The 10 Best Outdoor Security Cameras of 2021

We’ve pulled together the top ten outdoor cameras to help you make the best decision for you and your family.
Updated Apr 26, 2021
Written By
Safety Team | Home Security Experts
Evaluated over 90 safety products to help you protect what matters most. Check our Methodology

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. 

The Top 10 Outdoor Home Security Cameras

Nest Cam Outdoor

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Kasa Cam Outdoor

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Abode Smart Outdoor Camera

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Lorex 4K Nocturnal Camera

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Blink XT2 Camera

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Arlo Pro 3

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Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

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Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

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Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera

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ADT Outdoor Camera

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Price
$199.99$139$259$199$99.99$199.99$199.99$199.99$199.99N/A
Service contract required
NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
Two-way talk
NoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Power source
Plug-inPlug-in, Battery-poweredPlug-inPlug-inBattery-poweredPlug-in, battery-powered or solarBatteryBattery-poweredPlug-in, battery-poweredPlug-in
Field of view
130 degrees130 degrees152 degrees130 degrees110 degrees160 degrees140 degrees140 degrees130 degrees95 degrees
Night vision range
20 feet30 feet50 feet250 feet20 feet30 feet55 feet55 feet16.4130 feet
HD video
1080p1080p1080p4K1080p2K1080p4K HDR1080p720p
Installation
DIYDIY DIY with professional optionDIYDIYDIYProfessionalDIYDIYProfessional
Professional monitoring
NoOptionalOptionalN/AN/AOptionalRequiredRequiredOptionalRequired
Warranty
2 years1 year2 years1 year2 years1 year3 months 1 year 1 yearBased on contract length

Best Outdoor Security Camera Reviews

  • Most Customizable Motion Zones

    Nest Cam Outdoor

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Nest Cam Outdoor is easy to self-install, and control using the Nest mobile app on your smartphone. It’s equipped with popular camera features including two-way audio, activity zones and person alerts to detect people instead of objects.

    Stand-out features include

    • Person alerts to detect people
    • 130-degree viewing angle
    • Custom activity zones and alerts
  • Most Flexible Camera

    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
  • Best Night Vision Camera

    Abode Smart Outdoor Camera

    Our rating

    Our take

    Abode’s doorbell camera also functions as an indoor and outdoor camera to give you everything you need for your home’s surveillance. When a person is detected, the Abode Outdoor Smart Cam will automatically start recording, so you don’t miss a moment. We love that, like SimpliSafe, this camera works with the Abode system and as a standalone option. However, if you want some popular smart features like voice commands, you’ll need a paid subscription. 

    Stand-out features include

    • Works as an indoor, outdoor, or doorbell camera, and comes with a doorbell mount
    • Voice control using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
    • Intelligent person detection to reduce false alerts
  • Lorex 4K Nocturnal Camera

    Our rating

    Our take

    Lorex’s popular outdoor camera gives you 250-feet of night vision, 4x zoom and 4K video resolution to provide you with the best view of what’s happening at all times. However, Lorex only offers local storage to save and playback your videos, and you’ll get a 3TB hard drive. You can connect up to eight cameras for full coverage of your home. This outdoor camera is easy to set up with Power over Ethernet and the Innovative Lorex Cloud™ mobile app. You’ll be able to use the app to get motion-triggered alerts and playback videos anytime.

    Stand-out features include

    • 4K video resolution
    • 250 feet of night vision
    • Local storage with a 3TB hard drive
  • 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. 


Home Security Experts

Safety Team

The Safety Team is a group of experts that handle provider research, product reviews and recalls to make your home safety and security search as easy as 1-2-3.

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