We looked at a lot of home security cameras over the past year. This article is an annual compilation of our knowledge based upon our experience and observations of what’s out there. While we don’t cover every single camera on the market, we looked at most of the mainstream models. We think this is a good list of the best home security cameras for 2017.
We have several categories for best home security cameras for 2017. Best means different things to different people so breaking this into a few categories seemed to make sense.
Best Environmental Monitoring
This is an emerging feature in moderate to high end home security cameras. It refers to the capability of measuring temperature, humidity and air quality. We looked at a few different home security cameras that had this capability including entries from Flir, Blink and Canary.
The most accurate by far is the Canary All-in-One Home Security System. The Canary measures room temperature, humidity and air quality. Air quality is comprised of a variety of things including Iso-butane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, ethanol, cigarette smoke and cooking odors. The temperature readings are in complete alignment with my thermostat. It has already saved me from a freezing house when the furnace broke in the middle of the night.
Alerts can be sent when temperature or humidity thresholds are exceeded. You can also receive alerts when air quality is abnormal. For a detailed discussion on this topic, be sure to read Cooking Etoufee and My Canary Air Quality is Abnormal.
Best Cloud Implementation for a Home Security Camera
Cloud storage and home security cameras came together during 2016. Many people will not consider a home security camera without cloud storage and for good reason. If your camera is stolen, and the intruder’s image is only found on the internal micro SD card, what good is the home security camera?
There are many implementations of cloud storage. Some are free. Others incur a periodic fee. Yet other home security cameras offer a free and paid version of cloud storage.
This is a difficult category to name a winner. However, when factoring in cost and features, the Arlo Pro HD Home Security System implementation of cloud storage appealed the most. Seven days of free event storage coupled with email and device alerts is a good deal. We see other companies charging for cloud features like this but it’s free with the Arlo Pro.
Best Low Priced Home Security Camera
Looking for a home security camera but don’t want to spend a lot? Look no further than the YI Home Camera Wireless IP Security Surveillance System. I was very surprised regarding the quality of the image and amount of software features included with this budget camera. Expecting the software to be something from the 1990’s, I was surprised to see a fairly refined app residing on my Apple iPhone. We looked at a few other low priced home security cameras over the past year including entries from Samsung, Amcrest, Foscam, Blink and Guardzilla. The Yi entry beat them all.
OK, so we’re not talking about 1080p video (remember this is the budget category). However we are talking about a crisp 720p experience governed by software that regulates the quality of the video based upon available wireless bandwidth. Just set the video quality to Auto (versus HD or SD) and the Yi Home Camera will figure it out.
Software features such as motion zones, continuous recording to local storage and a free cloud feature make this one a real bargain. Our detailed review on the Yi Home Camera is worth a read for more detail.
If you’re on a budget, the Yi Home Camera is one of the best home security cameras for 2017.
Best Completely Wireless Home Security Camera
The majority of home security cameras on the market are wireless in terms of internet connectivity but not power. However, there are a few good models that are completely wireless. Integrating high capacity batteries with a low draw and monitoring capabilities, it’s now possible to get an excellent monitoring experience without wires.
The best completely wireless home security camera in our opinion is the Arlo Pro HD Home Security System and it’s not even close. This is the latest and greatest from Arlo delivering crisp video coupled with a rechargeable battery that lasts 4-6 months between charges.
The Arlo Pro entry is made for indoor or outdoor use. I especially like these for outdoor applications where a power outlet isn’t available. The Arlo Pro is a reliable entry that we recommended in our review several months back. The Arlo Pro is one of the best home security cameras for 2017.
Best Traditional Home Security Camera
This category covers home security cameras that need to be plugged into the wall for power. Let’s call these traditional home security cameras.
In my opinion, the best traditional home security camera is the Nest Cam. Feature wise, there are a few that come close but when you factor in the hardware and software quality then include all the integration possibilities, the Nest Cam is the best. The Nest Cam has many of the high end features that one would expect as one of the best home security cameras for 2017.
The Nest Cam features 1080p video, dual band connectivity, motion zones, excellent night vision and cloud capabilities. All of these features come together in one of the best (if not the best) smartphone apps we have used. The only negative for the Nest Cam is the limited features available in their free cloud implementation. The rest of the features are so darn good that I am willing to overlook it naming it one of the best home security cameras for 2017.
We have a lot of articles about the Nest Cam, how to set it up and tips for using it.
So there you have it split into several categories – the best home security cameras for 2017. It’s the first of the year. Can’t wait to see what we will write about this time in 2018.
All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way. I have owned and tested dozens of cameras. Manufacturer support varies. There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions. There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).