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Reviews: The Best Cheap Security Cameras Have Premium Features Without the Premium Costs

Today’s best home security cameras are often accompanied by tons of features and killer specs, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. But the downside is that they come at a high price, making them nearly out of reach for those on tighter budgets. Well, there’s no need to worry about sacrifices or subpar performances because the best cheap security cameras still have plenty of value.

The basic premise of a home security camera is that they can get the job done when it comes to watching over homes. Whether it’s a video doorbell, indoor security camera, outdoor security camera, or even those that don’t require subscriptions, you can still rely on the best cheap security cameras to detect intruders, record events, and even notify you.

We’ve tested over 20+ different security cameras throughout the year and know exactly what it takes to be a top contender. However, we only took into consideration models around the $50 range because it’s the price range we feel consumers are most comfortable spending for a budget security camera.

Some of the security cameras tested by for this review. John Velasco | SPY
John Velasco | SPY

Why We Chose It: You won’t find anything else packed with more features at a price that’s easy on any budget.
Review: Setting a High Bar for All Low-Cost Indoor Cameras

  • Field of View: 130-degrees
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Coolest Feature: Able to see colors in the dark

Always a top-contender in our roundups, the Wyze Cam V3 is the best cheap security camera for the money. Not only can it be used either as an indoor or outdoor security camera, but we love how this compact sized camera offers premium features we don’t tend to find in this price range.

This 1080p security camera offers color night vision that lets you see colors when it’s dark out. On top of that, it’s a home security camera that doesn’t require users to be on a subscription plan because you can have it set to record clips locally onto a microSD card.

And yes, we found it reliable at detecting movement and recording sharp video to make out most details.

John Velasco | SPY


  • Works indoors and outdoors
  • Color night vision
  • Excellent detection


  • Integrated power cable
Courtesy of Ring

Why We Chose It: Reliably detects events and records excellent video.
Read More: Comparing the 5 Best Ring Video Doorbells

  • Field of View: 155-degrees
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Coolest Feature: Pre-roll feature actually begins a few seconds before an event is triggered

It’s the most entry-level video doorbell in its lineup, but we can’t discount the impeccable reliability of the Ring Video Doorbell Wired. This slim-sized video doorbell was simple to install, so even if you’re not a pro, you can quickly get it set up.

Because it’s wired directly to your existing doorbell wiring, there’s less worry about it dying on you because of a low battery — so it’ll constantly be supplied with power. Even though it records in 1080p, we found its 155-degree field of view suitable for seeing most things at our front door.

We absolutely loved how its Pre-Roll feature would begin recording events a few seconds before it’s triggered. Those precious few seconds could be a big deal, whereas other cameras wouldn’t have that footage on hand.


  • Pre-Roll feature captures clips before events are triggered
  • Slim design
  • Easy to install


  • Can’t work during power outages
John Velasco | SPY

Why We Chose It: It’s one of the few indoor security cameras that offers 360-degree coverage.
Review: The Camera That Follows Wherever You Go

  • Field of View: 360-degrees
  • Video Resolution: 2K
  • Coolest Feature: Ability to detect subjects are track their movement

Indoors can be challenging for some security cameras, but the Eufy Solo IndoorCam P24 ensures that all areas are covered because of its unique ability to pan and tilt. This ensures that no matter where it’s placed indoors, it’ll have a great vantage point regardless.

It also benefits from offering crisp 2K video recording to deliver even more details, but we were really impressed by its ability to track subjects. When they’re detected, it will automatically pan and tilt in an attempt to keep subjects in frame while it’s recording.

Rounding things out, its built-in microSD card means you won’t be forced to sign up for a subscription because clips can be stored locally.

John Velasco | SPY


  • Ability to pan and tilt
  • Tracks the movement of subjects
  • Good details with 2K footage


  • Weaker dynamic range
John Velasco | SPY

Why We Chose It: This simple indoor security camera reliably captures events.
Review: When It Comes to This Budget Security Camera, You Get What You Pay For

  • Field of View: 110-degrees
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Coolest Feature: Sync Module 2 lets you connect a USB flash drive to save videos.

Even though it’s the most basic security camera in this list, the Blink Mini is frequently discounted by over 50% off — and it’s already cheap to buy to begin with!

Beyond the aggressive pricing, the Blink Mini is an easy indoor security camera to set up. You’ll find standard features such as motion zones to mitigate false alerts, as well as the ability to store clips locally with the Sync Module 2.

If you can dish out a little more, there’s also the Blink Mini Pan + Tilt we’ve tested, which gives the camera the ability to move for even more versatility.

John Velasco | SPY


  • Consistently discounted
  • Simple to set up


  • Software feels a bit antiquated
Jonathan Knoder | SPY
also consider

Why We Chose It: Has everything we like about the original model, but now it can pan and tilt.
Review: This Blink Mini Upgrade Lets You Pan and Tilt To Your Heart’s Content

  • Field of View: 110-degrees with 360-degree coverage
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Coolest Feature: Panning mode that circles the entire perimeter of a room.

Whether you get it as an add-on to an existing Blink Mini camera, or together as a unit, the Blink Mini Pan-Tilt Camera doesn’t cost a fortune to cover an entire room in your home.

You can spend as little as $30 to buy the add-on mount, effectively transforming the Blink Mini for 360-degree coverage. On-screen controls in the app allow you to pan and tilt the camera’s lens, so you can see what’s in front, behind, above, and below the camera. You’ll obviously have access to core features such as motion detection, detection zones, and cloud storage.

Jonathan Knoder | SPY


  • Complete coverage with pan and tilt
  • Simple to set up
  • Custom motion sensitivity controls


  • Controls can be a bit delayed
John Velasco | SPY

Why We Chose It: Pairs well with the Ring ecosystem to keep tabs indoors.
Review: Security Camera Stalwart That’s Still Reliable

  • Field of View: 140-degrees
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Coolest Feature: It’s the most affordable indoor security camera in 

Sure, it’s a few years old at this point, but the Ring Indoor Cam makes our list for its affordability. It’s indeed the cheapest security camera in Ring’s lineup, but we’ve found it extremely reliable in our time using it. Surprisingly enough, it also features color night vision.

Its 1080p video recording performance is decent, as well as its night vision, but it’s obviously most effective when it’s paired with other Ring devices. For example, we have it set to start recording whenever the door sensor on our front door is triggered.

If you’re worried about Big Brother, you can also pick up the privacy kit that adds a cover over the camera lens — as well as a dedicated button to power it off.

John Velasco | SPY


  • It offers color night vision
  • Spot-on detection
  • Compact size perfect for tight spaces


  • Odd shaped opening with its microUSB port
William Goodman | SPY

Why We Chose It: Helps to deter potential porch pirates without costing a fortune
Review: The Blink Video Doorbell Is a Strong Ring Competitor

  • Field of View: 135-degrees
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Coolest Feature: It’s rated to offer upwards of two years with its battery life

The Blink Video Doorbell is perfect for apartments because of its straightforward installation and battery power. That means you won’t have to fuss around with pesky doorbell wires, so it has more flexibility on where it can be installed.

This inexpensive security camera features 1080p video recording with infrared night vision. Even though its quality wasn’t as clear as other cheap security cameras we’ve tested, we still liked how we were able to save clips onto a USB flash drive with the Sync Module 2 — so the footage remained with us, as opposed to being uploaded to the cloud.

William Goodman


  • Ability to save clips to flash drive
  • Simple looking design
  • Good battery life


  • Not the sharpest video quality
Courtesy of Wyze


Buy Now

Why We Chose It: Better specs and powerful on-board Edge AI-assisted detection.
First Look: Wyze V3 Pro Is One Beastly Budget Security Camera With 2K Resolution

  • Field of View: 116-degrees
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Coolest Feature: It’s rated to offer upwards of two years with its battery life

Technically a variant of its best-selling security camera, the Wyze Cam V3 Pro is on steroids with its 2K video recording, onboard AI-assisted detection, and built-in spotlight. Honestly, it’s almost unbelievable that Wyze managed to pack so much into this camera.

Just like its sibling, the Wyze Cam V3 Pro flaunts a similar cube shaped design with an IP65-rating for water resistance. With its faster processing power and AI-assisted detection, it’s substantially more responsive at detecting events and recording them in 2K resolution.


  • Sharp 2K video footage
  • Built-in spotlight
  • On-board intelligent detection


  • Narrower field of view
Jonathan Knoder | SPY

Why We Chose It: Wyze’s best-selling home security camera can now move for more coverage.
First Look: The Wyze Cam Pan v3 Does The Work of Two Cameras for Less Than Most Single Security Cameras

  • Field of View: 120-degrees with 360-degree pan and tilt
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Coolest Feature: Privacy mode points the camera downwards to respect your privacy.

Wyze’s portfolio of home security cameras has grown substantially. Its best-selling camera in the Wyze Cam v3 got treated to an update with the arrival of the Wyze Cam Pan v3.

Sharing the same distinctive cube design as its sibling, this model gains pan and tilt abilities to provide you with even more coverage — all without costing a whole lot more. While it does indeed gain more coverage, we love that it’s also respectful of your privacy at home because its camera lens can be set downward to cover its vision. That way, you can rest easy knowing Big Brother isn’t watching.

Jonathan Knoder | SPY


  • Patrolling feature with PanScan mode
  • Ability to track motion
  • Minimalist design


  • Power cord could be longer for outdoor mounting

How We Chose the Best Cheap Security Cameras

We’ve tested each of these cameras for a period of a week, to really understand their performances and features. While pricing was a major determining factor for choosing the best cheap security cameras, we also considered subjective factors.

  • Video recording: Higher recording resolution isn’t always better, but we also subjectively look at footage to determine its quality. The best cheap security camera should have good enough resolution to identify faces and license plates.
  • Installation: You shouldn’t have to be a pro. These cameras should be easy and straightforward to install and set up.
  • Detection: Security cameras that can instantly detect subjects and notify us ASAP get extra brownie points.
  • Field of View: Wider fields of view are better than narrower ones because they allow you to see more.
  • Local Storage: Cloud storage is great, but it’s better when there’s a local storage option that lets you keep your clips.
  • Price: Lower prices are more favorable, especially when they’re paired with features you find in premium cameras.
John Velasco | SPY
Testing the Ring 4 (left) and the Ring 3 (right). William Goodman | SPY
John Velasco | SPY
Testing a eufy by Anker home security camera. John Velasco | SPY