Rent or own, you probably want to know the best security camera system for keeping an eye on your home while you’re gone. That used to entail signing on with a professional—and pricey—security service like ADT. But the boom in wireless and internet security is putting indoor and outdoor home surveillance into our own hands.

These close cousins of webcams require minimal installation and offer flexible setups and a range of security features. Indeed, the offers vary widely by camera, and navigating them all gets more daunting as this category grows ever more crowded. To help you find the best security camera for your needs, we outline the key features to consider and share the results of our testing. Whether you’re looking for an easy way to check on your kids and pets, or a full-service sentinel to monitor for intruders, we’ll help find the right product for your needs.

This roundup was updated on October 11, 2017 to add our review of the TP-Link KC120 Kasa Cam, which has become or new favorite in this category.

Best indoor home security camera

We don’t believe in beginner’s luck, so TP-Link must have studied the security-camera market for a good long while before it put pen to paper to design its KC120 Kasa Cam. This device hits all the right notes, is one of the few that can stream video directly to an Amazon Echo Show smart speaker/display, and it’s affordably priced at $129.99. It knocks our previous top pick, the Samsung SmartCam PT, to runner-up status.

Runner-up

Samsung’s SmartCam PT remains a solid choice among home security cameras. Its pan/tilt capabilities enable it to cover more territory than stationary cameras–even those with very wide-angle lenses–and it has a microSD memory card slot for local storage, so you don’t need to rely on a cloud subscription to archive video for forensic evidence. But those features in isolation are no longer enough to win our highest recommendation.

Best outdoor home security camera

The outdoor security camera space is getting crowded quickly. Nest Labs brings its A game to the space with the Nest Cam Outdoor, a rugged yet stylish camera that doesn’t scream “you’re under surveillance!” like many of its competitors. It’s easy to install, with a magnetic mount that doesn’t need any screws to anchor it, and a USB power cable that can be detached from its AC power adapter, so you can thread it through a hole in your wall if you don’t have a weatherized power receptacle outside your house.

Runner-up

Netatmo’s outdoor home security camera costs more than most because it does double duty as a porch light (an outdoor LED floodlight, actually). It connects to your Wi-Fi network, but must be hardwired to your home’s electrical system. This is easy if you’ll be replacing an existing porch light (provided you don’t mind doing electrical work). The absence of subscription fees make the Presence less expensive in the long run, but it does cost quite a bit more up front than competing cameras.

Best all-in-one home monitor

All-in-one home monitors add a variety of environmental sensors, and often a local siren, to a home security camera. The best examples, like the LG Smart Security Wireless Camera, can also function as a smart home hub, thanks to the presence of a Z-Wave, ZigBee, or—one day—a Thread radio that can control other smart home products, such as your lights or thermostat. The LG system we picked as the best product in this class has a Z-Wave radio onboard, and you can add professional security monitoring from ADT to the package for $9.99 per month.

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