Best Window Security Cameras
If you want a window security camera, 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. And while we think most people would prefer a dedicated outdoor security camera, that’s not always possible.
|Model||Resolution||Field of view||Night vision||Learn more|
|Logitech Circle 2||1080p||180°||Up to 15 ft.||View price|
|Nest Cam IQ Outdoor||1080p||130°||Up to 50 ft.||View Price|
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.
We’ll get right into it, but if you’re curious about how we picked our favorite window cameras, read below.
Logitech Circle 2
Designed to work behind your window better than any other security camera.
- Resolution: 1080p
- Field of view: 180°
- Indoor or outdoor
- Wired or wire-free
- Direct-window mount designed by Logitech (purchase separately)
- Auto LED off
- Hyperlapse brief
- Integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit
- Up to 31 days cloud storage with Circle Safe 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. Plus, it automatically turns off the LED ring in Window Mode, too. These features eliminate a lot of motion-tracking problems and visibility problems caused by glare.
Honestly, as much as we love the ability to see everything, we really don’t want to see e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. The good news is Logi’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 the premium 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 IR 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 $40 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 $170–$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 $99 per year per camera, it’s not exactly cheap, but it is the standard price for security camera footage cloud storage. Still, if you want a behind-the-window security camera, this is the best way.
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
Nest Cam works in a window, but isn’t designed for that.
- Resolution: 1080p
- Field of view: 130°
- Indoor or outdoor, but designed for outdoor
- Wired, 25-ft. power cable
- Third-party mounts, not directly against window
- Manual LED off
- 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 Pro Q can do this, too.
Third-party mount options
A company called Wasserstein makes a gooseneck-style mount for Nest (and Canary) 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 Outdoor IQ.
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. Nest Aware, the subscription plan you need for full features with the cameras, runs from $5—$30 a month, or $50—$300 a year.
Best window cams recap
- Use a dedicated outdoor camera if possible.
- The Logitech Circle 2 is the only camera we came across 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 regular Nest Cam and 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 Logi 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 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.
Have you used a camera behind the window that you’d recommend? If so, leave us a comment below.
What about a full-blown professional security system with cameras?
|Protect America||View Plans|
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.