Depending on if you are living in an apartment complex or condominium, your situation may vary slightly. Some smart home devices like smart security cameras may require a complicated setup that does not work for apartment dwellers or renters. In contrast, wireless cameras are excellent for apartments and condominiums, as they have few cables or none at all. Also, if you are equipping your home with a camera that requires re-wiring, for example, it will get complicated in the end when your lease is over, and you decided to relocate to another area.
So what is the Best Smart Security Camera For An Apartment or Condominium? Here is the list we have taken a look at:
- Zmodo Pivot 1080p HD 360°
- YI Dome Camera 1080p
- Canary All-in-One Indoor 1080p
- TP-Link Kasa Cam 1080p
- Nest Labs Cam IQ
- Amazon Cloud Cam
- Neatgear Arlo Q
It is important to note that apartments have different needs than a house. Some landlords also don’t allow major changes inside an apartment and that of course, is understandable.
Most often than not, the spaces inside the apartment are relatively small. If you are living in a place with limited space, having a security camera might appear creepy, especially if it detects motion or activity. One of the best uses for security cameras is to monitor the apartment while you are away.
There are many smart security cameras available in the market today that will fit the needs of an apartment dweller. While most of these cameras are indoor cameras with great features, there are also some that are weatherproof and most importantly, easy to install making it landlord-friendly.
Factors to consider
Firstly, consider the factors to consider when buying a smart security camera for your apartment and why they are important.
Laws and contracts
There is actually no specific law about installing a home security camera inside your apartment. Whether you can install it or not will depend on your contract with the landlord. In an apartment or condominium, you more than likely only have the camera indoors. Indoor cameras used for security purposes will not violate the privacy of other tenants — your neighbors and their guests. But you may also want to check laws on the state you are in specifically. But again, if you are monitoring the premise of your own unit, there won’t be any problem with that.
Method of installation
Most security cameras indoor have mounts because they are designed to be placed on shelves. This is very helpful for apartment dwellers since the method would not require them to drill holes in the apartment walls.
Consider that being able to see a camera lens in your living area can feel a little creepy as if you are being watched. This may also make guests seem uncomfortable. For this reason, it might be best to place the indoor security camera on a high shelf, facing the door area or even hidden if you can get it in a container that doesn’t look out of place. Here, you are less likely to see it.
It is also good to consider the wiring. Most home security cameras are plug and play devices, and you can easily install them on your own. It is easy yes, but you may have problems with the wiring, especially on the area in which you will install it. Is there a power outlet nearby? Does it require you to buy a long wire? Some home security cameras, however, are completely wireless. You may also check your options for that.
In this day and age, almost all of us have internet access. Before making your security camera purchase, make sure that your Wi-Fi connection is good and stable. This is necessary, especially when you are out or you have a vacation planned out. Through your security camera, you will be able to monitor your home on your smartphone via an app. A good Wi-Fi signal would also bring about a clearer photo and two-way audio communication.
But remember, the Wi-Fi is essential if you are accessing your camera for live viewing. The data it requires will be large, so best to find a motion sensor camera, so it only records when needed. Some security cameras have SD cards for recording, which is helpful for apartments with a low Wi-Fi signal. You can just watch the recording after.
Security when you are away.
If your main concern is about the possibility of break-in or emergencies, having a home security camera is essential. Most of these home cameras can detect motion and activity. Some even have a facial recognition technology. You may want to consider these features when you are buying one.
Alerts and notification features.
Through an app, a notification or alert is sent if the security camera has detected something. It can be a motion or an activity. Most smart home security cameras have easy to manage apps, and you can modify everything on it. A movement detected can alert you immediately. This is extra useful in an apartment complex because here, people come and go, not like in a single-family home.
If you have a pet, you can consider using a Smart Camera to keep an eye on them or so you can check upon them. It can be interesting to see what your pet dog or cat gets up to when you are at work.
Options for your indoor home security camera
Here is a list of what’s good in the market today, as well as the features, capabilities, and the cost.
1. Zmodo Pivot 1080p HD 360°
This rotating camera is one of the top choices for apartment dwellers because of its features and quality that won’t hurt your budget. With its wide-angle, rotating 1080p camera feature, you may be able to cover and monitor the whole picture of your apartment.
The Zmodo Pivot has 16GB built-in storage and no monthly fee charges. However, if you want additional storage for security purposes, you can check their cloud subscription rates. This home security camera also has temperature and humidity reading, Bluetooth speaker for playing music, and two-way audio. One of the best security features is the door and window sensor. Through the setting, you can completely DIY the level of security for your apartment with the sensors. You may choose the camera to rotate in the direction when a sensor was triggered, and you may also choose which area will trigger the motion detection. You will then receive alerts and notifications on your phone when motion is detected.
The camera has an excellent pan and tilt capabilities, and with the sensors, it can pick up motion even if its outside the camera view. The camera will pivot or rotate in the direction of a person and capture what is happening.
- All-in-one smart home hub Zmodo pivot cloud is a 1080P home camera with 350° rotating which allows you to keep tabs on your kids and pets remotely talk with two-way audio receive door/window sensor alerts
2. YI Dome Camera 1080p
This small, cool, and dome camera will let you enjoy the best features for an affordable price.
The YI Dome Camera has 1080p HD quality video feature, 112° wide-angle advanced glass lens combined with 345° horizontal & 115° vertical rotation range — a complete 360° coverage and a zero blindspot. The camera also has an “auto-masking” mode which means that the lens will automatically go under the cover when you don’t want to be recorded. It has motion detection, and you can customize the level of notifications being sent. You can customize camera sharing, schedules, bookmarks, and a lot more via the app.
The YI Dome cloud storage has no storage limit as well. The device comes with a 32G MicroSD card can hold up to an 80-hour-long video of continuous recordings but the YI cloud, however, is free online for a one month trial and you have to pay extra for the subscription.
- 1080p High-definition, wide-angle advanced glass lens combined with 345° horizontal & 115° vertical rotation range create a complete 360° coverage. Advanced night vision with 8 built-in 940nm infrared LED beads extend the viewing distance to 3 meters in pitch dark with no light pollution, so your baby or pet will not be disturbed by LED glare.
3. Canary All-in-One Indoor 1080p
This home security indoor camera is a little bit on the cheaper side, but the features can be compared with the more expensive ones. That being said, this easy-to-operate and install device is good for couples or single professionals living in an apartment.
The Canary All-in-One Home Security System has an HD 1080p camera with a 147-degree lens view and high-quality voice recording, two-way audio system. It has a built-in alarm features that can be set as high as 90+ decibels to alert not just you, but the neighborhood of emergency situations. This feature can also scare burglars away. This is perfect for those who have pets and for those who are busy and always out — a small device equipped with much-needed security. The device can also monitor air quality, temperature, and humidity.
This home security camera can be connected to a Wi-Fi or ethernet. With its app, you will also see alerts and notifications once movement is detected. You can access your video clips for 24 hours with an upgraded membership that you have to pay in addition to the camera for added security.
Works with Alexa.
- Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately). Connectivity : 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
4. TP-Link Kasa Cam 1080p
TP-Link has been around for quite some time now, offering cameras from webcams to home security cameras. The Kasa Cam, a good option for a security camera for an apartment, definitely exceeded expectations.
The Kasa Cam features a crystal clear, a wide-angle video which you can zoom manually. It has a clear night vision and can detect motion and activity within 30 ft. Away and a two-way audio system so you can communicate with your kids or your pets when you are away. The device also has free cloud storage that you can access for up to 2 days. But they offer an upgrade option for an additional cost. One of the best features of the device, however, is that you can customize your preferred activity zone.
Kasa Cam is very easy to set up as well. You can place it on a flat surface, on a shelf, or a wall mount. It also comes with a magnetic base so that you can put it on your fridge too. The device, as well as the app, are straightforward to operate. You can watch live or your recorded videos anytime also with your smartphone. The device is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Amazon Certified: Works with Alexa.
- Crystal clear video – sharp and clear 1080P full-HD provides high-quality video right in the palm of your hand
5. Nest Labs Cam IQ
This indoor version is as great and as smart as the outdoor one and is also complete with a smart feature that apartment dwellers would love. First, the sleek design can match any interior. It is straightforward to install and mount and won’t take up much of the space. Its “supersight” feature, just like the outdoor cam, combines 4k sensor (8-megapixel) with HDR intelligent imaging with up to 12x zoom capabilities. It also has two-way audio and can detect and identify movement whether it is from a person or a thing. For additional super features, the Nest Aware service is available for an additional cost.
This camera’s night vision is superb with a high-power infrared LED (940 nm) with IR cut filter, meaning, it can literary illuminate a dark room. The Nest Cam IQ indoor camera, just like other Nest cameras, is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
While the camera is perfect for an apartment, its smart specs can be overwhelming for single dwellers. This might work best for families with kids. If you are living alone then spending too much on a security camera might be too much but if you have a lot to monitor — kids and pets — then, by all means, this is one of the best. Here is a home security camera with an IQ indeed.
What’s in the box:
- Nest Cam IQ camera
- Power adapter
- Power cable
- Wall mount
- Drywall anchors
- Drywall screws
- Cable clips with nails
- Quick Start Guide
Approx. Market Price: $299.00
6. Amazon Cloud Cam
This amazing camera is one of the preferred choices for apartment and home security indoors. Its smart feature is worth the price, which is not expensive, considering what it can do. Of course, since its from Amazon, it is compatible with Alexa and can be paired with your smart home through Echo.
Amazon Cloud Cam was released in 2017 and Amazon continue to upgrade it to perfection. It has a 1080p Full HD video quality, a 120 degrees field of view, an outstanding night vision with its infrared LED, and a crystal clear two-way audio. It can detect motion and activity and even sounds. You can even get notified when the device detects specific sounds like breaking glass or a baby cry through additional subscription, but you can always customize the notification you will receive.
Through the app, you can check in anytime on your phone and watch live when you are away. The camera records up to 24-hours of footage, but if you need more, you have to subscribe for additional service that can go up to $20 a month.
Amazon Certified: Works with Alexa.
7. Neatgear Arlo Q
The Arlo Q is considered to be in the same price point as the Nest cam and Amazon. The features are also at par with the two. This indoor camera has a 1080 p HD quality so you can see every detail inside your home clearly, a two-way audio, incredible night vision, motion and sound detection, a customizable notification in which you can direct to detect people and areas, and an ability to contact emergency number right from your phone when you sense danger.
Furthermore, the Arlo Q also works with Alexa, the Google Assistant, IFTTT & Stringify. For the cloud storage, the device comes with a basic service that allows you to keep up to 7 days of motion and sound recording for up to 5 cameras.
Arlo Q comes with Arlo Basic service that lets you keep the past seven days of motion- and sound-triggered recordings, for up to 5 cameras for free. It is included in the package, so if you do not want to pay for an additional subscription of service, this might be the one for you.
Amazon Certified: Works with Alexa
- Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately).
There are literary tons of home security cameras available today. One-click in Amazon, and you’ll be treated to a lot of options with the various price points. Some of these cameras have smart features, even the cheapest ones and these cool features include motion detection, two-way audio, and a clear image. From about $50, you’ll be able to get these features and more. But the most important thing here is to do a research first. If a $50 smart camera can cover your entire apartment and has a rotating lens, then get in by all means but don’t be afraid to spend also if that is what you are going to need.
Remember to review the features. The Amazon Cloud Cam and the Nest Cam IQ Indoor have a lot of amazing features. You may want to consider these two even if they are a bit expensive if you are after a smart camera. These two can also work best if you have a smart home.
Also, always check with the landlords or developers regarding their rule on indoor home security camera. Drilling is required for most of these cameras and for you to be able to see a much wider angle. Ask about their rules on wall mount or drills. Most apartments in the states are ok with this because security cameras are a household staple now, but it won’t hurt to check.