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Top five best cheap wireless security cameras for 2017

By Ryan Shaw

We round up the best wireless security cameras for less than £150 to give you peace of mind when you're not at home. Plus, see the models to avoid.

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You don't need to spend a fortune if you're looking for a good security camera to help you keep your home safe. In fact, there are some great cheap models that can give their more expensive rivals a run for their money. However, it's worth finding a camera that not only captures great-quality footage, but is simple to use, too.

There's not much difference between models when it comes to size or shape, but choosing the right camera for your needs will depend on its range of features. In the table below, we've picked our top five cheap wireless security cameras for 2017, all of which cost less than £150. From models with optical zoom to battery-powered cameras, you're bound to find something to suit you.

If you're looking for a simple model that won't break the bank but still takes great video, night or day, you'll find the best models here. We've also highlighted the Don't Buy security cameras that are worth avoiding.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by taking a £1 Which? trial.

Best cheap wireless security cameras

Lowest price (in stock) £109.98
Which? score 84%
Reviewed Apr 2016
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Alert function:
4 out of 5
Privacy:
2 out of 5
Storage type:
Member exclusive
Max video quality:
Member exclusive
Two-way audio:
Member exclusive

This is the top-performing Best Buy wireless security camera we've tested. We're impressed by the sharp footage, the easy-to-use app which alerts you to movement, and the ability to look back at previous recordings. The only area in which it falls down slightly is privacy - however, as long as you use it on a wi-fi network with a password, this shouldn't cause any problems.

Typical price £95.00
Which? score 81%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Alert function:
5 out of 5
Privacy:
4 out of 5
Storage type:
Member exclusive
Max video quality:
Member exclusive
Two-way audio:
Member exclusive

This Best Buy is one of the best security cameras we've tested for video and still-image quality. It scored well in our tests for alert functionality and data privacy, meaning you can monitor your home with confidence. It also has versatile storage options.

Typical price £112.00
Which? score 70%
Reviewed Apr 2016
Performance:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 5
Alert function:
5 out of 5
Privacy:
4 out of 5
Storage type:
Member exclusive
Max video quality:
Member exclusive
Two-way audio:
Member exclusive

This camera did a good job of detecting motion in our tests, and captures a decent level of detail, even over distances or in low light. It's simple to set up, and links with your smartphone via an accompanying app. However, it's not quite in the Best Buy league, because its field of view isn't as good as with rival models, and it’s not the easiest to use when logging into the camera via a PC.

Lowest price (in stock) £41.59
Which? score 68%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Performance:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Alert function:
5 out of 5
Privacy:
4 out of 5
Storage type:
Member exclusive
Max video quality:
Member exclusive
Two-way audio:
Member exclusive

Although this security camera captures very good-quality video with sharp detail, even in varying light conditions, it doesn't score highly enough to be a Best Buy. It's slightly confusing to set up, the wireless configuration needs improvement, and controlling the camera via a web portal is very limited.

Typical price £80.00
Which? score 63%
Reviewed Apr 2016
Performance:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 5
Alert function:
5 out of 5
Privacy:
4 out of 5
Storage type:
Member exclusive
Max video quality:
Member exclusive
Two-way audio:
Member exclusive

We like this camera’s easy-to-use companion app, which makes watching the footage a breeze. However, while it’s OK overall, it can't match our top scorers because of an issue with the footage quality. In our tests we found that while videos are clear and well defined, they have a strange colour effect that makes recordings look distorted and unnatural in hue.

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct at October 2017.

Not found the right camera for you? Browse all our wireless security camera reviews.

And here are some cheap security cameras to avoid

The inferior wireless security cameras from our testing not only take awful-quality video, but they're laborious to use and have limited features. We've seen some models with flimsy build quality, insecure privacy settings, and a narrow field of view. Make sure you don't waste your money on a sub-par wireless security camera.

Worst cheap security cameras

Typical price £60.00
Which? score 44%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Performance:
3 out of 5
Ease of use:
2 out of 5
Alert function:
1 out of 5
Privacy:
2 out of 5
Storage type:
Member exclusive
Max video quality:
Member exclusive
Two-way audio:
Member exclusive

A clear Don't Buy: this model is best avoided. The mobile app is simple to use, but that's about as good as it gets - the ratings for video quality, motion detection and alert functionality are all below average.

Lowest price (in stock) £34.99
Which? score 38%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Performance:
2 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 5
Alert function:
4 out of 5
Privacy:
2 out of 5
Storage type:
Member exclusive
Max video quality:
Member exclusive
Two-way audio:
Member exclusive

This wireless security camera is pitched as an affordable security surveillance system for your home or a small office. However, it scored badly in our tests and we recommend avoiding this model at all costs. It captures very poor-quality video during the daytime and at night, has a restricted field of view, and little-to-no privacy or security settings.

How to choose the best wireless security camera

Choosing a security camera can be a simple task, as long as you know what you're looking for. The camera's specifications are typically a great indicator of how it will perform in different scenarios, and here we've listed some of the key criteria worth considering before you choose your next model.

  • Video quality - this is the most important aspect of the security camera, especially if you want to identify someone's facial features. Ideally you want the best video resolution possible - no less than Full-HD (1080p) - so the images are clearer and easier to see.
  • Video storage - another important decision you'll need to make is whether to go for cloud-based or internal storage. Cloud storage allows you to store your recordings remotely online and access them over the web. Internal storage means the camera will store your footage on an SD card rather than in the cloud. Some models include free cloud storage, for example seven days' worth of recordings, but there may also be ongoing subscription costs you need to aware of. 
  • Night vision - a good wireless security camera will switch seamlessly between day and night modes, and should be able to pick out the same level of detail even in low light.
  • Motion detection - most models have this feature, and will trigger a recording when they sense movement. Some will also send an alert to the app on your phone, via text message or email. 
  • Audio recording - if you want to hear what’s going on in your house and communicate with those inside, whether it’s a knock at the door or the dog barking while you’re out, look for a security camera with two-way audio recording. 
  • User-friendly app or online site - a simple-to-use interface will make it easier to live-stream footage or view recordings. Before buying your wireless security camera, check whether all app features, such as setting a schedule or sharing footage, come as standard, or if you will need to pay extra to unlock the full functionality.
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