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(Pocket-lint) - Indoor smart cameras are an excellent security step for your smart home, providing a view of the inside of your house whenever you need it. 

Almost all indoor smart cameras - including top picks from Ring, Arlo and Nest - let you use your smartphone to check in on things through a companion app, as well as provide alerts when movement is spotted in certain zones.

However, there are plenty of additional considerations to keep in mind when making a decision, such as night vision capabilities, subscription fees, two-way audio and compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri.

You'll also have to decide what kind of indoor camera you want to pay for. Generally, more expensive picks will work both indoors and outside and offer better features, while the market is now full of budget-friendly, indoor-only devices that simply offer the basics.

That's where we can help. The Pocket-lint team continuously tests and reviews all indoor security cameras to give you an idea of the very best options in the smart home camera market.

For those who need something that can withstand the conditions of the great outdoors, we have a separate guide for the best outdoor smart security cameras. If you're after the best indoor security camera though, read on to discover the top pick.


What are the best indoor security cameras right now? Our 'Top Pick' is currently the Google Nest Cam (Indoor, Wired). However, this is followed closely by the Google Nest Cam (Indoor, Outdoor, Battery), Arlo Essential Indoor Camera, Ring Stick Up Camera, and SimCam 1S.


Our Top Pick: Best Indoor Security Camera

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Google Nest Cam (Indoor, Wired)

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For

  • Lovely and compact design
  • Solid camera and video quality

Against

  • No scheduling
  • Only supports Google Assistant

The Google Nest Cam (Indoor, Wired) is the best indoor camera from the company to date, considering its asking price. Currently, it's also our top recommendation. 

It offers a beautiful design, excellent image and video quality and features like two-way audio and brilliant integration with the Google Home platform.

A subscription is required for some of the features offered, but you get plenty without a subscription, too, and the Nest Cam (Indoor, Wired) can differentiate between people, animals, vehicles and standard motion so you can tailor your notifications accordingly.

There are cheaper options in the indoor security camera market, but none of them looks quite as attractive as the Nest Cam does. 

Indoor security cameras we also recommend

There are now many indoor security cameras on the market. So, while we always like to have a top recommendation, we also know this might not be right for everyone - especially those that prefer Amazon Alexa to Google Assistant.

We believe the Google Nest Cam (Indoor, Wired) is currently the best option out there in terms of design, price, features and performance, but there are four other models we'd also highly recommend checking out.

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Ring Stick Up Cam Battery

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For

  • Versatile
  • Good features

Against

  • Requires Ring Protect Plan

Ring may be best known for its doorbells, but the Stick Up Cam Battery is no slouch - in fact, we'd rank it as one of the very best cameras you can place within your home. 

Primarily, this is because of the pure versatility. You get the choice to place this inside or out, with features like night vision, two-way audio and compatibility with Alexa and Echo Show devices all working very smoothly.

In order to get the most out of it, though, you will need to sign up for the Ring Protect plan. This allows you to view video history, not just the live feed. 

We wouldn't rank it as attractive as Google Nest cameras, but this is ideal for those embedded within the Alexa ecosystem.

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Google Nest Cam (Outdoor or Indoor, Battery)

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For

  • Battery operated for easy placement indoors or out
  • Great video quality

Against

  • Expensive
  • Only 1080p resolution

Google Nest offers a number of different camera options, but the Nest Cam (Indoor, Outdoor, Battery) is one of the most versatile, being weatherproof and battery operated.

It also has a magnetic mount for easy installation and it offers great video quality, whilst also continuing to record if there is a Wi-Fi outage.

A subscription is required to access all the features offered, but, like our top pick, there are plenty of features offered without a subscription, too. 

This isn't the cheapest security camera - or even one with a catchy name - but it looks great, plays very nice with Google's ecosystem and offers easy installation.

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Arlo Essential Indoor Camera

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For

  • Privacy Shield
  • Flexible connectivity

Against

  • No free cloud storage
  • Cheaper rivals

Arlo offers a long list of smart home camera options, but the Essential Indoor Camera is the best pick for those who want a single indoor camera.

It's wired, so you'll need a power socket within 2-metres of where you want to put this camera, but it doesn't require a hub to connect to, linking directly to your Wi-Fi.

There's also a unique feature in the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera in that there is a built-in Privacy Shield, giving you 100% confidence it's not watching you when you don't want it to.

Other features include night vision, motion alerts and 1080p resolution from the 130-degree lens. There is also two-way audio. One thing to remember is you'll need a subscription, though, for access to cloud storage. 

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SimCam 1S

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For

  • MicroSD storage
  • Loud siren

Against

  • No cloud storage option
  • Notifications can be a bit heavy

The SimCam 1S indoor camera is an affordable, attractive indoor camera that comes with several mounting options, giving you great levels of versatility.

There are plenty of features on board, including 60-foot person detection with facial recognition, 360-degree pan function with 22-degree tilt and two-way audio.

It's IP54 water and dust resistant, has a built-in siren and it comes with microSD storage, too, so there is no need for a subscription.

Video recording capabilities are good, as well, and, although it's far from perfect, the SimCam 1S is a great affordable indoor camera.

Other indoor security cameras we considered

In order to pick the best indoor security cameras on the market for this buyer's guide, the Pocket-lint editorial team spends hours researching and reviewing various different options. A number of factors are considered - not only our own experiences, but also consumer reviews, brand quality and value for money.

Like our other guides, there are some options that didn't quite make our top five picks, but they are still excellent considerations. In fact, some might even be better suited to you and your home, depending on the criteria you are looking for, or the budget you have in mind.

How to choose the right indoor security camera

There are plenty of options when it comes to indoor security cameras these days.

We've listed the best ones we've tested in the feature above but there are also a couple of things you could apply if you're choosing the right one for you.

How much to spend on an indoor security camera?

As you can imagine, this really depends on what you want from your indoor security camera. As we mentioned, the more expensive options typically enable you to place them indoors or outdoors, but, if you know you want it for indoors only, you could opt for a cheaper model.

Quality does typically come with a higher price tag in this area, though, and, while the cheaper options still offer some good features, you get a lot more with the more expensive models. If you have already invested in a smart home assistant - such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple's Siri, you will want to ensure the camera you choose is compatible with your other devices. For example, Nest plays great with Google, while Ring plays nicely with Amazon.

Should I choose battery operated or wired?

Whether you opt for battery or wired will depend on where you are planning to place your indoor security camera. Most wired options come with a decent length cable, but you will still need a mains socket close by and you'll need to bear in mind that the wire will be visible. 

Battery options are great as they offer more versatility in terms of placement, but the cons are that they are sometimes larger and you'll also need to remember to charge the camera when it starts running low.

Do I need a monthly subscription?

The answer to this depends on which model and brand of indoor security camera you opt for. For some, a subscription isn't necessary as they offer microSD for storage. For others, a monthly subscription is required in order to see video history or get access to more features.

If you just want to be able to see a live feed from your indoor security camera, such as checking in on your dog for example, then you may not need to splash out on the monthly subscription. If you want video history though, you'll probably need to so make sure you factor the respective costs in when choosing.

More about this story

Every smart camera in this list has been tested extensively in real home scenarios, just as you would use them in everyday life.

As part of our ongoing smart camera reviews - as well as for this buyer's guide - we're always gauging exactly how the current range of indoor options compare against one another.

With smart cameras, as with any area of consumer technology, there are many considerations when ranking different options. Design, features, privacy, performance, subscriptions and value are all very important, and are areas we rate in each individual device.

Naturally, it's not possible to deliver a 'perfect' list of recommendations for everybody's needs, but we do focus on the above areas and the opinions of the experts on the Pocket-lint team in order to do our very best in this regard.

What we always avoid when compiling these picks are needless spec comparisons and marketing jargon; we just want to provide an easy to understand summary that gives you an idea of what each camera is like to use. Our verdicts are concise, but this is purely in the interest of brevity. Rest assured all the things on this list have been fully tested.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 29 September 2014.