Specialized Windows Hello biometric webcams that both log you in to your computer and make you look great on video calls are undeniably useful work-at-home accessories. And now, in 2023, they’re much easier to find.
Why buy a Windows Hello webcam? A top 1080p webcam helps you look your best in video calls in Microsoft Teams or Zoom. But Microsoft’s secure-login Windows Hello system uses facial recognition technology to log in Windows 10 or Windows 11 in a split second without the need to enter a password every time you log on to your PC. It makes sense people would want to pair a desktop PC or laptop with a Windows Hello-compatible webcam in order to get its convenient security benefits.
Windows Hello webcams from Dell and Logitech top our list, but the good news is that there are Windows Hello webcams available for well under $100. Most include premium features such as 1080p resolution, making them a top choice for a new PC webcam.
Below, we’ve listed several Windows Hello webcams that we recommend, though we’ve trimmed several that simply don’t live up to what our preferred webcams offer. Want more information? We’ve included a buying guide and a FAQ after our best Windows Hello webcam picks. You can also review our 1080p webcam buyer’s guide for recommendations of webcams without Windows Hello support.
Logitech Brio 4K Ultra HD Webcam – Best Windows Hello webcam overall
- 4K resolution
- Autofocus capabilities
- High MSRP, but can be found for less
Logitech’s Brio is often the default choice for a solid Windows Hello webcam. It still ranks highly among premium webcams, primarily because it’s one of the few autofocusing webcams that captures in 4K resolution. Windows Hello comes along for the ride. The Brio includes a ton of features to make you look great, and its Windows Hello support will log you in in a snap. The MSRP is $199.99, but you can often find it for much less (hurray, competition!). That is, when this popular camera isn’t sold out.
For many, Logitech’s Brio 4K Ultra HD will be overkill. But a legion of devoted fans also consider it to be the gold standard for PC webcams, with or without Windows Hello.
Dell UltraSharp 4K Webcam (WB7022) – Best 4K Windows Hello webcam
- 4K resolution
- AI framing
- You'll have to supply your own mic
Dell’s UltraSharp WB7022 webcam is unusual in that it’s one of a small but growing number of 4K webcams designed either for streaming video or for those who simply desire to look one’s best in a videoconferencing call.
It offers a ton of features: HDR, auto-focusing, digital zoom (up to 5X), framing, brightness, saturation, and more. Unusually, the WB7022 is neither fixed-focus, nor does it offer a fixed field of view (FOV). Dell’s AI framing crops the image to keep your face centered, and you have the option of configuring the field of view from 90 degrees, 78 degrees, and down to a narrow 65 degrees. Dell applies HDR, temporal, and spatial noise reduction to help you look your best.
There’s no mic (Dell uses your laptop instead) and a magnetic privacy shutter that clips on. See our story on Dell’s WB7022.
NexiGo HelloCam – Best budget Windows Hello webcam
- Solid value for the price
- Utility software needs to be installed
- Cord is short and sometimes loose
Honestly, many of you will probably buy this Windows Hello webcam and simply not miss the more expensive alternatives. About the only feature you may miss in this 1080p, 30fps webcam is autofocus capability, and most fixed-focus webcams are tuned for the average distance (in the HelloCam’s case, between 12.4 and 47.2 inches) that someone sits from their laptop or display. The field of view is a relatively narrow 90 degrees.
This webcam ships with both noise-cancelling mics as well as auto-exposure capabilities, which should leave you looking and sounding professional on your next Zoom call or Teams meeting. There’s a privacy cover, too, for when this webcam is not in use. Interestingly, the privacy shutter is software-controlled, but the lens cover is orange — in other words, it should be obvious when your camera can and can’t see you. NexiGo does require its utility software to be installed.
You may consider the USB-A to USB-C cable a bit finicky and short, but that’s a small knock on an otherwise solid value. The cable can also be replaced.
Elecom Facial Recognition Webcam (UCAM-CF20FBBK) – Best budget Windows Hello webcam, runner-up
- The cheapest Windows Hello webcam you can buy, probably
- 1080p, fixed focus
- Short cable
- Single mic
- Lens cover blocks the Windows Hello sensor
Elecom is a Japanese brand, and this Amazon-stocked webcam is relatively bare-bones — but it’s clearly the lowest-priced Windows Hello webcam on the list. Surprisingly, it offers 1080p functionality, but don’t be surprised if the image quality is a bit less than expected. Still, for under $50 this is a great deal for those who want to secure their PC with Windows Hello.
The Elecom webcam is a 1080p, fixed-focus, 80-degree wide angle webcam, recording at 30fps. The single mic includes echo and noise reduction. The cable length of the included cable is just four inches or so, so you may need to swap it out with a longer option. The included webcam cover also covers the IR sensor, too, so you’ll need to uncover it every time you use it.
What to look for in a Windows Hello webcam
Windows Hello dates back to 2015, and the introduction of Windows 10 running on Microsoft’s Surface hardware. It replaces the need to type your password to log in every time you sit down at your desk, providing a speedy yet secure compromise to secure your PC.
Typically, Windows Hello is associated with depth-camera technology, which recognizes the various contours of your face, identifying you and only you. (A normal webcam doesn’t understand that it’s looking at a 3D image.) The image is then compared with a reference image which is stored during setup. The process itself is fast: It takes just a second or two for a Windows Hello webcam to recognize you, verify your identity to the PC it’s connected to via a USB cable, and log you in. Windows Hello can also read your fingerprint with a separate Windows Hello fingerprint reader, but these webcams are all you need.
1080p: The resolution of the webcam matters. Most laptops still ship with 720p webcams, and a higher-resolution webcam will make you look better than your colleagues.
Fixed-focus versus autofocus: A worthwhile but not critical feature, autofocus will keep you in focus if you move back and forth, walk around the room, or so on. Fixed-focus webcams usually work just fine for normal use.
Auto-exposure: Most webcams will adjust their exposure for the available lighting, but superior webcams will do so in a way that makes you look well-lit and not a webcam zombie.
Noise cancellation: Running a fan in the background? Are the neighbors mowing their lawn or blowing their leaves away? A good noise-cancelling webcam with a mic will filter out these background noises.
What do I need to use a Windows Hello webcam?
The webcam, a USB cable to connect it to your PC, and a desktop or laptop with Windows 10 or Windows 11 are all you need. We’ve never seen a webcam that uses a proprietary USB cable, so you can always spend a few dollars and buy a longer one if for some reason if it’s too short.
How do I set up a Windows Hello webcam?
After buying a webcam, make sure you have a Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC. Connect the webcam to the PC via the USB cable and that should be all you need for basic webcam functionality. (Some webcams require you to install their utility software to function, however.) In the Windows 10 or Windows 11 Settings menu, search for “Set up face sign-in.” Then click the “Facial recognition (Windows Hello)” menu.
When that screen appears, you’ll need to add a PIN or password as a backup. Be sure that your PC is using your webcam (though it should by default). Windows Hello setup requires simply looking at the screen while the webcam looks at you and records your image.
Is a Windows Hello webcam secure?
In general, yes. You shouldn’t have to worry about a rebellious teen holding up a photo they snapped of your face and logging in. Just be sure to secure your PC by logging out or setting a timeout function if you get up from your PC and walk away.
What happens if my Windows Hello webcam doesn’t recognize me?
That can happen, over time. A beard (or lack of one), new glasses, a big hat, or something else that obscures your face can interfere with Windows Hello. You can always go to (on Windows 11) Settings> Accounts > Sign-in options and “improve recognition” — the phrase Windows uses for updating what you look like to your PC.
This story was updated on January 23, 2023 to update our recommendations, provide a buying guide, and add a FAQ.