Wireless security camera showdown: 4 superb snoopers fight it out to protect your home

T3 picks the best totally wireless ways to keep an eye on your pad

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This is the best wireless security camera buying guide on the internet. And this article here pits some of its most notable entrants against each other in a security showdown of epic proportions. We've got cameras that offer crazy battery life, high-quality video, awesome motion-detection smarts and, well, others that seemingly have everything but cost a fortune. Basically, what we're trying to say is that we've got a wireless security camera for you and if you want to protect your home you could do a lot worse than taking a shuft at these bad boys.

Blink XT

The XT is a fit-and-forget camera, with its two-year battery life, and it performs nicely too, though the lack of geo-location makes it a bit more work to use.

Ostensibly similar to the original Blink cam, the new Blink XT adds weatherproofing and an upgraded 1080p sensor. You still get the same killer two-year battery life from the dual AAs and no video storage fees. You also get the same wall mount, which is rudimentary but works well. Video performance is better than the original, and good overall, but the viewing angle slightly narrower than we’d like. That said, at night the picture is very bright. There’s no geo-location goodness here; instead you have to remember to manually arm and disarm it each time to avoid motion notifications when you’re home. This lack of smarts is mitigated by Alexa integration, so you can control your cameras using your voice, or if you have a Nest thermostat, you can hook it up to IFTTT and automate it using the Home and Away function.

Swann Smart Security Camera

The lack of geolocation smarts and the inability to arm or disarm it manually are downers on what is otherwise an impressive security cam.

Swann’s smart cam has Wi-Fi on board, so it’s a simple, hub-free affair. You get IP65 rating, so it’ll happily go outdoors, and a magnetic ball mount makes it easy to mount and position. Generously, video is stored locally for seven days and in the cloud for two days, with the option to expand this to 30 days with a subscription. The 1080p video feed is superb – wide, crisp and with excellent contrast. Similarly, night-time viewing is perfectly clear. Using True Detect heat-sensing tech, it only captures video when it senses a human-sized object, and it ignores pets and irrelevant movements outside. It isn’t very smart, though, so you’ll get umpteen motion notifications when you’re at home, and there’s no way of disarming the camera manually. After just a few days, battery was down to 60 per cent – unsurprising given the notification spam.

Canary Flex

A nice camera, with loads of smarts, but hampered by poor night vision and having to pay to unlock some of the features.

Canary’s weatherproof cam is a funky affair, with a 360-degree magnetic mount that can be stood up indoors, or placed flat on a wall for easy outdoor mounting. It’s a neat solution, and with Wi-Fi on board there’s no hub to place. The 1080p video feed is clear and crisp, though vision at night is poor (Canary recommends an external light to improve this). Geo-location means it only records when you’re away, and it features a clever Night Mode which arms the camera when you’re in bed. There’s Google Home/Assistant support too – handy for quickly checking the battery life, for example, using your voice. There’s also two-way chat, but it only works if you have a subscription – stingy, if you ask us; as is the 24-hour video storage for basic members. Battery life dropped to 75 per cent after three days – decent, but not as good as the Arlo Pro.

Netgear Arlo Pro

A very competent, if very pricey, system with lots of options to peruse. Battery life is also excellent, aided by the hot-swappable batteries.

Today's best Netgear Arlo Pro deals

The Arlo Pro is a big investment; best for those building an entire-home system. The necessary hub is chunky, but it does have a super-loud siren built in. Each cam has a removable battery, so you can buy additional units and swap them when they run out. Not that you’ll do so often – after several days the Arlo Pro had 96 per cent battery remaining, so several months longevity is feasible. The video feed is decent day or night, albeit only 720p, and apparently the widest here (we couldn’t tell much of a difference), while geo-location means you won’t get unnecessary notifications (and it ignores pets). Custom mode lets you create triggers – our choice is the alarm sounding upon intruder detection. There’s two-way audio, manual clip recording, and a seriously good seven days of cloud storage. A simple magnetic ball mount makes it easy to place.