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Top 5 Wireless Home Security Cameras For 2017

Nest Cam Indoor.

Never has it been so easy to protect what’s yours, long gone are the days of breaking out the tool box, trying to position a camera in the right spot, hooking up reams of cables into some flaky DVR box that’s unlikely to live past its first birthday. Thanks to cloud based wireless technology we can say goodbye to the cables, say au revoir to the DVR box and say hello to the freedom and security these wireless beauties bring. Peace of mind has never looked so appealing.

Nest Cam Indoor is intelligent.

1. Nest Cam Indoor

First up we have Nest Cam Indoor, the big boy on the block. Nest Cam Indoor is a product of Nest Labs which might not mean much to you but Nest Labs is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc aka Google so you know they’re packing heat.

Nest Cam Indoor is eye catching and sleek, coming with a 130° wide-angle view that’s able to catch footage in 1080p HD day or night.

The device is impressive, it comes with a glass lens with a photo quality 3-megapixel sensor, 8 infrared night vision LED sensors to cut through the cover of darkness, furthermore it comes with a microphone and speaker so you can speak and hear sounds clearly up to 20 foot away.

As a security measure Nest Cam Indoor has a small LED light built in that indicates if someone is watching or if someone is talking (along with a little chime to catch your attention) so you needn’t wonder if you’re being snooped on.

Nest Cam Indoor uses 128 bit AES with TLS/SSL encryption, Perfect Forward Secrecy and a unique 2048 bit RSA key.

The device is dual-band Wi-Fi using both 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies as well as H.264 compression to ensure the footage streams smoothly with no buffering and at no extra cost to your bandwidth.

Nest Cam Indoor is intelligent, utilising powerful cloud algorithms to send alerts to your mobile phone or e-mail when motion or sound is detected meaning you get all the right alerts live as it happens with none of the false alarms the cheaper cameras get. Nest Cam Indoor provides the ability to share live video with your friends, the footage can be password protected too for added security.

The camera is intelligent and it shows, for example the LED sensors inside can tell the difference between a torch and sunlight meaning the night vision won’t turn off every time a bright like passes in front of the camera.

The camera can be controlled via the Nest app (available on iOS and Android) or through a web interface on the Nest website. The device can zoom up to 8x digitally should you want to focus on an area. Activity zones can be setup so you can have the camera only watch a specific region for events which is perfect if you have pets at home.

Nest Cam Indoor can detect if you’re at home or not by using your phones location, if you’re at home it can automatically turn off all alerts or even switch itself off.

Out of the box you get the camera, a stand with a magnetic base, a 3-metre USB cable and power adapter, some guide manuals and some screws with a wall mounting plate.

Installation is simple and hassle free, just what you’d come to expect from a product that has been well designed right from the go.

Nest Cam Indoor has an RRP of £159.00. If you’d like access to 10 days’ worth of video history you’re going to need a subscription to Nest Aware, this comes in at £8 a month or £80 for the year. If 10 days isn’t good enough you can get 30 days’ worth for £24 a month or £240 for the year.

If you don’t want to subscribe to Nest Aware you do get a 30-day free trial but once that’s up your device is only able to provide live footage and alerts for the day, essentially turning it into a glorified baby monitor.

You can put more than one camera inside your house which is good and Nest Labs also make an outdoor camera called Nest Cam Outdoor which is worth checking out.

I do need to mention however that a Nest Aware subscription only covers one camera so every new camera you add will need another subscription, this is a huge costly drawback. You will need a minimum upload speed of 2Mbps too so if you’re one of the unlucky forsaken souls on 56k you’ll need to give this a wide berth.

The camera is sleek and impressive.

Key Stats

  • Make: Nest Labs.
  • Model: Nest Cam Indoor.
  • Colour: Black.
  • Video: 1/3”, 3-megapixel sensor, glass lens, 1080p (1920 x 1080), 30fps.
  • Zoom: 8x Digital.
  • Field of View: 130°.
  • Night Vision: Yes – 8 infrared LEDs.
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor only.
  • Power: Mains connected.
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi – 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz, 802.11a/n 5GHz, Bluetooth Low Energy.
  • Size: Height: 4.5”, Width: 2.9”, Depth: 2.9”.
  • Weight: 213g.
  • Storage: Cloud only – free and a paid subscription.
  • Other: Works with IFTTT. A minimum broadband upload speed of 2Mbps is required.
  • More info available from the Nest website.

TLDR

Nest Cam Indoor is the one of the best out there but the premium features come with a premium price tag and subscription to boot, not something you should consider if you’re looking for a bargain.

Star.Star.Star.Star.Empty Star.


Canary is one of the strongest players.

2. Canary

Canary started out as a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Within a month, Canary had pre-sold 10,000 devices to people all over the world. Today Canary is one of the strongest players in the market.

Canary offer 2 innovative products. Canary (indoor use only) and Canary Flex (indoor and outdoor use).

Canary comes jam-packed with features; powerful 1080p HD camera with a wide-angle lens, automatic night vision, the ability to monitor temperature, humidity and air quality, built in 90 decibel sirens (this is the equivalent of a Boeing 737 at one nautical mile before landing). You can activate the siren via the Canary security app (available on iOS and Android) or connect through to the emergency services.

The device is always learning and adapting. It can detect if you’re home or not which allows it to auto-arm. It can detect unusual activity in your home.

Canary examines the temperature, humidity, and air quality in the home to provide an overview of the last 24 hours; it tracks your home’s climate and shows you real-time temperature readings along with recent heat spikes or drops. These measurements can help you monitor your comfort, your utilities and your safety. Furthermore, Canary monitors how much water vapor is in the air. Humidity, along with temperature, can affect your overall health as well as structural factors in your home (such as mould). The device detects changes in air quality caused by pollutants such as:

  • Isobutane.
  • Hydrogen.
  • Methane.
  • Ethanol.
  • Carbon monoxide.
  • Cigarette smoke.
  • Cooking odours.

For all the innovative features the Canary has it also seems to be lacking some that you’d expect to ship with the product – disappointingly the Wi-Fi connectivity is only 2.4GHz which means slower speeds than the Nest Cam Indoor however a great feature to counter that is there’s an Ethernet port in the back which offers faster speeds and a more stable connection (assuming you don’t mind running a cable from your router to the camera).

The Canary is also missing the ability to talk via the camera however you can listen to sounds clearly with the inbuilt microphone.

You can manage the device via the smartphone app, notably there is no access available via the web.

Canary uses 256 bit AES with TLS/SSL encryption to store data to the cloud.

Canary comes with an RRP of £159.00. You don’t need to have a subscription, all footage is saved for 24 hours, but there is an option for 30 days’ worth of storage at a price of £7.99 a month.

As with the Nest Cam Indoor, the Canary is straight forward to install.

Canary comes jam-packed with features.

Key Stats

  • Make: Canary.
  • Model: Canary.
  • Colour: Black, White or Silver.
  • Video: 3.1-megapixel sensor, 1080p HD (1920 x 1080), 30fps.
  • Zoom: 3x Digital.
  • Field of View: 147°.
  • Night Vision: Yes – 12 infrared LEDs.
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor.
  • Power: Mains connected.
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi – 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz, Ethernet, Bluetooth Low Energy.
  • Size: Height: 6″, Width: 3″, Depth: 3″.
  • Weight: 396g.
  • Storage: Cloud only – free and a paid subscription.
  • Other: Works with IFTTT. A minimum broadband upload speed of 1Mbps is required. The ability to monitor temperature, humidity and air quality, 90+ decibel siren.
  • More info available from the Canary website.

TLDR

The Canary is innovative and filled with great features but it lacks the basics you’d expect from a high-end camera. A great all round security camera.

Star.Star.Star.Star.Empty Star.


Piper NV is ground breaking.

3. Piper NV

Piper NV is the ground-breaking product of Icontrol Networks. When they were designing this thing it’s like the designers took a Canary and ramped everything up and then some.

The high quality 3.4-megapixel fish eye lens provides an immersive 180° panoramic view with pan/tilt/zoom options. Piper comes with an ear busting 105 decibel siren (that’s the equivalent of standing just over 300 meters away from a jet taking off – or operating a jackhammer with no hearing protection).

The device has built in motion detection using a precise motion sensor, there is also a high-quality microphone used to detect sounds such as a window being broken or a back door being smashed in (easy tiger, get your mind out the gutter). There’s also a speaker built in to allow for 2-way communication so you can talk to whoever is in your home.

Piper can operate with a further 4 more cameras, it can work with other wireless devices too like smart lights or window & door sensors, best of all it ties in with the Life360 service which compliments the camera well.

Much like Canary, Piper can provide environmental data such as temperature, humidity, light and sound.

The device is powered via the mains but also has batteries just in case someone does come in and pulls the power from it.

Once you buy the camera that’s it, there’s no additional fees to pay, the camera is extremely easy to setup and control. The camera can be controlled via the app (available on iOS and Android), from there you can create intelligent rules for how the camera should react to certain events.

A great feature for this camera is something called “Bedside Mode”, it acts as a panic button on the user’s phone giving them the ability to quickly set the siren off in case of an emergency. This would be great for any elderly relatives who could set Piper to Bedside Mode before going to sleep, you could also check in from time to time to see how they’re getting on.

Piper really is the full Monty, if an event occurs and it needs to get hold of you unlike its competitors Piper can push notifications to your phone, text you, email you or phone you.

The RRP for Piper NV is £229.99.

Piper NV is a Canary and then some.

Key Stats

  • Make: Icontrol Networks.
  • Model: Piper NV.
  • Colour: Black or White.
  • Video: 3.4-megapixel sensor, 1080p HD (1920 x 1080), Variable FPS.
  • Zoom: 10x Digital.
  • Field of View: 180°.
  • Night Vision: Yes – 12 infrared LEDs.
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor.
  • Power: Mains connected and battery.
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz, Series 500 Z-Wave Controller.
  • Size: Height: 5.5″, Width: 7″, Depth: 8.8″.
  • Weight: 327g.
  • Storage: Cloud only – no fees, all free.
  • Other: Works with IFTTT. A minimum broadband upload speed of 1Mbps is required. The ability to monitor temperature, humidity, light and sound, 105 decibel sirens, Series 500 Z-Wave Controller – #http://www.z-wave.com/.
  • More info available from the Piper website.

TLDR

Piper NV is a great all-rounder, the only thing that concerns me is they don’t have as much of a presence as the other manufacturers, could the future of this product be as secure as Googles Nest Cam? Watch this space. This camera has the best specs.

Star.Star.Star.Star.Empty Star.


Logitech Logi Circle.

4. Logitech Logi Circle

The Circle is Logitech’s foray into the smart camera market, it comes with a 135° wide angle glass lens giving a nice clear 1080p HD shot. As per the competition it comes with auto night vision up to 15 feet, 8x digital zoom, smart events and alerts, the ability to time lapse the day (which is a cracking feature), there’s also a built-in speaker and mic for 2 way communication.

Circle can filter the false alerts whilst being smart enough to recognise if a person is detected in the footage. You can set it up to receive alerts for specific areas of your home you’d like monitoring. Advanced analytics are available but I’ll come onto that shortly.

The camera is relatively small and unassuming which I really like but that’s not where the cool features end, it also comes with the ability to manually pan the camera 360° or tilt it 110°. It also comes with a rechargeable lithium battery (1600 mAh – up to 12 hours of total battery life and 3 hours when continually streaming) and magnetic wall mounting hardware which means you can mount it to a wall or stick it to anything metal.

Security wise Circle can match the big players, using instant data encryption with SSL web transfer, AES 256-bit dual layer encrypted cloud storage. Just like the Nest circle has an inbuilt LED that is used to indicate if someone is checking in on the camera or if the camera needs recharging.

The device is extremely simple to setup it can be done in a matter of moments. It can be controlled via smartphone app (available on iOS and Android) or via the web app. It’s possible to have multiple cameras in your home.

The Circle uses high speed Wi-Fi 5GHz and standard 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n.

The RRP for this product is £159.99. As with the Nest Cam and Canary you get 24 hours’ free footage but if you’d like to keep it longer you’ll need a subscription. To keep the footage for 14 days you’ll need a Circle Safe Basic subscription which costs £2.99 a month per camera, if you’d like to keep the footage for a total of 31 days you’ll need a Circle Safe Premium subscription which costs £7.99 a month per camera (or £79.99 per year per camera). A Circle Safe Premium subscription also enables Person Detection, Motion Zones and Advanced Event and Alert Filters.

Despite all the positives going for this quirky little camera I don’t believe it’s as capable as some of the others on the market. The camera is the weakest of the 5 but don’t let that put you off, if you’re looking for a small camera that covers all the basics then this has your name all over it.

The camera is small and inconspicuous.

Key Stats

  • Make: Logitech.
  • Model: Logi Circle.
  • Colour: Black or White.
  • Video: 3-megapixel sensor, glass lens, 1080p (1280 x 720), 30fps.
  • Zoom: 8x Digital.
  • Field of View: 135°
  • Night Vision: Yes – Infrared.
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor.
  • Power: Mains connected and battery.
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz and 5GHz, Bluetooth Low Energy.
  • Size: Height: 2.95″, Width: 2.63″, Depth: 2.55″.
  • Weight: 186g.
  • Storage: Cloud only – free and paid subscriptions.
  • Other: Advanced analytics available only with the top end subscription. “High speed” broadband required, no actual speeds referenced.
  • More info available from the Logitech website.

TLDR

The Circle’s a mid-level camera that covers all the basics.

Star.Star.Star.Empty Star.Empty Star.


NETGEAR Arlo Pro is without a doubt the best there is.

5. NETGEAR Arlo Pro

Finally we get to the daddy.

NETGEAR are a well-established firm with a reputation for producing high quality goods.

NETGEAR offer a whole host of smart home security solutions, in this case I’ll be reviewing the Arlo Pro.

The system is completely wireless, can be used indoors or out, comes with a quick charging rechargeable battery (2440mAh), smart security camera with 2-way audio and a 130° HD (1280 x 720) wide angle lens giving crystal clear footage with the ability to pan and digitally zoom. The Arlo Pro is IP65-certified (protected from total dust ingress and lower pressure water jets from any direction to a limited extent). It comes with a wide angle PIR motion sensor which provides advanced motion detection, backing that up is the integrated automatic night vision (illuminates up to 25 feet). The cameras can be connected to the mains or left to run off the batteries the choice is yours.

Unlike the others on the market you do need more than just the camera, you need to buy the base station too but trust me, it’s worth it. The cameras talk to the base station over their own private Wi-Fi network and the base station is either wired into the router/switch or connected via Wi-Fi (2.4GHz 802.11n) which provides access to the internet.

The base station has a smart siren that can reach a deafening 100+ decibels (only beaten by Piper NV), this can be set off remotely or triggered via motion or audio.

The cameras can be controlled via the web app or the smartphone app (available on iOS and Android). Alerts arrive via mobile notification or email, not quite as broad as Piper but it’s certainly not a deal breaker.

The ability to save footage locally (I’m not talking about smartphones, I’m referring to removable media) is something not seen elsewhere. A fantastic feature that I’d love to see others doing. You can connect a USB drive to the base station and back up the footage.

This camera does it all, it’s hard not to be impressed. You can use smart scheduling, geo-fencing, custom modes and IFTTT to have Arlo meet your needs. This is what makes this a true smart security solution.

You can share camera access or footage without any hassle.

The system isn’t difficult to setup but does require a few more steps than the others (detailed instructions are available on the Arlo website).

Subscription plan options are varied but as a brief overview; There’s 2 subscription types, one for people who just want to record motion and the other for recording continuously 24/7. In this article, we’ll only be looking at the motion only plans. The free basic subscription provides a fantastic 7 days of cloud recordings (up to 1GB) and up to 5 cameras on the plan. The Premier plan (£6.49 a month or £64 a year) gives 30 days of cloud recordings (up to 10GB) and up to 10 cameras on the plan. The top of the line subscription is the Elite plan (£9.99 a month or £99 for a year) and that gives 60 days of cloud recordings (up to 100GB) and a maximum of 15 cameras on your plan.

One camera and a base station has an RPP of £316.77, substantially more than what’s out there but this is the best on the market.

The Arlo Pro is the daddy.

Key Stats

  • Make: NETGEAR.
  • Model: Arlo Pro.
  • Colour: White (although you can purchase coloured silicone skins to go over the camera).
  • Video: 1/3”, Unable to locate the megapixel but saw 1 quote saying 1-megapixel!, 720p HD (1280 x 720), 24fps.
  • Zoom: 8x Digital.
  • Field of View: 130°
  • Night Vision: Yes – Infrared up to 25 feet.
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor and Outdoor.
  • Power: Mains connected and battery.
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi – 802.11bn 2.4GHz, Ethernet.
  • Size: Height: 6.85″, Width: 4.96″, Depth: 2.32″.
  • Weight: 318g.
  • Storage: Local and Cloud – free and paid subscriptions.
  • Other: Works with IFTTT. A minimum broadband upload speed of 1Mbps is required. Has a 100+ decibel siren. The limit cameras can be moved away from the base station is 300ft dependant on nearby objects. It’s possible to use 2 base stations to help extend the range.
  • More info available from the Arlo website.

TLDR

Arlo Pro is without a doubt the best there is out there, if money is not a problem then this is the system you need.

Star.Star.Star.Star.Star.


An honourable shout out goes to Cammy and Ring, both very notable and worth checking out.

To wrap up, I know some people are put off by the idea of having cameras inside their house and that’s OK (I’m currently writing this article on a laptop with the camera covered over), the problem here is this a trend that’s not likely to stop so you can either embrace it and use it to your benefit or you can reject it and turn to more traditional methods with their drawbacks but it’s worth keeping in mind a lot of smart devices in the house these days carry some kind of camera or microphone, how long can you push back on this step forward in technology? I for one believe reasonable measures are in place to stop these systems from being abused, I know nothing is impossible so I do take precautions when I need some extra assurance but I feel the positives outweigh the paranoia.

How did we do? Did we miss anything off? Anything we could improve on? Let us know, your feedback is invaluable.

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