Smart home security camera systems have grown in popularity exponentially over the last few years. The miniaturization of technology, new power options, and connectivity for management and viewing via web or mobile/app interfaces have brought Wi-Fi smart cameras from a luxury item for the rich, down to a practical home security and monitoring solution, at an affordable price, for the vast majority of homeowners.
With the explosive market growth, there are now a large number of brands and models of Wi-Fi security cameras for consumers to choose from. So how are consumers to choose, and make sure they are buying the best wireless camera system for their home? We’ve profiled 4 of the best wireless security camera systems below, analyzing their reviews and reputation, functionality and unique features, and the pros and cons associated with each unit.
Netgear Arlo Pro II Security Camera
Netgear is a trusted brand in networking equipment, so it should be no surprise that their Arlo Pro II Security Camera System builds on this expertise to provide superior features and functionality. The system includes two cameras and a base station, designed for indoor or outdoor use, with a number of unique and exceptional features that warrant the somewhat higher price than other wireless security cameras on the market.
Some of the stand-out features of the Netgear Arlo Pro II security camera system include:
- Integrated to work with Amazon’s Alexa and other AI services and devices, as well as Google’s Assistant, and a web interface.
- Wire-free power options, via rechargeable battery or through the purchase of additional solar panel attachment.
- 7 days of rolling cloud storage recording for the cameras, or indefinite storage with an upgraded plan, and/or use local USB-connected storage to maintain your own database of recordings.
- Two-way audio and a Base station with Smart Siren provide multiple options to deter nefarious activity.
- Significant automation options including custom alerts, areas of interest, and calling emergency services from the app or a smart phone’s lock screen. Alerts and notifications are available via Email, Text Message, Push Notifications, or Phone Call, far more options than most other models.
The Netgear Arlo Pro II camera system is one of the best Wi-Fi security camera systems on the market today. Almost every feature a consumer could possibly want is available, built-in to the cameras and base station system. The built-in flexibility and options for notifications, integration with digital assistants, and much more make this unit, out-of-the-box, superior to others on the market.
There are few negatives about this system. The cost is higher than many other systems, but it also includes two cameras where many others only come with one. Some existing customers have reported crashes/loss of signal with their units, which only a reset resolves(when the battery is removed). Others have complained about the night vision, and the Pro 2 listing is inferior to the original Pro model.
Blink XT Home Security Camera System
The Blink XT Home Security Camera System is modular. The base system comes with 1 camera and base station, but packages of up to 5 are available, and add-on cameras can be purchased separately. They are suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Blink may not be a household name, but it is a branch of Amazon and that comes with a level of quality and reliability reputation by default.
Unique features that set the Blink XT apart from the majority of security camera systems include:
- Built by Amazon, so it has full Alexa integration.
- Average 2-year battery life with included 2 x AA lithium ion batteries.
- Up to 10 cameras can be linked in a single system.
- Free cloud storage for videos indefinitely.
This system from Amazon’s Blink brand is a good entry-level system, with modular capabilities to grow into a whole-home monitoring network. It is extremely affordable. Most standard features are included, and the impressive battery life and free cloud storage highlighted above are definite wins.
Due to the lower price point, there have been some compromises on technology, including one-way-only audio, and a limited 110-degree field of view. Additionally, there is no web or computer interface, only phone apps for management. Customer reviews indicate that some units have wireless connectivity dropping out randomly, and others have issues with the included mounting system being inferior to other models on the market.
iSmartAlarm iCamera Keep Pro
The iSmartAlarm iCamera Keep Pro is a mid-level camera system designed for indoor use only. It makes a great camera to check on babies and pets or monitor the interior of a home remotely. And it has a few key features that few Wi-Fi smart camera systems include.
The iSmartAlarm iCamera Keep Pro has typical camera features, along with some notable differences including:
- Smart sound technology, recording and alerting to CO and fire alarm activation.
- 32 GB local onboard storage, along with free unlimited cloud storage.
- 2-way audio.
- 8x digital zoom.
- Mechanical pan and tilt augmenting the massive 140-degree field of view – automatically track moving objects/people based on settings.
The hardware in the iSmartAlarm iCamera Keep Pro, and the associated features relating to the hardware, are top-of-the-line. It is one of the only cameras on the market with pan and tilt functionality. It is an ideal, affordable indoor monitoring camera system.
The downside to this system is it is only intended for indoor use, not outdoor. It has limited notifications (push only), no web interface (app only), and no built-in alarm. Additionally, some existing customers have indicated problems with the app software on Android, and issues with motion tracking when objects are too close to the camera.
Honeywell Lyric C2 Wi-Fi Security Camera
Honeywell is a trusted name in home security systems, so the Honeywell Lyric C2 Wi-Fi Security Camera system is a natural extension for their brand. This camera is designed for indoor use only, and can be used as a tabletop camera or mounted to the walls.
Some of the notable features of this wireless camera system include:
- Fully integrated with the Alexa assistant AI.
- Massive 145-degree field of view, larger than any other camera on the market.
- Local 8 GB storage via encrypted SD card.
- Free cloud storage for 24 hours, upgradable to 7 days or 30 days.
- The smart sound system recognizes CO and fire alarms, as well as crying babies and other noises of interest.
- 6x digital zoom and two-way audio.
- 4 ADJUSTABLE ALERT ZONES: Draw your own alert zones for extra sensitivity or to ignore background motion like a ceiling fan. Motion & audio detection included with 30-second clips & 5-second pre-event triggers.
- NEVER MISS A MOMENT: C2 comes with free secure cloud storage to stream & download clips and, in case of a wifi outage, an 8GB SD card is included for backup. The 256-Bit data encryption keeps your private information safe.
The Honeywell system is reliable and affordable, with all of the standard features of other indoor cameras, and an outstanding 145-degree field of view. The sound detection options are also superior to other models on the market. Finally, the multiple alert zones within the field of view allow for a great deal of monitoring customization.
This system is only intended for indoor use, and has limited push-only notifications, along with no web interface or built-in alarm. Local storage and cloud storage are nice, though limited compared to other indoor wireless security camera models. Further, some customers have indicated the night vision motion tracking is poor, as well as having unnecessary notifications despite following guides for settings to minimize alerts.
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