The best outdoor security camera

An outdoor security camera system is an excellent investment if you want to have peace of mind while you are far from home or simply go to sleep without worrying about troublemakers. Not only does it provide a level of protection, but it even adds value to your property. Finding the best outdoor security cameras requires thoughtful research evaluating criteria such as pricing, resolution and high tech features.

We evaluated popular self-monitored outdoor cameras that do not require a professional security system to protect your belongings. If you prefer consumer-level smart home technology for your home surveillance system, here is our selection of the best outdoor security cameras in the market.

Camera

Prive

Resolution

Storage

Smart Device Compatibility

Audio

Blink Outdoor

£99.99

Up to 1080p

£3/camera/mo. for cloud or USB-based free storage

Alexa, Echo, Echo Dot

2-way

Arlo Pro 3

£499 (two cameras)

Up to 2K

A 3-month trial then £2.99/camera/mo. cloud storage

Google Home Hub, Alexa, Apple Home Kit, SmartThings

2-way

Wansview W6

£37.99

Up to 1080p

280GB Micro SD or cloud

Alexa

2-way

Wyze Cam Outdoor

£49.99

Up to 1080p

14-day free footage history

Google Assistant, Alexa

2-way

Canary Flex

£281.39

Up to 1080p

1-day free footage history, 30 days with the subscription

Google Assistant, Alexa

2-way (with subscription)

*Information accurate as of March 2021.

Best overall outdoor camera

blink-outdoor.jpg Amazon


Starting price: £99.99 | Resolution: 1080p | Field of view: 110 degrees | 


Features:

  • Blink Home app
  • 2-year battery life
  • Free cloud storage
  • 30 frames per second
  • -4? to 113? Fahrenheit operating range
  • DIY installation

Our best overall outdoor security camera system has motion detection, free storage; it’s weather-resistant, works as an outdoor and indoor camera, and is enabled for two-way communication.

The only catch is that you will need to buy the mount base separately for outdoor installation.


Pros:

  • No subscription service needed
  • Free storage
  • Weather-resistant
  • Alexa voice compatibility

Cons:

  • No facial recognition or person detection
  • Not compatible with Google, Apple or Microsoft
  • Can’t expand storage

Pricing:

  • 1 camera: £99.99 
  • 2 cameras: £179.99
  • 3 cameras: £249.99
  • 5 cameras: £379.99
  • Add-on camera: £89.99

Best high-end outdoor camera

arlo-3.jpg Amazon


Starting price: £499.99 | Resolution: 2K | Field of view: 160 degrees | 


Features:

  • Two-way audio
  • Color night vision
  • Weather-resistant
  • Magnetic mounts
  • -20? to 45? Celsius operating range

Arlo Pro 3 is our best high-end option for outdoor security cameras. It offers a starting package for £499.99, which can easily read as expensive but comes with two cameras, so if you are willing to pay more, this is a great option.


Pros:

  • Indoor/outdoor use
  • High video quality
  • 12x digital zoom

Cons:

  • More expensive than competitors
  • Premiums features require a subscription
  • Storage requires subscription

Pricing:

  • 2 cameras: £499.99 
  • 4 cameras: £799.99
  • Add-on camera: £199.99
  • £2.99 – £19.99/month storage subscription
  • £9.99 – £19.99 continuous video recording per month

Best outdoor security camera on budget

wansview-w6.jpg Amazon


Starting price: £37.99 | Resolution: 1080p |  Field of view: 105 degrees |


The price of this camera starts at only £33.99, making it the most affordable camera on our top list.

The Wansview W6 is a low-price yet a high-quality option for those on a budget.


Features:

  • Two-way audio
  • Color night vision
  • IP-66 water-resistant rating
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • Subscription-based cloud storage

Pros: 

  • Cheapest option
  • Easy to install and set up
  • Clear vision day and night

Cons:

  • Poor reviews for mobile app
  • Requires you to subscribe to a monthly service
  • Not battery operated

Pricing:

  • 1 camera: £33.99
  • 4 cameras: £129.99

Best for DIY installation

wyze-cam-outdoor.jpg Wyze


Starting price: £49.99 |  Resolution: 1080p |  Field of view: 110 degrees | 


The Wyze Cam Outdoor cameras are easy to set up and start at a price lower than other competitors. Customers simply set up the base station, connect to the app and use magnetic mounts to install their cameras.


Features:

  • Two-way audio
  • 25-foot night vision distance
  • IP-65 water-resistant rating
  • Internal microSD storage is available
  • Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
  • 14 days of free storage
  • -4? to 120? Fahrenheit operating range

Pros:

  • Two weeks of free storage
  • Local storage available
  • Easy installation
  • Less expensive than competitors

Cons:

  • The app is not user-friendly
  • Short-range night vision

Pricing:

  • Starter bundle (1 camera and base station): £49.99
  • Add-on cameras: £39.99

Best for home integration

canary-flex.jpg Canary


Starting price: £281.39 |  Resolution: 1080p |  Field of view: 116 degrees | 


The Canary Flex is compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa, making it easy to ensure your camera is always up and running.

So if you leave for the weekend and forget to arm the security system, you can ask Google or Alexa to activate the camera while you’re away.


Features:

  • 1 or 30 days of video storage
  • Two-way audio (subscription feature)
  • Works wire-free or plugged in 
  • Motion detection
  • -20? to 45? Celsius operating range

Pros:

  • HD night vision
  • Easy installation
  • Weather-resistant

Cons:

  • Premium subscription required for best features
  • No local storage is available
  • More expensive than competitors

Pricing:

  • 1 camera and basic service: £281.39
  • 1 camera and 1-year subscription: £393.10
  • 1 camera and 2-year subscription: £504.81

Outdoor security cameras: What you need to know

When looking for an outdoor security camera system, check for convenient features with advanced technology before choosing the one that suits your needs best. Features such as night vision, ample field of view, motion detection and real-time notifications to your phone, high-quality image and weather-resistance are essential for this type of camera. 

Checklist for choosing an outdoor security camera

Here is a list of elements that you need to cross out before buying your next outdoor security camera system:

  • Night vision: Night vision allows you to see what’s happening even with low light.

    This technology usually works using infrared led lights, allowing cameras to capture good-quality video even at night.

  • Motion detection: Motion detection technology finds real threats and alerts you to have a glimpse of what is happening and decide if you need to take action. The ideal features should include people and animal detection, so you don’t receive false alarms every time the neighbor’s cat hangs out at your porch. If you are buying an outdoor security camera on a budget, at least make sure you get a camera with motion detection technology. 
  • Ease of installation: A camera with an easy installation process is better when you are not too handy and don’t want to spend extra money on getting professional help.

    It is better to check what other customers write about the installation process; this way, you won’t waste time or money. 

  • Cost: When you buy home surveillance systems, you should consider more than just the camera price. You might need to consider additional expenses like accessories, cloud storage monthly fees, mount bases, and even professional installation, if necessary. 
  • Audio: Many cameras have settings such as two-way audio to talk with visitors or even whoever delivers your packages. Be aware that although some cameras allow you to record audio, it may violate federal wiretapping laws unless proper signage is posted — depending on your state.
  • Field of view: The field of view refers to how much area the camera can cover from a single angle: the narrower the field, the better view angle and focal distance you will have.

    For outdoor cameras, we prefer a field of view without at least 110 degrees or higher.  

  • Resolution: The higher the resolution of the outdoor camera, the more internet bandwidth and space on the cloud or internal storage it will require.  A higher resolution will allow you to see much more details in the video, but you should consider if your internet service supports it and if you are willing to pay for a more expensive cloud storage service. We recommend going after a camera that offers at least 1080p in resolution. 
  • Power source: If the outdoor camera you choose is wired, installing it could present challenges that may require professional help to handle it. Battery-powered systems are usually easier to install and charge, but you will need to make sure to check the charge level periodically, so it doesn’t stop working.

    Some cameras come with an app that allows you to monitor the battery for easier maintenance.     

    Outdoor camera accessories

    Here are some accessories that your outdoor cameras will need to work in optimal conditions:

    • Camera base or mount: When you buy an outdoor camera, you must check if the package includes the camera base or mount — a must-have place to keep your camera on the best angle to capture your home surroundings.
    • Solar panel charger: A solar panel charger will keep your camera’s battery charged without needing to worry about running out of battery. If you are forgetful or want to make an eco-friendly decision, make sure you get one.
    • Subscriptions to cloud storage: Cloud storage exists to keep your security videos and clips digitally safe. Some camera manufacturers offer limited to no cloud storage for free, so you will probably need a subscription to store and access your video feed remotely and use premium features. 
    • Storage card: If you choose a camera that allows you to add an internal storage card, remember to get the compatible card that supports it.

      Usually, when you get a reading card for your home surveillance system, you won’t need to worry about extra cloud storage, although some features might still require you to get a subscription. 

    • Camera cover: If the camera you choose is not waterproof or water-resistant, you will need to get a camera cover. Another plus, if you get one, is that it will protect the equipment from hard weather conditions like sunlight and rain, giving it a longer life.
    • Strong internet connection: We added a stable internet connection as an accessory since, if your camera equipment is going to be installed outside, you will need it to enjoy most of your camera’s features. Without a stable internet connection, you will have delays on your two-way conversation and lags on your live streamings and motion detection notifications.

    Outdoor security camera FAQ

    Are outdoor security cameras worth it?

    Outdoor home security cameras serve as an extra layer of protection for your home.

    Whether you are at your property or not, a camera allows you to monitor your home’s surroundings from your smartphone or computer. If any unusual activity occurs, a home surveillance camera helps gather evidence, and even the sight of them can keep burglars away. Having this peace of mind makes outdoor cameras worth it.

    What do I need to know before buying an outdoor security camera?

    As with most things that we buy for our home, it is essential to know what you need and expect from this camera, as there are plenty of options available.

    For example, the weather conditions in your area can be a determining factor to choose an outdoor security camera.  Other criteria to keep in mind include price, compatibility with your smart home system, camera range, motion detection technology, night vision and remote access

    Where should I install outdoor security cameras?

    According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the ideal areas to install outdoor security cameras are first-floor windows, front, back and side doors. Other crucial areas to have cameras are the garage or driveway.

    Which one is best, outdoor or indoor security cameras?

    If you are trying to keep burglars away, it’s better to have an outdoor camera.

    But bear in mind that indoor and outdoor security cameras are pretty different. Outdoor cameras alert you when a new package arrives, allow you to know who’s near or entering your house, and notify you if there are any sudden and unexpected moves in the surroundings.  Indoor cameras are useful for monitoring what’s inside your house, checking the kids in other rooms, and even having conversations with them while you are away from home.

    Try to identify what your needs are and choose wisely, depending on that.

    What should I look out for when buying an outdoor security camera?

    If you are looking for a camera that does a great job, look for value, storage location (local or cloud), and how easy the installation process is. You should also consider the power source, if it has smart home functionalities, and what the monitoring options are. For example, if it has access to an app and also has web-based access. 

    Every camera offers different things; make sure that you are receiving what you need when making a decision.

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