Top 5 Wireless Security Cameras - 2017

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.

Wireless Security Cameras

What do I need to consider before buying a wireless security camera?

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.

What is a wireless 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.

How much does a wireless camera cost?

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.

  • Low End - $40
  • Average - $100
  • High End - $300

What hardware do I need with a wireless security camera?

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:

  • 12V DC power supply - 1amp 12V DC power supply to power the camera.
  • Extension cable
  • PVC Pipe - to serve as a mount for the wireless access point
  • Screws & screwdriver
  • Zip ties
  • Electrical tape

What security features come with wireless security cameras?

Motion Detection

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.

Sound

Many wireless cameras possess a microphone or speaker for detecting or emitting sound. Security cameras with both can also perform as an intercom.

Resolution

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.

Night Vision

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.

Movement

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.

How much recording space comes with a wireless security camera?

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.

Cloud Storage:

Pros

  • Video recordings won’t be lost or deleted
  • Save space on your computer or DVR
  • Access anywhere in the world with active internet connection

Cons

  • Monthly storage service fee or about $4-$20 (varies depending on provider, amount of cameras and your system)

Dedicated Digital Video Recorder (DVR):

Pros

  • No third-party media required
  • Dual tuner models allow for security footage while connected to a digital cable/satellite service provider
  • Start and stop recordings on demand

Cons

  • Limited hard drive
  • Not sufficient for permanent storage
  • All info could be lost in the event of a hard drive crash

Recording to your computer:

Pros

  • Easier to record IP cameras

Cons

  • Insufficient hard drives
  • Insufficient processor and graphics card
  • Susceptible to viruses
  • Windows updates not allowed

How do I determine how many wireless security cameras I need?

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:

  • Entrances
  • Outside Perimeter
  • High traffic areas
  • High-interest assets

Consider reasons why you need wireless security cameras:

  • Child Safety
  • Deterrent
  • Gather Evidence
  • Notification alerts

Child Safety

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.

Gather Evidence

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.

Notification alerts

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

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.

PTZ Cameras

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

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

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.

How do I install a wireless security 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.

  1. Identify where to place your camera.

    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.

  2. Mount your camera.

    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.

    • Hold the mount where you want to place your camera
    • Using a carpenter's pencil or a marker, make marks on the wall to identify where each screw will be placed.
    • Using an electric drill, drill a hole for each screw.
    • Drive in any mounting/molding pins
    • Fasten the mount to the wall using the screws provided
    • Position your camera on the mount and adjust for optimal field of view.
  3. Connect your security camera to a power source.

    Most wireless security cameras come with a power adaptor fitted for a normal wall socket. Some are battery powered, providing a 100% wireless experience.

  4. Connect wireless cameras to your computer.

    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.

    • Some wireless cameras come with a small USB receiver that must be properly attached to your computer in order to work.
    • If it’s provided, take note of your camera’s IP address. The IP address can be used in a web browser to view remotely.
1.

NetGear ARLO Pro

NetGear ARLO Pro Wireless Security Camera

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:

  • 30 days of storage for up to 10 cameras for $10 per month (or $100 per year)
  • 60-day plan for 15 cameras for $15 per month (or $150 annually)

Pros

  • Motion & Audio triggered recording
  • Wide 130-degree viewing angle
  • Two-way audio
  • Accurate colors
  • Alert Notifications
  • Night Vision
  • Motion Detection
  • Integrates well with other smart home products
  • Mobile Access

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • Hub Required (Included)
2.

Nest Cam

Nest Cam Wireless Camera

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.

Pros

  • Motion & Audio detection
  • Wide 130-degree viewing angle
  • Continuous 1080p video
  • Alert Notifications
  • Night Vision
  • Moveable
  • Integrates well with other smart home products
  • 8x Digital Zoom
  • Mobile Access

Cons

  • No Free Storage
  • Ongoing subscription cost (Nest Aware Service $100-$300 annually)
3.

Piper NV

Piper NV Wireless Security Cameras

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.

Pros

  • motion and sound detection
  • Integrates with smart-home products
  • Wide 180-degree view pan
  • Alert Notifications
  • Loud 105dB Siren
  • Includes three AA backup batteries
  • Moveable
  • Mobile Access
  • 2 way audio
  • Temperature, humidity, and light sensors
  • 10x zoom

Cons

  • Can’t access Piper NV via Web Browser
4.

Canary Flex

Canary Flex Wireless Security Camera

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.

Pros

  • Wire-free or single power cable
  • Moveable
  • No hub
  • Mobile access
  • Night vision
  • Two-way speaker

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer email alerts.
5.

NetGear ARLO Q

NetGear ARLO Q Wireless Security Camera

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.

Pros

  • 1080p HD Video
  • 2-Way Audio
  • Night Vision
  • Notification Alerts
  • Free Cloud Storage
  • 24/7 Continuous recording option
  • Mobile Access

Cons

  • Some latency lag

Who needs a wireless camera?

Renters

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.

Owners

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.

Pet Owners

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.