Best Reviews: Home Safety Tips
Which wireless IP security camera is the best?
With a wireless security camera, you can expect simple installation and high-tech features. With some you do, but the term “wireless” can be misleading – you might still need a cable for power.
That’s what we explore in this buyer’s guide, along with other important details. We also made some product recommendations at the end. Our favorite model, the Arlo Pro 2, can be used both indoors and outdoors and can go from a single camera to a full home security system.
Wireless IP Security Cameras
The pictures you see of indoor models usually show them standing alone on a table or other surface. They appear to be cordless, but, in fact, most need to be plugged into a standard outlet. The “wireless” aspect refers only to the way they transmit images and sound. The same is often true for outdoor models which, again, may need to be wired for power. Fully wireless versions of the indoor and outdoor models are available, running on rechargeable batteries, but they tend to be more expensive and require regular charging. If you put half a dozen of them outside your home, the wired version might actually be more convenient.
Considerations When Choosing a Wireless IP Security Camera
Almost all of these devices use infrared technology, so they can capture video both day and night. They are motion activated, but the range varies. This will be particularly important for the exterior versions. The sensitivity is often adjustable so that neighboring dogs and cats do not trigger it, and some claim to be able to make this kind of distinction automatically.
Offering 1080p resolution (also called HD for high definition) is now common, which should result in a clear picture. However, the number of frames per second (fps) makes a huge difference in the smoothness of the playback. Having 24 fps is standard for most movies and TV shows, so something around will give decent playback.
Live streaming is invariably on, which is great if you are using the IP camera as a nanny camera, but for security reasons you will want to store footage. This is done either via a built-in micro SD card (usually an additional cost) or via cloud storage. In the short term, it can be offered for free, but subscriptions are usually required if you want to keep them longer.
Not surprisingly, most of these devices have applications for control functions. It can range from the direction of the camera itself to two-way conversations. There are a lot of variations, so you should study them carefully before making your decision. You will frequently find wireless IP cameras compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free voice control, although, again, they vary.
Finally, the type of Internet connection should be checked. Most operate at 2.4 GHz, some at 5 GHz. Some wireless IP cameras cannot work with the latter.
Wireless IP Security Cameras Prices
Inexpensive wireless IP security cameras for indoor use start at around $ 30, which isn’t much for the versatility they offer. You can find outdoor security cameras for just a few dollars more, but you’ll need to use a cable for power. For fully wireless models, you’ll pay around $ 80 per camera. If you want a complete outdoor system with half a dozen cameras, you can expect to pay anywhere from $ 700 to $ 900.
Wireless IP Security Camera FAQs
Q. Will IP security cameras illuminate the area if they detect an intruder?
A. No. They use infrared technology to “see” in the dark, so they don’t need built-in or separate light sources. If you also want potential intruders to be illuminated, you will need to install PIR (Passive Infrared) lighting.
Q. Can someone hack my wireless cameras and gain access to my personal data?
A. If you follow the general security tips and use a very different password for each of your wireless devices, this is highly unlikely. Don’t leave things in the factory setting and don’t be tempted to use the same password for just because it’s easy to remember.
The best wireless IP security cameras
Best of the best
Arlo Pro 2 Indoor / Outdoor Home Security Camera System
Our opinion : Fully wireless full set capable of running many cameras.
What we like: Weatherproof cameras can go anywhere (wall mounts included). Two-way audio. 1080p video with free cloud storage for seven days. Can be wired for power or use rechargeable batteries. Alexa compatible.
What we don’t like: A few have problems with signal interrupts / resets. Support could be more responsive.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
eufy Security Solo Indoor Cam P24
Our opinion : The comprehensive, easy-to-use indoor camera offers Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility.
What we like: It comes with human and animal AI and is compatible with a voice assistant. The camera is equipped with night vision and motion tracking. It has a 2K panoramic view and can also tilt. Comes with a plug-in camera for easy Wi-Fi connectivity.
What we don’t like: HomeBase not compatible. A little expensive.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth the detour
Foscom Home Security Camera / Baby Monitor
Our opinion : The feature-rich indoor model offers remote two-way audio and intelligent sensing.
What we like: Records 1080p video at 25 fps, recording to on-board MicroSD (extra) or cloud (subscription). Can distinguish people from pets, reducing false alarms. Full application. Voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant.
What we don’t like: Connectivity can be unstable and buyers are critical of Foscam support.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Bob Beacham written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.