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.
- Nest Cam IQ OutdoorPrice$179.99Service contract requiredNoTwo-way talkNoPower sourcePower over EthernetField of view111 degreesNight vision range130 feetHD video4KInstallationDIYProfessional monitoringNoWarranty2 years
- Kasa Cam OutdoorPrice$199Service contract requiredNoTwo-way talkYesPower sourceBattery-poweredField of view130 degreesNight vision rangeN/AHD video1080pInstallationDIYProfessional monitoringOptionalWarranty1 year
- Abode Smart Outdoor CameraPrice$399Service contract requiredNoTwo-way talkYesPower sourcePlug-inField of view130 degreesNight vision range50 feetHD video1080pInstallationDIY with professional optionProfessional monitoringOptionalWarranty2 years
- Lorex 4K Nocturnal IP CameraPrice$174.99Service contract requiredNoTwo-way talkYesPower sourcePlug-inField of view130 degreesNight vision range30 feetHD video1080pInstallationDIYProfessional monitoringN/AWarranty2 years
- Blink XT2Price$99.99Service contract requiredNoTwo-way talkYesPower sourceBattery-poweredField of view110 degreesNight vision range20 feetHD video1080pInstallationDIYProfessional monitoringN/AWarranty2 years
- Arlo Pro 3Price$169Service contract requiredNoTwo-way talkYesPower sourcePlug-in, battery-powered or solarField of view140 degreesNight vision range30 feetHD video1080pInstallationDIYProfessional monitoringOptionalWarranty1 year
- Ring Spotlight Cam BatteryPrice$399Service contract requiredYesTwo-way talkYesPower sourceWired by professionalField of view140 degreesNight vision range55 feetHD video1080pInstallationProfessionalProfessional monitoringRequiredWarranty3 months
- Vivint Outdoor Camera ProPrice$199.99Service contract requiredNoTwo-way talkYesPower sourceBattery-poweredField of view160 degreesNight vision range30 feetHD video2K HDRInstallationDIYProfessional monitoringN/AWarranty1 year
- Blue by ADT Outdoor CameraPrice$199Service contract requiredNoTwo-way talkYesPower sourcePlug-inField of view152 degreesNight vision rangeN/AHD video1080pInstallationDIYProfessional monitoringOptionalWarranty1 year
- ADT Outdoor CameraPriceN/AService contract requiredYesTwo-way talkYesPower sourcePlug-inField of view95 degreesNight vision range20 feetHD video720pInstallationProfessionalProfessional monitoringRequiredWarrantyBased on contract length
Best Outdoor Security Camera Reviews
- Best for Artificial Intelligence Features
1. Nest Cam IQ OutdoorOur rating
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
- Person Alerts
- Familiar Face Alerts (with Nest Aware)
2. Kasa Cam OutdoorOur rating
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
3. Abode Smart Outdoor CameraOur rating
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
4. Lorex 4K Nocturnal 3.0 Smart IP CameraOur rating
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)
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:
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.
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
- 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.
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.
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