Unlike standard smart home security cameras, smart home security cameras allow you to stay connected to your property even when you’re on the other side of the world. That gives you a chance to take action if a break-in or other incident occurs rather than returning home and finding everything missing.
Depending on the camera you choose, you may get alerts whenever it detects motion, sound, a face (known or unrecognized), and more. Some can also send text alerts to other members of the household who have that product’s app installed on their smartphone or tablet. You can also find models that support two-way audio, letting you remotely speak through the camera to control an unruly pet or tell intruders to leave.
Securing Your Smart Home Cameras from Cyber Threats
Look for a camera that supports the latest wireless security protocols and encrypts internet transmission of its user name, password, and live feeds. The best models will also keep their software up to date automatically, which improves security and often adds new features.
Most cloud-based smart camera models offer at least 24 hours of free storage but require a monthly subscription to view recorded video (starting at $2.99 a month for Arlo Pro 2 and Nest and $3 a month for Ring). Some wired cameras offer local storage via memory card in lieu or addition to the cloud, which eliminates the need for ongoing fees. Wired models generally have a better connection to your network than wireless options, too.