The best home security cameras of 2024 to watch over your property
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In an increasingly uncertain world, perhaps it’s no surprise to learn that sales of the best security cameras are surging. According to a recent survey from research company Savanta, nearly one in five Brits have installed wireless video doorbells in the last couple of years, while more than 17 percent of us have fitted domestic video cameras at Rolet Online our homes. But with so many makes, models and features to choose from, how do you pick the best home security cameras?
“Right now, Ring, Tapo, Blink, Arlo and Eufy are some of the most searched-for security brands,” says Stephanie Fort, home security expert at AO.com. “Ring, in particular, produce a whole host of home security kits including doorbells, cameras and alarms, virtually all having Amazon Alexa capability.
“Tapo, too, is increasingly being recognised as a big name for its ‘smart tech’ capabilities, because it focuses its energy into providing an ecosystem that’s awash with light switches, bulbs, sensors and cameras.”
I’ve tested the best security cameras from Ring, Tapo and all the other big names and you can read my reviews further down, followed by some expert advice on how to choose the right one. But if you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick look at my top five:
Which are the best home security cameras in 2024? At a glance
What features should you look out for in a home security camera?
First, look for high resolution. “1080p Full HD is the most common camera resolution,” advises Anna Forbes, Smart Home buyer at Currys. “It’s easily high enough for seeing a parcel at the door or watching the pets at home. But if you want to capture more detail of faces or number plates, then 2K, 3K or 4K cameras [offering two, three or four times the resolution of Full HD] are a better bet.”
Second, you’ll want a decent field of view. “If a user has a specific area they want to monitor, they will need a security camera whose field of view matches the area’s size,” advises Stephanie Fort.
Third, consider storage: some cameras have in-built memory but these aren’t always the best choice. “As long as you have a solid internet connection, cloud storage is generally safer than using local storage,” says Anna Forbes. “There’s always a risk of theft or physical events – like fire or flood – wiping out video stored on the latter.”
Finally, think about whether your camera can integrate with other home tech. “If your outdoor camera detects motion, a smart home can then switch lights on to give the appearance you are at home. Some systems can even recognise family members and then switch the entrance light on in response.”
How I tested the best home security cameras
I called in samples of all the latest models and tested them at my home, locating them indoors and affixing them to outside walls, as appropriate.
Most of the models offer ‘Live View’ and two-way talk facilities as standard. I concentrated on assessing what else they could do, both with and without a paid subscription. Key technical criteria included the field of view, image quality, night vision, video storage capability and battery life (though the latter depends entirely on usage).
Where external models were offered with solar panel options, I checked to see how effective these were in keeping batteries charged. Having tested several, my conclusion is that you should bite the bullet and pay extra for them wherever available. As long as you have a line of sight to some sunshine near the camera, they effectively eradicate all the hassles associated with regularly having to clamber up a ladder to recharge batteries.
Last but not least, I evaluated the apps associated with the cameras. While all differed wildly in their presentation, I found most of them did their jobs reasonably well. The only exception to that among the examples I tested was EzViz’s offering, which I feel still needs some improvement.
1. Eufy SoloCam S340 Wire-free 3K Pan-and-tilt
Best home security camera overall, 10 out of 10
We like: quick-acting motion tracking, above average video quality
We don’t like: hard to fault this one
- Field of view: 135 degrees
- Image quality: 2K telephoto, 3K wide angle
- Battery life: 3 months / recharged daily with included solar panel
- Two-way audio, night vision
- Smart integrations: Alexa, Google Assistant
Eufy has gone hell for leather on the box-ticking front with this one. Not only is the S340 a compact, dual-lens battery-powered outdoor camera, it also comes with a dinky solar panel that can either be mounted atop the camera if the camera gets direct sunshine, or remotely and tethered via a supplied cable if it doesn’t. That dual-lens arrangement comprises a 3K resolution wide-angle lens and a 2K telephoto lens with a superb 8x hybrid zoom. Even better, the camera has the ability to track motion, such as cars or humans, as well as light areas up with an onboard 100-lumen spotlight. Full colour night vision is another bonus.
While you’ll need to invest in the brand’s £159 HomeBase 3 external storage device to use the nifty AI-based cross-camera tracking system, the camera’s own 8Gb of onboard memory means you can just as easily use it in standalone mode.
2. Blink Video Doorbell
Best value video doorbell, 9/10
We like: absurdly good value for money
We don’t like: not the most detailed image quality
At less than £60, the Blink Video Doorbell is one of the cheapest on the market but it genuinely doesn’t feel or look it. Powered by a pair of lithium AA batteries (regular alkaline ones can be used, but won’t last as long), the Blink can keep going for up to two years, thanks to its clever low-power consumption technology.
Alternatively, if you’re replacing an existing ‘trad’ wired doorbell on its last legs, you can just re-use the same wiring connections to hook up the Blink the same way. Not only do you get all the advantages of receiving motion alerts to your smartphone, but your existing bell will continue to ting-a-ling as usual. You can also use an indoor Blink Mini camera as a chime, too.
3. Google Nest Cam indoor/outdoor cam
£179.99, Google Store
Best indoor security camera, 9/10
We like: three-hour recording capability, lots of useful free features
We don’t like: needs an optional stand for table placement indoors
Pitched as a dual-purpose indoor/outdoor camera, the chunky Nest Cam comes with a powerful magnetic mount that allows it to be screwed to a wall or, less optimally, sat angled slightly upright on a flat surface. A dedicated indoor stand costs an extra £29.
You get a choice of mains or battery power with this model. The battery is good for a few months of typical use. Setting up the camera is simply a matter of downloading the Google Home app and adding the camera to it by scanning a supplied QR code.
Handily, the camera is capable of recording three hours of video events to its internal memory, a real bonus. There’s an option of 24/7 recording, but only if you use wired power and take out a Nest Aware subscription. It costs £12 a month and covers all the Google Nest cameras in your home.
4. Swann AllSecure650 2K Wireless Security Kit
Best wireless security camera, 9/10
We like: 1TB hub stores up to two years of recordings
We don’t like: long-winded and complex installation
The pair of cameras that come with this package are pretty par for the course, offering nicely resolved 2K video with a slightly less than stellar field of view, along with heat/motion sensing and the option of colour (10m range) or black and white (30m range) night vision.
But what’s a little different is that the camera batteries can easily be removed and replaced without having to take the entire camera off the wall… useful if you haven’t purchased the optional solar panels. Even better, the batteries (this package comes with three) are charged in a dedicated slot on the back of the power/recording hub, both reducing downtime and providing a five-hour back-up for the hub if there’s a power cut.
5. SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Security Camera package
- Field of view: 140 degrees
- Image quality: Full HD
- Battery life: 6 months / Optional solar panel for £79
- Two-way audio, night vision
- Smart integrations: Alexa, Google Assistant (only with monitoring subscription)
Technically, the SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Security Camera could be used as a standalone device but its functionality would be minimal. It really only makes sense as part of a more comprehensive alarm system. In hardware terms, this will require splashing out on a minimum of a base station, physical keypad and wired indoor camera, a total expenditure of around £450.
You can also choose any number of optional indoor, entry, motion, water and temperature sensors as well as an external ‘bell’ box (though, bizarrely, only a wired video doorbell). But no matter how much you spend, you won’t be able to record video of events, or even arm your system via the app, until you’ve also sprung for a professional Securitas-monitored subscription for £15.99-£24.99 a month. There’s no local video storage option.