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.
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 control 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. This is used to decide whether to record a clip and/or alert you. Alerts can come to your phone and might need a custom app. Some will can also be set to activate 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 (opens in new tab) list, as well as offerings in the video doorbell camera (opens in new tab) 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. We’ve added a list of additional things to think about below the list, but for now let’s look at the cameras…
The best indoor security cameras in 2023
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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 (opens in new tab) .
In a way, the Nooie Cam 360’s most amazing feature is the price; able to turn and track pets and people (including babies) it’s ideal for nurseries without imposing too much of a threat to the wallet. Not only that, but it’s not a ploy for cash later – it can record to a local memory card (albeit with a slightly crude downloading process), so it can be used without becoming a long-term drain on a tight budget. You can also choose Nooie’s cloud service, which is based on Amazon Web Services storage and costs a very reasonable $10 a year per device for a seven-day event history.
Despite the relatively low cost, the app is clean and easy, based on a QR-code scan to set up (if you've got 2.4GHz b/g/n wi-fi available). The video has a typical security-camera frame rate of 15fps – perfectly watchable when you swipe your phone screen left or right to remotely rotate the device. The solid base means the two-way audio sounds OK and with two LEDs illuminating the night vision. The newer Nooie Cam 360 2 offers an increased 2K resolution over the 1080P HD offered by the cheaper original.
See our Nooie Cam 360 review (opens in new tab)
This indoor camera is very well equipped despite the low cost of entry; so low in fact that many HomeKit Secure Video users might struggle to believe it (and to be fair, the first ones off the line did require HomeKit setup via the Eufy app). We especially like the fact on-board recording is possible, via 24/7 or event-based capture, so signing up to the rolling 30 day service isn’t essential if you can provide your own MicroSD card (128GB equates to 240h at 2K; the video is encrypted and must be viewed via the Eufy app).
That’s not all though; RTSP support means you can stream to a NAS drive if you prefer. All the expected features – two-way-audio and notifications – are supported too. The only irritation is that all the 24/7 streams – including to HomeKit and an NAS – are limited to 1080P, but video is still clear and such a small, light and cheap device is easy to deploy. We also loved the ‘pet command’ – just record yourself saying “Stay off that couch” and it can be triggered any time the cat wanders into a defined zone!(opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab) • Best Ring cameras (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
While Amazon’s Ring series already start at a fairly reasonable price, the Blink Mini is costs even less and even smaller - and ranks as one of the best cheap security cameras (opens in new tab) around. 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 (opens in new tab). 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 our full Blink Mini review (opens in new tab)
See also: Blink vs Ring (opens in new tab): which Amazon security camera is best?
Another compact indoor camera, but it makes the list thanks to the clarity of the privacy slider. The whole gloss black face, including the lens hole, slides up revealing a clear red background and ‘camera blocked’ icon so you can feel super-confident that nothing is going on. Otherwise this is a reasonably average 1080P camera with night vision and motion sensitivity. Like the Blink Mini it requires power and has a MicroSD card slot (though, of course, GE would prefer you opt for their cloud service.
GE’s app is nice and tidy if you’re a Cync lighting user, but there isn’t a lot in the way of integrations between the devices. It’s best seen as a step in the right direction from the US giant. It’d be more reassuring if they were more open about the cloud fees though.(opens in new tab)
A relatively recent addition to the Blink line is this third-generation 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.
See our full Blink Indoor review (opens in new tab)
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. It can also be triggered by sound, and offers CO and smoke detection despite the low price tag. 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.(opens in new tab)
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.
See our full Canary Pro review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab), but a surprising secondary benefit is tidying other devices (night-light, music player, two-way speaker) out of the room.(opens in new tab)
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, and 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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
Arlo is a big name in the smart security space, so there is a fair chance you’d like an indoor camera that integrates with their system. If so, you’re in luck – the Essential Indoor Wi-Fi camera is that product. The elegant design will look good in many homes, but perhaps the best touch is the privacy shield. When the camera is ‘disarmed’ a plastic shield physically moves to block the lens which is very reassuring, while leaving open the option to remotely arm and open the cove .
Drawing power from an outlet, there is no need for batteries to stay connected, and you can opt to use this device alone (it needs a wi-fi connection) or with the extra features available through an Arlo SmartHub. Apple HomeKit users will find that Arlo’s hub is the only way many of the company’s devices can be persuaded to use Apple’s cloud storage, but Arlo does offer its own subscription.
See our full Arlo Essential Indoor review (opens in new tab)
Plenty of people place their cameras indoors looking out onto the street, but that has technical issues, especially at night, because of reflections. Panasonic’s solution is the ‘HomeHawk Window which is essentially a rectangular suction cup with a low-light camera in it (there is still no light of any form as it would reflect from double glazing).
To install the back plate comes off to reveal not only the typical MicroSD card slot and reset buttons, but a lever to suck the camera to a pane of glass. It can sync with the HomeHawk app via Blutetooth and wifi, after which the camera can provide enhanced color low-light imagery and be accessed via Alexa or Google Assistant. There is no cloud storage, but that also circumvents a subscription charge.
Clearly it’s hard to point a window as you would a camera, but person detection can be set not to trigger alerts for vehicles and the field of view is wider than most devices.
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 best outdoor security camera (opens in new tab) 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. If the camera has local video storage, like a MicroSD card (opens in new tab), be mindful of accessing that from time to time too.
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). There are a lot of brands you’ve never heard of on retail sites; in a world when even the big names have had issues it is sensible not to go with a company you couldn’t track down.
6. IFTTT: If This Then That
IFTTT is a cross-platform service that allows you to create ‘Applets’; small instructions which help meld the variety of brands many of us live with, and uncorking the true power of smart home tech. For example, you can use the GPS in your phone to turn on security, or turn off cameras) as you leave or arrive. Some cameras support the IFTTT platform, making it easy to take advantage of their motion sensing and, for example, turn smart lights on.
7. Window warning
There are two things to remember if you plan to position your camera looking through glass. Firstly check local laws about recording people in and place any required warnings. Secondly remember that night modes rely on built-in infra-red illumination which, while not visible, will reflect just like visible light. Glass will not only reflect much of the light back so it doesn’t reach your subject, but obscure the view too – double whammy.
Other useful buying guides:
Best outdoor security cameras (opens in new tab)
Best nanny camera (opens in new tab)
Best PoE cameras (opens in new tab)
Best HomeKit cameras (opens in new tab)
The best baby camera monitors (opens in new tab)
Best webcam for home working (opens in new tab)
Best dash cam (opens in new tab)
The best pet cameras (opens in new tab)
The best doorbell cameras (opens in new tab)
The best body cameras (opens in new tab) for personal security
Best camera phones (opens in new tab)
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