Best Security Camera - Guide & Reviews
When it comes to protecting my family, I want to get a system that will keep us safe at night and provide peace of mind. While having a house alarm is a great option, I knew that to make a message to would-be intruders I needed cameras. Studies have shown that when people think they’re being watched, they behave much differently than if they think no one’s around.
For that reason, I researched and found some of the best security camera systems on the market today. While I have never had a robbery occur at my house, I don’t intend to let it happen, which is why I installed a top-of-the-line system several months ago.
If you’re like me and want to keep your home and your family safe, then I would highly recommend you check out these security camera systems and find one that will work for your situation.
- Amcrest 960H Video Security System
- 4 High Resolution 800+ TVL IP66 Heavy-Duty Metal Weatherproof Cameras
- 24 IR LEDs that automatically activate
- View and Record in Widescreen with Remote Viewing
- Pre-Installed 500GB Hard Drive
- USB backup feature for peace of mind
- DEFEWAY 1080N DVR 1200TVL 720P HD Outdoor Home Security
- HD Video Quality: AHD security cameras deliver 720P HD 1200 TVL video
- Easy Remote Access: Set up remote access via free app in minutes
- Motion Detection Recording
- 1080N DVR w/ HDMI Port Output
- 3-year warranty, 30-day return, lifetime tech support
- TriVision NC-336PW HD 1080P Wireless Outdoor Home Security Camera
- Plug and play apps for iPhone, iPad, Android smart phone, PC and Mac
- True Day and Night with IR Cut Filter
- Email and Mobile Notification
- Motion Detection and Zone Select
- Works over Wi-Fi, Ethernet wired and POE 802.3af
- TENVIS JPT3815W-HD Wireless Surveillance IP/Network Security Camera
- Wireless network connection
- Automatically detect moving objects and trigger alarm
- Send alert emails to user and upload screen captures to FTP server
- Infrared Night Vision
- Support remote viewing on mobile devices
- Annke 8-Channel 1080P Lite Video Security System
- Annke 8-Channel 1080P Lite Video Security System
- Day and night monitoring with 66ft IR range.
- Simple P2P remote live viewing on smartphone
- Instant email alert coming with images
- Smart search function to save your playback time
- Amcrest ProHD Outdoor 1080P WiFi Wireless IP Security Bullet Camera
- Stunning Full HD 1080P Video at 30fps
- Record and Playback using an Amcrest or ONVIF NVR, FTP, or Blue Iris
- Quick WiFi Setup via iPhone or Android Smartphone
- Remarkable Field of View with Wide 72 degree Viewing Angle
- Stay in Touch with Intelligent Motion Alerts
- DEFEWAY 8CH 1080N Security Outdoor Video Surveillance Camera System
- Deliver 720P HD 1200 TVL video and up to 80 feet (20m) IR night vision
- Set up remote access via free app in minutes
- Remote viewing on your windows PC and mobile devices anywhere.
- Motion Detection Recording
- Live view and playback on your Smartphone.
- Zmodo WiFi Wireless Smart Security Camera
- Full 720p HD image quality
- Easy and Quick Setup
- Always Stay Connected
- With a 115° field of view
- IR Night Vision-See what's happening in the dark
- Arlo Smart Home - 1 HD Camera Security System
- See in stunning clarity and sharper details with HD cameras
- Patented 100% wire-free design and magnetic mounts
- Night vision cameras with HD clarity even in the dark
- Motion activated cameras and customizable activity alerts
- Indoor/Outdoor weatherproof cameras
- Amcrest ProHD 1080P WiFi Wireless IP Security Camera
- Full Hd 1080p Video At 30fps
- Intelligent Digital Zoom & Night Vision Up To 32ft
- 60 Sec Wi-Fi Setup Via IOS Or Android Devices
- Streams Video & Audio Directly To Smartphone
- 2-way Talk
How to Choose a Security Camera System
Although picking out a surveillance camera seems like a straightforward proposition, the fact is that there are a number of variables that you have to take into account before you can decide on the right system for your home or business.
It will depend on how easy you want the installation process to be, how comprehensive you want the camera setup, and how well you can check up on your feed. Here are the top considerations you should look at before you decide.
Number of Channels
How many cameras do you need? Four? Six? Ten? Depending on how big your house is and how much coverage you need, you may need anywhere from four to sixteen cameras. Part of that depends on if you want to cover the outside only or if you want a combination of inside and outside cameras.
Regardless of how exactly you install them, you’ll need to ensure that your system can handle all of them.Most security camera systems have between four and eight channels, with one channel per camera.
Thus, if you need more than that, you’ll have to get two systems or opt for one that has more channels. Overall, it’s better to get more than you need, just in case you have to install additional cameras later on.
Wireless or Wired
When it comes to convenience, the best camera setup uses a wireless connection. In the old days, it required that you ran cables through your walls so you could have a seamless security system, but now you can just plug and play without having to call an electrician or contractor.
Wireless cameras are the wave of the future, but they do require that you have a separate router to handle the bandwidth. If you try to install them on your current home’s wifi, then you will only slow your connection speeds to all your devices, not just the camera.
That being said, wired cameras have a more stable connection and are not dependent on wifi, meaning that you can set them up to work in case of an outage or if your network goes down. The installation process is much more involved, but if you plan on staying in your house for a long time, it could be worth it.
When it comes to figuring out the best system, you need first to determine if you want audio as well as video. While most security cameras do video only, some of them provide audio options as well.
I would recommend getting audio cameras for inside use only, as having them outside can be problematic. Wind noise and other sounds can drown out any valuable information that you would get otherwise.
Additionally, you want to make sure that you record in high-definition. Thankfully we don’t need to rely on videotape for our security systems, meaning that we can see everything with crystal clarity. Most cameras record in either 720p or 1080p. Realistically, however, the difference is negligible.
After all, this isn’t like watching a blockbuster movie.Finally, make sure that you can store your video files on a hard drive. You don’t necessarily have to have one, but if you ever want to go back and check footage, then you’ll need it.
Otherwise, you’ll only be able to see live footage without archiving anything. Many systems don’t come with a hard drive, but they are easy to find and install.
Realistically, any crime is more likely to happen at night. Especially if you’re not home, the odds of a break-in are much higher when it’s dark out. To help keep you and your family protected, you will need to ensure that your cameras have night vision. The majority of them do, but the difference between them will be the range.
Some cameras can have clarity at up to just sixteen feet, while others may have a range of 100 feet. Generally speaking, indoor cameras can get away with shorter ranges, but outdoor cameras need to see farther for them to be useful.
Finally, it’s important that you can access your footage quickly and easily. For the most part, security camera systems allow remote access, with some of them enabling you to check on your cameras from your phone.
Some high-end systems allow you even to move your camera remotely, which is a nice touch.Ideally, you will be able to check your camera feed online, meaning that you don’t have to be within your home network to see what’s happening. Whether it’s from your phone or a computer, long-distance remote access is a very handy feature, especially while you’re on vacation.
You can watch the video below to get more insights on how to chose the right security camera:
Recommended Security Camera Systems
1. Amcrest 960H Video Security System
Our first stop is with the Amcrest 960H Video Security System. When it comes to security products and cameras, Amcrest is one of the top companies out there for personal use, and the 960H system is ideal for a number of reasons.
The first thing I like about it is that you get everything you need in one package. You get four cameras, a network, a recorder, and all the mounting supplies.
This way, there is no guesswork involved, and you can just install everything and be ready to go.The cameras themselves record in high definition, and the footage is stored on a 500GB hard drive.
Personally, I would suggest upgrading to a terabyte of storage, but 500 gigs should suffice for most homes. What I also like about the cameras is that they have night vision with a range of sixty-five feet.
As far as viewing your footage, you can connect remotely to your smartphone or mobile device. You can record for up to thirty days, and you can set it for motion activation which will save your hard drive space.This system comes with a one-year limited warranty.
2. DEFEWAY 1080N DVR 1200TVL Outdoor Home Security System
Our next stop is with the Defeway Outdoor Home Security System. This is similar to the Amcrest model in that you get cameras, hookups, and a four channel DVR.
The only thing you don’t get with this setup is a hard drive, but that is easy to find and purchase on your own.
Although the name says that this is for outdoor use, the fact is that you can set up the cameras inside or outside.
The units themselves are housed in durable metal cases and are weatherproof, which is why they work so well outdoors. The cameras record in 720p HD clarity, even at night. They have a night vision range of 80 feet, which is necessary if you do decide to set them up outside.
The recording system has four channels, which means that if you need additional cameras, you’ll need to get another setup. These cameras are wired, which means that you will have to install cables either inside or along your walls, which takes a while to do.
Once you get everything set up, you can watch your footage on a computer, a TV, or through your smartphone. Remote access is integrated so you can check your camera feeds from anywhere.This system comes with a three-year limited warranty and a thirty-day money back guarantee.
3. TriVision NC-336PW Wireless Outdoor Home Security Camera
When it comes to security cameras, you can get them in two flavors: the first is as part of a whole system, like the ones we’ve seen so far.
The second type is a standalone unit, like the TriVision NC-336PW Wireless Outdoor Security Camera.
What this means is that you can install this device outside your home and it will be ready to go without you hooking it up to anything.
The way it works is that the TriVision sends the footage via wifi so you can check it on your smartphone or computer. You can also use an SD memory card to record footage for later.
What’s impressive about this system is that it can save the data to a remote cloud-based server so that you can record for longer.The thing that I love about the TriVision is the clarity of the picture. The camera records in stunning 1080p HD, which allows you to zoom in and get facial recognition.
It can even read license plates up to forty-five feet away. It also has night vision with a range of fifty feet, making it ideal for your front door or garage.Another great feature about the camera is that you can set up notifications for when it is activated.
I highly recommend setting any security system to motion activated so that you don’t waste hours of footage. That way, you can get pinged on your phone if the camera turns on, allowing you to see what’s going on.
4. TENVIS JPT3815W-HD Wireless Surveillance Camera
Next, we have the TENVIS JPT3815W Security Camera. What is interesting about this camera is that it is something of a cross between a baby monitor and a spy camera.
What I like about this model is that it is easy to set up and you can control it remotely from your phone.
Much like the TriVision camera, this unit connects to your device wireless using your wifi.
It is SD card compatible for storing data, but this model is really designed for watching a live feed, a la a baby monitor. The reason I say that it because you can move and rotate the camera remotely, and you can even talk to people through it.
You can hear audio through the mic, and it has a speaker, so it’s like an intercom. Overall, this is a cool device if you have small children or want to monitor who is at the front door.
Other features include night vision with a range of about thirty feet, high definition 720p resolution, and motion activation. No matter what, however, I would recommend using this inside your home, rather than outside.
5. Annke 8-Channel 1080P Lite Video Security System
Now we get back into security systems that come with more than one camera. If you want total coverage of your home, you need a setup that has at least six or eight cameras, depending on the size of your house.
Thankfully, the Annke Lite Video Security System comes with eight cameras, which means that you should be able to see everything that goes on.
This is a wired system, which does mean that the installation process will take a little longer, but you get the cameras, cables, and a network DVR with eight channels.
The only thing that is not included is a hard drive, but you should be able to find one relatively easily. I highly suggest getting one that has at least one terabyte of storage space.
The cameras themselves record in 1080p high-definition and can record continuously or by motion activation. As I mentioned above, motion activation is much better as it eliminates hours of useless footage and allows you to save hard drive space.
However, this system does come with a remarkable smart search program that will scrub through the video that doesn’t have any movement and then slow down when a motion was detected. In fact, the system will announce when it detects motion by e-mailing you or notifying your phone. Follow this link to read our full annke 1080p review.
6. Amcrest ProHD WiFi Wireless IP Security Bullet Camera
Our next device is another standalone unit, the Amcrest ProHD Bullet Camera. You have probably seen some of these around businesses or other people’s homes, and the reason is that they are super easy to install and are very reliable.
Like the TriVision camera, the Bullet is designed to work independently, which means that you can hook it up outside your home and start watching footage immediately.
You can hook it up to an Amcrest DVR for recording footage, or you can have it upload to the cloud instead. Either way, you can access the camera with your smartphone, and it will even send alerts when it detects movement.The camera itself records in 720p HD, and the housing is weatherproof.
The Bullet also has night vision with a stunning range of almost 100 feet, which is essential for outdoor monitoring. It has a wide field of view as well so you can see more of what is going on.The Bullet comes with a one-year limited warranty and lifetime customer support from Amcrest. Read our detailed review of the amcrest ip2m-842.
7. DEFEWAY 8CH 1080N Security DVR 8 1200TVL Outdoor Camera
Next, we have the upgraded version of the Defeway Security System, the eight-channel model. This system has all the same features as the one listed above, only this time you get eight cameras instead of four.
What I like about that is that you can cover your whole house without having to get another DVR or network, making everything much more streamlined and efficient.
The cameras record in 720p HD, they have night vision with a range of eighty feet, and they are weatherproof, meaning that you can install them inside or outside with equal reliability.
The only thing that you need to get is a hard drive. For eight cameras, I highly recommend getting at least two or three terabytes, as it will fill up much faster when it has eight different camera feeds.
To watch your footage, you can connect remotely via smart phone, hook up the DVR to a TV (through an HDMI cable) or access via computer. This system comes with a thirty-day money back guarantee and a three-year limited warranty. Read our full defaway security camera review.
8. Zmodo WiFi Wireless Smart Security Camera
Our next stop is with the Zmodo Wireless Smart Security Camera. You get two cameras with this setup, which means that you can cover two rooms in your home.
These wireless cameras are much like the TENVIS system, in that they make great baby monitors or nanny cams.
Part of the reason that they would work to keep an eye on your kids is that both units have a two-way microphone.
That way, you can hear what’s going on and talk to whoever is in the room. The cams also have an extra wide field of vision, meaning that you can install one in the corner and see the whole room without having to tilt or pan.
Overall, these cameras are super simple to set up. You just plug and play. You can connect to the camera wirelessly through your smartphone or tablet, and to record footage it will sync up to the cloud. These cameras also record in HD and have night vision. They also come with a three-year limited warranty. Read our full zmodo mini wifi camera review.
9. Arlo Smart Home - 1 HD Camera Security System
When it comes to standalone camera systems, you can either use them for open monitoring, meaning that they are obvious and people are aware of their presence, or you can use them for spying.
The Arlo Smart Home Security System can be utilized for both, but it’s really designed for the latter.
What makes the Arlo camera unique is that it is entirely self-contained.
What that means is that there are no wires or cables. The power source, recording device, and mounting system are all within the camera housing. To mount it, the bottom is magnetic.
To allow you to place it anywhere, it comes with a metal mounting bracket that will hold it in place. The housing is also weatherproof, meaning you can install it outside or indoors. The Arlo records in 720p high-definition, and you can access the footage remotely.
It records through the cloud and can even hook up to other cameras, meaning that you can set up Arlo cams throughout your house and they will all connect to each other and record to the same account.
Finally, it also comes with a rechargeable battery and night vision. Read our full Arlo camera review.
10. Amcrest ProHD 1080P WiFi Wireless IP Security Camera
Finally, we come full circle with the Amcrest ProHD Wireless Security Camera. This unit is similar to the other standalone Amcrest model (the Bullet), but it is sleeker and designed more for inside the house rather than outside.
This is another “baby monitor” camera that allows you to remotely control its positioning as well as enable you to talk to anyone in the room.Like other standalone models, this is another plug and play system.
Just sync it to your smartphone, and you can start watching footage right away. For storage, it connects to the cloud, which means you can access archived video anywhere at any time.Other features include recording in 1080p HD, intelligent motion alerts to your phone, and a wide field of vision.
This camera also has night vision, although the range is somewhat limited at 32 feet. What I do like about it though is that you can zoom remotely as well.Finally, this unit comes with a one-year limited warranty. Read our detailed review of the amcrest ip2m-841.
When choosing the best home security system, it really depends on how you want to use it. I would highly recommend the Defeway 8CH system if you want comprehensive coverage, or the TriVision if you just want to monitor the outside of your home.
If you want to keep an eye on things going on inside, I would suggest either the TENVIS or Arlo cameras, as they have the best features for interior monitoring. Overall, however, each of these systems is top of the line and highly rated, meaning you will be satisfied no matter which one you choose.
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