Living in the 21st century certainly has it’s perks. However, it is also true that we often worry about a surplus of things on a daily basis, including everything from smaller worries, (such as hoping the dog stays off the couch, remembering if we turned off the lights off when we left in the morning, etc), all the way up to bigger things, (like did the kids make it home from school okay, and what if someone breaks into my home).
Fortunately however, worry doesn’t necessarily need to be such a prevalent fear in all of our lives anymore, thanks to the wonder of technology. For as technology increases, so do the number of products hitting the market that are designed to help alleviate some of our worry and replace it with peace of mind. In fact, there are now a countless number of different products out there claiming to be able to do this. However, there is one type of product that has specifically proven itself as a leader in being able to effectively reduce our worry, and that is the in home Wi-Fi Security cameras
These in home cameras are not the type of cameras you might think about being in a warehouse or retail store, (i.e. big, bulky, hanging from the ceiling, etc); in fact, they are quite the opposite. These cameras are most often designed to fit into your home’s decor, go relatively unnoticed, are easy to install by anyone, and provide you with quality feedback and information on what is going on inside your home. Apart from the more compact and stylish appearances, many of these cameras also offer features such as: the ability to view and control the camera from anywhere in the world via your smart phone, two-way audio, clear night vision, recording and documentation, compatibility with other smart home products and/or apps, and much more, making them ideal devices for anyone who tends to worry about what is happening at home while they are away. Depending on the camera, footage can be stored either locally or on the cloud – often for free with premium upgrade subscriptions that cost more.
Here are the best Wi-Fi Security Cameras you can buy
There are many ways to use these cameras to your advantage — ways that may or may not be obvious at first — to create a significantly more secure space, decrease the amount of time and energy you spend on worry, and thereby better your overall health and mental state. We keep tabs on all of the best smart home products out on the market, and have compiled the following list of the top ways to use your in home Wi-Fi camera to increase your peace of mind.
Protect against home invasions.
This is probably the most obvious use for an in home Wi-Fi camera, however, it is arguably the most important use as well. When you make the effort to protect your home in ways that burglars aren’t expecting — by setting up in home cameras for example — you are actively helping to protect your valuables and even more importantly, yourself and your family from danger and possible harm. Therefore, taking said additional precautions, (i.e. more than just a standard home security and alarm system), could help to make the difference between catching any would be burglars, or even in preventing a burglary in the first place.
With that said, understanding what an in home Wi-Fi camera will actually do to increase your home’s overall security is key, and while there are many Wi-Fi cameras out there that offer varying perks, the general concept for many remain the same. In general, if you obtain an in home Wi-Fi camera for security purposes, the camera itself should come equipped with a quality video camera (either 720p or 1080p), Wi-Fi capabilities (obviously) and the ability to connect with your smart phone so you are able to view what is going on in your home, allowing for easy monitoring no matter where you are, any time of day. This means, whenever you are feeling concerned about what may be going on at home you can check in and reassure yourself that all is well, thereby helping to alleviate some, if not all, of your worry about whether or not your home is okay.
However, those features just mentioned are only the most basic of what a good in home Wi-Fi camera should offer. Additional features you might want to consider include: motion and sound detection with push notifications to your phone and/or email (allowing you to check in with your home and determine if an emergency call needs to be made), two-way audio so you are not only able to hear what is going on but can speak to possible intruders as well (telling them to leave and scaring them off, all while a safe distance away), and recording options and/or services for evidence collection. The Withings Home, Wi-Fi Security Camera ($191.49), which not only offers all of the features above, but also offers a very modern, unique, and elegant design, making it incredibly easy to fit into any decor.
Control your home’s lighting.
Have you ever come home from a long day at work to an empty and/or silent house that is entirely dark? The problem with this situation lies in the fact that in the dark you can never be sure of exactly what may or may not be lurking. Hence, people who are in this situation tend to worry that someone may be waiting in their home to harm them. So, to help pacify this fear, many in home Wi-Fi cameras have begun to offer the option to sync your home’s lighting with the camera’s motion sensors, triggering the lights to automatically turn on when motion is detected — either indoors or out.
This is great for three reasons. First, if someone is in your home who shouldn’t be there, the lights will be turned on automatically, likely scaring them off and/or giving you a heads up as you pull into your driveway to be wary of what is going on. Second, you will never having to approach your home in the dark again — perfect for ensuring you don’t need to fumble with light switches as you enter, or run into possibly obtrusive objects. Instead you will be able to walk into your fully lit home and begin relaxing right away. And finally, tying smart lights with the smart camera can trick possible intruders into thinking you are actually home when in fact you are not.
It is important to note however, that this is not an ability that will come with your in home Wi-Fi camera innately. While most cameras will allow you to connect to your smart lighting, you will likely need to use an outside source to do so, as Wi-Fi cameras and smart lighting aren’t generally compatible as is. Don’t worry though, just because they aren’t compatible right out of the box doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the benefits mentioned in the paragraph above. All you will need to do is use link both the camera and the lighting through IFTTT (i.e. “If This Then That”), an external sight that allows you to link almost any Wi-Fi product and/or app to another. IFTTT has recently gone through an update with the focus on making it more user friendly than ever before.
However, the best combination for an in-home Wi-Fi camera and smart lighting system is the Nest Cam Security Camera ($199.00) and the Philips Hue Starter Kit ($199). This is because both products connect with each other right out of the box, and both products have been around for long time and are backed by strong companies, so there is a lot of tech-support, information, and compatibility channels available. Regardless of whether or not you are a tech genius or an average person, now is a great time to consider linking your in home Wi-Fi camera to your smart light, thus allowing you to rest assured any intrusion in progress will be clearly illuminated.
Ensure your household help remains honest.
It is an unfortunate reality that not everybody is trustworthy, no matter how much we may wish this wasn’t the case. Because of this, it can be difficult to trust someone to come into your home for any variety of reasons (such as nannying, baby sitting, home cleaning, etc). Sure, interviews are great and allow you to get a feel for a person, and references are a wonderful tool to double check that the person you are hiring and allowing into your own personal and private space has been trust worthy in the past, but what is to say for certain that their situation wont change and they won’t cut corners on the job at hand, or far worse, steal your belongings in the future?
This is where you can use your in home Wi-Fi camera to ensure the help you have entrusted with valuable aspects of your life remain just that — helpful — and don’t become a problem. All you’d need to do is obtain an in home Wi-Fi camera that is equipped with motion and sound sensors and alerts, in addition to quality video and audio, for which we recommend the Piper classic All-in-One Security System, as it is one of the highest cameras in it’s class for all of these desired attributes, then hide that camera in a place that is less than obvious and be alerted as soon as your help arrives. This is when you can either watch them to ensure they are doing what they where hired to do, or, if you obtained a device that allows for recording, opt to record the data and then review it later.
Another device that works in tandem with a Wi-Fi camera is a smart door lock. The August Smart Lock is great because it allows you to give electronic keys to the help you hire so that you can track when they arrive and leave on your phone. There is also the ability to set time restrictions on their electronic keys so that they can only enter your home when they’re supposed to be there. Using these two products together ensures that you will be made aware of what goes on in your home while you are away, thus taking away the worry and wonder that is almost inevitable otherwise.
Document natural disasters.
The likelihood of your home ever being damaged by a natural disaster such as a fire, earthquake, tornado, flood, etc is very low. However, just because the chances of this happening might not be significant, the fact remains that these things do occasionally occur. It is important that you consider an in home Wi-Fi camera to capture just such an event.
Admittedly, no matter how amazing and advanced it may be, no camera will currently be able to protect your home from any sort of natural disaster in and of itself. What it can do however, is allow you to check in and watch what is happening to your home in the event of an evacuation — forced or otherwise — meaning you will be able to see, from a safe location, whether or not your home will make it through. This is helpful, if not for creating peace of mind, then for at least in helping to eliminate temporary worry when you check in and your home is still there and fine.
Additionally, in home cameras can prepare you for what you are coming home to. In the event of a natural disaster, it is possible that your home won’t be totally destroyed, but may be significantly damaged. In order to capture video under all conditions, it is important that the camera is equipped with cloud recording functionality in case the camera itself was damaged in the disaster, as well as being weatherproof to ensure operation for the longest period possible. The Arlo Smart Home 1 HD Camera Security System ($159.74) is a great choice with all of these features. you will be able to access the stored video footage to see exactly what happened leading up to, during, and after the disaster has occurred, making it significantly easier to prepare yourself for what you will see when you return.
Help insurance claims when disaster strikes.
Thinking along the same lines of using your in home Wi-Fi camera to help you monitor what happens to your home in the event of a disaster, your camera can also help you to make various insurance claims should anything ever happen to your home. By setting up a camera in your home that is Wi-Fi enabled and able to upload recorded videos automatically to the cloud or other storage device, you are ensuring that you will have physical, visual proof of what occurred in you home, no matter what condition your camera or home are in.
In fact, much like any individual who sets up a Go-Pro camera on their dash board to record the fault of any possible traffic accidents they may get into, setting up this type of camera can provide proof for situations such as a fire starting while you are away and out of the home, as proof that an unknown individual robbed the house, and more. Therefore, it will undoubtedly make the entire process of making a claim and receiving a pay out from your insurance company significantly easier, which is a major plus for anyone who worries about being hassled by their insurance company or worries that their insurance company may attempt to withhold payment due to lack of causal evidence.
With that said, two great options for an in home Wi-Fi camera that may need to be used in this way are: the Arlo Smart Home 1 HD Camera Security System ($159.74), which was mentioned in the previous tip, offers external cloud storage of video footage and is weatherproof, as well as the Novi 4-in-1 HD Camera ($299), which is a combination Wi-Fi camera and smoke detector.
Monitor, listen to, and talk with your kids & pets.
This is a really helpful tip for anyone who worries about big things — such as whether or not their child made it home from school safely, or if the dog is going to jump onto the couch while everyone is away thereby dirtying your brand new upholstery. In fact, all you really need to do to enjoy the benefits that come with using your in home Wi-Fi camera in this way, is to obtain a camera with motion and sound sensors, as well as two-way audio such as the Netatmo Welcome, Home Security Camera ($197.00), (which also offers face recognition in addition to to audio and motion/sound sensors). Then, when your child arrives home from school while you are still away at work, you will receive a notification stating someone has triggered the motion sensor alarm, and if the Netatmo Welcome Home Security Camera recognizes who this person is, (i.e. your child), it will let you know that as well.
Or, after you leave for work in the morning, use your camera (either your standard in home Wi-Fi camera, or else a camera such as the Petzi Treat Cam: Wi-Fi Pet Camera & Treat Dispenser ($ 169.99), which is specifically designed to allow you to watch over and interact with your pets while you are away from home), to check in on your furry friend and ensure they are staying off of the surfaces and furniture they know they are not allowed on. Then, if you catch them breaking the rules, use the two-way audio to tell them to get off the couch, and if they comply, give them a treat via the Wi-Fi enabled treat dispenser that the Petzi Treat Cam comes equipped with. This will likely keep them well behaved all throughout the day.
That’s not all you can do with this type of in home Wi-Fi camera however. You can also use this camera to check in and make sure your child is doing their homework instead of watching TV, and again use the two-way audio to correct their behavior if you find it to be contrary to what they are supposed to be doing. In fact, you could even use this sort of camera to keep an eye on your teenagers while you are away for the weekend, ensuring they are safe, as well as doing what they told you they’d be doing, and not — for example — throwing a party. This is a great way to use your in home Wi-Fi camera to ensure you know exactly what is going on in your home, especially with regard to the ones you love most, any time you’d like, ensuring you feel less worry and stress about how your children and/or furry friends are handling things without you while you are away.
Help take care of the elderly.
Caring for an elderly loved one can be both trying on the mind, as well as extremely time consuming. If you already have a lot on your plate it can, and probably does, feel downright overwhelming to try to fit all of the needs of your loved one in around your career, family, and more. Fortunately, using an in home Wi-Fi camera can help out with caring for and watching over your loved one at least a bit, without you needing to feel guilty that you aren’t there to make sure nothing bad happens. All you need to do is combine your in home camera — such as the Eyerely 1080p Wireless Security Camera ($109.99), which offers quality motion detection and viewing — with a communication product — such as the Nucleus Smart Home Intercom — which offers voice activated calling. This ensures that if something where to happen, (maybe your loved one fell, broke their hip and found themselves unable to get up, move, or help themselves), they would be able to simply call out to emergency services and trigger alerts to your smart phone, making you aware of the situation.
There are additional smart products on the market today which can also help you to care for your elderly loved one via in home Wi-Fi monitoring. In fact, SmartThings offers several products which allow for motion sensing and detection, (just like many in home Wi-Fi cameras do), which work with their Slip & Fall Detection SmartApp; an app that has been designed to notify users that their loved one has potentially slipped and fallen based off of present motion detectors.
Having extra monitoring technology in regards to your elderly loved ones is great because it allows you to rest at ease knowing they are not alone and that you will be notified immediately should something happen. Furthermore, it is great for the elderly themselves as, a) it gives them a way out of a situation they may have been unable to resolve otherwise, thus leading to a more independent lifestyle and b) they are easy systems to use, requiring very little use of technology (if any), on your elderly loved one’s end. Therefore, using your in home Wi-Fi camera and/ or monitoring system to ensure your elderly loved one is being looked after, can really help to decrease the total number of things you need to dos in a day, as well as the overall worry that something will happen while you are not there to help and you won’t become aware of the problem until it is too late.
It should be clear that there are numerous uses for in home Wi-Fi cameras, and that there should be no reason to delay in obtaining one. The benefits clearly far outweigh the initial up front cost. Granted, with so many different types of cameras and so many different uses for them, it can be a bit tricky to decide which camera to buy. Never fear however, as we have an article specifically dedicated to the best Wi-Fi cameras on the market today, which will take you through some of our favorite cameras and what it is they have to offer. So don’t hesitate, check out our Best Wi-Fi Wireless Security Cameras (and don’t miss our 8 Smart Home Security Systems to Protect You as well).
To get you started though, here is a list of a few great options we recommend