Best Smart Home Security Camera Review Guide For 2020-2021 – Whether you’re concerned about theft or just want to monitor a mischievous pet, home security cameras provide peace of mind with real-time alerts, built-in sirens and other security features. While it’s great that there are plenty of excellent options to choose from, with devices that offer features such as two-way communication, night vision, cloud storage, motion tracking and HD video for top-notch video quality, it can feel daunting to sift through everything out there to find a good match for the wireless security camera system you may have in mind, especially if that solution includes multiple cameras. Fortunately, I’ve tested out dozens of cameras and condensed everything I’ve learned into the list below. To see my picks keep reading our Best Smart Home Security Camera Review Guide For 2020-2021.
Arlo Pro 3: Best wire-free camera WIRE-FREE PICK
The Arlo Pro 3 is our pick for the best wireless security camera because it doesn’t need a power cord and still manages to outperform the competition. Arlo has some of the best smart home compatibility too—it works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings.
We think the Arlo Pro 3 is an excellent choice for a battery-powered camera, especially if you want a quick setup, multiple cameras, and outstanding video quality. Its 2K video captures more detail than 1080p outdoor cameras and records clear video any time of day thanks to infrared night vision and a built-in spotlight.
- Wire-free and weather-resistant design, works with Alexa and Google Assistant, and includes 3 months of Arlo smart service with rolling 30 day cloud recordings
- 2K video with HDR: Zoom in on objects and see clearer details and colors in 2K HDR
- Color night vision: See what’s lurking with color night vision or black and white. Battery life – 3-6 months. Charge time to full (via camera) – 3.5 hours. Charge time to Full (via charger accessory)- 2.9 hours
- Integrated spotlight: Light up the night and ward off unwelcome guests
- Fast and easy wire-free set up: Magnetic mount makes it easy to install and adjust
- Image sensor: 4 megapixels, sensor size: 1/3 inches, max video resolution: 2560×1440 resolution
- 2K video resolution
- 100% wire-free design
- Indoor/outdoor versatility
- Smart home integration
- High price
- 2 cameras required to get base station
A helpful tutorial in the Arlo app makes it a breeze to set up. And the magnetic wall mount makes it easy to install anywhere. While you have to pay for cloud video storage on the Arlo Pro 3, it’s one of the more affordable subscriptions out there at $2.99 a month.
The biggest drawback of Arlo Pro 3 is that it requires a base station that you get only when buying two or more cameras. This makes it an expensive choice, but it balances out if you need more than one camera.
Ring Stick Up Cam Battery: Best outdoor camera
The Ring Stick Up Cam Battery is completely wire-free, so you have a ton of flexibility in where you put it. And it costs around $100, making it one of the most affordable security cameras you can use both indoors and outdoors.
We think the Stick Up Cam Battery is best for people that need a wireless outdoor camera on a budget. Ring also has one of the most competitive cloud storage plans on the market, costing just $3 a month for 60 days of storage. It’s an ideal wireless camera for an Alexa smart home, though we’d like it better if it supported Google Assistant and HomeKit like Arlo does.
- See, hear and speak to people from your phone, tablet or select Echo device with Stick Up Cam Battery, a battery-powered camera that can be mounted indoor or out.
- With Live View, you can check in on your home any time through the Ring app.
- With a Ring Protect Plan (subscription sold separately), record all your videos, review what you missed for up to 60 days, and share videos and photos.
- Place on a flat surface or mount to a wall with the versatile mounting bracket. Add-on the Mount for Stick Up Cam (sold separately) for ceiling mount.
- Watch over your entire home by connecting one or multiple Stick Up Cams to all your Ring devices in the Ring app.
- Easily setup Stick Up Cam Battery by inserting the battery pack and connecting to Wi-Fi.
- For added peace of mind, pair with Alexa to help you keep an eye on your home.
- No power cables to wrangle
- Indoor/outdoor capability
- Motion-activated sensors
- Alexa compatibility
- Tedious process to recharge battery
- Short battery life
We’ve seen reports of short battery life on Ring products (some say it lasts about a month), and recharging the Stick Up Cam is a tedious process since you need to remove the battery each time. While there’s a wired option for this camera—Stick Up Cam Plug-In—you lose the flexibility of installing it anywhere.
You can get a solar panel accessory so you don’t need to remove the battery as often, but it’ll cost you extra.
Wyze Cam Pan: Best indoor budget camera
The Wyze Cam Pan can scan an entire room in just three seconds. You can adjust settings with the Pan Scan feature to automatically scan an area to your specifications.
This little Wi-Fi camera’s motion tracking is also cool—if a kid or dog runs through the room, the camera will follow all the action. (No more arguments about who broke the lamp.)
- Pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) lets you control Wyze Cam Pan remotely using the Wyze app so you can see every angle of your room while you’re away, on demand. Or, have Wyze Cam Pan monitor your room automatically with the Pan Scan feature by setting 4 predefined waypoints. Panning has a 360° left/right rotation range and tilting has a 93° vertical up/down range.
- Live Stream from Anywhere in 1080p – 1080p Full HD live streaming lets you see inside your home from anywhere in real time using your mobile device. While live streaming, use two-way audio to speak with your friends and family through the Wyze app.
- Motion/Sound Recording with Free Cloud Storage – Wyze Cam Pan can automatically record a 12-second video clip when motion or sound is detected and saves that video to the cloud for 14-days, for free. Mobile push notifications can be enabled so you’re only alerted when something is detected letting you stay on top of things without having to constantly monitor the app. Or, record continuously to a MicroSD card (sold separately) regardless of motion and sound. Compatible with 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB FAT32 MicroSD cards.
- See in the dark – Night vision lets you see up to 30’ in absolute darkness using 6 infrared (IR) LEDs. Note: IR does not work through glass windows.
- Voice Controlled? You got it! – Works with Alexa and Google Assistant (US only) so you can use your voice to see who’s at your front door, how your baby’s doing, or if your 3D printer has finished printing. Wyze Cam Pan is only compatible with the 2. 4GHz WiFi network (does not support 5GHz Wi-Fi) and Apple (iOS) and Android mobile devices.
- Share with those who care – One Wyze Cam can be shared with multiple family members so everyone can have access to its live stream and video recordings. Just have your family members download the Wyze app and invite them to your account. Camera sharing can also be easily removed.
- Affordable price
- 360° coverage with Pan Scan
- Smart motion tracking
- Free rolling 14-day cloud storage
- Wired power cord
- Hit-and-miss motion alerts
Plus, you can pick up the Wyze Cam Pan for under $40, making it one of the best values in security cameras. We’re especially big fans of Wyze’s free cloud storage that saves small 12-second clips for up to 14 days.
The Wyze Cam Plus paid cloud storage plan allows for full-length video clips and is better for folks wanting better video recording without buying a microSD card. It’s also one of the cheapest plans from any security camera company—costing just $2 a month or $15 for an annual plan.
One of the only things we don’t like is that you need a power cord, which limits placement options.
Canary: Best smart home camera
The Canary combines home security features like a siren and environmental sensors with a smart home security camera.
And don’t let the small, unobtrusive design fool you. Canary has packed enough security features into this Wi-Fi camera to make it qualify for home insurance discounts from many major insurers. It’s essentially a small security system, right down to a loud siren and quick access to emergency response services.
- Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately). Connectivity : 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
- LET CANARY BE YOUR EYES AND EARS: The Canary All-in-One Home Security System is just what you’ve been looking for. Featuring a full HD 1080p camera with a 147-degree lens view, the Canary can see more or your home to help keep your mind at ease. The Canary also features high-quality sound recording, so you are not only able to see your home, but be able to hear what’s going on.
- BUILT IN ALARM TO HELP SCARE OFF INTRUDERS: The Canary features a built in alarm system that reaches sound levels of 90+ decibels, that’s the same noise level as a running lawn mower! The built in siren is perfect for scaring off unwanted visitors. sensors are 3-axis accelerometer, ambient light, capacitive touch
- GET UPDATES TO YOUR SMARTPHONE: Canary works using the wireless internet in your home. By connecting your phone to the Canary system, you will be able to receive immediate alerts when your camera notices movement and activity. Never be surprised by an unfortunate event with the Canary Home Security System.
- PERFECT FOR PET LOVERS: The Canary Home Security System is also a great tool for pet parents. Have you ever wondered what your cats do while you’re away, or which of you dogs keeps getting into the trash? Well, now you can watch and find out. Set up your Canary camera near where your pet spends the most time and be able to keep an eye on them throughout the day.
- WE’RE ON A MISSION: Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure, and security comes from having the information you want when you want it. It’s the guiding principle behind our work and reinforces our belief that the best technology helps to make you smarter, puts you in control, and gives you access to the information you need. That’s why Canary is dedicated to developing easy-to-use technology that protects, empowers, and has a meaningful impact on people, families, and their communities.
- Camera, siren, and climate monitor
- Learning tech to adjust to your habits
- Alexa and Google integration
- Direct connection to emergency services
- Only 20-foot range for night vision
- Subscription required for some features
- Buggy mobile app
We love the Climate Monitor sensors since they allow Canary to track the humidity, temperature, and air quality in your home. This means that the camera can sense if the fireplace isn’t fully out or let you know if someone left the tub running.
If you subscribe to the Canary Premium Service plan (about $10 a month), the camera gains access to 30 days of cloud video storage instead of the single day included with the free plan. You can also download videos and unlock two-way audio, though these are often a free features with other brands. Overall, the premium plan is good but a bit too pricey for the added benefits.
We wish it had a little more power when it comes to night vision—it only sees about 20 feet in the dark. But the rest of its superpowers still make this little camera a strong contender.
There are so many wireless security cameras to choose from—we barely scratched the surface of what kinds of cameras are out there. Still, we think that the Arlo Pro 3 is a standout product with its 100% wire-free operation.
Its impressive video quality makes it hard for the competition to keep up. While it’s more expensive than most other cameras, the overall quality of the Arlo Pro 3 helps make up the difference in price. With that said thanks for taking the time to read our Best Smart Home Security Camera Review Guide For 2020-2021.