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The best indoor security camera for your home in 2021

best indoor security camera
(Image credit: Ring)

Looking for the best indoor security camera solution for your home or office? This guide will take you through all the best options, at a range of features, so you can choose the one that suits your needs – and tell you the best current price.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering exactly what was happening back at home, or needed to remotely reassure your favorite pet, a smart security camera is exactly what you need. The best ones offer a high definition view, built-in microphones and speakers for live chat, and simple and familiar set-up and settings via an app.

Your home Wi-Fi provides the ideal backbone for an immensely sophisticated home security system, one which can take advantage of the power of artificial intelligence, remote backup and the screen you carry with you all the time. As well as the system’s own app, look for compatibility with your preferred smart home platform e.g. (Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant/Apple HomeKit) or IFTTT (useful if you want to create more personal controls).

Rather than just record hours of footage, the cameras in this list all feature some form of motion activation and, in some cases, human detection which can decide whether to take a clip or alert you using your phone, a custom app and the alert mechanism. Some will also deactivate themselves while you’re away using geofencing.

That means choosing a camera is as much about choosing its ecosystem as the device itself; Nest, Ring, Blink, Wyze, Arlo and other brands features in this list also have cameras in our best outdoor security cameras list, as well as offerings in the video doorbell camera space. If you like a tidy smartphone without too many apps, sticking with a single brand will help.

Among the features you should look for are night vision. This is usually lit by a tiny infrared light in the camera, so the picture appears black and white but the light itself is invisible. 

Another consideration is how many cameras you’ll want; some cloud subscription charges for video recording or detection features are charged per camera. To keep this cost down, take a look at the field of view – a wider angle view (like 130˚) will give you a slightly more distorted image, but allow you to see more space with just one camera. 

If you are in a rented space, installing indoor cameras is unlikely to upset your landlord; most can be placed on a shelf or using magnets which prevents damage. You should give a little thought to whether you’ll upset the privacy of visitors or colleagues; some camera apps offer features to help control this. In some States (and the UK) it might be worth researching CCTV warning stickers if you’re recording members of the public.

The best indoor security cameras in 2021

(Image credit: Nest)

Best indoor security camera for smart home integration

Specifications
Resolution: 1080p Full HD
Field of view: 130˚
Night vision: Yes
Smart home integration: Yes; Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
:
Cloud storage: Yes, up to 30 days
Monthly fee: $5 or £5 (30 day events) or $10 / £10 (60 day events + 10 days 24/7 video
Audio: Yes, two-way
Local storage: No
Movement detection: Yes
Person detection: Optional
Activity zone: Yes
Power source: Plug-in USB
Size: 76 x 46 x 46mm
Weight: 213g
Reasons to buy
+High quality materials+Nest integration+Subscription per camera 
Reasons to avoid
-Supplied with mis-matched cable color

The Nest Cam makes plug-and-play simplicity the central aspect of its offering; it comes in elegant packaging with a 3m USB lead which supplies the power, using your local wi-fi network to send a live 1080P stream to your Nest app. That feed can be recorded with the Nest Aware service but even without a subscription you’ll receive alerts and can pop into the app and see 3 hours of activity as still photos. If you have a Nest Thermostat, each Nest Cam you add appears as a small view on your app’s home screen and you can tap on it for more details. You will not find it short of features, but usability is excellent. The camera is manufactured from quality materials too, which tells in its surprising heft, something easily explained away when you remember the base is magnetic; yes, you can stick it to your fridge if you like. The camera isn’t the cheapest but you can easily reposition it as you need, the Nest software is one of the best behaved of any in the category, and the cloud features are either good at a reasonable cost or amazing – ten days continuous history and 60 days of clips – for a more challenging amount.

See Nest Cam Indoor review

(Image credit: Nest)

2. Google Nest Cam IQ

Best indoor security camera for recording detail

Specifications
Resolution: 1080p Full HD
Field of view: 130˚
Night vision: Yes
Smart home integration: Yes; Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
:
Cloud storage: Yes, up to 30 days
Monthly fee: $5 or £5 (30 day events) or $10 / £10 (60 day events + 10 days 24/7 video
Audio: Yes, two-way
Local storage: No
Movement detection: Yes
Person detection: Optional
Activity zone: Yes
Power source: Plug-in USB
Size: 124 x 74 x 74mm
Weight: 357g
Reasons to buy
+Built-in smart speaker+Good intelligence systems
Reasons to avoid
-No local storage-Quite Large

The IQ takes an already high-end device and boosts the features (and, of course, price). That not insignificant extra outlay buys you an 8-megapixel sensor capable of 12x digital zoom (beating 3MP and 8x respectively on the junior sibling), so the picture is great and you can look in very closely, but despite having the pixels the camera still only outputs 1080P. The main advantage of this extra zoom is ‘Supersight’, the person-detection function which automatically zooms in on those it spots (saving you the effort of pinch-and-zoom). The system is well implemented, making use of picture-in-picture and showing sensible detail depending on whether you’re using a phone or computer display. If you do have a Nest Aware subscription, you can also enable facial recognition; this improved the detail you get in text alerts. Finally the camera has Google Assistant built-in, so you can talk to it just like any other smart speaker, and a cool glowing circular light around the rim. 

(Image credit: Ring)

Smart indoor security camera which has a special relationship with Alexa

Specifications
Resolution: 1080p Full HD
Field of view: 140˚
Night vision: Yes
Smart home integration: Yes; Amazon Alexa
Cloud storage: Yes, up to 30 days
Monthly fee: $3 / £2.5 (one cam) or $10 / £8 (unlimited devices)
Audio: Yes, two-way
Local storage: No
Movement detection: Yes
Person detection: Yes
Activity zone: Yes
Power source: Plug-in
Size: 76 x 46 x 46mm
Weight: 105g
Reasons to buy
+Good level of choice+Available in black or white
Reasons to avoid
-Two-way talk-Half-hearted integration with Ring alarm

Amazon’s Ring series of cameras – offered in black or white to fit any room – are simple to install, and not only can you see a live view via a phone app but if you have an Echo Show (Alexa with a screen) you just need to ask. The system is backed up by an integrated cloud service, of which you get a 30-day free trial, called Ring Protect, and offers phone alerts when it spots motion in an area of the camera’s view you define from the 140˚ field of view. A really nice touch is that the camera is offered as a basic model at a price to beat its competitor from Nest, but if you want extras – like battery backup or weather protection – you can choose different models with similar styling (though, oddly, ever-so-slightly narrower fields of view). There’s even a Solar HD option for the outdoor version, and a special app, Neighbors by Ring, to build a neighborhood watch group.

Read more: Ring Indoor Cam review

(Image credit: Amazon)

Best budget indoor security camera

Specifications
Resolution: 1080p Full HD
Field of view: 110˚
Night vision: Yes
Smart home integration: Yes; Amazon Alexa
Cloud storage: Yes, up to 60 day clips
Monthly fee: $3 / £2.5 (one cam), or $10 / £8 (unlimited devices)
Audio: Yes, two-way
Local storage: No
Movement detection: Yes
Person detection: No
Activity zone: Yes
Power source: Plug-in
Size: 50 x 49 x 36mm
Weight: 48g
Reasons to buy
+Excellent product design+High quality app+Works with Echo Show
Reasons to avoid
-Only compatible with Amazon Smart home-Slight click when night-vision comes on

While Amazon’s Ring series already start at a fairly reasonable price, the Blink Mini is even cheaper and even smaller. Despite that, its cunning design allows the base to be connected to either the bottom or the back of the camera, or detached altogether, for different and discrete mounting options. There’s also a cable tidy. The camera is easy to set up and captures very natural color, which – with the optional Sync Module 2 – can be recorded without subscription to a MicroSD card. In night mode the infrared light (invisible to people) seems to flood subjects, but it can be turned down in the settings. Even though this camera is so accessibly priced, it is compatible with Echo Show (Alexa with a screen) and has a fully featured app (iOS/Android) – the only thing that’s missing is a simple way to dismiss the red-circle notification alert without deleting footage.
See full Blink Mini review

(Image credit: Amazon)

Battery powered smart security cam which can go anywhere inside

Specifications
Resolution: 1080p Full HD
Field of view: 110˚
Night vision: Yes
Smart home integration: Yes; Amazon Alexa
Cloud storage: Yes, up to 60 day clips
Monthly fee: $3 / £2.5 (one cam), or $10 / £8 (unlimited devices)
Audio: Yes, two-way
Local storage: via Sync Module
Movement detection: Yes
Person detection: No
Activity zone: Yes
Power source: 2xAA Batteries or Micro USB
Size: 71 x 71 x 31mm
Weight: 390g
Reasons to buy
+No wires+Extensive sensitivity options
Reasons to avoid
-Narrower View than many-30-second clip length default limit

A relatively recent addition to the Blink line is a refreshed indoor model which strips the weatherproofing but still offers power from two AA cells rather than USB. Setting this up can be considerably less than irksome than running another cable around your home, and like its Blink Outdoor cousin the battery will manage an impressive two years (though only if it’s not triggered too often). The camera is 1080P, so it holds up against others. On the downside, you can’t record an extended live view without pressing a button on your app, but the software is well designed, and it’s easy to use features like the two-way talk. The app makes it straightforward to limit alert regions as well as time and sensitivity for the motion trigger; you can even mark areas for non-recording for privacy or, at the other end of the scale, disable the camera’s blinking status light for discretion. A mount is included in the box. As with the Blink Mini, you can record footage locally but the Sync Module 2 is essential – not optional – and necessary with your first Blink camera; that’s why you’ll see them sold in ‘kit’ and ‘add-on camera’ packs.

(Image credit: Wyze)

360° security camera with powered Pan / Tilt / Zoom

Specifications
Resolution: 1080p Full HD
Field of view: 360˚ (motorized pan)/ 120˚ (lens)
Night vision: Yes
Smart home integration: Yes; Amazon Alexa, Hey Google, IFTTT
Cloud storage: Yes
Monthly fee: $1.99
Audio: Yes, two-way
Local storage: Yes, MicroSD
Movement detection: Yes
Person detection: Yes
Activity zone: Yes
Power source: Plug-in
Size: 128 x 60 x 60mm
Weight: 544g
Reasons to buy
+3 months free subscription+Color night vision
Reasons to avoid
-Limited to 8-32GB MicroSD-Only 15fps

The original Wyze Cam compact cubic camera could do a lot for comparatively little, so where could they go next? It turned out that, while staying true to the competitive pricing, the next step was a version which can physically pan 360˚ in 3 seconds. Ideal if you want to position it somewhere central in a big kitchen/diner and define up to 4 waypoints the camera can turn to and monitor. Admittedly the camera does seem to have a habit of panning a little over enthusiastically, and at 15fps the video could be smoother, but the field of view is large enough to see a rogue dog anyway. In fact the ability to pan is superbly suited to keeping an eye on pets (or raccoons) exploring and you can always at least give them a verbal warning via the two-way speaker. A nice plus is, if mounted off the horizontal, the pan still works and – if you’re interested – you can choose to have a box highlight the motion the camera spotted.

(Image credit: Canary)

Best smart camera for

Specifications
Resolution: 1080p Full HD
Field of view: 147˚
Night vision: Yes
Smart home integration: Yes; Amazon Alexa, Hey Google, IFTTT
Cloud storage: Yes
Monthly fee: $9.99
Audio: Yes, two-way
Local storage: No
Movement detection: Yes
Person detection: Yes
Activity zone: Yes
Power source: Plug-in
Size: 152 x 76 x 76mm
Weight: 396g
Reasons to buy
+Wi-Fi or Ethernet+Air Quality monitoring
Reasons to avoid
-Above average monthly costs-Two way talk requires subscription

It’s not the smallest, or the newest, but the Canary Pro has an elegance all of its own which is why you might find it just fits better with your home’s look than others. It’s also one of the few smart cameras which includes an ethernet socket, which may excite some looking to reduce the load on their wi-fi. Whichever way you choose to connect, alerts and clips are streamed to the app which is actually enjoyable to browse, and there’s an ear-splitting 90dB siren built-in should you want to ‘surprise’ any unwelcome guests you spot while monitoring. The Pro also boasts air quality, temperature and humidity monitoring and tracking which can be strangely fascinating.

The cost of ownership of the Canary Pro, or indeed its siblings, is a little higher than competitors if you choose to use the cloud service (and you will be nudged hard in that direction when setting up), but if you side-step that you do get one day’s storage of clips which is better than most.

(Image credit: Arlo)

8. Arlo Baby

Best smart camera for baby monitoring with air quality detection

Specifications
Resolution: 1080P
Field of view: 130˚
Night vision: Yes
Smart home integration: Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Hey Google, IFTTT
Cloud storage: Yes
Monthly fee: $2.99
Audio: Yes, two-way
Local storage: No
Movement detection: Yes
Person detection: No
Activity zone: Yes
Power source: Plug-in, Battery (3-6h)
Size: 76 x 46 x 46mm
Weight: 105g
Reasons to buy
+Unique design+Integrates with Arlo security cameras
Reasons to avoid
-Battery doesn't last a whole night-No pan/tilt

Just to clear something up, the Arlo Baby can be physically twisted so the “head” is looking where you want it, but it’s not motorized for remote adjustment. What you can do is adjust the field of view in the app (from 90˚to 130˚) so there is still a good deal of flexibility. Better still, the app can also remotely engage a white noise generator, lullaby player and hue-adjustable night light. Having seen some of my young son’s kids TV preferences, I can see why this would appeal, and you can detach those cute ears as soon as he or she announces they are too grown up. In terms of sensors, there is a thermometer, humidity sensor and Volatile Organic Compound detector (which would spot Methane, Carbon Monoxide, or an especially strong fart). The video quality is excellent, comfortably beating most baby camera monitors, but a surprising secondary benefit is tidying other devices (night-light, music player, two-way speaker) out of the room.

(Image credit: Eufy)

9. Eufy Indoor Cam 2K Pan & Tilt

Best PTZ home security camera

Specifications
Resolution: 2K
Field of view: 360˚ (base) / 125˚ (lens)
Night vision: Yes
Smart home integration: Yes; Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Hey Google
Cloud storage: Yes
Monthly fee: $2.99
Audio: Yes, two-way
Local storage: Yes, SD card
Movement detection: Yes
Person detection: No
Activity zone: Yes
Power source: Plug-in
Size: 75 x 75 x 108mm
Weight: 217g
Reasons to buy
+Human, pet & crying detection+Pan and tilt 
Reasons to avoid
-Can't angle down far-Not compatible with Eufy homebase

The Eufy 2K cameras, including this pan-and-tilt version (PTZ) and a more traditional cube, take advantage of their crisper image resolution to help the on-device AI detect humans or pets and determine if what’s happening is relevant to you. They’ve also managed to beat the big names in terms of smart home integration; unlike some Eufy doesn’t have a reason not to play nice with Apple HomeKit so, refreshingly, it does work. Night light infrared manages 10m/30ft thanks to eight LEDs, and on the reverse is a MicroSD card slot for recording footage to. There is also a Micro USB socket for power and, on the base, a sturdy mounting plate attachment. Setup is made easy by the app, and it seems to offer no complaints about choosing the local storage option even though there is no subscription (admittedly your footage is potentially only stored within reach of a bad actor). Ultimately, though, it’s great to be able to choose whether you want a fee-paying subscription or not and still get to record. 

(Image credit: Yi)

10. Yi Kami Home

Accessibly priced AI smart camera

Specifications
Resolution: 1080P
Field of view: 112˚
Night vision: Yes
Smart home integration: Yes; Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
Cloud storage: Yes
Monthly fee: $2.99
Audio: Yes, two-way
Local storage: Yes, up to 128GB via microSD card
Movement detection: Yes
Person detection: No
Activity zone: Yes
Power source: Plug-in
Size: 75 x 75 x 108mm
Weight: 217g
Reasons to buy
+Very reasonably priced+Local storage is free+AI face & human detection
Reasons to avoid
-Local storage is free-No battery 

You get a lot for your money with the Kami mini cameras; the 1080P camera provides a good resolution view which is bolstered by the 8 built-in infrared LED lights at night. The human detection makes for better alerts and simple motion, so your phone won’t be screaming about pets minding their own business, and the face detection makes reviewing footage extra efficient by summarizing everyone who’s been in frame. The device works with Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as YI Cloud, so should sit nicely with a smart home. Better still, 6 second clips are stored for 24 hours on the cloud for free. There are also a good range of Yi cameras, including a dome-like PTZ model and outdoor ones, and the firm has developed their app well in recent years. The app has received a lot of development, with nice touches like gyroscope pan/tilt (when zoomed in), and in terms of child care there is the ability to listen for crying as well as strong invisible night lighting and two-way audio. 


How to choose a home security camera

1. Location
Think about where you want to put each camera; is that area subject to water ingress (in which case, look at our outdoor cameras list). Think too about how you will power the camera? Some have built in batteries, others need constant power – so will need access to a socket.

2. Privacy
It’s also worth considering privacy; if the camera is making a recording, can it simply be played or will the recording require a password to play? If the recording is only accessible by app, then it’ll probably need a password. Will other users share your account (or be suspicious if you don’t share)?

3. AI features
Something you absolutely shouldn’t neglect is person or pet detection of some form (and whether it’s in the camera or only available via the subscription). It makes a massive difference because the better the detection system, the less likely the system is to alert you with unwanted false alarms.

4. Subscription options
Understanding what you do, and don’t get, for the tier of subscription you choose is significant. Manufacturers are keen to sell AI features, but in reality they’re often dependent on the fee – so are you happy to pay it? In most cases you don’t have to, but you’ll get little more than live view and two-way talk (features which require no third-location server support).

Other useful buying guides: 

Best outdoor security cameras

Best PoE cameras

Best HomeKit cameras

The
best baby camera monitors 

Best webcam for home working

Best dash cam in 2021

The best pet cameras

The best doorbell cameras

The best body cameras for personal security

Best camera phones in 2021

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Adam Juniper

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 


Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 


He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook