Modern security cameras nowadays offer a wide range of features, but there’s often an additional cost that’s tacked on to the subscription services associated with them. Not everyone is keen on shelling out more money after purchasing the hardware, however, nor is everyone exuberant about the prospect of someone potentially accessing or watching your videos in the cloud.
That’s the fear we explained in our recent piece on privacy surrounding today’s always-connected smart cameras. The feed is live and constantly fed to the cloud, allowing us to monitor our home when we’re away. Although smart cameras can offer us peace of mind, they can also do the opposite, namely because someone on the other end could be watching. It’s an invasive act that can leave anyone feeling vulnerable.
Thankfully, there are smart cameras that provide the option to record locally, in case you prefer having the hard copy to yourself instead of one in the cloud. Below are a few of the better options available.
Keeping an eye out for packages being delivered is a task on its own, but the EufyCam E has you covered with a weatherproof design, anti-theft alarm, night-vision capabilities, and easy installation. With the included HomeBase, there’s a MicroSD slot that can accommodate cards up to 128GB in size, ensuring your footage stays with you. Another reason why the EufyCam is an exceptional outdoor camera is that it doesn’t necessarily require a constant power source and is IP65 weatherproof. Thanks to the built-in battery, you can plop the EufyCam on just about anything, including flat surfaces like a wall or even something as uneven such as a tree. You won’t have to worry too much about battery life, either; a full charge can deliver approximately a year’s worth of juice.
What makes the Wyze Cam especially attractive is its ultra-low price point — you’re not making a huge investment to snag a smart security camera. Despite the low cost, however, it still manages to deliver a wealth of features. It allows for both local and cloud storage, letting you save your content remotely or using a MicroSD card. A 32GB card nets you roughly two days of HD video storage, or seven to eight days if you opt for standard definition. Either way, it’s a relatively compact and easy-to-use security camera that’s great for inside the home.
Reolink C2 Pro
Most smart cameras are fixed, meaning you can only point them in one direction and monitor a specific area. Enter the Reolink C2 Pro, which is unique because it can be articulated to point in just about any direction. Add in the camera’s 3x optical zoom and its resulting field of view, and you can peek at just about anything. There’s a MicroSD card slot on the back of the unit, too, which is necessary if you plan on saving footage, as there’s currently no cloud storage option.
Swann Smart Security Camera
Getting the most bang for the buck is something that consumers appreciate, which is why the Swann Smart Security Camera is our pick for the best value smart camera. You’re getting a decent amount of features for the price, ranging from heat-sensing motion detection for spotting warm bodies in an instant, to night vision for seeing in the dark. Unlike some of the other options that store video locally to a MicroSD card, the Swann Smart Security Camera stores them internally. Clips that range from 10 to 60 seconds in duration can be saved locally for up to seven days with the camera’s built-in storage capabilities. For $100, it doesn’t get much better.
Honeywell Lyric C2
The ability to detect motion is one thing, but the ability to discern sounds is something else entirely. That’s one of the hallmarks of the Honeywell Lyric C2 camera, which features intelligent sound recognition that allows the device to differentiate specific sounds such as a baby crying or a smoke detector siren. Even though it utilizes a fixed camera, the Honeywell Lyric C2 offers a 145-degree field of view. You’ll be able to see a fair amount, especially because of the sharp picture quality during daytime use. Honeywell offers cloud storage as an option and two-way voice conferencing as well, but there’s a MicroSD slot on the camera as a backup.