• SimCam 1S

  • Arlo Pro 3

  • How We Tested

  • What You Should Know About Smart Indoor Security Cameras

  • Other Indoor Security Cameras We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

Our Favorite Smart Indoor Security Cameras of 2021

  1. Best Overall

    SimCam 1S

    Pros

    • Full-featued without subscription

    • Local storage

    • Alexa and Google Home compatible

    Cons

    • No HomeKit compatibility

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Best Upgrade

    Arlo Pro 3

    Pros

    • Crisp video

    • Built in alarm

    Cons

    • Sometimes misidentifies events

    • Pricey

    Skip to the full review below
SimCam 1S
Credit: Reviewed / Brittany Vincent

The SimCam 1S offers many features for free other cameras only offer through a paid subscription.

Best Overall
SimCam 1S

The SimCam 1S home security camera is a fantastic alternative to the often pricier, subscription-based cameras on the market thanks to its lengthy list of features, reliability, and attractive design.

Great for any room of the home, it features n svelte, pod-shaped aesthetic that’s perfect for setting up on a shelf or desk, with the ability to rotate 360 degrees manually or automatically, depending on your preference.

The SimCam records in crisp 1080p HD, which should help offer peace of mind that, if a crisis occurs, this watchful eye in the room is keeping track of it all. It can also record in total darkness, thanks to its active infrared option. The camera even utilizes powerful AI to detect faces, pets, cars, and more.

Best of all, the SimCam 1S can be controlled solely through its companion app for both iOS and Android users. It pairs with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and includes a wide variety of settings to tweak for optimal surveillance while you’re away. Plus, its storage is local, eliminating the need for pricey subscription fees. Simply store all your footage on your home PC and view it later at your convenience.

The SimCam 1S is a simple-to-use yet powerful take on the typical security camera. It offers secure encryption, reliable recording, and a host of great options without breaking the bank.

Pros

  • Full-featued without subscription

  • Local storage

  • Alexa and Google Home compatible

Cons

  • No HomeKit compatibility

Arlo Pro 3
Credit: Arlo

With a crisp picture and color night vision, the Pro 3 is a best-in-class security camera.

Best Upgrade
Arlo Pro 3

The Arlo camera series is a well-known name in the security business. The Arlo Pro 3 is a fantastic option that's well worth adopting for just about any household. With a built-in alarm, 2K resolution camera footage, and impressive 160-degree FOV, this Arlo camera is certainly one to keep your eye on.

If you're interested in using it at home to communicate with others with two-way audio, the Arlo Pro 3 is crystal clear. Voices ring through with absolute clarity, which is great for chatting from app to home if you’re out and about. It also, like many camera systems these days, works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to set up special routines and automatic monitoring. However, its package detection does leave something to be desired. It can’t always detect smaller packages, for one, and thus doesn’t trigger any recordings.

The camera also has trouble with misclassifying motion events that occur, such as labeling a phone ringing as motion. The camera is quite pricey considering these issues. Though it's ultimately reliable where it counts, with high resolution, great tracking options, and a svelte camera body, it does still need a bit of work.

Pros

  • Crisp video

  • Built in alarm

Cons

  • Sometimes misidentifies events

  • Pricey

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How We Tested

The Tester

I'm Brittany, great to meet you. I've been writing about gaming, tech, anime, and more for 14 years, and I love collecting retro games, niche and unique tech, and consoles. I've been purchasing and using indoor and outdoor security cameras for five years in a bid to keep a watchful eye on the raccoons at my parents' home and to ensure deliveries come when they're supposed to. In addition, I've been reviewing a wide range of tech products throughout my career, from routers and WiFi extenders to motherboards and keyboards. I'm excited about security and personal electronics, and I find security cameras a great way to keep me and my family safe and apprised of what's going on outside.

The Tests

I installed each camera in my house, replacing my usual motion-detecting 24-hour camera, and tested for a set period of time. Testing procedures included noting each camera's ease of installation, mobile app setup, ease of use, reliability, and compatibility with existing infrastructure in my home. Testing also included a lengthy period of regular use in my home as I evaluated video and audio quality, responsiveness, uptime, and app usability.

I tested each camera's notification setup with different parameters, including situations where I knew I'd receive packages, when a pet might trip a sensor, and testing how quickly and reliable I received notifications about people, noise, and cars.

I installed each camera's mobile app on an iPhone 11 Pro Max and a Galaxy Note 10+ to ensure the app experience was the same across each platform.

What You Should Know About Smart Indoor Security Cameras

Privacy

It may sound ironic, but even your security camera needs security. So, what should you look for? Features like two-factor authentication, end-to-end encryption, and the option for local storage are all things to consider before investing in a smart indoor security camera setup.

Arlo's cameras impressed us the most in terms of user privacy settings, going beyond two-factor authentication and requiring access approval for any new device. Two-factor authentication, which sends a code to your mobile device to verify it’s really you, is available on most smart cameras and absolutely something to activate. That way, if someone tries to hack into your account, you will receive an alert and can quickly take care of the problem.

Another thing to consider is how your videos are used and stored. With most of these cameras, you can turn them on and off from the app to control when they're recording and uploading video to the cloud. Whichever cloud you’re accessing and storing videos in should be secure. Look for end-to-end encryption for storing videos. This means that only the user and anyone the user shares video with can see it.

And, finally, make sure you create a strong password that’s unique to your outdoor security camera’s app. Data breaches feel like the norm as of late, making it all the more important not to reuse passwords across multiple websites and apps.

Finding the Right Camera

The first question you should ask yourself is why you need an intelligent indoor security camera. Do you live in a dicey area? Are you looking to check in on your pets or children? Not only do the best indoor security cameras monitor your house, but some of them can also even send a live video feed to your smartphone.

This may seem obvious, but you should never install an indoor camera outdoors. That's because outdoor cameras are designed to handle different temperatures and heavy rain/strong wind. Indoor cameras just aren't durable enough. They also blend in with the environment rather than stick out.

Depending on your needs, you may want to opt for a camera with a wide field of view. This is good if you want to watch more than one room. A camera with a 180-degree field of view, for example, will capture a larger area than a camera with a 100-degree field of view.

The next thing you should consider when selecting a home security camera is picture quality. While a 720p resolution is considered standard, it's not going to be as clear as a 1080p (full HD). If it's sharp details you're after, we'd recommend opting for the SimCam 1S, our top pick. If a clear picture doesn't matter to you, a camera with a 720p resolution is good enough.

Some cameras will store your footage in the cloud. That means it's stored on a remote server instead of a memory card. Not only does cloud storage safely back up your footage, but you can also access your clips anywhere. This may make things more convenient, sure, but you'll probably have to pay a monthly fee for it.


Other Indoor Security Cameras We Tested

Arlo Ultra 2

The Arlo Ultra 2 is widely considered one of the best systems that Arlo has to offer as a company. There's a good reason for that: it includes great zoom features, two-way audio, and high resolution video that captures a crisp view of anything that happens to be going on in the vicinity. Plus, it has 24/7 recording, night vision, wireless connectivity, and cloud and local storage options.

Unlike many of the other cameras in this price range, the Arlo Ultra Series does not feature any AI support. It also has a significant livestream delay for when you're watching your recordings or live feed via the app. The lag does bring it down significantly, especially since it has so much else going for it. But if you can't see most of what's going down live in a reasonable amount of time, that's a major lack of security and peace of mind for users.

Otherwise, the Arlo Ultra 2 offers much of what users have come to expect from the brand -- it just seems to suffer from the same problems many of the other cameras in the series do. It all depends on what needs you’re looking to fill in the end, but the lag really kills it for this one.

Pros

  • Good zoom

  • Local and cloud storage

Cons

  • Livestream delay

  • No AI

Lorex W282CAD-E

The Lorex Indoor/Outdoor WiFi Security Camera has useful features like color night vision, smart motion detection, and smart deterrence capabilities like a remote-triggered siren and a motion-activated LED light. It captures easy-to-see 1080p video both day and night, quickly sends accurate smart alerts, and has stronger weather ratings for extreme heat and freezing cold temperatures than other outdoor security cameras we’ve tested.

The camera is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and it can also be managed using the Lorex Home app. Continuous recording is available on the camera when using the included 256GB microSD card, and recording schedules can be set up within the app. Lorex cameras can also accurately differentiate between people and vehicles at close range and had no problem spotting someone 50 feet away. The camera isn’t as smart as Nest and Arlo outdoor cameras, which can alert you to animals and packages, in addition to people and cars.

Lorex’s camera is rated for indoor and outdoor use, and one of its strongest features is its IP65 weather-resistant rating. The camera can withstand temperatures as hot as 140 degrees Fahrenheit and as cold as -22 degrees.

Like Arlo cameras, the Lorex Indoor/Outdoor camera features a siren that can be triggered remotely from the Lorex Home app or automatically when motion is detected, but the siren is too soft to deter unwanted guests. It also lacks two-factor authentication and requires a nearby outlet for power. Overall, the Lorex camera makes a good option for a reliable home security camera that can be used inside or out.

Pros

  • Reliable and accurate notifications

  • Works with Alexa and Google

  • Great weather rating

Cons

  • Hardwire only

  • Low alarm sound

Kangaroo A0006 Privacy Camera

The Kangaroo Security Camera is a diminutive yet functional piece of tech that's highly affordable and unique. It's simple to install indoors, offers decidedly sharp footage at 1080p resolution, and even comes with a special privacy shield to ensure the camera isn't seeing anything it shouldn’t. When you do allow the camera to operate, it can detect both motion and sound, depending on the parameters you set within its app.

You can set up Alexa or Google Assistant to run certain routines if you'd prefer some functions to be automated. For instance, you can instruct your digital assistant to schedule your camera to turn on or off at a certain time. One of the camera's biggest draws is its free 24 hours of cloud storage, so you can always have the past day's-worth of security footage to look back on if necessary.

Unfortunately, the Kangaroo camera also has issues with recognizing some things due to its AI-powered detection software, which is supposed to differentiate between people, cars, and animals.. In our testing, the Kangaroo camera was often set off when the phone rang, when no motion was detected. During other times, the camera would completely fail to recognize a small dog crossing its path. Compounding the potential frustration here, the camera's night vision can also be a bit unreliable. There's also some sluggish response times, with some expanded features requiring subscriptions.

Pros

  • Privacy shield

  • Free 24-hour cloud storage

Cons

  • Has trouble correctly identifying sounds and events

Swann Tracker Security Camera

The Swann Tracker another camera that does include plenty of features, but unfortunately also forces users to deal with some frustrating communication delay and issues with settings. Sometimes, the camera light refused to shut off when it was supposed to, and there was also some lag in terms of live viewing. During initial setup, the camera failed to make a connection until multiple restarts were performed.

On the plus side, the Tracker boasts excellent 1080p video, a 180-degree field of view, and an abundance of local storage (a whopping 2TB) to keep all the hours of footage that you need. It can't be used for outdoor surveillance, but using it inside will net you automatic pan and zoom features as well as two-way audio, night vision with infrared view, and automatic motion tracking.

The camera's design is intriguing enough, resembling something like a lollipop. Its app is easy to use,, but the Tracker suffers significant lag in its two-way communication. When you go into your app to change up settings as well, sometimes your alterations aren't saved, which can lead to some serious frustrations.

Pros

  • 180-degree field of view

  • 2TB local storage

  • Sharp video

Cons

  • Communication and streaming delays

  • Frustrating setup

Nest Cam

We loved Nest’s outdoor security camera, so it came as a bit of a surprise that the Nest Cam Indoor lagged so far behind in our testing. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it: It produces very good video and offers great two-way audio, it’s well-built, easy to set up, and the app is among the best in the business. It just doesn't stand out among these cameras like the outdoor version did among its rivals.

It took longer to start streaming than several other cameras. And while others offer at least a day of free cloud backups, Nest doesn't offer any cloud storage or facial recognition without a subscription plan. The list of near misses goes on and on. If you’re already invested in the Nest ecosystem, by all means, go ahead and grab a few of these. (Especially if you’ve already bought into a Nest Aware subscription.) But if you’re not, there are better values out there.

Pros

  • Clear two-way audio

  • High-quality video streaming

Cons

  • No free cloud storage

  • Delayed streaming

Eufy Indoor Cam 1080P

The Eufy Indoor Security Camera is a slick, modern-looking option that's extremely affordable. It not only features 2K resolution and runs off of AC power, but it also utilizes AI to detect people, animals, cars, or even a crying baby. Coupled with its motion detector, this can make for a useful camera that can be relied on in many living situations.

Its motion detector is quite accurate, and since the camera itself is simple to install, you can put it just about anywhere in your home. If it's easier for you to automate home security recordings, which the Eufy can do, the camera can be set up with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. This way you can set up motion detection alerts up with event-triggered monitoring that’s set off with special activity zones. For example, if something walks into said zone, your camera will send you an alert.

The camera is easy to set up, with 2K quality video footage and the option to automatically issue commands. Unfortunately, as the camera is a bit larger than others on the market, takes up a lot of space in comparison to most cameras. And despite how competent the camera can be in some areas, the AI often has issues recognizing and differentiating between people or other types of motion. We also experienced multiple delays when using the app. If the camera suffered from less lag, it would be a much easier choice to recommend.

Pros

  • 2k video

  • Easy to install

  • Activity zones

Cons

  • Inaccurate AI

  • App delays

Wyze Cam v2

With its low price, you might expect this security camera to be a piece of junk. The Wyze Cam is not. With 1080p resolution, easy ways to schedule alerts and adjust the sensitivity, and a genius feature that can notify you if your smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm goes off, this camera has everything most users would need, and it only costs $26.

The Wyze Cam’s field of view is a lean 110 degrees, the smallest of any camera we tested, but with its low price and with no cloud storage fees, you could always add more cameras for more coverage. The Wyze Cam is easy to adjust and light enough that you don’t need screws for mounting, just the included magnetic plate that sticks to your wall or ceiling with adhesive.

Wyze Cam captures video in 1080p, 720p, or 360p, and shows you how much bandwidth you’re using at all times. The video quality is very good, with just an occasional stutter in the live stream when viewing it at 1080p. Night vision was adequate once it kicked in, and a button on the live view lets you engage it manually if the Auto feature is struggling to keep the camera shooting in color when there isn’t enough light for it.

The app could be a little better organized. Its controls and settings are easy to use, but notifications and the videos you saved yourself are kept in two different places, which isn't that intuitive.

Still, we’re willing to forgive these shortcomings since Wyze Cam gives you 14 days of rolling cloud storage for free to save motion clips, and has an SD card slot if you want continuous recording. It’s not perfect, but there’s a lot to love.

Pros

  • 1080p resolution

  • More compact than similar options

  • 14 days of free, rolling cloud storage

Cons

  • App is disorganized

Wyze Cam Pan

Wyze cameras offer free 14-day cloud storage, but we prefer the stationary Wyze V2 camera over the Cam Pan. While the Pan camera can track motion, its movement was choppy, struggling to keep up with my family members as they walked through the room. It can also cycle through four preset camera positions, which helps with that issue somewhat.

The audio on the Wyze Cam Pan also didn’t live up to the Wyze Cam v2, with a longer delay and less volume. If you need to monitor a large area, you're better to just stick up multiple units of the Wyze Cam v2 to watch multiple locations from one app.

Pros

  • 14 days of free, rolling cloud storage

Cons

  • Struggles to track motion

  • Delayed streaming

Swann Enforcer 1080p Full HD Add-On Security Camera

Swann is a security retailer that takes its hardware seriously. The company doesn't flaunt the same bells and whistles as other manufacturers, and as such you get a no-frills camera with the Swann Enforcer. It performs most of its duties well, and you can certainly count on it to take on the role of sole security system in your home. It’s not as feature-rich as our top pick, SimCam, which offers AI-powered detection on board as well as person, facial, car, and pet detection.

The Enforcer camera itself looks great, and it packs an ear-piercing alarm to help deter intruders from coming into your home. You pay no monthly fees to keep the camera live, and you can even use it outside, thanks to weatherproofing and thermal sensors. Though there are no subscriptions, you can still count on 24/7 recording with wireless support via the cloud or local storage as well as night vision.

Unfortunately, though, the Swann Enforcer lacks a zoom feature. It's self-monitored (there is no 24/7 monitoring unless you watch it yourself), and we experienced instances when it failed to respond to motion or heat, which is a big demerit for a security system. Warm objects like people or cars should trip the Enforcer's lights, though it isn't meant to detect flames or anything of that nature. Still, detecting humans by way of warmth is a very interesting feature.
With all that in mind, it's good for a basic system, but you might want to opt for something more robust, depending on your needs.

Pros

  • No fees

  • Siren

  • Security light

Cons

  • No zoom

  • Motion and heat sensors unreliable

Nooie Cam 360

The Nooie Cam 360 is a budget-friendly indoor home security camera that features motion tracking and, as the name implies, 360-degree rotation. The camera is equipped with a 1080p high-def lens and two 940nm infrared LEDs. It has other smart camera features like two-way audio functionality, night vision, and a status light indicator that can be toggled on or off.

The camera excels at tracking motion motion and detecting sound, but is sensitive to normal settings. However, you can adjust the sensitivity of the motion and sound alerts within the Nooie app. Push notifications come in a timely manner, but there are no photo or video preview options for you to quickly check and see what’s happening. With the Nooie Cam 360, you have to pay for cloud storage if you don’t want to use a microSD card to back up your camera’s event history.

There’s no support for Apple’s Siri but the Nooie Cam 360 easily integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. With a smart display like the Echo Show 5 or the Nest Hub Max, you can ask Google or Alexa to “view the [room name] camera” and a live stream with audio will appear on screen.

For a smarter 360-degree camera that offers 1080p resolution, we recommend our No. 1 pick for indoor smart cameras, the SimCam 1S. It retails for more than double the price of the Nooie Cam 360, but there's no subscription fee, it works with Alexa and Google, and it can differentiate between people, animals, and more for more intelligent smart alerts.

Pros

  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

  • Great view

  • Well-designed

Cons

  • No free cloud storage

  • Sensitive camera

  • No photo or video preview alerts

Netgear Arlo Q

Like the Nest Cam, Netgear’s Arlo suffered in the move indoors. Once again, it was simply outpaced by cheaper, more capable rivals like the Logi Circle and Yi Dome Cam. The app took a surprisingly long time to start streaming, and had more of a delay than most other cameras we tested; sometimes the stream would lag more than a minute behind real-world events. It’s worth mentioning that we tested these cameras on a weak WiFi network, but all were tested under the same circumstances. While others coped with the conditions, the Arlo Q stumbled.

But it’s not all bad. The Arlo Q is well made, with a physical design much like the Nest Cam Indoor’s. Setup is simple, and the app—while far from being as intuitive as Logi’sor Nest’s—has lots of options for those who like to really tweak their setup. Perhaps the best thing about the Arlo Q is that Netgear offers a full week of cloud backups for free. That makes it a pretty good bargain—as long as you have a good router and internet connection, anyway.

Pros

  • Free cloud storage for 7 days

  • Sturdy design

  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Delayed streaming in app

Canary All-in-One Home Security System

Canary’s flagship security camera is pretty (it reminded us of the monolith from 2001) and the app is good-looking, too. The camera also houses a very loud siren, which is a great feature if you need to scare off an intruder or play a prank on your family. (Just kidding! Don't do this. It's really loud.) The device starts streaming quickly and image quality is good, if not great. It’s also very good at recognizing when you’re home and when you’re not, putting the camera in the right mode based on that info. There are other neat customizations, like a feature that auto-populates local emergency phone numbers so you can dial with one click. Still, the app is short on options—you can’t customize much at all—and the camera is missing features common on other devices, like two-way audio. Given the relatively high asking price, there are simply better options.

Pros

  • Loud siren to scare off intruders

  • Fast streaming

  • High-quality video playback

Cons

  • Lack of two-way audio

  • Lack of customizable features

Meet the testers

Ben Keough

Ben Keough

Contributor

@ben_keough

Ben is an experienced industry journalist who formerly served as Senior Editor of News and Features at Reviewed. He now contributes as a freelance writer and editor. Most recently hailing from the vast wilds of the American southwest, he is an avid photographer who is deeply disturbed by the lack of wide open landscapes in Boston.

See all of Ben Keough's reviews
Susie Ochs

Susie Ochs

Contributor

@https://twitter.com/reviewed/

Susie Ochs is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.

See all of Susie Ochs's reviews
Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent

Contributor

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over a decade for publications like MTV, Rolling Stone Popular Science, Playboy, Empire, Complex, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, GameSpot, Yahoo, and more.

See all of Brittany Vincent's reviews

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We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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