Best Cheap Security Cameras of 2022

Best Cheap Indoor Camera
Wyze Cam Pan
Wyze Cam Pan
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$60.99
  • Check
    Multiple accounts
  • Check
    Pan and tilt
  • Check
    Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT integrations
Cheapest Indoor Camera
Wyze v3
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
$35.98
  • Check
    Starlight night vision
  • Check
    Sound detection
  • Check
    Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT integrations
Best Cheap Outdoor Camera
Blink Outdoor
Blink Outdoor
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$99.99
  • Check
    Unlimited camera plan
  • Check
    Battery-operated
  • Check
    Amazon Alexa integration
Cheapest Outdoor Camera
ZOSI C190
ZOSI C190
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
$33.99
  • Check
    Color night vision
  • Check
    IP67 weatherproofing
  • Check
    No integrations
Brianne Sandorf
Staff Writer, Home Security & Smart Home
Read More
June 06, 2022
11 min read

Want a security camera? Great, so do we. Since cameras are so friggin’ expensive (looking at you, Nest and Arlo), we’ve rounded up the best options for $100 and under. Enjoy!

Security camera basics
Info Box

At a minimum, we like to see motion detection, night vision, and two-way audio in a security camera. In most cases, these features are necessary for standard security. Our FAQ section talks more about what to look for in a security camera.

Compare best cheap security cameras
Model
Image
Price
Indoor or outdoor
Learn more
$60.99

Indoor

$35.98

Both

$99.99

Outdoor

$33.99

Outdoor

$29.99

Indoor

Reolink Argus 2
$99.99

Both

Data effective 06/06/2022. Offers are subject to change.

What to look for in a cheap security camera

When choosing an expensive camera, be sure not to sacrifice function to save a few bucks. Don’t just look at the price; also look at hardware quality, software quality (features), and storage capabilities.

Play Video

Cheap security camera features:

  • Video quality
  • Night vision
  • Motion detection
  • Two-way audio
  • Weatherproofing
  • App
  • Power source
  • Storage type
  • Video recording type

These are the basic features. Some cameras, even inexpensive ones, have extra features like sirens, lights, or sound detection. We recommend looking for cameras with these extras when possible as they can really make your life easier.

Want to read more?

Wyze Cam Pan: Best cheap indoor camera

Wyze Cam Pan
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Pro Bullet Pan and tilt
Pro Bullet Multiple accounts on one camera
Pro Bullet Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT compatibility
$60.99

It pans, it tilts, it zooms, and it doesn’t break the bank. The Wyze Cam Pan is crazy affordable and a great indoor security camera.

Most cameras have two-way audio, night vision, and motion detection. Wyze Cam Pan has all that plus panning, tilting, zooming, and person and sound detection. With all that, you’re sure to capture any intruder on camera. If he tries to get out of the view of the camera, you can follow him with the pan and tilt, and if he doesn’t come close enough, you can zoom in.

The cameras also works with Amazon Echo, Google Home, and IFTTT, so you can embed it in almost any smart home setup.

The Wyze Cam Pan also has a multiple-account feature. You can give more than one person digital access to the camera and its settings. Both you and your partner or roommate can control the camera.

Best of all, this camera is pretty much dirt cheap. You can get two cameras and two annual subscription plans at just over $100.

Wyze subscriptions
Heads Up

You won’t get additional storage days with a Wyze subscription. The camera already comes with 14 days, and that’s the maximum. But your camera does record longer video clips with the paid plan.

This camera requires a paid subscription to access your person detection. You'll forego that feature if you use the local storage or free Basic Plan.

Wyze subscription plans
Plan
Monthly price
Annual price
Details

$0.00

$0.00

$1.99 per camera

$14.99 per camera

Data effective 06/06/2022. Offers are subject to change.

Wyze Cam v3: Cheapest indoor camera

Wyze Cam v3
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Pro Bullet Starlight night vision
Pro Bullet Sound detection
Pro Bullet Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT compatibility
$35.98

The Wyze Cam v3 isn’t the absolute cheapest indoor camera on the market, but of all the options out there, it’s the cheapest we’d recommend.

The v3 works both indoors and outdoors, making it a versatile buy. It doesn’t pan, tilt, or zoom like the Wyze Cam Pan, but it comes with stunning starlight night vision that practically turns night into day on its video clips. That makes it so much easier to see what’s going on.

On Amazon, the product description says that the camera can work in lighting that’s 25 times darker than other cameras work in. While we aren’t sure how Wyze would quantify that, it’s pretty clear that the company’s extremely confident in its v3 night vision.

For further home protection, the camera also has sound detection. Even if the home intruder is out of the camera’s sight, you’ll still get an alert. Within reason, that is. We’re not sure exactly how sensitive the detection is–we haven’t had a chance to test it–but our guess is that it will probably capture your windows breaking or your dog barking but not the tiptoes of an intruder a few rooms away.

Like the Wyze Cam Pan, the v3 works with the trinity  of Alexa, Google, and IFTTT. Since many products are compatible with one of those three, you can cobble together quite a decent smart home setup with a Wyze Cam v3.

Wyze cameras
Pin

Wyze did we put two Wyze cameras in a row? We’ll tell you Wyze: Wyze cameras don’t cost a lot, but they work so well that they don’t feel cheap. That’s true of the Wyze Cam Pan, and it’s true of the Wyze Cam v3.

The Wyze Cam v3 offers local storage with a 32 GB SD card, plus it boasts the same subscription plan menu as the Wyze Cam Pan. Since the price is per camera, if you get a Wyze Cam Pan and a Wyze Cam v3, you’ll have to buy each its own annual subscription.

The Basic Plan doesn’t include motion or sound detection–so if you want your full feature array, you’ll have to dig a little deeper into your pocketbook. But that being said, the Cam Plus’s $15 a year is far from expensive. Some companies charge $15 a month!

Wyze subscription plans
Plan
Monthly price
Annual price
Details

$0.00

$0.00

$1.99 per camera

$14.99 per camera

Data effective 06/06/2022. Offers are subject to change.

Blink Outdoor: Best cheap outdoor camera

Blink Outdoor
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Pro Bullet Batteries
Pro Bullet Unlimited camera plan
Pro Bullet Amazon Alexa compatibility
$99.99

With Blink Outdoor, you won’t miss anything. This camera is a little basic, but it’s a reliable option from a well-known brand, making it our top choice for a cheap outdoor camera. It also has a stupendous cloud storage plan.

The smart home world knows Blink by name. Its cameras aren’t flashy by any means, but they get the job done.

The Blink outdoor meets all the raw requirements for an outdoor smart home camera. Plus it has batteries, which is the Holy Grail for outdoor gadgets. Without those juice boxes to provide power, you’d have to plug or wire the camera right into the side of your house.

Blink’s subscription plans are better than average in both storage lengths and prices. An annual lump sum for an unlimited number of cameras with 60 days’ storage is an astounding deal!

And with the Plus plan, you also get an extended warranty and 10% off other Blink products (so you truly can buy an unlimited number of cameras).

Again, Blink is super basic. You won’t get person detection or even sound detection with this one. You won’t even get any compatibility with anything but Alexa. But this simple camera is a healthy choice for your budget, especially when you consider the subscription savings with the unlimited camera option.

Blink is super basic.
Weatherproofing
Info Box

The Blink Outdoor is the only Blink camera that is water-resistant. The cam has an IP65 weather rating. Blink's indoor cameras are not weatherproof.

Blink subscription plans
Plan
Storage length
Monthly price
Annual price
Details

60 days

$3.00 for 1 camera

$30.00 for 1 camera

60 days

$10.00 for unlimited cameras

$100.00 for unlimited cameras

Data effective 05/03/2022. Offers are subject to change.

ZOSI C190: Cheapest outdoor camera

ZOSI C190
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Pro Bullet Color night vision
Pro Bullet Person detection
Pro Bullet Local storage
$33.99

The ZOSI C190 is unbelievably cheap; we don’t see how a decent outdoor camera could go for less money. But despite the price, ZOSI has a lot of useful extras.

ZOSI’s got the works: color night vision, person detection, a light, and a siren. With the night vision and person detection, you’ll know when folks come into your camera’s view, and with the light and siren, they’ll know too. Some of the most expensive cameras on the market don’t even have these features, making ZOSI’s price incredibly impressive. Seriously, some cuts of meat cost more than this camera.

The biggest con to this outdoor security camera is its lack of cloud storage. You can’t get cloud even if you’re willing to pay for it. You’ll need an SD card to use the local storage instead.

Also, ZOSI isn’t compatible with, well, anything. It’s not possible to integrate this guy into your smart home.

View on Amazon

Hoop Security Camera: Cheapest indoor camera

Hoop Security Camera
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Pro Bullet Sound detection (including fire and CO alarms)
Pro Bullet Geofencing
Pro Bullet Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant compatibility
$29.99

The Hoop Security Camera is one of the cheapest indoor security cameras we recommend. But don’t let the low, low price make you think Hoop is skimping. Hoop actually offers a few features you don’t get with Wyze.

Hoop offers security features we don’t usually see in lower-priced cameras. It has geofencing (so it knows when you’re at home and when you’re away), and it can let you know when your smoke or carbon monoxide alarms go off. And with two-way audio, push notifications, sound and motion sensors, and smart speaker compatibility, it’ll integrate nicely into your home security plan. Oh, and did we mention the Alexa and Google compatibility?

Hoop sound detection
Megaphone

The Hoop Security Camera can listen to your CO and fire detectors and alert you when they go off. A lot of security companies don’t even offer that feature yet, putting Hoop way ahead of the home security game.

With Hoop, you can set voice reminders from the camera to keep you on task throughout the day. You can even remotely send a text message to the camera. The camera will “read” your message out loud to your kids or spouse at home.

Hoop says this camera comes with five days of free cloud storage, which is good, but it doesn’t explain how much it costs to get more.

When we reached out to customer support, we got this response: “As of now, we have to roll out our new subscription plan. However, you are more than welcome to sign up for our newsletter to receive information on the new subscription model when it becomes available.” Interpret that as you will.

Yeah, you can always fall back on local SD card storage, but that’s just not as convenient. Where’s our cloud storage, Hoop? C’mon.

The Hoop camera is slightly cheaper than the other two indoor cameras on the list. While its features are cool, they may not be worth it if you’re looking for transparent information about cloud storage.

Reolink Argus 3: Best outdoor safety features

Reolink Argus 2
Reolink Argus 3
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Pro Bullet Starlight night vision
Pro Bullet Solar power
Pro Bullet Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
$99.99

The Argus 3 is optimal for outdoor security. It has everything you need to notice, view, and scare off intruders.

Like the Wyze Cam v3, this security camera has starlight night vision. (In fact, we first heard the term from Reolink.) It also has zoom capabilities, a light, and a siren to go along with its motion detection and two-way audio. And it’s easy to keep charged with a choice of batteries or solar power. Combined, these features provide maximum scaring-off-intruders power with minimal effort, making the Argus 3 the perfect choice for an outdoor camera.

We just wish that the camera came with a cord for charging the batteries or Reolink’s solar panel—you have to pay extra to get either power source. That adds a little $ to the overall price.

That brings up another extra cost AKA video storage. This Reolink camera comes with seven days of free storage, which is nice. And the paid plan structure is a good deal, too. You get more storage time for more cameras at a lower price than with Wyze.

Reolink’s plans definitely aren’t as good as Blink’s.
Reolink Argus 3 use
Pin

Although we recommend using this camera primarily outdoors, it’s technically an indoor-outdoor camera. You can place it wherever you want.

We wish this camera had lights to round out its outdoor security features. (Its successor, the Argus 3, does, but that camera is more expensive.)

The Reolink Argus 2 also doesn’t come with a power source. You need to buy a cable and/or a solar panel yourself to keep it going. That adds a little $ to the overall price.

Reolink subscription plans
Plan
Storage length
Monthly price
Annual price
Details

7 days and 1 GB

$0.00

$0.00

30 days and 30 GB

$4.99 for up to 5 cameras

$49.99 for up to 5 cameras

30 days and 80 GB

$9.99 for up to 10 cameras

$99.00 for up to 10 cameras

60 days and 150 GB

$14.99 for up to 20 cameras

$149.00 for up to 20 cameras

Data effective 06/06/2022. Offers are subject to change.

Recap: Which cheap security camera is best?

Time to summarize our cheap security cam picks. All six of the cameras we’ve talked about are $100 or less, and each has its unique features.

  • With its panning, tilting, sound detection, and low price, Wyze Cam Pan is the best value for an indoor camera.
  • This Wyze Cam v3 with sound detection is the lowest-cost indoor camera we’d recommend for our readers.
  • Hoop Security Camera’s sound detection and geofence features make this camera’s indoor safety features better than average.
  • Blink Outdoor has only basic features, but Blink offers an unlimited camera plan that makes it a good value.
  • The super-cheap ZOSI C19 camera comes with lots of extras, like person detection, a light, and a siren.
  • The Reolink Argus 3 camera has features uniquely suited to outdoor security. It easily deters intruders with its light and siren and can run entirely on solar power.

If you’re still curious about other options, check out our reviews of the YI Home Camera 2 and SimpliSafe cameras, other inexpensive cameras that didn’t make it into this review. Or, if you don’t need to stick with a super-cheap camera, take a look at our Blink and Blink XT2, Arlo, and Nest Cam reviews.

We also have reviews of entire camera brands, like Arlo and Vivint.

Methodology

We looked at curated lists of the top cameras, then created a matrix to compare them to each other. The features we used for comparison included the following:

  1. Price
  2. Warranty
  3. Night vision
  4. Quality
  5. Field of view
  6. Motion detection
  7. Sound detection
  8. Person detection
  9. Zoom
  10. Two-way audio
  11. Light
  12. Siren
  13. Mechanical pan/tilt
  14. Notifications
  15. Facial recognition
  16. Power source
  17. Compatibility
  18. Storage

Cheap security cameras FAQ

What should I look for in a surveillance camera?

Buying a camera or camera system is no joke. You want the best bang for your buck.

When choosing the right security camera for you, we suggest looking at the following:

  • Video quality
  • Night vision
  • Motion detection
  • Two-way audio
  • Weatherproofing
  • App
  • Power source (batteries or wired)
  • Storage type (cloud storage or physical storage)
  • Video recording type (continuous recording or motion-activated recording)

Most of the security cameras in this review are wired and use motion-activated recording. All of them are smart cameras that use apps to connect to your phone.

What should I look out for with cheap security cameras?

When trying to save money, it’s natural to look for the most affordable options. However, that can be dangerous when it comes to security cameras.

Quality

Ensure the camera quality is high before you purchase. Some companies might cut corners on the build to reduce costs, which can be especially devastating for an outdoor camera. You should also look at the warranty and the company’s reputation for customer service.

Ensure the quality of the camera is high before you purchase it …

Software

The camera software is also important. The software needs to work efficiently and reliably and be secure against hackers. You don’t want someone to tap into your connection and case out your home with your own security camera.

Storage

Finally, look at the storage options. Local storage is one option, but you’ll lose all your footage if a thief decides to take the camera. Cloud storage sends the video to a place where it can’t be stolen, but as you know, it often comes with a subscription cost.

Can I get a cheap security camera with facial recognition?

The YI Dome Camera is the cheapest security camera with facial recognition that we’ve reviewed.

Other, more expensive cameras with facial recognition include any Blue by ADT camera and the Nest Cam IQ cameras.

How do I choose the right security camera for the right situation?

Home security doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are multiple cameras listed above that we would personally purchase, but what works for us may not be the right choice for you.

Think about your home and the area you want to monitor. Is it brightly illuminated at all times? Then you may not need a camera with awesome night vision. Do you need to watch a wide area with a single camera? Then one with a large field of view may be the better choice.

Should I get a security system with cameras?

If price is your number-one concern, you probably shouldn’t go with a full security system. Even if you choose a system with no monthly subscriptions, you usually have to shell out megabucks for a basic setup. That usually doesn’t even include a camera.

But if safety is your primary worry, then by all means, go for a full system. It’s more comprehensive security than cameras alone. Ring has some stellar cameras, and Blue by ADT came out with a nice selection too.

What about SimpliSafe cameras?

The SimpliCam isn’t worth its price tag in most cases, but the $100 SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Security Camera is similar to our ZOSI and Reolink picks. If you already have a SimpliSafe security system, this camera is a natural fit for you.

What about Arlo cameras?

Arlo has some great cameras (Arlo Pro, Arlo Ultra, Arlo Essential, and so on), but they aren’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination. We wouldn't buy anything more expensive than an Arlo Q if you're on a budget. Try Reolink instead. The cameras are similar to Arlo but so much more affordable.

Do I need a full surveillance system?

For some people, a single camera is sufficient. But if you have a large property or many doors and windows, one smart security camera may not be enough. In that case, you might want to look into investing in a full security camera system.

Which security camera has no monthly fee?

If you're wanting to forgo a monthly subscription fee, there are a few home security systems that offer self-monitoring and don't have an additional monthly fee. Companies like Abode offer a no-monthly fee and no contract for the basic plan. Ring and Arlo also have a free plan if you want to self-monitor and limit paying for various features. 

Why are there no NVR options?

If you’re looking for NVR or POE, try the Reolink 4MP PoE IP camera.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon.com. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Reviews.org utilizes paid Amazon links.

Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining Reviews.org, she wrote safety and security content for ASecureLife.com. Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on MSN.com, Social Catfish, and Parents.com. Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at brianne@reviews.org.

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