Wireless cameras are a simple way of keeping an eye on your home. Whether you’ve got a naughty puppy wreaking havoc while you’re at work, or you’re away on holiday, it’s nice to know that at the tap of a button you can see what’s going on in your house.
This selection of cameras has it all; from infrared, so you can detect any motion at night, to sensors for your windows and doors, so even if they aren’t on camera you can be alerted if someone’s trying to break in.
Some, like the Withings Home, even look good, so you don’t have unsightly tech ruining your decor. Others, like the Netatmo Welcome, might not be as pretty but when you’ve got facial recognition on your side you can be sure that as soon as a stranger walks in your home you’ll be alerted an instant.
1. Netgear Arlo
Perfect for use inside the home and out
Arlo (from Netgear) is also based around always-on security cameras, and you can choose one, two or three depending on your needs and budget.
Everything is wireless and managed via a smart home base station and you should be able to get up and running with it in a few minutes - it's a good choice if simplicity matters to you. You can then tap into your video feeds from anywhere using the supplied smartphone apps.
As there are no wires you can position the cameras anywhere: they're waterproof so they can even go outdoors if you need to keep an eye on the back garden or the driveway while you're out.
Night vision and motion detection capabilities are included but there's no sound with these cameras and you are limited to 1GB of storage space in the cloud free of charge.
Because it's battery powered it's more suited to occasionally checking in at home rather than constantly streaming, so bear that in mind.
2. Nest Cam
One of the most advanced IP cameras
Part of the Nest family of products (along with the Learning Thermostat and Protect), the Nest Cam is one of the most advanced IP cameras.
Formerly known as the Dropcam Pro, Nest Cam streams sharp, 1080p HD video from inside your home to your computer, phone, or tablet. It will alert you if it senses motion or sound so you can tune in to see and hear what's going on, and with 8x zoom and a 130-degree lens you won't miss a trick.
It comes with speakers so you can talk to anyone in the house, and eight infra-red sensors give you impressively clear night time shots.
Naturally, it integrates seamlessly with other Nest products through a shared app, and for an £8 monthly fee you'll get more "advanced" features, including cloud storage of your video and Netatmo-style facial recognition to improve alert accuracy.
3. Logi Circle
Like a cute little-detached eyeball
The Logi Circle is less of a security camera and more of a 'lifestyle camera'. What does that mean? No one's really sure, including Logitech, but these devices seem pretty popular for keeping an eye on your abode while away.
The attractive circle can be used completely wirelessly, but it only has a two-hour battery life, so we're not sure how useful that is. Most of the time it'll be sitting on the well-designed magnetic dock.
It features live HD video streaming, smart filtering (between pets and humans), a time-lapse function, two-way communication and night vision.
It's not the most feature-packed wi-fi camera out there, but it certainly is one of the most simple to use. The app is a pleasure.
4. Canary Smart Security Camera
Comes with a very loud alarm
Canary is currently sat in my living room, protecting my humble abode. I don't think there's a better endorsement than that...
The camera records in crisp 1080p video, with a wide-angle 147-degree lens, night vision and clear audio.
What really makes Canary a security camera is the 90+ decibel siren, motion-activated recording, and emergency call shortcuts.
The camera is also useful when you are home, with an air quality, temperature and humidity sensor, helping you create a pleasant and healthy atmosphere to live in.
5. Netatmo Welcome
Monitor your house using facial recognition
If you want to constantly monitor who enters and exits your home, the Netatmo Welcome could be the perfect product for you. The Welcome, like the rest on this list, is essentially an IP camera that begins recording when it senses movement. If the camera recognises someone who passes, it'll send a notification to your smartphone that Abbie (for example) has just entered the house.
If someone passes who the camera doesn't recognise, you'll get a notification telling you that an 'Unkown Face' has been detected. If you recognise the person, you can tell the system who it is, and next time it should automatically know.
The camera can record up to 1920x1080 Full HD video, and it looks perfectly good on a smartphone screen. Netatmo allows you to fine tune the settings for each individual user, for example, don't record Abbie, but do record Ben. It's a smart system, which allows you to store videos on either a MicroSD card or in your DropBox folder.
6. Panasonic Home Monitoring Twin Camera Kit
The long range option
This security kit from Panasonic is a little more comprehensive than most others on this list as it's a complete system rather than a single camera.
The starter kit comes with an indoor and outdoor camera, capable of capturing 640x480 video, with a range of 300 metres (if your garden is that large).
The kit also comes with a window sensor, motion sensor, hub, handset and 4GB MicroSD card.
Optional extras include siren and smart plugs to simulate presence.
Particularly useful if you live in the dodgy part of town.
7. Withings Home
The best looking security camera
The Withings Home is a doddle to set up and works seamlessly with any iOS and Android device. Simply plug the unit in (no Ethernet cable required at any stage), download the Withings Home app, locate your broadband router on the list, type in your wi-fi password and that’s it.
The Home can be set to trigger on both noise and motion and will stream HD footage to any device while recording events to the Cloud for later perusal (Withings is currently offering two free days of recording).
We really love the time-lapse function, allowing you to quickly recap the past 24-hours, and the GIF creation tool, which saves motion detected as a motion GIF.
Other functions include infrared night vision, two-way communication via the camera’s speaker, and the ability to play a lullaby.
Its HD camera will capture crisp 1080 footage at 30fps with almost zero latency, and the wide-angle 135-degree image and can easily be zoomed and panned using the app’s pinch controls.
8. Samsung SNH-P6410BN
The most customisable camera
Unlike a few of the other cameras in this round-up, Samsung’s not so snappily named entrant records direct to a microSD, so a good pick if you don’t want to pay more for a cloud subscription.
It supports 1080p video too, so the footage is sharp and there’s two-way talk thanks to the microphones. Through the app, you can set up motion zones, so you’ll get a notification if some breaks through the window, but not when the dog walks past, for example.
9. MYFOX Security System
The alarm that'll sense broken doors and windows
Designed to stop intruders before they've even made it through the front door, this platform from MYFOX has some really nice touches.
As well as HD streaming, the camera features a physical door which can be open or closed in front of the lens, to put those concerned about their privacy at ease.
Door sensors are stuck onto the door, and if they sense vibration which is typical with a break in (drilling or hammering) and will sound an alarm as well as contact you or your neighbours.
An intelligent little keyfob or smartphone app lets you arm or disarm the alarm.
10. Piper NV Smart Camera
Packed with extra features
In terms of features, Piper probably takes the crown. Alongside a 1080p sensor and 180-degree fisheye lens, there’s a backup battery, support for multiple Z-Wave accessories like door sensors, bulbs and a motion detector that’ll set off a siren if it senses unauthorised movement. There's a built-in infrared sensor for night vision viewings as well. But, the design is hardly sleek and you can only view the footage on a mobile app.
11. NetCam HD
A solid starter camera
Another addition to Belkin’s WeMo line of products that hope to make your home more connected, the NetCam HD is, as the name suggests, a High-Def capable cam that beams 720p video straight to your mobile.
The set-up is simple and can be done completely through the app and its boasts night-vision too, so your video won’t be unwatchable at night. When the camera senses motion or movement, it’ll buzz you, though obviously, you can customise all the settings, so you’re not getting an email every time you walk past.
The NetCam also works with the Belkin WeMo range of connected home products.