Best Wireless Home Security Cameras of 2021

Consumer Reports tests them for data privacy, security, video quality, and more

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A Consumer Reports tester checks out a table where several security cameras sit.
Wireless security cameras being tested in a Consumer Reports lab.
Photo: John Walsh/Consumer Reports

Wireless security cameras are a great way to keep an eye on your home and spot potential trouble. But just because your house is safer doesn’t mean the footage these streaming video cameras collect is necessarily safe—or even private.

“These cameras are capable of capturing and transmitting very sensitive data,” says Cody Feng, a test engineer at CR’s Digital Lab. That’s why we test them for data security and data privacy.

Below you’ll find reviews of the eight best wireless security cameras from our ratings. The list, in alphabetical order, has models made by Arlo, Blue by ADT, Eufy, Google Nest, Ring, and TP-Link. All feature night vision, high-definition video, voice control via digital assistants, and two-way audio. CR members can view ratings for these models below or, for a deeper dive, go to our full wireless security camera ratings.

More on Home Security

Our data privacy and data security tests are part of Consumer Reports’ work at its Digital Lab. They’re based on the Digital Standard, an open-source standard CR created with other organizations to promote digital privacy and security in consumer products and services. Using the Digital Standard, we conduct more than 70 data privacy and security tests on each camera. These tests are in addition to our other tests for video quality, response time of how long it takes to receive smartphone alerts, and smart features.

If you buy a model we recommend, you can be confident that you’re choosing a wireless security camera with good video quality and plenty of smart features, as well as one that will keep your footage as secure and private as possible.

Though we continue to evaluate these devices for privacy and security, there have been multiple reports of connected security cameras, including video doorbells, getting hacked. Regardless of the model you choose, read our guide on how to prevent security cameras from being hacked. And for more information on our testing and advice on how to choose a security camera, see our home security camera buying guide.

8 Top Security Cameras

Arlo Essential Wireless Security Camera VMC2030-100NAS
Free video storage: None
Optional subscription costs: Through an Arlo Smart plan, you can get 30 days of cloud video storage for $3 per month for one camera or $10 per month for five cameras; 24/7 continuous video recording costs $10 per month per camera for 14 days and $20 per month per camera for 30 days.
CR’s take: The Arlo Essential Wireless Security Camera is a fantastic security camera, receiving strong ratings in our tests for video quality and data security. It performs quite well in our response time test but its data privacy could be better. This model gives you a built-in spotlight that allows for color night vision, a rechargeable battery, a siren, and voice control (via Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit/Siri, and Google Assistant), and it connects directly to WiFi (unlike its siblings below, which use base stations). With an Arlo Smart subscription, you can get more video storage as well as monitoring zones; person, package, vehicle, and animal detection; and e911, which allows you to contact your home’s local 911 dispatcher from the Arlo app. The company offers subscriptions for 24/7 continuous video recording, too. If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee for video storage, you can use an Arlo Smart Hub ($100, sold separately) to save footage on a USB drive instead. The hub is also required for Apple HomeKit/Siri to work.

Arlo Pro 2 Smart Camera VMC4030P
Free video storage:
7 days
Optional subscription costs: Through an Arlo Smart plan, you can get 30 days of cloud video storage for $3 per month for one camera or $10 per month for five cameras; 24/7 continuous video recording costs $10 per month per camera for 14 days and $20 per month per camera for 30 days.
CR’s take: The Arlo Pro 2 offers superb video quality and rates Excellent for its array of smart features. The Pro 2 also receives a great data security score, but its data privacy could be better. As for features, you get a siren, voice control (via Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit/Siri, and Google Assistant), a rechargeable battery, and a rolling seven days of free storage for motion- and audio-triggered video clips, a perk that the other Arlo cameras in our ratings lack. With an Arlo Smart subscription, you can get more video storage as well as monitoring zones; person, package, vehicle, and animal detection; and e911. The company offers subscriptions for 24/7 continuous video recording, too. If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee for video storage, you can connect a USB drive to the base station and store footage there instead.

Arlo Pro 3 VMC4040P
Free video storage:
None
Optional subscription costs: Through an Arlo Smart plan, you can get 30 days of cloud video storage for $3 per month for one camera or $10 per month for five cameras; 24/7 continuous video recording costs $10 per month per camera for 14 days and $20 per month per camera for 30 days.
CR’s take: The Arlo Pro 3 is another terrific camera that performs just as well as its predecessor, the Arlo Pro 2, receiving identical performance ratings in our tests and offering many of the same features. So what’s different about the Pro 3? It includes a built-in spotlight that allows for color night vision, a siren in the camera itself (not the base station), a wider 160-degree field of view, and higher-resolution 2K HDR video. With an Arlo Smart subscription, you can get more video storage as well as monitoring zones; person, package, vehicle, and animal detection; and e911. The company offers subscriptions for 24/7 continuous video recording, too. If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee for video storage, you can connect a USB drive to the base station and store footage there instead.

Blue by ADT Indoor Camera
Free video storage:
24 hours
Optional subscription costs: $6 per month for 30 days of storage for unlimited cameras at one location.
CR’s take: The Blue by ADT Indoor Camera is one of the company’s first DIY cameras—and one of the top performers in our ratings. It offers superb response time for alerts, great video quality, and strong data security, but it receives only a middle-of-the-road Good rating for data privacy. As for features, this camera comes with 24 hours of free cloud video storage, facial recognition, monitoring zones, battery backup for power outages, smoke and carbon monoxide siren detection, and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can purchase 30 days of cloud video storage for $6 per month for an unlimited number of cameras. If you don’t want to pay for cloud storage, you can store video locally on an SD card.

Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24
Free video storage: Yes, with microSD card slot or personal web server.
Optional subscription costs: Through a Eufy Security storage plan, you get 30 days of cloud storage for one camera for $3 per month (or $30 per year) or 30 days for up to 10 cameras for $10 per month (or $100 per year). For Apple HomeKit users, an Apple iCloud storage plan gives you 10 days of storage for one camera for $3 per month or 10 days of storage for up to five cameras for $10 per month.
CR's take: The Eufy Solo IndoorCam C24 is one of the best and most affordable models in our ratings. It receives high marks in our tests for video quality, data security, smart features, and response time. The only test it doesn't perform that well in is data privacy, but it still receives a middle-of-the-road Good rating for that test. It features a microSD card slot for local storage, person detection, pet detection, crying detection (if you choose to use it as a baby monitor), optional 24/7 continuous recording, and voice control via Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit/Siri, and Google Assistant.

The camera also works with a special feature of Apple's HomeKit smart home system called HomeKit Secure Video, which uses end-to-end encryption to keep your video secure. It requires an Apple home hub (either an iPad, HomePod smart speaker, or Apple TV streaming box) to process motion alerts for people, animals, and vehicles. Your videos can also be stored on Apple's servers if you have an iCloud subscription. For 10 days of cloud video storage for one camera, you'll need to subscribe to a 200GB iCloud storage plan at $3 per month. For up to five cameras, you'll need a 2TB iCloud plan at $10 per month.

Eufy also gives you the option to store your videos in the cloud using its own subscription storage plans. You can get 30 days of cloud storage for one camera for $3 per month (or $30 per year), or 30 days for up to 10 cameras for $10 per month (or $100 per year).

A word about Eufy’s digital privacy and security: In May 2021 Eufy had a security issue where its users were accidentally able to access cameras owned by other Eufy users. The company says that only 712 users were affected and that it is working to put additional safeguards in place to prevent such issues from happening again. Eufy cameras using Apple HomeKit Secure Video were not affected by this problem.

Google Nest Cam Indoor NC1102ES
Free video storage:
3 hours of snapshots, not video.
Optional subscription costs: Through a Nest Aware plan, you get 30 days of storage for $6 per month (or $60 per year) or 60 days of storage for $12 per month (or $120 per year).
CR’s take: The Google Nest Cam Indoor offers strong data security and quick response speed for alerts, but it really shines in our video quality test, receiving an Excellent rating. The only downsides? The camera could have better data privacy, and it offers no free video storage—just 3 hours of still snapshots. However, it does play nice with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. With a Nest Aware subscription, you’ll get either 30 or 60 days of cloud storage for motion-triggered video clips depending on the plan, intelligent sound detection, dog-barking alerts, person alerts, monitoring zones, and e911 to call your home’s 911 dispatcher regardless of your physical location. If you have the $12-per-month plan, you’ll also get 10 days of 24/7 continuous video recordings.

Ring Stick Up Cam (Battery), 3rd Generation
Free video storage:
None
Optional subscription costs: Through a Ring Protect plan, you get 60 days of cloud video storage for one camera for $3 per month (or $30 per year) or 60 days for unlimited cameras for $10 per month (or $100 per year).
CR’s take: The third-generation Ring Stick Up Cam (Battery) is one of your best options if you’re on a budget. At $100, this camera works both indoors and outdoors and gives you person detection, monitoring zones, voice control via Amazon Alexa, and alert schedules so that you can silence alerts at certain times of day. In our tests, this Ring camera receives strong scores for video quality and response time, as well as a Very Good rating for data security. If you subscribe to the Ring Protect Plan, you’ll get a rolling 60 days of motion-triggered video clips and photo snapshots between recordings.

TP-Link Kasa Cam KC120
Free video storage: 2 days
Optional subscription costs: Through a Kasa Care plan, you get 30 days of cloud storage for one camera for $3 per month (or $30 per year) or 30 days of storage for up to 10 cameras for $10 per month (or $100 per year).
CR’s take: The TP-Link Kasa Cam KC120 offers great performance at a very affordable price. It earns high scores in our video quality, response time, and data security tests, but its data privacy could be better (it rates only Fair in that test). This TP-Link doesn’t offer many features, but you will get monitoring zones and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. With a Kasa Care plan, you’ll get 30 days of video storage.

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Home Content Creator Daniel Wroclawski

Daniel Wroclawski

I'm obsessed with smart home tech and channel my obsession into new stories for Consumer Reports. When I'm not writing about products, I spend time either outside hiking and skiing or up in the air in small airplanes. For my latest obsessions, follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@danwroc).