FBI crime data indicates that between 2007 and 2016, the number of burglaries decreased by around 30 percent. Perhaps this has something to do with the increased prevalence of home security technology, like alarm systems and home security cameras.
These days, you can find home security cameras with all sorts of features ranging from facial recognition to night vision to smart home connectivity. But, if you want a premium camera with top-of the-line hardware and the newest tech, the price can quickly get up into the $400 to $500 range.
We understand the importance of home security, but we also understand the need to stay on a budget. So, we searched for home security cameras that offered quality, reliability, and cool features without breaking the bank. Check out our compilation of the best home security cameras under you can buy for under $200.
Honeywell Lyric C2 ($169)
The Honeywell Lyric C2 (see our full review here) costs around $169 retail, but you can buy it for around $129 on Amazon. The camera has a sleek look and a small profile, yet it has a lot to offer for a relatively low price tag.
It has intelligent sound detection, which can recognize the difference between certain emergency and non-emergency sounds (like the sound of a smoke detector versus a crying baby). You can also create up to four alert zones that will monitor places like doors and windows without reacting to normal moving items in your home like ceiling fans. The Lyric C2 includes 24 hours of free cloud recording, and you get an 8 GB SD card for backup storage. If you want an SD card with more memory, the Lyric C2 supports up to 64 GB.
The camera boasts a clear 1080p picture and a 145-degree wide angle view. It also has night vision; however, the our tests found that the night vision is not as clear as some competitors in this price range. The night vision quality is certainly good enough to see objects and people, but don’t expect a perfectly sharp night-vision image. Some customers have also complained about the sound clarity when using the two-way audio feature. But, all-in-all you should be happy with the features and price of the Lyric C2.
Amazon Cloud Cam ($120)
Amazon’s Cloud Cam (see our full review here) is another great contender in the sub-$200 price range. With superior night vision and clear 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second, you’ll be impressed with the video quality. The two-way audio feature is clear and straightforward, and you can also speak through an Alexa device, like an Echo Spot. You can also ask Alexa to show you a live feed, and you can have your device alert you when the Cloud Cam detects motion. The motion detection feature can be overly sensitive though, especially if you’re using the free version.
One downside is that some of the more advanced features, like person detection and zone setting, Amazon Key, the service that allows you to let in package delivery people.. The basic plan costs $7 per month (or $70 per year), the extended plan costs $10 per month (or $100 per year), and the pro plan costs $20 per month (or $200 per year). On the plus side, you do get 24 hours of video clip storage for free, and you get a 30-day free trial to a subscription plan. Plus, the Cloud Cam works with
Swann Smart Security Camera ($150)
Versatile and weatherproof, the Swann Smart security camera (see our full review here) is a great solution for those who want a camera they can use indoors or outdoors. Whether you’re looking to catch a teenager sneaking out of the house or keep an eye on a pet, this camera can do the job.
With 1080p resolution, night vision with a range of 32 feet, audio, and heat-sensing motion detection, the Swann Smart camera has the basic features you need. You also get local storage (seven days in 20-second clips) plus cloud storage, and you can add additional cloud storage if you purchase a membership plan. The downsides are that you don’t get some of the extra perks you’d get with a premium system, and some consumers have complained about the battery life.
Canary View ($99)
The Canary View (see our full review here) is a stylish device that looks very similar in appearance to the all-in-one Canary system. At $99, the Canary view boasts a variety of features, including compatibility with smart hubs like Alexa and Google Home, 1080p imaging, night vision, a 147-degree field of vision, motion detection, and person detection.
One thing to know about the Canary View is that even some of the basic features, like two-way audio, require a subscription plan. The subscription plan costs $10 per month (or $99 annually). But, you can get the camera for free if you sign up for a two-year membership, or you can get the camera at a discount if you sign up for a one-year membership.
WyzeCam v2 ($20)
If you’re looking for something that will barely put a dent in your budget, the WyzeCam v2 will cost you around 20 bucks (yes, we said $20).
It has many of the features you’d expect in a more expensive camera, like 1080p HD streaming, night vision, motion and sound detection, and two-way audio. It has a 110-degree field of vision, which is a bit less than some of the more expensive models. But, it even has smart sound recognition, so it’s designed to recognize the difference between the distinct sounds of smoke detectors and CO2 monitors and alert you to those types of emergencies.
The motion detection, night vision, and sound detection features are probably not going to perform as well they would with a model that costs 10 times as much. But, if you’re looking for a security camera you can buy for less than the cost of a few large pizzas, you won’t be disappointed with the WyzeCam v2 (see our full review here).
Blink XT One Camera ($130)
If you don’t want to deal with tangled cords or battery chargers, and AA batteries are more your style, the Blink XT One Camera is a wise pick. This camera is small, easy to set up, and you’ll barely even notice it in your your home or out in your backyard. It doesn’t have the best resolution ever, but it’s not terrible either. It’ll capture images in 720p resolution at between 7.5 and 35 frames per second, depending on the lighting conditions.
If you live in a rough climate, the Blink XT One can withstand temperatures of between -4 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also survive in rain, snow, or shine. In terms of storage, the Blink XT provides 7,200 seconds of free cloud storage. Once you run out of time, it starts recording over your old footage. Like we said before, the resolution on this camera isn’t the best, and can’t pan, tilt, or zoom remotely from the app. But, it gives you the basic features you need in an indoor and outdoor camera for around $130. Check out our full review of the Blink XT here.
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