Best Window Security Cameras 2020

Check out the best cameras to keep an eye on things through your front (or any) windows.

Just about any camera can be a window camera if you set it on a windowsill facing out. But if you want a camera meant to keep an eye out your front windows (or any windows, really) then the Logitech Circle 2 with a window mount is your best bet. Otherwise, you’ll spend some time trying to find a good work-around to some common problems.

If you want a camera that can keep an eye on things without having to be mounted directly in your window, then the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is one of our favorite outdoor security cameras on the market.

Best window cameras: Price and feature comparison
ModelResolutionField of viewNight visionLearn more
Logitech Circle 21080p180°Up to 15 ft. View on Amazon
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor1080p130°Up to 50 ft. View at Walmart

Data effective 12/2/2019. Offers subject to change.

You may like the advantages of keeping a camera inside and having it look through the window, like protection from the elements and criminals and easier access to power, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and Bluetooth. Plus, you can keep the camera (relatively) out of sight.

Logitech Circle 2: Most versatile

Designed to work behind your window better than any other security camera.

Tech specs

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Field of view: 180°
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Wired or wire-free
  • Direct-window mount designed by Logitech (purchase separately)
  • Integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit
  • Up to 31 days cloud storage with Circle Safe Premium subscription

What we like

Smart, versatile design

The Logitech Circle 2 (sometimes referred to as “Logi Circle”) has a modular design that makes it possible for you to place it throughout your home in a variety of ways, but what we love most is its perfect window mount.

The mount puts the flat surface of the camera directly onto the surface of the glass, and its 180° field of view captures more than most other cameras out there. Plus, it automatically turns off the LED ring light in Window Mode, too. These features eliminate a lot of motion-tracking problems and visibility problems caused by glare.

Hyperlapse video

Honestly, as much as we love the ability to see everything, we really don’t want to see everything. The good news is Logitech’s app sums it all up for you and shows only the most interesting events. This way, you won’t sift through useless clips trying to see if you can spot anything,

You can watch in one minute what happened on your front porch while you were at work. You’ll be able to see your package get delivered, kids stealing your lawn gnomes, or maybe even Sasquatch taking a stroll.

With Logitech’s premium Circle Safe subscription plan, you get to choose how long you want the video, what types of activity to include, and the range of hours you want. But if you don’t pay, you’ll still get 24 hours of footage turned into a 30-second video.

What we don’t like

Still not a perfect solution

Logitech’s Logi Circle 2 is designed to work on your window with optimized night vision, but even then the company recommends using external infrared lights. If you’re interested in that setup, check out these LIFX lights on Amazon to help illuminate the area.

Expensive to mount

At the time of this writing, the wall mount for the Circle 2 costs almost $30 on Amazon—yikes. While this is clearly the best option for setting your camera up behind a window, some cheap outdoor security cameras on Amazon cost just as much as the mount alone. With the camera itself costing closer to $180, it seems like a high price for an accessory.

Necessary to buy a subscription

Like other companies, Logitech requires a subscription to its top-tier plan to get the most out of it.

Logi Circle 2’s Premium subscription includes the following:

  • Person detection (because falling leaves aren’t scary—but strangers are)
  • Motion zones (to prevent needless alerts)
  • Customizable hyperlapse videos (you determine length and activity type)
  • Advanced alert and event filters (that save you time and worry)

At $9.99 per month per camera (or $99.99 per year), it’s not exactly cheap, but it is a pretty average price for security camera cloud storage. If you want a behind-the-window security camera, this is the best way.

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor: Best AI features

Nest Cam works in a window, but isn’t designed for that.

Tech specs

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Field of view: 130°
  • Indoor or outdoor, but designed for outdoor
  • Wired via a power cord
  • Third-party mounts, not directly against window
  • Timelapses
  • Integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, (not Apple HomeKit)
  • Up to 30 days cloud storage with Nest Aware subscription

What we like

Ability to turn off LED rings

Although it’s not automatic like Logitech’s window mode, you can turn off the LED rings on Nest so they don’t create reflections and glare, which would ruin your image. Other cameras like Arlo Q Plus can do this, too.

Third-party mount options

A company called Wasserstein makes a gooseneck-style mount for Nest (view it on Amazon) that you can wrap around a curtain rod for close placement to the window pane, making your picture clearer while reducing reflections and glare.

We’ve also seen some universal suction cup mounts, but we haven’t verified if they work for Nest Cam IQ Outdoor.

To optimize Nest Cam (and others) to work behind a window:

  • Turn off LED Rings (and other camera or indoor ambient lights)
  • Place camera as close to glass as possible
  • Purchase IR illuminators on Amazon to place outside

What we don’t like

More expensive with lost functionality behind a window

If you’re using your security camera behind a window, Nest Cam doesn’t work as well as Logitech Circle 2.

When you use it behind the window, the extra features that really make it worth the money in other instances are lost—like two-way audio and specific algorithms suited to outdoor-only light that make the motion tracking better. Not only that, but it costs about one-and-a-half-times as much as the Logitech.

You should also keep in mind that Nest Aware, the subscription plan you need for full features with the cameras, runs from $5–$30 a month.

Recap: Which window camera is best?

Logitech Circle 2Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
Logitech Circle 2 home security camera
$179.99$329
View on AmazonView at Walmart

Data effective 12/2/2019. Offers subject to change.

  • Use a dedicated outdoor camera if possible.
  • The Logitech Circle 2 is the best camera we came across that’s truly designed to work well behind a window.
  • Many cameras don’t have a way to turn night vision or IR lights off, creating an unusable picture filled with window glare.
  • Nest Cam Outdoor IQ (along with others, like the regular Nest Cam and the Arlo Q,) can be used behind windows, but they’re not ideal.
  • You may want to invest in IR illuminators like LIFX lights for a clearer picture at night.

How we found the best window security camera

The truth is, you can point just about any camera outside of your window, but you may run into issues.

We learned you have to mount cameras close to a window in a way that avoids glare and reduces motion-tracking problems through the glass.

We also had to make sure the LEDs or other ambient lights didn’t set off unnecessary alerts or ruin the picture quality (unfortunately, the Canary Flex cam and others we reviewed didn’t have this option). We also needed night vision—the farther away we could see, the better.

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor does about the same thing as Logitech Circle 2. And Nest may be the better camera overall, but not only is it less effective in this specific use case, but it’s also one-and-a-half-times as expensive. It’s also a bit overkill feature-wise for the simple task of looking out the window—and you’d need something like LIFX lights with infrared illuminators (which you can find on Amazon) to help get a decent image.

After it was all said and done, the Logitech Circle 2 is the best option out there for a window camera. It’s actually designed with that use in mind, so you’ll be able to get it up and going with much less effort. As we’ve mentioned, you may be better off picking one of our Best Outdoor Security Cameras.

What about a full-blown professional security system with cameras?

SystemCamera monitoring plan priceLearn more
Vivint$44.99/mo.Get a Quote
Frontpoint$49.99/mo.Get a Quote
ADT$59.99/mo.Get a Quote
SimpliSafeN/A*View System
Protect America$41.99–$54.99/mo.Get a Quote

Data effective 12/2/2019. Offers subject to change.

* SimpliSafe cameras can be used without a plan or with a standalone camera plan. 

Many professionally monitored home security systems offer security cameras as part of their top-tier plans. Check out our best home security systems review to explore even more security camera solutions available.

  • Adelia Zhang

    Nice informative post. Your IP Cameras are looking very eye catching. Last month I had bought one wireless IP camera for my home. Really this camera is very help flu for me.

    • Maria Millett

      Thanks, Adelia! Glad we could help.