The Best Home Security Cameras of 2020

We reviewed the 15 best security cameras; our picks offer unique features and aspects making them capable of covering your home’s safety and security needs.

 Best Overall Security Camera

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

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Our Rating

  • Designed for motion-detected and continuous video recording to capture all camera footage
  • Automatically sends mobile Person Alerts when guests are detected at your door
  • Create Activity Zones using a mobile device to closely monitor specific areas

 Best Camera with Extended Warranty

Simplicam

Simplicam

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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 Night Vision Range

Lorex Security Camera

Lorex Security Camera

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Our Rating

  • Create four motion-triggered zones with adjustable sensitivity
  • Made with a 4K image sensor for leading camera footage quality
  • Includes color night vision for crystal clear camera footage in the dark
  • Weatherproof outdoor security camera

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Home Security Cameras

Home security cameras are a crucial investment in protecting your home. Package thieves and home burglars shouldn’t be able to get away with their deeds unnoticed, and yet it’s likely that they’ll be long gone before you even know you’re a victim. They 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.

The Top 10 Security Cameras

lorex-security-camera-min-300×358

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

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Simplicam

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Lorex Security Camera

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Ring Spotlight Camera

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Arlo Pro 2

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Swann Bullet Camera

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Nest Cam IQ – Outdoor

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Zmodo Security Camera System

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ADT Outdoor Camera

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Vosker V200 Outdoor Security Camera

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Price $178.00 $99.00 $189.95 $169.00 $315.99 $49.99 $349.99 $289.99 $50.99/mo. $519.99
Rating 4.5 4.5 4.5 4 4.5 5 5 4 5 4
Video Resolution 1080p 720p 2160p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 720p 720p 1080p
Two-Way Audio Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes No No No
Wide-Angle Lens 130 degrees 120 degrees 112 degrees 140 degrees 130 degrees 102 degrees 130 degrees 81 degrees 100 degrees 50 degrees
Night Vision 20 feet Yes, range unspecified 200 feet 30 feet 25 feet 100 feet 50 feet 65 feet 50 feet 100 feet
Continuous Video Recording Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes
Cloud Video Storage Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No No No

Security cameras are a great start to securing your home. Explore our provider page to learn about the benefits of a whole home security system.

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.

Outdoor or Indoor 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.

Best Security Cameras

Best Overall Security Camera

1. Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

Our Rating

Our take

The Nest outdoor surveillance camera is equipped with a 1080p HD live video and 130-degree wide angle lens for a clear view of your visitor and all surroundings. With this security camera, you’ll be able to stay up to date on your home’s outdoor activity 24/7 using the Nest app and a smartphone via automated mobile notifications. Nest Cam also sends a ‘Person Alert’ using your Nest app to instantly alert you when someone’s outside of your home.

Stand-out features include

  • Includes night vision for crystal clear camera footage in the dark
  • Two-way audio to clearly speak to guests
  • Records motion-detected activity and continuous video recording (CVR)
  • IP65-certified weatherproof outdoor security camera
Best Camera with Extended Warranty

2. 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. 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
Best Night Vision Range

3. Lorex Security Camera

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Our take

Lorex’s heavy metal home security camera is designed with a 112-degree wide field view, 4K image sensor and 4K video recording to be four times better than 1080p HD video for clear, crisp image quality. With this outdoor security camera, you’ll be able to see crystal clear color camera footage within 200 feet at night. This Lorex security camera also connects to your network video recorder (NVR) to create up to four zones with adjustable motion sensitivity for each.

Stand-out features include

  • Create four motion-triggered zones with adjustable sensitivity
  • Made with a 4K image sensor for leading camera footage quality
  • Includes color night vision for crystal clear camera footage in the dark
  • Weatherproof outdoor security camera
Best Smart Home Security Camera

4. Ring Spotlight Camera

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Our take

The Ring Spotlight outdoor surveillance camera uses a 1080p HD video for crystal clear live footage. It’s battery-powered and only takes 5-10 minutes to install. With the Ring mobile app, you’ll be able to use your mobile device to trigger the camera’s siren when you detect suspicious activity outside your home. You’ll also receive instant mobile alerts to your smartphone when motion is detected.

Stand-out features include

  • Includes night vision for crystal clear camera footage in the dark
  • Pairs with Amazon Alexa for hands-free camera control
  • Two-way audio to clearly speak to guests
  • Weatherproof outdoor security camera
Best for Dual Powering Options

5. Arlo Pro 2

Our Rating

Our take

The Arlo Pro 2 is made to be IP65-certified weatherproof and is built with 1080p HD video. With the Arlo mobile app, you’ll be able to use your mobile device to trigger the camera’s siren when you detect suspicious activity outside your home. The Arlo Pro 2 also records both motion-detected activity and continuous video recording (CVR). This security camera can be used with the included rechargeable battery or plugged into a standard wall outlet.

Stand-out features include

  • Includes night vision for crystal clear camera footage in the dark
  • Pairs with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free camera control
  • Made with two-way audio to clearly speak to guests
  • Weatherproof outdoor security camera

6. Swann Bullet Camera

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Our take

The Swann Thermal Sensor Outdoor Security Camera is a dome-shaped camera that works seamlessly with Swann security systems. The camera is equipped with a 102-degree viewing angle and 1080p camera quality to clearly catch all activity outside your door. It includes a True Detect™ PIR motion sensor to automatically detect, record, and send mobile alerts of suspicious motion-triggered activity.

Stand-out features include

  • Wired camera with a 60-inch coax power cable
  • Includes night vision for camera footage in the dark
  • Made with True Detect™ Heat Sensing to spot warm objects, including people and cars
  • Weatherproof outdoor security camera
Best for Artificial Intelligence Features

7. Nest Cam IQ – Outdoor

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Our take

The Nest Cam IQ is Nest’s latest outdoor, IP66-certified Wi-Fi-enabled camera. The camera is equipped with a 130-degree field of view lens, 1080p HDR and a 4K sensor and digital zoom-in up to 12x for crisp, clear camera footage. It also includes night vision and close-up tracking to automatically zoom in and follow the movement of the person using your smartphone and the Nest app.

Stand-out features include

  • Nest Personal Alerts to detect a person within 50 feet
  • Made with two-way audio to clearly speak to guests
  • Uses a built-in 4K sensor to zoom in 12x for a close-up view
  • IP66-certified weatherproof outdoor security camera

8. Zmodo Security Camera System

Our Rating

Our take

The Zmodo wireless security camera system is IP65-certified weatherproof and 720p HD night vision within 65 feet. Zmodo offers Zmodo Cloud Service to store, share and playback your security camera’s footage. You’ll also be able to see real-time camera footage using the mobile Zmodo app from a mobile device to always know who’s at your home even when you’re away.

Stand-out features include

  • Pairs with Amazon Alexa for hands-free camera control
  • Includes night vision for crystal clear camera footage in the dark
  • Store, share and playback camera footage using cloud storage
  • IP65-certified weatherproof outdoor security camera
Best for Monitored Security

9. ADT Outdoor Camera

Our Rating

Our take

ADT’s Pulse captures sharp 720p images and videos, even in limited lighting, to give you the best view of your home from your smartphone. The Pulse even allows your phone to control your outdoor security camera to see real-time activity from different angles to stay aware of your home and loved one’s safety.

Stand-out features include

  • Automatically receive alerts and HD video when suspicious activity and alarms are detected outside of your home
  • Stay aware of your home’s security activity with a detailed log of all past events
  • Pair with Alexa for voice commands to manage your home, doors, alarms, and outdoor cameras anywhere using
Best for Monitoring Remote Locations

10. Vosker V200 Outdoor Security Camera

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Our take

The Vosker V200 Outdoor Security Camera is excellent for monitoring remote locations like a vacation home or construction site. The camera comes with a SIM Card, SD card, charging cable, and additional equipment. You can choose between Verizon Wireless or AT&T as carriers. This Vosker outdoor camera also runs on solar and battery power, while featuring artificial intelligence (A.I.) to detect differences in activity, such as an individual or vehicle passing by.

Stand-out features include

  • Cellular-based camera that runs on 4G LTE
  • Weatherproofing features for durability
  • Designed with a built-in solar panel for solar power

11. Netatmo Outdoor Security Camera

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Our take

The Netatmo Presence smart surveillance camera gives homeowners 24/7 home security with automatic mobile alerts and a built-in smart LED floodlight. Always know who’s within 65 feet of your home using your smartphone to see real-time security camera footage.

Stand-out features include

  • Includes a built-in smart LED floodlight
  • Store and playback camera footage using Dropbox, microSD card or your FTP server
  • Includes night vision for crystal clear camera footage in the dark
  • HZO protected weatherproof outdoor security camera

12. Smonet Security Camera

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Our take

The Smonet outdoor security camera is equipped with night vision, wide-angle lens and 720p HD video quality. Smonet’s security camera system allows you to connect up to eight cameras to one system to help monitor your home. When motion is detected, you’ll automatically receive email alerts and instant notifications. You’ll also be able to see real-time footage at all times from your mobile device.

Stand-out features include

  • Store, share and playback camera footage using a 4TB hard drive
  • Includes night vision for crystal clear camera footage in the dark
  • 1-year warranty
  • IP66-certified weatherproof outdoor security camera

15. EZVIZ Outdoor Security Camera

Our Rating

Our take

The EZVIZ outdoor security camera uses a 360-degree swivel mounted from the ceiling to show all angles of your home. The smart camera also uses HiFi speakers for the camera’s two-way audio feature. It’s equipped with a strobe light and 100-decibel siren, both triggered when motion is detected. And, with EZVIZ cloud storage, you’ll be able to store, share and playback your security camera’s footage at all times using secure cloud storage.

Stand-out features include

  • Includes night vision for crystal clear camera footage in the dark
  • Pairs with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free camera control
  • Made with two-way audio to clearly speak to guests
  • IP66-certified weatherproof outdoor security camera

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Showing 15 of 15 products

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.

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

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.

Self vs. Professionally Monitored Security Cameras

When looking for the right security camera, do you want your camera to be 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.

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 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, 365 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

Security Camera FAQs

faq-woman-tablet

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.


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Written by

Jalesa Campbell

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

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