Being secure in your home is one of the main reasons for starting a smart home, alongside ease of use and automation. One of the best ways to increase security is to have a security camera installed, either inside or outside the home. And luckily, you don't necessarily need to spend a bunch of money to do so.
While spending hundreds of dollars can give you all the features you didn't know you needed and the best design, it doesn't change the core functionality of a security camera. The budget security cameras listed below may be cheap, but they will still help you have greater security in your home. Some may even have a lot of features you're looking for in the higher-end models. All the cameras shown here come in under $60. Let's check them out.
Eufy Indoor Solo
Best for Smart Home
- Excellent 2K video footage
- Affordably priced
- Local storage option
- Simple setup
- Boring design
- Weak internal speaker
When it comes to smart homes and working with voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, the Eufy Indoor Solo would be the better choice. Like other cameras on this list, it doesn't have automatically moving parts, but it can respond to "Hey Google."
While this camera is only indoor capable, it has 2k resolution, which helps identify people and objects in the video playback. The cloud playback and the camera's retail price are higher than Wyze's, but you have to pay for the extra smart home feature.
Like Wyze, though, there is a version of this camera that moves: The Eufy Pan and Tilt 2K. This camera allows for a 360-degree view with two-way audio, alarm siren support, and Homekit support. Utilizing Homekit is almost unheard of at these low price points. Also note that Homekit Secure Video only records in up to 1080p resolution.
Best for Outdoor
- Fully weather resistant
- Can see up to 80ft in low light setting
- Connects to Amazon Alexa
- Has a narrow 90-degree viewing angle
- Looks like a typical surveillance camera
While you could place the Wyze cameras outside, it doesn't mean they are the best for the job. That's where the Zosi C190 comes in. These cameras look like standard NVR cameras, but they were built with weatherproofing to survive the elements. Also, they are nearly impossible to steal without considerable surrounding damage.
The Zosi camera has bright white LEDs on the front of the lens that helps it see up to 80ft at night. However, that long-range is countered by a much narrower 90-degree field of view. In addition, you can use smartphone and computer apps to view the camera field on a more prominent display. Lastly, the only smart assistant support you'll get is through Amazon smart displays.
The Zosi C190 isn't the most fully-featured camera, but if you need to add a cheap camera to your Alexa-enabled smart home, this is the one.
Aqara Security Camera, HomeKit Secure Video Indoor Camera, Night Vision, Two-Way Audio, 1080P HD Plug-in Indoor Cam, Security Home Camera, Smart Home Bridge for Alarm System, Works with IFTTT
Best for ...Being a Hub
- Contains Zigbee hub for Aqara Products
- Seamlessly integrates with Homekit
- Has 1080p resolution
- Does not connect to Amazon or Google
- Most expensive 'cheap' camera
Some of these cameras have varying features, but the Aqara Camera Hub G2H may have the most unique feature of them all: Being a Zigbee-enabled smart home hub. That's right, just by having this security camera, you can connect a host of other Aqara smart home accessories through it. But, again, that's unique and something you only see with higher-end smart home security systems.
The Aqara Camera hub has a 140-degree field of view, 1080p HD resolution, and night vision. Some of those specs are super exciting, but that's not the purpose of buying this camera.
**How much does a basic security camera cost? **
As mentioned above, security cameras can range from $30 to a couple of hundred dollars. The ones listed here are all capable of streaming video to your phone and maybe other devices within a price range of $30 to $65. These are available for those who want to place many cameras in their home without sinking their wallet or investing in a whole ecosystem.
What security cameras do not have a monthly fee?
Any cameras listed above can be used without a monthly fee, mainly if you include a microSD memory card. Although, you can leverage the additional subscription model for features that include cloud recording and past viewings.
What is the easiest security camera to install?
From this list, the Wyze camera is one of the most straightforward cameras to install, as you don't have to worry about too many smart features. For example, you don't have to worry about a smart assistant; just connect the camera to the app via a QR code, and you're all set to go.
Which camera in this list catches your eye and your wallet? Do you care about all the extra features if you're going cheap, or do you just need quality video recording?
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