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Best home security camera: Our favorite tools for keeping an eye on the home front

Michael Ansaldo | July 7, 2016
A boom in wireless security cameras is inspiring a movement in DIY home surveillance. Follow our buying guide and read our reviews to find the best option for you.

Logi Circle 

Logitech’s Circle home-security camera features two-way audio.

Two-way audio: While the idea of a security camera implies eyes-on monitoring, the ability to also hear what’s going on gives you a more complete picture of what’s happening on the home front when you’re away. It can also alert you to something occurring out of the camera’s field of vision. This feature can also allow you to speak through the camera, a great tool for remotely commanding an unruly pet or startling an intruder in the act, but be aware that you might need to plug in a powered speaker for this feature to work.

Viewing angle: The camera’s field of view determines how much it can see. As you’re probably monitoring a single room, you want a wideviewing angle. Most current cameras fall in the 130-degree range. These wide angles can sometimes cause image distortion at the edges in the form of a fisheye effect, particularly when used in smaller rooms, but it’s not like you’re going to use a security to capture snapshots for your photo album.

Web client: Many cameras can be accessed through a web portal as well. This is useful for times when you don’t have access to your mobile device or a wireless connection. The web app should closely mirror its mobile counterpart, so you don’t need to learn a whole new set of controls.

Wireless range: One of the benefits wireless cameras offer is the ability to move them around your home. Ideally, your home security camera should be able to maintain a Wi-Fi connection no matter how far you move it from your router, even in a large home. Some cameras come with an ethernet port as well, so you have the option of hardwiring it to your local network. A camera that supports power-over-ethernet (PoE) eliminates the need for an AC adapter and relies on just one cable (but your router or switch will also need to support PoE. Another alternative would be to use a POE injector.) 

Product reviews

You’ll find hands-on reviews of 10 of the latest home-security cameras attached to this buyers’ guide. We’ve improved our site navigation so that clicking on the product names below will take you directly to that review. 

Alternatively, you can use the navigation menu at the top of the story, labeled ‘More Stories in this Series.’ If you’d like to read each review one after the other, use the arrows at the bottom of each page.

We will expand this collection of reviews over the coming month and will add new definitions and features to look for as they come up. 

 

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