to be notified only when your children get home from school, or when you’re away. It can reduces the number of false alerts.
While the idea of a security camera implies eyes-on monitoring, the ability to also hear what’s going on gives you a more complete picture of what’s happening at home. This feature can also allow you to speak through the camera.
The camera’s field of view determines how much it can see. Some are wider than others: check our reviews for sample images from each camera.