smart surveillance systems

Convenience and security are the driving forces of home automation. Home surveillance systems and security cameras hit both of these concepts together, and we have a handful of innovative options for you today.

We appreciate everyone has different needs and budgets. We also always encourage you to seek out a completely personalized connected home. To this end, we’ve handpicked a suite of home surveillance systems and security cameras offering a range of features and coming in at varying price points.

If you’re wondering whether or not you should invest in smart home security at all, check out our study of that question right here. We’d also encourage you to explore our security archive for plenty of background information on the variety of systems at your disposal.

For today, though, our core focus is on home surveillance systems.

Home Surveillance Systems and Security Camera Solutions

We’ll launch straight into our product overviews now with a focus on these five standout cameras:

  1. Q-See WiFi Pan Tilt Camera
  2. Maximus Smart Craftsman Porch Security Light (Camera-Less)
  3. Ring Alarm Security Kit
  4. Ring Floodlight Cam
  5. Arlo Pro Wireless HD Security Camera

1. Q-See WiFi Pan Tilt Camera

Looking more like a mini home robot than a surveillance camera, this design-driven newcomer from Q-See is a classic in the making.

The PT (pan-and-tilt) camera can swivel through a full 360 degrees. Use the adhesive mounting tape or magnetic base included and position this to suit your home. You just need to be within the range of your WiFi network and a power outlet, and you’re good to go.

The 4MP-capable system serves up a much crisper picture than you get from the standard 1080p resolution on most security cameras. Auto tracking locks on to anyone who penetrates the delineated zone, and you’ll be able to zoom in digitally if required.

Passive infrared technology (PIR) minimizes false triggers while ensuring you’re alerted about any genuine security breaches. Heat-sensing motion detection and piercing night vision combine to keep your smart home safeguarded 24/7. The range extends to over 30 feet even in pitch blackness.

The Q-See Camera Makes A Great Addition To Your Home

Footage can be stored locally on an optional 16GB microSD card. You can also opt for cloud storage with the trial of the subscription service that's included. This entitles you to access a month of stored footage in crisp, clear high definition. You can enjoy basic cloud storage without needing a paid plan.

2-way audio allows you to check in on your smart home remotely. This effectively turns your security camera into a home intercom, which is perfect if you need to check up on toddlers or teens.

Control is seamless and robust in-app on your smartphone or tablet. You can link up to 4 cameras to the Q-See Plus app and enjoy live streaming from all of them to blanket your connected home in a new layer of security.

This powerful camera comes enabled for both Alexa and Google Assistant. It also plays nicely with IFTTT for a superb interoperable experience. The sole drawback is that 5GHz WiFi is not supported, so make sure you have a 2.4GHz network at home. If so, you'll be in safe hands with Q-See day and night. Overall, this camera would make a wonderful addition to your home surveillance system.

Key Benefits

  • 4 megapixel HD giving you double the resolution of 1080p cameras and a 16x zoom for good measure
  • HD video also packs night vision so stay connected around the clock
  • MicroSD and cloud storage with optional subscription
Shop the Q-See WiFi Pan Tilt Camera

2. Maximus Smart Craftsman Porch Security Light (Camera-Less)

We always try to bring you something different here at Smart Home and this stealth security light solution is a companion piece to complement your other Kuna smart lights.

Installation couldn’t be easier for this home surveillance system, and you’ll be fully operational in 15 minutes or less. All you need to do is connect the porch light and sync with the nimble Kuna app. You’ll get everything you need bundled, including the mounting hardware, hooks, screws, and nuts. However, you should take note that this camera is hardwired, so might not make the best choice for renters.

Bluetooth-enabled, you can hook up this device with your existing smart lights, and you’ll get a camera-free approach to smart home security syncing with the settings you already have in place. You’ll also be able to use either Alexa or Google Assistant giving you maximum flexibility.

Physically, this light looks classy contrasting frosted glass and cast aluminum so it should slot in with most design schemes. Fully weatherproofed, this security light can cope with hostile climates without letting you down.

This companion light is compatible with the Maximus Craftsman Porch Light Camera. This, unlike the companion light, comes packing an HD camera with a wide field of view along with two-way audio.

As with all the best home security kit, if you build out your system using this companion light, you can ensure not an inch of your outside space goes unprotected. You deserve a quality home surveillance system, so what are you waiting for?

Key Benefits

  • Stealth design looking like a traditional porch light with no indication of its smarts on display
  • Wire-free and straightforward installation
  • Works wonderfully in sync with Kuna smart lights
Shop the Maximus Smart Craftsman Porch Security Light

3. Ring Alarm Security Kit

Are you renting your home and unsure about how you can escalate your home surveillance system without annoying your landlord? Ring serves up the answer with this top-notch alarm kit that doesn’t call for rewiring or professional installation.

The base station serves as the centerpiece and comes packing Z-Wave connectivity with an impressive 250-foot range. WiFi, Ethernet, Zigbee, and Bluetooth are also supported. This comprehensive kit also includes a motion sensor, contact sensor, and range extender, giving everything you need to get started right out the box.

All you need to do is plug the base station in and set up the sensors and you’ll be all set to take the helm in-app. There’s a battery providing 24-hour back-up in the event of any power outages, too. Ring covers all bases here, so you won’t ever be left exposed.

Choose from Home or Away mode, or choose to disable the system entirely. You’ll enjoy all the settings you need and none that you don’t for a streamlined experience.

While not compulsory, Ring Protect Plus gives you all the benefits of professional monitoring for a nominal $10 a month. We don’t normally recommend paid subscriptions, but this one merits further investigation. The average response time is just 30 seconds with emergency support available across 50 states.

This home surveillance system comes Alexa-enabled and it is also capable of broad interoperability with third-party devices. If you haven’t yet started building out a Ring of Security around your smart home, this alarm makes a superb entry point.

Key Benefits

  • Total ease of DIY and wire-free set-up
  • Completely customizable security solution you can expand over time
  • Professional monitoring available at a very reasonable price-point
Shop the Ring Alarm Security Kit

4. Ring Floodlight Cam

If you want a little more than a basic alarm, the Ring Floodlight Cam offers you a powerful siren married to a robust security light for a comprehensive solution.

We should point out that, like with the alarm kit above, this camera makes the most sense if you’re already invested in the Ring ecosystem and amenable to taking out a paid subscription. While optional, unless you take up this offer, you’ll be restricted to real-time viewing. You won’t have access to video footage either, crucial in the event of a break-in.

So, if you’re already locked into the many benefits offered by Ring and Ring Protect Plus, what do you get with Floodlight Cam?

The motion-activated camera gives you laser-sharp video capturing any intruders in high-def. A pair of sensors are capable of distinguishing faces and objects. Video is 1080p with a 140-degree field of view.

The powerful floodlights kick out 1800 lumens of brightness, bathing even large outdoor spaces with light in the event of any unwanted visitors arriving.

The alarm is equally powerful and any triggering of the motion sensors is rewarded with a shockingly loud 110-decibel siren. Anyone lingering with ill intent will soon hit the road, even as the floodlight illuminates them and they’re caught on camera.

Floodlight Cam is battery-powered and you should expect up to 6 months of sustained use before needing to swap the battery out.

Working neatly with Google Assistant, Alexa and IFTTT, this security camera and lighting combo will set off any connected home.

Floodlight Cam makes a wonderful home surveillance system and works well for absolute beginners to home automation, too. You’ll get plug-and-play simplicity, along with admirable ease of use.

Shop the Ring Floodlight Cam

Key Benefits

  • Camera and floodlights combined with alarm for maximum security
  • Easy to schedule and simple to create customized motion zones
  • Dual sensors capable of facial and object recognition

5. Arlo Pro Wireless HD Security Camera

The Arlo Pro might not be cheap, but the best things in life seldom are. If you have deep pockets and demanding tastes, this home surveillance system might be for you.

The base station hooks up to a pair of security cameras, allowing you to monitor proceedings inside or outside your smart home. Video resolution is in line with 1280 x 720, and the LED night vision gives you a reasonable range of 25 feet. The cameras are completely weather-resistant, so you’ll have no worries setting them up in the yard.

Arlo delivers rolling 7-day cloud storage with no need to pay for a subscription. This is a nice bonus and allows you to sidestep restrictive contracts and added expenses without compromising security. If you want local video back-up, this is easily achieved. Just connect a USB drive to the base station and keep footage private and off the cloud.

2-way audio with an onboard mic and speaker is a welcome extra and allows you to stay fully connected with your home remotely.

Control is robust with a nimble app, along with the ability to use your preferred digital assistant. You can also take advantage of If This, Then That in the true spirit of home automation. You’ll need an Echo device or Google Home speaker if you want to use voice control, though.

Long-lasting batteries are bundled and these are also extremely quick to charge, so you won’t put your safety in jeopardy waiting for them to juice up.

As with all effective home security solutions, you can expect alerts sent straight to your cell phone in the event of any trigger. Stay completely in charge even when you’re on vacation and make sure your home stays safe year-round.

Key Benefits

  • Complete wire-free convenience perfect for renters and homeowners alike
  • Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT and Stringify giving you class-leading interoperability
  • A security camera with the added bonus of boomingly loud siren
Shop the Arlo Pro Wireless HD Security Camera

Final Word

We trust this curated selection of surveillance and security cameras has given you some inspiration to ramp up your home surveillance system. We tried to include something to cater to all requirements and price points, so why not treat yourself?

If you’re looking for an even better bargain, why not sign up for our email newsletter? Not only will you stay fully updated on all the latest smart home news, but we’ll also throw in a 20% discount on your first order!

Come back soon, too. We update our blog daily Monday through Friday and we have plenty up our sleeve to keep you entertained throughout the looming summer.


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