Review of The Best Home Security Cameras

Published:
Last Updated: Apr 17, 2020

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Here is a review of the best home security cameras in 2019 from Amazon, Arlo (previously Netgear), Canary, D-Link, Logitech, Nest, Ring (also owned by Amazon), and SENS8.

The brands and models I cover in this review, use your standard wireless network to connect with a dedicated hub, a cloud backend or your chosen home automation platform, such as Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Home.

Related: If you are interested in enterprise-class video surveillance systems, check out my reviews of UniFi Video 3 and UniFi Protect.

For a full feature comparison of all cameras mentioned in this review, scroll down to the bottom of this article. There you’ll also be able to download a PDF copy of the comparison table!

Amazon Cloud Cam

Amazon Cloud Cam
Amazon Cloud Cam
 Pros
  • Detects if you are home (geo-fencing)
  • Advanced motion detection (requires subscription)
  • Smart alerts
 Cons
  • No zoom during live video view
  • No sound detection
  • Cloud-only video storage
  • Lacks scheduling support
  • Potential privacy concerns (Amazon)

Check Price on Amazon*

The Amazon Cloud Cam is a reasonably priced home security camera that offers good video and audio quality but lacks some features you may expect from such an indoor security cam, including the ability to zoom during live view and sound detection to trigger recording.

My primary concern with Amazon is their invasive approach to consumer privacy and the fact that you cannot keep your videos out of their cloud. I’d be OK with that for an outdoor camera, but I wouldn’t let the Amazon Cloud Cam “spy” on everything that is going on inside of my house. That’s the same reason why I would never buy an Amazon Echo smart speaker or use Alexa.

Specifications (3/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 120°
Advanced Motion detection With a subscription
Sound detection No
Geo-fencing Yes
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant No
Power Source AC Power
Two-way communication Yes
Video Storage Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa

For those of you who don’t share my privacy concerns, Amazon’s home security camera is a well-rounded option to keep tabs on your home while you are away.

Arlo Ultra

Arlo Ultra Kit with Hub
 Highlights
  • 4K HDR Video Resolution
  • 180° Distortion-free View
  • Integrated Spotlight for Enhanced Night Vision
  • Two-way Audio with Noise-Cancelling Microphones
  • Built-in Siren
  • Wire-free

Check Price on Amazon*

The Arlo Ultra is probably the best home security camera on the market as of January 2019. In my opinion, it dethrones the Nest IQ Cam, which used to be the king of the pack. What gets me excited about the Arlo Ultra is the company’s announcement to support HomeKit, Apple’s home automation platform.

From a technical perspective, the Arlo Ultra features a full 4K Ultra HD sensor, an incredible wide field-of-view (FOV) of 180 degrees and a two-way microphone with noise-canceling capabilities, on top of everything else the excellent Arlo Pro 2 offered.

Specifications (5/5)
Video resolution 4K with HDR
Field of view 180° with dewarping
Advanced motion detection With a subscription
Sound detection Yes
Geo-fencing Yes
Requires Hub Yes
Weather Resistant Yes (IP65)
Power Source AC Power, Battery with a solar option
Two-way audio Yes, with noise-cancellation and built-in speaker
Video Storage microSD, Cloud
Home Automation Support Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT

For more information on the Arlo Ultra and to learn how it compares to the Nest IQ Cams, check out my in-depth review and comparison.

Arlo Pro 2

Netgear Arlo Pro 2 Kit
Arlo Pro 2
 Highlights
  • Geo-fencing and sound detection
  • Advanced motion detection (requires subscription)
  • Water-resistant
  • Smart alerts (requires subscription)
  • Continuous recording (wired only, requires subscription)

Check Price on Amazon*

The Arlo Pro 2 used to be Arlo’s flagship wireless home security camera featuring full HD video resolution, geo-fencing, advanced motion detection, and broad home automation platform support, including Apple HomeKit. In November of 2018, Arlo announced the Arlo Ultra, which has taken the crown of the Arlo Pro 2.

What I like most about the Arlo 2 Pro is the built-in battery, which allows me to mount the cameras practically anywhere without having to worry about a power supply or drilling holes. Additionally, I appreciate that I can keep a copy of my video footage on a locally connected USB drive.

Specifications (4/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 130°
Advanced motion detection With a subscription
Sound detection Yes
Geo-fencing Yes
Requires Hub Yes
Weather Resistant Yes (IP65)
Power Source AC Power, Battery with a solar option
Two-way audio Yes
Video Storage Local (USB Drive), Cloud
Home Automation Support Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT

Image and sound quality of the Arlo Pro 2 cameras are excellent, but we had to turn down the sensitivity of the motion sensors to reduce the rate of false-positives. One of the issues we have seen are insects, such as cockroaches or moths crawling over the camera at night and triggering the motion sensor. As a result, I have signed up for Arlo’s subscription plan to leverage the advanced motion detection features, especially person detection. Read the full review!

Arlo Pro

Netgear Arlo Pro Kit
Arlo Pro Kit
 Pros
  • Geo-fencing and sound detection
  • Advanced motion detection (requires subscription)
  • Water-resistant
  • Smart alerts (requires subscription)
 Cons
  • No support for full HD
  • No support for the optional solar panel

Check Price on Amazon*

The Arlo Pro shares most of the characteristics with its bigger sister, the Arlo Pro 2, but it has a lower video resolution of 1280 x 720p, and you cannot use the optional solar panel to keep the Arlo Pro’s batteries charged.

Specifications (3.5/5)
Video resolution 1280 x 720
Field of view 130°
Advanced motion detection With a subscription
Sound detection Yes
Geo-fencing Yes
Requires Hub Yes
Weather Resistant Yes (IP65)
Power Source AC Power, Battery
Two-way audio Yes
Video Storage Local (USB Drive), Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT

If these shortcomings are not a show-stopper for you, the Arlo Pro offers a feature-rich, yet a less expensive home security solution that should meet the needs of most users.

Arlo Cam

Netgear Arlo camera
Arlo camera
 Pros
  • Advanced motion detection (requires subscription)
  • Water-resistant
  • Smart alerts (requires subscription)
  • Optional solar panel
 Cons
  • Limited features
  • A narrow field of view
  • No support for full HD

Check Price on Amazon*

I included the original Arlo in this review for the sake of completeness, but I would not recommend this camera system due to its weak specifications and lack of features most users would expect. For example, the Arlo has a relatively narrow field of view and doesn’t support sound detection, geo-fencing, or two-way audio.

Specifications (2/5)
Video resolution 1280 x 720
Field of view 110°
Advanced motion detection With a subscription
Sound detection No
Geo-fencing No
Requires Hub Yes
Weather Resistant Yes (IP65)
Power Source Battery
Two-way audio No
Video Storage Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, IFTTT

Maybe if you are on a tight budget and are looking for an outdoor security camera with a decent video resolution, the Arlo fits the bill. But for indoor use, there are probably less expensive alternatives with better specifications, especially if you don’t require the camera to be wire-free.

Arlo Go

Netgear Arlo Go camera
Arlo Go camera
 Pros
  • Cellular network support
  • Geo-fencing and sound detection
  • Advanced motion detection (requires subscription)
  • Water-resistant
  • Smart alerts (requires subscription)
 Cons
  • No support for Apple HomeKit

Check Price on Amazon*

The Arlo Go is a unique outdoor camera system that shares the best features with the Arlo Pro 2, but it doesn’t require a hub, and instead of a WiFi network, it uses cellular connectivity to stream the video live feed and send notifications.

Netgear Arlo Go LTE camera
Arlo Go LTE camera

As a result, it’s the best outdoor security camera for when you are away from home, such as on a campground. For environments with spotty cellular reception, the Arlo Go can even store recordings on an SD-Card via the built-in SD-Card slot. To keep the camera’s battery charged, you can add a solar panel that only requires a few hours of sunlight.

Specifications (4.5/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 130°
Advanced motion detection With a subscription
Sound detection Yes
Geo-fencing Yes
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant Yes (IP65)
Power Source Battery with a solar option
Two-way audio Yes
Video Storage Local (SD-Card), Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT

The Arlo Go is available for AT&T, Verizon and Arlo Mobile customers.

Canary All-in-One

Canary All-in-One Home Security System
Canary All-in-One Home Security System
 Pros
  • Detects if you are home (geo-fencing)
  • Advanced motion detection
  • Includes additional sensors and a siren
  • Broad support for home automation platforms
 Cons
  • No sound detection
  • Cloud-only video storage
  • Two-way audio only available with a subscription

Check Price on Amazon*

Except for sound detection, the Canary All-in-One is a full-featured home security system that includes additional sensors to keep tabs on the temperature, humidity, and air quality in your home. The Canary All-in-One also has a 90-decibel siren to warn you if it detects a threat.

Canary is the only manufacturer that offers advanced motion detection to reduce the false positive rate, without requiring a subscription. To accomplish that, Canary combines person detection with geo-fencing support to identify who triggered the motion alarm.

Canary App - Person Detection
Canary Smartphone App – Person Detection
Specifications (4/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 147°
Advanced motion detection Yes
Sound detection No
Geo-fencing Yes
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant No
Power Source AC Power
Two-way audio With a subscription
Video Storage Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT (Wink)
Additional Sensors Temperature, Humidity, Air Quality

Canary is also the only manufacturer that charges a subscription to get two-way audio support. I would argue that getting free advanced motion detection is more valuable than two-way audio, but to get the most out of your Canary home security system, you’ll probably need to sign up for one of their subscription plans.

Canary View

Canary View Home Security Camera
Canary View Home Security Camera
 Pros
  • Detects if you are home (geo-fencing)
  • Advanced motion detection
  • Broad support for home automation platforms
 Cons
  • No sound detection
  • Cloud-only video storage
  • Two-way audio only available with a subscription

Check Price on Amazon*

The Canary View is a stripped down version of the Canary All-in-One and doesn’t include a Siren or the temperature, humidity, and air quality sensors. Everything else is the same, including the advanced motion detection sensors and a wide field of view of 147 degrees.

Specifications (4/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 147°
Advanced motion detection Yes
Sound detection No
Geo-fencing Yes
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant No
Power Source AC Power
Two-way audio With a subscription
Video Storage Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT (Wink)

If you don’t need the extra features of the All-in-One, you can save almost $70 by buying the Canary View.

Canary Flex

Canary Flex home security camera
Canary Flex home security camera
 Pros
  • Detects if you are home (geo-fencing)
  • Advanced motion detection
  • Works indoor and outdoor
  • Wire-free or Plugged-in
  • Broad support for home automation platforms
 Cons
  • No sound detection
  • Cloud-only video storage
  • Two-way audio only available with a subscription
  • The narrow field of view

Check Price on Amazon*

I suppose the Canary Flex got its name because you can use it either indoors or outdoors and wire-free, using a battery, or plugged in. Beyond that, the Flex shares many of the pros and cons of its sisters, including the advanced motion detection capabilities and lack of sound detection.

Canary Flex cam mounted on wall
Canary Flex cam mounted on a wall
Specifications (3/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 116°
Advanced motion detection Yes
Sound detection No
Geo-fencing Yes
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant Yes (IP65)
Power Source AC Power or Battery
Two-way audio With a subscription
Video Storage Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT (Wink)

The only real disadvantage of the Canary Flex camera is its relatively narrow field of view of 116 degrees, as compared to the 130 degrees of some other cameras in this review.

D-Link OMNA HD 180
D-Link OMNA HD 180
 Pros
  • Wide field of view
  • Local video storage
  • Support for Apple HomeKit
  • Two-way audio support
 Cons
  • No sound detection
  • Lacks geo-fencing, and scheduling
  • No cloud storage option
  • Home automation limited to HomeKit

Check Price on Amazon*

I have had the Omna HD 180 since mid of 2017 and reviewed it that fall. You can check out the full review here. Back then, it was one of two cameras on the market that supported HomeKit, Apple’s home automation platform. Fast forward to the summer of 2018 and the Omna and Logitech Circle 2 are still the two only cameras with HomeKit support.

D-Link OMNA HD 180 SD-Card Slot
D-Link OMNA HD 180 SD-Card Slot

I like the D-Link Omna HD 180 as an indoor home security camera because it’s simple and straightforward. Most importantly, it keeps all recordings on a local SD-Card and doesn’t expose anything to the cloud. At the same time, it doesn’t have any of the bells and whistles of other cameras, such as sound detection or geo-fencing.

Specifications (3/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 180°
Advanced motion detection Zone support
Sound detection No
Geo-fencing No
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant No
Power Source AC Power
Two-way audio Yes
Video Storage Local (SD-Card)
Home Automation Support Apple HomeKit

But the few things it does, D-Link implemented very well, and I especially appreciate the incredibly wide field of view of 180 degrees.

D-Link DCS-8525LH Home Security Camera
D-Link DCS-8525LH Home Security Camera
 Pros
  • Pans and tilts
  • Broad support for home automation platforms
  • Optional local video storage
 Cons
  • No geo-fencing
  • Simultaneous speaking and listening not supported
  • Clunky mobile app
  • The web interface has limited browser support
  • No support for simultaneous cloud and local recording

Check Price on Amazon*

The DCS-8525LH is one of D-Link’s newest home security cameras that the company announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year. When the camera became available, D-Link sent me a unit to review, and I placed it in our formal living room. The DCS-8525LH has the narrowest field of view of all cameras in this review, but it supports 340-degrees panning and 110-degrees tilting using the mydlink app (iOS, Android). That’s great if you want to use the camera as a surveillance tool rather than a security camera. I will probably relocate the DCS-8525LH into one of the kids’ rooms, where I don’t care about potential intruders, but rather about being able to see what’s going when the toddlers are too quiet. For such a scenario, the lack of geo-fencing or advanced motion detection support doesn’t matter.

D-Link DCS-8525LH Home Security Camera
D-Link DCS-8525LH Home Security Camera

From a privacy perspective, I also appreciate that I can record all video to a local SD-Card, even though D-Link offers a cloud storage option. The primary issue I have had with this home security camera is related to how D-Link has implemented tw0-way audio. The problem is that I cannot listen and speak at the same time. If I activate the mic on my smartphone via the app, the mic of the camera mutes and vice versa. That’s inconvenient because it means I have to keep pushing the mute and unmute buttons in the mydlink app to have a two-way conversation.

Specifications (2/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 114° + Pan and Tilt
Advanced motion detection No
Sound detection Yes
Geo-fencing No
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant No
Power Source AC Power
Two-way audio With limitations
Video Storage Local (SD-Card), Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT

Speaking of the mobile app – while D-Link has implemented a powerful app with support for shortcuts (D-Link calls them One-Tap actions) and schedules, I have found the app to be confusing and counter-intuitive to use – at least compared to some of the other apps I have used.

To bypass the mobile app, I tried to use mydlink’s web app, but it pains me to say, it’s even worse, and it feels like it’s from the last century. At least, the parts of it I could access because the page refused to work with Safari 11 and 12 on macOS, even though D-Link claims that Safari 9 or newer are supported. I also tried with Chrome 67 on macOS, but that didn’t work either.

Hint: If you already have a D-Link account for another camera, such as the Omna 180 HD, you can use that account for the mydlink app, instead of having to create a new one.

D-Link DCS-8300LH Home Security Camera
D-Link DCS-8300LH Home Security Camera
 Pros
  • 10x digital zoom
  • Broad support for home automation platforms
  • Optional local video storage
 Cons
  • No geo-fencing
  • Simultaneous speaking and listening not supported
  • Clunky mobile app
  • The web interface has limited browser support
  • No support for simultaneous cloud and local recording

Check Price on Amazon*

The DCS-8300LH is the second home security camera that D-Link sent me after announcing it at the CES in Las Vegas. Unlike the DCS-8525LH, this camera has a wider field of view but doesn’t support panning or tilting. Everything else is pretty much the same between these two cameras, except for the 10x digital zoom during live view the DCS-8300LH offers.

Thanks to the support for local video storage and the low price, I’d seriously consider getting a bunch of these cameras to monitor every corner of our house if it wasn’t for the lack of geo-fencing support. I appreciate that D-Link offers advanced scheduling and one-tap actions to arm and disarm the cameras, but both my wife and I work from home and we don’t have a fixed schedule. And as convenient as arming and disarming via the mobile app might be, I know that we would not do it consistently.

Specifications (2/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 130°
Advanced motion detection No
Sound detection Yes
Geo-fencing No
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant No
Power Source AC Power
Two-way audio With limitations
Video Storage Local (SD-Card), Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT

However, if you are on a schedule and leave the house every day at a particular time, I think the combination of scheduling and quick-tap actions would work fine, and you might not miss geo-fencing support.

Logitech Circle 2

Logitech Circle 2 home security camera
Logitech Circle 2 home security camera
 Pros
  • Wide-angle lens
  • Advanced motion detection (with subscription)
  • Broad support for home automation platforms
  • Weather resistant outdoor surveillance camera
  • Available wired or wire-free
 Cons
  • No sound detection
  • No local video storage option

Check Price on Amazon*

The Logitech Circle 2 is one of two home security cameras on the market that supports Apple HomeKit. What makes this camera unique is the combination of its weather-resistance rating, 180-degrees viewing angle and complete support for all major home automation platforms, including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Logitech Circle 2 Cam mounting options
Logitech Circle 2 Cam mounting options

I should also note that the Circle 2 is available wire-free* and wired*, but unfortunately, if you purchase the wire-free version, you cannot attach a cable and vice-versa. Additionally, the Circle 2 does not support sound detection and locally storing recorded video footage.

Specifications (4/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 180°
Advanced Motion detection With a subscription
Sound detection No
Geo-fencing Yes
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant Yes
Power Source AC Power or Battery
Two-way audio Yes
Video Storage Cloud
Home Automation Support Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

I consider the Logitech Circle 2 as one of the best cameras in this review, primarily when used as an outdoor security camera where cloud storage and privacy are less of an issue.

Nest IQ Outdoor

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Camera mounted on wall
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Camera
 Pros
  • Improved video support with a 4K HDR sensor
  • Advanced motion detection (facial recognition)
  • HD Audio support
  • Continuous recording (requires subscription)
 Cons
  • No scheduling support

Check Price at Best Buy*

The Nest IQ-series cams are arguably one of the most technologically advanced home security cameras for consumers on the market. What sets the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor camera apart from the competition is the high-resolution 4K HDR sensor, advanced motion detection features (face recognition, pets), an IP66 water-resistance rating and high-definition two-way audio, including a three-microphone array.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is technology to help produce better images in challenging lighting conditions. If you have ever taken a photo of a person standing in front of a window, you may have noticed that the person ended up being under-exposed (too dark). A camera with HDR support would take multiple photos, some of which would expose for the background and some for the foreground. The final picture is a combination of these pictures that exposes all areas of the photo properly, thus resulting in a better picture.

Of course, the Nest IQ Outdoor Cam integrates seamlessly with other Nest products, such as the Nest thermostat. By communicating with each other, a Nest device shares data with other devices and, for example, make them aware of your presence.

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Camera mounted on ceiling
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Camera mounted on the ceiling

The downside of all of this technology is that Nest only offers wired IQ cams. For outdoor cameras that means you’ll likely end up drilling holes through exterior walls. While Nest considers the installation of its outdoor security camera a DIY project, many users may probably end up asking for professional help. At least, those who are as proficient with power tools as I am :)

Specifications (4.5/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080 with a 4K HDR sensor
Field of view 130°
Advanced motion detection Yes
Sound detection Yes
Geo-fencing Yes
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant Yes (IP66)
Power Source AC Power
Two-way audio Yes (High-Definition)
Video Storage Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT

In regards to WiFi connectivity, Nest put the WiFi antenna into the power plug that you have to connect inside your home. That’s clever because it means the distance between the camera on the outside and your WiFi router does not directly impact the signal strength.

Similar to the Amazon Cloud Cam, the only issue I have with Nest, which is owned by Google, is privacy. Google makes money by knowing as much as they can about their users. Some folks might feel uncomfortable with that.

Nest IQ Indoor

Nest Cam IQ home security camera
Nest Cam IQ home security camera
 Pros
  • Improved video support with a 4K HDR sensor
  • Advanced motion detection
  • HD Audio support
  • Continuous recording (requires subscription)
 Cons
  • No scheduling support
  • Potential privacy concerns (Google)

Check Price at Best Buy*

The Nest IQ Indoor cam is, as the name implies, the non-weather-resistant version of the Nest IQ Outdoor home security camera. Beyond the lack of IP rating, it otherwise shares the same technical specification and is thus the most advanced indoor home security camera money can buy.

Teardown of Nest Cam IQ
Teardown of Nest Cam IQ
Specifications (4/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080 with a 4K HDR sensor
Field of view 130°
Advanced motion detection Yes
Sound detection Yes
Geo-fencing Yes
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant No
Power Source AC Power
Two-way audio Yes (High-Definition)
Video Storage Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT

In addition to technical specifications, both Nest IQ cameras feature continuous recording. That means the camera doesn’t start recording when it detects motion, thus potentially missing crucial moments. Instead, it continuously records video. Your subscription plan determines how far back you can access the recording.

Nest Cam Outdoor

Nest Outdoor Cam
Nest Outdoor Cam
 Pros
  • Advanced motion detection (requires subscription)
  • Continuous recording (requires subscription)
  • Geo-fencing and sound detection
 Cons
  • No scheduling support

Check Price on Amazon*

The Nest Cam Outdoor is a less advanced and also less expensive version of the IQ Outdoor cam. It’s still an excellent camera but doesn’t offer the 4K HDR sensor or high-definition audio. Additionally, the weather-resistance rating is IP65 instead of IP66.

The number 5 in IP65 means that the camera can withstand water jets (water projected from a nozzle against the device from any direction doesn’t cause any harm, for example, heavy rainfall or a shower). The (second) number 6 in IP66 means that the camera can withstand powerful water jets (water projected in powerful jets against the device from any direction doesn’t cause any harm).

Nest Outdoor Cam mounted on brick wall
Nest Outdoor Cam mounted on a brick wall
Specifications (4/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 130°
Advanced motion detection With a subscription
Sound detection Yes
Geo-fencing Yes
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant Yes (IP65)
Power Source AC Power
Two-way audio Yes
Video Storage Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT

Practically that means, you probably shouldn’t hose down the Nest Cam Outdoor with a pressure washer, but heavy rain is OK. It’s also worth noting that you need to buy a subscription to benefit from the advanced motion detection capabilities the Nest Cam Outdoor offers.

Nest Cam Indoor

Nest Cam Indoor cam
Nest Cam Indoor
 Pros
  • Advanced motion detection (requires subscription)
  • Geo-fencing and sound detection
  • Continuous recording (requires subscription)
 Cons
  • No scheduling support
  • Potential privacy concerns (Google)

Check Price on Amazon*

The Nest Cam Indoor shares most of the specifications with its outdoor cousin, except for the water-resistance rating.

Specifications (4/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 130°
Advanced motion detection With a subscription
Sound detection Yes
Geo-fencing Yes
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant No
Power Source AC Power
Two-way audio Yes
Video Storage Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT

As with all Nest cams, the Nest Cam Indoor is only available wired and, as a result, it occupies a power outlet.

Ring Spotlight Cam

Ring Spotlight Cam (Battery)
Ring Spotlight Cam (Battery)
 Pros
  • Advanced motion detection
  • Water-resistant
  • Far-reaching night vision
  • Wide field of view
  • Available wired, wire-free and with a solar panel
 Cons
  • No support for geo-fencing and sound detection
  • Cloud-only video storage
  • Serious privacy concerns

Check Price on Amazon*

The Ring Spotlight Cam is in different configurations, including:

All Ring camera models feature the most advanced night vision capabilities among all cameras in the review. I double-checked with Ring’s engineering team to make sure the night vision specifications I had received were correct. Ring confirmed that the Spotlight Cam could see between 32 to 49 feet at night, which is twice as far as its competitors.

Ring Solar Panel for Spotlight Cam
Ring Solar Panel for Spotlight Cam

Unfortunately, Ring wouldn’t make a demo unit of its Spotlight Cam available for this review, so I can’t speak about the video quality at night, but on paper, it seems impressive. Ring’s security camera also features a wider field of view than most of its competitors, but, unfortunately, the camera lacks support for geo-fencing and sound detection. However, the Ring camera does record sound when it detects motion. Additionally, you can define so-called “motion zones” to limit the area within its field of view in which the camera detects motion.

Specifications (3.5/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 140°
Advanced motion detection Yes
Sound detection No
Geo-fencing No
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant Yes
Power Source AC Power, Battery, Solar
Two-way audio Yes
Video Storage Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Integration with home automation platforms is limited to Amazon Alexa, via Amazon’s FireTV or Echo Show and Google Assistant. Ring does not support Apple HomeKit. Interestingly enough, Ring announced plans for supporting Apple HomeKit in a blog post in 2016, but they still haven’t delivered on that promise. If HomeKit is essential to you, I would not buy a Ring camera in the hopes that it’ll support HomeKit someday.

For playback, the Ring app supports 5x digital zoom, but unfortunately, you can’t zoom during live view. What’s most concerning about Ring, which is owned by Amazon, is their supposedly lax oversight when it comes to user privacy. There have been recent reports of Ring giving its employees unvetted access to its customers’ video feeds.

Ring Floodlight Cam

Ring Floodlight Cam
Ring Floodlight Cam
 Pros
  • Advanced motion detection
  • Water-resistant
  • Far-reaching night vision
  • Incredibly wide field of view
  • Includes two floodlight
 Cons
  • No support for geo-fencing and sound detection
  • Cloud-only video storage

Check Price on Amazon*

The Ring Floodlight Cam shares many of the characteristics of the Spotlight Cam, but it offers a couple of unique features that are worth pointing out, including:

  • An incredibly wide field of view of 270 degrees, and
  • Two 3k Kelvin floodlights to illuminate the area if the camera detects motion.

I have regular motion-detecting floodlights at each corner of my house, and I often wonder what triggered the lights to come on. With the Ring Floodlight cam, I could quickly tell by looking at the footage.

Specifications (3.5/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 270°
Advanced motion detection Yes
Sound detection No
Geo-fencing No
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant Yes
Power Source Hardwired
Two-way audio Yes
Video Storage Cloud
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Similar to most outdoor floodlights, you have to hardwire the Ring Floodlight cam to home’s power supply.

SENS8 All-in-One

SENS8 All-in-One Home Security System
SENS8 All-in-One Home Security System
 Pros
  • Geo-fencing and sound detection
  • Does not require a subscription
  • All-in-one security system
  • Built-in SD-Card and backup battery
  • Additional sensors
 Cons
  • No support for Apple HomeKit
  • Geo-fencing is limited to one person/device
  • Limited field of view

Check Price on Amazon*

The SENS8 All-in-One is the second, complete home security system in this review. Much like the Canary All-in-One, SENS8 has added temperature and humidity sensors and a siren to its device. Additionally, the SENS8 home security camera offers some unique capabilities other cameras don’t have.

For example, SENS8 does not offer any subscriptions or dedicated cloud storage. Instead, the All-in-One system features free storage via a built-in 8GB SD-Card that can store up to 800 video clips. Additionally, you can link your Dropbox or Google Drive account to keep copies of all footage in the cloud. I linked my Dropbox account to access all recorded footage from my Mac conveniently. The only downside is the video format SENS8 uses that the QuickTime Player for Mac doesn’t support. I had to download the VLC Player to playback the videos from the SENS8 camera.

Like other home security systems, the All-in-One requires an AC power source. However, SENS8 built a backup battery into its camera, so that it can keep recording for up to 2 hours, in case of a power outage.

While the SENS8 home security camera doesn’t support person detection to differentiate between you and an intruder, its advanced sensor can detect blowing curtains, light changes and moving shadows to reduce the rate of false alarms.

I positioned the SENS8 All-in-One in our family room, which has a door leading to the garage. I have set up a schedule to alert me if the camera detects motion between 9 pm and 5 am, while we sleep. The cat that stays in the family room every night has so far not triggered any alarms. So SENS8’s false alarm prevention algorithms seem to be smart enough to ignore the cat.

Specifications (3/5)
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
Field of view 127°
Advanced motion detection False-positive detection
Sound detection Yes
Geo-fencing Limited
Requires Hub No
Weather Resistant No
Power Source AC Power with battery backup
Two-way audio Yes
Video Storage Local (Built-in SD-Card), Cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive)
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa, IFTTT
Additional Sensors Temperature, Humidity

The only thing I’m missing from the SENS8 home security camera is multi-person geo-fencing. The camera is capable of detecting my absence, but in a family household, one person leaving home is no indication that the house is empty. I hope SENS8 enhances their geo-fencing features to include more persons in the future. Otherwise, this feature is useless to us.

Note that since writing this review, SEN8 has released a new Floodlight cam that I reviewed separately.

Download Comparison Sheet

Given the size of the table and the available screen space, especially on mobile devices, I decided to create a more detailed PDF that you can request via email using the form below. If you prefer the on-screen version instead, you’ll have to scroll horizontally to see the full table.

Amazon Arlo Arlo Arlo Arlo Arlo Canary Canary Canary D-Link D-Link D-Link Logitech Logitech Nest Nest Nest Nest Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring SENS8
Model Cloud Cam Ultra Cam Pro Pro 2 Go All-in-One View Flex Omna HD 180 DCS-8525LH DCS-8300LH Circle 2 Wired Circle 2 Wire-free Cam IQ Outdoor Cam IQ Indoor Cam Outdoor Cam Indoor Spotlight Cam Wired Spotlight Cam Battery Spotlight Cam Solar Spotlight Cam Mount Floodlight Cam All-in-One
Rating
Video resolution 1920 x 1080 4K with HDR 1280 x 720 1280 x 720 1920 x 1080 1280 x 720 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 & 4K HDR Sensor 1920 x 1080 & 4K HDR Sensor 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080
Field of view 120° 180° with dewarping 110° 130° 130° 130° 147° 147° 116° 180° 114° + Pan and Tilt 130° 180° 180° 130° 130° 130° 130° 140° 140° 140° 140° 270° 127°
Zoom (digital) No Yes Yes 8x 8x 8x 3x 3x 3x Yes 4x 10x Yes Yes 12x 12x 8x 8x 5x 5x 5x 5x 5x No
Night vision Yes 25ft 25ft 25ft 25ft 25ft Yes Yes Yes 16ft 16ft 16ft 15ft 15ft Yes Yes Yes Yes 32-49ft 32-49ft 32-49ft 32-49ft 32-49ft 26ft
Advanced motion detection With subscription With subscription With subscription With subscription With subscription With subscription Yes Yes Yes Custom zones No No With subscription With subscription Yes Yes With subscription With subscription Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes False-positive reduction
Sound detection No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No Yes
Geo-fencing Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No Yes
Continuous Recording No No No No With subscription (wired model only) No No No No No No No No No With Subscription With Subscription With Subscription With Subscription No No No No No No
Scheduling No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes ? ? No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobile Alerts Yes (smart alerts with subscription) Yes (smart alerts with subscription) Yes (smart alerts with subscription) Yes (smart alerts with subscription) Yes (smart alerts with subscription) Yes (smart alerts with subscription) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Requires Hub No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Weather Resistant No IP65 IP65 IP65 IP65 IP65 No No IP65 No No No IP65 IP65 IP66 No IP65 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Power Source AC Power Battery with solar option or AC power Battery with solar option Battery or AC Power Battery with solar option or AC Power Battery with solar option AC Power AC Power Battery or AC Power AC Power AC Power AC Power AC Power Battery AC Power AC Power AC Power AC Power AC Power Battery Battery with solar panel Hardwired Hardwired AC Power with battery backup
Battery life N/A N/A 4-6 months Varies Varies Varies N/A N/A Varies N/A N/A N/A N/A Varies N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 6-12 Months Depends on hours of sunlight N/A N/A 1.5 hours
Two-way audio Yes Yes, with noise-cancellation No Yes Yes Yes With Subscription With Subscription With Subscription Yes With Limitations With Limitations Yes Yes High-Definition High-Definition Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Siren No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional Sensors None None None None None None Temperature, Humidity, Air Quality None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None Temperature, Humidity
Video Storage Cloud Cloud, microSD Cloud Local (USB Drive), Cloud Local (USB Drive), Cloud Local (SD-Card), Cloud Cloud Cloud Cloud Local (SD-Card) Local (SD-Card), Cloud Local (SD-Card), Cloud Cloud Cloud Cloud Cloud Cloud Cloud Cloud Cloud Cloud Cloud Cloud Local (SD-Card), Cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive)
Home Automation Support Amazon Alexa Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, IFTTT Amazon Alexa, IFTTT Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, IFTTT Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT (Wink) Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT (Wink) Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT (Wink) Apple HomeKit Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT IFTTT Amazon Alexa,Google Assistant Amazon Alexa,Google Assistant Amazon Alexa,Google Assistant Amazon Alexa,Google Assistant Amazon Alexa,Google Assistant Amazon Alexa, IFTTT
Networking WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi CDMA, GSM, LTE WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi WiFi
App Store Rating (1-5) 3 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 4
Kit Includes 1 Camera 1 Camera and Base Station 1 Camera and Base Station 1 Camera and Base Station 2 Cameras and Base Station 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera 1 Camera
MSRP (Individual Camera) $119.99 $299.99 $159.99 $189.99 219.99 $399.99 $169.00 $99.00 $199.00 $129.00 $99.99 $89.99 $179.99 $199.99 $349.00 $299.00 $199.00 $199.00 $199.00 $199.00 $229.00 $249.00 $249.00 $139.99
MSRP (Kit) $119.99 $399.99 $179.99 $249.99 $479.99 $399.99 $169.00 $99.00 $199.00 $129.00 $99.99 $89.99 $179.99 $199.99 $349.00 $299.00 $199.00 $199.00 $199.00 $199.00 $229.00 $249.00 $249.00 $139.99

Comparison of Subscription Plans

Most of the camera vendors in this review offer some sort of subscription plan that offers additional cloud storage or adds features, such as advanced motion detection. Below is a comparison table of all subscription plans with an option to download it as a PDF file.

Amazon Canary D-Link Arlo Nest Logitech Ring
Name of plan Included Basic Extended Pro Free Access Membership Free Basic Premium Pro Smart Basic Smart Premier Smart Elite 5-day 10-day 30-day Free Basic Premium Free Protect Basic Protect Plus
Cloud Storage 24 hours 7 days 14 days 30 days 1 day 30 days 24 hours 7 days 14 days 30 days 7 days 30 days 60 days 5-day 10-day 30-day 24 hours 14 days 31 days 60 days 60 days
# of cameras Up to 3 Up to 3 Up to 5 Up to 10 Up to 4 Up to 5 Up to 3 Up to 3 Up to 5 Up to 10 Up to 5 Up to 10 Up to 20 1 1 1 Unlimited Up to 5 Up to 5 1 Unlimited
Rich Notification
e911 Service Alarm monitoring
24/7 video recording from $9.99/mo/cam from $9.99/mo/cam
Person detection
Zones
Free trial N/A 30 days 30 days 30 days N/A N/A N/A 10 days N/A 30 days
Price Free $6.99/mo
$69.99/yr
$9.99/mo
$99.99/yr
$19.99/mo
$199.99/yr
Free $9.99/mo
$99/yr
Free $2.49/mo
24.99/yr
$4.99/mo
49.99/yr
$9.99/mo
$99.99/yr
Free $9.99/mo
$119.88/yr
$14.99/mo
$179.88/yr
$5/mo
$50/yr
$10/mo
$100/yr
$30/mo
$300/yr
Free $6.99/mo
$69/yr
$9.99/mo
179/yr
Free $3/mo
$30/yr
$10/mo
$100/yr

Frequently Asked Questions

What about Dropcam?

I mentioned Dropcam at the beginning of this review because it’s a popular term that users search for. However, you should know that Nest has acquired Dropcam in 2014 and Nest Cam is the successor of Dropcam.

How can I improve the image quality at night?

Image quality is all about light. At night, that means invisible (infrared) light. The more IR light there is, the better the night vision works. You have a couple of different options when it comes to adding IR light. You can buy an IR illuminator* or a special lightbulb that supports IR light, such as the smart bulbs* from LIFX.

Can I use a camera instead of a traditional home security system?

I thought about using security cameras instead of a traditional security system that works with door and motion sensors. The idea makes sense because some of the cameras in this review include a siren that you can configure to sound if the camera detects motion. The issue is that traditional security systems usually don’t let the siren go off when you trigger an alarm and while the system is set to “away” mode. In other words, when I come home and open the front door, our alarm system starts beeping for a configurable amount of time (usually somewhere between 30-45 seconds) before the alarm goes off. During that grace period, you can disarm the system.

With home security camera systems, I’d have to rely on geo-fencing or a mobile app to disarm the siren when I enter the geofence. But what about caretakers who I may have authorized to enter our home while we are away? I’d have to:

  • Add them to our geo fence,
  • Make them download an app, and
  • Ensure that their phone has location services enabled.

That approach is far more error-prone than giving them the pin of a traditional security system. Adding a smart door lock that either integrates with the same home automation platform as the camera system (i.e., HomeKit) or that integrates directly with the camera could be a feasible workaround to solve that problem. Both Nest and Ring* offer smart home security systems that integrate with their respective cameras, and it’s worth checking those out. If you have experience with using cameras as a replacement for a home security system, let me know by leaving a comment below.

Can I use those cameras as a baby monitor?

You absolutely can! We have been using the D-Link Omna 180 as our primary baby monitor. Arlo also offers a dedicated baby cam* with HomeKit support. My advice is to stick with brands that either don’t require a cloud connection or that you trust not to spy on your kids. As a result, I would never place a camera from Amazon, Google, or Ring into my kids’ rooms.

Why did you not include Ubiquiti’s UniFi Security Cameras?

Ubiquiti is targeting commercial customers, and so I didn’t want to mix them with consumer-grade brands. However, I am using UniFi cameras and have reviewed the UniFi Video Platform in a separate article, if you are interested in learning more.

Review of Best Home Security Cameras

After having reviewed eighteen and having tested five home security camera systems, I conclude that the Arlo Pro 2 is the best home security camera for my needs because it offers a balanced mix of features at a reasonable price and I can use it indoors and outdoors.

Technologically, I’m impressed by Nest’s IQ line, but they are expensive, and I have privacy concerns knowing that Google owns Nest. None of the other cameras in this review are bad choices by any means; it just boils down to what you want to get out of a home security camera.

Do you own a home security camera? If so, I encourage you to share your experience by leaving a comment below!

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