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You don’t have to drop hundreds of dollars on an expensive camera to keep your home security up to date. There are tons of excellent DIY home security options available that don’t cut corners and allow you to protect your home at a fraction of the cost. And to help you make sure you’re still getting effective security at an affordable price, we’ve rounded up the best cheap home security cameras hot on the market.
Established names like Wyze, GE, Amazon Blink, TP-Link and others offer Wi-Fi cameras for $100 or much less without sacrificing basic features or performance. Even with these “cheap” security cameras, you can expect live video streaming, 1,080-pixel resolution or higher, a motion sensor and an app to send push notifications, plus compatibility with smart home ecosystems like Google Assistant or Alexa.
Along with price and features, security and privacy are also concerns, maybe even more so when purchasing an inexpensive camera from a lesser-known manufacturer. If security and privacy are top of mind for you, start by looking for a camera with two-step login authentication and WPA2 compatibility with your router (preferably WPA3, but most cameras are equipped for WPA2). End-to-end encryption, which prevents the company in question from viewing your footage without your consent, is ideal for privacy as well, but not every brand supports it.
Below, you’ll find my picks for the best cheap cameras that come with basic features, security measures and more. Some are better suited than others for indoor or outdoor monitoring, motion tracking or other specific uses, but I’d deem them all to be worthwhile and relatively low-cost home security investments.
Best cheap home security cameras
Other cheap home security cameras we’ve tested
Each of the cameras listed above is available for under $100. We’ve also tried out a number of other low-cost, high-quality cameras including the GE Cync Indoor Stickup Camera and the Kasa KC410S, both of which made our list for the best indoor cameras. We make an effort to test every major camera as it comes out and will update this list as more cheap cameras hit the market.
Cheap home security cameras compared
|Wyze Cam (2020)||Wyze Cam Pan v2||Blink Outdoor Security Camera||TP-Link Tapo|
|Resolution||Full HD 1080p||Full HD 1080p||Full HD 1080p||2K (2304 × 1296)|
|Field of View||130 degrees||120 degrees||110 degrees||130 degrees|
|Setup||Moveable, indoor/outdoor||Moveable, indoor only||Moveable, outdoor||Mounted, outdoor|
|Extra Features||Livestreaming, motion detection, night vision, weather resistance, integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant||Livestreaming, two-way talk, sound/motion alerts, color night vision, panning and tilting functions||Livestreaming, motion alerts, two-way talk, integration with Amazon Alexa, wireless||Livestreaming, motion alerts and light/sound alarm, two-way talk, integration with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant|
How we test home security cameras
Hands-on testing is core to our evaluations of any home security products. When it comes to security cameras, we pay special attention to resolution, night vision and latency, extra features, general performance and overall value. We evaluate each attribute in a home environment over the course of a week to get a sense of how the camera and accompanying app responds to real-life activity and sounds during the day and night. Check out our in-depth article on how we test home security cameras and video doorbells to learn more about our testing practices.
A note on the security of home security cameras
Like any Wi-Fi-connected smart home device, security cameras are vulnerable to hacking, potentially granting unauthorized access to your camera feed, stored videos and account information. Not only that, but cameras without end-to-end encryption could leave your footage exposed to outside interception as it travels from one endpoint to another.
The manufacturers listed above have taken steps to enhance security and patch vulnerabilities in their cameras, though companies like Wyze and Ring (an Amazon-owned brand in addition to Blink) have had privacy and security concerns in the past. Still, each of the picks for “best cheap home security camera” feature an optional two-step authentication process, end-to-end data encryption and WPA2 compatibility.
When shopping for a cheap home security camera, compare pricing and features first, but don’t overlook the security aspect. And when you set up your camera, be sure to create a strong password to help prevent someone from gaining access to your data.
Even with strong security measures, your camera will never be completely impervious to security threats. A best practice is to treat your camera as if it has already been compromised and avoid placing it where you wouldn’t want the view to be seen or shared by others.
Home security camera FAQs