Reviews You Can Rely On

The 3 Best Security Cameras of 2024

We tested home security cameras from Nest, Ring, Blink, Wyze, and more to find the best cams for your needs
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Best Security Camera Review
Credit: Austin Palmer
By Nick Miley, Austin Palmer, and Matt Spencer  ⋅  May 29, 2024

The Best Security Cameras for 2024


Ever wished that you had eyes in the back of your head? We've tested close to 30 home security cameras since 2017. In the most recent iteration of our review, we bought and tested the 12 best models in a side-by-side comparative analysis. We looked at every aspect of these devices, from recorded quality to the details of the subscription services. With the information from these tests provided below, you can quickly and effectively parse the market for the perfect camera for your needs and budget.

The home security device market is expansive, and doing research can be confusing and time-consuming. We're here to bring you focused and in-depth information so you can find the right device to protect your loved ones and property. We offer complete testing and reviews for products like the best smoke detectors and top smart locks. If you're interested in surveilling your local wildlife, check out our favorite trail cameras for your property, too.

Editor's Note: We updated our home security camera review on May 29, 2024, to include more information on our testing process.

Top 12 Security Cameras

Displaying 1 - 5 of 12
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Awards   Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award  
Price $600 List
$449.99 at Amazon
$36 List
$29.88 at Amazon
$30 List
$29.98 at Amazon
$40 List
$39.98 at Amazon
$30 List
Overall Score
67
80
83
85
75
Star Rating
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Pros 4K video, can call first responders to location, spotlightInexpensive, most features available without subscription, color night visionSupports 256GB SD card, extremely economical, built-in spotlight, color night vision, indoor or outdoor useColor night vision, 360 pan and tilt, no subscription required, supports 256GB SD card, budget-friendly, indoor or outdoor useSufficient live and download video quality, good onboard microphone
Cons Expensive, battery-powered only, poor quality speakerPlug-in power source, no remote panning, no backup batteryNo battery backup, slight audio delay in live videoIR lights are very visible, background noise on live feed, minor audio delay on live feedPoor night vision, relatively slow frame rate, no onboard speaker
Bottom Line This device walks the line between a security camera and a security system, as it's bundled with two cameras and a base stationA high-performance camera at a low price that allows access to most of its features without a subscriptionAnother great camera from Wyze, and super affordable. You can't go wrong with this option for monitoring your homeA great camera that offers incredible performance, enhanced by the ability to pan and tilt — you won't be disappointedAn all-around decent quality camera that cuts a few corners to keep the price low
Rating Categories Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless Wyze Cam v3 Wyze Cam OG Wyze Cam Pan v3 YI 1080p Home
Recorded Video Quality (35%)
6.4
7.5
8.4
8.9
6.5
Monitoring Performance (35%)
5.2
7.8
7.8
7.8
7.8
Ease of Use (30%) Sort Icon
8.7
8.7
8.7
8.7
8.4
Specs Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless Wyze Cam v3 Wyze Cam OG Wyze Cam Pan v3 YI 1080p Home
Camera Type (Indoor or Outdoor) Indoor and Outdoor Indoor Only Indoor and Outdoor Indoor and Outdoor Indoor and Outdoor
WiFi Type Dual-band
802.11a/b/g/n
2.4 GHz
802.11b/g/n
2.4 GHz
802.11b/g/n
2.4 GHz
802.11b/g/n
2.4 GHz
802.11b/g/n
Encryption Types 28-bit SSL, AED-128, TSL AES 128-bit 256-bit encryption
and SSL
H.263 AES 128-bit
Resolutions Available 1080p
2K
4K
1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p
Video FPS 25 FPS 20 FPS Day
15 FPS Night
N/A 20 FPS Day
15 FPS Night
20 FPS Day
15 FPS Night
Wired or Battery Battery Wired Battery Wired Wired
Smart Device Compatability Apple HomeKit
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
Smart Things
IFTTT
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
IFTTT
Not Supported Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
IFTTT
Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
IFTTT
Siren Volume (dB) 62.8 dB 67.8 dB 70.2 dB 67.6 dB 66.0 dB


Best Overall Camera


Wyze Cam Pan v3


85
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Recorded Video Quality 8.9
  • Monitoring Performance 7.8
  • Ease of Use 8.7
REASONS TO BUY
Inexpensive
Most features available without a subscription
Pans and tilts
Local storage
REASONS TO AVOID
No backup power source
Live feed audio delay

The Wyze Cam Pan v3 is an overall leader in home security camera technology, providing a high level of performance that includes great daytime recorded audio and video quality, excellent color night vision with a spotlight, the ability to pan and tilt, and robust monitoring capabilities like motion tracking. It is also easy to manage via an intuitive and feature-rich app that provides users with a wide range of alerts and settings. Capturing events and monitoring your home doesn't get much easier or better than this. The v3 is also among the most affordable cameras we've tested, making it an incredible value in addition to being a top performer. Live monitoring and data storage are included, which can be turned into an affordable paid subscription that enables additional features, like more intelligent motion detection that distinguishes people from animals and general motion. Additional cloud video storage is also included with the paid subscription. Unlike many other security cameras, if you opt for the free subscription, you can still record video to an onboard SD card up to 256GB, and the home security camera is still fully functional, keeping both upfront and long-term costs very low. There were several upgrades made to the v3 from the Wyze Cam Pan v2 version. These include better weather resistance, privacy mode, an app, and a larger pan and tilt range.

So what's not to like about the Wyze Cam Pan v3? There honestly wasn't much to gripe over, but it would be nice to have an option for a backup power source for when the power goes out. We would also love to see Wyze improve upon a minor audio delay that is present in live video feeds. All in all, this camera is a great value that offers premium performance in a package that can pan and tilt. This device can't be beaten in performance or features at any price. However, if you're looking for a device with specific facial recognition features and the price isn't a concern, check out the Google Nest Cam.

We're aware of recent security concerns with Wyze Cameras; however, Wyze has stated that they have solved the issue. See more information on Wyze's service status and known issues page.

Read more: Wyze Cam Pan v3 review

The Wyze Cam Pan v3 pans and tilts for a full range of motion at a fast 120 degrees per second.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best for Live Monitoring


Google Nest Cam


80
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Recorded Video Quality 7.5
  • Monitoring Performance 9.1
  • Ease of Use 7.4
REASONS TO BUY
Facial recognition
Great night vision
Redundant power source
REASONS TO AVOID
Big/conspicuous camera,
No alarm on camera

The upmarket Google Nest Cam has superb live video quality supported by a fantastic onboard microphone and speaker. An unusual element of note is the familiar face feature that allows you to save individuals' faces and have the camera notify you when they are detected. Other specifications that we like are the redundant battery/plug-in power source, the high-resolution night vision, and the reasonably well-laid-out app. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the Nest is the ease with which it fits into Google's Smart Home system.

While the Nest Cam is a top-performing camera, it falls short where cost is concerned because it is priced much higher than comparable devices. Included in this cost assessment is the subscription required to gain access to many of the features that make this camera competitive. For example, glass breaking alerts, emergency service notifications, and smoke and carbon monoxide detection. Also, the night vision lacks color (though we don't think that's a huge deal). The camera is also larger and more conspicuous than its competitors, which could be a pro or con depending on your situation. All that said, we acknowledge that some will find the upfront and long-term costs of the Nest worth the money if they are using Google's Smart Home platform, or they just have to have its specialized features like the familiar face alert. However, if this device gives you sticker shock from its list price, we recommend the Wyze Cam Pan v3.

Read more: Google Nest Cam review

You can use the mobile app to watch live footage of your home with the Google Nest Cam.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Best Camera On a Budget


Wyze Cam OG


83
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Recorded Video Quality 8.4
  • Monitoring Performance 7.8
  • Ease of Use 8.7
REASONS TO BUY
Affordable
Lots of features without subscription
Great performance
Local storage
REASONS TO AVOID
No pan or tilt
Audio delays in live footage

The Wyze Cam OG camera is not only a good option because of its affordable price tag, it's an excellent camera any way you look at it. It shares many of the same features for monitoring performance and ease of use with the Wyze camera app as other top Wyze cameras. It offers the same impressive 1080p video quality and color night vision performance as the best cameras we tested. The camera already boasts a wide range of features and settings without a subscription service, but adding the very affordable subscription service extends monitoring performance and provides extra video storage, and is a real value when compared to the cost of subscriptions offered by competing brand names.

Our only minor gripes with the Wyze Cam OG are the ever so slight audio delay on live video feeds and the camera is limited to a 120-degree field of view since it cannot pan or tilt. However, at such an economical price, it's easy to justify spending the money to buy multiple cameras, maximize your coverage, and control all of them easily and conveniently from the very intuitive and robust camera app. If you're willing to spend just a bit more, the Wyze Cam Pan v3 has 360-degree panning abilities combined with a 180-degree vertical tilt.

Read more: Wyze Cam OG review

The Wyze OG has great night vision compared to other cams.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
85
Wyze Cam Pan v3
Best Overall Camera
$40
Editors' Choice Award
83
Wyze Cam OG
Best Camera On a Budget
$30
Best Buy Award
80
Google Nest Cam
Best for Live Monitoring
$180
Top Pick Award
80
Wyze Cam v3
$36
77
Ring Stick Up Cam Battery
$100
75
YI 1080p Home
$30
67
Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless
$600
66
Arlo Pro 4
$200
59
SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor
$190
50
Canary Flex
$199
47
Blink Mini
$30
46
Blink Outdoor
$100

security camera - while many cameras look similar, they do not perform at the same...
While many cameras look similar, they do not perform at the same level.
Credit: Matt Spencer

How We Test Security Cameras


In the most recent update of our home security camera review, we researched dozens of cameras, read reviews and promotional material, and thoroughly documented the products before thoughtfully selecting 12 of the market's leading models for in-house testing. Before settling on our test metrics and tests, we scrutinized every technical aspect and specification of each model. We assessed video quality and real-time monitoring performance, including alarm volume and sound quality, and we evaluated each cam's user-friendliness and ease of setup. Our testing required dozens of hours of side-by-side comparative analyses to extrapolate the most pertinent information, and hopefully make it easier for you to select the best camera for your needs and budget. For more on our testing process, see our full How We Test article.

We tested home security cameras across three performance metrics:
  • Recorded Video Quality (35% of total score weighting)
  • Monitoring Performance (35% weighting)
  • Ease of Use (30% weighting)

Why Trust GearLab


Senior Research Analyst Austin Palmer, review editor Matt Spencer, and author Nick Miley worked together to update our home security camera review over the years. This trio has well over a decade of combined experience testing home electronics such as electric mowers, microwaves, and electric scooters.

Nick brings analytical techniques honed in university laboratories scouring the literature, setting up testing protocols, recording and analyzing data, and writing peer-reviewed journal articles about the results. Austin has thousands of hours of hands-on testing experience working with products ranging from gaming keyboards to 3D printers and is now overseeing GearLab's testing facility. Austin's insight into understanding the finer details that often make big differences in consumer satisfaction is well-recognized in the industry. Matt, one of the newer members of our test team, brings his technical knowledge and consumer electronic experience that helps drive the designs of our tests, evaluations, and testing procedures, ensuring thoroughness and confidence in the work that we perform.

Night vision facial feature and text testing.
Night vision facial feature and text testing.
Recorded video quality side-by-side testing.
Recorded video quality side-by-side testing.
We mounted these cameras together and recorded the same scenes for...
We mounted these cameras together and recorded the same scenes for comparative analysis.

Analysis and Test Results


What good is testing products if you don't have a useful way of sharing the data for others to use? The question we asked ourselves here is: Why do people want to buy home security cameras? An equally important question that we ask ourselves is, what specifically should we test to ensure that people's expectations for their purchases are satisfied? The answers to these questions are broken up into metrics or categories of analysis. To help you find the right home security cam for your needs, the major metrics we've settled on are Recorded Video Quality, Monitoring Performance, and Ease of Use. Each metric is weighted so that the sum of possible points adds up to 100. Within each of these major metrics are a set of tests designed to calculate the performance of each product.


Value


We see value as the balance between the cost and performance of a given product relative to the other products within the same class. Oftentimes, high price and performance correlate strongly, meaning you have to spend more to get the best products. Other times, one product will have average performance but is much less expensive than its competition — we often single out these products as cost-effective buys. However, it is truly rare and remarkable when one of the best performing, highest quality products is also one of the least expensive. Such is the case with the Wyze Cam Pan v3. This camera checks every box for high performance. This unit is among the most affordable in its class, and Wyze offers a free base subscription that is very feature-rich and permits users lots of data storage. It distinguishes itself further by offering panning, tilting, and motion tracking to its feature set.

security camera - the unassuming wyze cam v3 is a superb device that maximizes value...
The unassuming Wyze Cam v3 is a superb device that maximizes value through quality performance, design, and economy.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Recorded Video Quality


This metric is critical for security cameras because it evaluates the quality of the recordings made by each camera that is either stored remotely in the cloud or locally on a device's memory or an SD card. More specifically, this metric evaluates recorded video in both daytime and nighttime conditions, as well as the cameras' field of view. The Wyze Cam Pan v3 led the pack in our tests with superb video quality, followed closely by the Wyze Cam OG and the Ring Stick Up Battery.


The recorded video assessments are made using a side-by-side comparison of videos showing the same events. Most often, we have someone walk through the field of view or, in the case of night vision, we have them stand at about 10 feet distance and hold up a whiteboard displaying the camera's name.

The Wyze Cam Pan v3 and Wyze Cam OG offered some of the best daytime recorded videos we've tested, but were only slightly outperformed by the, Ring Stick Up Battery because of its accurate color renderings, as well as the ability to capture sharp borders and clear facial features.

In contrast, the Cam Pan v3 and OG had a pastel-like coloring effect on surfaces, and edges were slightly less sharp than the Ring, though the two still performed at a high level with fine details readily distinguishable.

The infrared lights on the Wyze Cam Pan v3 tend to overexpose glossy white objects, but most details are sharp.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

We identified four cameras that did an exceptional job when it came to night vision and are a must for your consideration if you want to see what lurks in the dark. No camera does a better job than the Wyze Cam Pan v3 with excellent color night vision using a spotlight, in addition to infrared night vision. The v3 was followed closely by the similar performance of the Wyze Cam OG, which uses the same technology, and the Google Nest, which produced clear and bright recordings and did especially well at picking up details, like facial features and writing from far away. We also saw great night vision performance from the Ring Stick Up.

The recorded video metric also evaluated and weighted each camera's field of view. A camera's field of view is simply the angle or degrees of horizontal coverage that the camera's lens can see. This isn't as important as it may seem, as most cameras fall into a sweet spot of around 120 degrees, although some models we tested offered a larger 130 and even 140 degree field of view.

However, the Wyze Cam Pan v3 eliminates any concerns as its 120-degree field of view is augmented by a 360-degree rotating base and a lens that moves up and down 93 degrees. Other models such as the Arlo Ultra 2 and the Arlo Pro 4 have an adjustable field of view in their settings that can narrow or expand the view depending on the camera location and the monitoring area.

The Wyze v3 does an exceptional job of detecting motion in its field of view.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Monitoring Performance


While the recorded video quality metric focuses on stored video, the monitoring performance metric hones in on the cameras' real-time video quality, including latency between actual events and their appearance on screen, smoothness of the feed, and sound quality. The sound analysis looks at how well audio and video sync and how faithful the audio is to the original sound. The sound analysis also includes the quality of the cameras' onboard speaker. Finally, some cameras do not allow users to maintain a live feed indefinitely. We don't like that and rate the cameras accordingly.


The Google Nest Cam stood out as the best for its very smooth live video with almost no discernible video delay. Both the Ring Stick Up, and the YI 1080p Home provided almost as smooth live video as the Nest.

However, both the Google Nest Cam and Ring Stick Up have audio that is slightly out of sync, with the Stick Up's audio sounding tinnier the farther away the sound is from the microphone. The YI 1080p Home had similar results; however, its overall assessment in this metric was hurt by its onboard speaker's poor sound quality and the lack of an alarm.

Both the Wyze Cam Pan v3 and the Wyze Cam OG have smooth video, but each also suffers from a noticeable audio delay than is present in our top cameras. Although we might assume both Wyze models use the same processing hardware and technology, the audio delay present in the OG video is less than that of the Pan v3.

Most of the cameras we tested have top-notch onboard speakers, with a few exceptions, like the crackling speakers on the SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor camera.

security camera - very few cameras have alarms that put out sufficient noise to be...
Very few cameras have alarms that put out sufficient noise to be useful as a notification for the user or a deterrent for intruders.

At the top, the Ring Stick Up had stellar results in both assessments regarding the sound picked up by the camera and produced by its speaker. Its speaker has clear, high-volume audio, and its mic picks up voices well with no background effects, though the sound is a bit echoey at times.

The Canary Flex, although not mentioned much in this article due to its otherwise unexceptional performance across almost all other submetrics, actually has a great microphone and speaker sound quality that rivals the Ring Stick Up. Both were followed by a similar performance from several different cameras.


Of the six cameras, both the Wyze Cam Pan v3 and the Cam OG did well in the sound quality assessment. However, if you are looking for a security camera with an alarm that is truly alarming, the Arlo Pro 4 is worth consideration as it produces the loudest siren we tested, at 81.8 decibels.

Ease of Use


The ease of use metric is a favorite of ours because, like you, we want the products we buy to make our lives easier. As such, we pay close attention to problem areas like app navigation and settings, hardware set-up, mounting, data storage, and subscriptions.


Our testing identified a three-way tie for the top security cameras in our ease of use metric. The three cameras that stood out from the rest in this assessment were the Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless, Wyze Cam Pan v3, and Wyze Cam OG.

The Wyze Cam Pan v3 and Wyze Cam OG performed identically in this assessment because they use the same intuitive, feature-packed app, and both have cloud data storage backed up by onboard support for an SD card up to a 256GB capacity. Moreover, they both have a free base subscription that provides most of what you want from such a service, like 14-day rolling data storage (meaning that on day 15, day one will be erased) and access to all their alerts. The Wyze camera alerts include a suite of customizable notifications for people, pets, vehicles, general motion, and smoke and carbon monoxide when the cameras are used inside. Finally, both Wyze cameras have easy-to-set-up bases.

The Wyze Cam Pan v3 allows users to view their home from all angles.
Credit: Matt Spencer

The Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless has similar functionality with a couple of added alert features to the mix. Namely, the Ultra allows you to set up package detection, so you don't have to worry about porch pirates getting to your order before you do. The app has a preview setting that generates an animated notification on your smart device depicting the type of alert. This last feature can save you a lot of time by showing you the subject of the alert without having to watch the whole clip (think falling leaves on a windy day). Finally, the Google Nest stands out in the group for having facial recognition alerts, while the YI 1080p Home stands out for its loud noise notifications (think of a baby crying or a window breaking). It should be noted that the Nest's facial recognition feature is not entirely automatic and requires some work to set up as you have to first take the person's picture to use as a reference.

The Arlo Ultra 2 has an event preview feature that allows the user...
The Arlo Ultra 2 has an event preview feature that allows the user to get the subject of an alert without having to watch a whole clip. It can be a real-time saver, especially when dealing with motion detection.
We are big fans of motion detection, especially if the app previews...
We are big fans of motion detection, especially if the app previews the type of motion so we don't have to watch full clips.

Conclusion


This best-in-class review of home security cameras has covered every feature, setting, and use of these devices. We conducted hands-on, side-by-side testing of the cameras' live monitoring, recorded video, and ease of use. The results of our research and testing have been laid out above in an easy-to-digest format so that you can pick the right camera for your needs. So, instead of adding camera research to your worries, we've taken on the burden so you can skip right to monitoring what you love and value the most.

Nick Miley, Austin Palmer, and Matt Spencer