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Our latest round of wireless security camera testing has seen a trio of affordable models fighting for attention. But can these cheap cameras genuinely hold their own against pricier rivals from Arlo, Nest and Ring?
You don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds to keep an eye on your home from afar. But price aside, there’s no point in buying a security camera that can’t provide good picture quality or proves fiddly to use. Our rigorous tests pay close attention to the features that matter the most.
Keep scrolling as we take a closer look at three wireless security cameras that cost less than £30. We’ve also got some details on what sort of features you can expect from a camera if you’re willing to increase your budget.
Our reviews of the best wireless security cameras will help you find the right model to keep an eye on your home
Littlelf 1080P Home Security Camera (£23.99)
- Angle of view: 130 degrees
- Max video quality: 1080p
- Where to buy: Amazon
This budget-priced camera from Littlelf is a popular pick over on Amazon. Despite the low price, you still get plenty of features out of the box, with the full list including two-way audio and a night vision mode. The manufacturer claims you can use this camera as a baby monitor, but we haven’t tested this.
The Littlelf 1080P Home Security Camera can film at 1080p and will send an alert to your smartphone or tablet if it detects motion. Thanks to two-way audio, you can open up your smartphone and speak through the camera remotely – handy if you need to get somebody’s attention but aren’t at home yourself.
To get this attentive Littlelf camera up and running, you plug it into the mains and then download the Littlelf smart app. Stick a micro-SD card into the side of the camera and you can record video clips to review later on. There are also cloud storage packages that you can pay for monthly or yearly.
Does this wireless security camera become one of the best sub-£50 models we’ve had our hands on? Our full Littlelf 1080P Home Security Camera review has the details.
Eufy Indoor Cam 2K (£27.99)
- Angle of view: 125 degrees
- Max video quality: 2,304 x 1,296
- Where to buy: Amazon
The Eufy Indoor Cam 2K is on a mission to prove that you can buy a capable security camera without digging deep into your wallet. Taking aim at rival brands including Blink, Ring and TP-Link, this indoor wireless security camera offers up continuous or live recording at 1080p.
Once you’ve plugged the camera in, you can sit it on a shelf in the living room or fix it to a wall in the hallway using the supplied mount. From the app, you can define ‘activity zones’, which means you’ll only get notifications when movement is detected in specific areas. The app can also alert you if the camera detects excessive noise levels, and you can speak through the gadget using two-way audio.
Although you can’t physically pan and tilt this wireless security camera, you can digitally zoom in on the picture using the app. Video clips are stored locally using an SD card or on the cloud – you can take advantage of a 30-day trial if you want to give it a go.
We’ve sent this security camera off to the Which? test lab to see if it can effectively guard your home while you’re out and about. For the results, head over to our Eufy Indoor Cam 2K review.
Blink Mini (£26.99)
The Blink Mini is a wireless security camera that’s part of Amazon’s Blink brand. Setup is sorted in three steps: place the camera in an area where it will pick up some action, download the Blink Home Monitor app and sync with your home wi-fi network. You can also connect the device within the Alexa app if you want to control it using voice commands.
This camera has a fixed angle of view of just 110 degrees, which isn’t the best we’ve seen – you’ll need to think carefully about where you place it to get a good look at your home. Within the app, you can manually label detection zones and play around with the sensitivity of the camera.
Buy the Blink Mini today and you’ll get a free trial to Blink cloud storage, but note that this trial ends on 31 March 2021. Once that offer expires, you’ll have to pay £2.50 a month for a Basic subscription, or £8 a month for a Plus plan. Blink has told us that the camera will eventually be compatible with local storage (so you won’t need the cloud service), but that will cost you £35 as it requires a Blink Sync Module 2.
What sort of picture quality can you expect from this affordable wireless security camera? Read our full Blink Mini review.
Wireless security cameras: what do you get if you spend more?
Most cheap wireless security cameras stick to the basics. Once you’ve plugged them in, you can watch a live view of your home from your smartphone or tablet, but that’s about it.
Increasing your budget can give you access to premium wireless security camera features including:
- A weather-resistant design Many pricier security cameras are designed to work outside, which is ideal if you want a clear view of your driveway at all times. You can also record clips in the dark using night vision mode.
- Compatibility with other smart products Security cameras that are compatible with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa can be controlled with your voice.
- Increased storage If you plan on recording footage from your security camera, you’ll need plenty of space for the files. Premium cameras generally offer more storage space compared with cheaper rivals. The £222 Hive Camera, for example, comes bundled with a 16GB memory card. It can also be expanded up to 128GB.
Working on a tight budget? Make sure you pick the perfect camera with our expert guide on the top cheap wireless security cameras.
Consider security when buying a wireless camera
When you’re shopping for a wireless security camera, make sure the product is well-protected against hackers. Buying a camera with shoddy security could potentially allow other people to access a live stream of your home.
An investigation carried out by Which? found over 50,000 internet-connected cameras with critical security flaws were being sold at Amazon and other retailers. Many of these cameras are mass-produced in Shenzhen, China, and sent out to customers with weak default passwords.
More recently, another Which? investigation discovered more than 100,000 indoor security cameras in UK homes and business at risk of hacking.
Sadly, it’s not just the small tech brands that are at fault. Last year, we identified a TP-link camera open to hacking and reached out directly to the manufacturer to resolve the issues.
How we test wireless security cameras
Every wireless security camera that reaches our test lab is subject to the same checks. We go hands-on with every model to find out if it can take clear video with good colour accuracy, along with impressive still image quality.
Motion detection is another important aspect of security cameras. To make sure cameras are up to scratch, we assess how well the product alerts you, either via a mobile app, text message or an email alert.
Ease of use is crucial, too. The best wireless security cameras we’ve seen are a breeze to set up and connect to your wi-fi network, even if you’re not particularly confident with technology.
Find out how we identify the cameras worth your hard-earned money with our guide on how we test wireless security cameras.