Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

12 Best Surveillance Cameras For Home Security

A lot of evil lurks around us. Although the number has decreased compared to previous years, the danger remains. Both private households and corporate real estate are affected. According to police, even one-fifth of robberies can be cleared. This is often due to a lack of security measures. In this way, the perpetrators cannot be identified and prosecuted. A best surveillance camera can help.

surveillance cameras

His mere presence discouraged the thieves. If criminals are not impressed, the best surveillance cameras provide the video material needed to identify and punish them. But modern surveillance technology also provides useful services in your own home, for example as an intercom system at the entrance of the house or as a substitute for a baby monitor.

To get an overview of the range of surveillance cameras, we have compared 12 devices from different price ranges and rounded up their most important properties. Then we explain in our guide how the best surveillance cameras work, what types there are and what you should consider when buying such a device.

Recommended 12 best surveillance cameras

1. TP-Link Tapo C310 Surveillance Camera
  • Recommended use for supervision
  • Model name Tapo C310
  • Connectivity technology Wired, Wireless
  • Special features Motion detection and notification, 30m night vision, two-way audio, 3MP high resolution, IP66 . weather resistance
The TP-Link Tapo C310 surveillance camera records images in clear 3 megapixel definition and offers extended night vision for a range of up to 30 meters, even in complete darkness. The security camera has built-in motion detection that notifies the user when motion is detected.

According to TP-Link, the camera is capable of triggering light and sound effects to deter unwanted visitors. It works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants and has a 1080p video recording resolution. The TP-Link Tapo C310 security camera also allows communication via a built-in microphone and speaker, known as two-way audio, according to the manufacturer.

The best surveillance cameras store pictures and videos locally on a microSD card with 128 gigabytes of storage and a cable. Cards are not included in shipping coverage, but can be ordered as an accessory. According to TP-Link, the surveillance camera is suitable for outdoor use and is waterproof according to the protection class IP66. It has WLAN functionality and can alternatively be connected to a network via Ethernet. According to the manufacturer, installation is easy via the Tapo app for iOS and Android smartphones.

What is a two-way microphone? A two-way microphone, often called an intercom system or intercom function, is a combination of two microphones and a loudspeaker. Using the TP-Link Tapo C310 as an example, this means: There is a microphone on the surveillance camera and a microphone on the user's smartphone. So it's possible to talk through the camera's microphone just like on a phone. This can be useful, for example, to soothe a child with your own voice when the camera is being used as a baby monitor.

  • Night vision up to 30 meters
  • Motion detection
  • Light and sound effects
  • Two way microphone
  • Controllable with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Waterproof
  • Does not include memory card
2. TP-Link Tapo C100 . Surveillance Camera
  • Recommended use for baby monitor, pet camera, indoor, motion detection, night vision
  • Model name TP-Link Tapo C100
  • Wi-Fi connectivity technology
  • Special features local recording, HD resolution, night vision up to 9m, motion sensor
If you select the TP-Link Tapo C100, you will receive an IP camera for use in confined spaces. For recording surveillance video, this model has a Full HD resolution of 1,920 × 1,080 pixels and a field of view of 105 degrees. The camera has an infrared night vision function with a detection range of 9 meters. So even footage in the dark should be clearly recognizable. The two-way audio function, combined with the Tapo Camera app, makes it possible to talk through the camera like on a phone. Therefore, this model is suitable for monitoring purposes and as a substitute for a baby monitor.

With sound and light alarm: This surveillance camera works with sound and light effects to deter intruders.

To access this best surveillance camera from our comparison via smartphone, this model must connect to an existing network wirelessly via WLAN, so no cables are required. Surveillance recordings are stored on a microSD card. Only SD cards with a storage capacity of 128 gigabytes or less are supported. The motion detection function ensures that the camera only records when it detects motion. Automatic notifications are then sent to the smartphone. In addition, the camera is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice assistants.

The black and white surveillance camera from TP-Link features a compact design with a flat base and a square camera assembly. Its dimensions are 6.7 × 5.4 × 9.8 centimeters.

What are the advantages of surveillance cameras instead of baby monitors? Surveillance cameras with two-way audio functionality offer a decisive advantage over traditional baby monitors: Parents can not only hear but also see what is happening in the children's room. If the child wakes up, parents can calm him down with his voice through the surveillance camera without having to get out of bed. Purchasing surveillance cameras as baby monitors is ongoing. As soon as toddlers are done and baby monitors are no longer needed, surveillance cameras can be used for other purposes.

  • Sound and light alarm
  • Two-way audio function
  • Motion detection
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Suitable for indoor use only
  • Night vision only up to 9 meters
3. Surveillance Camera Ctronics CTIPC-285C5MP
  • Recommended use for motion detection, night vision
  • Wireless connectivity technology
  • Special features of night vision, local recording
  • Indoor/Outdoor Use
The Ctronics CTIPC-285C5MP is a 5 megapixel outdoor surveillance security camera that claims clear and vivid images and easy operation. It therefore offers two-way audio and an excellent resolution of 2,560 x 1,920 pixels. Thanks to infrared array technology, surveillance cameras should allow clear and color night vision up to 20 meters. Using a special mode, automatically switches to night vision.

Automatic Motion Tracking for More Protection: The PTZ camera is capable of tracking human movement automatically. According to the manufacturer, as soon as it detects motion, the camera follows the moving person and always places them in the center of the image. This allows excellent protection for outdoor use. This guide provides more information about PTZ cameras.

To use the camera only need to be connected to electricity and Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity). Wi-Fi allows devices to connect wirelessly to the Internet. The Ctronics security camera has a pan and tilt function with 355 degrees horizontal and 90 degrees vertical. The Wi-Fi camera is said to offer wide viewing angles and cover many areas without blind spots. In addition, the CTIPC-285C5MP has motion detection and, according to the manufacturer, only recognizes people outdoors. This reduces false alarms by up to 95 percent, which can be caused by animals, rain or leaves, for example.

If an alarm occurs, the camera sends a message to the smartphone. It has a microphone and speaker to access from anywhere. Live streaming and viewing of images on smartphones and PCs is possible. Videos can also be shared with family or friends. The best surveillance cameras should have a weatherproof housing with IP66 protection and withstand extreme weather conditions. It supports Ctronics applications and microSD card usage up to 128 gigabytes.

  • Automatic motion tracking
  • High resolution
  • Two Way Audio
  • Color night vision up to 20 meters
  • Big point of view
  • Only respond to people, not animals or things
  • Weatherproof
  • Does not include memory card
4. Arlo Essential Spotlight Surveillance Camera
  • Recommended use for motion detection, night vision
  • Model name VMC2030-100EUS
  • Wireless connectivity technology
  • Night vision special features
The Arlo Essential Spotlight wireless surveillance camera, which the manufacturer says is uncomplicated, allows for good basic equipment. It can be controlled via a smartphone and should be easy to install in just a few minutes. Thanks to wireless use, there's no risk of tangling cables and the battery offers up to 6 months of runtime according to Arlo. Therefore, no base station is required for use, only WLAN.

Videos are recorded in Full HD with 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Motion alarms are sent to the phone via message. It is possible to watch live video and react quickly if necessary, for example by remotely triggering the alarm siren. You can also set the security camera siren to sound automatically when an event occurs to deter intruders.

What are the advantages of forwarding surveillance footage to a cloud server? Cloud storage is a virtual storage medium on the Internet. There, surveillance video is available from any Internet-enabled device, regardless of location. There is no need to remove the microSD card from the surveillance camera and insert it into another device. This reduces the effort involved in viewing the footage. Another advantage is that the footage is not lost if a thief breaks or steals the camera.

According to the manufacturer, Arlo's Essential Spotlight is weather-resistant and can withstand rain, cold, heat, and sun. Plus, thanks to two-way audio, you can talk to your visitors in real time - and in the highest audio quality. Either the Arlo app or the digital assistant can be used for this.

Integrated highlight allows color monitoring at night. Night vision works with two infrared LEDs and an infrared blocking filter. It has a range of up to 7.62 meters. In addition, the WiFi camera has a 12x digital zoom and a viewing distance of up to 91 meters. Wireless motion detection can be adjusted up to 7 meters. These are the other features:
  • Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.2 x 7.8 centimeters
  • Weight: 331 grams
  • Field of view: 130 degrees
  • Wireless
  • Wireless Internet Access
  • Long battery life
  • Siren
  • Night vision only up to 7.6 meters
5. Wansview W6 Cloud Surveillance Camera
  • Recommended use for motion detection
  • Wireless connectivity technology
  • Special features of local recording, night vision
  • Indoor/Outdoor Use
According to the provider, the Wansview W6 Cloud IP surveillance camera is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The camera records videos at a Full HD resolution of 1,920 × 1,080 pixels. 2 megapixel photo resolution is available for snapshots. The field of view is 105 degrees wide. The Wansview surveillance camera has an infrared night vision function for recording in the dark with a range of up to 25 meters.

With RTSP and Onvif software: If you choose this best surveillance camera, you get access to RTSP and Onvif software. This makes it possible to manage cameras from different manufacturers at the same time.

The Wansview W6 Cloud can be integrated into an existing network either wirelessly via WLAN or via a network cables. Recordings can be stored on a microSD memory card with a capacity of up to 128 gigabytes or in the cloud. The related smartphone application offers the possibility to view the recorded video in real time. Thanks to the multi-screen display, footage from up to four cameras can then be viewed on a single screen. For outdoor use, the camera has a protection class of IP66, which is dustproof and moisture-proof and weather-resistant.

Externally, the Wansview W6 Cloud is characterized by its boxy design with visible antennae. This surveillance camera is available in black and white. Its dimensions are 15.2 × 11.4 × 8.3 centimeters and it weighs 440 grams.

  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Wireless Internet Access
  • Multiscreen display
  • Night vision up to 25 meters
  • Relatively small field of view
6. Reolink E1 Zoom Surveillance Camera
  • Recommended use for Night Vision
  • WiFi connectivity technology
  • Special features 3x optical zoom
  • Indoor/Outdoor Use
The Reolink E1 Zoom is an IP surveillance camera that transmits video wirelessly over WiFi. According to the manufacturer, this camera is designed for indoor use and has a camera resolution of 2,560 x 1,920 pixels and triple optical zoom. The surveillance camera can be tilted 355 degrees, tilted 50 degrees and has a horizontal field of view from 48 to 98 degrees. The vertical field of view is between 37 and 75 degrees.

Individual alarm announcements: Individual alarm announcements can be recorded via the Reolink app, played by surveillance cameras in case of unauthorized access.

According to the manufacturer, the Reolink E1 Zoom can be installed easily and in just a few minutes. It stores surveillance footage either on a microSD memory card up to 128 gigabytes, an FTP server or cloud storage. Thanks to the integrated microphone, the best surveillance cameras not only record video but also sound. In the Reolink app, users can see a live view of the surveillance footage.

The Reolink E1 Zoom offers the following useful functions:
  • Night vision function - up to 12 meters with 10 infrared LEDs
  • Google Assistant support - control which camera to activate with voice commands when multiple devices are in use
  • Schedule Recording - Schedule time slots for surveillance recording or 24/7 recording
  • Motion alarm with customizable acoustic alarm
  • Push notifications via app or email in case of alarm
The compact Reolink E1 Zoom is completely white. It can be placed on a table or mounted on a wall or ceiling. The dimensions of the surveillance camera are 11.1 x 8 x 7.3 centimeters and the weight is 300 grams.

  • Wide field of view
  • Wireless Internet Access
  • Recording function for alarm announcement
  • Google Assistant Support
  • Push notification in case of alarm
  • Suitable for indoor use only
  • Night vision only up to 12 meters
7. YI Surveillance Camera
  • Recommended use for Interno, Sorveglianza
  • Model name YSJY20A2000EUWT
  • Wireless connectivity technology
  • Motion detection special feature alert notifications, Bebe game with Filterable notifications, Cloud & local storage, YI home app for Android & iOS&Windows Devices, Camera Kit 2, Yi home camera, 1080P Full HD 24/7 recording, F/2.0 aperture , 8 individual infrared LEDs with 940 Nm
YI surveillance cameras are offered in 2 sets. This IP camera is suitable for indoor use. It movies with a Full HD resolution of 1,920 × 1,080 pixels and a field of view of 110 degrees. The camera has a quadruple zoom so objects that are farther away can be seen clearly. For video recording in the dark, models with infrared light offer infrared night vision function. With two-way audio function, YI brand IP camera can record and play sound. This makes it suitable as a replacement for baby monitors.

Detection of baby's cry: Thanks to a special noise algorithm, the camera recognizes a baby's cry in seconds, according to the manufacturer. Then he sends a notification to the parent's cell phone.

With YI, the connection to the home network is exclusively wireless via WLAN. Recorded videos can be collected on a microSD memory card up to 128 gigabytes or forwarded to cloud storage. The image is directly displayed in the related application. An optional pin code to lock live broadcasts and camera settings, as well as advanced end-to-end encryption according to the provider, via EU-based servers ensure a high level of security. The device from the surveillance camera set is black and white and has a compact camera unit. Its dimensions are 8.0 × 11.4 × 3.2 centimeters and it weighs 135 grams.

Why should image data be sent in encrypted form? Encrypted data transmission between surveillance cameras and cloud storage servers is important so that criminals cannot hack cameras and gain access to surveillance footage. Otherwise, intruders can easily bypass the camera's image area or misuse the footage.

  • Available in sets
  • Two Way Audio
  • Detect baby cry
  • Wireless
  • Relatively small field of view
  • Does not include memory card
8. Ezviv C6N Surveillance Camera

The Ezviv C6N surveillance camera records images with a resolution of 2 megapixels and is also capable of recording videos with Full HD quality, which is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Thanks to the integrated wide-angle lens the camera can cover 360 degrees with its motion detection thanks to infrared technology even at night, as the infrared LED adapts to ambient light and thus prevents overexposure in weak natural light. If the motion detector is triggered, the best surveillance cameras report to the user in real time when, where and what motion the sensor detected.

Equipped with two-way audio: The Ezviv C6N surveillance camera offers two-way audio, for example for use in a nursery or baby's room. Due to the integrated anti-noise filter, sound recordings are echo-free and clearly understandable according to the manufacturer.

According to Ezviv, the surveillance camera is only suitable for indoor use and is compatible with smart home systems such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT. According to the manufacturer, access to surveillance cameras is possible at any time and from anywhere via your own smartphone, tablet or PC to control them remotely or share footage. Other features when paired with the Ezviv app include sleep mode, for example. The scope of delivery of the model consists of a camera with a power supply, a template for mounting holes, a package with screws, a USB cable and a quick start guide.

Should surveillance cameras be integrated into the network via a WLAN or LAN cable? If the surveillance camera supports both WLAN and LAN cables, a wired connection via a LAN cable is preferred. Wireless connections are considered to be more susceptible to interference and 100 percent interference-free monitoring is not always guaranteed. If the connection is lost, it must be restored manually. Surveillance cameras can record during disturbances, but cannot notify you of an alarm. If there is no internet connection, it is impossible to view the surveillance footage on the smartphone in real time.

  • Two-way audio for two-way communication
  • Smart voice command
  • Infrared night vision
  • Sleep mode via the Ezviv app
  • Does not include memory card
  • Only 10 meters distance with night vision
9. TP-Link Tapo C200 . Surveillance Camera
  • Recommended use for baby monitor, pet camera, indoor, motion detection, night vision
  • Model name Tapo C200
  • Connectivity technology Wired, Wireless
  • Night vision special features
The TP-Link Tapo C200 is a mini IP surveillance camera for indoor use. The device records movies with a Full HD resolution of 1,920 × 1,080 pixels and a field of view of 114 degrees. The infrared night vision function has a detection range of 9 meters and allows recording in the dark. The camera can rotate 360 ​​degrees and tilt 114 degrees up or down to monitor the entire room. With a two-way audio function, this model can record and play back sound during camera surveillance. It is therefore suitable as a substitute for a baby monitor.

The TP-Link Tapo C200 can only be integrated wirelessly into an existing network via a WLAN. Recorded surveillance footage can be stored on a microSD memory card up to 128 gigabytes. Recordings are made in real time in this surveillance camera smartphone app. The camera can be operated via the Alexa app or voice assistant. Externally, this mini camera model from TP-Link is characterized by its white design with a spherical camera unit. Its dimensions are 8.6 × 8.5 × 11.7 centimeters and it weighs 118 grams.

  • Rotate and tilt function
  • Two Way Audio
  • Wireless Internet Access
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • Wireless
  • Night vision only up to 9 meters
  • For interior use only
10. Netatmo Presence Surveillance Camera
  • Recommended use for motion detection, night vision
  • Model name Netatmo Presence
  • Wireless connectivity technology
  • Night vision special features
The Netatmo Presence is an outdoor IP surveillance camera that records surveillance video at full HD 1,920 × 1,080 pixels resolution. Stiftung Warentest gives this surveillance camera a "good" rating. For high-resolution photos, this model has a resolution of 4 megapixels. The camera works with eight times digital zoom and a detection range of up to 20 meters. The Netatmo surveillance camera has an infrared night vision function for clearly recognizable night shots. This means it can reach a range of up to 15 meters even in the dark.

With intelligent detection function: This surveillance camera distinguishes between three types of objects - people, animals and vehicles. How the camera should react to different objects can be set individually. The Alert Zone feature also defines the area to be monitored.

The presence of Netatmo can be connected to a home network wirelessly via WLAN. The recorded images and videos can be stored on a microSD memory card and in digital cloud storage. When using a memory card, the camera is limited to a maximum storage capacity of 8 gigabytes. As soon as the surveillance camera records movement, the integrated lighting is activated. This not only ensures better lighting conditions, but can also help blow away potential thieves. At the same time, users are notified of all incidents in real time. Netatmo IP cameras also offer the following functions:
  • HZO protection - UV resistant and compliant with HZO standards protected from the elements for water resistance
  • Smartphone application to make arrangements or take surveillance footage
  • Compatible with Alexa voice control and Google Assistant
  • Bank-standard end-to-end encryption guarantees a high level of security in terms of security
The Netatmo Presence is completely black and stands out with its striking box design. Its dimensions are 20.0 × 11.0 × 5.0 centimeters and its weight is 1,004 grams.

  • 8x digital zoom
  • The difference between humans, animals and vehicles
  • Compatible with Alexa voice control and Google Assistant
  • Weatherproof
  • Only supports memory cards up to 8 gigabytes
11. HiKam A7 Surveillance Camera
  • Recommended use for motion detection
  • Model name HiKam A7 Secure
  • Wireless connectivity technology
  • Special features people detection, alarm zone, siren, 433 sensors
The HiKam A7 2nd Gen is an IP surveillance camera that can be used indoors and, thanks to its weather resistance, outdoors as well. This outdoor camera model records video with an SXVGA resolution of 1280×960 pixels. The photos have a resolution of 1.3 megapixels. This model captures a field of view of 80 degrees. Thanks to the infrared night vision function the HiKam surveillance camera provides clearly recognizable footage in the dark. This best surveillance camera is equipped with a microphone. It not only reacts to movement, but also to sound.

With assignable alarm areas: With this surveillance camera, you have the option to define individual surveillance areas. Movement within this range triggers an alarm. Movement outside the control area is ignored.

Connection to a home network can be set up wirelessly via WLAN with this cam from our comparison. Photos and videos can be stored on a microSD memory card, on a local network or in cloud storage. This model supports memory cards with a storage capacity of up to 128 gigabytes. Smartphone applications can be used to make settings or view recordings in real time. As soon as the alarm is triggered, the user receives a notification on their smartphone. Thanks to people detection, the camera can distinguish between vehicles, animals and people. This makes false alarms impossible. Video is transmitted via secure SSL encryption. With a protection class of IP66, the camera is reliably protected against dust and moisture.

The all-white surveillance camera from HiKam has a compact design with two visible antennas. Its dimensions are 18.0 × 6.0 x 6.0 centimeters and it weighs 680 grams.

  • Detect people
  • Weatherproof
  • Defineable alarm range
  • Relatively small field of view
12. SV3C Surveillance Camera
  • Recommended use for motion detection, night vision
  • Wireless connectivity technology
  • Night vision special features
  • Cable Resources
The SV3C SV B01W is a web-enabled IP surveillance camera suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. This model records surveillance video at a resolution of 1,280×960 pixels. A 2 megapixel photo resolution is available for recording images. The field of view in this surveillance system, 70 degrees wide. The infrared night vision function allows recording in the dark with a range of up to 15 meters.

With six large LED lights: This surveillance camera is equipped with six large blue infrared LEDs, which according to the supplier provide sufficient lighting even in complete darkness.

The SV3C IP camera connects to the home network exclusively wirelessly via WLAN. Recordings are stored on a microSD memory card with a maximum storage capacity of 64 gigabytes. Settings can be made in the smartphone application. Surveillance footage is also recorded there in real time. As soon as the camera records the movement, it sends a notification to the user's smartphone. H.264 video compression ensures safe transmission of footage to use. To protect against the weather, this model is IP66 dust and water resistant.

Externally, the SV3C SV B01W is characterized by its compact, black and white design with visible antennae. Its dimensions are 22.0 × 7.0 × 6.0 centimeters. Including the packaging, this camera weighs 558 grams.

  • Weatherproof
  • Big LED light
  • Wireless Internet Access
  • Push notification in case of alarm
  • Small field of view
What is a surveillance camera?

surveillance cameras

Surveillance cameras are stationary video cameras used to monitor personal or commercial real estate and property. Usually it can be rotated in different directions. Every surveillance camera is equipped with a motion sensor. Video recording begins as soon as the camera records the activity with its motion detector. At the same time, the surveillance camera triggers an alarm signal and/or sends a notification to the owner's smartphone.

How are surveillance cameras built?

While there are different types, most security cameras follow a similar structure. At the heart of such monitoring devices are digital video cameras, which nowadays are usually equipped with sensitive CMOS sensors and wide-angle lenses in terms of shooting angles. Although video cameras are primarily designed to record video footage, they can also take photos if necessary. Recordings are collected on the inserted microSD memory card. In the case of surveillance cameras with an Internet connection, footage can be alternatively stored in cloud storage so that it can be accessed from any Internet-enabled device, regardless of location. Modern surveillance cameras also connect to their owners' smartphones and send notifications to them.

The third core element of a surveillance camera is a motion detector. A motion sensor or passive infrared detector uses high-frequency electromagnetic waves to "scan" the environment. The trigger can only be an object that represents the heat source itself - for example a person, animal or vehicle. Some models are equipped with a small electric motor and can be rotated via remote control. This sensitive technology is protected by a rugged case that is dust and water resistant in outdoor surveillance cameras.

How do surveillance cameras work?

How a surveillance camera works depends on whether it is an analog model or an internet-enabled IP camera. What distinguishes these two types of surveillance cameras, we explain in the following section.

Analog Security Camera

Analog security cameras are not connected to the internet. Recordings are stored on a digital recorder or microSD card and can be retrieved manually via a coaxial cable. There is no possibility to view the recorded video in real time. The power supply unit serves as a power source for analog surveillance cameras. Compared to IP cameras, they have lower resolution.

IP Camera

IP Camera can connect to the Internet via WLAN or network cable. This allows the camera owner to access the video footage at any time. Recordings are stored on the integrated hard drive, SD card or in digital cloud storage. So they are available for a longer period of time. Most IP cameras are powered by a stationary power supply unit. Alternatively, the POE connection can be used with many models, where the network cable is not only used to connect to the Internet, but also for power supply. There are some IP cameras that are battery operated, i.e. they work with an integrated battery.

Internet-enabled surveillance cameras are referred to as IP cameras because they have their own IP address when an Internet connection is assigned. Surveillance footage is not only available on the home network, but also via a smartphone app or web browser from any location.

How can surveillance cameras be classified?

surveillance cameras

Apart from being divided into analog surveillance cameras and IP cameras, security cameras can be classified into other subtypes. This includes:
  • Indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras: Surveillance cameras for outdoor use are characterized by a robust, dust-resistant and water-resistant camera housing. Indoor surveillance cameras are usually more compact and do not have a protection class. They often have a modern design and can be placed on a stand or mounted on a wall or ceiling. Cameras for outdoor surveillance are mostly functionally designed and almost exclusively designed to be wall mounted. Some outdoor security cameras have motion motors. There is a legal reason for this, as the camera should not be aimed at public lanes or third party property. In the next section we explain what to consider when using a cam.
  • Surveillance cameras with power connection or battery operation: Most surveillance cameras must be connected to a stationary power supply. This ensures stable operation and ensures that the camera will not stop working suddenly. Battery powered cameras are more portable and will continue to record even if the intruder cuts the power supply.
Subdivision by construction:
  • Classic surveillance camera: The classic surveillance camera view corresponds to the pictogram on the warning sign. It is often installed in public places or in company premises. It usually has a large, sturdy body and rotating arms. This means it can be immediately identified as a surveillance camera. This increases the deterrent effect on potential thieves, violent criminals or vandals.
  • Dome Camera: Dome cameras are dome or hemispherical in shape and are usually used in supermarkets or public transportation. The camera is under darkened glass, so it's not clear where it's going. This makes it difficult for thieves to bypass such surveillance cameras. However, the cost and installation effort for such surveillance cameras is usually higher than for other models.
  • Mini camera: As the name suggests, the mini camera's special feature is its compactness. For this reason, they are often referred to as "spy cameras". They are so small that they can be hidden in various objects - for example in a smoke detector or a wall clock. They are often used as door cameras. Caution: Due to their compact design, mini cameras often work at low resolutions. Larger areas cannot be monitored with it.
  • PTZ Camera: The acronym PTZ stands for "pan, tilt and zoom" - that is, rotate, tilt and zoom. This type of surveillance camera often resembles a small robot in appearance and is capable of shifting and tilting the camera lens electronically. Some of these models can track people automatically as they move. This makes it very suitable for direct surveillance in enclosed spaces. PTZ cameras are designed almost exclusively for indoor use.
Many PTZ cameras are equipped with a two-way audio function, which allows them to record sound and output sound. In combination with a smartphone, it is possible to use such a camera to carry out conversations like on the phone. This makes the PTZ camera very suitable as an intercom system or as a substitute for a baby monitor.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using surveillance cameras?

When it comes to protecting personal property, security cameras offer two advantages. First of all, surveillance cameras installed outside have a deterrent effect on potential thieves. In the best case scenario, it makes the thief escape before the robbery occurs. If the thief is not deterred by the presence of surveillance cameras, this provides the evidence needed to crack the theft and punish the criminal. Modern surveillance cameras are easy to install and transmit image data in encrypted form. Surveillance cameras for personal use are often available at relatively low prices.

The biggest disadvantage of using surveillance cameras is that the wrong position can lead to conflicts with neighbors or the legislature. Therefore, it is important to know the legal requirements before installing a monitoring device. We will explain the legal framework later in our guide. For footage to be usable, the camera must have a high video resolution and be positioned wisely. For complete surveillance of the entire property, it is usually necessary to purchase several surveillance cameras. Electrical cables must be located in such a way that they are not accessible to intruders.

  • Homeowners have reliable video surveillance for home and garden
  • The deterrent effect on thieves
  • Easy to install and operate
  • Encrypted data transmission for more security
  • Attractive value for money
  • Can be used as a baby monitor
  • If attached incorrectly, conflicts with the environment or the legislature may occur, for example if filming takes place on neighboring properties or sidewalks
  • Multiple cameras are usually required for smooth surveillance
  • Video material cannot always be used in court
  • Thieves use every opportunity to disable surveillance cameras
What is the function of surveillance camera?

surveillance cameras

Surveillance cameras have a variety of different functions. While some features are essential, others are not mandatory.
  • Motion detector: Surveillance cameras record movement with motion sensors or passive infrared detectors. The camera does not record continuously, but only when it detects motion. If it is a one-time motion, for example a leaf blowing in the wind, recording stops automatically after a few minutes. This saves storage capacity and can make viewing recordings easier.
  • Night vision mode: To ensure reliable surveillance in the dark, most surveillance cameras are equipped with infrared light diodes, as our comparison shows. The infrared light is activated by a motion detector or via a remote control and illuminates the environment. Although infrared radiation is invisible to the human eye, it allows usable black and white recording. Surveillance cameras for personal use produce adequate image quality at a distance of 8 to 12 meters at night. Objects that reflect light well are clearly visible through infrared radiation. This method is more effective indoors than outdoors.
  • Internet Capability: IP cameras can be connected to an Internet router either wirelessly or via cable. This means that the camera can be controlled over the network. Recordings are forwarded directly to cloud storage. You have the option to send the recorded video directly to your smartphone or view it in real time.
  • SD card slot: Most surveillance cameras have a slot for an SD or microSD card. Records are stored there. Memory cards can be read with a computer, smartphone or tablet. To do this, simply insert the storage media into the device. The maximum usable memory card capacity is between 8 and 128 gigabytes. It is also recommended to back up recordings to cloud storage. Otherwise, the footage will be permanently lost if the thief damages the camera or the data is lost in some other way.
  • Remote control: Internet-enabled IP cameras can often be controlled remotely using computer or smartphone software. In the case of camera panning, the movement mode can be adjusted. Often it is possible to start and stop video recording at any time or take photos with the press of a button. Note: Most outdoor cameras cannot be panned. The background is the rule of law: third party property or public channels may not be filmed.
  • Encrypted data transmission: Most surveillance cameras transmit image data in encrypted form. This feature is used for security, so that data does not get into the hands of third parties. It is possible for criminals to hack surveillance cameras and spy on objects that are supposed to be guarded. One of the most commonly used encryption protocols is HTTPS, which sends data to the server in a secure manner. HTTPS stands for Hypertext-Transfer-Protocol-Secure and is a protocol method that allows internet pages and data to be exchanged between servers and web browsers in an encrypted form.
  • IP protection class: Protection class is especially important for outdoor surveillance cameras. Devices are most often assigned a protection class of IP65 or IP66. In general, the higher the protection class, the more suitable the device for outdoor use all year round. A protection factor of IP65 ensures that the camera is protected against mechanical influences, dust ingress and water jets. The IP66 protection factor promises higher water protection, so the camera remains waterproof even during temporary flooding. The protection class also indicates that the product complies with officially recognized European standards.
  • Wide-angle lens: To get the widest possible field of view to ensure this, most surveillance cameras are equipped with a wide-angle lens. The field of view varies between 70 and 120 degrees depending on the model. Indoor cameras are usually characterized by a wide field of view because they are closer to the object to be monitored due to the limited size of the room.
  • Intercom: Many indoor security cameras are equipped with microphones and speakers. They also act as an intercom system. Devices with this function offer a wide range of possibilities. In this way, alerts can be given to uninvited visitors. Alternatively, such a camera can serve as an intercom for the doorbell. If such a model is used instead of a baby monitor, parents can use it to communicate with the child.
  • Alarm function: Almost all surveillance cameras have an alarm function. This is a shrill acoustic alarm signal that sounds as soon as the motion sensor is activated. The camera needs an integrated speaker for this. In this way, the thief may be feared before causing further damage. If there is any suspicious movement, the surveillance camera can send an alarm email with a picture, push notification, or SMS message to the owner. In this way, the operator can check for themselves whether there is a real danger or a false alarm.
  • Facial recognition: Surveillance cameras from the upper price range are often equipped with smart functions, such as facial recognition. This feature makes it possible to turn off the alarm automatically when an authorized person enters the monitored area. Some cameras can automatically distinguish between humans, animals and vehicles and react accordingly.
How much do surveillance cameras cost?

surveillance cameras

The cost of purchasing a surveillance camera varies and depends on various factors. The price depends mainly on the various functions and quality of the camera. Another important point is whether the camera is intended for indoor or outdoor use. Outdoor surveillance cameras tend to be more expensive. In general, consumers can expect the following costs when purchasing a surveillance camera.
  • Security cameras from lower price range - 20 to $75
  • Surveillance cameras from mid price range - 75 to $200
  • Surveillance cameras from the top price range - from $200
Internet versus specialist stores: where is it worth buying a surveillance camera?

Surveillance cameras are not only available at specialty stores for security technology, but also at electronics or hardware stores and sometimes as an offering in supermarkets. Personal advice on the site speaks for specialty stores. In addition, buying at a local store is usually impractical. The selection of different models is often as limited as the options for comparing individual devices against one another.

The internet offers better conditions for buying surveillance cameras. Almost all models available today are available online. You can get comprehensive information and compare individual models with each other. Ordering is also easy and time-saving from home.

What to consider when buying a surveillance camera?

If you want to make the right decision when buying a new surveillance camera, you have to consider several factors. We have compiled the most important criteria in the following sections. This includes:
  1. Indoor camera or outdoor model
  2. Camera view
  3. Image quality
  4. Storage type and storage size
  5. Detection range
  6. Field of view
  7. Microphone
  8. Data transmission security
  9. Function
  10. Assembly
  11. Set
Inside or outside the room

First, you have to ask yourself: are surveillance cameras necessary for indoor use or are outdoor cameras better? Outdoor cameras must be suitable for wall mounting and protected from the weather. Indoor surveillance cameras can often be placed on a table and have no protection class. They are usually much cheaper than outdoor models.

Some surveillance cameras are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Such a model can also be found in the above comparison.

Camera view

It is also important whether the camera is only used for photo or video surveillance or also for prevention. For the supervision of the living room itself, there are more discreet models. This is where optics comes into play. Outdoor cameras, on the other hand, can appear larger and more conspicuous, so that potential thieves are deterred by the presence of the device.

Image quality

Is it important that video footage can be used as evidence in the event of a break-in? Then the resolution plays an important role. Classic surveillance cameras with analog signal transmission often work at low resolutions. By PAL standards, they record video at 720×576 pixels. Depending on how far away the offender is, the footage may not be usable in court. When it comes to video quality, modern IP cameras often feature a Full HD resolution of 1,920×1,080 pixels. This means that they provide surveillance footage that can be used in most situations. In addition, many surveillance cameras also take photos, some of which are sharp and high-contrast. Image quality must be at least 2 megapixels.

Storage type and storage size

With most surveillance cameras, recorded videos can be stored on a microSD memory card or forwarded to a cloud storage service. The first method is the easiest way to implement. A suitable memory card is included with some surveillance cameras. To view recordings, the card can be removed and inserted into a computer, smartphone, or tablet.

The storage capacity of the microSD card that can be used is limited, for example, up to 64 or 128 gigabytes. As soon as the memory card is full, most surveillance cameras automatically overwrite the oldest recording. You should also note which memory card your surveillance camera supports.

Using cloud storage offers the advantage that surveillance footage is available over the Internet on different devices. Recordings are also not lost in the event of loss or damage to the camera. There is usually a monthly fee associated with using a cloud storage service. The amount of storage space required by the recorded file depends on the image quality.

Detection range

When buying a surveillance camera, it is important to consider the detection range to respect. With outdoor camera, the detection range can reach 30 meters. Indoor cameras often work with a range of 10 meters. There is a big difference depending on the model and price. How long the detection range should be depends on the size of the property or room to be monitored.

Most surveillance cameras are equipped with an infrared function to record video in the dark. The detection range is lower when the infrared function is on. For personal use, 8 to 12 meters is usually sufficient.

Field of view

surveillance cameras

The field of view describes the width of the image section. Most surveillance cameras have a wide-angle lens. This allows them to capture a field of vision between 70 and 120 degrees. Captureable field of view is important for indoor and outdoor security cameras. Indoor surveillance cameras are placed closer to the object to be monitored due to the limited size of the room. To cover as much of the room as possible, a wide field of view is required. Outdoor cameras usually don't rotate. In order to be able to record as much of private property as possible, a wide field of view is equally important here. The 360-degree camera captures the entire environment from the ceiling. For large areas, it also makes sense to use multiple surveillance cameras.


Outdoor cameras are only occasionally equipped with an integrated microphone. In this case, they react not only to movement, but also to sound. Indoor cameras are often equipped with a built-in microphone. If a new surveillance camera is to function as an intercom or as a substitute for a baby monitor, it must be equipped with a two-way audio function. In this way, communication is possible in both directions.

Data transmission security

Surveillance cameras only work if the data transmission is done on a secure channel. Data transmission means sending surveillance footage to a cloud storage server or user's smartphone. Most surveillance cameras transmit data in encrypted form. This is absolutely necessary for security when storing data. Otherwise, criminals can gain access to surveillance cameras and bypass them easily.

It is recommended to replace the username provided by the manufacturer, such as "admin" and password such as "user1", with your own information and use characters such as #, & or % for increased security.

Setup and assembly

For people who love technology, any installation difficulty should not be a big hurdle compared to the common people. As a layman, it makes sense to look specifically for a model that's easy to set up. Most manufacturers promise that the installation will not be complicated. However, it is recommended to download the corresponding application and see the instructions for use, which are usually available for free on the Internet. A screenshot of the installation process shows how complicated it is to set up a surveillance camera.

The effort involved in installing a surveillance camera depends on whether the device is used wirelessly via a WLAN or via a LAN cable. The WLAN camera only needs to be wall mounted and plugged into a power supply. With wired surveillance cameras, cables must be routed to the router, which can be difficult depending on the installation location.


If you want to monitor multiple rooms or an entire property, you'll need multiple cameras. In such cases, it is advisable to use a set of surveillance cameras with two or four cameras. In most cases, this is cheaper than buying several separate surveillance cameras.

Where can surveillance cameras be used?

The main purpose of surveillance cameras for video surveillance is to provide data that can be used in the event of a break-in to punish the thief. Furthermore, surveillance cameras serve as a deterrent and are meant to repel uninvited guests before theft occurs.

This makes surveillance cameras suitable for protecting private property, commercial property, bars and shops. Whether the court accepts video footage as evidence depends on the individual case. It must be clearly verifiable that the footage is from a particular robbery or attempted robbery. In addition, it should be possible to clearly identify the intruder. For this benefit if the camera works with a high resolution and a minimum frame rate of 20 frames per second.

Surveillance cameras are not only used to protect against thieves, but are often used instead of baby monitors. IP cameras with real time transmission of image and sound are suitable for this. Good sound quality must be ensured. It is important that the camera reacts not only to motion, but also to sound. For this you need an integrated microphone. With the two-way audio function, communication can be carried out in both directions, like an intercom.

Surveillance cameras can best replace baby monitors if they are operated on the integrated battery. In this way, the camera continues to work from the battery even in the event of a power failure. However, you should make sure to check the battery status regularly, depending on the battery life.

What are the legal requirements to be aware of when using surveillance cameras?

surveillance cameras

So that you can protect your property with surveillance cameras and not have to answer yourself in court, there are some legal requirements to be aware of. According to lawmakers, the following provisions apply to the use of surveillance cameras:
  • The property or place being video monitored must be clearly marked.
  • Surveillance cameras can only record your own property. Paths and public facilities may not be monitored.
  • Housekeepers, such as babysitters or janitors, should not be secretly monitored or recorded. The written consent of each person is required in any case.
  • Residents of apartment buildings can install surveillance cameras on their own four walls without prior approval. Cameras are only allowed in the hallway or at the front door if all tenants have expressly given their permission.
  • Similar regulations apply in the commercial sector: Employees and customers must be notified that surveillance cameras are in use. The exception is publicly accessible buildings. A certain level of proportionality must be maintained - safes, checkout areas or other sensitive areas can be monitored. Camera systems are generally prohibited in locker rooms, bedrooms, break rooms or toilets, as privacy protection is more important here. This also applies to dummy cameras.
This section is not a substitute for legal advice. If in doubt, you should consult a lawyer.

Frequently asked questions about security cameras

Which is the best security camera?

It depends on the individual need for surveillance cameras. Depending on the application area, different functions are important. This includes the differences between indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, but also image quality, detection range, range with night vision or the option to save footage.

When should surveillance camera videos be removed at the latest?

There is no legal requirement to monitor your own property. Here you can save the surveillance video for as long as you want. In the commercial sector, the rule of thumb is that records should be deleted no later than 72 hours. It may also be allowed to keep recordings for 10 days, i.e. 240 hours. However, there is no denying that judges will decide differently in individual cases. The purpose of recording is very decisive. For this reason, general statements are not possible.

What are the sanctions for monitoring public spaces?

Anyone filming people off their own property should expect orders and possible damage. The amount depends on the severity of the intervention. If a person is filmed naked while bathing, higher damage can be obtained than if a person is filmed walking past the property.

The victim has the right to request the deletion of the recording. Courts can fine and order the camera to be removed.

Should surveillance cameras be disguised?

Whether surveillance cameras should be disguised depends on whether you want to deter potential thieves or catch them afterwards. However, the sign must indicate that the property is monitored. As such, camouflage can only help prevent thieves from getting past surveillance cameras in a targeted way.

How much electricity do surveillance cameras use?

The average power consumption of surveillance cameras is 5 to 15 watts in 24 hours. Extrapolated over a year, the device costs around 10 to $30 for permanent use, depending on the power provider.


Installing surveillance cameras is one way to prevent crime from happening at home. This camera also helps you monitor the condition of your home. When you're outside, you can monitor the state of the house remotely via your cellphone.

After reading our tips on choosing and recommending products, have you found the right surveillance camera? Before buying, check the specifications and features. That way, your home will be protected with the best surveillance cameras!

Post a Comment for "12 Best Surveillance Cameras For Home Security"