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 2022
Nest is making on-device Machine Learning a big part of its new cameras, as well as polishing the styling into a more lamp-like look, made partly from recycled content. With a cable over 3m long (10’), you’ll have no problem positioning it to get a clear view of a room, and it connects via the newer Google Home app. The onboard AI distinguishes between people and other moving subjects (like pets), so alerts can be faster than those which depend on server-based systems and (perhaps more excitingly) don’t require the payment of a monthly fee.
We liked the range of styles, including the option of a wood-effect base, and cannot argue with the simplicity of the guided install and operation of the Google Home app or using the Nest Aware subscription to scroll back through time. The three hours free event storage included seems like it might lure you into one of these packages! The option of having the camera remain inactive until you leave the home is very reassuring, too, and easily set up.
This replaces the older Nest Cam Indoor, which might be around for a bargain price. See our Nest Cam Indoor review
If you’re a fan of the Google Home system, then the new Nest Cam offers the most flexibility, with a 6,000 mAh battery meaning you can pick it up and move it around the home, charging it up potentially as infrequently as every couple of months. The appeal of this camera over other Nest models is the on-board processing power which identifies people, animals, vehicles (yes, it can be placed outdoors) and can alert you accordingly without any extra subscription fee.
The camera has all the trimmings you’d expect at this price – a quality 1080P camera capable of night vision, two-way talk etc. – but it doesn’t include a stand as despite the name it’s positioned more as an outdoor product; a similarly styled wired camera is expected in 2022 to complement this (and replace the current number 1 on our list).
You’ll need to decide whether that extra flexibility is beneficial (perhaps the kids are always moving from the garden to playroom?) is worth the cost.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
This is a matter of when numbers 2 and 4 (Privacy and Cloud Subscription) collide; cloud subscriptions are a significant part of this industry and you need to ask yourself how confident you are that you’re sharing your data with the right organisation. Look for systems in which any remote storage is encrypted (i.e. so it can never be understood by the cloud location). If you don’t trust the company, don’t send the data (video from your home).
Other useful buying guides:
The best body cameras for personal security