Best wireless home security cameras Android Central 2021
The prevalence of Wi-Fi-connected outdoor security cameras has made it easy to keep an eye on your home when you're away. But many cams require constant power from a junction box or outlet to function, limiting where you can place them and how many you can install. For the most flexibility, you'll want cameras with internal batteries so you can mount them anywhere and have them last for months at a time. We've rounded up the best wireless home security cameras for an untethered, reliable system, with the EufyCam 2C topping the list.
- Best overall: Eufy Security EufyCam 2C
- Best premium wireless camera: Arlo Pro 4 - Wireless Security
- Best affordable option: Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera - Wireless Security
- Best battery life: Blink Outdoor - Wireless Security
- Most versatile mounting options: Ring Stick Up Camera
- All the angles: Canary Flex - Wireless Security
- Best security camera with spotlight: Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
- Best budget wireless camera: Wyze Cam Outdoor - Wireless Security
Best overall: EufyCam 2C
If you're looking for a wireless security camera with brains, battery life, and a great price, look no further than the EufyCam 2C.
All EufyCam 2 models connect to the Eufy HomeBase 2, which stores all recorded videos in one easy-to-access location. This local storage is accessible via the Eufy app anywhere you might be in the world, and you can even drop an extra SD card in it for additional storage. All this to say, there's no need to pay for cloud service after purchasing your EufyCam 2C's.
There's no need to pay for cloud service after purchasing your EufyCam 2C's.
On top of that, Eufy builds onboard AI inside each camera that can identify humans without storing their identity or sending that data to the cloud. Just like the video storage, this option is completely free and included with every EufyCam. The EufyCam 2C even has two-way audio and customizable motion alerts, as well as the ability to arm and disarm the system based on whether you're home or away.
The EufyCam 2C specializes in night vision, thanks to a powerful infrared light that can illuminate the dark without casting light visible to the human eye. But what if you want someone to know you're watching them as they creep around your property? Eufy has outfitted the EufyCam 2C with a spotlight that can be used to shine a little color on that nighttime video, too.
The universal mounts included make it easy to mount the EufyCam 2C indoors or outdoors and on various surfaces. In addition, it's simple to remove when you need to recharge the built-in battery, which only needs to be topped up twice a year. All in all, this camera setup isn't just affordable. It's also powerful and helps keep you safe while keeping your budget in check.
- Black & white and color night vision with a spotlight
- IP67 weather-resistant
- On-device AI-based human detection
- 135-degree field of view
- Free unlimited local recording
- Requires a base station
- Doesn't tie into many smart home services well
Best premium wireless camera: Arlo Pro 4
Arlo's latest flagship cameras, like the Arlo Pro 4, ditch the base and connect directly to your Wi-Fi instead, cutting out the single point of failure that existed before. Why is that important? While having an Arlo base station will still improve your Arlo Pro 4's battery life and enable extended wireless range, it also means if the base station loses power, all your cameras connected to it will lose connection. Since Arlo Pro 4 can connect directly to your Wi-Fi, this potential issue no longer exists.
The Arlo Pro 4, like its predecessor, features the best video quality you'll find on any battery-powered wireless camera. The unbelievably crisp 2K (2560p) HDR video means you won't just see every minute detail, but HDR will also keep the brightest and darkest parts of the footage balanced and easy to see. When you pair it with an Arlo Smart subscription, it can even identify humans, animals, vehicles, and packages. It's also got two-way audio support and a built-in floodlight for color night vision.
Arlo has some of the best security you'll find from any provider on this list, including two-factor authentication on Arlo accounts. Arlo also ties in marvelously with popular smart home systems like Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. Apple HomeKit support isn't available just yet but is being worked on, as some of Arlo's other cameras integrate nicely with HomeKit.
The biggest downside to the Arlo Pro 4 is the cost. A single Arlo Pro 4 costs as much as the two-camera EufyCam 2C package. On top of that, you'll need an Arlo Smart subscription to get all the best features like AI-based object detection, customizable motion zones, and cloud storage. If you want to avoid the cost of cloud storage and are OK with basic motion detection, you can get an Arlo base and have videos stored locally on a USB stick.
Arlo Smart has a low monthly cost for a single camera, but it starts to get pricey as you add more cameras to your system. You can pay for a bundle subscription for five cameras, with an additional per-camera cost for any beyond that. For a complete security system with lots of ground to cover, it'll quickly reach Netflix subscription levels of priceyness if you're not careful.
- Six-month battery life
- IP65 weather-resistant
- Stunning 2K HDR video
- 160-degree field of view
- Local and cloud recording options
- Doesn't require a base station to operate
- Requires a subscription for many features
- No local storage without an expensive hub
Best affordable option: Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera
Most of the best wireless home security cameras cost between one or two hundred bucks, with the budget options omitting useful features to hit lower price points. But the Arlo Essential blurs the line between savings and quality. It gives you many of the Arlo Pro 4's perks at about half the price — useful if you want to stock up on several for total house coverage.
You downgrade to a standard 1080p resolution and still-respectable 130º field-of-view, but still get rare perks like 30 FPS footage, color night vision, 12X zoom, a 6-month battery estimate, noise cancellation over 2-way audio, and support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. And like the Arlo Pro 4, you can connect your Arlo Essential directly to your network without a hub — unless you want local storage.
The Arlo Essential battery life lasts six months "based on usage of 4000 seconds per month, 30 seconds per stream, and day/night event splits of 2:1," according to Arlo. However, depending on where you point it and how often it is activated, you may need to invest in a solar panel to avoid frequent recharges since — unlike the Arlo Pro 4 or Ring wireless cams — you can't swap in a fresh battery pack when the Essential runs low on power. Instead, you'll have to unmount it and charge it inside.
- Reasonable price for wireless cam
- Color night vision with spotlight
- Fully weather-resistant
- Supports all three smart homes + IFTTT
- AI detection is reliable with Arlo Smart
- Requires Arlo Smart sub for AI detection
- No free cloud storage
- No swappable battery pack
Best battery life: Blink Outdoor
Most wireless cams give battery life estimates of about 3 to 6 months, but these estimates depend on you lowering the motion detection sensitivity or pointing the camera towards a spot where motion will rarely be detected. Many of our top picks will require frequent recharges. Keeping that in mind, the Blink Outdoor may be the best forward-thinking pick on our list, thanks to its potential to last up to two years off of two AA batteries. Amazon will even begin selling a battery pack that will last a whopping four years on a single charge.
Battery life aside, it offers the same two-way audio, customizable motion alert zones, and night vision as the other cameras on this list for an affordable price. It's also weather-resistant, making it ideal for placing outdoors, and has a handy built-in thermometer for monitoring nearby conditions.
If you'd prefer to run the Blink Outdoor from a wall outlet or even a battery pack, it also has a Micro-USB port. Of course, USB-C would've been ideal, but you can't win them all. The biggest downside to Blink's wireless cameras is that they are all designed to maximize battery life. Practically speaking, that means recording clips are limited to 30 seconds, and connecting to the camera can sometimes take several seconds.
Blink used to provide free cloud storage, but now requires a subscription-like other rival brands. But at least you can use the Blink Sync Module 2 to save local storage. We'll also note that most other modern security cameras differentiate between people, pets, and objects — at least with a subscription. But Blink's subscription-only covers storage; Blink cameras don't have smart alerts, which can increase false positives.
- Very affordable
- Free local storage with USB stick
- Lasts up to two years on two AA batteries
- Supports Amazon Alexa
- Local storage for up to 10 cameras
- Built-in thermometer
- Clunky software
- Micro-USB rather than USB-C
- Limited recording length
- No person detection/ alerts
Most versatile mounting options: Ring Stick Up Camera
Ring is best known for its Video Doorbells, but the Stick Up Cam packs most of the same features and is also easy to install just about anywhere. You can screw it into a wall or buy the ceiling mount and adjust the viewing angle to perfectly capture your yard or living room without being in reach of thieves.
The Stick Up Camera comes in two separate configurations: one is only battery-powered, while is other is hardwired-only. But the battery has a built-in Micro-USB port for easy recharging and lasts for months at a time. Plus, you can use a Ring accessory like a solar panel to keep your Stick Up Cam battery constantly topped off.
Of course, since Ring belongs to Amazon, the Stick Up Cam also integrates nicely with Alexa. So you can easily pull up your video feed on smart displays like the Echo Show. The camera also features two-way audio, motion-activated notifications, and IR night vision — though you'll have to pay for a Ring Protect plan to view recorded footage, as it doesn't have local storage.
If you consider in advance that you'll have to pay a monthly subscription, Ring Protect has a pretty reasonable price. You get up to ten cameras covered with a single subscription, along with smarter People Only notifications and professional monitoring if your camera detects a security threat. Or, if you'd rather Ring not access your feeds at all, you can turn on end-to-end encryption, so only you can see what your Stick Up Cam records.
- Easy to set up
- Box includes almost all tools needed for installation
- 1080p video with night vision
- Integrates well with Amazon Alexa
- Two-way audio
- Requires a Ring subscription for video storage
- No spotlight for clearer night vision
- Doesn't work well with Google Assistant
All the angles: Canary Flex
The Canary Flex has a unique design that uses powerful magnets to connect the camera to its swivel base. This feature makes it easy to adjust its angle quickly. It works over either wired or battery power and has a built-in speaker and microphone for two-way audio.
The Flex can differentiate between people and other moving objects like animals for smarter motion alerts. This way, your pets don't continuously set off the camera while you're out. Unfortunately, the 116-degree field of view isn't quite as wide as the other security cameras on this list, and you'll have to pay for services like two-way audio and 30-day video storage. Still, the Flex is an excellent offering with water resistance and night vision.
- IP65 weather resistance
- Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Works wirelessly or wired
- Easily adjustable angle
- Two-way audio and night vision
- Only 720p video
- Narrow 116-degree field of view
Best security camera with spotlight: Ring Spotlight Cam
If you've already heavily invested in the Amazon Alexa or Ring ecosystems, it probably makes the most sense to stick with Ring's excellent line of cameras. The Ring Spotlight Cam brings the best of Ring's outdoor cameras in a wireless, unassuming form factor. It's large enough to feature prominent LED lights and a sizable battery, but small enough not to stand out too much.
As the price implies, the Ring Spotlight Cam is more capable than the Ring Stick Up Cam since it has a larger field-of-view (so it can see more of your yard) and even has a siren that can be used to ward off intruders. That built-in spotlight can illuminate large sections of your yard at night and works best out of all the cameras here that have lights attached.
- Built-in LED lights
- Loud siren for warding off intruders
- Ring's theft protection guarantee
- Crisp 1080p video with night vision
- Lots of optional accessories, like a solar panel
- Requires a Ring subscription for video storage
- Doesn't work well with Google Assistant
Best budget wireless camera: Wyze Cam Outdoor
If you're looking for a wire-free security camera that's truly affordable but doesn't compromise performance too much, we liked the Wyze Cam Outdoor in our tests. Wyze offers 14 days of free cloud storage for 12-second clips, at least enough to get an idea of who showed up. Unlike many of our other picks, the Wyze Cam Outdoor has a microSD card slot on-device for local storage. And it works with both Alexa and Google Assistant. Arguably, the Wyze Cam Outdoor vs. Blink Outdoor battle ends with Wyze on top, despite its lower price.
The Wyze Cam Outdoor isn't a fast or powerful device. It requires a base station to work and still charges over microUSB, for instance. Plus, we found that pulling up video in the Wyze app could be laggy, which could make you miss seeing whoever's there on live view. But you can get four Wyze Cam Outdoor plus the base station for the price of two EufyCam 2Cs or one Arlo Pro 4. So for some frugal buyers who need quantity over quality, Wyze is your best bet.
- Lowest cost for dependable wireless quality
- IP65 weather-resistance
- Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT support
- Up to 32GB local storage
- 3-6 months of battery life
- Easy to mount
- Only 110º FOV
- You'll need subscription for AI detection
- No spotlight
Home security is easier than ever to set up, use, and afford. All of the cameras here are fantastic choices and have their own sets of advantages, but the EufyCam 2C blew us away this year when it debuted at an excellent price without skimping on the features. It's not only got free local storage and onboard AI-based human detection, but it sports a floodlight with color night vision and six-month battery life, to boot.
Eufy's design means you won't ever have to pay for yet another monthly subscription cost, which is a big deal in a world full of monthly subscriptions. That's the kind of pro-consumer behavior we've come to expect and love in modern smart home tech, and it makes using and recommending these kinds of fantastic gadgets easy. So if you're looking for a great way to secure your home this year, these are the best ways to do it.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Nick Sutrich Nick is a news writer and contributor to Android Central. He's been writing about tech since 2011 and loves robot vacuums, home automation, virtual reality, and any kind of gadget that's connected to the Internet. Find him on Twitter at @Gwanatu.
Hayato Huseman is a recovering trade show addict and video editor for Android Central based out of Indianapolis. He can mostly be found complaining about the cold and enthusing about prog metal on Twitter at @hayatohuseman.
Michael Hicks got his tech start in 2016, covering emerging tech like VR and self-driving cars before expanding to all things tech. When he's not gaming or reading SFF novels, he writes for Android Central on everything from laptops to soundbars, home security to fitness watches.
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