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Best Home Security Systems with Cameras 2020


To judge the best home security systems with cameras, we considered which ones had the full range of indoor, outdoor and doorbell cams, had useful features like motion tracking, and how much those cameras, video storage and video monitoring will cost. The Vivint Home Security System checks every camera box we could think of for reliable home surveillance, but for those who’d prefer bargain-priced, DIY camera security, we’ve laid out all of the best options on the market today.

Best Overall Home Security System with Cameras: Vivint Home Security System


It’s no surprise that the best professionally installed home security system overall delivers great camera specs. With Vivint, your pro-installed cams will record 20–90 second motion-triggered clips stored in the cloud, or you can pay for a 1TB DVR that enables continuous recording for up to four cameras.

The Vivint Ping Camera is expensive for an indoor camera, but it justifies the price with genuinely useful and unique security features. For one, while most cameras support two-way audio initiated in the security app, only the Ping lets people in the room press a button on the camera to contact the admin via the app — helpful if someone at home need to contact you quickly for an emergency. You can also create custom rule triggers that control your smart devices automatically in response to detected motion. It has an impressive 155-degree field of view (FOV) to capture a whole room in 1080p.

The Doorbell Camera Pro offers an outstanding 180-degree horizontal and vertical FOV in 1080p that transmits over dual-band Wi-Fi, with up to 10X digital zoom or 3X optical zoom. You can hardwire it or run it off battery, and it can detect people or packages but ignore other objects. The outdoor cams, meanwhile, have a 140-degree FOV with 55 feet of IR night vision coverage and a loud, 85dB speaker for alerting people they’ve been spotted.

To take advantage of these features, you’ll need to have Vivint install them for you, which means optimal placement and proper wiring but also either paying upfront for a network of expensive cameras and sensors or accepting a five-year loan to offset the costs. On top of that, you’ll pay somewhere in the $50/month range for professional video monitoring, far steeper than most DIY security companies.


  • Professional assessment for proper camera coverage
  • DVR for 24/7 video recording
  • Smart home automation triggered by camera motion
  • Indoor camera with button-triggered calls
  • Doorbell with package recognition
  • Outdoor cam with siren and night vision


  • Expensive for pro video monitoring
  • Expensive upfront cost to avoid contract
  • Only three-day trial period

Best Overall Home Security System with Cameras

Vivint Home Security System


  • Get a quote here

Truly innovative cameras

Vivint justifies its high prices with cameras that do far more than the competition, particularly in home automation.

Best for IFTTT Automations and Pro Monitoring: Blue by ADT Security System


ADT may be the most expensive professionally installed security system for equipment and monthly monitoring fees, but its DIY offshoot Blue by ADT offers a more palatable price point. Its somewhat pricey cameras stand out from the crowd thanks to its facial recognition software: you can upload up to eight facial photos, then receive personalized notifications letting you know if one of your pre-approved visitors is at the door.

Blue by ADT’s indoor, outdoor and doorbellcameras all sell for $200 — rather expensive compared to other indoor cams but it’s industry-standard for outdoor and doorbell cams. The indoor and outdoor models have 1080p resolution, record in 15 FPS, have a 130-degree FOV with custom motion detection zones, up to 10 minutes of triggered recorded video with a cloud subscription, two LEDs for night vision and, best of all, 128GB microSD slots for local storage. Its doorbell hits a 180-degree FOV, can trackt up to 10 feet away, and has person detection mode so you don’t get constant alerts from cars. All Blue by ADT cams register the sound of smoke or CO alarms and will alert you when they go off.

Blue by ADT’s camera specs are average for home security systems, but the company stands out thanks to its simple DIY installation, its access to nationwide ADT video monitoring centers at a mere $20/month instead of the $50+ you pay with ADT proper, and impressive smart home integration with Z-Wave Plus, IFTTT, Alexa, Google Assistant, Hue, Nest, Sonos, and others through its smart home hub with keypad.

Whether Blue by ADT’s smart home integration will fit your needs is worth considering. You can set up if-this, then-that statements that trigger with detected motion or through Alexa or Google Assistant commands, something many security systems can’t do. For example, you can set IFTTT to turn on your Hue lights when an alartm sounds. On the other hand, you can’t have your camera feeds appear on an Echo Show or Google Home display like some security systems allow. Plus, while other companies sell their own smart locks, thermostats, and other smart accessories, you’ll have to pick and choose third-party Z-Wave devices that you can control, but may not integrate into the ADT app features like a first-party device would.


  • Z-Wave and IFTTT integration for automations
  • Simple, fast DIY installation
  • Affordable starter equipment package
  • MicroSD cam slots for local video storage
  • Reasonable monthly fee for ADT monitoring
  • Facial recognition


  • Expensive indoor cams
  • Short battery life for outdoor cams
  • Not a lot of first-party devices
  • Separate subscriptions for video monitoring / storage

Best for IFTTT Automations and Pro Monitoring

Blue by ADT Security System


  • $220 at Blue by ADT (Starter System)
  • $199 at Amazon (Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera)
  • $199 at Amazon (Blue by ADT Indoor Camera)

Automate your DIY security

Blue by ADT gives you access to ADT’s trusted monitoring service, without paying thousands for equipment and installation.

Best DIY Home Security System with Cameras: Frontpoint DIY Home Security System


For a DIY home security system that sells a complete catalog of first-party devices instead of relying on third-party devices to fill the gaps, Frontpoint delivers everything you could need at fair prices. That catalog includes an affordable indoor cam to cheaply cover an entire home, a doorbell cam that will require a little DIY wiring, and an outdoor cam built to handle cold weather. Plus, its elite combination camera and speaker lets you make Bluetooth calls, has a 180-degree FOV and can pan, tilt, and zoom to track down intruders.

The elite cam aside, Frontpoint’s cameras are budget-priced and their specs reflect that, with standard FOVs, 1080p resolution, and night Vvsion that will work efficiently but won’t impress you compared to security companies that sell their cameras as standalones, like Eufy or Ring. However, Frontpoint lets you buy tech that many other companies don’t offer: glassbreak detection, garage door tilt sensors, CO and flood sensors, smart locks, and light bulbs.

We covered Frontpoint in greater depth in our best home security systems list, but suffice to say that the security company has impressed us. Its main unfortunate drawback is that professional video monitoring will cost you $50/month, putting it in the same high-end category as Vivint and ADT.


  • Month-to-month with no contract
  • Fully DIY installation, add on new tech anytime
  • Affordable price point for cameras
  • Frontpoint makes all sensors and smart tech
  • Three-year equipment warranty
  • Fully-featured indoor cam


  • Expensive monthly monitoring
  • Vital features locked without plan (no self-monitoring)
  • Doorbell Cam only 720p

Best DIY Home Security System with Cameras

Frontpoint DIY Home Security System


  • $99 at Frontpoint (Safe Home Starter)
  • $479 at Frontpoint (Safe Home Preferred)

One-stop security shop

Frontpoint simplifies your purchase by selling all the devices and cams you need for a complete, monitored security system.

Best for Cheap Video Monitoring and Camera Variety: Ring Alarm Security System


Most security companies consider video monitoring to be a premium service, charging somewhere in the $500/year range and bundling it with other useful perks like geofencing and home automation. Ring Protect Plus, on the other hand, costs a mere $100/year to monitor all of your Ring cameras and other sensors, or merely $30/year for 60-day video storage and snapshots if you choose to self-monitor. Compared to other services, Ring’s savings will only add up over time.

Ring isn’t just the best budget home security system for its cheap monthly fees. It creates excellent cameras that compete against the best standalone security cams on the market, and are often designed for any environment. The Ring Stick Up Cam can be powered with a swappable battery pack, power outlet, or solar panel, so you can buy different models based on whether an outlet or router is nearby but still get the same video performance.

An Amazon-acquired company, Ring will particularly benefit owners of its smart devices. You can use Alexa commands to pull up live footage of any Ring camera feed on your Echo Show or Fire tablet. Amazon has also given police departments warrantless access to most Ring feeds upon request, which some will see as a privacy violation rather than a safety bonus.

While Ring has a variety of Works With Ring devices, the company doesn’t make its devices accessible through Google Home or HomeKit, and Ring Alarm doesn’t work with IFTTT, so you won’t be able to have smart home devices respond to detected camera motion.


  • Wired, battery, PoE, or solar power for cameras
  • Cheapest video monitoring service
  • People Only detection mode with Plus
  • 10% discount on Ring devices with Protect
  • Long list of Works with Ring devices


  • Limited home automation features
  • Possible data security concerns
  • No IFTTT, Zigbee, Google Home, or HomeKit

Best for Cheap Video Monitoring and Camera Variety

Ring Alarm Security System


  • $250 at Amazon (8-piece kit)
  • $300 at Best Buy (9-piece kit with camera)

Versatile camera power and placement

Ring cameras won’t cost you much for quality, have multiple power options and can be professionally monitored for cheap.

Best for Intelligent Cameras and Self-Monitoring: Eufy Wireless Protection System


Eufy produces some of this site’s favorite picks in virtually every security camera category you can think of. The excellent EufyCam 2 was the staff pick for best cameras with local storage, for example. Against more well-known companies, Eufy impressed us enough to make our best overall home security list because it gives you access to its full suite of intelligent camera features out of the box, where so many other companies require a monthly subscription and hobble its cameras so they can’t work without one. It also also offers 2K resolution for its video feeds, a rare improvement that makes footage a little crisper.

MicroSD slots let you record continuous video directly to local storage without putting data on the cloud, or you can use the Eufy Security app to send your recordings to an NAS (Network Attached Storage) device for terabytes of storage. 256-bit encryption protects your cameras from being hacked. Eufy’s latest cameras have person, object, and pet recognition, and allow you to set activity zones where specialized alerts trigger — for example, you can record “Get off the couch” and have your cam play the message through two-way audio if your dog jumps on it. The Eufy Indoor Cam 2K Pan & Tilt pans 360 degrees to follow any movement, eliminating blind spots. For outdoor cams, you can choose between IR night vision for subtle detection or a motion-activated floodlight for deterrence and full-color night footage.

None of these perks will impress you, however, if you want someone to offer professional monitoring. Eufy offers a keypad, motion sensors, and entry sensors that activate alerts to your phone and a siren in the Eufy HomeBase, but you’ll have to respond to the alert, check the live camera feeds, and call the police yourself. The pros and cons of this will depend on if you care more about securing your privacy from outsiders, or a rapid response from a monitoring center in case you’re unable to call for help yourself.


  • Superb selection of affordable cameras
  • No mandatory monitoring fee (cloud storage fee optional)
  • Person recognition built into cameras
  • Simple DIY installation
  • Works with Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit
  • Data encryption


  • No option for professional monitoring
  • 2FA isn’t available in all countries
  • Limited smart home / speaker integration

Best for Intelligent Cameras and Self-Monitoring

Eufy Wireless Protection System


  • $159 at Amazon (5-piece Home Alarm Kit)
  • $298 at Amazon (2-Cam Kit)
  • $584 at Eufy (4-Cam Kit)

Pay upfront, with no hidden fees

Eufy empowers you to protect yourself with a suite of encrypted 2K cams and security sensors.

Bottom line

To decide which camera-enabled home security system fits your needs, start with your budget, the size of your home, and whether your home is owned or rented. If, for example, you’re in a non-first floor apartment where your front door is the only point of access, you can invest in a cheap standalone cam or video doorbell and be relatively secure. The point of a system is for cameras to work in conjunction with sensors and a professional monitoring team for backup, which is why you usually pay more for each connected smart home cam despite middling specs. Homeowners usually buy four by default — one doorbell, two outdoors for the front/side and back, and one indoor — but larger homes may need more.

We chose Vivint’s Home Security System as the best home security system with cameras, in part because Vivint provides remote or in-person consultations and advise you on how many cams and sensors you need. You’ll never need to fret about skimping and leaving a blind spot. It then offers 24/7 surveillance with the optional DVR, while with other systems you’ll sometimes have fixed-duration video clips cut off before the actual crime is committed. And unique features like package recognition and camera emergency call buttons are particularly ingenious. However, if you rent your home, Vivint’s permanent installation may not be your best bet, as you’ll need to pay Vivint to uninstall and reinstall your cameras in your new home.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide


Michael Hicks got his tech start in 2016, covering emerging tech like VR and self-driving cars before expanding to all things tech. When he’s not gaming or reading SFF novels, he writes freelance for Android Central and Windows Central.


Best cheap phone plans that use the T-Mobile network (October 2020)

T-Mobile is one of the most popular wireless service provider in the United States, but it’s not the company to use its towers. Indeed, many brands and services pay for access to its network.Each of these mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) offers their own rate plans, phone selection, billing, and customer service. These companies simply rely on T-Mobile for cellular coverage.We’ve gathered up some of the cheapest rate plans you can find for the various carriers that use T-Mobile’s network. This isn’t every option available, but rather a list of the ones we like best. Many of the carriers who use T-Mobile allow for Bring Your Own Device meaning you can keep the phone you have.Editor’s ChoiceMint MobileIntroductory Unlimited Plan ($30)The great thing about Mint Mobile is that it gets cheaper the longer you commit to using the service. As if that weren’t appealing enough, it offers an introductory discount for signing up.Indeed, you get unlimited data each month at just $30 per month. Once the first 90 days are up you only spend $40 for the same plan if you renew for three months. That’s still incredible, and better than most here. Sign up for a full year in advance and it’s yours for $30 per month.Get This Plan!Consumer CellularUnlimited Talk & Text + 3GB Data Plan ($30)For $30 per month subscribers receive unlimited talk and text with 3GB of data. Given that the carrier’s target demographic is for senior citizens this ought to be plenty of data. In a related note, AARP members can save 5% on their monthly bill.Get This Plan!Google FiUnlimited Talk & Text w/ 2GB Data ($40)The great thing about Google Fi is that you only pay for the data that you consume. While we pegged this particular option at 2GB of high-speed data, you could go higher or lower.  Data is just $10 per gigabyte and it’s prorated and/or refunded each billing cycle. Click here for a referral credit of $20 upon staying active 30 days.Get This Plan!Metro10GB High-Speed Data ($40)With considerably much more data than most other carriers at this price point, the Metro plan gives users 10GB of 4G LTE to consume. And, to make things even better, the music streamed over 40+ services doesn’t even count against usage.Get This Plan!Net10$20 Unlimited Plan ($20)Among the cheapest rate plans you’ll find with “unlimited” data, this $20 option gives subscribers 2GB of high speed access. Hit the threshold and speeds are slowed to 2G for the rest of the month, but that might not matter to its target users. Also comes with unlimited talk and text.Get This Plan!Republic WirelessUnlimited Talk, Text, and 2GB Data ($25)As a service that relies on Wi-Fi for coverage first, it’s a wonderful option for consumers who spend much of their day on hotspots and wireless routers. For your money you get all the talk and text you can handle plus 2GB data. While these rates are already competitive, you can save even more by opting for the annual plan.Get This Plan!Simple Mobile$25 Unlimited Plan ($25)Customers have unlimited calling and messaging in this plan, plus up to 3GB of data at 4G LTE speeds. Worried about overages? Fear not. Once you hit the data limit speeds are slowed for the remainder of the billing cycle. Save a few bucks on your first three months and get the plan at just $20 per month.Get This Plan!Straight TalkUnlimited Plan with 5GB ($35)Pick up unlimited talk, text, and 5GB of high speed data for the price of a steak dinner. Of course, you can have more data after hitting the threshold, but it’s slowed to 2G for the rest of the billing cycle. Save a buck on your plan each month by signing up for automatic refills.Get This Plan!

Metro Buyer’s Guide (October 2020)

It might surprise some of you to know that companies like Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless operate on the Sprint and AT&T networks, respectively. These network operators license the towers and coverage from the tier-one providers and offer their own phones, rate plans, and customer service.Let’s take a look at another, similar situation. Metro, formerly known as MetroPCS, is a prepaid brand that uses T-Mobile’s network for coverage.About Metro and its networkFounded in 1994, the carrier ultimately merged with T-Mobile in 2013 and became one of the first companies to offer unlimited data plans. Although it was first established as General Wireless, it later changed to MetroPCS; in late 2018 it was changed again to Metro by T-Mobile.Thanks to T-Mobile, Metro gets to lay claim to being the first MVNO or prepaid brand to offer 5G. Its nationwide coverage went live in early December, 2019.What are Metro Rate Plans?Things are pretty simple when it comes to rate plans at Metro. Customers choose from four options with prices starting at $30 per month. Taxes and fees are included so the monthly bill is nice and flat.Rate Plans$30 – Unlimited talk, text, and 2GB high-speed data$40 – Unlimited talk, text, and 10GB high-speed data (with unlimited music streaming)$50 – Unlimited talk, text, and unlimited high-speed data (with 5GB hotspot and 100GB Google One)$60 – Unlimited talk, text, and unlimited high-speed data (with 15GB hotspot, 100GB Google One, and Amazon Prime)What about multiple lines?Metro’s multiple line plans are rather straightforward, too. It’s as easy as picking the starting plan and adding the number of lines. There are discounts applied for each additional phone number, with them priced around $30 a piece, on average.Which major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?Are there any special deals at Metro?Certainly. There are a number of options available from Metro, including discounts, free phones, and bundled rate plans. Things are always subject to change, especially around holidays, so be sure to check the dedicated deals page.How is Metro’s phone selection?Metro offers a decent array of phones, from very basic from brands you might not be familiar with, up to current flagships. Interestingly enough, there’s a decent selection at the upper end, particularly the Samsung Galaxy S20 and newer iPhones.Keeping pace with its growing 5G coverage, Metro has added a number of phones with support for the faster nework.Tips for buying a used phoneWhere can I buy an unlocked phone?Cheap cell phone plans that use the T-Mobile networkCan I use my own phone with Metro?Do you already have a phone or possibly looking to buy an unlocked device for use on Metro? If the equipment is GSM unlocked, or previously used on T-Mobile you can order a SIM card if you wish to bring your own device. Check to see if your phone is compatible.

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