I used to have a security system in my apartment that included door and motion sensors but no security cameras. I thought it would make me feel safer, but the motion sensor was frequently triggered by shadows, which activated a loud alarm. It was jarring when I was home, and even more worrisome when I was away and got notifications on my phone. With no camera, I was left wondering what happened and if my pets were OK.
Cameras now give me peace of mind, but I have a love/hate relationship with them. They offer a level of safety knowing that I can quickly make sure everything is well at home even if I’m miles away. But you do expose yourself to privacy risks. You should take precautions if you want to use a security camera. We break down what you should keep in mind when shopping for one, and rounded up our favorites after rigorous testing.
Updated November 2020: We added the Eufy 2K Pan and the Panasonic HomeHawk Window Camera, and added more to the Honorable Mentions section.