The best webcam for working from home
When you can’t make it to the office for important meetings or conferences, a webcam is the next best option.
Besides high image and audio quality, it’s important to choose a webcam with features that suit your needs. For some work-from-home professionals, this may mean better lighting, compatibility with specific apps, or noise cancellation.
Our buying guide will walk you through the top considerations and factors. In addition to a few tips to help narrow your choices, we’ll share a few recommendations at the end. Our top choice, the Logitech BRIO UHD Webcam for Video Conferencing, even offers the added security measure of facial recognition.
Considerations when choosing webcams for working from home
Frequency of use
Before you shell out big bucks for a pricey webcam for working from home, consider how often you intend to use it.
If you participate in video conferencing at least once a week, a larger investment in a better-quality webcam is easily justifiable. However, if you need a webcam for the one-off meeting, an affordable entry-level webcam will suffice.
In addition to confirming the operating system (OS) is compatible with the webcam you are considering, make sure all drivers are downloaded and up to date. With some webcams, you’ll need to install additional drivers or software from the manufacturer website.
For Mac users, finding a compatible webcam is a bit more challenging, but it’s not impossible. It’s also common for certain webcams to require a special Mac app to work.
Webcams vs. built-in cams
Webcams are often superior in terms of image and audio quality. Many of them are equipped with features like integrated LED lights or advanced magnification settings for a better conferencing experience. However, some webcams are complicated to use or adjust.
The main perk of built-in webcams is that they don’t cost anything extra. Because they’re integrated with software, they often have advanced settings and features that are easy to adjust. One of the pitfalls, however, is that image and audio may not be as clear as you need.
Top features in webcams for working from home
A webcam for working from home should have stellar image quality, which is mostly affected by resolution, frame rate, and settings.
Webcams offer 720p, 1080p, or 4K resolution for video calls or streaming. The higher the resolution, the better and crisper the image will be. Frames rate, or frames per second (fps), is also important to consider. For streaming, it’s best to choose webcams that are 30 fps or higher.
Webcams are equipped with a series of features to improve image quality, too. These include autofocus, zoom, and wide-angle viewing. More advanced webcams have highly involved settings that fine-tune image quality and lighting.
Sound quality is just as important as image quality in webcams.
Lower-quality webcams pick up audio, but they won’t do much to improve its quality. In some models, they may distort your voice or have a delay. Better quality microphones, on the other hand, often have noise-cancellation to filter out ambient noise, even in loud environments.
A few webcams are equipped with built-in LED lights, a convenient feature for many work-from-home professionals.
These webcams often have advanced settings to adjust light modes or image quality. A built-in light eliminates the need to purchase ambient lighting. Plus you won’t need to make room on your desk for a lamp or ring light. They also take the guesswork out of optimal light positioning.
Entry-level webcams for working from home cost between $40 and $85, though image and audio quality are hit or miss. Mid-range options with ultra-sharp image quality run between $100 and $150, while high-end webcams with the best microphones cost from $250 to $500.
Q. Is it hard to mount a webcam?
A. Most webcams have universal mounts that are adjustable to screen thickness. If fit is an issue, which occasionally happens with laptop monitors, you can purchase a freestanding mount for the webcam.
Q. Do webcams have any privacy features?
A. Yes. Some webcams have privacy shutters that cover the lens when the device isn’t in use. Other webcams require passwords or facial recognition to unlock the camera. A few webcams integrate with parental control settings on PCs and limit camera access.
Webcams for working from home we recommend
Best of the best: Logitech BRIO UHD Webcam for Video Conferencing
Our take: An impressive 4K UHD webcam that knocks it out of the park in terms of image quality.
What we like: Offers a 90-degree field of view and 5-times zoom. Microphone captures finely tuned sound to relay clear audio. Mount is secure and stable. Works well with leading video conferencing platforms.
What we dislike: Mixed success when it comes to attaching the mount to monitors.
Best bang for your buck: NexiGo HD Web Camera for Conferencing
Our take: Easily the best option if you’re on a budget and still want high-quality image and audio.
What we like: Has a built-in noise reduction mic. Ultra-wide 110-degree viewing angle and 1080p full HD for premium video quality. Compatible with most OS, including some versions of macOS.
What we dislike: Not the easiest webcam to configure.
Choice 3: Razer Kiyo
Our take: Earns praise for superb streaming, even in low-quality light conditions.
What we like: Integrated LED light helps illuminate users and eliminates the need for pricey ring lights. Several resolution modes that are easy to switch between. Sturdy design.
What we dislike: The microphone is on the side, which affects audio clarity.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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