Trying to track down the best security cameras, best home security systems, or best IP cameras in 2019 isn't always as easy as you might like, because of the huge number of models to pick from – but this comprehensive T3 guide should help.
The good news is that installing some home security tech has never been so simple. You don't need reams of cable, or a bank of screens, or a huge hard drive for recording video. Today's cameras are compact, straightforward to use, and intuitive.
To help you make the right choice in your hunt for the best security camera of 2019, we've tested out all the best wired and wireless security camera models available today, picking out only the top choices for your consideration.
- These are the best smart thermostats to stop your home getting too chilly
- Why not kit out your smart home with the best smart plugs, too
Something to bear in mind while you shop is that you can build up a system piece by piece: setting up a network of wireless security cameras is no longer the expensive one-and-done overhaul that fitting a full system used to be. Security camera systems can be modified and expanded as necessary.
And going beyond home security, a camera mounted by your front door could alert you to deliveries or visitors even when you're away from home. In some cases you can even chat with the person at your door, or scare off intruders, with the help of two-way audio.
As you look around, you'll notice plenty of options in terms of price and capabilities, but we should have something for everyone in our best security camera list. Home security is hugely important, so make sure you choose the right model.
If you like saving money (and who doesn't?), you'll be pleased to hear you can still nab one of the best security cameras of 2019 even if you're on a tight budget – the market is now fiercely competitive, which drives prices down, and decent deals continue to pop up for security cameras.
Whether you want the highest quality video resolution, the simplest access to your camera feeds, the smartest motion detection or just the best value for money, we can help by suggesting the right model – read on for our picks of the best security cameras available in 2019.
What is the best security camera in 2019?
The Arlo Ultra 4K UHD Wire-free Security Camera System is our top pick for the absolute best security camera of 2019. It's currently the final word in premium, feature-packed security camera systems and, if you can afford it, then it really should be top of your shopping list.
There are a number of other very good smart security camera options, though, including cams from Ring (Amazon), Nest, Canary, Logitech, Hive, Swann, Netatmo and more, so be sure to thoroughly explore our best security camera guide if you're looking for something in particular.
How to choose the best security camera for you
This selection of the best security cameras for 2019 has it all, from infrared night filming, to automatic motion sensing that instantly pings an alert to your phone. The more advanced cameras can recognise faces as well, and can the difference between a stranger and your kids.
For the most comprehensive coverage of your property, you want something that includes night vision and can record at a decent quality – and almost all cameras now come with at least HD (1080p) resolution. Some, like our current top security camera recommendation the Arlo Ultra, even deliver 4K resolution.
We've also tried to limit this list to cameras that can serve up alerts that are reliable and actually useful – if your camera is pinging your phone every time a leaf blows past, you're soon going to get tired of having to check it.
If you want to be able to communicate with whatever's on the other side of the camera (whether it's your pets or your parents), make sure you go for an option that includes two-way audio. You'll also need something with an alarm if you want to scare off intruders and record them as well, though this is a less common feature.
With all those factors and considerations in mind, here are our choices for the best security camera in 2019 – you should find something in this list to match your needs, no matter what your budget.
Best security camera 2019: the best security cameras you can buy today
1. Arlo Ultra 4K UHD wire-free Security Camera System
Welcome to the high end: perfect picture, and serious smarts in a brilliantly engineered package.
Reasons to buy
Side by side with its competitors you'd be hard pressed to outwardly tell the difference, but fire up the Arlo app and the quality gap between this and everything else is all too clear.
It starts with connectivity. Setup of the Arlo hub and its paired camera was super fast, and where the others might have you wait a while before reaching a live view, the Arlo gives up the goods quickly (and when you're silencing a siren or chatting to a caller that immediacy is priceless).
While it hits the resolution, we suspect there's a little interpolation on its 4K footage given that the Arlo Ultra's recordings can tend to be a little smeary when zoomed right in, but this is still far and away the sharpest security camera we've seen in action, wireless or not.
You can configure it to capture anything from a sensible field of view right up to a full 180-degree fish-eye, and that HDR picture comes with tremendous colour depth. Testing at twilight on a clear evening, the Arlo managed twenty minutes longer than its competitors at low light before switching to its night vision mode, still pulling in a clear and colourful image.
At night, though it lacks the full IR LED array of Swann's camera, the Arlo captures enough light to see a good distance, and there's an adjustable spotlight available if you're placing it outdoors – which neatly brings us to the fantastic motion detection. Not only is the Arlo quick to pick out moving items, it's brainy enough to make a decent stab at working out exactly what it's looking at.
Your push notification might say 'motion', it might say 'person', or it could even say 'animal'; we certainly didn't notice it struggling to determine the difference between a human and a cat. There's even a package detection algorithm, where a doorstep-pointed Arlo can spot when your latest online purchase has landed and alert you as much. That's just cool.
If you have the Arlo plugged in via its magnetic cable, you can configure detection hot zones, outside of which it'll ignore motion – handy if you live near a busy road, for example, but the power requirement somewhat nullifies its otherwise wireless nature. The mount is super-strong, meaning you can point an Arlo Ultra wherever you need it and remove it quickly for charging.
The only real issue we have is with the cost. The package isn't at all cheap in the first place, but if you want to store 4K recordings in the cloud you'll need an additional subscription. Nonetheless, it's hard to argue that the Arlo Ultra doesn't earn its price tag.
2. Ring Stick Up Cam
Plenty of polish and reliability
Reasons to buy
Not only does Ring (now owned by Amazon) make video doorbells, it makes security cameras too: here we're picked the wireless, battery powered model, but there is a wired version as well if you don't want to worry about ever having to recharge the batteries.
Pretty much all the features you could ask for are included here, such as night vision, and motion detection alerts, and two-way audio, and 1080p HD video. The 115-degree field of view isn't the best in the business but definitely good enough.
This being Ring, the app is polished and professional too, and if you want to see what your camera is filming then you can get the footage up on an Echo Show or a Fire TV device with a simple Alexa voice command.
While the Ring Stick Up Cam isn't the cheapest of our best security cameras, it definitely earns its higher price. If you want to keep recordings in the cloud rather than just get live alerts, it'll cost you £2.50 a month (you get a free trial of the service with the camera).
3. Swann 1080p Smart Security Camera
Swann manages a sharp picture and supremely flexible recording at an impressively low price
Reasons to buy
Outwardly there's no difference between the 1080p model of the Swann Smart Security Camera and its 720p predecessor: both use the same compact casing, both use the same mount – and that latter feature is a shame.
In theory the rubberised magnetic dish on the back, coupled with a rough-textured metal ball mounted on the wall, would be an excellent and infinitely adjustable mount, but in practice it's slippery and the magnetic connection isn't quite strong enough to hold the weight of the camera and its internal battery in a fixed position.
There's no dedicated hub involved here – each camera connects directly to your router via Wi-Fi, and streams to your phone (or to the outside world) from there. That's a neat solution, or at least one that saves a power socket and an Ethernet port, but we can't help but feel it's also the reason for the Swann's slightly sluggish response times.
That said, we have absolutely no other qualms about the Swann's motion detection credentials – it's hits the spot in terms of sensitivity, avoiding false positives in our tests and throwing in heat detection as an added bonus. It's quick to send an alert and convenient in terms of storage given that it supports both cloud uploading and an on-board microSD card for each camera.
Picture quality is also superb, with the sensor managing impressive clarity even in difficult lighting conditions, and missing little at night. Sure, Swann's app is a little rough around the edges, but it's easy enough to navigate, and its motion detection timeline works rather well.
If you're looking to gradually expand your security net as wide as possible, this is possibly the best choice going – there's no reliance on a hub, so theoretically no limit on the number of cameras you can place around your home, and IP65 certification means each unit can take a battering from the elements. It's cheap, too, at least in the context of wireless cameras with this level of image quality.
Does the basics but does them very well
Reasons to buy
TP-Link is known for its solid, no-nonsense, no-frills home security kit, and the manufacturer is always worth a look if you want some reliable hardware at a reasonable price. That's certainly true of the Kasa Spot KC100, a home security camera designed for the indoors.
You don't have to faff around connecting a hub to your router – everything just works out of the box, and through the polished and intuitive app you can check in on a live feed and review recordings made when motion was detected. You can keep these recordings for two days, for free.
We like all the features the Kasa Spot offers that make it such excellent value and one of the best security cameras on the market: two-way audio, night vision, 1080p HD recording, custom activity zones and more.
5. D-Link mydlink Pro Wire-free Camera Kit
D-Link's mid-range 1080p camera system manages to stand out from a tough crowd
Reasons to buy
This is a well-designed camera and hub combo, which includes a long-lasting battery, and which is available at a decent price. It's definitely worth a place on our list of the best security cameras 2019, even if there are some issues (the picture quality isn't the strongest we've tested, for example).
Video detail isn't too bad, with an excellent level of sharpness when zoomed in, but when placed side-by-side the picture isn't as strong as some of its competitors. It's much more murky, both in broad daylight and at night. When it's bright out, shadows burn through while bright areas like sky tend to bleach out, even if you can still pick out trespassers easily enough.
With the lights off its night vision reach isn't the strongest, and it's a gloomy, shadowy picture. What's more, there are no options in the app to adjust the exposure of the sensor, which is something of a disappointment – though the colour depth isn't enough to ruin footage entirely.
As far as the app goes, D-Link has clearly tried to give it an attractive edge, and we have to give credit to its ability to show what's going on from up to four cameras at a time. It can be awkward and slow to use on occasion – with the process of connecting to the camera for a live view rather languid at times.
That's the bad news, but there's plenty of good. That hub takes seconds to set up, and arguably offers more than Arlo's equivalent since it mirrors Arlo's microSD backup options but also includes a USB port for hard drive recording.
There's a central 100db siren here too (silenced by the top button) which could be helpful if your cameras are all mounted outside – and doing so isn't a problem, with each carrying an IP65 rating that means they'll withstand a jet from a hose. For fixing, you have the option of either a strong magnetic ball mount or a standard tripod screw.
At the price it retails for, this strong core functionality makes this a strong mid-range contender if you don't want to spend too much but still want one of the best security cameras on the market.
6. Neos SmartCam
The best cheap smart security camera
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
The Neos SmartCam offers 90% of what you need from a security camera to protect your home indoors, but at less than a quarter of the price of similar cameras. If you’re on the fence about getting a costlier smart camera, at least trying this as an entry-level option is a no-brainer – for £25, why wouldn't you get one?
Here are the details: it captures 1080p HD footage, in the day or in the dark thanks to night vision, and all at a quality level that matches a lot of competitors. The field of view limit is 110 degrees, less than the best competitors out there, but that actually means sharper footage (with each pixel covering less of the view).
In terms of smarts, you have motion and noise detection, and the app will alert you when either happens (you can adjust the sensitivity as needed). It also arms and disarms automatically based on your location, so you don’t get alerts all the time when you’re home.
You can view the camera's feed live from the app at any time, and it supports multiple cameras, so wiring up the whole home for under £100 is totally possible. Footage can be saved to an optional microSD card in each camera, but is also stored for 14 days in the cloud for free, which is a great touch.
The camera is easy to place, and can be wall mounted. There's no option for battery power, and it's not designed to be out in the elements either. Overall, while the Neos SmartCam isn't as technically advanced as other cameras, for the price it's an amazingly good deal.
7. Arlo Pro 2
A quality home security camera range with a solution for everyone
Reasons to buy
Netgear's Arlo isn't just a single camera, it's a rapidly-growing range that shares the same software platform – at the time of writing you've got six different cameras to pick from. You can also choose between packs of one, two or more units, and accessories such as a Wi-Fi expander hub for outdoor use.
The Arlo Pro 2, with its wire-free operation, two-way audio 1080p HD video, weather resistance, built-in security siren, Amazon Alexa support and the option to store footage on a USB drive, is a top choice for the best security camera of 2019.
Cheaper models are available if you don't need such sharp video or a different set of features. The new Arlo Go, for instance, works with cellular networks if you need a camera out of range of your home Wi-Fi.
As with most security cameras, you can tap into your video feeds from anywhere using your phone, and get motion alerts – but where the Arlo range stands out is with the wireless, battery-charged operation and waterproofing.
For free, you get seven days or up to 1GB of cloud storage for up to five cameras, which compares very well with rivals such as Nest. These recordings are only triggered when motion is detected, but it should be enough for most users – how many meaningless shots of nothing happening in your back garden do you need?
8. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
A fantastic smart security camera for outdoor use
Reasons to buy
The Nest Cam IQ is one of the most intelligent Wi-Fi cameras on the market, bringing facial recognition, a 4K image sensor, and person tracking to the party. See below for the indoor version, but this exterior version comes with IP65 weatherproofing: it'll stay recording whatever the British weather throws at it, and can operate in temperatures from -40°C to 45°C.
Picture quality is excellent both during the day and night, and the motion tracking (which zooms in and follows motion) and facial recognition (which only alerts you to unknown faces) are incredibly useful features which actually work.
It's a top-notch package but it's expensive, and to get the most out of it (like cloud storage archives or motion zones) you really need to sign up for a subscription too. You can just about get by with the live motion alerts and livestreaming (no subscription required) if you're on a budget.
The previous, cheaper version of the outdoor Nest cam is still on sale too if you want to save some money – it does have a cable attached though, rather than working wirelessly, which means it's a bit easier to sabotage for potential intruders. Definitely one of the best security cameras in 2019.
9. Logi Circle 2 Wired
A great home security camera for indoor use
Reasons to buy
The Logi Circle 2 is among the most fun of our best security cameras 2019 list: it's a bit like the home monitoring equivalent of a Fitbit. For example, it preps "day brief" videos that show a sped-up version of the day's action of the day (so you don't have to sift through reams of footage of the slightest motion).
That makes it more suitable for keeping an eye on the dog while at work, rather than scanning for burglars.
There’s two-way talking, fast responses to remote commands, speedy zooming, and an adjustable field of view. The app is nice and slick, complimenting the camera's own neat design, and you can control the Circle via Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit or one of Logitech's Pop smart home buttons.
There are some negatives: you only get 24 hours of cloud storage for free for instance. For longer-term access, you have to pay: £2.99 a month snags you 14-day Cloud access, or £7.99 a month for 31 days. You need to subscribe to the top tier to set you custom motion zones and detect people in front of the camera.
Buy a rechargeable battery base as well and you can put the weatherproof camera anywhere in Wi-Fi range (it lasts up to three months between charges). There's also a fully wireless incarnation, but this is a different shape to the wired version and has a different range of accessories.
It might lack some security features, but as a smart home camera for watching pets or your gran, the wired version of Circle 2 is hard to beat as one of the best security cameras of 2019.
10. Hive View
One of the most stylish home security cameras going
Reasons to buy
If you don't need a Fort Knox-level of security but do want an attractive camera for monitoring pets and relatives that can also alert you to felons, then the Hive View works really well.
We're big fans of its striking, stylish looks, and the monthly subscription is unusually cheap (you get one day of video stored for free) – it's definitely worth a place on our best security cameras for 2019 roundup.
Admittedly the Hive View is rather limited features-wise at present, but Hive products have a tendency to get better with age, and we're reasonably confident it'll add Alexa support (as it has for its other smart home devices) soon. A recent update added two-way chat so you can sooth the pets or ward off burglars.
The basic mount and wall mount make it easy to setup at an angle to your liking – the 130-degree field of vision helps – and there's the option to remove it from the mount and use it wirelessly, albeit only for an hour. That could be useful for baby bedtime duties, although we struggle to think of many other uses.
You can download and share videos, should you need to, motion detection works as advertised, and image quality is decent – with a choice of 720p or 1080p maximum resolution depending on the available signal strength.
Strong video quality and a neat design make up for a few minor shortcomings
Reasons to buy
When it comes to the Ezviz Mini O Plus in our best security camera round-up, the pros far outweigh the cons: it has a solid 1080p video feed, night vision, a decent 135-degree field of view, two-way audio and a straightforward app.
The design is compact and versatile, if not all that stylish, and you can just as easily mount the Mini O Plus (sometimes called the Mini O 1080p) on a wall or a fridge as you can place it on a mantlepiece. As long as you can run a USB power cable to it, you can put it anywhere indoors.
The app isn't quite as polished as we might like, and the Alexa and Google Assistant integration isn't much to write home about, but overall this is a home security camera that isn't going to let you down.
12. Nest Cam IQ Indoor
A much more premium update of the Nest Cam
Reasons to buy
We've split out the Nest Cam IQs separately in our best security cameras 2019 list because the indoor and outdoor variants really are distinct devices, and which one you need will depend on where you're putting them.
What stands out about these security cameras is the intelligence behind them and the quality of the apps Nest (now owned by Google) has put together.
Video crispness is also great, and this camera can shoot in (compressed) 4K. That means you get a clearer look at everything that's happening, and zooming is something that's actually useful. There's a neat auto-zoom mode here too, making it an easy choice for our best security camera roundup.
You do need a subscription for a lot of features, like cloud archives and the ability to distinguish between strangers and family members (the camera can identify a person on the free plan, but not who the person is) – so make sure you budget accordingly.
The older Nest Cam, with the previous design, is still on sale if you need something a little cheaper. You still get 1080p HD streaming, and access to the very intuitive app – just not as many of the additional bells and whistles.
13. Netatmo Welcome
Monitor your house using facial recognition
Reasons to buy
The Netatmo Welcome was quite ahead of its time as a security camera when it appeared several years ago, and it's still a very viable product. Like the other cameras here, it's a Wi-Fi-connected device that starts recording when it senses movement.
The clever bit is that the camera not only spots that people have entered its 130-degree field of vision, but it will also have a stab at recognising them too. Perhaps more usefully, if someone passes who the camera doesn't know, you get an alert about an "unknown face". You can tell the system who it is (if it's not an intruder), and next time around it should automatically know.
The camera can record video in up to 1080p, which looks perfectly fine on a smartphone screen and won't tax your internet connection too much. Netatmo also allows you to fine tune the settings for each individual user – for example, don't record Abbie, but do record Ben. It's actually pretty smart.
Perhaps the most pleasing feature here is that no monthly subscription is required to store more than a day's worth of footage. Here, video is stored on the Welcome's microSD card and/or remotely on your Dropbox folder, so you're not committing yourself to month after month of regular payments as you are with some other models. Absolutely one of the best security cameras of 2019.
14. Blink XT
Decent value and simple operation
Reasons to buy
You don't get the highest quality video and audio with the Blink XT, or the most attractive-looking hardware, or the most intuitive apps... so what's it doing here on our list of the best security cameras of 2019?
Well, as we note in our Blink XT review, it's very simple to set up, and you can start off with one or two cameras and then add more as you need. With a single camera system starting at around £100 you can add an extra layer of home security without paying too much.
These cameras have plenty of features too, including night vision and motion detection alerts. Importantly, the Blink XT devices are both waterproof and wireless (running for up to two years on AA batteries), so you can stick them just about anywhere.
And here's an added bonus: two hours of footage stored in the cloud for free. Unless you're pointing your camera at a busy high street, that should be ample for your needs, which means you won't have to pay any subscription fees.
15. Canary Smart Security Camera
A good all-in-one home camera with a very loud alarm
Reasons to buy
Canary has got over some initial software issues to offer a very decent security camera option: especially that crisp 1080p video, with a 147-degree field of view, night vision and motion alerts (plus clear audio). What's more, that 90+ decibel siren makes it more of a serious security camera than some others here (though it needs to be manually activated when you spot something amiss).
Canary also lets you speed dial the emergency services from the app – though given it is unlikely that anything life-changing is going to happen in the time it takes you to manually dial 999, maybe that's not incredibly useful. Still, it's well worth a spot on our best security cameras 2019 list.
The device is more capable than most rival models, with sensors tracking the air quality, temperature and humidity in your home – or at least the area immediately around the camera – helping you create a pleasant and healthy atmosphere to live in. All of this can be tracked and managed from inside the app.
That pleasant atmosphere might be slightly affected by the thought that you need to pay extra in order to use the camera's handy night mode and some other useful other bits of functionality. For your £7.99 per month (or £79 per year), you also get up to a month of video recordings, unlimited downloads to your phone, two-way chat, and the option to view the camera on a desktop web browser.
16. Canary Flex HD Security Camera
Canary smarts in a smaller package make this a tempting security camera proposition
Reasons to buy
Say you like the design chops of Canary and the app it produces, but you don't want something as bulky as the Canary Smart Security Camera, or you want to monitor the garden outside – what's a person to do? Well, get the Flex HD instead.
It works with a wire or without, with a Canary Smart base station or without, and can operate indoors or indoors – you get a lot of flexibility from this little device. We like the 1080p HD video quality, the 116-degree field of view, the motion detection, and the removable magnetic base which is simple to install.
You get night vision here, and weatherproofing of course so it can be used outdoors. It's compact, versatile, and functions very well – the Canary app is easy to work your way around and lets you adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection, so you're not constantly getting interrupted with alerts.
As with the other Canary camera in this list, you need to cough up for a subscription to get more than a day's worth of streaming stored in the cloud, and to access two-way audio. Still, you get a decent amount of features, and without a subscription too, so it's easily one of the best security cameras of 2019.
17. Somfy One
An all-in-one security camera solution
Reasons to buy
Designed to stop intruders before they've even made it through the front door, the Somfy One is part of a wider security platform from Somfy, and is ideal if you're looking for a more comprehensive setup that covers every corner of your home (it can work with sensors on the doors and windows, for instance).
You get 1080p HD streaming, a 130-degree field of view, the usual movement alerts, and a 90+ dB alarm that is likely to scare off any approaching burglar before they've got too far into your home. The privacy-conscious will be pleased to hear there's a physical shutter you can close over the camera when you're at home and don't want to be recorded.
We also like the way you can share alerts with friends, family, and neighbours, so even if you can't deal with an emergency, maybe someone else can. The app is streamlined and simple to use, and lets you cancel the wailing alarm remotely if it's been triggered by something that it shouldn't have.
As usual with most security cameras, you need to pay for a subscription to get a serious amount of cloud storage with this, though your £3.99 a month doesn't unlock any extra features on the camera itself.
18. Ezviz Mini 360 Plus
A cheap and cheerful security camera
Reasons to buy
There's a lot to like about the little Ezviz Mini 360 Plus, including its low price – even if it doesn't quite match the bigger names in terms of design quality and extra features. If you want the basics of a security camera in a compact package, check it out.
It can pan and tilt and rotate all the way through 360 degrees with the help of the official app, once it's installed on your smartphone, and like the Somfy One there's a privacy shield that can be pulled down when you're at home. We're sure no one at Ezviz wants to spy on your family, but it's there just to be safe.
You get all the basics of motion detection and smartphone alerts, plus some basic zooming ability and two-way audio as well, if you want to admonish your pets or your kids for whatever reason. Night vision is supported and you can access a limited number of the camera's commands via Alexa too.
The subscription isn't a must-have either – it just gives you cloud storage for your video recordings. If you can live without that, you can install a microSD card inside the camera and not have to pay a monthly fee. Taking everything into consideration, it absolutely earns its place on our best security camera 2019 list.