We have carefully combed through hundreds of customer reviews, personally tested an assortment of wireless security cameras, and have taken the time to listen to representatives at each company. After gathering as much useful information about each camera as possible, we analyze what most people consider when purchasing wireless security cameras. Lastly, we summarize that information and present what we consider to be the best wireless security cameras of 2017.
With all the features and options available for wireless cameras, considering what to choose can be a daunting task. We’ve listed the most important features to recognize when searching for the best wireless home security camera.
Wireless security cameras are surveillance cameras that broadcast video and audio signal to a wireless receiver through radio communication frequencies. Some wireless cameras require a minimum of one wire for power. “Wireless” refers to how the video and audio signal is transmitted.
The average price for a wireless security camera is approximately $100 and ranges from about $49-$300. The price varies upon a number of factors such as the features available, the brand, and the distributor. Wireless cameras tend to be a little more expensive than wired cameras but are relatively easier to install as they do not require multiple wires. Unless installing yourself, consider the cost of professional installation and activation fees as well.
Other than the camera itself, you’ll need a wireless access point or router to bridge the camera and the network. Depending on how you choose to store the video you may also need a digital video recorder (DVR).
Other hardware considerations:
Wireless cameras with motion detection can notify you if movement is observed within viewing range. Notifications sent to your smartphone can alert you to suspicious activity so you can monitor your home while away.
Field of View
Field of view refers to the observable area detected by a security camera. This is to considered when determining how many security cameras are needed and where to place them.
Many wireless cameras possess a microphone or speaker for detecting or emitting sound. Security cameras with both can also perform as an intercom.
Resolution specifies the clarity of the footage captured by your camera. High-resolution footage is very helpful when trying to identify important details in footage your camera records.
Having the ability to capture footage in low light conditions can have a great impact on the effectiveness of wireless security cameras. Crime doesn’t sleep.
Security cameras that can move by means of panning, tilting and zooming often offer a wider field of view which can result in a reduced number of cameras needed for the area monitored.
Many wireless security cameras come with a free basic cloud storage package that allows up to 12 hours of recording space from up to five cameras. Not all wireless security cameras have the same features or support so it is advised to verify the storage space options with the camera of your choice. In the event of having to purchase additional storage, consider cloud storage over a dedicated digital video recorder (DVR) or recording to your computer.
Dedicated Digital Video Recorder (DVR):
Recording to your computer:
Knowing exactly how many wireless security cameras you’ll need for your home takes a bit of planning. Determined by where you need them installed, why you need security cameras and which type of security cameras you purchase.
Places to consider installing security cameras:
Consider reasons why you need wireless security cameras:
Most parents don’t have the ability to continuously monitor their children, leaving a chance for imminent danger. Consider extra monitoring as a parent with a backyard pool, a wandering child or a babysitter. Security cameras can reduce the chances of disaster, especially for parents with young children.
As a Deterrent
Regardless of the effectiveness authorities have on fighting crime, criminals are constantly lurking in search of the most vulnerable house. Wireless security cameras are a great way for homeowners and renters alike to discourage criminals from a successful heist. In most cases, criminals won’t risk being caught on film and will likely keep searching for a less secure home.
In the event that your security cameras do not deter criminals or vandals from your home, they can still capture the event on film to be used as evidence. Having evidence of vandalism or criminal activities greatly helps authorities pursue the individuals responsible.
Easily monitor your home remotely with notifications alerts to your phone. Knowing exactly when your wireless security camera detects activity within range helps property owners identify suspicious activity.
Types of wireless security cameras to consider:
Fixed security cameras are fastened in a particular location and require manual effort in the event of it being relocated. Fixed wireless security cameras are ideal for monitoring the same area every day.
Contrary to fixed security cameras, Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras offer different viewing angles and directions that can be adjusted either by hand or automatically.
Box wireless security cameras are generally used indoors and can be fixed or a PTZ camera. They tend to have a limited viewing angle and are more easily detected by intruders.
Dome wireless security cameras are protected by a weather resistant casing which makes them ideal for outdoor settings. They tend to have a wider field of view than box security cameras and can be fixed or a PTZ camera.
Many homeowners install a wireless security camera to avoid drilling holes and running wires through the walls of their home. The lack of wires makes for an easier installation process than the contrary. The following steps will help make your security camera installation process less discouraging.
Choose a high location with a broad angle, usually the best place to install your security camera is in a corner where the wall and ceiling meet. Make sure the camera is located near a power outlet, facing down, and clearly sees all entries and exits. If you are installing a camera outside, avoid it being knocked down by placing it up at least 10 feet or so.
Depending on the camera you’re installing, you may have adhesive pads that adhere to a wall, though screwing your camera into the wall is a safer and more long-term solution. Though every security camera is different, the process of installation is the same for most.
Most wireless security cameras come with a power adaptor fitted for a normal wall socket. Some are battery powered, providing a 100% wireless experience.
You’ll need to install the software provided with your camera onto your computer in order to view your feeds. Be sure to follow the step-by-step instructions on-screen to finalize the installation process.
The NetGear ARLO Pro is a completely wire-free security camera that allows for almost any viewing angle indoors and outdoors. It features seven days of free cloud storage and a rechargeable battery that can last as long as four to six months. Battery charging typically takes about 90 minutes and additional batteries can be purchased for about $50 from NetGear.
Additional Cloud Storage plan options are offered:
The Nest Cam is an outdoor wireless security camera that continuously records 1080p video day and night. It can be used to record during specified times or based on the location of your mobile device. It offers 24/7 cloud storage and can be easily moved and adjusted due to it’s separate magnetic mount. Clips are included with the Nest Cam to make for a clean installation.
To take full advantage of all that Nest Cam offers, the NEST Aware subscription is needed. The starting price is $10 per month for one camera and includes 10 days of cloud storage. 30 days of storage for one camera cost $30 per month. Each additional camera will cost about $5 for 10 days of storage.
The Piper NV is an indoor wireless security camera that captures immersive video day and night using a 3.4 Megapixel sensor. It can be purchased in a white or black finish and offers the options of hanging on a wall or on a snap-on mounting panel for optimum placement. The Piper NV contains a fisheye lens capable of reaching 180-degrees of viewing area with the help of the cameras pan, tilt and zoom capabilities. Free cloud storage comes with the Piper NV, up to 1,000 35-second video clips.
The Canary Flex is a truly flexible wire-free battery-powered camera for indoor and outdoor use. It captures images with 1080p resolution and offers free and paid storage options. Canary offers 24 hours of free cloud storage regardless of the amount of cameras being used. For example, 2 cameras would only have 12 hours of storage and 4 cameras would only have 6 hours of storage. They offer a $10 monthly paid subscription for an unlimited amount of cameras for 30 days of storage.
The NetGear ARLO Q features 1080p HD video resolution with a 130-degree field of view. It’s capable of 8X zoom during the day and up to 25 feet of vision at night. It offers the option of viewing a live stream or recorded video from smartphones and web browsers.
If you’re a renter, wireless cameras are ideal for keeping things secure and mobile. Never worry about a landlord entering your home without prior notice or packages missing from the front door.
As a homeowner, security cameras help prevent a number of crimes. In many cases, just the sight of a security camera prevents theft or vandalism.
Worry less about your pets when you're away. Security cameras give pet owners the luxury of seeing and speaking to their pets from anywhere.