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Best wireless security cameras 2021

Best wireless security cameras 2021
(Image credit: Google)

Add a layer of protection to your home with the best wireless security cameras. Whether you want to keep an eye on your pets, have a 24-hour watch over each room, or catch out intruders should they enter – there’s a security camera system for every home. 

Finding the best wireless security cameras for your home will depend on a number of factors. Firstly, what are you using the security camera for? Where will you position the camera? How much are you willing to pay? And how wide do you want the lens to be? The wider the lens, the bigger the area one wireless camera can cover and the fewer cameras you will have to buy to ensure every angle is covered. 

When it comes to the features, the best wireless security camera systems can record footage so you can playback hours worth of video. While a handful come with facial recognition, built-in intruder alert alarms, and night vision. When choosing from the top-rated wireless security cameras, be sure to pay attention to the camera quality. Many of the best wireless security camera systems come with 1080p credentials – which is pretty clear. While more high tech options come with 4k quality – which is even clearer. For many wireless cameras, the footage is stored via a cloud so you can access the video via your phone or computer. Other security cameras store their footage on an SD card or USB. 

We have reviewed the best wireless security cameras for indoor use from the likes of market-leaders Nest, Hive, and Logitech, and specifically ranked them for smart homes, video quality, affordability, and overall usage. If you’re looking for the best wireless security cameras for outdoor use, make sure you read our guide to the best outdoor security cameras

1. Arlo Pro 2: Best overall

Best Wireless Security Camera

(Image credit: Arlo)

Arlo Pro 2

The best overall wireless security camera


Resolution: 1080p | Camera lens: 130-degree | Night vision: Yes | Recording options: Cloud via subscription, USB storage | Two-way talk: Yes | WiFi: 802.11n

Reasons to Buy

Easy to install
Can record video to USB storage
Excellent camera control via app
Magnetic mount makes installation easy

Reasons to Avoid

Activity zones require permanent power or paid-for Arlo Smart cloud subscription
Night-time footage is fuzzy

The Arlo Pro 2 offers all the excellent app features that the 4K Ultra gives you, only for a far more affordable price. You still get full 1080p quality which is enough to identify individuals clearly in the day and still enjoy pretty decent night time footage. 

Since this camera is cloud based you'll be pleased to hear it comes with seven days of free storage, for free, for life. Yup, that means anything that happened within the last seven days is stored there for you to scroll back and view. This makes the camera stand out against rivals like Nest where a subscription is needed for such a privilege. Activity zones are a nice touch but you will need the camera in mains power mode to take advantage of this feature.

2. Nest Cam Indoor: Best smart home camera

Best Wireless Security Camera

(Image credit: Nest)

Nest Cam Indoor

Best smart wireless home camera


Resolution: 1080p | Camera lens: 130-degree | Night vision: Yes | Recording options: Cloud via subscription | Two-way talk: Yes | WiFi: 802.11ac

Reasons to Buy

Excellent 1080p video quality
Easy setup
Can sync with Nest home heating

Reasons to Avoid

Expensive subscription plans

The Nest Cam Indoor is the smart home camera that started it all and still offers one of the best experiences thanks to updates and that superb build quality.

The Nest works really well both in daylight and in night conditions thanks to its infrared lights for night-vision. Another great Nest positive is its ability to play nicely with other smart home gadgets which makes it superbly versatile. Location detection allows you to let this turn itself on and off as you come and go automatically and when linked with things like Nest home heating, that can be activated using the app too.

3. Nest Cam IQ Indoor: Best video quality

Best Wireless Security Camera

(Image credit: Google)

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

Best video quality wireless security camera


Resolution: 4K | Camera lens: 130-degree | Night vision: Yes | Recording options: Cloud via subscription | Two-way talk: Yes | WiFi: 802.11ac

Reasons to Buy

Powerful facial recognition
Can track motion around the room
Records continuously

Reasons to Avoid

Doesn’t record at 4K
Relatively expensive
Geofencing doesn’t work with scheduling

The Nest Cam IQ Indoor is the best indoor-only model we’ve tested when it comes to video quality. The footage itself is super clear and that applies to both day and night time scenarios. On top of that you also get top quality motion detection meaning you only get alerted when it's important, so you don't get pestered via the app.

Nest Aware, is the cloud storage option that will cost you extra. This gives you 24/7 video recording, meaning you can catch anything bad that's happened, like an intruder, to use later as evidence. Without paying for this service the camera isn't quite so useful. That said this model does offer facial recognition over the standard model, but you do pay a premium for that.

4. Hive View: Best flexible wireless camera

Best Wireless Security Camera

(Image credit: Hive)

Hive View

Best flexible wireless camera


Resolution: 1080p | Camera lens: 130-degree | Night vision: Yes | Recording options: 24 hours free, 30 days on subs | Two-way talk: Yes | WiFi: 802.11b/g/n

Reasons to Buy

Smart IFTTT channel
Battery mode provides extra flexibility
Free cloud storage

Reasons to Avoid

Hard to filter events
Motion can trigger a lot of events
No smart assistant integration

This is another camera on the list that features basic free cloud storage, a huge positive. That is combined with a battery-operated mode, making is safer from intruder tampering. For more cloud storage you'll need to pay out but there are lots of options to suit every budget.

You get activity zones and motion detection as standard which can be used to make sure your alerts are kept to a minimum – key for long term use of the camera. The Nest Cam does this a little better but with higher monthly costs.

5. Logitech Circle 2: Most affordable

Best Wireless Security Camera

(Image credit: Logitech)

Logitech Circle 2

Best affordable wireless camera


Resolution: 1080p | Camera lens: 180-degree | Night vision: Yes | Recording options: Free cloud | Two-way talk: Yes | WiFi: 802.11n

Reasons to Buy

Flexible installation options
Free cloud storage
Connects to your Wi-Fi network

Reasons to Avoid

Motion Zones are an expensive option
Struggles under bright direct light
App can only be used in landscape mode

The Logitech Circle 2 offers the advantage of being a totally wireless camera without the need for a base station, meaning easy setup and space saving. You also get free cloud storage which works with smart alerts in order to keep alerts to a minimum. All that uses decent quality video which offers a clear picture of the screen for both day and night scenarios. 

Motion zones are an option but they require you to pay for the subscription service, which also gets you an upgraded chunk of cloud storage space. While there are better quality cameras out there, the Circle 2 manages to offer most of the best features with decent quality all at a price which undercuts the competition nicely. 

6. Arlo Ultra: Best 4K wireless camera

Best Wireless Security Camera

(Image credit: Arlo)

Arlo Ultra

Best 4K wireless camera


Resolution: 4K | Camera lens: 180-degree | Night vision: Yes | Recording options: Cloud via subscription, microSD storage | Two-way talk: Yes | WiFi: 802.11ac

Reasons to Buy

4K sensor produces detailed video
Completely wireless
Smart alerts reduce notifications

Reasons to Avoid

Doesn’t record 4K video out-of-the-box
Positioning is important to save on battery 
Magnetic mount makes the camera easy to steal

The Arlo Ultra is a fully fledged 4K camera that offers stunning quality video footage both during the day and at night. This is a great option for those that want enough quality at night to actually faces of people in shot. You will need to either store that video locally using microSD or pay for a cloud option.

While the cloud activity zones are useful for fewer notifications, positioning the camera carefully is the only way to preserve battery life.

7. Arlo Go: best 4G LTE wireless camera

Best Wireless Security Camera

(Image credit: Arlo)

Arlo Go

Best 4G LTE wireless camera


Resolution: 720p | Camera lens: 130-degree | Night vision: Yes | Recording options: Free cloud, microSD | Two-way talk: Yes | WiFi: 4G LTE

Reasons to Buy

Can use practically everywhere
Free cloud storage
Excellent app

Reasons to Avoid

Comparatively expensive
Requires additional data contract
Low resolution

The Arlo Go is the most mobile unit making it ideal for those who camp regularly, or have a motorhome or boat, or even an outbuilding away from internet coverage. This is thanks to its onboard SIM that offers 4G LTE connectivity wherever there's signal. That cost includes seven days of free cloud storage but remember this will still cost you on data used. You will also need to pay for a subscription service to get full use of activity zones and cut down on alerts and battery wastage. 

The 720p resolution is looking a bit old now but it's still enough to do the job in most situations, both day and night. While you can record to SD, without an LTE connection the camera won't work fully which isn't ideal as you're recording blind.

What you need when setting up a WiFi home security camera

First off, indoor home security cameras shouldn’t be your only line of defense if you’re looking to protect your home from intruders. That said, should the worst happen and you do suffer a break in, these cameras are good enough for you to capture your intruder in the act to be used as evidence against them. They can also give you an early alert, which means intruders can be caught in the act.

Wireless indoor security cameras are just about protecting your home. They can be really useful for making sure your kids come home safe from school if you’re out, while they can also be handy for checking on a family pet when you’re at work. Some even double as baby monitors.

The good news is that you don’t need to pull apart your home to install one of these cameras. All you need is a power socket nearby and a solid WiFi connection. Then it’s simply a question of downloading the accompanying app to your smart device before you’re able to live stream video of your home from anywhere you have an internet connection.

What to look for when buying a wireless security camera

The best wireless indoor security cameras have a number of features to look out for. First up is the video quality captured, with most now recording in Full HD 1080p. Some models now record in 4K and in High Dynamic Range (HDR), delivering even better clarity, especially in high contrast lighting. While the quality can be great, remember you’ll need a decent internet speed to cope with the large data transfer, so that’s something to bear in mind.

It’s not just daylight recording you need to think about, the quality of night-time footage is just as important too. WiFi security cameras use infrared LEDs instead of visible light, so they don't match the color or detail of daytime videos. The coverage is also reduced, but this does vary from camera to camera, with some only having a range of just 15ft, and others 30ft and beyond.

Coverage is also an important consideration. You want to see what’s going on in the whole room ideally, so you’ll want an indoor home security camera with a wide field of view. At around 160-degrees, you can expect to see every part of the room in front of the camera, though some cameras go even wider at 180-degrees. They work best if you mounted high in a corner that overlooks the room.

A wide field of view means digital zoom is important. This allows you to select part of the video and enlarge it, helping you get a closer look at something. Bear in mind that the quality of a digitally enlarged video won't be as sharp or detailed as the original.

Motion sensors

While you can easily live stream, you don’t want to be glued to your smartphone screen waiting for something to happen at home. That’s why the best wireless indoor security cameras feature motion sensors that detect both movement and sound, alerting you via a notification sent direct to your phone, as well as email. To avoid a load of unnecessary alerts, more advanced security cameras can recognise faces and pets as well, so it won’t pester you when your kids are home, but will when a stranger is lurking.

Many indoor security cameras not only feature built-in microphones, so you can hear as well as see what’s going on at home, but also speakers. This means you can communicate with whatever’s going in your house, whether that’s to tell the kids to stop jumping on the sofa or to ward off a burglar. 

Local or cloud storage?

You’ll find that most home security cameras offer a solely cloud-based storage solution, which sees footage automatically sent, stored and backed up at a secure remote location. For security, your files are encrypted so only you have access to them when needed. There are models out there that can either record or backup footage onto MicroSD card as well.

Cameras with local storage let you access your video without subscription fees, though you might need extra memory cards or to write over older footage if you plan to keep your camera recording at all times.

Cloud storage is all about convenience compared local storage, but the trade-off is that there are often subscription fees. You typically don't need a subscription to view a live feed, while some will offer a free amount of storage over a specific period before you have to start paying for the privilege.

An important advantage of cloud storage is that any footage captured is safe and secure, whereas should a burglar break in and take out the memory card, you’ve got no evidence.

Battery or mains power?

Home security cameras will be mains powered, but for extra piece of mind, some also feature a battery power backup as power outages can and do happen. Some savvy burglars even cut the power, leaving your camera out of action if it doesn’t support a battery. That means you’ll have no video evidence of the break-in, so this can be a handy feature to look for.

Smart home integration

As well as creating a multi-camera setup by adding additional cameras, some systems even allow you to integrate them with other smart home gadgets. If you want to do this, check if any home automation or DIY home security systems work with the camera you’re thinking about buying.

These systems can use WiFi security cameras to control smart locks, thermostats and other devices in your smart home. These devices can also tell the camera to record or not, based on your personal preferences. The biggest appeal with these systems comes from using a single app to control all of your smart home devices.