DIY cameras to safeguard your stuff

A home security camera can go a long way toward securing your peace of mind, and these DIY indoor models offer simpler installations and better prices than their contract-based counterparts.

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Archos Smart Home Starter Pack

We had mixed results with this security camera starter kit from Archos. You get a few extra sensors along with two low-quality cameras, but a required tablet accessory makes the whole package awkward.

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Editors' Rating

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ArcSoft Simplicam

This isn't the most reliable camera we've reviewed, but its facial recognition feature might be useful if ArcSoft ever works out the software kinks.

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Belkin NetCam HD+ Wi-Fi Camera

This is a solid entry-level camera with an affordable $130 price tag (£105 and AU$170 converted).

Its biggest issue is a fee-based system for storing video clips.

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Editors' Rating

MSRP: $130.00

Visit manufacturer site for details.

Canary

The Canary came onto the smart-home security scene around the same time as the original Piper.

The all-in-one Canary system looks good on paper, but it doesn't offer the same features and performance as Piper.

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Canary Flex

Canary's $199/£159/AU$260 Flex security camera is designed for both indoor and outdoor use.

Rely on the rechargeable battery, which is supposed to last for up to two months -- or simply keep it plugged in. A number of optional accessories, including a Verizon 4G LTE mount, give you a ton of options.

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D-Link DCS-2630L

The D-Link DCS-2630L offers a 180-degree wide angle view, but the camera itself is much too large for discreet home security.

Record video locally to a microSD card up to 128GB (the card is not included with your purchase).

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D-Link Komfy DKZ-201S

D-Link's Komfy is an in-wall light controller with a built-in security camera.

The Komfy's design is a little unwieldy, but the camera does a good job capturing activity in a room or hallway.

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D-Link Pan & Tilt Day/Night Network Camera

D-Link's security cam works well for basic real-time video monitoring, but its notification system is too unreliable.

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D-Link Omna

The D-Link Omna is the first security camera that works with Apple's HomeKit platform.

The camera works fine, but sound alerts aren't available, and there's no Android app. It really is HomeKit or nothing with the Omna.

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Ezviz Mini

Ezviz Mini is a true bargain at just $70 per camera (roughly £55 and AU$90 converted).

Not only that, but it also offers a 720p HD video resolution, motion alerts and local as well as cloud storage. And, Ezviz is giving away the first year of cloud storage for free. It offers the best all around value of any of security camera I've reviewed to date.

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Ezviz Mini 360 Plus

The $80 Ezviz Mini 360 Plus security camera -- £65/AU$105 at the current exchange rate -- has a 340-degree panning angle and an 80-degree tilting angle.

You can adjust the camera's angle manually in the app or opt-in to its "auto-tracking" mode that follows motion activity around a room. Unfortunately, it didn't do a very good job tracking my movements unless I walked very slowly.

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Editors' Rating

MSRP: $79.99

Visit manufacturer site for details.

Flir FX

The Flir FX might be one of the most versatile cameras around today.

The problem is that it delivers a ton of phantom alerts, the video recordings take a while to load and the app was generally glitchy.

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Foscam Plug and Play Wireless IP Camera FI9826P

The technical specs of this one are great: 300-degree panning, 120-degree tilt and 3x optical zoom. You can also store clips locally or via Foscam's cloud service.

The software is badly in need of a mobile-era update, however. This one is only for the PC-centric.

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Guardzilla

At just $100/£80/AU$130, the Guardzilla is one of the least expensive security cameras we've tested. Unfortunately, its performance wasn't on par with its peers.

It has a 640x480-pixel VGA live-streaming resolution and it snaps photos rather than recording video clips.

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Homeboy

The Homeboy is a rechargeable home security camera. It doesn't offer live streaming or HD video, but it makes indoor home security, which is typically tethered, mobile.

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Editors' Rating

MSRP: $149.00

Available at Homeboy $149

Honeywell Lyric C2

The Honeywell Lyric C2 is very versatile in terms of storage.

It comes with an 8GB SD card, free cloud storage, an optional fee-based cloud storage upgrade and optional professional monitoring.

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Icontrol Piper Classic

Icontrol Networks' Piper Classic is a DIY home security system that packs a camera, environmental sensors and motion detectors into its compact frame. The camera has a 180-degree glass fish-eye lens that claims to offer 1080p.

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Icontrol Piper NV

The Piper NV is Icontrol's new security system with "night vision." Complete with a 180-degree fish-eye lens, a 105-decibel siren, a microphone, a speaker, live streaming, free cloud storage, a Z-Wave hub and all sorts of sensors, this thing makes for one fantastic all-in-one home security system.

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IC Real Tech Allie Home

At $599/£419/AU$845, IC Real Tech's Allie is extremely expensive for a standalone DIY security camera.

The cool part is its dual cameras, which allow for a 360-degree view -- and related VR capabilities. However, Allie is very limited in terms of security features.

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Immedia Blink

The Immedia Blink is a $99/£69/AU$140 battery-powered 720p high-definition security camera.

That's a great price for HD, but Blink doesn't have as many features as the less expensive Ezviz Mini.

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Ion the Home Wi-Fi Video Camera

The $130 -- about £105 and AU$170 converted -- Ion the Home Wi-Fi Video Camera is priced to compete with entry-level models, like the $130 Belkin NetCam HD+.

But Belkin's cloud storage starts at $10 per month, whereas Ion the Home has a free, rolling 24-hour cloud storage option.

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iSmartAlarm iCamera

iSmartAlarm is another crowdfunded home security system.

With packages starting at $199 (about £260/AU$260 converted) and no required monthly fees, this is a decent DIY option -- just not if you want a good camera. We had a really hard time getting it to work.

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iSmartAlarm iCamera Keep

iSmartAlarm's previous iCamera was clunky and tough to set up. This upgraded version is much easier to recommend, but it doesn't currently offer auto-recording or save clips for later review.

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iSmartAlarm iCamera Keep Pro

iSmartAlarm's new iCamera Keep Pro can pan 350 degrees and tilt 40 degrees.

Similar to the Zmodo Pivot, it's designed to change position to capture motion activity.

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MSRP: $190.00

Visit manufacturer site for details.

iSmartAlarm Spot

The iSmartAlarm Spot is designed to work either alone or with iSmartAlarm's broader home-security system.

It's a tiny cam with solid specs that can even detect the audio frequency of most mainstream smoke detectors and send you a related alert.

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Editors' Rating

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Kidde RemoteLync

The Kidde RemoteLync has the same hardware as the Homeboy security camera.

The RemoteLync is battery-powered and doesn't offer a live video feed. Instead, this siren-equipped model is supposed to alert you if any unexpected activity takes place.

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Kodak Video Monitor CFH-V20

The $150 (£120/AU$190 at the current exchange rate) Kodak Video Monitor is priced well for what it offers -- 720p HD video quality, a 180-degree field of view, night vision, motion detection and two-way audio.

It's also compatible with USB's so you can attach a battery pack for use on-the-go.

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LG Smart Security

LG's Smart Security device works with ADT's contract-free Canopy service. You can use the related Alexa Skill to control some features with your voice.

This product is similar to the Piper and Canary due to its built-in siren, but it doesn't have free cloud storage, and its app is a little confusing.

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Logi Circle

Logi's $200/£159/AU$260 Circle camera looks kind of neat, but it offered a counterintuitive combination of features that seriously detract from its overall value.

This battery-powered camera has 1080p resolution with motion alerts and more, but its people detection feature was inconsistent, its rechargeable battery only lasts a few hours, and it doesn't work with any other smart-home products or platforms.

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Lucis NuBryte

Lucis' NuBryte is a wall-mounted panel designed to handle a variety of functions room-to-room.

Control your lighting, pull up a calendar or view the built-in camera's live feed. It's similar to the Wink Relay, but Lucis wants you to install the NuBryte in every room in your home -- a pricey proposition considering its $199 price tag (about £260/AU$260, converted).

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Manything

While this technically isn't a camera, this Android and iOS app can turn an old phone into a connected security camera for free (BYO stand). The image quality is not as good as that of most dedicated cameras. Again, though: free.

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Editors' Rating

Free

Myfox

Myfox is a sleek-looking security kit to be sure, but it definitely sacrifices functionality for design.

For instance, the hub is oversized and the camera's base isn't easy to adjust. The app was glitchy, too.

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Nest Cam Indoor

The Nest Cam Indoor is Nest's Dropcam Pro replacement. And although it looks similar to the Pro at first glance, it has a couple of design elements that make it stand out, including a rotating stand and a magnetic base.

It also offers full 1080p streaming resolution and is expected to integrate with the Works with Nest initiative at a later date.

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Netatmo Welcome

The Netatmo Welcome is only the second security camera we've reviewed with face recognition technology.

And where ArcSoft's Simplicam regularly misidentified faces, the Welcome nailed it with 100 percent accuracy.

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Netgear Arlo

Netgear's Arlo security cameras are battery-powered and rated for both indoor and outdoor use. That means that you can stick one in your foyer and another on your back porch to see what's happening in and around your home.

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Netgear Arlo Pro

Netgear's $250/£300/AU$325 Arlo Pro security camera looks very similar to the original Netgear Arlo (still sold in stores).

But this model adds in rechargeable battery power rather than the pricey CR123 batteries that go in the first-gen model.

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Netgear Arlo Q

The 1080p HD Netgear Arlo Q holds its own alongside the Nest Cam Indoor.

It has motion and sound alerts, two-way audio, night vision and activity zones. It offers free event-based cloud storage, and you can pay a monthly fee for continuous recording.

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Oco

The Oco HD Wi-Fi Camera costs $149 in the US, £109 in the UK and AU$199 in Australia.

While the Oco has the same design as ArcSoft's Simplicam, it is missing some advanced features like face recognition.

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Oplink

You can buy Oplink's IP cameras individually for $100/£80/AU$130 each or as part of a kit, like the brand's $350 Oplink Security TripleShield.

These cameras have motion detection and night-vision capabilities and require a 16GB flash drive for local storage. $10 monthly fees apply for group monitoring and event recording.

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People Power Presence

The Presence app lets you use an old Android or iOS device as a security camera. Simply download the app and follow the instructions to get set up in mere moments. It's easy and, best of all, free, but it doesn't have an IFTTT channel like Manything.

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Editors' Rating

Free

Salient Eye

Salient Eye competes with the Manything and Presence apps. Where its counterparts let you live-stream for more of an on-demand/webcam experience, Salient Eye is for home security only. It has a ridiculously loud siren and lets you arm and disarm the system and set email or text alerts as needed.

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Editors' Rating

Free

Samsung SmartCam HD Plus

Samsung's SmartCam HD Plus is the next iteration of the brand's existing SmartCam HD Pro.

It features 1080p live streaming, night vision, motion alerts and local storage via an included microSD card slot.

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Samsung SmartCam HD Pro

Samsung's SmartCam HD Pro is a direct Nest Cam Indoor competitor, but it didn't quite match the crispness of Nest Cam's videos on either the Web or its mobile app. Its components also felt cheap in comparison. It does have a ton of useful features, though, including local SD card storage.

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Samsung SmartCam PT

The $229/£185/AU$300 Samsung SmartCam PT has a 350-degree panning angle, a 155-degree tilting angle and 1080p HD resolution.

It's a decent camera, but it doesn't currently work with Samsung's smart-home platform, SmartThings, and its related SmartCam Android and iOS app is very outdated and frustrating to use.

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Samsung Wisenet-SmartCam A1

The Samsung Wisenet-SmartCam A1 is actually a two-camera kit. It includes a cylindrical indoor camera with 1080p HD video resolution, 350-degree panning and a 130-degree field of view.

The battery-powered outdoor camera has 720p HD video resolution.

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Visit manufacturer site for details.

Sentri

Sentri is a tablet-shaped security gadget. Use the interface to check in on the ambient temperature, humidity and air quality as well as your local forecast.

Then, you can view a live stream on the related Sentri Android or iOS app since it also comes with a built-in HD camera.

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Somfy One

Smart-window-shade company Somfy purchased smart-home security startup Myfox in 2016.

Now Somfy is introducing the Somfy One, a $229 (£185 or AU$320 converted) all-in-one security camera. But this model is supposed to come with hardware accessories from Myfox's original product lineup.

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Viper Home

This camera comes as a part of a larger home security system from car alarm giant Viper. The camera itself is competitive, but the real bonus is that it works in conjunction with Viper's whole home kit, which also integrates with your car. No other camera or security kit we know of can say the same, at least not yet.

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Withings Home Plus

Withings Home costs $200 --roughly £150 in the UK and AU$275 in Australia. It has some interesting features, like a sensor that detects volatile organic compounds in the surrounding air.

It also offers a 24-hour time-lapse of activity, a two-day event log and optional continuous video recording for an additional fee.

This model replaces the original Withings Home.

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Zmodo Pivot

Zmodo's Pivot has one really neat feature -- 360 degrees of built-in motion sensors.

Whenever the sensors detect activity, the camera will rotate to see and record it. It didn't always capture the full event, but it generally did a good job following motion.

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