Best cheap home security cameras for 2021 – CNET

You don’t have to spend a fortune to keep your home safe and secure. Even though some of the security cameras I recommend are pricey, there’s a growing number of options that cost considerably less. These cameras tend to have a lot of the same features as their more expensive counterparts, such as continuous recording, a motion sensor, a rechargeable battery, apps that send a push notification when something triggers the camera and more. And considering some cost as little as $20, they also have decent video quality.

So if you’re on the hunt for the best cheap security camera, here’s my curated list of the top home security cameras priced under $100. These cheap home security cameras vary in terms of functionality and features, but they’re all solid choices if you feel like you need a surveillance camera.

Wyze

You really can’t beat the new Wyze Cam v3 if you’re looking for an affordable security camera system with solid performance. Here’s the gist:

  • It costs $24 (plus shipping)
  • It comes with two weeks of free cloud storage
  • The wired security camera has optional local storage via a built-in microSD card slot
  • You can set a custom motion detection zone for free 

These things combined make the Wyze Cam hard to match, especially since this next-gen model can be used as an inside or outdoor camera thanks to a new weatherproof housing. It also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, as well as Wyze’s other devices.

Read our Wyze Cam v3 review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The Blink Mini is a $35 (currently $28) indoor security camera. It comes with a power adapter, works with Amazon Alexa, and it has a small footprint that won’t take up much space inside your home. It has basic features and solid performance, making it a good option if you’re looking for a straightforward indoor home security camera from Amazon smart home company Blink.

Read our Blink Mini review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Update, April 20: The Lynx/Indoor 2 camera has been discontinued following Chamberlain’s acquisition of Tend Insights. 

Tend Secure’s Lynx indoor camera (now called the Indoor 2 camera) will set you back $60. This indoor cam has all of the regular features of a typical home security camera, like live streaming, motion detection and night vision. But this indoor security camera also comes with free seven-day video clip storage and free facial recognition capabilities. 

Use the app to build a custom database of friends, family members, and any other regular visitors (although with social distancing in full effect, visitors are probably at a minimum right now). Then the camera will detect faces and send alerts to your phone to let you know it just saw, “Dave” or “Molly.” The performance of the camera’s facial recognition improves over time, too, with use. 

Read our Tend Secure Lynx review.

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