The wireless IP camera market have taken off in 2016. A flood of cheap, high quality imports from overseas means we seem to be spoilt for choice when it comes to wireless surveillance solutions.
Cut-and-paste specs and largely insignificant updates to resolution and features though mean that it’s not so easy to find a stand-out wireless IP camera in 2016.
Most manufacturers are sticking with 720p, pan-and-zoom implementation remains mediocre, and apps on some of the cheap IP cams are clearly an after-thought.
Grumbles aside, there’s plenty of wireless IP cameras to choose from, and here are a few to consider.
Annke 1.0MP ProHD Wireless IP Camera
Annke have been around a few years now, and stick to tried-and-tested formulas for their home CCTV devices.
Pitched firmly at the baby monitor market, this 1.0MP Pan and Tilt IP cam is a perfect, cheap and cheerful way to keep an eye on the house. Some manufacturers tend to charge through the nose for anything aimed at parents and kids.
Annke’s approach is laudable here, with 720p resolution, two-way audio for spooking the pets when you’re out at work, and a nifty, straightforward wireless setup.
Remote access is a doddle, but there are a few reliability issues floating around. Annke are great with support and returns, so you won’t be left in the dark if you choose this tidy little unit.
Misafes Wireless IP Camera
Bit of a Nest Cam clone here – Misafes have created a wireless IP camera copy that won’t break the bank.
I like CCTV manufacturers that experiment with different designs and looks. Misafes offer blue and a weird pink Pacman ghost version to brighten up a kid’s room.
You have 720p, a nice multi-view to allow more than one user access to the same camera stream, and it can handle two-way audio.
You can record to the onboard SD card if you choose. Don’t expect anything stellar in terms of image quality. Note also that this Misafes wireless IP camera has no IR LEDs, so night-vision is a no-no on this cam.
Vstarcam h.264 720p Wireless IP camera
We are deep into generic wireless IP camera territory with this Vstarcam unit.
Cheap black plastic housing, and an uninspiring lumpy look, the Vstarcam home surveillance camera is not much to write home about.
However, the image quality is surprisingly OK, infra-red is good enough to trigger motion detection at night, and you even get a little mounting bracket to attach it high up on a wall.
Few complaints about reliability either, so if you can get past the Vstarcam’s dull looks, this is a cheap and oh-so very cheerful little wifi CCTV cam.
Netgear Arlo Smart Home Wireless Security Camera
The Netgear Arlo is the only CCTV camera system where wireless really means zero wires at all.
Battery-powered camera units connect back wirelessly to a dedicated hub. The Arlo system therefore gives you lots of flexibility when it comes to camera positioning. Buy a few more brackets, and you can use the smart magnetic mounts to move your Arlo cams around as needed.
Yes, you will need to change the batteries. Yes, it is not ideal requiring a separate router hub. And yes, it is expensive.
But the Pros out-weigh the Cons – the Netgear Arlo wireless cams are truly innovative little security devices, and have a fervent fanbase online.
Canary All-in-One Home Security Device
If it was yellow and fluffy like a real canary, I’d trade-up from the black model.
Canary is a spin on Nest’s 1080p wireless home camera goodness. Canary though includes an ear-splitting security alarm, home atmosphere monitoring tech, and a very clever Privacy mode to turn off monitoring when you want some alone time.
The Canary wireless home monitor relies on a Cloud-based recording system. If you want to save videos for 7-days, there’s a subscription fee which is well worth the outlay for backups as solid as your home Wifi network.
Support from the developers is excellent, the apps are slick, and the motion detection / sensitivity actually works, unlike cheaper alternatives.
It’s pricey, but stick a Canary on your Christmas list – it’s a proper good gadget!
Zmodo H.264 720P Wi-Fi Network IP Camera
ZMODO are much like in Annke in offering a range of relatively well supported IP camera products.
We like their wired IP camera kits, and this slender 720p wireless IP camera will push the right buttons for many buyers.
The squared design is reminiscent more of a webcam than a CCTV camera and the clever, poseable stand gives you lots of options for mounting / hiding.
The ZMODO skimps on some fairly important features – no micro SD card slot for onboard recording, no ONVIF, and remote access without Cloud recording options.
This wireless IP cam is best suited as a live, streaming eye on a property or internal location, but ill-suited if you want continuous recording and to review footage at a later date.
PHYLINK 720P HD Covert Wireless IP Camera
This PHYLINK covert wireless IP camera is a bit of a weird one, but may suit specific purposes.
The camera is absolutely tiny, and can even fit into the peephole on a front door. Obviously PHYLINK couldn’t cram any IR LEDs into this miniature unit. However, you are getting essentially a tiny DVR unit bundled with the camera, to record and review your footage.
It is wireless, but you need a single power cable (actually an RJ11 lead) to power the IP cam. You can get really creative with such a teeny cam though, and this model is best suited for covert applications.
The PHYLINK Covert Wireless IP camera supports a range of Cloud recording options AND has a general I/O input, so you can add all manner of bonkers alarm devices to trigger recordings.
I like this camera, although Makers and tech heads might prefer to grab a Raspberry Pi and camera to create a custom alternative.
Foscam FI9900P 1080P HD Network Wireless CCTV IP Camera
If you need an IP66 rated waterproof external IP camera and insist on wireless, the Foscam FI9900P is an obvious candidate.
Full HD recording at 1080P, wireless 802.11b/g/n and 30 powerful IR LEDs make this outdoor wireless IP camera a good bundle.
The Foscam FI9900P is officially supported by Synology’s surveillance station software too, so these cams can be networked into a cheap, Wifi-based outdoor CCTV kit.
Domestic users may just opt for a PoE camera instead, but if you can’t run a network cable to a location, this outdoor wireless Foscam IP cam will do the job – and the image quality is actually pretty impressive for a sub-£100 cam.
COOLEAD Wireless IP camera
OK, it’s squat, ugly and the resolution is woeful (640 x 480 – really?!?) – this COOLEAD wireless IP camera is difficult to recommend.
However, it is pretty much the cheapest wireless CCTV camera you can buy.
And user reports claim it might be able to see ghosts. So there you go.
TRENDnet TV-IP762IC Wireless Cloud Surveillance IP Camera 720p HD
TRENDnet seem to be losing their way in recent years, with stiff competition from generic manufacturers and re-badged units from the Far East.
The latest home wireless iteration in the TRENDnet lineup scrapes along at 720p, supports onboard recording to a microSD card, and comes with a 3-year warranty, which is fantastic.
However TRENDnet are trying to push for subscriptions to their cloud-based subscription recording services. Apart from a tidy mounting system, it’s difficult to recommend the TV-IP762IC wireless IP camera over the cheaper Annke-like alternatives.
For bump in budget, you might as well look at a Nest Cam or Canary which have vastly better apps and reliability.
Wansview 1080P WiFi Wireless Security IP Camera
Never heard of Wansview before? Me neither, but this is a 1080p wireless security camera with a bit of a rad, peaker housing, night-vision, two-audio AND pan-and tilt for not that much money.
The apps are serviceable, the image quality good, and the price is right. I prefer my cams with ONVIF support and more flexibility in recording streams, but for many this Wansview has a feature list that is hard to resist.