Home security cameras
No need for wires or a TV monitor – these standalone sentinels connect to your Wi-fi and you operate them from your smartphone. But which to pick?
A smart security camera offers instant home surveillance, connecting to your Wi-fi network so you can see what it’s seeing, from anywhere, in a phone app. Rather than recording constantly like CCTV, it kicks into action when it detects movement, then sends you a notification. These cameras sit in one place, and don’t pan or tilt, although the Nest Cam IQ can zoom in on a person within the frame and follow them around.
Video is usually saved to online storage (this needs broadband, and may use a lot of data if recording is triggered often), which may be free of charge for a few days but requires a subscription if you want it kept longer. Some cameras also record internally. Geofencing, if supported, tracks the GPS in your phone and turns the system on when everyone’s away from the house. A few cameras are battery-powered, but most require a mains lead.
The cameras tested here are mostly for indoor use, but others work outdoors (see ‘Alternatives’ box below). It arguably makes more sense to catch intruders on the way in, but it’s unlikely a single camera will cover all points of entry, and you must take care not to film beyond your property: see www.snipca. com/27665 for official guidelines. An indoor camera can cover a wide area through which intruders are likely to pass.