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The best CCTV camera in 2022: the best way to monitor your home

Best CCTV camera: Ring Stick Up Camera Battery on a wall
(Image credit: Ring)

Choosing the best CCTV camera isn’t just a matter of picking the best camera. You need to choose your preferred connection technology, where you’d prefer to store recordings, what kind of sensors will help detect an intruder, and the quality of a camera’s AI and alerts. You will even need to consider your budget for cloud storage.

For the most part, the choice is between a system with a recording unit (an NVR or Networked Video Recorder) – and internet-connected cameras which record clips to a cloud-based storage service, typically only when they detect motion.

Both genres have learned from each other and now features are spreading from one to another. That said, if you have distinct ideas already do check out our separate lists:

Best NVR system (opens in new tab)
Best IP camera (opens in new tab)
Best PoE cameras (opens in new tab)
Best outdoor security cameras (opens in new tab)
Best Indoor security cameras (opens in new tab)

An adjunct to all this is the arrival in many homes of Alexa or Google Assistant, frequently in a device with a display. These make ideal speakers for the cameras to announce alerts before displaying anything of concern on screen. At the same time Apple are finally bringing a healthy range of features to their HomeKit device compatibility tool, bringing Siri into this space as well as granting it the ability to establish automations based on camera-based motion alerts.

Making the right choice also depends on the purely practical; not all cameras are wired which might seem advantageous at first, but running a cable can protect the security of the camera itself. Wi-fi cameras rely on wi-fi and battery (with the occasional visit), which also means they’ll need a good connection. With that in mind, our list offers a choice for every home. 

Best CCTV camera in 2022

(Image credit: Amazon)
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Ring Stick Up Cam Battery

A camera ready to turn the sun to its advantage

Specifications

Storage: internal
Field of view: 110-degrees horizontal
Video: : 1080P
Sound: Yes, 2-way
Connection: 2.4/5GHz wi-fi
Power: Battery (removable)
Night vision: Yes (5m / 15ft)
Weatherproofing: IP67 (cameras)
Dimensions: 117 x 60 x 60 mm

Reasons to buy

+
Wire-free installation (or solar panel)
+
Swappable battery for uninterrupted functionality
+
Motion detection
+
Supports Alexa and IFTTT

Reasons to avoid

-
Recording requires subscription
-
Lacks modern AI features
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For indoor use only, a cheaper option is available

Ring’s cameras have an unusual cylindrical appearance, which makes them easy to re-purpose, indoors and out, as the need changes. Alternatively, if you’re opting for a permanent position, a Ring Solar Panel can be acquired to keep the battery topped up and prevent any drilling to run cables. Ring’s batteries are standard to the brand so buying a spare and charging it (a process which takes about 5 hours) can be achieved indoors, followed by a simple swap at the camera site – less time up a ladder than some technologies require.

In most regards, the Ring is much like other wi-fi security cameras, depending on an internet connection and a cloud subscription (from $3/£2.50/month) for review of the 1080P video, but the ability to recharge and replace the battery makes its future seem more flexible than some.

It’s also worth noting that the Ring camera range offers the ‘Elite’ with PoE connectivity, offering even more choice for the drill-happy!

(Image credit: Google)
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Google Nest Cam

Best of both worlds: internet features and video scrub

Specifications

Storage: internal
Field of view: 130-degrees (110 horizontal)
Video: : 1080P (8MP image sensor)
Sound: Yes, 2-way
Connection: 2.4/5GHz wi-fi
Power: USB 2.5m / 8ft
Night vision: Yes (5m / 15ft)
Weatherproofing: IP67 (cameras)
Dimensions: 127 x 81 x 81 mm

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in power and connection backups
+
Elegant design looks good in most places
+
24/7 scrub option

Reasons to avoid

-
Not compatible with Nest app; uses Google Home
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Proprietary power connection
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Topping up battery 

The Nest Camera features a built-in battery and storage, meaning it can keep running – for a while at least – without power or an internet connection. It is, nevertheless, very much a modern connected device, taking advantage of cloud processing for AI and storage when it can. The design is elegant and discrete, the only worry being mounting beyond reach of unwelcome visitors since the mount is magnetic, wonderfully easy to position, but not secure alone. On the plus side, the digital zoom backed by 8MP sensor means placing high is OK.

Owners have the choice between no cloud storage (live video & 3 hours of clips only), longer event storage (like typical smart cameras) or the ability to scrub back through every moment 24/7 (like an NVR). The latter requires a higher subscription fee, but helps the inevitable moments of interest which even the best AI can miss. With either subscription, you also get Familiar Faces, AI to identify and ignore familiar faces, a useful way to minimize false positives.

Note: There is also a non-battery Nest Cam Wired (opens in new tab) option.

(Image credit: Lorex)
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Lorex N4K3-168BB-1 NVR bundle

Uncompromising NVR and cameras for high resolution recording

Specifications

Storage: NVR, 2 HDD Bays
Field of view: 105-degrees
Video: : 4K @ 15fps
Sound: Yes, 2-way
Connection: 2.4GHz wi-fi
Power: USB (8ft
Night vision: Yes (5m / 15ft)
Weatherproofing: IP67 (cameras)
Dimensions: 53 x 328 mm (NVR) 70 x 70 x 180 mm (cameras)

Reasons to buy

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Supports PoE on eight connections
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iOS, Android and Apple TV support
+
Active deterrence (lights and sirens in cameras)
+
Review for motion in an area of interest with Area Search.

Reasons to avoid

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No HomeKit support
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Flexibility of 16 channels pushes price up

This bundle provides 3TB of storage and a 16-channel NVR (8 PoE) with eight 4K cameras, enough high-resolution imagery for a big home, though it can be added to with wireless accessories too. The single cable run from hub to cameras can be up 100m (328ft), and extended further with a powered switch. With HVEC and two hard drive bays there is plenty of storage, while the option to use Lorex’s ‘Smart Motion Detect Plus’ offers face or person and vehicle detection, with associated push notifications. Lorex Home is optional but brings remote viewing to Android, iOS and Apple TV, while voice commands can access live footage on Alexa and Google Assistant.

The E841CA-E bullet cameras are classic poseable outdoor models, available in a choice of black or white to suit their home, waterproof thanks to the aluminum housing, and offering HDR and color night vision. They can be installed anywhere a Cat 5e (or better) cable can reach.

• See other NVR camera systems (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Logitech)
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Logitech Logi Circle View

Looks like a webcam, but can see a lot more

Specifications

Storage: (via iCloud)
Field of view: 180-degrees diagonal
Video: : 1920 x 1080
Sound: Yes, 2-way
Connection: 2.4GHz wi-fi
Power: USB 3m / 10ft
Night vision: Yes (4.5m / 15ft)
Weatherproofing: IP64
Dimensions: 57 x 67 x 71 mm

Reasons to buy

+
Wide field of view
+
HomeKit fans have a limited selection
+
Tip-for-privacy, well suited to indoor use

Reasons to avoid

-
Wired power needs connection
-
Design could be too discrete to deter?
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Requires iCloud subscription 

While most accessories are built with apps for iPhone and Android – and this is true when it comes to security kit too – it’s harder to get complete control from a single software location, which means it’s tricky to take advantage of the true dream of the smart home; for one device to trigger another. The Circle View is the revised version of the Circle 2 (don’t worry, most numbers still count up) and it complies with Apple’s standard which means it can be used in “Automations,” for example to turn on lights indoors if motion is detected by the outdoor camera. All of this is handled by a single Apple app, Home, which (as of iOS 15.4 anyway) is broadly feature-matched with leading competitors including customizable Activity Zones, rich notifications and intelligent detection. If you’ve already got iCloud, storage won’t even cost you extra – a big plus. 

(Image credit: Eufy)
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EufyCam 2C Pro 2-Cam Kit

Easy-to-setup deterrent system with wireless cameras

Specifications

Storage: 16GB eMMC
Field of view: 135-degrees
Video: : 2K
Sound: Yes, 2-way
Connection: 2.4GHz wi-fi
Power: Battery
Night vision: Yes (35m / 115ft)
Weatherproofing: IP67 (cameras)
Dimensions: 127 x 81 x 81 mm

Reasons to buy

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Record on site without subscription
+
Ecosystem includes keypads, doorbells and motion sensors
+
100% wire-free setup

Reasons to avoid

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16GB Storage smaller than most NVRs
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Battery charging 

EufyCam’s home system features a hub, similar to an NVR, and separate cameras, but saves on the install by using wi-fi cameras powered by batteries which can last up to 180 days. In one bundle the company has side-stepped both the hidden cost and the tricky install concerns which concern many.

The cameras themselves are smart, with definable detection zones, the ability to differentiate people from other movement, and built-in lights offering enough illumination to provide color night light as an alternative to infra-red. 

Compatibility is good too, with the ability to connect to Alexa for control and playback, or to be commandeered by HomeKit. The 6,700mAh batteries will need charging, which means positioning cameras somewhere accessible for you (but not for intruders). Some might feel the 16GB hub could be more capacious (it loops over previous records automatically); it’s a shame there is no MicroSD slot like Swann provide, but overall this is an effective setup for a limited investment. 

(Image credit: Amazon)
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Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

A video doorbell can also be a discrete CCTV camera

Specifications

Storage: 16GB eMMC
Field of view: 135-degrees
Video: : 1536 x 1536 px
Sound: Yes, 2-way
Connection: 2.4/5GHz wi-fi
Power: Hardwire doorbell wiring
Night vision: Yes (35m / 115ft)
Weatherproofing: IP67 (cameras)
Dimensions: 114 x 49 x 22 mm

Reasons to buy

+
3D Motion detection
+
Normally installed using existing wires
+
Integration with Alexa and IFTTT

Reasons to avoid

-
Cheaper doorbells are available
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No HomeKit support
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Most practical with subscription

If you’re looking to add CCTV camera to your home, a great place to start is with a video doorbell; not only is it a subtle way to place a camera on your carefully decorated habitat, but it offers the bonus of communication with visitors when you’re out. While some of the more hopeful claims of other vendors need to be taken with a pinch of salt (plenty of couriers disappear rather than press one), if you opt for cloud storage you can review your visitors.

There are a lot of doorbell cameras (opens in new tab) out there now, but few good ones; we like the Pro 2 because it doesn’t make sacrifices for battery use – these nearly always result in the doorbell being too slow to initiate contact when pressed. We also appreciate that, despite features like two-way talk, it can still do the basics and ring your home’s original doorbell chime. 

See also
• Best body cameras (opens in new tab)
• Best dash cams (opens in new tab)
• Best helmet cameras (opens in new tab)
• Best pet cameras (opens in new tab)
• Best spy cameras (opens in new tab)
Best HomeKit camera (opens in new tab)
• Best PoE camera (opens in new tab)
Best fake security camera (opens in new tab)
• Best baby camera monitors (opens in new tab)

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