The 2 Best Indoor Security Cameras of 2023 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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The 2 Best Indoor Security Cameras of 2023 | Reviews by Wirecutter

We’ve added the Eufy Indoor Cam S350 to What to look forward to.

We have pulled our recommendation of the Wyze Cam v3 due to security concerns; we hope to have a replacement pick soon. For a full explanation, see this post.

It’s said you can’t put a price on peace of mind. Well, we’re doing it anyway—and it’s pretty reasonable. An indoor security camera lets you keep tabs on the things at home that matter most, whether that’s your kids, your pets, or your prized vinyl collection. We recommend the Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24, which is typically available for $40. It provides sharp 2K video, has four options for video storage, distinguishes between people and pets, and even detects the sound of crying. If you want to integrate it with other smart devices, it includes support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.

Although storing video in the camera is a nice option, we prefer cameras that save footage to the cloud, which is more secure.

Most indoor cameras (including our picks) have a power cord, which may limit placement to areas near an outlet.

Using cameras should be a household decision, which may include babysitters, housekeepers, and tradespeople, depending on local laws.

All cameras respond to movement, but some can distinguish among people, pets, and passing vehicles.

This camera offers a sharp image, four choices for video storage, and a continuous recording option, and it can distinguish between different motions and sounds. It also costs less than many others with similar features.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant

The Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24 captures stellar 2K-resolution video day and night with a 125-degree field of view, and it can distinguish between people and pets, as well as pick up on the sound of a baby crying. You can capture and store 2K-resolution video locally on a microSD card, which also includes the option of 1080p continuous recording, or you can record 1080p-resolution video onto a networked hard drive (NAS device). As for cloud-storage options, there are paid subscriptions to the Eufy Cloud service ($3 per month or $30 per year per camera) or Apple HomeKit Secure Video, both of which cap video at 1080p resolution.

An outdoor security camera can alert you to prowlers, package deliveries, and visitors, as well as animals in your trash and things that go bump in the night.

Investing in a security system is a great idea, but they aren’t one size fits all. Ask yourself these questions to find the one that’s best for you.

I first started testing smart-home devices more than 20 years ago, back when the only smart-home devices were X10. Since 2016, I’ve been covering smart-home gear for Wirecutter, and I’ve had my hands on everything from in-wall light switches, smart bulbs, and water-leak sensors to smart video doorbells, in-wall smart outlets, and security systems. I’ve also written tech articles for The New York Times, Wired, and Men’s Health, among others.

People like to keep track of the things that matter to them, whether that’s people, pets, or belongings. A standalone Wi-Fi camera can offer peace of mind, allowing you to know when the kids come home from school, to keep an eye on what your pets are doing, to discover who’s been hitting the liquor cabinet, or to learn if a trespasser has entered your home. Note: If you’re looking to use an indoor camera as a baby monitor, we don’t recommend it. Unlike purpose-built baby monitors, which allow you to view a live video and audio stream, indoor cameras tend to time out after a few minutes, which defeats the purpose.

Although the cameras we review in this guide do provide a basic level of security, they aren’t intended as a replacement for a full home security system, which includes door and window sensors, motion sensors, smoke detectors, and other security-specific accessories.

The use of security cameras does raise important privacy issues, because they allow you to spy without consent not only on family and friends but also on anyone who happens to cross the threshold of your home. When you’re considering the use of a Wi-Fi camera, the feelings of those in your household should be part of the decision. Concerns include the placement of the camera, when it’s in use, and who has access to the video. And babysitters, housekeepers, and even tradespeople doing work in your house may need to be advised that you have a camera, depending on local laws. Ultimately, deciding which camera is best for you may depend on how conspicuous you want it to be and what you want it to record.

We’ve been testing many of these cameras for years. Although many models use PoE (power over Ethernet), we consider only those cameras that operate over Wi-Fi without the need for a networked video recorder. We also look for models that meet the following criteria:

For our latest round of testing, we tried each of the cameras in multiple locations around a house, positioning them 6 feet to 30 feet away from our Wi-Fi router, which was connected to Verizon Fios service. When possible, we tested each camera using an iOS device (an iPhone SE and an iPad) as well as an Android smartphone (a Samsung Galaxy J7 running Android Oreo).

All of the cameras were easy to install in our tests. Most allow you to configure the alert frequency and create activity-monitoring zones so that the camera will capture motion only in designated areas—a feature we found necessary for high-traffic areas, which tended to trigger a lot of false alerts otherwise.

Most of the cameras we tested require an AC outlet, so placement is definitely a factor. A few models use batteries, making placement more flexible, but that requires other trade-offs, which we highlight in the Competition section. Wi-Fi coverage also affects where you position a camera: If you want to put a camera in a spot that doesn’t get a good Wi-Fi signal, consider upgrading your router or adding an extender or a mesh network. (For a look at our networking picks, see our guides to the best Wi-Fi router, the best Wi-Fi extender and signal booster, and the best Wi-Fi mesh networking kit.) A good rule of thumb: If your smartphone or laptop gets decent Wi-Fi reception in the area you want to mount a camera, you likely won’t have a problem.

Once we hooked up the cameras, we monitored day and night activities, including the comings and goings of two adults, one child, and pets. In our testing, we paid particular attention to the recording quality and length, the frequency of alerts, the app interface, the geofencing function, and each camera’s smart-home integration.

Wirecutter takes security and privacy issues seriously and investigates as much as possible how the companies whose products we recommend deal with customer data. As part of our vetting process for indoor cameras, we looked at all of the security and data-privacy practices behind our picks.

Each of these devices comes with a privacy policy that, as you may have experienced, is difficult for the layperson to parse. During our testing, we read each of the privacy policies for our picks, specifically looking for sections that strayed from what we consider to be standard in the category. However, there are some common important points that everyone should understand. For instance, most camera companies say that in certain circumstances they will cooperate with police and may turn over your camera footage with or without your permission.

We also reached out to the companies that produced our top picks and had them answer an extensive questionnaire to confirm information that we thought should be of primary concern for any potential buyer (see Privacy and security: How our picks compare for a complete look at their answers).

Since indoor cameras can readily capture personal, private moments, you should consider models sold only by companies that provide robust security and privacy protections. Though our top pick doesn't require two-factor authentication (2FA) — a system that does a good job of ensuring that access to your video camera and recordings is restricted — it offers the ability to enable it. We strongly recommend enabling 2FA for the Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24.

Our pick doesn't come with a privacy shield to cover the lens, but it provides scheduling and geofencing features. Scheduling allows you to set the time of day when the camera will or won’t record, whereas geofencing can control when the camera records based on your smartphone’s location. (To use the latter feature, you need to enable location services in your smartphone’s settings, and you should have the app installed on all phones you want to trigger the feature.)

A bigger concern is whether a camera can be hacked by outside sources, or whether your video is adequately secured against misuse by the companies that sell them. Eufy provided answers to our detailed questions about its privacy and security policies, and it stated that it doesn’t share user data with third parties.

Following the release of a July 2022 report from Senator Edward J. Markey, which criticized cameramaker Ring for giving police emergency access to user videos without user permission, Consumer Reports published an article claiming that several other major camera companies have the same policy in place, including Google Nest, SimpliSafe, Eufy, D-Link, and TP-Link. The article notes that the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is a law that allows (but doesn’t mandate) that companies can disclose user data such as video or audio in emergency situations, such as when injury or death might occur, without obtaining user permission or a court order, if timeliness is a factor. The companies listed above specifically note in their company policies that they may opt to share footage in those limited circumstances. Device owners who prefer to prevent their videos from being shared without prior permission have a few options. When possible, they can enable end-to-end encryption in their device settings menu—devices that use HomeKit automatically have it enabled. They can also opt to store videos locally if their camera has a built-in hard drive or, like many Eufy devices, has a slot for mini SD cards.

Due to a security incident in September 2023, which followed a far more serious incident in 2022, we made the decision to pull our recommendation of all Wyze cameras until the company has made substantive changes in its privacy and security practices. For a full explanation, see this post.

Wirecutter long-term tests all of its picks, including keeping track of app, firmware, and policy updates, as well as hardware and software incidents. Should any privacy or security issues be found with any of the models we’ve selected, we’ll report them here and, if necessary, update or alter our recommendations.

In November 2022, a series of potential security vulnerabilities with Eufy cameras surfaced, which we are continuing to follow. Information security consultant Paul Moore posted a series of Tweets stating that Eufy’s local storage solution was pushing thumbnail images as well as user-specific data to a cloud server whenever his Eufy doorbell camera was triggered by a motion event—meaning that content was viewable in the user’s web portal and not being kept completely local, as advertised (notably, login credentials are required to access them unless the owner chooses to share those images). We have repeatedly attempted to replicate Moore’s results without success. A Eufy spokesperson confirmed that the company does use an AWS-based cloud server to deliver push notifications with a thumbnail preview image, claiming they are temporarily stored in the cloud. Eufy has since altered the language in marketing materials to be more clear that opting to enable thumbnail notifications requires passing data to the cloud. Thumbnail-enhanced smartphone alerts are an option that can be turned off by going into your camera’s Settings, clicking Notification, and choosing an option for how you want to receive those notifications.

More potentially serious is that an additional post claims it is possible to view live, unencrypted video streams of Eufy cameras without needing to authenticate with a password first. This exploit is not currently in the wild, is technically complicated, apparently requires that users’ login credentials are used, and is restricted to video that is motion triggered—meaning someone wouldn’t be able to turn on a camera remotely at will.

This camera offers a sharp image, four choices for video storage, and a continuous recording option, and it can distinguish between different motions and sounds. It also costs less than many others with similar features.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant

Out of the box, the Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24 is noticeably light. Some people may say it feels “cheap.” Well, it is: A $40 security camera that delivers 2K images, has so many storage options, and detects motion, people, pets, and even crying—whether you opt for a paid cloud storage plan or not—was, until now, unheard of. Thanks to that 2K resolution, the Solo IndoorCam C24 offers live viewing and some local recording at a far higher resolution than cameras that record 1080p video, producing video that is crisp and clear day or night. It’s also the only camera we’ve tested that offers four ways to store video: locally on a microSD card (which you need to provide), locally on network-attached storage (NAS) by way of the Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), in the cloud via a Eufy Cloud subscription ($30 a year), or in the cloud through Apple HomeKit Secure Video (or HSV, a free video storage service that comes with some paid iCloud plans; see Apple's site for more info). Although it downgrades the 24/7, NAS, and cloud recordings to 1080p, the images are still clear and detailed. And finally, the camera’s light weight makes it easy to mount anywhere, without sacrificing durability (we knocked ours off a table, and it was fine).

During our testing, this compact camera recorded sharp 2K images to a microSD card during the day as well as at night, thanks to its array of eight night-vision infrared LEDs. It also has an 8X digital zoom, which allows you to pinch to expand live and recorded images on the app for a closer look. The 125-degree viewing angle is narrow in comparison with that of some other models we tested, which could be limiting in a small room, but we found that we could move the camera back or angle it and still get a great image, thanks to the 2K resolution. We also found its motion alerts to be accurate, with the ability to distinguish between people, pets, and general motion.

The camera can send alerts that are triggered by sound, and it can specifically detect crying, which may make it useful as an assistant babysitter. We tested it using YouTube clips of teary people and babies, and it worked without fail. Another feature worth noting is Pet Command, which triggers the camera to play an audio clip whenever it detects a pet wandering into a designated activity zone. For instance, you can highlight the couch so that if your pet jumps on it the camera will announce in a robotic voice, “Hey, what are you doing there?” You can also record a customized response (“Pumpkin, stop scratching the carpet, you evil hellcat!”). Our cat wasn’t willing to actively participate in our testing but accidentally set off the feature anyway, and it worked (your mileage may vary depending on the cat).

One of the standout aspects of the Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24 is that it offers several options for storing your recordings. The most basic option is to keep the video stored locally on a microSD card or a network-attached storage device via RTSP (we didn’t test the latter, but when we had the camera record to a microSD card, we didn’t miss a moment). A 32 GB card can hold about 60 hours of 2K video or 72 hours of 1080p video; when you’re using a 128 GB microSD card (which is the max), you can expect about 240 hours of 2K footage and 288 hours of 1080p recordings. You must view clips through the app; because the files are encrypted, you can’t pop out the card and view or copy files on a home computer. Recordings live on your local storage until it’s full, at which point the camera auto-deletes the oldest footage automatically. Note that should you opt for continuous recording, the video quality is downgraded to 1080p, although you can still get all of the various types of alerts (including person, pet, and crying). This Eufy camera doesn’t come with a microSD card or a NAS box, but Synology’s NAS (our top pick) is verified and compatible with Eufy Security devices.

Another option is to have the video go to the cloud instead. Because of the format-conversion process, Eufy’s storage service downgrades all cloud recordings to 1080p. Although that could be interpreted as a bait and switch, functionally we didn’t find that this trade-off mattered too much. If you worry about your camera or your memory card being stolen, you can opt for a Eufy Cloud subscription; for iOS devices you can use HomeKit Secure Video so that your video goes directly to the internet, where you can access it using the app. The Eufy service costs $3 per month or $30 per year for 30 days of storage for one camera, and $10 per month or $100 per year for up to 10 cameras. It’s a pretty good deal compared with many camera subscriptions.

As with many cameras, Android users can sign up for cloud storage through the app, but iOS users need to sign up for a cloud subscription via the Eufy website. (The process is a bit confusing; click Support in the upper-right corner and then go to the Security Web Portal. Sign in to your account using the same username and password you use for the app, and then click Subscription.)

For iPhone owners, opting for HomeKit Secure Video automatically links your camera to your iCloud plan; the $1-per-month 50 GB plan can store 10 days’ worth of footage for one camera, with the $3-per-month 200 GB plan supporting up to five cameras, and the $10-per-month 2 TB plan capturing events from an unlimited number of cameras. We have tested HomeKit Secure Video with several cameras now (including models from Eufy, Arlo, Eve, Logitech, and Netatmo), and although we love the privacy and security aspects, we don’t love the actual service. The Eufy interface is more user-friendly, and in every test we’ve run, we’ve found HomeKit recordings mislabeling pets as people (and vice versa). Our recordings with HSV have also missed a lot of action, sometimes for hours at a time—even when our recordings with the Eufy Cloud subscription have caught it.

Unless you opt for 24/7 local recording, the camera captures video clips whenever it detects motion, for up to five minutes in length. When a motion event goes beyond five minutes, the Eufy camera automatically starts a new clip, without a reset period or a break in the action—a common issue with many other home security cameras that sometimes results in missing crucial moments. For instance, with other cameras we’ve missed the milk delivery, the mail carrier, package deliveries, and kids grabbing snacks.

In addition to using the Home app, you can view the Solo IndoorCam C24’s video through the Eufy app for iOS and Android devices, as well as in a web portal. Both apps are easy to navigate, with live views and access to a Settings section, an Events section, and geofencing all one tap or click away from the homepage. In the Settings section, you can pick specific alerts (such as for people only), adjust the camera’s motion sensitivity, create activity zones, and choose the video quality. Since the Solo IndoorCam C24 works with Apple HomeKit, as well as with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, you can call up camera feeds on supported devices using voice commands. For instance, using an Amazon Echo Show 5, we could say “Alexa, show me the living room” and call up live images while we were upstairs or in the kitchen.

Although the Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24 delivers vivid 2K images while you’re live viewing or recording to a microSD card, it downgrades clips stored on NAS devices and in the cloud to 1080p. (Eufy confirmed that this downgrade is a result of the process it uses for converting the file.) In our testing, we always found both cloud and local recordings to be very sharp, but if 2K recording is important to you, opt to use a microSD card for your video storage.

We tested a number of indoor security cameras that we didn’t prefer as much as our current top picks but that are still good choices if they meet your particular needs. Note that we do not long-term test these models (as we do our top picks).

If you’re a Roku user: The Roku Indoor Camera SE provides a clear image and easy controls, and it has a platform that allows you to view Roku cameras on your Roku TV or streaming box. We preferred the added features of our top pick, including the various storage options, though Roku does offer local storage and a cloud plan for $4 per month or $40 per year.

If you’re all in with Arlo: The Arlo Essential Indoor Security Camera delivers great 1080p video and alerts that can distinguish between people, pets, vehicles, and general motion. However, to get those alerts and any type of storage, you need to subscribe to Arlo Secure (the $3 monthly fee is pretty standard for one camera). However, we found our picks to be more economical, with the top pick delivering a better 2K image.

If you can’t find our top pick: The TP-Link Kasa Spot KC400 came very close to being an also-great pick, but the Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24 provides a better image and better alerts. Also, although this model offers free local storage, it has no “event-only” option and can record only 24/7.

If you’re all-in with Apple HomeKit Secure Video: The Aqara Camera Hub G2H Pro produces a great picture, plus it’s compact, inexpensive, and doubles as a Zigbee hub so you can connect other Aqara devices (like our sensor picks). It’s also compatible with HomeKit Secure Video—however, as with other HSV cameras, we encountered issues with the service when using this camera. Still, if you’re interested in creating a setup with HSV or Aqara, this is a good little camera. If not, we think our other picks would be better.

We’ve started testing the Tapo C110 Spot 2K WiFi Camera and the Tapo C210 Pan/Tilt 2K WiFi Camera. We plan to update this guide with our results soon.

We’re also planning to test five other models:

We can’t recommend the Google Nest Cam (Indoor, Wired), although its predecessor was a pick. The Google Home app is clunky, and this camera is too expensive for a 1080p model—especially one that produces such a dark, saturated image.

The Kami Mini is priced around the same as our top picks, but the picture isn’t as sharp, the 112-degree field of view isn’t as wide, and the camera missed a bit of action in our testing. Also, the cloud plan is more expensive than those of our top picks, priced at $5 per month per camera for seven days of storage.

Unless you have the Abode Smart Security Kit, you can skip the Abode Cam 2. It lacks motion-sensitivity settings and has no free storage. Plus, storage for cloud recordings (which requires a subscription plan) is limited to just 30-second clips and leaves huge, inconsistent gaps in between them. Subscribing to a 24/7 plan solves that problem, but in our tests we found that the timeline still missed events, which means in practice you’d be scanning the entire day’s worth of footage to make sure you didn’t miss anything. You have better options, even at this low price.

The Logitech Circle View and the Eve Cam both work with Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video, which we’ve had a lot of issues with. We love how secure the format is, but it periodically misses a lot of action—sometimes for even hours or days at a time.

Although the Blink cameras we’ve tested have captured decent images, our two picks remain the better options for bargain hunters. The battery-operated Blink Indoor can record up to 60-second clips, while the Blink Mini maxes out at 30 seconds—but both leave a minimum of 10 seconds in between recordings, which means you can miss out on a lot of action. For instance, in our testing, we saw a family member come into the kitchen but missed them grabbing a snack (and in at least one instance, making a huge mess).

We dismissed the TP-Link’s Kasa Cam (KC120), GE’s Cync Indoor Smart Camera, the Blue by ADT Indoor Camera, and the Kangaroo Indoor + Outdoor Camera due to cut-off motion events, gaps in between recordings, and missed events.

The Canary, one of the largest cameras we tested, offers two-way communication with its paid Canary Membership. The relatively affordable price of the Canary View version makes the camera’s size a bit more palatable, but the image wasn’t as sharp as what we saw from our picks, and its recording was inconsistent during our testing. We disqualified the Netatmo Welcome, the Honeywell Home Lyric C2, and the D-Link DCS-8010LH due to performance issues.

We decided to take a fresh look at the Ring Indoor Cam, but after two years of owning the camera, it died—with only a few months of actual use. We see that other owners have had this problem, which may be linked to a firmware update. We’re working with Ring to find a solution.

We understand the appeal of pan-and-tilt cameras, which can follow action around the room. However, we’ve reviewed five such models so far—the Aqara Camera Hub G3, the D-Link Pan & Tilt Pro (DCS-8526LH), the Ecobee SmartCamera, the Eufy Solo IndoorCam P24, and the TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (KC410S—and we have yet to find one worthy of a recommendation.

Although many of these cameras produced a good image in our tests, we found that each of them would regularly get stuck at different angles, resulting in missed action even when that action was happening right in front of the camera. And in the case of the Eufy P24, the camera stopped moving after a few months of use (and then magically “fixed” itself).

We will continue to test new models and report back if we find one that we like. Until then, we recommend buying a stationary camera and positioning it to capture a wider area.

This article was edited by Jon Chase and Grant Clauser.

Michael Ansaldo, Best home security camera: Keep an eye on the home front, TechHive, February 22, 2022

Will Greenwald and Alex Colon, The Best Indoor Home Security Cameras for 2022, PCMag, February 17, 2022

David Priest and Megan Wollerton, Best Home Security Camera of 2022, CNET, February 21, 2022

Mike Prospero and Katie Mortram, Best home security cameras in 2022: Top wireless, indoor and outdoor models, Tom’s Guide, February 7, 2022

Rachel Cericola is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter who has been covering smart-home technology since the days of X10. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Men’s Health, USA Today, and others. She hopes her neighbors read this bio because it would explain why she always has four video doorbells running simultaneously outside her home. 

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The 2 Best Indoor Security Cameras of 2023 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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