The 10 Best Security Cameras
10. Uniden UDR744 HD
- can expand up to 4 feeds
- portable color monitor
- software gets buggy after a while
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
9. Vimtag VT-361
- wps button for simple setup
- remotely control pan and tilt
- app is not very user-friendly
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
8. Amcrest ProHD
- lets you see up to 32 ft in the dark
- fluid 360-degree movement
- setup is too complicated
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
7. Remocam Smart RMCU-1508
- 8 embedded infrared sensors
- records to the cloud or to micro sd
- not compatible with windows os
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
6. Amcrest 960H
- can live stream or track to a drive
- impressive 984-ft transmission range
- more than many homes need
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
5. Black Label Innovations Cam Pro BL2605
- records in 1080p
- 2-way audio capabilities
- minimal technical support
|Brand||Black Label Innovations|
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
4. Canary CAN100USWT
- monitors air quality and temperature
- auto arm and disarm feature
- loud 90 db siren
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
3. Nest Cam NC1102ES
- can show clips and time lapse images
- no hub needed to get started
- whole room visibility
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
2. Yi Technology 87001
- night vision ir lighting control
- has a 4x optical digital zoom
- can sync to multiple devices
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
1. Netgear Arlo Pro
- completely weatherproof
- customizable activity alerts
- only records when motion is detected
|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.