5 Smart Security Cameras to Help Keep Your Family Safe

Smile, you're on candid camera

By Jill Layton

It's difficult to think about what it's like for someone to break into your home and take your belongings. It's even harder to think about someone breaking in and hurting you or your family.

In fact, it's absolutely terrifying

Unfortunately it's something that's worth preparing for, because burglary can happen to anyone at any time.

Expecting the worst isn't a fun (or even healthy) mindset to be in all the time, which is why it's important to set up a system that keeps you and your family as safe as possible. Start by keeping your doors locked, and if you don't already have one, consider an alarm system. To really keep a closer eye on things, security cameras give you the ability to snoop on your home via a live video feed, or to look back on events that have already occurred.

To help you get started, here are some top smart security cameras you can rely on to give you a sense of security through surveillance.

Nest Cam Outdoor

Rain or shine, day or night, the Nest Cam Outdoors streams high resolution, 1080p HD video. This camera can be configured to record 24/7, unlike some alternatives that only capture video when they sense movement.

Droid Life

You can configure the camera so when it senses motion or loud sounds, an alert is sent to your phone. If someone is there, you can even talk to them through the app thanks to 2-way audio.

The Nest cam is available at many retailers including Nest's own site for $199 for one camera or $348 for a pack of two.

Homeboy

The Homeboy is an excellent low maintenance indoor security camera. Perhaps its coolest feature is its magnetic connection--it "snaps" magnetically to a base that you can affix to a wall, for example, and then turn the ball-shaped camera until it's pointed where you like. And it's wireless, relying on a rechargeable battery for power.

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Perhaps becuase it's battery powered, it doesn't offer live video streaming, but can show you video when motion is detected. It has a very straightforward approach to home security, and is especially handy if you want to move the camera around.

The camera is designed to last for months on a single charge. It's a DIY security system that doesn't force you to purchase more storage or bandwidth. You can purchase the Homeboy on the company's website for $149.

Icontrol Networks Piper NV

The Piper is a robust home security system. You can log in at any time to spy on your home, and the video has excellent HD image detail, as well as pan, tilt and zoom functions you can control from your phone.

Amazon

The security cam also has a 180-degree immersive view, sharp night vision and two-way audio capabilities. It also integrate with optional motion sensors you can mount on doors and windows for more complete home security, as well as numerous Z-Wave home automation devices. Check it out on Amazon for $263.

Netgear Arlo Smart Home Security

There is a family of Arlo security cameras that include indoor, outdoor, wiredm and wireless cameras. They all feature high resolution 720p video and real-time video monitoring from your phone.

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But as long as you have spare batteries, the Arlo is an excellent DIY option for both indoor and outdoor security. An optional service plan lets a call center monitor your home via the cameras for about $100/year.

Depending on the model you want, prices vary. You can even buy Arlo in kits that include three or four cameras, designed to cover your whole home (kits range from $450 to $800 at Arlo.)

Zmodo Pivot

Super easy to install, the Zmodo Pivot is similar in approach to the Piper security camera. It offers  1080p video, 360-degree panning, local storage and lots of sensors.

Amazon

It doesn't offer a weath of features or connectivity with other smart home devices, but it's a great way to keep tabs on what's happening at home for a very reasonable price, since it's one of the most affordable smart security cameras around.

You can get it on Amazon for $99.

Main image: Viral Nova