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Top 10 Home Security Cameras

A guide covering today’s security camera options to help choose the best system for you or your clients’ property.

April 15, 2022

Home security cameras are a great way to check in on your property, deter criminals, and provide video evidence when needed. The cost and complexity of systems can vary greatly. In this guide, we’ll go over the various security camera types and provide information about some of the popular options available.

Wireless Security Cameras

Wireless security cameras are a great entry point into home security. They allow you to watch a property remotely and are easy to install, but they do have some limitations. There’s often a delay in detecting motion, notifying users, and allowing them to view the camera’s footage, which can be frustrating for the user.

Battery-Powered Security Cameras

Battery-powered cameras rely on passive infrared sensors to conserve battery power. They also only record once motion is detected, which can result in some missing footage. The video is sent wirelessly over your home network and to the cloud. From there, you’re able to view it on your phone or other compatible device.

Hardwired and Plug-In Cameras (Wi-Fi Enabled)

There are hardwired and plug-in versions of Wi-Fi cameras available which provides an advantage over having to recharge batteries. Footage can be typically viewed from an app on your phone, and it’s either stored in the cloud or backed up locally on a hub or micro-SD card. With some camera systems, you’re able to record 24/7, though a subscription may be needed.

Fully Wired Cameras

Fully wired cameras, such as those powered over ethernet, can store the footage on a local hard drive called an NVR. The footage can still be accessed from an app or computer, but it can also be viewed directly on the device by adding a monitor. Advanced smart homes can use the video feed from the NVR to bring up the live feed on any TV in the house.

Many security cameras come with features including detection zones, which limit notifications and recording to only designated areas within a shot—avoiding the street, sidewalk, or even movement within trees that could set some cameras off. Advanced systems can use artificial intelligence to determine if the movement is from a person, animal, or vehicle. These features typically require the camera to have a constant source of power and may require a subscription.

Ring 

Price: $200
Subscription/Storage: A subscription for one camera is $3 per month or $30 for one year; a subscription for all cameras at one house is $10 per month or $100 a year. The subscription includes cloud-based video storage of up to 60 days.
Video quality: Up to 4K
Ecosystem: Amazon smart devices, such as Echo and Fire TV, and “Works with Ring”–compatible devices.
Battery or hardwired: Multiple options for both
Installation: Easy
Detection: Hardwired versions have detection zones whereas battery versions adjust based

Nest

Price: $180
Subscription/Storage: Nest Aware is $6 a month or $60 a year and provides 30 days of event video history. Nest Aware Plus is $12 a month or $120 a year for 60 days of event video history and 10 days of 24/7 history.
Video quality: Up to 4K
Ecosystem: Google only
Battery or hardwired: Both available
Installation: Easy
Detection: Can identify people and packages, including “familiar faces” with Nest Aware subscription.

Arlo

Price: A single camera runs about $100; packages with a base station start at around $475.
Subscription/Storage: Local storage available via Hub; to access cloud storage and advanced features, Arlo Smart subscription is required. The Premier Plan is $3 per month for one camera or $10 a month for up to 5 cameras, with up to 2k quality and 30 days of video history. The Elite Plan is $5 a month for one camera or $15 per month for up to five cameras, with up to 4k quality and 30 days of video history. Continuous video recording is available for an additional fee.
Video quality: Up to 4K
Ecosystem: Arlo App, Amazon Alexa, & Google Assistant
Battery or hardwired: Both available
Installation: Easy
Detection: Smart Detect can identify people, animals, vehicles & packages.

Eufy

Price: A single camera costs about $100; packages with a base station start at $200.
Subscription/Storage: No monthly fees for local storage on Eury's Homebase device, which comes with 16 GB of memory to offer approximately 180 days of storage. Cloud storage requires a subscription, which starts at $3 per month or $30 per year per device with 30 days of cloud storage. Otherwise, the fee is $10 a month or $100 per year for up to 10 cameras with 30 days of cloud storage.
Video quality: Up to 4K
Ecosystem: Eufy, Alexa, and Google Assistant
Battery or hardwired: Both available
Installation: Easy
Detection: Activity zones and facial snapshot notifications

Wyze

Price: Version 3 is about $30
Subscription/Storage: 12-second clips are saved for free to the cloud for 14 days and locally to a card in the micro SD slot.
Video quality: 1080p
Ecosystem: Wyze app
Battery or hardwired: Both available
Installation: Easy
Detection: Custom detection zones; person and package detection available with CamPlus

Abode

Price: Cam 2 will be $35 but is currently available to preorder for $30; an outdoor cam is $159.99 and can be used as a doorbell; it is weatherproof and has motion detection, unlike Cam 2.
Subscription/Storage: Standard package is 20 cents per day or $6 per month, which includes seven days of activity. A professional package is 66 cents per day or $19.80/month, which includes 30 days of storage and person detection.
Video quality: 1080p at 30 fps
Ecosystem: Abode app, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant
Battery or hardwired: Plug-in
Installation: Easy
Detection: Activity zones, person detection included with pro plan, preview on notification

Swann

Price: Wi-Fi cameras start at $180, and a 4K NVR kit with four cameras starts at $650
Subscription/Storage: Free cloud storage is provided for 24 hours and local storage for 60 days available with Secure+ plan for $4.99/month
Video quality: 1080p or 4k
Ecosystem: Swann app
Battery or hardwired: Battery, plug-in, or power over ethernet
Installation: Wi-Fi system is easy to set up; NVR requires ethernet cables to run.
Detection: Zones and identification

Reolink

Price: Battery cameras start at $110; wired cameras start at $55, and power over ethernet cameras cost about $100 each. A kit with 4 cameras and a 4K NVR unit is around $470.
Subscription/Storage: Free seven-day storage for one camera and 6.99 per month for 30 days of storage for up to 10 cameras.
Video quality: 1080p and 4K options available
Ecosystem: Reolink app
Battery or hardwired: Battery, plug-in, and PoE options available
Installation: Wi-Fi system is easy to set up; NVR requires ethernet cables to run.
Detection: Adjustable zones

Toucan

Price: $109.95 on website, but discounted elsewhere
Subscription/Storage: Free 24-hour cloud storage, 7 days for $2.99/month, or 90 days for $9.99
Video quality: 1080p
Ecosystem: Toucan app, works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
Battery or hardwired: Battery
Installation: Had connectivity issues
Detection: Customizable detection zones

Nooie

Price: $59.99
Subscription/Storage: Locally on micro SD card with cloud storage available: 7 days costs $1/month, 30 days costs $3/month, Continuous recording is available when plugged in.
Video quality: 1080p
Ecosystem: Nooie app, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant
Battery or hardwired: Plug-in
Installation: Easy
Detection: Customizable sensitivity

My Top Picks

Best Overall

My overall recommendation is a Reolink NVR system that uses PoE cameras. The app is easy to use and the base unit stores 24 hours of footage locally. If you’re not willing or able to run ethernet cables to the camera locations, Eufy is a great affordable route with a lot of features that work wirelessly.

Best Budget Option

Wyze Cam is a great budget option to check in on your property or pets, but we would not recommend it for primary security due to the short clips that may miss key moments.

Best If You Already Have a Security System

If you’re already paying for a subscription to Ring, Nest, Arlo, or Abode, adding additional cameras within those ecosystems makes a lot of sense. There is no reason to pay for two subscriptions and it will be nice to be able to access everything within one app.

Whenever possible, be sure to install cameras in a location with a constant power source. That way you do not need to worry about recharging batteries, and you will be able to access all the system’s features. The current best practice is to install cameras that are powered over ethernet and connected to an NVR.


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