The irony with some home security systems is that while they’re protecting you from getting literally robbed, they’re figuratively robbing you. While it’s undoubtedly true that you can’t put a price on safety, if you can get a service that’s tailored to your needs without spending money on something you don’t need, why wouldn’t you?
An increasingly popular option is to take a DIY approach to home security. “DIY home security” might imply that you need electrical experience and a background as a security contractor, but all it takes is buying the equipment that’s right for you and setting it up yourself. The first thing you need is a home security camera. Ring is the best-known maker of consumer home security cameras, but there are other players on the market.
One of the most popular kinds of home security cameras is Ring’s stick-up cam, and Ring also makes cameras with built-in features like floodlights and sirens. The cameras have motion sensors that send alerts to your phone, and they also provide live streaming so you can check in anytime. With as many options as there are, there’s no need to spend money on features you don’t need. These are some of the best home security cameras.
1. Ring Floodlight Security Cam
For an option that’s as much a deterrent as it is a monitor, this stickup camera has dual floodlights on either end of the camera. Motion sensors activate the lamps, in addition to sending a notification to your phone. If there is suspicious activity and the lights aren’t sufficient deterrents, you can activate a loud siren from your phone. Two-way communication allows you to talk through the camera.
Pros: Dual motion-activated floodlights, loud siren that can be activated by phone, two-way talk through built-in mic and speakers.
Cons: Must be hardwired to a weatherproof electrical box. Like all Ring cameras, a monthly fee is required.
2. Wyze Cam (Pack of 2)
If you’re looking for an affordable indoor camera, the Wyze smart home camera retails for around $25. This is a two-pack, and the cameras work with both Alexa and Google Assistant. The cameras are mounted using either a magnetic base or 3M adhesive, so there’s no need for any drilling or hard-wiring. Files are stored locally and in a cloud for 14 days, and they can be accessed without a subscription service.
Pros: No subscription service needed, cameras can be attached without any drilling.
Cons: Intended for indoor use only.
3. Ring Spotlight Cam Wired
If you like Ring’s floodlight camera but don’t have the space to accommodate it, Ring also makes a more affordable spotlight version. Rather than two large external lamps, it uses two built-in lights that are angled outward to cover a wide area. Like the floodlight version, it features a motion sensor, an app-activated siren, and two-way talk.
Pros: Many of the same features of the Ring floodlight camera in a more affordable package. Also available in a battery-powered version for the same price.
Cons: Not nearly as bright as the Floodlight camera; this one has 375 lumens and Floodlight has 1,800. Like all Ring products, a subscription service is required to access the footage.