best security cameras

If you are looking for the Best Security Cameras, then look no further than this article. It includes best security cameras without subscription. Perhaps you are interested in wireless outdoor security cameras, then reading this article may help you.

These close cousins of webcams require minimal installation and offer flexible setups and a range of security features. Indeed, the offerings vary widely by camera, and deciding what to buy gets more daunting as this category grows ever more crowded. But whether you’re looking for an easy way to check on your kids and pets, or a full-service sentinel to monitor for intruders, we’ll help find the right product for your needs.

wireless outdoor security cameras

Best Security Cameras

Most versatile home security camera

Read TechHive’s review$393.00See Iton Amazon (Prime Eligible)

The Arlo 3’s next-gen features make it one of the best indoor/outdoor security cameras available.

Arlo builds great home security cameras, and this third-generation Arlo Pro is a prime example of what this company is capable of. While it doesn’t have the eye-popping 4K resolution of the Arlo Ultra, it delivers fantastic video quality and many of that more-expensive camera’s other signature features for less. And it can be deployed indoors or out.

Best outdoor home security camera

Read TechHive’s review$699.00See Iton Amazon (Prime Eligible)

Human beings who monitor and respond to suspicious activity detected by its security cameras set the Deep Sentinel home surveillance system apart from anything else on the market.

The price of admission for the Deep Sentinel Home Security system might seem steep at $699 ($200 more than we first reviewed the system), but it does include three outdoor cameras with two-way audio. And while the monthly subscription cost has doubled in price since our review (it’s now $100 per month), that pays for a human being to watch a live feed whenever the system’s AI detects questionable activity around your home. That person at Deep Sentinel’s facility can warn a suspicious person that they’re being observed, and they can call your local police dispatcher if the miscreant refuses to leave or engages in a criminal act. It’s not for everyone, but it’s the best DIY outdoor security camera we’ve seen to date.

Runner-up

Read TechHive’s review$349.99See Iton Best Buy

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is an outstanding outdoor security camera for anyone invested in the Nest ecosystem.

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is even more sophisticated security camera than the Deep Sentinel, and it’s our top recommendation if you don’t want to pay for that system’s pricey (but arguably worthwhile) human monitoring service. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has a 4K image sensor that enables it to zoom in on humans in its field of view and follow a person as they move around your yard, capturing their face in great detail. SMART HOMENest Cam IQ Outdoor review   (6:43)

Best security camera/outdoor lighting combo

Read TechHive’s reviewSee Iton Amazon

The brand might not be as familiar, but they’re not newbies. The Maximus Camera Floodlight delivers a strong set of features at a compelling price.

There’s a lot to like about the Maximus Camera Floodlight, starting with its camera’s crisp, clear 1080p video. Its dual articulating LED floodlights cover a very wide area, and you can dim them via its app if you want mood lighting on your deck or patio for a party. 

Other features that differentiate the Maximus from its better-known competitor—the Ring Floodlight Cam—include pre-recorded messages that can be triggered by the camera’s motion detector (causing the intruder to instinctively look up at the camera) and a subscription service that’s actually optional: You can look back only two hours and you’re limited to three downloads per month if you don’t subscribe, where Ring gives you only real-time viewing and no downloads if you don’t pay.

Runner-up

Read TechHive’s review$159.99See Iton Amazon (Prime Eligible)

The Spotlight Cam provides great security for vulnerable outdoor areas.

The Ring Spotlight Cam is a great choice for folks who don’t want to replace their existing outdoor lighting with a camera/light combo. You don’t need to deal with bare electrical wires, you just plug it into a nearby outdoor socket. And if you don’t have one of those, you can buy a battery-operated model and trickle-charge it with a solar panel. 

Best budget home security camera

Read TechHive’s review$19.99See Iton Wyze Labs

Wyze continues to improve its flagship security camera, making it one of the best values on the market.

Wyze Labs easily recaptures this category with the third iteration of its Wyze Cam, adding color night vision. a wider field of view, and IP65 weatherization. That means you can deploy it indoors or out, as it’s dustproof and can withstand jets of water from a nozzle attached to garden hose. Priced at just $20, it’s a fantastic value.  

Best budget outdoor security camera

Read TechHive’s review$49.99See Iton Wyze Labs

Wyze hits the outside world with a top-shelf, ultra-budget security camera.

Outdoor security cameras inevitably cost more than their indoor cousins, because—for starters—the need to be protected from the elements. The Wyze Cam Outdoor costs just $50, and it comes with a base station that can support up to three more outdoor cameras. The base must be hardwired to your router, but that’s a small inconvenience in relation to the value that’s delivered.

What to look for when shopping

Most home security cameras perform the same basic functions—they detect an event, record the event, and send you an alert—but they don’t all perform them the same way. And some cameras have special features that go beyond those basics. Here are some common features you’ll encounter while shopping and why they’re important (we’ve listed them in alphabetical order). In each of the reviews that follow this buyers’ guide, we’ll discuss how each camera delivers on these features.SMART HOMEHow to choose a home security camera

Alerts: Home security cameras push notifications to your smartphone when they detect events. Without watching the live feed all day, this is the only way to keep tabs on your home in relative real time. Depending on the camera, it may send text alerts when it detects motion, sound, a face (known or unrecognized), or all three. Some can send alerts to multiple people, usually anyone else in the household using that product’s app; others will send emails in addition to text messages as a failsafe in the event you can’t access your mobile device.

Flir FX indoor
The Flir FX’s battery backup ensures the camera will continue to operate during a power outage. 

Battery backup: Power outages happen, and clever burglars cut electricity before breaking into your home. When that happens, your camera goes dark and, if there’s a crime taking place, you lose all forensic evidence. For this reason, some cameras can also run for a short time on battery power. It’s a feature worth looking for. There are also some models that run on battery power full time (you can either swap batteries as they’re depleted, or plug the camera into an AC outlet and recharge its battery that way.

Cloud recording: Many manufacturers offer cloud storage plans with their cameras. With one of these, your recorded video is sent to a remote server and stored for a predetermined time— usually anywhere from 24 hours to a week—and then deleted to make space for new videos. Though sometimes free, these cloud plans usually require a monthly subscription, but are worth it both for their convenience and if you want a surveillance record during a vacation or other extended time away from home. (See the section on HomeKit Secure Video, below, for a different approach.)

Environmental monitoring: This is the feature that sets all-in-one home monitors apart from strictly security cameras. Though the home “vitals” that these units track vary by model—we’ve seen everything from motion to luminosity included in home health profiles—three tend to be ubiquitous:

  • Temperature monitors for spikes and dips in indoor temperature and alerts when it falls outside a range you define.
  • Humidity tracks relative humidity inside your home. Humidity outside optimal levels—usually defined as between 30 and 50 percent—can contribute to problems such as static electricity, sinus irritation, and mold growth.
  • Air quality tracks pollutants ranging from cooking odors to carbon monoxide. However, most monitors don’t identify the pollutant in their alerts, merely warning that the air quality is “abnormal.” Because of that, this feature should not be considered a substitute for potentially life-saving devices like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Netatmo Welcome
The Netatmo Welcome supports facial recognition and can alert you when people it doesn’t recognize come within its field of view (read our review).

Facial recognition: A few newer cameras are experimenting with facial recognition. This feature could more accurately be called “facial identification,” as in practice it’s much better at distinguishing a face from, say, a lamp, than it is at actually distinguishing between one person’s face and another’s. If you opt for a camera with this feature, know that it typically learns faces through increasing exposure to them, so be prepared to spend a lot of time in front of the lens.

MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE

Read TechHive’s reviewLearn Moreon Amazon

HomeKit Secure Video support: This is a subset of Apple’s smart-home initiative, and while you don’t necessarily need to be an avowed Apple user to benefit from HomeKit Secure Video’s privacy-enhancing features, you will need to sign up for an Apple iCloud account and have at least one of these Apple products in your home to use it: an iPad tablet, a HomePod smart speaker, or an Apple TV.

Where other types of security cameras send video to the cloud (often unencrypted), security cameras that support HomeKit Secure Video send thier video streams to one of those devices on your local network first. That device will process the video, performing tasks such as facial recognition and what have you, and then encrypting it before uploading it to your iCloud account. You can read more about HomeKit Secure Video on our sister site, Macworld.

Local storage: Some cameras include memory-card slots in lieu of, or in addition to, cloud storage, so you can store video right on the device. It’s an attractive feature as it can eliminate the cost of monthly storage fees. The downside (if there isn’t a cloud backup) is that if crooks steal your camera, they take your forensic evidence with it.

Mobile app: Most of today’s home security camera’s are accessed primarily through a smartphone/tablet app. In addition to offering you a reliable way to view the camera’s live feed, it should offer plenty of options for customizing the way the camera performs. The ability to customize notifications, adjust motion and sound detection sensitivity, and set detection areas are some of the key features to look for. The app should also be intuitive and easy to master.

Myfox security camera
Any home security camera worth its salt will support motion detection. 

Motion detection: Assuming you’re monitoring your home when it’s empty, motion detection is one of the most desirable features in a security camera. Built-in sensors pick up movement within the camera’s field of view and trigger video recording.

You’ll find an in-depth explanation of how motion detection works in this article.

Because these sensors can be sensitive to any movement—even a shift in lighting or leaves blowing outside a window—it’s important the camera system also offer the ability to narrow the range of detection, adjust the sensor’s sensitivity, or otherwise customize this feature to cut down on false alerts.

Night vision: Most break-ins occur after dark, so this feature is nearly as important as motion detection. Technically, most home security cameras support infrared LED illumination, versus true night vision based on image intensification or thermal vision. Be that as it may, some camera’s will switch to night vision automatically in low-light conditions, while others allow you to customize when and how it should be activated.

Pan/Tilt/Swivel: Most security cameras can be manually tilted and swiveled to focus on a certain viewing area, but this is a purely set-it-and-forget it feature. A true pan/tilt camera is equipped with a motor so that you can move its lens—or even follow a moving object if you’re watching a live feed—using its app or browser-based app. Some cameras can even track a person moving within their field of view.

Nest Cam
The Nest Labs Nest Cam delivers higher-than-typical 1080p video resolution.

Resolution: No amount of security video will help you if it’s blurry, jittery, or otherwise distorted. Look for a camera that offers the highest possible resolution. There was a time when 720p (often referred to as “high definition” or HD) resolution was the standard, but most newer cameras now support 1080p (often referred to as “full HD”). Some models provide even higher resoution (2K or 4K), but keep in mind that higher-res cameras use more internet and Wi-Fi bandwidth as well as battery life (where applicable). Many cameras also offer a software zoom feature (which is not the same thing as having a physical zoom lens).

Scheduling: Scheduling features allow you to tell the camera to turn on and off, detect motion, and/or send alerts at specified times. This is useful when you, say, only want to be notified when your kids get home from school or just want to monitor your home when you’re away. It also reduces the amount of false alerts. Cameras that support geofencing can do this based on the location of your smartphone, activating themselves when you leave home and turning themselves off to enhance privacy while you’re home.

Security: There have been plenty of headlines about hackers compromising home cameras, baby monitors, and other Wi-Fi devices to spy on people, so be sure to check what steps has each manufacturer taken to eliminate this problem. Look for a camera that supports up-to-date wireless security protocols, such as WPA2, and make sure it encrypts internet transmission of your user name, your password, and the live feeds. Never install a security camera (or a router or any other device on your home network) without changing its default user ID and password.

Smart device integration: If you have a home full of smart devices, consider looking for a security camera or an all-in-one home monitor that includes a Z-Wave, ZigBee, or—eventually a Thread—radio that can connect them. Support for an automation service like IFTTT is also useful. This allows the camera or monitor to react to various scenarios, such as taking a picture when your Nest Protect detects smoke, or telling your Philips Hue smart bulb to turn on when unexpected sounds are detected.

Logi Circle
Logitech’s Circle home-security camera features two-way audio.

Two-way audio: While the idea of a security camera implies eyes-on monitoring, the ability to also hear what’s going on gives you a more complete picture of what’s happening on the home front when you’re away. It can also alert you to something occurring out of the camera’s field of vision. This feature can also allow you to speak through the camera, a great tool for remotely commanding an unruly pet or startling an intruder in the act. On some very low-end models, you might need to plug in a powered speaker for this feature to work.

Viewing angle: The camera’s field of view determines how much it can see. As you’re probably monitoring a single room, you want a wide viewing angle. Most current cameras fall in the 130-degree range. These wide angles can sometimes cause image distortion at the edges in the form of a fisheye effect, particularly when used in smaller rooms, but it’s not like you’re going to use a security to capture snapshots for your photo album.

Web client: Many cameras can be accessed through a web portal as well. This is useful for times when you don’t have access to your mobile device or a wireless connection. The web app should closely mirror its mobile counterpart, so you don’t need to learn a whole new set of controls.

Wireless range: One of the benefits wireless cameras offer is the ability to move them around your home. Ideally, your home security camera should be able to maintain a Wi-Fi connection no matter how far you move it from your router, even in a large home. Some cameras come with an ethernet port as well, so you have the option of hardwiring it to your local network. A camera that supports power-over-ethernet (PoE) eliminates the need for an AC adapter and relies on just one cable (but your router or switch will also need to support PoE. Another alternative would be to use a PoE injector.) If you’re deploying a security camera beyond the range of your Wi-Fi network, models that connect instead to the same LTE network that your smartphone relies on are a good option, but they’re generally more expensive and you’ll need to pay your cellular provider for a data plan. 

best security cameras without subscription

BEST SITES LIKE ALIEXPRESS FOR ONLINE SHOPPING

AliExpress is a massively popular Chinese online retail service owned by Alibaba Group. It was launched in 2010 and hasn’t stopped its journey to becoming the ‘biggest online marketplace of the world‘ ever-since. AliExpress stands toe-to-toe even with Amazon in terms of buyers worldwide. It offers wholesale goods at direct-to-consumer prices from Chinese sellers.

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It also works as a great dropshipping model for a lot of e-commerce entrepreneurs. Along with a lot of good sides, AliExpress has some cons as well. The biggest problem is the shipping time of AliExpress orders, which is pretty long considering the goods come from China. Also, some orders can be very expensive after shipping charges and taxes.

So, it is a good thing to have some AliExpress alternatives whenever you don’t like its services. That’s why we are telling you about 21 best sites like AliExpress. Some of these websites offer cheaper prices and faster shipping on certain products. And, you can also use them to maintain a nice profit margin for your dropshipping business.

1. LIGHTINTHEBOX

LightInTheBox is the perfect AliExpress alternative as it is also a Chinese e-Store. It sells hot and trending products across the globe. Their products range from phone and electronics to fashion, jewelry, shoes, bags, and many other items. You can find almost anything here at a very cheap price.

The delivery time of LightInTheBox is also similar to AliExpress as their warehouses are located only in China. But, you may get a faster shipping time due to having fewer orders to ship. You can pay for your orders with PayPal, Western Union, or your credit card.

2. WISH

Wish is a widely popular online marketplace where you can buy almost anything. From clothing to footwear, electronics, healthcare items, and many more things, you can get them all for an incredibly cheap price. They are also known to offer great deals and coupons to their new customers.

Their shipping time is also faster than AliExpress as their products come from sellers located in small countries. Wish also provides an advanced rating system that is very helpful for both the consumers as well as sellers. It helps promote good ones.

3. OVERSTOCK

Overstock is a US-based online marketplace. It makes profit by selling wholesale products at a highly cheap price tag. A major portion of their stock is comprised of overstock from the major retailers or their seconds. You can find some really amusing deals here. The shipping time will also be lower as compared to the Chinese marketplaces. You can get your items within a week.

The product range of Overstock is incredible. You can find everything such as clothing, decor, kitchen appliances, and many more items. You can even find furniture and other big home items. So, you can use to fill your house with great stuff at a reduced price.

4. DEALEXTREME (DX)

DealeXtreme, more popularly known as DX, is an amazing online marketplace. The website works in a very similar manner as ‘Wish’ and sells cheap products coming directly from sellers. It has partnered with many small businesses and sells its products to a wide base of audience.

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The shipping time is a problem with DX also because their warehouses are located in China. Apart from this, you can get some really worthy deals on DX. You should always keep an eye on their clearance sales for the best prices.

5. GEARBEST

Gearbest is the perfect AliExpress alternative if you are looking to shop for the latest gadgets or electronic devices. It works with over 5000 Chinese brands and top suppliers to deliver the best products. It has products from top Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, and many others. But, it isn’t just an electronic store.

You can also find a massive range of other products as well. The prices available on GearBest are reduced, and you can even reduce them with the available coupons. They also have warehouses in multiple countries. So, you can get faster shipping from the local warehouse.

6. BANGGOOD

BangGood is another Chinese e-commerce platform that provides worldwide shipping of cheap goods. You can find almost anything on this website, from clothing to electronics, and even home items. The prices available are marked down from their original prices. You can also get amazing deals during special clearance sales.

BangGood provides a free $20 coupon to every new user. The shipping time for BangGood orders is faster than AliExpress for certain products. However, the regular shipping time is similar.

7. CHINABRANDS

ChinaBrands is a widely popular Chinese e-Store where you can buy products at wholesale prices. You can find almost anything on this website at a highly affordable price. Their shipping prices are also low but you will get a long shipping time. It is the perfect website for buyers who want the lowest prices but can wait for their orders for at least a month.

Most of the ChinaBrands sellers run their factories from China, and their warehouses are located there only. This is the reason for the considerably long shipping time.

8. BONANZA

Bonanza is a unique American online marketplace where you can find a great range of products. They have over 20 million items from more than 50,000 sellers. It is a growing e-commerce store where even you can sell your items. It is a preferred platform by more than 20,000 entrepreneurial sellers. You can find some really amazing handcrafted items and collectibles here.

For people looking to shop regular items, this store may disappoint you a little. The prices of some items may be a little higher than some Chinese stores. But, the quality provided will be worth it.

21 ALIEXPRESS ALTERNATIVE STORES

Here are 21 AliExpress Alternatives that you can use to shop online.

  1. LightInTheBox
  2. Wish
  3. Overstock
  4. DealXtreme (DX)
  5. GearBest
  6. BangGood
  7. ChinaBrands
  8. Bonanza
  9. DHGate
  10. TinyDeal
  11. Target
  12. MiniInTheBox
  13. GeekBuying
  14. Jet
  15. TomTop
  16. Target
  17. MadeInChina
  18. American Greenwood
  19. Walmart
  20. eBay
  21. Amazon

FINAL TAKE

AliExpress is amazing but it is always good to have options when you are shopping. So, these are the 21 best sites like AliExpress. If you ever feel like you should look somewhere else, these are some stores that you should visit. You can also use these for your dropshipping business if you are an aspiring entrepreneur. Make sure you have a solid plan before beginning.

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