(Pocket-lint) - One of the many benefits to setting up a smart home can be a serious bump in your security - whether you want sensors to let you know when people are around, or to tell you if you've left a window open or any other number of things.
A key part of that can be played by smart cameras, not only to keep an eye on your house while you aren't home, but to let you use a smartphone to check in on things, as well as get notifications when something isn't quite how it should be.
You might also want to pick up all manner of other smart gadgets, from app-controlled lighting and heating to robotic vacuum cleaners, to flesh out your smart home, but choosing a smart camera can be hard enough in the first place.
Whether you are after a nice and simple model to watch the cat or dog while you are at work, or you want something a little more substantial, such as one with a siren or one that can sing a lullaby, here are the best indoor smart cameras available.
We also have a separate feature for the best outdoor smart home cameras.
Nest Cam IQ
The Nest Cam IQ is the smarter of the two indoor cameras offered by Nest, with the other cheaper model being the Nest Cam Indoor. Featuring a similar design to the Nest Cam Outdoor with a white polycarbonate body, the Nest Cam IQ has a main body on a hinge that connects it to a stem hiding the cables and a base with a USB Type-C connector.
It is one of the more expensive cameras on this list but thanks to its 4K HDR sensor, it will offer a close up tracking view of a person or persons and it is able to distinguish between a person and a thing. It also has Google Assistant built in so you can ask it to turn up your Nest Thermostat or find out how old George Clooney is.
Users will also be able to have a two-way conversation through the camera, night vision has been improved over the Nest Cam Indoor and those who sign up to the Nest Aware subscription will also benefit from facial recognition features and customisable activity zones. For a cheaper option, Nest still offers its Nest Cam Indoor.
Netgear offers numerous smart home camera options, including its standard Arlo, which is completely wire-free camera and weatherproof, meaning you can use it outside too. There is also the Arlo Ultra, Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2 and Arlo Go in the wireless range.
The Arlo offers night vision and motion alerts like the rest of the cameras on this list, but its camera resolution is a little lower than others with 720p video recording instead of 1080p. It also has a slightly narrower field of vision than others. The Arlo Pro cameras will offer 1080p video recording though, along with a wider field of vision, while the Arlo Ultra offers video 4K recording and a 180-degree FoV so there are other options in the range to suit various needs.
One of the great things about the Arlo is it provides seven days of viewing, downloading and sharing without a subscription. Most other smart home cameras, aside from the Netatmo Welcome require a monthly subscription to access video recordings over 24-hours old, whereas with Arlo it's only a requirement for videos over seven days old or if you want a couple of extra features.
Ring Stick Up Cam
Ring, best known for its video doorbells, has a couple of different security cameras but the Ring Stick Up Cam is the one recommended for indoor use. It comes in a wired option, battery option and solar-powered option so there are a couple of models to suit different requirements.
The Ring Stick Up Cam has night vision and two-way talk like other cameras on this list and it also comes with a siren. There are no fancy features like facial recognition but the Stick Up Cam is waterproof so it could be used outside too. It is also compatible with Amazon Alexa so if you have an Echo Show or Echo Spot, or a Fire tablet, you will be able to ask Alexa to show the view of your Stick Up Cam.
Unlike some others on this list, you'll need the Ring Protect plan to see any video history with only live recording viable without a subscription. For those with more than one Ring camera, you might want to consider the Ring Protect Plus subscription, which covers all Ring devices a monthly fee.
British Gas-owned Hive offers two smart home camera options, including the latest model - the Hive View. It offers 24-hours rolling camera history on the cloud, and it comes in two colour options comprising a black and brushed copper model and a champagne gold and white model.
Although it doesn't offer as many of the fancy features of some of the others on this list, such as facial recognition, it does have two-way audio, as well as zooming and it offers person detection too, along with sound and motion.
One of the best things about the Hive camera is that it joins the company's other smart home products, which includes heating, lighting, motion detectors and smart plugs, making creating a smart home far simpler.
The Netatmo Welcome camera features facial recognition technology and it is one of the only smart home cameras to do so, aside from the Nest Cam IQ, though that requires a subscription for the privilege. Welcome will capture images of people and allow you to create profiles, after which the camera will send the names of the people it recognises, whilst also notifying you when it detects an unknown face.
It's possible to customise profiles so if you don't want it to record your partner at any time for example, you can set it to make sure it doesn't and you can stop notifications coming through when you are at home too.
Unlike some smart home cameras, Welcome doesn't offer a speaker for two-way talk, or a siren, night-light or music capabilities, but there are no subscription charges so the price you pay for the camera is all you pay to access your videos. The included 8GB SD card will store up to 100 videos and once storage runs out, the oldest videos will be replaced.
TP-Link Kasa Cam KC120
The TP-Link Kasa Cam KC120 has an easy-to-use app interface, coupled with good quality 1080p video footage. It offers decent night vision, two-way talk functionality and it is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, meaning you'll be able to stream the Kasa Cam's feed on an Amazon Echo Show or Google Home Hub if you have one.
You get two days of video history without a subscription and there are plenty of customisation options, while this camera also offers a strong and stable connection. It does have its downsides though, with recordings sometimes limited, the push to talk function featuring some lag and notifications a little overwhelming at times.
Niggles aside however, the 48 hours of free footage storage is certainly a reason to consider this indoor smart camera - especially as top tier competitor Nest only offers clip storage in the cloud for up to three hours unless you pay more.
Logitech Circle 2
The Logitech Circle 2 replaces the Circle smart home camera, bringing the choice of wired or wire-free, weatherproofing and a wider field of view over its predecessor.
It is compatible with Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple's HomeKit and there are a range of mounts and accessories available for it, allowing you to mount it where you want. The Circle 2 has a 180-degree field of view, it records video in 1080p and it offers night vision up to five-metres.
Additionally, the Circle 2 has a two-way talk and listen function and for those that opt for the Circle Safe Premium subscription, you'll have access to person detection, motion zones and advanced event and alert filter options.
The Canary all-in-one security camera can be set up in a matter of minutes and it will learn over time to deliver you smarter notifications. It is capable of Full HD video recording, HD audio recording and you will get instant alerts when activity is detected, along with the ability to view the recorded video. It also offers person detection without subscription, and two-way talk and desktop streaming with a subscription.
There is a 90-decibel siren on board to scare off any unwanted visitors, which can be controlled remotely, and Canary also monitors air quality, temperature and humidity to give you a better idea of your home.
For those after a weatherproof option, Canary also offers the Canary Flex, which can be installed wire-free or plugged in, inside or outside of your home. It's a smaller device than the standard Canary and it doesn't have a siren, but it does have a built-in speaker. Bear in mind that the 24 hours of free recording access is shared between all the Canary devices you have.
The Somfy One offers some impressive features including a capable camera that works well in all lighting conditions, a physical privacy shutter and motion-based siren alarm system.
It's compatible with Nest thermostats, Alexa, Google Home and IFTTT too, making it highly flexible and adaptable to your smart home needs.
Its free plan isn't quite as good as others - it will only notify and capture footage when the alarm is set, but the subscription costs are cheaper than some others too. There is also a Somfy One+ that comes with a badge key fob and a door or window sensor, as well as a built in battery pack.
Withings Nokia Home
Withings, which was sold to Nokia and then bought back, offers the Home camera. The camera records what is happening in your house, monitors air quality and it will also play a lullaby when the night light is turned on.
The bottom of the stylish-looking camera doubles up as the night light, while the top features environmental sensors to measure temperature, humidity and levels of volatile organic compound (VOC). There is a 5-megapixel CMOS sensor, two digital microphones, a HQ speaker, 135-degree wide angle zoom and night vision on the Home camera.
Any note-worthy thing that happens will be recorded to a cloud-stored video and sent to your smartphone in notification form, while any of the images and videos will then be put into an interactive timeline that turns into a home diary. You get 48-hours free access to your timeline, while anything beyond that requires a subscription.