The Complete 2023 Home Security Camera Buying Guide

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The Complete 2023 Home Security Camera Buying Guide is here to assist you in making the right choice for your property. Installing security cameras is one of the most effective ways to deter crime and keep an eye on your home. However, with a plethora of options available, selecting the perfect security camera system can be daunting. This guide aims to simplify the process and help you find the best fit for your needs.

This comprehensive buying guide will walk you through the key factors to consider, top camera types, leading camera brands, features comparisons, and everything else you need to select the perfect security cameras for your needs and budget.

Why Invest in Security Cameras?

Upgrading your home with surveillance cameras provides crucial peace of mind along with tangible benefits:

  • Deter Crime – Visible security cameras make intruders think twice about approaching your home.
  • Prevent Theft – Discourage burglars and porch pirates from targeting your property.
  • Protect Packages – Receive alerts when packages are delivered and monitor your doorstep.
  • Monitor Pets – Keep an eye on dogs and cats when away from home.
  • Watch over Kids – View your baby’s room or watch children arriving home from school.
  • Check on Elderly – Remotely peek in on aging parents or relatives when you can’t be there.
  • Respond Faster – Receive instant notifications if activity is detected so you can act quickly.
  • View Property – Keep tabs on your home, yard, vehicles, pool and more from anywhere.
  • Gather Evidence – Security footage provides visual proof if any incidents occur.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Security Cameras

Location and Placement

First, determine the best areas to position cameras around your property for optimal coverage. Typical placement locations:

  • Front door/porch
  • Back door
  • Garage or side entrances
  • Backyard/patio
  • Pool area
  • Driveway

Also decide whether you need indoor, outdoor or doorbell cameras based on the areas you want to monitor.

Power Source

  • Wired – Hardwired to your home’s electrical system. Provides continuous power but limited placement.
  • Wireless – Powered by batteries that must be recharged or replaced over time. Flexible placement.
  • Wire-Free – Completely cordless and powered by long-lasting rechargeable batteries. Maximum placement flexibility.

Video Resolution

Higher video resolution results in sharper, clearer footage:

  • 1080p (1920 x 1080) – Minimum recommended standard. Provides quality HD video.
  • 2K (2560 x 1440) – Even crisper image quality with excellent details.
  • 4K (3840 x 2160) – Ultra high-definition footage but more expensive.

Field of View

The camera’s field of view determines how much area it can see:

  • Narrow ~ 50-90° – Concentrated view of a small space.
  • Medium 100-130° – Standard field of view suitable for most uses.
  • Wide 140°+ – Expansive coverage of larger areas.

Night Vision

Look for cameras with night vision capabilities that capture footage in low light and darkness:

  • Infrared – Monochrome night vision using infrared LEDs. Budget-friendly option.
  • Color Night Vision – Retains color details at night. Provides enhanced recognition.

Smart Alerts and Activity Zones

Smarter security cameras have features that reduce false alerts and let you customize monitoring:

  • Motion Detection – Alerts you when movement occurs within the camera’s field of view.
  • Person Detection – Uses body shape and movement to identify people and reduce false alerts.
  • Facial Recognition – Recognizes faces and alerts you to unknown people on your property.
  • Activity Zones – Define areas in the camera’s view where you want to receive alerts when motion is detected.

Local Storage vs Cloud Storage

  • Local – Store footage on microSD cards in the camera itself. No recurring fees but limited capacity.
  • Cloud – Video is saved to the cloud for access anytime. Storage fees apply.
  • Hybrid – Cameras that support both local and cloud storage for maximum flexibility.

Security Camera Types Compared

Camera TypeDescriptionLocationPower SourceStorage
Outdoor Security CameraWeatherproof cameras designed for exterior use. Provide comprehensive monitoring of your property perimeter and yard.OutdoorsTypically wired or wireless rechargeable battery powered.Local and/or cloud storage.
Video Doorbell CameraDoubles as a smart doorbell and security camera. Lets you see and speak with visitors at your door. Alerts you to motions and rings.EntrywaysWired or wireless models available.Local and/or cloud storage.
Indoor Security CameraDesigned for interior use to monitor entry points, main areas, and valuables. More discreet form factors.IndoorsPrimarily powered via outlet but some battery models available.Local and/or cloud storage.
Floodlight CameraIntegrated LED floodlights provide enhanced illumination at night. Combination security light and camera.OutdoorsTypically wired for continuous power.Local and/or cloud storage.
PTZ Security CameraPan-Tilt-Zoom cameras that can remotely pivot and adjust the viewing angle. Better tracking of movement.Outdoors or indoorsWired or wireless models available.Local and/or cloud storage.
Hidden CameraDiscreet cameras that are stylized as other household objects for covert monitoring.IndoorsBattery powered or wired options.Local storage or WiFi for live viewing.
Nanny CameraDesigned specifically for monitoring babysitters and home daycares discreetly.IndoorsSmall wireless designs that integrate into household objects.Local storage and/or WiFi live streaming.

Leading Home Security Camera Brands

We’ve tested and reviewed all the top home security camera brands on the market. Here are some of the leading options we recommend exploring:

Arlo – Offers versatile wire-free and wireless cameras both indoors and out. Comprehensive smart features powered by artificial intelligence.

Ring – Popular for innovative video doorbell cameras. Also provides smart outdoor and indoor camera options.

Nest – Owned by Google, Nest cameras integrate intelligently with other smart devices. Excellent video quality.

SimpliSafe – DIY-friendly security system with easy setup. Flexible monitoring plans and no long-term contracts.

Wyze – Inexpensive cameras packed with features consumers love. Excellent value.

Logitech – Reliable indoor cameras focused on automation integrations with platforms like Alexa and Google Assistant.

Eufy – Anker’s security camera line provides crystal clear video without monthly fees. Local storage options.

TP-Link – Budget-friendly lineup of indoor and outdoor cameras. Reliable performance with affordable prices.

The 7 Best Security Cameras of 2023

Based on our in-depth evaluation and testing, these top seven security cameras rise above the competition thanks to their combination of performance, features, value and ease of use.

1. Arlo Pro 4 – Best Overall

With its stunning 2K video quality, powerful smart alerts and ultimate placement flexibility, the Arlo Pro 4 is our pick for best overall security camera.

![Arlo Pro 4 camera]

Key Features:

  • Impressive 2K HDR video
  • 160° field of view
  • Advanced motion tracking
  • Wire-free or wired options
  • Weather resistant

Pros
⁃ Superb 2K resolution
⁃ Flexible wired or wire-free
⁃ Customizable activity zones
⁃ Integration with Alexa, Google Home

Cons
⁃ High upfront cost
⁃ Ongoing subscription fees

Bottom Line: With incredible video quality and smart capabilities, the Arlo Pro 4 is a premium security camera suited for the most discerning users.

2. Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 – Best Smart Doorbell

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 improves on the original with enhanced video quality, customizable privacy zones and dual-band WiFi support.

![Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2]

Key Features:

  • 1080p HD video
  • 160° horizontal field of view
  • Head-to-toe video view
  • Customizable privacy zones
  • Works with Alexa

Pros
⁃ Integrated motion sensors
⁃ Clear night vision
⁃ Easy DIY installation
⁃ Seamless app integration

Cons
⁃ Requires paid subscription plan
⁃ No local storage option

Bottom Line: With smart security features and crisp video, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is the top video doorbell on the market.

3. Wyze Cam v3 – Best Budget Cameras

The Wyze Cam v3 packs impressive features like color night vision and motion tracking into an incredibly affordable package.

![Wyze Cam v3]

Key Features:

  • 1080p HD video
  • 360° horizontal field of view
  • Color night vision
  • Motion and sound detection
  • 14-day free cloud storage

Pros
⁃ Unbelievable value
⁃ Easy plug-in setup
⁃ Clear person detection
⁃ Works with Alexa & Google Assistant

Cons
⁃ Requires separate outdoor housing
⁃ Limited cloud storage

Bottom Line: For shoppers on a tight budget, the Wyze Cam v3 provides an incredible value with robust features.

4. EufyCam 2C Pro – Best Wire-Free Battery Life

With an amazing 365-day battery life from one charge, the EufyCam 2C Pro is designed for convenience.

![EufyCam 2C Pro]

Key Features:

  • 2K resolution
  • 140° field of view
  • 365 days on a full charge
  • Local storage with no fees
  • Weatherproof IP67 rating

Pros
⁃ Zero charging or cables needed
⁃ Local storage standard
⁃ Clear night vision
⁃ No monthly fees

Cons
⁃ Large camera design
⁃ Activity zones require subscription

Bottom Line: The EufyCam 2C Pro provides complete wire-free convenience with industry-leading battery performance.

5. Nest Cam Indoor – Best for Facial Recognition

The Nest Cam Indoor stands out with its advanced facial recognition capabilities and crisp 1080p video.

![Nest Cam Indoor]

Key Features:

  • 1080p HD streaming
  • Intelligent facial recognition
  • Customizable activity zones
  • Night vision
  • Works with Google Assistant

Pros
⁃ Accurate person detection
⁃ Customizable sound alerts
⁃ Easy in-app controls
⁃ Clear night vision

Cons
⁃ Subscription required
⁃ Wired indoor only

Bottom Line: With intelligent facial recognition and customization, the Nest Cam Indoor takes smart monitoring to the next level.

6. Kasa Spot Pan Tilt – Best PTZ Camera

The Kasa Spot Pan Tilt features smooth remote pan and tilt functionality from your smartphone. The 2K video provides detailed coverage.

![Kasa Spot Pan Tilt]

Key Features:

  • 2K panoramic video
  • Remote pan and tilt
  • Custom motion tracking
  • Two-way audio
  • Night vision

Pros
⁃ Person detection included
⁃ Smooth remote panning
⁃ Customizable motion tracking
⁃ Works with Alexa & Google Assistant

Cons
⁃ Can be tricky to setup
⁃ Limited cloud storage

Bottom Line: With responsive pan/tilt capabilities, the Kasa Spot Pan Tilt allows flexible monitoring and tracking.

7. Blink Mini – Best Budget Indoor Camera

Despite its low price, the compact Blink Mini doesn’t cut corners on features like 1080p recording, motion detection and two-way audio.

![Blink Mini]

Key Features:

  • 1080p HD video
  • 110° diagonal field of view
  • Motion detection
  • Live view and two-way audio
  • Alexa enabled

Pros
⁃ Incredibly low cost
⁃ Easy peel-and-stick installation
⁃ Clear night vision
⁃ Alerts sent immediately

Cons
⁃ No pan or tilt
⁃ Limited cloud storage

Bottom Line: For indoor monitoring on a budget, the Blink Mini punches above its weight with excellent value and features.

Final Considerations in Choosing Security Cameras

  • Determine the optimal number of cameras needed to effectively monitor entry points, high-value areas, and your entire property perimeter.
  • Carefully measure placement locations to ensure cameras have unobstructed views and sufficient WiFi coverage.
  • Balance features and capabilities with affordability to find the right fit for your budget.
  • Browse highly-rated cameras from leading brands for models that align with your priorities.
  • Look for expandability so you can add components to build a more robust system over time.
  • Check that outdoor cameras are rated for weatherproofing with an IP65/IP66 Ingress Protection rating.

Take Control of Your Home Security

Installing smart security cameras around your home provides significant peace of mind while acting as a crime and theft deterrent. We hope this comprehensive buying guide has helped you identify the perfect cameras to meet your household’s monitoring needs and budget.

With smarter surveillance technology, you can take an active role in securing your property. Let us know if you have any other questions as you research security camera options for your home!

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