DIY home security gives you greater flexibility over your connected home than subscription-based services, allowing you to set up each gadget as you see fit and avoid contracts that lock you into multi-year plans.
Still, self-install indoor cameras vary widely.
Some have live video streaming, while others record a clip only when they detect motion. Some have local storage options, while others save footage to a cloud server. And some offer free cloud storage, while others charge a fee. Scroll through our list of indoor security cameras to learn more about the variety of DIY options available today.
Amazon Cloud Cam
Amazon's first indoor home security camera costs just $120 (roughly £90 and AU$155 converted) and earned a CNET Editors' Choice award. It has 1080p HD live streaming, motion notifications and free 24-hour clip storage. The camera is very easy to install and its related app is easy to navigate. Opt-in to Amazon's optional fee-based cloud service to access additional features and to store your event-based video clips for more than 24 hours.
Belkin NetCam HD+
Belkin's $130 (£130 in the UK, and AU$170 in Australia) NetCam HD+Wi-Fi Camera is a solid DIY camera. You have to pay $10 a month to store clips and, annoyingly, to receive push notifications. It also doesn't deliver Dropcam Pro-level optics or have the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro's local storage option. Still, you can control it from the WeMo app alongside Belkin's other home automation products.
The D-Link DCS-2630L indoor security camera has a 180-degree field of view. This model also supports local storage via a microSD card (up to 128GB, not included). It's a large camera and was somewhat complicated to configure in the related app. Still, it's a solid choice if you want a wide angle camera with local storage.
The D-Link Komfy is part light switch, part security camera. Control two light switches and keep an eye on a room or hallway with its 1080p HD camera. In addition to its live video feed, the related D-Link app also gives you access to motion and sound detection, as well as the current energy consumption, ambient temperature, humidity, light and air quality. The Komfy also works with IFTTT.
The D-Link Omna is the first Apple HomeKit security camera. That means the Omna works in the Home iOS app, as well as D-Link's own app. This camera has a 180-degree viewing angle, motion detection zones and alerts. Asking Siri for the status of your Omna camera will pull up the camera's live stream.
D-Link Pan & Tilt Day/Night Network Camera
D-Link aims for the budget-minded with this $120 model, but unfortunately that shows in the product quality. (The same model sells in the UK for about £80, and in Australia for AU$200.) Low 640x480-pixel resolution, unreliable motion and sound detection and a broken notification system make this camera a nonstarter.
Ezviz Mini Plus
Not only is the $80 Ezviz Mini a cute little camera, it also offers an excellent value. And, with 1080p live streaming, night vision, motion-related alerts, scheduling and local as well as cloud storage, its features are on par with many a pricier model. The Mini Plus works with IFTTT.
Ezviz Mini 360 Plus
The Ezviz Mini 360 Plus has a 340-degree planning angle. Opt-in to its auto-panning function and the 360 Plus is supposed to follow motion around a room; this feature did not work well for me. It also has 1080p HD resolution, local and optional cloud storage and IFTTT integration.
Flir FX is a $200 camera with a 720p streaming resolution, optional battery backup and accessories (available separately) designed to convert this otherwise indoor model into an outdoor security camera, an action camera or even a dashboard-mounted car camera.
Unfortunately, the Flir FX has some performance and app usability issues. In our testing it regularly sent phantom alerts in 2- to 3-second intervals and there were sometimes significant delays between receiving a motion or sound alert and being able to review the saved clip in the app. We also consistently received error messages when adjusting alert settings.
Foscam Plug and Play Wireless IP Camera FI9826P
Foscam is one of the more popular brands of connected cameras, and overall we were impressed with its hardware. Remote control panning and tilting, 3x optical zoom and a local SD card storage option are all appealing features. For $220, though, we would expect more up-to-date mobile software and an easier setup process. A new app is in the works that could make this one more competitive. We will report back and update our coverage once we test it out.
The Guardzilla costs just $100. That's pretty low considering that models like the Nest Cam, Netatmo Welcome and Flir FX retail for twice as much.
It has a low-res 640x480-pixel VGA resolution and sends photos of security events rather than saving video clips. These features aren't exactly deal breakers, but its alerts were sporadic, which seriously limited its usefulness as a security camera.
The $150 Homeboy security camera features a rechargeable battery and a magnetic backing so it can travel far and wide across your house (it's indoor-only) for optimal placement and angling. (It's supposed to become internationally available in 2015, but there's no pricing information just yet; direct conversions of the US price would be about £95 or AU$170.) This palm-size cam may not offer live streaming or HD resolution, but it does feature a siren, arm and disarm settings and an IFTTT channel. No, it won't work as a webcam, but it will alert you to potential security concerns as well as tie into third-party services and products.
Honeywell Lyric C1
Honeywell's affordable Lyric C1 camera comes with an 8GB microSD card. This model also supports motion zones, as well as geofencing. It also has 720p HD resolution, and motion and sound alerts.
Honeywell Lyric C2
The Honeywell Lyric C2 camera offers free local and cloud storage, as well as an optional cloud storage upgrade. You can also opt-in to professional monitoring. That's a lot of options for monitoring and access, more than most DIY home security cameras. A free 8GB microSD card comes with your purchase.
IC Real Tech Allie Home
IC Real Tech's Allie Home streams live in 360 degrees, thanks to its dual cameras. That's great if you want to be able to see everything in a room, but the Allie Home isn't really a security camera. You won't get motion alerts, you can't set detection zones and it generally doesn't make much sense for home security applications.
Immedia's Blink is a battery-powered indoor home security camera that only costs $100 (£75/AU$130 converted). Cord-free, battery-reliant models like Netgear's Arlo and Homeboy are fairly common nowadays -- and an increasing number of brands are adding free cloud storage to their list of features. You'll also find a larger number of lower-priced DIY cameras available now, like Guardzilla, the and the iSmartAlarm Spot -- all of which cost $100 or less.
Ion Cameras Ion the Home Wi-Fi Video Camera
This action cam maker has thrown its hat into the security camera ring with this Ion the Home unit. At $130 it boasts a competitive price, and we also really like its 24-hour rolling cloud storage option. That's a pretty generous plan for hanging on to clips. Sadly, performance and in-app glitchiness keep this Ion from greatness.
iSmartAlarm's $200 base system has sensors, sirens, keychain tags and a hub. (Currently available only in the US and Canada, but the company has said it has plans to branch out. The US price converts to about £120, or AU$215.) Add on $150 and you get its camera too. Fortunately, there's no additional monthly fee attached to this camera. Unfortunately, we found the camera was very finicky. Up to 15 percent of routers don't work well with it and even if you do get it set up, it doesn't have a built-in motion sensor -- a definite oversight when you consider the competition.
iSmartAlarm iCamera Keep
This $150 connected camera has a 720p resolution and live-streaming capabilities and is a definite improvement over the original iSmartAlarm iCamera. The first-generation iCamera will still be available, but we'd suggest skipping the hassle and taking a look at the Keep instead. The Keep does have some major limitations; it doesn't currently support automatic or manual recording, although it does offer cloud storage for viewing saved clips.
iSmartAlarm iCamera Keep Pro
iSmartAlarm's $200 iCamera Keep Pro is an updated version of iSmartAlarm's first-gen iCamera Keep. The iCamera Keep Pro is designed to track motion activity so you can see what's happening (even outside of its fixed field of view). We haven't tested out the iCamera Keep Pro just yet, but let's hope it works better than the Ezviz Mini 360 Plus.
iSmartAlarm's $99 (£75/AU$130 converted) Spot camera is small, but mighty. It comes with 720p HD video resolution, free 30-clip rolling cloud storage and a microSD card slot (it supports up to a 64GB microSD card, but that isn't included), as well as night vision and motion and sound alerts. Spot works alone or with the.
The Kidde RemoteLync indoor security camera is essentially identical to the Homeboy camera. IT offers IFTTT- and geofencing-based Home/Away arming and motion detection and a built-in siren. Unlike most of the indoor cams sold today, the Kidde RemoteLync is powered by a rechargeable battery. It also has free 12-hour cloud storage.
Kodak Video Monitor CFH-V20
The Kodak Video Monitor CFH-V20 has a 180-degree field of view, free 24-hour cloud clip storage and a USB connector so you can add a battery pack for on-the-go (indoor) monitoring as needed. Its 720p HD resolution, free storage, two-way audio and night vision make the CFH-V20 a competitive indoor security camera. It also works with IFTTT.
The Lucis NuBryte is an indoor wall panel designed to replace (and control) wired lights in your house. It also has a built-in camera for on-demand monitoring. In terms of third-party smart home integrations, the Nubryte works with Amazon's Alexa and Google Calendar. Even with those integrations, this device doesn't do enough to justify sticking in every room.
Manything is a free app that turns your old iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into an instant security camera. It definitely isn't as complete a solution as a regular DIY camera, but it still has a ton of handy features. You can use it for live monitoring and to receive alerts when motion is detected. It even has an option for customizing "motion zones" so you can pick and choose the parts of your home that you want to watch more closely. And, it will employ your phone's flashlight to "see" in the dark.
Nest Cam Indoor
The Nest Cam is Nest's Dropcam Pro successor. It boasts a full 1080p streaming resolution, motion and sound alerts and optional cloud storage (for an extra monthly or yearly fee). The Nest Cam also has an updated stand, which is stronger and more maneuverable than the Pro's -- and it features a magnetic base for quick installations. Its one-alert-per-30-minutes rule is pretty limiting, but you can't beat the Nest Cam Indoor's video streaming clarity.
Nest Cam IQ Indoor
The $299/£299 Nest Cam IQ Indoor has fancier specs than the Nest Cam Indoor. It has an 8-megapixel, 4K image sensor and 12x digital zoom. Person alerts come free with this camera and Nest Aware subscribers have access to the IQ's facial recognition alerts. It's a solid camera, but you have to be pretty serious about its internal hardware upgrades to find value here.
The $200 Netatmo Welcome is the second security camera we've reviewed with facial-recognition technology. Where the ArcSoft Simplicam regularly misidentified faces, the Welcome had 100 percent detection accuracy. That's pretty impressive, but it did take a while to learn a face. It also had a laggy video feed and alerts, so the Welcome isn't the best at delivering information in real time.
Netgear Arlo Q
The $220/£170/AU$349 Netgear Arlo Q is a reliable 1080p HD indoor security camera. It offers motion and sound alerts, two-way talk, night vision, activity zones and free 7-day event-based cloud storage. You can subscribe to its cloud service for access to continuous recording.
The Withings Home (now the Nokia Home) is a security camera with interesting extras, like a volatile organic compound sensor, a built-in color-changing night light, a lullaby setting and a unique design (compared with the dull black-and-white finish of most models). But its core features, like live streaming and alerts, did not impress. Specifically, the resolution seemed much grainier than its supposed 1080p and its motion sensor often issued alerts when no apparent activity had taken place.
Oco1 may have used the same third-party manufacturer that ArcSoft did for its Simplicam, but these identical-looking cameras are pretty different. Oco's cloud service starts at $4 a month (less than Simplicam's $5) and it has an adaptable video stream feature that auto-adjusts the live feed based on bandwidth. In our testing it also went offline randomly, suffered from sluggish two-way talk and often switched to night vision mode for no reason.
Presence is a free Android and iOS app that lets you turn an old iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a security camera for free (assuming you already have an old device lying around at home). Much like Manything, Presence will permit remote live streaming on a secondary device. This sort of free setup makes a lot of sense for someone looking to experiment with security cameras before plunging into a purchase. Presence doesn't offer an IFTTT channel, though, so you won't have as many options for third-party integration as with Manything.
Salient Eye is an excellent Android security app. Unlike its iOS counterparts, Salient Eye doesn't have live-streaming capabilities. Instead, it focuses on sensor-based triggers that activate a siren when the app is armed. You can opt in to text and email alerts to get real-time notifications of any security events and a link to tons of photos of the action.
Samsung SmartCam HD Plus
Samsung's $190 SmartCam HD Plus is the second-gen version of the brand's $190 SmartCam HD Pro. Like the HD Pro, the HD Plus offers up to 1080p live streaming, night vision, motion-and-sound-related alerts and local storage via a built-in microSD card slot.
I haven't finished testing the HD Plus just yet, but its new design is a definite upgrade over the clunkier white HD Pro, particularly if you're going for discretion with your security camera installs.
Samsung SmartCam HD Pro
Samsung's $190 (available in the UK for £160; not yet available in Australia, but converts to about AU$200) SmartCam HD Pro has a full list of features, ranging from motion and sound detection and alerts to optional SD card video storage. If local storage is at the top of your must-have list, this is a solid indoor security camera. If not, I'd stick with the slightly more expensive Nest Cam: the Nest Cam's superior video quality and build make it tough to beat at this price level.
Samsung SmartCam PT
The Samsung SmartCam PT is a pan-and-tilt camera designed to follow activity around a room. It certainly isn't the first camera to offer this feature, but it does a better job than the Ezviz Mini 360 Plus. This indoor camera comes with local and cloud storage, motion detection zones and a privacy mode that doesn't record activity when you're home.
Samsung Wisenet-SmartCam A1
The Samsung Wisenet-SmartCam A1 (pictured left) sounds somewhat similar to the Samsung SmartCam PT. It has 1080p HD video resolution, 350-degree panning and a 130-degree field of view. We haven't tested this model yet, but are curious to see how it compares to other pan-and-tilt cams.
Sentri is a $299 tablet-looking gadget with a built-in security camera. Use the touchscreen to check in on environmental sensors like the ambient temperature and humidity, as well as the air quality and the local weather forecast.
From the related Sentri app, you can watch a live stream and receive motion-based notifications and integrate it with Philips Hue LEDs, the Nest thermostat and Belkin WeMo products. I'm in the middle of testing this product, but so far I'm not convinced that the large touchscreen design actually adds any value for the user.
Tend Secure Lynx
The Tend Secure Lynx is an intriguing indoor camera. It only costs $60 (£45/AU$80), but offers a lot of features. Specifically, this model supports 1080p HD live streaming, free 7-day event-based cloud storage and facial recognition. This model doesn't currently work with any major smart home platforms, though, and its flimsy base isn't particularly well designed.
The Zmodo Pivot indoor security camera comes with 16GB of internal storage -- there's no messing with cloud storage or a microSD card. It also supports live streaming and has 360 degrees of built-in motion sensors. Two door/window sensors accompany the purchase so you can track when a door opens and closes. As its name suggests, the Pivot will, well, pivot to capture activity happening outside of its 135-degree field of view.
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