recommend 1080P budget Security Camera for 100$

I’m looking forward to start using an home surveillance system outdoors (cam would be fixed in dry spot underneath roof in sunny California) and have no experience with this topic at all. I don’t care if it’s wifi or cable connected.

The setup should be 1080P hi-resolution and budget friendly. Any recommendations?

You may want to check out home NASes too, as there are some incompatibilities between some popular brands and some cameras.
Last time I looked anyway.

I’m just realizing after hours of checking offers and reading descriptions that my plan is more complicated then it sounds. I’m going to need a DVR extra with the camera. I thought I could just hook it up to an external HDD. If anybody knows of any helpful tutorials or can throw in some advice, PLEASE! Thanks!

foscam has a 720p wireless IP camera that has a SD card slot so you could buffer a certain amount of video.

not 1080p but it is still high def and cheap and will record to a 32gb sd card (max size).

i have the 8910 that i use to see if the power is on at the house while im away (sump pump) and as a baby monitor and to keep an eye on the place. i move it around. works great.

now there are software packages that can integrate several IP cameras and record to a HDD but youd need a pc to run it all on.


How about a 1080p dashcam with an SD card ? :wink:

Whirlpool has some threads about “Setting up HD Security Cameras” :

The other day I was in Costco and saw a 2 pack of Samsung security cameras for $200, so I bought them. As I knew nothing about them, this was one of those “Buy now and investigate later” purchases. I gave it to my wife for Christmas (she was VERY happy). Later, before it was opened, I went on line to check it out and the reviews were horrible. It is definitely NOT what I was looking for. One reviewer who also bought one and KNOWS all about this stuff wrote up a little piece on how it SHOULD be done. Buying the parts separately and the software. Here is that piece as taken from an Amazon review.
BTW, I will take the unopened package back to Costco and roll my own as per these instructions.

Here is the link to the full review of the camera I bought

And below is the instructions on how to roll your own


This is not part of the review, but I thought I would add this information based on my experiences setting up and trying many different types of home surveillance systems.

A standard resolution IP camera running at 15 or 30 frames per second uses a lot of bandwidth—something WiFi does not have much of. Even when I was running only 4 cameras at 640x480 15 FPS on a 100 mbps switch I was rarely able to achieve full FPS on all cameras even though the cameras were all rated at 10/100mbps capable. It was not until I put all cameras into a gigabit (1000mbps) switch that I was able to get all frames to process through to my computer. There are very good technical reasons why this is so, but for those who don’t understand how switches work just take my word for it, you need a gigabit Ethernet switch and a gigabit Ethernet card in your PC (which most have today) to build a reliable home surveillance network with IP cameras.

Alternately, you can buy a Network Video Recorder with built in ports for each camera. For me, the best setup is a piece of software called Blue Iris ($50) and the Gigabit Ethernet switch along with a mishmash of IP cameras. This is by far the most reliable and robust I have seen and the cost can be quite reasonable as all you need are the cameras, the $50 software and a PC. Blue Iris also has an iPhone and Android app that integrates all the cameras into one system. It works like a champ. I am running 7 cameras, 4 of them 640x480 at 15fps, one USB at 10fps, and two 1080p at 15fps, all of them wired into a Gigabit Ethernet switch. The streams are fed into my PC running Blue Iris version 3. Blue Iris is recording all the cameras 24 hours a day onto one USB 3 hard drive. The 3TB drive can hold weeks of video. Blue Iris is also creating alerts every time someone walks in front of a camera so I can have alert thumbnails which take me right to the relevant video portion I want to see. I continue to be stunned at the capabilities of the Blue Iris system. It is the best $50 I ever spent on software.

While it may sound like I work for Blue Iris, I can assure you I do not. I just like it that much. For less than half the cost of a similar turnkey system from one of the big companies like Q-See and Lorex, etc. I can build a system that is better in almost every way, and you can too. Just stay away from this camera.“

That helped. Very useful information. Thank you, dchomak!

Also many thanks to the other posters, Suncoaster and reliant_turbo!

Probably the easiest and most cost effective solution is to pick up a complete DVR and camera system from a place like MCM Electronics. Whole systems are prertty cheap now. I would suggest wired cameras whenever possible. CCTV over wifi is costly to do it right. Siamese coax/power camera cable is cheap, running it is normally the issue. Everyone wants everything to be wireless, work all the time and cheap. The three don’t always go together. Why do you need HD?

A HD CCTV 4 channel DVR. Not cheap

If you don’t need HD things are way cheaper. Complete 4 channel system with cameras. (low end system)

For security work you will most certainly need a motion activated DVR, which is pretty much standard, since you can’t watch a camera 24/7. $100 won’t get you anything that is HD and is of any quality. The sky is the limit when it comes to CCTV and HD. Especially if you want to do HD CCTV over IP.

Here is a cheap HD outdoor camera. Most are in the $600-$800 range

An HD DVR and a single HD camera will set you back about $1000 not counting any extras.

There are some MIckey Mouse “security” cameras on the market that are pretty much considered gimmicks by any security pros. Cute if you want to look at your driveway on your Ipad occasionally but not for serious home security. The new multi channel DVR’s have some nice features such as, motion activated recording, mobile deveice viewing applications, automated motion activated e-mail alerts, Apple and Android apps for viewing and control, cameras with audio support, infra red night capability.

All depends on what you want and how deep is the pocket.


I use a web cam attached to my computer as a security cam. It watches the front of the house. A usb extension cable is used since the cable on the cam is not nearly long enough. Motion activation is provided with (free) iSpy software. It can record video, but I typically have it record pictures. I'll save them to (free) Google Drive so I can view them elsewhere, and also so that there's an offsite backup in case anything happens to the computer, like theft. Running a usb cable to the rear of the house probably wouldn't work unless there's another computer to put back there, and I've considered using a raspberry pi computer for this, but as cheap as those are it will still put the total budget above $100. I've only hooked up one web cam, but I intend on adding more in the future. Just know that motion activation software can put a lot of stress on your computer, especially if you're using multiple high resolution web cams, but you can restrict the area that is "sensed" to reduce the amount of processing power required and to reduce false hits.

Here's a listing of 1080p web cams at Newegg.

I’ve run ‘active’ USB extension cables that far for webcams that are plugged into a powered hub, and it seems to work fine.

They have others that are even longer

Good to know. That was one of the two problems I was thinking of. I notice that the unpowered hub on my computer gets pretty warm. I would think significant signal degradation would occur over 50 feet, especially with 1080p, so it's good to hear that it's working for you.

I use Asante (indoor) and Vivotek (outdoor) cameras - these multi-megapixel cameras are easily available online and at a reasonable cost. My software is Security Monitor Pro, an excellent video surveillance software and I love it. It has time based recording and motion detection alerting, and remote viewing, along with many other features that are useful. Easy to use and reliable. Also supports USB webcams and all every IP camera I have found.

I still have a Vivotek at our front entrance, it was not cheap, and worked for about 5 years, protected from rain under the soffit, then gave up. Prior to that we experienced ongoing firmware problems with it. However we got at least got 5 years out of it, which is not something I can say of the 2 that I got from Fasttech. (When the first did not work I returned it and bought another, it also did not work, and Fasttech refunded me for both).

As for that software recommended above, $100.00 for a simple program like that from a company that has a dubious track record would have me turn to an equally expensive, but more established program like Webcam XP Pro

Keep in mind the problem with all those programs is you need to keep them running on your computer which acts as a “server”. If you are travelling and your computer goes down, you cannot any longer access your cameras. That’s why any IP Camera is only as good as its firmware, then at least all you need to keep running is your router.

I use Foscam 720Ps and 480s all Power Over Ethernet. . . . .Warning Bloviation Begins Below

. . . AND my Media Server with Blue Iris installed records to Network Attached Storage. View-able on all local PCs. Ports Forwarded on router to Media Servers Static IP and the individual cams Static IPs. A Dynamically Domain Name Service ie tracks my current IP updated via a client login included in DD-wrt Firmware running on Dark Knight RT-N66U router which allows remote devices like phones and PCs to connect Blue Iris and or the cams directly. And if your picky like me, its best to have all cameras on their own network ie connect them all to a dedicated single POE Switch in the attic lets say and that connects another switch at the recording PC or separate Network Interface Card on the recording PC so as not to flood the rest of the wired network though not really necessary for just a few cams with gigabit network speeds now.

FYI Foscam provides remote view and login at their website so really all you have to do is plug the camera in to you network and bam your remote viewing sign up for an account and set the camera with your login. but not recording locally.

As far as wireless cameras about 2 maybe 3 will work before flooding (bouncing) your ordinary consumer wireless router though depends greatly on competing networks.

This seemed much less complicated when i first started this comment.

You’re raised some good points and ideas. First, I never thought about loading images to my NAS that is attached to my router. (However you still might need to be running a server to load them there unless the Cam’s firmware will do it for you). Another option is to have the firmware email you the capture images when motion is detected, unfortunately the firmware in my two existing Trendnet and Rosewill cameras does not do it (even though it says it will).

Second the point about WiFi. I sometimes stream BBC using iPlayer. If I forget to shut off WiFi in my router, even if the IP camera is the only active connected device, the streaming HD content will constantly buffer, so I agree hard wired cameras are better. And one other thought, when you contemplate a PTZ camera, consider the cost of it as opposed to just buying a couple of fixed cameras and mounting them side by side to cover the same area. With this method, you get better coverage for motion detection because the fixed cameras do not have to continuously pan to cover the same area a PTZ camera would, and you may find it cheaper to buy inexpensive fixed cameras. Now if I could afford a PTZ camera that had a 10X optical zoom, that would be a different story…

Thanks for the feedback.

Images to email from camera to email? Good Point… yes but not to nas not out server based software which pretty much does anything. DVR based systems are just simpler and dedicated but keep in the manufacture decides features good or bad. You can find great deals on broken equipment often its mechanical failure in the drive unit but all the name brands are easy to find parts for. But PTZ are another can of worms especially with older equipment that only has RS-485 and the like connectivity and needs dedicated hardware control and protocol matching.

What about Xiaoyi camera?

I second dchomak’s response on Blue Iris. It is an amazing piece of software! I have it on an old Dell laptop (first and last Dell product I will ever buy!) with 4 different cameras, all but one with PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom.) If you don’t have enough cameras to completely cover your area of interest these can be set to scan the area in a regular pattern or can be controlled by you through Blue Iris. Some are connected through power line Ethernet adapters and some are wireless through 2 Belkin Play N600 routers loaded with tomato firmware. I would also agree that hardwired Ethernet through a gigabit switch is the way to go. It just removes a source of error and wireless adds cost to the camera. If you buy Chinese-made cameras (and that’s all there is) get them fulfilled by Amazon or delivered by an in-country source. If you think it’s hard to return and get support on a flashlight from China, wait till you have to deal with something more complex and expensive.