Best IP Camera

The basic function of an IP camera is to allow you to stream live video from your camera to a local network or to the internet and let you watch that video on a PC, cell phone, or tablet. Additional functionalities can be: letting you play back recorded video and alerting you when there is suspicious movement or sound. Other uses include keeping an eye on activities at home, such as whether children have returned home from school, checking whether a pet at home is ok, or alarming you to intruders—and ultimately the recorded video, like all other forms of security footage, furnishes the police with evidence for any related companies.

If you want an out-of-the-box solution to observe what’s happening in or around your premises while you’re out or access video footage after something happened, whether it’s your kids dropping a dish or a thief breaking in, an IP camera like [PRODUCT NAME or Series] with a cloud-storage option can do the job.

The [Product Series name] cameras allow you to watch a live video of your house anywhere, home office or on the move, as long as you have an Internet connection. The ones we considered all provide recording services that let you watch and listen to what happened from a few hours to a month ago, with recording often triggered by motion-detection features. Most also can send alerts to your phone if they detect any unexpected motion or sound.

Do note that getting just an IP camera is not a replacement for a comprehensive office or home security system. A complete system comes with sensors on doors and windows, a keypad to arm, a siren, battery-operated or battery-backed sensors, and a direct notification to a security service. More advanced systems may also detect temperature changes, water pressure or leaks, glass tempering, and etc.

Most of the cloud-connected IP cameras reviewed are pretty straightforward and easy to set up with great image quality. However, they have two big weaknesses: they don’t have local video storage, so you might have a problem if your internet is down. Most don’t have batteries, so they’re useless if your power goes out. There are IP cameras without these weaknesses, but they’re generally much harder to set up and use and have much worse image quality.

Despite these weaknesses, however, we still think an IP camera like a [PRODUCT NAME] is better for most people because of its ease of use and great image quality. Just don’t rely on it to replace a security system.

If you own a camera that doesn’t offer high-definition video or the ability to save video to the cloud, you might want to consider an upgrade.