Best outdoor security camera

Compare our picks on surveillance features and price

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    Vivint Smart Home and Vector Security
    man installing security camera on the side of a house

    Outdoor security cameras are a beneficial addition to almost any home security system. Top-rated equipment provides 24/7 video surveillance of your yard and entryways. Whether you want to install the camera system yourself or have a professional do it, several options exist.

    We considered more than 20 popular home security camera options. To find our top picks, we compared verified customer reviews on our site plus ratings from across the internet, and we tried the cameras out ourselves. The ConsumerAffairs Research Team also compared the different outdoor cameras’ video quality specs, automation integrations and storage capabilities, among other features.

    Our top picks

    Our 5 best outdoor security camera picks

    Wyze Cam Floodlight

    wyze cam floodlight
    • 1080p resolution
    • Wired power
    • Cloud storage
    • Color night vision


    The Wyze Cam Floodlight is a waterproof, wireless camera with a rechargeable battery and bright directional lights. It also includes two-way audio, motion and sound detection, and a 105-decibel siren. As of publishing, cameras start at $74.98.

    Many cameras have built-in spotlights, but very few have floodlights that offer 2,600 lumens of light (a typical flashlight emits between 50 to 100 lumens). The floodlights are movable — you can point them wherever you need light in your yard.

    The camera has a port to connect a Wyze Cam v3 camera for more surveillance coverage without needing additional hard-wiring to your home’s electric system.

    This camera is best in areas where you’ll need a lot of light, such as a carport or back porch. It’s probably better to use a regular outdoor camera with night vision next to bedroom windows so the light doesn’t wake you up whenever a raccoon or a neighbor’s pet runs in front of it.

    Wyze Cam v3

    Wyze Cam v3
    • 1080p resolution
    • Cord powered
    • Local storage
    • Color night vision


    The Wyze Cam v3 is a tiny wireless, battery-operated camera. It’s easy to install and can be mounted anywhere. Plus, it is small and affordable — pricing starts at $35.98, and the company offers bundles.

    The Wyze Cam v3 is one of the most affordable outdoor cameras on the market, so it’s a great choice if you need to post multiple cameras around your yard. It’s also tiny, making it easier to conceal. The size and price don’t lower this camera’s quality, though. It performs well and includes most of the features you’d find on pricier cameras.
    The Wyze Cam v3 needs a power adapter when used outdoors, which may limit your options when placing it.

    Arlo Pro 4

    arlo pro 4
    • 2K resolution
    • Battery powered
    • Local storage
    • Color night vision


    The Arlo Pro 4 is an outdoor spotlight camera with a six-month battery life. It also includes a siren, color night vision and local storage. As of publishing, pricing starts at $157.91 per camera, with kits available.

    The Arlo Pro 4 is wireless, unlike a few other picks on our list, meaning it’s easy to install yourself. Its extra-wide field of view (160 degrees) also covers more yard area with fewer cameras.
    Many of the Arlo Pro 4’s features can only be used if you sign up for the subscription plan. Subscription plans start at $4.99 per month at the time of publishing for a single camera. The top-tier plan (Safe & Secure Pro) costs $24.99 per month and provides professional monitoring for unlimited cameras. It’s almost like having a security system without all the extra equipment.

    Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

    Company nameContact
    vivint outdoor camera pro
    • 1080p resolution
    • Battery powered
    • Local storage
    • Color night vision
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    The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro uses technology that can distinguish between people, pets, cars and objects. Other features include night vision, a 140-degree field of view, wireless connectivity and mounting capabilities. Contact Vivint for the most accurate pricing in your area.

    The Vivint camera has the most local storage capacity out of all the cameras on this list. The camera already has a built-in micro SD storage slot, but you can also add an optional hard drive. Adding the Vivint Smart Drive to your outdoor camera system adds 1 terabyte of local storage.
    The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro can’t be used as a stand-alone piece of equipment. You must use it with a Vivint security system.

    What to look for when buying outdoor security cameras

    When you’re buying an outdoor security camera or a system, there are several things to consider.

    Wired versus wireless

    One of the biggest considerations is whether the camera transmits footage wirelessly. Most wireless cameras transmit via Wi-Fi, so you need a good internet connection.

    Some hard-wired cameras work without Wi-Fi, though there are fewer of these on the market. Hard-wired surveillance without Wi-Fi connectivity is generally more difficult to install and offers fewer video monitoring and storage options.

    » DISCOVER: Best wireless home security systems

    Power source

    Outdoor cameras can be wired into a power source, plugged into a power source or use batteries.

    • Battery-operated systems are easier to install, but the cameras need to be in an accessible place so you can recharge or replace the battery.
    • Corded cameras need to be close to an outlet but don't require that you change the batteries.
    • Hard-wired cameras connect to your home's wiring and typically must be installed by professionals.

    Video quality

    You’ll often see video quality listed as 1080p, 2K and 4K when shopping for outdoor cameras; this number represents the camera’s resolution and tells you how clear the camera footage will be. The higher the number, the better, but you may not notice a difference if you’re just watching the footage on the app.

    “You won’t see much of a difference between 1080p, 2K and even 4K at the default zoom level if you’re watching video on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or small TV,” said John Carlsen, a security camera expert at SafeWise. “Most people start seeing a difference when using a security camera’s digital zoom or on larger screens where a single pixel might have a larger physical surface area.”

    While higher resolutions are generally better, you may not notice the difference between 1080p and higher resolutions when viewing footage on a phone or other small screens.

    Field of view

    Field of view represents how much of an area of your yard the camera can cover. Higher numbers are better because they represent a wider viewable area from a single camera.

    “While resolution, battery life and weatherproofing are certainly valuable, I think the most important, yet underrated, feature in an outdoor camera is a wide field of view, since it cuts down on the number of cameras you need for complete coverage of your property,” Carlsen said.

    Local storage versus cloud storage

    Local storage is when the camera stores footage on an SD card or hard drive in your home, while cloud storage is when footage is stored on the camera company’s servers. Cloud storage often lets you save more footage, but it typically requires a monthly subscription.

    Two-way voice transmission

    Two-way voice audio lets you hear and transmit audio to and from the camera. This lets you speak in real time to people near the camera, which adds an extra element of security and another way to monitor and interact with visitors or warn off potential intruders.

    Smart integrations

    Many outdoor security cameras are compatible with other home devices. For example, you can often control indoor cameras, smart doorbells, floodlights and other smart devices through one central hub or app. Many cameras are also compatible with Alexa and Google devices.

    » DISCOVER: Best smart home security systems

    Mobile app

    Most outdoor camera companies have a mobile app that lets you view camera footage. Home security apps typically send alerts when they detect motion and provide 24/7 video access wherever you are.

    Privacy features

    Be sure to look for privacy features and security features, such as encryption and two-factor authentication, that help prevent your camera from being hacked or otherwise compromised.

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      Outdoor security camera FAQ

      How much do outdoor security cameras cost?

      Outdoor security cameras range from $39 for individual cameras to $300 for kits. Several factors affect the cost, but the most significant is the number of cameras included in the package. Many companies offer discounts for bundling cameras into a more comprehensive home security system.

      » LEARN MORE: How much does a home security system cost?

      How do outdoor security camera systems work?

      Outdoor security cameras can be installed wirelessly or hard-wired into a power source. After the system is connected to a mobile app or to professional monitoring, it sends alerts, notifies a monitoring center or does both when it detects motion. If the camera is connected through a mobile app, you have 24/7 access to live video from anywhere.

      Where do you place outdoor security cameras?

      Placement depends on what you want the scope of view to be. Many outdoor cameras are placed so the user can see backyards, side yards, gates, back doors and side doors.

      Can outdoor security cameras survive severe weather?

      Most outdoor cameras are built to withstand extreme temperatures, rain and storms. However, an outdoor security camera may be damaged by certain severe weather conditions, like hail. Look for cameras with a weatherproof rating of IP 65 or higher if you plan to use them outdoors. Also, look to see what temperatures the camera can withstand.

      What are the differences between an indoor security camera and an outdoor security camera?

      Indoor security cameras are not weatherproof. Indoor cameras also often have a smaller field of view and are built to record footage in indoor light settings.

      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
      1. IEC "IP ratings.” Accessed May 22, 2023.
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