Making sense of home security cameras


If you are looking to keep your home safe, consider a wireless home security camera.  Many new products and features have hit the market recently so we highlight a few of the best home security cameras, including the Nest, Ring, and Amazon’s top-rated product.

With crime rates increasing, many individuals are looking to protect their home with a security system.  Whether to deter or catch thieves or remotely keep tabs on a nanny, pet sitter or housekeeper, a home security camera could be a solution.  But with many options out there, how do you select the best one?  Here are recommendations for the best home security cameras, including wireless, the Nest, Ring and Amazon’s top-rated product.

Ring Security Camera

One of the best options for a wireless security camera is a Ring.  Ring offers both indoor and outdoor versions along with features typically found in home security cameras such as high definition video, two-way talk, and motion triggered notifications.  Ring also offers an ear-piercing, remotely-activated siren to ward off potential thieves.  One of the cool features with a Ring is the ability to set up motion zones (up to three per camera) that allow you to have more targeted access as well as targeted schedules so that notifications only happen when you are away.  Unlike many security cameras that require professional set-up, a Ring provides do-it-yourself installation with customer service available if needed.  Once installed, the Ring is controlled by an easily downloaded app.  However, the downsides are that home integration is only available with Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices such Echo, there is no pre-buffering, and numerous costly subscription add-ons such as Ring Protect, Ring Protect Plus and Ring Assisted Plus that provide additional recording capabilities and customer service.  Although Ring cameras are more expensive, they are higher quality causing Ring to be one of the best values for home security systems.


Best Wireless Security Camera – Arlo Pro 2

If you are looking for an outdoor camera, check out the Arlo Pro 2, voted “Editor’s Choice” for best outdoor home security camera by PC Magazine.  Arlo Pro 2 provides a high definition, super clear video that’s configurable up to 1280 x 720 with better picture quality than Nest.  It also has many other features such as built-in motion and sound detection, two-way audio, pre-buffered video recording, continuous recording capabilities, the ability to livestream from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet or computer and compatibility with smart home devices such as Alexa and Google Assistant.  Arlo Pro 2 uses an Android/IOS app and can be web accessed allowing you to remotely arm and disarm sound, create schedules, grant access to others and tweak camera settings.  In addition, this model has the convenience of being completely wireless, running on a rechargeable battery pack.  And Arlo 2 offers up to seven days of free storage and three months of free tech support.

With so many features, what is there not to like about the Arlo 2?  If you need multiple cameras, it can be more expensive than other home security systems, requires a hub to connect with a wireless network (which is included with the camera/s) and offers lower data privacy and security scores than comparable cameras.  Arlo 2 also only records video when motion or sound is detected but, for a pricey monthly subscription, 24/7 recording is available.  However, considering that it is completely wireless, works well with other smart home devices, and offers a sharp picture with free cloud storage options for event-triggered video, Arlo Pro 2 is still one of the best security cameras on the market.


Best Nest Security Camera – Nest Cam IQ Indoor & Outdoor

If you are looking for a home security system to keep tabs on people or alert you to strangers, the Nest Cam IQ is one of the most “intelligent” home security cameras on the market.  In addition to offering 1080p video resolution, a 130-degree field of vision, 20 ft. night vision and two-way audio, the Nest Cam IQ offers a 4 K sensor and unique familiar face recognition. Not only can this “smart camera” differentiate between a human and an animal or object, but it can tell you that the person walking around is your spouse, or your child or someone you don’t know.  The Nest Cam IQ Indoor also uses HDR which helps the picture look sharper, even in bad lighting conditions.  Those that have been looking at getting Google Home will be pleased to know that the Nest Cam IQ has built in Google Assistant – you can set your cameras and ask Google for the weather report with one app.  However, to run all these features, record and upload video to Cloud storage and download video or livestream to your phone, you are going to need a lot of bandwidth and load speeds of at least 2 mbps.  If you have slow Wi-Fi, the Nest Cam IQ may not be your best choice.  Also, unlike other home security cameras, Nest offers limited mounting options.  If you are looking for a bargain, the Nest Cam IQ isn’t cheap and you need to purchase a monthly subscription to the Nest Aware Plan ($5-$30 per month) to access the facial recognition feature and cloud storage for videos.  Still, if you want a sturdy, well-built home security camera with all the high-end features, the Nest Cam IQ is for you.


Best Amazon-Rated Home Security Camera – Gogloo Home Camera

If you are looking for a basic home security camera, consider the Gogloo.  The Gogloo offers easy set-up via a live video and features such as 360-degree rotation to cover more space, true HD in 1080p for a crystal-clear picture and night vision up to 32 feet.  The Gogloo also sends an alarm to your smart phone when motion detection is triggered.  Two-way audio with a built-in microphone and speaker eases communication and makes Gogloo the smart pick for monitoring babies, pets or elders.  This camera also comes with an unconditional 12-month warranty and great customer service.


With so many home security camera options available, it pays to do your research before purchasing.  View this article by PC Mag for information on models and questions to ask before buying.