Surveillance cameras are one of the more popular tech tools keeping homes safe and sound. Today’s cameras are equipped with smart and proactive security features to make home surveillance stress-free and simple. We created this buyer’s guide filled with tips and our top recommendations to help you pick the perfect security camera.

Safety.com’s Top Security Cameras

Our experts have narrowed down the industry’s top three cameras. For a full list, check out the top 25 security cameras.

Best Outdoor Security Camera Features

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$179.99

Why we picked it:

  • Automatic recording to never miss a moment, regardless of motion detection, so you never miss a moment
  • Receive mobile Person Alerts directly to your smartphone when someone’s detected at your door
  • Set Activity Zones using your smartphone to keep an eye on important zones outside your home

Best Smart Home Security Camera

Ring Spotlight Camera

Rating:

4

Cost:

$169.00

Why we picked it:

  • Custom motion detection settings to match your family’s door and window activity to prevent false alarms
  • Loud and clear 110-decibel siren and built-in light set to go off automatically when triggered
  • Conveniently view real-time video with audio using the Ring app from your smartphone

Best Value Security Camera

Swann Bullet Camera

Rating:

5

Cost:

Why we picked it:

  • 102-degree wide viewing angle to see more of your home’s surroundings
  • PIR heat motion sensor that detects people, cars, and other large objects
  • Weatherproof dome-shaped camera design to be less obvious to intruders


Understanding different types of security cameras

Outdoor security cameras include a number of built-in features for your safety and convenience. But, there are a few essential specifications to look for when choosing a security camera. If you’re leaning towards a monitored system, start by comparing providers and offers to pick the perfect one for your home.

Wireless vs. wired security cameras

Wireless cameras are easy to install and reposition, but you’ll want to check the battery levels periodically to ensure they’re fully powered. Some battery-operated outdoor security cameras require a small hole to mount the camera outside. Other wireless surveillance cameras come with adhesive mounting tools free from drilling and easy to remove from rental properties. Wired security cameras may require professional installation and drilling to connect it to a power outlet to power the security camera recording system.

DIY vs. monitored security camera systems

Do-it-yourself (DIY) home security systems can be cost-effective and convenient with online portals and smart technology. But, keep a few facts in mind. Most DIY surveillance systems don’t automatically connect 24/7 monitoring services to always keep you alert. Some come with limited support and may be more expensive in the end. Monitored home security systems from leading providers offer automatic emergency notifications and services even when you’re away. Your home is always connected to a service to control and support your safety concerns with ease.

Top surveillance camera features to consider before buying

High-definition (HD) video quality

The higher the camera resolution, the sharper the images. Ideally, you’ll want a 1080p or higher resolution for the best view. Keep in mind that if you connect your camera to a digital video recorder (DVR) to record your camera’s footage, it will also need to be HD compatible to have crystal clear photos and videos.

Night vision

Clear night vision is one of the most important features for outdoor security cameras. To get the best and brightest night view, consider a camera with infrared (IR) technology to sending bright light through wavelengths. The number of infrared LEDs used in a camera determines how far your outdoor security camera will be able to clearly show what’s outside your home. Look for surveillance cameras that have at least 100 feet or better of night vision. Many models also have a built-in IR cut-switch that automatically enables and disables the infrared technology depending on the lighting conditions.

Pan, tilt and zoom function

Cameras with remote-controlled pan, tilt, and zoom functionality are ideal for providing coverage to larger areas and allow the user to get the best viewing angle possible without physically repositioning the camera.

Mobile device remote control

Many outdoor security cameras available today are able to live stream a feed directly to your mobile device. If you want to be able to check in during the day or while away for extended periods, this is a valuable feature to have. Be sure to choose a camera that is compatible with your device. Generally, remote access, mobile alerts or cloud-based features require monthly or yearly fees with your home security monitoring provider.

Weather resistance

Every outdoor security camera should have some degree of safeguarding against the weather and the outdoors. There are models to suit every type of climate whether rainy, freezing, high temperature or heavy winds. Look for a hood that protects the lens so that it’s not obstructed by precipitation. In addition, some come with thermostatic controls, which allow the camera to heat or cool to prevent condensation from forming over the lens and obscuring its sight.


The 25 Best Outdoor Security Cameras

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

Best Outdoor Security Camera Features

1. Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$179.99

Description:

The Nest outdoor surveillance camera is equipped with a 1080p HD live video and 130-degree wide angle lens for a clear view of your visitor and all surroundings. Stay up to date on your home’s outdoor activity 24/7 using the Nest app and a smartphone via automated mobile notifications.

Key Features

  • Weather resistant design to function normally while withstanding extreme rain and wind
  • Built-in speakers and microphone to clearly communicate with guests from your mobile device to your camera
  • Receive a ‘person alert’ via the Nest mobile app from the camera to alert you when someone’s outside of your home
Learn More
Ring Spotlight Camera

Best Smart Home Security Camera

2. Ring Spotlight Camera

Rating:

4

Cost:

$169.00

Description:

The Ring Spotlight outdoor surveillance camera uses a 1080p HD video for crystal clear live footage. The camera seamlessly pairs with Amazon’s Alexa voice commands to cue real-time video monitoring for a convenient, connected smart home.

Key Features

  • Trigger the camera’s siren using a mobile device to alert suspicious activity outside your home
  • See and speak with visitors seen on the Ring security camera via a mobile device
  • Automatically mobile alerts to your smartphone when motion is detected using Ring’s mobile app
Learn More
Swann Bullet Camera

Best Value Security Camera

3. Swann Bullet Camera

Rating:

5

Cost:

Description:

The Swann Thermal Sensor Outdoor Security Camera works seamlessly with Swann security systems for a safe, smart home. The camera offers wide viewing angles, night vision within 100 feet and 1080p camera quality to clearly catch all activity outside your door.

Key Features

  • Pairs with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to control the security camera using voice commands for convenience
  • Rechargeable camera to reduce the costs and the regular routine of changing batteries
  • Loud and clear 100-decibel siren that can be activated to alert activity from your home or on the go using Arlo’s app
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Arlo Pro Security Camera

Best Wireless Security Camera

4. Arlo Pro Security Camera

Rating:

4

Cost:

$298.00

Description:

Arlo’s Pro security camera is IP65-certified – proven to work against extreme weather conditions, dirt, and dust. Install these wireless security cameras outside your home, but enjoy the convenience of seeing and speaking with your visitors using Arlo’s app whether at home or away.

Key Features

  • Pairs with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to control the security camera using voice commands for convenience
  • Rechargeable camera to reduce the costs and the regular routine of changing batteries
  • Loud and clear 100-decibel siren that can be activated to alert activity from your home or on the go using Arlo’s app
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Lorex Security Camera

Most Durable Security Camera

5. Lorex Security Camera

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

Description:

Lorex’s heavy metal home security camera is weather resistant with a 112-degree wide field view. This camera keeps the photo and video clarity top of mind with a 4K image sensor and a 4K video that still keeps a clear, crisp quality when zooming in.

Key Features

  • 4K pixels for videos and photos four times better than 1080p resolution
  • Color night vision for better viewing instead of the more common black and white infrared lighting at dark
  • Night vision width of over 200 feet for a wider view of your home, visitors and vicinity
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Zmodo Security Camera System

6. Zmodo Security Camera System

Rating:

4

Cost:

$106.22

Description:

The wireless Zmodo security camera is the best-bargained option with two cameras for the price of one. The camera includes 720p HD night viewing and infrared lights that shine within 65 feet to clearly see who’s at your door at night.

Key Features

  • Uses Zmodo Cloud service to quickly and safely store all security camera
  • View real-time camera footage using the mobile Zmodo app from a mobile device to always know who’s at your home even when you’re away
  • Weather resistant to continue monitoring your home in temperatures ranging from -10 to 50 degrees
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Netatmo Outdoor Security Camera

7. Netatmo Outdoor Security Camera

Rating:

4

Cost:

$299.61

Description:

The Netatmo Presence smart surveillance camera gives homeowners 24/7 home security with automatic mobile alerts and a built-in smart LED floodlight. Always know who’s within 65 feet of your home using your smartphone to see real-time security camera footage.

Key Features

  • Warn unwanted guests that you’re watching by controlling the smart floodlight to shine day or night using Netatmo’s app or a manual switch
  • Activate Alert-Zones to receive automatic mobile alerts when visitors enter designated areas outside the home
  • Meets HZO protection standards for a weather resistant security camera
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ADT Outdoor Camera

8. ADT Outdoor Camera

Rating:

5

Cost:

Description:

ADT’s Pulse captures sharp 720p images and videos, even in limited lighting, to give you the best view of your home from your smartphone. The Pulse even allows your phone to control your outdoor security camera to see real-time activity from different angles to stay aware of your home and loved one’s safety.

Key Features

  • Automatically receive alerts and HD video when suspicious activity and alarms are detected outside of your home
  • Stay aware of your home’s security activity with a detailed log of all past events
  • Pair with Alexa for voice commands to manage your home, doors, alarms, and outdoor cameras anywhere using
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Smonet Security Camera

9. Smonet Security Camera

Rating:

4

Cost:

$199.99

Description:

This battery-operated, weatherproof security camera system improves home security with the power to watch historical and real-time footage anytime, anywhere using your smartphone. The camera includes a 720p HD camera and wide-angle lens night vision to clearly capture all activity whether rain or shine.

Key Features

  • Store and review all of your security camera footage using the camera’s 4TB hard drive that stores up to 30 days of continuous footage at a time
  • See activity clearly at dark using the night vision infrared lights and lens that shows anything within 65 feet of your home
  • Watch real-time footage for up to eight cameras at once using Smonet’s mobile app via smartphone
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Nest Cam IQ

10. Nest Cam IQ

Rating:

5

Cost:

Description:

The Nest Cam IQ is Nest’s latest outdoor Wi-Fi-enabled camera. The camera is equipped with 1080p HDR, a 4K sensor and digital zoom-in up to 12x for crisp, clear camera footage. It also includes close-up tracking to automatically zoom in and follow the movement of the person using your smartphone and the Nest app.

Key Features

  • Certified IP66 as a weatherproof outdoor camera
  • Includes Nest Personal Alerts to detect a person within 50 feet of the camera
  • Uses a built-in 4K sensor to zoom in 12x for a close-up view of your home
Learn More
EZVIZ Outdoor Security Camera

11. EZVIZ Outdoor Security Camera

Rating:

4

Cost:

$59.99

Description:

The EZVIZ outdoor security camera works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands to quickly and conveniently show you live footage from the security camera. The smart camera also uses HiFi speakers so you can use your phone to talk to visitors.

Key Features

  • Uses a 360-degree swivel mounted from the ceiling to show all angles of your home
  • Shines strobe light and alarms 100-decibel loud siren when motion is detected all while automatically recording all footage and sending you a mobile notification
  • Shows night vision within 98 feet of the home using automated light detection and an infrared filter for a sharp black and white view
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Sequro Video Surveillance System

12. Sequro Video Surveillance System

Rating:

4.0

Cost:

$189.99

Description:

Sequro’s GuardPro security camera provides two real-time viewing options that show up to four cameras using the 7-inch color LCD touch screen or Sequro GuardOne app. The two cameras show 720p HD color viewing and night vision while storing all footage on a 256GB microSD card.

Key Features

  • Watch real-time activity, schedule recording and replay footage using the Portable All-In-One touch screen monitor or the Sequro GuardPro mobile app for controlled home security
  • Adjust the built-in motion detector sensitivity using the mobile app to avoid false alarms
  • Encrypted security camera footage to reduce the risks of hacking or theft
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Foscam Security Camera

13. Foscam Security Camera

Rating:

4.0

Cost:

$69.99

Description:

Foscam’s Wi-Fi outdoor security camera is wireless for easy installation. The smart surveillance camera includes a web server to access live activity and Foscam Cloud stored videos from anywhere using a mobile device.

Key Features

  • Includes an advanced wide dynamic range (WDR) for a clear, crisp view of visitors with lighting correction for darker areas
  • Access video playback, real-time activity, and alarms via smartphone using Foscam’s mobile app
  • Easily store all camera videos and photos with a 128 microSD
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HIKVISION Security Camera

14. HIKVISION Security Camera

Rating:

4.0

Cost:

$110.69

Description:

The HIKVISION outdoor camera uses a 106-degree wide angle view with night vision clarity within 100 feet at night for sharp views of visitors and your home’s vicinity. Receive mobile alerts of both motion and intrusion detection using the iVMS-4500 mobile app for real-time coverage on the go.

Key Features

  • Designed with region of interest (ROI) to pinpoint important areas during recording for well-defined videos
  • Weather resistant to operate in extreme temperature conditions ranging from -22 to 140 degrees F with IP167 certification to ensure safe, weatherproof operation
  • Uses 4 megapixels (MP) sensor for crystal clear videos and photos
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Wansview Outdoor Security Camera

16. Wansview Outdoor Security Camera

Rating:

4.0

Cost:

$59.99

Description:

The Wansview Outdoor Security Camera includes a built-in microphone, speaker, and siren to alert suspicious activity or chat with guests using the Kasa Smart app. The camera gives a sharp view of your home using a 1080p video regardless of the weather or where you are.

Key Features

  • Set special activity zones using the Kasa Smart mobile app for the camera to closely monitor and send a mobile alert if sound or motion is detected in specified areas
  • Wireless installation with a magnetic mount to easily maneuver the security camera
  • Conveniently control other smart home devices using the Kasa mobile app for a safe, smart home
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Amcrest Outdoor Security Camera

18. Amcrest Outdoor Security Camera

Rating:

4.0

Cost:

$79.98

Description:

Amcrest’s sturdy, metal outdoor security camera has 30 infrared LED lights to show up to 98 feet at night. Even when you’re away from home, check on your home and view encrypted live footage on Amcrest’s web portal via your mobile device for peace of mind.

Key Features

  • Get real-time mobile notifications from the Amcrest view app via your smartphone or PC from your surveillance camera
  • Up to four hours of free Amcrest cloud video storage to safely keep and playback footage
  • 3 megapixel with exceptional 1080p HD quality for crisp security camera photos and videos
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Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

19. Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

Rating:

4

Cost:

Description:

The latest Vivint outdoor camera uses Smart Sentry™ allows the camera to monitor a “surveillance zone” to detect and deter threats by paying close attention to anyone who enters your home’s vicinity. Once the camera spots someone, it sounds a tone to let them know the camera is watching. This surveillance camera also instantly records activity when a door or window is opened so you’ll always know what’s happening at home.

Key Features

  • Designed with Smart Sentry™ to spot and deter any threats
  • Includes Hybrid Wired Wi-Fi for crystal clear video with less buffering time
  • Speak to visitors clearly using two-way talk
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Night Owl Security Camera

20. Night Owl Security Camera

Rating:

4.0

Cost:

Description:

Night Owl’s wired surveillance system includes six outdoor security cameras that can all be managed using the Night Owl HD mobile app. Quickly review and save both real-time and historical videos to your smartphone from the camera’s built-in hard disk drive.

Key Features

  • Eliminates false security alarms using smart Patent Pending Dual Sensor Technology and only notifies you of suspicious activity
  • Save videos to your smartphone for easy playback and sharing
  • Automatically receive Night Owl’s Real-Time Motion Alert to your mobile device when questionable movement is detected
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Frontpoint Outdoor Camera

21. Frontpoint Outdoor Camera

Rating:

4

Cost:

Description:

Frontpoint’s outdoor security camera is equipped with day and night vision functionality to capture sharp videos and images. With a powerful motion detection distance, your camera captures any movement without adjustable settings to send alerts only for what matters most.

Key Features

  • Records and encrypts video recordings to safely store them for playback
  • Wireless, IP65 certified weatherproof design with temperatures ranging from 4 to 122 degree F to monitor your home regardless of the forecast
  • Three video recording resolution options up to 1280x800p for clear, crisp real-time footage
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Montavue Security Camera

22. Montavue Security Camera

Rating:

4

Cost:

$599.95

Description:

The Montavue surveillance system includes four 2K outdoor security cameras and four video recorders. The security system can be managed using the MontavueGO app to conveniently see real-time activity using a mobile device.

Key Features

  • Two bullet cameras and two drone cameras with 2K resolution for twice as clear 1080p HD photos and videos
  • Night vision range of 130 feet with colored viewing to see people and objects clearly at night
  • 6TB of built-in video storage to store 50 hours of HD video activity with a 2-year warranty
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Maximus Floodlight Security Camera

23. Maximus Floodlight Security Camera

Rating:

3.5

Cost:

$197.99

Description:

The Maximus Floodlight Camera includes two-way audio with a built-in speaker and microphone to clearly communicate with visitors using the Kuna app without needing to unlock your phone. If you’re unable to answer, quickly send automatic greetings and review the activity later from your smartphone.

Key Features

  • Crystal clear 1080p HD camera and louder than average 115-decibel siren for enhanced home security and alerts
  • 155-degree field of view lens to see surroundings within 70 feet of your home
  • Use the Kuna app to conveniently control the built-in security light, motion detection alerts, and custom weekend lighting schedules
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YI Outdoor Security Camera

24. YI Outdoor Security Camera

Rating:

3.5

Cost:

$79.99

Description:

Manage your home’s security using YI outdoor security cameras and the YI Home mobile app for easy, convenient monitoring. The YI surveillance camera uses precise sensors and smart technology to only send alert notifications when the skeptical activity takes place to reduce false alarms.

Key Features

  • Built-in microphone and speaker to support two-way audio between you and guests
  • Safely store and watch footage using YI Cloud storage for up to five YI cameras with one YI Home mobile app account
  • Schedule mobile alerts using the YI Home app to receive notifications when you choose
Learn More
Reolink Solar Powered Camera

25. Reolink Solar Powered Camera

Rating:

3.5

Cost:

$117.99

Description:

The Reolink Argus Pro is powered by a solar panel for continuous power. This outdoor security camera includes a rechargeable battery with low-battery notifications for an easy, cost-effective recharge and additional power option.

Key Features

  • IP65 certified weather resistant to work against extreme weather conditions and dirt
  • 1080p HD camera for crystal clear color view during daytime and infrared night vision within 33 feet of the home
  • 130-degree field of vision to see more of your home’s vicinity using clearly using the Reolink mobile app
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Viewing 10 of 25 products


Outdoor security camera FAQs

How does video surveillance security work?

A surveillance security system will typically consist of several cameras connected—either hardwired or wireless— to a digital video recorder (DVR), which records the images and displays them on a monitor.

How much home security camera coverage is needed?

The camera’s viewing angle determines how much space the camera will cover. Wide-angle lenses reduce the number of cameras required to monitor your home. Some outdoor security cameras have a wide-angle lens that may show a 360-degree view, but the best security cameras have a view of at least 100 degrees or better.

How does a video surveillance camera system work?

A surveillance camera security system connects several security cameras to a digital video recorder (DVR), which records the images and displays them on a monitor. The monitor may be a closed circuit television (CCTV) to easily be monitored from the home. Or, the DVR can send the images to a mobile device, where they can be seen live or played back on demand.

What energy saving features are available?

Surveillance cameras can eat up a lot of energy. It’s important to find an outdoor security camera that only records when motion is detected to cut electricity costs or battery usage. Many models will even send mobile notifications when something out of the ordinary is detected.

What’s the best outdoor security camera design?

There are two outdoor security camera designs – dome or bullet-shaped. The dome-shaped outdoor security camera is known to be less obvious to unwelcome visitors because they offer a 360 swivel that makes it difficult to determine their direction. On the other hand, bullet-shaped cameras are more common. They have a cylinder shape that clearly stands out to alert thieves that your home is under surveillance.

How does home security camera video storage work?

If you want to playback your home’s outdoor activity, you’ll need a camera with onboard video storage or cloud recording capabilities. Most cameras with recording capabilities have a built-in secure digital (SD) or microSD slot that allows for sufficient recording space. Once the memory card is full, you’ll need to delete footage or store it elsewhere. Some popular cameras automatically override expired videos, which may not be most ideal if you need to keep a video.

On the contrary, some security camera providers offer cloud storage monthly plans to securely store videos on the cloud. You can easily access them anytime, anywhere by signing into your account on your mobile device or using a mobile app.

Some systems also record to DVD or mini-disc, but most are now transitioning to DVR (digital video recorder) technology. A computer-based camera system records your video to the PC’s hard disc, making it fast and easy to review your video history.


Benefits of outdoor security cameras

Convenient control

Today’s surveillance cameras pair with mobile apps to control your security camera using your mobile device. You’ll automatically receive notifications when the camera’s power is disrupted or motion is detected. You’ll even be able to view real-time video, record, and review directly from your smartphone.

24/7, 365 Home Surveillance

Whether day or night, your security camera system is designed to watch other your home even when you’re away. It’s powered to automatically detect and alert you of any activity.

Improved safety

You’ll find comfort in always knowing what’s going on at your home without stepping outside. The recorded footage from an outdoor security camera will create a backlog of activity to review anytime and stay in the know. Most smart outdoor security cameras also send automated mobile alerts and show on-demand activity so you’ll always know who’s at your home. Some cameras can trigger the siren or speak to visitors using the mobile app for your protection against potential danger outside your door.


Wrap up and learn more

There’s no one-size-fits-all system for home surveillance. The security camera you choose will be based on your budget, your home’s layout, security concerns, and other contributing factors. Start your search with a basic idea of what you need to feel safe and secure at home by checking out Amazon’s Best Selling Security Cameras. If you’re ready to start shopping, choose the best security camera for your home now. Our experts have shared a few to get you started.

Top 5 Outdoor Security Cameras