​Best smart home security systems

​Best smart home security systems

Protect your home and family with these connected digital watchers
​Best smart home security systems

The smart home brings with it more than just lights and thermostats you can turn on and off with your smartwatch. Consumer-level security is part of the trend, as well.

Whether you invest in a full-featured, multi-camera system, or a simple mounted camera at your front door, there are many ways you can keep an eye on your home while you are away from it.

It's still a jumbled market, with a variety of competing products and standards, so to help you cut through the noise we've picked out six of the best smart home security systems for you to take a look at.

From the basic to the comprehensive, you should find something to match your budget and needs.

Netatmo Welcome

Netatmo Welcome cam recognises faces

If you don't want to fork out a monthly subscription but you're looking for a futuristic smart security system, try the Netatmo Welcome.

It's the same price as the Nest Cam in the US, slightly more expensive in sterling but the Welcome offers you access to your Full HD videos for no extra monthly payment. It also uses proprietary face recognition software so it can recognise your family and friends (once tagged) and instantly alert you with a still when a possible intruder is spotted in the house.

Motion sensor accessories are coming later this year and though it's quite a large device, it's a sleek cylinder made from anodised aluminium.

$199 netatmo.com | Amazon

Nest Cam

Nest Cam is here

The successor to the Dropcam Pro (see below), Nest Cam is the first security camera from trendy smart home company Nest. The small and perfectly formed security shoots 1080p footage, has an 8x digital zoom and night vision thanks to eight IR LEDs.

There's also motion detection and, as with Dropcam, has nifty accessories like a magnet for sticking on fridges and a tripod. The only rub with Nest is that signing up to access video history, people detection and special activity zones requires an extra monthly sub to its Nest Aware service on top of the price of the device.

Still, Nest's product line works together in some clever ways - if your Nest Protect smoke alarm detects a problem, you can jump straight into a live feed from a Nest Cam in the same room to check out what's going on.

$199 nest.com | Amazon


Canary packs a whole security system into a sleek box that looks a little bit like a router. The box includes a camera (with night vision and motion detection), accelerometer sensors (to detect tampering) and a speaker and siren.

Any time it spots something out of the ordinary, the alarm goes off and/or you get a notification on your phone — the idea is that over time it learns and becomes better at working out what's ordinary and what isn't.

If you get an alert, you can tune into the video feed straight away from your smartphone, enabling you to check if it really is a night-time prowler or just your dog who's set the motion detector off. Temperature and humidity can also be monitored.

$179, store.canay.is | Amazon

Honeywell Tuxedo Touch

Honeywell has such a broad range of home security and automation products that it's difficult to review anything as a standalone product — you're probably going to need several bits of kit — but the Tuxedo Touch is a good place to start.

The touchscreen hub can organize your video monitoring, smart locks, home heating and so on. It's voice controlled, so you can tell it you're leaving the house to activate home monitoring.

It's all Wi-Fi controlled of course, and if you have the money to get all the bits and pieces installed then this is one of the most comprehensive options on the market.

$385.95, homesecurity.honeywell.com | Amazon


"With Piper, you're always home" is the tagline, and that's pretty much the idea with this smart home security camera. You can check the live video feed while you're away, get notifications to your smartphone, and so on.

If you have compatible Z-Wave bits of kit then Piper can control lights and appliances around the home as well (switching lights on and off when you're on holiday for example). The 180-degree lens means you can see pretty much a whole room at once.

It can also monitor sound, temperature and brightness for extra peace of mind. Originally funded on Indiegogo, Piper is now available via the normal retail channels.

$279.99, getpiper.com | Amazon


Dropcam is owned by Google (via Nest) and essentially puts an always-on video camera inside your home.

Live streaming of 720p video and live access is free once you've bought your camera, and the camera models include a two-way mic (handy for comforting the pets), a 130-degree wide-angle lens and a useful zoom feature too.

Smartphone alerts can be sent based on motion or sound. As you would expect from Google, it's simple to set up, and you can create a recording schedule based on the time of day or your current location.

Note that as with Nest if you want to be able to record footage and save it to the cloud, you need a separate subscription.

$199, dropcam.com | Amazon


Swan's connected home security system stands out from the crowd because of its specially designed audio detection algorithms (originally developed for crowd control in US prisons), which recognizes the sound of glass breaking, babies crying, and smoke alarms going off.

The kit features such things as indoor and outdoor cameras, movement sensors, smart plugs, and a key fob so you can activate pre-set lighting and video recording modes.

For a subscription fee, you can store security feeds in the cloud, but you can connect a hard drive for local storage, too.

$299 - $699, swannone.com | Amazon

Samsung SmartCam HD

best security cameras

Samsung's newest security camera features 1080p Full HD video playback. It has advanced motion and audio detection, which the company claims will understand the difference between a person walking across a room and a plant rustling in the wind.

You can set up audio and motion alerts and view what is happening from the SmartCam app. It has a microSD card slot so you can locally store video feeds.

It also has enhanced two-way talk, which lets you communicate with whomever is in the room. So, you can yell at the dog to get off the couch or tell the kids to stop watching TV and do their homework.

$189, samsung.com | Amazon

Kodak CFH-V20

best security cameras

Not to be left behind in the consumer security camera market, Kodak recently added the CFH-V20 to the mix. This USB powered camera has 180-degree viewing space with Wide Dynamic Range, which helps with backlighting issues.

It has two way audio that is accessible via the companion app. It also features geo-fencing, which automatically turns the camera on when you leave the house, and off when you return.

Video feeds are stored in the cloud, which you can access the past 24-hours for free. Additional backlogs are available for a subscription fee.

$149, Kodak | Amazon


best security cameras

EZVIZ is trying to appeal to the millennials in the market with a low-cost security camera for the everyman. It is very small and comes with removable metal mounting brackets that work with the magnetic base of the camera.

The super sensitive motion detection sensor triggers the auto-record function, which sends a two-minute video clip to the cloud for you to review at a later date. You can set up timed motion detection notification so you get alerted when something stirs in the house while you are gone, but not while you are at home.

It is very barebones, but is priced lower than the average security camera by nearly half. So, it works great as a starter security camera.

$69.99, ezviz.com | Amazon


iSmartAlarm is a more comprehensive system with a more involved setup process, which may or may not be what you're looking for. That's not to say it's difficult to use though — all the various components work wirelessly.

There are video cameras, contact sensors, smart switches, motion sensors and more in the iSmartAlarm range, so you can keep an eye on just about anything you like at home. The smartphone app warns you if anything's amiss and you can choose to respond in a variety of ways.

What the iSmartAlarm products lack in aesthetic appeal they make up for in functionality. There are no monthly fees and no contracts — everything you pay is up front.

$199,ismartalarm.com | Amazon


  • fb_10152982588 says:

    Why wasn't SimpliSafe considered?

  • rekt016 says:

    I'd strongly recommend Scout Alarm. It was really easy to set up, looks sleek, and can use 3G data in case your wifi goes down. I think its the only one that also allows for professional monitoring (with a monthly fee though). I can't wait to see how they integrate with my nest products

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