A TP-Link Kasa Smart Wire-Free Outdoor Security Camera mounted on a tree
Photo: TP-Link

Walk through the electronics section of your local big-box store, and you'll find plenty of wireless security cameras to choose from. (The opportunity and burden of all that choice is why Consumer Reports puts security cameras to the test.)

And based on the product launches we're seeing at 2019's Consumer Electronics Show, the home security landscape is set to get a lot more crowded.

Most of the new models debuting at CES are competitive more than innovative—but there is still some innovation to be found, especially around improved alerts through software and artificial intelligence. 

"There are quite a few copycats, whether it is with 4K, LTE cameras or even battery-operated cameras” says Blake Kozak, a smart home and home security analyst with research firm IHS Markit. “Despite the spec and hardware similarities, I think there is plenty of room to differentiate on the software side, meaning the mobile app and the quality of the features being promised, such as facial recognition and object detection."

Bottom line? "This is good for the consumer and possibly a threat to the established players,” Kozak says.

More on Home Security

Below we’ll walk through new security cameras from established brands, including Arlo and D-Link, and new players, such as Deep Sentinel.

Of course, we haven’t tested any of them—these cameras aren't even on sale yet, and Consumer Reports purchases every product it tests. So if you need to buy a wireless security camera now, you can also find some top-rated picks at the bottom of the article, or check out our complete home security camera ratings

Arlo

Arlo is now offering pre-orders for its new Arlo Ultra security camera, which is a battery-powered, completely wireless model that records 4K video footage. It’s not the first 4K option—Nest has it beat with the Nest Cam IQ Indoor. But the Arlo Ultra, powered by rechargable batteries, offers more versatility in terms of placement than the Nest Cam IQ.

The $400 Arlo Ultra, along with the CR-tested Arlo Pro 2, are also notably gaining Apple HomeKit compatibility, which means you’ll be able to control the cameras with Siri and view camera feeds in the Apple Home app on iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. Plenty of security cams are HomeKit-compatible, but again, these Arlo models will be the first completely wireless cameras to work with HomeKit.

D-Link

While D-Link is best known for making routers, the company also sells a growing lineup of smart home devices. And that lineup is greatly expanding in 2019 with the addition of five new D-Link security cameras.

All of the cameras work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. They also give you the option of using either cloud video storage (for a recurring fee) or local video storage (via microSD card or a USB stick).

Of the five models, the two battery-powered models are the most interesting. D-Link calls them the LTE Full HD Indoor/Outdoor Camera (DCS-1820LH) and the Wire-Free Full HD Indoor/Outdoor Camera (DCS-2802KT)

As the name implies, the former can connect to Verizon’s cellular LTE network and be placed just about anywhere, as it doesn’t require a hardwired power source or WiFi. That might sound unusual, but this looks like a direct competitor to the Arlo Go security camera, which has been on the market for a few years and offers cellular connectivity. The latter seems like a direct competitor to the Arlo Pro 2, as it features a base station that connects to the fully wireless D-Link camera(s).

We haven’t tested the Arlo Go, but the Arlo Pro 2 does quite well in our video-quality tests. We’ll have to get these new D-Link models into our lab to see how they compare.

Deep Sentinel

A total newcomer, Deep Sentinel has debuted an eponymous camera system that is quite similar to the Arlo and D-Link systems mentioned above.

It comes with three wireless, battery-powered cameras and a base station. But it does a few more things to differentiate itself.

Namely, its hallmark LiveSentinel Surveillance Guards: real people who monitor your camera footage and can call authorities in the event of a problem. The service costs $50 per month. A one-year commitment is required upon purchase of a Deep Sentinel system.

While not as impressive as live guards, the Deep Sentinel system also stores all footage locally on its base station, not in the cloud. The system uses artificial intelligence to detect people, animals, and objects, which we've seen to varying degrees by competitors like Ring and Arlo, as well as to learn behaviors and only record footage of suspicious activity.

TP-Link

In addition to TP-Link’s new Kasa video doorbell, the company is launching two new security cameras—the Kasa Smart Wire-Free Outdoor Security Camera System and the Kasa Smart Spot Indoor Security Camera.

The camera system comes with wireless, battery-powered cameras and a base station—just like the new systems from Arlo, D-Link, and Deep Sentinel. Its cameras record in 1080p HD and offer two-way audio, night vision, and six months of battery life.

Meanwhile, the Kasa Smart Spot Indoor Security Camera is similar to the Nest Cam Indoor, as TP-Link says it’s designed to be more affordable. It requires a hardwired connection for power and includes 1080p HD video, night vision, and two-way audio.

Although the two cameras are quite different, both work with TP-Link’s Kasa Care subscription plans. These plans give the cameras cloud video storage, as well as artificial intelligence features, including person detection and facial recognition. The plans are very similar to those offered by Arlo, Nest, and Ring.

“AI for better alerts not only improves the consumer’s experience but also provides an additional revenue stream for the camera manufacturer,” says IHS Markit's Kozak. Given the added revenue, it’s likely these offerings will simply become the norm for security cameras.

Three Highly Rated Security Cameras

If you're in the market for a wireless security camera now, check out the models below, all of which have been tested by CR. 

Quick Take

Amazon Cloud Cam wireless security camera

Price: $120.00

Video quality
Response time
Data privacy
Unlock Wireless Security Camera Ratings
Quick Take

nest Cam IQ Indoor NC3100US wireless security camera

Price: $300.00

Video quality
Response time
Data privacy
Unlock Wireless Security Camera Ratings
Quick Take

Netgear Arlo Pro 2 Smart Camera VMC4030P wireless security camera

Price: $220.00

Video quality
Response time
Data privacy
Unlock Wireless Security Camera Ratings