The 8 Best Security Cameras to Buy in 2018

Keep an eye on everything when you can't be there with these devices

Wireless Security Camera
Courtesy of Amazon.

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Security cameras are a popular investment among homeowners, for fairly obvious reasons. After all, both your house and its contents are valuable, and a security camera is an inexpensive way to keep an eye on items you hold dear.

However, today’s security cameras are nothing like the old-fashion kind, which typically recorded footage locally on tapes or DVRs. Modern security cameras are much more high-tech, allowing you to view real-time footage through your phone or desktop or store video clips in the cloud. Some models even allow you to pivot the camera remotely and capture high-quality footage at night.

The following are some of the best stand-alone security cameras on the market today, both for in and outdoor use. Whether you’re looking for a camera to watch over your yard or a product that lets you monitor your home at night, there’s a high-quality, affordable option to fit your needs.

  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: Canary Flex Indoor/Outdoor Security Camera

    The Canary Flex is a versatile indoor-outdoor security camera that captures HD video both day and night. This product comes with intelligent motion detection capabilities, and you can choose to view live video through its app or record and review 24-hour event-based clips.

    One of the great things about the Canary Flex is its versatility. You can choose to plug in the camera or use it wirelessly with its rechargeable battery, and its magnetic swivel base allows you to angle the security camera exactly the way you want. Plus, the Canary Flex is fully weatherproof and can withstand harsh weather if you choose to mount it outside.

    In terms of its video, the Flex captures HD footage, even at night. You can view real-time video through your phone or set it up to capture motion-activated clips, which are stored in the cloud. These event-based clips are available for 24 hours and you can download them to your phone if desired. If you want longer storage options, you can subscribe to Canary Membership, which gives you 30 days of recorded video history.

    Canary Flex has a few more tricks up its sleeve, as well. The camera has a two-way talk option, and if something is amiss, you can contact emergency services right from within the app. The Canary Flex’s reasonable price, versatility and sleek design make it one of the best security options available today


  • 02 of 08

    Runner Up, Best Overall: Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera

    The Nest Indoor Security Camera is a popular model for indoor video surveillance, as it boasts a wide-angle lens that captures clear HD footage. The Nest Indoor Camera is quick and easy to set up, and it can even send motion-detection alerts to your smartphone, complete with a picture of the “event.”

    If you’re looking for an intelligent indoor security camera for live monitoring, the Nest Indoor Camera is a solid choice. It lets you view real-time 1080-pixel HD footage through your phone, even at night. This security camera will also send you alerts when it senses movement, and you can view photos from the event for up to three hours after. If you want continuous recording and other smart features, you can subscribe to Nest Aware for 24/7 recorded video footage.

    Finally, the Nest Indoor Camera has both a speaker and microphone, so you can talk and listen through its app. Overall, this product is a great choice if you’re predominantly interested in high-quality live video footage.

  • 03 of 08

    Best Budget: YI Home Camera

    Most modern security cameras cost upwards of $100, but the YI Home Camera is a great budget pick. This indoor security camera captures 1080-pixel videos that can be viewed live or stored on a Micro SD card (not included), and it even has baby-crying detection should you choose to use it as a nursery monitor.

    The YI Home Camera is a great value, recording HD footage with its wide-angle lens and advanced night vision. It supports up to a 32GB memory card for local storage, and you can also use its app to check in on your home in real time. If you don’t want to store videos locally, you can opt into a subscription to the YI Cloud, which offers limitless loop recording.

    If you’re looking for security camera with smart features, the YI Home Camera is sure to deliver. You can turn on motion-detection alerts, which will be sent to your phone, and even crying alerts if you want to monitor your children. The YI Home Camera may not have the sleek modern design as its counterparts, but it boasts many of the same great features at a lower price.

    One word of caution, please read the privacy policy carefully, many might not be okay with all that gets tracked. 

  • 04 of 08

    Best Night Vision: Amcrest ProHD Wireless WiFi IP Camera

    If monitoring your home at night is your main objective, the Amcrest ProHD Camera has some of the most impressive nighttime video capture available. This indoor security solution uses a whopping 12 infrared LED lights to capture video up to 32 feet in the dark, making it an ideal camera for night time surveillance.

    The Amcrest ProHD is easy to set up using your phone, and once it’s good to go, you can record 1080-pixel HD video that’s stored on a Micro SD card (not included). The security camera can also connect to your wireless network to enable real-time video streaming through a smartphone, tablet or computer. Further, you can use the Amcrest ProHD’s app to tilt, pan or zoom, giving you a perfect angle every time.

    Like most security cameras, this product can send motion-detection alerts and snapshots to your phone, letting you know if something is going on. Plus, the Amcrest ProHD includes a two-way talk option, and its microphone uses noise-cancelling technology to make sure your communications are clear.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best Outdoor: Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

    If you’re looking for an outdoor security camera, they don’t get much better than the Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera. This product includes many of the same features as its indoor counterpart, including 27/4 live HD video, motion-detection alerts and an option to upgrade for continuous recording.

    The Nest Outdoor Security Camera needs to be plugged into an outlet—an important consideration depending on where you want to mount it. The product comes with a wall plate for installation, as well as a unique magnetic mount. Once the camera is installed, you can watch live footage any time of day or night, and you opt into motion-detection alerts that are sent to your smartphone.

    Any time there is a motion-triggered event, the camera will capture images and store them for your review for up to three hours. Again, you can purchase a Nest Aware subscription if you want the camera to record and store footage around the clock.

    Another nice feature of the Nest Outdoor Camera is its built-in speaker and microphone, which let you talk to people, such as a delivery man, who might be at your door. This camera’s high-quality resolution, easy installation, and various monitoring options make it one of the best outdoor security solutions available.

  • 06 of 08

    Best Battery-Powered: Reolink Argus Indoor/Outdoor Security IP Camera

    If you’re looking for a wire-free security camera that can be used both indoors and outdoors, the Reolink Argus might fit the bill. This wireless home security camera runs on 4 CR123A 3V batteries (included), and it’s completely weatherproof so you can mount it just about anywhere.

    Since there are no wires involved, you can install the Reolink Argus Security Camera in otherwise hard-to-reach locations, such as your yard—just make sure it’s close enough to your house to pick up a Wi-Fi signal. The security camera has a durable exterior so it can stand tough weather conditions, too.

    Further, the camera is designed to make its batteries last as long as possible, remaining in standby mode until it’s triggered by motion detection or you log in to view live video footage. The batteries can last up to 180 days in standby or 800 minutes when continuously capturing video. When it’s recording, the Reolink Argus captures 1080-pixel HD video that’s stored on a Micro SD card (not included), and it can also send motion-detection notifications to your phone if you choose.

  • 07 of 08

    Best 360-Degree Range: ATWIN Home Security Surveillance IP Camera

    This affordable security camera gives you a wide range of view so you can check each and every corner of your home. The ATWIN Home Security Camera also pivots 100 degrees vertically, all while capturing 720-pixel video.

    The ATWIN Home Security Camera connects to Wi-Fi to enable live video streaming from your phone or tablet, and it also includes a 16GB memory card, where you can record motion-triggered or continuous videos. When motion-detection alerts are on, the camera will send a notification and picture to your phone for you to review.

    This is a great camera for a big room, as you can remotely pan and tilt the camera to capture a near 360-degree panorama. The ATWIN Home Security Camera also supports up to eight times zoom, letting you get a close look at what’s happening in your home.

    Finally, this security camera has two-way audio, allowing you to have a conversation with your kids or whoever else is in the house. As an extra perk, the ATWIN camera is one of the more budget-friendly security cameras available.

  • 08 of 08

    Best for Local Video Storage: Panasonic Indoor HD Security Camera

    While many modern security cameras store their footage in the cloud (often at an extra cost), the Panasonic Indoor HD Security Camera records videos on a Micro SD card, which you can then plug into your computer for viewing. If you prefer a camera that stores clips locally, this high-quality security solution may be one of your best options.

    The Panasonic Indoor Camera supports real-time video monitoring, both day and night, streaming 1080-pixel HD footage straight to your phone. You can also choose to have the camera record sound- or motion-triggered events on a memory card (not included). According to users, this device supports up to 132GB Micro SD card, making it one of the best options if you want to store ample video footage locally.