In years past, if you wanted a security system, it required professional installation, a high monthly fee, and at least a 12- to 24-month contract. Sometimes you also needed to purchase or rent equipment. But thanks to the latest smart-home tech, just about anyone can install home security cameras inside or outside of a home; monitor the video feed using a smartphone or home hub, and use the cameras with other (equally inexpensive and easy to install) home-security gear. Think video doorbells and motion sensors. Yes, 24/7 paid monitoring is still out there, but many households just don’t need it.
If you’re looking to enhance security in and around your home, one of the simplest and least expensive options is to install home-security cameras.
Our picks for the best home cameras for 2024
Best home camera system: EufyCam S330 4-Cam Kit
Resolution: 4K | Indoor or Outdoor: Both | Night Vision: Yes | Field of View: 135-degrees (8x zoom) | Monthly Fee: $0 | Power: Battery with solar panels | Local or Cloud Storage: Local | AI Detection: Yes (Face recognition) | Two-Way Talk: Yes | Waterproof Rating: IP67 | Compatibility: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, iOS
This is indoor/outdoor home security system includes four cameras, each offering detailed 4K resolution. The cameras are powered by an internal rechargeable battery with an integrated solar panel. Instead of relying on cloud storage, this system comes with a hub (which gets installed indoors) and that includes up to 16GB of storage. This means there are no monthly fees or subscriptions required.
As long as each camera receives just two hours of sunlight per day, operate indefinitely. And with AI recognition (which can identify people, pets and vehicles), the mobile app can differentiate between family members, frequent guests or strangers. It can then generate a custom alert for your smartphone or home hub.
Using the Eufy mobile app, it’s easy to switch between live video feeds; adjust each camera’s zoom; use the two-way talk feature; or access recordings. Through motion sensors and AI recognition, you get an alert whenever someone approaches your home. The cameras automatically record, and you can talk to the visitor in real time using two-way audio.
What we love most about this system is that it comes with everything you need to monitor your home from all directions — without having to pay ongoing fees. The mobile app offers a nice collection of features, while the waterproof cameras provide detailed 4K resolution with night vision.
Best indoor home camera: Blink Mini Pan-Tilt Camera
Resolution: 1080p | Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor | Night Vision: Yes | Field of View: 110-degrees, Rotates 360-degrees | Monthly Fee: Optional | Power: Plug in | Local or Cloud Storage: With subscription | AI Detection: No | Two-Way Talk: Yes | Waterproof Rating: None | Compatibility: iOS, Android, FireOS, Amazon Alexa
This is an indoor-only smart home-security camera that can be controlled with any internet-connected smartphone. Without a paid subscription, you can still access a live video feed and use two-way audio to speak with anyone who sets off the camera’s built-in motion sensor.
Thanks to pan and tilt capabilities, the user can remotely control the camera to get a 360-degree view, all in real time. Even when your home is dark, the infrared night vision lets you to see what’s happening.
With a paid Blink subscription plan (which costs between $3 and $10 per month), cloud-based storage is available. But local storage — using a Sync Module 2 or USB drive (sold separately) is another option. Installation and setup is super easy. You’ll need to plug the camera into an AC outlet, so it only works when your home has power and active Wi-Fi. The camera can easily be used to monitor pets, nannies or babies as well as home intruders.
Best outdoor home camera: Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera
Resolution: 1080p | Indoor or Outdoor: Both | Night Vision: Yes (Color) | Field of View: 130-degrees (with 12x zoom) | Monthly Fee: Optional | Power: Rechargeable 6 month battery | Local or Cloud Storage: Cloud (with subscription) | AI Detection: With subscription (Motion detection included) | Two-Way Talk: Yes | Waterproof Rating: Weather resistant | Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings
This easy-to-use home security camera can be set up indoors or outdoors. It connects to Wi-Fi, but does not require a special hub. Use the Arlo app to view a live feed (in 1080p resolution), take advantage of full-color night vision, and talk to any human who sets off the camera’s motion detector.
Monitor your pet when you’re at work, use the camera as a baby or nanny monitor, or just keep tabs on your property. If you subscribe to the optional Arlo Secure plan ($4.99 to $12.99 per month), the camera can send smart notifications and automatically recognize people, vehicles, packages, or animals. You’ll also get 24/7 professional monitoring and 30 days of cloud storage for recorded content.
This low-cost camera uses a rechargeable battery pack for power. And you can use a mobile app to control the camera in real time, including a 12x zoom. The Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera is sold on its own, but the same app can simultaneously control multiple cameras or other Arlo home-security equipment. If you mount the camera outdoors, an optional solar panel is available to keep the battery charged. One of the best things about this camera is that it’s compatible with all popular smartphones and home hubs.
Best camera with outdoor floodlights: Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus
Resolution: 1080p | Indoor or Outdoor: Outdoor | Night Vision: Yes (Color) | Field of View: 140-degrees | Monthly Fee: Optional | Power: Hardwired | Local or Cloud Storage: With subscription | AI Detection: No, just motion sensor | Two-Way Talk: Yes | Waterproof Rating: Weather resistant | Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, iOS, Android
This outdoor security camera offers 1080p resolution, but what sets it apart is that it has two LED floodlights, full-color night vision, and a 105db security siren all bundled into a single, easy-to-install unit. For power, the camera gets hardwired to your home. And when you subscribe to an optional Ring plan ($3.99 to $20 per month), you canrecord video and store it for up to 180 days, as well as share photos and video clips.
Using the camera’s motion sensor, your smartphone or home hub will notify you whenever someone approaches your home. You can view the live feed, talk with the person using two-way audio, or activate the security siren to scare off an intruder. This can all be done from anywhere, as long as your smartphone has internet access.
What we love about the Ring Floodlight is that it works in conjunction with all other Ring home security gear, including any of the company’s video doorbells or home security systems. Everything can be controlled from a single app and with Alexa voice commands.
Best 4K resolution home camera: Arlo Ultra 2
Resolution: 4K | Indoor or Outdoor: Both | Night Vision: Yes | Field of View: 180-degrees (diagonal), 12x zoom | Monthly Fee: Optional | Power: Rechargeable battery | Local or Cloud Storage: Cloud | AI Detection: Yes | Two-Way Talk: Yes | Waterproof Rating: Weather resistant | Compatibility: Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT
If you want view the inside or outside of your home — anytime, from anywhere, and in detail — the Arlo Ultra 2 is what you’re looking for. In addition to 4K video with HDR, the camera has an integrated spotlight, offers a wide (180-degree) field of view, a 12x zoom that can be remotely controlled, infrared night vision and two-way talk capabilities.
Even better, you can start with just one camera and then add additional Arlo unit inside or outside, and control them with a single app. Keep in mind, the Arlo Ultra 2 requires an Arlo SmartHub (sold separately), but you only need one hub to operate multiple cameras.
For power, plugs into any AC outlet, or you can take advantage of its internal rechargeable battery, which lasts up to six months between charges. While you can subscribe to the Arlo Secure Plan ($4.99 to $24.99 per month) to unlock a range of additional features (like face and object detection and access to a recorded video), the weather-resistant camera can also store content locally using an optional microSD memory card (sold separately).
What’s the best home security camera?
The important thing to consider when choosing the best home camera for the inside or outside of your home is compatibility with your other smart home gear. Do you need the cameras to work with Siri (Apple HomeKit), Google Assistant (Google Home), or Amazon Alexa? If you install smart lighting, a smart doorbell, motion sensors and other gear, you want to be able to control it all using the same smartphone or home hub you already rely on.
Other things to consider include the camera’s resolution, zoom capabilities, night vision, field of view, cloud-based storage, and the app used to control it all. Also, pay attention to whether a paid subscription is required to unlock all of the camera’s features.
For a relatively small initial investment (and perhaps a low ongoing subscription fee), any of these security cameras can provide peace of mind and cutting-edge security that you fully control. As soon as you install any of these cameras, be sure to create an original username and secure password. Do not rely on the camera’s default username, network name or password. Also be sure to contact your insurance provider to determine of you’re entitled to a discount on your annual premiums.