Security is of prime concern regardless of the place you stay. The smart security camera is the perfect solution for this.
You can take unlimited benefits from these smart security cameras. You can monitor the activities of your pets, and never let anyone or anything suspicious to get out of your sight.
Most importantly, with the smart security cameras at work on your home, you can check in the activities of your kids when you are busy doing some work.
On the unfortunate event, if burglars break-in at your home or apartment, the video footage captured by the camera will help you identify the rogues and can also document the evidence for getting an insurance claim.
With the overabundance of the smart security cameras in the market, each having distinct features, it is not easy to identify a decent and reliable smart security camera. I am sure this comprehensive guide will help you to overcome the dilemma, and you can pick the best smart security camera for your smart home.
How I chose the best smart security camera
All the smart appliances including the cameras are evolving at the speed of knots.
You can easily get carried away by the looks and features of these devices, and end up buying a security camera which does not suit your expectations.
Thus, before you decide to browse the list of the top smart security cameras for your home, you should have your priorities sorted out.
You should have a clear idea on the purpose of buying the security camera, like where do you want it to fit it in your home?
Are you looking to monitor the activities of your children, or are you focusing on peace of mind when you are not at home?
Based on these points, you should choose your camera. I guess I managed to cover these aspects for you, read on.
The Brand Does Matter
You may be aware; some brands are relentlessly working on developing the best quality smart security cameras and eventually, these brands have become synonymous when we think about the security cameras.
Without the slightest of doubts, when you go with these brands, quality, reliability, and safety issues are at its best.
You can easily get carried away with the new releases of lesser known brands offering their smart security cameras at favorable prices if you plan to buy one, and then make a thorough inquiry at first.
Remember, these smart devices require regular software updates which will enhance your security much more. With the top brands like Nest, Logitech, you can be assured of getting the timely updates.
The functionality of the security camera
All the security cameras perform the basic operation of monitoring the rooms of the apartment; you should look for the noteworthy “smart” features which make them exceptional.
For instance, some cameras can rotate when the sensors recognize any unpredicted movements or noise; some have infrared sensors for better viewing quality at night.
The video quality is the next important aspect. You should never forget to check the resolution of these cameras. The best choices are those offering a resolution of 720p and 1080p.
The smart cameras at present offer the facility of storing the video footage they record. Check whether you can save the video footage on an SD card or in the cloud.
You can also check out some of the brands which offer the convenience of accessing the entire history of the footage, and a host of other features when you pay a monthly subscription.
Go for this service; only if you require it, else it will be useless for you to invest in a smart security camera with this feature.
Use of the voice commands has become integral with the smart home systems. So, you can also check out those cameras that support these voice commands.
Incidentally, the integration of voice commands with smart security cameras is not that common, the integration and interaction are somewhat different with voice commands when you do manage to find one. Understand how to use the voice to perfection for the camera to operate hassle-free.
Do you prefer cables or batteries
If you observe carefully, you will notice, the bulk of the smart security cameras include a power supply. However, this has a limitation.
Since these cameras can only operate when they are plugged in an electrical socket, you cannot move these cameras. If you are looking for flexibility, then you should go for the smart security cameras that operate on batteries.
The functionality of the app
Obviously, I am talking about smart security cameras so that they will have several apps. These apps are available for both the Android and iOS platforms.
You can simultaneously check if you can access them in the desktop for reviewing the videos. Make sure; you go for the smart camera according to the operating system you use.
The app should also include the essential features that allow you to operate the camera from a remote location like night vision, microphone activation, sending periodic notifications to you, the ability to stop an alarm, and much more.
Compatibility with the other smart devices
Your smart security camera will hardly be of any help if it does not integrate properly with the other smart devices in your apartment.
Usually, the integration can be made via a hub or the IFTTT channel, so make sure, the camera is compatible with the devices at your home.
Ultimately, for most of us, it boils down to this factor. However, this does not mean, by investing in an expensive camera, you will have the best security for your apartment.
As I mentioned earlier, it is all about understanding the goals for which you need the camera.
Nevertheless, you must be prepared to shell out at least $200 for these smart security cameras. The ones with advanced features will evidently be expensive.
Read more: How pick the best smart security camera?
The best smart security cameras
Regardless of the purpose for which you decide investing in a smart security camera, you are all set to lay your hands upon some of the best security cameras.
Courtesy of the breakthrough innovations in the technological field, these smart security cameras are enriched with a plethora of features, and you will find them incredibly helpful.
Before you get bamboozled by the range of products, let me introduce you to the top smart security cameras I have handpicked for you.
1. Netgear Arlo Pro 2
The competition amongst the top brands for providing the best smart security camera is heating up for sure. Netgear has come up with this product and I ought to say it is at the top of its game.
The company has already earned a fair reputation for providing state-of-the-art security cameras and the Arlo Pro 2 (click to check current price on Amazon) looks for carrying forward the legacy successfully.
The product is pricey, but its extensive features justify it completely. Remember, you must have a hub to make the camera work properly. So, do not insist on buying the camera alone.
Design and Build
The best thing about Arlo, it does not involve any wires. Remember, the hub I mentioned just now?
The hub works as its base station, and it establishes a connection with the router at your home with the help of the Ethernet cable that comes with it. It is advisable placing the hub close to the router.
You can also opt to use the powerline technology by plugging the hub into a powerline socket. The base unit or the hub very much resembles a router, and it includes two oval-shaped cameras, which will surely remind you of the giant eggs you read in fairy tales.
The camera is waterproof, and you can conveniently place it anywhere in your apartment. It comes with magnetic mounts so you can quickly put them wherever you wish.
You will find a small speaker and a microphone on the bottom of the camera which supports the two-way audio.
There are two buttons at the top, one of them syncs the camera with the hub while pressing the second button will let you open the back of the unit. Before you use the camera, the battery needs a full charge.
When the charge is complete, you will notice the light on the front camera turns blue, and then you can sync it with the hub.
Setting it up
Arlo gives you the choice of setting it up in a couple of ways, this itself is a unique feature. You will not find many other smart security cameras that offer such convenience.
The options you have are, downloading the respective app for your smartphone or setting it up via the web. You can log in to either your phone or PC at a time.
Even if you try to, the camera will automatically disconnect the other device. The setup procedure is pretty straightforward, and you should not find it difficult at all.
You need to press the Sync button in both the base unit and the camera; this will initiate the camera to flash a blue light. As soon as the sync is over all the lights in the base unit will turn to green, and the flashing blue light on the camera will stop.
After the successful setup, you are now in charge of controlling the camera. Based on your preferences, you can label each of the cameras and use them at any place of your apartment; you can control its operation with your PC, smartphone, or tablet.
Arlo offers crisp image quality at 1080p; you also have the option of reducing the image quality for saving the battery. Furthermore, it has an 8x digital zoom which lets you have a close look at any parts of your home.
Then you can also communicate with the other members of the family via the speakers. You can set the camera for detecting motion, or enable the camera only at certain periods, most probably when you are not at your apartment.
The camera has an integrated alarm system, which makes it unique; it is a smart siren which automatically gets turned on as soon as it detects any unusual activity.
The smart security camera will intimate you via push notifications on your smartphone whenever it detects unusual activities. If you intend to look at the video footage, you can go for the paid subscription too. There are several packages, and you can select any one of them.
The camera offers a wide array of features which everyone would find useful. Additionally, it is very robust and comes with a strong magnetic base.
You have superior flexibility of controlling the camera angle no matter wherever you place it. The inbuilt siren is also a great addition.
Since you cannot use the camera without its base unit, you have to pay more for getting the unit, which we felt was not very necessary.
The router at your home needs to be compatible with the camera; else you will encounter issues when trying to sync the camera. The app has tons of options, and you might take some time getting used to them.
If you are a person who does not want to compromise with the security of your apartments, then Arlo has to be the numero uno choice.
With its range of features and great integration with the Amazon products including Alexa, this is the best smart security camera if you are ready to bang the buck.
2. Hive View
Here comes a smart security camera with jaw-dropping looks.
Hive is a well-known name in the smart home arena, and their latest release promises a lot of cool features which goes perfectly with its stylish looks.
If you already have a Hive ecosystem in your home, you will find it super convenient to work with this smart security camera, as you can control everything with a single app.
Moreover, the Hive View (click to check current price on Amazon) perfectly complements the smart home setup of your apartment, and you will appreciate its workability.
Design and Build
Before I delve deeper to introduce you the various aspects of the Hive View, you should know, this camera has a detachable head.
Precisely, the camera consists of two parts, the stem, and the removable camera head that resembles a cube. Hive View is available in two colors, black (brushed copper) and white (champagne gold). The presence of magnets helps the camera head to fit into the slots.
The manufacturer has ensured the camera is very sleek and flexible. No matter, for whatever purpose, you will use this smart security camera, it will always provide the best view to you.
You may already get the hint since the head of this camera is detachable it is wireless. Now, you have the freedom of placing the camera wherever you like and after a few days mount it at a different place.
Setup and Performance
Setting up the Hive View is a breeze. As already mentioned, if you already have the Hive app, open it, and navigate to the option “Install a Device.”
Keep the Bluetooth on and be ready with your Wi-Fi password, enter the credentials, and your Hive View is prepared to work.
Browsing the app, you will find a screen which will help you to view the live pictures. The camera offers a picture quality of 1080p which is very good.
The main USP of the camera has to be its ability to provide a wide 130-degree field of view. Additionally, you can also choose to view the images in portrait and landscape modes.
For those who are looking for a perfect security camera due to the vulnerabilities in the house safety, you can get a number of features to secure your apartment.
The camera will send you periodic notifications whenever it detects any unusual behavior on your apartment, which applies to both the presence of someone or any sound.
Similarly, when you use the camera’s wireless feature and set it up at different rooms of your apartment, it will again notify you when it is running out of battery, in the same manner, the Hive thermostats work.
You get the convenience of viewing the footage of a day. If you intend to see more footage, you have to pay a monthly subscription.
I keep on reiterating, you will find the Hive View incredibly useful if you have other Hive products at your home. Further updates and innovations are on the cards, so you can expect to get a plethora of functions along with convenience in the future.
There are lots of good things about the Hive view that we liked. The fantastic design along with the ease of setup is something you do not find with many smart security cameras.
The inclusion of the detachable head makes the camera very flexible, and you can use it almost everywhere you like to.
I tried hard, but could not find any negative points on this smart security camera from Hive.
However, if we must, some people may not appreciate the idea of paying a monthly fee for viewing the footage of the past several days.
The Hive View is undoubtedly more preferable for homes with the Hive ecosystem setup.
That does not mean it will not work with the other smart home systems, but the flexibility and convenience it offers with the former are beyond comparison.
So, if you have an existing Hive setup, and planning to get a smart security camera, look no further, the Hive View is tailor-made for you.
3. Nest Cam IQ
The nest is again a familiar name in the home automation industry. Nest has a series of products which enhances the functionality of a smart home, and the smart security camera is no exception.
The Next Cam IQ is one of its latest releases, and it happens to be the only camera that incorporates the facial recognition technology.
The features you get from this device stands apart from the other smart security cameras, for example, it can also notify you exactly who is present at your apartment and if that person is an intruder or a known one.
The camera easily integrates with the other smart devices at your home, and for all the right reasons, when you have the Nest IQ at your apartment, you will be at complete peace of mind as security concerns will no longer bug you.
Design and Build
It is called IQ for a reason; the security camera promises to be more intelligent than you think.
I already provided a hint on how it can differentiate between known and unknown people, similarly, it can also distinguish between individuals and pets, doesn’t this sound extraordinary?
The design is pretty robust, the manufacturer houses the camera with a solid two-part box, and the housing is made of white polycarbonate.
You can easily place it on any surface you like and also at any rooms of your apartment like the kitchen, or living room.
When you are working with such an intelligent device, the setup procedure promises to be simple. Download the Nest app for your mobile platform and scan the QR code on the bottom, and lo and presto! The device will get added.
For power on the Nest Cam, you need the electrical outputs as it does not rely on the batteries entirely. But, you do have the option to operate the Nest Cam with batteries.
Performance and bonus features
The camera gives you crystal clear images at 1080p. You will be astounded looking at the black and white pictures that the camera clicks during the night, as it is equally impressive.
The perfectionists may still question, so what is the big deal? A dozen other smart security cameras are offering such features.
So, here comes the bonus features. Once you get a Nest Aware subscription, you can reveal the additional features. You can save and share clips. For instance, if the camera gets hold of something exciting and you intend to share the footage into a Candid camera style-clip, you can do so.
Additionally, you can play with the clips for making a time-lapse video. The camera has an intelligent audio alert feature, and it will immediately notify you if it captures sound.
Then there are the activity zones which give you the convenience of selecting four areas per camera where you want a strict vigil. So, as you can see the list of possibilities is exhaustive.
And I fell in love with its face alert feature. Now, you can monitor everyone who is coming in and out of your apartment.
The camera will send you a notification on your phone or e-mail along with a close-up picture of that person; it also gives you the freedom of naming those persons.
The non-availability of an alarm is a bit of a letdown, but the two-way audio system can complement the drawback efficiently. It offers you a 130-degree viewing angle of any rooms in the apartment at the real time. If you want, you can also refine some sections of the screen owing to the 12x zoom feature.
Furthermore, the Home/Away Assist mode smartly detects when you are entering or leaving the apartment. For this to work, remember to enable the location data in your phone.
Each member of the family can create their individual profiles, and the Nest would only turn on when everyone has left the apartment.
If you are aware of the way these security cameras work, you must have seen, most of them capture the footage when they detect a movement. But, the Nest IQ will record everything from the time it gets turned on.
Initially, you get a free 30-day trial of the Nest Aware program, once the period expires; you will get to see only three hours or recorded footage.
You have no option but to shower heaps of praises about this camera.
Solid design and equally good performance of the camera and the app easily makes it stand out from the competitors. The stunning picture quality will mesmerize you for sure.
The Nest Aware Subscription which has a plethora of features is an expensive choice. You ought to go for it for utilizing the full functionality of the camera.
The camera is expensive, and when you add the subscription costs, it becomes even more unaffordable.
If the security of your apartment is of prime concern for you, and you are not willing to compromise with the cost, the Nest Cam IQ is for you.
In the real sense, this is the smart security camera everyone would crave for. It is the ultimate device to date, in the genre of smart security cameras and it continues to evolve.
4. Logitech Circle
Okay, you are searching for the best smart security cameras for beefing up the safety of your apartment, and like everyone else, you think this to be a no-nonsense affair.
But the makers of Logitech Circle (click to check current price on Amazon) dare to think differently. Instead of involving you in the intricacies of its security features, it also incorporates some elements of fun in it. Yes, you read it right, I mentioned fun.
The bigots who are serious about the safety of their homes might argue, security cameras are not purchased for fun, but Logitech decided to take a different path.
You will notice, the design and the app to go with it have a wide array of engaging features. You can perform the filtering of the entire day’s events efficiently, and overall, you will love using it.
Design and the app
The Logitech circle does not have the design to die for. Right from its design, Logitech Circle you will sense, this device leaves behind the stress and seriousness that we generally associate with the security devices.
It sports a curvy body and is made of a matt texture and is plastic. It also has a slick, metallic ring that covers the microphones. The camera lens resides in the middle of the plastic-coated body.
It also includes a LED indicator which is not visible properly at first. The Logitech Circle is affixed to a stand thus ensuring a stable pose. It can tilt both forward and backward at 90 degrees.
The amount of tilt should be enough for you to place and use it at a place of your preference. The manufacturer has also included all the necessary screws and adhesives if you decide to mount the camera to someplace.
You get a dock station with the camera for recharging the device. It does support wireless features, but the portability options are limited as the battery life is not very good.
But you get a very lengthy USB cable around 10feet in length which should make it easy to reach out to the power outputs.
The camera is entirely manageable by its app. Currently, the app is available for both the Android and iOS platforms.
The app gives you complete freedom to tweak and change the settings of the security camera. The other operations of the camera are elementary, and it certainly performs well.
The additional features included are the ability to chat into your phone. Many will find this feature very useful when they need to communicate with the other members of the family upon observing anything unusual through the camera.
Logitech circle works on a simple concept, and even you will find it rather productive. The security camera only saves the clips when it notes anything suspicious.
You will not find any useless footage, precisely speaking; you get to see what really matters. However, it could have been useful if the camera did not delete the unsaved clips after each day.
Nevertheless, the setup process of this camera is straightforward. After you power it on, you only need to download the app, and the camera will do the needful to join the Wi-Fi network at your apartment.
Once the sync is successful, the camera will start recording. The camera sensors are pretty good, and they capture in HD well both during the day and night.
Looking at the video quality, you will understand, the quality is not full 1080p. But that does not mean, you will get low-quality videos; instead they look rather good, no matter where you choose to view them.
Now, for the interesting features, this camera possesses. There is an app called Day Brief, and it can be boon in disguise for the people who are running out of time.
As soon as you tap on a button, all the saved clips will be displayed in a 30-second clip. The visual spectacles are available and in huge numbers. You will start enjoying them as you continue to use the camera.
Not everyone appreciates the fancy looking security cameras. The Logitech Circle sports the conventional design and has a handy app. Additionally, the setup process is also a breeze.
I would have loved to see this smart security camera to be a bit cheaper. The batteries are incapable of running for too long. Otherwise, this smart security camera from Logitech Circle is a good proposition for buying.
If you intend to get a smart security camera for your apartment since everyone has them now, you can try the Logitech Circle.
You need not be a tech-savvy person for operating this one, and anyone can do it. It is a worthy choice, as it breaks free of the typical norms of the smart security cameras and is quite entertaining.
5. Netgear Arlo Go
Here is another smart security camera from Netgear that is worth mentioning. As you can see, the name of the product is identical to the one we covered earlier, but the Arlo Go (click to check current price on Amazon) is different.
With this smart security camera, Netgear offers you an utterly wire-free device which is simultaneously waterproof.
Interestingly, the Arlo Go only works with a 4G LTE signal, and you do not need to make use of the Wi-Fi at your apartment.
Additionally, it has a host of features, crystal clear videos, two-way audio, an excellent night-vision mode, and on top of these, free cloud storage.
The key to its successful workability is the signal strength. When it is out of signal, the Arlo Go is as good as a dead duck.
Smart security cameras are still evolving, so if we are not mistaken, not many people can relate to the difference between the cameras that work with Wi-Fi signals and the ones like the Arlo Go which is completely dependent on the 4G LTE signal.
I would say, the 4G is a better option as the Wi-Fi signals often encounter problems when they try to penetrate through the walls of your apartment. So, there is little doubt; this is one of the best smart security cameras available right now.
Design and Build
The white-clad camera is mainly plastic. It has a flat back face for housing the camera, motion sensor, and infrared LEDs.
The Arlo Go sports a futuristic design, which itself is a great USP of it. You will notice, there is a small button at the front, and you need to press this when you intend to sync the camera with your smartphone.
It also has another button at the top for opening the battery container, a port in the backside featuring a rubber stopper, where you can connect the micro-USB cable.
Below, you will find another port for the sake of screwing the camera in the provided metal stand to places like wall or ceiling.
I presume Netgear missed a trick or two here. If for some reason, you are planning to install this camera outside the door of your apartment, it is not a good idea.
As mentioned already, the stand gets affixed with hand-screws, and you require a SIM card to initiate the camera, so there is always the risk of someone stealing the camera.
So, use this camera for the indoors of your apartment only. However, the app is a pleasure for using. It is designed well and offers you a host of options.
Setting up and using the camera
The installation and setup of the Arlo Go finish in a whisker. You merely need to insert a SIM card to its back, and press the button at the front for syncing it with your smartphone, by opening the Arlo app.
You should not find it a problem placing the camera to any location preferable. For making the camera work, you only need to open the Arlo app, from there you should find a window, from here, you can directly watch the real-time video.
Alternatively, you can also initiate the two-way conversation, and take a picture of the current scenario. As soon as Arlo Go starts operating, whenever its sensors detect motion, it begins the recording in ten seconds snippets, and will automatically save them to your Arlo account.
You also have the option of adjusting the motion sensor. Here again, Netgear could have included a feature like the Nest Cam IQ to notify you what exactly it is looking at. But, this feature is missing, which is why Nest scores above this product.
But, Netgear does not completely disappoint you. After all, there are not many smart security cameras which offer you the convenience of free video storage.
When most of the other brands make you go for a monthly subscription, Arlo Go helps you with the ten-second snippets and the provision to add a microSD card for storing the video footage.
You get a full week’s video for free. Yes, it also has subscription plans, but they are damn cheaper than its competitors.
Remember, I told you about cloud storage? Netgear offers a generous 10GB of storage and supports up to ten cameras. The storage can further increase if you go for a higher subscription package.
Arlo Go streams videos at 720p which is disappointing, as all the leading smart security camera manufacturers settle for nothing less than the 1080p quality.
But, higher quality images will mean consuming an enormous amount of data, this is 4G only remember? So, it would be unfair to start comparing it with the other brands.
It does give you greater flexibility, as you can place it wherever you prefer. In specific locations, where the 4G signal strength randomly fluctuates, using the Arlo Go will be a waste of time. But, when it gets the right signal, it performs excellently.
Arlo Go offers you a distinct feature with the help of which you can control the motion sensors. So, you decide when the camera should send you a push notification.
The other good aspect is the inclusion of the Geofencing. The smart camera can detect your phone, and automatically stops operating, as it understands, you are returning home.
Lastly, Arlo Go works decently for capturing video during the night time. It does suffer from certain flaws, but you can ignore them considering you have not to spend a fortune on buying a dedicated infrared camera.
The flexibility it offers in placing the camera wherever you intend is a great option. You can also set the camera inside your car at the parking lots for detecting suspicious activities.
The battery life is also a high point, according to the manufacturers a single charge can last a month, and I found the claim to be valid.
The camera is bulky, so you might not use it on some of the places you would like. I believe, not everyone would desire to add on to their bills, as the 4G data will consume some data when recording videos in HD quality, as the device itself is not inexpensive.
The signal loss is a big problem; there is no other option like Hotspot or Wi-Fi back up with which you can use the camera.
The features, flexibility and cloud storage options make it hard not to consider this smart security camera as a front runner among the others.
But the running costs along with the price of the camera itself can be a turn off for some. It depends on your priorities and how you plan to use it.
At the present date, you will not find a better portable smart security camera that is for sure.
In this guide, I have highlighted the best smart security cameras for your apartment based upon their functionality and merit.
Ultimately, it is up to you to make the final call, as it is all about getting the best device that you believe will give complete peace of mind.
In this present era of smart home, the inclusion of smart security cameras is inevitable for a host of reasons. Decide after reviewing the specs and features of each of these cameras carefully.