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Best Cheap Security Cameras Guide & Reviews of 2020

Adam Peston
July 31, 2020

The popularity of home security cameras keeps growing year after year. The main reasons for the trend are the rapid development of security technologies and the gradual price lowering. As of today, to install at least a couple of home security cams with a siren and to connect them to a Reolink or another smart home system through Z-Wave is a necessity for every owner of a detached house. Furthermore, operating such wireless security systems is fairly easy, as most of them are controlled with the help of a user-friendly app. Keep on reading, and we will tell you about the most advantageous models available on the market, that will suit you perfectly and will easily fit an economical budget.

Best for Custom Packages

#1 ADT Outdoor

Overall Score 9.7/10


  • Automatic alerts
  • Motion sensors
  • Quality brand

Best for Custom Packages

#2 Ring Floodlight

Overall Score 9.5/10


  • Night vision
  • Strong LED lights
  • Full HD videos

Best for Custom Packages

#3 Wyze Cam Pan

Overall Score 9.4/10


  • Wi-Fi connection
  • Affordable pricing
  • Motion detector

How Did We Choose The Surveillance Cameras For Our Top List?

To compile our list, we have thoroughly examined all the available affordable security camera models as well as discussed the chosen models with experts. Certainly, we have also paid much attention to the customers’ feedback. We have scrutinized dozens of reviews to get the full picture.

We have analyzed such aspects as:


Functional Features

0-10

a period of monitoring, protection against unfavorable weather conditions, siren alarms, etc.



Usability

0-10

easy installation and control.


Affordability

0-10

a trial period, a monthly fee, a refund.



Customers’ Support

0-10

available contact options (a chat, e-mail, phone calls, etc).


Customers’ Score

0-10

reviews at BBB.org and Trustpilot.com.

To determine the position of a particular item in our top list, we have rated the aspects mentioned above on a scale of 0 to 10 and calculated the average grade.

10 Best Cheap Security Cameras Available in 2020

No doubt, to select the most suitable home security camera, one may turn to expert assistance. We have decided to create a detailed and easy-to-understand guide to help you make the right choice.

1. ADT Outdoor ― The Best Surveillance Camera With Night Vision

Overall  Score 9.7/10

Functional Features

9.0/10



Usability

10.0/10



Affordability

9.0/10



Customers’ Support

8.0/10



Customers’ Score

10.0/10



Starting Price 

$170


BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Night Control

DIY instal

NO

Trial Period

NO

This is a great tool from the world-famous brand. The security camera is equipped with all the features a customer may need: you can control its operation using an app; with the camera`s movable head, you can get an all-around view of the territory around your home without going outside; a low light sensor ensures the proper quality of the picture around the clock. By the way, this device is compatible with Alexa from Amazon, which makes using it super easy and convenient. Certainly, in case of any potential danger, it will send you a siren alarm.

This security camera is worth trying out. The biggest drawbacks of this model are a relatively high price and 720p video format, which may seem insufficient for some users.

Pros:

  • the premium brand
  • automatic alerts
  • motion detection sensors
  • movement reports
  • compatibility with Alexa
  • recordings from different angles
  • live video streams

Cons:

  • more expensive than most other options from our list
  • no trial period
  • a 720p format available only
  • customer service delays

2. Ring Floodlight ― A Good Choice For Those Who Spend Much Time Far Away From Home

Overall Score 9.5/10

Functional Features

9.5/10



Usability

9.5/10



Affordability

10.0/10



Customers’ Support

10.0/10



Customers’ Score

9.5/10



Starting Price 

$65.50


BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Long-Term Contract

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

The first feature to strike the eye is powerful LED lights. As someone approaches your home, motion sensors will send a signal to lights, and the person will be brightly illuminated. Also, there is a ring function, and the device can send an alert to your neighbors as well. That means that you can cooperate with your neighbors, install such security cameras, and look after each other’s homes. Besides, this IP security camera is highly resistant to unfavorable weather conditions, including strong winds, rain, and snow.

This cam provides a good selection of functions for a reasonable price. Its key advantage is the alert function. Using it, you will get an opportunity to safely leave your home for a long time, being sure that your neighbors will watch the situation and will call the police in case anything goes wrong.

Pros:

  • sending siren alarms to your neighbors’ phone
  • a night vision function
  • powerful LED lights
  • resistant to severe weather conditions
  • compatible with popular voice assistant apps, including Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
  • saves recorded videos to a cloud
  • provides high-resolution videos

Cons:

  • a relatively narrow field of view
  • a subscription required (if you want to have the opportunity to save videos)
  • no trial period

3. Wyze Cam Pan ― The Best Option For Customers On A Tight Budget

Overall Score 9.4/10

Functional Features

8.0/10



Usability

9.5/10



Affordability

10.0/10



Customers’ Support

9.0/10



Customers’ Score

9.5/10



Starting Price 

$38.50


BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Users on a Budge

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

This surveillance cam is one of the best choices. First of all, due to a low price. Secondly, fitted with a microphone and a speaker, it can provide communication between users, which is a must-have for dwellers of large accommodations. Those who prefer to monitor the common territory, teamed up with other neighbors, will find this feature handy. Thirdly, this device is equipped with wide-angle lenses, which means that you will have the opportunity to thoroughly control the situation outside your house. Besides, you can count on the proper quality of audio and video around the clock. The only serious problem you may face is the instability of the Wi-Fi connection, but, in any case, the affordable price makes amends.

In general, this model is a good example of an optimal quality-to-price ratio. It provides a user with an opportunity to monitor the territory of a home from different angles around the clock, and without ample expenses.

Pros:

  • voice control
  • 360º wide-angle lenses
  • motion sensors
  • top-quality night vision
  • a chat function
  • wireless connection

Cons:

  • no trial period
  • no automatic reboot
  • potential instability of the connection

4. EZVIZ Mini O Indoor 720p Wi-Fi Cam ― The Most Advantageous Surveillance Camera To Watch The Situation Inside The House

Overall Score 9.3/10

Functional Features

8.5/10



Usability

10.0/10


Affordability

10.0/10



Customers’ Support

9.0/10



Customers’ Score

9.5/10



Starting Price 

$41.00


BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Сommodity-Based Security

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

This surveillance camera is intended for indoor use. It is equipped with a wide-angle lens, which provides a user with an all-around and detailed 720p view. Also, similar to the previous item, this security cam is provided with a speaker and a microphone. As for saving recorded videos, there is an internal SD card. But videos can be transferred to cloud storage if needed. Comfortably, one can get access to live stream videos from anywhere with the help of the app. Also, you will not need special appliances to install this model, you can just place it on the shelf or table. But you should be ready that the app may lag from time to time.

If you are looking for a fully-featured indoor security camera at a low price, this one is the optimal variant. Although it does not provide the highest quality of the video, it is a profitable investment.

Pros:

  • compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • compatibility with both Android and iOS
  • a two-way communication function
  • infrared (IR) lights
  • two storage options (an internal SD card and a cloud)
  • a 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • no trial period
  • 720p videos available only
  • freezing of smartphone apps
  • setup difficulties

5. YI Dome 1080p HD Pan ―A Good One To Connect To The Police Monitoring System

Overall Score 9.3/10

Functional Features

9.5/10



Usability

9.0/10



Affordability

9.5/10



Customers’ Support

9.5/10



Customers’ Score

9.0/10



Starting Price 

$49.50


BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Home Monitoring

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

YES

This item will ensure the absolute safety of your home at night. If needed, you can make use of a range of paid functions and connect the camera to the monitoring systems of EMS companies or the police. At the same time, thanks to 360° rotation, this camera provides the full view of the room. This device is equipped with an advanced motion detection system based on innovative algorithms that are capable of tracking down every movement. Also, this security camera provides a quality night vision. More to the point, there is a baby monitoring function with real-time alerts.

This product is a perfect option for those who want to have the opportunity to look after their pets and monitor the security of their property from a distance.

Pros:

  • convenient to use with smartphones
  • 360° rotation of ahead
  • a panoramic view of the territory
  • LED lights that provide ultimate night vision without offending the eye
  • cruise bookmarks
  • instant alerts
  • the auto-masking mode that makes a device imperceptible

Cons:

  • short cloud trial period
  • storing recordings for 7 days only
  • small size

6. ZOSI 720p CCTV — The Best Device For Monitoring Large Spaces

Overall Score 9.2/10

Functional Features

9.5/10



Usability

9.0/10



Affordability

9.0/10



Customers’ Support

9.5/10



Customers’ Score

9.5/10



Starting Price 

$17.55


BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Big Spaces

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

This surveillance cam can be installed both indoors and outdoors. As for its design, it resembles that of a typical professional security camera; consequently, its look is highly likely to scare thieves away from the house and the adjacent territory. This device is equipped with an HD sensor, that can provide a clear picture of the territories located up to 65 feet away. And that is complemented with high-quality night vision. One more advantage that makes this model worth mentioning ― this cam for home security systems is made from reliable and durable materials, which ensures its endurance. Also, there is a warranty available. And, if a customer faces any problems, he can count on the support specialists to shortly solve them. The customer support is available 24/7.

This model is characterized by an excellent quality-to-price ratio. It provides all the basic features usually expected by customers, except for a tracking function. As for the quality of the picture, it is clear and sufficiently detailed.

Pros:

  • low light vision
  • distant vision
  • resistant to severe weather conditions
  • a solid design
  • a 2-year warranty
  • proper customer service
  • versatility

Cons:

  • no trial period
  • no motion detection
  • no head rotation
  • no microphone

7. Wyze Cam 1080p ― An Optimal Choice For Personal Security

Overall Score 9.1/10

Functional Features

10.0/10



Usability

9.0/10



Affordability

9.0/10



Customers’ Support

10.0/10



Customers’ Score

8.0/10



Starting Price 

$39.99


BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Personal Protection

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

This camera for a home security system network is movable, which allows a user to adjust the recording angle. One can operate the cam remotely with the help of an app and zoom into the picture to see the details, as well as rotate the cam in any direction. Besides, the camera is equipped with IR lights, which is not typical for devices from this price segment. The 24/7, 1080p live video is another advantageous feature, rarely available at such a low price. Also, users have the opportunity to watch the previously recorded videos, using back-up copies stored in the cloud. The only serious problem associated with the use of this device is freezing: the image can freeze from time to time.

This cam offers many more features than usually go in for such an affordable price. So, it is one beneficial offer.

Pros:

  • movable, which allows users to see every corner of the territory
  • 24/7 access to live stream videos
  • cloud backups
  • IR lights that provide night vision
  • compatibility with Amazon Alexa
  • people’s motion detection
  • audio and movement sensors

Cons:

  • no trial period
  • no automatic reconnection to Wi-Fi
  • risk of freezing up
  • slow customer service

8. Wansview Wireless 1080P ― The Best Home Security Cam For Constant Monitoring

Overall Score 9.1/10

Functional Features

8.0/10



Usability

10.0/10



Affordability

10.0/10



Customers’ Support

9.0/10



Customers’ Score

9.0/10



Starting Price 

$178


BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Сonstant Watching

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

This camera for a home network is equipped with a considerable selection of features. First of all, it provides full HD videos with a viewing angle of 360°. Also, you can use a 4x zoom to scrutinize details, a microphone, and a speaker, which enables you to use it to comfort a baby or to greet a guest standing at your front door. It is a great option for those who need a cam to look after kids, having to spend time in another room. And, thanks to a wide-angle view, you will get an opportunity to control the surrounding territory just as simply. And one more advantage worth mentioning as a separate point is the ease of installation. You will handle it by yourself.

This product is a great deal. It is equipped with all the functions needed and provides a panoramic and detailed view of the territory under surveillance.

Pros:

  • compatibility with both Android and iOS smartphones
  • easy installation
  • a 350° field of view
  • 1080p video quality
  • a convenient and powerful zoom
  • high-quality night vision
  • easy and accurate rotation
  • alarms with short videos

Cons:

  • no trial period
  • periodic freezing of an app
  • incompatible with a smart home system
  • the low quality of night vision

9. TP-Link Kasa Spot ― A Highly-Functional Night Vision Camera For Indoor Use

Overall Score 8.6/10

Functional Features

8.0/10



Usability

9.0/10



Affordability

9.0/10



Customers’ Support

10.0/10



Customers’ Score

9.0/10



Starting Price 

$49.99


BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Night Vision

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

NO

Owing to the 1080p sensor and the IR lights, this security cam provides the ultimate quality of video in both day and night. The field of view reaches up to 130°, which allows to see every corner of the room and make sure that your dear ones are safe and sound. Besides, thanks to a microphone and a speaker, you can use this camera to remotely talk to a person standing near the camera, as well as use the cam to look after your kids playing in another room. Also, it is equipped with motion and sound sensors that will send you a siren alarm when a stranger is walking around the house. Also, customer reviews claim that this device is convenient and easy to use.

No exaggeration, this model is worth every cent invested: it is equipped with a full range of functions and provides the top-notch picture quality. Pitifully, it cannot be integrated with a smart home system, and it can be installed indoors only, as it is not resistant to water and snow. However, the low price makes up for the limitations.

Pros:

  • 1080p quality of videos
  • high-resolution night vision
  • motion detection alerts
  • 2-way communication
  • IR lights
  • compatible with Android and iOS phones
  • an audio sensor

Cons:

  • no trial period
  • no compatibility with voice assistants
  • no zoom
  • for indoor use only

10. Logi Circle ― The Best Affordable Cam With An Adaptable Battery

Overall Score 8.5/10

Functional Features

9.0/10



Usability

8.0/10



Affordability

10.0/10



Customers’ Support

8.0/10



Customers’ Score

9.0/10



Starting Price 

$209.99


BBB Rating A+


  • Best for Adaptable Battery

DIY instal

YES

Trial Period

10 days

The key advantage of this product is the adaptable and rechargeable battery which can operate in varied modes. The manufacturer claims that using the default power settings, the cam can record up to 3 hours of videos. But if there are any problems with access to electricity, one can switch the device to the economy mode to prolong its period of operation. That will affect the quality of the image but will allow recording as much as 12 hours of video. Also, one should note that this cam is easy to set up, so it is a good option for those who have no experience of using IP cameras. Also, the trial period is available, so you can avoid extra expenses if the cam turns out unsuitable.

This model is the optimal choice for those who are searching for a security camera with a rechargeable battery for an affordable price. Using such a device, you can be sure that your house is safe 24/7 even in case of an electricity supply failure. The biggest drawback of this model is the inability of outdoor use.

Pros:

  • a 10-day trial period
  • easy to set up
  • a rechargeable and adaptable battery
  • a convenient smartphone application
  • the excellent quality of the image
  • night vision
  • top-quality lenses
  • saving recordings to the cloud

Cons:

  • cannot be used outdoors
  • potential problems with people detection
  • the short service life of a battery

Comparing 2020 Top Affordable Security Cameras: Key Features

INFO

Overall Score

Functional Features

Usability

Affordability

Customers’ Support

Customers’ Score

Basic Price

Unassisted Installation

Trial Period

1. ADT Outdoor

9.6

10

10

8

10

10

$160

No

No

2. Ring Floodlight

9.4

9

10

9

10

9

$61.77

Yes

No

3. Wyze Cam Pan

9.3

9

9.5

10

9

9

$40

Yes

No

4. EZVIZ Mini O

9.3

9

10

10

9

8.5

$36.99

Yes

No

5. YI Dome 1080p

9.3

9

9

10

9.5

9

$39

Yes

Yes

6. ZOSI 720p CCTV

9.2

9

9

10

9.5

9

$12.59

Yes

No

7. Wyze Cam 1080p

9.2

9

9

10

9

9

$37.49

Yes

No

8. Wansview Wireless 1080p

9.2

8

10

10

9

9

$160

Yes

No

9. TP-Link Kasa Spot

8.8

8

9

10

8

9

$44.99

Yes

No

10. Logi Circle

8.6

8

10

8

9

8

$200

Yes

Yes

How to Choose the Best Cheap Security Cameras for a Home Network?

Here are the main features to pay attention to when buying such a cam:

The proper video quality

The best option is 1080p format. Naturally, security cameras providing high-resolution video recordings are more costly, but that can be worth the expenditure. To make sure your home is 100% secured, you have to see a clear and detailed image. Besides, in case of an accident, high-resolution video recording will help the police to investigate the case.

Clear night vision

It is well-known that many criminals choose dark hours to rob houses and commit other offenses, so installing a network of night vision security cameras around the house and the adjacent territory is a must.

Rotation and movement functions

When a camera is equipped with a movable head, its field of view is extended. As a result, one can save up on installing additional security cameras. Another great feature is zoom lenses, which will allow us to examine the image in detail.

A live mode

The overwhelming majority of modern security cameras are equipped with this feature and provide a user with an opportunity to monitor the situation in the house or the adjacent territory, live with the help of an app.

Motion detection

A camera with movement sensors that can send alerts to your smartphone in case of any danger is a smart buy.

An app for a smartphone

In many cases, such apps are versatile and compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows smartphones. With this feature, you can control the security of the house and the surrounding territory from any room or even from your office. To monitor the safety of your dear ones and your property in a live regime, you will need to make just a couple of clicks.

How To Buy A Reliable Security Camera At A Reasonable And Attractive Price?

When it comes to buying a home security camera, customers on-a-budget often go to Amazon or other online stores and search for the cheapest available item. But that is not the best strategy. In many cases, it is more preferable to pay a few more dollars for the product which will be equipped with additional functions and will endure longer. Here is a short guideline on how to choose the best device.

Start with thinking over the essential features of the ideal camera for your home security system

First of all, you should get a clear idea of what kind of cam you need. What are you going to use this device for? Plan to use it outdoors? Where are you going to install it? Do you need a night vision function? How many cameras do you plan to install in the house and within the adjacent territory? There is no need to pay for the functions and features which you do not need.

Opt for well-known and reputable brands

For many customers, it is easier to choose from famous brands. In most cases, a big name guarantees the proper quality of a product. Influential manufacturers treat their reputation as one of the key values and make every effort to keep it clean. Another great idea ― to turn to your relatives and friends for a recommendation.

Pay attention to the selection of useful features

Today, manufacturers strive to equip security cameras with as many functions as possible. However, if you are going to use the camera to look after the kids playing in another room only, there is no need to add a night vision function. Also, if you do not use a smart home system in your house, you can save on that feature as well. At the same time, if you need a certain function, do not hesitate to pay for it.

Make sure that there are no hidden costs

It may turn out that the cam chosen is a part of a home security network and cannot function without additional equipment, like a base station. Also, some manufacturers require customers to regularly pay fees for the opportunity to save recordings to iCloud or to use other handy functions. So, take the time to thoroughly analyze the description of the selected model.

Look through customers’ reviews

Naturally, every manufacturer should do their best to advertise their products, but it may turn out that the functions specified in the description are not provided, or that the customer service is unsatisfying. So, it is highly advisable to have a look at the feedback of other users.

FAQs

What models are the best for using at home?

Such a cam should be convenient to use in the first place. No doubt, the best choice is wireless IP cameras that connect to a smartphone or a smart home system through Wi-Fi. A rechargeable battery is also an advantage that will ensure the uninterrupted operation of the device. The main point is to find a device that will perfectly suit the needs of your family.

Can I install such a device on my own?

Surely, most models from the list above are easy to install and set up. The simplest and the quickest option is to place the device on a table or a shelf. But you can also fix it to the wall or on the ceiling with the help of a drill. Still, if you decide to place a nest on the roof or in some other hard-to-reach spot, it is better to entrust that to professionals.

Do such cams have an option to make recordings uninterruptedly?

That depends on the model. If the product is equipped with a battery, it can work without the supply of electricity for a certain period; however, those cameras which record high-resolution videos can work autonomously for a shorter time compared to those providing videos of lower quality. High bit-rate models will also run out of power faster. Also, some models provide live videos only, without saving recordings. To use such devices to the max, you should establish a stable Wi-Fi connection.

From which distance can a security camera record a clear picture?

That also depends on the model. Some of them can see from a distance of about 700 feet. That figure is mainly dependent on the quality and type of sensors and lenses. Sure, there are security cameras that can provide the high-resolution picture from a significant distance, but that feature increases their price. As a rule, information about the distance is specified in the description of the model. Also, it is advisable to read the customers’ reviews.

Can a home security cam provide a clear picture of people in cars?

That will depend on the sensitivity of the sensors installed. But the quality of the image can be also affected by the angle and the weather conditions. On sunny days, the glass may reflect the light, which will prevent the camera from recording a video of proper quality. Still, in most cases, such a product is capable of seeing into cars.

What are dome cameras and bullet cameras?

The key difference lies in design. Dome models are made sphere-shaped. They attract less attention. As a rule, they are equipped with a movable head, which can be rotated 360° to provide a variety of view angles. On the other hand, bullet cameras, which resemble a barrel of a gun, are easy to see, which means they can successfully scare away thieves and other criminals. Also, bullet cameras are easy to install.

The Summary

Today, on the market, there is a camera to fit every need. There are models intended for looking after kids or monitoring the pet's behavior only, as well as fully-featured security cameras that are capable of ensuring the absolute safety of your home around the clock. Hopefully, our guide will help you make the right choice.


About the author 

Adam Peston

As a former sales manager, Adam has extensive experience in home safety solutions. He has been working in this sphere for 12 years. He is industrious, ambitious, and accurate. As of now, he has been writing home security articles for about 6 years and has already managed to present his materials in a range of influential periodicals, including The Washington Post.