Best Wireless Home Security Cameras of 2024

Does it work with smart home platforms? If so, do the smart features work well together? 

Nowadays, home security cameras are expected to work with at least one major smart home platform. Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit are the main ones you need to look for. Apple Home app support is usually the hardest to find.

How’s the live view? 

Wireless security cameras and video doorbells are often exposed to direct sunlight, weather and other natural elements, but many others are installed under porches, near shady trees and in all sorts of other settings. The camera must have crisp, clear video footage or even night vision so you don’t get stuck with grainy and unusable footage. 

Local vs. cloud storage

Not all video storage is equal. You have two main options and picking one is up to your personal preference. There’s cloud storage, which sends your video footage to a remote server to be saved, and local storage, which relies on a separate accessory or piece of hardware, usually a microSD card, to hold any footage you’d like to save. Usually, cloud storage requires a monthly fee, and companies typically reserve the right to share that footage with others in case of emergencies, such as an FBI search. 

Motion detection and recognition

Motion detection is one of the most important features of DIY security cameras. You’ll want a feature that automatically records video and sends you alerts when the camera picks up motion. You also don’t want to get alerts and useless videos every time leaves blow by (or cars drive by, deer walk past, etc.). That’s where object detection comes in useful: The best security cameras can distinguish between vehicles, animals and people. The best versions like Google’s AI detection can also detect packages and, if you allow them, familiar faces at your door.

Battery life and management

Wireless cams live and then literally die based on their battery life. When looking for a good battery, keep in mind that ratings are subjective, and batteries will drain faster depending on how often the camera is activated. We’ve found that most wireless security cameras fall in line with their ratings and last several months with at least a few daily activations. Ring’s Outdoor 4 cam is a notable outlier with its extra-long battery life, and solar cams offer an alternative way of charging.

No matter what battery option you pick, consider installing a wireless camera somewhere that’s relatively easy to reach to bring the camera or its battery pack inside for charging. Not everyone wants to climb a ladder every time.

Privacy and security

You may want to look up privacy policies for the camera you are interested, and see if the brand has had any recent security issues. We look for brands that act quickly and make significant changes when they find a security issue like Eufy did back in the early 2020s. We also like to see changes like Ring removing its casual option for police to request user videos.