Best security camera: the best wired and wireless cameras for the home | Livingetc

Best security camera: the best wired and wireless cameras for the home | Livingetc

When you care about your home, you care about keeping it safe. While most of us may never have gone as far as to install a security system to this end, smart security cameras are becoming more and more accessible, easy to use and with more features than ever before. In other words, there’s never been a better time to invest in security.

Gone are the days of blurry footage and long delays between something happening and you being able to access the video. Now you can witness the action from anywhere via your smartphone, or even through a smart display from Alexa or Google.

And if you’re interested in other products that include security in their features, then take a look at our roundup of the best wireless doorbells, which contains smart and video doorbells that can also act as cameras. 

Scroll down to see how we rated some of the best and most popular security cameras on offer right now, and for buying advice that will help you choose.

 The best rated security cameras 2021

(Image credit: Ring)
Field of View: 155 x 90-degrees
Power: Battery or wired
Dimensions: 10.1 x 4.6 x 2.2cm
+Also works as a doorbell+Pre-roll footage+Easy set-up
Viewing angles aren’t as good as other cameras

Sold primarily as a doorbell, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is also the best security camera around with brilliant video quality, a wide field of vision and the ability to be used wirelessly or hardwired depending on your set-up. For those who don’t want to install more than one device, it’s the perfect multi-tasking solution.

2-Way Audio

In addition to the features you’d expect from any good security camera, such as motion sensors and night vision, the Ring 3 Plus also has a live view and 2-way audio that allows you to speak with someone at your door from wherever you are. This is a game changer if you’re someone who gets a lot of deliveries as, even when you’re out, you can give the courier instructions.

Deter possible invaders

As said, the Video Doorbell 3 Plus is a smart doorbell before anything else, so it doesn’t look much like other security cameras on our list. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less of a deterrent to possible criminals approaching your home. You can angle the camera using wall mounts that are included, and pre-roll recording means you won’t miss any of the action.

(Image credit: Netatmo)

2. Netatmo Smart Outdoor Security Camera

Best security camera with floodlight: a security camera with an in-build LED

Dimensions: 5 x 11 x 20cm
Reasons to buy
+In-built LED floodlight+Can differentiate between people, cars and animals well+Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit
Reasons to avoid
Relatively narrow field of visionNo battery option

While many security cameras come with an ability to connect with external floodlights, the Netatmo offering comes with one already built in. Not only is this convenient to give you a better view of the area, but the light can act as an effective deterrent for those thinking about entering the property uninvited.

Customize motion alerts

The Netatmo Smart Outdoor Security Camera gives you power over how often you want to be alerted by its motion sensors. For example, if you only want to get push notifications for people, rather than vehicles and pets, then you can specify that in the settings. And even though the floodlight is activated by motion outside, the camera also has night vision.

(Image credit: Ring)

3. Ring Spotlight Cam Wired

Best security camera with wide field of vision: see more than ever with this wired option from Ring

Dimensions: 12.6 x 6.91 x 7.59cm
Reasons to buy
+Great video quality and night vision+Good field of vision+Works with other Ring security products+Includes LED light and siren
Plugs in rather than hard wired

Able to seamlessly integrate with other home security products from Ring such as its range of doorbells, standalone motion sensors and more, the Ring Spotlight Cam is also a brilliant one-stop shop for your security camera needs with its in-build LED lights and siren. The motion detection settings are similar to the Ring Doorbell, too, with customisable zones and alerts.

Never run low

While it’s not all that common for a security camera to plug into the mains rather than be hard-wired in or run on battery, it does mean that the Ring Spotlight is never in danger of running out of steam. That is if you’re sure someone won’t casually unplug it when they’re up to no good. This feature also makes installation a breeze.

(Image credit: Blink)

Best wireless security camera: the newest Blink outdoor camera does away with wires

Dimensions: 7.1 x 7.1 x 2.1cm
Reasons to buy
+Claims to run for 2-years without recharging+2-way audio +Privacy zones 
Subscription required to store and back up video clips 

Another security camera that can be used in conjunction with Amazon Alexa, the Blink Outdoor is the newest model of the popular product. More expensive than the Mini or Blink Indoor, it does work anywhere from your entryway to your porch, giving it much more versatility. It’s weather resistant and offers night vision, too.

2-way audio

Like the Ring Doorbell, the Blink camera includes 2-way audio that allows you to speak with anyone in its vicinity from wherever you are. Unlike a doorbell, however, the Blink can theoretically be placed anywhere around your home (instead of just your front door), so you could monitor and interact with the yard from your smartphone.

(Image credit: Ezviz)

5. Ezviz C3A Indoor/Outdoor Battery Camera

Best security camera for indoor and outdoor: keep a close eye on your nearest and dearest

Dimensions: 21.5 x 11.85 x 13cm
+Easy set-up+Set schedules+Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa+2-way audio
Subscription required for cloud storageShort battery life if using all features

Completely wireless with a magnetic mount (meaning you don’t have to unscrew anything when it’s time to recharge), the Ezviz is super easy to set up and use. It has two-way audio so you can speak with anyone you spot, and the IP65 dust and water protection rating means it will withstand all weathers should you want to place it outside.

Continuous recording

Perhaps the best choice for nature lovers (or particularly nosy neighbors), the Ezviz C3A offers continuous filming that can be used for everything from watching for intruders, keeping an eye on pets or even filming inside bird boxes. Because it’s completely wireless, it’s easy to put it anywhere you like.

How to choose the best security camera for you 

Choosing the best security camera for your home can be a challenge, so we’ve answered some of the most common questions you may have below.

Do security cameras need Wi-Fi?

The best modern security cameras require Wi-Fi to make the best of many of their most useful features, such as live view or 2-way audio. While it’s always recommended to have a stable internet connection at home, it’s also possible with many products to access these via 4G while you’re out and about.

That said, if you don’t want it eating up your data – or if you want to integrate your camera with a smart speaker or display – then for the most part you should be making use of your at-home connection. 

Do security cameras record all of the time?

This depends on both your choice of camera and the way you wish to use it. Most people use a security camera with the motion sensor switched on, which indicates to your device that it should record a snippet of video whenever someone approaches your home. Those with a live view feature allow you to continuously view your space, but if you have a battery-operated camera then this will run down its juice pretty fast.

Where to place security cameras

Indoor security cameras are best placed in your entryway or by the back door, so that you can immediately capture footage of anyone coming in or out of the home. Or maybe you want to keep an eye on your kids and/or pets while you’re not in the room? In this case, you just need to make sure that the field of vision covers the area you need it to.

Outdoor security cameras, on the other hand, should be placed on the wall outside your home in a location that will capture enough space to notice any potential intruders, but that won’t be set off by passers by throughout the day. Of course, if this distinction isn’t quite possible, then may cameras allow you to set specific zones.

Which security camera is best? 

Our pick for the best security camera is the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, due largely to its versatility and the quality of the service you get from its pre-roll footage and motion detection. Coming in a close second is the Netatmo Smart Outdoor Security Camera, which has the handy feature of a built-in floodlight to illuminate any situation it captures.

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