The best home security cameras of 2019 – CNET

The best home security cameras of 2019 – CNET

Whether you’re concerned about theft or you simply want to check in on a mischievous pet, home security cameras can provide alerts and peace of mind. The good news: There are plenty of great options to choose from, with features such as two-way communication, night vision, cloud storage, and HD video for prime video quality. But it can feel daunting to sift through everything out there to find a good match. 

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. Let’s dive in.

The best of the best

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 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.

Read our Arlo Pro 3 review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The $30 Wyze Cam Pan isn’t just a great budget security 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 to go the local storage route. 

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.

Read our Wyze Cam Pan review.

The $229 Nest Hello doorbell features HD live streaming, night vision, motion sensor and motion alerts and person alerts. Person detection won’t tell you who’s at the door, but it will tell you it saw a person. If you pay for the Nest Aware cloud subscription service (subscription fees start at $5 per month for that option), you also get access to saved video recordings, two-way communication and facial recognition.

With facial recognition, you can create a database of friends and family members and get custom alerts telling you who’s there.

Read our Nest Hello review.

Best Alexa doorbell camera

Ring Door View Cam

Chris Monroe/CNET

The $199 Ring Door View Cam is a solid smart video doorbell. Like other Ring cameras, it features HD live streaming, motion alerts and replaces existing peepholes. Pay $3 per month for access to saved video clips so you can review them at a later date. 

It also works with Alexa. With this camera and a compatible Alexa smart display, you can pull up your live feed and even talk to who’s there, straight from your Echo display

Two Ring patent applications suggest that the Amazon home security company is considering adding facial recognition to its cameras in the future. The patents address the possibility of the face-scanning tech running your image through a law enforcement database to ID individuals considered “suspicious.” 

Select US police departments offer Ring products to local residents at a discount, sometimes in exchange for sharing footage with law enforcement.

Ring does not currently offer facial recognition.

Read our Ring Door View Cam review.

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.

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.

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.

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