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Best security cams for your home

Feel like adding some extra security to your home? Today’s security cams offer handy streaming features that let you check in on your house — night or day, inside or outside. But for the best monitoring, you need to choose the best platforms and devices, which is why we’ve combed through the many options on the market, and narrowed the list down to the most useful cams you should choose from. Below of are nine of our favorites.

Related: Ditch your cloud security storage subscription with Vimtag’s Cloudbox

Nest Cam ($150)

Nest Cam

Google’s Nest platform continues to add new products, with a design scheme that blends minimalism with functionality. This makes the Nest Cam — formerly Dropcam, which Google acquired — an easy choice for those looking for an uncomplicated solution for indoor monitoring. The little cam can be perched nearly anywhere, and comes with live web-based streaming so you can see what the cam sees on an iOS or Android smartphone, which you can also use to control other Nest-compatible products. The cam also has night vision, customizable alerts, and a mic so you can talk to your pets or (presumably) yell at intruders. On the downside, this cam isn’t wireless and can’t really be mounted at higher elevations.

If you like the idea of the Nest Cam but are looking for an outside security camera, you may want to sit tight. Google is working to expand the Nest line, and it looks like that includes plans for outdoor cams as well.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Best Buy

Homeboy ($190)

Homeboy

Homeboy is more of an indie project — these ventures have been particular advantageous for smart devices like cams, where new design ideas yield many benefits. Here, the main Homeboy benefit is versatile wireless video. You can magnetically mount the cam anywhere you want, and it comes with a rechargeable battery that you’ll have to juice up every three months or so. The Wi-Fi-enabled video streaming also sends short video clips instead of a constant feed to cut down on bandwidth use, though it allows you to access up to 12 hours of video at any time. The alert options are also very useful, including some great geofencing, invitation systems, and social network notifications. It adds up to a very complete security package that’s easy to recommend.

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Homeboy

Logitech Circle ($200)

Logitech Circle Camera

Considering Logitech’s expertise when it comes to computer accessories, it’s not surprising that the company has developed a solid smart security cam that’s outfitted with a bunch of the latest features. The Circle, as it is known, comes with live HD video and night vision capabilities, as well as a mic that lets you talk and listen through the cam. There are also a few advanced features for more dedicated security functions. Smart filtering helps detect the differences between pets and people to avoid false warnings, and “smartlapse” can snap video shots over a long period of time.

However, note that the Circle is designed to stay on the plugged-in charge ring — which can be mounted on a wall, by the way. You can take it off the ring, but the battery only lasts for 12 hours, which likely won’t cover your vacation. Perhaps that’s why the cam’s price is constantly being lowered to $150 for specific events and holidays, meaning you may want to wait for a discount to buy this one.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Logitech

Netgear Arlo Q ($160)

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It’s easy to compare this model to the aforementioned Logitech, given both devices come from well-known brands that are intent on making easy-to-use security cams for the average consumer. Many of the specs are similar — the Arlo Q has full HD video streaming, mobile alerts for sounds or motion, a built-in mic, night vision, and so on. The biggest difference between these two cams is that the Arlo comes in two different versions: one is wired version (the Q itself), and the other is a separate Arlo product that acts as a tiny, ultra-mobile security cam that you put anywhere. The mobility of the small unit is hard to beat for homeowners, but the larger wired unit does tout a few added security features. Read our full review.

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Amazon

SkyBell HD ($124)

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SkyBell is different from our other options on our list because it’s more than a cam. The device also functions as a smart doorbell, which means that it is designed to go on the front of your house and comes with a few extra features, including the ability to review missing videos or answered calls. The other features are more standard, and include color night vision, two-way audio, live web-stream monitoring, and a motion sensor. Since the cam can survive in all types of weather, it excels when it comes to porch-based protection and monitoring, assuming you prefer an outdoor camera. Unlike most smart door products, however, this will not control your door lock.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Home Depot

Belkin Netcam HD+ ($100)

Belkin Netcam HD+ Gall

At first glance, Belkin’s entry seems to be fairly standard in most respects. It has HD video streaming, with an extra-wide lens, as well as night vision and mounting capabilities. Email alerts, a push-to-talk mic, and similar features are also welcome additions to the device, but expected. However, what makes this cam more unique is its compatibility with other Belkin products, notably the WeMo line, which includes light switches, motion sensors, smart plugs, and other devices. If you’re a Belkin fan, this is a great security addition, and less expensive than many other alternatives out there.

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Amazon Home Depot Verizon

Canary ($157)

Canary Gall

The Canary, as the name suggests, is more of a house monitoring system than strictly a security camera. The video portion of the device allows you to stream real-time HD video with night vision properties and a 147-degree lens. However, the Canary also includes a loud siren, motion-activation, the option to contact local authorities, and the ability to monitor the air, temperature, and humidity in your home. It can also send video alerts to mobile devices for more information regarding possible intrusions. Perhaps best of all, there’s no monthly fee for using all these services at the same time.

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Amazon Canary

Reolink RLC-410 ($75)

Reolink RLC-410 Gall

If you want something that’s less of a web cam and more in line with outdoor security cameras, then the Reolink RLC-410 is a perfectly viable option. The device comes with ultra-HD resolution, and modern features like motion detection, email alerts, and web access. It also offers support for a variety of platforms including smartphones, Mac, and PC, as well as ONVIF platforms like iSpy, Digital WatchDog, Synology, Blue Iris, and Milestone. The cam also benefits from a streamlined design and lower price tag than most other cameras on our list. You will need a single cable for power and video streaming, though, which adds a bit more work.

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Amazon

D-Link DCS-932L ($38)

D-Link DCS-932L Gall

Have you been eyeing prices and growing more and more concerned at how much you might have to pay for a security cam? If that’s the case, this D-Link model might be of interest to you. The $40 cam includes night vision, sound detection, motion sensing, and alert notifications. It does the basics, works on mobile devices, and won’t cost you an arm or a leg.

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Amazon Walmart