Using the growing market of connected home security cameras, it’s easier than ever to keep an eye on what is happening at home. These streaming video cameras can connect to your WiFi network to send alerts and video clips to your smartphone. This allows you to monitor activity even when you aren’t there. Many models have floodlights and spotlights that can be used to illuminate intruders.
The Security Camera Options
Most home security cameras can be set up by homeowners. This means that you can monitor and maintain them yourself, rather than paying a security company. Although they are cheaper than installing and paying monitoring fees, you will have to monitor your own home through the alerts and video feeds that appear on your phone. Some security camera manufacturers, like Ring, SimpliSafe and Wyze, offer professional monitoring services. These agents inspect the cameras for motion and alert the police. If you are interested in a professionally monitored security system for your home, we recommend our DIY security system ratings. These include many models that can be equipped with professional monitoring.
There are two types of home security cameras available: video doorbells and wireless security cameras. Wireless security cameras can connect to WiFi and can either be powered by a rechargeable or plugged in power source. The term “wireless” refers to WiFi and not the power supply. Some models can also be charged with small solar panels that charge the battery during the day.
A video doorbell can be used to alert you when someone rings your doorbell. Double duty: A video doorbell is likely to be more effective than a traditional security camera. Because traditional doorbells are powered by low-voltage wiring, there is enough power to run a video doorbell.
Floodlight security cameras are a new type of home security camera that is gaining popularity. These devices combine a wireless camera with bright floodlights (and usually a constant power source) to make it easier to monitor outdoor areas at night.
These new security cameras are more convenient than ever, but they are not perfect. Most models that we tested didn’t provide the same high-definition video quality promised by their manufacturers in all circumstances. Many models charge monthly fees to access the most important features such as cloud storage and monitoring zones, which allow you to focus on or ignore movement within a defined area of the camera’s view.
This doesn’t mean that home security cameras cannot provide peace of mind. They can let you know if your children arrived safely at school, if the dog walker turned up on time, and if a package was delivered. Software updates are a way for companies to make these cameras more intelligent, adding new features such as facial recognition and package detection.
It can be difficult to choose the right model and feature from so many options. We break down everything you need in order to choose the best security camera for your home.
The Latest Trends in Security Cameras
In the last decade, home security cameras have seen a lot of change. These cameras have gained mass appeal quickly due to their small size, low-cost WiFi chips, and speedy internet. Two new categories, floodlight cameras and video doorbells, have essentially emerged out of thin air.
Ring was a pioneer in the floodlight camera and video doorbell markets years before Amazon acquired it. These devices are now widely available from many security camera manufacturers including Wyze, Amcrest, Blink and Eufy. Google also joined the floodlight train, releasing its Nest Cam With Floodlight in 2021.
Manufacturers are fiercely competing on price, not only for new products but also for existing products. A decent video doorbell or security camera can be purchased for as low as $100, and a floodlight camera with good quality for less than $200. Amazon-owned Blink offers a $35 wireless camera, a $85 digital doorbell and a $100 floodlight cam. Wyze, a budget smart home company, makes a $36 Wireless Security Camera, a $30 Video Doorbell and a $100 Floodlight Camera. Even high-end brands like Google and Arlo have wireless security cameras for less than $100.
These affordable cameras can store your footage on a microSD card. This eliminates the need to subscribe to cloud video storage. Manufacturers have a steady source of revenue. Manufacturers have discovered another way to draw customers to recurring subscriptions: artificial Intelligence.
Many camera manufacturers now offer artificial intelligence and object recognition as part of their subscriptions. This allows their cameras to identify faces, animals, packages, vehicles, people, and packages. These features are generally based on the camera’s ability to analyze the footage and send the results back to the user in real-time via smartphone alerts. These algorithms can be run locally on some cameras, or via the wireless hub of the camera, like the new Eufy and Google Nest cams. However, they are not the norm. These features have the additional benefit of reducing nuisance alerts, recordings from animals, swaying tree, and other sounds.
Ring and Wyze are working with custom artificial intelligence features to allow your cameras to detect certain changes such as whether a vehicle is parked in the driveway. This functionality is not yet widely available.
Starlight sensors are being used by some camera manufacturers. They can see color even in low light conditions. These sensors can be found in affordable cameras such as Abode and Blurams.
As mentioned, several security camera manufacturers, including Wyze, SimpliSafe and Ring, now offer professional monitoring services. These agents will inspect your cameras and detect motion and alert authorities if necessary. Ring offers a two-way audio service that allows agents to communicate with intruders through the cameras’ 2-way audio. These services are more expensive than regular subscriptions, and may require special cameras or hardware. Wyze is an exception with its cam Protect service, which costs only $40 per year and requires just one of Wyze indoor security cameras.