With such a wide variety of security cameras in the marketplace, you need a guide to help you pick the right one. In this security camera buyer’s guide, you will find all the information you need to help you get the perfect security camera – one that will keep your family, home, possessions, and location safe.
INTRODUCING SECURITY CAMERAS
Security cameras are designed to survey homes or places of work. Apart from capturing video footage of any suspicious events, security cameras also serve to deter criminals. By getting a surveillance camera, therefore, you will get peace of mind knowing that those who care about are protected.
However, since there are so many price points and features available in the market, choosing the right security camera can be a bit difficult. This is why you need to go through this guide – so that you can understand the top 10 security cameras on the marketplace, the features they come with, and what to expect from each.
HOW SECURITY CAMERAS WORK
There are two main types of security cameras – IP (network cameras) and Analog cameras. Below is an explanation of each type:
a) Analog Surveillance Systems
Most security cameras are of the analog type. They are connected to a digital video recorder and consist of:
– Digital signal processing (DSP) chips
Connecting an analog surveillance camera to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) kit through transmission cables will give you an extra pair of eyes to the outside world. The heart of the system is the DVR that receives video footage from the camera. It also compresses and stores footage on the inserted hard drive so you can retrieve it later.
Some DVRs will convert the analog video file into its digital equivalent – which you can stream over the internet if you add a built-in web server to your home surveillance system.
b) IP Surveillance Systems
Also referred to as network security cameras, IP systems are unique in the sense that they double up as DVRs. They work by compressing the captured analog video footage, converting it to digital format, and streaming it live through the Ethernet.
Some IP cameras come with SD card slots where the video gets stored directly on an inserted SD card. However, you can also connect it to a network video recorder (NVR) instead of a regular DVR. Through these connections, the camera system can stream the video captured over the internet on the accompanying mobile app, on your phone, or personal computer.
That said, consider the following leading security cameras:
TOP 10 SECURITY CAMERAS FOR 2017
As experts in the home security industry, we did a market research. The findings from this study showed that the following are the best bets among consumers:
- Vimtag 361 HD
The Vimtag 351 HD security camera comes with an enviable list of features as well as an affordable price tag. This means that when you buy it, you will get everything any homeowner needs – boosted security, high-quality surveillance, as well as the two-way talkback and motion sensing capabilities required to keep your place safe.
Apart from these, the Vimtag 351 HD also comes with 4X digital zooming functionality as well as proper night vision up to 32 feet. Another handy feature is the 720p resolution that puts the Vimtag smack in the High Definition range.
As mentioned above, this security camera will detect motion. It also features Pan-Tilt capabilities, meaning that you get 360-degree coverage with it, high-quality imaging, and being able to use it both inside and outside your home.
– High-quality night vision mode
– Excellent 2-way voice communication
– Some customers have complained that the camera frequently disconnects from Wi-Fi
– The software is not the most stable you can find
- Foscam FI9803P
The Foscam FI9803P works both during the day and at night. As a Wireless IP camera, it offers the 70 viewing angle you need to capture larger areas. Further, you can use it to record video up to the 720p HD resolution.
This handy security camera also uses H.264 compression to limit storage and bandwidth requirements. It supports two-way audio communication through the optional external speaker and microphone combo.
In the same way, the Foscam FI9803P supports both Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet connection. As such, you can use it to survey your home around the clock. You will also be able to quickly setup privacy zones and motion detection with it – as well as take advantage of the 36 infrared LEDs it comes with for improved night vision.
Last but not least, this camera supports remote viewing through mobile apps for Android and iOS, as well as for regular internet browsers. What we liked most, however, was the affordability of the camera, the high-quality imaging, and 8X digital zooming capabilities it offers.
– Professional-quality imaging
– A full field of going up to 70 degrees
– Night vision up to 65 feet
– Sends notifications when it detects motion
– It is both waterproof and weatherproof
– It isn’t a PTZ camera per se
- AmCrest IPM-721S HDSeries
Designed and manufactured by a reliable home surveillance brand, the Amcrest IPM-721S HDSeries provides excellent recording service. You should be able to comfortably set it up for Wi-Fi from your Android Smartphone or iPhone using the accompanying AmCrest View application.
In the same way, this security camera streams video seamlessly and provides reliable 2-way audio communication straight to your phone, laptop, or Apple product. What you will like most, however, might be the 85-degree field of view, the remote Tilt/Pan, the intelligent digital zooming, and the IR LED night vision mode of up to 32 feet.
– The Amcrest IPM-721S HDSeries provides excellent imaging
– It features reliable pan and tilt capabilities
– It is useful in low light situations
– However, it does disconnect frequently
- Flir FX
If you need a DIY home security IP camera, you might want to consider getting the Flir FX. The dual battery, the 160-degree viewing angles, and the combination of cloud and local storage all work hand in hand to deliver excellent performance.
Further, the camera comes with high-quality video recording in the 1080p resolutions, provides decision clarity in night vision mode, and features two-way talkback capabilities. You will also find the 5X digital zooming abilities dependable.
As a wireless camera with its dedicated mobile app, the Flir FX is relatively easy to use even for beginners. You can even configure the motion and sound detection, meaning that it has every feature needed to keep eyes on your home’s security.
– Excellent video quality
– Comes with both cloud and local storage options
– The 160-degree viewing angle is highly reliable
– However, the software isn’t as stable as you might expect
– The Flir FX comes with a pricey subscription
- Nest Cam
Even though it is quite pricey, the Nest Cam is something that you might want to consider buying. The high resolutions set at 1080p, seamless integration with the Nest Home Automation Suite, and 8X digital zooming and two-way talkback capabilities, all work hand in hand to deliver the reliability you need.
That said, it does lack tilt and pan capabilities. However, the manufacturer has made up for this by providing a 130-degree field of view, which means you don’t need the camera to move for it to work. In case you are concerned about the quality of your current camera’s video recording, or you need a home security automation system, then the Nest Cam will prove useful.
– High-quality audios and videos
– Comes with 2-way audio capabilities
– It provides clear night vision
– It sends push notifications
– The subscription fees for data storage are quite high
– It doesn’t come with a microSD for local storage
- Amcrest ProHD
Are you looking for an affordable motorized tilt/pan home security camera with wireless IP handling? Then you might want to give the Amcrest ProHD a try. This camera delivers high-quality videos in the 1080p range, night vision up to 32 feet, and still imagery.
Further, with it, you will get the stable pan and tilting functions you are looking for – although handling this on the mobile app is a bit sluggish. However, the Amcrest ProHD does have a microSD slot where you can locally store recorded videos – or opt for the cloud storage service.
Among the other things we liked about this camera is that it comes with alert and camera settings as well as the 2-way audio capabilities– to name a few.
– The camera pans through 360 degrees
– You get to store recordings on Cloud, NAS, NVR, and SD cards
– It sends email alerts and push notifications
– It can record videos with clear audios
– The software isn’t all that stable
– This camera, unfortunately, isn’t waterproof
- Samsung SmartCam
Most of the cameras that can pan and tilt tend to be expensive. Not so with the Samsung SmartCam. Like other competitors, this camera will monitor your house and send automatic alerts in case of any suspicious movement or sound. What is more, it does all of this without requiring you to subscribe to anything.
The camera also has IR LEDs for proper night vision, 62-foot clear visibility, and 10X digital zooming. All of these make it rank among the top wireless IP security cameras for indoor use.
– This IP camera is completely customizable
– It comes with limited lag time
– The video quality could use some improvement
– Some buyers have complained about connection issues
- Y-cam Indoor HDS
The Y-cam Indoor HDS has been designed to allow users to schedule recording. It also comes with amazing motion detection capabilities. However, that’s just about everything you get from this camera.
Users have complained that setting up this IP camera is a bit of a hassle and that it tends to lose Wi-Fi connectivity on the regular. That said, it does offer an 87-degree viewing angle, and you will be able to use it to record video up to the 720p resolution range.
The night vision is also reliable – with a range going up to 49 feet. Further, the camera does come with free cloud storage for recorded video – which you can later view from the Y-cam Indoor HDS application. Still, it isn’t the best home security camera with regards to connection quality, features, and video quality.
– You get free cloud storage
– The camera is pretty affordable
– It is easy to install
– The night vision mode is a bit blurred
– The video quality is quite poor
- Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I
Both capable and affordable, the Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I is one of the best HD home surveillance cameras on the market today. It comes with infrared LEDs that you can use to capture images and videos up to 30 feet at night, as well as a solid construction.
Designed for use indoors, you can still use it outside if you find a way to protect it from getting wet. It also features 70-degree viewing, video recording up to 1080p, and powerful night vision up to 49 feet.
If you buy it as an outdoor security camera, you won’t get sound detection. However, if you are looking for PoE technology, high-quality videos, and more, then we’d recommend the Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I.
– It features advanced PoE technology
– The video quality is high
– It doesn’t detect sound
– There’s no wireless capability
- Microseven M7B57-WPS 1.3 MP HD
Rated well by both users and industry experts, the Microseven M7B57-WPS 1.3 MP HD is among the best wireless IP cameras in the market today. It comes with stable Android and iOS apps, an inbuilt MicroSD card slot (going up to 64GB), and remote PC playback functionality.
As a high-def camera, you also get weatherproof and rustproof construction and an IP66 rating. It also comes with a 3MP 3.6 mm fixed lens, a wide viewing angle of 70 degrees, and two-way audio capabilities.
– Affordable camera
– It comes with its microSD card
– It is water-, rust, and weather-proof
– It features PoE and Wi-Fi capabilities
– The image quality is excellent
– The night vision range goes all the way up to an impressive 100 ft.
– The sound quality is quite poor
So, there you have it – the best security cameras for 2017. Each of the above cameras is unique in pricing, features, construction, and value. As a last word, we would advise that you consider each option carefully before making your final buying decision.