10 Best Security Cameras | March 2017

We spent 35 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 a security 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. Skip to the best security camera on Amazon.
10 Best Security Cameras | March 2017


Overall Rank: 1
Best Mid-Range
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 10
Best High-End
★★★
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
★★★★★
10
The Uniden UDR744 HD can survey your home in poor weather or low light conditions to keep you safe and secure. Its versatile design allows you to schedule a run time, manually record, or rely on motion sensors, depending on your needs.
9
When you want all of the bells and whistles without having to spend a fortune, choose the Vimtag VT-361. It sports a sleek silver housing, and has a 3 dBi antenna for a reliable Wi-Fi connection, but the overall quality isn't great.
8
The Amcrest ProHD features a 90-degree viewing angle, as well as pan and tilt adjustments that give you complete control over the camera wherever you are. Also, with the Sony image sensor and Ambarella processor, you can enjoy every detail in high definition.
7
The Remocam Smart RMCU-1508 is great for use as a baby monitor, nanny cam, pet watcher, or for checking on your elderly relatives. It has 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 os
Brand Remocam
Model RMCU-1508
Weight 1.5 pounds
6
When you want optimal coverage for multiple angles or rooms, look no further than the Amcrest 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.
  • can live stream or track to a drive
  • impressive 984-ft transmission range
  • more than many homes need
Brand Amcrest
Model AMDV960H4-4B
Weight 11.4 pounds
5
One of the key features of the Black Label Innovations Cam Pro BL2605 is its plug-and-play setup. By simply downloading the app and putting the unit in position, you'll be ready to start securing your home in just a few minutes.
  • records in 1080p
  • 2-way audio capabilities
  • minimal technical support
Brand Black Label Innovations
Model BL2605BK
Weight 1.4 pounds
4
Protect your home or business with the Canary CAN100USWT. It is designed to learn your space over time, and sends you instant video and audio alerts right to your smartphone whenever it detects something outside anticipated schedules.
  • monitors air quality and temperature
  • auto arm and disarm feature
  • loud 90 db siren
Brand Canary
Model CAN100USWT
Weight 2.1 pounds
3
The Nest Cam NC1102ES 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 security to keep all of 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 NC1102ES
Weight 1.7 pounds
2
The Yi Technology 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 allows you to have 2-way conversations conveniently through your phone and camera.
  • night vision ir lighting control
  • has a 4x optical digital zoom
  • can sync to multiple devices
Brand YI
Model US Edition
Weight 8.8 ounces
1
With its 100% wire-free design, the Netgear Arlo Pro is ideal for indoor or outdoor use, as it can magnetically mount 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
  • only records when motion is detected
Brand NETGEAR
Model VMS4130-100NAS
Weight 3.2 pounds

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: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information

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