How We Rank Security Cameras
If possible we test products before ever writing a review. However, we have not tested every product reviewed on this site. We try to make this clear by calling out in the first paragraph of each review if we've had our hands on the product or not. It is also made clear by adding original photographs of the testing process. Tested or not there has to be a baseline for what good looks like. We have a proprietary 103 point checklist that we use to rank cameras. This checklist includes an optional section for hands-on testing vs hands-off. Also, we have a different system for indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, monitored cameras, and baby monitors. We look at everything from promised hardware vs performance to software performance to the intangibles like customer service and warranty support.
How Much Should I Expect To Spend On A Camera?
That depends. I use a mix of cameras in my own home ranging from a $30 camera to a $300 camera. However, it doesn't bother me that I manage different apps for different cameras. If you plan to invest in just one or two cameras, I suggest investing in a camera with HD and night vision. A decent camera will cost around $150-$300 with many of our top rated cameras falling in the $250 range.
What Should I Look For When Buying A Home Security Camera?
Here is a list of some things you should consider when buying a home security camera.
- Easy Installation
- A Decent App Rating
- An App for Your Phone Type IE: iOS, Android, etc
- High Quality Night Vision
- Cost of Video Storage
- High Quality Motion Detection
- Free Live Streaming
- Event Alerts via Push, Text, Email, or Phone Call
- Return Period - Just in Case
- Field of View
Why Do I Need A Home Security Camera?
A home security camera is probably not going to stop an intruder from breaking into your home. A well placed outdoor camera MIGHT scare them away but that's not really the primary benefit of owning a home security camera. The point of owning a home security camera is to be able to see what's going on in your home when you are away and to record anything fishy that happens. Being able to view your home when you are away is priceless. It can ease anxiety and help you decide how to handle home security events. Also, footage of events can be an invaluable asset to law enforcement. Having your stuff stolen sucks. Plastering the crooks face on social media is priceless.
Of course there are fringe benefits that you may get depending upon the camera's capabilities like using two-way talk to check-in on a pet or by using activity zones to monitor specific areas like a liquor cabinet but really what you buy when you buy a home security camera is peace of mind.