Best Home Security Camera 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Home security is becoming more and more of a priority for many people across the UK, and thankfully it has never been easier to setup and control.

Whether you want a smart home which allows you to see everything from your smartphone when you are away on holiday, you want to be able to keep an eye on the driveway and garage, or need to see what the dog is up to when you’re at work, there is a security camera for your home available.

Technology is growing rapidly in this corner of the market, so if you are wondering which of the many home security cameras is best for your needs, we have reviewed some of the latest and greatest available.

The Best Home Security Cameras – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
LOREX LHA41082TC4P 8-Channel Full HD 1080p Home Security System
  • Video Quality: 1080p HD
  • Compatible With: iOS/Android/Windows PC
  • Dimensions: 34 x 24 x 6 cm
Click for Best Price
NEST Cam Smart Security Camera
  • Video Quality: 1080p HD
  • Compatible With: iOS/Android
  • Dimensions: 16.7 x 16.6 x 10.7 cm
Click for Best Price
Blink Indoor Home Security Camera System
  • Video Quality: 720p HD
  • Compatible With: iOS/Android
  • Dimensions: 7.1 x 7.1 x 3 cm
Click for Best Price

Best Outdoor Security Camera

LOREX LHA41082TC4P 8-Channel Full HD 1080p Home Security System

While the shift towards wireless, cableless, smart appliances and devices is rapidly growing, they still aren’t 100% reliable and come with their problems. Technology, eh?

Unfortunately, when you’re home security is priority, this is sometimes infuriating. So this one tops our list because it still relies on the good old-fashioned recording and CCTV technology, but brings it a bit more up to date and throws the latest tech into the mix rather than jumping into the flames.

Complete with four cameras to get you started, this system is great for anyone who loves the idea of being able to keep an eye on everything remotely but also wants to take their CCTV setup back to basics a bit and not rely on the internet for everything.

Any movement is recorded on the included DVR, where you can view it at a later date, so you don’t have to rely on moving it from your phone’s storage elsewhere.

Through the Lorex secure app, you can have a full live feed view of the camera’s view, so whether you’re round at a friend’s house or sunning it up in Spain, there is peace of mind.

Picture quality is strong, in fact, one of the best we reviewed. The 2592 × 1520p resolution will ensure there is no debating over what you see, or indeed who. To put that in perspective, a lot of other HD cameras only record in 1920 x 1080p.

Colour definition is also great, and you can easily make out things such as car number plates. The 130ft night vision capability is very generous, too.

The analogue HD is delivered through the BNC cable connection, which provides both the video and the power to cut down on the need for multiple wires. The cameras can be installed up to 500 ft away from the DVR, so it is an ideal system for larger properties.

It features an IP66 water resistant rating, which is one of the higher non-industrial levels available. There is also a 60°C Heat Rating and Cold Rating of -30°C.

We like

  • Video quality
  • Wired BNC connection boosts reliability
  • Settings are easy to change and navigate

We dislike

  • App isn’t the best
  • No microphone or voice ability

Final Verdict

Outdoor security is arguably more important for some than indoor, with car thefts and vandalism also being problems for some. Here is a camera which will clearly show any problems. The price is quite good for what you get, with some of the less reliable models retailing around the same. Definitely worth it if you want full security.

+ Specifications

  • Video Quality: 1080p HD
  • Compatible With: iOS/Android/Windows PC
  • Dimensions: 34 x 24 x 6 cm

+ Downloads

LOREX LHA41082TC4P 8-Channel Full HD 1080p Home Security System User Manual

Download

NEST Cam Outdoor Smart Security Camera

Nest’s indoor cameras are rated highly – it even topped our review list – so we had high expectations for the outdoor equivalent.

You can still monitor the view from your smartphone or tablet, and get notifications if there is any movement or sound detected. It is weatherproof and easy to fit to the wall yourself, only requiring fastening securely.

A problem with outdoor cameras and items such as smart doorbells is that they can struggle to tell the difference between a person and an animal. Some even detect gusts of wind, cars going past or even the sun emerging.

Thankfully, the Nest can tell the difference between a human and anything else with the Aware subscription. This means you won’t get false alerts coming through constantly, which will make your life a bit less hectic. You can also check on photos taken in the previous three hours through the app to keep on top of security.

Just like with the indoor alternative, if you want to store 30 days worth of footage on the cloud, then you’ll need to take out a subscription. We did, however, like how you can create a little hub with your neighbours.

In a password-protected stream, you can share live footage and create clips so they can see what has been going on if there is some alarming activity they need to be warned about. You can also use it as an indoor camera if you’d like one which sits in the corner of the room and looks over everything.

There is two-way audio so you can talk to the postman and ask him to leave your parcel in the porch or with a neighbour, or you can simply make your presence known. There is also a focused zoom option so you can see certain things in more detail if necessary.

The only design flaw is that the USB cable is thin, but the actual socket is 25mm, so a large hole would have to be drilled through the wall if you were wiring it into the house.

We like

  • Good response times
  • Excellent picture quality
  • Looks sleek

We dislike

  • Need to subscribe to get the most out of it
  • USB is quite thick to pass through wall

Final Verdict

Packed with all the features you could want from an outdoor camera, this Nest camera would be a great addition to an already existing security setup.

+ Specifications

  • Video Quality: 1080p HD
  • Compatible With: iOS/Android
  • Dimensions: 7.2 x 7.2 x 8.9 cm

+ Downloads

Nest Cam Outdoor security camera User Manual

Download

Ring Spotlight Cam

If you’re after a camera which can illuminate the area when it detects movement as well as recording a video, then this Ring model does just that.

Not only does this help make the footage clearer for you to view, but it can also act as a security deterrent if there is anybody in your garden who shouldn’t be there. Another deterrent is the 110-decibel siren which you can sound, to attract others to whatever is going on.

The fact that you have the option of wire-free battery operation or wired power will likely appeal to you. Thanks to the quick release battery pack of the former, it is pretty flexible in terms of where you place it, and there is no major drilling required. For the latter, it would be best if you have an external plug.

A lot of other users have commented that they have their battery-powered camera linked up to a small solar panel, available from Ring, which we think would be a great idea if the overall reliability of batteries puts you off.

You can set motion zones which can help prevent any false alarms, so if your neighbour pottering about in the garden comes into the range of the full scope, you can reduce it to just focus on your front yard.

Cloud storage comes as extra, but that isn’t something which is rare only to this model. We found the app to be very easy to navigate, with the battery levels shown and a toggle to turn the lights on or off and to disable motion alerts. From here, you can also see a live feed and sound the siren.

Ring are most famous for their video doorbell, so the two can work together to secure all areas of your property completely and allow you a full view from wherever you are in the world.

As with the doorbell, however, there was a slight issue with response times. On a few occasions, it took around a minute to send a notification to the phone that movement was detected. By this time, a delivery man could have left again. It happened rarely but could be slightly annoying.

We like

  • Additional light and siren
  • Wired or battery power option
  • Theft protection - if stolen, Ring will replace

We dislike

  • WiFi connection is a bit unstable without a booster
  • Reaction times were sometimes slow

Final Verdict

There are response and connection issues, but this isn't something unique to this camera. Despite these issues, the video quality is still great and there are plenty of little extras which could definitely come in handy.

+ Specifications

  • Video Quality: 1080p HD
  • Compatible With: iOS/Android
  • Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 12.1 cm

+ Downloads

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery User Manual

Download

Blink XT Home Security Camera System

As with their indoor system, Blink has been flexible in allowing you to personalise the security system you want.

There are one, two, three and five camera options available, and additional cameras can also be purchased. Unlike the indoor cameras, the XT is water resistant thanks to the IP65 enclosure, but they are all still battery powered and completely wireless, so you have plenty of freedom in their positioning.

If you do want it to be wired, there is a USB connection for constant power, but it is worth mentioning that when this is open, the camera is no longer waterproof so you would have to ensure there is a shelter.

A lot of freedom is given in the app over how the camera works. How long the clips record for, the motion detection area and sensitivity and the intensity of the infrared. You can also choose whether the audio is also recorded.

Audio is only one way, so you can’t talk to anybody, but if this is not a feature you would want anyway, then it won’t be missed.

Sensitivity is a bit hit and miss. It would pick up tree branches moving in the wind, but turning it down resulted in things being missed that we would have liked to be picked up such as people walking past (you can’t be too safe sometimes). Night vision wasn’t the best of those we tried either, but outside lighting can be a lot more unpredictable than indoor, so this is something that isn’t particularly only confined to this model.

We like

  • Free cloud storage
  • Blue power LED is optional for subtlety
  • Walkthrough guide is good

We dislike

  • Motion not detected through windows
  • Plastic bracket feels a bit fragile

Final Verdict

The free storage and installation process makes this a great introductory security camera for the external area of your home, and the price is not bad to say you get two cameras included.

+ Specifications

  • Video Quality: HD
  • Compatible With: iOS/Android
  • Dimensions: 7.1 x 7.1 x 3.4 cm

+ Downloads

Blink XT Home Security Camera System User Manual

Download

Arlo Pro 2

Fancy a four camera kit to cover every side of your home? No problem – just select it from the options. This is the newest camera in the Arlo range, and most of the usual highlights are still there, but with a few additions.

There are also one, two and three camera options available, as well as the possibility to buy additional cameras at a later date. If you do purchase the bigger option, the Arlo Pro 2 does work indoors, so there is nothing to stop you popping one in the living room or entrance hallway.

What makes it great for outdoors, however, is that there is a siren you can sound if you want to deter anyone from being on your property. It is weather resistant with an IP65-certified casing, so no matter if it is cold or boiling hot, if it is raining or the driest summer on record, it can handle it.

It is also 100% wire-free, so no need to dig the drill out of the shed or get an electrician to fit another plug socket. You have the option to purchase the additional Arlo solar panel to sit alongside it, so there is a continuous power source, or you can connect it to a power cable if there is one available. The battery is rechargeable, so no extra costs are involved.

Another thing which keeps costs down is the free cloud storage, no subscription required. The past seven days are all there to access, and you can store these on a USB local drive if there was something you want to look back on or a moment you want to cherish.

The ability to listen in on the events and even talk back is great if you regularly need to leave instructions for a delivery driver, or if it will be indoors and keeping an eye on the dog.

We like

  • Basic setup
  • Good battery life on low power mode

We dislike

  • Some time delays, as expected
  • Bit pricey

Final Verdict

After a multi-camera system to help keep your property secure? This system is ideal for additions and extras, and the voice/microphone is great for all-round surveillance.

+ Specifications

  • Video Quality: 1080p HD
  • Compatible With: iOS/Android
  • Dimensions: 4.9 x 7.1 x 7.9 cm

+ Downloads

Arlo Pro 2 Instruction Manual

Download

Best Indoor Security Camera

NEST Cam Smart Security Camera

The Nest smart security camera can monitor anywhere in your home and send the footage straight to your smartphone or tablet. All it needs is a connection to WiFi and a power socket.

Making it ideal for when you are away, you can view a live feed of the scene at any time or receive notifications every time the motion sensors are activated, or sound is heard. It connects up to your phone, tablet or PC with ease.

Thanks to the high-quality video capture, you will be able to see what is going on clearly. There is also night vision, so if everything goes dark, you can still keep an eye.

As it picks up any sound as well as movement, it is great if you need a camera which acts as a visual baby monitor. There is also two-way conversation capability, so along with being able to check up on things you can also keep your dog company when you’re not there in person.

This Nest Cam particularly comes into its own if you own other products from the range. Set your thermostat to ‘Away’ and the camera will automatically start recording. If your Nest Protect detects smoke, the camera will start recording so you can view what is happening at a later date.

There are subscription costs involved with the Nest Aware feature and for storage, but this isn’t something that is particularly unique to this camera and is not something that should put you off if you are willing to pay it. We do think this camera is amongst the best, after all.

We like

  • Easy to set up
  • Great at notifying you of any activity

We dislike

  • Overall cost of camera and all extras

Final Verdict

One of the best cameras for indoor use, particularly if you want to start up a security system with lots of linked items.

+ Specifications

  • Video Quality: 1080p HD
  • Compatible With: iOS/Android
  • Dimensions: 16.7 x 16.6 x 10.7 cm

+ Downloads

NEST Cam Smart Security Camera User Manual

Download

Blink Indoor Home Security Camera System

This system gets our top pick of the best kit thanks to the flexibility it provides. Whether you want to buy one camera for now and add some more later or you want to go straight in and purchase five cameras, everything you need is included, including the Sync Module.

Every camera is wireless and battery operated, so you have full flexibility over where they are placed without the need for drilling and being fixed to anywhere near plug sockets. You can choose to wire it up if you prefer though.

The motion detection feature will take a short video after it is triggered and send it straight to your device so you can see what or who was the culprit. This is sent to you quickly so you can react straight away.

You also have access to on-demand viewing through the dedicated Blink app. If anything is recorded, you don’t have to pay a high subscription fee to keep that video and data until everything is sorted – Blink’s cloud service is free and comes as standard. You get 2gb of storage before the older footage is overwritten, and can store it offline before this.

They even state that a camera can run on two AA lithium batteries for up to two years, so you won’t have to be replacing them every week or panicking as they’ve run out unexpectedly. Each camera is also small, so if you want to keep it discreet, the option is there.

If you have a BT router, then beware as some other users have reported issues connecting their Blink system to their internet.

We like

  • Can add ten cameras altogether
  • Footage can be accessed from more than one device
  • Easy to set up
  • IFTTT support

We dislike

  • No option to disarm individual cameras, only the system
  • No two-way audio

Final Verdict

Blink is owned by Amazon, so as you can expect, the technology is high-level and it explains why you get so much with the purchase. It is no surprise that it works well with Amazon Alexa products, either.

+ Specifications

  • Video Quality: 720p HD
  • Compatible With: iOS/Android
  • Dimensions: 7.1 x 7.1 x 3 cm

+ Downloads

Blink Indoor Home Security Camera System User Manual

Download

Hive View Smart Indoor Camera

Another camera which has primarily been designed as an add-on to smart home systems, the Hive View has a lot of little extra features which make it a great choice for anyone concerned about keeping a watch over everything.

Privacy mode can be set at any time, so you have full control over when the Hive is in action and monitoring your home. You can also schedule times, so if you are in by 3 pm every day, it can rest for a little while until you need it again.

There is also the ability to set it only to detect humans, so if you have a home full of pets but want to pick up movement and receive alerts from anything suspicious, you can. Don’t worry; you can still check up on them using the live feed through the app.

The two-way audio also allows you to drop in on the house, whether you want to make your presence known or tell the dog to get off the sofa. You can also move it temporarily to another room without having to take all the power leads with it, thanks to the one-hour built-in battery life and lightweight build.

Recordings can be downloaded straight to your phone, so you always have them, no matter if it is an issue which needs closer inspection or if the camera captured a moment you want to treasure.

Both recordings and live videos have the ability for 8x digital zoom, so you can take a closer look at anything that needs your attention. The 1080p HD quality will keep everything crisp.

The Hive app is easy to navigate, and you can control your entire home if you have other Hive products such as lighting or heating. Using Hive Actions, you can link them all together and start recording if the window sensors are triggered or if the heating is boosted, or turn the lighting on if the camera picks up movement.

We like

  • Great addition to the Hive Ecosystem
  • Quick to set up

We dislike

  • Expensive - there are a few cheaper options out there if you don’t already have Hive in place
  • Additional features come at a cost

Final Verdict

A great product which does it's job very well. We just think it is a bit overpriced for what it is, so it is debatable whether you could kit out your entire home with them.

+ Specifications

  • Video Quality: 1080p HD
  • Compatible With: iOS/Android
  • Dimensions: 9 x 20 x 20 cm

+ Downloads

Hive View Smart Indoor Camera User Manual

Download

Netatmo Welcome Home Camera with Face Recognition

If indoor home security is a big issue for you and you want to be able to keep an eye on everything with ease, Netatmo has produced a fabulous little camera without all the usual fuss.

Facial recognition will ensure that you are notified if a loved one enters the room, such as when the kids come home from school. However, this also means you’ll also be told when it is a stranger, allowing you to debate whether to act.

A 130-degree wide view angle should cover the majority of the room it is placed in, so there are no hidden corners and areas. The app allows you to take a look at who is at home, as well as accessing a live stream and having a look at the past events which the camera has picked up in full HD.

Through the app, you can also completely disable the notifications of anyone it recognises, so you can choose not to be told when your partner and eldest child get home but do get notified when the younger ones do.

“What about the extra storage costs?” we hear you ask. Well, it is all free. A local SD card will keep track of storage, and everything is also uploaded to the cloud service for access. With no setup fees, installation is seamless. Place and position, plug in and download the app. No hubs needed or extra faff.

We like

  • Simple to use
  • Good at facial recognition once trained
  • Records even when WiFi is down
  • No ongoing costs

We dislike

  • Struggles in dim light

Final Verdict

It keeps further costs down, helps you out with a bit of training and is pretty easy to set up. No hubs or struggles with connection, just plug it in. A pretty great place to start in terms of home security and checking up on everyone. It will also allow you to choose to just notify you of humans or include the pet so you can check on them, too.

+ Specifications

  • Field of View: 130 degrees
  • Video quality: 1080p
  • Dimensions: 4.5 x 4.5 x 15.5 cm

+ Downloads

Netatmo Welcome Home Camera with Face Recognition User Manual Data Sheet

Download

Zmodo True HD Mini WiFi Wireless Wide Angle Indoor Home Video Security Camera

The cheapest camera on our list by quite a large amount, this camera from zmodo is good for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on an item which is only for those ‘just in case’ moments.

It is small enough to be discreet, and you can personalise the motion detection trigger area so only the issues you want to be picked up are. You have to connect it to a power supply at all times, but there is also a USB connection if you need to move it temporarily and use a portable power bank.

Clips are stored for 24 hours until they are overwritten. You can download these as soon as you need to, or you can pay a bit extra for the cloud storage service.

Infrared is decent quality, and you can still see the comings and goings clearly, although it would be nice if it were a bit sharper.

Overall, for the price, you get what you’d expect. It isn’t as great as the ones which retail around £100, but this is to be expected anyway. For a security camera you will be relying heavily on to protect your home, we can’t say it would be up to the job.

But for keeping a watch on your pets when you nip out, or on your baby when you’re downstairs, we would safely say that it is up to the job, and you don’t need to spend nearer the top-end.

We like

  • Price
  • Connects seamlessly to app

We dislike

  • Some difficulties connecting it to WiFi
  • Can’t turn off the WiFi connected light

Final Verdict

Cheap yet does the job - if you want to kit out every room in the house with cameras and security system additions, then this is a good option even if it is just a starter

+ Specifications

  • Video Quality: 720p HD
  • Dimensions: 5.4 x 11.4 x 17.4 cm

Help and Resources

Home Security Camera Buying Guide

Key Features

You won’t need all of these, but they are some things to look out for if you want a camera which can do more than record:

Motion Sensors

They only start recording if there is movement sensed, and will send you a notification in case you need to check it out

Noise Sensors

Less widely available, but will alert you to any sounds which may be concerning such as car alarms, breaking glass or talking

Night Vision

Mainly essential for outdoor cameras. Most have infrared capability, but some are better than others

Two-way Communication

Not only will you be able to hear anything suspicious, but you could also talk to anybody. Great for deliveries or checking in on the dog

Indoor Or Outdoor Cameras?

Even though there are a few options on this list which will cover both, mainly with most outdoor cameras being suitable indoors, there are a few reasons why your decision has to be a careful one.

Outdoor cameras need to be a lot sturdier, able to handle the weather and the changes in temperature. They may also need a better quality picture, better infrared night technology and will need to be fitted to the external wall easily.

Indoor cameras will usually cover a smaller area, and you’ll probably have more freedom in terms of positioning and fitting. There will still need to be good video quality, but they won’t need to be quite as hardy.

If you’re looking for a setup and kit which will cover both, an outdoor pack may be best.

CCTV Or IP Camera?

A CCTV camera is a closed circuit television camera. They are analogue, wired devices, and the typical outdoor security cameras you may be used to seeing. They often require two wires, one for power and one for recording capabilities and storing the data, although more modern models only see you need one.

So with that, what is an IP camera? Simply put, an Internet Protocol digital camera will send information and data to a computer system via the internet. They can either be wired or wireless and are set up using your computer’s IP address and WiFi signal. They are also referred to as network cameras, as they are seen as a good option for anyone after an entire home security system full of smart appliances.

IP cameras are the latest technology, and therefore often provide you with the best results in terms of picture and flexibility. They do face their problems, however, as with all technology, such as connectivity issues and poor signal quality.

Even though traditional CCTV cameras are being phased out and replaced, there are still a few available for anyone after complete reliability. The good news is that they’ve been brought up to date, with most of those now available working with an app so you can have a 24/7 view of your property. They just don’t rely as much on the internet and being ‘smart’.

Price

Home security is something you should take quite seriously, so it isn’t recommended you just settle for the cheapest option if you want the best quality.

A complete home security system will likely set you back upwards of £300. This will probably include the DVR/router and at least two cameras, as well as any wires or fittings you need.

There are individual cameras which work without hubs and wires available for just over £100 if you want something which is there ‘just in case’ or to check in on your dog/child.

Storage

Gone are the days the footage was stored on an old VHS tape, and you had to watch the whole recording to spot any suspicious activity.

Nowadays, a lot of cameras offer cloud storage. Basically, your footage is kept on a secure server. It often comes at a price, with subscription packages generally starting at around £5 per month for basic support. Some do offer free storage, such as Blink from Amazon, but it will be limited to a few days or hours of footage.

Bear in mind no two cloud systems are the same, and services are offered in tiers so the upper level of unlimited support could set you back around £20 a month.

Other cameras may give you SD card storage, which can result in longer footage but also more instant access through your computer, and it could be easier to move to long-term storage.

Some systems will rely on a DVR, which is a more permanent storage solution.

The choice is up to you but think carefully about what and where you want to store your footage if at all, and if you want to pay for the privilege.

Power

Battery-powered cameras are great for flexibility in placement and are generally easier to install. Most have rechargeable batteries and the option to connect a solar panel for more continuous charging.

Wired cameras are seen as more reliable, but if they are outdoors, the either require drilling through the wall or an external power socket which means more work and possible professional electrician installation. The connections may also mean they aren’t fully waterproof.

FAQs

What Is A DVR?

A Digital Video Recorder is a device which stores footage that has been taken by your camera. This footage can often be transferred to a USB or SD card and stored.

Some cameras will come with one of these ‘hubs’, especially if they are designed to be part of a system, and others will cut the need out and only send footage to your smartphone or tablet for you to take action with. The latter are usually best as standalone indoor cameras.

How Do I Know If My Camera Will Be Waterproof?

Outdoor cameras and CCTV needs to be water resistant to protect it from the elements and keep it working.

It is worth mentioning that there is a difference between waterproof and water resistant – proof means it won’t be damaged from continuous water submersion or penetration, and resistant means it is repellent to water but will be affected by continuous exposure.

Water resistant cameras will likely be encased in an IP65 cover, which means it is rated as ‘dust tight’ and protected against water projected from a nozzle. Other weather conditions such as wind and snow are unlikely to affect it majorly, and it is seen as enough for an outdoor home security camera.

Further up the scale, an IP66 Enclosure is ‘dust tight’ and protected against heavy seas or powerful jets of water. Some of the more sturdy CCTV cameras which are primarily for outdoor use rather than possibly indoor may feature this.

IP67 is ‘dust tight’ and protected against immersion. IP68 Enclosures are ‘dust tight’ and protected against complete, continuous submersion in water. These are more likely to be found on activity or underwater cameras.

You may also be able to purchase additional skins to protect against sun glare or make it less easy to spot.

How Would I Prevent Theft Of My Camera?

As with anything in full view on your property, there is a chance the camera could be stolen if somebody spots it and doesn’t want to leave behind any proof they were there.

Cameras which just slot into a bracket rather than being fixed, or those with an SD card storage option, would be most likely to be tampered with in our opinion. It is recommended that outdoor cameras are placed high up enough as not to be reachable but also record the events.

Some companies, such as Ring, may offer to replace the camera if it is registered and stolen. However, the possibility that your CCTV would be tampered with or stolen is low.

Are There Usually Time Delays?

With a lot of the cameras reviewed, there were occasional but rare delays in something happening and you receiving the notification.

This is affected by a number of things; the distance between the camera and activity, the wire or battery used, your broadband upload speed, the range between the camera and router, and the WiFi signal between the cameras and the base.

If you have excellent broadband, it could reduce the likelihood of time delays. Think about purchasing WiFi extenders if yours is poor for more reliability.