5 Best IP Cameras for Home Security: Your Easy Buying Guide

best IP cameras

If there’s one thing we all appreciate, it’s peace of mind. And that’s exactly what you get with an IP camera. Also known as wireless cameras, IP cameras are home security cameras that can transmit their recordings to a cloud service for storage and easy access. This helpful list will cover the best IP cameras available right now and give you the information you need to pick which one is right for you.

What Are the Best IP Cameras for Home Security in 2019?

Wyze Cam Pan IP Camera on white background Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Unbeatable price
  • 14 days of free cloud storage
  • Mobile camera with motion tracking
Price: $65.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Arlo Q IP Camera on white background Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Stellar video and audio quality
  • Seven days of free cloud recordings
  • Excellent partner app
Price: $109.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Arlo Pro 2 IP cameras set of two Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Wireless and wired power options
  • Dedicated local storage
Price: $519.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Arlo Ultra IP Camera two IP cameras Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Safe for indoor and outdoor use
  • 4k video recording
  • Smart zoom and motion tracking
Price: $555.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Ring Floodlight Camera on white background Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Ultrabright built-in floodlights
  • Weatherproof
  • Ring neighborhood watch feature
Price: $179.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Wyze Cam Pan | Best Budget IP Camera

    • Unbeatable bang for your buck
    • 1080p video
    • Solid two-way audio
    • Mobile camera with motion tracking
    • 14 days of free video storage
    • MicroSD local storage option
    • Alexa and IFTTT compatible
    • No wireless power
    • Motion tracking isn’t perfect
    • App lacks some features available in other cameras
    • Video quality can suffer during motion tracking
    • Wall mount sold separately
    • No web portal
    • Power cable is a bit short (6 ft.)
    • Can sometimes slide on smooth surfaces
    • Indoor only

    If you’re looking for an IP camera on a budget, look no further. The Wyze Cam Pan boasts a slew of great features at an unbelievable price point. For a very reasonable price, you are getting a camera that shoots in 1080p, has excellent two-way audio, is compatible with Alexa and IFTTT, has motion tracking, night vision, a full range of motion (360 degrees horizontally and 93 degrees vertically), and 14 days of free cloud video storage.

    It sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t.

    The Wyze Cam Pan does have a couple of shortcomings, mostly related to the motion tracking, which while cool, doesn’t always perform as well as you would like it to. The camera sometimes has a difficult time locking onto subjects, and the video quality often deteriorates while the camera is moving. That being said, this is a feature that only one of the other cameras on this list even has; so you can’t really take away points for its imperfections.

    There are a couple of other small shortcomings, such as the somewhat short power cable (6 ft.) and the fact that you have to buy a wall mount separately. The camera’s companion app also lacks some of the more advanced security features that come with other products on this list. But overall, this is a great little camera at a great price.

  2. 2. Arlo Q | Best Indoor IP Camera

    • Stellar video and audio quality
    • Seven days of free cloud recordings
    • Excellent partner app
    • Solid night vision
    • Robust motion/sound detection features
    • Attractive design
    • Compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT
    • Wired power
    • Not cheap
    • Single-user log-in
    • Indoor only

    With its sharp 1080p video, flexible motion- and sound-detection settings, and intuitive mobile app, the Arlo Q is our choice for the best indoor IP camera available today. It simply does everything you want from an IP camera, and it comes with 7 days of free cloud video storage for the life of the camera, meaning most users won’t need to upgrade for extra storage.

    The Arlo Q gives you many options for how the camera will respond when it detects motion or sound, including the ability to set schedules, sensitivity levels, activity zones, and whether to receive text or email alerts. The Arlo Q also has excellent night vision and the camera’s design is attractive enough that it won’t stick out in your home.

    That being said, the Arlo Q is not perfect. It isn’t wireless, meaning it must be plugged into a wall outlet at all times. Given the fact that it is indoor-only, that shouldn’t be too big of a problem, but you may have to get creative with your placement depending on where you want the camera to be stationed. The wired approach also comes with the advantage that the camera is always powered, which means you don’t have to worry about it dying right when you need it most.

    A bigger gripe is the fact that the partner Arlo app can only be used by a single person at a time. The app itself is fantastic: it’s attractive, intuitive, and offers numerous options for tweaking settings. But logging into the app on one device automatically signs you out of every other device, meaning two people cannot be logged in at once.

  3. 3. Arlo Pro 2 | Best Indoor/Outdoor IP Camera

    • Great video quality
    • Dedicated local storage
    • Waterproofed for indoor and outdoor use
    • Solid night vision
    • Seven days of free cloud storage
    • Wired or wireless power
    • Compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT
    • Pricey
    • Requires a base station
    • Single-user log-in
    • Some users have reported problems with the system going offline

    Another excellent offering from Arlo, the Pro 2 comes with the same great software and cloud storage options as the Q but offers much greater flexibility.

    The Pro 2 accepts both wireless and wired power and can also be used outdoors. Another noteworthy difference is that the Pro 2 comes with a base station that, while clunky, serves as an easy way to set up local backup storage for your recordings.

    The Pro 2 has many of the same upsides as the Arlo Q as well as many of the same flaws. The video quality is still solid, the app is still great, and the 7-day cloud storage is convenient as ever. On the other hand, the fact that only one user can be logged in to the Arlo app at a time is a lingering frustration, and the Pro 2’s up-front price is still higher than some of its competitors. As was the case with the Arlo Q, however, these shortcomings are negligible for what you’re getting.

    Somewhat more concerning are user reports that the Pro 2 can sometimes go offline without warning. I didn’t experience this issue personally so I cannot attest to its frequency, but it is something to be aware of.

    That being said, if you’re looking for a flexible IP camera that is weatherproofed for either indoor or outdoor use, then the Pro 2 is a great choice.

  4. 4. Arlo Ultra | Premium Indoor/Outdoor IP Camera

    • Safe for indoor and outdoor use
    • Clear 4k video
    • Smart zoom and motion tracking
    • 7 days of recurring free cloud storage
    • Super-wide 180-degree viewing angle
    • Great LED spotlight
    • Arlo mobile app
    • A.I. recognition of people, vehicles, and animals
    • Integrated siren
    • Compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT
    • Expensive
    • Inconsistent video quality
    • Requires a base station
    • Single-user log-in
    • Siren is too quiet

    The Ultra’s big selling point is its 4k and HDR video quality. The company claims this resolution allows users to zoom in on key details, such as faces, logos, and car license plates.

    Another Arlo? What can I say, they make great security cameras! The Arlo Ultra is the company’s newest offering, and as the name would suggest, it is their most advanced IP camera yet.

    Other features you get with the Ultra that you won’t find in the company’s other models include a built-in motion-activated LED spotlight and an impressive 180-degree viewing angle. 

    For a two-camera Ultra system, all of these extra features will cost you substantially more than what you would pay for a two-camera Pro 2 system. Which begs the question, is it worth the upgrade? If you already have a Pro 2 system and love it, then I would say that the Ultra is not a must-buy. The above features are great, particularly the 180-degree viewing angle and the built-in spotlight, but they are likely not enough to justify paying more money when you’ve already got a great camera system. You should also note that the Ultra requires an Ultra base station in order to function, meaning you can’t just buy a single Ultra cam and use it with your Arlo Pro 2’s base station.

    If, on the other hand, you are a first-time IP camera buyer and the Ultra is within your price range, the system is definitely worth a look. But even for first-time buyers, the Pro 2 is probably a superior option in terms of overall bang for your buck. The main reason for this is because the Ultra’s much-advertised 4k video leaves a little to be desired, with many users reporting that they found it underwhelming. Some customers have even found that they preferred the video quality of their old Pro 2s over that of the newer model. Moreover, if you read the fine print, you’ll find that 4k video streaming is only supported if the Arlo app and the base station are connected to the same WiFi network, meaning you cannot stream 4k if you are out of the house. 4k video storage also requires a premium subscription to the Arlo Smart cloud service. A purchase of an Arlo Ultra system comes with one year’s worth of Arlo Smart for free, which is great, but you’ll need to pay for the service yourself after that to store 4k videos.

    Still, if you’re looking for a 4k security camera with a super-wide 180-degree viewing angle and a host of other advanced features, the Arlo Ultra is the camera for you.  

  5. 5. Ring Floodlight Camera | Best Outdoor IP Camera

    • Ultrabright motion-activated floodlights (1,800 lumens combined)
    • Crisp 1080p video
    • Remote-activated siren
    • Night vision detects motion even in the dark
    • Ring neighborhood watch feature
    • Two finishes (black and white)
    • Compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT
    • Must be plugged into an external electrical box
    • Premium subscription required to view recorded videos
    • Motion detection can be inconsistent at night

    The Ring Floodlight Camera doesn’t just record video; it also comes with two ultrabright motion-activated floodlights that can deter any would-be intruders.

    Of course, the floodlights wouldn’t be worth the price tag if they didn’t also come with an excellent camera. Thankfully, the 1080p camera records sharp video both in the daytime and at night, with a 140-degree ultra-wide viewing angle.

    In terms of software, the camera is integrated with the Ring app. Setup is straightforward and the app is intuitive. Unlike any of the other products on this list, the Ring app comes with an interesting neighborhood watch feature that will notify you of criminal activity in your neighborhood caught on camera by other Ring users. The app also sends out warnings from local police and fire departments about crimes in progress and other dangers.

    Similar to other floodlights, the Ring Floodlight Camera must be plugged into an external power box. Though this may sound intimidating, the setup process is simple enough and only takes about 30 minutes.

    One of the primary downsides of the Ring camera is that you are required to buy a premium cloud subscription in order to view recorded videos. The subscription is very affordable, but it’s a little frustrating that you need to pay extra for such a basic feature. That being said, you can still access a live video feed from the camera without a subscription, and you will still receive notifications if motion is detected.

Choosing an IP Camera

Choosing the right IP camera is all about picking the features that matter most to you. No camera is perfect, but the above list includes a range of products that should fit nearly everyone’s needs. Here are some of the things to consider when choosing an IP camera:

Video quality - Each of the products on this list shoots in 1080p or greater and has video quality that is more than acceptable for most people’s needs. There are still noticeable differences between them, with more expensive products generally offering superior quality, but you can’t really go wrong here.

Alarms, alerts, and other security features - All of the above cameras will send you an alert via text or email if they detect motion. The Ring Floodlight Camera and the Arlo Ultra also have motion-activated floodlights, and the Wyze Cam Pan will notify you if it detects a fire or carbon monoxide alarm. Alert settings can be tweaked so that you only receive alerts when you want them, ensuring that you don’t get an email every time the dog happens to walk by.

Wired or wireless power - Wireless IP cameras offer flexible placement but they must be regularly recharged, which can be a hassle. Wired IP cameras, on the other hand, must be plugged into a power source, but you don’t have to worry about the battery dying.

Cloud storage - All but one of the above products offer free cloud video storage for some length of time. This means that you can access past recordings from your camera through an app or web portal, rather than only being able to access a live video feed. Most products offer premium cloud services that come with additional features including continuous 24/7 video recording (CVR) and longer video histories.

Smart home integration - All of the above cameras can be controlled with Alexa, Google Assistant, or other similar services. Just be sure to choose a device that is compatible with your preferred smart home system.

Apps & software - Each of the above products also comes with a paired mobile app. All of these apps are well-designed and give you access to many useful features, but some are more intuitive than others.

Price - Last but certainly not least, price is one of the biggest factors to consider when choosing an IP camera. If money is no object, you may be interested in a premium product like the Arlo Ultra, which come with advanced features not found in other products. But if you’re on a budget and are looking for some inexpensive home security, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by the value you get from the more affordable items on this list like the Wyze Cam Pan, the Arlo Q, or the Arlo Pro 2.

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