Do you find the idea of installing a surveillance camera a little daunting – especially when it comes to your own household? Today’s tech companies have a solution for: Standalone, wireless cameras that are easy to set up on a desk or shelf, and can transmit high-quality, color video (and often audio) to a device of your choice. Here are some of the best home security camera system choices if you are looking for a simple, single device for customizable monitoring.
8 Best Home Security Camera Systems
Most of these cameras are “IP” or Internet Protocol cameras, which simply means that they tap into an Internet connection. This allows them to send images and video to websites, smartphone apps, and similar destinations. Most standalone cameras are IP cameras in these high-tech days, and that includes all cameras on this list.
Dropcam is known for its simple standalone camera solutions, and the Pro model is no exception. Put it anywhere, connect it to a wireless network, and control it through the website or apps on your smartphone and tablet. It comes with zoom, night vision, two-way communication, and a 130-degree field of view, plus cloud recording that allows you to store footage. Of course, all these goodies have their price: The Pro model clocks in at $200. If you want one of the best home cameras for a particular viewing task, this may be your answer.
ZMODO Network IP Camera
ZMODO’s camera offers higher definition than some camera on the market, and includes basic night vision as part of its capabilities. The camera has a strong app focus – it is definitely meant to be used with an iOS or Android phone, and will not play nice with Macs or desktop Internet connections (although, it does offer email and similar features). One of the biggest draws to this simple standalone camera is its low $80 price.
D-Link Cloud Camera
D-Link’s cloud camera is a simple-looking little camera that can tap into your wireless network and provides a live feed of your home. It has some zoom capabilities and can take still images, but it comes with a fairly limited field of view at around 45 degrees. Resolution is also a little low at 640×480 pixels. However, what makes this camera stand out is its extra-affordable price of $60. If you want the best home security camera system on a budget, this model is worth your attention.
The Belkin NetCam is another in a series of devices (like ZMODO and Samsung) that have the simple, white camera stand appearance and offer average functionality. Belkin’s NetCam gets a mention because it comes in several flavors, including an HD model and a model bundled with a WiFi extender. Belkin has a history of developing apps to control its products and this is another model designed for smartphone and tablet control. It also has night vision and SC card recording capabilities. Like many cameras on this list, it also needs a nearby outlet for a power source. Prices range between $100 and $160.
BrickHouse Wireless Pan/Tilt
Brickhouse is in the business of home security, and brings practicality to the table with its MPEG-4 Pan/Tilt 802.11g Wireless Camera. Set it up, connect it, and you can view both live video and audio through Internet devices. The pan/tilt controls can be used remotely, too, but motion detection is a feature if you would rather leave the camera alone. At around $300 this is one of the most expensive cameras on the list, but it may be the best home security camera system that can double as a camera for small businesses and other areas where some security investment is important.
Smarthome IP Security Cameras
Smarthome produces a number of professional home automation products, and the company’s security camera shows the same sort of professional approach. It offers standalone cameras with a 67-degree viewing angle and full pan/tilt functions. Sensors provide it with night vision capabilities and motion activation. It can also email alerts if something turns it on, so you know when to head online and check out your home. At $100 the price is affordable – but the display resolution, at 640×480, is a little low.
Lorex Wireless Cameras
The Lorex wireless camera line combines real-time video with strong night vision capabilities. Depending on what version you get, a single camera can range from $180 to $190. Most of the Lorex models are designed to be screwed into a wall – not so great if you want a simple shelf-based model, but ideal if you want to perch the camera up high on a wall. Lorex is another strong contestant for a small business system, especially since it sells its camera devices in discounted packages for those who want extra eyes on their property.
The latest Samsung Smartcam strikes a balance between many of the other cameras on the market. It offers HD video with motion detection and night vision, plus audio. It can be connected to a wireless system and will happily send notifications if something trips its sensors. This is a great desk-based option for those who want high-quality video. However, it does have some missing features. The camera has a 128-degree angle, but it cannot be tilted or panned remotely. You can choose to save video if you have a memory card, but there are no cloud-saving capabilities. Prices start around $200.
Hopefully, you were able to find something you like among our 8 Best Home Security Camera Systems piece. If you use one that’s different and better, please let us know in the comments!