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The best smart security cameras you can buy

Keep your house safe, whether you are at home or away from it, with these security cameras.
May 16, 2022
Best smart security cameras

In the age of the smart home, we can use our phones and even our voice to turn on a TV, listen to music, or turn on our lights. Perhaps the most crucial aspect of a smart home though is security, and the most important security hardware is a camera.

There’s a flood of smart security cameras on the market, all of which promise remote access and some degree of control via voice, smart displays, or (more commonly) smartphone apps. Some models are better than others, or at least better tailored to your needs. Let’s take a look at the best smart security cameras you can currently buy.

Read: What is a smart home and why should you want one

The best smart security cameras:

Editor’s Note: We’ll update this post as more smart security cameras are released.

Arlo Pro 4

Arlo Pro 4 The best security cameras
  • Supported smart home platforms: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings

The Arlo Pro 4 may well be the best of the best. In fact, the only real downside to the camera is that it’s pretty expensive. 

The camera is fully wireless, works indoors and outdoors, and captures in 2K resolution with HDR. It also offers color night vision, and when that’s not enough, an integrated spotlight shines on any intruders. Battery life is rated up to six months. On top of being weatherproof, a magnetic mounting system makes it easier to make adjustments or swap batteries.

You may be asking yourself why you should get the Pro 4 instead of the Pro 3, which is still available. On paper they’re nearly the same, but there is one significant advantage to the newer model: the 4 connects directly to your Wi-Fi network, whereas the 3 requires a hub. Regardless, you’ll need an Arlo Secure plan to enable things like object recognition, activity zones, and cloud recording.

Ring Stick Up Cam Battery

Ring Stick Up Cam Battery
  • Supported smart home platforms: Amazon Alexa

Ring cameras are popular, and not just because they have Amazon’s weight behind them — they’re user-friendly with quality design and functionality, even if you need a Ring Protect plan for recording. They’re also thoroughly integrated with Alexa and a host of other Ring security products.

There’s nothing dramatic in the Stick Up Cam Battery’s feature set, but that’s what keeps its price reasonable. It shoots 1080p video, and offers other common features like motion detection, night vision, and two-way talk. It’s weatherproof and wireless, so you can place it anywhere as long as it’s within reach of your Wi-Fi network.

Battery life is pretty great too, as it can survive for up to six months on a single charge. If you want to worry less about charging, you can buy optional solar panels.

If you want to save cash, you might consider the Ring Indoor Cam for spaces like your living room. We believe the Stick Up Cam Battery is a worthy upgrade, though, and doesn’t cost much more.

Wyze Cam Pan V2

The Wyze Cam Pan V2
  • Supported smart home platforms: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

While it only operates wired and indoors, the Wyze Cam Pan does something most cameras don’t: rotate. It covers 93 degrees vertically and 360 degrees horizontally, and in fact Wyze claims it can spin a full circle in less than 3 seconds.

Also read: The best smart home gadgets available

The V2 still shoots in 1080p like its predecessor, recording free to the cloud or a microSD card. It’s now equipped with Wyze’s Starlight sensor however, which enables color night vision for a fraction the price of something like the Arlo Pro 4. You’ll need to pay a very low fee for a Cam Plus plan if you care about features like object recognition and web views.

Wyze Cam Outdoor

Wyze Cam Outdoor
  • Supported smart home platforms: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

If you want to go wireless and/or weatherproof on a budget, there’s the Wyze Cam Outdoor. It’s IP65 certified and has a battery life of up to six months. The only real downside is that you need a base station, but a single unit can connect with up to four cameras, and it’s small and easy to hide.

The Outdoor shoots in 1080p to the cloud or a microSD card. Unlike the Pan, it uses standard black-and-white night vision, but the tradeoff is a heat sensor that improves the Outdoor’s motion detection. You’ll still want a Cam Plus subscription for person, package, vehicle, and pet recognition, among other perks.

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

The Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro
  • Supported smart home platforms: Amazon Alexa

If money is no object, then the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro is one of the best smart security cameras for outdoor use. Its twin LED floodlights are motion-activated and give you superior illumination, not just in video but when you’re physically present. Power demands mean the camera needs to be wired, but that’s to be expected.

Lighting aside, you get all the features you’d expect from a higher-end Ring camera. This includes 1080p video, two-way audio, siren sounds, Alexa support, and night vision. It even goes a step further than some with 3D motion detection and dual-band (2.4 and 5GHz) Wi-Fi.

Eufy Video Doorbell 2K

Eufy Video Doorbell 2K
  • Supported smart home platforms: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Even if you’re not particularly concerned about surveillance, it’s worth having a video doorbell to screen visitors and keep an eye on packages. Like other cameras, doorbells come in wired and wireless varieties, but we strongly recommend going wireless in this case for easier installation and replacement. If you’re in an apartment, wiring probably isn’t an option.

The Eufy Video Doorbell 2K is a battery-powered model that connects to a wireless base station. Significantly the base includes 16GB of onboard storage, so cloud recording is entirely optional. Indeed features like person detection and activity zones are also handled offline, so if you want to avoid yet another subscription draining your bank account, this is the doorbell for you.

Next: The best smart door locks to keep you safe

As its name implies, the device records at 2K resolution. Battery life extends up to six months, though you’ll have to temporarily remove the doorbell to recharge it. 

Nest Cam Battery

The Nest Cam Battery outdoors in the rain
  • Supported smart home platforms: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

The Nest Cam Battery is a jack-of-all-trades. It’s weatherproof, works wired or wireless, and uses a magnetic mount for easier outdoor installation and removal. You can also buy a stand to use the camera indoors, though really, you’re better off getting the cheaper indoor-only Nest Cam if that’s your plan.

If you don’t want to watch video using an app, you can use voice commands to stream live video to a Chromecast, Google-equipped smart displays, and Amazon’s Fire and Echo Show devices. You don’t have to watch like a hawk, either, since there’s on-device recognition of people, animals, and vehicles. In the event of Wi-Fi going down, it can keep recording event footage for up to an hour.

Under normal conditions the Nest Cam still records only three hours of event footage, so you may want to consider a Nest Aware subscription. That extends event history to at least 30 days, and grants your Nest cameras the ability to distinguish familiar faces from strangers.

Wyze Cam V3

The Wyze Cam V3 mounted outdoors
  • Supported smart home platforms: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

For those who want a camera that can operate both indoors and outdoors but don’t need it to be wireless, the Wyze Cam V3 has you covered. Apart from free cloud recording (if you choose Cam Plus Lite), the standout feature here is the full-color night vision provided by Wyze’s Starlight sensor.

Should you want to skip cloud recording (or supplement it), continuous local recording can be enabled with microSD cards up to 32GB. No base station is necessary. Be aware, however, that while the V3 is IP65 waterproof, you’ll need the Wyze Outdoor Power Adapter to connect power outside.