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Best Security Systems With Security Cameras 2019

Security cameras can make a huge difference to your home's security. Merely seeing one installed in your property can make any intruder think twice about breaking in, which is why we highly recommend adding cameras to your security system.

What To Look For In A Security System With Cameras

Most alarm companies offer security cameras, but not all of them are created equal. Some include the basics, others also have all the bells and whistles, but it's not always clear exactly what you're getting If you're looking for a security system with security cameras, you should consider the following criteria:

  • The provider should have indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras for complete coverage.
  • The cameras should have the ability to record either locally, to the cloud, or both.
  • The camera's live stream should be easily accessible (using an app or computer). Additionally, recorded clips must be remotely accessible so you can monitor and view event videos.

Frontpoint: Our #1 Pick

Frontpoint not only tops this list, but they're also our #1 pick overall. You know Frontpoint for their best-in-class security systems, outstanding customer service, and customer-friendly policies. But they also offer top-notch, high-quality security cameras.

Frontpoint's Cameras

The cameras offered by Frontpoint are manufactured by Alarm.com and SkyBell. They offer four types of cameras in total: a standard indoor camera, an indoor camera with premium features, an outdoor camera, and a video doorbell.

The standard Indoor Camera, priced $99.99, has a 1080p resolution, an industry-standard 113-degree field of vision, and Infrared LEDs for night vision. It also features two-way audio and motion detection.

The Premium Indoor Camera has similar specs, but it has a wider, 180-degree field of view and premium features that most cameras don't have. For one, it has a built-in Bluetooth speaker to which you can stream audio from your smartphone. The speaker isn't only there for entertainment purposes. It doubles as a high-quality media for two-way audio calls. Family members near the camera can initiate an audio call to you, the user, via the Frontpoint app, by simply tapping the top of the camera. Alternatively, you can initiate a voice call to the camera using the Frontpoint app by opening up the camera's live feed and turning on two-way audio. The Premium Indoor Camera also features enhanced zoom capabilities with digital pan and tilt. The camera sells for $199.99.

The Outdoor Camera is simply a camera designed to withstand the harsh conditions outdoors. It has an Ingress Protection (IP) 65 rating, meaning it's sealed shut from dust particles and water, allowing you to place the camera under the open sky. It also has an excellent night vision range allowing it to see up objects up to 40 feet away even at night. Frontpoint sells the camera for $199.99.

Finally, the Slimline Doorbell Camera provides added security to your front door. Made by SkyBell, the camera-equipped doorbell alerts you when someone rings your door or simply walk up to your doorstep. It also lets you speak to your guests remotely using the Frontpoint app. The Slimline Doorbell Camera costs $189.99.

Video Monitoring Features

First of all, using any of Frontpoint's cameras requires that you have the Ultimate Plan with a monthly rate of $49.99. With a three-year contract and an approved credit, you get a security system package comprised of 14 pieces of equipment, including one standard indoor camera, for as low as $334.88. This package reflects a $500 discount from the retail price. You can also choose a larger equipment package that includes a Slimline Doorbell Camera, standard Indoor Camera, and Outdoor Camera among other security devices for $832.84. This package also reflects a $500 discount.

All Ultimate Plan users get the same video monitoring features. Using the Frontpoint app, you can access a live video feed of your indoor and outdoor cameras as well as use features like two-way talk. You can also create custom recording rules. As for the recording, you can create customized rules which dictate when your cameras are supposed to record. Frontpoint's cameras can be instructed to record:

  • when there's an alarm event detected by your security sensors.
  • when your cameras detect motion.
  • when the system is armed or disarmed.
  • based on a schedule set by you.

You can choose one or more triggers for each camera. For example, you can set your indoor camera facing your front door to record when they detect motion and when your system is armed or disarmed, while setting your outdoor cameras to record only when there's an alarm event.

All recordings go to Frontpoint's secure cloud server. However, each user only gets cloud storage space for up to 1,000 30-second clips. Your videos will stay in the cloud indefinitely, but once your storage is full, you must delete older or irrelevant clips so your camera can keep recording. You may keep a copy of your clips by downloading them to a local storage device.

Frontpoint FAQ

  • Will my monthly fee increase if I add cameras?

    If you're on the Protection or Interactive Plan, you must upgrade to the Ultimate Plan first before buying cameras. If you're on the Ultimate Plan, your monthly rate won't increase. You can learn more about Frontpoint's monitoring plans here.

  • How many cameras can I add to my system?

    You may add an unlimited number of cameras. However, your cloud storage space will remain the same.

  • How are the cameras installed?

    All of Frontpoint's products are self-installed, including the cameras. Frontpoint will ship them to you but it will be up to you to set up and install them.

  • Can I set up the cameras to record when my security system is triggered?

    Yes. You can customize recording rules using the Frontpoint user portal on a computer.

  • How much cloud storage space will I get?

    Ultimate Plan users are all offered cloud storage space for up to 1,000 clips. Your videos will stay in the cloud for as long as you're paying, but you once you run out of storage space, you'll need to delete older videos to continue recording.

  • Can Frontpoint's cameras record continuously?

    No. They can only record based on your recording rules.

Frontpoint is our #1 Pick for 2019

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Vivint: Innovation At Its Best

Vivint is another one of our top picks and they are known for being innovative. Recently, they've refreshed their camera lineup with new innovations, even adding AI to their latest outdoor camera.

Vivint's Cameras

Vivint currently offers three cameras: an indoor camera called Ping, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, and the Vivint Doorbell Camera. They also offer a cloud DVR for additional storage space.

Ping, the indoor camera, has a full HD resolution, night vision, two-way audio, and a 155-degree horizontal field of view. It also features motion detection and one-touch callout; your family members can initiate a call to your smartphone with a touch of a button.

The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro is an AI-backed outdoor camera with a 1080p resolution, 4K image sensor, night vision, and two-way talk. The 4K sensor allows you to zoom without losing much video clarity. As for the AI part, Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro more than just records videos, it also determines potential security threats, such as shadowy figures lurking in your property, and deters them by letting them know they're being recorded. Once a threat is identified, the camera sounds a warning tone through its 85dB speaker and activates the red LED around the camera's lens. The camera also lets you customize and pinpoint the areas you want to protect. For example, you can make it ignore the street and focus on monitoring the pathway or your front porch.

The Vivint Doorbell Camera is a video doorbell with a minimalist design. Like most video doorbells, it records ring and motion events, notifies its users when someone is at their doorstep, and streams videos to its users phones on demand. It also features night vision, two-way talk, and a 180-degree field of view.

Lastly, Vivint offers a cloud DVR. The Vivint Playback DVR, a product of Space Monkey, which Vivint acquired in 2014, is a local drive with a 1TB storage space. It connects to up to four Vivint cameras of your choosing and records continuously whether there's motion or not. If a motion event does occur, the DVR marks it to make it easy for you locate and play it back. Although the DVR is a local storage device, it connects to Wi-Fi and lets you access its contents using the Vivint Smart Home app.

Video Monitoring Features

All Vivint cameras don't have a built-in local storage, so you need a cloud subscription or the Vivint Playback DVR to fully enjoy their features.

The cloud subscription is mixed into Vivint's Smart Home Video Plan, which is the most expensive monitoring plan offered by Vivint. This plan requires a $49.99 monthly fee. Unfortunately, only two cameras are covered by the plan. If you want to add more cameras, there will be a $5 increase to your monthly fee for every camera.

With a subscription, you will be able to use the cameras to stream live videos to your smartphone or to Vivint's touchscreen control panel. You will also gain access to recording features. Like Frontpoint cameras, you can configure Vivint cameras to record on-demand, when someone arms or disarms you system, and when there's an alarm event. They also record 20-second  to 30-second clips when they detect motion. However, continuous recording is not included.

If you want your cameras to record continually, you must buy a Vivint Playback DVR. The DVR connects to up to four Vivint cameras and stores rolling recording from all connected cameras. Cloud subscription features will remain active for the connected cameras. If you have more than four cameras, you'll need more than one DVR. Alternatively, you can select only four cameras to connect to the DVR and let the others use cloud recording only.

Vivint FAQ

  • Will my monthly fee increase if I add cameras?

    Vivint cameras only work with the $49.99/month Smart Home Video Plan. If you're on a lower monitoring plan, you'll need to upgrade first. In addition, your third and succeeding cameras will increase your monthly fee by $5 for each camera. For more details, check out Vivint's pricing plans and promotions.

  • How many cameras can I add to my system?

    You can add an unlimited number of cameras, but your monthly fee will increase after the first two. The Playback DVR also only supports up to four cameras.

  • How are the cameras installed?

    By a technician. Vivint requires professional installation for all their products.

  • Can I set up my cameras to record when my security system is triggered?

    Yes. You can also make them record on-demand, when your Vivint security system is armed or disarmed, or when they detect movement in the house.

  • How much cloud storage space will I get?

    The $49.99/month monitoring plan includes 7 days of cloud storage space for up to two cameras. This means each recording will be available for playback and download from the app for 7 days. Once the 7-day limit expires, the clip is gone for good.

  • Can Vivint's cameras record continuously?

    With a Vivint Playback DVR, up to four cameras can record continuously.

Brinks: An Affordable Video Monitoring Option

Brinks is third on this list. Over the years, Brinks has become a household name and with a new management and products, they are now one of our top-recommended alarm companies. If you're looking for a company that can offer almost the same video monitoring features as our top picks at an affordable price, Brinks is a solid option.

Brinks' Cameras

Brinks uses the same equipment as Frontpoint. Their cameras are made by Alarm.com and SkyBell, but they only offer three variations: the standard indoor camera, outdoor camera, and video doorbell.

As we've already discussed their features and specs, let's talk about what sets Brinks apart: affordability.

Frontpoint's Ultimate Plan will set you back $49.99 per month. In three years of use (standard contract length), the monitoring cost will total to $1,799.64. Brinks' charges only $39.99 per month for the Home Complete With Video Plan. In three years, that will only total to $1,439.64.

Another difference is the upfront equipment pricing. With Frontpoint, you must purchase an equipment package or build a customized system first before buying monitoring services. The price of the cheapest equipment package that includes cameras is $334.88, which you will have to pay upfront. With Brinks, the equipment package is worth $499. It's more expensive than Frontpoint, but Brinks allows you to finance the equipment with 0% APR. Instead of paying $499 upfront, they will divide the package price into 36 monthly payments amounting to $13.86 per month. Add in the monitoring fee and your total monthly payment will come down to $53.85, only $4 higher than Frontpoint's Ultimate Plan price.

Video Monitoring Features

Brinks' Home Complete with Video Plan gives users access to the Brinks Home Security app, which is powered by Alarm.com. They are the same company that manufactured and created Frontpoint's cameras and app. That said, the features are the same, including live streaming, two-way talk, and recording. By default, Brinks' cameras record based on motion and alarm events. However, you can customize recording rules by logging into your Brinks account using the Alarm.com web dashboard. Brinks' cameras can also record based on schedule and on security system arming and disarming.

Brinks FAQ

  • Will my monthly fee increase if I add cameras?

    No, but you need to subscribe to Complete Home With Video ($39.99/month) to use cameras. You can learn more about Brinks' monitoring plans here.

  • How are the cameras installed

    You can install the cameras yourself along with the Brinks security system or you can request a technician to come over and install them for you for a fee.

  • Can I set up the cameras to record when my security system is triggered?

    By default, Brink cameras record motion events only, but you can customize your recording rules using the Alarm.com app.

  • How much cloud storage space will I get?

    With a Complete Home With Video plan, you'll get cloud storage space for up to 1,000 clips.

  • Can Brinks cameras record continuously?

    Unfortunately, no. Brinks cameras can only record based on your recording rules.

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