Best Optimal Indoor Security Camera It’s been stated that happiness cannot be bought. We’re doing it, though, and it seems reasonable. You may monitor the things that are most important to you at home, such as your children, pets, or priceless record collection, with the help of an indoor security camera. The Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24, which usually sells for $40, is what we advise. It offers a clear 2K video, has four options for video storage, can tell people from pets, and even picks up weeping sounds. If you wish to combine it with other smart devices, it offers support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
Things to think about
Options for storing
We prefer cameras that save the film to the cloud, which is safer, despite the fact that storing video on the camera is a nice alternative.
While 2K delivers an even clearer, more detailed image, look for cameras having at least a 1080p resolution.
Depending on local legislation, the usage of cameras by the household should include babysitters, housekeepers, and craftsmen.
While all cameras react to movement, some are able to differentiate between passing people, animals, and cars.
Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24
A top-notch indoor security camera for regular use
This camera can recognize various actions and sounds and has a crisp image, four video storage options, and a continuous recording option. Additionally, it is more affordable than many others with comparable features.
With a 125-degree field of vision, the Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24 takes excellent 2K-resolution video day and night. It can also detect infant crying and distinguish between people and pets. You can record 1080p resolution video to a networked hard drive or capture 2K resolution video locally on a microSD card with the option of 1080p continuous recording (NAS device). There are two paid cloud storage options: Apple HomeKit Secure Video, which limits video to 1080p resolution, and the Eufy Cloud service ($3 per month or $30 per year per camera).
Wyze Cam v3
a small, affordable security camera
Although the audio and video quality of this small model falls short of that of our top recommendation, it is a few dollars less expensive and can be mounted outside. Night vision in color is also supported.
Compatible with: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT
The Wyze Cam v3 is a wonderful option because it costs a little bit less than our top pick and can recognize people, pets, automobiles, and general motion (especially for watching your pets). The Cam Plus cloud service, which is optional and reasonably priced ($15 a year), the camera’s ability to be installed indoors or outside, and the optional Spotlight Kit more than make up for its less-than-sharp footage. Particularly impressive is the company’s commitment to providing regular upgrades, new features, and support for its cameras.
Wyze Cam Pan v2
The $50 Wyze Cam Pan v2 offers killer value in a sea of expensive security cameras. Even more than its great free two-week cloud storage and built-in microSD card slot for local storage, this security camera stands out for its panning and tilting features, which make it simple to monitor a vast indoor space with a single device.
The Wyze Cam Pan can track a person as they cross a room, identify them as a person in a notification, and record the interaction to be stored for up to 14 days. The camera is fantastic even without the membership, which is really affordable. In conclusion, this device is a keeper.
Netatmo Smart Indoor Camera
One of the few inside security camera alternatives that supports HomeKit Secure Video is the $199 Netatmo Smart Indoor Camera, formerly known as the Netatmo Welcome. The iOS-only Home app is compatible with the service known as HomeKit Secure Video. It provides 10 days of free iCloud-stored event-based video history.
Nowadays, only a select few security camera manufacturers (cough, Arlo) provide free cloud storage, and even fewer still provide 10 full days of free cloud storage. Wyze is an outlier in that it offers two weeks of free storage for this interior security camera, which is one of the reasons it’s now my favorite indoor camera.
The Netatmo Smart Indoor Camera features night vision, a 130-degree field of view, 1080p HD live to stream, local storage using a microSD card that is supplied, and other features. When you construct a database of friends and family members, this security camera can also recognize faces. The Smart Indoor Camera enables voice commands for Google Assistant and Alexa in addition to HomeKit.
Google’s Nest Cam (Interior, Wired) is a reliable and extremely well-designed indoor camera, despite the horrible name. No, it’s not the super-cheap $30 camera that you get from Wyze, but $100 isn’t bad for a gadget with this many features: activity zones, free smart alerts that can differentiate between people, animals, and vehicles, and three hours of event history. The typical two-way audio, 1080p resolution with HDR, and night vision are all included with this Nest camera.
Additionally, you’ll get weeks of event storage, facial recognition, sound warnings (listening for smoke and CO alarms, for example), and sound alerts with the Nest Aware subscription. And last, the Nest Cam integrates effectively with Nest smart displays and Google Assistant.
Many of these cameras have been in our testing for years. We only take into account cameras that work over Wi-Fi without the requirement for a networked video recorder, despite the fact that many models employ PoE (power over Ethernet). Additionally, we seek out models that satisfy the following standards:
Video quality: While there are several 2K and 4K cameras available, most people find that a 1080p resolution is sufficient because it provides a clear video that transmits nicely over a typical Wi-Fi network.
Wide-angle lens: You don’t want just a limited glimpse of the room; you want to view more of what’s in front of the camera, from left to right. Since the publication of the first edition of this manual, we have evaluated models with viewing angles ranging from 105 to 180 degrees for conventional cameras that do not pan or tilt.
Using night vision, you can see in dimly lit areas. You are not limited to black-and-white sights at night because some cameras also use color night vision. Just be aware that different cameras have different night vision ranges.
Two-way communication: Using a microphone and speaker, you may alert trespassers that police are on the way or order your dog off the couch while you’re at work.
All of the cameras we evaluated provide motion alerts, but some of them can also notify you when people or animals are nearby, start recording based on sound, or even differentiate between, say, a smoke detector and a baby screaming.
Continuous recording: The majority of cameras cut recordings into shorter, easier-to-manage segments. Many cameras have a “reset” phase that results in a gap in the action and some missed moments if motion persists for a certain amount of time.
When you leave or enter a preset region, this feature automatically detects motion (usually your home). You won’t need to remember to switch off the camera’s monitoring features each time you get home if you do it this way. Every individual in the house must have the app installed and geofencing turned on in order for it to function effectively, even children.
Storage: Whether it’s free or available on a monthly basis, we only examine cameras that use cloud storage. Some devices also allow for local storage, which stores video recordings on a microSD card (that you typically must supply). However, you should be aware that film that is locally saved could possibly be stolen if a thief gains access to your camera.
Home automation integration: By connecting your camera to other smart devices, you can increase a device’s functionality (both now and in the future). For instance, when the camera detects motion, you can activate lights or thermostats.
Indoor security cameras, privacy, and security
Wirecutter analyses as much as it can about how the businesses whose products we suggest handle consumer data because we take security and privacy concerns seriously. We examined all of the security and data-privacy procedures underlying our selections as part of our evaluation process for indoor cameras.
In order to validate details that we believed should be of the utmost importance for any possible buyer, we also contacted the businesses that created our top picks and asked them to complete a comprehensive questionnaire (see Privacy and security: How our picks compare for a complete look at their answers).
Since indoor cameras can easily record intimate, private moments, you should only think about buying models from vendors who offer strong security and privacy precautions. The possibility to enable two-factor authentication (2FA), a mechanism that performs a fantastic job of ensuring that access to your video camera and recordings is restricted, is provided by both of our top picks, even though neither of them mandates it. Both the Wyze Cam v3 and the Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24 should have 2FA enabled.
Both of our top picks include scheduling and geofencing features but neither has a privacy shield to hide the lens. Geofencing can govern when the camera records based on the position of your smartphone, whilst scheduling lets you choose the time of day when it will or won’t record. (To use the latter feature, make sure location services are enabled in the settings of your smartphone, and install the app on each phone you want to utilize the feature on.)
The question of whether a camera can be hacked by outside parties or whether the firms who sell them will properly protect your footage against misuse is more important. In response to our in-depth inquiries regarding company privacy and security practices, Eufy and Wyze both said that they do not divulge user information to outside parties.
Consumer Reports published an article claiming that several other significant camera manufacturers, including Google Nest, SimpliSafe, Eufy, D-Link, and TP-Link, have the same policy in place. This was in response to a July 2022 report from Senator Edward J. Markey, which criticized camera maker Ring for providing police emergency access to user videos without user permission. The article states that the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is a law that permits (but does not require) businesses to disclose user data, such as video or audio, in an emergency, such as when there is a risk of injury or death, without the user’s consent or court order, if timeliness is a consideration. The aforementioned businesses make it clear in their company policies that they may choose to share content in those specific conditions. There are a few alternatives available to devise owners who want to stop their videos from being shared without their consent. When possible, customers can turn on end-to-end encryption in the device’s settings menu; it’s already turned on in HomeKit-compatible devices. If their camera has a built-in hard drive or, like many Eufy devices, includes a slot for small SD cards, they can also choose to save footage locally.
Wirecutter thoroughly evaluates all of its choices over the long term, keeping note of app, firmware, and policy upgrades as well as events involving hardware and software. If any models we’ve chosen have privacy or security problems, we’ll disclose them here and, if required, update or change our suggestions.
A Bitdefender investigation outlining specific security flaws that affected all three Wyze Cam models was published in March 2022. We were able to confirm with Bitdefender that all of the flaws were theoretical—we are unaware of any users who were really impacted—and that a security update for the v2 and v3 camera models has fixed them. The Wyze Cam v1 was not repairable and should no longer be utilized, according to information that Wyze has made available concerning the incident. Wyze discontinued the sale of a particular model in 2018. Although Wyze claims to have a formal bug reporting method, the firm says it is strengthening its policies in response to criticism of its years-long delay in correcting the problem and failure to notify consumers of the vulnerability. which “includes assembling a group of committed security engineers who will focus solely on responding to security events and enhancing safety for our users,” the statement continued.
Which security camera is free each month?
The majority of indoor security cameras are free to use, but not all of them provide storage, notifications, or all of their advanced features without an additional subscription. Wyze cams are a fantastic place to start if you’re looking for cameras without monthly costs; they offer free cloud storage on a 14-day rolling basis, but that comes with a 5-minute rest period in between recording clips. Even though Google’s Nest only offers three hours of free storage, it also offers free smart notifications including warnings for people, animals, packages, and moving vehicles. Blink, Eufy, and Lorex are more companies to look into for subscription-free smarts.
While we don’t advise hiding cameras for surveillance purposes (like secretly filming the babysitter), it is entirely understandable to cover up a camera that doesn’t go with your home’s aesthetic. Artificial plants, carefully arranged bookcases, and glass-covered kitchen cupboards can all be used to conceal a large security camera.