Best Security Cameras of 2021

The best home security cameras meet all of your surveillance needs and more. We narrowed down the top home security cameras based on features, technical specifications and other buying factors.
Updated Jun 10, 2021
Written By
Dashia Starr | Home Security Writer
Evaluated over 90 safety products to help you protect what matters most. Check our Methodology
  •  While we’ve historically focused this page on traditional home security cameras, we understand that some people find just as much utility out of doorbell cameras. As a result, we’ve added the Arlo Video Doorbell to our list of top picks.

Home Security Cameras

Security cameras are the eyes and ears you need to keep a close watch on your home. Nowadays, security cameras are easy to install and control using your smartphone. Whether you choose a standalone wireless indoor camera or a wired home security camera system for outdoor surveillance, you’ll have plenty of options. We know that finding the best home security camera can be overwhelming, so we narrowed down our top picks for you. 

Security camera deals

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  • Shop LOREX’s Memorial Day Sale for 25% off sitewide. 
  • Get 15% off Abode accessories with a Starter Kit Order. Use code MEMDAY21
  • Get up to $220 off Arlo on Arlo Pro 3 Spotlight Cameras and up to 20% off Arlo Security Bundles. 
  • Get 40% off Blue by ADT systems with code FLAG40. 
  • Get 30% off a new SimpliSafe system + a FREE camera. 
  • Shop Ring Memorial Day deals starting at $160.
  • Get FREE installation on an ADT video doorbell and outdoor camera. 
  • Shop Frontpoint’s Memorial Day Sale to get 40% off + a FREE doorbell camera. 
  • Get the latest Cove specials and deals to save on systems and equipment. 

Check out more home security deals and limited-time offers.

Deals from these providers are accurate as of May 25, 2021.

The top 5 security cameras

What should I look for in a security camera?

If you’re shopping for a security camera, there are a few must-have features to give you the best prevention, control and peace of mind. Keep in mind that your surveillance camera choice will significantly depend on your home security needs.

  • HD video quality

    The higher the video quality resolution, the better. Security cameras with a 1080p HD resolution or better usually have a crystal clear view of what’s happening at your home. The best security cameras on the market have up to 2K resolution.

  • Field of view

    The field of view will determine how much of your home’s surroundings you can in one picture. Cameras with a field of view of 110 degrees or better usually show more of your home’s view than others. You’ll also want to watch out for cameras that give a distorted fisheye’s view.

  • Digital pan, tilt and zoom function

    If your camera doesn’t have an optimal field of view or you need a closer look, it’s nice to have digital panning, tilting and zooming. This feature is good when you need to see activity outside of the camera’s field of view. Ideally, you should be able to zoom in and out or tilt your camera using your smartphone.

  • Smart home compatibility

    You’ll have more convenience with smart home capabilities. Some cameras work using Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice commands. Some camera providers also work with other devices to control everything with one app or device.

  • Two-way audio

    Two-way audio lets you speak to guests outside your home or kids in the family room using an intercom-like feature. Use the mobile app to see and talk to guests whether you’re home or on-the-go.

  • Mobile control

    Mobile apps give you full control of your camera using your smartphone. You’ll get motion-triggered alerts and see live activity on your smartphone. The mobile app may also give you two-way audio functionality, video storage for easy playback and get person detection alerts when someone is at your home.

  • Storage options

    Security cameras give you a choice between cloud and local storage to store your videos. Local storage will require a memory card. Cloud storage safely stores and encrypts your videos, but they’re still easy to access on your smartphone. Storage options will depend on the camera.

  • Motion detection

    Most security cameras are equipped with motion detection to trigger an alert when someone’s at your home. The best security cameras have custom activity zones to choose the areas that will alert you when there’s any activity, such as someone in your backyard or driveway.

Compare the best security cameras

Our team heavily weighed cameras with preventative features and those that give you control, reliability and the best response. We looked at all surveillance options, including indoor, outdoor and cameras that double as both.

Arlo Ultra 2

Check price

Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

Learn more

Simplicam

Learn more

Abode Smart Outdoor Camera

View on abode

Blue by ADT Indoor Camera

Check Price

Arlo Video Doorbell

View on Amazon
Cost
$299.99$399$99.99$199$199.99$149.99
Indoor/Outdoor
OutdoorOutdoorBothBothIndoorOutdoor
Video Resolution
4K1080p1080p1080p1080p1536p
Power Source
BatteryPower CablePower CablePower CablePower CableExisting doorbell wiring
Installation
DIYProfessionalBothDIYDIYBoth
Video Storage
CloudCloudCloudCloudCloudCloud
Smart Home Compatibility
Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKitAmazon Alexa and Google AssistantAmazon AlexaAmazon Alexa and Google AssistantAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTTAmazon Alexa and Google Assistant
Zoom
YesYesNoNoNoYes
CVR
YesYesNoNoNoNo

Find Your Home Security Match

Answer a few questions to find out which system we recommend for you.

Best Home Security Cameras

  • Best doorbell camera

    Arlo Video Doorbell

    Our rating

    Our take

    The best doorbell camera is the Arlo Video Doorbell for its next-level security features. It gives customers more control over their home’s security using the Arlo app. You’ll still get smart home control and other popular doorbell camera features. Arlo’s doorbell camera isn’t just about the smart home perks. It has the features needed to help keep you safe. Here’s what we love most: 

    • Object Detection to spot the difference between people, packages, objects and vehicles, so you receive fewer false alerts. 
    • If there is an emergency, Arlo lets you respond quicker with Intelligent Alerts. You can alert the police, call for help or sound an alarm in seconds. 
    • Best of all, you can install it wirelessly for battery power or with existing doorbell wiring for continuous power without recharging.

     

    Stand-out features include

    • Flexible setup with wired and wireless installation.
    • Object detection feature to detect packages, people, pets, and cars.
    • Arlo’s Instant Alerts let you call 911, sound an alarm, and call for help from the app.
  • Best outdoor security camera

    Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro is one of the next best options to help keep your home safe from lurking criminals. This outdoor camera uses Vivint’s Smart Deter feature to sound a siren and shine an LED light if someone lingers around your home for too long. You’ll also receive a mobile alert to keep you aware of what’s happening at home. The camera can distinguish between people, cars and animals to help reduce false alerts. And if you need a closer view of what’s happening outside your home, the Vivint outdoor camera has 3x digital zoom that’s easy to control using the Vivint mobile app. But note that Vivint’s Outdoor Cam Pro requires the Vivint home security system for service.

    Stand-out features include

    • Smart Deter feature to sound an alarm and shine an LED light for those lingering in your yard.
    • Pairs with Car Guard to protect your yard and car with deterring features.
    • Continuous video recording and surveillance available with Smart Drive.
  • Best indoor security camera

    Simplicam by SimpliSafe

    Our rating

    Our take

    We love the SimpliCam because it doubles as an indoor and outdoor camera that can be used as a standalone camera for your home or business. It’s most commonly used indoors but can be used outdoors with an outdoor kit. Or you can connect it to your SimpliSafe system for whole-home security. If the camera detects motion from a person, you’ll receive a mobile alert to check your smartphone’s live activity. The SimpliCam includes a smart motion detector to distinguish the heat between people and objects to reduce false alerts. Your clips will also be safe from hackers with 256-bit encryption. If you choose SimpliSafe for your surveillance needs, you’ll have optional 30-day cloud storage and professional monitoring.

    Stand-out features include

    • 256-bit encryption for secure video recording and storage
    • Includes a privacy shutter for peace of mind
    • Built with intelligent motion detection for fewer false alerts

SimpliCam by SimpliSafe video review

  • Best Night Vision Camera

    Abode Smart Outdoor Camera

    Our rating

    Our take

    Abode’s doorbell camera also functions as an indoor and outdoor camera to give you everything you need for your home’s surveillance. When a person is detected, the Abode Outdoor Smart Cam will automatically start recording, so you don’t miss a moment. We love that, like SimpliSafe, this camera works with the Abode system and as a standalone option. However, if you want some popular smart features like voice commands, you’ll need a paid subscription. 

    Stand-out features include

    • Works as an indoor, outdoor, or doorbell camera, and comes with a doorbell mount
    • Voice control using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
    • Intelligent person detection to reduce false alerts
  • Best Indoor Security Camera

    Blue by ADT Indoor Camera

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Blue by ADT Indoor Camera offers good indoor surveillance for renters and frequent movers. It’s built with all of the popular surveillance features, including two-way audio, custom motion zones, and a battery backup if there’s a power outage. Best of all, the camera can detect and alert you to the sound of fire and carbon monoxide detectors. The camera also sends alerts if it recognizes a familiar face, such as your kids or nanny. The Blue by ADT Indoor Camera requires DIY installation, but cloud storage and professional monitoring are optional.

    Stand-out features include

    • Recognizes smoke and carbon monoxide detector sounds
    • Facial recognition included to alert you of familiar faces
    • Optional cloud storage and professional monitoring

Blue by ADT Indoor Camera video review

Other security cameras to consider

Blink Outdoor Camera 

Blink’s new outdoor camera is an affordable, battery-powered outdoor surveillance option. The camera works with Amazon Alexa for voice commands, two-way audio and night vision. It also has built-in temperature monitoring to keep the camera working in extreme heat and cooler temperatures. You can expect a weather-resistant camera with two-year battery life to keep your camera up and running, even during a power outage. With Blink, you’ll have the choice between cloud and local storage using the Blink Sync Module 2. 

  • Optional cloud or local storage 
  • Works with Amazon Alexa for voice commands 
  • Built-in temperature monitoring

Cove’s Indoor Camera 

If you’re looking for a camera with data security in mind, Cove’s indoor camera is a great pick. It comes with 24 hours of unlimited recordings on cloud storage, and most of today’s indoor surveillance features. You’ll get two-way audio, night vision, and motion detection. The camera is easy to control using Cove’s app to see live activity, playback recordings, and control settings. However, Cove’s camera only works with the Cove security system, and only DIY installation is available. 

  • Meets encryption and data privacy standards
  • 24 hours of unlimited video recording 
  • Built with AI detection to reduce false alerts from pets, insects, and objects

ADT Indoor Camera 

ADT’s indoor camera gives you full control over your home’s surveillance with a mobile app, voice control and the system’s touchscreen control panel. When motion is detected, you’ll receive an instant mobile alert to see live activity from your smartphone, record footage and playback the clips later. You’ll also be able to check your camera’s video history and adjust settings using your smartphone. Additionally, you’ll have two-way audio and night vision to see and speak to guests using your phone, even in the dark. The camera must be professionally installed and requires an upgraded package for surveillance features. 

  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant 
  • Only works with ADT’s home security system 
  • Two-way audio to see and speak to guests using the mobile app

Logitech Circle View Camera

The Logitech Circle View Camera is a Siri-enabled camera that can be used indoors or outdoors and is great for privacy-minded customers. You’ll have a 180-degree field of view and 1080p HD video. You can also tilt the camera downwards for immediate privacy or turn off the camera using the one-press button. Videos are stored securely using end-to-end encryption and you’ll have 10 days of cloud storage to keep motion-triggered clips. Logitech’s camera also comes with custom activity zones and easy installation. 

  • Easy “tilt to hide” feature for privacy 
  • One-press button to disable audio and video 
  • Works with Apple HomeKit

Logitech Circle View video review

Scout Indoor Cam

Scout’s indoor camera is perfect if you’re looking for a standalone camera option but works seamlessly with Scout’s packs. The indoor camera has several popular features, including night vision, 1080p HD video resolution and motion-triggered alerts. The moment the Scout camera detects sound, it will automatically record activity. You can see recorded clips using the Scout mobile app. If you choose Scout, you’ll have an easy DIY setup, 60-day money-back guarantee and a three-year warranty. 

  • Works as a standalone camera or with Scout’s security system
  • Motion-triggered camera recordings
  • Three-year product warranty

What is the best home security package for you?

Use our Package Finder to find the right package based on your home security needs!

Understanding the different types of security cameras

The best security cameras are designed to work both indoors and outdoors to give you more for your money. But in most cases, you’ll have to choose between indoor and outdoor security cameras, depending on what area of your home you’re trying to protect. Popular options include Abode’s Smart Outdoor Cam and SimpliSafe’s SimpliCam. Here’s the big difference between indoor and outdoor security cameras. 

 

Indoor cameras

Indoor security cameras help monitor a room inside your home. You might choose an indoor security camera to check on kids in different rooms, self-monitor your valuables or talk to loved ones in another room without yelling. Look for these top indoor security camera features:

  • Two-way audio 
  • Mobile alerts and control 
  • Smart home compatibility 

If you’re thinking about getting an indoor security camera, take a look at the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Two-way audio
  • Smart home compatibility
  • Deter criminals and reduce break-ins

Cons

  • Not weatherproof
  • Possible false alarms with pets
  • May require multiple cameras for whole-home surveillance

Outdoor cameras 

Outdoor security cameras keep an eye on your home’s exterior and surroundings. You’ll still get many of the same features as indoor cameras. But there are a few other features that are especially important with outdoor surveillance. Here’s a short list of top features:

  • Motion-triggered alerts
  • Sirens
  • Facial recognition
  • Custom activity zones

Pros

  • Weather resistant
  • Built-in light and siren
  • Motion-triggered recording

Cons

  • May require professional installation
  • Expensive
  • Battery-powered cameras may lose power quickly

Both cameras can have sleek designs to be less noticeable to intruders. No matter which camera you choose from our list of favorites, you’re bound to have some of the industry’s best features to help keep you safe. 

Next, you’ll want to determine your camera’s power source. You can choose between wired and wireless cameras.

 

Wired cameras

Wired and wireless security cameras have similar features, but they’re powered and installed differently. Wired security cameras are often used by homeowners looking for a more permanent option. The camera will connect to your home’s electrical wiring for power. If you choose a wired camera, you’ll likely need professional installation for a proper setup. Here are some pros and cons to keep in mind: 

Pros

  • Consistent power
  • Fewer internet problems
  • Best for large homes

Cons

  • May require professional installation
  • Requires the home’s electrical system for wiring
  • Not suitable for renters and frequent movers

Wireless cameras

Wireless cameras are more popular for renters who can’t drill or rewire. You’ll likely plug the camera into a wall outlet or use a rechargeable battery. Wireless cameras are easy to self-install. You can manage video storage and other features using wifi for wireless cameras. Both cameras still provide the same features. It just boils down to your preference for power.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Easily connects to wifi
  • Best for renters and frequent movers

Cons

  • Often requires a power outlet
  • May not work during power outages
  • May not work well with poor internet connection

How do you store security camera footage?

For most security cameras, you can store your footage locally, in the cloud, or a combination of both. Here’s a breakdown of each type:

  • Local storage: This type of storage allows you to save your recordings on an SD card, DVR (digital video recorder), or NVR (network video recorder).
  • Cloud storage: This type of storage allows you to save your recordings to the internet. Typically, most providers allow you to store a certain amount of footage on the cloud or footage for a certain time period (e.g., 10 days, 30 days) before the recordings are discarded.

Monitoring

Lastly, you’ll want to determine whether you’d like DIY or professional monitoring for your camera. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from both options.
Professional
DIY
Monthly cost
Based on providerFree
Mobile alerts
YesYes
Alerts emergency responders
YesNo
Contract
Based on providerNo

DIY monitoring means that if there’s an emergency or intruder, you’ll have to alert emergency responders yourself. Fortunately, you’ll save on monitoring fees and long-term contracts. 

Or you can choose professional monitoring for your cameras. Most monitoring centers won’t have access to your camera footage for your privacy, but the company will likely offer video verification to see footage if your alarm is triggered. As of now, ADT, Vivint and SimpliSafe offer video verification services to give you peace of mind. Professional monitoring may require a month-to-month payment or require a contract depending on the provider.

What’s the difference between a security camera and a video doorbell camera? 

If you want to monitor your front door or any entry point to your home, we recommend purchasing a video doorbell camera. We’ve put together a list of the best video doorbell cameras, as well as less expensive doorbell camera options you should check out.

Most of the doorbell cameras on our lists provide HD video, two-way audio, notifications, and more. If you download the provider’s mobile app, in most cases you’ll be able to check your notifications, view live streaming video, clips, activate two-way audio, and more.

Benefits of outdoor security cameras

Outdoor security cameras hold a number of home safety and security advantages. Regardless of the lens, video recorder, or other features, any outdoor security camera guarantees these benefits.
  • Convenient control

    Today’s surveillance cameras pair with mobile apps to control your security camera using your mobile device with instant notifications, real-time video and motion-triggered recording.

  • 24/7 home surveillance

    Whether day or night, your security camera system is designed to watch over your home even when you’re away. It’s powered to automatically detect and alert you of any activity.

  • Improved safety

    If any motion is detected, the camera automatically sends you mobile alerts and records the activity for you to review. The best security cameras also offer a real-time view and are equipped with two-way audio to scare off intruders using your mobile device. Some fully-monitored home security systems also notify your security provider’s monitoring center of motion-triggered activity.

Consider a Full Home Security

Explore our top recommendations to learn about the benefits of a whole home security system.

Additional security camera resources

Security camera FAQs











Home Security Writer

Dashia Starr

Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.

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