Whether you're serious about security or simply want to spy on a mischievous pet, these clever cameras are vying for a spot in your home.

Icontrol Networks Piper NV

CNET RATING (out of 5)

4.5 stars (outstanding)

THE GOOD. From setup to shutdown, Icontrol Networks' $269 Piper NV all-in-one security device was an absolute delight to use.

THE BAD. You'll spend more upfront than some other stand-alone security options. It doesn't have an IFTTT channel or offer partnerships with third-party brands beyond its basic Z-Wave integrations.

THE COST. $199

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BOTTOM LINE. For easy, seamless, do-it-yourself home security and automation integration, look no further than the Piper NV.

Nest Cam

CNET RATING (out of 5)

4.5 stars (outstanding)

THE GOOD. Nest Cam's high-resolution video, magnetic base, pivoting stand and updated app make this an improvement over many other DIY cameras.

THE BAD. This is still just a webcam at heart. While it does offer security features like opt-in motion and sound alerts, you can only receive one notification every 30 minutes.

THE COST. $199 to $219.99 (512 GB)

BOTTOM LINE. Budding DIYers searching for a high-resolution live streaming camera can't do better than Nest Cam.

Dropcam Pro

CNET RATING (out of 5)

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4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD. It's easy to use and set up, and you can view a remote video feed over the Internet or on your iOS or Android mobile device. The new zoom/enhance feature works well; there is no service fee for basic live viewing; and the addition of Bluetooth makes setup easy.

THE BAD. You may experience some lag with the video and audio.

THE COST. $179 to $235

BOTTOM LINE. A dramatic improvement on the company's previous generation wireless home-monitoring camera.

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Belkin NetCam HD+ Wi-Fi Camera

CNET RATING (out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD. This comparatively inexpensive IP camera has a lot of high-end features including night vision and two-way talk. It's also compatible with Belkin WeMo products.

THE BAD. You need to pay the $10 monthly or $100 yearly fee to store video clips and receive motion-related push notifications, and you are dependent on the Belkin servers.

THE COST. $114.98

BOTTOM LINE. Belkin's NetCam HD+ is a fantastic option for budget-minded DIY security enthusiasts.

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: executive editor David Carnoy, associate editor Megan Wollerton and senior editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit cnet.com.

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