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.

 Best for Color Night Vision

Lorex 4K Nocturnal IP Camera

Lorex 4K Nocturnal IP Camera

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Our Rating

  • Crisp 4K resolution
  • Access to color night vision in low-light conditions
  • Provides a wide 111 degree field of view

 Best Smart Home Outdoor Security Camera

Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera

Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera

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Our Rating

  • Works with popular voice assistants including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Includes two-way talk and Facial Recognition to see and speak to familiar guests
  • Instant smartphone alerts include video previews

 Best for Artificial Intelligence Features

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

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Our Rating

  • Uses a built-in 4K sensor to zoom in 12x for a close-up view
  • IP66-certified weatherproof outdoor security camera
  • Nest Personal Alerts to detect a person within 50 feet

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

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 IQ Outdoor

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Kasa Cam Outdoor

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Abode Smart Outdoor Camera

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Lorex 4K Nocturnal IP 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 $179.99 $199 $399 $174.99 $99.99 $169 $399 $199.99 $199 N/A
Service contract required No No No No No No Yes No No Yes
Two-way talk No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power source Power over Ethernet Battery-powered Plug-in Plug-in Battery-powered Plug-in, battery-powered or solar Wired by professional Battery-powered Plug-in Plug-in
Field of view 111 degrees 130 degrees 130 degrees 130 degrees 110 degrees 140 degrees 140 degrees 160 degrees 152 degrees 95 degrees
Night vision range 130 feet N/A 50 feet 30 feet 20 feet 30 feet 55 feet 30 feet N/A 20 feet
HD video 4K 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 2K HDR 1080p 720p
Installation DIY DIY DIY with professional option DIY DIY DIY Professional DIY DIY Professional
Professional monitoring No Optional Optional N/A N/A Optional Required N/A Optional Required
Warranty 2 years 1 year 2 years 2 years 2 years 1 year 3 months 1 year 1 year Based on contract length
Best Outdoor Security Camera Reviews

Best Outdoor Security Camera Reviews

  1. Best for Artificial Intelligence Features
    Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

    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 3-hour snapshot history.

    Stand-out features include

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

    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
  3. Abode Smart Outdoor Camera

    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
  4. Best for Color Night Vision
    Lorex 4K Nocturnal IP Camera

    4. Lorex 4K Nocturnal IP Camera

    Our rating

    Our take

    Lorex’s 4K Nocturnal IP Camera provides the clarity you need in low-lighting with Color Night Vision™. If conditions are too dark, the camera will switch over to black and white night vision with infrared lighting, allowing you to see clearly up to 130 feet away. A wide 111 degree field of vision allows for great viewing around your property. This camera also uses Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology for storing footage to your NVR. Keep track of person and vehicle alerts with push notifications sent to your smartphone.

    Stand-out features include

    • Color night vision for low lighting
    • Power over Ethernet connection
    • Flexible for use indoors or outdoors
  5. Best Outdoor Camera System with Hub
    Arlo Pro 3

    6. Arlo Pro 3

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Arlo Pro 3 can help you guard your home with deterrence features like a siren and spotlight, designed to make lurkers think twice. This camera has sharp 2K resolution and a 160-degree field of view. Watch recordings, set up custom motion zones, and more with Arlo’s mobile app.

    Stand-out features include

    • Indoor/Outdoor Camera
    • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit
    • Comes with deterrence features like a siren and spotlight
    • Sharp 2K video recording
    • Wide 160-degree field of view
  6. Best Wireless Camera with Light
    Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

    7. Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

    Our rating

    Our take

    This Ring Spotlight Cam functions by battery-operated power, giving you access to a wireless setup. Have access to clear 1080p HD video, built-in LED lights, and a siren for deterrence. You can also see, hear, and speak with visitors.

    Stand-out features include

    • 1080p HD video quality
    • Features LED lights and siren for deterrence
    • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control
  7. Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

    8. Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro delivers HD video with a 4K HDR sensor and provides a 140-degree field of view. This camera also comes with deterrence features: a red LED light and a warning tone to let lurkers on your property know they’ve been identified.

    Stand-out features include

    • Outdoor Camera
    • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
    • Built-in deterrence features with a red LED light and siren
    • Custom zone-setting
    • Advanced analytics to distinguish real potential threats versus false ones
  8. Best Smart Home Outdoor Security Camera
    Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera

    9. Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera is battery-operated, wire-free and easy to install. Use the free mobile app to see crystal clear live 1080p video footage and receive instant alerts with preview images when motion is detected. You can store up to 24 hours of camera activity to playback later. Blue by ADT offers a free 30-day storage day trial for customers to try convenient, secure camera storage before committing to a monthly storage plan. It also uses Facial Recognition technology to recognize familiar guests, and two-way talk.

    Stand-out features include

    • Create custom motion sensor zones to best monitor activity around your home
    • Uses Facial Recognition technology to detect and alert you of familiar guests
    • Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, HomeKit voice assistants for hands-free control
  9. Best for Monitored Security
    ADT Outdoor Camera

    10. ADT Outdoor Camera

    Our rating

    Our take

    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.

    Stand-out features include

    • 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

Showing 5 of 10 products

Showing 10 of 10 products

Outdoor Security Camera Clip Storage

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

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

Shop Indoor Security Cameras

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

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Explore Additional Security Camera Resources

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

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.