Keeping tabs on your home while you’re away on vacation or at work is the perfect job for a WiFi cam, and if it’s 24/7 continuous recording that you’re after, you have some options—albeit limited—to choose from.
Nest Cam ($199)
Perhaps the most popular option that is well-known for its 24/7 continuous recording capabilities is the Nest Cam. There are multiple models to choose from, but all of them have this feature.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay for a Nest Aware subscription, which starts at $5 per month. This will give you access to the 24/7 continuous recording, as well as other features like facial recognition (if you get the Nest Cam IQ), as well as Activity Zones and storage for video recordings. Further, you can download clips to save or share—a particularly handy feature if you need the video footage for a serious matter like a legal dispute.
The Nest Cam is one of our favorite Wi-Fi cams, thanks to ease of setup and use. It also has the usual specs you’d expect on a premium camera, like crisp 1080p video, night vision capabilities, and two-way talk.
Netgear Arlo Q ($149)
A cheaper alternative to the Nest Cam is the Arlo Q from Netgear, which also can do 24/7 continuous recording, but you’ll still need to pay for that privilege (if you want more than a week worth of recording) which is slightly more expensive than the Nest Cam’s subscription.
Despite the lower up-front price, the Arlo Q can still record 1080p video, and has two-way talk and night vision functionality. But perhaps the best feature is the free seven-day storage for video recordings, which the Nest Cam doesn’t have.
If you want to extend the free storage there’s a premium—subscriptions start at $10 per month for storing 24/7 video for up to 14 days. So while you’ll pay less up front for the camera itself, you’ll be paying more in the long run for continuous recording, which is something to keep in mind. In addition, there’s no way to download the footage from the cloud.