Keeping our homes and loved ones safe is a priority for us all. One of the best ways to create peace of mind is to buy a wireless security system for your home or office. With handy new features like two-way audio, adjustable sensor sensitivity, and the ability to save footage, you and your family can feel safe. Here are our picks for 2021’s top wireless security cameras.

If you’re looking for more of the best home security cameras, we’ve also gathered a list of top outdoor security cameras to buy this year.

At a glance

  • The best wireless security camera: Arlo Pro 3 Security Camera
  • The best backyard wireless security camera: Ring Stick Up Cam
  • The best DIY wireless security camera: Blink XT2
  • The best front porch wireless security camera: Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
  • The best MicroSD card wireless security camera: D-Link HD Wi-Fi Security Camera
  • The best wireless security camera with facial recognition: Netatmo Welcome, Home Security Camera

The best wireless security camera: Arlo Pro 3 Security Camera System

Netgear Arlo Pro 3
Terry Walsh / Digital Trends

Why we picked the Arlo Pro 3:

The Arlo Pro 2 held our pick for the best wireless security camera for some time, but the Arlo Pro 3 edges out the Pro 2. It offers high-definition, super crisp 2K video resolution in a weather-proof two-camera system. Footage is clear even at night, thanks to high-quality night vision capabilities. The camera even has color night vision, with a built-in LED spotlight you can activate manually or in response to motion. You can also use the motion-detection feature to begin recording an event once the motion or sound sensors are triggered. With a 160-degree viewing angle, the camera has an even wider field of view. Plus, there’s a built-in siren for added protection.

This indoor/outdoor camera also includes the convenience of noise-canceling two-way audio, meaning there are a built-in mic and speaker that let you communicate with someone on the other end. The audio quality is excellent, and conversation flows naturally. The Arlo Pro 3 camera system comes with two cameras, but you can add on additional cameras if you’d like. It is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you’ll be able to view video in real time on your smart display just by saying a simple command out loud. Conveniently, you won’t have to deal with any pesky wires, since this camera is wire-free. The Pro 3 also includes a three-month trial of Arlo Smart, so you get access to advanced features like 30 days of recording history, activity zones, E-911 calling, and advanced detection features (which can send you alerts when people, packages, vehicles, or animals enter your camera’s view).

Check out our full review of the Arlo Pro 3.

The best backyard wireless security camera: Ring Stick Up Cam (2019 version)

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Why we picked the Ring Stick Up Cam:

Amazon’s new iteration of the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery retails for only $100. This sturdy indoor/outdoor cam can record footage from pretty much anywhere, but it especially shines when it comes to outdoor placement: The base offers numerous mounting options for any corner, wall, fence, or perch that you want, and provides broad (it has a 130-degree field of view) 1080p images with pretty good night vision.

The Ring app is always a solid choice for cam management, but it pairs especially well with the Stick Up Cam, allowing you to view and save footage, view live footage, get alerts, adjust the sensitivity of the motion sensor, and check on the battery. If you want to use the cam indoors or use an Echo Show to check out live footage, the cam is also compatible with Alexa voice commands.

Ring has received some criticism, as some users have reported their Ring cameras being hacked, and a handful of Ring employees have reportedly been fired for accessing customer video feeds. To promote privacy, Ring has added additional privacy and security features, like two-step verification, to cameras such as the Ring Stick Up Cam.

Check out our review of the Ring Stick Up Cam

The best DIY wireless security camera: Blink XT2

Why we picked the Blink XT2:

Not only does the Blink XT home security camera stream high-quality 1080p video, but it’s also very simple to set up on your own within minutes. You won’t have to set it up near an outlet or work with any confusing wires — simply turn it on, sync it up to your mobile device, and it’s ready to be used.

The Blink XT2‘s built-in motion sensor will alert you when the detector is triggered, and the camera will immediately begin recording a clip of the event. You can even customize motion zones. The camera is also conveniently powered by the included AA lithium batteries, with a two-year lifespan. Cloud storage is also totally free, without any monthly fees or subscription contract. You can create a Blink XT home security system with just one camera if you only want to keep an eye on the front door, or you can include up to 10 cameras on one Blink Sync Module. This camera is also weatherproof, so you can put it outside.

The best front porch wireless security camera: Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

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Why we picked the Ring Spotlight Cam:

While both the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery and Spotlight Cam Solar stream high-quality, crystal-clear video footage, it takes things a step further by also including a 110-decibel siren, which you can sound if you have suspicious activity happening around your home. It’s perfect for catching porch pirates. The camera also has a built-in motion detector that will shine lights and begin recording video whenever motion is detected, helping to prevent possible crimes before they happen. Thanks to two-way audio, you can see, hear, and speak to people who are at your home, using just your iOS or Android smartphone, tablet, or Mac or PC laptop.

You can set up the Ring Spotlight Cam and begin using it in just minutes, even if you’re not the handiest person. Plus, this wireless version of the Ring camera gives you the added convenience of not having to deal with any outlets or tangled mess of wires, while the Spotlight Cam Solar offers a solar panel to help you charge the battery using just the sun.

Check out our full review of the Ring Spotlight Cam.

The best MicroSD card wireless security camera: D-Link HD Wi-Fi Security Camera

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Why we picked the D-Link HD Wi-Fi Security Camera:

Some people don’t like dealing with cloud storage and prefer the tangible assurance of a memory card. The wireless D-Link DCS-2630L does not offer a cloud-based storage solution, so all recorded footage will go into a microSD card. There are no recurring fees, and you can view footage all at once by inserting the SD card into your laptop or computer. Footage comes out clear, thanks to 720p HD video resolution that you can view live using your smartphone or computer.

The D-Link HD Wi-Fi Security Camera also boasts built-in sound and motion detectors, so you can program the app to send you notifications whenever a recording is triggered by the sensors. With infrared night vision, the camera can show you up to 16 feet in total darkness. While this user-friendly camera is certainly an ideal option for some homes, it does have limited scheduling abilities.

The best wireless security camera with facial recognition: Netatmo Welcome, Home Security Camera

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Why we picked the Netatmo Welcome, Home Security Camera:

This stand-alone security camera offers one feature that many do not: Facial recognition. The Netatmo Welcome camera can quickly learn to recognize the faces and names of everyone in your family, and then the camera will create user profiles so it can monitor everyone’s comings and goings. This technology will let you know that your teenager arrived home from school safely, or that the dog walker did indeed come to pick up Fido that day. The camera’s 1080p footage is also crisp and sharp and offers a 130-degree field of view so you can see more of your home at once. Night vision guarantees you’ll get a clear view even when there’s little to no light in the home.

While you’ll want to hide most security cameras on a high shelf or in the corner of a room, you can display the Netatmo Welcome, Home Security Camera proudly, thanks to the attractive aluminum finish and cylindrical shape that makes it look less like a camera and more like an Echo device. Recorded videos are stored locally on an included micro SD card, so you’re guaranteed total privacy. Plus, you have the option of using your FTP server or your Dropbox account as extra storage. Set it up inconspicuously on any shelf, table, or nook of the room — there are no wires that will give away the camera in the corner.

Research and buying tips

How do wireless security cameras work?

Wireless security cameras connect to Wi-Fi (as opposed to being hardwired), and they send data through the home Wi-Fi network instead of through a physical cable.

Because so many cameras are Wi-Fi, some people think of wireless security cameras as units that don’t have any wires. These types of cameras are solar-powered or powered by batteries (most of the time rechargeable batteries), as opposed to plugging into wall outlets. This makes it so you don’t have to worry about hiding a wire during installation.

Do wireless security cameras work well?

Generally speaking, yes. There are so many wireless security cameras on the market and of course, they’re not all created equal, but you shouldn’t expect poor performance from a security camera just because it’s wireless.

Are wireless security cameras secure?

Overall, yes. But, this also depends largely on the user. Provided you secure your wireless network, use a strong password, and take measures to protect your security (like two-factor authentication and installing outdoor cameras properly), your camera should be relatively secure.

Can wireless security cameras be hacked?

It is possible for a hacker to breach a wireless security camera, but if you secure your passwords and your internet network, this is rare.

How far will wireless security cameras work?

It depends on the camera and your network. However, you can remotely view your camera feed on your phone using the camera’s app from virtually any location, as long as your phone has an internet connection.

Do wireless security cameras slow down your internet?

Not to a noticeable degree. Your Wi-Fi camera should not slow your internet speeds significantly provided you have a strong enough network to support the number of devices you have running.

How much are wireless security cameras?

You can buy a wireless security camera for under $50, or you can buy one for upwards of $200. It depends on the brand and features.

Can you hardwire wireless security cameras?

The short answer is yes, but it depends on the type of camera you’re using. You could simply hook your device to an Ethernet cable to add it directly to your LAN in some situations. However, one of the useful features of wireless cameras is their ability to perform well in many different environments. If you decide to forgo hardwiring the camera, you can change its location frequently. We’re not trying to argue against hardwiring your camera because that may be the best option for your home. Still, the versatility of wireless cameras could also prove to be helpful. 

How does Digital Trends test wireless security cameras?

If a smart home camera is at the top of its game, it serves as an excellent security component for your home. Its easy-to-use operation and functional apps make it straightforward to manage the cameras. 

To be sure we’re recommending the best of the best, we look for high-quality imaging, but we also understand that super high resolution likely isn’t necessary. (If you’re simply protecting your home and keeping an eye on the family, you may not need super-detailed photos or videos.) On top of image quality, we look into night-vision, notification systems, two-way audio, and how well they integrate with other services or devices. Finally, we also check to be sure the camera is affordable for the average home. Today’s smart home camera market has a significant range in prices, which is great news for consumers. It does give our team an added responsibility of comparing how well these cameras compete at each price point. We look into baseline standard features, as well as the features that you may need to pay a bit extra for, like through a subscription service.

Editors’ Recommendations

By Vanniyar Adrian

Vanniyar Adrian is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering stories that resonate with readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to journalistic integrity, Ganesan has contributed to the media landscape for over a decade, covering a diverse range of topics including politics, technology, culture, and human interest stories.