It’s 2016. Smart cameras are running home security companies like ADT out of business. Brinks’ home security division went bust a couple years ago, and it all stands to reason — home security cameras are to subscription-based security systems what HBO GO is to cable. There’s no need to shell out a lot for something that you only use one percent of the time. The new generation of smart surveillance cameras are perfect for a modern family smart-home, and these smart cameras make home security both more inviting and more powerful. So, adios, ADP. The only question left is: which one to buy? —Nick Milanes

Contributions by Nick Milanes, AJ Powell and Tucker Bowe.

Homeboy

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Homeboy accomplished exactly what it set out to: create an affordable security camera that offers smart features without any frills. While it lacks some of pro-level features like HD video and live video streaming, it makes up for its downfalls with an incredible battery life (3-6 months) and affordability ($189). Plus, it’s wireless. One of the cooler features of the Homeboy is its ability to set a “geofence.” Essentially, once you get out of a pre-set range, the system will automatically arm itself so that you don’t have to.

Resolution: 640 x 480
Field of View: 52.9 degrees
Zoom: None
Battery Life: 3-6 months
Data Security: TLS
Connection: 2.4GHz wi-fi

Logi Circle

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Though it only lasts a mere 3-12 hours (max) when unplugged, the Logi Circle comes with a 10-foot-long charging cable to allow you plenty of mounting options. Regardless of your technical knowledge, the Circle is a breeze to set up (it took our senior editor less than five minutes). Its app interface is sleek and easy to navigate, but it should be noted that its customizability is limited and there are no third-party interfaces. The most attractive feature of the Circle is its ability to stream live video 24/7 in HD. It also offers 30-second video recaps of what happened in your house as well as 24-hour free cloud storage. Consumers looking for a more serious home security system should look elsewhere, but those in search of a high-definition live-streaming monitor will be satisfied.

Resolution: 720p HD
Field of View: 135 degrees
Zoom: 8x
Battery Life: 3-12 hours when unplugged
Data Security: SSL
Connection: 2.4 and 5GHz wi-fi

Belkin Netcam HD+

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If you have an ecosystem of Belkin WeMo products, then the Netcam HD+ will satisfy your home security camera needs. Using the smartphone app, you can program the Netcam HD+ and your WeMo accessories to interact in different ways. For example, you can set a rule that if the Netcam detects motion, the WeMo switch will turn on a light. The Netcam will record and store video, but if you want extended access to the recordings, you have to pay for the cloud-based subscription service that will save videos for 14 days before replacing them with newer clips. The Netcam also offers two-way talk — a smart feature that most other home security cameras lack.

Resolution: 1280 x 720
Field of View: 95 degrees
Zoom: None
Battery Life: AC powered
Connection: 802.11b/g/n

Arlo by Netgear

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Netgear’s Arlo home security ecosystem offers indoor and outdoor capabilities while recording in 720p in both day and night — all without a power cord. The system boasts an impressive battery life of 4-6 months, rivaling that of the Homeboy. The system works over a wi-fi network and comes with a base station. You can then add up to five Arlo cameras (with the free seven-day recording plan; more cameras can be added with longer recording plans) to the system, placing them wherever you please as long as it’s 300 feet away from the base station. The downside: the Arlo cameras don’t have an IFTTT channel or play nice with third-party softwares. But Netgear is currently working on some third-party integrations. Like most security cameras, Arlo will send you a text alert when the system is armed, alerting you to any motion that the camera picks up.

Resolution: 1280 x 720
Field of View: 130 degrees
Zoom: None
Battery Life: 4-6 months
Data Security: TLS
Connection: 2.4Ghz wi-fi

August Doorbell Cam

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See who’s at your door even if you’re not there. The Doorbell Cam by August sends you a push notification every time the bell rings, and allows you to speak with (and see) whomever it is using your smartphone. It even allows you to lock and unlock your door from afar. No need to leave work (or the bar) early just because your roommate forgot his keys. The camera adds a simple measure of security to any home. Unfortunately it doesn’t have night vision, so it works better at homes with well-lit porches.

Resolution: 1080p HD
Field of View: N/A
Zoom: N/A
Battery Life: AC powered
Data Security: N/A
Connection: 802.11b/g/n wireless

Butterfleye

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The Butterfleye is as much about looking out for intruders as it is about checking to see if the baby made a silly face while sleeping. With a hefty two-week battery life, and 12 hours of internal data storage, the Butterfleye ensures that a hiccup in your home wi-fi connection won’t result in lost footage. The camera’s facial recognition, infrared, movement, thermal, light and sound sensors feed into an algorithm that lets the camera adjust to your home’s patterns, recording your family members’ or pets’ activities and notifying you of their presence — but if such notifications aren’t to your liking, Butterfleye will adapt according to your responses. All these features come into play according to Butterfleye’s three settings: “home” mode acts as your personal photographer, recording your at-home activities and giving you a selection of footage and photos you can choose to save, share on social media or discard; “away” allows the camera to sit dormant until its sensors detect motion or heat, prompting it to record and notify you (you can also view a live stream from the camera at any point from a smart device); and “auto shutdown” shuts the camera off when you or any selected family members come home, as indicated by your smartphone’s proximity to the camera.

Resolution: 1920 x 1080 HD
Field of View: ~140 degrees
Zoom: 8x
Battery Life: 2 weeks
Data Security: 256-bit SSL encryption
Connection: 802.11n wi-fi; Bluetooth Low Energy 4.1

Piper NV

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In terms of image quality, Icontrol Networks’ Piper is among the top contenders on this list — but the camera itself is only one part of the Piper system. The company is looking to supplant the traditional home security setup with not just a handful of handy cameras, but a full line of door and window sensors and remote light and appliance controls, essentially folding “smart home” convenience and home security into one. The big sell here is that the Piper system utilizes Z-wave functionality, a separate protocol from Bluetooth and wi-fi. This means that the system will function independently from your day-to-day internet activities, and never the twain shall cause a buffering wheel to spin. Up to five Piper cameras can operate in synchronization with Piper appliance controllers and sensors, and Piper utilizes an algorithm that learns what is typical for any time of day as far as motion, the presence of certain family members (according to smartphone syncing), and the use of appliances. Each mode can be customized to send notifications to select family members’ smartphones according to which of those events occurs. Night vision is available in the newest camera model, along with improved resolution.

Resolution: 2458×1382 HD
Field of View: 180 degrees
Zoom: 4x
Battery Life: AC powered; 3 AA battery backup
Data Security: 256-bit SSL encryption
Connection: 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi; Series 500 Z-Wave Controller

Canary

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Canary lacks the all-encompassing appliance control and sensor system of the Piper NV, but shares common features like facial recognition, environmental sensors (humidity, air quality, temperature), intercom system and siren (90dB here instead of 105). It’s a more sensible option for those living alone or in a small apartment. Canary uses your smartphone to ascertain that you’re home; when your smartphone is out of Canary’s range, it continually uploads video footage to the cloud (users have the option to store or dispose it). One leg-up the Canary has over Piper: infrared LED night vision is standard. Additionally, instead of automatically sounding an alarm upon the detection of unusual activity, Canary notifies you of the potential intrusion and allows you to decide whether or not to sound the alarm based on your interpretation of the footage it sends you.

Resolution: 1920×1080 HD
Field of View: 147 degrees
Zoom: 3x
Battery Life: AC powered; 3 AA battery backup
Data Security: 256-bit AES encryption
Connection: 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi

IC RealTech Allie

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IC Realtech’s Allie camera (pronounced “all-e”) is the only camera on our list offering 360-degree video — not only does it offer a 360-degree view, but it offers it in 4K resolution. Each Allie contains two half-spherical 13-megapixel cameras facing away from one another, resting on opposite sides of the Allie’s exoskeleton. This effectively gives the camera its complete 360-degree horizontal vision, somewhat like a pigeon’s head, and these cameras can also look up and down, giving the Allie unprecedented field of view. Allie saves 2 hours of footage internally via SD card and 7 to 30 days’ worth of footage via cloud storage, in addition to streaming to the smart device of your choosing, on which you can look all around the Allie’s surroundings through finger swipes. 4x digital zoom is also supported. IC Realtech touts the Allie as not just a security device, but a home video camera unlike any before it — one that allows you to relive birthday parties and other such events as though you were actually there, glancing around as freely as you would with the very head on your shoulders.

Resolution: 4K HD
Field of View: 720 degrees
Zoom: 4x; 8x with Allie Pro
Battery Life: AC powered; 3 AA battery backup
Data Security: 128-bit AES Encryption, SSL
Connection: 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi

Nest Cam

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The Dropcam Pro was the gold standard for the last generation of smart cameras. Its updated sibling, the Nest Cam, builds on what was great about the Dropcam and makes it even better. Nest Cam is simple to set up, and though there are some limitations to using it in a larger, more complex installation, Nest Cam really excels at its purpose: a quick, easy camera that can do a lot in a simple space. The ability to set up hotspots where the camera actively looks for activity, a seamless app and two-way communication functionality make it about as turnkey as you can get. It’s also small, well built and versatile in its mounting capability. The Nest Cam also adds 1080p HD over Dropcam’s 720p, as well as a rotating and magnetic base, making it easy to get the perfect angle.

Resolution: 1080p HD
Field of View: 130 degrees
Zoom: 8x
Battery Life: AC powered
Data Security: 128-bit AES encryption; Amazon S3
Connection: 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi

Sage by Hughes

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Released in March 2016, this smart security system integrates integrates itself with your smartphone, tablet and television. You can get Sage by Hughes in one of three kits: the security kit (the other two are the starter and automation kits) comes with an indoor camera, motion sensor, doorbell sensor, door/window sensor and Sage Hub, which connects the system to your TV. The system sends you push notifications wherever you are. Since it’s integrated into your TV, the system will show who’s ringing your doorbell or opening your door while you’re watching TV (via picture-in-picture). This way you don’t have to get up from the couch to know who’s interrupting your binge-watching session. There are also two other key features: one, it can connect to the Nest security camera and thermostat you (maybe) already own; and two, you can add on as many security cameras or motion sensors to your starter system as you want.

Resolution: 720p HD
Field of View: N/A
Zoom: N/A
Battery Life: AC powered
Data Security: N/A
Connection: 802.11n wireless

Additional contributions by AJ Powell and Tucker Bowe.