A surveillance system is one of the best modern examples of how to correctly secure your home. Wireless security cameras are very trendy in 2019, and can monitor an area 24/7. The live footage can get checked at anytime.
What is even better is security cameras has gotten very cheap in the 21st century. What was once reserved for businesses with thousands of dollars to spend on security is now affordable for the average household.
Fortunately, you no longer have to invest thousands of dollars for a good security system. The best cheap security cameras available start around $30-$40, and several excellent models are priced lower than $200.
- Features to Consider in Cheap Security Cameras
- Best Cheap Security Cameras Under $100
- Top 5 Best Cheap Security Cameras Under $200
- Guide to Buying the Best Cheap Security Camera
Features to Consider in Cheap Security Cameras
Every camera is set up a little differently and has its own list of features. If you are new to shopping for wireless security cameras we want to introduce you to a few basics before we dive into the actual reviews:
Most cameras rely on Wi-Fi connectivity to deliver recordings to your phone. Wi-Fi is reliable and easy to set up. You will also find cameras that incorporate Bluetooth for local control. Wireless cameras provide a companion app that allows you to get notifications on your smartphone, tablet, or PC. It allows you to access the camera remotely and check-in to make sure your family is safe. Some sophisticated cameras will even support voice commands and IFTT.
- Video Quality
Image quality is an essential feature that cannot get overlooked. Security cameras have a reputation for choppy images so you will need to look into the ones that present high quality video. You should consider something with at least 720p. Cameras with 1080p have the best resolution yet require a lot of storage space. They also chew up a lot of your Wi-Fi.
- Motion Detection
You can invest in a security camera that will only go live when motion is detected in the area it surveys. Motion detection security cameras help save on recording space since they only go live when action is around. In addition to going live the device will also send you a notification of the trigger that has flagged the camera. alerts allow you to take action in real time instead of going back days or weeks after an event occurs.
- Night Vision
Security cameras are effective during daylight hours, but what about at night? A night vision feature is what you need to stay safe 24/7. Some cameras will amplify ambient light to give you footage that you can see. Even more advanced options will use infrared light to improve on the ambient light in pitch darkness.
Best Cheap Security Cameras Under $100
The Amcrest ProHD 1080P Wi-Fi IP Security Camera features a 90-degree viewing angle in order to keep tabs on what you love. The interior camera is available in two colors: black and white.
Users can view live footage at any time with the Amcrest app. It gives you peace of mind whether checking in on a babysitter or making sure your children are okay.
The wireless security camera is furnished with a Sony image sensor. It also features an Ambarella chipset to offer real HD 1080p footage. The image resolution is clear and easy to decipher.
The Amcrest proHD security camera provides smart notifications through text and email to your PC and smartphone when the motion detection feature is activated. The footage can be recorded on Amcrest cloud, NVR, NAS, QNAP, Synology, Blue Iris, FTP, and an SD card.
The two-way audio allows you to speak to your kids. The audio system is a nice feature since you can scare away a burglar before they terrorize your property. The Infrared LED night vision even lets you make out people in the dark.
When it comes to securing your home or business being able to have notifications is important. Amcrest keeps you informed and vigilant 24/7. You will get excellent 1080p HD footage during the day and vision of up to 32 ft. at night. It is also extremely affordable!
If you are taking steps to design a complete smart home, having a camera that will work with virtual assistants is a must. Wyze has partnered with Alexa for fluid response time. Alexa coordinates with the wireless camera for complete control. Place this camera anywhere indoors to monitor the room. The camera presents a flexible design with 3-axis direction.
Additionally, the Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Security Camera is very easy to install. There is no need to drill holes into your wall. The magnetic base works hand-in-hand with the metal plate and adhesive tape for straightforward installation.
You can always check in with your phone at any time and get live feeds of what is happening in your home using the Wyze app. The app will also give you real-time notifications of any motion detected.
Wyze offers you night vision up to 30 ft. with four 850nm IR LEDs. The camera can present images in near total darkness.
The smart sound recognition is another thoughtful feature. It incorporates an advanced algorithm to identify distinct sound patterns of things like other monitors and the smoke alarm. So you will never get taken off guard in the future.
The Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Security Camera has plenty of unique features for its retail price. The camera supports Alexa, as well as recognizes distinct sound patterns and supports motion tagging. It is a bargain deal considering the camera setup and install is also effortless.
YI Technologies is a world-renowned tech and electronics company. The YI Dome Cam has a 112-degree wide-angle lens with bidirectional rotation range. It ensures the camera can cover 360 degrees without having any blind spots.
The security camera is ideal for use both at home and the office. Eight panoramic presets are just a click away on the YI Home app. It lets you choose up to eight favorite locations where you can always come back and view what has happened during the day.
Furthermore, you can customize cruise periods and choose the auto-cruise mode to cover your bookmarks. You will receive real-time alerts and notifications using an advanced motion detection system that captures and tracks movement. The motion detector sends 10-second footage to your phone for quick review.
YI Dome has integrated eight in-built 940nm infrared LED beads that increase and improve the viewing distance. The camera performs well in low light. Some people like to use the YI Dome Wireless Indoor Security Camera in a nursery because of its quiet operation and lack of glare.
The YI Dome Wireless Indoor Security Camera is a great investment, especially for its cheap price tag. The camera provides full 360-degree footage. It also encrypts footage before it is saved to cloud thus protecting your privacy.
24/7 home surveillance is now possible with the TENVIS HD IP Camera. The model provides crisp, clear 720p images in pitch darkness while giving relevant alerts about your home. The companion app will deliver notifications when you are away from home. It allows you to watch little kids or individuals that need special care at all times.
The camera is very easy to install and will take less than an hour. The two-way audio lets you communicate to the room even when you are away thanks to the smartphone app. The motion detection feature is essential as it will come in handy when an intruder threatens the house or office. The camera will record any suspicious activity and send it via email where you can access it immediately.
Being able to see every angle of a room is a convenience enabled by the lens rotation. The lens can rotate vertically 120 degrees and horizontally 305 degrees. It delivers you with a clear view of every corner of the room.
The TENVIS HD IP Home Security Camera also supports a 128GB SD card that can record footage for up to 60 days. The TENVIS HD IP Home Security Camera is one of the few cameras priced under $100 that supports 32GB SD cards.
TENVIS HD IP is a perfect camera especially if you are never at home. It keeps you updated with the status of your home, even if you are gone for days or weeks. The night vision is also terrific as visibility is granted up to 50 ft.
There are lots of Wi-Fi IP cameras on the market. The Wansview Q3-S Wireless 1080P Wi-Fi Home Security Camera is comparable to the same Wi-Fi camera produced by TENVIS. Yet there are different features that separate the two cameras.
The Wansview camera can record high-resolution videos in HD 1080p. It even delivers highly detailed images in low-lit rooms. The camera is appropriate for monitoring children or pets.
The wide field of view is spectacular as the camera can pan over 350 degrees and tilt over 76 degrees. It also offers up to 4x digital zoom. Users can position the camera however they please remotely from a smartphone. Eight presets save your favorite locations. The camera also has a two-way audio that is clear even in noisy backgrounds. You can listen in and talk to your family members.
The Wansview Q3-S Wireless 1080P Wi-Fi Home Security Camera offers night vision capabilities up to 20 ft. The camera switches automatically to night vision (which is in black and white). If you don’t like the black and white, you can always turn off night vision.
The Wansview app supports viewing of up to four cameras at the same time. There is also the option to stream footage from one camera on up to four phones simultaneously. It also takes beautiful pictures if you want to save a memory for later.
The Wansview Q3-S Wireless 1080P Camera is great for security, yet also intuitive and great for capturing memories. It can upload footage to your phone or PC without removing the SD card.
Top 5 Best Cheap Security Cameras Under $200
Amazon presents their unique intelligent indoor security camera that is controlled by a single app. The camera can mount on a wall or flat surface for 24/7 monitoring. It will record everything in full HD 1080p.
Cloud cam has an advanced motion detection system. The alerts are prompt and get you notified of any invasion ASAP. Additionally, you can hear everything with the two-way audio. It allows you to scare away thieves or check-in with your kids after school.
The camera is equipped with eight infrared LEDs for night viewing. The night vision activates once it senses dim light using its intelligent algorithms. The app can toggle the settings for the LED lights.
The Cloud Cam app is everything to the camera. The app enables you to back track 24 hours and retrieve footage all from your smartphone or tablet. The camera works with Alexa-enabled devices like Amazon Fire TV, Fire Tablet, Echo Spot, and Echo Show. Since many households have one of the following devices it is a universal system.
The Amazon Cloud Cam Security Camera has so much to offer even if you are on a budget. It is an advanced model that offers everything you would ever want in an indoor security camera. It presents you with quality videos, live feeds, smart motion alerts, and 24 hour footage. Who wouldn’t want such an intuitive camera watching over their home?
Surveillance is not enough if you cannot identify a suspect because of poor video resolution. It is why NETGEAR uses powerful lenses that can shoot videos in 1080p. The cameras deliver crisp videos that you can view on a phone or tablet.
The system is sold in sets of two cameras. The installation is painless as magnetic mounts are easy to mount wherever you desire. The cameras will hold up on the exterior of a building because they are weatherproof. It works well even during thunderstorms or heavy snowfall.
The 130-degree angle lens provides a broad viewing angle so that you will never miss a thing. Advanced PIR motion sensor detects movement and sends alerts via push notifications and email. It is a perfect way to perform DIY security on your home.
NETGEAR saves you from wires by using a rechargeable battery to power the cameras. There is also the option to plug-in the cameras though we recommend the rechargeable option for outdoor use.
The night vision on the NETGEAR Arlo VMS3230 Security System turns on automatically once it detects low light. So you can depend on footage to adapt to outdoor settings. The brand also works with Amazon Alexa, IFTT, Stringify, and SmartThings. There is also the opportunity to expand and add more cameras – all of which can get managed under one app.
The NETGEAR Arlo VMS3230 Security System is a stunning kit that offers weatherproof cameras. It is no wonder why the product is a top seller. The cameras are compatible with Alexa, provide motion alerts, and produce night vision. For the price, we don’t see why you should not have NETGEAR system monitoring your home.
The Nest Security Camera is produced with superior quality. It has a glass lens that can capture videos in true HD – day and night. The camera never misses a thing with the 130-degree lens which gives you a wide viewing angle. Additionally, it has 8x digital zoom.
The Nest Aware app records everything 24/7 and uploads it to the cloud for up to 30 days. If you ever miss anything you can always retrieve it, save it to your phone or computer, or share it with neighbors and friends.
Also, you can speak into the camera and listen to responses using the two-way microphone. It allows you to scare away thieves or talk to someone on the front door like the delivery man.
Consequently, the camera is your eyes and ears. It will not only detect motion, but also alert you with a photo of the event as it happens. The nest app can send person alerts or activity zone alerts when something is flagged in the area.
Nest has lots of features on the app. First, you can go back to the app and see any activity that you missed for the last three hours. It is easier to trace back to the event of burglary, such as someone stealing something off your front porch. The camera zooms in on any action that is flagged for a more detailed image.
The Nest Security Camera is among the best in the under $200 category. It will help you catch a burglar even before they enter your home. The imagery is clear and makes it easier to identify suspects. The device also features two-way audio.
The Ring Spotlight Wired Security Camera makes home security a breeze. The camera plugs in so you can depend on a power source and not rely on batteries. You can access the camera at all times using the Ring app. You will like that the model is a small and robust camera that functions outside as well.
The camera uses its wide-angle lens to capture everything in its line of sight. The motion detection sensors help prevent crime before it occurs. You get instant alerts to your phone. Then, you can take action by activating built-in spotlights on the camera as well as a loud alarm.
The camera system is also equipped with a mic and speakers for two-way communication. Whether you want to talk down your pet from the sofa or remind your kids to finish their homework, the camera is versatile for a variety of means.
The Ring Spotlight Wired Security Camera is compatible with iOS, Android, Windows 10, and Mac. It sends valuable footage to Ring cloud. The purchase of a new camera from Ring grants you a one-month free subscription to its cloud storage.
Ring provides straightforward yet advanced home surveillance. It gives you day and night monitoring. The motion detection alerts are immediately sent to your phone. You can use voice commands like Alexa to see rooms if you are unsure of the situation. The spotlights and 110-decibel siren are resourceful for dealing with criminals.
The Reolink Argus 2 Wireless Security Camera prevents you from drilling holes into your wall and handling complicated wiring. Instead, the unit is powered by a rechargeable battery or solar power. The installation is very straightforward.
The camera provides footage in full HD whether its day or night. Its night vision capabilities are up to 32 ft. And, thanks to the starlight image sensor, it will stay reliable 24/7. The 130-degree wide-angle lens provides a broad field of view.
It will send relevant notifications with the assistance of the PIR sensor. Alerts are available through push and/or email notifications. The camera is also equipped with a built-in siren that goes off the moment any movement is detected.
The Reolink Argus 2 Wireless Security Camera is produced with an SD card slot that can support up to 64GB storage. Additionally, the camera is weatherproof and capable of handling a variety of elements. The camera also notifies you of when the battery is draining and at 10%.
The Reolink Argus 2 Wireless Security Camera will help secure your home without setting you back $500. It is a multipurpose camera that is smart and simple to install. It functions well in interior and exterior settings. The solar panel (sold separately) is a unique feature of the Reolin Argus 2.
Guide to Buying the Best Cheap Security Camera
Whether you are a homeowner or looking for a cheap security system for a small business, you need to make a few considerations before deciding on the best product.
Things to Consider Buying a New Security Camera
The recordings on your camera need a place of storage. If not, the footage will get lost and could prevent you from solving a crime of theft or vandalism. Wireless security cameras traditionally have cloud storage or a built-in SD card. Local storage offers full-time recording, but you will need to have several SD cards to stay up with all the footage. Or, you must constantly remove the SD card to transfer footage to another storage device in order to prevent footage from not getting recorded on the device itself.
Cloud storage is a good solution for many homeowners and SMBs. Some cameras offer free storage for a couple of hours or weeks worth of time. There are other models that require you to pay a fee to have the footage stored for a specific period of time. The fees can range from monthly to annual charges.
Source of Power
Security cameras either plug-in or use rechargeable batteries. Plugged in cameras can be placed anywhere as long as you have a long cord. Cameras for use outside the house may operate with rechargeable batteries like the Reolink Argus 2. It is a battery that is solar powered so it is very eco-friendly and dependable.
Field of View
What is the area of coverage? Some cameras offer 180-degrees and 360-degree coverage. A large field of view is always a welcome feature on a camera. You will also want to keep an eye out for pan and tilt as they are just as resourceful as a camera with a 360-degree view.
Modern wireless cameras are designed to work alongside an iOs or Android device. There are other third-party apps that are compatible with certain wireless cameras if you don’t like the one preinstalled. Web apps allow you to log into the camera and see footage in real time. There are also sound and motion alerts you can designate, speak into the camera, or activate a siren.
Though some security cameras provide audio where you can listen into the surroundings of where the camera surveys that is not enough for many homeowners these days. People also want to be able to make their voice heard. Two-way audio security cameras allow you to hear what the camera sees, while also being able to speak back out through the device. The two-way audio works well for everything from speaking to your kids playing outside to conversing with a delivery man to scaring off an intruder.
Style of Camera
There are two primary types of cameras in the cheap, under $100 and $200 price range. Dome and bullet cameras are not extremely discreet. They stand out and it’s fairly obvious to any type of intruder that they are being recorded. Some homeowners prefer a dome camera because it is difficult for a criminal to determine which direction the camera is facing. So it could potentially steer them clear of wreaking havoc on your home or business.
Buying an Outdoor Camera
Indoor cameras are rarely weatherproofed. So if you need to install an outdoor camera, you will want to make sure it is built to handle the elements. Outside security cameras are exposed to intense heat, cold, rain, wind, and snow. So you need something that is very durable.
Multiple Cameras & Connectivity
It is very plausible that you will want to install more than one camera outside your home or office. If that is the case, you should consider a model that allows all the cameras to connect to a single app. It makes surveillance and management of the cameras much easier. The last thing you want is five apps for five different cameras.
Effective security cameras do wonders for home or small business surveillance. It helps keep you, your family, and business interests safe. Thankfully, you do not need to spend a fortune anymore for a good security system. You just need to know where to look!