Best Cheap Security Cameras: Top 10 Picks Under $150

cheap security camerasHome security can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. While top-of-the-line cameras have all the bells and whistles, they may not be the most accessible to people on a budget. We’ve taken a look at some of our favorite indoor and outdoor cameras for under $150 to show you that it’s possible to keep your family safe without breaking the bank.

Are you looking for indoor or outdoor cameras? Jump ahead to get to where you want to go. 

The top five indoor cameras under $150

Whether placed in the corner of a room or facing the doors, indoor cameras are your last line of defense when a burglar targets your home. We looked for cameras with cloud recording and high video resolution. Those features mean the police will have a much better chance of identifying the perpetrator from the video in case of a burglary. We also considered the resolution, the field of view, push notifications, and several other factors when choosing our top five picks.

Our ranking#1#2#3#4#5
Product nameFLIR FXVimtag P1Amcrest Pro HDD-Link CameraMiSafes Video Monitor
Product image
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List price$149.99$109.95$109.99$69.99$99.99
Resolution1440p960p1080p720p720p
Field of view160 degrees350 degrees w/pan and tilt90 degrees120 degrees120 degrees
Push notifications
Two-way audio
Our ranking #1
Product name
FLIR FX
Product image
View product
List price
$149.99
Resolution
1440p
Field of view
160 degrees
Push notifications
Two-way audio
Our ranking #2
Product name
Vimtag P1
Product image
View product
List price
$109.95
Resolution
960p
Field of view
350 degrees w/pan and tilt
Push notifications
Two-way audio
Our ranking #3
Product name
Amcrest Pro HD
Product image
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List price
$109.99
Resolution
1080p
Field of view
90 degrees
Push notifications
Two-way audio
Our ranking #4
Product name
D-Link Camera
Product image
View product
List price
$69.99
Resolution
720p
Field of view
120 degrees
Push notifications
Two-way audio
Our ranking #5
Product name
MiSafes Video Monitor
Product image
View product
List price
$99.99
Resolution
720p
Field of view
120 degrees
Push notifications
Two-way audio

#1 FLIR FX

FLIR FX Indoor Wi-Fi Wireless 1080P HD Video Monitoring Security CameraThe FLIR FX is a truly powerful camera for just around $150, especially considering its 1440p resolution. The FLIR FX ranks on our top ten list of best home security cameras because of its high-def resolution, two-way audio, and motion-based push notifications. Perhaps the most notable aspect of this camera is its use of high-dynamic range (HDR) video, allowing you to see all areas of a room, even those normally shrouded in shadows or washed out by light. The only real downside is that the FLIR has a relatively small 160-degree field of view, but at this price, that’s something we can overlook.

The FLIR Secure app is available on both the Apple and Google Play stores. Its RapidRecap technology summarizes all of the detected motion into a short film, although you’ll need the FLIR Cloud Premium plan ($14.99/month or $149.99/year) to make the most of it. The plan also upgrades you to 30 days of cloud storage, up from the two days you get with the free version.

Tech specs

  • 1440p resolution
  • 160-degree field of view
  • Up to 64 GB local storage (8 GB card included)
  • Two-way audio
  • Push notifications

Pros

  • Ultra-high resolution video
  • Wide field of view
  • HDR video

Cons

  • $14.99-per-month subscription requirement to access all features
  • Slight lag with two-way audio

#2 Vimtag P1 Smart Cloud Camera

Vimtag P1 {Version-2} Premium IP Wireless Network Security Camera, Plug/Play, Pan/Tilt with Two-Way Audio and Night VisionWhile Vimtag’s camera doesn’t offer the same resolution as the FLIR, it does provide an almost all-encompassing field of view. By using pan and tilt, the camera gives you a 350-degree look at the entire room. Two-way audio allows you to speak to your kids when they get home from school, and push notifications let you know whenever any activity is detected. At around $130, the Vimtag camera is a solid option for someone on a budget.

Vimtag doesn’t have a subscription program—instead, the P1 can hold up to a 128 GB SD card, which equals about 16 hours of footage. This should be more than enough if you record only motion-detected activities at home. But if you leave for vacation and want 24/7 coverage, you can buy accessories like one of Vimtag’s cloud-storage boxes, which can hold about 500 hours of video, though that comes at the cost of a couple hundred dollars.

Tech specs

  • 960p resolution
  • 350-degree field of view
  • Pan and tilt
  • Up to 128 GB local storage
  • Two-way audio
  • Push notifications

Pros

  • Wide field of view
  • Pan and tilt capabilities
  • No subscription requirements

Cons

  • Smaller field of view without pan and tilt
  • Potentially tricky-to-use software

#3 Amcrest ProHD Camera

Amcrest IP2M-841 ProHD 1080P (1920TVL) Wireless WiFi IP Camera, BlackThe first thing you’ll notice about the Amcrest ProHD is its spherical shape. The camera has a 360-degree rotation as well as pan-and-tilt capabilities, but has only a 90-degree field of view, though it can pan and tilt to 350 degrees. The fact that the camera can be adjusted to view anything around it helps make up for that, but it would have to move swiftly fast to keep up with someone running through the room. The ProHD also has two-way audio and clear night vision up to 32 feet.

What sets the ProHD apart from many other cameras is its third-party compatibility. While Amcrest provides its own app for use with the camera, users who prefer Blue Iris, tinyCam, or another popular option for surveillance software can integrate it with the ProHD. Best of all, the camera is only around $110.

Tech specs

  • 1080p resolution
  • 90-degree field of view
  • 350-degree pan and tilt
  • Up to 64 GB local storage
  • Two-way audio
  • Push notifications

Pros

  • High-resolution video
  • 360-degree rotation
  • Third-party software compatibility
  • Magnetic base for easy mounting

Cons

  • Complex setup process
  • Narrow field of view

#4 D-Link HD Wi-Fi Camera

D-Link HD Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-936L)While D-Link is known for its routers more than its security cameras, this camera delivers on multiple levels. At around $70, it’s perhaps the ultimate budget security camera, which reflects in its features. The camera has a 720p resolution and a 120-degree field of view, which are pretty solid features for the price. While it lacks two-way audio, the D-Link has other features to make up for it, like the built-in signal finder that helps you locate the perfect place to set up the camera.

The D-Link camera automatically records whenever it detects motion and notifies you of the event. To make it even more budget friendly, it doesn’t come with any monthly subscriptions, and it gives you access to all of its features right out of the box. The mydlink Lite app can be found on Apple and Android devices and even on some Windows mobile devices.

Tech specs

  • 720p resolution
  • 120-degree field of view
  • Up to 128 GB local storage
  • Push notifications

Pros

  • High resolution
  • Low price
  • No subscription fees

Cons

  • Potentially difficult setup
  • No two-way audio

#5 MiSafes Mi-Cam Video Monitor

MiSafes 1280x720p HD C303-1 Mini Wireless Surveillance Camera with Microphone Speaker with 2 Way Talk Remote Monitoring Motion Alert for iOS & Andriod App, BlackWhile the MiSafes Video Monitor is technically a baby monitor, it works beautifully as a budget-friendly security camera. At just around $100, it’s reasonably affordable, and the 720p resolution gives you a clear picture, though not as clear as some of our other picks. While its field of view isn’t the widest on this list, the MiSafes can turn 360 degrees to get a look anywhere in the room. Because it is a baby and pet monitor, the two-way audio is crisp and clear. The MiSafes will also notify you of any motion it detects, whether that is your child climbing from their crib or someone snooping in a place they shouldn’t.

The MiSafes has a magnetic mount that makes it easy to place anywhere in the home. Because of the camera’s maneuverability, you could mount it on a corner and rotate the lens for a look into two rooms at once. The major downside to this camera, and one of the reasons it’s at the bottom of the list, is the lack of night vision. High resolution means nothing if it can’t see a burglar.

Tech specs

  • 720p resolution
  • 120-degree field of view
  • Up to 64 GB local storage
  • Two-way audio
  • Push notifications

Pros

  • High resolution
  • Clear audio
  • 360-degree rotation
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • Poorly designed app
  • No night vision

The top five outdoor security cameras for under $150

Outdoor security cameras need to fulfill all the requirements of indoor security cameras, but with an extra feature: they have to be weatherproof. The field of view is also different and often much smaller, but a smaller field of view means higher clarity in the image. An outdoor camera is usually used only for a specific part of the yard, while your indoor camera might cover the entire room—but wouldn’t need clarity at distance.

Our ranking#1#2#3#4#5
Product nameReolink RLC-410Amcrest ProHDFoscam FI9800PZmodo 720p Weatherproof CameraZosi HD 960H
Product image
View product
List price$74.99$129.99$68.99$99.99$19.99
Resolution1440p1296p720p720p960H
Field of view80 degrees100 degrees75 degrees81 degrees90 degrees
Push notifications
IP rating6667666566
Our ranking #1
Product name
Reolink RLC-410
Product image
View product
List price
$74.99
Resolution
1440p
Field of view
80 degrees
Push notifications
IP rating
66
Our ranking #2
Product name
Amcrest ProHD
Product image
View product
List price
$129.99
Resolution
1296p
Field of view
100 degrees
Push notifications
IP rating
67
Our ranking #3
Product name
Foscam FI9800P
Product image
View product
List price
$68.99
Resolution
720p
Field of view
75 degrees
Push notifications
IP rating
66
Our ranking #4
Product name
Zmodo 720p Weatherproof Camera
Product image
View product
List price
$99.99
Resolution
720p
Field of view
81 degrees
Push notifications
IP rating
65
Our ranking #5
Product name
Zosi HD 960H
Product image
View product
List price
$19.99
Resolution
960H
Field of view
90 degrees
Push notifications
IP rating
66

#1 Reolink RLC-410

Reolink IP Security Camera 4MP 1440P POE Security IP Camera Outdoor Fixed Bullet, Night Vision 65-100ft,Motion Detection, No Need Power Adapter(RLC-410)The Reolink is an IP66-rated, 4 MP camera. This gives it a resolution of around 1440p, matching the quality of the FLIR. It has an 80-degree field of view with clear night vision as far as 100 feet away. The Reolink uses push notifications and emails to notify you of any activity, and it also lets you create detection zones.

At around $80, the Reolink is an affordable camera that operates on both Wi-Fi and Ethernet. The Reolink is a power-over-Ethernet (POE) camera, meaning it can transmit data and power with a single cable, eliminating the risk of multiple tangled cords around the camera housing. You can also expand to an NVR recording network with up to a 3 TB capacity if you want to store footage permanently.

Tech specs

  • 1440p resolution
  • 80-degree field of view
  • Online file storage
  • Capable of expansion for 24/7 recording
  • Push notifications
  • IP66 weatherproof rating (resistant against dust and powerful water jets)

Pros

  • Ultra-high resolution
  • Clear night vision
  • Adjustable motion sensitivity

Cons

  • No compatibility with third-party software
  • Complex setup
  • No local storage (FTP only)

#2 Amcrest ProHD Outdoor Camera

Amcrest ProHD Outdoor 3-Megapixel (2304 x 1296P) WiFi Wireless IP Security Bullet Camera - IP67 Weatherproof, 3MP (1080P/1296P), IP3M-943B (Black)The Amcrest ProHD is another camera that goes above and beyond with resolution. Packing a 1296p resolution on top of a 100-degree field of view, this camera lets you see a lot with just a glance. The ProHD also has digital zoom functionality and night vision that is effective up to 98 feet. This camera gives you multiple local storage options, as well as cloud storage—though the free trial only includes four hours of storage.

With intelligent detection, the Amcrest ProHD can distinguish between small animals and actual threats in your yard. It also sends you notifications of activity on your phone through the Amcrest app. The Amcrest ProHD is slightly more expensive than the Reolink at around $130, but it has no monthly fees tacked on to it. However, multiple users reported problems with the software “forgetting” their settings and failing to operate properly.

Tech specs

  • 1296p resolution
  • 100-degree field of view
  • 4 hours of cloud data storage
  • Push notifications
  • IP67 weatherproof rating (resistant against dust and water immersion up to one meter)

Pros

  • High resolution
  • Wide field of view
  • Long night vision range
  • No monthly subscription requirements

Cons

  • Potentially buggy software
  • Only 20 frames per second in video at highest resolution

#3 Foscam Outdoor Security Camera

Foscam FI9800P Outdoor 720P HD Security IP Camera with Motion Detection, Night Vision and Cloud StorageWith a price of about $80, the Foscam falls squarely in the center of our budget range. It’s not so inexpensive that you worry about its quality, but it’s still fairly affordable, even for those on tighter budgets. With a resolution of 720p, it’s not quite as clear as the first two entries on this list, but makes up for that with a variety of notification options.

The night vision is clear for up to 66 feet, allowing you to see a huge part of your yard clearly, even when it’s dark outside. You can also update the firmware with a press of a button. Adjustable motion sensitivity is a major plus, but the lack of any local storage and the additional monthly fee for expanded cloud storage might be a deal breaker for some people.

Tech specs

  • 720p resolution
  • 75-degree field of view
  • Cloud storage only
  • Push notifications
  • IP66 weatherproof rating (resistant against dust and powerful water jets)

Pros

  • Low price
  • Clear resolution
  • Adjustable motion sensitivity
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • No local storage
  • Advanced app features that are only available through downloaded desktop plugins
  • Untidy wiring at the back of the camera

#4 Zmodo Wireless Security Camera

Zmodo 720p HD Outdoor Home Wireless Security Surveillance Video Camera System (1 Pack)Zmodo has recently begun to make strides in the industry with its products, and this camera is no exception. With 720p resolution, the footage is not the clearest it can be, and the field of view is a curious 81 degrees, but the camera itself is sturdy. Night vision is clear to 66 feet, and the Zmodo app provides push notifications to users through a mobile device or a web browser.

One standout point to this camera is the 60-day return policy, as well as the three-year warranty. Multiple reviewers mentioned the efficiency of the customer service department. However, they only mention the helpfulness of the customer service department because setting up the camera was difficult to do without someone to walk them through it. The Zmodo doesn’t provide local storage, but it does offer unlimited cloud storage. For us, cloud storage is a convenience rather than a necessity, so we would prefer to have the option for both.

Tech specs

  • 720p resolution
  • 81-degree field of view
  • Cloud storage only
  • Push notifications
  • IP65 weatherproof rating (resistant against dust and water jets)

Pros

  • Clear night vision
  • Helpful customer support
  • Three-year included warranty

Cons

  • Difficult setup process
  • No local storage

#5 Zosi Weatherproof Camera

0The first thing to know about the Zosi camera is its price. At $19.99, it’s almost absurdly inexpensive, which raises concerns about quality. However, this camera has a four-star rating after hundreds of reviews on Amazon, which is ten times as many as some of its competitors. The second thing to know about this camera is that it is an analog-based camera with a 960H resolution. This equates to around 480p resolution—not ideal, and low by most standards, but it makes sense with such a low price.

The field of view is a respectable 90 degrees. However, this doesn’t make up for the biggest flaws in the system: the lack of push notifications and local storage. Push notifications would let you know when the camera detects motion, but the Zosi has no motion sensors, nor does it come with a power supply or video cable. You will need to provide those components yourself. While it lacks local storage, the Zosi does provide unlimited cloud storage. This camera is ridiculously affordable but lacks some of the most important security elements we’ve come to expect in modern cameras. If you need something fast and cheap, this camera can get the job done—but don’t rely on it exclusively.

Tech specs

  • 960H/480p resolution
  • 90-degree field of view
  • IP66 weatherproof rating (resistant against dust and powerful water jets)

Pros

  • Very inexpensive
  • Wide field of view
  • No monthly fees

Cons

  • Low resolution
  • No push notifications
  • Wired connections
  • No local or cloud storage

Things to watch out for

outdoor security cameraWhen trying to save money, it’s natural to look for the most affordable options. However, that can be dangerous when it comes to security cameras. Ensure the quality of the camera is sufficient before you purchase it—some companies might cut corners on the build to reduce costs, which can be particularly devastating for an outdoor camera. You should also look at the warranty, as well as the company’s reputation for customer service.

Another important element is the camera’s software. Not only does it need to work efficiently and reliably, but it should also be secure against hackers. After all, you don’t want someone to tap into your connection and case out your home with your own security camera.

Finally, look at the storage options. Local storage is one option, but can be risky in that you’ll lose all your footage if a thief decides to take the camera, too. Cloud storage sends the video to a place where it can’t be stolen, but often comes with a subscription cost.

Choosing the right security camera for the right situation

Home security doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are multiple cameras listed above that I would personally purchase, but what works for me may not be the right choice for you. Think about your home and the area you want to monitor: is it brightly illuminated at all times? Then you may not need a camera with great night vision. Do you need to watch a wide area with a single camera? Then one with a large field of view may be the better choice. Take the time to evaluate your specific needs and then take a look at the options above.