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Best Home Security Cameras of 2022

We've tested the best home security camera brands on the market. From indoor security cameras to nanny cams, we'll help you find the best ones to keep your home safe.

In this article:

It used to be really expensive to outfit your house with a state-of-the-art security system, but nowadays almost everyone can afford to keep their home safe with the best home security cameras on the market. There are plenty of different models to choose from, including smart home security cameras that can send you alerts and stream live videos when motion is detected. There are also plenty of budget-friendly models, and some feature weatherproof design so you can use them both inside and outdoors. 

With so many options on the market -- indoor, outdoor, wirelessDIY -- it can feel daunting to find a perfect match for the camera system you have in mind. But we're here to help you find the best device for the job. We've rounded up some of the best indoor and outdoor security cameras on the market right now so you can get some extra protection at a good value. And it's the perfect time to look for a new home security camera. You can find early Black Friday deals going on now.

We've tested dozens of home security cameras and condensed everything we've learned into this best home security camera list. Below, you'll find the best home security camera for your home in every major subcategory, from smart doorbells to the models that work well with Google AssistantAmazon Alexa and Siri voice commands. Some are fairly simple, with a motion sensor that sends a push notification to your smartphone when they detect movement, while others come with features such as professional monitoring and cloud storage that prevent you from having to sift through hours of footage. 

If you're looking for the best home security camera system, get ready to dive in. We'll update this best home security camera list periodically. 

Best home security cameras of 2022

Wyze

Setup

Moveable, outdoor/indoor

Resolution

1080p

Storage

Cloud, local storage

Google/Alexa Compatibility

Both

Field of View

130 degrees

Wyze disappointed some of its customers in 2021 when its ridiculously cheap cameras got slightly less ridiculously cheap. But at $36, the Wyze Cam, which we gave an 8.5 review score, remains a great budget security camera -- and a great camera, period.

The Wi-Fi security camera features HD video quality live streaming, motion detection, night vision, a decent app and, best of all, 14 days of free motion-based cloud storage. This Wyze security camera also features a built-in microSD card slot if you want local video storage rather than relying solely on its cloud service (you have to buy the microSD card separately).

This home security camera works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands and features a motion detection zone and the ability to listen for and alert you to special frequencies, like smoke alarms. If you want a complete home security system, there are other cameras that you can buy from Wyze and connect into the grid.

Read our Wyze Cam (2020) review.

 

You're receiving price alerts for Wyze Cam v3 (2020)
David Priest/CNET

Setup

Moveable, indoor

Resolution

1080p

Storage

Cloud, local storage

Google/Alexa Compatibility

Both

Field of View

120 degrees

Wyze continues to dominate the affordable camera market, thanks not only to their Wyze Cam, but also to this panning, tilting indoor camera. For $50, this thing offers 1080p resolution, two-way talk, an alarm and the ability to monitor 360 degrees horizontally. Plus it brings free cloud storage and alerts and super-cheap smarts. I was so impressed by the device, I gave it a 9.2 review score in 2021. If you want a device that can cover a large indoor space effectively -- or if you're looking for a pet cam or nanny cam to monitor moving targets while you're away -- this is it.

Read our review of the Wyze Cam Pan v2.

 

You're receiving price alerts for Wyze Cam Pan v2
Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Setup

Hardwired, outdoor/indoor

Resolution

1536 x 1536 (2K)

Storage

Cloud storage

Google/Alexa Compatibility

Both

Field of View

180 degrees

The $115 Arlo Video Doorbell, which we gave a review score of 8.5, has a lot going for it. While 115 bucks isn't cheap, it's more affordable than most of the other smart buzzers I've tested. As a doorbell camera, it's built to be an outdoor camera, so you don't have to ever worry about the elements. Similar to the Arlo Pro 3 outdoor security camera, the Arlo Video Doorbell has arm/disarm modes, two-way audio, motion zones and an integrated siren.

The security camera system also has a competitive cloud storage subscription plan, starting at $3 per month. If you pay for cloud storage, you get access to advanced features like custom person, animal, vehicle and package detection for your outdoor camera video surveillance.

Read our Arlo Video Doorbell review.

 

You're receiving price alerts for Arlo Video Doorbell
David Priest/CNET

Setup

Moveable, outdoor/indoor

Resolution

2560 x 1440 (2K)

Storage

Cloud storage

Google/Alexa Compatibility

Both

Field of View

160 degrees

Arlo's latest Pro series camera, which we gave an 8.5 review score and Editor's Choice award, is a fantastic home security camera with features to spare. It boasts 2K resolution, a 160-degree field of view, two-way talk, full-color night vision, a built-in siren and spotlight, compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit -- the list goes on.

This powerhouse of a camera lists for only $160 -- pricier than super-affordable options like Wyze, but easily worth the premium. For $3 per month, you can also get smart alerts, motion zones, 30 days of event history and a few other cool features. In short, the Arlo Pro 4 is a fantastic security camera for most people.

Read our Arlo Pro 4 review.

 

You're receiving price alerts for Arlo Pro 4 (White, 1 Camera)
Chris Monroe/CNET

Setup

Hardwired, indoor

Resolution

1080p

Storage

Cloud storage

Google/Alexa Compatibility

Google Assistant

Field of View

135 degrees

Google's newest -- and smartest -- Nest Cam is a specifically indoor and wired gadget that offers a slew of great features in a pretty package. The wired camera comes in four unique colors too, because who doesn't love a light pink security camera? This "wired" designation separates it from the Nest Cam (Battery), a heftier Google Nest model designed for indoor or outdoor use, that also launched in 2021. Armed with the latest software features like object identification, activity zones, and Google Home app viewing and support, this new Google Nest device has both beauty and brains -- and that's why we gave it an 8.4 review score.

The $100 Google Nest Cam (Wired) is not only the most affordable Nest camera yet, but it's also our favorite from the brand. Thanks to the easy setup, the attractive design and, most importantly, the free smart features, it takes the top spot of all Google Assistant cameras. 

While Wyze currently offers better options for cloud storage and cheaper price tags, the Nest Cam (Wired) indoor security camera is one of the best home security cameras on the market for Google Assistant loyalists.

Read our Nest Cam review.

 

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Home security cameras compared

Our picks Wyze Cam (2020) Wyze Cam Pan v2 Arlo Video Doorbell Arlo Pro 4 Nest Cam
Price $36 $50 $124 $200 $100
Resolution 1080p 1080p 1,536 x1,536 2K 1080p
Field of View 130 degrees 120 degrees 180 degrees 160 degrees 135 degrees
Setup Movable, indoor/outdoor Movable, indoor only Wired, outdoor Wireless, indoor/outdoor Wired, indoor only
Extra Features Live streaming, motion detection, night vision, weather resistance, integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant Live streaming, two-way talk, sound and motion alerts, color night vision, panning and tilting functions Live streaming, arm/disarm modes, two-way talk, motion zones, night vision and an integrated siren. Live streaming, two-way talk, night vision, weather resistance Two-way talk, night vision, 4 colors, object identification, activity zones, and integration with Google Assistant
Review Score 8.5 9.2 8.5 8.5 8.4

How we test home security cameras

Hands-on testing is core to our evaluation of any home security products. When it comes to security cameras, we start by identifying new and test-worthy products from established manufacturers -- cameras you'd be most likely to come across when shopping online or at your local hardware or electronics stores. When these products hit the market, or sometimes even earlier, we get our hands on them and thoroughly test them in a real-home environment over the course of a week.

We begin testing by setting the camera up according to the included and/or app instructions, making note of any difficulties encountered along the way. Once the camera is ready to roll, we evaluate all features, paying close attention to resolution, night vision, notification latency, local or cloud storage and compatibility with smart home ecosystems like Google, Alexa and Apple HomeKit. 

Such evaluations can take less than a day, but we monitor the camera over the course of a week for a more complete look at the camera's performance day and night. And if that general use doesn't give us all the data we'd like to see, we'll create a mock situation -- like staging a porch pirate scenario -- to see how quickly and accurately the camera and app send notifications and record the event.

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.

Home security camera FAQs

What should you look for when buying a home security camera?

There's a lot to consider when purchasing a home security camera because it's a massive, growing category that covers everything from professional firms like ADT and Vivint to standalone DIY devices like cameras, sensors and locks from brands like Wyze and Arlo. The first decision you'll need to make is whether you're looking for a professionally installed system or a DIY security system. 

The next decision you'll have to make involves the device specs and features. Do you want livestreaming? Is two-way talk a priority? What about night vision? Modern home security cameras are loaded with neat extra features: Motion detection, professional monitoring, push notifications, cloud video storage, weather resistance, sound and motion alerts and integration with third-party devices. Narrowing down which smarts you want your device to have will help you make a final decision. 

What's the difference between home security cameras and surveillance cameras?

A lot of the terminology when talking about security and surveillance cameras can be hard to track, not least because people use the terms informally and interchangeably all the time. Basically, surveillance cameras are usually used with CCTV, in businesses and where there is continuous recording. They are meant to record acts as they happen, so they can be investigated later. Home security cameras, by contrast, are often motion-triggered and connected to cloud storage. Often, people install them primarily to deter would-be burglars.

Can wireless home security cameras work without internet?

Many wireless cameras in 2022 cannot fully function without an internet connection. Some cameras -- especially those that are part of a larger home security system -- use alternative radio protocols to transfer information. Those cameras will require a separate hub. Other cameras, if they have local storage, will be able to record and store footage -- on a microSD card, for example -- even if the internet is out. All that said, most wireless cameras will require Wi-Fi to use all their features as intended.

Can your home security camera be hacked?

Cameras can really strengthen your home's security, but they can also degrade its privacy. Hackers have made headlines by spying on people or using two-way talk features with children in their rooms. Simply put, yes, your security cameras can be hacked, but it depends how vulnerable your devices really are. Major professionally monitored security systems -- and even individually sold cameras from reputable developers like Google Nest and Wyze -- include high-end encryption, which scrambles messages within a system and grants access through keys. In layman's terms this means as long as you stay current with app and device updates, you should have little to fear of being hacked via software or firmware vulnerabilities.

Will you be able to tell if a security camera is actively recording you? It depends, too. Most security cameras will include a small light that will turn on when it's recording, though that may not be a reliable indicator if the camera has been hacked. Others, like Arlo's indoor camera, include design features that make it totally clear when the camera is watching and when it's not. In general, though, devices with physical shields are always a solid option if you're worried about maintaining your privacy.

How much should you spend on home security cameras?

Home security cameras can vary widely in price, ranging anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand. It depends on the services, model, features or video storage you want for your camera. With this in mind, you can expect to spend anywhere from $30 to $500 for a home security camera.

Home security cameras don't have to be expensive, though. All of the best home security cameras CNET tested fall between the range of $38 and just under $200. Many DIY options, like Arlo and Wyze, offer a rich set of features, dependable design and a competitive subscription service, but with an affordable price that can be as cheap as $30. While these are on the lower end of home security camera prices, you can certainly find a camera that meets your needs for under $200. 

When you're installing wireless home security cameras, keep in mind that the smart home camera you buy (and your security system as a whole) will only be as good as the quality of your Wi-Fi connection at the location where you plan to install it. So check your Wi-Fi speed before you drill holes in the walls or otherwise mess up your door frame, brick or siding for your home security camera. If the connection is spotty on your wireless security camera, you'll notice significant lag times, pixelation in the live feed and other Wi-Fi delays that make the video quality poor and home security cameras a pain to use.

With a good Wi-Fi connection, you should be in good shape to use your indoor home security camera or outdoor home security camera without any major camera system issues and get clear footage every time. Still have questions? Take a look at my home security camera buying guide.

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