Are smart security cameras worth installing?

If you’re looking to protect your home, few options are as powerful (and affordable) as security cameras. The market has exploded with new products over the past few years, and today you’ll find a wide variety of smart home security cameras that are easy to install, carry reasonable price tags, and offer you peace of mind while out of town. But are smart security cameras worth installing?

The short answer? Yes — smart security cameras make a lot of sense for the majority of homes. However, there are a few caveats to consider. Here’s a closer look at whether you should install a smart security camera in 2023.

Check with your HOA and local government first

The Lorex outdoor IP security camera installed on a brick wall.

Before getting excited about the prospect of setting up a security camera, you’ll want to check with your local government (and homeowners association, if you have one). Many HOAs limit what type of security camera you can install, so they’re the first hurdle to clear. With that out of the way, you’ll also want to contact your city. You might be able to skip this step if you’re just setting up a camera, but if it’ll be connected to a comprehensive security system, you might need a permit. At any rate, it doesn’t hurt to check ahead of time — otherwise, you could be hit with fines and asked to take down your setup.

If both of those organizations give you the green light for a security camera, then there’s a good chance you’ll benefit from having one installed. Even small properties such as a townhome or condo can reap the benefits of a security camera — although it’s large properties with blind spots that’ll benefit the most.

Crime deterrent

Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera
John Velasco / Digital Trends

The entire reason you purchased a smart security camera was to prevent anything bad from happening on your property. Thankfully, studies have shown that just the presence of a camera is enough to stop would-be criminals from targeting your home. Of course, security cameras aren’t perfect, and there are tons of outside factors that will impact your success rate. But if you want to do everything you can to keep your home safe, investing in a smart security camera is a wise decision.

As mentioned above, they’re also perfect for blind spots on your property. Most folks love to use smart security cameras to protect their home while away on vacation, but large properties can benefit from cameras every day of the year. When installed properly, security cameras can give you a full view of every inch of your yard — providing peace of mind that no person (or animal, if you live in the wilderness) is lurking around the side of your shed.

Check in on family

Arlo Pro 3 app showing a car.
Arlo Pro 3 app

Besides the obvious benefit of deterring crime, security cameras give you an easy way to check in on family members when you’re out of the home. Whether you have an older relative or a rambunctious teenager, the ability to check in remotely and verify that everything is as you left it is a nice perk of a smart security camera.

Tons of smaller perks

Ring Spotlight Cam installed outside.

Still not sold on a smart security camera? Here are a few other perks to keep in mind

  • Many come with a built-in spotlight, which is helpful when navigating your yard in the dark.
  • If your cameras can’t prevent a burglary, the footage you record could help catch the culprit.
  • Have a pet in your household? Security cameras give you a way to check up on them.
  • You can sync with the rest of your smart home to automate your lights, thermostat, and more.
  • Installing your own security camera is much cheaper than opting for a professional system.

If you do decide to install a camera, check out our list of the best security cameras of 2023.

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