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Best Wireless Home Security Cameras 2019

Mike Prospero

Need to keep an eye on your house from anywhere? Small, stand-alone Wi-Fi or wireless security cameras (also called IP cameras) are easy to set up; can stream video to your phone, tablet or PC; and will send you alerts if they detect motion or loud noises. Most cameras also provide night vision and automatic motion-activated recording, and some can be connected to other smart-home products, such as security systems and smart lights.

After testing dozens of wired and wireless options, our favorite security camera is the Arlo Q ($149). We found that it had the best software, the most flexible options and the most affordable cloud-storage subscription plan of the home security cameras we tested. Our favorite fully wireless, battery-operated camera is the Arlo Pro 2; this 1080p camera's rechargeable battery can last for up to six months, and features two-way talk capabilities.

If you're looking for something under $100, our favorite budget security camera is the $40 Wyze Cam Pan, which can track a subject across a room, and gives you 14 days of rolling cloud storage for free.

Can't decide which Arlo camera you should get? We've put together this handy Arlo security camera buying guide.

Latest News & Updates (July 2019)

  • Amazon Prime Day is set for July 15. The Prime member exclusive sale will include multiple deals on our favorite security cams. Make sure to bookmark our Amazon Prime Day guide for the latest coverage
  • A new feature is being added to the Wyze Cam v.2 and the Wyze Cam Pan. Both of these budget cameras—the Wyze Cam is just $25—are getting Person Detection, so owners will be able to more easily sort videos and reduce the number of false alerts. This update is being pushed out to Wyze cameras starting today.
  • Samsung has launched its own budget wireless security camera. The 1080p Samsung SmartThings Cam ($90) connects via Wi-Fi, but is controlled via the Samsung SmartThings app, so you can link it easily to other devices connected to the SmartThings smart home hub. Stay tuned for our review.

Best overall security camera

Arlo Q

Best overall security camera

Video resolution: 1080p/30fps | Field of view: 130 degrees | Night vision: 25 feet | Audio: half duplex | Local Storage: none | Battery Powered: no | Weather resistant: No | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: seven days' footage free;longer periods start at $10/month

Simple, trouble-free setup

Intuitive, flexible scheduling

Unusual level of control over motion detection, scheduling

Excellent video quality

Generous free cloud plan

Easy social sharing of videos

Single-user mobile app

Difficult Custom Mode setup

Activity Zones not part of motion-detection controls

Timeline requires expensive subscription

With its top-notch video quality, excellent motion detection, flexible scheduling and intuitive user interface, the Arlo Q would be a contender as our best security camera even without its very generous basic cloud-subscription plan. That plan gives you the past week's recordings at no cost for the lifetime of the unit (although higher tiers aren't free), and more than justifies the unit's relatively high price. The Arlo Q is the Wi-Fi security camera to beat.

Read our full Arlo Q review.

Best battery-powered security camera

Arlo Ultra

Best battery-powered security camera

Video resolution: 4K | Field of view: 180 degrees | Night vision: 25 feet | Audio: full-duplex | Local Storage: Yes (in base station) | Battery Powered: Optional | Weather Resistant: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: 30-day rolling-cloud service (1080p) for up to 10 cameras free for one year;$9.99/month afterwards. Upgrade to 4K recording for $1.99/month per camera.

Excellent 4K video

Optional color night-vision videos

Comprehensive, easy-to-use software

Good audio

Can log in from only one device at a time

Web portal requires Adobe Flash:Expensive

Not only do the Arlo Ultra’s 4K cameras deliver the best quality we’ve seen from a wireless security camera, but it also uses that extra resolution to enable digital track and zoom, which makes it easier to follow and ID a person as they move across the frame. A built-in spotlight also enables color recording at night, and it has dual microphones for better audio. Plus, the Arlo Ultra’s base station will be compatible with the company’s smart home security kit, due out later this year. All of this will cost you, though: A single camera (with the hub) is $399, and extra cameras are $299 each. And if you want to save 4K videos, it’s an extra $1.99 per camera per month, on top of the $9.99 monthly plan, the latter of which is waived for the first year.

Read our full Arlo Ultra Review.

Best 1080p battery-powered security camera

Arlo Pro 2

Best 1080p battery-powered security camera

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 130 degrees | Night vision: 25 feet | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: Yes (in base station) | Battery Powered: Optional | Weather Resistant: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: seven days' footage free;longer periods start at $10/month

Simple installation

Clean, intelligent interface

Flexible and easy scheduling

Geofencing turns system on/off depending on the phone's location

Very good daylight video quality

Free seven-day rolling cloud storage

Can login from only one device at a time

No auto-rotate of live or playback videos on mobile devices

Motion detection tools separate from setup section

Like its older sibling the Arlo Pro, the Arlo Pro 2 has motion detection, night vision and an intercom function, but the Pro 2 has a higher resolution (1080p vs. 720p) with a wider 130-degree field of view. The Arlo Pro 2 can be plugged in or run off battery power, and can last for up to six months without needing a recharge. You'll also get Arlo's generous cloud-subscription plan, which offers seven days' worth of footage for free.

Read our full Arlo Pro 2 review.
  

Best smart home integration

Nest Cam Indoor

Best smart home integration

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 130 degrees | Night vision: 25 feet | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: No | Battery Powered: No | Weather Resistant: No | Smart Home Compatibility: Google Assistant, Philips Hue, Nest, Leviton, Lutron, August, Abode, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: Starts at $5/month for five days' footage

Excellent 1080p video quality

Easy setup

Impressive night vision

Programmable with Nest Protect and Nest Thermostat

Pricey

Requires monthly subscription for extra features

Microphone/speakers not very powerful

The Nest Cam Indoor is the third generation of the celebrated Dropcam, and bumps up its predecessors' video quality to 1080p. It's easy to set up and, thanks to its magnetic, swiveling base,it  can be installed almost anywhere indoors. The video looks sharp; night vision is clear; the camera can be used as an intercom; and it interacts with the Nest Thermostat and the Nest Protect smoke detector, as well as numerous third-party smart- home devices. But to really make use of the camera's features, you'll have to shell out $10 or more per month for the Nest Aware program, which gives you access to cloud storage, person detection and customizable activity zones.

Read our full Nest Cam Indoor review.
  

Best floodlight camera

Ring Floodlight Camera

Best floodlight camera

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 140 degrees | Night vision: Yes | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: No | Battery Powered: No | Weather Resistant: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: $3/month ($30/year) for 60 days of video

Wide field of view

Lets you set motion zones

Affordable subscription plan

Saving videos requires a subscription

In addition to a sharp 1080p camera, the Ring Floodlight camera has two powerful LEDS that turn on when motion is detected. Plus, Ring's app has a neighborhood-watch feature, which lets you see what's happening in your hood from other Ring users, as well as police and fire departments. Unfortunately, to view recorded video, you'll need to subscribe to Ring's cloud storage plans, which start at $30/year.

Read our full Ring Floodlight Camera review.
  

A less expensive Arlo

Arlo Pro

A less expensive Arlo

Video resolution: 720p | Field of view: 140 degrees | Night vision: Yes | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: Yes (in base station) | Battery Powered: Optional | Weather Resistant: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: seven days' footage free;longer periods start at $10/month

Simple, quick installation

Clean, intelligent interface

rich set of features

Excellent video capture

Very good audio quality

Geofencing

generous cloud-subscription plans

Can access from only one device at a time per account

No continuous-recording option

Limited sharing

For those looking for a less expensive outdoor security system, the Arlo Pro costs just $189 for a single camera/base station setup; the newer Arlo Pro 2 is $299. The main tradeoff? The Arlo Pro records video at 720p versus 1080p for the Arlo Pro 2. Otherwise, you get a generous storage plan, a two-way audio, a weatherproof camera and an excellent app with a lot of features.

Read our full Arlo Pro review.
  

Budget outdoor camera

Kasa Cam Outdoor

Budget outdoor camera

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 130 degrees | Night vision: Yes | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: No | Battery Powered: No | Weather Resistant: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant | Cloud Storage: two days' footage free;longer periods start at $4/month ($40/year) for 14 days storage.

Excellent audio, daylight video

Reasonable cloud storage plans

Simple to use, flexible software

Blurry night video

Mobile app not optimized for tablets

Cord isn't fully weatherproof

Kasa's lower-cost outdoor security camera is a good deal if you don't mind a few tradeoffs. Daytime 1080p video from this camera was excellent, but nighttime video was less defined; it was hard to make out people's faces. The camera is weather-resistant, but the connection between its cable and power supply is not. We also liked that its app lets you set up custom motion zones. In addition, you get free rolling two-day cloud storage, and  a 14-day plan that's a very reasonable $40 per year.

Read our full Kasa Cam Outdoor review.
  

Facial recognition for a price

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Facial recognition for a price

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 130 degrees | Night vision: Yes | Audio: full-duplex | Local Storage: No | Battery Powered: No | Weather Resistant: Yes | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: Starts at $5/month for five days' footage

Generally acceptable to excellent video

Clean, easy-to-navigate web portal and mobile apps

Tamper-proof design

Deep feature set

Key features (including video history) available only to subscribers

No local storage

expensive

Nest’s outdoor camera isn't cheap, but the feature set may be worth it. This weatherproof camera has a tamper-resistant design, a triple microphone array and HDR support for better-quality videos than what other cameras produce. It can distinguish between people and animals, and can even recognize individual faces. However, a lot of the features are available only with a Nest Aware subscription, which starts at $10/month, or $100/year.

Read our full Nest Cam IQ Outdoor review.
  

Best budget security camera

Wyze Cam Pan

Best budget security camera

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 120 degrees | Night vision: Yes | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: Yes | Battery Powered: No | Weather Resistant: No | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: Free cloud storage for 14 days (rolling, in perpetuity)

Bargain price

Very good video quality (with motion tracking turned off)

Loud, clear audio

Smoke, CO alarm alerts

Wide range of useful features

Significant motion blur when motion tracking turned on

No web portal

Some features lack depth

Unlike most security cameras, the Wyze Cam Pan can actually move a full 360 degrees as it tracks a subject walking across a room. Unfortunately, video captured while the camera is moving looks very blurry. When the camera is still, though, it produces quality video for its sub-$40 price. It also has a number of useful features, such as sending you an alert if it hears a smoke or CO2 alarm. Plus, you get 14 days of rolling cloud storage for free — a real bargain.

Read our full Wyze Cam Pan review.
  

Budget security camera

EZViz Mini O 1080p

Budget security camera

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 135 degrees | Night vision: 26 feet | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: microSD card | Battery Powered: no | Weather Resistant: No | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | Cloud Storage: $5.99/month ($59.99/year) for seven days' footage

Bargain price

Good daylight video

Excellent audio

Flexible scheduling

Web portal works only in Internet Explorer or Safari

Options very limited if you don't subscribe to cloud plan

Timeline view difficult to navigate

This budget Wi-Fi camera offers 1080p video that's pretty good in day and night settings. EZViz' app also lets you set a schedule for when the camera turns on and off, and lets you set motion sensitivity as well as zones — a feature typically found only on more expensive cameras. The Mini O 1080p has a microSD card slot, so you can save videos locally. If you don't buy cloud storage (which starts at $5.99/month for seven days of storage), your options are limited to the live camera feed, push notifications with a snapshot and having your device settings saved to the cloud (rather than only locally). You can also control the camera using Alexa and Google Assistant.

Read our full EZViz Mini O review.
  

Packed with environmental sensors

Canary Pro

Packed with environmental sensors

Video resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 147 degrees | Night vision: 16 feet | Audio: half-duplex | Local Storage: No | Battery Powered: No | Weather Resistant: No | Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant | Cloud Storage: Free one-day video history;$9.99/month ($99/year) for 30 days footage, additional features

Crisp 1080p video quality

Very loud siren

Auto on/off features

Inexpensive video storage

Temperature, humidity and air-quality sensors

Web interface could use improvement

The sleek Canary Pro (the company recently changed its name from the Canary All-in-One) has environmental sensors that monitor heat, humidity and air quality. It also includes an intercom, a very loud siren that should scare off any intruder and a geofencing feature that automatically turns on motion detection when the user leaves the house. The Canary can interact with Alexa and Google Assistant. The 1080p video looks crisp and clear, the sound quality is excellent and the mobile app is intuitive.

Read our full Canary Pro review.

Credit: Tom's Guide