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Best Outdoor Security Cameras for Every Need

Your home is more than just the roof over your head—it’s also the RV pad where you park your camping trailer or the garage where you taught your kids how to change a tire. Whether or not you’ve already invested in a home security system, outdoor security cameras can be your eyes and ears in the dark—or not-so-dark—corners of your property. Whatever your needs, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite cameras for all kinds of applications.

All-around best outdoor security camera

Nest Cam Outdoor

Best Outdoor Security CameraLike its indoor counterpart, the Nest Cam Outdoor is a great camera with 1080p high-definition video, two-way audio, and crisp night vision. We love its seamless integration with the larger Nest ecosystem and its option to share video with neighbors and collaboratively watch out for the neighborhood. That’s all in addition to the clean design and eco-friendly practices—like its recycling program and international regulatory compliance—that we’ve come to expect from Nest.

It does have some notable downsides, especially the $10 a month you’ll need to pay for Nest Aware services like advanced motion alert setting, long-term cloud storage, and timelapse. Without the subscription, you’re limited to generic motion and sound alerts, and you can only access footage from the last three hours. Plus, with its 24/7 livestream to your app, the camera may tap out some bandwidth limits.

If you’re willing to pay the monthly fees for Nest Aware, though, this camera would be a perfect complement to your Nest home automation system or Nest Secure home security system.

Tech specs

  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 HD
  • Field of view: 130°
  • Night vision: 8 infrared LEDs
  • Dimensions: 2.8 x 2.8 x 3.5 in.
  • Operating temperature: -4°F to 104°F

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Easy installation
  • High-definition video quality
  • Wide viewing angle
  • Clear night vision
  • 2-way audio
  • Smart home system compatibility
  • Collaborative features
  • Hardwired

Cons

  • Payment required for more than 3 hours of cloud storage
  • Lack of customizable alerts without subscription
  • Large bandwidth use

Best indoor/outdoor security camera

Our top pick: Logitech Circle 2

Best outdoor security cameraLogitech’s upgraded Circle camera fixes a lot of the problems with its previous version, making it a fierce competitor in the security camera field. It gets bonus points for its indoor-outdoor versatility—a big deal to someone who wants to do the research and learn how to use something one time, or for people who plan on moving and taking their security cameras with them.

Its improved field of view covers an impressive 180 degrees, giving you a pretty comprehensive view of what’s happening around your property. We also liked that the weatherproof Circle 2 offers both wireless and wired power and several options for mounting so you can use it just about anywhere you have a clear Wi-Fi signal.

The Logitech Circle 2 also has some free software features that make it a cool system. For example, you can access up to 24 hours of encrypted video at a time and compile the day’s footage into a neat timelapse video for easy viewing. The app also offers custom alerts.

The downsides of the camera rest mostly on the software. Logitech requires users to pay for a Circle Safe Basic or Premium subscription to set up features like person detection, motion zones, or advanced event and alert filters.

Users also criticize the difficulty of changing the settings like time within the app, saying it requires them to reset the camera and its memory entirely. Luckily, these settings aren’t something you play around with often, so this issue certainly isn’t a dealbreaker.

Overall, this versatile little camera is a great choice for anyone looking to set up a system inside and outside their home.

Tech specs

  • Resolution: 1080p at 30fps
  • Field of view: 180°
  • Night vision: Up to 15 ft.
  • Dimensions: 3.8 x 6.1 in.
  • Operating temperatures: -4°F to 122°F

Pros

  • Dual use
  • Wide field of view
  • 2-way audio
  • High-definition picture
  • Wired and wireless options
  • Multiple mounting options
  • Weartherproofing
  • Integration with home automation systems
  • Custom alerts on app
  • 24 hours of free, encrypted video storage
  • Timelapse feature
  • Unlimited number of downloads

Cons

  • Paid subscription required for features like person detection, motion zones, or advanced alerts and filters
  • Difficult-to-change settings requiring system reset

Runner-up: Canary Flex

Best Outdoor Security CamerasWith its magnetic swivel base, narrow profile, and indoor/outdoor capabilities, the Canary Flex offers tons of versatility. We love that it also boasts features like Google integration and 24 hours of encrypted footage on the cloud. Its advanced motion detection, activity zone settings, and alerts mean you can customize it to work for your family.

Like the Circle 2, the Flex requires a subscription to access more advanced software features, including its 30-day video history, two-way audio, and desktop streaming.

On the wireless version, users also report issues with gaps in footage, since the camera’s recordings are motion activated. Placing the camera in a space where you can see someone approaching could fix this problem, though.

Tech specs

  • Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Field of view: 116°
  • Night vision: Automatic
  • Dimensions: 4.35 x 1.9 in.
  • Operating temperatures: -4°F to 113°F

Pros

  • Indoor/outdoor design
  • Wireless or wired power
  • Swivelling 360° magnetic base
  • Night vision
  • Compact design
  • Google integration
  • Activity zone feature

Cons

  • Subscription-only access to features like full-length recordings, 30-day footage archive, 2-way audio, and desktop streaming
  • Motion detection–based recording on wireless version that can cause critical gaps in footage

Best wireless outdoor security camera

Our top pick: Arlo Pro 2

Best outdoor security camerasWe’ve recommended Arlo in the past because it’s a great, customizable system that supports up to five cameras for free. The Arlo Pro 2 takes the versatility we loved in Arlo’s previous cameras and makes them even better with a wider field of view, higher-definition video quality, two-way audio, and smart home integration. It also increased its operating temperature range, making it more useful in a wider variety of climates.

The system does require a base station, but it does more than take up space since you can connect the device to a USB drive for local storage. The base station also has a 110-decibel siren built in, which can scare away intruders.

Like other wireless cameras, the Arlo Pro 2 uses motion detection to determine when to start recording. This saves battery power, but it can also mean gaps in coverage.

Ultimately, if you’re trying to set up a multichannel system that covers both indoors and out, the Arlo Pro 2 is a solid option.

Tech specs

  • Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Field of view: 130°
  • Night vision: 850 nm LEDs
  • Camera dimensions: 3.1 x 1.9 x 2.8 in.
  • Base station dimensions: 2.3 x 6.9 x 5.0 in.
  • Operating temperatures: -4°F to 113°F

Pros

  • Indoor/outdoor weatherproofing
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • 2-way audio
  • Multichannel functionality
  • Home automation integration
  • Free cloud storage for 7 days
  • SD card storage option
  • 3-second preview that allows you to

Cons

  • Gaps in recordings before motion was detected

Best night vision outdoor security camera

Our top pick: Amcrest ProHD Outdoor 4MP

Best outdoor security camerasWith features like streaming to any device and smart alerts, it’s easy to keep an eye on things wherever you are with the Amcrest ProHD Outdoor 4MP camera.

While this camera may take a little more technical know-how and handiness with power tools to install due to its power over Ethernet setup, its exceptional night vision can make it worth the effort. Plus, power over Ethernet also means network interruptions are unlikely—a great solution for rural areas where Wi-Fi can be spotty.

It’s worth noting that its motion detection zone customization is available without a subscription, which makes it stand out on this list.

The power over Ethernet setup could dissuade those of us who are less handy or tech-savvy, especially since the required injector and power supply are not included with the camera. Considering the lower price point of just the camera, however, that’s not a huge issue, just something to put on your purchase list.

There’s also no pan-and tilt features on the camera, but its field of view is decent enough it may not be a problem for you.

If neither of those drawbacks is a deal breaker, then this camera’s night vision should serve you well.

Tech specs

  • Resolution: 4MP
  • Field of view: 92°
  • Night vision: 98 ft.
  • Dimensions: 2.8 x 6.5 in.
  • Operating temperatures: -22°F to 140°F

Pros

  • Outstanding night vision
  • Cloud and NVR storage options
  • Mobile streaming
  • Adaptive motion sensors
  • Smart alerts
  • Durability in extreme climates

Cons

  • Power over Ethernet requirement
  • POE injector and power supply not included
  • Absence of tilt-and-pan features

Runner-up: Foscam F19901EP

Best outdoor security camerasThe Foscam F19901EP’s strong night vision combined with its 1440p picture quality help it easily surpass other cameras on the market. Thanks to 30 infrared LEDs, you’ll be able to see things happening as far as 65 feet away.

As with the Amcrest ProHD, the Foscam’s power over Ethernet setup is both a negative and positive, but ultimately, it may mean a more reliable streaming connection—a big deal for a security camera.

The other downside is that the camera is stationary—there’s no pan and tilt—and its field of view is only 78 degrees.

It’s still a solid camera if you’re just looking to keep an eye on a specific spot on your property and you’re comfortable with some power tools.

Tech specs

  • Resolution: 2560 x 1440p HD
  • Field of view: 78°
  • Night vision: 30 IR LEDs
  • Dimensions: 2.5 x 3.8 x 2.4 in.
  • Operating temperatures: -4°F to 140°F

Pros

  • Excellent night vision (up to 65 ft.)
  • 6x zoom
  • Image quality optimization
  • 2-way audio
  • Motion-triggered alerts

Cons

  • Power over Ethernet
  • Lack of pan and tilt

Best outdoor security camera with lighting

Our top pick: Ring Floodlight

Best outdoor security cameraThe Ring Floodlight is a workhorse of a security device. Not only does it have powerful motion-activated lights and an app-controlled siren, it’s also got brains. Smart features like object and facial detection sensors, noise cancellation, automatic night vision, and pan and zoom make this device stand out above competition.

We also like that users can customize and control so many features from a mobile device, and that the Ring Floodlight is part of the Ring ecosystem, so it can add another layer of security without requiring you to figure out new software or compatibility.

As with many other cloud-based services, you’ll pay if you want to access, review, and share videos. Ring charges per camera on its basic plan, so if you’re planning on connecting more than three devices to your system, you’ll want to upgrade to the home plan.

If the fees fit your budget, though, this is a great camera to light up those parts of your property you want to keep a closer eye on.

Tech specs

  • Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Field of view: 140°
  • Night vision: Automatic
  • Mounting base dimensions: 4.74 in. diameter
  • Operating temperatures: -22°F to 120°F

Pros

  • Powerful lights
  • Facial detection sensors
  • 2-way audio plus noise cancellation
  • Motion sensor customizations
  • Intelligent pan and zoom
  • Night vision
  • 110-decibel siren
  • Extensive mobile control
  • Live video and audio streaming
  • Hardwired power
  • Ring ecosystem compatibility
  • 1-year parts warranty

Cons

  • Depends on Ring Protect plans for recording, reviewing, and sharing

Runner-up: Ring Spotlight

Best outdoor security cameraThere’s a lot to like about the Ring Spotlight, especially if you’ve already bought into the Ring ecosystem. This compact camera comes in multiple power options—battery, solar, and wired—so you can easily find something that fits your space or willingness to charge batteries.

Like all cameras that stream over Wi-Fi, you’ll need to get a booster or put the cameras somewhere with a strong signal.

With its customizable motion sensor–activated lights and alerts, the Ring Spotlight offers personalized security. Plus, you can activate the 110-decibel siren from your phone’s app if you get an alert and see something suspicious happening.

As with the Ring Floodlight, the major downside is that to access richer features, you’ll need a subscription to Ring Protect. Without a plan, you’re basically paying for a webcam with a light and siren. If it fits your budget, though, this is a great addition to your security system.

Tech specs

  • Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Field of view: 140°
  • Night vision: Automatic
  • Dimensions: 4.96 x 2.72 x 2.99 in.
  • Operating temperatures: -22°F to 120°F

Pros

  • Multiple power options
  • Compact design
  • 2-way audio
  • 110-decibel siren
  • Customization of motion sensor
  • Live video and audio streaming
  • Integration with Ring ecosystem
  • 1-year parts warranty
  • Free 30-day trial of Ring video recording
  • Quick installation

Cons

  • Subscription required for cloud storage

What to look for

Best Outdoor Security CamerasThere are hundreds of options for outdoor cameras, but when it comes down to it, you’ll need to prioritize only a few features to determine which camera is right for you.

Image quality

The major benefit of security cameras is to see what’s going on. If a camera doesn’t have a high-definition image quality, it won’t be much help for keeping an eye on things—especially at night. Look for an image quality of 720p or higher so you can get a crisp picture and zoom in on critical things like license plates or faces.

Field of view

You’ll notice camera specs will say something like “106-degree FOV” or “130-degree wide view.” Basically, this number determines how much you’ll be able to see in the image frame at any given moment. The bigger the number, the wider the image frame and the more coverage you’ll get.

Onboard storage vs. cloud storage

Onboard (or local) storage means that the camera stores the footage it records somewhere on the camera or its hub—usually on an SD card. The major advantage to this is that you don’t have to pay for a service to store your footage. The disadvantage? If your camera or hub is broken or stolen, your footage goes with it. Also, local storage gets full and won’t be backed up elsewhere unless you set up a system yourself to do so. With cloud storage, some companies require users to pay a monthly fee but may offer additional security measures like encryption.

Wireless vs. hardwired

Depending on access to a power source and the likelihood of how often you’ll remember to change or charge batteries, you may choose to go with a wireless or hardwired camera. Hardwired cameras mean you’ll never change a battery, but these devices also require access to a power source like an outlet or an Ethernet connection for power over Ethernet.

Placement of wireless cameras is limited only by the strength of the Wi-Fi connection, but these cameras will require regular charges or battery changes. Both options can offer livestreaming.

Audio

If you want to be able to communicate with someone on the other side of the camera—like a delivery person at the porch or the kids playing basketball on the driveway—you may want to consider two-way audio. The volume of the audio varies, so be sure to look for something that meets your needs.

Integration with smart home systems

Working with a home automation or security system? More and more camera companies are standardizing compatibility with these systems, giving you control to mix and match products that you love to create a customized ecosystem. Just be sure to look for cameras that work with your specific system, since not every camera is compatible with every home automation or security system.

Price

We’ve worked hard to find cameras to accommodate many budgets without compromising quality or security. There are many more cameras out there, though, that are cheaper or more expensive than what we’ve listed.

What’s the best outdoor security camera for you?

Choosing the right outdoor security camera depends on personal preference, individual properties, and purpose of the camera. For most people, the Nest or Circle 2 are solid options that offer cool smart features. Whatever your specific needs, however, we’re confident one of these cameras will serve the purpose nicely.

Do you have an outdoor security camera? Which one? Tell us what you think about it in the comments!

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About Celeste Tholen

Celeste Tholen
Celeste has been professionally writing or editing since 2011. Her career started in journalism, covering local news, before she moved to copywriting. She loves to dig deep into research, look at things from new or unexpected angles, and share her exhaustive findings. Celeste is passionate about helping inform people to make the best decisions for their lifestyles and interests.

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