Vivint Home Security Camera HeroSource: Vivint

Best Home Security Systems with Cameras Android Central 2020

To judge the best home security systems with cameras, we considered which ones had the full range of indoor, outdoor and doorbell cams, had useful features like motion tracking, and how much those cameras, video storage and video monitoring will cost. The Vivint Home Security System checks every camera box we could think of for reliable home surveillance, but for those who'd prefer bargain-priced, DIY camera security, we've laid out all of the best options on the market today.

Best Overall Home Security System with Cameras: Vivint Home Security System

Vivint Home Security LifestyleSource: Vivint

It's no surprise that the best professionally installed home security system overall delivers great camera specs. With Vivint, your pro-installed cams will record 20–90 second motion-triggered clips stored in the cloud, or you can pay for a 1TB DVR that enables continuous recording for up to four cameras.

The Vivint Ping Camera is expensive for an indoor camera, but it justifies the price with genuinely useful and unique security features. For one, while most cameras support two-way audio initiated in the security app, only the Ping lets people in the room press a button on the camera to contact the admin via the app — helpful if someone at home need to contact you quickly for an emergency. You can also create custom rule triggers that control your smart devices automatically in response to detected motion. It has an impressive 155-degree field of view (FOV) to capture a whole room in 1080p.

The Doorbell Camera Pro offers an outstanding 180-degree horizontal and vertical FOV in 1080p that transmits over dual-band Wi-Fi, with up to 10X digital zoom or 3X optical zoom. You can hardwire it or run it off battery, and it can detect people or packages but ignore other objects. The outdoor cams, meanwhile, have a 140-degree FOV with 55 feet of IR night vision coverage and a loud, 85dB speaker for alerting people they've been spotted.

To take advantage of these features, you'll need to have Vivint install them for you, which means optimal placement and proper wiring but also either paying upfront for a network of expensive cameras and sensors or accepting a five-year loan to offset the costs. On top of that, you'll pay somewhere in the $50/month range for professional video monitoring, far steeper than most DIY security companies.

Pros:

  • Professional assessment for proper camera coverage
  • DVR for 24/7 video recording
  • Smart home automation triggered by camera motion
  • Indoor camera with button-triggered calls
  • Doorbell with package recognition
  • Outdoor cam with siren and night vision

Cons:

  • Expensive for pro video monitoring
  • Expensive upfront cost to avoid contract
  • Only three-day trial period

Best Overall Home Security System with Cameras

Vivint Home Security System

Truly innovative cameras

Vivint justifies its high prices with cameras that do far more than the competition, particularly in home automation.

Best for IFTTT Automations and Pro Monitoring: Blue by ADT Security System

Blue By Adt App LifestyleSource: Blue by ADT

ADT may be the most expensive professionally installed security system for equipment and monthly monitoring fees, but its DIY offshoot Blue by ADT offers a more palatable price point. Its somewhat pricey cameras stand out from the crowd thanks to its facial recognition software: you can upload up to eight facial photos, then receive personalized notifications letting you know if one of your pre-approved visitors is at the door.

Blue by ADT's indoor, outdoor and doorbellcameras all sell for $200 — rather expensive compared to other indoor cams but it's industry-standard for outdoor and doorbell cams. The indoor and outdoor models have 1080p resolution, record in 15 FPS, have a 130-degree FOV with custom motion detection zones, up to 10 minutes of triggered recorded video with a cloud subscription, two LEDs for night vision and, best of all, 128GB microSD slots for local storage. Its doorbell hits a 180-degree FOV, can trackt up to 10 feet away, and has person detection mode so you don't get constant alerts from cars. Plus, the Indoor camera can register the sound of smoke or CO alarms and will alert you when they go off.

Blue by ADT's camera specs are average for home security systems, but the company stands out thanks to its simple DIY installation, its access to nationwide ADT video monitoring centers at a mere $20/month instead of the $50+ you pay with ADT proper, and impressive smart home integration with Z-Wave Plus, IFTTT, Alexa, Google Assistant, Hue, Nest, Sonos, and others through its smart home hub with keypad.

Whether Blue by ADT's smart home integration will fit your needs is worth considering. You can set up if-this, then-that statements that trigger with detected motion or through Alexa or Google Assistant commands, something many security systems can't do. For example, you can set IFTTT to turn on your Hue lights when an alartm sounds. On the other hand, you can't have your camera feeds appear on an Echo Show or Google Home display like some security systems allow. Plus, while other companies sell their own smart locks, thermostats, and other smart accessories, you'll have to pick and choose third-party Z-Wave devices that you can control, but may not integrate into the ADT app features like a first-party device would.

Pros:

  • Z-Wave and IFTTT integration for automations
  • Simple, fast DIY installation
  • Affordable starter equipment package
  • MicroSD cam slots for local video storage
  • Reasonable monthly fee for ADT monitoring
  • Facial recognition

Cons:

  • Expensive indoor cams
  • Short battery life for outdoor cams
  • Not a lot of first-party devices
  • Separate subscriptions for video monitoring / storage

Best for IFTTT Automations and Pro Monitoring

Blue by ADT Security System

Automate your DIY security

Blue by ADT gives you access to ADT's trusted monitoring service, without paying thousands for equipment and installation.

Best DIY Home Security System with Cameras: Frontpoint DIY Home Security System

Frontpoint DIY Home Security LifestyleSource: Frontpoint

For a DIY home security system that sells a complete catalog of first-party devices instead of relying on third-party devices to fill the gaps, Frontpoint delivers everything you could need at fair prices. That catalog includes an affordable indoor cam to cheaply cover an entire home, a doorbell cam that will require a little DIY wiring, and an outdoor cam built to handle cold weather. Plus, its elite combination camera and speaker lets you make Bluetooth calls, has a 180-degree FOV and can pan, tilt, and zoom to track down intruders.

The elite cam aside, Frontpoint's cameras are budget-priced and their specs reflect that, with standard FOVs, 1080p resolution, and night Vvsion that will work efficiently but won't impress you compared to security companies that sell their cameras as standalones, like Eufy or Ring. However, Frontpoint lets you buy tech that many other companies don't offer: glassbreak detection, garage door tilt sensors, CO and flood sensors, smart locks, and light bulbs.

We covered Frontpoint in greater depth in our best home security systems list, but suffice to say that the security company has impressed us. Its main unfortunate drawback is that professional video monitoring will cost you $50/month, putting it in the same high-end category as Vivint and ADT.

Pros:

  • Month-to-month with no contract
  • Fully DIY installation, add on new tech anytime
  • Affordable price point for cameras
  • Frontpoint makes all sensors and smart tech
  • Three-year equipment warranty
  • Fully-featured indoor cam

Cons:

  • Expensive monthly monitoring
  • Vital features locked without plan (no self-monitoring)
  • Doorbell Cam only 720p

Best DIY Home Security System with Cameras

Frontpoint DIY Home Security System

One-stop security shop

Frontpoint simplifies your purchase by selling all the devices and cams you need for a complete, monitored security system.

Best for Cheap Video Monitoring and Camera Variety: Ring Alarm Security System

Ring Floodlight Cam over garageSource: Ring

Most security companies consider video monitoring to be a premium service, charging somewhere in the $500/year range and bundling it with other useful perks like geofencing and home automation. Ring Protect Plus, on the other hand, costs a mere $100/year to monitor all of your Ring cameras and other sensors, or merely $30/year for 60-day video storage and snapshots if you choose to self-monitor. Compared to other services, Ring's savings will only add up over time.

Ring isn't just the best budget home security system for its cheap monthly fees. It creates excellent cameras that compete against the best standalone security cams on the market, and are often designed for any environment. The Ring Stick Up Cam can be powered with a swappable battery pack, power outlet, or solar panel, so you can buy different models based on whether an outlet or router is nearby but still get the same video performance.

An Amazon-acquired company, Ring will particularly benefit owners of its smart devices. You can use Alexa commands to pull up live footage of any Ring camera feed on your Echo Show or Fire tablet. Amazon has also given police departments warrantless access to most Ring feeds upon request, which some will see as a privacy violation rather than a safety bonus.

While Ring has a variety of Works With Ring devices, the company doesn't make its devices accessible through Google Home or HomeKit, and Ring Alarm doesn't work with IFTTT, so you won't be able to have smart home devices respond to detected camera motion.

Pros:

  • Wired, battery, PoE, or solar power for cameras
  • Cheapest video monitoring service
  • People Only detection mode with Plus
  • 10% discount on Ring devices with Protect
  • Long list of Works with Ring devices

Cons:

  • Limited home automation features
  • Possible data security concerns
  • No IFTTT, Zigbee, Google Home, or HomeKit

Best for Cheap Video Monitoring and Camera Variety

Ring Alarm Security System

Versatile camera power and placement

Ring cameras won't cost you much for quality, have multiple power options and can be professionally monitored for cheap.

Best for Intelligent Cameras and Self-Monitoring: Eufy Wireless Protection System

Eufy 2k Doorbell Battery LifestyleSource: Eufy

Eufy produces some of this site's favorite picks in virtually every security camera category you can think of. The excellent EufyCam 2 was the staff pick for best cameras with local storage, for example. Against more well-known companies, Eufy impressed us enough to make our best overall home security list because it gives you access to its full suite of intelligent camera features out of the box, where so many other companies require a monthly subscription and hobble its cameras so they can't work without one. It also also offers 2K resolution for its video feeds, a rare improvement that makes footage a little crisper.

MicroSD slots let you record continuous video directly to local storage without putting data on the cloud, or you can use the Eufy Security app to send your recordings to an NAS (Network Attached Storage) device for terabytes of storage. 256-bit encryption protects your cameras from being hacked. Eufy's latest cameras have person, object, and pet recognition, and allow you to set activity zones where specialized alerts trigger — for example, you can record "Get off the couch" and have your cam play the message through two-way audio if your dog jumps on it. The Eufy Indoor Cam 2K Pan & Tilt pans 360 degrees to follow any movement, eliminating blind spots. For outdoor cams, you can choose between IR night vision for subtle detection or a motion-activated floodlight for deterrence and full-color night footage.

None of these perks will impress you, however, if you want someone to offer professional monitoring. Eufy offers a keypad, motion sensors, and entry sensors that activate alerts to your phone and a siren in the Eufy HomeBase, but you'll have to respond to the alert, check the live camera feeds, and call the police yourself. The pros and cons of this will depend on if you care more about securing your privacy from outsiders, or a rapid response from a monitoring center in case you're unable to call for help yourself.

Pros:

  • Superb selection of affordable cameras
  • No mandatory monitoring fee (cloud storage fee optional)
  • Person recognition built into cameras
  • Simple DIY installation
  • Works with Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit
  • Data encryption

Cons:

  • No option for professional monitoring
  • 2FA isn't available in all countries
  • Limited smart home / speaker integration

Best for Intelligent Cameras and Self-Monitoring

Eufy Wireless Protection System

Pay upfront, with no hidden fees

Eufy empowers you to protect yourself with a suite of encrypted 2K cams and security sensors.

Bottom line

To decide which camera-enabled home security system fits your needs, start with your budget, the size of your home, and whether your home is owned or rented. If, for example, you're in a non-first floor apartment where your front door is the only point of access, you can invest in a cheap standalone cam or video doorbell and be relatively secure. The point of a system is for cameras to work in conjunction with sensors and a professional monitoring team for backup, which is why you usually pay more for each connected smart home cam despite middling specs. Homeowners usually buy four by default — one doorbell, two outdoors for the front/side and back, and one indoor — but larger homes may need more.

We chose Vivint's Home Security System as the best home security system with cameras, in part because Vivint provides remote or in-person consultations and advise you on how many cams and sensors you need. You'll never need to fret about skimping and leaving a blind spot. It then offers 24/7 surveillance with the optional DVR, while with other systems you'll sometimes have fixed-duration video clips cut off before the actual crime is committed. And unique features like package recognition and camera emergency call buttons are particularly ingenious. However, if you rent your home, Vivint's permanent installation may not be your best bet, as you'll need to pay Vivint to uninstall and reinstall your cameras in your new home.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

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 freelance for Android Central and Windows Central.

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