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The best home security cameras to buy for 2020 – CNET

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Whether you’re concerned about theft or you simply want to check in on a mischievous pet, home security cameras can provide notifications and peace of mind. Even better, a wireless camera — or several, if you’re looking to set up a camera system — doesn’t have to break the bank.

While it’s great that there are plenty of excellent options to choose from, with devices that offer features such as two-way communication, night vision, cloud storage, motion tracking and HD video for top-notch video quality, it can feel daunting to sift through everything out there to find a good match for the wireless security camera system you may have in mind, especially if that solution includes multiple cameras.

Fortunately, I’ve tested out dozens of cameras and condensed everything I’ve learned into the list below. These are the best home security cameras in every major sub-category, from smart doorbells to the models that work well with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri voice commands — and beyond. Some are relatively low-maintenance, with a motion sensor that sends a push notification to your mobile with a motion alert, while others come with features such as cloud storage and professional monitoring that prevent you from having to sift through hours of footage. So, if you’re looking for the best home security camera for your home, get ready to dive in.

The best of the best

Best security camera

Arlo Pro 3

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The rechargeable indoor-outdoor Arlo Pro 3 home security camera has a lot of features that make it stand out from other systems. It’s also easy to set up and use — and the app is straightforward.

Besides the basic features like night vision, two-way audio, motion detection and push notification alerts, it has a lot of extra security features, such as a built-in siren and arm/disarm modes. It also offers advanced alerts including person, animal, vehicle and package detection. At $500, a two-pack of these plus the required base station isn’t cheap, but the Arlo Pro 3 is a solid product that works well and can go pretty much anywhere, and is ideal for surveillance camera set ups that require multiple cameras.

Read our Arlo Pro 3 review.

Best indoor security cam

Wyze Cam

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The $20 Wyze Cam isn’t just a great budget surveillance camera, it’s a great camera. Period.

It features HD live streaming, motion alerts, night vision, a decent app and, best of all, 14 days of free motion-based cloud storage. This Wyze camera also features a built-in microSD card if you want local video storage rather than relying solely on a cloud-based solution.

It works with Alexa voice commands, too, and features motion detection zones and the ability to listen for and alert you to special frequencies, like smoke alarms. You can monitor multiple cameras in the app, which makes it a great wireless security camera for setting up a home security system.

Read CNET’s review.

Best video doorbell

Arlo Video Doorbell

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Now this is a smart security camera. The $150 Arlo Video Doorbell has a lot going for it. While 150 bucks isn’t cheap, it’s more affordable than most of the other smart buzzers I’ve tested. As a doorbell camera, it’s built to be an outdoor camera, so you don’t have to ever worry about the elements. Similar to the Arlo Pro 3 outdoor security camera, the Arlo Video Doorbell has arm/disarm modes, two-way audio, motion zones and an integrated siren.

It also has a competitive cloud storage subscription plan, starting at $3 per month. If you pay for cloud storage, you get access to advanced features like custom person, animal, vehicle and package detection.

Read more about the Arlo Video Doorbell.

Best Google Assistant camera

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

Chris Monroe/CNET

The $299 Nest Cam IQ Indoor camera has a lot of the same smarts and features as the Nest Hello speaker. It features HD live streaming, motion alerts, person alerts and access to the Nest Aware service option. Starting at $5 per month, a Nest Aware subscription offers advanced features like facial recognition. Create a database of friends and family and get alerts telling you “Molly” or “Andrew” is at the door.

But this model also features a Google Assistant built-in speaker. So just like the Google Home and other Google-Assistant-enabled smart speakers and displays, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor responds to the wake phrase, “OK/Hey Google.”

Read our Nest Cam IQ Indoor Security Camera review.

Best outdoor security camera

Arlo Pro 3

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Arlo Pro 3 is also our top pick of the best outdoor home security cameras. Its weatherproof exterior makes this outdoor Wi-Fi security camera highly capable in rain, snow, heat and beyond. The simple magnetic mount that comes with your purchase makes it incredibly easy to remove the cameras when you need to charge the battery — no matter where it’s installed.

Read our Arlo Pro 3 review.

Best Siri-enabled camera

Indoor-outdoor Logitech Circle 2

Chris Monroe/CNET

The $180 indoor-outdoor Logitech Circle 2 is one of the few home security cameras that works with Apple’s smart home platform, HomeKit, including responding to Siri commands from a HomePod smart speaker. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant too, giving you access to all of the the main voice assistant features.

Read our Logitech Circle 2 Security Camera review.

Final thoughts

There are a lot of other home security cameras we didn’t include in this round-up, such as the Canary Flex, Amazon’s Blink XT and XTS, and more. Because there are too many to list here, take a look at the gallery below to see more of your indoor security camera options and features. And check out this gallery for more outdoor cameras.

When installing wireless security cameras, keep in mind that the smart home camera you buy (and your security system as a whole) will only be as good as the quality of your Wi-Fi connection at the location where you plan to install it. So before you drill holes in your walls or otherwise mess up your doorframe, brick or siding, check your Wi-Fi speed. If the connection is spotty on your wireless security camera, you’ll notice significant lag times, pixelation in the live feed and other delays that make security cameras a pain to use.

With a good Wi-Fi connection, you should be in good shape to use your indoor camera or outdoor security camera without any major issues. Still have questions? Take a look at my home security camera buying guide.

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