Whether you own a business or are just protecting your home, security is as big a concern today as its always been. Sure, you can generally trust the kindness of people, but there’s still plenty of reason to keep an eye on things.
Taking a vacation is easier when you can keep an eye on things at home, and if you have kids, it brings peace of mind having a view of what’s happening.
When I was trimming up in Oregon, the guy running things had cameras all over his property. It’s the only way he could trust things were being taken care of and people weren’t stealing. If a problem did arise, he could just run back the tapes most people weren’t thinking about.
A few friends of mine own businesses these days, and crime is a problem for these bootstrapped entrepreneurs just as much as it is for the average homeowner or renter. Hell, I just had a few thousand dollars stolen from me. Documentation is everything in these cases.
Clear video of the incident can clear up what happened and even be a crucial piece of evidence toward identifying the perpetrator. Here are the best cameras I came across in my tech reviews this winter.
Samsung SmartCam HD Plus ($115 at Samsungsv.com)
Offering local microSD storage of full 1080P HD video, Samsung’s SmartCam HD Plus is a great security camera to keep an eye on your house through your smartphone without breaking the bank. The app interface is easy to use, whether you have a Samsung phone or not, and you’ll get 30 frames per second and a 130-degree field of view from it.
There are a ton of customization options and two-way talk, night vision, and manual recording are all included. As an all-in-one security camera, you’ll have to look pretty hard to find a better one than these small, black beauties.
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 a firmware update allows 60 seconds of v. 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.
Maximus Craftsman Cam ($179 at GetKuna.com)
I really like the outdoor cameras hidden in lights. Some are hidden in light bulbs, but they couldn’t get a good angle on anything worthwhile. The Maximus security camera is sturdy, high-definition, and allows real-time monitoring, along with cloud storage, night vision, motion detection, two-way intercom, and more.
If you’re looking to secure your property, you can’t go wrong with the $180 price point on Amazon Prime for a light fixture and camera.
ALLie Camera ($299 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.
Stuart Minion Cam ($44 at Walmart.com)
Minions are the cutest thing, and this minion cam is based on Stuart from the latest movie based on the yellow creatures. It’s a nanny camera with all the features you need, including two-way communication, motion detection, and cloud storage, along with 720P HD video.
While it’s not the best camera on this list, it wins points for being such a cute one. If you know a minion fan who wants to keep an eye on the babysitter or even need a recognizable way to get the kids interested in talking to a camera, this is the way to do it.
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).
Nest Cam Indoor ($178 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.
Yi Dome Cam ($79.99 at Yitechnology.com)
At $80, the Dome camera by Chinese tech company Yi is the best-priced 1080p camera on this list. Both local microSD and cloud storage is available with a week free and subscription plans available. Motion detection, night vision, and a 112 field of vision round out the feature set of this impressive starter camera.
The camera can move and you get only a second delay in viewing. Audio is loud and clear, and the app is easy to use. Video is crystal clear, and there’s no better way to get started with home security.