Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

The Best Smart Home Cameras to Buy in 2020

It doesn’t matter if you’re building a smart home around Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple’s HomeKit – there’s a smart home camera that’ll work for you.

nest cam iq
Crate & Barrel

Smart cameras are running home security companies like ADT out of business. Brinks’ home security division went bust a couple of years ago, and it all stands to reason — home security cameras are to subscription-based security systems what HBO GO is to cable. Plus, there’s no need to shell out a lot for something that you only use one percent of the time. The new generation of smart cameras are perfect for a modern smart home. The only question left is: which one is right for your home?

Nest Cam IQ (Indoor and Outdoor)

best home smart cameras
Courtesy

These are the upgraded versions of the Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor. The biggest difference is that the two IQ cameras have a 4K image sensor, which enables a feature called “Supersight,” which allows the cameras to identify familiar and unfamiliar faces, as well as zoom in and track those subjects while they’re in the frame. The IQ cameras will also send you real-time alerts when it detects motion (should you enable it). The catch is that in order to get these premium features, you’ll need to have a Nest Aware subscription.

Compatible with: works with Alexa and Google Assistant
Subscription: $5+ per month for extended cloud storage and intelligent alerts
Wired or portable: wired
Storage: 3 hours of free cloud storage; Nest Aware subscription gets you up to 30 days of cloud storage

Price: $299 (Indoor); $399 (Outdoor)

BUY NOW BUY NOW

Arlo Ultra 2 Spotlight

best home smart cameras
Courtesy

Arlo’s home security cameras are unique because they're portable and battery-powered, meaning you can place them anywhere around your house. And the Ultra 2 Spotlight is the best line of security cameras that Arlo makes. They shoot the best quality video (4K with HDR) with the widest field of view. They also work with all the major smart home ecosystems, including Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. It's a great option for people willing invest in a multi-camera system. (You can always purchase additional add-on cameras later down the road.)

Compatible with: works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit
Subscription: Yes, with the purchase you get a one-year free subscription to Arlo Smart
Wired or portable: battery powered
Storage: 7-days cloud storage free; up to 30 days with subscription; internal storage via microSD

Price: $300+

BUY NOW

Wyze Cam V3

best home smart cameras
Courtesy

The Wyze Cam V3 is essentially a more rugged (IP65) version of its predecessor, the Wyze Cam V2, and it's still the cheapest smart security you can buy. But despite its super-low price and admittedly cheap design, it actually packs most of the same features as other indoor security cameras. It shoots 1080p video, supports two-way talk, and it will automatically record video clips (up to 12 seconds) if it detects motion or hears a loud sound. You can also access a live feed any time you want by opening the Wyze app. The kicker is that it comes free with 14 days of cloud storage, without any subscription, which is huge.

Compatible with: Alexa and Google Assistant
Subscription: $1.49 per camera for 14-day cloud storage.
Wired or portable: wired
Storage: 128MB, microSD card (sold separately)

Price: $20

BUY NOW

The Most Important Features To Look For

Most of today’s home security cameras have a lot in common. Motion sensors, night vision, two-way talk and a companion app that allows you to, at any time, get a live feed of what’s happening in front of the camera are all standard baseline features. When it comes to differences, there are four main things to consider:

Compatibility: If you already own smart home devices, you’ll want a home security camera that plays well with them. An Alexa-only camera is likely a bad fit for your Google-based smart home no matter how cheap or capable is.

Price: When it comes to the basics, affordable options like the Wyze Cam v3 will have you covered with features like 24/7 live feed, two-way talk, night vision, motion alerts. More expensive cameras can offer better app experiences or advanced (but niche) functionality. Generally, a cheaper camera will work just fine, especially to start.

Subscription: Many smart home security cameras require a monthly or annual subscription fee to get its more advanced features like facial recognition, person alerts, the ability to share clips and to access recordings stored in the cloud. You likely won’t need a subscription like this to see what’s going on live, but factor in the cost if you require more than that.

Wired or Battery: Some security cameras are battery-powered, giving you more freedom in where they are placed, at the cost of having to remember to charge them. Depending on your situation, the tradeoff might be worth it.

Here’s the rundown of our favorite families of home security cameras, and the models available to suit various needs . Remember, just because a camera is expensive doesn’t necessarily make it immediately better. A lot of the more expensive options are only worth buying if you know you’ll use it a lot and you’re willing to pay a reoccurring subscription fee.

Wyze Cam Pan

Wyze-Cam-Pan-gear-patrol

The Wyze Cam Pan is essentially an upgraded version of the Wyze Cam. It has all the same abilities but it “pans,” hence the name. If you open the Wyze app, you can actually control what the camera is looking at. You can tilt it left or right, up or down. Unlike the cheaper Wyze Cam, the Wyze Cam Pan offers motion tracking; if motion is detected in a specific area of its field of view, the camera will use its Zoom capabilities to track the subject. A downside is that the Pan doesn’t have a magnetic base or stand.

Compatible with: Alexa and Google Assistant
Subscription: $1.49 per camera per month for 14-day cloud storage.
Wired or portable: wired
Storage: 128MB, microSD card (sold separately)

Price: $30

BUY NOW

Nest Cam (Indoor and Outdoor)

Nest-Cam-Indoor-and-Outdoor-gear-patrol

The Nest Cam comes in two different models, one for indoors and one for outdoors, and both are the most entry-level security cameras that the company makes. The two cameras have pretty much the exact same abilities – same field of view, video resolution, night vision, alerts and storage – but there are some differences. The Indoor camera has better zoom abilities (8x versus 4x optical zoom), while the Outdoor camera is weather-resistant and comes with a much longer cord (25 feet vs 10 feet). Overall, these are the most entry-level security cameras in the Nest lineup.

Compatible with: works with Alexa and Google Assistant
Subscription: $5+ per month for extended cloud storage and intelligent alerts
Wired or portable: wired
Storage: 3 hours of free cloud storage; Nest Aware subscription gets you up to 30 days of cloud storage

Price: $130 (Indoor); $199 (Outdoor)

BUY NOW BUY NOW

Blink Mini

The-Best-Smart-Home-Cameras-of-2020-gear-patrol-Blink-Mini

Released in April 2020, the Blink Mini is the company’s newest, smallest and most affordable smart home camera. It’s a camera that only works with Alexa, and therefore is really optimized for homes that already use Alexa as a voice assistant, as well as an Amazon Fire TV, Fire Tablet, Echo Show or Echo Spot (with any of these devices you can ask Alexa to show you a live feed from a specific Blink Mini).

Compatible with: works with Alexa
Subscription: $3/month (or $30/year) for 60 days of rolling video storage for a single camera. $10/month (or $100/year) for unlimited cameras
Wired or portable: wired
Storage: subscription or external local storage module

Price: $35

BUY NOW

Ring Indoor Cam

Ring-Indoor-Cam-gear-patrol

The Indoor Cam is a smaller and cheaper version of Ring’s Stick Up Cam (below), and it has most of the same abilities as every other entry-level security camera on the market. The difference is that, if you already own Ring’s video doorbell or security system, any of Ring’s cameras will work seamlessly with that existing ecosystem. They’ll also work well with Alexa smart ecosystem. The Indoor Cam is a solid smart camera for anybody building a smart home around Amazon Alexa and people who already have a Ring smart home device.

Compatible with: works with Amazon Alexa
Subscription? Yes, Ring offers two different cloud storage subscription options, a Protect Basic ($3/month) and Protect Plus ($10/month)
Wired or portable: wired
Storage: no free cloud storage

Price: $60

BUY NOW

Ring Stick Up Cam

Ring-Stick-Up-Cam-gear-patrol

The Stick Up Cam comes in three different models – wired (Plug-In), battery-powered (Battery) or solar-powered (Solar) – and it’s also essentially a larger (and slightly better) version of Ring’s Indoor Cam. All three models shoot 1080p video. The battery-powered models come with a rechargeable battery pack and, since they’re portable, you can stick them (or use included wall mounts) to place them anywhere in your home that has Wi-Fi. A big difference from the Indoor Cam is that the Stick Up Cam are designed for indoor and outdoor use, which is why they’re more expensive. If you just want an entry-level indoor security camera, the Ring Indoor Cam probably makes more sense. However, if you want a more versatile camera that you can place essentially anywhere, that’s where the Stick Up Cam comes in.

Compatible with: works with Amazon Alexa
Subscription: Yes, Ring offers two different cloud storage subscription options, a Protect Basic ($3/month) and Protect Plus ($10/month)
Wired or portable: wired, battery-powered or solar powered
Storage: no free cloud storage

Price: $100 (Plug-In); $100 (Battery)

BUY NOW BUY NOW

Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight


arlo pro 4 spotlight
Arlo

The Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight is essentially a more affordable version of the company's Ultra 2 Spotlight — with some key tradeoffs. It captures 2K video instead of 4K, and doesn’t have quite the same field of view. You only get a 3-month free trial of Arlo Smart, the company’s cloud-storage service, instead of an entire year. And it doesn't support Apple's HomeKit (yet).

Compatible with: works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT
Subscription: Yes, with the purchase you get a 3-month free subscription to Arlo Smart
Wired or portable: battery powered
Storage: 7-days cloud storage free; up to 30 days with subscription; internal storage via microSD

Price: $179+

BUY NOW

eufyCam 2

The-Best-Smart-Home-Cameras-of-2020-gear-patrol-leufyCam-2

The eufyCam 2 is the company’s newest system of battery-powered smart cameras. Released in early 2020, the eufyCam 2 system needs a smart home hub, called the HomeBase 2, to work. The two defining features of the eufyCam 2 system are, one, its battery life – each camera can last 360 days between charges – and, two, the fact that you don’t need to pay extra for premium features, such as facial recognition and object detection. As far as video storage, videos can be stored in the cloud or locally, which is a great option for those with privacy concerns. Each camera has an IP67 rating, so they’re for indoor or outdoor use. The eufyCam 2 is a solid option for people who want a relatively affordable system of battery-powered cameras. It also works with HomeKit, as well as Alexa and Google Assistant, which is a rarity among smart home cameras.

Compatible with: works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit
Subscription: Yes, the Basic plan costs $3/month (or $30/year) per camera and grants you 30 days of rolling video storage. The Premier plan costs $10/month and covers up to ten cameras.
Wired or portable: battery powered
Storage: cloud and local

Price: $299

BUY NOW

Logitech Circle 2

Logitech-Circle-2-gear-patrol

Logitech’s Circle 2 is a weatherproof security camera (IP65) that can set up indoors or outdoors; its base can work as a traditional stand or be swapped out for a wall/window mount. The Circle 2 is really notable because it’s one of the few smart security cameras that works with Apple’s HomeKit (it also supports Alexa and Google Assistant). It should be noted that Logitech makes the Circle 2 in wired and wire-free models, but HomeKit only works with the wired model. Logitech offers two different subscription plans; if you don’t pay for a subscription, you can only access video recordings for the last 24 hours.The Circle 2 was released in June 2018 and is often on sale. It’s a good camera for people looking for an affordable option that works with Apple HomeKit.

Compatible with: works with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
Subscription? Yes, Circle Safe gives you the option of paying for cloud storage for video recordings from either 14 or 31 days.
Wired or portable: wired (and battery)
Storage: cloud

Price: $180+

BUY NOW

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below