Security systems and services are available in different packages these days so that everyone can get the option to choose the most compatible option based on their needs. However, buying an entire security system along with its extended monitoring services and subscription plans may not be ideal for everyone, especially for those looking for a compact and affordable option.
On the other hand, if you already have a reliable network and are looking for a surveillance camera for basic applications, there is no point in investing in an entire security system. Instead, you can go with a small home security camera. These compact devices are designed to discreetly monitor and record activities in and around homes, providing homeowners with a valuable tool to monitor their property. Here are some aspects of a small home security camera that you must know before you buy one.
- Resolution: For any type of camera, the resolution is one of its most critical aspects as it tells you the capabilities of the lens and the quality of footage it can capture. And as for security cameras, higher resolution indicates clearer visuals. This becomes particularly important when you are attempting to identify individuals, objects, or events within the camera’s FOV. A higher resolution offers many benefits such as better facial recognition and the ability to read license plates.
- Field of View: Just like resolution, the field of view of a camera is also one of its critical aspects as it determines how much data the camera can capture in a single frame. But instead of quality, this aspect deals with the coverage area of the unit. To put it in simple words, a higher FOV means the camera has a larger coverage area and it can capture more content without needing to rotate the camera around. So the higher is the POV, the lesser are the chances of any blindspots in the surveillance area.
- Night Vision: Using a security camera would not be beneficial if it is unable to keep your house secure at night. And to make it possible, manufacturers implement various night vision technologies in the camera. These advanced settings basically allow the camera to record visible content even when there is little to no ambient light. In most cases, an IR LED night vision camera turns out to be the most effective option as it can record surveillance footage even in pitch-black surroundings.
When it comes to securing your home premise and continuous surveillance, using a standalone security camera is the best and most affordable option right now. There are a lot of brands that offer such cameras at a very reasonable price point which makes it a beneficial choice over an entire system. Plus, you also get the option to upgrade or add more cameras to the system whenever you want, based on your requirements. Therefore, we have prepared this list of the best small home security cameras. We will also discuss some important parameters of security cameras in general in our “Buying Guide”, so make sure you check that out.
Best Small Home Security Cameras Table
Best Small Home Security Cameras Reviews
Blink is one of the top names in the industry right now for compact and DIY-friendly security cameras. In fact, almost all camera models developed by Blink are designed to be portable and compact.
Coming in the 1st position, we have the most popular small home security camera on this list, the Blink Outdoor 4 (4th Gen) security camera. This 4th generation device offers a seamless smartphone experience, enabling 1080p HD live view, infrared night vision, and clear 2-way audio via the Blink app. So, you can enjoy a hassle-free setup with a 2-year battery life using the included AA lithium batteries.
Plus, you also get the enhanced motion detection with dual-zone technology, ensuring quicker alerts to potential threats. If you opt for the Blink Subscription Plan, you will only receive notifications when a person is identified. On top of that, you can store and share important clips effortlessly with the included Sync Module 2 and choose between cloud storage with a free 30-day trial or local storage using a USB drive.
- It has 1080p HD resolution
- Lens offers up to 143° field of view
- Infrared night vision is available
- It has a year of warranty
- Most popular choice for a compact smart home camera
- 4th generation model, offering many upgrades over previous options
- Battery life is very good
- One of the expensive choices
Unlike most other brands, Google is one of the few names that need no introduction. Apart from very high-quality accessories, Google also backs its home accessories with similarly premium accessibility services.
Our 2nd choice for the best small home security camera is one of the smart alternatives developed by Google. The Google Nest Cam 2nd Gen can easily detect and alert you of people, animals, and vehicles in your home or outside with built-in intelligent motion detection. Plus, it also delivers notifications for the same without needing a subscription to any recurring plans or any additional cost at all. So, you get the benefit of seamless 24/7 monitoring with 1080p HDR video and night vision along with a glimpse into the past with 3 hours of free event video history. For extended coverage, you can go with the Nest Aware subscription and get up to 60 days of video history.
With its compact design, Google Nest Cam allows you to place it anywhere you want. And thanks to its battery-powered design and hassle-free magnetic mount, there is no need to make any changes to make up for a power cable. Even during Wi-Fi outages or power interruptions, Nest Cam stores up to an hour of recorded events, ensuring you never miss a moment. As this is a smart option, you can directly stream live video hands-free on compatible smart displays with Google Assistant or use Amazon Alexa on smart displays, smart TVs, and tablets.
- It has 1080p HD resolution
- Lens offers up to 130° field of view
- Infrared LEDs available for night vision
- It has a year of warranty
- One of the most innovative and advanced options
- Build quality is very good
- It has HDR support
- It is very expensive for a standalone camera
If you are specifically looking for a small home security camera, you might be wondering if there are any budget options available. If so, you should certainly check out this option from litokam as it is the cheapest alternative on our list.
Our 3rd choice might be a relatively lesser-known brand, but we can assure you that the itokam Camera for Home Security is the cheapest alternative that you can find which offers such a good set of features. Despite the low price point, it delivers 2K resolution capture quality and advanced night vision capabilities. Plus, the high-tech optic lens of the camera allows up to 3X digital zoom, capturing every detail.
This camera is also capable of ensuring crystal-clear imagery even in complete darkness, thanks to 6 IR LEDs providing up to 33 feet of night vision. Once it is installed in your home, you can engage in 2-way communication with your family using the built-in microphone and speaker. Litokam camera is also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing you to view live feeds with simple voice commands over 2.4 GHz WiFi connectivity.
- It has 2K resolution
- Lens offers up to 130° field of view
- 6 IR LEDs available for up to 33 feet coverage
- Supports Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
- Most affordable alternative for a small home security camera
- It is offering the best resolution lens with 3x optical zoom
- Very easy to install and can be used without permanent installation
- Build quality could have been better
TP-Link is also a well-renowned compact known for its routers and many other great network accessories. However, TP-Link also develops smart home accessories with the TAPO lineup which includes high-end security cameras.
The Tapo Indoor Security Camera can be your ultimate home monitoring solution with a crystal-clear 2K high-definition video output. With that, you can capture every detail effortlessly, whether it’s your baby’s playtime or your pet’s activities. You can also choose between secure local storage on a microSD card or subscribe to Tapo Care for cloud storage, offering a 30-day video history and additional benefits like Rich Notification and Video Summary.
This affordable camera also offers smart detection for regular motion, person, or even baby crying without any additional fees. It can also seamlessly integrate with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing you to command your indoor security camera with simple voice prompts. You can also view live streams on Echo Show or Google ChromeCast with a screen, bringing your home security footage to a larger display.
- It has 1296p resolution
- Lens offers up to 110° field of view
- Infrared night vision has up to 30 feet coverage
- It has 2 years of warranty
- One of the budget-alternative for a small home security camera
- It has a very good lens resolution
- Up to 256 GB storage capacity is supported
- Not the best option for adverse weather conditions
Arlo is yet another brand known for offering great options for an affordable alternative to security cameras. Along with many other options, Arlo also has a selection of small home cameras that you should check out.
Up next, we have the Arlo Smart Security camera which is a great solution that ensures peace of mind by allowing you to keep your moments private with an automated privacy shield directly from the Arlo App. With a 130-degree viewing angle, FHD clarity, and night vision capability, this indoor security camera is perfect for monitoring your home premise. With it, you can also respond to visitors or communicate with family, through the 2-way audio feature. The camera itself is very easy to set up as it connects directly to Wi-Fi without the need for a hub.
You can further enhance your security with smarter alerts and quicker action by subscribing to the Arlo Secure plan. It includes some additional advantages such as receiving notifications for people, vehicles, and packages, and taking immediate action like dialing emergency services from your mobile device. As it comes with a dedicated stand, you can place the camera anywhere in your home.
- It has 1080p HD resolution
- Lens offers up to 130° field of view
- Infrared night vision is available
- It has a year of warranty
- Advanced option for a small home security camera
- Permanent installation is not necessary
- Privacy Shield available with the Arlo App
- Not the best option for outdoor installation
Imou is one of the lesser-known brands compared to what we have covered so far. But, it has managed to secure a position on our list as thousands of users have already preferred this pair of compact security cameras.
We have one more budget–oriented option to offer you on our list from the brand Imou. Even though the initial investment is higher than other alternatives, you will have 2 camera units instead of one, making the effective price lower in comparison. Plus, it has many premium benefits such as 24/7 protection, advanced WiFi connectivity, 1080P FHD live monitoring, and up to 33 feet night vision coverage. The built-in speaker and microphone of the camera also enables 2-way communication.
The Imou Life app also presents smarter alerts where you can customize detection sensitivity, regions, and alarm schedules to reduce incorrect notifications. The user-friendly app allows you to control your cameras anytime and anywhere and you can share its access with up to 6 family members. You will also find a layout in the app that displays up to 4 cameras simultaneously, offering continuous live view on iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
- It has 1080p HD resolution
- Lens offers up to 108° field of view
- Infrared night vision has up to 33 feet coverage
- It has 2 years of warranty
- Night vision performance is very good
- Smart mobile alerts are provided
- Mobile app is very user friendly
- It does not have cellular connectivity
ecobee is our last brand choice for this list of the best small home security cameras. This is also a budget-focused compact camera that brings support for a lot of smart features along with integration with popular smart home services.
Finishing up our picks, we have the ecobee SmartCamera. This is a compact indoor camera that supports 1080p HD video streaming throughout the day or night. With this camera, you get intelligent human detection as the SmartCamera is capable of identifying when a person is present in its FOV. And as for its coverage, the camera supports panning across its expansive 180º field of view to keep the subject always under coverage.
Unlike most other options, this camera has more focus on indoor safety and offers some exclusive features such as smoke alarm detection, providing peace of mind by alerting you on your phone if SmartCamera detects sound from your smoke alarm. The SmartCamera is designed with automatic shut-off when family members arrive, coupled with on-device processing and end-to-end encryption, ensuring that your home stays secure without compromising privacy.
- It has 1080p HD resolution
- Lens offers up to 180° field of view
- HD night vision is available
- It works with Apple HomeKit
- Field of view is very good
- Built-in support for Alexa
- Automatic shut-off feature to save power
- It requires ecobee security subscription
Buying Guide For The Best Small Home Security Cameras
When it comes to security systems or security cameras, there is a large variety of options available out there. There are nothing short of a thousand different options and models to check out, each offering a different set of specifications and with that, some exclusive benefits. As you can imagine, combing through all of these options would take weeks or even months before you can finalize the ideal option based on your needs.
But, you don’t have to worry about that anymore as we have got you covered with our selection of the best small home security cameras. And to help you find the best options amongst our top selection, we are offering this buying guide for the best small home security cameras. So, you can simply compare our choices based on the following parameters and you can easily determine which of these options is perfect for you.
When it comes to cameras, checking the resolution of the cameras should be the first task on your list. Resolution is simply the overall quality of the video that the camera can capture. Resolution is measured in pixels and you will come across many different options for the same such as 1080p, 2K, and even 4K, etc. The higher the resolution, the clearer and sharper the video will be, whether you are looking at the live video feed or checking footage from the storage. However, higher resolution also means more bandwidth and storage consumption, which can affect the performance as well as the running costs of the camera.
2. Field of View
The field of view is also a crucial aspect which severely affects the compatibility of the unit with your requirements. FOV is the angle or simply the coverage area that you can watch with the security camera. It is measured in degrees where a larger rating indicates wider coverage area. So, you can easily gauge which camera can cover the necessary area for your needs based on its FOV rating. But, you should also know that a wider field of view also means more distortion and less clarity at the edges of the video, especially if the lens resolution is low. So, you should choose a camera that offers a higher field of view along with a similarly high resolution. On the other hand, if you want to focus on a specific spot, such as a door or a window, you can go with a basic camera with a compact FOV for added benefits such as lesser bandwidth requirements and more intelligible footage.
3. Night Vision
Night vision capabilities of a security camera allow it to capture clear images in low-light conditions, or even complete darkness based on which night vision technology is available. With that, the camera can ensure continuous surveillance throughout the day as well as the night. Therefore, night vision is critical if you are looking for a security camera that will be active 24/7. As of right now, there are 2 different options available for night vision that are IR LED night vision cameras and color night vision cameras. As the name suggests, color night vision cameras are capable of capturing color video footage by introducing its own light source. Some cameras are equipped with a low-light sensor so that the cameras can still function properly even if there is minimal surrounding light available such as street lights. But, the best night vision mode is where the cameras use IR LEDs. IT or Infrared LEDs emit invisible light and generate the footage based on that. So, IR LED night vision cameras can develop a black and white footage even if there is no light available in the surroundings.
4. Motion Detection
A security camera is only beneficial if it manages to record each and every important moment without fail. But, you would have to keep the camera on recording mode all the time to ensure that. As you can imagine, it may not be a feasible choice, especially if you are going with a wireless camera that works with an onboard battery. Therefore, manufacturers offer a special motion detection algorithm that only records data and creates alert triggers when there is a noticeable motion within its FOV. With that, the cameras can be active for a significantly longer time as they could be in idle mode when there is no motion.
Also, it has a positive impact on the storage service as it avoids recording unnecessary footage that you will have to go through when you are reviewing footage. However, this is also one of the features that can compromise the security level of the camera if the motion detection technology is not fast and accurate. Fortunately, most small home security cameras offer lightning-fast response when it comes to motion detection.
5. Frame Rate
Frame rate or FPS is the number of frames that you can see in a video each second. But in case of security cameras, this term refers to the capability of a security camera to capture a certain number of frames each passing second. Similar to videos, the frame rate of a camera is measured in FPS, such as 15 FPS, 30 FPS, 60 FPS, etc. So, higher the frame rate indicates smoother video as there are more frames of content present in each time frame. This is an important factor as higher frame rate allows the cameras to capture precise video footage and avoid missing any important details. High frame rate also allows users to carefully go through the recorded feed and use any portion of the footage to their advantage. But, similar to resolution, a higher frame means there will be more bandwidth usage as well as storage consumption.
6. Storage Options
With security cameras offering higher resolution, FOV, and frame rate, you must be leaning towards an option that offers the best ratings for each of these factors. While it will result in a more precise and high-quality surveillance, you should also consider its impact on the storage. Irrespective of the camera model you choose, the size of the video footage captured by high-end cameras will always be larger than those with relatively lower resolution and FPS. And since you will be reviewing the footage sooner or later, you would also want to store as much data as possible so that you don’t miss out on any important detail. To make sure of that, you can find a variety of storage options from manufacturers, which is in case you are not planning to use a local storage of your own. While most of these options are part of a subscription service, you do get the benefit of cloud storage services which completely eliminates the hectic of managing the footage on your own.
So far, we have been discussing the factors that only affect the visual performance of the security camera. But apart from that, you also need to pay attention to the audio performance as most of these cameras support direct communication. With the majority of security cameras, even the standalone options, you will find a 2-way audio communication option. With that, users can directly communicate with the person in the camera’s POV. With this feature, you can have a complete conversation remotely via the companion mobile app of the camera. Right now, 2-way audio is a standard feature for security cameras as it allows you to listen to the surroundings while you are inspecting it, increasing the security offered by the cameras. But, the only difference in different models is the quality of the sound. So, make sure you take a look at the speaker and microphone configuration used in the camera for 2-way communication.
8. Smart Home Integration
This is the ability of the camera to work with other smart home devices available in your home. Smart home integration can further enhance the functionality of the camera as well as the convenience and accessibility. It also allows you to create custom routines for the cameras which can be controlled by mere presence of your smartphone or voice commands through your smart speakers. For example, you can set your camera to turn on the lights when it detects motion, or relay the video feed to your smart TV directly from the cameras. But, keep in mind that not all cameras are compatible with all smart home platforms. So, it is necessary to check the smart home compatibility for the camera. Here are some of the most popular smart home platforms that you can integrate with your camera:
Amazon Alexa: This is a voice assistant that can control your smart home devices using voice commands. You can also use Alexa to view live video feeds, check the status of your sensors, arm or disarm your system, etc.
Google Assistant: This is another voice assistant that can control your smart home devices using voice commands. You can also use Google Assistant to view live video feeds, check the status of your sensors, arm or disarm your system, etc.
Apple HomeKit: Unlike other options, this is a complete smart home platform that can control your smart home devices using the Home app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. You can also use HomeKit to view live video feeds, check the status of your sensors, arm or disarm your system, etc.
IFTTT: This is more of an advanced service that can allow you to connect your smart home devices and apps using applets. Although, you won’t need to create your own applets as you can easily find tutorials along with step-by-step instructions to use IFTTT for smart home integration. But, it is only possible if your camera supports IFTTT.
9. Operating Temperature
Now that we are familiar with the factors affecting the performance of the cameras, let us take a look at some features that affect the reliability and installation of the unit. Out of which, the operating temperature is a factor which has the most impact on the installation as well as the durability of the unit. Camera manufacturers provide an operating temperature range that the camera can withstand without any damage to its internal circuitry. The operating temperature of the camera depends on the materials that it is made of, and the quality of internal components. Operating temperature range can affect the compatibility of the camera as extreme heat or cold can damage the unit, or affect the battery performance. So, you should choose a camera that offers the operating temperature that matches your average temperature of the surroundings, whether you are looking for an outdoor or indoor option.
10. Power Source
The power source is yet another factor of small home security cameras that directly influences the camera’s installation and operational reliability. The two primary power sources available for small home security cameras are wired and battery-powered. Between that, choosing the right power source ensures continuous camera operation without any unplanned breaks. Wired cameras are highly reliable options, but may limit installation due to their reliance on power outlets. While battery-powered cameras offer more flexibility in this regard, they require regular recharging or frequent battery replacements which may not be what you are looking for. So, make sure you decide the installation position first and then choose which type of camera you want. Also, pay attention to the battery life of the wireless cameras as you can easily find cameras that last up to a year on a single charge.
Connectivity options, both wired and wireless, play a crucial role in how the small home security camera communicates with other devices and networks. It affects real-time monitoring, remote access, and integration with other smart home systems. Generally, wired security cameras are paired with an NVR which limits your options for smart home integration. But, the same is possible with devices that can be connected to a central hub which itself supports smart home integration. In any case, reliable connectivity ensures that users can access live feeds, receive alerts, and manage the camera remotely. The choice between wired and wireless connectivity depends on many different factors such as the home’s infrastructure, the camera’s location, and the desired level of convenience.
Last but not the least, we will suggest checking out the warranty period offered by the manufacturer. Even if you are buying a standalone security camera, you will notice that these units are quite fragile and affected by surrounding factors. So, choosing an option that offers a long warranty period gives you peace of mind, especially when you are using the camera outdoors. It also eliminates worry of dust or water damage as these factors usually cover warranty and it also works as a testification of the IP rating provided to the cameras, ensuring they are safe against a variety of environmental problems. And in the event of unexpected malfunction, the warranty coverage ensures that users can seek replacements or repairs without any additional cost.
Best Small Home Security Cameras – FAQs
Ans: A good small home security camera combines several features such as high resolution, wide field of view, and seamless integration with other smart home devices within a small and convenient form factor. Therefore, these cameras are easy to install and provide clear and detailed footage. You can also find additional functionalities like motion detection and 2-way audio despite the small footprint. So, for smaller applications or personal home surveillance, small home cameras are usually a better choice
Ans: Yes, small security cameras are generally designed to be user-friendly and easy to install. Many models offer wireless options which further minimizes the need for complex wiring. DIY installation kits are also provided in the package from most manufacturers accompanying these cameras along with step-by-step installation instructions. However, the ease of installation does vary based on specific models and brands.
Ans: Yes, many small home security cameras are versatile and suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. However, it is essential to check the product specifications and ensure that the camera is designed to withstand outdoor elements such as rain, humidity, and surrounding temperature. Dedicated outdoor cameras often come with additional weatherproof features to ensure durability and reliable performance in various environmental conditions.
Ans: The field of view for small security cameras may vary among different models, but it typically ranges between 90 to 180 degrees. A wider field of view allows the camera to cover more area, reducing potential blind spots. So, the choice of field of view depends on the specific surveillance needs and the layout of the space which is to be monitored.
Ans: To ensure the security of captured footage, you can follow these practices:
*Choose a camera with secure encryption protocols for data transmission.
*Set strong and unique passwords for camera access.
*Regularly update the camera’s firmware to address security vulnerabilities.
*Opt for cameras with reputable cloud services.
*Keep the camera’s software up-to-date to maintain a secure network environment.
Ans: Many small home security cameras are designed with smart home compatibility, including integration with voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant. This feature allows users to control and monitor the cameras using voice commands, enhancing the convenience and accessibility of the security system. But before you buy one, we will recommend you check the camera’s specifications to confirm compatibility with different voice assistant platforms.
Home security cameras are devices that allow you to monitor your home remotely via your smartphone. However, there are different types of home security cameras available that makes it a bit difficult to choose an option as different devices are offering different configurations and compatibility with different applications. You can also find compact home security cameras such as wireless cameras or video doorbells, each with their own benefits and limitations. But, having such a wide variety also makes it possible to choose an option which not only fits your budget, but also offers the specific features that you are looking for such as DIY installation or self- monitoring services. Apart from that, you should consider various factors when buying a home security camera, such as power source, image quality, storage options, etc. For more information, make sure you check out our buying guide for the best small home security camera. You can also prefer our top recommendations listed here.
- When it comes to compact outdoor cameras, there are only a handful of brands that deliver such a great lineup of options as Blink. The Blink Small Home Security Cameras is a completely wireless camera that offers an extended 2 years long battery life along with many beneficial features such as 2-way audio communication and HD live video feed. And to cater to your needs perfectly, Blink is offering a range of options, including up to 8 cameras in a single package. Despite the compact form factor, the camera still supports an enhanced motion detection feature and redirects alerts directly to our phone. With its subscription service, you get the option to store recorded video clips directly to its cloud storage service, or you can keep the storage local with a Blink Sync Module.
- But if you want a single camera with cutting-edge features and highly innovative services, then look no further. The Google Nest Small Home Security Cameras will be the perfect option for you, even more so if you are already part of the Google Nest home security network. The Google Nest Cam is a highly durable camera designed for indoor as well as outdoor applications as it can handle temperature varying between –4°F to 104°F easily. Plus, it also has a built-in intelligence chip that can differentiate between a person and an animal or vehicle to avoid false alerts. It also has a backup storage which can record up to an hour of footage if your WiFi connection is disrupted. And as for powering the device, it is completely wireless and powered by an on-board rechargeable battery.
- Lastly, we will recommend the Litokam Small Home Security Cameras in case you are browsing for an affordable alternative for covering basic surveillance needs. But, it is also a great option in terms of performance as you are getting great video output with the 2k resolution camera lens and support for 3X digital zoom. It also has great night vision performance backed by 6 IR LEDs, offering a wide coverage range of up to 33 feet. As these cameras are mainly focused for indoor applications, you will find some exclusive features on this unit such as baby crying detection and unlimited user access so that everyone in your home can use the app to check in on the camera.