We compared 6 popular home security cameras to determine which offers the best free cloud storage — the winner is …

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  • There has never been a better time to set up a home security system — smart home security cameras have never been more affordable.
  • However, many of these cameras only keep the video clips they record in the cloud for 24 hours or less, unless you pay for an additional subscription.
  • We compared the Nest Indoor Camera, Amazon Cloud Cam, Canary View Camera, Ring Spotlight Cam, Blink Indoor Camera, and Wyze Cam and the amount of video each stores for free, and the Wyze Cam was the clear winner.
  • The Wyze Cam only costs £26 and keeps video clips (up to 12 seconds long) in the cloud for two weeks; it can also record continuous video on a MicroSD card (not included with purchase).
  • All of the other cameras require a £5-£10 monthly subscription for continuous recording, if they support it at all.

Smart, internet-connected cameras have made it cheaper than ever to set up a home security system, but most of them come with hidden costs in the form of monthly or yearly subscription fees.

Many of the best known home security cameras on the market today — including the Amazon Cloud Cam, Nest Indoor Camera, Wyze Cam, Blink Indoor Camera, Canary View Indoor Camera, and Ring Spotlight Cam — cost between £100 and £200 (Wyze is the exception at £26) and share a lot of the same features: a microphone and speaker, a wide-angle lens, HD video recording, motion detection, night vision, Wi-Fi connectivity, and the ability to store video clips in the cloud, so you can view them later. The cameras’ similar features and prices make it difficult to figure out which one is the best, but the Wyze Cam has an advantage most of the others lack: Two weeks’ worth of free cloud storage for video clips (up to 12 seconds long), and the ability to record multiple days of continuous video without paying an additional subscription fee thanks to its built-in MicroSD card slot. By comparison, the Canary View Camera and Amazon Cloud Cam keep video clips in the cloud for 24 hours for free, the Nest Indoor Camera keeps them for three hours, and Ring Spotlight Cam doesn’t record or store any video clips for free.

The Blink Indoor Camera stores up to two hours of video clips in the cloud for free regardless of how many days it takes to hit that restriction, and clips are limited to one minute. If you want to have your clips made accessible in the cloud for a longer period of time, you’ll have to pay a subscription fee, typically between £5 and £10 per month. Some companies require a separate subscription for each camera, which can add up if you have a big home.

The benefit to keeping your clips in the cloud longer is that you have more time to review them before they disappear. The Wyze Cam lets you review several days of footage without charging a subscription, and the money you save each month will pay for the camera over time. We’ve broken the free cloud plans and non-subscription offerings of each camera below and separated them into three categories: cameras that store your clips for under 24 hours, cameras that store your clips for 24 hours, and cameras that store your clips for more than 24 hours.

We’ve also included the cost of each camera’s monthly and yearly subscription fees.

Under 24 hours: The Ring Spotlight Cam (£199) and Nest Cam Indoor (£200) offer little to no free cloud storage

We compared 6 popular home security cameras to determine which offers the best free cloud storage — the winner is ...Nest Ring, the “Shark Tank” reject that was recently purchased by Amazon for £1 billion dollars is the stingiest company when it comes to a free cloud storage plan because it doesn’t have one at all. You can watch a live feed from the Ring Spotlight Cam at any time, and it will send your phone a notification when it detects motion, but you’re out of luck if you miss it.

A subscription to Ring’s Protect Plan, which includes 60 days of cloud storage clips, starts at £3.99 a month or £30 a year for each camera. Its pricier plan costs £10 a month or £100 a year, but covers all of the Ring devices at one address, includes a 10% discount on Ring devices, and 24/7 professional home monitoring for Ring Alarm System owners. With home monitoring, someone from Ring will reach out to you if your security system is triggered, and give you the option of calling the police.

Google-owned Nest offer limited free cloud storage to Nest Cam owners. You’re able to watch clips the camera took over the past three hours, but if you want more cloud storage, you have to pay for it. There are three tiers to Nest’s Aware subscription: for £5 a month or £50 a year you get a complete five-day video history from the camera; for £10 a month or £100 a year you get a complete 10-day video history from the camera; for £30 a month or £300 a year you get a complete 30-day video history from the camera.

Each plan also includes a 50% discount for subsequent cameras, 24/7 continuous recording, intelligent alerts, clips and time lapses, and the ability to set “activity zones” so the camera only notifies you about movement happening in designated areas.

24 hours: The Canary View (£99) and Amazon Cloud Cam (£120) both keep your clips in the cloud for a whole day

We compared 6 popular home security cameras to determine which offers the best free cloud storage — the winner is ...Canary

Both the Amazon Cloud Cam and the Canary View offer 24 hours of access to video clips, but there are a couple differences between their free plans. Canary caps the length of video clips from its camera to 30 seconds, and locks many useful features behind its subscription, including two-way communication, the ability to live-stream video from the camera on a computer, and unlimited video downloads. These features are available for free on all of the other cameras on this list, so it’s weird that Canary would cripple its hardware in this way.

A Canary membership costs £9.99 a month or £99 a year for up to five devices, removes the clip length restriction, enables the features I mentioned above, and adds a few more, including one-touch access to first responders from the Canary app. Given how conservative this camera’s features are without a subscription, I’d consider it a requirement. The Amazon Cloud Cam on the other hand works the way you’d expect: You get access to full-length video clips taken when the camera detects motion for 24 hours, for free.

If you’d like clips to stay in the cloud for a longer period of time, you can subscribe to a Cloud Cam plan, which starts at £6.99 a month or £69.99 a year and lets you view video clips from the past seven days from up to three cameras.

Over 24 hours: Both the Wyze Cam (£26) and Blink Indoor Camera (£99) come with a generous amount of free cloud storage, but one is better than the other

We compared 6 popular home security cameras to determine which offers the best free cloud storage — the winner is ...Wyze Blink is another security camera startup Amazon has acquired in the past year, but its approach to cloud storage couldn’t be more different from Ring’s. Blink’s Indoor Camera will store up to two hours of HD footage in the cloud for free, regardless of how long it takes to capture it. The camera does have a one-minute cap on clip length, and you can only have 10 cameras as part of a single system, but neither of those restrictions are as imposing as the 24-hour (or less) time limit the other cameras on this list have.

Blink doesn’t offer any subscriptions, either, so if you find yourself wishing for longer clips, or more than two hours worth of video storage, you’re out of luck. Finally, there’s the Wyze Cam, a £26 smart home security camera with tech that’s on par with others four times its price. Don’t be fooled by its low price, because it’s the real deal. Like Blink, Wyze has chosen to offer way more than 24 hours of storage for video clips for free, with a couple of restrictions.

First, clips are capped at 12 seconds long. Second, clips will disappear after two weeks. But unlike Blink, Wyze has a cheap and easy way to lift these restrictions; you can install a MicroSD Card into the camera, which allows it to record continuous video.

Wyze says a 32GB MicroSD Card holds between two to three days’ worth of footage, and its app automatically highlights times when the camera has sensed motion to make it easier to find points of interest. A MicroSD Card will only set you back £11, which means that you’re spending under £40 on a one-time purchase to get storage features most companies charge between £5 and £10 a month for.

The bottom line

All six of these cameras can do a great job protecting your home depending on your needs, and I can personally recommend the Blink Indoor Camera, Amazon Cloud Cam, and Nest Indoor Camera because I’ve tried them for myself. But the Wyze Cam is the best choice if you want a camera that includes a generous amount of free cloud storage for video clips, and the ability to record multiple days of continuous video without paying a subscription fee.

It can offer you the most peace of mind at the lowest cost, which is the ultimate win-win.

Buy the Wyze Cam for £25.98 at Amazon

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