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Wireless Indoor & Outdoor Cameras

If you’re after a wireless security camera, the choice is mind-boggling. A quick Google or Amazon search will reveal more brands than you can remember and lots of different types of cameras.

We’re here to help though, and below you’ll find recommendations for various different cameras whether you need something to watch what happens outside your home, or inside it.

While all cameras are wireless, that means they use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet instead of a cable. Most wireless cameras still need power, but there are some battery-powered options if you need to go truly wireless.

A modern security camera allows you to view your home – or whatever you point the thing at – from your phone wherever you happen to be.

They’re easy to set up and require very little technical know-how. Some use cloud storage, so any video they record is saved online and safe from thieves who might steal the camera. Often you have to pay extra for cloud recording, but that’s not always the case.

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). If you’re looking to secure your business rather than a home, we’d recommend the latter, but these can often come at extra cost. 

Certain cameras go beyond those basics and some can be mounted outdoors too. 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 security camera deals. 

Best Home Security Cameras 2021: Reviewed & Ranked

1. Ring Indoor Cam

2. Nest Cam IQ

Nest Cam IQ

3. Neos SmartCam

Neos SmartCam

4. Hive View Outdoor

Hive View Outdoor

5. TP-Link Tapo C200

TP-Link Tapo C200

6. Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera with Siren

Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera with Siren

7. Reolink Argus 2

Reolink Argus 2

8. Logi Circle 2

Logi Circle 2

9. Arlo Pro 2

Arlo Pro 2

Security camera features explained

Alerts

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.

Cloud recording

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). 

Facial recognition

Netatmo’s cameras (and Nest’s 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 it’s not foolproof.

Local storage

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. 

Apps

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

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.

Night vision

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.

Resolution

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

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.

Two-way audio

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.

Viewing angle

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.

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