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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.
By
September 30, 2022
Best smart security cameras

In the age of the smart home, we can use our phones and 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 or touch devices. 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 hits a sweet spot in terms of price versus features. It’s fully wireless, works indoors and outdoors, and captures in 2K resolution with HDR. It offers color night vision, and when that’s not enough, an integrated spotlight shines on any intruders.

A magnetic mounting system makes it easier to change angles or swap batteries. Battery life is rated up to six months, depending on usage and environmental conditions. 

You may be asking yourself why you should get the Pro 4 instead of the Arlo Essential Wireless. The Essential is a cheaper alternative, but lacks HDR, drops resolution to 1080p, and shrinks its field of view from 160 degrees to 130. Either way you’ll need an Arlo Secure plan to enable things like object recognition, activity zones, and cloud recording. That’s $2.99 per month for a single camera, or $9.99 per month to go unlimited.

Ring Stick Up Cam Battery

Ring Stick Up Cam Battery
Amazon
  • 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 thoroughly integrated with Alexa and a host of other Ring security products. Technically they support some functions with Google Assistant as well, but streaming video isn’t one of them.

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. This is an option for some other brands too, like Arlo and Wyze, but worth noting.

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 Wyze claims it can spin a full circle in less than 3 seconds.

Also read: The best smart home devices available

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

Wyze Cam Outdoor V2

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. It does require a base station, but a single unit can connect up to four cameras, and it’s small and easy to hide.

The camera shoots in 1080p, recording events to the cloud or a microSD card. You’ll probably want a Cam Plus subscription for person, package, vehicle, and pet recognition, among other perks. It’s worth buying the V2 model of the camera, since that upgrades to a Starlight sensor for better night vision.

Be sure to select a Camera Kit if you’re a first-time shopper. That’s one of the base station bundles.

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

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

If you’re willing to pay for the privilege, 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

A video doorbell helps 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 live in an apartment, wired doorbells probably aren’t an option.

The Video Doorbell 2K is a battery-powered product that connects to a wireless base station. Significantly, the base includes 16GB of onboard storage, so cloud recording is entirely optional. 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 video doorbells

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
Google
  • Supported smart home platforms: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

The Nest Cam Battery is targeted explicitly at smart homes based on Google. If you don’t want to watch video using the Nest app, you’ll probably be streaming to a Chromecast or a Google-equipped smart display, even if Amazon’s Fire and Echo Show devices are technically supported.

Ideally the product is combined with a Nest Aware subscription, which extends event recording from three hours to at least 30 days, and grants multiple Nest products the ability to distinguish familiar faces from strangers. With or without Aware, there’s on-device recognition of people, animals, and vehicles.

In terms of hardware the camera is weatherproof, allows wired or wireless use, and sports a magnetic mount for easier outdoor installation and removal. You can 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. In the event of Wi-Fi going down, the Battery model can keep recording event footage for up to an hour.

Wyze Cam V3

The Wyze Cam V3 mounted outdoors
Wyze
  • 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 a low price, 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.