Best Home Security Systems With Cameras of 2020

More often than not, a surveillance kit is going to come with a camera. The ability to see intruders and capture footage allows monitoring companies to be more responsive and dependable. However, not all cams are created equal, so here’s a review of the best home security systems with cameras that made a splash in 2020.

Kyle Nelson

Kyle Nelson - Editorial Staff

Updated: May 12, 2020

What We Did to Find the Best

Our team of researchers, tech experts, and writers scoured the web for the highest-performing home security systems with cameras of 2020. Besides a cam, these kits should include reliable features like contact sensors, movement detectors, and remote access. Moreover, we didn’t want to recommend anything that was outrageously priced, so affordability also came into play.

  • Features

    0-10

    monitoring period, 24/7 alerts, disaster protection etc.

  • Support

    0-10

    telephone, email, chat, and other channels

  • Price

    0-10

    monthly fee, money-back, trial period

  • Ease of Use

    0-10

    installation, maintenance, service support

  • Trust Score

    0-10

    BBB.org and Trustpilot (positive, negative reviews)

To rank these products, we used five metrics. Each of them has a score between 0 and 10. Then we add and divide them to get an average value. So, each system received a mark for each category, and then we added them to get the final score.

Something that people often forget to consider is customer support. When working with technology, there are plenty of potential pitfalls, so we had to check out the communication channels for each provider. Given that we’re also consumers, we’re a trustworthy source of reviews, information, and suggestions.

1. Vivint: Recordings & Surveillance Without the Wires

Total Score 9.8/10

Vivint Main
Vivint Cameras
Vivint Camera
  • Features & Equipment10/10
  • Customer Support10/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score10/10
Best for All-in-One

DIY instal

NO

Trial Period

3 days

For those who want service from a reputable brand along with the ease of expert installation and monitoring, Vivint is the answer. The company doesn’t ask its customers to sign on to lengthy agreements, but it still provides the bells and whistles that other businesses offer. The equipment doesn’t have any wires for added convenience, and everything is accessible from an intuitive app. Moreover, the enterprise is family-focused and has a range of devices for entryways and outside protection.

Pros:

  • Contracts not required
  • Control panel
  • Doorbell cam
  • Emergency response
  • Full automation
  • Outside cam
  • Remote control

Cons:

  • Limited remote access
  • Pricier option
  • Subscription plan required

Vivint offers several environmental protection products that keep the house (and everyone in it) safe and sound. There are smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, as well as water sensors that go off at the first sign of a leak. Convenient keypads make it easy for family members to get inside if they forgot their keys, while the 140° surveillance cams pick up on movement and auto-trigger continuous recording.

Customers of all ages will appreciate the range of automated equipment that this company offers. Remote access and voice controls make it simple to lock up the house or open the garage door. The Hub is the base station of the entire system and comes with two-way audio, a touch screen panel, and a communication link to the monitoring team.


2. Brinks: Bold Promises, Countless Customers

Total Score 9.6/10

Brinks Main
Brinks Package
Brinks Package Complite
  • Features & Equipment10/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score10/10
BBB Rating A+
Best for Automation

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

A starter kit from this company costs $499, while the subscription plans start at $29 per month. It’s a bit high, but the brand is synonymous with safety and assurance. Its customer support efforts have even been nationally-recognized. The business has authorized dealers throughout the country, which can lead to inconsistencies in pricing. That said, Brinks also works with Nest Secure clients, providing surveillance for them. Clients can opt for self-installment or expert assistance, and it typically takes less than 30 minutes. With over a million clients, the enterprise is dependable. It bundles equipment to make it easier for customers, but the three-year agreement is a huge turn-off.

Pros:

  • Automated locks/thermostats
  • Cloud storage
  • Customer support
  • Expert or self-installment
  • Plenty of integrations
  • Regional monitoring centers
  • Two-year warranty

Cons:

  • Inconsistent pricing
  • Three-year contracts
  • Upfront fees

Brinks is known for its speedy emergency response and supportive staff members. It tries to be as hands-off as it can while still providing step-by-step assistance for those who need it. Start by choosing a monthly plan and starter kit, then decide between expert and self-installation. Keep in mind that the indoor cam is only available on the higher-tiered package. Like most companies, it has a phone app that makes it simple for clients to control their products from afar, arming, and disarming as they please.

The kits are backed by 4G cellular backup, and the movement detectors are pet-friendly. The contact sensors can be used on doors and windows, making them a great multi-purpose tool. Even if customers relocate, they can bring the equipment with them and continue their service.


3. Abode: Budget-Friendly, User-Approved

Total Score 9.4/10

Abode Main
Abode Starter Kit
Abode Cameras
  • Features & Equipment9.5/10
  • Customer Support9.5/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score8.0/10
BBB Rating C
Best for Motion-Activation

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

7 days

A nice blend of expert assistance and do-it-yourself spirit, Abode has climbed the ranks to compete with other home security packs on the market. While its phone menu might be hard to operate, the base station is truly the brains of the operation. It comes with quality components like LED sensor lights, two-way microphones, and an SD slot in back. Plus, families can sync up over 150 third-party devices to create their own smart house on a budget.

Pros:

  • Affordable pricing
  • Built-in siren
  • Complimentary cloud storage
  • Image quality
  • Many third-party integrations
  • Two-way audio
  • Variety of monitoring plans

Cons:

  • Add-ons get expensive quickly
  • Battery backup
  • Confusing phone menu

The Abode iota cam has 1080p HD image quality and a 157° wide-angle lens. It has dark-light capabilities, so the surveillance doesn’t have to stop when the lights go down. The ambient light sensors on the front also work as movement detectors, and there are built-in sirens and microphones for two-way talk functionality. Clients can set it to Away, Home, or Standby mode to prevent false alarms or inconveniences. The back of the device has an SD card slot, although complimentary cloud storage is also available.

Customers can link their Abode system up with over 160 integrations, including Zigbee, Z-Wave, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. The battery backup has six hours’ worth of power, which isn’t great, but it’s better than nothing.


4. Frontpoint: Protect All Sides of a Property

Total Score 9.4/10

FrontPoint Main
FrontPoint Cameras
FrontPoint Outdoor Camera
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support10/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score9.0/10
BBB Rating A+
Best for Environmental Protection

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

This oft-forgotten brand is climbing the ranks to compete with the hottest self-installed kits. Not only that, but the features that Frontpoint offers tend to go above and beyond the bare necessities. Families can get intruder protection, environmental sensors, and interior and exterior cams. This is a good choice for those who have lots of windows and entry points on their property. The glass break alerts and garage door sensors will let them know when something is ajar or amiss.

Pros:

  • Battery backup
  • Customization
  • Payment plans
  • Range of packages
  • Simple set-up
  • Variety of automation
  • Voice commands

Cons:

  • Confusing pricing
  • Contract required
  • Expensive add-ons

What’s interesting about Frontpoint is that while it’s mostly a self-installed system, most of the plans require expert monitoring. There are packages specifically for those who want to stick to the do-it-yourself way, though. There are several kits to choose from, or clients can personalize their bundle by mixing and matching the features that they want. The kits range from seven pieces to 14 and cost between $100 to $480.

Custom packs start with the definitive base station, and then customers can pick the add-ons that matter most to them. These could be cams, extra sensors, a video doorbell, smart locks, or something else. The company has intelligent accessories like light bulbs and keychain remotes, as well as a medical pendant/panic button. Again, family safety is a priority.


5. SimpliSafe: Pay Less, Get More

Total Score 9.4/10

SimpliSafe Main
SimpliSafe Build My System
SimpliSafe Camera Review
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease of Use9.5/10
  • Trust Score9.5/10
BBB Rating A+
Best for No Contracts

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

60 days

People who want a familiar brand name without the lofty installation fees should check out SimpliSafe. The company has been around for years, and yet it continues to up the ante by listening to consumers’ needs. For instance, it makes the self-installation as seamless as possible. Most clients can get things up and running in under an hour. Plus, they can sync up to four of the SimpliCams to the base station so they can cover all the bases in and around their house.

Pros:

  • Affordability
  • No contracts
  • Environmental sensors
  • Intruder protection
  • No installation fees
  • Remote control
  • Strong connectivity

Cons:

  • Do-it-yourself set-up
  • Lack of cam features
  • Limited integrations

One of the things that set SimpliSafe apart from the rest is the SimpliCam. It’s relatively inexpensive, costing $99, although some families sync up to four of them to their base station. This device offers continuous recording, HD image quality, and the ability to see the feed from a phone, tablet, or computer. It also has unique heat sensors that can detect human movement from afar.

Family members can push the record button on their phones at any time and store up to 30 days of files. They can also share those clips with other devices. Keep in mind that it does require WiFi, so those without a strong Internet connection may have trouble with glitches. Another potential downside is the lack of integration, although the system is compatible with Amazon and Google products.


6. ADT: Pricey But Professional

Total Score 9.3/10

ADT Main
ADT Package
ADT Mobile
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease of Use9.5/10
  • Trust Score10/10
BBB Rating A+
Best for Outdoor View

DIY instal

NO

Trial Period

6 month

This is a company name that most people will recognize, and with a long history of security, the brand has amassed many satisfied clients. It offers three plans: Traditional, Control, and Video. The first gives consumers all of the bare essentials they need, while the second package adds on some automated equipment. The last tier is the most expensive but is a comprehensive service agreement. In reality, ADT is higher-priced than most providers, but it also has more room for customization and expert assistance.

Pros:

  • Customer service representatives
  • Environmental protection
  • Mix-and-match equipment
  • Phone and Web apps
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Same-day installation
  • Third-party integrations

Cons:

  • High cancellation fees
  • Pricier than others
  • Three-year contract

This company has an outdoor cam, and while it may not be the most powerful, it makes it easy to stay updated on the comings and goings around the house. Consumers receive automatic alerts when there’s any suspicious activity, plus they can go back and look through a log of stored data. Taking a peek at the camera menu and app, clients will have no trouble viewing the feeds and making out clear images. They can keep an eye on intelligent devices like locks and thermostats, too.

For those who can afford it, this is one of the home security systems with cameras that can stand the test of time. Unlike do-it-yourself kits, this one comes from a trusted brand that has decades of experience in residential surveillance and family safety.


7. Xfinity: Bundles, Discounts, & Add-ons

Total Score 9.2/10

Xfinity Main
Xfinity Camera
Xfinity Monitoring
  • Features & Equipment9.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score8.0/10
xfinity-logo-sidebar
BBB Rating C
Intelligent Add-Ons

DIY instal

NO

Trial Period

30 days

Xfinity customers won’t be locked into a plan, although the monthly fees aren’t very competitive. That said, the system does a good job of integrating with other devices such as Nest thermostats, Philips Hue lights, and more. Keep in mind that it doesn’t currently work with Google Assistant or Amazon Echo. Since lots of people are already Comcast subscribers, they can get a discount on adding automation to their plan.

Pros:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Built-in siren
  • Bundles available
  • Interest-free financing
  • No contract required
  • Refund policy
  • Video doorbell

Cons:

  • Add-ons are almost necessary
  • Installment fee
  • Relies on high-speed Internet

Monthly subscriptions cost $40-$50, while the base station ranges in price from $360 to $600. It may seem like a high upfront price, but it’s on par with many other providers in this industry. Besides, people who already subscribe to Comcast services get can discount for bundling their equipment. It’s important to note that the base packs are often missing key features, such as enough sensors for the house. This makes add-on accessories almost a necessity, and that can drive costs up.

That said, the company offers 24/7 live recording for just $10 more a month. Also, the technology uses artificial intelligence to detect people, vehicles, and pets and send alerts accordingly. The hub and equipment syncs with Ecobee, Lifx lighting, August door locks, and more.


8. Nest: Build a Savvy & Safe Ecosystem

Total Score 8.8/10

Nest Main
Nest Cameras Indoor
Nest Cameras Outdoor
  • Features & Equipment8.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score8.0/10
nest-logo-sidebar
BBB Rating D+
Best for Learning Devices

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

There are many cool aspects of the Nest ecosystem. For instance, voice recognition and doorbell cams are two prized features that many consumers are looking for. While the integrations are lacking, the products seamlessly work with all Google devices. Pricing can be a bit difficult to understand, as the Hub is $79, and the Nest Mini is $35, plus there are additional accessories to tack on. Cameras will cost considerably more; the outside one is $399, and the indoor one is $299.

Pros:

  • Aesthetics
  • Built-in siren
  • Inside/outside cams
  • Learning thermostat
  • Multi-purpose equipment
  • Rechargeable backup battery
  • Simple set-up

Cons:

  • 15-foot range
  • Limited integrations
  • Pricier than the competition

Nest has an excellent outside cam with 1080p HD and live video recording. The 130° wide-angle lens is perfect for scanning the entire perimeter, creating more peace of mind for consumers. Besides that, the brand’s products come with dark lighting capabilities, two-way audio, and 24/7 alerts through the Nest program.

As for prices, the cheapest Nest bundles are about $200 more than competitors. Not only that, but the add-on equipment can quickly add up. Set-up is quite easy and shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, even for those who aren’t technologically inclined. The trial period is great, and there is ample environmental protection. Moreover, the Learning Thermostat is an excellent way to cut down on energy bills. On the downside, there is a lack of third-party integrations.


9. Ring: Looking Good in the Neighborhood

Total Score 8.8/10

Ring Main
Ring Spotlight Cam
Ring SpotlightIn Out
  • Features & Equipment8.0/10
  • Customer Support8.0/10
  • Price10/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score8.0/10
ring-logo-sidebar
BBB Rating C-
Best for Budget Wireless

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

30 days

Over the past few years, Ring has become synonymous with residential safety packs for those on a tighter budget. It has allowed the company to make its way into all kinds of neighborhoods, from the middle-class to the upper tiers of society. It’s a decent brand to turn to for people who are tech-savvy, know what kinds of products they want and need, and don’t want to deal with locking themselves into a term agreement.

Pros:

  • Affordability
  • Expert monitors available
  • Neighborhood app
  • Quick installation
  • Range extender
  • Siren
  • User-friendly

Cons:

  • Expert set-up costs extra
  • Limited integrations
  • Reports of glitches/breaches

The company’s Spotlight Cam is a crowd favorite for its crystal-clear 1080p HD images. As with all Ring products, it is super easy to install and should be ready to go within a few minutes. The devices pair well with third-party integrations such as Amazon Alexa, making for a simple yet sturdy system without the wires.

On the whole, this provider is a decent segue into residential security for families who are new to the industry. They certainly won’t get the same integrations or comprehensive kits as other companies, but they also won’t be spending an arm and a leg on equipment. It’s a trade-off that consumers need to decide if they’re willing to make. That said, Ring has the convenience of being unwired and synced up to an app. Plus, there is a variety of products to choose from.


10. Scout: Expert Surveillance for Smaller Households

Total Score 8.6/10

Scout Main
Scout Camera
Scout Packs
  • Features & Equipment8.0/10
  • Customer Support9.0/10
  • Price9.0/10
  • Ease of Use10/10
  • Trust Score7.0/10
scout-logo-sidebar
Best for Cheap Expert Monitoring

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

60 days

This brand works with plenty of third-party devices, making it a suitable do-it-yourself choice. Those who are okay with hooking things up themselves should consider these Scout kits. That said, if someone owns a larger property, then they might find the product offerings to be lacking. The kits and packages are ideally made for people with smaller, more modest houses. That said, the equipment and tools are spot-on when it comes to serving a function and being user-friendly.

Pros:

  • Affordable pro monitors
  • Custom modes
  • No contracts
  • On-board siren
  • Packs and build-your-own kits
  • Sensible monthly pricing
  • Three-year warranty

Cons:

  • Interior cams only
  • Limited range (125 feet)
  • Strong WiFi connection required

Even though the company has self-installed packs, it does offer expert monitors, and at a reasonable price, too. For $19.99 per month, clients can get that professional surveillance and 14 days of cloud storage. If a customer doesn’t want to get one of the Scout packs, they can build their own system and pick and choose which products they want to be included.

Either way, they’re looking at month-to-month plans (no long-term agreement necessary), and 4G cellular backup. There are different smart integrations available, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Hue lighting. The hubs come in two sleek colors and have a built-in siren. The downside here is that the range between the base station and the other equipment is only 125 feet. Those with larger houses are going to run into trouble, keeping everything connected, and thus, safe.


Best Home Security Systems With Cameras of 2020 (Pricing & Features)

Check out this side-by-side comparison to see which kits match particular needs, as well as which won’t break the bank. This table gives a good idea of what to expect in terms of base fees, automation, and camera quality.

Provider Total Score Price BBB Rating DIY instal Trial Period Good For Upfront Connect Lens Angle HD Quality Storage App Zoom Pan/Tilt Night Vision 2-Way Talk 3rd-Party Sync Inside/Outside
1. Vivint 9.8/10 $39.99+ No 3 days All-in-One $99+ WiFi/Wired 180° 720p Cloud Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Both
2. Brinks 9.6/10 $29.99+ A+ Yes 30 days Depend-ability $199+ WiFi 113° 1080p Cloud Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Both
3. Abode 9.4/10 $0+ C Yes 7 days Flexible Plans $199+ Ethernet 157° 1080p Cloud/Local Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Indoor
4. Frontpoint 9.4/10 $34.99+ A+ Yes 30 days Env.Protection $167+ WiFi 180° 1080p Cloud Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Both
5. SimpliSafe 9.4/10 $14.99+ A+ Yes 60 days No Contracts $229+ WiFi 120° 1080p Local Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Indoor
6. ADT 9.3/10 $28.99+ A+ No 6 month Pro Monitoring $49+ WiFi 128° 720p Local Yes No No Yes No Yes Both
7. Xfinity 9.2/10 $15+ C No 30 days Intelligent Add-ons $120 WiFi 109° 720p Cloud Yes No No Yes No Yes Both
8. Nest 8.8/10 $19.99+ D+ Yes 30 days DIY Smart Home $169+ WiFi/Bluetooth 130° 1080p Cloud Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Both
9. Ring 8.8/10 $9+ C- Yes 30 days Budget Wireless $99+ WiFi 115° 1080p Cloud Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Both
10. Scout 8.6/10 $9.99+ Yes 60 days Cheap Pro Monitoring $99 Wired 90° 1080p Cloud Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Indoor

Types of Surveillance Cameras

Again, just because a surveillance package comes with a cam, it doesn’t mean that it will be suitable for every household. It’s important to distinguish the different kinds of cams as well as their advantages and drawbacks (connectivity, monitoring, power, etc.).

Wire-Free

Wireless security systems with cams as the most common choice because they’re included in many surveillance bundles. These products typically come with HD quality lenses, with exterior cams being the strongest and clearest. The primary benefit of unwired home security systems is that these cams eliminate the need to drill holes or deal with pesky cables. For one thing, burglars can easily cut visible wires and dismantle the whole system. Plus, the cords can pose a tripping hazard to family members.

Pros:

  • High-definition image quality
  • Most common option
  • No drilling/construction required

Cons:

  • No drilling/construction required
  • Indoor cams might be lower-pixel

Wired

The only main difference between these cams and the unwired ones is the power source. Rather than depending on WiFi, wired products connect via an ethernet cable or another form of hardwiring. This makes them more dependable because the connection is stronger. The downside is that these products often cost more and can be trickier to install.

Pros:

  • Includes all the features of a wire-free cam
  • Good for people who aren't tech-savvy
  • More reliable power source

Cons:

  • Can be more costly
  • More difficult set-up

DIY

A growing number of brands are offering DIY home security systems with cameras. It’s a way to keep costs down and appeal to more consumers. This do-it-yourself approach often allows people to pay for the devices upfront, so they own them permanently. Plus, some of the plans are on a month-to-month basis, making it more economical.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Quite easy to install
  • Works inside and outside

Cons:

  • Often come with limited support
  • Might lack expert monitorin

Monitored

The last choice is a monitored cam, which usually includes 24/7 service. Lots of well-known companies offer this solution for people who want their property under surveillance all day and night. Moreover, most of these kits are technologically advanced and compatible with third-party devices. A typical feature is an emergency response, which could potentially be life-saving.

Pros:

  • More likely to have automated features
  • Offered by many reputable brands
  • Usually comes with professional monitoring

Cons:

  • Can be costly
  • Requires strong connectivity

Best Video Camera Features to Consider

Here is a run-down of what to expect from most of the image and recording bundles out there. However, just because businesses provide home security systems with cameras, it doesn’t mean that the features will be the same across the board. Here are the services to look for some of which might be add-ons.

Control Panel

Also known as a base station, this may be a touchscreen display or a small device that works as the hub of the system. Consider it the brains of the operation, sending signals to different accessories and compiling all of the data for customers to see on their phones.

Remote Access

Almost every company offers this capability these days. Whether through a key fob or a phone, clients can access their devices remotely. This comes in handy in case someone accidentally leaves a door open after leaving the house, or if they just want to keep tabs on everything at the house.

Motion Detection

This is one of the standard features that most people think of when they hear about a surveillance system. Different providers vary in their range of movement triggers, but most can extend for at least 25 feet. Once a movement triggers it, the sensor will send an alert to the base station, letting the client know there’s an intruder.

Pan-and-Tilt

This refers to the up-and-down and side-to-side movement of the cam. It might not be something that most people think about, but it makes a huge difference in the dependability and responsiveness of the product. This way, it can pick up on all kinds of movement, even if burglars are extra sneaky and agile.

Fixed Cameras

On the other hand, a fixed cam is one that doesn’t have the pan-and-tilt functionality. This isn’t to say that it can’t work for the right family and household. Smaller, more confined spaces do well with these products. Plus, the price is much lower than its alternative.

Scheduled Recordin

Depending on the provider, a safety cam might come with recording capabilities. This makes for seamless surveillance of the property, and customers can playback that footage at their convenience. Some models even have programmable schedules that let individuals choose when it records, be it while they’re on vacation or during the night.

Audio

Speaking of footage, having audio features helps individuals capture the full situation. This functionality requires durable and quality speakers to pick up the sounds. If it has a microphone, then clients can use the two-way talk option to send warnings or greetings to intruders and visitors.

Night Vision

Whether it’s outside or indoors, functionality in dark lighting is non-negotiable. This feature lets individuals see cam images and recordings, even in low-light settings. This is crucial since the majority of burglaries and thefts occur at night. Paired with the audio setting, it makes for a comprehensive capability.

Monitoring

Finally, some plans are self-monitored, while others provide expert monitors to watch over the feed 24/7. There’s no right or wrong answer here, and it just depends on what the client wants. Some people like having full control over what they see while others prefer professional assistance, particularly for the emergency response.

How to Choose a Security System With Cameras

Since there are so many choices out there, it helps to go into the purchasing process with a game plan. Consumers are much more likely to make a good decision if they do their research beforehand. Check out these tips for strategizing the right way.

1. Browse the Product Offerings

Individuals must know what they want before they start looking at all the bells and whistles that different companies offer. It's easy to get pulled in by shiny objects, but no one wants to waste money on things they don't need. At the same time, just because someone reviews a recognizable brand, it doesn't mean it will provide the devices that they need.

2. Cam Capabilities

Besides being able to differentiate between the various types of cams, people must also know what kinds of features they need. Some considerations include whether it is wireless or hardwired if it requires expert installation or is a do-it-yourself device, and technical specs. This could include night vision, two-way talk, sirens, and more.

3. Terms & Conditions

Reading through policies and agreements is boring, but it can save a lot of aggravation in the long run. After all, clients must be aware of what they're signing up for. Keep an eye out for cancellation fees, hidden charges, trial periods, inconsistent reviews, and how the monthly billing works.

4. Client Feedback

Consumers tend to be honest and straightforward is their reviews, so check out sites like Trustpilot and BBB.org. Look through customer feedback to get a feel for the system and the company as a whole. Some key things to consider include the support team, quality of equipment, ease of use, and hidden fees.

5. Support Team

The products may be the face of the business, but the folks behind the scenes tell the true story. Be sure to browse company websites and look for helpful resources and contact information. The last thing people want is to be stuck with a faulty device and have no one to turn to.

6. Affordability

Last but certainly not least is the price. No matter the size of the budget, there is bound to be a suitable choice. Those who are cash-strapped can turn to do-it-yourself solutions. Families that can afford it can go for a more robust kit with greater connectivity and higher resolution.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I Need Cameras With My Security System?

    They come highly recommended, but they’re not absolutely necessary. That said, the vast majority of individuals who buy a surveillance kit get one that includes a cam or two. It doesn’t have to be a recorder, but it helps to be able to review what’s going on outside or inside at all times. Plus, this gives clients the ability to keep an eye on things even when they’re away from the house.

  • What Should I Look For in a Surveillance Camera?

    Pay attention to the power source, such as a WiFi connection or an ethernet cable. They both have their benefits and disadvantages. Also, check out the technical specs and decide which ones matter most. Some of the most common functionalities include dark lighting settings, pan-and-tilt, cam feed, and two-way talk. Another thing to think about is whether it will be inside or outside since outdoor cams should be higher resolution and weatherproof.

  • Can My Camera be Hacked?

    Any device can fall victim to a hack, but that’s no reason for alarm. Most kits have encryption technology to prevent things like that from happening. Even so, it’s still crucial that customers protect themselves from hackers. This means keeping passwords a secret and concealing access to the control center or keypad hub. This might be another incentive to invest in recording cams.

  • Can an Indoor Camera Double as a Lookout?

    An indoor cam is usually meant to scan a room, not looking through a window. If someone wants to safeguard the entry points around their house, they would be better off investing in an outdoor cam. Those can mount near window sills and doors for more reliable surveillance. That said, inside monitoring is important too. Depending on the size of the space, pan-and-tilt functionality can scan the entire room, including windows.

  • Is an Indoor Wire-free Camera Enough Security?

    These types of cams definitely have their place, but they belong inside, not outside in the elements. Also, it’s not wise to put an interior cam outdoors because it’s probably not built to withstand wind and rain. To best protect the entire household, an exterior device is necessary. It can scan the perimeter of the property and alert individuals when it detects movement or sound. This way, families can deter intruders before they get into the house, not after.

  • How Much Coverage Do I Need?

    To answer this question, consumers should think about their property. Consider the size and how many entry points there are. If there are young kids in the household, more protection might be necessary. People who have lots of shrubs and foliage near their house should pay attention to high-quality exterior devices. Other safety measures to take into account are movement detectors, environmental sensors, smoke alarms, and intelligent lighting.

Determining a Final Answer

Sure, cameras aren’t a necessity, but they certainly make a household safer while providing added peace of mind. That said, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Some families may already have contact sensors, movement triggers, and phone alerts set up. In that case, there might not be a pressing need for a cam. It’s up to consumers to decide if they want (and can afford) an interior or exterior camera.


Kyle Nelson

Editorial Staff

Kyle Nelson has a degree in journalism and came to Securing Home with more than a decade of experience writing for several technology magazines. He is optimistic and charismatic. We appreciate having him on our team not only for his excellent articles but also for his sense of humor and ability to tell stories.


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