The 10 Best Alexa Security Cameras
This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in December of 2016. Keeping an eye on your humble abode is easier and less expensive today than it has ever been. These Alexa security cameras offer high-resolution images and audio, as well as a quick and simple installation without the need for help from professionals. As an added bonus, all of them integrate with existing home automation systems, giving you easy access to the video feed. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 10, 2020:
We removed the Ring Doorbell 2 to make room for its successor the Ring Doorbell 3 Plus, which has all of the pros of its predecessor as well as a number of new features. Firstly, its advanced motion detection allows the owner to set their own zones, so if you live close to a road you don’t need to receive a notification every time a car drives past. Secondly, you can opt to block out certain areas that you do not wish to record, this comes in handy if the camera zone covers part of a neighbor’s driveway, or if it is possible to see through their window.
The Arlo Pro 2 managed to retain a place on the list despite the introduction of the Arlo Pro 3, as we felt that both selections were worthy for different reasons. The latter boasts a wider viewing angle and color night vision, as well as clearer definition, however, the former has better accessibility to free cloud storage. When purchasing the Arlo Pro 2 users are given 7 days recurring free cloud storage for the lifetime of their device, whereas the Arlo Pro 3 only offers 3 months free, after which users are required to subscribe and pay a monthly fee to view any clips triggered by motion detection on their phones. Without the subscription users can still live-stream. In short, if you want a one-off flat fee the Pro 2 is the best choice, but, if you’re willing to foot the extra bill each month, the Pro 3 is the clear winner.
We’ve updated the Amazon Blink to its latest version as the previous one is currently unavailable in a three-camera option. This new release has many of the same features as its predecessor including up to two years of battery life and the ability to monitor the temperature of a room, which is handy to check if you’ve left the heating on or a window open. In line with the old model, live streaming is capped to a 5-minute time slot, after which users need to start a new recording. You also need to click continue every 30 seconds during this period to keep the footage coming.
If you're looking for a decent budget-friendly option, we kept the Wansview Q5 and introduced the Wyze Cam v2 to fulfill needs in this category. We liked the pan and tilt function of the former, while we couldn't deny the usefulness of the 14-day free cloud storage on the latter.
June 09, 2019:
One of the first decisions you need to make before buying a camera is whether you want one that's large and noticeable, in the hopes that it will deter crime, or one that's more likely to go unnoticed by thieves. If it's the former, the Wansview Q5 is a good choice, as it can clearly be seen (and clearly recognized for what it is). If the latter, it's hard to be more discreet than the Ring Doorbell 2, but the Toucan Outdoor Home can also be hidden in places evildoers aren't likely to look.
That decision will influence another: whether or not to buy a wireless system. The obvious advantage is that there are no power cords to betray the device's location, but the downside is that you'll have to pay for batteries every now and then.
Storage is another important consideration. Many options require additional paid subscriptions to store your data, and some — like the Canary View Indoor — even wall off some of their features unless you pony up more cash. The Amazon Blink gives you two hours of free storage, which should hopefully be all you need. Most have SD card slots or something similar to allow you to manually transfer files to a computer, however.
SimpliSafe SimpliCam This model boasts sensors that have been specially-calibrated to only detect the heat signatures given off by people, reducing the number of false alarms you have to deal with. It allows you to record remotely, simply by pressing a button on your phone or tablet. simplisafe.com
Frontpoint Ultimate You can watch what's happening in and around your home at any time, day or night, thanks to this system's HD and night vision capabilities. It even offers protection against thieves who destroy or steal the equipment itself. frontpointsecurity.com
Vivint Smart Home This home security company uses cameras that work with Amazon's technology, and they're easily controlled using the included touchscreen panel. You will need to sign a contract, but you're unlikely to find a service that's more convenient to integrate into your existing smart home system. vivint.com
A Brief History Of Security Cameras
You can be forgiven if you think that there's always a camera watching you in today's world.
When the first video camera hit the scene in 1880 C.E., it was only a matter of time before someone thought to use it to catch bad guys in the act. Unfortunately, these early models were too massive to be very sneaky.
In 1939, miniature movie cameras became available, which allowed for both their handheld use as well as placement in hard-to-spot areas. The Germans would be the first to use them in a closed-circuit fashion, as they set up a camera and some monitors to ensure that nothing went wrong during a rocket launch in 1942. The U.S. would later use this same technique during the testing of the atomic bomb.
About a decade later, in 1951, the video tape recorder was invented, and it saved images to a magnetic recording strip. Shortly after that, it became commercially available, and people began to experiment with combining it with CCTV.
The British would be pioneers in the world of surveillance once again in 1960, as in preparation for a visit from the Thai royal family, they set up a network of cameras all around Trafalgar Square. The operation must have been successful, because within five years the practice became widespread among metropolitan police forces in both the U.S. and Britain.
The first home-based video security system was patented in 1969, and it was simply a camera with a series of peepholes that it could film through — kind of like a high-tech version of those paintings that the bad guys always looked through in Scooby Doo.
A year later, CCTV would find its way into the civilian sector, as banks, retailers, and other high-value locations began to install systems to prevent theft. Soon, technology would advance to the point that recording in low light was possible, allowing for round-the-clock surveillance.
In the 1990s, ATMs began to have cameras installed, and nanny cams came along, allowing parents to constantly monitor their children's safety. The first web-based camera was invented in 1996, and set the stage for the rise of webcams.
Terrorism has had perhaps the biggest impact on the security camera industry, however. The first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 led to the practice of authorities constantly monitoring high-value locations, such as sporting events and large public spaces. Meanwhile, the events of 9/11 spurred the growth of facial recognition software in cameras, as well as the increased use of personal models to improve safety.
You can be forgiven if you think that there's always a camera watching you in today's world. Chances are, you're right — and it's likely only going to get worse. Whether it truly makes us safer is a matter of debate, but one thing's for certain: you should walk around smiling, because you're always on Candid Camera.
Benefits Of An Alexa Security Camera
While you might think that only the paranoid need security cameras, the fact is that they can truly come in handy in a crisis — and an Alexa-based model is even more convenient than most.
More importantly, though, it can finally let you determine which dog keeps digging through the trash.
These cameras can pair with your existing home automation system, allowing you to monitor — and respond to — events in real time. This is obviously important if your home is burgled while you're away, but it can also come in handy in other situations, as well, such as catching a fire before it spreads, noticing a leak before it becomes a disaster, and watching all the cute things your dogs do when you're not home.
Of course, you don't have to watch your feed 24/7 to benefit from having one of these cameras around. Many have motion detectors, so they'll only start recording when there's activity. They can also let you interact with people remotely, so you can tell the UPS person to leave your package on the front porch — or let would-be thieves know that the cops are on their way.
You don't even have to be away to use them. They can come in handy for professional use in small shops, or you can use them to keep an eye on your kids while you're in the other room.
A security system is something you hope you never need to use, but these Alexa cameras can help automate your life while also giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your family's safe.
More importantly, though, it can finally let you determine which dog keeps digging through the trash.
Other Ways To Keep Your Home Safe
Having a security camera is a good first step when it comes to keeping your home safe, but unfortunately it's only useful after thieves have decided to target your house. Here are a few tips to discourage them from zeroing in on you in the first place.
Another effective strategy is to give your defenses some real bite — in the form of a dog, that is.
You don't necessarily want to keep your cameras hidden. They serve as a deterrent against burglars, but if you do decide you want spy cameras on your property, consider adding a few dummy models in high-profile places.
Keep the property neat and tidy, as well. Any mail building up lets bad guys know you're not home, and unkempt shrubbery gives them plenty of places to hide. Make sure everything is well-lit, so that you can put out the vibe that the residents of this house are aware and alert.
If you go on vacation, don't tell the world on social media. Many criminals scour Facebook and other media for clues that you may not be home — and that your stuff may be ripe for the picking.
Another effective strategy is to give your defenses some real bite — in the form of a dog, that is. Dogs are one of the most powerful deterrents against burglaries and home invasions.
All of these strategies can be useful on their own, but they truly become magical when you combine them. If you're serious about keeping your home and family safe, consider all of your options — and send us pictures of whichever dog you get.