The Best Home Security Cameras Types Reviewed


As home security technology continues to improve, there are more and more types of surveillance camera types to choose from. Any model will help make your residence more secure. However, the right features can produce better footage and deter criminals with greater success. No one type of camera is best for every location. The most desirable choice varies depending on several different factors.

Color or Black & White

Black and white cameras generally record the sharpest images in low-light conditions. They work well in many indoor areas. On the other hand, color units perform best when there’s plenty of light available. Consider placing them outdoors or in an area where electric lights remain in use at all hours. Some sophisticated models switch between color and B/W depending on lighting conditions.


Different cameras are designed for varying amounts of light. A lower LUX rating means that a camera can record clear footage in darker places. Night-vision, day/night, or zero-LUX cameras will even function under complete darkness. On the other hand, standard daytime units cost less and work well with adequate sunlight or artificial lighting. They should be placed to capture criminals’ faces before they can turn off any nearby lights.


Focal Length

The type of lens on a surveillance camera helps to determine how wide and tall an area it will monitor. A shorter lens can record footage of a larger zone, while a longer unit captures a smaller area but provides greater magnification. For example, a long lens may be preferable when you want to monitor a single door. The focal length is typically measured in millimeters (mm).

Image Quality

If a camera records high-quality footage, you may be able to identify criminals’ faces or read their license plates. Network-connected digital units generally produce sharper images than analog models. Different brands use a variety of measurements to rate picture quality. A 720p model records clearer footage than a VGA unit, while a one or more megapixel camera will outperform both of them. However, a higher resolution requires more video storage space.

PTZ Functions

Pan-tilt-zoom functionality gives you the ability to remotely adjust the position and focal length of a security camera’s lens. Some models also feature motion detection; they will automatically focus on anything that moves. This enhances the quality of the footage and helps to deter criminal activity. Not surprisingly, such units cost more than cameras that mount in fixed positions.

Indoor or Outdoor

An indoor surveillance camera is only designed to withstand normal indoor conditions. On the other hand, outdoor models stand up to rain, snow, bright sun, wind, and harsh temperatures. Outdoor units are more likely to prevent crime because thieves see them before breaking in. If necessary, it’s normally possible to use an outdoor camera inside of a home.

Style Options

Home security cameras come in a number of different shapes and sizes. Box and especially bullet-style models are more visible to onlookers. This deters crime but may also attract brazen vandals or negatively affect the appearance of a house. On the other hand, dome-style units are harder to see. They’re more likely to record the actions of unsuspecting criminals. Some models are also designed to thwart vandals.

Sound Recording

Although many units lack this feature, some surveillance cameras have built-in microphones. The ability to record audio isn’t particularly important in most situations. However, it might help you identify a familiar criminal by voice. Sound recordings may also enable you to document a crime in greater detail. This feature is more useful in low-noise environments.


Wireless or Wired

A wired security camera will produce clear recordings and transmit them securely. On the other hand, it requires far more installation work. You’ll need to pay for lengthy wires as well, and it’s difficult to reposition cameras or monitors in the future. New wireless models use encryption, so they’re more secure than they were in the past. You can easily place them anywhere at any time.

Remote Access

Many modern surveillance cameras take wireless a step further by allowing you to view footage from any PC, tablet, or smartphone with an active high-speed Internet connection. They accomplish this by connecting to your Internet service provider via a network cable or Wi-Fi. Nevertheless, you may save some cash by choosing a basic model that only communicates with a video recorder or monitor.

It can be a bit overwhelming to consider all of these features and specs. To get started, identify locations where someone is more likely to break in or commit crimes. Such areas might contain valuables or be difficult for passersby to see. After finding the best places to install security cameras, assess the vulnerabilities, dimensions, and lighting of these zones. The most suitable monitoring features depend on your lifestyle and the computer equipment that you own.