With smart assistance becoming the norm, and new tech constantly hitting the market, there is no shortage of smart security systems available. From simple security cameras, to full home systems, the list of products that promise to keep your home or office safe with the added convenience of smart tech is ever-growing. It is hard to know what is worth the time and investment and what will leave you lacking when you need protection the most.
CGMagazine has taken the time to test out some of the best security tech you can find, to find the best options for your home no matter the size or complexity of the desired setups. Looking at everything from single camera options, smart video doorbells and even full home kits, we explore the top brands to bring you the best smart home security tech you can find for the money.
Google Next Cam
Google since its purchase of Nest has made some great moves with their smart home security products, and the Nest Cam is one well worth attention. While known for their thermostats, Nest has a great range of security products, including Video Doorbells (more on this later) and the Nest Cam. This little camera is easy to set up anywhere with a wire, and can be mounted to a wall or sit on any flat surface. Utilizing the Google Home app, the Nest Cam is built for people already invested in the Google ecosystem, making it a painless addition with a simple setup process that should take most people less than 10 minutes.
The video quality is fantastic, giving a clear look at everything in the field of view even in low-light areas. If we had any gripes, it is the lack of a real history for any major event. While you can add this to your account when you subscribe to their Nest Aware service, out of the box you will be limited on what history it will keep, making it a bit frustrating in an emergency. The Nest indoor Cam offers great quality and works nicely alongside other Google and Nest products and Google Assistant, and if you want a bit of extra peace of mind, Nest Aware delivers a lot of value for the $8 a month for 30 days worth of video history.
Ring Indoor Camera
Ring is known for their video doorbells, but they make a lot more for people looking to be secure at home. The Ring Indoor Camera delivers an inexpensive yet feature-rich indoor camera that is easy to set up and unobtrusive no matter where you decide to put it. While it does feel built to be part of a bigger series of Ring products in your home or office, the device offers just enough to make it a great addition to anyone looking to bring a little security to their lives.
As with the Nest Cam, Ring is no stranger to a subscription service, with Ring Protect being your only way into a video history of alerts and potential issues. Costing $5 a month for the basic plan, it allows you to have a viewable history of video events, something very important when a break in does occur. Despite the series of upsells, the Ring Indoor Cam is one of the best affordable cameras you can currently buy, and for anyone already invested in the Ring ecosystem, it is a no-brainer.
Ring Spotlight Cam
While indoor security is important, there is something to be said to see potential issues before they happen, and there is no better way to do that than a smart outdoor security camera like the Ring Spotlight Cam. With a wire-free setup, and delivering clear HD video, it is hard to beat the easy setup and versatility of the Ring Spotlight Cam. With a simple setup thanks to the Ring app, you will be able to get the Spotlight Cam setup in a matter of minutes, and thanks to the customizable motion sensor settings, you can quickly have your home safe and secure, so you get alerts that matter, when they happen.
The Spotlight Cam Battery is a great way to monitor what’s going on outside without having to pay for wiring. A wireless battery pack lets you go from six to twelve months between charges, and the Spotlight Cam puts out 1080p video with its superb motion sensor. Integrating with the rest of the Ring ecosystem, and working with voice control and smart assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa, and motion activated lights, the Ring Spotlight Cam has all the features smart home lovers could ask for. The Ring Spotlight Cam also works with smart services and other smart home devices like Echo products to bring the smart home feel people of the 90s could only dream of.
If we had any gripes with the Ring Spotlight Cam it rests with the need for the Ring Protect service to make it usable in an emergency, since without it any incident will be lost to the ether if you are not around to catch it in the act. Beyond that, the Ring Spotlight Cam is a fantastic offering, and a must-buy for anyone invested in Ring already and wants that extra level of outdoor protection.
Lorex Wi-Fi Floodlight Camera
Floodlights are an important aspect of outdoor security, and the Lorex Wi-Fi Floodlight brings everything you could ask for from a smart offering. Lorex has integrated a ton of exciting features into their newest outdoors security camera that really brings the whole package together nicely and makes it worth considering as your new solution. Like most Lorex products, the Wi-Fi Floodlight was a breeze to set up, including everything you would need right in the box. It even includes a holder, allowing you to hook up the wires without needing to strain your arm in the process.
Once you have completed the easy DIY installation, you simply have to use the Lorex app to get everything connected to your account, including setting up the Wi-Fi connection and adjusting the motion activation zones. The full setup should take no more than thirty minutes, and the box includes easy to follow instructions to make it as painless as possible.
The video quality is above what most out door cameras offer, and the Lorex app makes checking on your system easy and painless. It will also keep a history, and will alert you of any suspicious activity, with an easy to adjust guide, so you won’t be suffering through countless false alarms. Combine that with the fact that it can integrate with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant using the Lorex Home Center makes the Lorex Wi-Fi Floodlight an easy option to recommend as an addition to your smart home security, and one of the best outdoor cameras we have tested in 2022 all without the need for long-term contracts.
Smart Video Doorbells
Google Nest Doorbell
Beyond thermostats and cameras, Google’s Nest makes one of the best video doorbells you can buy. With a simple installation procedure and a stylish design, it is easy to see why Nest is such a popular brand for millions of people. The curved edges and clean look means the Nest Doorbell should look at home in most locations, and the included battery ensures you don’t need wiring to get things up and running.
The Google Nest Doorbell is also one of the most versatile options on the list delivering features like two-way talk, high-def resolution, a 145-degree field of view with a 3:4 aspect ratio, smart alerts, facial recognition along with a few other features. Sadly, like the Nest Cam, to get the most from the Google Nest Doorbell, Nest Aware is recommended. Thankfully, it is relatively inexpensive and delivers a range of features that make the Nest Doorbell a bit more helpful if there is an emergency.
If you are already invested in the Google ecosystem, the Nest Doorbell will help deliver alerts to connected devices, and can be managed through the Google Home app you currently use for other Google based products. The Nest Doorbell also offers great battery life, and can use many of its features even if the power is cut, making it a bit more useful over conventionally wired options. While the upsell to Nest Aware can be frustrating, the overall feature set and design make the Google Nest Doorbell an easy recomend, especially if you have already invested in other Google products.
Lorex Video Doorbell
Lorex once again makes an appearance on our list, boasting one of the more impressive Video Doorbells you can buy. The Lorex 2K QHD Wired Video Doorbell was a breath of fresh air when it comes to video doorbells. While I enjoy Ring and what they offer, there was something about Lorex that made it feel like a more polished experience. Lorex manage to deliver a range of products that compare well with the feature sets of Ring and Google Nest, but remove the need for a subscription. You will be able to have a history of events, along with keeping up with all the potential issues that happen at your door, including package theft.
For smart security lovers that hate subscriptions, the Lorex Video Doorbell is an easy recommendation. With no up-sells and a product that felt whole right from setup, even though it may be a bit more expensive, you will not regret installing the Lorex 2K QHD Wired Video Doorbell.
Ring Doorbell Pro 2
Ring is known for their video doorbells, so it is no surprise to see they made the cut, especially when smart security and peace of mind is at stake. The sleek form-factor of the Ring Doorbell Pro 2 sees a smaller unit than previous iterations, while boosting the uses and keeping things smooth and easy while offering in-depth looks at everything happening at your fingertips.
Easily the best model Ring has put on the market, and arguably one of the most useful and highest quality units you can find on the market at-large, the Ring Doorbell Pro 2 raises the mark for home security doorbells and Ring continues to prove they are at the forefront of the smart home market in several areas. Like all Ring products, to get the Ring Doorbell Pro 2 the Ring Protect plan is still recommended, especially if you are looking to catch the Amazon package thief that has been plaguing your neighbourhood. Even without a plan, the Ring Doorbell Pro 2 is a great offering from the leaders in video doorbells, boasting a great look and an industry-leading feature set.
Full Smart Security Systems
Lorex Smart Home Security Center
Lorex have endeared themselves to the editors of CGMagazine, delivering fantastic well-designed smart security solution products that don’t need an extra service to be made useful, so it is no wonder their whole home Security Center made the cut. When security is at the top of your list, and you want to protect your home, one camera is simply not enough. This is where the Smart Home Security Center from Lorex delivers a whole home solution.
Featuring a range of configurations, from two indoor cameras and expanding from their, the Smart Home Security Center brings the feeling of the security room to your home. The little display acts as your home command centre, tapping into all Lorex products you currently have installed, and gives just enough in the box to get your home protected. The ability to constantly add and extend your setup makes it painless to get going, with each wireless camera adding to your home security.
The smart technology features mean you can be alerted via the app, or by the command centre, giving you and your family peace of mind while at home or on the go with your mobile device. And as mentioned before, the fact Lorex does not need a subscription to record incidents means once you are set up, and invested in the system, you don’t need to worry about reoccurring costs to keep things running, something that neither Ring nor Google Nest can boast.
With smart assistant integration, and an easy-to-use app, the Lorex Smart Home Security Center is an easy recommendation to anyone looking for an extra layer of protection for their home. While suffering from a higher upfront cost, the lack of a subscription and the great video quality out-of-the-box makes it well worth the price of entry.
Ring Security System 2nd Gen
It is hard to make a list of the best smart home security systems without talking about Ring. The Ring Security System 2nd Gen brings everything you could hope for from your home or office delivering a security system that is easy to install, and even easier to make part of your daily life. Full home security companies and devices have never been cheap, and even though they have been slowly evolving with the times, feel dated by today’s standards. This is where the Ring Security System 2nd Gen comes into the picture, bringing everything a home or office owner could need to keep the things that matter most safe.
Depending on your investment, the Ring Security System 2nd Gen is a box with all the security sensors and pieces to get you started, including motion detectors, door sensors and an easy to set up keypad to use as your control panel to your setup.
This being a Ring product, it integrates with the Ring devices you already own, including Ring Cameras, and the Ring Video Doorbell, and will connect with your voice assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa and smart devices like Echo to give a true next-level smart home experience. The best part is, unlike other security providers, the Ring Security System 2nd Gen is very DIY friendly, not needing to pay for a professional installation to get everything setup, with every aspect incredibly simple to use and get working as part of your home or office without the dreaded installation fee.
The Ring Alarm System 2nd Gen is a fantastic value when compared to the other options currently on the market. It is easy to set up, fits most household setups, and overall does exactly what you hope for from a modern security system — all without needing to install wires or deal with costly monthly fees should you want to avoid them. If you want security, and are already invested in the Ring Ecosystem and love smart home automation, do yourself a favour and invest in the Ring Alarm. You won’t be disappointed.