How We Ranked the Best Infrared Cameras of 2021
When comparing infrared cameras— or any type of security cameras for that matter— we use a methodology that measures the overall value of each camera. We take into account the cameras’ price, video quality, audio, integrations with smart platforms like Alexa and Google Assistant, artificial intelligence, and video storage options. We also test out each camera to get a good grasp of the installation process and ease of use.
We also make sure that the cameras are up to our standards. When it comes to the video quality, we like our cameras with at least 1080p HD resolution, a 120-degree viewing angle, and of course, infrared night vision. For the audio, we prefer cameras with two-way talk so we can hear the camera’s surroundings and talk through the camera’s speakers whenever we want. Security features like motion detection and person detection are also necessary, and it’s always a huge plus if the camera offers facial recognition and/or activity zones. Finally, every camera needs video storage. The ideal setup for us is one that has local storage like a micro-SD card and with cloud backup, but we’re also not one to turn down cameras with free or affordable cloud storage plans. And if the camera supports continuous recording, that’s even better.
For this review, in particular, we paid close attention to the cameras’ night vision ranges, especially for the ones that can work outdoors. If you have a wide front lawn or backyard, you’re going to want to have a camera with a night vision range of at least 40 feet. For indoor cameras, it’s a slightly different story. There tend to be more reflective surfaces indoors, which could create glares when viewed from an infrared camera. That’s why we chose indoor cameras that either had a shorter night vision range or an adjustable infrared intensity.
We also looked for features that can further improve the night vision experience. An example of this is the Nest Cam IQ Indoor’s ability to tell apart natural light and bursts of artificial light coming from, let’s say, a burglar’s flashlight. As a result, it can’t be fooled by burglars trying to “blind” the night vision.
And last but not least, we included infrared security camera options that offer professional monitoring. Many law enforcement agencies confirm that video verification through monitored security cameras can help speed up police response.3 So with a professionally monitored infrared camera, you’re sure to get the help you need in case of a break-in whether you’re home or not, day or night.
If you want to explore other options, be sure to also check out our list of the best home security cameras of 2021.