These cameras have gotten a lot more capable and affordable in the years since we first reviewed and recommended the original Dropcam Pro.It’s now to the point where you can expect a decent feature set out of any competitor worth considering.The Logi Circle offers smart geofencing, free-for-life 24-hour cloud storage (plus longer storage plans for a fee), and good-enough image quality (including excellent dim and dark room performance).It’s also very versatile because it can run off of AC power or a built-in battery, so you can place it somewhere temporarily if need be.We also favored models that included at least some free storage so you don’t have to shell out money every month just to have a record of what happened at home that day. In usage, ease of navigating the app interface and its settings, as well as performance consistency, helped determine our final picks.Here are the models we tested: Fully featured: Alphabet Nest Cam Indoor Camera Canary Closeli Simplicam D-Link DCS-2630L i Control Piper Classic Logitech Logi Circle Netatmo Welcome Netgear Arlo Q Samsung Smart Cam HD Pro Budget contenders: Belkin We Mo Net Cam Blink EZViz Mini Foscam C2 Simple Home Fixed Simple Home Pan & Tilt We set up all 15 cameras we managed to get our hands on across a single shelf in my New York City apartment, all pointing in the same direction—across my living room.
Also, some of the camera’s most useful features—like motion-detection algorithms and the ability to create clips and time lapses—can only be used if you’re a paying subscriber. As a freelance writer, I’ve covered technology for more than three decades and have attended more than 40 Consumer Electronics Shows (there used to be two CES a year).
And unlike local-storage cameras, that footage is uploaded to the cloud storage of some corporation and subject to their privacy policies and other legalese.
For some folks, this presents a highly scuzzy creepiness factor for both spy-ee and spy-er.
A home security system, such as the ones The Wirecutter recommends here, or just some smart lighting, will do a better job of that.
In day-to-day use, your Wi-Fi camera will be more for home monitoring than home security.
It’s also the least likely to annoy you because it combines an intuitive interface with motion-detection algorithms that limit the number of nuisance alerts it sends you.