8 Best Outdoor Security Cameras in 2021
Staff It wasn’t all that long ago that home video surveillance was a bit of a rarity, requiring a professional installation and a serious investment. Now, you can keep an eye on your place at all times for a few hundred dollars–or even less for the most basic cameras–and handle the setup yourself in no time. Home security cameras can vary considerably from one to another, however, which makes it important to choose the right one (or ones) for your needs.
What to Consider
There are a few key distinctions that separate outdoor security cameras from each other, and can account for differences in price. Some need to be hardwired or plugged into an outdoor outlet, while others are battery-powered and can give you more flexibility in their placement. Most cameras also rely on Wi-Fi for connectivity, which means you may also need a Wi-Fi extender if you aren’t able to get a good signal outside.
And, while video quality may not be of utmost importance for a security camera, you will want to make sure you can get clear footage in both daytime and nighttime–some cameras now even offer 4K recording, which can let you capture even the finest details.
How We Chose To pick these outdoor security cameras, we turned to a slew of professional reviews from trusted publications like PCMag, CNET, Wirecutter, and others. We also looked at online customer reviews from Amazon, Walmart and other retailers, focusing on products that have consistently been rated at least four stars out of five.
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Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Security CameraArlo Technologies, Inc m.securitydiscounts.com
£199.99 Arlo’s security cameras tend to get high marks across the board, but the company’s Pro 4 Spotlight Camera is a particularly good option if you want a simple, completely wireless option with minimal setup. It’s battery-powered, captures 2K video, has a built-in motion-activated spotlight, and it offers two-way audio so you can talk to someone at your doorstep straight from your smartphone.
You can also easily add additional cameras as needed, or buy a three-pack upfront and save a bit of money. That’s enough to earn it an Editor’s Choice from PCMag, although the site does note that you’ll have to subscribe to Arlo’s premium service (which starts at just £2.99/month) to make use of all of the features available.
- Easy to set up
- Loaded with features
- Doesn’t require a hub
- Subscription required for some key features
An Upgraded Option
Arlo Ultra 2 Two-Camera SystemArlo m.securitydiscounts.com£599.99
£535.95 (11% off) While the Arlo Pro 4 will cover most folks’ basic monitoring needs, you may want to step up to the Ultra 2 if you have a larger property or are simply looking for the most complete and detailed coverage possible.
It not only increases the video resolution to 4K, but offers an ultra wide field of view that’ll let you see everything that’s going on in a larger area with a single camera. The two-camera kit also comes with a hub that lets you store video locally on a microSD card. Otherwise, the cameras are mostly comparable, including the same two-way audio, motion-activated spotlight, and a removable battery that promises up to six months of use on a charge.
- Wide field of view
- Local video storage
- Easy, wire-free set up
- Some key features require subscription
Google Nest Cam Outdoor Security CameraGoogle Nest walmart.com
Fully wireless cameras have their advantages, but there’s also something to be said for wired security cameras that don’t need to be regularly recharged. While the Google Nest Cam Outdoor is wired, all you have to do is plug it into an outdoor outlet, not wire it directly, so setup is fairly minimal. Connectivity is also still handled over Wi-Fi, so you don’t have to worry about running an Ethernet cable alongside the power cord.
Wirecutter found plenty else to like about the camera as well, including clear 1080p video, a wide field of view, a fully weatherproof design, and the ability to distinguish between people and other moving objects.
- Clear day and night video
- 25′ power cord offers flexibility
- Nest Aware subscription is pricey
Wyze Cam V3 Outdoor Security CameraWYZE m.securitydiscounts.com£34.99
£29.98 (14% off) There’s no shortage of great outdoor security cameras that cost £200 or more, but you can easily get the job done for much less than that if you don’t need the absolute best video or every feature those other cameras offer. The Wyze Cam V3 is billed as an indoor/outdoor camera, and gives you almost all of the features you’ll find in pricier cameras, including 1080p video, two-way audio, color night vision, and local video storage on a microSD card.
One feature not included is a built-in spotlight, but Wyze does offer an affordable kit that lets you attach one to the top of the camera.
- Comparable features to pricier cameras
- 6′ USB power cable is limiting
- Separate kit required for spotlight
Wyze Cam Outdoor Security CameraWYZE m.securitydiscounts.com
£59.98 While not quite as affordable as the Wyze Cam V3, the Wyze Cam Outdoor is still a bargain by security camera standards, and may be a better overall value for some folks depending on their needs. Unlike the standard Wyze Cam, this one is battery-powered, and the starter pack comes with a base station that effectively doubles as a Wi-Fi extender, giving you more flexibility in where you’re able to install the camera.
Otherwise, the two are largely identical in terms of functionality, including 1080p, two-way audio, night vision, and motion-detection. As CNET notes in its review, however, one of the few downsides is that the battery isn’t removable, so you’ll need to bring in the whole camera to charge it.
- Base station can extend Wi-Fi coverage
- Additional cameras are easy to add
- Non-removable battery
Reolink Argus PT CameraREOLINK m.securitydiscounts.com£179.99
£159.99 (11% off) Most outdoor security cameras are either battery-powered or need to be plugged in, but there are also some solar-powered cameras like the Reolink Argus PT that can give you the best of both worlds.
It also adds pan and tilt capabilities, which lets you cover a wider area with a single camera. The downside to relying solely on solar power is that the camera can’t continuously capture video 24/7–it will start and stop recording based on motion detection. It’s also a bit bulkier and more obtrusive than some other cameras, and ZDNet did find the plastic mounting bracket to be a bit flimsy.
If you don’t need the pan-and-tilt capabilities, however, Reolink does offer a more compact model that’s also solar-powered.
- Solar power adds flexibility
- Pan-and-tilt capabilities
- Bulky and obtrusive
2-in-1 Lighting and Video
Ring Floodlight Security CameraRing m.securitydiscounts.com
£249.99 Many outdoor security cameras have a built-in spotlight, but you’ll want to look at something like the Ring Floodlight if you really want to light up your driveway or yard. It has two bright LED floodlights that offer 1,800 lumens of brightness, which is more than enough to light up your place and potentially scare off any intruders.
It is a hardwired camera, however, so you may need to get an electrician to install it if you aren’t comfortable doing so yourself. And, like many security cameras, you’ll need to sign up for Amazon’s Ring subscription service to get the most from the camera, which means it’s best used in conjunction with other Ring cameras if you want a multicamera setup.
- LEDs can light up large area
- Hardwired installation may require an electrician
- Best when paired with other Ring cameras
Simple and Affordable
Blink Outdoor Security CameraBlink Home Security m.securitydiscounts.com
£99.99 Like Ring, Blink is owned by Amazon, but its cameras are geared more towards those looking for a simple and affordable security camera setup.
The Blink Outdoor certainly checks those boxes, packing a fully wireless, battery-powered 1080p camera into a package that you’ll be able to have up and running in no time. As with Ring, Blink cameras are best suited to those willing to fully invest in Amazon’s ecosystem, but the two camera platforms aren’t completely integrated themselves, requiring separate apps and separate subscriptions. As Tom’s Guide notes in its review, however, the camera may be too basic for some people’s needs, lacking more advanced features like person or package detection found in some other cameras.
- Easy setup
- Lacks features like person and package detection
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