Top 7 Home Security Camera Systems Consumer Reports
We live in rather dangerous times, and in such times you should spare no expense in trying to keep you and your loved ones safe. The world is filled with dangerous people. You would want to know how to keep this people away from your family, and a good way to do that is to use a home security camera system. This will help you keep an eye on the people lurking around your home. In situations where a theft occurs, having video evidence can be essential to the process of getting justice.
How to pick Home Security Camera according to your needs
Before you actually buy a home security camera system, you need to know what you are looking for. There are a lot of different factors at play here. This buying guide will help you better understand the product you are about to buy.
Types of Cameras
The first thing you need to know is what types of cameras are available. Here are the options that the market currently offers.
Out of all of the home security cameras on the market, these ones are probably going to be the most familiar for you. This is because they are the most commonly used for home security purposes. They have a tubular shape that’s rather slim. Durability may be an issue with these, although there are versions of this camera that are more solid than others.
If you want a more durable camera, there are bullet cameras that are thicker in size that would work better for you. One benefit of these cameras is that they can be fixed into a wall, although a problem that people frequently have is that the field of view is a little too narrow sometimes.
These cameras are commonly seen in malls and other crowded public spaces. They are accurately described by their name. Whereas bullet cameras are usually walled mounted, these cameras usually protrude downwards from ceilings.
One benefit that they have over bullet cameras is that they are more durable and they also offer more control over your field of view. Instead of a static angle, you can tilt and rotate the camera until it is pointed at the area you wish to see. This gives you a lot more security, although it comes at a price since dome cameras are usually more expensive than bullet cameras.
Thermal security cameras
A frequent problem you will face when using a security camera is that they are often useless in the dark. If you are the sort of person that wants to be able to see what is happening even in the middle of the night, thermal security cameras will work perfectly for you. They basically function by detecting the heat signatures that organic bodies give off, and use this heat signature to create a visual image that you can use.
Because these cameras detect heat, they can give you an image even on foggy days when light is pretty much nonexistent. They also work in smoke filled areas. The only problem is that they only detect heat signatures, they are pretty much useless if you want a normal video feed. Hence, they are not quite as useful for home security purposes.
These often offer the lowest quality images but they are also the most convenient to use. They can wirelessly transmit the video feed to your computer or phone, and can usually be controlled through some kind of app. They are usually quite affordable and are great for people that want casual security without putting in too much of an investment.
Features to Look For
Security cameras can have all kinds of features. You need to understand what features are available so that you can pick a camera that has the features you need on a daily basis.
As has been mentioned before, a security camera is a great resource if your house ever gets broken into. For this to work, you need to have the video stored somewhere. If you need a record of all activity around your house, get a security camera with storage capabilities, a wireless camera offers a live stream so it does not have any serious recording capabilities.
Remote access and control
Maximum security means being able to see your camera’s feed at all times. This is usually done through an app or program of some sort. Avoid security cameras that don’t offer remote access. Remote control is also appreciable, although cameras that offer you remote control will usually be quite expensive as compared to the regular variety that is on offer.
A lot of security cameras offer color video. This is more of a bonus than a requirement, and it’s up to you to decide whether you need color in your security camera feed or not. It is important to note that color often allows you to see important details in the security camera feed, although color cameras are more expensive than those that are black and white.
Color cameras come in different varieties too. Try to get a camera that offers real life color if you want a color camera in the first place. This is the only useful way to get color in your security feed.
Since your security camera will have limited storage capacity if it has onsite storage at all, you will need to use it sparingly. Motion detection is a great way to make your camera turn on automatically if there is disturbance nearby. Your camera will be off if everything is still, which is not much of a security risk because anyone that comes close to your house will obviously be moving.
Low light functionality
Bullet cameras fulfill this criteria the best. Thermal cameras are better of course, but you will need a standard video feed as well and bullet cameras generally offer the best of both worlds. Low light functionality is not an absolute requirement, you need to understand your needs and figure out whether a low light functioning security camera is necessary.
This is another feature that is not exactly necessary but can often be helpful. There aren’t a lot of security cameras out there that can record sound, though, and it’s impossible to incorporate sound recording into a large scale security system. This is more for small scale systems, such as baby monitors and the like.
This is one of those absolutely essential features that you should look into. Image stabilization is necessary because you can’t really do anything with a blurry image. Image stabilizers allow the image to stay clear at all times even if your camera is not in the most stable of positions. There are all kinds of disturbances that can occur, so image stabilization can help your camera stay useful in a lot of situations. You should only avoid image stabilization cameras if you are using the camera for casual surveillance.
Security cameras are generally outdoors, and the weather can wreak all kinds of havoc if your camera is not built to withstand it. Bullet cameras are once again the best at dealing with rough weather. Overall durability is also a concern, but unless someone directly attacks your camera it is unlikely that you will have to worry about that. Focus on getting a camera that can withstand rough weather and you will be good to go.
Top 7 Home Security Cameras on the Market
7. Ring Spotlight Cam Battery HD Security Camera
- Voice control via Alexa
- Built in LED light strips
- Built in siren
- Alerts via motion sensor
This is a modern security camera that works with voice activation. It functions via Alexa and allows you to keep your home safe in real time. You get an alert on your phone if the motion detector senses something. There is also a built in siren that goes off if anything goes wrong. These things come together to make this product quite useful for keeping your home safe. The camera is quite easy to operate as well, especially because of the app.
There are a few things that you won’t like about this product, though. One of these things is the fact that the voice control is not very functional. Alexa will detect your voice but there are often communication issues with the camera. Also, while the battery pack recharges quite quickly, it gets drained very quickly as well. This camera also has poor video quality. It offers some good features but the cons are too great to allow it to be ranked any higher on this list.
- Handy alert system
- Built in alarm
- Battery pack recharges quickly
- Usable via phone
- Voice control does not work very well
- Battery pack runs out quickly
- Poor video quality results in grainy video feed
6. Wifi Security Remote monitoring Bulb Camera
- 360 degree viewing angle
- Motion detection
- Night vision
- Wireless use within ten meters
While this security camera may look strange, it is definitely quite useful. One of its good features is the 360 degree viewing angle. This creates a fish eye lens type affect which makes the video a little unclear, but it’s still better than the Ring Spotlight camera at number seven. You can set this camera up in a light bulb socket. This means it’s easy to set up and also very secretive. The motion sensors are also quite useful.
This product is far from perfect though. The light bulb shaped design makes it fragile at its narrowest point. The wireless functionality is also pretty useless since it only works in a ten meter radius. This product has a bad habit of not working as advertised, because in spite of its night vision feature it does not work very well in low light.
- Easy to set up in a light bulb socket
- Wide viewing angle
- Motion sensors work well
- Inconspicuous design
- Design makes the product rather fragile in the middle
- Wireless use only in a ten meter radius
- Does not work in low light in spite being advertised as a low light product
5. SANNCE 4CH 1080N Security Camera System
- 720p resolution
- 1TB storage space
- Motion triggered email alerts
- IP66 Weatherproof Rating
This is where the cameras start getting good. This camera has a lot of storage space. A terabyte is more than enough to allow you to store a lot of video feed. You get alerts via email if the motion sensor is triggered, much like you do with the Ring Spotlight camera at number 7. This product has the added benefit of being quite weather resistant, to the point where it has been certified as such. It is also fairly affordable, at least when compared to the products that are ranked higher up on this list.
This camera also offers a video feed in color, but you will find that the feed sometimes switches to black and white for some inexplicable reason. This is a problem that you will just have to deal with when it comes to this product. Also, the passwords that the company provides for the users often don’t work. It’s pretty clear that there are some glitches that need to be ironed out.
- Lots of storage space
- Email alerts
- Weatherproof design
- Relatively affordable
- Advertised as a color product, yet color often fails
- Passwords often don’t work for users
4. TMEZON 4CH 960p HD Wireless Home Security Camera System
- 2 terabytes onsite storage
- Motion detection
- Free app
- 960p resolution
The first thing you are going to like about this home security system is the excellent onsite storage space. Two whole terabytes are at your disposal, enough to feel like there is almost no limit to how much video you can save. The video is of a high quality as well, being recorded at the rather unorthodox 960p resolution. This camera also has solid motion detectors, and the app makes it very easy to use from a remote location.
The storage is great, but onsite storage can be a little inconvenient because the data is susceptible to damage. It can also potentially be stolen. This home security system would have been better if it automatically saved the data on a cloud. The cameras are also quite fragile which can be a huge inconvenience.
- Solid video quality
- Enormous hard drive provides virtually limitless storage space
- Motion detectors only activate camera when necessary
- Remote access through app
- On site storage can be risky
- Fragile cameras
3. Arlo Technologies 2 Home Security Camera System
- Works with Alexa
- Operates at 32 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit
- 720p video
- Up to 7 days of recording stored on the cloud
This is a good Alexa operated alternative to the Ring Spotlight camera at number 7. This camera works in high heat, operating at over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You get good quality video too, at a level that is true high definition. The voice control works brilliantly, and unlike the previous home security system, the TMEZON 4CH, this system actually lets you store things on a cloud where it will remain a lot safer than it would on a physical hard drive.
For all its benefits, this product fails to rank even higher because of the fact that it does not offer 1080p video which is often necessary because it shows you some of the more intricate details of what is happening. This security system also can’t withstand very cold weather, which as you will shortly see is something that the highest ranked system is definitely capable of doing.
- Excellent storage capabilities
- Good quality video
- Voice control
- Works in high heat
- Doesn’t work in very cold weather
- No 1080p video
2. HUGOAI WiFi 1080P HD Home Security Surveillance Camera
- Motion detection
- Face detection
- 1080p video
- Cloud storage
This is one of the best home security camera systems on the market. Not only does it offer significant cloud storage, it also has an excellent app that will allow you to see what is happening at all times. The video is a lot better than what the Arlo Technologies system in third place offers as well. The cameras in this system record at 1080p, allowing you to look at all of the details in the best way possible. The wireless connectivity is brilliant, and the motion detector helps make sure that you don’t end up using too much of the cloud storage all at once.
The only reason this product missed the top spot is the fact that it’s not very weather resistant. While it’s not exactly fragile, extreme heat or cold will end up making it break down quite quickly.
- Works wirelessly
- Easy to use app
- Motion detector saves storage
- High quality video
- Not weather resistant
1. Firstrend 1080P Security Camera System
- Remote monitoring and playback through app
- Eight 1080p bullet cameras
- 1 year warranty
- Works from -50 to +122 degrees Fahrenheit
This is the pinnacle of home security technology. Unlike the HUGOAI system, this product offers greatly superior weather resistance. It can withstand pretty intense heat and some extreme cold as well, making it perfect for areas where it snows a lot. The app is very easy to use, with an interface that would allow you to keep checking up on what’s happening both in and around your home. The NVR system is also highly secure, allowing you to rest easy knowing that no one will be able to hack into your video feed.
The 1080p feed is phenomenal, and overall this product gives you a level of security that is hard to compete with. The only problem you might have is that this product only offers bullet cameras. Dome cameras can be useful as well, and although the price is reasonable getting a wider variety of cameras would have made it a lot easier to deal with overall.
- Able to resist extreme heat and cold
- High quality video feed
- Remote control and monitoring
- Easy to use app
- Highly secure network video recorder system
- Could use a dome camera or two
Consumer Reports for Firstrend 1080P Security Camera System
Peter A. Tincher: This security system was pretty easy to set up! I especially loved how goof these people are with customer service. I had a small concern while the camera was being set up and the people at Firstrend got me sorted in no time! The best thing was that I didn’t even have to call them, all of this support came because I sent them an email.
Carl H. Shaw: First of all, I love the price. You get so much for so little. I also like that this is a quiet security camera, not much noise coming from the NVR. Great for remote viewing too, the app works pretty much perfectly.
Rhonda M. Morales: Easy to install and great video quality, I love everything about this home security system! I feel so safe at home now that I have it.
Dale J. Brown: I can’t believe how well this camera works at night. I was a little concerned because I had had bad experiences with security cameras before, but this camera put my mind at ease pretty much as soon as I took it out of the box.
George J. Rios: This company is so great at customer support! I’m not much of a technical guy so I didn’t really know how to set this camera up but I gave them a call and they had me sorted in no time.
This list should make buying a home security camera system a piece of cake. We highly recommend getting the firstrend 1080p Security Camera System, but there are many other cameras on this list that can suit your needs. Make sure you read through the buying guide so that you have a good understanding of what you are going to buy.