- The best cameras for car security come in all shapes and sizes, with multi-channel models and simpler devices available.
- The top picks for the best cameras for car security include the ROVE R3 Dash Cam, ROVE R2 4K PRO Dash Cam, WOLFBOX G840S Mirror Cam, REDTIGER F7N-PLUS Dash Cam, and Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2.
- Key factors to consider when choosing a car security camera include the number of channels, resolution and viewing angles, installation requirements, and the quality of the software.
- Supercapacitor batteries, temperature range, storage capacity, and constant power requirements are important considerations when purchasing a car security camera.
- Using a camera for car security is similar to using a webcam or wireless camera, with ease of use depending on the manufacturer’s mobile app and the camera’s design or display.
The best cameras for car security come in all shapes and sizes. There are multi-channel models that cover all the angles along with far simpler devices. Whatever your needs, there is a solution for your vehicle. We’ve compiled a list featuring five of the top models on the market today and put together a guide to help you understand what to look for from a car security camera.
After reviewing the options, here are our top picks for the best cameras for car security:
- Best Overall Camera: ROVE R3 Dash Cam
- Runner-Up: ROVE R2 4K PRO Dash Cam
- Best In-Mirror Camera: WOLFBOX G840S Mirror Cam
- Best Budget Camera: REDTIGER F7N-PLUS Dash Cam
- Best Mini Camera: Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2
Best Overall: ROVE R3 Dash Cam
- 3-inch IPS touchscreen
- 3-channel recording in front, cabin, and rear
- 150° field of view
- IR night vision cameras
- 5G, Wi-Fi, and GPS
- Supports up to 512GB
- Powered by a supercapacitor
The best camera for car security when you’re concerned about every angle is the ROVE R3 Dash Cam. It’s the company’s top on-dash camera to date and is a great way to keep your vehicle safe under any condition.
ROVE’s car camera is a 3-channel system for the front, rear, and interior of a vehicle. If someone managed to break in, that provides complete coverage of the key areas, including the cabin. While the viewing angle isn’t quite as wide as comparable systems, it records in 2K or 1080p across three channels. 4K and 1080p are available through 2-channel recording, and the large aperture improves details in the dark, along with four hidden IR LEDs for the cabin cam.
The ROVE R3 can give you a lot of information about your vehicle, whether parked or moving. There’s a built-in GPS module in the magnetic mount, a G-sensor, collision detection, and a built-in speakerphone. All that information is accessible through a 3-inch IPS touchscreen display or the company’s mobile app. The system can record on a loop, and connectivity is solid thanks to dual-band Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, if you want the Parking Mode feature, you must pick up an additional accessory.
Another reason we chose the R3 as our top choice is the battery. Their power pack is designed to withstand extreme temperatures, something that’s an issue inside cars. It’s fire and explosion-proof with a temperature range of -4°F to 158°F. Other features to note include time-lapse video, wide dynamic range, and U.S.-based customer support.
You can find the ROVE R3 dash cam at the top of many “best” car security cam lists, including ours. It’s a device I haven’t owned yet, but have seen in action, and it’s very impressive. The clarity was excellent in all modes, and the touchscreen simplifies things. The only downsides are the price if your budget is tight and the size if you’re looking for something a bit more discreet. Check out the ROVE R3 Dash Cam on Amazon.
|It provides clear coverage from all angles in 4K, 2K, or FHD.
|The display is not exactly discreet.
|There is dual-band Wi-Fi and a 3-inch touchscreen display.
|Their custom supercapacitor battery is better than lithium-ion.
|It’s easy to set up and install.
Runner-Up: ROVE R2 4K PRO Dash Cam
If you like the ROVE R3 but don’t need a 3-channel system, the ROVE R2 4K PRO is an excellent alternative. It’s half the price of the company’s flagship car security cameras but still has all the essential bells and whistles.
The R2 4K PRO is a single-channel camera, but one you can adjust to suit your needs. It’s front-facing, with a mount that allows you to swivel and set the system in other directions. The camera utilizes a Sony Starvis IMX 335 CMOS sensor instead of the IMX307 found in the R3 and has a 150-degree field of view.
This camera records video in 4K resolution at 30 frames per second or 2.5K at 60 FPS. The video is clear, although the camera is designed to work with the company’s CPL Filter. This add-on increases color tone and detail while reducing reflections from your windshield. The display isn’t a touchscreen, but it is easy to navigate through physical buttons.
While you can only record in one channel or mode, most of the features from R3 are present on this model. That means you’ll get Super Night Vision, built-in GPS, WDR, and their supercapacitor battery. It can handle time-lapse or looped recordings like its sibling and has dual-band Wi-Fi. The ROVE R2 4K Pro also has 24-hour parking mode, although you’ll need a hardwire kit to use it.
The ROVE R2 4K PRO can still cover your vehicle’s cabin or rear with the mount and has a higher resolution than the R3. It is affordable, just as easy to use, and packed with useful features. The biggest drawback is parking mode, as you’ll need to purchase a kit just like with the company’s flagship model car camera. Check out the ROVE R2-4K PRO Dash Cam on Amazon.
|The camera can record in 4K or 2K resolution.
|You’ll need the hardwired kit required for parking mode.
|It has an easy-to-use display with physical buttons.
|It’s excellent at night through Super Night Vision.
|The camera has a fantastic price point.
Best In-Mirror Camera: WOLFBOX G840S Mirror Cam
- Smart rearview mirror
- Records 4K front images and 1080p rear images
- Large display eliminates blind spots
- Enhanced night vision
- Features GPS tracking
The WOLFBOX G840S is the best camera for car security when you don’t like on-dash displays and want to try something different. This security camera is an in-mirror system, and you might be surprised at what it can do, given its size.
Unlike other car security cameras, the G840S is designed to replace your review mirror. It fits over the mirror and gives you a 12-inch touchscreen display with several nifty features. With the smart screen split feature, it can display the front or rear view from your vehicle or both at once. The display is slightly curved and incredibly easy to install.
The front-facing camera is located on the back of the mirror, but you’ll need to install and line the rear camera up. It records video in 1080p, while the front-facing camera can handle 4K. WOLFBOX’s mirror camera also comes with a GPS module, which allows real-time tracking while you’re on the road. As with most cameras in this class, you’ll need to pick up a hardwired kit to take full advantage of the features.
If you’re not keen on having a camera and display mounted to your dash or window, the WOLFBOX G40S is well worth a look. The unique nature of this security camera can take some getting used to, but consumers have been thrilled with the performance and price. Just keep in mind it doesn’t have Wi-Fi, and you’ll need the kit to unlock certain features. Check out the WOLFBOX G840S 12-Inch 4K Mirror Dash Cam Backup Camera on Amazon.
|It has a unique space-saving design.
|The hardwire kit installation may be tricky.
|There are excellent viewing angles on the front and rear-facing cameras.
|The design will take getting used to.
|It has a split-screen viewing feature.
|The camera is powered by a durable supercapacitor battery.
Best Budget Camera: REDTIGER F7N-PLUS Dash Cam
If you’re curious about car security cameras but don’t want to break the bank, consider the REDTIGER F7N-PLUS dash cam. This camera provides a full view of the front and back sides of any vehicle and has impressive clarity for the price.
Video captured from any car security camera is useless if it isn’t clear. That won’t be a problem with the F7N-PLUS, which captures 4K video from the front-facing camera. It has a 170-degree viewing angle, and images look just as good at night as they do during the daytime. That’s due in part to the popular Sony Starvis sensor and increased aperture.
The rear camera on this system records in 1080p and has a 140-degree FOV. The camera mount lets you swivel 360 degrees, while the front-facing sensor is attached to a 3.1-inch IPS display. It’s not touch-sensitive but vivid and easy to read. A GPS module is included in the camera mount for tracking. Some of the flagship features on this camera include 24/48-hour time-lapse monitoring, G-Sensor Parking Monitoring, and a supercapacitor battery.
This dash cam from REDTIGER is comparable to WOLFBOX’s rearview system but doesn’t require you to cover up any mirrors. It leaves a smaller footprint behind than similar models, and the image quality is excellent for the price. With that in mind, some users had trouble with the app and felt the documentation could have been better. Check out the REDTIGER F7N-PLUS Dash Cam on Amazon.
|It has a front and rear camera system at an affordable price.
|It’s limited without the hardwired kit.
|Both cameras have a wide field of view.
|The app is mediocre, and the documentation could be better.
|There is a built-in GPS module.
|It has an adjustable rear camera.
Best Mini: Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2
The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 is the best camera for car security when you don’t want people to know your vehicle is protected. It’s the smallest camera on our list, and while it only looks one way, it has some unique features.
This car camera is roughly the size of a car key but is designed to capture any incidents that occur. The Dash Cam Mini 2 has a 140-degree field of view and records in 1080p. It’s certainly compact and easy to control despite a lack of buttons or display. You can use your voice and ask this camera to start a recording or snap a quick photo.
When connected through the Garmin Drive app and Wi-Fi, you can access Parking Guard. This keeps an eye on your vehicle when it’s stationary, but you can also access a live view of your car at any time. Driver alerts are also an option, including warnings for lane departures, forward collisions, and speed cameras.
The highlight of this dash camera is its size and ease of installation. We also love the additional features available through the Garmin Drive app and the ability to store content in their vault. It’s a device that won’t cause distractions while you’re driving, which is a huge bonus over other systems. While the clarity doesn’t match 4K or 2K cameras, it gets the job done, and it’s hard to argue with the price. Check out the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 on Amazon.
|It’s small, discreet, and easy to install.
|The video quality is capped at 1080p and 30fps.
|The audio and video quality is solid for the price.
|There is no speed or location info without the GPS module.
|You can control it with your voice to a degree.
|It’s a distraction-free device.
How to Pick the Best Camera for Car Security: Step by Step
Using a camera for car security is a great way to keep an eye on your vehicle while also adding an extra eyewitness to the scene if an accident occurs. They are useful, but there are dozens of models to choose from. Most share more similarities than differences, which makes finding the perfect model difficult. Well, it doesn’t have to be if you understand which areas are important with these gadgets.
- Resolution and Viewing Angles
You’ll frequently hear the term channels when looking for a car security camera or in-dash system. This refers to how many cameras a car’s security system has. A 2-channel system covers the front and rear of a vehicle, while a single channel is usually just the front. A 3-channel system comes with a camera for a car’s front, rear, and interior.
Knowing the channels helps you decide which “zones” of your vehicle you want to cover while narrowing the options. Those channels are tied to a display unless the camera only takes offline recordings. What’s important to note is that just because your car has three cameras doesn’t mean you can view them all at once.
That isn’t feasible on many of the smaller displays included with these systems. There are models with split-screen viewing, but it’s a feature you’ll want to check on beforehand.
Resolution and Viewing Angles
Video of someone breaking into your car or hitting it while parked is helpful. It’s pointless if the video is blurry, which is where resolution comes into play. Just like video doorbells, dash cams have camera sensors that help determine image quality.
Most dash cams on our list, along with ones that didn’t make the cut, use a version of Sony’s Starvos sensor. While that’s great, the resolution is more important. The higher the resolution, the better the image, whether it’s a license plate or someone suspicious eyeballing your car.
The viewing angle or field of view gives you an idea of how the camera sees the world. The wider the FOV, the more it can take in or capture. Again, bigger is better, although most dash cams have a range within 5-10 degrees of each other.
Cameras designed for car security are usually easy to install, but there’s one thing most consumers overlook. To get the most out of any car security camera, it always needs access to power. While you can accomplish that with a variety of adapters and cables included with the camera, it’s not a substitute for a hardwired system.
All but the simplest of car cameras require a hardwiring kit if you want to access all the features. That includes popular options like parking mode, which needs power when your vehicle is off. While you can find bundles that include hardwiring kits, they typically don’t come with the camera. That increases the cost of the system along with the potential installation cost of the kit.
Another overlooked area key to this type of gadget is the software that powers it. In some cases, that could be an app, but there’s usually a lot more going on under the hood than you realize. Have you ever used something with unbearable software? It’s not a pleasant experience.
That’s something common with cameras for car security from lesser-known brands. You’ll find plenty of them in this niche alongside names like Garmin, Kenwood, and ROVE. Customer reviews are a great way to get an idea of what to expect with software, support, and user manuals. All three are important and make using and installing car cameras challenging.
What to Know Before Buying Cameras for Car Security
Outside of the areas we covered, there are a few other things you’ll want to be aware of before buying a camera for car security. Supercapacitor batteries are popular, but the temperature range can vary considerably. The same is true for storage capacity.
While most cameras in this range require a microSD card for video storage, some can handle larger cards than others. It’s also important to remember that many of the flagship features will only work with constant power. That means when your car is off, you’ll need to have them hardwired.
Using a Camera for Car Security: What It’s Like
If you’ve used any type of webcam or wireless camera, you shouldn’t have trouble with a camera designed for car security. Most resemble exotic-looking webcams and have cables that run from the display to the cameras.
How easy they are to use depends on the manufacturer’s mobile app and the camera’s design or display itself. As long as you buy a high-quality system, the image clarity should be good enough to make out license plates. Other features can be hit or miss, however, depending on the software and customer support.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©kpakook/Shutterstock.com.