1. Arlo Pro: Best Wire-Free Camera
Arlo Pro tops our list of the best wireless security cameras because it’s truly wireless (no power cords) and one of the most versatile cameras we’ve encountered. It works indoors or outside and delivers a clear picture on sunny days, under artificial light, and in the dark.
Add the super-simple installation process, and it’s hard to resist the Arlo Pro’s charms.
Our primary concerns are the number of alerts and the hypersensitivity of the motion sensor. Plus, you have to buy a base station, which pushes your entry-level price over $200. Read our full Arlo Pro review.
- 100% wire-free design
- Indoor/outdoor versatility
- Easy setup
- Smart home integration
- High price
- Required base station
- Oversensitive motion detection
2. Wyze Cam Pan: Best Budget Camera
This little Wi-Fi camera 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.
The Wyze Cam’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.) Plus, you can pick up the Wyze Cam for under $40.
One of the only things we don’t like is that you’re tied down to a power cord, which limits placement options. https://prep-101.com/shop/
- Affordable price
- 360° coverage with Pan Scan
- Smart motion tracking
- Free rolling 14-day cloud storage
- Wired power cord
- Rough motion tracking
- Hit-and-miss motion alerts
3. Canary All-in-One Indoor Security Camera: Best Smart Home Camera
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.
The Canary All-in-One can sense if the fireplace isn’t fully out or let you know if someone left the tub running. We wish it had a little more power when it comes to night vision, though—it only has sight for about 20 feet in the dark.
- Camera, siren, and climate monitor
- Learning tech to adjust to your habits
- Alexa integration
- Direct connection to emergency services
- Only 20-foot range for night vision
- Subscription requirement for some features
- Buggy mobile app
4. Ring Spotlight Cam: Battery Pick
Ring Spotlight Cam keeps an eye on the exterior of your home, and it can be installed anywhere. You’re not limited to locations near a power supply, and you don’t have to drag and secure cables.
This wireless camera runs on a rechargeable battery—or you can opt for the solar version. We like the addition of a spotlight as an extra intruder deterrent. Plus you can talk to visitors even when you’re not at home, thanks to two-way communication.
Downsides include the price (around $200) and reports of short battery life.
- No power cables to wrangle
- Built-in spotlight
- Motion-activated sensors
- Smart home compatibility
- Higher price
- Shorter battery life
- Wi-Fi connection problems
Some Ring users have reported security breaches in their devices that allow bad actors to use the two-way communication and view the video feed. In a statement to SafeWise, Ring noted that these breaches can be avoided by using strong, unique passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, changing passwords regularly, and adding authorized users instead of sharing credentials.
We still like Ring products, but we also recommend users follow best security practices for all internet-connected devices.
5. Reolink Argus 2 Wireless Security Camera:Indoor-Outdoor Pick
We like the Reolink Argus 2 because it works just as well indoors as it does outside. Its starlight night vision gives you clear images up to thirty-six feet without any extra ambient light.
This camera uses a rechargeable battery or solar power, so you have a lot of flexibility about where to place it.
Setup is easy, but one glitch is that you have to set up cameras in the mobile app, which is only available on mobile devices. This can be tedious if you plan to set up multiple cameras around your property.
- Email and push notifications
- Built-in microSD card slot
- Free video playback via Reolink app
- No base station
- Wi-Fi connectivity issues
- No web viewing capability
- Motion detection delays
6. Amcrest ProHD Indoor: Free Storage Pick
At SafeWise, we’re Amcrest fans, and this wireless indoor security camera doesn’t disappoint. Its remote pan and tilt function, easy setup, and variety of video storage options make this one of the best cameras available for under $100.
Unfortunately, the user manual is hard to follow, and the camera lens rotation is limited if you mount the Amcrest ProHD on the wall.
But we still like the free cloud storage and the addition of two-way talk.
- Remote pan and tilt
- Multiple storage options
- Two-way communication
- Smart digital zoom
- Limited rotation when mounted
- Confusing user manual
- Laggy live streaming
7. Amazon Cloud Cam: Voice Control Pick
It’s no surprise that Amazon’s wireless security camera would be besties with Amazon’s Alexa. But we’re bummed that you can’t use some of the camera’s coolest features without a Cloud Cam subscription.
You do get twenty-four hours of video clips stored for free, but you need the subscription to support multiple cameras, use person detection, or set motion zones to limit false alarms.
Even without the extra perks, it’s still a good camera to keep an eye on kids and pets when you’re away.
- 24 hours of free video clips
- Compatibility with Alexa, Fire TV
- Viewing options on mobile device or PC
- Intelligent alerts that work with wearables
- Required Cloud Cam subscription for full function
- Mediocre night vision
- Limited scheduling options
8. Google Nest Cam Indoor: Best High-Tech Camera
Google Nest Cam is awesome when it comes to image, video, and sound quality. It’s too bad, though, that you have to pay so much to get that high quality.
We like the smart functions and home automation compatibility of the Nest Cam Indoor, but many of the cameras we looked at offer the same perks at a more reasonable price.
The fact that you can’t use many of the best features (including video recording) unless you sign up for a monthly subscription is a big downer.
- Great video quality
- Compatibility with Alexa, other Nest products
- Crystal clear two-way audio
- Quality design and aesthetic
- High price point
- Required Nest Aware subscription for coolest features
- Poor Wi-Fi connectivity
9. YI Dome Camera: Audio Quality Pick
This wireless security camera makes us think of R2-D2. It’s cute and looks like the type of tech you can count on to stay in touch with kids and pets when you can’t be at home.
The anti-noise filter makes it easy to listen for baby’s cries or chat with kids about homework after school. You can even tell Rover to get off the sofa. Another great feature of the YI Dome Camera is unlimited free cloud storage.
But watch out if you’re an Android user—there are several reported issues with the Android app.
- Cute design
- Motion tracking
- Anti-noise filter for clear audio
- No cloud storage limit
- Limited night vision range
- Android issues
- Difficult setup
10. Abode Iota: Home Security Pick
The Abode Iota is a high-end home security camera and security system in one. This one, compact device delivers two-way talk, high video quality, and sensitive motion detection.
It also comes with the option to add 24/7 professional monitoring. That gives you a direct link to help through a monitoring center without buying any additional security equipment.
Best of all, Adode’s professional monitoring starts at just $20 per month and there’s no contract required.
- 24/7 monitoring available
- Built-in siren
- Entry sensors
- Key fob control
- Small size that limits security range
- Poor sound quality
Things to Consider Before You Buy
Can my security camera be hacked?
The unfortunate truth is that, yes, security cameras can be vulnerable to hacking—but the good news is that you can do things to keep hackers out.
Nearly every security camera we looked at supports encryption. That means that the data streamed from the camera (like videos of your kids after school) is protected from prying eyes.
No matter what security features come with your camera, we’ve got some tips to help you maximize the privacy of your security cameras.
- Buy a camera with a recognized name and purchase it from a trusted seller.
- Make sure your home Wi-Fi network is secure.
- Create unique, strong passwords for your camera and any apps you use to access it.
- Keep firmware updated on your camera and your Wi-Fi router.
- Turn off remote viewing when you don’t need it.
- Block the lens of your camera when you’re not using it—a post-it or a piece of painters tape will work.
Will a security camera work as a baby/kid/pet monitor?
We’ve learned that many people want a wireless security camera to keep an eye on the people and pets they love. If this is your goal, here are some things to consider:
- Two-way communication: Do you want to listen in and talk to the pets or people you are monitoring?
- Night vision: Clear images in low light are especially important if you want to use the camera as a baby monitor.
- Field of view: Most security cameras are designed with a wide-angle lens, while baby monitors and nanny cams often use a more narrow range of vision to focus on baby.
- Pan and tilt: If you’re viewing pets or older kids remotely from the office or on a beach, you may want to be able to move the camera angle.
Can an indoor camera do double duty looking out a window?
This is another thing people want their wireless camera to do—watch things inside during the day, and keep an eye on what’s going on outside after dark. But this rarely works.
Most indoor security cameras will pick up glares and reflections when aimed out a window. This obscures the outside view, making it useless.
If both outdoor and indoor security are a priority for you, we recommend getting the right type of camera for each area. You may be able to find an indoor camera that claims to be specifically designed to minimize the glare and reflection of a window, but be sure to read a lot of customer reviews to verify that those claims are accurate.
Is an indoor wireless camera enough security?
If your goal is to protect against intruders, we recommend an outdoor camera first and foremost.
Outdoor security cameras are designed to deter criminals and provide an early warning before someone enters your home. While indoor security cameras have helped people catch a burglar after the fact, you have a better chance of sending a thief running with an outdoor camera.
And if you want to be connected to the police, you should look into security cameras that come with an option to add professional monitoring.