Wireless security cameras can give you peace of mind when you’re not at home, as they can alert you to intruders and let you see what’s going on remotely.
Best Buy wireless security cameras have superior image quality across various resolutions, accurate motion detection that alerts you quickly if something is amiss, and they're easy to set up and interact with.
Don't Buy cameras are the complete opposite, and can't be relied upon to act as digital guard dogs for your home.
Every wireless security camera we test goes through exactly the same rigorous process, mixing technical and scientific tests with real-world ease-of-use testing.
We recreate the conditions of a typical home user and try out all the features, so that you can find the best wireless security camera for your needs.
We rigorously assess each camera’s picture and sound quality, and run demanding technical tests to measure the sensitivity of the camera’s motion detection.
We also look at how easy it is to set up or interact with the camera via the app.
As of November 2021, any wireless camera that scores more than 71% becomes a Best Buy. Whereas any model that scores 45% or lower is named a Don't Buy.
Every wireless camera we select has to go through a series of meticulous tests. These are designed to be both rigorous and repeatable, so you can trust in the quality of your next security camera.
All our assessments contribute to a total test score, so we can identify the best wireless security cameras as well as the worst, and compare the different models.
We don’t take price into account - so a cheap camera has just as much chace to excel as an expensive one. The total score breaks down as follows:
A wireless security camera needs to score 71% or more in our tests to earn a Best Buy recommendation. Models that score 45% or less are labelled a Don’t Buy as a warning to avoid them.
As you would expect, video quality is very important for security cameras. We use a panel of experts to judge how good the video quality is in various light conditions, including in full daylight, low light and at night.
We also look for signs of image noise or graininess, and check whether the security camera struggles to hold its focus or keeps changing the brightness level.
We take video of objects and colour charts in the studio to see how accurately the camera captures colour, so that the recorded footage looks correct.
We also look to see whether any fine detail is lost when subjects are distant – it’s no good having a camera that has low resolution and renders any footage you’ve captured unusable.
Most wireless security cameras enable you to hear what is going on around the camera, and also talk to visitors via the microphone and speaker.
Our tests check whether the sound comes out clearly to you, and also to the person near the camera.
You won't want to be straining to hear what is going on, or being blasted out with overly loud, distorted audio.
Can you install the camera yourself, or will you need to hire a professional to do it for you? Is it straightforward to get the camera set up once it is installed?
We also run a wide range of ease of use tests, from the ease of using the app to your options for recording video clips to either a local storage device or into the cloud.
We rate wireless security cameras according to what works well and what doesn’t, so you don’t get stuck with a camera that’s frustrating to use on a day-to-day basis.
Motion detection is another important aspect of security cameras – it’s designed to alert you whenever something or someone crosses its path, whether the subject is moving fast or stealthily.
We also assess how well the camera alerts you, either via a mobile app, text message or an email alert.
We look at the level of information the alert provides, whether you can view a live stream of the camera, and if it supports push notifications to your phone.