One of the best wireless security cameras

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.

“Your home is a very private place, and wireless security cameras are capable of capturing and transmitting very sensitive data,” says Robert Richter, CR’s program manager for privacy and security testing. “That's why we test these cameras for data security and data privacy.” 

These tests are part of Consumer Reports’ work at its Digital Lab, and 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 conducted more than 70 data privacy and security tests on each camera.

You can be confident 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. For more on the latest findings of our privacy and security testing, learn about the security risks the Digital Lab found in two cameras from Wyze and Guardzilla

How We Test Wireless Security Cameras

Our data privacy and security tests evaluate each model’s public documentation (such as privacy policies) to see what claims the manufacturer makes about the way it handles your data. The tests include an inspection of the user interface and network traffic provided by the camera and its companion smartphone app.

More on Home Security Cameras

We also test the cameras for video quality, ease of use, response time of smartphone alerts, and smart features. 

Our video-quality tests evaluate a camera’s picture in good light, low light, and zero light (to determine how well its night vision works, so you can be sure that racket out back is only the raccoons again). To further challenge the cameras, we add different levels of backlighting to each lighting scenario.

Our testers also look for a wide variety of smart features, including monitoring zones (which can focus alerts on areas of the image you specify, handy for watching walkways or ignoring a busy street), facial recognition (for spotting familiar and unfamiliar people), voice control (with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri), and geofencing (which turns cameras off and on as you come and go). All these features factor into our unique Smart IQ score for smart-home devices, which you can use to find the smartest cameras of the bunch.

All these test results are combined into an Overall Score for every model in our wireless security camera ratings. Below we’ve picked the six best from those ratings, with models made by Amazon, Arlo, Nest, TP-Link, and Wyze. All feature night vision, HD video, voice control via digital assistants, and two-way audio.

Read on for reviews of the best wireless security cameras from Consumer Reports’ tests, listed in alphabetical order. CR members can also view ratings for these models below, or for a deeper dive, see our full wireless security camera ratings

6 Superb Security Cameras

Amazon Cloud Cam (Key Edition)
Free video storage:
24 hours
Optional subscription costs: $7/month to $200/year
CR’s take: The Amazon Cloud Cam (Key Edition) is an all-around great camera, with strong scores for data privacy and security, receiving a rating of Very Good in the former. It also offers dependable video quality and response speed. The Cloud Cam’s features include a rolling 24 hours of free cloud video storage for video clips triggered by the camera detecting motion (footage that captures movement as opposed to dead air) and voice control via Amazon Alexa. With a Cloud Cam subscription, you’ll get monitoring zones, person detection, and more motion-based video storage.

Quick Take

Amazon Cloud Cam (Key Edition)

Price: $120

Data privacy
Data security
Video quality
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Arlo Pro 2 Smart Camera VMC4030P
Free video storage:
7 days
Optional subscription costs: $3/month to $15/month
CR’s take: The Arlo Pro 2 offers superb video quality and is the only model in our ratings with an Excellent Smart IQ rating. It also receives great data privacy and security scores. 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. With an Arlo Smart subscription, you can get more video storage as well as monitoring zones, person detection, package detection, vehicle detection, and animal detection. Certain plans include 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.

Quick Take

Arlo Pro 2 Smart Camera VMC4030P

Price: $220

Data privacy
Data security
Video quality
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Nest Cam Indoor NC1102ES
Free video storage:
3 hours of snapshots, not video
Optional subscription costs: $5/month to $300/year
CR’s take: The Nest Cam Indoor offers solid video quality and response speed, but it really shines in our data privacy and security tests, receiving an Excellent rating in the latter. The only downside is that the camera 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, the Nest Cam gains 24/7 continuous video recordings, person detection, and monitoring zones.

Quick Take

Nest Cam Indoor NC1102ES

Price: $200

Data privacy
Data security
Video quality
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Nest Cam IQ Indoor NC3100US
Free video storage:
3 hours of snapshots, not video
Optional subscription costs: $5/month to $300/year
CR’s take: The Nest Cam IQ Indoor is a fantastic security camera, receiving an Excellent rating in our tests for video quality. It also performs exceptionally well in our data privacy and security tests. This model gives you a 4K image sensor (which means you can zoom in on part of an image without losing image quality), built-in Google Assistant for controlling the camera (as well as other smart-home devices), voice control via Amazon Alexa (through another device, not built into the camera), person detection, and a rolling 3 hours of motion-triggered snapshots (not video clips). With a Nest Aware subscription, you can get 24/7 continuous video recordings, facial recognition, and monitoring zones.

Quick Take

Nest Cam IQ Indoor NC3100US

Price: $300

Data privacy
Data security
Video quality
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TP-Link Kasa Cam KC120
Free video storage:
2 days
Optional subscription costs: $4/month to $70/year
CR’s take: The TP-Link Kasa Cam is a terrific camera that costs far less than many of its competitors. It offers impressive video quality and even rates an Excellent for response time. It also does quite well in our data privacy and security tests. In addition to a rolling two days of free storage for motion-triggered video clips, the Kasa Cam features monitoring zones and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. With a Kasa Care plan, you can get up to 30 days of cloud video storage.

Quick Take

TP-Link Kasa Cam KC120

Price: $65

Data privacy
Data security
Video quality
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Wyze Cam V2
CR Best Buy
Free video storage:
14 days
Optional subscription costs: None
CR’s take: The Wyze Cam V2 is a terrific security camera and a phenomenal value at its $20 price. It receives an Excellent rating for video quality and is easier to use than the other cameras on this list. It does well in our privacy and security tests. The camera features a rolling 14 days of free storage for motion-trigged video clips, person detection, voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and the ability to store footage locally on an SD card. Unlike the other cameras on this list, Wyze does not offer paid subscription plans for additional cloud storage.

Quick Take

Wyze Cam V2

Price: $25

Data privacy
Data security
Video quality
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Protect Your Home When You're Away

You want to keep what you have safe from burglars, right? On the "Consumer 101" TV show, Consumer Reports shows you how to protect your property when you're not home.