The 10 Best Wireless Security Camera Systems
This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in December of 2017. In a world of home break-ins and packages being stolen from front porches, the reasons to opt for a wireless security camera system are numerous. For instance, the models on this list could help you deter thieves, identify criminals should anything happen, and even keep your loved ones safe in an emergency. Or, you know, you could just watch your dog all day long from work. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 10, 2020:
We’ve made quite a few changes to this list, as some of our previous recommendations have either been updated by their manufacturers, or otherwise become unavailable for purchase. It’s worth noting that several of these models, including the YI IP Home, the Wansview W4, and the Blink 3rd Generation can be integrated with smart home systems like the Google Nest and Alexa.
Both the Blink Outdoor XT2 and the Netgear Arlo Pro have been surpassed by newer versions. The updated Blink 3rd Generation and Arlo Essential systems are both waterproof and weatherproof, making them particularly good options for those living in areas with extreme climates.
Since the Anran All-In-One NVR is no longer available, we took this opportunity to add the highly popular Ring Stick Up Cams to the top of our list. You'll have the choice between solar-powered, plug-in, or battery-powered versions. Plus, if you're willing to pay a small monthly subscription fee, you can get full-time professional monitoring and the ability to share recordings with your housemates or neighbors using the Ring companion app.
Lastly, we think it's worth mentioning that the newly added Wansview W4 is not only a very budget-friendly security system, it also comes with the added benefit of great 24/7 lifetime customer support to help with any technical issues you may experience down the line.
July 04, 2019:
Moving forward with this new ranking, we wanted to make sure that the minimum resolution on any set was 1080p, and we were keen to add the Arlo Ultra 4K to the list, but it's currently plagued by connectivity issues that cause the camera to cut out and need to be manually reset. Until the company fixes these issues, Arlo fans should wait for 4K. In the spirit of increased resolution, Blink updated their cameras to the new XT2 model, which add weather-resistance on top of their increased picture quality. We also wanted to offer some of the sets that include their own monitors as part of the system's hub, which have become increasingly popular among wireless offerings, and have easily slid into both the first and second spots on our list. If you happen to own an Amazon Echo Show, you can hook up their Cloud Cams to give you a similar configuration.
Some outgoing models on this new ranking include the Tend Secure Lynx, which was a great idea with its included solar panel, but that was so slow to wake up that a fast-moving criminal who knew what they wanted from your home could get in and get out before the thing even started recording. We also said goodbye to the Simplisafe Bravo, which offered a nice range of security features like independent motion sensors, but was stuck at just 720p resolution.
Safeguarding The Home
For the career criminal embarking on a premeditated act of larceny, they'll want to know what they're getting into.
There are a lot of good reasons to invest in a security camera system for the home. One of the most profound is probably the fact that a good system will provide you with tremendous peace of mind that criminals might think twice before making an attempt on your home. Some of the most damaging crimes executed by professionals require a certain degree of scouted information ahead of time. For the career criminal embarking on a premeditated act of larceny, they'll want to know what they're getting into. In short, they're liable to case the joint. And if they see evidence of any kind of security system in place, they very well may choose another target.
Of course, if a criminal act takes place without that degree of premeditation, or if the criminals in question simply don't notice your cameras, you'll still have important video evidence of the crime that took place. Not only might this help you track down the culprits, it is all but guaranteed to help you with your home insurance claim, giving you the opportunity to replace any replaceable items that were stolen.
In today’s parenting environment, security cameras have taken on a new role. This is especially true since so many wireless security cameras provide you with live feeds that you can access from any computer, smartphone, or tablet you have at your disposal. Instead of just keeping an eye out for criminal activity, a good security camera system will allow you to keep an eye on the homestead and, perhaps more importantly, on its occupants while you're away. If you work a 9 to 5, for example, but your kids get home from school at around 3, you'll be able to check in to make sure they got home safe, and to give them a ring on their cell phone if you don't see them home by a certain time.
Choosing The Best Camera System For You
Choosing the right wireless security camera system for your home may hinge on one particular feature that you don't think you could live without. One of the most compelling features offered by some of the finest security camera systems on the market is two-way audio. This allows you to hold a conversation with anyone on the other end of the camera lens. By using your phone or tablet to access the live stream of your security footage, you can see who is within range of the intercom and engage them. This is great for talking to your spouse or your kids while you're away from home, but it's also a nice way to check in with your pets. Some animals don't quite put two and two together when they hear their owners voice over a phone or an intercom, but for those that do it's a great way to calm down an anxious puppy or to chastise them if you catch them rooting around the garbage or sleeping where they aren't supposed to.
If you're more concerned with checking in on family and pets then you are with any criminal element, an indoor system will likely suffice.
Which regards to live view access and video storage capabilities, it's important that you understand whether or not the system in which you’re investing requires a subscription. Some brands provide you with the means to record at home, so you can invest in their hardware, install it, and capture every moment that the cameras record. Other systems allow you access to live view footage, but charge you to record to their cloud servers. Some of these charges can get out of hand, so make sure you take a close look at any contract involved in your purchase and installation.
Regarding installation, the ease with which a given system installs in your home should be the next aspect you look at. Some cameras are designed to sit on a flat surface and take in whatever is around them, while others require you to mount them to the wall or ceiling. Know how much work you're willing to do before making your purchase, otherwise you might find yourself with a high-priced security system that was still sitting in the box when the criminals decided to strike.
One final important consideration to make is whether you want a system that can function indoors or outdoors. If you're more concerned with checking in on family and pets then you are with any criminal element, an indoor system will likely suffice. For truly comprehensive security coverage, however, you want a system that you know can survive in the elements. These pull double-duty in that they also act as deterrents; often, if a criminal sees a camera, he'll turn the other way.
Other Ways To Stay Safe
While a good camera system is a great way to keep you and your family safe, it doesn't guarantee you that theft won't occur. Fortunately, there are additional steps you can take to minimize any damage a thief could cause.
That could be a mix of a key and a combination, or a passcode and a biometric scanner.
If you keep particularly precious valuables in the home, it would be wise to do so in a good safe. This should be something that's too heavy for thieves to casually carry out of the building, and, ideally, it should require some kind of two-step authentication. That could be a mix of a key and a combination, or a passcode and a biometric scanner.
Another great way to safeguard your home is to upgrade the locks on your doors. Many thieves are adept at picking locks, especially the more traditional varieties, but advanced smart locks are a new enough technology to easily confuse the more basic criminal element.
If you're worried about break-ins occurring while you're home, you may be tempted to invest in a firearm to protect yourself and your family. Should you choose to do so, make sure that you keep it in as safe a place as possible, ideally in a gun safe that would prevent anyone but you from accessing it, but that wouldn't slow you down in the dire event that you might need it.