Best Wireless Home Security Cameras 2021

Not all wireless cameras are truly wire-free. Wi-Fi connections are one thing, but power cords are a completely different ball game.
  • Best Video Quality
    Pro:
    2K
    Con:
    Base station required
  • Best Budget Pick
    Pro:
    Pan/tilt
    Con:
    Indoor only
  • Best Alarm Compatibility
    Pro:
    Security system compatibility
    Con:
    No local storage
  • Best High-End Product
    Pro:
    Facial recognition
    Con:
    Expensive

If you want security cameras but hate the drudgery of wires and plugs, wireless cameras could be just the ticket. We’ve reviewed some of the best wireless home security cameras around to make your decision easier.

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Wired vs. wireless
What’s the difference between a wired, wireless, and wirefree camera? Wired cameras have to be wired directly into your system. Wireless cameras can communicate without additional electrical wiring. And wirefree cameras don’t require any cords at all. So basically, a wireless camera may not be wirefree, but a wirefree camera is always wireless.
Best wireless security cameras of 2020 comparison
ModelPriceQualityIndoor/outdoorLearn more
Arlo Pro 3$169.991440p/2KBothView on Amazon
Wyze Cam Pan$36.991080pIndoorView on Amazon
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery$199.991080pOutdoorView on Amazon
Nest Cam IQ Indoor$299.991080pIndoorView on Best Buy
Reolink Argus 2$94.991080pBothView Camera

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 11/04/2020 4:00 MST) Full disclaimer

Arlo Pro 3: Best video quality

Seen a lot of 1080p cameras? Arlo can do you one better.

If 1080p isn’t enough for you, the Arlo Pro 3 videos in 1440p (2K) for a superior wireless camera experience. Plus, this battery-powered, indoor-outdoor camera has multiple kinds of object detection—for a price.

Pros

  • 2K resolution
  • 160° field of view
  • IP65 weatherproofing
  • Color night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Motion detection
  • Person detection
  • Package detection
  • Environmental alarm detection
  • Zoom
  • Spotlight
  • Siren
  • Local and cloud storage
  • Three free months of Arlo Smart

Cons

  • Base station required
  • Premium service required for most features

What we like

The Arlo Pro 3 has enviable features. Zoom, spotlights, and sirens are all pluses for cameras that can be installed outdoors (like this one). It also has color night vision.

Arlo Pro 3 price and features
ModelPriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
Arlo Pro 3$169.99Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Apple HomeKitView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 11/04/2020 4:00 MST)

If you’re willing to pay for Arlo cloud storage, you’ll get even more benefits. But if you want to stick with the basic features while taking advantage of the built-in local storage, go for it.

Storage

Arlo subscription plans
Arlo planDaysMonthly price
Smart Premier30$2.99 for 1 camera
Smart Premier30$9.99 for up to 5 cameras
Smart Elite30$4.99 for 1 camera
Smart Elite30$14.99 for up to 5 cameras

Data effective 11/04/2020. Offers subject to change.

If you want to unlock your full features with the Arlo Pro 3, you’ll need to pay for Smart Premier. Smart Premier gives you access to the following:

  • 2K resolution vs. 1080p
  • Cloud storage
  • Custom activity zones
  • Person detection
  • Package detection
  • Smoke and CO alarm detection
If you use one of Arlo’s 4K cameras, you’ll have to pay for Smart Elite to get the full resolution.
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What’s included in an Arlo Smart trial?
The free three months of Arlo Smart let you try the paid subscription features at no cost.

Happily, both Smart Premier and Smart Elite are affordable.

What we don’t like

We’re not crazy about paying monthly subscription costs to fully use a product we’ve already bought. You also need an Arlo base station or SmartHub to get the Arlo 3 running, which costs even more money.

Wyze Cam Pan: Best budget pick

The Wyze Cam Pan doesn’t cost much.

If the sky-high wireless camera prices sound a little dear to you, the Wyze Cam Pan is an ultra-cheap option with a lot of features.

Pros

  • 1080p resolution
  • 120° field of view
  • Night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Motion detection
  • Person detection
  • Sound detection
  • Zoom
  • Pan/tilt
  • Local and cloud storage
  • 14 days of free cloud storage
  • Multiple accounts on one camera

Cons

  • 14 days of cloud storage maximum
  • Indoor only
  • Premium service required for person detection

What we like

This camera costs less than dinner for two at the Cheesecake Factory, yet it has pan and tilt, zoom, and person and sound detection. It even comes with 14 days of free cloud storage. That’s quite the deal.

Wyze Cam Pan price and features
ModelPriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
Wyze Cam Pan$36.99Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant (through Nest Hub or Chromecast), IFTTTView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 11/04/2020 4:00 MST)

You can also use multiple accounts on one Wyze Cam Pan, which is really nice if you’re living with another person.

Storage

Most camera brands increase your cloud storage length when you buy a subscription plan. That’s not the case with Wyze; 14 days is the maximum. Instead, when you pay for Cam Plus, you’re getting longer clip lengths.

Wyze subscription plans
Wyze planMonthly priceAnnual price
Cam Plus$1.99 per camera$14.99 per camera

Data effective 11/04/2020. Offers subject to change.

You also need Cam Plus if you want Wyze’s person detection feature.

Overall, the subscription price is reasonable, but it adds up if you buy more Wyze cameras.

What we don’t like

Again, we don’t love that you have to pay extra for a camera feature. We also don’t like that you can’t get more than 14 days of storage, even if you get a subscription.

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Wyze power cord
This camera is wireless but not wirefree. You have to plug it in to use it.
You can’t put the Wyze Cam Pan outside.

Lastly, the Wyze Cam Pan isn’t rated for outdoor use, so you can’t put it outside. It’s an indoor camera only. That limits its versatility by far.

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery: Best alarm system compatibility

The Spotlight Cam is associated with a security system company.

Ring specializes in cameras, but it also sells a security system. The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery integrates with the Ring Alarm System for a smooth monitoring experience.

Pros

  • 1080p resolution
  • 140° field of view
  • Night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Motion detection
  • Light
  • Siren
  • Cloud storage
  • Security system compatibility

Cons

  • No person detection
  • No zoom
  • No local storage

What we like

Apart from the obvious convenience of its battery power, this Ring Cam has a 300-lumen spotlight and 110-decibel siren. It also connects with the same app as a Ring home security system, creating one digital stop for all your security needs.

Ring Spotlight Cam price and features
ModelPriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery$199.99Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTTView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 11/04/2020 4:00 MST)

Storage

Ring subscription plans
Ring planDaysMonthly priceAnnual price
Protect Basic60$3.00 for 1 camera$30.00 for 1 camera
Protect Plus60$10.00 for unlimited cameras$100.00 for unlimited cameras

Data effective 11/04/2020. Offers subject to change.

Ring’s subscription plan prices are some of the best on the market, especially with the Protect Plus plan. With Protect Plus, you get free professional monitoring for your Ring Alarm system and 10% off other Ring devices.

What we don’t like

We wish this camera had zoom and (free) local video storage.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor: Best high-end camera

For those who like the finer things in security.

If you’re looking for the best cameras that money can buy, we suggest looking at the Nest Cam IQ Indoor. It definitely costs a lot, but it has facial recognition.

Heads Up icon
Nest Cam outdoors
There’s also a Nest Cam IQ Outdoor. That one has most of the same features as the IQ Indoor, but it’s weatherproofed for outdoor use. It’s significantly more expensive than the indoor version, though.

Pros

  • 1080p resolution
  • 130° field of view
  • Night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Motion detection
  • Person detection
  • Facial recognition
  • Zoom
  • Light
  • Cloud storage
  • Continuous recording

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Indoor only
  • No local storage
  • Premium service required for person detection
  • Premium service required for continuous recording history
Nest Camera Indoor IQ

What we like

The top feature for Google Nest? Definitely the facial recognition. Not many cameras offer that perk.

The Nest Cam IQ Indoor also has person detection, zoom, and a light.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor price and features
ModelPriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
Nest Cam IQ Indoor$299.99Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Philips Hue, NestView on Best Buy

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 11/04/2020 4:00 MST)

Storage

Nest subscription plans
Nest planDaysMonthly priceAnnual price
Nest Aware30$6.00 for unlimited cameras$60.00 for unlimited cameras
Nest Aware Plus60$12.00 for unlimited cameras$120.00 for unlimited cameras

Data effective 11/04/2020. Offers subject to change.

To use person detection, you have to pay for one of these plans. Aware Plus also gets you access to 10 days of continuous recording storage.

What we don’t like

This camera is incredibly expensive. When you add an annual Nest Aware Plus subscription, you’re looking at more than $400 for one camera. Yeah, it’s a cool camera, but that’s quite a chunk of change. Especially since, as we mentioned, if you don’t pay for a subscription service, you can’t use the person detection or continuous recording.

Also, this Nest Cam isn’t very versatile. You can’t use it outdoors, and it needs a cord, so it’ll be married to a location with a plug.

Reolink Argus 2: Best solar pick

The Argus 2 uses a rechargeable battery or a solar panel.

The Reolink Argus 2 is both wireless and wirefree. You have your choice of either batteries or a solar panel as long as you buy a power source separately.

Pros

  • 1080p resolution
  • 130° field of view
  • IP65 weatherproofing
  • Starlight night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Motion detection
  • Zoom
  • Siren
  • Local and cloud storage
  • Power source options

Cons

  • Power source not included
  • No person detection

What we like

The Reolink Argus 2 has clear night vision, zoom, and a siren. Best of all, you can either remove the batteries every so often or install a Reolink solar panel to keep it powered. No cords whatsoever.

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Reolink Argus 3
We also really like the ,Reolink Argus 3. The 3 has a light, which is an improvement, but you have to remove the camera from its mount to charge it, which is a step back. It’s also more expensive than the 2, so it all comes down to what matters most to you.

Also, the Argus 2 is designed to be both an indoor security camera and an outdoor security camera. You can install it almost anywhere (the mount may have some limitations).

Reolink Argus 2 price and features
ModelPriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
Reolink Argus 2$94.99Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantView on Camera

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 11/04/2020 4:00 MST)

Storage

The Argus 2 has free local storage; you just have to buy a microSD card. Each camera also comes with seven free days of cloud storage.

Reolink subscription plans
Reolink planDaysMonthly priceAnnual price
Basic Plan7$0.00 for 1 camera$0.00 for 1 camera
Standard Plan30$4.99 for up to 5 cameras$49.99 for up to 5 cameras
Premier Plan30$9.99 for up to 10 cameras$99.00 for up to 10 cameras
Business Plan60$14.99 for up to 20 cameras$149.00 for up to 20 cameras

Data effective 11/04/2020. Offers subject to change.

What we don’t like

There’s no person detection on the camera, which means it can’t tell a Prius from a jogger. Also, you have to buy a battery power cord or solar panel separately. They don’t come with.

Other wireless cameras we like

We couldn’t rank every camera that caught our eye.

If you’re feeling lukewarm about our top choices, here are a few others we wanted to shout out.

Ring Stick-Up Cam Battery

If you like the Ring Spotlight but want a cheaper camera, the Ring Stick-Up Cam costs a lot less. Just know that, while it’s feature-rich compared to some similarly priced wireless security cameras, it’s feature-lite compared to the Spotlight Cam.

Canary All-in-One Indoor

Canary puts the smart in smart home. Also known as the Canary Pro, the All-in-One has environmental sensors to check the temperature, humidity, and air quality. It uses both motion and sound detection to determine whether you’re home and automatically arm and disarm the cameras.

Netatmo Smart Indoor Camera

This indoor home security camera includes facial recognition and Apple HomeKit compatibility. Like the Arlo Pro 3, it can listen for your smoke and CO alarms. You can also pair it with Netatmo sensors to create a small, piecemeal home security setup.

Heads Up icon
What about Blink?
Blink’s home security cameras didn’t make the cut this time.

Recap: Which wireless camera is best?

Review our top picks.

As a reminder, here are the cameras we chose and why we chose them.

Arlo Pro 3: Best video quality—Go beyond 1080p with Arlo Pro 3’s 2K resolution.

Wyze Cam Pan: Best budget pick—When you choose a Wyze Cam Pan, you spend almost nothing compared to other brand prices.

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery: Best alarm system compatibility—Connect a Ring Spotlight Cam to your Ring alarm system.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor: Best high-end product—If money is no object, check out the Nest Cam IQ Indoor.

Reolink Argus 2: Best solar pick—Get the ultimate wirefree experience with the Reolink Argus 2 solar power.

If you’re leaning towards a full home security system, we can assist you there too. We can even help you find a wireless security system.

Is your house ready for a wireless security camera?

To function at full capacity, a wireless home security camera needs reliable internet. And for you to access the camera anytime, anywhere, you need a phone plan that lets you use your camera app whenever necessary.

Recommended internet plans

Cameras take up a lot of internet bandwidth. The more cameras you have, the better your download speed should be. Otherwise, your Wi-Fi will slow to a crawl.

Recommended internet plans for wireless cameras
ServicePlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Xfinity Internet - WestBlast! Pro Plus$74.99*400 MbpsView Plans
Verizon Fios Home InternetInternet 400/400$64.99/mo.400 MbpsView Plans
AT&T FiberAT&T Internet 1000$60/mo.940 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/04/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip. charges.
Ltd. avail/areas for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip. fee. Autopay & Paperless Bill req'd. $10/mo equip. fee applies

Recommended mobile plans

All the home security cameras we’ve recommended in this piece have associated apps. To use the apps when you’re not at home, you’ll need data for your mobile device. We suggest going with a high or unlimited data plan.

Wireless security camera FAQ

What if I want a wireless security camera system, not a standalone device?

Camera system can mean a few different things. If you want a full-on CCTV system, it’ll be a lot harder (but not impossible) to go wireless.

If you simply want cameras that are interconnected, we suggest going with a full suite from the same manufacturer, like Ring. You can buy a bunch of different cameras and connect them with a smart hub, but that isn’t really a camera system. You won’t be able to view them all from the same app.

Are doorbell cameras wireless?

It depends on which doorbell camera you buy. Some have rechargeable batteries, while others need to be wired into the existing doorbell hookup. And sometimes, the same model offers both options.

Check out our smart video doorbell guide.

What video quality do I need?

1080p is the new standard in security camera footage. We wouldn’t go any lower than that if you want clear clips.

How does camera motion detection work?

All the wireless cameras in this review have motion detection. That means the camera hardware includes a built-in motion sensor. When something moves on screen, the camera sends you an alert and starts to record.

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