We will be looking at some important security camera buying guides, this is because there are tons of security cameras out there, and knowing the right one to buy is very important. This article will cover some of the basic guides regarding choosing a camera system that will assist you with enough information to make a well-informed choice to avoid getting any surprises when you purchase the camera system. We have the complete details on what to look for in home security camera, you can read that also.
How to choose a security camera (Wired vs Wireless Camera)
The general information or know-how that involves most security cameras out there and how to choose one include:
When we talk of resolution this includes 720p, 1080p, and 4k resolutions. But one thing you should take into consideration is the megapixel value, most security camera manufacturers don’t usually display this information, but I advise contacting them asking what the megapixel value is. From my research, I realize that some of these cameras have one to two megapixels, and usually fall into two megapixels. Even though on the packaging it may say 1080p picture quality and the picture may be very poor, this is because the camera may just be a one-megapixel camera.
Megapixels in a camera are not enough to guarantee the camera will have better picture quality.
Lenses, image sensors, and processing algorithms
These three things together help to improve the picture quality especially if you are looking for a camera with zoom features. In this case, you are better going for a camera with optical zoom, the digital zoom is also ok but not as good as optical zoom. With the optical zoom you can zoom in quite a lot and also see and view more details, this is very important to keep in mind.
Microphone and speakers
Some security cameras also have a built-in microphone that records video footage as well as audio. You may be thinking this is useful, and yes it is, some security cameras can send you alerts if it picks up some noise. But this could be just some decibels or at a certain level, this automatically sends out a notification once it detects motion or noise. As well as the microphone you could decide on a speaker as well, this can be a two-way speaker camera so when someone comes close to the camera you can speak and listen to them. The downside here is that if they are a bit far from the camera, the sound quality can be poor. When you have background noise, this can also affect the quality of sound you get. With this feature, you are better off speaking to anyone inside the property or very close to the camera to hear them.
Some of these cameras also have storage systems like the micro SD card slots which you just have to put in the micro SD card then it records any footage. So if you have a Wi-Fi camera and the connection is lost the camera will still record and stored it on the SD card. If you have a base station the camera will record directly into the base station. The advantage of having a base station is that if the camera gets stolen or damaged like people always do, the footage remains in the base station. The base station is usually inside the property somewhere nobody will see it.
You can also go for a security camera with cloud-based storage, but you need an internet connection for this, you need stable internet for this, you can easily access the recording from anywhere even if the camera gets stolen or damaged. You will also need a compression algorithm to record, this compresses the video data, you need this format H.264 because it has a good amount of compression and it gives you more data on your storage system.
Also, use a camera that supports ONVIF (network video interface forum, this gives you a generic interface for applications so you don’t need to use the camera app. You can use a generic app on any device like a mobile phone or computer which you can directly connect to the camera. This requires you to enter an IP address, username, and password. You may require software or you may not be able to connect remotely to the camera.
When using a battery there are things to remember, you have some options like a standalone camera.
A standalone camera like the energy camera uses an internal battery which can also be connected to a solar panel so the battery remains charged. Some of these cameras use a PIR sensor so when there’s an activity the PIR sensor activates the camera to start recording. What happens here is that the camera is not on or recording only when there is an activity. But the downside is that it can miss the first seconds of things happening. Another option is the base station battery which is connected inside the property to keep the recording going.
Some of the Wi-Fi security cameras use 2.4 gigahertz wi-fi and some use 5 gigahertz. These WiFi cameras also have an SD card to record, if the Wi-Fi signal gets disrupted the recording will still be on. The good thing with WiFi cameras is that it is easy to set up and running, but you will need a power plug to plug it in. With the outside security cameras, you will need an outdoor power source or run a cable into the house through the window which does not look nice. Another option is a complete CCTV system with a Wi-Fi base that should be close to the base station and away from any interference so nothing blocks the signal while recording. Things like a wall or objects can restrict signal if you are using Wi-Fi cameras.
A wired security camera system
With the wired security camera systems, it is easy to set up but requires to have some sort of power over ethernet (PoE), and you do have to plug it nearby.
Best home security camera systems
We have selected some of the best home security cameras with all the above-mentioned features you should look for when buying a camera. Not all the cameras have all the features combine, but some have more related features than others. To further protect your home, personal measures should also be taking like the closing of doors, keeping keys away from prying eyes, and activating the home security alarm system before leaving home. With all these mentioned, the question now is, what is the best home security camera to buy?
For the best security camera for your home, the Reolink 8CH home security camera is the best, the cameras have a 2560 × 1920 HD resolution, 5.0 megapixels, full HD display, clear video footage, night vision, a pre-installed 2TB HDD storage, motion detection, a built-in microphone, and are easy to install.
There is a reason this Reolink security camera could be the best home security camera to have. The packaging has four security cameras with a full HD display, the display is 2560 x 1920 which produces very clear video footage during the day and night time. The cameras also have night vision of 100ft that can capture any movement. One important thing to note is that these cameras are outdoor cameras that can withstand up to -10°C and +45°C and are easily installed. The cameras have a base station that uses HDMI for your monitor and a 60ft cable used for the installations. The advantage of having the Reolink is having a stable connection, it uses a PoE system for a stable connection. It has 8 PoE ports which are on the NVR video recorder, you can also connect up to 8 cameras. With the PoE system, both audio, video, and power are transmitted through a single cable.
This is an IP camera system which means you will get a stable connection with a strong signal and speed. For the storage, there is a pre-installed 2TB HDD storage system which you can easily upgrade by adding another external 4TB HDD, and the recorded footage can be stored for up to 10 days using just the 2TB HDD. The manufacturer has also stated that the cameras have 5.0 megapixels for clear images. The cameras are equipped with night vision so it can pick up recordings in the dark, it also has a built-in microphone for sound detection. This is an all-around security camera with all the required features for the best home cameras. With the field of view, you can easily point the cameras to record a particular area. It also has a smart motion alert that sends a notification to your phone, tablet, or PC through the Reolink app, with the app you can monitor and control the cameras from anywhere.
REOLINK 8CH 5MP PoE Home Security Camera System, 4pcs Wired 5MP Outdoor PoE IP Cameras, 8MP/4K 8-Channel NVR with 2TB HDD for 24/7 Recording, RLK8-520D4
- CAPTURE CRIME FROM DETAILS: Discover potential crime has never been so easier with superior 5MP HD. With advanced IR light, you can see up to 100ft in the dark, helping to protect your property and loved ones even at night.
- SMART PERSON/VEHICLE DETECTION – Smart PoE IP cameras can identify people and vehicles minimizing unwanted alerts triggered by bugs or leaves. Filter true threats and get to know what happened simply by glancing at the lock screen. General Motion Dectection is also available.
- PLUG & PLAY: With everything needed, the system can be easily installed even by yourself. Just hook all the cameras up with the NVR and you can enjoy your whole new security system day and night.
- HEAR THE EVIDENCE: Hear every detail of your surroundings and make sure everything is under your control. With built-in mic of the cameras, you won’t miss any suspicious noise or conversation when the crisis arises with just one click to turn the function on.
- WORRY-FREE PURCHASE: Need any help? Reolink provides a 2-year limited warranty and lifetime tech support. Feel free to contact us via emails and Amazon Message anytime you want.
- 5.0 megapixels.
- Full HD display.
- Very clear video footage.
- Night vision.
- Easily installed.
- Pre-installed 2TB HDD storage.
- Built-in microphone.
- No Voice assistant.
- No two-way audio.
- Not ideal for indoor.
- Not cheap.
Wyze Cam v3 1080p HD Indoor/Outdoor Video Camera
This indoor/outdoor security camera from WYZE is white and has an alert system for both audio and motion detection, it also has a video capture resolution of 1080p. The camera also has a color night vision that records video in full during the night with vivid color in an environment even up to 25 times dark. The camera serves both as an indoor and outdoor video camera and it is a wired water-resistant security camera that can easily be installed in any room or outside the building under the rain.
How this is works is that it records video motions and sounds once detected and sends an alert to your mobile devices like your phone. You can also adjust the sensitivity of detection using the motion detection zones. It is also two-way audio which lets you speak and listen to anyone on your property in front of the camera. If in case you see someone on your property, you can use the siren button to scare them off.
Another important thing to note is that it comes with 14-day cloud storage that records the first 12-second video while the rest of the video is stored in a micro SD card which records continuously for 24 hours and 7 days a week. Once in the cloud, you have 14 days to retrieve and watch the video. You do need a microSD card anyway and the Wyze mobile app, it also works with Alexa and Google Assistant, and IFTTT. The picture quality is bright. There is also an add-on for the Cam Plus that records any detected motions for a longer time, this will override the 12 seconds video recording.
Wyze Cam v3 1080p HD Indoor/Outdoor Video Camera with Color Night Viewing, 2-Way Audio, Works with Alexa & The Google Assistant and IFTTT with Wyze 32GB MicroSDHC Card Class 10
- Color night vision: An all-new Starlight Sensor records night time video in full, vivid color. The Starlight Sensor can see full color in environments up to 25x darker than traditional video cameras and the new f/1.6 aperture captures 2x more light.
- Indoor/Outdoor: Wyze Cam v3 is a wired video camera with an IP65 rating so you can confidently install it outside in the rain or inside in the kids’ room.
- Motion & Sound detection: Wyze Cam records video when motion or sound is detected and sends an alert straight to your phone. Motion Detection Zones and custom settings allow you to adjust the sensitivity of detection or turn it off completely.
- Two-way audio: Greet visitors and have a conversation with loud two-way audio. Wyze Cam v3 also has a siren button you can press to scare off unwanted guests.
- 24/7 Continuous Recording: Continuous video recording with a 32GB MicroSD card. Just insert the MicroSD into the base of the Wyze Cam and you’re all set.
- Both indoor and outdoor security cameras.
- Alert systems for both audio and motion detection.
- Capture resolution of 1080p.
- Water-resistant security
- Two-way audio.
- Siren button.
- 14-day free cloud storage.
- Does not state the megapixel
- Upgrade for Cam Plus add-on
The Blink Mini is another security camera I strongly recommend to anyone looking for an indoor camera security system, the camera has voice control that can be used with Alexa to control the functions. It also has a video capture resolution of 1080p and is a plug-in security camera with a motion and audio detection system. With the Blink app installed on your phone, you can see, hear, and speak to anyone in your home, and once there is a motion you will get an alert on your device with the motion detection zones and the Blink Mini live view. The camera is a plug-in smart security camera that needs a connection to Wi-Fi. There is also 30-day free cloud storage included which you can subscribe to with Blink subscription plan or you can use the Sync module 2 and a USB flash drive to record events. After the 30-day free subscription, you can opt-in for a monthly fee installment and you can pair an unlimited number of Blink Mini’s.
Blink Mini – Compact indoor plug-in smart security camera, 1080 HD video, night vision, motion detection, two-way audio, Works with Alexa – 1 camera
- Monitor the inside of your home day and night with our 1080P HD indoor plug-in smart security camera with motion detection and two-way audio.
- See, hear, and speak to people and pets in your home from your smartphone with Blink Mini’s live view and two-way audio.
- Get alerts on your smartphone whenever motion is detected or customize motion detection zones so you can see what matters most.
- Use Mini as an indoor plug-in chime for Blink Video Doorbell. Hear a real-time alert from Mini when someone presses your Video Doorbell.
- Choose to save and share clips with a free 30-day trial of the Blink Subscription Plan or locally with the Sync Module 2 (sold separately).
- Easy to set up.
- Voice control with Alexa.
- Two-way audio system.
- Operated with mobile app.
- A 30-day free cloud subscription.
- Only for indoors.
- No mention of the megapixel.
- View live is not continuous.
Zmodo Outdoor Security Camera 1080p Full HD Wireless Cameras for Home Security
Zmodo outdoor security camera is a 4 pack camera with an option to buy 1, 2, 3, or 4 packs. The camera has an alert system for motion detection only, the wireless communication works with 4G, 3G, and Wi-Fi, it is a coded electric camera, and the video capture resolution is 1080p full HD. Looking at this camera it is easily recommendable because of how well it is designed, it is designed to withstand any weather and it is rated IP66 waterproof camera. The antenna on it is there to provide a strong signal with a wide area Wi-Fi connection.
It is a full HD camera for day and night view with 20 IR LEDs vision, according to the product manual it can records up to 65 feet away in the dark and the recorded videos can be viewed from anywhere on your device using the Zmodo app, on the phone, tablet or PC. The camera has an auto smart motion detection that detects movement and sends out an immediate alert on your device. The hands-free voice control works with Alexa and Google Assistant. With the Zmodo security camera, you can get a 30-day free trial of Zmodo cloud services where you can review recorded videos, save them, and also share the recording.
Zmodo 1080p Full HD Outdoor Wireless Security Camera System, 4 Pack Smart Home Indoor Outdoor WiFi IP Cameras with Night Vision, Compatible with Alexa
2 used from $104.49
- 【1080P Full HD non-stop monitoring】 get a crystal clear full-HD picture of your home from anywhere at any time and see up to 65ft away in the dark Smarter and adjustable night vision allows you to see color image even in a dim environment by lowering the IR sensitivity
- 【Weather-resistant for outdoor】 this professional security camera is weatherproof with a supported temperature range From -10℃ to 50℃ can be placed both indoors and outdoors to protect every inch of your home through every season in rain or shine
- 【Works with Alexa】 Zmodo 1080P outdoor Wi-Fi camera works with Alexa Control Zmodo camera with your voice by saying "Alexa show me the front door" To view a live stream from your camera
- 【Zmodo cloud recording with 1-month free trial】 instead of receiving just pictures you'll be notified with video clips in Zmodo App when motion is detected Motion video clips are saved in the cloud Enjoy a free trial 30-day of Zmodo 7 day cloud recording plan With the plan you can review save and share footage at any time and reduce false alerts with cloud intelligence
- Durability and waterproof.
- Full HD video recording.
- Camera alert system.
- Wi-Fi connection.
- Motion detection.
- Alexa and Google Assitant voice control.
- 30-day free Zmodo cloud services.
- 240 meters Wi-Fi connection.
- No audio and speaker.
Heimvision HMD2 Wireless Rechargeable Battery-Powered Security Camera
This is my first recommended battery-powered security camera from Heimviion for outdoor and indoor, the alert type is both audio and motion, the only wire communication is Wi-Fi, has a video capture resolution of 1080p, and can also be powered by a solar system. The camera has a built-in rechargeable battery which makes it clutter-free, it also has a Wi-Fi connection so you can connect to the camera wirelessly. With the Heimlife app you can control most of the features of the camera, it also uses the Heimlife cloud service that requires a fee where you can store recordings which the company promises to be unlimited.
The camera is a high-resolution video security camera that can capture any motion at night time, and the night vision can switch automatically once it’s dark. This camera has a smart PIR body detection that detects anyone and sends alerts to your phone, but you need the app for this. The camera has a two-way audio feature whereby you can speak to anyone at the other end of the camera while you listen with the app through your phone. Heimlife HMD2 security camera is rated IP65 waterproof camera making it ideal for outdoor use.
heimvision HMD2 Wireless Rechargeable Battery-Powered Security Camera, 1080P Video with 2-Way Audio, Night Vision, Waterproof Home Indoor/Outdoor WiFi Cameras with Cloud Service
- 100% Wire-Free & Solar Powered: Built-in rechargeable battery and Wi-Fi, the installation and the connection of HeimVision battery security camera are 100% wireless, which gives you the added convenience of not having to deal with any outlets or tangled mess of wires. International-standard battery of high quality endures over time. Compatible with HMS1 Solar Panel, it is solar-power rechargeable, and that enables the easy installation and usage outside. (Sold separately)
- Easy to Use & Cloud Service: Exclusive App HeimLife is available for download on GooglePlay and in App Store for your use of HeimVision WiFi camera. The intuitive of the user interface provides a satisfying user experience while easing the pairing, recording and browsing process. HeimLife cloud service requires no personal data and protects surveillance videos with HTTPS Certified Security. Unlimited cloud storage for a limited fee. You can browse your surveillance history anywhere, anytime.
- 1080P HD Resolution & Night Vision：1080P high resolution video security camera can clearly capture every motion even in the dark. HeimVision outdoor home camera can auto-switches to night vision mode when it darks out. With 130° wide-angle, the surveillance range is convenient for outdoor and indoor use.Frame Rate:25fps
- Smart PIR Body Detection: PIR sensor detects mammals of about 37°C/98.6°F and sends alerts to your phone. HeimLife App pushes the most accurate real-time notification. With the two-way audio feature, the home security camera can also be used as a pet camera or a IP camera that allows conversation between the mobile end and the surveillance scene. Have fun interacting with your pet!
- IP65 Weatherproof & Premium Services: Outdoor wireless camera boasts a durable and long lasting design that is IP65 weatherproof for years of reliable outdoor use, even in harsh weather conditions. With well-experienced engineers and dedicated support team, we always standing by our side and ready to help you If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
- Cloud service.
- Easy to use and install.
- Night vision.
- Smart PIR motion detection.
- Two-way audio system.
- No mention of megapixels.
Now that we have come to the end of the article, the recap on how to choose a security camera system for your home includes checking for the resolution, lenses, image sensors, and processing algorithms of the camera. Other important features to look for are a camera with a microphone and speakers which is either a two-way system or just audio detection, the storage method, and capacity. Finally, you can also choose to go for a battery-powered camera or a wired system that requires a direct connection to the network adaptor and or a Wi-Fi camera.
- How to choose a security camera (Wired vs Wireless Camera)
- Best home security camera systems
- Reolink 8CH 5MP PoE Home Security Camera System
- Wyze Cam v3 1080p HD Indoor/Outdoor Video Camera
- Blink Mini – Compact indoor plug-in smart security camera
- Zmodo Outdoor Security Camera 1080p Full HD Wireless Cameras for Home Security
- Heimvision HMD2 Wireless Rechargeable Battery-Powered Security Camera