Securing your home is crucial, but not everyone can afford a high-end security system. Luckily, in the realm of advanced smart home tech, there are cheap security cameras that balance affordability with reliability. Offering real-time monitoring, these cameras provide peace of mind without breaking the bank. In this article, we explore these cost-effective security options (below $100) to help you safeguard your home economically.
Cheap Security Cameras Don’t Mean Poor Quality
Let’s clarify something right out of the gate: Cheap security cameras DON’T equal to low-quality ones.
And the proof is, you can even buy the best cheap security cameras under $100 dollars!
Maybe you simply want a cheap and affordable security camera for your home that gets the job done with no subscription.
In this case, the inexpensive home security cameras with motion recording and recognizable images of human faces might be enough to meet your needs.
Or among the available options of similar functions, you might prefer the best affordable security cameras and systems to save your budget.
For whatever reasons that you want to buy cheap indoor and outdoor security cameras, remember you can always find the best cheap security camera.
Consideration When Choosing a Cheap Security Camera
Choosing a cheap security camera amidst the multitude of options in the market requires careful consideration of several key factors. In a landscape where prices, functionality, and quality vary drastically, it's essential to navigate the choices thoughtfully, particularly when it involves the safety of your home.
Essential functionalities: Determine the minimum specifications required to fulfill your security needs. Consider aspects such as motion detection, night vision, and two-way audio to ensure basic security needs are met.
Resolution and image quality: Find a balance by choosing a resolution (e.g., 1080p or 720p) that provides acceptable image quality without exceeding your budget.
Indoor or outdoor use: Determine the placement of your security cameras—indoors or outdoors. If outdoor coverage is needed, prioritize cameras that are weather-resistant and equipped with features like night vision for optimal performance.
Wired or wireless: Wired security cameras often involve lower initial costs as they don't rely on wireless technology. However, Installation can be more labor-intensive, requiring professional assistance. While wireless cameras may have a higher upfront cost due to the technology involved, they may save on installation expenses. However, it is susceptible to signal interference, potential hacking, and reliance on a stable Wi-Fi connection.
Local or cloud storage: Understand the differences between cloud storage, which sends footage to a remote server, and local storage, relying on accessories like microSD cards. Note that cloud storage often involves a monthly fee.
Scrutinize the warranty policy: Focus on key aspects such as the duration of the warranty, ensuring that the outdoor security camera can be replaced or repaired without extra expenses within the specified period. Additionally, consider the responsibility for shipping fees in case of returns, evaluating the reasonableness of the policy.
Go for trusted brands: Established brands often prioritize both affordability and quality, providing a balance that ensures reliability in your home security setup. Trusted brands are backed by a track record of customer satisfaction, making them a safer choice for cost-effective solutions without compromising on performance.
Best Picks of Cheap Security Camera for Home
Sure thing! We've done the legwork to highlight some of the top affordable security cameras (all under $100) and the best budget-friendly security camera systems. Save yourself the hassle of scouring through numerous websites by checking out our curated list for reference.
Cheap wireless outdoor security cameras - Argus Eco
Whether you want to buy the best cheap outdoor security camera with no subscription or the best budget wireless security camera, Reolink Argus Eco will strike you as a must-buy at a price below $100.
It comes with a rechargeable battery and the optional Reolink solar panel (sold separately) is designed to provide non-stop power for the camera. So you don’t need to run the messy cables or recharge batteries frequently. With IP65 Certified Weatherproof, this camera can brave rain, snow, and varying temperatures without compromising performance.
100% Wire-Free Bullet Camera
Rechargeable Battery & Solar Powered; IP65 Certified Weatherproof; 1080 Full HD; Smart Motion Detection; 2-Way Audio; 100° Wide Viewing Angle.
Cheap Indoor security cameras - E1 Zoom
Among the best cheap wireless security cameras, Reolink E1 Zoom stands out relying on its superior quality and decent price (only $68.79).
In virtue of the 5MP high resolution, you can expect to get sharp and clear images with vivid details. With the 3X optical zoom and PTZ function, this cheap indoor security camera allows you to zoom in for more visible details or zoom out to cover the whole room.
PTZ Wireless Smart Home Camera
Smart, Powerful and Affordable All-Round Home Protection. 355° Pan and 50° Tilt; 5MP Super HD, 3X Optical Zoom, Two-Way Audio, 2.4/5 GHz WiFi, with Google Assistant Integration.
Cheap security camera system - RLK8-800B4
If you want to buy a cheap 8-camera security system, Reolink RLK8-800B4 is more than good enough to keep tabs on your home and business keenly for 24 hours nonstop, even the place has no access to the network.
With 8 PoE 4K security cameras and one PoE 8 channel-NVR, this best budget security camera system can support up to 8 cameras recording simultaneously.
And you don’t have to be concerned about the storage space – the pre-installed 2TB HDD and an external HDD are fairly enough for you to save the videos. When the storage space is full, the old files will be automatically overwritten.
4K 8-Channel PoE Security System
4 pcs 4K Ultra HD Security Cameras; 2TB HDD 8-Channel NVR for 24/7 Recording; Person/Vehicle Detection; Plug & Play; 2 Network Solutions.
Watch Out! These Hidden Fees of Cheap Security Cameras Can Add Up to Huge
To obtain a real and best cheap or inexpensive security camera, you need to factor in all the fees you need to pay, including these following hidden fees that you may ignore:
- Do cheap home security cameras have all the essential accessories, like cables, batteries, screws, etc? Or the battery-powered cheap wireless security cameras support rechargeable batteries so that you can save bucks on replacing batteries? (Read the security camera accessory buying guide.)
- Are you buying a cheap do it yourself home security camera that is easy to install? Or you need to hire professional installers?
- Are you required to pay monthly subscription fees for the cheap security camera systems you buy for your apartment or business?
- If you intend to buy the best cheap home security cameras online, such as Amazon and eBay, do you need to bear the shipping fees and customs duties?
- In case you purchase inexpensive security camera from abroad, will you pay foreign transaction fees charged by your credit card issuing bank?
Editor’s Tip: The price tag of cheap surveillance cameras may not be the final cost you need to pay. Read this post to avoid the common myths about security camera price.
Tips for Cost-Effective Installation of Cheap Security Camera
Opting for a DIY approach is the most cost-effective choice when installing cheap cameras, allowing you to save money on professional installation services. Let's see the details.
Cost-effective Installation tip
Choose a simple system: Opt for a security camera system that is designed for easy DIY installation. Many budget-friendly options are specifically tailored for user-friendly setup.
Utilize existing infrastructure: If possible, leverage existing Wi-Fi networks and power sources to avoid additional costs.
Utilize mobile apps: Take advantage of mobile apps provided by the camera's manufacturer for easy setup and monitoring. These apps often include guided installation processes.
DIY cable management: If you opt for wired cameras, plan your cable routes carefully to minimize the amount of cable needed.
How to install cheap security camera?
Installing DIY security cameras can be a straightforward process, and the method depends on the type of camera you choose.
For wire-free battery-powered security cameras, start by selecting an optimal location within wireless range. Insert batteries, sync with a base station if applicable, and mount the camera, adjusting the angle for the best coverage. Connect it to your Wi-Fi network through the mobile app, and after testing, make any necessary adjustments.
Traditional WiFi security cameras require a reliable Wi-Fi signal and a clear view of the monitored area. Power the camera using the provided adapter, mount it securely, and connect it to your Wi-Fi network through the mobile app. Configure settings such as motion detection and alerts, and after testing, fine-tune the placement or settings as needed.
For PoE security cameras, choose a location with both a clear view and access to an Ethernet connection. Connect the camera to a PoE injector or a PoE-enabled network switch using an Ethernet cable. Mount the camera securely, configure network settings, and connect it to an NVR if applicable. Test the camera to ensure it's functioning correctly and make any necessary adjustments to placement or settings. Following these step
Note: You may read about DIY installation tip or process for knowing more details.
1. Can cheap security cameras connect to your phone?
Yes, many cheap security cameras come with mobile apps or software that allow you to connect them to your phone. These apps typically enable you to monitor the camera's feed in real-time, receive alerts, and sometimes even control the camera remotely. Just make sure to check the camera's specifications and compatibility with your phone before purchasing.
2. Can I find a security camera under $50 that still provides adequate security?
Absolutely, you can find budget-friendly security cameras under $50 that still offer decent features. Keep an eye out for brands like Reolink, Wyze —they often have affordable options with good reviews. While you might not get all the advanced features of higher-priced models, many budget cameras still provide essential functions like motion detection, night vision, and mobile app integration.
3. Do budget security cameras compromise on features??
Budget security cameras may lack advanced features like AI detection or high resolution, but they typically offer essential functions such as motion detection, night vision, mobile app integration, and storage options.
The quest for the cheapest security camera doesn't mean compromising on basic safety features. While these budget-friendly cameras may not boast all the bells and whistles of their higher-priced counterparts, they deliver fundamental security functionalities. Motion detection, night vision, and mobile app integration are standard features that ensure you can keep an eye on your property without breaking the bank.
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