If you’re shopping for cheap home security cameras, the wide selection of wireless home security cameras can make it hard to choose. We’re here to help in two ways. We include buying tips and address a few common concerns when buying cheap home security cameras below. We also suggest you check out our Best Home Security Cameras for 2020 and The Best Wireless Security Cameras for 2020 articles, which are updated regularly. Because there is a high demand for home security cameras, we update this article weekly, so check back often for the best and latest deals.
Today’s Best Home Security Camera Deals
How To Choose A Cheap Home Security Camera
- Indoor, outdoor, or both: If you want cameras both inside and outside your home, you’ll find that most companies make both indoor and outdoor cameras. The outdoor cameras are usually waterproof and dustproof and generally have more robust mounting devices than indoor cameras. You can always use an outdoor camera inside, but the opposite is not the case.
- Wired power connection or battery-powered: Battery-powered cameras are easier to mount, especially outdoors, than cameras that require AC power via a wire. The advantage of wired power connections is you don’t need to monitor battery life and recharge batteries when depleted. Some home security cameras made by Ring run on rechargeable batteries even when they are plugged into AC power because the house power continuously charges the batteries.
- Video resolution and depth of field: Resolution refers to the number of pixels or dots that make up images. For most home systems, 1080p resolution, also called Full HD or FHD, is sufficient, but you can also pay more for 2K or 4K cameras, which have, respectively, two or four times as much resolution. The depth of field generally refers to the width or height of the image the camera captures. A maximum is 360-degrees or a complete circle. With a stationary camera, that is, one that does not rotate to follow a moving object, anything over 100-degrees depth of field is pretty good. More is better.
- Detection sensors, motion, sound, or both: Most home security cameras have motion detection. Some also activate when they detect sound. To avoid too many false alerts from blowing leaves, passing cars, and nosy squirrels, it helps to have adjustable detection areas for motion detection and sound volume or audio analytics for sound detection.
- Two-way audio: Two-way talk is common with home security cameras. Single duplex audio allows one person to speak at a time while the other listens. Full duplex, which is more like natural human speech, lets both parties talk and listen at the same time.
- Storage capability: Many home security cameras automatically store images and audio/video clips in the cloud. Other cameras use local storage on removable solid-state memory cards. The best choice is a camera that supports both cloud storage for remote access from any location and local storage backup.
- Stored video access charges: Cloud storage for video clips is sometimes free, at least on a limited basis. There are often subscription plans based on the amount of storage, the number of stored clips, and how long you can access stored clips. If you want significant storage, be sure to check cloud storage features and prices before buying and mounting the hardware.
- Mobile app or Wi-Fi monitoring: Most home security cameras send alerts to a mobile app and allow remote live streaming and sometimes enable remote access to stored clips in the cloud. Security cameras with Wi-Fi can often be accessed by any computer or device that can access the internet, usually by entering a user name and password.
- Smart home platform compatibility: The gold standard for smart home platform support for voice commands and voice management is both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility. Fewer cameras support Apple HomeKit, Siri, IFTTT, or other platforms.
- Integration with other same-brand devices: If you plan to install additional smart security devices such as video doorbells, smart lights, and DIY smart security systems, be sure to choose smart security cameras that work with other devices. At a minimum, you should be able to check all devices with the same app or smart home platform.
Do Home Security Cameras Reduce Crime?
Visible security cameras can have a preventative effect even when not hooked up, in a fashion similar to sign on your lawn with a security company name. When cameras are mounted outside the home in visible but hard to reach locations, that too can deter a thief or vandal. Better still is when a security camera is one component of several, including neat, trimmed yards with ample lighting and no hiding places.
Do Home Security Cameras Have Audio?
Most home security cameras have two-way audio, some with a push-to-talk button within reach of visitors but more often not. Better quality cameras have sufficient audio quality and volume to be heard clearly. While less expensive security cameras have single duplex audio — meaning you can talk and listen, but only one at a time — full-duplex audio — both sides can talk and listen simultaneously is even better.
Do Home Security Cameras Need Wi-Fi?
No. There are home security cameras that connect to a central device via long cables. Others connect by wire or via Bluetooth or another wireless signal to a secondary device that serves as an intermediary hub that connects to the home network. Most home security cameras today, regardless of the price range, can connect to the network or a hub via Wi-Fi.
Can Home Security Cameras Be Hacked?
Like any computer system, home security cameras can be hacked. There are, however, several steps you can take to make your cameras more secure. These same steps mainly apply to any smart system.
- Secure your home network
- Change default user names and passwords
- Use unique, difficult to guess passwords
- Don’t reuse passwords
- If any component of your smart home system allows guest access, be sure to assign guests exclusive codes or passwords.
- Use a robust password management program
- Use two-step authentication when available
We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.
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