With the prevalent increase in the crime rate in recent years, the ability to watch over and protect your property at all times has become even more important. And this is something that can be done with premium home monitoring services.
Traditional security systems are often pricey, require professional installation and constant monitoring by a dedicated team. However, with newer models, installation is DIY. You also receive security alerts as notifications on your phone, and even better, they are quite affordable. That said, selecting the best home security system doesn't have to be a chore. And to make the process easier, we have handpicked what we feel to be some of the best models on the market. Read on to find out our top picks!
Swann 16 Channel 12 Camera Security System
● Self-monitoring: Yes
Reolink 8CH 5MP PoE Home Security Camera System
● Self-monitoring: Yes
SimpliSafe 12 Piece Wireless Home Security System
● Self-monitoring: Yes
Cromorc Home Business CCTV Surveillance 8CH
● Self-monitoring: Yes
● Self-monitoring: Yes
All-new Blink Outdoor – wireless, weather-resistant HD security camera
● Self-monitoring: Yes
Hiseeu Wireless Security Camera System with 1TB Hard Drive
● Self-monitoring: Yes
eufyCam 2C 2-Cam Kit, Wireless Home Security System
● Self-monitoring: Yes
First up on our list of the best home security systems is the 16-channel, 12-camera security system from the Swann brand. This is one product that has gained widespread acclaim among security experts and users alike, and with its extensive range of features, it is not difficult to see why.
Core features of this CCTV camera security system include heat and motion detection, 12 outdoor cameras. Still, the package also contains sensor warning lights. The cameras’ construction, according to Swann, is intended to be weather-resistant, and the 90-degree viewing angle is a nice touch. Each camera is equipped with night vision sensors that detect images up to 100 feet away in black and white, and 32 feet away, if coloured. And you can add four extra cameras for a 16-channel feed.
Users can access and control the security cameras via the specially designed Swann app, and it is possible to live stream from multiple sites and cameras. Additionally, this home security system works well with Alexa-enabled systems such as Echo Show, Echo Spot, and 4K Fire TV, and you can operate it using simple voice commands. And it is equally compatible with Google Assistant and Chromecast. With the integrated Swann smart search technology, users can select a specific coverage area to monitor and detect movements within recordings.
The security package also comes with an external 1TB drive that is adequate to save tons of footage at no extra cost. And if you desire a more secure way of saving security footage with the Swann system, you can just upload such to the cloud by linking your Digital Video Recorder to Dropbox.
Easy to install
Need to purchase four additional cameras to use all the channels
Works with most DVRs
Connecting the system to Alexa can prove challenging
Wide viewing angle
Decent night view vision
Alexa and Google integration
Next up on our list, and with a valid claim as one of the best home security camera models around, is the Reolink 8CH PoE system. What sets this product apart as a top home security system? Why do we recommend you get these Reolink cameras to watch over your property? Let’s get right into it.
For starters, each 5MP camera displays images in the 2560 X 1920 resolution, with 65 to 100 feet of night vision and an 80-degree horizontal field of view. Each camera contains a built-in microphone for better sound quality, and users get playback on four cameras playing simultaneously. And with the free-to-use Reolink app, users can access these playback videos from their mobile devices anywhere and anytime. The Reolink cameras incorporate smart motion detectors that notify you via email or push notifications once there is an intruder in the area being covered to prevent false alarm triggers.
It is also worth noting that each Reolink camera comes equipped with 59-feet long network cables capable of stretching up to either 270 feet via CAT5 or 330 feet through CAT6 Ethernet wiring. Also, video, audio and power run through a single Power over Ethernet (PoE) cable; Consequently, you wouldn't need to purchase additional wiring, and you can set up your home camera system whichever way you want.
The Reolink security system also comes preinstalled with a 2TB hard disk drive to record as much footage as possible and view them whenever you wish. Additionally, this 8CH NVR security system is compatible with all Reolink 4MP,5MP and 8MP IP or WiFi cameras, thereby enabling you to set up in several ways.
Crisp image quality
Might be difficult to set the motion detection sensitivity
Excellent playback feature
The mobile app functionality is not the best
Straightforward installation process
Great customer support
Works well at night
If you're big on home security, then the chances are that, at one point or the other, you’ve either used or heard about SimpliSafe products. And if you have not, the 12-piece wireless security system is one product you should be actively looking to purchase.
First off, the SimpliSafe 12-piece system comprises motion sensors that detect movements from up to 30 feet away, and five entry sensors, along with a built-in 95dB alarm; This alarm runs on signal burst technology, and according to SimpliSafe, is loud enough to be heard from a distance of 1000 feet away. And while the surveillance cameras do not come preinstalled, it is not difficult to get them up and running.
It can get tiring getting your alarm systems triggered by everything that moves, such as pets. The good news is that the SimpliSafe system comes with precise sensors intended to differentiate between pets and intruders, reducing false alarms. The key fob that comes with the package is useful for arming and disarming your security system via the press of a button; hence you should take care to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.
This CCTV camera system is powered by batteries and runs on a dual WiFi/cellular network connection. Additionally, users of this home security system have the option to subscribe to a 24/7 monitoring and cloud recording plan, along with police, fire and medical dispatch at an affordable price – you get one free month of this plan upon purchase and installation of the SimpliSafe CCTVs!
Key fob comes in handy if you forget your pin
Base alarm system could be louder
Attractively designed and not too conspicuous
Lack of a fire/heat sensor
Easy to pair sensors with the keypad
User-friendly and easy to install
Designed to prevent false alarms
The Cromorc Home Business surveillance 8-channel system offers the best of two worlds – a feature-rich, easy-to-use security package available at a pocket-friendly price.
The Cromorc cameras feature a metallic, IP66 waterproof construction that makes them suitable for outdoor use. And each camera is equipped with three array infrared LEDs and a smart cut filter for the production of crisp, clear images during the day and at night. Each camera can capture movement up to 65 feet away at night, and the inclusion of selected original chipsets in the design helps produce clearer pictures.
Pairing with the Network Video Recorder is automatic for the Cromorc security system cameras, and this NVR is integrated into a 10.1-inch foldable monitor that minimizes storage space. And while the security system comes with just four cameras, you can purchase an additional four for even more eyes around your property.
The Cromorc outdoor security cameras are app-compatible, and users can either preview videos, view recordings and playback or monitor the motion sensor via the app for mobile devices. You can also set your cameras to record in either the continuous mode, motion-detection mode or within a specified period.
Cameras cover a considerably wide area
The build quality of the cameras is suspect
Easy plug and play setup
You might experience problems installing and using the app
Motion detection is sharp
Great tech support
Next on our list of the best security cameras is the ANNKE 5MP outdoor camera system. When it comes to build quality, the ANNKE cameras can hold their own, with the IP66 waterproof build providing ample protection against harsh weather conditions. Additionally, the durable build quality offers reasonable scratch protection and quick cooling to prevent the cameras' overheating.
This security system comes with H.265+ coding technology that compresses data to a size that can be easily transmitted without compromising video quality. This H.265+ tech records longer than the rival H.264 system while using lesser storage space at the same time. The system comes with eight 2MP waterproof cameras that display images in clear 1080p quality during the day, with a 100 feet view range at night. The security cameras for the ANNKE system and the Digital Video Recorder connect via a local area network. Still, you'd need an internet connection for remote access.
Besides, this home security camera system comes with a preinstalled 1TB external hard disk drive for storage of footage and unlimited remote live streaming on the ANNKE app for mobile and PC. Also, users get push notifications and email alerts once something out of the ordinary occurs, enabling them to alert the relevant authorities promptly. For enhanced data protection, the ANNKE security systems are protected by hack-proof encryption, passcodes, and two-factor authentication codes.
Easy installation and setup
Lack of audio could be a deal-breaker for some
The user manual can be difficult to comprehend
DVR holds a lot of footage
Several security measures in place to prevent data leaks
Excellent picture quality
Smart home camera company, Blink, was recently purchased by Amazon. And the all-new wireless security camera, one of the first offerings of this rebranded model, is a product worth looking at.
The Blink outdoor setup comprises five wireless HD cameras built to withstand harsh weather conditions. Regardless, you should offer the camera a certain degree of protection and cover if you're using it outdoors. The cameras run on two AA lithium batteries, and it is claimed that these can last up to two years before they are due for a change.
The Blink CCTV camera features an intelligent motion sensor. Real-time alerts are sent to a linked mobile device once this sensor is triggered. And the two-way audio design means you can both hear from and speak to people on the other end of the camera. This security system is also compatible with Alexa-enabled devices, and you can operate it using voice prompts and commands.
Blink offers a cloud storage subscription plan for those looking to record, save and view events securely. And if you'd rather store footage locally, the Blink Sync Module 2 is there for just that. The camera gives users access to a 110-degree diagonal field of view, with video resolution in 1080P HD during the day and infrared night vision in the dark.
Easy to set up
No camera panning
Records well in the dark
Frequent connectivity issues
Strong battery life
Two-way audio recording
You can adjust motion sensitivity settings
The Hiseeu package comes with an 8-channel 1080P NVR and four wireless 1080P cameras with audio. Each camera is IP66 waterproof, and they come paired with the NVR from the manufacturer. The cameras boast H.264+ that reduces the size of recordings without compromising on quality and, at the same time, saving storage space.
Each camera displays crisp HD images both day and night, and the 78-degree viewing angle is sufficient for you to keep tabs on occurrences in a wide area. And if you are not opportune to monitor your cameras, the motion detection sensors, coupled with the alarm systems, will keep you in the loop. This camera security system boasts infrared night vision of up to 65 feet, and the built-in microphone is useful for listening in on convos. However, the absence of a speaker in these cameras means the convo is one-way.
The Hiseeu wireless surveillance system, coupled with the 'Eseecloud' app, available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, makes it possible for users to view live security footage remotely. The product package also comes with a preinstalled 1TB hard drive that offers adequate space to make recordings for 30 days straight. You could also replay significant portions of a recording, and the timer axis located under the split-screen is intended to help achieve this.
Great picture quality
Power cables might be too short
Easy DIY installation can be done in minutes
Unreliable customer service
Durable camera construction
Cameras come ready to use
App works well
The final product on our list of the top security cameras for home is the eufyCam 2-Cam security system, an affordable yet feature-rich package that contains tools to help you secure lives and property.
The product package contains two small, hidden cameras that display images in the 1080p capture resolution and a 135-degree field of view. Each camera comes fitted with motion sensors, a microphone, a spotlight, the lens and a daytime/night viewing mode that aids visibility in different lighting conditions. You could also purchase additional cameras for your security system if you’re not okay with the 2-cam setup.
The eufyCam security cameras can withstand harsh weather conditions, no thanks to a durable IP67 waterproof build. And the cameras are equally functional outside, as they are adept inside a building. Also, this 2-Cam kit system comes with a HomeBase unit that you plug directly into a router using the accompanying Ethernet cable. We particularly like this setup because of the automatic video recording that occurs once human motion is detected. By default, these clips are 20 seconds long, but you could adjust the length, and you also receive notifications on your phone that you can tap to view these recordings.
The eufyCam smart cameras are app-compatible, and they work with a specially designed app that is available on both the Android and iOS platforms. Once set up and connected to the internet, you can access your cameras and recorded security footage from anywhere via the app. We also like the 2-way audio feature and the fact that you can adjust the volume via the mobile app. It is also claimed that this product offers 180-days of battery on a single charge, although that remains to be seen.
Lack of facial recognition tech
Easy to setup
Loading live feed can be slow at times
Ability to focus the cameras on specific zones
Decent image quality and night vision
Great battery life
Frequently Asked Questions
The major difference between a surveillance and security camera lies in the mode of data transmission. While surveillance cameras work by transmitting video and audio signals to a wireless digital video recorder (DVR), security cameras convey signals from a specific place to a specific monitor.
Also, in terms of functions, both camera types are security-focused. But while surveillance cameras are used to detect and record unwanted activities, security cameras work to prevent these criminal activities from taking place by alerting the relevant authorities on time.
The choice between a wired or wireless camera security system depends on several factors, including your budget, property size, and security needs.
As the name suggests, wireless security cameras transmit audio and video footage over WiFi and might or mightn't be plugged into a power source. On the other hand, wired security systems connect to the internet and the power source via cables.
And while wireless security cameras are easier to set up and install, they are usually more expensive and dependent on the internet connection strength. Wired cameras, on the other hand, require professional installation most times. Still, they are generally more reliable and secure to use.
Important criteria you should look out for before purchasing wireless outdoor security cameras include:
• display resolution
• storage capacity
• compatibility with apps
• build quality
• proximity from power source etc.
While we cannot outrightly state what home security costs per month, as there are tons of security providers, the average monthly cost for monthly monitoring services range from between $25 to $50.
Generally, you don't have to get legal consent or put up signs if you have security cameras in and around your home. However, it would be best if you familiarise yourself with the laws of your area before installing CCTV systems.
Generally, the best locations to set up house cameras depend on your property's structure and design. But some of these optimal locations include:
• Front, back and side doors
• Common areas such as the living room and the kitchen
However, you should take care not to install cameras in places that violate privacy, such as bedrooms, toilets and bathrooms.
From the above reviews, it is clear that the best home alarm systems do not necessarily have to be professionally handled, and the CCTV camera price doesn’t have to be exorbitant. Most of the models on our list can be installed with little to no prior knowledge about security systems. Some even come as plug and play.
Too busy to constantly stare at the monitors? These apps come with triggers that send instant alerts and notifications to your mobile devices. So, suppose you desire a security system that constantly watches over your property while you go about your daily business. In that case, you can’t go wrong with any of the products reviewed above.