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The Best Outdoor Security Cameras of 2020

We’ve pulled together the top ten outdoor cameras to help you make the best decision for you and your family.
Updated Sep 25, 2020

Outdoor cameras are designed to be your second set of eyes when you’re sleeping, relaxing or away. Nowadays, cameras are designed to meet every home security need and give you more control using your smartphone. Homeowners have a lot of choices for storage, installation, power source and more. Here’s what you need to know as you search for the right security camera

Top Outdoor Security Camera Features to Shop For

Today’s cameras are filled with features to help monitor your home’s security. Some features, like HD video and audio, are standard. There are a few other bells and whistles that come with cameras including a mobile app, video storage and other next-level features to control your home’s security just how you want.
  • Customizable Motion Zones

    You’ll be able to control what areas of your home to monitor at all times. If activity is detected in those areas you’ll receive an instant alert so you can take a look on your smartphone. Set your alerts to know if someone’s in your driveway or behind your shed so your camera will spot them for you. 

  • Night vision

    The most advanced security cameras have color night vision to see activity clearly just as if you were outside. But most come with infrared night vision for a black and white view. It’s also important to note that your camera’s night vision has a certain range to show video clearly in darkness. The average range is 30 feet, but could be more. 

  • Two-Way Talk

    Many popular outdoor cameras are equipped with two-way talk that allows you to see and speak to guests from your smartphone. Just use your camera’s app to see what’s happening and talk through your phone to guests. You’ll be able to tell mail carriers where to leave a package or scare off unwanted guests. 

  • Person Alerts

    You should always be able to spot if someone’s at your home. Cameras with person alerts can tell the difference between a person and an object to reduce the number of false alerts. More advanced cameras also include Facial Recognition with their person alerts so you know who’s at your door – whether it’s the kids or an unfamiliar face. Set up familiar faces in the app and you’ll have better security by knowing who’s at your home and when. 

  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Logo
    Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
    Price
    $179.99
    Service contract required
    No
    Two-way talk
    No
    Power source
    Power over Ethernet
    Field of view
    111 degrees
    Night vision range
    130 feet
    HD video
    4K
    Installation
    DIY
    Professional monitoring
    No
    Warranty
    2 years
  • Kasa Cam Outdoor Logo
    Kasa Cam Outdoor
    Price
    $199
    Service contract required
    No
    Two-way talk
    Yes
    Power source
    Battery-powered
    Field of view
    130 degrees
    Night vision range
    N/A
    HD video
    1080p
    Installation
    DIY
    Professional monitoring
    Optional
    Warranty
    1 year
  • Abode Smart Outdoor Camera Logo
    Abode Smart Outdoor Camera
    Price
    $399
    Service contract required
    No
    Two-way talk
    Yes
    Power source
    Plug-in
    Field of view
    130 degrees
    Night vision range
    50 feet
    HD video
    1080p
    Installation
    DIY with professional option
    Professional monitoring
    Optional
    Warranty
    2 years
  • Lorex 4K Nocturnal IP Camera Logo
    Lorex 4K Nocturnal IP Camera
    Price
    $174.99
    Service contract required
    No
    Two-way talk
    Yes
    Power source
    Plug-in
    Field of view
    130 degrees
    Night vision range
    30 feet
    HD video
    1080p
    Installation
    DIY
    Professional monitoring
    N/A
    Warranty
    2 years
  • Blink XT2 Logo
    Blink XT2
    Price
    $99.99
    Service contract required
    No
    Two-way talk
    Yes
    Power source
    Battery-powered
    Field of view
    110 degrees
    Night vision range
    20 feet
    HD video
    1080p
    Installation
    DIY
    Professional monitoring
    N/A
    Warranty
    2 years
  • Arlo Pro 3 Logo
    Arlo Pro 3
    Price
    $169
    Service contract required
    No
    Two-way talk
    Yes
    Power source
    Plug-in, battery-powered or solar
    Field of view
    140 degrees
    Night vision range
    30 feet
    HD video
    1080p
    Installation
    DIY
    Professional monitoring
    Optional
    Warranty
    1 year
  • Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Logo
    Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
    Price
    $399
    Service contract required
    Yes
    Two-way talk
    Yes
    Power source
    Wired by professional
    Field of view
    140 degrees
    Night vision range
    55 feet
    HD video
    1080p
    Installation
    Professional
    Professional monitoring
    Required
    Warranty
    3 months
  • Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro
    Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro
    Price
    $199.99
    Service contract required
    No
    Two-way talk
    Yes
    Power source
    Battery-powered
    Field of view
    160 degrees
    Night vision range
    30 feet
    HD video
    2K HDR
    Installation
    DIY
    Professional monitoring
    N/A
    Warranty
    1 year
  • blue by adt outdoor camera
    Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera
    Price
    $199
    Service contract required
    No
    Two-way talk
    Yes
    Power source
    Plug-in
    Field of view
    152 degrees
    Night vision range
    N/A
    HD video
    1080p
    Installation
    DIY
    Professional monitoring
    Optional
    Warranty
    1 year
  • ADT Outdoor Camera Logo
    ADT Outdoor Camera
    Price
    N/A
    Service contract required
    Yes
    Two-way talk
    Yes
    Power source
    Plug-in
    Field of view
    95 degrees
    Night vision range
    20 feet
    HD video
    720p
    Installation
    Professional
    Professional monitoring
    Required
    Warranty
    Based on contract length

Best Outdoor Security Camera Reviews

  • Best for Artificial Intelligence Features
    Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Logo

    1. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is a weatherproof and tamper-resistant outdoor camera with a 130-degree field of view. You’ll get instant alerts if your camera spots someone, and with Nest’s mobile app, you can view a three-hour snapshot history.

    Stand-out features include

    • Outdoor Camera
    • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
    • Supersight
    • Person Alerts
    • Familiar Face Alerts (with Nest Aware)
  • Kasa Cam Outdoor  Logo

    2. Kasa Cam Outdoor

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Kasa Cam outdoor is filled with features to guard your yard. It’s equipped with custom motion zones and a siren you can trigger using the TP-Link app to scare off unwanted guests. You can also see what’s happening around your home using your Fire TV, smartphone or Google Chromecast. It also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s easy to self-install and has a weatherproof design guaranteed to work with rain or dust. 

    Stand-out features include

    • Works with Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
    • Built-in siren
    • Custom motion zones
  • Abode Smart Outdoor Camera  Logo

    3. Abode Smart Outdoor Camera

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Abode Smart Outdoor Camera is designed to work both indoors and outdoors for your home’s security. This camera can also work as your smart doorbell by replacing it with your existing doorbell wiring. It’s able to chime and alert you when someone’s at your door. It has two-way talk, infrared night vision and facial recognition. The Abode Smart Outdoor Camera also lets you record video when your alarm is triggered so you have footage of the moments that matter most.

    Stand-out features include

    • Can work as a video doorbell, indoor or outdoor camera
    • Facial recognition
    • Set rules to record video whenever you want using the Abode app
  • Best for Color Night Vision
    Lorex 4K Nocturnal 3.0 Smart IP Camera Logo

    4. Lorex 4K Nocturnal 3.0 Smart IP Camera

    Our rating

    Our take

    Boasting an aluminum frame, the Nocturnal appears to be a unit designed to age well with the household it’s installed in. The camera is rated for weatherproofing as robust as military grade specifications. Apart from its sleek, muted look, the unit has an extensive list of functions.

    Stand-out features include

    • 4K recording at 30fps
    • 113-degree field of view with variable zoom
    • Smart Motion Detection
    • A large format lens, enabling their Color Night Vision
    • Infrared night vision enabling sight in total darkness
    • IP-67 certified, allowing it to operate within temperatures near -40°F (-40°C) and a ceiling of 140°F (60°C)
  • Showing 5 of 10 items

Outdoor Security Camera Clip Storage

You’ll likely have two options to store your security camera footage – local or cloud storage. Here’s the difference. 

Local – You’ll need to install an SD card in your camera in order to record activity. Once the card is full you’ll need to upload the footage to your computer or another device to continue recording footage. On the other hand, some cameras will automatically record over old footage. 

Cloud – You’ll be able to access your footage using the camera’s mobile app or online portal from anywhere. Most companies charge at least $5/mo. for cloud storage. Your monthly cost will depend on your provider, amount of storage you need and other features included in the plan such as continuous video recording (CVR) or professional monitoring. Keep in mind, the monthly cost may be more if you have multiple cameras. 

Most people trust cloud storage because of extra data and privacy measures taken to protect your footage and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. 

Factors to Consider Before Buying an Outdoor Home Security Camera

Before you start narrowing down your favorite camera, there are a few points to think about: 

Power source 

Outdoor cameras come with a few options to stay connected to power. Some rely on solar, while others are battery-powered or simply plug into an outlet indoors. A few are even hardwired to your home’s electrical system depending on your home security provider.

Your power source depends on your preference, but you’ll want to keep in mind how your camera will continue to get power during an outage. For this reason, many people prefer battery-powered cameras with a rechargeable battery pack. Others that are plugged-in or wired have a backup battery just in case.

Placement 

Most cameras are mounted up high for a few reasons. They’re harder for intruders to reach and tamper with. Plus, cameras mounted up higher for a better view of your home’s vicinity. No matter where you place your camera, make sure it has a sturdy mounting template and is easy to stay connected to the power source. 

Here are common places to set-up your camera outside of your home: 

  • Near the front and back door 
  • Outside of the garage or sheds 
  • Driveways 
  • Facing side streets and alleyways 

Field of View 

Your field of view is how much of your home’s vicinity your camera will show. The wider the field of view, the better view of your home. Keep in mind that some cameras have a warping effect to show cameras from a fish-eye view. You’ll want to avoid this for the best view outside of your home. And if it’s not enough, it might be best to add a few extra cameras.

Recording 

Some cameras have continuous video recording (CVR) to record activity outside of your home constantly. Many cameras offer this feature, but for others it’s an add-on. Others only record when the camera’s motion sensor is triggered. Before you buy a camera, make sure you know when your camera will record and for how long.

Shop Indoor Security Cameras

Looking for better security equipment inside your home? Get started with an indoor security camera.

Explore Additional Security Camera Resources

Looking for more information before you decide on a camera? We’ve got you covered. Check out a few of our top picks to help you learn more before you pick the perfect camera for your home. 


Dashia Starr avatar

Written by

Dashia Starr

Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.

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