The 10 Best IP Cameras

Updated March 21, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best IP Cameras
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We spent 38 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether for security purposes or for interaction with your family and pets, you can keep a close watch on your home or office easily from wherever you are in the world with one of these feature-rich IP cameras that let you see what they see on most computers and mobile devices. Some of these models are built to be a visible deterrent while others are small enough for discreet surveillance. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best ip camera on Amazon.

9. Foscam FI9900P Outdoor Wireless

The Foscam FI9900P Outdoor Wireless offers continuous surveillance and a powerful infrared lamp for night vision reaching up to 65 feet. It's also been weatherproofed to IP66 standards, allowing you to leave it out in the rain fearlessly.
  • supports multiple network protocols
  • seems overpriced for one camera
  • no built-in audio
Brand Foscam
Model FI9900P
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. VStarCam C29SB

The VStarCam C29SB automatically pans and tilts in the direction of motion in the room to ensure it always records anything happening. It can also be set to cruise vertically and horizontally throughout the day in up to five preset paths.
  • stable wi-fi connectivity
  • app can control up to four cameras
  • no web portal access
Model C29SB
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Petcube Play

If you and your pet suffer from any degree of separation anxiety, the Petcube Play might be the solution to your anguish. In addition to letting you check in on your dog or cat, you can communicate with it over the two-way audio system, and even play a laser chase game.
  • no monthly fees for live interaction
  • 3x digital zoom
  • app is counter-intuitive
Brand Petcube
Model PP211NV5L
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Netgear Arlo VMS3130

The Netgear Arlo VMS3130 offers exceptional clarity day or night, though only in 720p resolution, with a patented wireless design and simple but secure magnetic mounting. It can be set up in seconds and moved as often as you need.
  • suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • real-time push notifications
  • uses battery power efficiently
Model VMS3130-100NAS
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Utalent 102-W

The Utalent 102-W allows you to remotely control the pan and tilt via your smartphone or tablet, so you can survey the entire room where it is mounted for any out-of-the-ordinary activity. It has a microSD slot and can support cards up to 64 GB.
  • 20-foot night vision range
  • very easy to set up
  • budget-friendly price
Brand Utalent
Model Utalent I02-W
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Nest Cam

The Nest Cam provides continuous 24/7 live video streaming to any of your web-enabled devices, so you never miss a moment when you are away. It is quick and easy to set up, plus it uses bank-level data security to keep all of your private information safe.
  • whole room night vision
  • sends activity alerts
  • multiple mounting options
Brand Nest
Model MAIN-99991
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Netgear Arlo VMC3040

Without requiring any kind of contract, the Netgear Arlo VMC3040 offers free, cloud-based storage for up to seven days of recorded content. You can view, share, and download your footage to your heart's content. Its Wi-Fi range reaches up to 300 feet.
  • excellent night vision
  • motion and sound triggered recording
  • live streaming to your mobile device
Model VMC3040-100NAS
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Zmodo Pivot

The Zmodo Pivot comes with a pair of motion sensors to place by windows or doors, each of which will alert your app when they detect movement, as well as direct the lens toward the suspicious area. The unit also displays temperature and humidity readings.
  • 16 gb of internal storage
  • two-way audio capabilities
  • 3-year warranty
Brand Zmodo
Model ZM-SHP001B
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Nest Cam Outdoor

The body, cable, and adapter of the Nest Cam Outdoor are all weatherproofed for more effective and consistent outdoor performance. You can install it by drilling and mounting it in place, or simply use the unit's magnet to secure it to any viable metal surface.
  • sleek and inconspicuous profile
  • integrates with home automation
  • crisp 1080p hd video
Brand Nest
Model NC2100ES
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Keeping An Eye Out

It's a shame that we live in a world where our security is consistently at risk, but it seems as though things are only destined to get more dangerous around here for the time being. Violent crimes saw a 10 year decline in the United States up to 2013, but data from 2014 and 2015 show spikes in violent offenses that imply a coming wave of violence.

The IP cameras we've reviewed for you offer up more than just a video record of potential perpetrators, they can act as nanny-cams, baby monitors, deterrents to potential wrong-doers, and more.

Video is a powerful tool in recording past events and presenting cases of innocence or guilt. Imagine you were accused of a crime you didn't commit, and the only alibi you had was that unreliable one: "I was home alone." Well, if you've got the footage to prove it, you'll be set free.

On a more dastardly note, should something bad happen like a home invasion, or even an attack on your premises, the footage from your IP camera could help catch the bad guys involved and recover stolen goods.

Each one of these cameras sports a small, but high-quality lens, not unlike the lenses used on better smartphones. The main difference there is that these lenses are larger, so they can collect more light without resorting to digital enhancements that sacrifice image quality in the dark. Furthermore, a majority of these IP cameras have infrared capabilities, giving you an even better picture in low-light scenarios.

They mount easily on desktops or hung from ceilings, and a couple are meant to be concealed between books on a shelf, or inside a stuffed animal–whichever hidden camera cliche speaks to you the loudest. All of them connect to your internet server, so you can log in remotely and view live and archived footage from anywhere.

What Goes Bump In The Night

Given the multitudinous threats to our homes and families, and the filming needs that correspond to them, finding an IP camera that can suit your purposes is paramount. If you end up with a well-rated camera that does everything but the one thing you need it to do, you'll have wasted a good bit of time and money. Fortunately, a lot of the cameras on this list boast a handful of useful features, and we're going to work together to figure out the combination you need.

If you're simply trying to increase the security of your space, whether it's a home or business, by letting anyone who might cause you harm know that they are, most definitely, on camera, you'll want a piece that stands out. Those little spy cams won't do the trick in this instance, but a more traditional-looking security camera will. Bad guys know to look for these hung up in the corners of rooms, so installing one there will not only give you the best viewing angle of the space, it'll also advertise to potential perps that this space is protected.

Maybe some precious items have gone missing from your home recently, and you suspect the maid. One of the more clandestine cameras on our list, the kind the you can hide in a dozen low-key places, is the best way to catch her in the act. What you do with the incriminating footage is up to you. Blackmail is fun, but, remember: like so many fun things, it's illegal.

Once you figure out whether you want your camera to stand out or to blend in, you can then evaluate the remaining systems based on features. Some cameras on this list capture in full 1080 HD, while others only attain 720 HD. Frankly, this isn't as important as frame rate.

If you've ever seen jumpy security footage that looks more like the camera took a still picture every two seconds, you know how a slow frame rate fails to tell the whole story of a scene. Professional movies shoot at 24 frames per second, so if you want something clean and fluid, shoot for a camera that can capture at least 20 frames per second.

Old Tech Meets New

IP cameras are the product of a happy marriage between two enormous families. The first of these families appeared on the scene back in Germany, in 1942. If you recall, there was a little war going on at the time, and German engineers pointed a simple camera at the launch site of their V-2 rockets. That camera fed its images to a receiver on a closed circuit, and closed circuit television, or CCTV, was born.

CCTV was the go-to system for security footage around the world, with the UK attaining dystopian numbers of security cameras by the 1990s. Right around that time, in the computer science department of Cambridge University, students pointed a small and simple camera at the coffee pot in the hallway outside one of their research rooms.

The idea was to keep an eye on the coffee level so they would never be without the substance, and they connected the camera feed to their computers via the building's internet.

Thus, the first webcam came into being, and as soon as internet feeds grew fast enough to outpace CCTV feeds, IP cameras became the norm for security in homes and businesses.

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Last updated on March 21, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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