Home security systems are one of the best smart home purchases anyone can have. They can be costly though, some are hundreds of dollars plus a monthly subscription fee. Fortunately there are apps that provide some of the most important features of security camera systems for free.

The best security camera app on the market is Manything for iOS and Android devices. All you'll need is an extra smartphone or tablet you may have lying around the house. As long as it works, can load an app and has a camera (they all do right?) Manything may be just what you're looking for.

It's simple to use; just download the Manything app on the device you'll use as the security camera and on the devices you'll have with you. Prop up the smartphone you'll use as a camera and aim it toward the area you want to monitor. 

Anytime you want to watch the live stream of the video and hear audio, just open up the app on the phone you have with you or log-in to the Manything website. The video and audio are of good quality. 

If the camera and Manything app sense motion you'll get a notification on your other device alerting you that something is going on. You can also set the Manything app to record video and audio captured when motion is detected. The video can be saved for several days through a subscription fee. 

The Manything app is free and you can watch the live stream anytime. If you want to record video there is a monthly subscription fee starting at $2.99 for one camera.

How well does it work? I use it and I've always received notifications when there is movement. You can also trigger a siren on the recording device that might scare away a burglar. On the Manything website they've posted some of the best videos that the app has captured. Recently the videos that have been uploaded include a burglar ransacking a house, another burglar stealing packages from the doorstep and several of pets that were tearing up pillows while their owner was away. 

There are many home security apps in both iTunes and the Google Play Store but from what I've tried, Manything is the best of the lot.