A guide on what the best surveillance IP cameras, which one to buy and which features to consider.
Do you need a security camera for your home or shop? Do you want to supervise your newborn baby? Then you need a versatile and durable device like the IP camera. Read this article carefully because I will show you a list of best surveillance IP cameras helping you choose the one that's right for you.
IP cameras require an electrical connection and allow you to record live video to the cloud or SD card. They use the Internet service protocol to connect via WLAN to the home router and some models also allow connection via the Ethernet (LAN) cable. You can manage the camera via smartphone or tablet through a specific manufacturer app.
Main features of an IP camera
Before telling you which is the best IP camera, let's see the main features of an IP camera.
Sensors are used to detect movements and noises. As soon as something moves in front of the lens or the device detects noises it will start video recording.
Most cameras record video as soon as they detect motion or sound. It is possible to store the recordings continuously for a certain period of time by adjusting the start and end of the recordings.
In the event of an emergency, the IP cameras must send an alert via email or a notification on a smartphone, via the app. From anywhere in the world the user will be able to see live and on the display of his smartphone what is happening in his home or room.
Thanks to built-in speakers and microphones, almost all IP cameras can also function as an intercom. Hearing the voice of the landlord, the thief could run away.
With IP cameras you can stop recording at any time manually or through Geo-Fencing. The app connected to the camera will stop the recording as soon as the user returns home.
Attention to the legislation
If you intend to place the device outside, for example on external walls to keep an eye on the street or driveway, you will need to take into account the legislation promoted by the Privacy Guarantor which establishes the rules to be followed in the field of video surveillance. The basic principle is that your security cannot threaten the rights of other citizens in terms of confidentiality and privacy, specifically the presence of devices must be reported and there are limits on the retention times of recordings. For more information you can take a look at this page.
Mounting and configuration of IP cameras
All the cameras explained below, with the exception of the Neetatmo and Nest, include in the package the wall mounting brackets to position the cameras on the ceiling in a safe way.
The cameras cannot be placed everywhere, as they require a power socket for power supply and the presence of the router within range. To configure the Wifi camera you need to register on the manufacturer's website by providing your name and email address. Thanks to a QR code, the Arlo and Smartfrog cameras proved to be extremely easy to set up. As soon as the app displays the QR code, the camera will detect all the necessary information, such as the WLAN abbreviation and password.
Functionality and usability
How to choose an IP camera? How much does an IP camera cost? These are necessary questions to understand how to orient yourself in the purchase of a surveillance device.
After the configuration phase, you need to focus on the settings for shooting that will allow the camera to shoot videos or take photos. All IP cameras have a motion and noise recognition system, the sensitivity of which can be adjusted through the app. Depending on the ambient noise and other influencing conditions, the user can experiment which settings are most suitable for the camera to shoot ad hoc.
Some cameras, such as the Nest and Netatmo also offer biometric facial recognition, so shooting will only start if the camera reports an unknown face. With the Nest camera the user has to shoot known faces several times to memorize them while with the Netatmo everything happens directly from the camera.
All camera apps notify the user through the Push notification function, which in the event of an emergency displays a short alert on the display as if it were an incoming SMS or a notification via WhatsApp. Some cameras can also send an email.
Recorded videos can be recalled from apps which also offer live camera images.
The mode for night shooting
All IP cameras offer night shooting mode, as they are equipped with infrared LEDs capable of releasing a light that is invisible to the human eye. Cameras light up the room to shoot in black and white. This night shooting mode can be activated manually or it is activated automatically by the camera which is able to switch between day and night shots. The quality of night shots differs according to the camera model and the range of infrared illumination.
How to archive videos
IP cameras can store video in three ways:
Mobile device: In this case, a lot of space is required as shooting takes about 15MB per minute and one hour is enough to fill the space by 1GB. This mode protects against theft of the camera as the data saved on the smartphone would not be lost.
Memory card: by inserting an SD card in a camera you will no longer have space problems in capturing videos. SD cards usually have a storage capacity of 16GB for only 10 euros. Any theft of the camera would result in the loss of video footage.
Cloud: is the best way to save videos. It can be accessed at any time and keeps movies safe, as they are password protected. The only drawback is the extra rental fee for the storage space on the Cloud. Some devices allow you to store data both with SD card and in the Cloud, offering double data protection.
The IP cameras all allow remote access via the Internet to live footage. The data transfer takes place in HTTPS encrypted way and is protected with an extra password.
What is the best IP camera
Below is a list of best surveillance IP cameras with its buying guide. To feel safe at home or if you want to try to arrest the perpetrators, I recommend you use one of these security cameras, I'm sure you will find the one that's right for you.
1. Netgear Arlo Q Plus
THEArlo from Netgear it stands out for its good picture quality and LAN and WLAN connections. The videos can be stored on an SD card or in the Cloud service (cost of the service is € 7,50 per month with the possibility of consulting them for 30 days). It offers accessories for wall and ceiling mounting, and through the app allows many settings: such as the duration of the surveillance function. The resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels with dimensions of 7 x 7,1 x 11,4 cm. Wide shooting angle, double protection (app and email), simple usability and low energy cost are elements that distinguish this IP camera. It has no alarm sound can be connected to the manufacturer's alarm system. There is night shooting mode but face recognition is missing.Buy on Amazon
2. Motorola MBP 88 Connect
The IP camera Motorola MBP 88 it has a sensor that for the temperature and the reproduction of melodies can also be used to monitor newborns. It offers good images and orientable lens. The direction of the shooting view can be selected via App. The resolution is 1280 x 1080 pixels with dimensions of 9,7 x 12,5 x 12,4 cm. The cost of the cloud service is 30 euros per month with the possibility of consulting them for 30 days. The audio is not very powerful, on the other hand there are numerous possibilities of settings and signals via the App. Usability is simple and the connection is only via WLAN. There is no face recognition, instead there is the night shooting mode. It has no alarm sound and the possibility of SD card storage.Buy on Amazon
3. Nest Cam IQ
The IP camera Nest belongs to Google and offers facial recognition (included in the Cloud service). The videos are of good quality, the functions are numerous and the shooting angle is very wide. The energy cost is slightly high. The resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels with dimensions of 7,4 x 12,4 x 7,4 cm. The cost of the Cloud service is 30 euros per month with the possibility of consulting them for 30 days. Excellent data protection and reports are made via App. The available connections are: Ethernet, USB, WLAN. It features night shooting mode, SD card storage, time settings and shooting start. It has no alarm sound.Buy on Amazon
4. Netatmo Welcome
La Netamo it provides good quality videos but the equipment is slightly poor. It offers facial recognition and starts shooting only if it detects unfamiliar faces. In addition to the WLAN, there is also a connection to the LAN. It allows you to store videos only on an SD card and has no Cloud service. The resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels with dimensions of 4,5 x 15,5 x 4,5 cm. The functions are numerous and the reports are both by App and by email. It has night shooting mode but does not have an alarm sound. It has the SD card.Buy on Amazon
4. TP-LINK NC450
Il TP-Link NC450 it does not offer facial recognition but instead offers numerous warning signs with apps and emails. The image quality is not as high as the previous IP cameras reported, but through the app you can change the direction of the shooting view. The resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels with dimensions of 10,9 x 14,4 x 10,6 cm. It has no Cloud service and the connections are WLAN and LAN. It has no alarm sound. It has the SD card.Buy on Amazon
The IP camera Smartfrog archive videos only in the Cloud. To make the videos accessible for 30 days instead of 4 hours, you have to pay 15 euros per month. The camera can be placed anywhere, thanks to the support for fixing to the side and ceiling. The videos are easy to download and the cloud has an acceptable price. Offers good app usability and night vision mode. It lacks face recognition, alarm sound and the possibility of SD card storage. The available connection is WLAN. The resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels with dimensions of 7,6 x 11 x 6 cm.Buy on Amazon
6. Gigaset Elements
La Gigaset Elements offers increased display latency, extended warning signal (App, email and phone) and suitability for alarm systems. It does not have face recognition but it has a really cheap cloud service: only 4,99 per month with the possibility of accessing videos for 28 days. It does not have an SD card but on the other hand it offers night vision mode with WLAN and LAN connection. It has no alarm sound. The resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels and the dimensions are 8,5 x 8,5 x 3 cm.Buy on Amazon
7. Edimax IC-3140W
THEEdimax it is an affordable camera but the shooting modes are actually few. The reports are made via app and email and face recognition tips. The resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels with dimensions of 6 x 5 x 11 cm. It doesn't have a cloud service but SD card storage.Buy on Amazon