Protecting our homes and families with smart technology has never been easier. You can now see what's going on when you're not at home, even if it's just to see what mischief the family pet is up to.
In some homes, a battery-powered indoor camera might make the most sense. They're easy to place anywhere and can be taken down and stored away. That's great for folks who only like cameras in their homes when they're on vacation.
Other folks who prefer 24/7 coverage will likely be better off getting one that's always plugged into an outlet. Whatever your reason might be, we've got a roundup of the best indoor cameras for you to choose from.
Stick it anywhere
The Ring Stick Up Cam sends alerts when it detects any motion, and it has night vision and two-way audio. When we reviewed this camera we loved that it is available in battery-powered, plug-in, or Power-over-Ethernet options. You can also mount it easily on any flat surface. Best of all, they now have end-to-end encryption, so your videos are private and secure. You'll need a Ring Protect sub to get AI features, but it's a reasonable price.
AI detection, no sub required
These affordable indoor cams give you person, pet, and object detection out of the box without a monthly fee. You can pay for cloud storage but can also save money with a microSD card for local storage. It shoots in 2K or 1080p, warns you if it hears crying (super useful for new parents), and lets you set activity zones for smarter alerts. It doesn't have the most extensive field of view, but it's a solid option for protecting multiple rooms in your home.
Don't miss a thing
The new Nest Cam (Wired) has a solid 135-degree field of view at 1080p resolution, 15 feet of night vision, two-way audio with noise cancellation, activity zones, and intelligent AI detection out of the box. A favorite feature from our testing was the three hours of rolling footage, so you can check recent events thoroughly without worrying about the camera cutting the event off too soon. With Nest Aware, you'll get face detection and 24/7 footage, so you never miss anything.
Two-year wireless battery
So many indoor cameras have short power cords, limiting where you can place them. The Blink Indoor has a massive battery that lets you place or mount it anywhere inside. You also get two-way audio, Alexa support, local storage to a USB flash drive through a (required) Blink hub, and a solid 1080p resolution.
Built-in privacy shield
During our review of the Arlo Essential Indoor, we really liked the automated privacy shield to make it visible if the camera is recording or not. You can automate the shield to turn on by a schedule, geofencing, or manually with the app. Otherwise, this cam shoots in 1080p and has 130-degree FOV, two-way audio, a siren, Alexa and Google Assistant support, and AI smarts if you subscribe to Arlo Smart.
Ring's Indoor Cam is easy to install (just plug it in) and easy to use, thanks to Ring's tight integration with Alexa. During our review, it was helpful being able to Live View to check on our home at any time and record and store all of the videos for only $3 per month with Ring Protect. It's not as versatile as the Stick Up model, but it'll save you a chunk of cash if you plan to just stick it on a shelf.
A 2K spin around the room
As with any Eufy cam, you get AI-smartened notifications without a subscription (including sound detection that recognizes infant crying), a microSD card slot, activity zones, and 2K resolution. Compared to the Wyze Cam Pan v2, it has better resolution and a slightly wider field of view, but no option to automatically scan the room, no IFTTT support, and no color night vision. Either will work great, depending on what you're looking for.
Stay in CYNC
The GE CYNC Indoor Smart Security Camera is another inexpensive indoor camera with 1080p recording and most of the features you'd get with more expensive security cameras: motion detection, two-way audio, Alexa support, IR night vision, and AI smarts with a subscription. In our testing of this camera, we found that it maintained a solid connection to the internet and really liked the manual privacy slider to cover the camera and disable the microphone.
This camera has a nifty 360-degree panning feature and notification alerts for motion detection. It'll automatically track a person or pet or switch between four predetermined waypoints. The new v2 version adds color night vision for much better footage, a faster processor for tracking fast-moving people, and a new built-in siren. Though Wyze has come under fire due to a security vulnerability, patches have been made to secure its devices.
Best of the bunch?
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Pretty much all security cameras can send notifications whenever they detect motion. Most, if not all, can also sound off an alarm. You have to dig deeper into the features to help decide which one is the best for you. It's also worth noting that many of these cameras have features hidden behind subscription paywalls, so if you need a specific feature, make sure you know if you'll have to pay extra for it.
The Ring Stick Up Cam is our first choice when choosing the best indoor security camera because of its versatility. It works wirelessly and comes in wired and PoE versions, and it can be mounted on a wall or flat surface. You'll find cheaper cameras that keep you tethered to specific spots, but the Ring Stick Up won't limit your options. Of course, you can save money with the Ring Indoor Cam and get a lot of the same features, minus the versatility.
Folks who want more intelligent surveillance that's available 24/7 should check out Nest Cam Indoor 2021 Wired. While most of Google's 2021 Nest cameras aren't worth their cost, the Nest Cam Indoor is a superb product that gives users advanced notifications, three hours of event history, and deep tie-ins to Google services with no subscription. Google has a Nest subscription that delivers more features and up to three days of storage, but having that backup recorded history for no additional cost is a great addition.
If you're on a budget but still want a good collection of features, then the Wyze Cam Pan camera is what you are looking for. With motion tracking, clear video recording, sound detection, and 14-day free cloud storage, you're getting a host of features from a budget camera. Moreover, it works with Alexa and Google Assistant. It'll sweep its gaze across a wide room, so you don't need to buy multiple cameras.
Before buying any indoor cameras, consider which of the best outdoor security cameras you want. You may want to buy the same brand both inside and outside your home, so you can check alerts and recordings on one app and pay for one subscription. Or if you want to avoid paying for a subscription at all, look for the best security cameras with local storage options instead.
Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.
- Chris WedelSenior Editor - Smart Home