Best home security cameras for 2021

09 March 2021

indoor home security camera on a table

If you need a convenient way to keep a close eye on your property, it’s a good idea to invest in a home security camera system. This round-the-clock surveillance set-up allows you to check on your property any time and anywhere, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to focus on the more important things in life.

Leaving home with small kids can sometimes be a struggle. There’s always so much to pack (a change of clothes, spare nappies and oh-so-many snacks), and that’s before you’ve even attempted to get your child to keep their socks on for more than 30 seconds.

When you finally get to where you’re going, you want to be able to relax and enjoy yourself, not waste time worrying about your home while it’s empty. A security camera can be a great way to make sure your property is looked after, even when you’re not there to keep an eye on it yourself.

Today’s surveillance systems are easier to use than ever and integrate well with smart home devices. Many can even be viewed on your smartphone. We’re sharing our favourite home surveillance systems that you can use to keep your home and family safe.

Here are the best home security cameras to buy right now.

1. Best overall home security camera: ieGeek Security Outdoor Camera

ieGeek security outdoor camera

The ieGeek Outdoor Security Camera comes in at a very reasonable price point, but still offers some great features that make this camera our top pick.

You can link it to your smartphone and receive notifications in real time if the camera detects motion. You can even set up a schedule, so it will only send notifications during certain hours of the day.

And if there are certain areas of the image that you don’t want to monitor, you can block that zone – so you won’t be sent a notification every time a car drives past your house.

Pros

  • 24/7 looping record function, which automatically records over old footage
  • Enhanced night vision (20 metres)
  • Waterproof and robust, so can be used outdoors
  • Three-metre power cable to allow for easy installation
  • Video can be viewed from smartphone, PC or web browser
  • Remote viewing supports up to four users simultaneously
  • Excellent picture quality

Cons

  • Set-up instructions are poorly written
  • Motion notifications can be too sensitive
  • Motion detection zones are tricky to calibrate

Specs

  • Power: Mains-operated
  • Weight: 730g
  • Siren: No
  • Two-way talk: No
  • Camera quality: 1080p

2. Best budget home security camera: Tapo Smart Security Camera

Tapo smart security camera

If you’d like to use your home security camera indoors, you may not be willing to spend more to get a waterproof camera. The Tapo Smart Security Camera costs less than £25, and is a great budget option for keeping an eye on things inside your home.

With 360-degree rotation, you’ll be able to easily use the camera to look around if you receive a motion alert to your phone. There’s even a two-way audio feature, which allows you to talk to whoever’s in your home – whether that’s an intruder, a noisy pet or even just a child who should be in bed.

Pros

  • Very competitive price
  • 360-degree rotation
  • Great night vision (30 feet)
  • Excellent picture quality
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Motion detection zones are tricky to calibrate
  • Occasionally drops out and needs to reconnect
  • Indoor use only

Specs

  • Power: Mains-operated
  • Weight: 340g
  • Siren: Yes
  • Two-way talk: Yes
  • Camera quality: 1080p

3. Best indoor security camera: Wansview Home Security Camera

Wansview home security camera

The Wansview Home Security Camera is another brilliant indoor surveillance system. It can be used to give you peace of mind when your home is left empty, or to keep an eye on pets, sleeping babies or elderly relatives.

As with most good home security cameras, you can set up motion alerts so that you receive a notification to your smartphone when the camera detects movement. The Wansview camera also has two-way audio, so you can talk to your child or family member via the camera if needed.

Pros

  • Excellent picture quality
  • Complete 360-degree coverage
  • 4x digital zoom
  • Real-time motion alerts
  • Video can be viewed from smartphone, PC or web browser
  • Remote viewing supports up to four users simultaneously

Cons

  • Night vision is less impressive (only five metres)
  • Occasionally drops out and needs to reconnect
  • Need to pay a subscription for cloud storage (but SD card storage is also available)
  • Indoor use only

Specs

  • Power: Mains-powered
  • Weight: 400g
  • Siren: No
  • Two-way talk: Yes
  • Camera quality: 1080p

4. Best home security camera kit: YI Two-Piece Home Surveillance System

YI home surveillance system

If you’re looking to invest in an integrated security camera system, the YI two-piece security kit is a great option. Considering the set comes with two cameras, the price tag is actually very reasonable and the cameras themselves have earned great reviews.

The cameras are small and elegant and they have a few uncommon features that set them apart from some of the other cameras we looked at. For example, they can be programmed to turn off at certain times of the day or week and there’s a fun time-lapse function that can be used to compress footage into short video clips.

Pros

  • 4x digital zoom
  • Motion detection zones to block certain areas
  • Detects sound as well as motion
  • Can be scheduled to turn on or off at certain times of the day/week
  • Time-lapse function to create short clips from footage

Cons

  • Need to pay a subscription for cloud storage (but SD card storage is also available)
  • Indoor use only
  • Motion alert video clips are only six seconds long

Specs

  • Power: Mains-powered
  • Weight: 120g each
  • Siren: No
  • Two-way talk: Yes
  • Camera quality: 1080p

5. Best battery-powered home security camera: Blink XT2 Security Camera

Blink XT2 security camera

A battery-powered camera system is a great alternative to mains-powered cameras if you’re less confident with installing a wired system. Just screw these Blink XT2 cameras to your wall (indoors or outdoors), set them up using the app and you’re done. No wires to worry about.

The battery is claimed to last two years with average use. The camera remains on stand-by until it detects motion, when it then springs into action. Of course, if you install your camera in a high-traffic area, this may reduce its battery life.

Pros

  • Waterproof and suitable for outdoor use
  • Motion detection zones to block certain areas
  • Easy to install and set up
  • Excellent image quality

Cons

  • High price point
  • Needs to be installed high up, otherwise they could be unscrewed and stolen
  • Night vision is slightly disappointing

Specs

  • Power: Battery-powered
  • Battery life: Two years
  • Weight: 89g each
  • Siren: No
  • Two-way talk: Yes
  • Camera quality: 1080p

Price: £199.95

6. Best intelligent home security camera: Eufy Wireless Security Camera Set

Eufy wireless security camera set

The Eufy camera system is a super high-tech option for those who are happy to spend a bit more on a home security system. The two cameras in this set use intelligent body-detection technology, which means that their motion alerts will only be activated when they detect a human body – not a cat or a waving tree branch.

The Eufy cameras are battery-powered, meaning they’re easy to install, with no awkward cables to worry about. Luckily, the long-life battery will last for six months from just one charge, so you don’t need to worry about your cameras failing every few weeks.

The price of the Eufy security system is significantly higher than a lot of the other cameras we looked at, but the additional features may be worth it for some.

Pros

  • Battery lasts six months from just one charge (takes five hours to charge)
  • Waterproof and suitable for outdoor use
  • Great night vision
  • Built-in spotlight (optional)
  • Motion detection zones
  • Two-way audio
  • Easy to install and set up via the Eufy app

Cons

  • Very high price tag compared to other cameras
  • Needs to be installed high up, otherwise they could be unscrewed and stolen
  • Battery may not last the full six months if placed in a high-traffic area

Specs

  • Power: Battery-powered
  • Battery life: Six months
  • Weight: 318g each
  • Siren: No
  • Two-way talk: Yes
  • Camera quality: 1080p

7. Best noise-detecting home security camera: Neos SmartCam

Neos smartcam

Some security cameras will only send you a notification if they detect motion, but the Neos SmartCam is designed to detect noise too. It’s a great option for keeping an eye on sleeping babies or noisy pets. The two-way audio function is really useful for reassuring your baby when they stir or distracting your dog if they start to bark.

The camera’s magnetic base means set-up is easy – you can stick it straight to a metal object like a fridge or filing cabinet. There’s also a strong adhesive pad to use instead.

Pros

  • 8x digital zoom
  • Good night vision (nine metres)
  • Great quality image
  • Magnetic base could allow for easy installation if you have something metal to stick it to
  • Automatic motion and sound notifications
  • Very competitive price

Cons

  • Indoor use only
  • Lengthy set-up process
  • Sound quality needs improvement

Specs

  • Power: Mains-powered
  • Weight: 100g
  • Siren: No
  • Two-way talk: Yes
  • Camera quality: 1080p

8. Best home security camera for night vision: Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera System

Arlo essential spotlight camera system

Most cameras only offer night vision in black and white, but the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera System has a built-in spotlight, allowing for night vision in full colour. This makes it perfect for keeping an eye on your back garden or any other dark area of your property.

The Arlo Essential is another wireless security camera and the battery lasts around six months with average use.

Pros

  • Waterproof and suitable for outdoor use
  • Easy wire-free installation
  • Motion detection zones
  • Real-time smartphone notifications
  • Great picture quality
  • Can detect humans, animals and vehicles separately, so you can turn off notifications for the categories you’re not interested in

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Needs to be installed high up, otherwise they could be unscrewed and stolen
  • Battery may not last the full six months if placed in a high-traffic area

Specs

  • Power: Battery-powered
  • Battery life: Six months
  • Weight: 350g
  • Siren: No
  • Two-way talk: Yes
  • Camera quality: 1080p

What’s the difference between surveillance cameras and security cameras?

For a non-expert, the main difference between security cameras and surveillance cameras is the way they’re used. Security cameras are generally used in a domestic environment, and recording is triggered by an activity such as motion or noise.

Surveillance cameras, on the other hand, use a slightly different type of technology, which allows for a longer recording time. They’re often used by police or private businesses to keep a constant eye on a particular location.

Are wireless or wired security cameras better?

Whether you go for a wireless (battery-powered) or wired (mains-powered) security camera is up to you. Wireless cameras are easier to install, but you do need to keep an eye on the battery level to make sure your cameras don’t fail.

Most wireless security cameras boast a battery life of six months upwards, but in reality they can run out more quickly than this, especially if used in high traffic areas.

Wired security cameras are more fiddly to install, but are then more reliable, with no batteries to worry about.

Do I need wifi for security cameras?

If your home doesn’t have wifi, you can hardwire a security camera instead. This is a more tricky installation process, and also has the disadvantage of you not being able to access the footage from your camera remotely. If you have access to wifi, it’s generally preferable to use it.

What should I look for when buying a security camera?

Home security cameras come with all sorts of special features, but they may not all be relevant to your particular situation. A few features that you might consider are:

  • Do you want a security camera that’s battery-powered or plugged into the mains?
  • If battery-powered, how long do you need the battery to last?
  • Is a high-quality image important for your needs?
  • Do you need two-way audio so you can talk back to the camera?
  • Will you need to block notifications from certain zones of the image (e.g if there’s a road visible in the image, with lots of passing cars)?
  • Does the camera need to be integrated with your existing smart home system (e.g. Alexa or Google Home)?
  • Do you want the camera to have an in-built siren?
  • Does your camera need to detect sound or just motion?
  • Will the camera be used indoors or outdoors?

Once you’ve decided which features you need your camera to have, check our list above to find a camera system that meets your requirements.

Which home security camera system is the best?

After researching dozens of different products to compile this list of the eight best home security cameras, our conclusion is that the ieGeek Security Outdoor Camera is the best home security camera system on the market right now.

It offers all the basic features you’d want from a home security system, such as smartphone notifications and an excellent image quality, and it comes in at a really competitive price point. It can also be used indoors or outdoors, so it’s a versatile camera that we think will meet most people’s needs.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which home security cameras discerning Mumsnet users are using in their homes. We compiled a list of the products they recommended for being the most reliable at keeping their property safe.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which home security systems had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the home security cameras we thought would make the best buys in several categories.

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products.

We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.

Want more product recommendations? Check out Mumsnet Reviews.

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