I spent the holiday season unboxing, setting up, testing, reboxing, and shipping a lot of tech over the past few months. We got quite a few cameras in, and as the holiday season kicks off, I want to highlight some of the best home security cameras for 2016 and 2017.
CES is coming up in January, and I’ll take a look at the next year’s lineup, but for now, here’s the best of what’s come through our doors.
Best Entry-Level Security Camera: Blink for Home ($99 at blinkforhome.com)
Blink for Home is about as easy as it gets for security cameras. Pop in a few AA batteries sync the cameras and modules to both your WiFi and smartphone, and you have a motion-sensing camera capable of night vision and can be stuck anywhere with the included 3M double-sided tape. Blink is the perfect entry-level camera to get used to home security and how everything works, and there’s no monthly fees required for the cloud storage.
Currently, Blink only records up to 10 seconds of video, but an upcoming firmare update is extending that to 60 seconds. Once the company adds manual recording and local storage capabilities, Blink will be an impressive home security camera that’s able to compete with the best of them. Until then, it’s still cheap, convenient, and easy to upgrade, so don’t hesitate to try it for yourself.
Best Interactive Security Camera: ALLie Camera ($499 at allie.camera)
At the other end of the spectrum, ALLie is a 360-degree camera that gives you a VR POV of any room in your home. After connecting to your WiFi network and phone, you can control the spherical video from anywhere, pan, zoom, and really understand what’s happening in your home while you’re away. Whereas most cameras need multiple angles in one room, one centered ALLie does everything you need.
Setup and installation is a little annoying, but once you get the hang of it, ALLie allows for a variety of storage and sensor options. The HD video is so clear and easy to see, ALLie also works well as a YouTube 360 videocasting camera. It’s a bit on the pricey end, but it’s worth it for the functionality and quality you get from ALLie.
Best Outdoor Security Camera: Netatmo Presence ($299.99 at netatmo.com)
Outdoors you need a rugged home security camera that can withstand both the elements and any attempts to disable or steal. The Netatmo Presence is not only a sturdy camera with night vision, bright LED flood light, and motion-sensing technology – it’s also designed to be used outdoors, where it can detect a car, animal, or person with acceptable accuracy. The sleek, modern look fit well in my older house and looks great with any modern architecture as well.
Automation, remote control, and notifications are a must in home security cameras, and Netatmo Presence excels in all of these categories. Setup takes some tools, but once it’s done, you can rest peacefully knowing any intruders from stray raccoons to Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are identified and taken care of. It can also be setup to turn lights on and off when you’re on vacation to help keep thieves away just like in Home Alone (ironically the exact security measure that’s subverted at the beginning).
Best Indoor Security Camera: Nest Cam Indoor ($149 at Nest.com)
Nest is known mostly for their smart thermostats, but they have an entire line of smarthome accessories, including the Nest Cam indoor security camera, which also comes with an optional cloud-storage subscription service with rolling 10 and 30 day storage. Although certainly not the cheapest security cameras around, Nest provides integration with other smarthome technologies in a smart and sleek design that can be setup and angled anywhere.
If you’re looking to build a complete home security system, Nest works with IFTTT and any other smarthome hubs, virtual assistants, lighting automation, and more. Instead of trusting your home security to some outside company like your Internet provider, phone company, or national security company, Nest lets you take things into your own hands to secure your home or home office.