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18 Jul 2020

Cheap wireless security cameras from TP-Link, Victure and Ezviz on test

The latest security cameras to return from the Which? test lab are a mixed bunch, made up of reliable Best Buys and dismal Don't Buys
TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt KC110

When buying a wireless security camera, you might naturally lean towards big-name brands such as Hive or Amazon's Blink, but there are plenty of cheaper options out there.

Our latest lab tests have uncovered affordable cameras that effectively guard your home against intruders - but it has also shown that even big brands can slip up every now and then - one of the wireless security cameras in our latest tests performed so poorly we labelled it a Don't Buy.

It's not just quality you should be on the look out for with a wireless camera either - our investigations have found that some cheap cameras are easy targets for hackers, which is why we put each camera we review through rigid security tests.

For peace of mind on a budget, keep scrolling to see our recently tested cameras under £50.

Best wireless security cameras - they're easy to install and let you keep an eye on your home wherever you are.

TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt KC110 (£39.99)

TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt KC110
  • Indoor use: Yes
  • Outdoor use: No
  • Max video quality: 1,920 x 1,080

If the name 'TP-Link' rings a bell, you might already own an internet router or wi-fi extender from the same brand. This wireless security camera from TP-Link can film 1080p video and comes bundled with a charging cable and wall mount.

The attentive camera can rotate a full 360 degrees to offer an overview of the room it's sat in. As it's compatible with Alexa voice and Google Assistant gadgets, you can control the Kasa Spot Pan Tilt with your voice if you need to watch a live stream on your smartphone or tablet.

This camera has built-in motion tracking, so it'll focus on an object until it has moved out of view. Two-way audio also lets you communicate with family and friends through the camera - that's a bonus if you need to get the attention of somebody in another room.

What sort of performance can you expect from a sub-£50 security camera? Check in with our TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt KC110 review for more details.

Victure 1080P FHD WiFi IP Camera Wireless (£21.99)

Victure 1080P FHD WiFi IP Camera Wireless
  • Indoor use: Yes
  • Outdoor use: No
  • Max video quality: 1,920 x 1,080

This camera from Victure has infrared night vision, motion detection and an alert siren. To set it up, download the IPC360 smartphone app and follow the instructions.

Despite the cheap price, this wireless security camera can still record 1080p HD video using its wide-angle lens. As the camera arrives with a base unit, it can be mounted to the wall or ceiling if you'd like to save desk space or hide it more effectively.

To save video clips, you can either insert a microSD card and store videos locally or sign up for a cloud storage subscription.

This cheap wireless security camera is a popular choice over on Amazon, we found out if it's worthy of the praise. Read our Victure 1080P FHD WiFi IP Camera Wireless review.

Ezviz C1C 720p (£39.99)

  • Indoor use: Yes
  • Outdoor use: No
  • Max video quality: 1,280 x 720

The Ezviz C1C is available with either a 720p camera or a 1080p camera. This is the cheaper of the two, but it still offers a solid range of features. The list includes a 110-degree wide-angle lens, infrared night vision (up to a claimed 12 metres) and two-way communication.

By downloading the Ezviz smartphone app, you can play around with the camera remotely. The free app lets you view a live feed from the camera (it supports up to 8x zoom), or use the Video History tool to review older footage.

You can look after video clips locally on a micro-SD card or try the brand's encrypted cloud storage service.

Ezviz promises that its mains-powered camera is 'as sharp-eyed as an owl'. We've put it to the test in our Ezviz C1C 720p review.

Wansview WiFi IP Camera 1080P Q5 (£21.99)

  • Indoor use: Yes
  • Outdoor use: No
  • Max video quality: 1,920 x 1,080

This Wansview camera becomes one of the cheapest models we've tested. It's a generic-looking wireless security camera with motorised 340-degree panning and 90-degree tilt. Two-way communication is possible thanks to a built-in microphone and speaker.

If you own an Alexa-enabled device with a screen, such as the Echo Show, you can download the Wansview Alexa Skill to see a live view of the camera.

The Wansview WiFi IP Camera 1 supports micro-SD cards up to 128GB in size. If you'd prefer going the cloud storage route, you can pick between a couple of different plans. The Pro plan offers 30 days of storage for up to seven cameras at £14 a month.

To see if this wireless security camera is a Best Buy bargain, read our full Wansview WiFi IP Camera 1080P Q5 review.

Pros and cons of cheap wireless security cameras

The biggest advantage to buying a cheap wireless security camera is obvious - it keeps your wallet happy. Our expert tests prove that you can treat yourself to a Which? Best Buy wireless security camera without spending big.

But price aside, there are lots of other benefits to installing a wireless security camera at home. For example, you can:

  • Receive live alerts You'll get a notification on your smartphone when the camera detects motion inside your house while you're away.
  • Check in on your little one Parents can check up on their baby without disturbing their sleep by looking through the camera's live view.
  • Back up your videos to the cloud You'll need to pay for a monthly subscription, but storing your videos online will keep them safe even if your camera gets damaged.
  • Pair the camera with your other smart products Doing so will make it easier to control without needing your smartphone at your side at all times.

But be warned - not every cheap security camera is as secure as it should be.

We recently reported on the news of 100,000 indoor security cameras in the UK with critical security flaws. These flaws open up the cameras to attacks from hackers who could potentially sit back and spy on you through live video feeds.

How Which? tests wireless security cameras

Top-notch video quality and accurate motion detection are just two examples of essential security camera features that we consider in our tests.

To make sure you're picking the perfect model, we also take a close look at the quality of still images taken from the camera. The best cameras we've gone hands-on with produce accurate colours without any distortion - that will help you capture a specific moment from a video.

Struggling on a daily basis with a fiddly security system isn't much fun. For our ease of use tests, we see how convenient the camera is to set up and explore the features of the accompanying smartphone app. Ideally, the camera needs to make it easy for you to watch live footage or review older clips.

Discover how we uncover the best and worst wireless security cameras with our guide on how we test wireless security cameras.

Security flaws in wireless cameras

As we invite an increasing number of internet-enabled devices into our homes, digital security is more important than ever.

Smart security cameras that put your personal information at risk are named Don't Buys. Our flawed Don't Buy models could be broadcasting your live video feeds to people that shouldn't have access.

As part of our security test, we check to see how the smart security camera deals with passwords. If it arrives out of the box with a weak default password (and you're not encouraged to change it) then you're completely exposed.

Data encryption is also key to helping us spot the best smart security cameras. For every camera we test, we analyse the data that is being sent and received by the camera. To please our security experts, the camera needs to encrypt sensitive information.

For more details on what makes a security camera an easy target for hackers, see our expert guide on wireless camera security.