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Best home security camera 2021: The best indoor and outdoor security cameras for Black Friday

best security camera - Arlo Pro 2
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Keep a watchful eye on your home with our buying guide and reviews of the best home security cameras

Keeping tabs on your home, kids or pets has never been easier thanks to the prevalence of the modern, connected home security camera. They're everywhere these days, allowing you to play Big Brother from wherever you happen to be. and it's usually effortless, too – just launch an app, select your camera and you'll be able to see whether burglars have just broken in or it's just the cat climbing the curtains.

It's not only about live streaming, however. These cameras are packed with smart tech that means they can capture video recordings when they detect movement or sounds, recognise the faces of familiar people, and even alert you when they detect strangers and even tell you if a courier has left a package on the doorstep while you've popped out to the shops for a pint of milk.

With so many products available, however, and the popularity of security cameras mushrooming, it can be tough to know which camera to buy. That's what we're here to help with. In the guide immediately below, we'll explain some of the features to look out for – what separates the merely good from the great security cameras. If you want to skip immediately to our selection of the best home security cameras you can buy right now, however, click one of the links below.

Get over 30% off the Eufy SoloCam E40 for Black Friday

Our home security camera of the year has seen its price slashed for Black Friday. Recording at up to 2K resolution, the Eufy SoloCam E40 is a high-spec, weatherproof machine with AI person detection and motion zones. It's also completely standalone, with an 8GB memory, so no subscriptions to worry about paying for recording storage.
Amazon
Was £120
Now £83

The Blink Mini is at its lowest EVER price for Black Friday

Our favourite budget security camera now has an extra 33% off during the Black Friday sales. With 1080p quality at 30fps, night vision, motion detection, and even two-way audio to speak and hear through the camera remotely, the Blink Mini has all the features you require. At this price, you cannot go wrong.
Amazon
Was £30
Now £20

Get the Ring Spotlight for its cheapest price ever this Black Friday

For Black Friday, Amazon has slashed the price of the Ring Spotlight cam down to its lowest price ever. When we included it on this list, the Spotlight cost £199, but now you can pick one up for just £119.
Amazon
Was £199
Now £119

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How to choose the best home security camera for you

What type of home security camera do you need?

There are two main types of home security camera: indoor cameras and outdoor ones. Indoor cameras tend to be cheaper and typically rely on mains power (often via a USB adapter), while outdoor cameras will have some form of weather-proofing and are usually battery powered to allow for easier DIY setup.

While you can also go wire-free indoors, bear in mind that battery-powered cameras need to be recharged from time to time, which is a faff, especially if you have the camera mounted in a hard-to-reach place. 

READ NEXT: The best smart doorbells for convenience and security

Is video quality important?

In a word, yes. If your camera isn't capable of recording crisp, detailed video in all types of light conditions you may not be able to make out important details, such as number plates or faces. Fortunately, the days of smeary, murky low-resolution video have largely been banished to history and most cameras will capture at 1080p or higher today.

What marks out the best cameras today, however, is the way that video is processed. The most important feature on this front is HDR. These cameras with HDR take the video signal from the camera and brighten up the dark areas while ensuring the bright areas of the image aren't blown out and difficult to see. Cameras without HDR tend to struggle to balance areas of bright and dark with the result that it's often difficult to make out crucial details. 

Night vision is also a key consideration. Most cameras have a night vision mode these days using infrared LEDs to illuminate the area immediately in front of them so they can effectively see in the dark. One or two LEDs are usually enough to light up a small or medium-sized room but, for larger rooms and outdoor spaces, you may need a camera with multiple LEDs. You should also consider a floodlight camera for large outdoor areas, which pairs bright white floodlights and cameras for the ultimate intruder deterrent.       

How expensive is the subscription?

Once motion or audio has been detected, most modern home security cameras will store that clip online so you can view it from or download it to your phone or laptop. And while many home security cameras offer a basic free storage service so you can use your camera without ongoing costs, the free service is often limited in some way.

Indeed, some manufacturers – Ring, for instance – don't allow any access to online storage at all after an initial trial period, after which you need to pay for anything more than live feed access.

It's also worth bearing in mind that what starts out being free may not continue to be in future. In 2017, Y-Cam famously reneged on its cloud storage offering, giving users 14 days' notice that they were going to be charged for a service that was previously free. 

With this in mind, it's worth looking for cameras that can also record video clips locally to a microSD card. While this isn't as flexible as cloud storage, it does give you the option to keep using a camera if the company hikes prices beyond what you're willing to pay. 

READ NEXT: The best carbon monoxide alarms to buy

What other home security camera features should I look out for?

  • Pan and zoom: Some cameras have a motor and optics that allow you to move the camera around remotely. It's a useful feature but not essential. Most home security cameras have a very wide field of view and, if positioned carefully, will be able to provide a view of your entire room
  • Smart assistant/speaker integration: Many manufacturers boast of integration with either Alexa or Google Assistant in their specifications but while some aspects of these features are useful, they're worth taking with a pinch of salt. In most instances, they refer to the ability to ask the digital assistant to display the feed from your camera on your smart screen speaker, which isn't all that useful in our experience
  • Object, person and pet detection: This sounds like a gimmick but being able to filter a long list of motion-triggered video clips by the type of motion detected can be a big time-saver. Some cameras even allow you to link names to faces so that you can be alerted when the camera spots certain people - if you want to know when your kids get home from school, this is an incredibly useful feature.  

READ NEXT: Secure your home with the best wireless burglar alarms

The best indoor home security cameras to buy in 2021

1. Blink Mini: Best budget security camera

Price: £35 | Buy now from Amazon

Most of Amazon-owned Blink's security cameras are rugged outdoor cameras, but the Blink Mini takes a different tack. It's a small, lightweight and basic security camera that costs barely anything, yet it performs at a high level and doesn't cost too much to run.

All the core features you'd expect are covered: it records in 1080p at 30fps, which is better than most cheap security cameras can manage, it offers night vision, motion detection with adjustable motion zones and two-way audio so you can speak and hear through the camera remotely. There's a lengthy free trial of the video-clip cloud storage service, too, until 31 March 2021 after which you have to pay, but it isn't too expensive at £2.50/mth per camera or £8/mth for unlimited cameras.

Image quality is good both in good light and at night, audio is surprisingly clear, and it's an absolute doddle to set up. Oh, and it also works seamlessly with screen-based Echo devices, too, allowing you to bring up the video feed from the camera with a simple voice command.

Key specs – Size: 50 x 49 x 36mm; Field of view: 110 degrees; Video resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 at 30fps; Night vision: Yes; Motion detection: Yes

2. TP-Link Kasa Spot: Best subscription-free recording

Price: £35 | Buy from Amazon

The TP-Link Kasa Spot is an indoor security camera much like the Blink Mini and it costs the same, too. Unlike the Blink Mini, however, the Kasa Spot as a microSD card slot that lets you record clips without having to pay for an online subscription service.

Image quality, which is captured at up to 1080p is sharp and clear, the camera has a night vision mode and you can add activity zones, too, so the camera doesn't trigger unnecessarily. There's also person and sound detection, plus the camera has both a speaker and microphone so you can speak to whoever's on the other end.

If you want to download locally recorded clips you need to pop out the SD card and transfer them using a card, which isn't ideal. All things considered, however, the Kasa Spot is a flexible and good-quality indoor security camera and exceptionally good value for money, too.

Key specs – Size: 59 x 50 x 89mm; Field of view: 130 degrees; Video resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 at 15fps; Night vision: Yes; Motion detection: Yes

3. Ring Indoor Cam: Best indoor home security camera

Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon

Ring features heavily on this list, for good reason. The petite Indoor Cam is another example of the Amazon-owned firm's ability to marry price and performance without compromising; it earned a barnstorming five stars and a Best Buy award from us, with praise being directed at its lightweight but robust design, excellent feature set and – of course – that unbelievable price tag.

The Indoor Cam is flexible: the stand acts as a ceiling or wall mount, meaning you can place it exactly where you want it in your home. We found that the addition of new Modes to the Ring app has vastly improved the amount of control you can exert over your cameras; there are three modes to choose from – Disarmed, Home and Away – and each can be completely customised based on what you want how you want your cameras to respond.

You're also able to set the cameras to watch for human movement only, and can also pair them with a Ring Alarm for additional security. The 1080p camera (with a 140-degree field of view) is good, capturing detail in faces and managing poorly lit environments well too.

Read our full Ring Indoor Cam review

Key specs – Size: 45.8 x 45.8 x 75mm; Field of view: 140 degrees; Video resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Night vision: Yes; Motion detection: Yes

4. Yi Home Camera 1080p: Best cheap indoor home security camera

Price: £43 | Buy now from Amazon

Our favourite budget indoor security camera has just been updated with artificial intelligence smarts that add the ability to detect humans. That means you can set the camera to only receive alerts when the camera detects someone in your home, filtering out other motion events such as the cat strolling casually by. It works pretty well, too, detecting people even when they're sat down and side on to the camera.

The rest of the package is pretty much as before. The camera itself is basic, but image quality is decent, you get night vision and baby crying detection for those wanting to employ it as a baby monitor, plus there’s two-way audio so you can speak to whoever’s at the other end if you want.

And although the cloud video clip storage isn’t free on an ongoing basis – the first month comes gratis then you have to pay after that – the camera does have a microSD card slot so you can store clips locally and access them that way instead.

It’s basic but the Yi Home Camera 1080p is a great little security camera for those who don’t want to shell out loads.

Key specs – Size: 80 x 32 x 114mm; Weight: 200g; Field of view: 112 degrees; Video resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Night vision: Yes; Motion detection: Yes; Extra features: Person detection, baby crying detection

5. Nest Cam IQ: Best for facial recognition

Price: £299 | Buy now from Argos

Despite looking like something out of Wall-E, the indoor Nest Cam IQ is easy to set up and use. In terms of the basics, it has everything covered: it captures 1080p video at 30fps, has a 130-degree field of view, packs a pair of infrared LEDs for night vision and a triple microphone/speaker array for two-way communication.

It’s the facial-recognition technology that really makes the Nest stand out from the crowd, though. The app will alert you every time it picks up an unfamiliar face and ask you whether you know the person or not and, as time goes by, it puts together a database of known people only notifying you if a stranger comes into view.

Read our full Nest Cam IQ review

Key specs – Size: 74 x 74 x 124mm; Weight: 360g; Field of view: 130 degrees; Video resolution: 1,280 x 1,080; Night vision: Yes; Motion detection: Yes

Buy now from Argos


The best outdoor home security cameras to buy in 2020

1. Eufy SoloCam E40: The best security camera for outdoor use

Price: £120 (one camera) | Buy now from Amazon

The Eudy SoloCam E40 is our favourite outdoor security camera right now for a number of different reasons. It records video at up to 2K resolution, its battery lasts up to three months per charge, it's weatherproof to the IP65 standard and it's very easy to mount and use. It's relatively inexpensive and it even comes with AI person detection, adjustable sensitivity and motion zones so you don't have to put up with constant nagging alerts all the time.

The best thing about the SoloCam E40, however, is that it's completely standalone, and not tied to proprietary hardware or expensive subscription-based cloud storage. Indeed, with  8GB of onboard storage you'll be able to access months worth of recorded video clips before the Eufy SoloCam E40 runs out of space and starts to overwrite old clips.

Although it isn't quite as clever as some other cameras, which can detect animals and other objects, it's the no-strings-attached approach that makes this the best security camera for most people and it's our pick for those seeking a well-priced outdoor security camera.

Read our full Eufy SoloCam E40 review

Key specs – Size: 57 x 96 x 57mm; Weight: 399g; Field of view: 130 degrees; Video resolution: 2,304 x 1,296; Night vision: Up to 8m; Motion detection: Yes (with adjustable sensitivity and AI person detection)

2. Kami Wire-free Outdoor Security Camera: Best cheap outdoor security camera

Price: £80 | Buy now from Currys PC World

The Kami Wire-free is a cheap outdoor camera that records only short, 6-second video clips by default. It records 1080p video and it offers free, lifetime seven-day storage for your motion-triggered video clips.

Plus, there's the option to record longer clips if you want – just pop in a microSD card and you can extend clip recordings up to 60 seconds in length. Be aware, though, there is a cooldown period of around three minutes in between clip captures on the free storage plan, so you may want to upgrade to a paid-for plan if you want to certain of capturing absolutely everything. Still, storage plans start at a reasonable £3.33 per month or £40 per year for seven-day rolling clip storage with no cooldown period (check the website rather than the app for the cheapest prices).

With a battery life of three to six months via rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (a charger is supplied), night vision, two-way audio and decent image quality, the Kami Wire-free Outdoor Security Camera is a very tempting option for homeowners on a budget. Its only major shortcoming is the inability to set up motion zones; for this price, though, we can forgive such a minor indiscretion.

Key specs – Size: 68 x 138 x 68mm; Weight: 200g; Field of view: 140 degrees; Video resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Night vision: Up to 8m; Motion detection: Yes (PIR based); Free clip storage option: yes, 6 seconds with cooldown period

Buy now from Currys PC World


3. Blink Outdoor: Best for battery life

Price: £100 (single), £180 (twin) | Buy now from Amazon

The Blink Outdoor is the replacement for our previous favourite outdoor security camera, the Blink XT2 and it doesn't change an awful lot. It still captures high-resolution 1080p clips and is weatherproof and it boasts an impressive two years of battery life from a couple of AA batteries.

What's changed is that Amazon has removed the free cloud-based clip storage that made the original so attractive. Instead, you have a couple of options: pay for a monthly cloud video subscription (it's currently free until 31 March 2021, then £2.50 per camera per month); or you can record clips to local storage via the Sync Module 2. The catch is that the latter is a £35 optional extra.

Other upgrades include more advanced and customisable activity detection zones and it gives you the option to generate motion-triggered notifications without recording video, so you can use the camera without either a subscription or the Sync Module 2. There's also a new battery expansion pack that doubles the already-long battery life of the Blink Outdoor camera by adding space for an extra pair of AA batteries. Plus, the Blink Outdoor also has all the features the previous model, including night vision and support for two-way audio plus seamless Alexa support.

In short, the Blink Outdoor remains one of our favourite outdoor security cameras. The loss of free cloud clip storage is frustrating but with the addition of the Sync Module 2 you can replicate that feature for not much extra.

Key specs – Size: 71 x 71 x 31mm; Weight: 48g; Field of view: 110 degrees; Video resolution: 1080p; Night vision: Yes; Motion detection: Yes


4. Ring Video Doorbell 3: Best for weaker Wi-Fi setups

Price: from £200 | Buy from Amazon

There isn't much physically different about the third-generation video doorbell from Ring but it features a number of significant improvements over the previous model. The most important of these is better Wi-Fi, with dual-band connectivity included where the original was only able to hook up to 2.4GHz networks. That means, potentially, your connection can be more reliable, although we'd still recommend that users whose broadband router is a long way from the front door purchase the Ring Chime Pro to extend wireless range.

Other improvements include more flexible motion detection, allowing users to choose a new "near" motion zone that means the camera won't alert you if people simply walk past the front door. Plus, there's a neat additional function called pre-roll, that lets the camera capture footage four seconds prior to motion being detected. Strangely, this feature costs an extra £20 to enable, however.

Otherwise, it's pretty much the same offering as the Ring Video Doorbell 2. Video footage is captured at a resolution of 1080p. The doorbell is battery-powered so there's no need to wire it up to the mains, although you do have the option to do that if you want to. And if you want to capture clips rather than just look at the live feed and talk to people at the door remotely, you need to pay a subscription after the 30-day trial expires, although this isn't too expensive. What you still don't get with the Ring Doorbell 3 is facial recognition as you do with the Nest Hello; other than that, though, this is a well-priced and easy-to-install option to keep the front of your home surveilled.

Key specs – Size: 62 x 28 x 122mm; Field of view: 160 degrees (horizontal); Video resolution: 1080p; Night vision: Yes; Motion detection: Yes; People detection: Yes; Face detection: No


5. Ring Spotlight Cam: Best for dark corners

Price: £199 | Buy now from Amazon

We're not fans of Ring's expensive subscription model but if you're looking to add some security to an outside building or a normally dark entrance, the Ring Spotlight Cam does hold some appeal.

Featuring a 1080p camera flanked by a pair of LED bar lights, the camera not only records anyone and notifies whoever approaches it but it floods them with bright, white light as well. There's also a siren for the ultimate deterrent.

It's also powered by a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that you can plug directly into a charger via microUSB, making installation super easy (although a mains powered model is also available). And it has a second battery bay so that, while one battery is charging, the other can keep it running.

Key specs – Size: 69 x 76 x 126mm; Field of view: 140 degrees; Video resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Night vision: Yes; Motion detection: Yes