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|Security With Monitoring|
|Smart Device Integration||
Vacation homes can be an excellent investment. They provide you and your loved ones with a comforting place to get away and can provide additional income as a rental property.
However, you need to think about how you’ll protect your vacation home when you’re not there. One of the best ways to do this is by using security cameras, so you can monitor your investment while you’re away.
- Do I Need A Vacation Home Security Camera?
- Best Vacation Home Security Cameras
- Protect Your Primary Residence
Your vacation home is likely hours away from where you live, but you want to make sure that it’s safe and secure when you’re not there. Installing a security camera system can help you relax by:
- Giving you peace of mind while you’re away.
- Keeping you aware in case of any suspicious activity.
- Helping you check in on guests when you let people use it or have renters.
- Allowing you to see your vacation home after natural disasters when you might not be able to reach it.
If you need some guidance on what to look for when you’re picking a security camera, check out these features to consider.
It is not legal to have indoor cameras if you are renting out your property. Residential security camera laws do not allow cameras in areas where a person should have a reasonable expectation of privacy. That means you also can’t point a camera from your house into your neighbor’s window for example.
Outdoor cameras to surveil around your property for the purposes of residential security (including on public streets where a person does not have the expectation of privacy) are okay. If in doubt, consult with your attorney.
We chose the best vacation home security cameras by the specific needs of vacation homeowners. Here are our top choices by category:
After reviewing lots of WiFi security cameras, we chose the Arlo Ultra as our top pick for any type of home. This camera has the best resolution, night vision, zoom and viewing angle of all the cameras we review here.
It has two-way audio and a built-in siren and spotlight. You can use this weatherproof camera inside or outside, and it’s easy to install. Motion-activated recording and the ability to schedule recording times cut down on unnecessary recording. Storage options include local storage with a micro SD card and cloud storage options. You can control the Arlo Ultra by linking it to Amazon Alexa and Apple Homekit.
This camera does require you to purchase a base station that connects to your WiFi router, which then syncs with up to 5 Arlo cameras. That adds to the initial equipment cost. There are also some concerns with the two-way audio, as reviews say that it can have delays.
Tech Specs & Price
- for 2 cameras and 1 base station
- for 4 cameras and 1 base station
- 4K resolution
- Color night vision
- 180º viewing angle
Instead of just having security cameras, you might want to invest in a professionally monitored home security system. This is the best way to ensure total home security while you’re away. Frontpoint not only provides great cameras, but they also provide top-notch monitored home security.
They have an extensive selection of sensors and both indoor and outdoor cameras. To get started, you can choose from several equipment kit options or build your own system to fit your unique vacation home needs. This system, which is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home, has a 24-hour battery backup and notifies you when there’s a power outage. Its motion detection alerts keep you informed while you’re away.
Frontpoint has a basic and a premium indoor camera. The premium indoor camera offers digital pan, tilt and zoom in addition to an expanded 180º field of view. The downside for you could be the cost. The initial cost for a kit is pricier than buying a camera alone, and monitoring is a monthly fee.
Below are the packages Frontpoint offers. You can also purchase additional sensors for an extra fee, which you’ll see listed next to the device. There is also a Build Your Own option, which is à la carte style. Add up the total of your selected equipment, and that’s your equipment fee.
Package Name Safe Home Starter Safe Home Everyday Safe Home Select Safe Home Preferred
Price $99.00 $295.94 $383.92 $479.90
Control Panel Hub ($249.98) 1 1 1 1
Keypad ($54.99) 1 1 1 1
Door/Window Sensor ($19.99) 2 3 4 5
Motion Sensor ($29.99) 1 2 2 2
Glass Break Sensor ($44.99) 1 1
Smoke & Heat Sensor ($44.99) 1 1
Indoor Camera ($99.99) 1
Yard Sign ($3.99) 1 1 1 1
Window Decals 3-Pack ($3.99) 1 1 1 1
Door Stickers ($3.99) 1 1 1 1
- Premium Indoor Camera $199.99 | Outdoor Camera $169.99 | Doorbell Camera $149.99
- We have dedicated a separate article to go more in-depth on the Frontpoint cameras.
- Touchscreen $119.99 | Keychain Remote $24.99 | Digital Doorbell Adapter $10.99
- Garage Door Tilt Sensor $24.99 | Garage Door Controller $74.99 | Recessed Door Sensor $39.99
- Smart Light Bulb $24.99 | Wireless Light Control $49.99 | Smart Door Lock $149.99
- Smart Thermostat $199.99 is coming soon (meanwhile, any Z-Wave thermostat will also work, including the Nest Thermostat)
- CO Sensor $69.99 | Flood Sensor $24.99 | Panic Pendant $19.99
A monitoring plan is required through Frontpoint and you must have the Ultimate plan, which costs $49.99 per month if you have cameras.
|Price Per Month||$44.99||$49.99|
|Wireless & Cellular|
|Unique User Codes|
|Crash & Smash Protection|
|Remote Access & Control|
|Live Video Streaming|
|Video & Image History|
|Motion Triggered Alerts|
|Night Vision Enabled|
|Smart Lock Control|
Premium Indoor Camera
- 180° field of view
- 1080p HD video
- Infrared night vision up to 15 feet (2 infrared LED lights)
- 113° field of view
- 1080p HD video
- Infrared night vision (2 infrared LED lights)
See an overview of how this camera works and all of its features.
If you’re looking for a vacation home security camera that you can connect to your smart devices, we recommend the Nest Cam connected to Google Home.
You can integrate Nest Cam to your Google Home App and your Google Smart display by using the Google home view feature so you can control the camera at a distance. This is ideal when in a vacation home security camera.
In addition to using Google home view to control your Nest Cam, you can also use it to control a Nest thermostat and Nest Hello video doorbell. This is a great option for a combined home security camera system and smart home automation.
This is an excellent camera with two-way audio options and motion detection. Linking it to the Nest App or Google Home App allows you to live stream video to your computer, tablet or phone. You can also receive motion-detected alerts through the apps.
Some downsides of this camera? It’s indoor only, and it doesn’t have an option for local storage. If you are interested in an outdoor camera, read our review of the Nest outdoor camera.
Tech Specs & Price
- Cloud recording (optional):
- Nest Aware: $60/year for 30 days of event video history
- Nest Aware Plus: $120/year for 60 days of event video history + 10 days of 24/7 video history
- 1080p HD resolution
- Night vision
- 130º viewing angle
Looking for a vacation home security camera that won’t break the bank? The Mi Home Security Camera is an inexpensive choice that can still keep you connected to your vacation home while you’re away.
The camera tech specifications are comparable to lots of other higher-cost cameras. Installation is quick and simple with the Mi Home App. You can use the app to watch live streaming, take screenshots, turn the mic on and off and put the camera to sleep. The app also allows you to activate motion detection with customizable settings. You can also connect your camera to Amazon Alexa.
If you have an iPhone, there is a privacy protection option to use Bluetooth to notify the camera of your presence and put it into sleep mode, so you’re not recorded.
The Mi Home Security Camera uses a microSD card to record either continuously or as it detects motion. While Mi doesn’t offer its own cloud storage, you can sync the camera to your network’s attached storage, aka NAS box, if you have that capability.
Tech Specs & Price
- 1080p HD resolution
- Infrared night vision
- 130º viewing angle
There are so many reasons to get a security camera for your vacation home, but most importantly, it will give you peace of mind when you aren’t there. Think about your needs and take a look at the options with those needs in mind. That will help you make the best decision.
Don’t forget that when you’re at your vacation home, you’ll want to make sure your primary home is safe too. Check out our article on the best home security systems. Having a safe, secure home while you’re away will allow you to enjoy your vacation home that much more. Learn about more ways to secure your vacation home.
What do you think is the most important feature in a vacation home security camera?
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