The 10 Best Wireless Security Cameras of 2021

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The 10 Best Wireless Security Cameras of 2021

We love the convenience and flexibility of wireless home security cameras. One of our favorites, the Arlo Pro 4, is 100% wire-free. Its Wi-Fi conn

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We love the convenience and flexibility of wireless home security cameras. One of our favorites, the Arlo Pro 4, is 100% wire-free. Its Wi-Fi connection and battery make it easy to install practically anywhere a ladder can reach. At $200, this is an expensive security camera (still much cheaper than its predecessor, Arlo Pro 3), but we think it’s worth the investment.

Find out which cameras on our list are truly wireless, which ones you can use indoors and outdoors, and what smart features each one offers in our comparison table and security camera reviews below.


Ring Stick Up Cam Battery: Best outdoor camera

The Ring Stick Up Cam Battery is completely wire-free, so you have a ton of flexibility in where you put it. And it costs around $100, making it one of the most affordable security cameras you can use both indoors and outdoors.

Pro Heading

Pros
Pro BulletNo power cables to wrangle
Pro BulletIndoor/outdoor capability
Pro BulletMotion-activated sensors
Pro BulletAlexa compatibility

Con Heading

Cons
Con BulletTedious process to recharge battery
Con BulletShort battery life

We think the Stick Up Cam Battery is best for people that need a wireless outdoor camera on a budget. Ring also has one of the most competitive cloud storage plans on the market, costing just $3 a month for 60 days of storage. It’s an ideal wireless camera for an Alexa smart home, though we’d like it better if it supported Google Assistant and HomeKit like Arlo does.

We’ve seen reports of short battery life on Ring products (some say it lasts about a month), and recharging the Stick Up Cam is a tedious process since you need to remove the battery each time. While there’s a wired option for this camera—Stick Up Cam Plug-In—you lose the flexibility of installing it anywhere.

You can get a solar panel accessory so you don’t need to remove the battery as often, but it’ll cost you extra. Read our full Ring Stick Up Cam review to learn more about this great little camera—or check out our Ring Alarm review to see how Ring products all work together.

 

3. Wyze Cam Pan: Best indoor budget camera

The Wyze Cam Pan can scan an entire room in just three seconds. You can adjust settings with the Pan Scan feature to automatically scan an area to your specifications. This little Wi-Fi camera’s motion tracking is also cool—if a kid or dog runs through the room, the camera will follow all the action. (No more arguments about who broke the lamp.)

Pro Heading

Pros
Pro BulletAffordable price
Pro Bullet360° coverage with Pan Scan
Pro BulletSmart motion tracking
Pro BulletFree rolling 14-day cloud storage

Con Heading

Cons
Con BulletWired power cord
Con BulletHit-and-miss motion alerts

Plus, you can pick up the Wyze Cam Pan for under $40, making it one of the best values in security cameras. We’re especially big fans of Wyze’s free cloud storage that saves small 12-second clips for up to 14 days.

The Wyze Cam Plus paid cloud storage plan allows for full-length video clips and is better for folks wanting better video recording without buying a microSD card. It’s also one of the cheapest plans from any security camera company—costing just $2 a month or $15 for an annual plan.

One of the only things we don’t like is that you need a power cord, which limits placement options. Read our full Wyze Cam review.

4. Reolink Argus 3: Best solar camera

We like the Reolink Argus 3 because it works just as well indoors as it does outdoors. It doesn’t hurt that it’s the most affordable solar security camera available.

You can pick up a Reolink solar panel for around $25, which is half the price of solar panels for Arlo and Ring cameras. Combined with the low price of the Argus 3, which performs on nearly the same level as Arlo Pro 4, it’s an easy solar camera choice for most folks.

Pro Heading

Pros
Pro BulletAffordable (especially the solar panels)
Pro BulletExcellent video quality
Pro BulletBright spotlight
Pro BulletMicroSD video storage

Con Heading

Cons
Con BulletNo removable battery
Con BulletNo motion zones

This camera uses a rechargeable battery or solar power, so you have a lot of flexibility about where to place it. Still, the camera doesn’t have a removable battery like Arlo Pro 4 and Ring Stick Up Cam—you can’t swap a spare in when needed. In our experience, the battery drains fairly quickly if you record or stream video often without the solar panel accessory.

While Reolink’s cloud storage isn’t as good as the options from our top three picks, its microSD card slot gives it a local storage advantage over Arlo and Ring. During our tests, we noticed that this camera lacks motion zones and has a narrower field of view (120º) than average, but it’s still a worthwhile choice for most folks.

Its starlight night vision gives you clear images up to 33 feet without any extra ambient light. Overall we found setup easy and the camera outperformed our expectations, so we’re big fans of Reolink. Read our Reolink cameras review to learn more.

5. Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor: High-tech pick

The Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor is awesome when it comes to image, video, and sound quality. Plus, it has person alerts and a built-in Google Assistant so you can use it as a virtual assistant to control your smart home. The built-in Google Assistant is especially helpful—you don’t need to buy as many smart speakers for your home when your security camera can pull double-duty.

Pro Heading

Pros
Pro BulletGreat video quality
Pro BulletCompatibility with Google Assistant, Alexa, and other Nest products
Pro BulletCrystal clear two-way audio
Pro BulletQuality design and aesthetic

Con Heading

Cons
Con BulletHigh price point
Con BulletRequired Nest Aware subscription for coolest features

For some, that may be worth the $300 price tag. But while we like the smart functions and home automation compatibility of the Nest Cam IQ, many of the cameras we looked at offer the same perks at a more reasonable price.

The fact that you can’t use many of the best features (including video recording) unless you sign up for a monthly subscription is a big downer. But at least the monthly subscription is a lot cheaper and gives more storage than in the past. We especially like that you don’t need to pay a separate fee for each camera in your home.

6. Canary: Smart home pick

The Canary Pro combines home security features like a siren and environmental sensors with a smart home security camera. And don’t let the small, unobtrusive design fool you. Canary has packed enough security features into this Wi-Fi camera to make it qualify for home insurance discounts from many major insurers. It’s essentially a small security system, right down to a loud siren and quick access to emergency response services.

We love the Climate Monitor sensors since they allow Canary to track the humidity, temperature, and air quality in your home. This means that the camera can sense if the fireplace isn’t fully out or let you know if someone left the tub running.

If you subscribe to the Canary Premium Service plan (about $10 a month), the camera gains access to 30 days of cloud video storage instead of the single day included with the free plan. You can also download videos and unlock two-way audio, though these are often a free features with other brands. Overall, the premium plan is good but a bit too pricey for the added benefits.

We wish it had a little more power when it comes to night vision—it only sees about 20 feet in the dark. But the rest of its superpowers still make this little camera a strong contender. Read our full Canary review.

7. Amcrest 4MP UltraHD Indoor: Free storage pick

At SafeWise, we’re Amcrest fans, and this wireless indoor security camera doesn’t disappoint. Its remote pan-and-tilt function, easy setup, and variety of video storage options make this one of the best cameras available for under $100.

While this camera records video without issues, there’s a noticeable lag when you stream live video. Unfortunately, the user manual is hard to follow, and mounting the Amcrest 4MP UltraHD on the wall limits the camera’s rotation options. But we still like the free cloud storage and the addition of two-way talk.

8. YI Dome Camera U: Privacy pick

The YI Dome Camera U makes us think a little of R2-D2. It’s cute and looks like the type of tech you can count on to stay in touch with kids and pets when you can’t be at home. The anti-noise filter makes it easy to listen for baby’s cries or chat with kids about homework after school. You can even tell Rover to get off the sofa.

Its biggest improvement over the original YI Dome Camera is a physical privacy shutter you can close to prevent the camera from recording when you want more privacy in a space.

Another great feature of this wireless security camera is unlimited free cloud storage. But watch out if you’re an Android user—there are several reported issues with the Android app. Learn more about YI in our YI Home Camera 3 review.

9. Abode Iota: Home security pick

The Abode Iota is a high-end home security camera and security system in one. This compact device delivers two-way talk, high video quality, and sensitive motion detection. It also comes with the option to add 24/7 professional monitoring. That gives you a direct link to help through a monitoring center without buying any additional security equipment.

Best of all, Abode’s professional monitoring starts at just $8 per month, and there’s no contract required. Read our full Abode Home Security review.

10. Blink Indoor: Indoor wire-free pick

Blink is an Amazon-owned security camera company that focuses on budget cameras. Its latest product is the Blink Indoor, an attractive little camera. You can buy this camera for about $80, making it cheaper than other wire-free cameras thanks to an indoor-only design.

Like all Amazon smart devices, this camera is less susceptible to incompatibility issues than third-party brands. Connecting to Alexa and Fire TV devices is a smooth experience, and you can even see a live view on Alexa smart displays like the Echo Show.

The Blink Indoor requires a paid subscription (about $3 a month) to save videos, but it stores only about two hours of footage, which is tiny compared to most brands. Still, the Blink Indoor is a good option if you want an affordable wire-free indoor security camera to use with Alexa.

Check out our Blink cameras review for more information.

Final word

There are so many wireless security cameras to choose from—we barely scratched the surface of what kinds of cameras are out there. Still, we think that the Arlo Pro 4 is a standout product with its 100% wire-free operation.

Its impressive video quality makes it hard for the competition to keep up. While it’s more expensive than most cameras on our list, the overall quality of the Arlo Pro 4 helps make up the difference in price.

For more information about wireless security cameras, check out our list of frequently asked questions below. If you’re looking for a wireless camera that works with a security system, you can start with recommendations from our best home security systems.

How we reviewed

To find the best wireless security cameras, we looked at price, image quality, reliability, ease of setup, smart features, night vision, and customer satisfaction.

Battery-powered cameras that completely fall into that wire-free category, like the Arlo Pro 4, Ring Stick Up Cam Battery, and Reolink Argus 3, got extra credit when it came to ranking the top wireless security cameras this year.

But we couldn’t dismiss high-quality Wi-Fi cameras like the Wyze Cam Pan and Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor just because of a compulsory power cord.

We tested several cameras in our homes, read expert reviews, researched industry standards and camera specs, and consulted thousands of customer reviews. Find out more about how we rank and review products in our full methodology.

  • 150+ hours of research and testing
  • 25 in-home tests
  • 40 products considered

Wireless security camera FAQ

How do wireless cameras work?

Can my security camera be hacked?

Unfortunately, yes, security cameras can be vulnerable to hacking—but we have a handful of protective tips for you.

Nearly every security camera we looked at supports encryption. This protects the camera’s data stream (like videos of your kids after school) from prying eyes.

No matter what security features come with your camera, these tips can help you maximize the privacy of your security cameras:

  • Buy a camera with a recognizable name and purchase it from a trustworthy seller.
  • Make sure your home Wi-Fi network is secure.
  • Create unique, strong passwords for your camera and any apps you use to access it.
  • Keep firmware up to date on your camera and your Wi-Fi router.
  • Turn off remote viewing when you don’t need it.
  • Block the lens of your camera when you’re not using it—a post-it or a piece of painters tape will work.

Will a security camera work as a baby/kid/pet monitor?

We’ve learned that many people want a wireless security camera to keep an eye on the people and pets they love. If this is your goal, here are some things to consider:

  • Two-way communication: This lets you listen in and talk to the pets or people at home.
  • Night vision: Clear images in low light are especially important if you want to use the camera as a baby monitor.
  • Field of view: Most security cameras use a wide-angle lens, while baby monitors and nanny cams often use a more narrow range of vision to focus on the baby.
  • Pan and tilt: If you’re viewing pets or older kids remotely from the office or on a beach, you may want to be able to move the camera angle.

Can an indoor camera do double duty looking out a window?

Wireless cameras can’t have it all. It would be great if they could watch things inside by day, and keep an eye on what’s going on outside after dark, right? But it rarely works.

Most indoor security cameras will pick up glares and reflections when aimed out a window. This obscures the outside view, making it useless.

If security both outdoors and indoors is a priority for you, we recommend getting the right type of camera for each area. You may be able to find an indoor camera that claims to be specifically designed to minimize the glare and reflection of a window, but be sure to read a lot of customer reviews to back the claim up.

Is an indoor wireless camera enough security?

If your goal is to protect against intruders, we recommend an outdoor camera first and foremost.

Outdoor security cameras can deter criminals and provide an early warning before someone enters your home. While indoor security cameras often help people catch a burglar after the fact, you have a better chance of sending a thief running with an outdoor camera.

And if you want to be connected to the police, you should look into security cameras that come with an option to add professional monitoring.

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