Security cameras have made setting up basic security for your home a lot easier. If you go for basic 1080p systems, they can also be very affordable. Even better, they’re easy to set up, all while doing an excellent job of letting you keep an eye on your abode even when you’re far away.
Having a security camera inside the house is a great way to reassure yourself that everything is fine when you leave the house for extended periods, all while alerting you when potential problems occur. When it detects something is amiss, like an intruder, it can immediately send an alert to your phone, all while recording footage, so you can have a full record of what transpired. Some cameras can even help you scare off intruders with built-in sirens and two-way comms.
In our opinion, these are the best options in sub-$100 full HD home security cameras.
Wyze Cam V3
One of the best values in home security cams, this third-generation model shoots 1080p videos with a 110-degree field of view, although it doesn’t pan, so you’re stuck at whatever periphery it’s already focused on. Video quality is impressive for such an affordable price, offering one of the best footage we’ve seen, especially for scenes with more difficult lighting conditions. They offer free rolling cloud storage for 14 days’ worth of short 12-second clips, all while allowing you to store footage directly to a microSD card, so you can keep 24/7 and timelapse videos on file without having to fork out for a subscription. It has color night vision, so you can watch low-light videos without having to settle for black and white footage, with two-way comms allowing you to talk to whoever’s at home. Do note, there’s no battery on this thing, so you’ll have to plug it in at all times, which, we guess, is the tradeoff for the admittedly low price. Other features include IP65 rating (yes, you can use it outdoors), motion and sound detection (with adjustments for zones and sensitivity), IFTTT support, and an optional smart AI detection that makes the alerts so much better (needs a subscription, though). Of course, there are security concerns that came out about Wyze cameras a few months ago. While those are fixed, the time it took them to fix wasn’t impressive, so you may want to consider that when you’re shopping.
Eufy Security Solo IndoorCam P22
Eufy has an exhausting selection of security cameras. Seriously, they look like they’re trying to cover every niche. Our pick of the lot for basic 1080p home monitoring is this IndoorCam P22 model, which captures really good full HD video with a 125-degree field of view. Onboard infrared LEDs allow for 32.8 feet of black-and-white night vision, too, so you can keep up with what’s happening in your home day or night. While cameras in this price range tend to be fixed in its periphery, that’s not the case here, as it’s equipped with a motorized swivel mechanism that allows to pan horizontally a full 360 degrees, all while vertically tilting up to 96 degrees.
It comes with two-way audio, so you can talk to anyone at home, while a microSD card slot allows you to store continuous 24/7 videos locally (it supports up to 128GB). Despite the low price, it has a full complement of features, from sound and motion detection to built-in siren and voice command support (Alexa and Google Assistant). It also has some impressive AI capabilities, like crying detection, motion tracking, and pet detection (at which point, it can play a pre-recorded pet command). Seriously, it’s impressive for a cheap security camera. It is strictly for indoors, though, and requires a wired power connection. By the way, if you want sharper video, the outfit’s 2K version of this camera costs just $10 more.
Arlo Essential Indoor Camera
While Arlo arguably makes the best 4K security cam out there, we’re focusing on their low-end offering here in the form of the Arlo Essential model. This camera shoots sharp and colorful 1080p footage with a 130-degree field of view and 12X digital zoom, with the ability to shoot in black-and-white night vision in low-light conditions. It can detect sound and motion, at which point it sends push alerts and starts recording to make sure you’ve got a video account of what’s going on, although you’ll definitely want to set up motion zones via the app to ensure you minimize any false-positives, as it can be pretty sensitive.
It doesn’t come with free rolling video storage (you’ll need a subscription for that). However, if you use an Arlo Smart Hub, it can save footage to a USB drive connected to the hub instead, making it a viable alternative for folks who aren’t big fans of recurring subscription fees. Features include two-way comms, hardwired power, and built-in siren, so you can scare away any potential intruders with sound.
Google Nest Cam
This security cam can shoot in 1080p at 30 fps with a 135-degree field of view, with exceptional night vision, so you can get good visual footage in any light condition. The real-time video is sharp and consistent, with nearly lag-free transmission, while the audio is equally good, despite having a bit of echo at times. Recording duration defaults to just 30 seconds (likely, to maximize your three hours of free rolling video storage), so you don’t get a lot of footage for automatic recordings, requiring you to go into the live feed to trigger a longer recording. The recording quality is pretty good, although we feel it could be better (some details don’t quite show up clearly), but they’re still good enough that you can make out nearly everything that’s in the scene.
Not only can it detect motion, it can differentiate between people, cars, and animals, with facial recognition (it can tell you who’s home) also available as part of the optional subscription. Naturally, it fits in seamlessly with the Google Home ecosystem, albeit in an exclusive capacity, so you’re stuck with the platform if you’re using this. Other features include two-way comms, optional alerts when the camera hears alarm sounds (e.g. when the smoke alarm rings out in the house), and the ability to record up to an hour’s worth of video when the Wi-Fi cuts out. This is strictly hardwired, though, so you’ll need to keep it plugged in to a power source.