Best Security Camera’s (April 2019)
So you are looking for the best smart security camera for an apartment that won’t break the bank? I’ve been working with and installing home security cameras for some time.
Not all security cameras are made for the same purpose. Many security cameras are purely meant for the homeowner and those who are looking to see what’s going on outside. This isn’t very useful for someone who has an apartment.
There are some cameras that I recommend no matter what. Like the Blink XT security cameras. Yes, they are great for outdoor use, especially in cold weather. But due to their quality, I feel that I can recommend them to anyone even for indoor apartment living.
There are many factors to take into account though. Do you have pets that will set it off? Do you have small children that cannot be woken by a screaming alarm? What kind of budget do you have?
That said, there are many cameras that won’t burn through your wallet quite as fast. These are the cameras that I would be quicker to recommend to an apartment dweller.
1. Canary All-in-One Indoor 1080p
The camera was easy to set up, and the app is pretty easy to use. It does have it’s caveats though. The Canary features a built-in alarm system that reaches sound levels of 90+ decibels, the same noise level as a running lawnmower! I typically wouldn’t recommend this for people with babies or people with animals that have ultra sensitive ears.
On the other hand, this might be perfect for pet lovers if you were willing to shut off the alarm. You’ll be able to see what your buddies are up to all day while you are gone. But the built-in siren is perfect for scaring off unwanted visitors.
This camera works using wi-fi. If you connect your phone to the system, you can receive immediate alerts when your camera picks up on movement or activity. This way when you are at work you know exactly what is going on at home.
2. Zmodo Pivot 1080p HD 360°
I’m not big into watching TV, especially daytime TV. But, believe it or not, I first heard about this camera on the Steve Harvey Show. This camera really impressed me, so I bought one to try it out.
You can cover your entire apartment with it’s wide-angle, rotating the 1080p camera. It has 16GB of built-in storage, so you can record days of video and there is no monthly fee for the storage.
You can receive an alert on your phone when motion is detected, and you can customize which areas will trigger the motion detection. It also provides temperature and humidity readings. This camera has a Bluetooth speaker for music, and two-way audio so you can talk to anyone else who might be home. It’s definitely a true all in one monitoring solution.
This smart security camera for your apartment is a hub for other Zmodo products. It comes with two door and window sensors to alert you when something is going on with your doors or windows.
Once you have it all set up, you can set the camera to point to either of the sensors to know exactly what’s going on at the point the sensor was tripped.
I completed the setup in minutes with the mobile app. Though it is a great option for anyone living in an apartment. I definitely feel comfortable recommending this camera to just about anyone.
3. TP-Link Kasa Cam 1080p
I was really impressed with this smart security camera for an apartment dweller. Much more than I thought I was going to be, honestly.
TP-Link makes pretty good products, but I never really thought of them as a home security option. Turns out I was just plain wrong!
You can access the camera 24/7. It has a very beautiful live video view, through an all-glass lens. It has a 130° wide-angle view with 1080p resolution. The light balancing was just incredible especially for an apartment where things have a mixture of light and dark.
Works with Amazon Devices and Chromecast so you can control live video streams with your voice. Night vision with this camera is up to 25 ft. and provides you with excellent night time viewing. It also has 2-way audio with a built-in microphone and speaker.
I like the fact that you can customize activity zones and notifications. What’s interesting is, the camera records a clip every time it senses motion OR detects sounds.
Overall I was impressed with the quality of the video. Check out the youtube video below. It shows you the pure unadulterated quality.
What I didn’t like was that your activity recordings are stored in your Kasa account. Each Kasa Cam comes with 2 days of free video history and a 1-month free trial to access 30 days of your video history.
After that, you only have access to two days worth of recordings at a time. Otherwise, you will have to sign up for Kasa Care which I cannot seem to find pricing for anywhere online.
4. Amazon Cloud Cam
This camera was released in 2017 and is one of the best in class cameras in the smart home arena right now and with good reason.
The amount of features you get for the money is amazing. Obviously these work with Alexa. But the most important thing when considering a cloud camera is the quality. This camera does not disappoint with a nice sharp 1080p image with great color.
The field of view from the camera is 120 degrees and that means that if you put it in the corner of the room you can pretty much see everything. When night time rolls around, the infrared LED’s will illuminate the room and you can see everything that’s going on.
The notifications will notify you when your Cloud Cam sees activity. You can use the Cloud Cam App to check in anytime with a live view. This also has Two-way audio so you can tell the dog to stop barking or the cat to get off the counter.
You also get geofencing that you can set up. Which will arm and disarm automatically when you leave your apartment or come home.
This gives you 24 hours of free storage. Which is great, but if you want more than 24 hours of storage, you’ll need to pay for a subscription service. You do get a 30 day trial of the cloud cam service when you purchase it, so it might be worth checking out.
After the free trial, the subscription service comes out to $7 dollars for one week’s worth of recordings per month. $10 for 2 weeks worth of recordings per month. $20 per month, will get you a full months worth of recordings.
Overall, it’s a great buy if you don’t mind paying for the subscription service. Which personally I am not a big fan of.
5. YI Dome Camera 1080p
If you don’t want to spend a ton of money but are looking for a little bit of really cool home security for your apartment. This is a personal, motorized, security camera. Yes, I said motorized.
This puppy has 1080p High-definition, 112° wide-angle advanced glass lens combined with 345° horizontal & 115° vertical rotation range. This is literally complete 360° coverage.
The Yi Dome Camera has advanced night vision with 8 built-in infrared LED lights which extend the viewing distance to 3 meters in the pitch dark with no light pollution, so your baby or pet will not be disturbed by LED glare. That’s a big deal for parents!
It is very responsive and has this advanced microphone with a built-in anti-noise filter, which works as a two-way intercom. Funny enough, it actually has this thing called “Intercom Mode”. Where two people can talk to each other.
It even has “Hands-free Mode” where both parties talk and listen freely. This is awesome for a babies room as well.
I love that you can receive real-time activity alerts while you are not there. You can also bookmark your favorite positions (up to 8) and return to them anytime.
You can select auto cruise which will survey the area 360° horizontally. You can also look for moving objects by tracking in the auto-cruise as well.
This does support YI Cloud to avoid the risk of losing footage from an SD card, however, it does have a rather confusing cloud storage option, listed here on their website.
Again, if you are looking for a low-cost option this is great.
There are a lot of cheap options for IP security cameras that you will find littered all over Amazon. When it comes to finding the right smart security camera for my apartment. I will spend whatever I think I need to.
I tend to say, well, if I’m going to spend $60 for security, then I might as well spend $100. In the end, the choice is yours.