The best smart cameras for home security

Last updated: 7 May 2020   By Justin Schamotta

A good smart security camera will help make your home a safer place. We look at four of the best value devices currently available.

The rise of the smart camera means devices that can communicate wirelessly and relay information straight to your smartphone.

Competition between manufacturers is fierce, resulting in smart cameras that are both affordable and extremely capable.

For under £200, you can expect a sleek-looking camera with a motion sensor, night vision and the ability to record both video and audio for viewing live or later (via cloud storage).

smart home security camera

At a glance

Overall, our pick was the Logitech Circle 2 - it was the most flexible camera, with the best field of view and comes with free cloud storage and good connectivity to other smart hubs.

Logitech Circle 2 Netgear Arlo Q Google Nest Cam Hive View
Price £199 £125 £130 £160
Additional subscription required? No No Yes No
Size (HxWxD) 81x71x76cm 113x74x75cm 114x73x73cm 57x56x57cm
Resolution 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p
Indoor/ Outdoor Both Indoor Indoor Indoor
Field of view 180° 130° 130° 130°


Winner: The Hive View is easily the most stylish of the lot. Moreover, because the camera body is square, it feels less like a disembodied eyeball watching over you.

Given that security cameras need to be placed prominently to capture maximum movement, it's worth sparing a thought to their appearance.

Hive View

The Hive View has the most original design, with a stand and side-pivoting camera that resembles an old industrial anglepoise lamp.

hive view smart camera

The black and brushed copper is the most striking, though there is a white and champagne gold option.

Netgear Arlo Q

The Arlo Q offers something similar, but without the flair. It does look futuristic though, if that's your thing.

netgear arlo q smart camera

Logitech Circle 2

The Logitech Circle 2 keeps it simple, with a circular camera sat on top of a stubby conical stand.

logitech circle 2 camera

Google Nest Cam

The Google Nest Cam is more elegant, with an inverted teardrop shape attached to a flat stand. However, it does feel a little top-heavy.

google nest cam


Winner: The Netgear Arlo Q is both the cheapest device we looked at but also comes with a relatively generous seven days worth of free cloud storage, making it a good deal all round.

While top notch smart security cameras cost hundreds, it's perfectly reasonable to set a budget of between £100 and £200.

While this will get you a decent device, you should expect to pay an additional subscription fee for cloud storage.

Some do offer free storage, but this tends to be limited. If you want more, you'll need to pay a monthly subscription.

Netgear Arlo Q

The Arlo Q comes with free cloud storage that'll keep motion- and audio-triggered recordings from the past seven days.

If you'd like storage for a longer period - for example, if you're away from home for weeks at a time - you'll need to pay a subscription.

Thirty days of 2K video storage costs £2.49 per month, while the £3.99 per month option allows 30 days of 4K storage.

Paid-for plans also unlock other features, including person, vehicle, animal and package detection.

Hive View

The Hive View also has a free storage option, though it lasts a rather measly 24 hours.

The subscription option costs £3.99 per month, and allows you to view the past 30 days' recordings. First-time subscribers get the first month free.

Logitech Circle 2

The Logitech Circle 2 has a similarly limiting 24-hour free storage as standard.

There are a couple of subscription options: the basic package costs £2.99 per month and gives you 14 days worth of cloud storage. The £7.99 per month premium subscription gives you 31 days of cloud storage plus person detection.

Google Nest Cam

There is no free storage with the Nest Cam. Instead, you can choose one of three subscription options - all of which are rather expensive.

The £4 per month subscription gives you five days of storage. Paying £8 a month gives you 10 days, and £24 a month gives you 30 days.


Winner: The Logitech Circle 2 might not be the cheapest camera, but it stands out by having a wider-than-average field-of-view that can keep an electronic eye on the largest of rooms.

Smart security cameras share a few core functions. For example, they all contain motion sensors that start recording when triggered.

An alert is then sent to your phone, allowing you to view the recording.

As well as video, smart cameras have two-way audio, so you can speak to whoever is in your home as well as being able to listen to them.

If you wish to disable the cameras, you can do this from wherever you are via the camera's associated app.

So what are the differences?

Hive View

Like the other cameras, the Hive View is activated by sound as well as movement. However, it's clever enough to ignore 'normal' sounds like passing cars. Instead it'll only send you a notification if it hears, for example, talking or a window smashing.

The camera itself is detachable from the stand, and has an hour's worth of battery life when mobile.

Logitech Circle 2

The Circle 2 boasts a sweeping 180° field-of-view, meaning it covers the room if placed against a wall. Most similarly priced cameras only offer 130°.

The camera can also be used outside if you wish, as it is fully waterproof.

The Circle 2's most novel feature is its 'day brief' video, which shows a sped-up version of the past 24 hours' recordings in the form of a 30-second time-lapse video.

Google Nest Cam

The Nest Cam will tell you when a person has entered a room. However, because you have to pay a monthly subscription from the start, this isn't hugely impressive. Other devices offer 'person detection' with their paid subscriptions.

One notably superior feature with the Nest Cam is its enhanced night vision, which is far crisper than that of competitors.

Netgear Arlo Q

While the Arlo Q has the standard features you might expect, there's nothing to really make it stand out from competitors.

However, it's perhaps worth mentioning that the base of its stand has a strong magnet inside, enabling it to be firmly attached to any metal surface.

Smart connectivity

Winner: The Logitech Circle 2 is the only device compatible with all three voice assistants. If Siri is the assistant of choice in your home, then this is the camera for you.

Smart security cameras can respond to voice commands if paired with a device like an Amazon Echo Show or a Google Nest Hub.

However, not all cameras play well with all voice assistants.

Logitech Circle 2 Netgear Arlo Q Nest Cam Hive View
Amazon Alexa Yes Yes Yes Yes
Google Assistant Yes Yes Yes Yes
Apple Yes No No No

Our verdict

It may not be the prettiest camera in the world, but the Logitech Circle 2 is the most flexible, with a superior field of view, free - albeit limited - cloud storage and good connectivity.

If you intend to build a smart home - but haven't yet decided on a voice assistant - the Logitech Circle 2 is the only camera that's compatible with Apple Homekit.

The device is also the only one in our guide with a waterproof surround, meaning you have the option of switching to outside surveillance in the future.

We like that the device summarises the day's events, meaning you can turn off alerts and just review the footage in one go.

In all, the Logitech Circle 2 is a great buy. It might look like an old webcam, but if you can get over that you'll be no doubt pleased with what it can do.


Which broadband & TV deals are available in your area?

independent comparison

We are independent of all of the products and services we compare.

fair comparison

We order our comparison tables by price or feature and never by referral revenue.

charity donations and climate positive

We donate at least 5% of our profits to charity, and we have a climate positive workforce.

Get insider tips and the latest offers in our newsletter