Finding the right smart home camera for your home

When you’re away from home, it’s nice to know that your place is safe. Installing a smart home camera gives you a live view from anywhere in the world. Here’s our guide to choosing the right one.

Finding the right smart home camera for your home
  • What are the best new home security devices? Take a look at our dedicated home security section for the latest sensors, alarms, cameras, and more.
  • What is a smart home camera? Any camera that lets you stream video via the Internet. Some also offer security features, environment monitoring, and motion control.
  • Are smart home cameras designed only for security? No, actually. Some can record daily life and produce a highlights package of your loved ones.

While sensors and connected devices can monitor your home, there is nothing quite like having an eye in the sky. Installing a smart home camera allows you to check up on everything you hold dear — including kids and elderly relatives. They’re also a great addition to rental properties if you own a vacation home. You can’t always be there, and peace of mind know that your property is safe is invaluable.

If you are wondering which camera to buy or how they actually work, you have come to the right place. Here is our beginner’s guide to help you figure out just which camera will work the best for you for your individual needs.

How do you choose a smart home camera?

Unlike some other devices, the smart home camera is poorly defined. Some are designed purely for security, while others are more about checking on people or capturing memories. For this reason, you need to start by working out what you want from any camera you purchase.

Finding the right smart home camera for your home 01

Different cameras do different things

If you want tighter security, look for a camera with motion detection and infrared night vision. It’s also worth checking the recording function — some cameras will only store footage for an extended period if you pay a monthly subscription.

Finding the right smart home camera for your home 02

Some are made for family monitoring

For environment or family monitoring, get a camera with two-way audio. This means you can hear what’s going on and talk with family at home.

It’s also important to find out which smart home system or systems your camera will work with. If you use Google Assistant, for instance, you might want to purchase a camera that offers direct support.

The best smart home cameras

Clearly, there’s a lot to consider when determining the best smart home cameras. Even with these considerations in mind, you need to find one that looks good in your space. The last thing you want is a bulky plastic device interrupting your sought-after feng shui. Here are some of the best smart home cameras currently available.

Yale All-In-One Smart Home Camera

The Yale All-In-One Smart Home Camera is a great addition to your home. With this device, you’ll have both a camera and a security light, for extra protection. It has intelligent motion sensors, and it will send you live notifications whenever someone comes to your door. And with the motion-activated light, you’ll be able to clearly see whoever is there. It has two-way audio, and has Amazon Alexa integration.

Samsung SmartThings Cam Full HD Monitoring Camera

Samsung has their line of SmartThings products, and their smart home camera is a great addition to the lineup. This camera can tell the difference between an object and a person, so you won’t get false alarms. And you can set zones in your house for the camera to keep a more watchful eye on, like the back door.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor Security Camera

The Nest Cam incorporates Google Assistant, so not only is it keeping a watchful eye on everything, you can ask it anything. It even has a 12x digital zoom and up-close tracking. And with its 130-degree wide-angle lens, you’ll have a great view of whatever room you put this smart home camera in. You’ll have 8 high-powers LED lights for night vision, and you’ll have a speaker, a microphone, and an LED light ring.

Nooie Cam 360 Motion-Tracking Camera

You’ll be able to see the entire room with the Nooie Cam 360 Motion-Tracking Camera. Via the app, you can pan and tilt the camera however you want, for 360 degrees of coverage. It can even track movement and follow it on its own. You’re even able to use this monitor as a baby monitor, for more convenience.

Netatmo Welcome Home Security Camera

If you have a child or an elderly family member you need to keep track of, you’ll want to get a Netatmo Welcome Home Security Camera. This camera utilizes facial recognition to pick out specific people when they pass in front of the camera, and send you an alert regarding that specific person. So you’ll know they’re home safely. And if a stranger passes by, it will know and send you that information too. This camera is compatible with Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.

Ulo Interactive Surveillance Camera

If you’re looking to monitor the house but to be a little less obvious with it, Ulo is the right camera for you. It’s cute, but it does a fantastic job at surveillance. It even uses eye motions to communicate with you. The beak is a two-way mirror with a camera and a motion sensor. And there’s a tiny microphone below the beak There’s also a a speaker and a orientation sensor. For added cuteness, you can even customize the eye display.

Keep watch over your home

Now that you know what some of these smart home cameras can do for you, you can make a more educated decision to pick the device that best suits your needs. Whether you’re out of town, at work, or running a few errands, if you have one of these cameras, you’ll know everything going on inside of your home. Do you already have any smart cameras in your home? Or are you looking to take the leap to adding some to your home?

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Mark is best known for writing about apps, but he also loves the tactile, hardware side of technology. Being a professional photographer, he's pretty handy with a camera, and he's a self-confessed tweetaholic.
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