An indoor security camera is one of the best ways to protect your home when you’re away. If anything happens, then you can easily see what’s going on immediately, giving you a chance to call the police. There are lots of options out there, but out guide to the best security cameras will help you find the right one.
We’ve tested hundreds of security cameras before but here is our list of the best ones only. Each entry has a full description of the camera, but you can also click the links to jump to the full review. For ease, we’ve listed the best cameras below:
- Best indoor security camera Nest Cam IQ
- Best flexible indoor security camera Hive View
- Best budget indoor security camera Neos Smartcam
- Best battery-powered camera Arlo
Before you start looking for your cameras, it’s worth saying that you should buy multiple cameras from the same manufacturer to keep the cost of cloud storage down.
1. Nest Cam IQ
The most powerful indoor security camera
With its 4K sensor, the Nest Cam IQ is capable of shooting some of the best footage you’ll see from a security camera. Although footage is streamed to the cloud at 1080p, using a 4K sensor ensures better image quality. Plus, the sensor gives one more advantage: you can zoom into the picture
with an effective 4x zoom if you really want to get up-close-and-personal with what’s going on in your home.
Beautifully designed, the Nest Cam IQ has one of the best stands in the business, allowing you to angle and adjust the camera to capture what you need to. The camera comes into its own when paired with a Nest Aware subscription. This adds in motion detection zones, so you can choose which parts of the image to monitor for alerts; however, the camera can record for 24 hours a day with some subscriptions, so you’ll never miss anything.
This model offers facial recognition, so you’ll know if someone you know or a stranger comes into your home. The Nest Cam IQ isn’t cheap, but if you want high-quality footage partnered with a superb app then there’s no competition.
Camera type: Indoor security camera, Size: 124 x 74 x 74mm, Resolution: 1080p, Field of view: 130-degrees, Recording option: Cloud, Night vision: Yes, Power source: Mains powered, Smart assistants: Google Assistant
Read our full Nest Cam IQ review
2. Hive View
A flexible and fun security camera
The Hive View is a neat and fun security camera that looks great. The camera is powered through the flexible stand, but can be battery-powered too, so you can temporarily monitor another area for around an hour or so. This is handy for those times you may have the front door open, for example, or are unloading your car and want that extra bit of protection.
Hive’s app has had a fair bit of work since the camera launched, fixing most of our initial issues. For starters, you can now download footage to your phone, enabling you to save any evidence you might need. It’s nice to see free cloud storage, with clips stored for 24 hours; if you want more storage, you can simply pay for more with a reasonable monthly fee.
Video quality is pretty good, capturing detail in faces both during the day and at night. More recently, Hive has added activity zones to monitor certain areas only.
Camera type: Indoor security camera, Size: 145 x 88 x 88mm, Resolution: 1080p, Field of view: 130-degrees, Recording option: Cloud, Night vision: Yes, Power source: Mains powered, Smart assistants: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
Read our full Hive View review
3. Neos Smartcam
Stunning value from this camera that costs less than £20
A Full HD camera for less than £20 with free cloud storage – there has to be a catch, right? Well, yes, but for many people, the slight limitations of the Neos SmartCam are easy to forgive at this price. The main downside is that the free cloud storage is for 12-second clips and there’s a five-minute delay between clip creation.
We found that the camera mostly captured faces and movement properly, but there’s a chance in busy areas that the camera may not record the crucial evidence that you need. A backup is that you can record to microSD card, with the camera recording permanently, although you can’t view the footage through the app, only by taking the card out and inserting it in into a computer.
The app is nicely designed, although basic, with the ability to control motion detection sensitivity. False positives were kept down and the camera only triggered when something was physically moving in front of it. You can further restrict recordings by arming and disarming the camera either manually or using geofencing.
Image quality is good, although a touch off the pace of the best cameras that we’ve reviewed. Still, for less than £20, it’s hard to complain. If you want a camera for occasional use in less busy areas, this is a great choice.
Camera type: Indoor security camera, Size: 56 x 50 x 50mm, Resolution: 1080p, Field of view: 110-degrees, Recording option: Cloud and microSD, Night vision: Yes, Power source: Mains powered, Smart assistants: Amazon Alexa
Read our full Neos SmartCam review
4. Arlo Pro and Arlo Ultra
The best battery-powered cameras that can go inside or out
The beauty of the Arlo range is that its cameras can be placed inside and out, and they work as well in both locations. These battery-powered cameras are extremely flexible, and one of the best things about this are the systems’ modes. With these, you can tell the system which cameras to arm and which to disarm; for example, you can always have outdoor cameras recording, but you can turn on internal cameras when you’re away or just at night.
It’s worth mentioning the two current cameras, which are the Arlo Pro 3 (2K resolution) and the Arlo Ultra (4K resolution). Once you’ve got a starter kit with base station, you can add additional Arlo cameras into the mix, including the older Arlo Pro 2 (1080p).
Excellent image quality across the range, and powerful cloud activity zones let you combine the best features of a mains-powered camera with the flexibility of a battery-powered one.
Camera type: Indoor and outdoor security camera, Size: 89mm x 52mm x 78mm, Resolution: 4K (Ultra), 2K (Pro 3), Field of view: 160-degree, Recording option: Cloud, USB, Night vision: Yes, Power source: Battery Powered, Smart assistants: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
Indoor Security Camera buying guide
Should I buy a battery-powered camera or a mains-powered one? Inside, there are fewer problems getting to a power socket, so mains-powered cameras make a lot of sense and you don’t have to worry about changing batteries. That said, if you want to put cameras in some areas that are usually poorly covered by power sockets, such as hallways, then a battery powered model makes sense. Just be careful where you place a model like this, as pets walking around can drain the battery.
What resolution do I need? There’s little point in buying anything other than a 1080p model at the moment, as you’ll get sharp-enough footage to capture everything you need. Go for 2K or 4K footage if you want even more detailed footage.
Should I turn cameras on or off? You should turn indoor cameras off when you’re at home and off when you’re out or its night time, as this means that you won’t record yourself by accident when you’re walking around. The best cameras have tools to make this easier, such as Ring cameras, which let you activate or deactivate cameras based on the Ring Alarm setting.
Do I need cloud storage? The advantage of cloud storage is that any footage is safe from theft; you can always download it and hand it over to the police. However, there’s a monthly cost associated with this. If you only want the odd bit of footage and don’t want to be tied to monthly plans, look for a camera that has local storage instead.
Should I get a camera with a pan and tilt motor? Cameras that you can remote control to pan and tilt around used to be very popular, giving you a way to look around to see what’s going on. They’ve falled out of favour for two reasons. First, they’re expensive. Secondly, if you move the camera’s field of view, you may not be convering the most important parts of your property. And, motion zones don’t work with these cameras, as you can’t mark an area to watch if you may move the camera. Instead, we recommend buying a fixed camera and focussing in on the area that you want to monitor. If you need more coverage add an additional camera.
What else should I look for? Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support is handy if you want to stream footage to your TV or screen-enabled smart speaker. IFTTT can be useful, too, letting you control other devices when motion is detected, such as turning on a light automatically. Nest cameras have Works With Nest automatic rules, so they can be turned on automatically when a smoke alarm goes off, for instance, or they can turn on your Hue lights automatically if suspicious activity is detected.