We strongly recommend the Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera, as we think it’s the best for the majority of homeowners but there’s a bevvy of fantastic options out there. When it comes down to it, making a personalized and informed purchase might just be one of the best investments in your piece of mind ever and that means making sure you know all the facts.
We recommend the Nest Cam if you’re willing to pay for the subscription, and especially if you’re looking into forming a complete smart security network. On the other hand, those who are willing to do the footwork themselves may want to look elsewhere.
Table of Contents
Top 5 Home Security Cameras
|Nest Cam Outdoor||1080p||Cloud||Check Price|
|ZOSI 1/3″||720p||Depends on Your Equipment||Check Price|
|A-ZONE 4 Channel 1080P||1080p||1TB||Check Price|
|Funlux 720p HD||720p||Cloud||Check Price|
|Dropcam Pro Wi-Fi Wireless||720p||Cloud||Check Price|
1. Best Overall
Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
Nest produces some of the best security devices on the market, and their outdoor cameras are no exception. This is a 1080p camera with cloud recording. Nest’s free app is one of the best around and you could do a lot worse than investing in their products when it comes to home security.
The most unfortunate part of the camera is the fact that you’ll need to pay for the annual subscription in order to have playback. If you’re not willing to shell out the money, you’re going to only have live feed and alerts.
On the other hand, this is a super secure camera with amazing resolution and night vision. The fee is pretty small for a complete payback for 7 or 30 days depending on which option you go with and you don’t have to worry about having storage media to hold your recordings.
- 1080p resolution
- Fantastic night vision
- Very secure camera base to prevent theft
- Comes with two way audio
- Needs subscription to record
- A bit on the expensive side
2. Best Budget Home Security Camera
ZOSI 1/3" CMOS
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
Not everyone has a ton of money to invest into their home system, which makes ultra-budget options attractive. This camera is super cheap for the amount of utility you’ll be able to get out of it.
This is a 720p security camera with infrared LEDs. While the picture quality isn’t the best of the home security cameras that we looked at, it’s definitely the best camera at this price point.
The camera also comes with a super secure mounting bracket and is able to be positioned through all three axis in order to make sure that you’ve got your picture exactly where you want it.
Of course, you’ll have to get your own DVR as well, which will raise the costs quite a bit depending on the option you choose. If you’re looking for a cheap, high-quality camera and you’re willing to build the rest of the system yourself then this might just be the right option for you.
- Super cheap
- Durable construction
- 720p resolution
- Easy to hook up
- Doesn’t come with a DVR or all wiring
- Lens is a bit too wide for zoom applications
3. Best Complete Security Camera Kit
A-ZONE 4 Channel 1080P
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
We love this set, and anyone who takes a look at the hardware will quickly figure out why. This is a four 1080p camera set with a 1TB HDD included. That’s quite a bit of storage and the kit comes with pretty much everything you need to get it running.
The other thing we really love here is the price. It’s not super cheap but it’s on the lower end of things for something with this much utility. Most homes can be covered in a hurry right out of the box although you’ll need a couple of extra cameras to do a full setup.
As a whole, this kit is perfect for many homeowners. It just lacks smart capabilities and can be a bit more complicated to setup because of it.
- Complete setup with two cameras and wiring
- 1TB HDD with expansion to 4 TB
- 1080p resolution
- Limited cell phone capabilities
- Not truly a “smart” security camera
- Interference occurs when cables are stretched too far
4. Best Smart Camera Kit
Funlux 720p HD Outdoor
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
Funlux offers a subscription service, but their cameras are cheap and effective, making them a good option for those who want to cover their whole home. Four cameras come in the package and their 720p resolution delivers clear video for those who need it.
You’ll also receive 30 days of the subscription along with things. They keep recordings 24/7 and you’ll be able to access them through the app.
Add in motion detectors and smart alerts and you’ve got a great set for a fairly low price.
For those who want a cheap and easy to setup smart kit, this might be the best option. On the other hand, it doesn’t offer quite the resolution of some of the higher end models.
- Works with Zmodo service
- 720p resolution
- Kit comes with four cameras
- Night vision equipped out to 65 feet
- Subscription service required for recording
- App gets a bit iffy at times
5. Best Deluxe Security Camera
Dropcam Pro Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Security Camera-
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
While the cost of the Dropcam Pro is pretty high, this is a great way to get off on a good foot when it comes time to monitor things. It’s also able to be integrated with the Nest app, making it even more versatile than it appears at first glance.
This is a 720p wireless security camera with a super wide field of view at 130°. It works with both 2.4gHz and 5.4gHz wifi connections as well, depending on the range you have it from your router.
Overall, this is probably our runner up and it’s a great way to ensure that you’ve got a clear view of what’s going on around your home. If you’re willing to invest the money the peace of mind will be a great dividend.
- 720p with 130° field of view
- Wifi active on 2.4gHz and 5.4gHz networks
- Compatible with Nest devices
- Great night vision
- Requires subscription for recording
- No remote scanning
Why You Should Have Home Security Cameras
Making sure your home stays safe is one of the hardest tasks which can be laid down in front of a homeowner. While security systems are all well and good, you’ll find that security cameras allow for a much better idea of what’s going on within your home. Whether it’s just to check on your dog during the day or to figure out who broke in, making sure that you have the best home security camera you can find will make your life a whole lot easier.
Home security cameras have come a long way from the grainy, black and white footage which many of us associate with security camera footage. Indeed, you can get HD cameras which are available for practically a song nowadays.
These cameras can do a lot for your household and depending on your needs you’ll quickly find that they pay for themselves.
The first thing they do is offer a deterrent in the event of a break-in when placed properly. Most criminals will quickly shut down when faced with the prospect of being recorded, and news footage has shown up time and time again where someone has fled when they’ve noticed a camera despite obvious ill-intent.
The second place they can come in handy is allowing you to make sure that you know who the criminal was. Whether it was an attempt or an actual break-in, modern security cameras are sharp enough that they won’t leave you with any doubt as to the criminal’s identity. You’d be surprised at the number of thieves caught due to evidence presented through these cameras.
With proper placement they can also replace devices like smart doorbells if you’re not going for the whole setup. Being able to check whose knocking before you even get out of bed is a definite advantage.
Indeed, with the prices of many of the new cameras coming out it’s hard to make an argument not to add one of these useful security devices to your home.
A Word About Smart Cameras
There’s one thing that’s rather disappointing about many of the home security cameras on the market: smart cameras are quite often not secured very well. This is rather unfortunate, but it’s a limitation which is faced by nearly all of the smart devices currently on the market.
This means that your cameras can generally be hacked into if they’re not on a closed circuit. The chances are pretty low for the most part, but it is something to be aware of.
Fortunately, you can secure them from most attempts pretty easily.
If you do the following you’ll end up being much more secure at the end of the day:
- Make sure you don’t use the default passwords that come with your router, these can be traced pretty easily and there are even brute force programs which use these exclusively.
- Your router should be running on the WPA2 security protocol, WEP is outdated and far too easy to crack to be relied upon these days.
- Keep your firewall up, even if it causes some minor problems when browsing using other devices. This is an essential part of your defense.
- Make sure you’ve got good passwords. Current protocols have dictated that the random number and letter arrangement many of us thought of as secure are actually easier to brute force and harder to remember than longer phrases.
This doesn’t mean you should dispense with them entirely. Indeed, the convenience is pretty high and many people have found these devices indispensable as part of their home security efforts.
Just be aware that there are security problems with most smart devices these days.
Picking Your Home Security Camera
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to go with a smart camera system or not. If you’re looking for a closed-circuit television setup, then you may want to check on security services rather than just cameras.
On the other hand we think that smart cameras are the way to go for most people despite the minor security risks.
From there, it’s time to make sure you pick the right camera.
High-end home security cameras really aren’t that expensive for the most part. Especially considering you’re protecting the rest of your belongings with the right camera.
Of course, if you’re buying multiples then you’ll need to take that into account. We’ll talk about proper placement in a little bit.
If you’re just going for one or two, then you’ll have to take that into account as well.
The resolution of your camera is probably the primary concern for most people. HD cameras work much better as evidence than any of the regular cameras.
Frankly, the old black-and-white low resolution cameras aren’t even worth a second glance anymore. That is if you can find them.
So you want something which is at least 720p but 1080p is even better at the end of the day. Both of these resolutions allow for a much better look at things.
Of course, the lens matters as well. Ideally something which can focus through its range of vision. Some lower-end cameras can have trouble focusing, which means you need to place them much tighter to the point of entry.
Most of the cameras out there are going to have this feature, but the truth is that infrared can either be a token after touch which is only effective for a few feet or be an awesome feature which reaches through the whole range of things.
Since crimes tend to occur after dark, this is one of the best features to have. Indeed, we wouldn’t recommend you a camera which didn’t have it.
Just make sure that you’ve got it and you know how far it’s effective.
Motion detection is a highly desirable feature in a security camera. The problem is that it can also be super problematic if the technology isn’t handled well. Some of the cheaper cameras can be hypersensitive, even plants can set them off.
Others can be too insensitive, which is just as bad overall.
For the most part, you’re in good hands as long as you have this feature just be aware of how sensitive it is for the best results. If you can get things properly in line, then you may want to allow a smart camera to send you notifications through your phone but you may just want to set it to record if you can’t.
Being able to store your footage is pretty much essential. It can be used for both evidence and to review things at the end of the day.
The best cameras will have a pretty big storage capacity and record on a constant basis, some will even have their own DVR to ensure that everything is stored.
You’ll also want to be able to review the footage easily from within the attached software, otherwise you may have to switch it over to another device in order to make sure that you can fast forward to the event you need to take a look at.
Where possible we’ve noted when companies have gone above and beyond for their customers according to user experiences.
This is an essential part of the process, since quick customer support can mean the difference between having your cameras down for a few hours or a few days. Having access to a 24/7 tech line which is actually helpful will make your end user experience a whole lot better.
Placing Your Cameras
Knowing where to place your camera is just as important as having them in the first place. We’ve gone through the data to help you decide where you want to place them, since you’re likely not an expert on security.
The majority of burglars are going to enter through the first floor of the home, and front and back doors are the most likely access points.
This means that cameras over the doors are your best bet.
You’ll also want to place them at least nine feet off the ground.
Because in a lot of cases, burglars are going to smash cameras. You still want them visible, as the sight of a camera can drive off a less determined thief but those who are truly going for it might smash the camera… or just snatch it as well and add it to their haul.
Ideally you should also have the windows covered on the first floor at the very least. If you own a two or more story home you’ll also want to assess ways which a burglar can access the roof and cover those as well.
Indoor placement is a bit different. We recommend using cameras which are smaller and easily hidden for two reasons.
The first is that any indoor camera is likely to get stolen if the burglar notices it. They’re generally not well secured.
The second is that you want to get as much incriminating footage as possible once the person is in your home. If your exterior cameras didn’t scare them off already then it’s unlikely you’ll get much more anxiety out of them with an indoor camera.
More footage means a higher likelihood of a conviction and removing the person from the streets for a while.
While it’s not practical to light up the entire outside of your home, you may just find that it’s a good idea to have lighting at multiple points around your house. Motion detector lights on the front and rear doors, for instance, can scare off a burglar.
They’ll also light things up well enough that you can use the video as evidence even if the burglar chooses a different entry point after the lights go on. Night vision isn’t perfect.
Getting the focus right on your camera can take some time. You need to remember that your camera is best suited to one particular task.
In order of importance, we recommend cameras with focuses for the following:
- A camera which will catch the physical appearance of a would-be burglar focused on the front and back doors. This is the best for evidence and the camera should be highly visible but still out of reach.
- A camera which can catch the approach of the burglar. Whether they come over the front lawn or a fence in the back, the more information you have on how they approach your home the better.
- A camera which is focused on the street in order to catch the make and model of the burglar’s vehicle and possibly the license plate number depending on how good the camera is.
Wide angle cameras are the best for the first tasks, but they also require a good bit of care when it comes to placement to ensure that you don’t have things out of focus.
The others can be done with different styles of camera.
Home security cameras are better and cheaper than ever before, and more of them hit the market each year. Whether you go for smart cameras or a full, professional setup they’re the first and most important step to securing your home.
That means it makes a lot of sense to spend some time shopping around to ensure that you get the best home security camera for your home. Get your system in place soon, an unprotected home is much more likely to end up in trouble these days.