The 10 Best Wireless Home Security Cameras of 2024

HomeThe 10 Best Wireless Home Security Cameras of 2024

By

John Carlsen

Mar 25, 2024

22 min read

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review. We may earn money when you buy through our links.

We tested over 50 wireless security cameras to find the best features, video quality, and cloud storage to protect your home. We have over a decade of home security experience and have spent over 500 hours testing wireless home security cameras, which we love for their convenience and flexibility.
Our top pick is the Reolink Argus PT Ultra because it sports 4K video quality, a bright spotlight, and a wire-free design—features it shares with Arlo Pro 4, one of our previous winners. But Reolink offers a smaller price tag.
Although Arlo offers more advanced features like better smart home compatibility, Reolink offers local storage, a longer warranty, and a very affordable solar panel add-on. These small improvements make a huge difference when the best wireless security cameras are so similar.
Find out which cameras on our list are truly wireless and what smart features each offers in our comparison tables and security camera reviews.

Best overall

Reolink Argus PT Ultra

4.5

4K video resolution
Included solar panel
Save $50View on Amazon

Best smart detection

Nest Cam (battery)

4.25

1080p video resolution
Design and aesthetic
Save $40View Pricing

Best outdoor camera

Arlo Pro 4

4.25

2K video resolution
Top-tier smart home integration
Save $60View on Amazon

Best indoor camera

Eufy Solo IndoorCam C120

4.25

2K video resolution
Apple HomeKit integrationView on Amazon

Budget pick

Blink indoor camera

3.75

1080p video resolution
Under $80
View on Amazon

Best wireless security cameras of 2024Reolink Argus PT Ultra: Best overallNest Cam (battery): Best smart detectionArlo Pro 4: Best outdoor cameraEufy Solo IndoorCam C120: Best indoor cameraBlink indoor cam: Budget pickGoogle Nest Doorbell: Best video doorbellArlo Pro 3 Floodlight: Best floodlight cameraRing Stick Up Cam Battery: Best for AlexaBlink Indoor: Best battery lifeYI 1080p Home Camera: Best ultra-budget cameraShow more

How we tested

Compare the best wireless security cameras
ProductBest forPriceCloud storage priceTypeVideo resolution
RatingLearn moreReolink Argus PT Ultra with Solar PanelBest overall$199.99Starts at $6.99/mo.Indoor/outdoor wire-free
4K

4.5

View on AmazonNest Cam (battery)Best smart detection
$179.99Starts at $6.00/mo.Indoor/outdoor wire-free1080p

4.25

View on Google StoreArlo Pro 4Best outdoor camera
$199.99Starts at $4.99/mo.Indoor/outdoor wire-free1440p (2K)

4.25

View on AmazonEufy Solo IndoorCam C120Best indoor camera
$42.99Starts at $2.99/mo.Indoorwired1920p (2K)

4.25

View on AmazonBlink indoorBudget pick
$79.99Starts at $3.00/mo.Indoor wired1080p

3.75

View on AmazonAmazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Video: Best Wireless Security Cameras
Play VideoSubscribe to our YouTube channel and learn how to protect your home, loved ones, and belongings.

What to look for in a wireless security camera
After 10-plus years of testing and living with more than 50 different security cameras in our homes, we know what makes a camera stand out (or not). Here’s a peek into our process and a guide to follow when picking the best wireless security camera for your home, including which ones you can use indoors and outdoors.
Five major factors make up the foundation of our criteria:

Expand All

Video quality

This is really what it’s all about. Depending on where you plan to use your camera, you should consider performance in different light conditions, image resolution, how wide the field of view is, and whether you can pan or tilt the camera for better coverage.

User experience

Experience is very subjective, but we look for cameras that keep it simple when it comes to setup and control. We like cameras with robust mobile apps that make it easy to find video feeds, sort through clips, adjust notifications and other settings, and, above all, let you control your privacy options.

Customer support

We prefer cameras with a bevy of customer resources, including everything from a good product warranty to multiple options for contacting customer service (some of us like online help; others like to pick up the phone).

Price

We consider cost and value when we look at how much a camera (and any required subscriptions) will set you back. A cheap camera with poor quality and no features may meet your budget but won’t do a great job offering security. In contrast, a slightly more expensive camera with a free app and crystal-clear picture can be worth the extra investment.

Storage

If you want to use your camera footage in the event of a break-in or package theft, you need to know that the clips of the event won’t be lost because of no or limited storage. We like cameras that include free storage but also offer additional options. We also like local storage versus cloud storage for those worried about privacy breaches.

We also go beyond these basic categories and consider extras like floodlights/spotlights, doorbell function, two-way audio, subscriptions, and smart home or security system compatibility. Choosing a camera that functions well is easy, but finding one that matches your specific security and convenience needs is what sets each one apart. In this roundup we highlight how each camera fares in these categories and against each other.

Best wireless security camera reviews

1. Reolink Argus PT Ultra: Best overall

Best overall

Reolink Argus PT Ultrawith Solar Panel

4.5

$139.99 (sale price)

View on Amazon

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

We love the Reolink Argus PT Ultra with Solar Panel because it performs like the excellent Reolink Argus 3 Pro (our former top pick), but with better camera resolution, making it an easy choice to top our rankings as the best home security camera. While Reolink’s cloud storage isn’t as good as the options from Arlo and Ring, its microSD card slot gives it a local storage advantage. You don’t need a paid subscription to save videos from your Reolink camera.
It doesn’t hurt that it’s a solar security camera. The included Reolink solar panel means you don’t have to charge the battery every few months.

Pros

Affordable (especially the solar panels)

Excellent video quality

Bright spotlight

MicroSD video storage

Cons

No removable battery

We also highly recommend the Reolink Argus 3 Ultra over the Reolink Argus 3 Pro. Its 4K video resolution, larger battery, and support for 5 GHz Wi-Fi give the Arlo Pro 4 a run for its money. This camera uses a rechargeable battery or solar power, so you have a lot of flexibility for camera placement. Still, it lacks a removable battery like Arlo Pro 4 and Ring Stick Up Cam—you can’t quickly swap in a spare.
The new Reolink Argus PT Ultra also has motion zones, so you can customize what your camera sees. Is your camera picking up traffic from the street and bugging you with too many notifications? Customize the motion zone so the camera doesn’t detect the street.

The Reolink Indoor Security Camera (less than $100) is one of the best pan-tilt-zoom cameras we’ve ever tested at SafeWise. It easily beats the Argus Pro 3’s video quality but isn’t wire-free or weatherproof, making it worth considering if you need a great indoor cam!

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links. Read full disclaimer.During our tests, we noticed that the Reolink Argus 3 Pro camera lacks motion zones and has a narrower field of view (122º) than the Reolink Argus 2 Ultra. So the Ultra is a big upgrade. It even boasts compatibility with smart home platforms like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Its starlight night vision gives you clear, color images without extra ambient light. Overall we found setup easy, and the camera outperformed our expectations, so we’re enormous fans of Reolink.

Learn more about Reolink cameras

Reolink Cameras ReviewReolink Argus PT ReviewYouTube: Reolink Argus 3 Pro ReviewYouTube: The Reolink Argus PT is our Favorite Security Camera in 2023 (so far)

2. Nest Cam (battery): Best smart detection

Best smart detection

Nest Cam (battery)

4.25

$179.99

View on Google StoreView on Amazon

Info current as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Nest Cam (battery)† is awesome for image, video, and sound quality, producing some of our testing’s best recordings. Plus, it fixes one of our biggest complaints about the Nest Cam IQ by opening up most of its smart alerts to users without a Nest Aware subscription.

Pros

Great video quality

Battery-powered

Local backup storage

Quality design and aesthetic

Cons

High price

Facial recognition requires subscription

This is Google’s first battery-powered security camera, and we’re pleased to say its battery holds up well in tests. Still, Google says the battery won’t charge in freezing temperatures, so you may need to bring it inside to warm up during the winter charging sessions. This isn’t unique to Google—many wireless outdoor cameras like Arlo and Reolink have similar limitations.
There’s even free cloud storage now, making Nest a lot more viable for folks on a budget. It stores only three hours of video clips, but that’s better than Arlo and Ring’s complete lack of free video history. As a bonus, built-in video storage keeps the camera recording up to a week’s worth of clips when the internet drops.
Among the smart alerts you can use for free are person, animal, and vehicle detection, along with motion zones. Using so many features without a monthly subscription is a big improvement. You still need to pay to use the facial recognition, but we’re not as excited about that. We especially like that you don’t need to pay a separate fee for each IP camera in your home.
Check out our full Nest Cam (battery) review for more info.

Learn more about Nest cameras

We Reviewed the Suite of Nest CamerasYouTube: Is the Google Nest Cam Battery worth the hype?

3. Arlo Pro 4: Best outdoor camera for smart homes

Best outdoor camera

Arlo Pro 4

4.25

$99.99 (Sale price)

View on AmazonView on Arlo

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Arlo Pro 4 offers compatibility with more smart home platforms than any other entry on our list. It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings. Although it’s no longer our top pick, it’s still one of our all-time favorites.
We love that it’s 100% wire-free—it doesn’t need a power cord and still manages to outperform the competition. Its Wi-Fi connection and battery make it easy to install anywhere a ladder can reach.

Pros

2K video resolution

100% wire-free design

Indoor/outdoor versatility

Smart home integration

Cons

High price

Paid cloud storage

The Arlo Pro 4 is an excellent battery-powered camera, especially if you want a quick setup, multiple cameras, and outstanding video quality. Its 2K video captures more detail than 1080p outdoor cameras and records clear video any time of day, thanks to infrared night vision and a built-in spotlight.
It’s a breeze to set up, thanks to a helpful tutorial in the Arlo app. And the magnetic wall mount makes it easy to install anywhere. While you have to pay for cloud video storage on the Arlo Pro 4, it’s one of the more average subscriptions out there at $4.99 a month.
Arlo 4 fixes the biggest drawback of Arlo Pro 3 in that it no longer requires a base station, which was available only when buying two or more cameras. This makes it a more affordable choice, though it’s still more expensive than the average wireless camera (including some Arlo cameras). The price plays a major role in the Reolink Argus 3 Pro claiming the top spot on our list—something Arlo held for many years.
Read our full Arlo Pro 4 review to learn more.

Arlo, on a budgetArlo sells a more affordable wire-free camera: Arlo Essential Spotlight (about $130). We love that it doesn’t require a base station and sports a bright spotlight for color video at night like the Arlo Pro 4. Still, it doesn’t boast the 2K video quality of the Pro 4. For an even cheaper Arlo, skip the battery and weatherproofing altogether in the Arlo Essential Indoor (around $100).

Learn more about Arlo cameras

Arlo Security Camera Review​​Arlo Essential Video Doorbell ReviewArlo Home Security System ReviewArlo Subscription PlansArlo vs. Nest CamerasYouTube: ​​A Quick Look at the Arlo Pro 4 Wireless Security CameraYouTube: Can You Use Arlo Cameras Without a Subscription?

4. Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24: Best indoor camera

Best indoor camera

Eufy Solo IndoorCam C120

4.25

$42.99

View on AmazonView on Eufy

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Eufy Solo IndoorCam C120 makes a big splash as the best indoor camera for most folks. This comes down to excellent 2K video quality and a low price, which means you can buy multiple security cameras for the house. It’s also one of the best smart security cameras on our list thanks to multiple smart home integrations.

Pros

Excellent video quality

Local video storage

Low price

Great smart home integration

Cons

No weatherproofing

Wired power cord

Eufy comes with a microSD card slot for local video storage—just like Wyze. This means you don’t pay anything after buying a memory card. Eufy has a paid cloud storage plan, but it doesn’t really add any features to the camera beyond storing your video remotely, making the added features and discounts of Nest, Arlo, Ring, and Wyze more appealing.
It’s one of the best options for smart home compatibility compared to Arlo, our smart home pick. We love that it’s compatible with Apple HomeKit, which is less common than the Google Home and Alexa options available on most home security cams. (Eufy also works with those two platforms.)
It’s indoor-only, making it one of few cameras on our lineup without weatherproofing to watch your yard. There’s also no battery power option for this model, though Eufy makes some excellent battery-powered models like the EufyCam 3.

Looking for an outdoor Eufy Camera option?The EufyCam 3 is a battery-powered, weatherproof outdoor cam with local storage and military-grade encryption. You can get the 2, 3 or 4-cam kit.

Overall, we think that the Eufy Solo IndoorCam C120 is worth it for Apple HomeKit fans or if you want a budget indoor camera with outstanding video quality.
Learn more in our Eufy cameras review.

Learn more about Eufy cameras

EufyCam 3 ReviewEufy Floodlight Cam 2 Pro ReviewEufy Doorbell Cameras ReviewEufy Home Security ReviewYouTube: Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24 ReviewYouTube: We Review the Eufy Dual Camera Doorbell

5. Blink Indoor: Best budget pick

Best battery life

Blink Indoor

3.75

$79.99

View on Amazon

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Blink is an Amazon-owned brand focusing on budget cameras. The Blink Indoor is an attractive little camera you can buy for about $80. Thanks to an indoor-only design, this makes it cheaper than most other surveillance cameras for home security.
It has a long battery life of up to two years—much longer than the competition. It achieves this by recording short clips and turning off Wi-Fi when the camera is inactive. Connecting to Alexa and Fire TV devices is easy, and you can even see a live view on Alexa smart displays like the Echo Show.
The Blink Indoor has optional local storage if you connect a USB drive to the included Sync Module. There’s also a paid cloud subscription (about $3 a month) to save videos, but it stores only about two hours of footage, which is tiny compared to most brands. Still, the Blink Indoor is a good option if you want an affordable wire-free indoor security camera to use with Alexa.
Check out our Blink cameras review for more information.

Blink MiniIf you don’t mind wires, the Blink Mini is a cheaper option for around $35. But you need to buy a Sync Module separately if you want local storage.

Learn more about Blink cameras

Blink vs. Arlo Security CamerasBlink vs. Ring Security CamerasBlink Storage PlansYouTube: We Test, Install, and Review the Blink Video Doorbell

New no-subscription camera

Lindo Spotlight Camera
2-pack$179.99

View on Amazon

Best new security camera release!Lindo just dropped its latest security camera—the Lindo Intelligent Spotlight Camera, and we got a first look. This camera offers some impressive features, including crime-deterrents like a built-in 600-lumen spotlight, and a powerful 120db siren, It also sports 2K video quality, night vision in black and white or full color, and intelligent motion detection. Best of all, there’s no subscription required.Read our review to find out why we’re so excited about this new, proactive camera and its potential to deter porch pirates, burglars, and more.

More security cameras we recommend
ProductBest forRatingPriceCloud storage priceVideo resolution
TypeLearn moreNest Doorbell (Battery)Best video doorbell

4.25

$179.99Starts at $6.00/mo.960pOutdoorwire-free
View on Google StoreArlo Pro 3 FloodlightBest floodlight camera

4.1

$249.99Starts at $4.99/mo.1440p (2K)
Outdoorwire-freeView on AmazonRing Stick Up CamBest for Alexa

4

$99.99Starts at $3.99/mo.1080p
Indoor/outdoorwire-free
View on AmazonYI 1080p Home CameraBest ultra-budget

3.5

$29.99Starts at $4.99/mo.1080p
Indoorwired
View on AmazonAmazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

6. Nest Doorbell (Battery): Best video doorbell

Best video doorbell

Nest Doorbell (Battery)

4.25

$179.99

View on Google StoreView on Amazon

Info current as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Nest Doorbell (Battery) brings the same smart motion detection and cloud storage we love about the Nest Cam to your front door. Even though its video resolution is on the lower end, the Nest Doorbell proves that using your pixels effectively can make all the difference. It somehow achieves some of the best-looking video quality in a doorbell camera.
A built-in battery means you can install the Nest Doorbell anywhere, but we like that it supports existing doorbell wires, so you don’t need to bring it inside to recharge. The battery lasts up to six months on a charge with regular usage, though this drops depending on the weather and how often it records video.
At around $180, the Nest Doorbell (Battery) costs almost twice as much as the Ring Video Doorbell. Still, we think its smart detection, affordable cloud storage, and attractive design are worth the price.
Read our full Nest Doorbell review for more testing insights.

Learn more about doorbell cameras

Best Video Doorbell CamerasYouTube: Best Battery Doorbell Cameras

7. Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight: Best floodlight camera

Best floodlight camera

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight

4.1

$249.99

View on AmazonView on Arlo

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight is a solid floodlight camera that makes the most of Arlo’s signature style of easy installation and excellent outdoor cameras.
It turns up the brightness compared to a typical security camera and lights a huge area of your yard. This improves color video quality at night and provides a visual deterrent to would-be intruders. Plus, it’s nice to have an app-controlled floodlight when you need more light on the patio.
We love that the Arlo floodlight uses a rechargeable battery, which means it’s way easier to install than wired floodlight cameras from Eufy, Ring, and Wyze. If you use the floodlight often, you can drain the battery quickly, but at least Arlo sells an optional power cable. While the cable adds $50 to your price tag, it also unlocks a maximum brightness of 3,000 lumens compared to the 2,000 lumens on battery-only mode.
Learn more in our full comparison of the best floodlight cameras.

8. Ring Stick Up Cam Battery: Best for Alexa

Best for Alexa

Ring Stick Up Cam Battery

4

$99.99

View on Amazon

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Ring Stick Up Cam Battery is completely wire-free, so you have a ton of flexibility in where you put it. And it costs around $100, making it a fairly affordable security camera you can use both indoors and outdoors. It’s an ideal wireless camera for an Alexa smart home, though we’d like it better if it supported Google Assistant and HomeKit like Arlo does.
If you need a wireless outdoor camera on a budget, the Stick Up Cam Battery is a great bet. Ring also has one of the most competitive plans on the market for storing recorded video—Ring Protect Basic costs just $4 a month for 180 days of storage.
We’ve seen reports of short battery life on Ring products (some say it lasts about a month), and recharging the Stick Up Cam is tedious since you need to remove the battery each time. There’s a wired option—Stick Up Cam Plug-In—but you lose the flexibility of anywhere installation.
You can get a solar panel accessory so you don’t need to remove the battery as often, but it’ll cost you extra.
Read our full Ring Stick Up Cam review to learn more about this great little camera.

Ring Spotlight Cam Plus, BatteryThe Ring Spotlight Cam Plus, Battery (about $170) costs a bit more than the Stick Up Cam but has some extra perks: a built-in siren and bright spotlight help deter unwelcome visitors by making the camera hard to ignore.We also like that the spotlight doubles as a path light for walking to the door at night. The latest model even has an extra battery slot to double your battery life—it comes with a single battery.

Learn more about Ring cameras

Ring Spotlight Cam ReviewRing Floodlight Cam ReviewRing Doorbell ComparisonRing Camera Storage PlansRing Home Security System ReviewYouTube: What we like (and don’t like) about the Ring Stick Up Cam

9. YI 1080p Home Camera: Best ultra-budget camera

Best ultra-budget camera

YI 1080p Home Camera

3.5

$24.99

View on Amazon

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If you want to spend as little money as possible on a security camera (that’s at least still pretty good), then you’ll love the YI 1080p Indoor Security Camera (about $25). It even makes for an affordable Wi-Fi nanny cam in a pinch with YI’s baby crying detection. This sends a notification to your phone when your little one sounds off that they need some TLC.
Unlimited free cloud storage is another great feature. You can also share app access with up to five people. But watch out if you’re an Android user—there are several reported issues with the Android app.
Check out our full YI Home Camera review to learn more.

Learn more about YI cameras

YI Cameras Review (Including Kami)YouTube: Kami Doorbell ReviewYouTube: We Review the Yi Dome U Camera

10. Wyze Cam v3

Caution: Recent Wyze security issue!Wyze experienced another breach last Friday, February 16, 2024. As many as 13,000 users were affected. Once again, users received access to thumbnails, events, and even videos that weren’t from their camera’s feed.Wyze responded quickly, apologized, and resolved the issue, but that isn’t enough for some users who no longer trust their Wyze cameras to keep images of their homes private. If you have a Wyze camera, check out our recommendations of what to do in light of these breaches.

Wyze Cam v3

4.25

$32.20

View on AmazonView on Wyze

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Wyze Cam v3 builds on the foundation of Wyze’s original sleeper hit by introducing outdoor capabilities, a built-in siren, improved night vision, and a higher frame rate for smoother video. While the v3 saw a small price bump shortly after release, under $35 is still a steal for a wireless camera this good.

Pros

Affordable price

Powerful color night vision

Indoor and outdoor capabilities

Built-in siren

Cons

Wired power cord

Special power source for outdoor operation

Wyze Cam v3’s night vision is noteworthy because it uses a starlight sensor with two types of infrared LEDs to produce color video at night. This is also one of the first Wyze cameras to record videos at 20 frames per second (fps) during the day, which gives it smoother video playback and live viewing than Wyze’s older cameras.
We’re fans of Wyze’s free cloud storage that saves small 12-second clips for up to 14 days. The Wyze Cam Plus paid cloud storage plan allows full-length video clips and is great for folks who want better video recording without buying a microSD card. It’s also one of the cheapest plans from any security camera company—costing just $3 a month or $20 for an annual plan.

Wyze Cam Outdoor v2You can buy the Wyze Outdoor Cam Starter Bundle v2 for about $45 more than the Wyze Cam v3. The rechargeable battery is great if you want a wire-free option that costs less than most other outdoor security cameras.A window mount, spotlight kit, and floodlight mount are three compelling accessories for the v3. The window mount improves recording video through a window—typically a no-no with indoor cameras. The LED spotlight kit brings Wyze Cam v3 closer to Arlo Pro 4 in nighttime functionality, while the floodlight camera mount offers the best lighting experience for this cam.
One of the only things we don’t like is that you need a power cord, which limits placement options. To make matters worse, outdoor operation requires a special cord.
See footage in our full Wyze Cam v3 review.

Wyze Cam Pan v2The Wyze Cam Pan v3 (about $40) scans an entire room in three seconds using the automatic Pan Scan setting. This little outdoor Wi-Fi camera’s motion tracking is also cool—if a kid or dog runs through the room, the camera follows all the action. (No more arguments about who broke the lamp.)

Learn more about Wyze cameras

Wyze Security Cameras ReviewWyze Cam Pan v3 ReviewWyze Cam Outdoor ReviewWyze Doorbell ReviewWyze Home Monitoring ReviewYouTube: We Finally Got a Wyze Cam v3 Pro!YouTube: Wyze Cam Pan v3 Review

Final word
There are so many wireless home security cameras to choose from—we barely scratched the surface of what kinds of cameras are out there. Still, the Reolink Argus 3 Ultra is a standout option with 100% wire-free operation, local storage, included solar panel, and impressive video quality. It’s a refreshing change from cloud-centric brands like Arlo and Ring.
See our list of frequently asked questions below for more information about residential security cameras. If you’re looking for a wireless camera that works with a security system, you can start with recommendations from our best home security systems.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?

Best Home Security Cameras
Best Cheap Security Cameras under $50
Best Outdoor Security Cameras
Best Solar-Powered Security Cameras
​​Best Multi-Camera Security Systems
Best Weatherproof Security Cameras

Wireless security camera related questions
How much should I spend on a home security camera?The sweet spot for a mid-range security camera is around $100, give or take $50. You’ll find plenty of wired, wireless, indoor, outdoor, and pan-and-tilt options from reputable brands without sacrificing quality or features. In general, you can expect better features and stronger customer support with more expensive cameras.If you’re looking for cheap security cameras, stick to brand names you recognize between $20 and $50. Keep in mind that most budget cameras require a power cord. Aside from the occasional sale by a well-known brand, don’t buy any security cameras under $20.On the upper end of the spectrum, we recommend keeping your cost under $200 per camera unless you need specialized features like a floodlight, 4K video quality, LTE cellular connection, or security monitoring. Ultimately, it’s your call how much you want to invest in security.Learn more in our guide to Security Camera Cost & Installation Fees.Is it better to have wired or wireless security cameras?In general, we recommend wired cameras for indoor settings and wireless cameras for outdoors.An abundance of electrical outlets indoors makes a perfect habitat for wired security cameras. While you won’t have as much placement flexibility as with a wire-free camera, the installation process is just as easy in most cases. Plus, wired cameras are usually more affordable, so you can have excellent indoor coverage while focusing the bulk of your budget on outdoor cameras.Wireless security cameras are a natural choice outdoors because you can achieve perfect placement, especially when using a solar panel charger. You’ll need to keep on top of the battery life, but it’s a small price to pay for quick installation.In some cases, it might make sense to use a wired camera outdoors. A wired outdoor camera may take more effort to install but is easier to maintain. We recommend wired power for video doorbells and floodlight cameras. It’s especially useful for charging batteries in wireless models.Likewise, using a wireless camera indoors is a good way to keep recording during a power outage. Most wireless cameras support a power cord, so charging the battery is effortless. You can also install the camera where a power cord won’t reach.Learn more in our guide to Wired vs. Wireless Security Cameras.

Expand All

What should I look for when buying a home security camera?

Video resolution affects the quality of your home security footage. A clear image helps identify a recording’s faces, vehicles, and items. Choose a camera with at least 1080p resolution.Field of view refers to how much area a camera sees through its lens. It affects how many cameras you need and where to place them. Look for a field of view that’s at least 110º.Motion detection sends notifications when a camera observes movement. Choose a motion sensor camera with smart detection to tag people, animals, and vehicles for more effective motion alerts.Infrared night vision helps eliminate security camera footage that’s too dark in low- and no-light situations after sunset. Choose a camera with a night vision range of at least 20 feet.Two-way audio (also called two-way communication) uses a microphone and speaker to interact with people or pets on the other end. Two-way talk effectively turns your security camera into an intercom to address a delivery driver or check in on the kids after school.Pan-and-tilt motors or a digital zoom adjust the camera’s view remotely. A motorized pan-and-tilt camera is ideal for recording a larger area than a static camera and reduces the number of cameras you need overall.Movement tracking allows some pan-and-tilt cameras to follow the action in a room automatically, whether it’s a pet racing around the living room or a youngster toddling toward trouble.Related questionsWhat Should I Look for When Buying A Security Camera?What Types of Security Cameras Are Available?Beginner’s Guide to Security Cameras

Are home security cameras worth it?

Absolutely! Home security cameras allow you to watch over your home in two primary ways more effectively:Deter: A survey by Fox News Atlanta supports the findings of a 2012 study by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, revealing that a surveillance camera in a conspicuous location can make 60% to 66% of burglars think twice about attempting to enter your home.Describe: Security cameras can collect information about burglars and the items they take. This makes it easier to file police reports and insurance claims.The best part is that you choose how much to spend on security cameras for your home.Related questionsThe 5 Ds of Home SecurityEverything You Need to Know about Home Security

Can my security camera be hacked?

Unfortunately, security cameras can be vulnerable to hacking, but we have a handful of protective tips for you.Nearly every security camera we looked at supports encryption. This protects the camera’s data stream (like videos of your kids after school) from prying eyes.No matter what security features come with your CCTV camera, these tips can help you maximize the privacy of your security cameras:Buy a camera with a recognizable name and purchase it from a trustworthy seller.Make sure your home Wi-Fi network is secure.Create unique, strong passwords for your camera and any apps you use to access it.Keep firmware up to date on your camera and your Wi-Fi router.Turn off remote viewing when you don’t need it.Block your camera’s lens when you’re not using it—a post-it or a piece of painter’s tape will work.Instead of a wireless security camera system, choose a wired system that connects to a DVR for complete privacy. Get more tips from our video on how to protect your cameras from hackers.Related questionsCan Ring Cameras Be Hacked?Do Security Cameras Have Audio, and is it Legal?Security Camera Laws, Rights, and RulesHow to Keep Your Smart Home Safe from HackingHow to See if There Are Hidden Video Cameras in Your Airbnb

Will a security camera work as a baby/kid/pet monitor?

We’ve learned that many people want a wireless security camera to keep an eye on the people and pets they love. If this is your goal, here are some things to consider:

Two-way communication: This lets you listen in and talk to the pets or people at home.
Night vision: Clear low-light images are essential for using the camera as a baby monitor.
Field of view: Most security cameras use a wide-angle lens, while baby monitors and nanny cams often use a more narrow range of vision to focus on the baby.
Pan-and-tilt: If you’re viewing pets or older kids remotely from the office or on a beach, you may want to move the camera angle.​

Related articles​

Best Baby Monitors
Best Nanny Cams for Child Safety
Best Pet Cameras
Best Hidden Security Cameras

Can an indoor camera do double duty looking out a window?

Beware of using an indoor camera to look outside through a window. They can’t capture images after dark because the night vision LEDs reflect off the glass, blinding the camera to the outside view, making it useless.If outdoor and indoor security is a priority for you, we recommend getting the right type of camera for each area. You may be able to find an indoor camera (like Wyze Cam v3’s window mount) that minimizes the glare and reflection of a window—but make sure customer reviews back up the claim.Related questionsWhat’s the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Cameras?Where Should Home Security Cameras Be Installed?Can Tenants Install Security Cameras?How to Install Security Cameras

Do you need Wi-Fi for security cameras?

Most of the time. Modern security cameras use Wi-Fi for five tasks:Streaming live videoStoring video footage in the cloudMobile device controls and alertsTwo-way audioCommunication with smart home devicesMost security cameras connect to your home network using Wi-Fi, but some models use cables to connect to your internet router or a DVR for security cameras. We recommend using Wi-Fi security cameras since they are typically the easiest to install.If you have an internet data usage cap, check how your security camera(s) could impact your monthly bill. You should also verify that your router can handle the extra devices and output.Related questions​​How Do Wireless Security Cameras Work?Should I Choose Local or Cloud Storage for My Security Camera?NVR vs. DVR

Can I use security cameras with my smart home devices?

The best security camera systems also help turn your house into a smart home. Security cameras often integrate with a smart home hub like Amazon Echo or Google Nest Audio.This can give you a huge home security advantage—the ability to remotely control lights, door locks, and your security cameras. You can also program your system to boost security measures when you’re out of town or during the holidays when lots of packages arrive.Related questionsHow Do I Stream My Security Camera on a Smart Device?

When were security cameras invented?

CCTV and security cameras have been around since the early 20th century. But cameras like those on our lineup didn’t come onto the scene until the new millennium. 

Contributing writers: Rebecca Edwards, Alina Bradford

How we tested wireless cameras

Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

We tested most of these camera models in our homes and have experience using all of the brands in our lineup. We also read expert reviews, researched industry standards and camera specs, and consulted thousands of customer reviews to supplement our testing.

500+ hours of research and testing
50 in-home tests
50+ products considered for our top 10
150+ products evaluated

How we chose our top picks
When selecting cameras for this list, we generally feature a single model for each brand—representing the brand as a whole—though we call out other noteworthy models. Our representative is usually the highest-rated camera from that brand, but sometimes we find a niche use case worth highlighting.
We may feature one extra model from a brand in exceptional cases when we can’t decide between the representative and a use case. Otherwise, it would be far too easy for some brands to dominate our rankings.
Battery-powered cameras that fall entirely into the wire-free category, like Reolink and Arlo, got extra credit when it came to ranking the best home security cameras this year. But we couldn’t dismiss high-quality Wi-Fi cameras from Wyze and Eufy just because of a compulsory power cord.

Our security camera ratings methodology
We evaluate security camera performance, services, and specifications across five categories. It forms the foundation for our security camera coverage. However, we make small scoring adjustments when applying it to other camera lists like budget, floodlight, video doorbells, and more.

Here’s more detail on our security camera ratings

Expand All

Price: 25%

Price balances the features and performance of a camera to find the best options for the money. We rate each camera’s retail and cloud plan prices, giving slightly more credit to the retail price because cloud storage is largely optional. Although products with lower prices in both categories earn higher scores, we leave a narrow gap between price points so that pricier cameras remain competitive.

Video: 25%

Video is the clearest indicator of an excellent security camera. Performance makes up the largest share of our video score—with equal weight going to daytime and nighttime video quality. While we don’t conduct scientific video quality testing, we have enough experience to spot issues at a glance. Individually, these scores carry less influence than resolution, another critical factor in video performance. Even with the advent of image processing, higher resolutions still capture more detail.Next, we reward a wide field of view—130º or more—which is most effective in outdoor settings where wireless security cameras thrive. The rest of our rating comes from video options—the ability to adjust resolution, frame rate, and bitrate. Video options are crucial for optimizing your camera’s performance, especially on slower internet connections. Although we look at the frame rate for each camera, it doesn’t factor into our scoring.

Storage: 8.3%

Storage carries the lowest weight among our categories because it’s essentially a Video subcategory. We rate local and cloud storage equally. For local storage, we consider whether a camera supports it out of the box, if you need an add-on, or if you must buy cloud storage. We don’t count microSD cards as add-ons because most cameras don’t include one. Instead, we define add-ons as a hub like the Blink Sync Module.For cloud storage, we reward brands offering plans for multiple cameras instead of requiring a separate plan for each camera. Currently, we don’t rate video history because most brands meet our 14-day benchmark—for those that don’t, they usually lack multiple-camera plans. We address camera features requiring a cloud subscription in our user experience category.

User experience: 25%

User experience beats out Video as our most complex category, with seven weighted criteria. We give the most weight to ease of setup because a frustrating setup process can make you rethink your purchase. Next, we look at privacy options to see if a brand makes users set up at least one of the following: an access code, fingerprint lock, or two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access from a new device.We look at app usability next, giving high scores to apps with great navigation that helps you find video feeds, recordings, and settings without digging through menus. For notification options, we value customization through smart motion detection, motion detection sensitivity, and notification cooldowns—this helps a camera send relevant alerts without spamming your phone with every motion event.Security cameras benefit from excellent smart home compatibility, so we rate based on whether cameras support Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Home. Keeping your camera running is essential, so we also consider its power source, giving perfect marks to products with battery, wired, and solar options.Lastly, advanced features reflect our excitement about a camera. While it doesn’t make up much of the overall score, it’s useful for giving credit to unique features and exceptional performance. It’s our way of giving an A+ to any other item on our rubric.

Support: 16.7%

Support covers the resources that help you learn more about your camera and maximize its potential. Customer resources comprise the bulk of this score and cover how you interact with the company. We give more credit to brands offering a robust mix of contact methods like email, phone, chat, and user forums—in addition to an extensive, helpful library of support articles. Lastly, we look at the warranty period from each brand and how easy it is to file a claim.

Find out more about how we rank and review products in general by checking out our full methodology.

Camera brands not in our review
We cover a lot of security cameras on SafeWise, so it’s impossible to talk about everything in a single article. Here’s where you can find our reviews of other popular security camera brands:

​​Abode Cameras Review
Amcrest Security Camera Review
Canary Home Security Review
Deep Sentinel Home Security Review
EZViz Cameras Reviewed
Lorex Cameras Review
Kuna App and Camera Review

Samsung Wisenet Camera Review
SimpliSafe Cameras
Swann Security Cameras
Wansview Camera Review
Zmodo Camera Reviews
ZOSI Camera and DVR System Review

Disclaimers
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

Share Article

Written by

John Carlsen

John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over a decade of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020.

John holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.

Read More

Recent Articles

By John Carlsen

03/20/2024

The Best Home Security Systems in Canada

Find the best home alarm system to protect your house. We looked at price, features,…

By Cathy Habas

03/20/2024

Best Medical Alert Systems

See which medical alert system is the best to keep you and your loved one…

By Rebecca Edwards

03/18/2024

Best Home Security Systems

After thousands of hours of tests and research, we picked Vivint and SimpliSafe as the…

By Cathy Habas

03/18/2024

Best Apartment Security Systems

These renter-friendly apartment security systems help keep you safe and require less commitment than your…