The prevalence of WiFi-connected security cameras has made it easy to keep an eye on your home when you're away. Many of these cameras include internal batteries so that you can mount them anywhere, even in places that a power cable can't reach. We've rounded up our favorites to help keep your security untethered to power outlets.
Arlo Pro 2
If you want a versatile battery-powered security camera, It's hard to beat the Arlo Pro 2. It can go anywhere — even outdoors — thanks to its magnetic mounts and IP65 weather resistance.
The Arlo Pro 2 features an excellent wireless range, which can extend hundreds of feet from your router, all while live-streaming 1080p video. It records and stores seven days' worth of motion- and sound-triggered footage for free, with paid subscriptions available if you want a more extended video history.
Raccoons rummaging through your trash? Boom, night vision. Shady individual approaching your home? Warn them they're on camera with two-way audio — or scare them away with the 100dB siren built into the Arlo's base station.
You can even connect your Arlo to IFTTT, so you can join it with other smart devices and create recipes, like "if motion is detected in the garage, turn on the bedroom light," if you have smart lights.
The rechargeable battery can last for up to six months at a time, and if you *do* happen to place the Arlo Pro 2 near a wall outlet, it can accept wired power as well, enabling extra features like 24/7 continuous recording and activity zones.
The Canary Flex has a unique design that makes use of powerful magnets to connect the camera to its swivel base. This feature makes it easy to adjust its angle quickly. It works over either wired or battery power and has a built-in speaker and microphone for two-way audio.
The Flex can differentiate between people and other moving objects like animals for smarter motion alerts. This way, your pets don't continuously set off the camera while you're out. The 116-degree field of view isn't quite as wide as the other security cameras in this list, and you'll have to pay for services like two-way audio and 30-day video storage. Still, the Flex is an excellent offering with water resistance and night vision.
Logitech Circle 2
The Logitech Circle 2 is a uniquely designed security camera with 1080p video and a friendly, rounded shape that allows it to sit unobtrusively either indoors or outdoors. It's weather-resistant and works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and the 180-degree field of view will enable you to fit an entire room in the frame without any effort.
One of the Circle's best features is Day Brief. It creates an easily consumable time-lapse of the previous day so you can quickly review anything that might've happened when you weren't looking. You'll get that for free with the Circle 2, along with 24-hour storage, but you can also pay for higher storage options, customizable motion zones, and person detection.
It's hard to find a more affordable security camera with as many features as the XT2. It offers the same two-way audio, customizable motion alert zones, and night vision as the other cameras in this list for a fraction of the cost. One of its key features is its promise to last up to two years off of two AA batteries.
Of course, the XT2 is also weather-resistant, making it ideal for placing outdoors, and it even has a built-in temperature sensor. Blink offers free cloud storage, rather than requiring a subscription plan. If you already have an older Blink XT camera, the XT2 can connect to the same Blink Sync Module. If you'd prefer to run the XT2 from a wall outlet or even a battery pack, it also has a Micro-USB port. Of course, USB-C would've been ideal, but you can't win them all.
It's remarkable how easy it is to monitor your home with smart security cameras, and while all of the ones listed above have their own unique advantages, we think the Arlo Pro 2 is the best option around. It lasts for months on a single charge, offers sharp 1080p video with a long range and seven days of free backup storage, and works with third-party services like IFTTT.
Home security used to be so counter-consumer: limited options, cost-prohibitive service plans, and spotty service meant that most people couldn't afford it and that even if you could, you were never quite sure if you were getting the value you deserved. Smart home tech is upending the old model, and making home monitoring practical, affordable, and effective. No matter which of these camera systems you buy, though, the important thing is that you're keeping an eye on your home and belongings!