The Best Home Security Cameras of 2020

We reviewed the 10 best security cameras; our picks offer unique features and aspects making them capable of covering your home’s safety and security needs.

 Best for Privacy Features

Simplicam

Simplicam

Learn more

Our Rating

  • Designed to capture and stream audio as well as video
  • Comes with a 3-year limited warranty
  • Features video encryption to help keep your recordings private

 Best for Color Night Vision

Lorex 4K Nocturnal IP Camera

Lorex 4K Nocturnal IP Camera

Check price

Our Rating

  • Crisp 4K resolution
  • Access to color night vision in low-light conditions
  • Provides a wide 111 degree field of view

 Best Smart Home Security Camera

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

Check price

Our Rating

  • Includes a built-in Google Assistant for voice commands
  • Easy to control with other Nest smart home and security equipment using the Nest mobile app
  • Ability to recognize familiar guests with Nest Familiar Face Alerts

 Best Smart Home Indoor Security Camera

Blue by ADT Indoor Camera

Blue by ADT Indoor Camera

Check Price

Our Rating

  • Works with popular voice assistants including Amazon Alexa and IFTTT
  • Includes built-in Amazon Alexa voice control
  • Instant smartphone alerts include video previews

 Best Indoor & Outdoor Camera

Blink XT2 Camera

Blink XT2 Camera

Check price

Our Rating

  • Doubles as an indoor and outdoor camera
  • Customizable motion detection
  • Two-year extended battery life
Home Security Cameras

Home Security Cameras

Home security cameras are a crucial investment in protecting your home. Package thieves may even get away scot-free if your home isn’t equipped with the right technology to ID any robbers. The latest outdoor security cameras combine the convenient features of any smart home device with advanced camera technology so you’ll always have an eye on your home. Our top picks for security cameras will send alerts to your phone when they detect motion, be able to record in HD quality even at night, and are designed to withstand any type of weather.

Here are the 10 Best Security Cameras of 2020

The Best Security Cameras

The Best Security Cameras

  1. Best for Monitored Home Security
    ADT Indoor Camera

    1. ADT Indoor Camera

    Our rating

    Our take

    The ADT Indoor security camera connects to your ADT security system to help protect your home. It’s built with motion detection, night vision and 720p HD video quality. When your camera detects activity, you’ll receive video clips to your phone that you can play back. With ADT’s mobile app, you can also speak to others through two-way audio, view a live video feed, check your video history, and much more.

    Stand-out features include

    • 90-degree field of view
    • 720p HD video quality
    • View real-time and historical footage via mobile device
    • Connects to additional smart home and security equipment
  2. Best Smart Indoor Camera
    Nest Cam IQ Indoor

    2. Nest Cam IQ Indoor

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Nest Cam IQ Indoor is the indoor smart security camera for those looking for next-level camera features. The Nest Cam IQ Indoor features a wide 130-degree view, infrared night vision, person alerts, and HD two-way audio. You can also get Familiar Face Alerts with a Nest Aware subscription and use Google Assistant for hands-free control. Stay in-the-know with Nest’s mobile app, allowing you to view snapshots from your camera’s history.

    Stand-out features include

    • 1080p HD video with a 4k sensor
    • Access to artificial intelligence features like facial recognition with subscription
    • Built-in Google Assistant smart technology
  3. Best for Artificial Intelligence Features
    Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

    3. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is a weatherproof and tamper-resistant outdoor camera with all of Nest’s most popular features. This camera boasts a wide 130 degree field of view, provides person alerts, and HD two-way audio. You’ll be able to see who’s outside of your home – day or night from your smartphone. And you’ll get instant alerts to your phone if your camera spots someone. With Nest’s mobile app, you can view a 3-hour snapshot history. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is powered by an AC adapter and backed by a two-year warranty.

    Stand-out features include

    • Supersight
    • Person Alerts
    • Familiar Face Alerts (with Nest Aware)
  4. Best Outdoor Camera System with Hub
    Arlo Pro 3

    4. Arlo Pro 3

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Arlo Pro 3 can help you guard your home with deterrence features like a siren and spotlight, designed to make lurkers think twice. This camera has sharp 2K resolution for recording and a wide 106-degree field of view so you can see more areas of your home. With Arlo’s mobile pap, you can review recordings, set up custom motion zones, and more.

    Stand-out features include

    • Comes with deterrence features like a siren and spotlight
    • Sharp 2K video recording
    • Wide 160-degree field of view
  5. Best for Color Night Vision
    Lorex 4K Nocturnal IP Camera

    6. Lorex 4K Nocturnal IP Camera

    Our rating

    Our take

    Lorex’s 4K Nocturnal IP Camera provides the clarity you need in low-lighting with Color Night Vision™. If conditions are too dark, the camera will switch over to black and white night vision with infrared lighting, allowing you to see clearly up to 130 feet away. A wide 111 degree field of vision allows for great viewing around your property. This camera also uses Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology for storing footage to your NVR. Keep track of person and vehicle alerts with push notifications sent to your smartphone.

    Stand-out features include

    • Color night vision for low lighting
    • Power over Ethernet connection
    • Flexible for use indoors or outdoors
  6. Best Smart Home Indoor Security Camera
    Blue by ADT Indoor Camera

    7. Blue by ADT Indoor Camera

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Blue by ADT Indoor Camera provides a wide 130 degree field of view. plugs into a standard wall outlet for easy control. See crystal clear live camera activity with the Blue by ADT mobile app. You’ll also receive instant motion-triggered alerts anytime your camera detects motion, or carbon monoxide or smoke is detected. The Blue Indoor Camera can store up to 24 hours of clips to playback later. You’ll also get facial recognition to spot familiar faces on the app, two-way talk to speak to guests and custom motion zones.

    Stand-out features include

    • Detects fire and carbon monoxide
    • Uses Facial Recognition technology to spot familiar guests
    • Plugs into a standard wall outlet and includes battery backup
  7. Best for Privacy Features
    Simplicam

    8. Simplicam

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Simplicam indoor security camera is a Wi-Fi enabled camera that protects your video footage with end-to-end encryption. The Simplicam camera also includes a shutter to control when your camera is active. It’s equipped with two-way audio, 120-degree field of view, night vision and motion detection. When motion is detected, you’ll receive an instant alert to watch live footage using the Simplisafe mobile app. You’ll also be able to watch a live video feed through the mobile app. Simplicam is expandable to other cameras and easily connects to other Simplisafe home security equipment.

    Stand-out features include

    • 720p HD video
    • Smart motion detection to reduce false alarms
    • 120-degree field of vision
  8. Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

    9. Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro is designed to deliver HD video with a 4K HDR sensor and a wide range of vision with a 140-degree field of view. Unlike many cameras, this Vivint outdoor camera comes with deterrence features: a red LED light and a warning tone. If a lurker is identified on your property by the camera, the LED light will turn on and the warning tone will sound through the camera’s 85 db speakers. You can playback video clips, check notifications, and more with Vivint’s mobile app.

    Stand-out features include

    • Built-in deterrence features with a red LED light and siren
    • Custom zone-setting
    • Advanced analytics to distinguish real potential threats versus false ones
  9. Canary Pro (All-in-One)

    10. Canary Pro (All-in-One)

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Canary Pro works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The camera monitors your home’s temperature, humidity and air monitoring. It comes with a 147-degree wide-angle lens, 1080p HD video and high-quality audio. This camera also comes with free AI-powered Person Detection to get smart alerts that track motion in your home. Canary learns your pattern and adjusts when you’re home or away to spot suspicious activity. It’s easy to install and connect to the internet wirelessly.

    Stand-out features include

    • 147-degree field of view
    • 1080p HD video quality with two-way audio
    • Includes a 90-decibel alarm

Showing 5 of 10 products

Showing 10 of 10 products

How We Rank the Best Security Cameras

Safety.com ranks security cameras based on the following factors: value, consumer ratings, video specifications & quality, storage, installation, power source, smart home functionality, and monitoring options.

  • Value: We consider the overall value that customers are getting when ranking cameras. Price and video specifications together are considered when determining value, and this influences our ranking process.
  • Consumer Ratings: For our buying guides, we look for security cameras that have high consumer ratings and reviews. Cameras with the best ratings are placed higher on our guides.
  • Video Specifications & Quality: We look for cameras that provide the best video quality, such as high definition (HD) video resolution, and additional features like night vision, two-way audio, cloud & local storage, lighting, a siren, and much more. Cameras that offer these features and more are ranked higher in our buying guides.
  • Storage: We look for cameras that offer local, cloud, or a combination of both storage types. Cameras with a combination of these types receive preference in our rankings.
  • Installation: The best security cameras are easy to install and have flexible installation options. Ease of installation and flexibility (DIY and professional options) are taken into consideration.
  • Power Options: Each customer will have different needs concerning power options. While wired power might be a preference for some customers, battery power might be a preference for others. Flexible power options are given more weight.
  • Smart Home Functionality: Smart technology is now available for a number of products we use on a daily basis. Security cameras that offer Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and various other smart technologies are ranked higher in our guides.
  • Professional Monitoring: Brands that offer professional home security monitoring with their cameras are also considered in our rankings. Typically, professional monitoring is provided through the brand’s home security system. Customers may have to purchase the full system with their camera to access this feature.

Need Help Finding a Home Security System?

Select the features you want and we’ll match you with the right home security provider.

Choosing a home security systems just got easier.

20+ Top Home Security Providers, 100+ Plans, Instant Package Recommendations, Customizable Results

Do you own or rent your property?
What kind of property is your security system for?
What is the approximate size of your home?
Do you want DIY or Professional installation?

Guaranteed Service, Contracts required, Low upfront costs

Good for renters, No contract options, Higher upfront costs

No worries. We’ll recommend packages from both for you to compare

What home security equipment are you interested in?

Motion Sensor, Door/window Sensors, Control Panel, Alarm

Everything in Basic, Mobile App, Remote arm/disarm, Smart Home Automation, Smoke detector, Carbon monoxide detector, Flood & water detector

Everything in Extra, Video camera (indoor/outdoor), Doorbell camera, Video Streaming, Video Record

Top Security Camera Features to Consider Before Buying

Top Security Camera Features to Consider Before Buying

  1. 1

    High-definition (HD) video quality

    The higher the camera resolution, the sharper the images. Ideally, you’ll want a 1080p or higher resolution for the best view. Keep in mind that if you connect your camera to a digital video recorder (DVR) to record your camera’s footage, it will also need to be HD compatible to have crystal clear photos and videos.

  2. 2

    Night vision

    Clear night vision is one of the most important features for outdoor security cameras. To get the best and brightest night view, consider a camera with infrared (IR) technology to sending bright light through wavelengths. The number of infrared LEDs used in a camera determines how far your outdoor security camera will be able to clearly show what’s outside your home. Look for surveillance cameras that have at least 100 feet or better of night vision. Many models also have a built-in IR cut-switch that automatically enables and disables the infrared technology depending on the lighting conditions.

  3. 3

    Pan, tilt and zoom function

    Cameras with remote-controlled pan, tilt, and zoom functionality are ideal for providing coverage to larger areas and allow the user to get the best viewing angle possible without physically re-positioning the camera.

  4. 4

    Mobile control

    Many outdoor security cameras available today are able to live stream a feed directly to your mobile device. If you want to be able to check in during the day or while away for extended periods, this is a valuable feature to have. Be sure to choose a camera that is compatible with your device. Generally, remote access, mobile alerts or cloud-based features require monthly or yearly fees with your home security monitoring provider.

  5. 5

    Cloud storage

    Finding out what type of storage a security camera offers is very important. You’ll want to look for cloud storage, meaning that your recordings will be saved online. Find out if there’s a cap on cloud storage or if it’s unlimited. You’ll also want to know how long your recordings are stored online.

  6. 6

    Activity notifications

    Activity notifications alert the user whenever significant activity is detected near the camera. Find out if you can get notifications via push notifications, text messages, and or email. They’ll keep you abreast of anything happening real-time near your camera.

  7. 7

    Custom activity zones

    Some security cameras allow you to set up custom activity zones, meaning that you choose the areas that are most significant for capturing movement. One of the biggest benefits of this feature is it prevents you from being notified of insignificant activity, like a car driving by or an insect flying by your camera.

  8. 8

    Two-way audio

    Two-way audio allows you to be able to hear and speak with visitors (those who are both welcome and unwelcome). You’ll typically find this feature with video doorbells, but many indoor cameras have this feature as well. If an unwelcome visitor comes by, you can use two-way audio as a deterrence feature.

Understanding Different Types of Security Cameras

Understanding Different Types of Security Cameras

There are a few essential specifications to look for when choosing a security camera. If you’re leaning towards a monitored system, start by comparing providers and offers to pick the perfect one for your home.

Outdoor or Indoor Home Security Cameras

The type of security camera you choose will depend on the area(s) you’re looking to protect. If you want to monitor your home’s exterior, car, or even check in on a pet, an outdoor camera is best as most feature HD video and have weatherproof qualities. Some outdoor cameras that you’ll find today also come with deterrence features that are designed to help ward off unwelcome guests, like an automated light and siren.

If you want to monitor a room in your home, an indoor camera will provide you with the features you need. Most indoor cameras feature HD video, two-way communication, and night vision. With two-way communication, you can use an indoor camera to not only monitor for suspicious activity, but to also check-in on loved ones, like children or an elderly parent.

Indoor Security Cameras

  • Check on the kids in other rooms
  • Self-monitor your valuables
  • Chat with loved ones when you’re away

Outdoor Security Cameras

  • See when a package arrives
  • Keep an eye on dogs playing in the yard
  • Keep an eye on who’s entering and leaving your home

Wired vs. Wireless Security Cameras

Another aspect to be aware of when choosing a security camera is whether the camera is designed for wired or wireless use.

A wired security camera is powered by a cable connection, and in some cases, a wired connection may be required for recording and storing footage. Today, you’ll typically find wired security cameras that are powered over an Ethernet connection (PoE). Wired cameras may require drilling or professional help for installation. One benefit of a wired security camera is that it will consistently receive power, and you won’t have to be concerned with recharging a battery or having sunlight for solar energy.

A wireless security camera may require a cable connection for power, but may use Wi-Fi for storing footage. One benefit of a wireless security camera is its ease of installation. You won’t have to drill holes to run cables, but you may need to up the camera closer to a power outlet. A wireless security camera is also a better option for renters and those who may move more frequently because of the light setup. Here are some of the pros and cons of purchasing a wired or wireless security camera.

Wired Security Cameras

Pros

  • Consistent power
  • No Internet interference issues
  • Better for larger homes and properties

Cons

  • Can require lots of cabling
  • May need professional installation
  • Not the best option for renters or frequent movers

Wireless Security Cameras

Pros

  • Less cabling
  • Can use Wi-Fi for storing footage
  • Great for renters and frequent movers

Cons

  • May need to position near power outlet
  • Can be susceptible to power outages
  • Can experience Internet interference

Self vs. Professionally Monitored Security Cameras

When looking for the right security camera, do you want your camera to be professionally monitored or would you rather monitor it on your own? There are some providers that offer video alarm verification, like ADT, Vivint, SimpliSafe, and Bay Alarm. For these providers, you’ll need to opt into a professional monitoring with them in order to have your camera monitored. If you don’t want to have your security camera monitored, you could choose either (1) a DIY home security provider (2) purchase a standalone camera. Brands like Ring, Arlo, and Nest allow you to self-monitor your camera and or security system if you purchase one with them.

How to Operate Your Security Camera

There are a few ways for your camera to stay connected to power. Some security cameras rely on solar, while others are battery-powered or simply plug into an outlet. A few are even hardwired to your home’s electrical system depending on your home security provider. Depending on your preference, there can be pros and cons to each setup. 

Be sure to think about how your camera will continue to get power during an outage. Many people prefer battery-powered cameras or cameras with a rechargeable battery pack that starts working if power isn’t detected as a backup power source. 

Video Alarm Verification

Another aspect you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing a security camera is whether or not you want video alarm verification. This feature is typically found with home security providers, rather than security camera manufacturers. With video alarm verification, a video clip is normally taken and sent to your provider’s monitoring center, and an agent will view the clip to verify if the authorities need to be dispatched to your home. If you want video alarm verification, in most cases, you’ll need to purchase a professional monitoring plan with a home security provider.

Video Camera Storage

There are two options to store your security camera footage – local or cloud storage. It all comes down to your privacy and security preference. Here’s the difference: 

Local – Most cameras use an SD card to record activity. Once the card is full you’ll need to upload your clips to hardware to continue recording footage. On the other hand, some cameras will automatically record over old footage.  

Cloud – With cloud storage, you’ll use your camera’s mobile app to see live and recorded footage. The camera clips are stored on a private or encrypted network to keep your activity away from hackers. Most companies charge at least $5/mo. for cloud storage. Most monthly plans will depend on your provider, storage amount and other features included in the plan. Some providers offer continuous video recording (CVR) or professional monitoring. Keep in mind, the monthly cost may be more if you have multiple cameras.

Camera Range

The best security cameras provide a wide range or field of view. This allows you to see more of the surrounding areas when checking footage or viewing a live feed. Many security cameras on the market today provide at least a 100 degree field of view. If you purchase a security camera that allows you to set up custom activity zones, you’ll be able to specify areas in your camera’s field of view that are most important for capturing activity. This also allows you to cover vital areas while also avoiding unnecessary notifications.

Mobile App Control for Security Cameras

Many security cameras provide mobile app control. This feature generally allows you to view a live video feed and recordings. Additionally, you can check activity notifications, access two-way talk, and potentially set up custom automations if the camera works with smart technologies like Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit, and others. Some cameras also have deterrence features, like a siren or LED lighting, that can be activated through the mobile app as well to ward off unwanted visitors.

Benefits of Security Cameras

Benefits of 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 is guaranteed to deliver these benefits.
  • Convenient Control

    Today’s surveillance cameras pair with mobile apps to control your security camera using your mobile device. You’ll automatically receive notifications when the camera’s power is disrupted or motion is detected. You’ll even be able to view real-time video, record, and review directly from your smartphone.

  • 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.

Explore Additional Security Camera Resources

Consider a Full Home Security

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

Browse providers
Home Security Camera FAQs

Home Security Camera FAQs

How does video surveillance security work?

In the past, a surveillance security system typically consisted of several cameras connected—either hardwired or wireless— to a digital video recorder (DVR), which recorded the images and displayed them on a closed circuit television (CCTV) or monitor. Nowadays, it’s much easier to have a standalone security camera. Whether you have one camera or several, they work with your home’s internet network to send footage right to your computer or mobile device. Most consumer cameras store data internally, on a removable microSD card, or remotely on the cloud.

How much home security camera coverage is needed?

The camera’s viewing angle determines how much space the camera will cover. Wide-angle lenses reduce the number of cameras required to monitor your home. Some outdoor security cameras have a wide-angle lens that may show a 360-degree view, but the best security cameras have a view of at least 100 degrees or better.

What’s the best outdoor security camera shape?

There are two outdoor security camera designs – dome or bullet-shaped. The dome-shaped outdoor security camera is known to be less obvious to unwelcome visitors because they offer a 360 swivel that makes it difficult to determine their direction. On the other hand, bullet-shaped cameras are more common. They have a cylinder shape that clearly stands out to alert thieves that your home is under surveillance.

How does home security camera video storage work?

If you want to playback your home’s outdoor activity, you’ll need a camera with onboard video storage or cloud recording capabilities. Most cameras with recording capabilities have a built-in secure digital (SD) or microSD slot that allows for sufficient recording space. Once the memory card is full, you’ll need to delete footage or store it elsewhere. Some popular cameras automatically override expired videos, which may not be most ideal if you need to keep a video. On the contrary, some security camera providers offer cloud storage monthly plans to securely store videos on the cloud. You can easily access them anytime, anywhere by signing into your account on your mobile device or using a mobile app.

What energy saving features are available?

Surveillance cameras can eat up a lot of energy. It’s important to find an outdoor security camera that only records when motion is detected to cut electricity costs or battery usage. Some security cameras are also powered by solar panels to reduce energy costs but include a rechargeable battery and adapter to use as needed.

Say Hello to Smart Home

Take a room-by-room interactive tour of the ultimate in smart home technology. See and shop the latest gadgets and see how your home stacks up.

jalesa-campbell-Square-Sized

Written by

Jalesa Campbell

Jalesa develops content in the home security space and contributes to Safety's social media efforts.