The 10 Best Security Cameras

Updated June 05, 2018 by Daniel Imperiale

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We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Not so long ago, if you wanted to monitor your home or business, you had to pay an outside company a hefty monthly fee. Today, you can watch and record HD video of your premises from anywhere in the world by connecting your smartphone to one of these highly affordable security cameras. We've ranked them based on ease of use, resolution, and versatility. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best security camera on Amazon.

10. Remocam Smart Home RMCU-1508

The Remocam Smart Home RMCU-1508 is great for use as a baby monitor, nanny cam, pet watcher, or for checking on your elderly relatives. It offers a hassle-free QR code setup, and the ability to personalize your motion sensor preferences.
  • 8 embedded infrared sensors
  • records to the cloud or to micro sd
  • not compatible with windows
Brand remo+
Model RMCU-1508
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

9. Yi Technology Indoor 87001

The Yi Technology Indoor 87001 is an all-in-one system that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It features a built-in microphone and speaker that allow you to have two-way conversations conveniently through your mobile phone.
  • night vision ir lighting control
  • syncs to multiple devices
  • video lags occasionally
Brand YI
Model US Edition
Weight 10.6 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

8. Vimtag P1 Ultra IP

The Vimtag P1 Ultra IP is incredibly easy to set up, making it a good choice for anyone who feels a little intimidated by technology. Yet, even though it looks very much like something from the future, its image quality seems a bit outdated.
  • 4x digital zoom
  • accepts sd cards up to 128 gigabytes
  • software is somewhat buggy
Model P1 Ultra
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Amcrest UltraHD

The Amcrest UltraHD features a 90-degree viewing angle, as well as pan and tilt adjustments that give you complete control from wherever you are. Also, with the Sony image sensor and Ambarella processor, you can enjoy every detail in high definition.
  • lets you see up to 32 ft in the dark
  • dual-band wireless connectivity
  • setup is a challenge
Brand Amcrest
Model IP3M-941B
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Lensoul 1080 IP-02

The Lensoul 1080 IP-02 can see in the dark up to 30 feet away, which makes it a great choice for likely points of ingress to your home, especially if those rooms are particularly large. It can record to an SD card, but cloud storage costs extra.
  • adjustable sensitivity
  • six-layer fisheye lens
  • only single-band wi-fi connection
Brand Lensoul
Model IP-02
Weight 9.3 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Amcrest TVL 960H

When you want optimal coverage for multiple angles or rooms, look no further than the Amcrest TVL 960H. It records professional-quality widescreen video through four high resolution satellites, and has advanced motion detection, as well as a USB backup for peace of mind.
  • live stream or record to a drive
  • impressive 984-ft transmission range
  • more than many homes need
Brand Amcrest
Model AMDV960H4-4B
Weight 11.6 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Nest Cam Indoor

The Nest Cam Indoor provides continuous 24/7 live video streaming, so you never miss a moment while away. It is quick and easy to set up, and it uses bank-level data encryption to keep all your private information safe from hackers.
  • can show clips and time-lapse images
  • no hub needed to get started
  • whole room visibility
Brand Nest
Model MAIN-99991
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Amazon Cloud Cam

Adding a little safety to your home automation is easier than ever with the Amazon Cloud Cam, which integrates seamlessly with Alexa to respond to a variety of useful voice commands. You can download, share, and watch up to 24 hours of footage for free.
  • automatic notifications
  • two-way audio communication
  • eight infrared night vision leds
Brand Amazon
Model PB04JL
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Ebitcam 1080P Wifi HD Outdoor Bullet

If you want a more professional-looking installation that's as good at deterring crooks as it is at capturing them on video, the Ebitcam 1080P Wifi HD Outdoor Bullet will do the trick. Its weatherproof housing can stand up to the elements.
  • records in full hd at 25 fps
  • setup is fast and easy
  • internal sd card storage
Brand Ebitcam
Model EB01-S
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Netgear Arlo Pro

With its 100 percent wire-free design, the Netgear Arlo Pro is ideal for indoor or outdoor use, as it can mount magnetically and discreetly to any area of your choice. Plus, the free app gives you full access from your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
  • completely weatherproof
  • customizable activity alerts
  • records only when motion is detected
Model VMS4130-100NAS
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Your Camera Is Watching You

Imagine that the camera on your phone were running constantly, and the information it gathered was uploaded minute by minute to a server in the cloud.

Plenty of conspiracy theorists claim that this is happening all the time, that your camera is always on, and that it's always recording everything you do, everywhere you go, etc.

These conspiracy theorists aren't too far off, unfortunately. Just last year Samsung announced that it would be in their customers' best interest not to speak about sensitive personal information in the presence of any of their latest Smart TVs. Apparently, they're always listening

That's sort of how a lot of security cameras work, though without all the secret gathering of personal data.

A modern security system is either hooked up to a physical data recorder that can hold many days worth of footage, or is hooked up directly to a Wi-Fi router so that it can constantly upload video to a cloud service.

The downside of the cloud service? Well, it can gum up your internet traffic on the upload side, and it usually costs you a monthly fee to accumulate all that server space.

Most security cameras today also have some kind of night vision capability, usually in the form of infrared sensitivity. Your camera will actually put out infrared light (which you can kind of sort of see happening if you hold the camera lens in your peripheral vision in an otherwise dark room).

Once that infrared bounces off of whatever is in the room, it's picked up by an infrared sensor the same way the camera's regular white light sensor picks up any daytime action.

An Army Of Options

Everybody wants to stay safe. Nobody wants to think they're being watched.

So, maybe you strike a balance. You get yourself one camera for the main space in your home, for the area that someone would absolutely have to pass through to do harm to you, your family, or your property.

Maybe that's enough. Maybe it isn't. The thing is: you know your space.

Some of these units have incredibly wide angles of view, and if your space is open enough, a single camera can provide you with all the coverage you could ever hope for. If you've got a split-level house and/or you're a hoarder, you might need more than one camera.

That's the easy question.

After that, you have to grapple with what quality video you want and whether you want it recorded physically in your space or out there on the Internet. If you do have an Internet hookup, what kind of access and control do you want from your smartphone?

For my money, I want a system with more than one camera (rest assured that you can sync up multiple units by any of these brands) that records physically in my space, and has as many mobile features as I can get my hands on.

I understand the folks who want to just have it automatically upload their video to the cloud. It's much easier that way. It's also a fraction less secure, should that video fall into the wrong hands.

Old Security Cameras All Had Two Lenses

Two lenses? Yup. They're called eyes.

You're looking at an image of the famous Scots Guard, a regiment of the British army that's as much a tourist attraction as they are a standing force.

And, in a way, they're the first security cameras. Except for the one who's passed out. He's fired.

What I mean to say is that, long before cameras came around, we relied solely on human lookouts to keep our places safe.

Okay, but cameras are a totally different story. They're totalitarian and spooky, a primary tool of Big Brother, and I don't make that reference casually.

The fact is that there is next to no evidence of video cameras being used for security surveillance until after the publication of George Orwell's 1984. That might just be the most depressing thing I've learned about security cameras in my time playing with them and researching them.

I suppose science fiction does often predict science fact.

From that time (the 1960s) onward, security cameras and their video capture technology have kept pace with advancements in personal and professional camera developments. What comes next for cameras is always right around the corner for your security.

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Last updated on June 05, 2018 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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