A smart camera is any sort of security or monitoring camera that takes advantage of smart technology to offer more features and added convenience. Think of them as app-accessible cameras packed with software. And right now, it’s easier now than ever to fully protect your home with this kind of advanced technology. Smart cameras let you easily access video surveillance of your property whether you’re at home or on the go.
There are a wide variety of smart cameras available that offer an assortment of features. Our smart camera comparison chart (towards the bottom of the page) has some of the most popular brands with detailed information to help you decide which system is right for you.
Benefits of Smart Cameras
There are several major benefits to having a smart camera, most of which are based around the increased safety and convenience associated with monitoring your home.
Peace of Mind – Even if your home is in a very safe area, there’s something to be said for the peace of mind offered by a security camera. A smart camera offers increased functionality, and makes it much easier to check in on your property whenever you feel the need.
Easy Access to Relevant Footage – The majority of smart cameras integrate with a mobile app or web client, allowing you to easily view and assess footage. Additionally, because most smart cameras are motion activated, it’s easy to find relevant footage and quickly check up on changes in and around your home.
Theft Deterrent – By simply having a security camera, you can significantly lower the risk that your house will be broken into. Thieves seek an easy target, and seeing a home decked out in security gear will make it much less likely that they’ll pick your home for theft.
Insurance Discounts – Many home insurers will offer a discount on your policy if you install a home surveillance system. The investment could more than pay for itself in the monthly savings on insurance bills.
Smart Home Integration – Many smart cameras integrate with existing smart home hubs and voice controllers, adding more convenience to your connected home.
These are just a few of the many ways a smart camera can enhance the comfort and security of your home. Check out the section below for some tips to take into account before purchasing a new smart camera.
Before Buying a Smart Camera
When shopping for a smart camera, you’ll want to make sure you take the following considerations into account to make sure you end up with a smart surveillance system that will meet your needs. There’s a lot of competition in the smart camera market, and many companies try to set themselves apart with misleading marketing promises. Sometimes a camera will be “capable”, but not actually deliver the promised feature. We want to protect you from a disappointing purchase, so make sure you research the features below:
Video Quality – Some cameras advertise 1080p capability, but actually only provide 720p instead. They may be capable of 1080p, but in reality only deliver the lower video resolution. Make sure you’re aware of the actual video quality of your smart camera before you make a purchase.
Maximum Number of Cameras – If you’re in the market for a large amount of cameras, make sure you’re aware of the maximum supported amount — there’s usually a limit to the number of devices that can be connected to one account. Many brands don’t support more than 15 devices, and require a membership or additional bases to support more than a few cameras.
Subscription Plans – Companies may advertise many features, but in some cases these features are only available with a subscription plan. Make sure you’re aware of what you’re getting for your money, and do your research on the various tiers of subscription plans.
Base – A lot of smart cameras connect to some sort of base — like Arlo and Blink — but there are also models capable of connecting straight to your WiFi. We’ve found that cameras with bases usually feature a little more smart home functionality.
Smart Home Integration – Speaking of smart home functionality, make sure you check out how your devices work with other smart home products. Even if you don’t have a smart home now, you may make the decision to establish one in the future. If you buy a camera with smart home integration, your security system will be ready to connect when you make that jump! Look at integration with hubs like Wink and SmartThings, and voice controllers like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri HomeKit.
Stand-out Features from Popular Brands
Best Video Resolution A smart camera that has a great video resolution ensures that you’ll always be able to see what’s going on with your home. Standouts in this category are the Canary and the Arlo Q Series.
Push-to-Talk Push-to-Talk functionality adds a lot of convenience to your surveillance. Communicate with others while away from home, let guests know you’re on your way to answer the door, or yell at your pets to get off the couch! The Arlo Pro and Piper nv are two models that offer this feature.
System Expansion Being able to augment your smart cameras with additional devices and features will add capability for a more fully-featured security system. Two stand out models with support for system expansion are the Blink XT and Nest Cam IQ Indoor. Though neither of the companies has released the systems yet.
Field of Vision A camera with a wide field of vision covers more area and ensures you’ll always capture relevant footage. The Piper classic and Piper nv offer a wide field of view for maximum protection.
People, Pet, and Car Detection A truly “smart” smart camera should be able to detect and differentiate between people, pets, and cars. False alarms are annoying, and you want your camera to only alert you when there’s an actual problem. The Netatmo Presence is a great choice for this feature.
Pan & Zoom Being able to pan and zoom allows a smart camera to get a more detailed view of its surroundings. The ability to close in on suspicious activity may make the difference between a false alarm and catching a sneaky intruder. The Arlo Q Plus come out on top when it comes to Pan and Zoom.
Ring and Arlo both offer a variety of video solutions at different price points, and as time goes on they have continued to improve upon their existing lineup. The all-new Ring Stick Up Cam comes in both wired and battery options, which gives homeowners a lot of options for flexible home video monitoring. The Arlo Pro, on the other hand, is the company’s mid-range offering — falling right in between the Arlo and Arlo Pro 2 cameras.
When comparing the Ring Stick Up Cam vs. Arlo Pro, it’s difficult to give a clear answer as to which camera is “best,” as they excel in different areas. For example, Arlo offers great features like video recording without a subscription, while Ring has better video quality and functions without a base station. Our top pick is the Ring Stick Up Cam Wired, but there are arguments to be made for both brands.
Below we go into detail on what each option has to offer to help give you a sense of which camera might be best for your home. However, feel free to use the navigation bar to jump directly to the sections that interest you most.
Ring has been a staple on the the smart tech market since the introduction of their first Ring Video Doorbell, but their camera line has expanded into so much more. The Ring Spotlight and Floodlight Cam are two excellent options for monitoring the outside of your home, but we do feel that the Ring Floodlight is the superior option.
Comparing Ring Spotlight vs. Floodlight Cam is difficult because they have so much in common. It may seem at first glance that Ring Spotlight is the superior option since it offers more flexibility with battery, wired (AC), and hardwired installation options. However, the Floodlight outperforms the Spotlight in key areas like motion detection, night vision, and brightness, which makes that small advantage moot.
Below we go into detail on what each camera has to offer to help make your shopping decision a little bit easier. Alternatively, feel free to use our navigation bar to jump right on down to the sections you care about most.
Ring is one of our favorite smart technology brands. Their first foray into the smart tech market was with Ring Video Doorbells, which to this day remain very solid products. Since then they have expanded into smart cameras, and can even offer you comprehensive home protection with their security system — Ring Alarm. When comparing the Ring Stick Up Cam Wired vs. Battery, it’s clear that there are a lot of great features that these two smart cameras have in common. However, the wired solution has a slight edge in pretty much every metric.
Unlike many of our reviews that pit two brands against each other, in this article we take a look at two excellent products from Ring with one major difference: the way they receive power. However, there is different underlying technology between the two cameras that make this comparison more intricate than simply maintaining or ditching the wire. Simply put, the wired model takes everything that’s great about the Battery-powered cam and gives it a bit of an upgrade.
Below we go into detail on the similarities and differences between the Wired and Battery Stick Up cams. Alternatively, feel free to use our navigation bar to jump right to the sections that interest you most.
If you’re in the market for a new smart home security camera system, we have two cameras that we’re going to compare and contrast for you: the Arlo Q vs. Nest Cam. From their image resolution to their accessories, this comparison will hopefully shed some light on these mid-tier indoor cameras that will help you decide which one is the right one for your home.
Do you want your smart cameras to use local or cloud storage? Or, maybe both? In this article we’ll do an in-depth comparison between the Reolink Argus 2 vs. Arlo Pro 2 to help you choose the right one for your home. Feel free to navigate this article with the links below, though in this case you might miss out on some peculiar details that we bring up about the cameras in other sections. So, buckle up!
The Reolink Argus 2 is a newer and arguably better version of the Argus wireless camera. For about $30 more, the Reolink Argus 2 offers better power and night vision options compared to the original camera. Is it worth the upgrade? Let’s figure it out in our Reolink Argus vs. Argus 2 in-depth comparison.
After three days of wandering the Vegas desert, we’ve come back from CES with an idea of what’s cool in the smart home sphere.
The smart home camera market grows big with new, advanced solutions for smart home security. So, what’s trending in 2018? Simple motion detection is getting an upgrade to advanced human detection and facial recognition — cameras use AI to identify a person (Butterfleye) and even alert you when something doesn’t look or sound right (Cocoon).
New ecosystems are built to include sensors, sirens, smart locks, and doorbells to accompany smart cameras and create a unified security system.
It’s a turn from a wide-open platform where you can mix devices from different brands to a single vendor ecosystem with just a few exclusive partners to join in. These closed ecosystems potentially expose less vulnerabilities when it comes to security, though they also limit your choice to one particular product line.
Excited about the new Arlo Pro 2 cameras? Us too! Arlo Pro cameras are one of the top-rated solutions when it comes to building a smart home security system. So, let’s take a look at the new version see if it’s worth the upgrade.
But first, before comparing Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Pro 2, let’s clarify a few things. If you’re familiar with the Arlo wireless cameras, feel free to use the article navigation below to jump to the right section. However, if you’re new to Arlo, — we really suggest you keep reading.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your Arlo base station or are simply choosing between Arlo vs. Arlo Pro base station, you’ll find everything you need to know in this article. And if you don’t, well, let us know — We’ll be happy to answer all your questions in the comments section.
The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and the Nest Cam Outdoor are two quality products that promise a comprehensive smart camera experience. Although there are some major differences between the two models, which we’ll get into below, there’s also a good amount of similarities. Before we dive into what makes these cameras different, let’s start with what makes them the same.