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Best Cheap Home Security Cameras for 2022

The era of the $200 home security camera is over. Now you can get smart cams for less than 50 bucks.

Home security is nowhere near as expensive as it used to be. Sure, some security cameras still cost over $100, but there are also plenty of cheap home security cameras on the market from trusted companies like Wyze and Amazon Blink that will help keep your home well protected. 

These more affordable security cameras have many of the same features as their pricier counterparts, such as continuous recording, a motion sensor, a rechargeable battery and apps that send a push notification when something triggers the camera. And though these cameras cost as little as $35 -- and are often on sale -- they tend to have 1080p resolution or better. Any models on this list would make a great nanny cam or pet cam, and they can even connect to your existing smart home setup or smart devices to keep you in the loop at all times.

So if you're determined to create a cheap video surveillance system for under $100, here are my picks. Each security camera varies in terms of functionality and features, but they're both solid choices. We included an indoor and an outdoor camera to ensure your surveillance system covers every inch of your property.

All that said, if your home needs stronger security, you may want to opt for a pricier security camera with advanced features such as professional monitoring, two-way audio and color night vision. You also might want a model with more video storage or a slot for an SD card if you need to review footage from days or weeks before.

Wyze

You really can't beat the new Wyze Cam v3 if you're looking for an affordable security camera system with solid performance. Here's the gist:

  • It costs $36, but can frequently be found on sale.
  • It comes with two weeks of free cloud storage.
  • The wired security camera has optional local storage via a built-in microSD card slot.
  • You can set a custom motion detection zone for free. 

These things combined make the Wyze Cam hard to match, especially since this next-gen model can be used as an indoor or outdoor camera, thanks to new weatherproof housing. It also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, as well as with Wyze's other devices -- and that's why it earned a great 8.5 review score when we tested it in 2020.

Read our Wyze Cam v3 review.

 

David Priest/CNET

If you're willing to pay a little more, the excellent Wyze Cam Pan v2 gives you something few other home security cameras do: a panning, tilting feature that allows you to monitor whole rooms, follow motion, and even scan large spaces periodically for abnormalities. At $50, it costs a little more than others on this list -- but it earned a 9.2 in our 2021 review, thanks to great performance and plenty of interesting uses.

Read our review of the Wyze Cam Pan v2.

 

Chris Monroe/CNET

The Blink Mini is a $35 indoor security camera -- though you can find it for less than $20 during some sales. It comes with a power adapter, works with Amazon Alexa and has a small footprint that won't take up much space inside your home. While its 7.2 review score might give you pause, its solid basic features and reliable performance make it a good option if you're looking for a straightforward indoor home security camera.

Read our Blink Mini review.

 

How we test home security cameras

Hands-on testing is core to our evaluations of any home security products. In short, when it comes to security cameras, we pay special attention to resolution, night vision and latency, extra features, general performance and overall value. We evaluate all of these elements in a real home environment over the course of a week. If you want to read more about our review process, check out our in-depth article on how we test home security cameras and video doorbells.

Cheap Home Security Cameras Compared

Our Picks Wyze Cam (2020) Wyze Cam Pan v2 Blink Mini
Price $36 $50 $35
Resolution Full HD 1080p Full HD 1080p Full HD 1080p
Field of View 130 degrees 120 degrees 110 degrees
Setup Moveable, indoor/outdoor Moveable, indoor only Moveable, indoor only
Extra Features Livestreaming, motion detection, night vision, weather resistance, integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant Livestreaming, two-way talk, sound/motion alerts, color night vision, panning and tilting functions Livestreaming, motion alerts, two-way talk, integration with Amazon Alexa
Review Score 8.5 9.2 7.2

Home security camera FAQs

What's the cheapest home security camera?

Home security cameras are cheaper than ever, but if you find any brands consistently clocking in under $20, you may want to avoid the temptation to buy a bunch of units. Security cameras can pose a privacy risk, and cheaper off-brand devices tend to have fewer security measures -- like multi-factor authentication and encryption -- in place. Generally, the cheapest but still-relatively-secure devices you'll find will be in the $30 range, unless they're on sale.

Which security camera has no monthly fee?

Most home security cameras don't require monthly fees to use them. That said, subscriptions will usually give you access to more advanced features, like person alerts, cloud storage and so on. Wyze offers one of the best subscription-free experiences, though, because two weeks of event storage is included with the devices -- even though there's a 5-minute cooldown between event recordings.

What is the easiest home security camera to install?

If you care about affordability, you may also be wondering about general convenience. The good news is, by this point, most smart security cameras from major developers are a breeze to install, requiring little more than downloading an app and following a few onscreen directions. Generally speaking, indoor cameras will be less involved than outdoor cameras to set up, since you can plop them on a shelf and forget about them. If you're installing a device outside, screwing it into a wall or fence isn't a bad idea, but it may take a little extra elbow grease.

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