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.
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 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.
The Blink is a battery-powered indoor home security camera that only costs $100 (£75 or 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, including the Guardzilla, the Tend Secure Lynx and the iSmartAlarm Spot -- all of which cost $100 or less.
The $99 Canary View is the most affordable all-in-one security system you can find. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant, and has free person alerts. It doesn't have a built-in siren, though, which is a typical feature for a self-contained home security system. You also have to sign up for Canary's cloud service to use basic features like two-way talk, the web app and longer video clips.
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.
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.
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.
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 limits its usefulness as a security camera.
Guardzilla's 360 indoor security camera has a 360-degree lens so you can pan around an entire room straight from the app. The $230 camera is also an all-in-one security system with a siren, arm-disarm modes and optional professional monitoring. The app was glitchy during testing and confusing to use.
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.
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.
Honeywell's $450 Smart Home Security Starter Kit includes a camera (sold on its own for $350), as well as two door-window sensors and a key fob. The security camera has 1080p HD live streaming, an integrated Alexa speaker, siren and Z-Wave hub, and 24-hour free video clip storage and facial recognition. While it has a lot of features, the system is unnecessarily complicated to use.
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'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 iSmartAlarm security system.
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.
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 $249 indoor Link-U 4G LTE Smartcam gives you three connection options: LTE, Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Unfortunately, it had a lot of glitches during testing. It also doesn't work with any major smart home platforms and the app is very complicated to use. Look to the weatherproof Arlo Go if you want a camera that works without Wi-Fi.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
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.
At just $30, the Wyze Cam Pan is by far the least expensive indoor home security camera we've tested. Given, its super-affordable price tag, you might expect to have to sacrifice a lot of features and functionality. That isn't the case here. The Wyze Cam Pan has 1080p HD live streaming, free 14-day cloud storage and optional local storage (a microSD card is not included). The Cam Pan also works with Alexa and IFTTT, has motion detection zones and can "hear" smoke and CO alarms and send you custom alerts.
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.