Keep a lookout for thieves and vandals with smart home security cameras. Connected video cameras work with your WiFi network to send alerts and live footage to your smartphone. Many also include built-in lights or sirens to act as an extra deterrent, while software capabilities like digital track and zoom make it easier to identify people in the frame.
Some cameras offer cloud storage or support external network devices to record for longer stretches of time. When deciding which model to buy, consider how often you want to review your footage and how long you’d like to store it for. Some cameras also require a subscription to access some features, such as live streaming and two-factor authentication for logins.
Privacy Laws and Smart Home Cameras: What You Need to Know Before Installing
The best home security cameras can record up to 1080p and provide clear video with a field of view that’s at least 130 to 180 degrees wide. Depending on your needs, you may prefer a camera with a higher resolution or a lower frame rate (frames per second). Higher resolutions typically require more bandwidth to run smoothly over your Wi-Fi network.
For peace of mind while you’re away from home, most smart cameras will notify you if they detect motion in the house and give you the option to call 911. Some models will even let you talk to intruders from your smartphone to scare them away. Other models integrate with smart home systems to add additional functionality, such as displaying your footage on a compatible speaker or TV using voice commands. For example, integration with Apple’s HomeKit means you can use Siri to control your camera and access your footage from anywhere.