When a stranger breaks into your home, your world can turn upside down. Fortunately, you can protect your home and office with an internet protocol camera, also known as an IP camera. Wireless IP cameras not only defend your home and capture criminals in the act, but they can deter them as well. Internet cameras inside the house show that you are serious.
The best IP cameras, such as the Dropcam Pro, the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro and the D-Link Cloud Camera, have beautiful designs and are very easy to use. For more information about choosing a HD IP camera, read our articles on IP cameras. IP cameras are a type of standalone security camera, but a comprehensive home security system is another option to consider for your home.
Every IP camera has different characteristics, so it's crucial for you to choose the best IP camera for your needs. Once you understand your needs, it should be easy to find the right IP camera. As you decide which internet camera to buy, you should consider four things: design, features, compatibility and customer service.
As you look for a suitable IP camera for your home, take a brief moment to consider which design features you want. The best IP security cameras record HD video, detect intruders with relative ease, include digital zoom and use infrared LED lights to record in dark rooms. A camera with a high frame rate, a large field of view and a long focal length can record smooth video that captures tiny details you might miss on first glance.
To store your video, you have two storage options: cloud and local. Cloud storage keeps your IP camera's footage on a distant server that is safe from clever crooks and allows you to save clips when necessary, but it often involves a paid subscription. Local storage saves your video to a hard drive or a SD card in your home, but it's easier for thieves to sabotage. IP cameras should allow you to view live video over a secure internet connection on a variety of devices.
The best internet cameras have a feature set that makes home security an effortless task for you and your family. Each of the cameras in our review offers easy setup and mounting hardware that let you place the camera in the ideal location for your situation. Check to see if the IP camera can be used outdoors before installation. These cameras also send notifications via email, text message or mobile app if they detect motion in your home. Most IP cameras allow you to schedule recording, which is helpful as you sleep or if you have a business.
Smart motion detection lets you choose specific locations in the camera's field of view, such as doors, windows and valuable items, and sends you a notification when activity occurs in these locations. With location detection, the camera detects your smartphone when you get home and turns off security notifications. Look for IP cameras with two-way audio so you can check on the kids or remind the dog to stay out of the garbage. Some cameras record audio as well.
When it comes to compatibility, it's important that you choose an internet camera that works with your smartphone, web browser and computer. Each IP camera in our review uses Wi-Fi to connect to the internet, but cameras with 5GHz Wi-Fi are less likely to compete with the other devices on your wireless network. Some IP cameras integrate into home automation systems for greater functionality.
Help & Support
The best home IP cameras have a wealth of FAQs and online tutorials that help you learn how your camera works. Look for a customer service program with email, phone and live chat support options so you can get extra assistance if you run into a problem with your camera. It's a good idea to choose a camera with a solid warranty to help you replace the unit if it breaks unexpectedly.
The wireless IP camera cameras of today are nothing like the bulky models of the past. The best IP camera systems help prevent crime before it strikes. By choosing the right IP camera, you might be surprised by what it can do to protect your loved ones and valuables.