Best Outdoor Cameras to Secure your Home
You could pay thousands to hire a guard to watch your premises day and night. Or you could pay a couple of hundred dollars to have them monitored 24/7 with an outdoor surveillance system. Improvements in technology have made very powerful outdoor security cameras very affordable for the average homeowner.
Many security cameras are simple to install and easy to operate, with access to the video from your front porch or backyard available as simple as checking an app on your smartphone or an Internet connection you can monitor from anywhere.
What to Consider for Your Outdoor Surveillance System?
Here are some factors to consider to help you choose the best outdoor security cameras for your home.
Camera Surveillance Coverage Requirements
The camera’s viewing angle defines how much space the CCTV cameras will cover. Wide-angle lenses help minimize the number of cameras needed for the overall coverage of your property. Still, the number of security and motion detection cameras will depend on your coverage requirements and the field of view. You may require multiple cameras or multi-packs to monitor more space around your property.
Video Quality and Resolution
Another factor to consider is the camera’s video resolution. A higher camera resolution will produce clear images and videos. Ideally, you’ll want 1080p or higher resolution for the brightest images. Take note that if you connect your camera to a video recorder, DVR, or other recording devices, it should be HD compatible to keep the images at a high quality.
Monitoring at night is one of the most common uses for many outdoor surveillance cameras, thus it’s logical to get outdoor security cameras with night vision or infrared (IR). Many models have a built-in IR cut-switch that enables and disables the infrared technology automatically based on the lighting conditions. The number of infrared LEDs used in security will determine the camera vision range.
The dome or bullet are two major styles of outdoor security cameras. These cameras are quite evident to possible intruders, but a dome-style camera is difficult to know which direction the camera is pointing, thus deterring any potential intruder. You can mount these cameras on the wall or ceiling.
Video Recording Capacity
You can choose a camera’s built-in storage capacity or cloud recording capabilities. Most cameras with recording capabilities have built-in SD or microSD slots that allow for sufficient video recording and playback
Some systems also record using DVR (digital video recorder) technology. A computer-based security camera system records the video to the PC’s hard disc.
Smart Device Access
Many outdoor and indoor security cameras sold today can live stream a feed directly to your smart mobile device through a wi-fi network. This is a valuable feature to have if you want to check when you’re at work or while away. Choose a camera that is compatible with your Android or iOS operating system. Most remote access, mobile alerts, or cloud-based services require monthly or annual fees with your chosen home security provider.
Wired or Wireless Security Camera
Wi-fi cameras are easy to install and reposition, but you’ll want to check the wifi security cameras’ battery levels regularly to ensure the property is fully protected. It’s best to have rechargeable batteries ready as backups for battery-operated outdoor wireless security cameras. Wired units usually require professional installation and access to a power outlet, but tend to provide clearer images than their wireless counterparts.
Energy Saving Features
Surveillance cameras can use lots of power, but if you to save on electricity bills, look for a motion detection camera. Many of these motion detection models will even send you to push or email notifications when something is detected.
You can get cheap outdoor security cameras for as low as $99, but a good-quality and basic system (one camera)usually costs between $100-200. For a multi-camera, indoor/outdoor system with two-way communications and every advanced feature included in the package, it can cost thousands of dollars.
If you want to integrate your security cameras with a home alarm system, we recommend these companies:
- Vivint. They have the highest quality of outdoor security cameras. Seamless integration with their Sky panel and complete system. Great app control as well. Request a quote.
- ADT Pulse. Stream cam footage directly from their free mobile app. Their cameras are not the highest quality but the footage is good, app functions well and the cost of installation is the best. Click to visit their site.
- Frontpoint. These will be DIY cameras so it’ll require more work. Great quality and pricing. Learn more here.
Here are the Top 10 Outdoor Security Cameras for your Money:
1 – Foscam FI9800PR Weatherproof Security Surveillance Camera
Foscam F19800PR Shown; Night videos and Cloud storage. $59.99 here
While bullet cameras are known for a more limited field of vision, the Foscam FI9800PR has more tunnel vision than most, seeing only 75 degrees side to side. With a 6X digital zoom, though, the Foscam can focus on whatever is in front of it with detail with the 1280x720p. HD camera.
- Night vision clarity 65 feet away
- Options to set motion alerts, push-notifications to a phone, two-way audio add-on
- 2-year warranty
- Low cost
- Easy DIY installation compared to DVR systems
- Limited 75° viewing angle
- Wired connection involves a bit more work on the installation.
- Cloud storage options with the subscription after 30-day trial
2 – Nest
Clean modern design with optional cloud storage. 2 pack for $298 here
Nest (full review here) has become a very popular brand of security cameras with top-grade materials and the best available technology to watch over what matters to you the most. The waterproof casing covers the camera, cable, and adapter, all weatherproof for tough outdoor conditions, getting clear video footage of your property up to 90 feet away with two-way audio communication as well.
- Up to 1080p HD video (requires 450 to 1200 Kbps upload bandwidth while streaming video)
- 8x digital zoom
- 130-degree wide angle view
- Simplistic design
- Can integrate with other Nest items and home automation
- Magnetic mounting option to easily install on metal rails or rain gutters
- Costs more than many simple stand-alone outdoor security cameras
- Two-part cord for a waterproof outdoor connection and a non-waterproof indoor hookup
3 – FREDI Wireless Security Camera System
Shows stream quality from day vs night on FREDI’s app. Only $39.99 per camera here
A sturdy and very weatherproof bullet-style wireless security camera, the FREDI Ib-807 is rated to withstand temperatures from -10 degrees Celsius up to 50 degrees C. with a tough aluminum alloy casing that stands up to rain or snow and even longer days in the hot sun without rusting. For night and day surveillance the camera features infrared illuminators to record up to 33 feet away.
- A good 90-degree width of viewing angle
- Get motion alert by email or push-notification to your smartphone
- Very low cost compared to others
- Options of white or black
- Wiring required for installation of power and video port lines to outdoor camera
- Attachment bracket allows only 3-point adjustment for a limited choice of viewing angle
4 – EZVIZ Husky Full HD 1080p Outdoor Surveillance System
With 100-foot night vision, the EZVIZ Husky lets you see the far corners of the property in the dark of night. Works with Amazon Alexa for voice control. The Husky is a sturdy and powerful outdoor camera with a lot of features for the convenience of installation and use.
EZVIZ so far is the only company that has included micro SD slot usage for storage, much better than setting up a full DVR system and you can still avoid the cost of a monthly fee for cloud storage.
Low cost with a lot of options available. Great price at only $64.99/camera
- Wireless power over Ethernet for easy installation, anywhere
- Maximum resolution 1920x1080p for clarity of video
- Wide angle 1075 degree lens
- Weatherproof IP66 rating
- Optional storage capabilities including cloud storage, hard drive or micro SD slots
- WiFi connectivity 2.4G only not 5G compatible
- No audio capabilities
5 – Dericam S1-N 960P Outdoor Wireless Camera
High-quality cams, no burglar will second guess this thing. $125 but needs advanced install
Designed for all weather conditions, the Dericam S1N 960P Outdoor Wireless Camera is rated IP65 weatherproof to stand up to tough outdoor conditions. With the 4X optical zoom and ability to pan 355 degrees horizontally and tilt 90 degrees vertically you are certain to get a good look at whatever it is outside your home.
- 2.8-12mm trifocals lens
- 22 LED night vision up to 65 feet in total darkness
- Pans side to side and tilt up and down for a full range of vision
- Good for small businesses
- Installation requires drilling through the outdoor wall
- Limited range with a five-foot cable
- Not great for residential homes or smaller settings
6 – Arlo Security System (by NETGEAR)
Indoor/outdoor ability with night vision & mounts. $200 for the pack
The indoor/outdoor cameras of the Arlo Security System are available in pre-packaged setups ranging from one up to five cameras, all of which are simple to install virtually anywhere with Arlo’s unique Wire-Free design. Each motion-activated camera records activity in the area and sends an alert by email or text message, and records the event to be saved in your 7-day free rolling cloud storage for later review.
- Simple to install with the efficiency of the wireless system
- Efficient cameras work when motion is detected to save power and video run
- A big brand name producing dozens of types of security cameras
- The weatherproof range of 32-122 degrees Fahrenheit may be too limited for some hard winter zones
- Cost is higher than many stand-alone cameras or basic systems
7 – YI Outdoor Camera 1080p
Great quality with unique two-way audio ability. Good pricing at $89 per cam
With 12 850nm infrared LEDs, the YI Outdoor Camera gets clear video at night up to 50 feet away. Like smart doorbell cameras, this has the ability to speak through your phone and talk to people in front.
A bullet-style outdoor camera on a universal ball mount lets you aim and set the ample 110-degree viewing range in a wide range of directions. Supported by the YI cloud, on a subscription plan and an app for iOS or Android to monitor your camera anywhere.
- Two-way audio lets you communicate with people outside
- Deterrent alarm alerts prowlers to get away
- Weatherproof I65 rating for all outdoors conditions
- High-resolution 1080 pixel camera
- Ten-foot power cable limits installation options
- Cloud storage requires a subscription on YI cloud
8 – Zmodo Wireless Security Camera 2 pack
Very durable and weatherproof but also large in stature. $54.99 for a 2 pack
One of the best wireless outdoor security cameras in the market today, The Zmodo Smart HD Outdoor WiFi IP Cameras with Night Vision is available in single or double packs, with some good savings when you buy two together. The bullet-style cameras feature good 720p high-resolution cameras, and the 24 infrared night vision lights that kick on when needed give a very good 65-foot range at night to get a good look at prowlers in the far corner of the yard. The Zmodo cloud service is available for a fee after 1 month free of 7-day cloud recording.
- Stream video on Zmodo app or via an Internet browser
- IP65 weatherproof all temperatures from -10 degrees Celsius to 50 degrees C
- Available cloud service requires no subscription and no credit card registration
- Lowest cost at 2 cameras for $55
- A limited 81-degree angle of view
- Connectivity with 2.4GHz network (not with a a 5G network)
9 – Blink XT Home Security Camera
The Blink XT is wireless for easy installation wherever you need the security of an eye on the area, and easily expandable to 10 cameras with the Blink Sync Module. Monitor the camera with a free Blink Home Monitor app for iOS or Android. Voice activation is available through Amazon Echo devices.
- Weatherproof for outdoor use
- Cloud storage free with no monthly fees or service contract required
- Up to 1080p HD and up to 30 fps frame rate
- Micro USB for use as optional power (unit is not weatherproof when USB casing open)
- Add on wall mount available for $15
- Batteries require service on average every two years with 2AA lithium batteries
- One way audio recording lets you hear who is outside but not be heard
- Costs more than many comparable security cameras
10 – TecBillion Light Bulb Security Camera
The TecBillion Light Bulb Security Camera is definitely a different look for security camera technology. With the sleek appearance of a large light bulb that you simply twist into a standard socket (comes with socket adapter E27/E26 to fit most residential light sockets) on your porch, for example, the camera built into the bottom of the bulb records everything that moves below it.
Well disguised but still in the early stage. Buy here
- A full 360-degree viewing area for no blind areas
- Illuminates and undetectably films visitors to your porch area
- Motion detector senses activity
- Two-way audio communication to talk with whoever is on your porch
- Fisheye lens and overhead viewing angle limits ability to identify clearly
- The lightbulb has no infrared view option only full light from the bulb
- Low-quality reviews (2.5-star average)
How Surveillance Cameras Work
High-resolution lenses, infrared lights for night vision, and highly sensitive motion detectors make today’s security cameras smaller, more powerful, and more effective than the previous generation of outdoor cameras. Once used mostly by businesses and the government, today every homeowner deserves the peace of mind that comes with awareness of what is happening on your property at all times.
Choose Your Security System Priorities
Decide what area you want to be able to see, the clarity of vision that is important to you, how you would like to know of things moving around your house, and how much you value ease of installation versus professional work of drilling into walls and connecting wiring. Outdoor security cameras are available with all the extra options you could imagine.
Choose Your Best Outdoor Security Cameras For Home Options
The wide choices in the best outdoor security cameras should make finding the right one for your home easy. A good outdoor camera system along with a home security system is enough to catch any suspicious activity and defend your loved ones.
Use this information to decide how much work and time you want to put into the installation, what quality of image and level of access to the camera is important to you, and the look and style you prefer. And we hope that these best outdoor security cameras reviews will help you in your decision-making.
Consider options like the adaptability of your new security camera to an existing home security system if needed. Whatever camera you choose, you will enjoy peace of mind and increased security that comes with visual confirmation of who is at your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between surveillance cameras and security cameras?
Security cameras, also known as CCTV cameras, are used to convey signals from one particular place to a monitor situated at a distance, whereas surveillance cameras normally work on IP networks that link the camera from the remote area to the assigned security location. In short, a security camera can be monitored from a single designated location (and it’s more secure this way), whereas surveillance cameras can be monitored through the internet from anywhere but are at risk of getting hacked one way or another.
Can I put a security camera in my backyard?
Yes, you can install a security camera in your backyard as long as it’s not directed towards your neighbor’s house. Because if it is, that may be a violation of their privacy and you can get sued for such things. However, as long as your camera is at an angle where only your backyard is monitored, then it should be fine in most jurisdictions (though we do recommend checking the law in your particular area, as we are not a law firm nor legal experts).
How long do home security cameras keep footage?
It really depends on the make and model, as well as the storage unit where you’re going to keep the recordings. However, as a general rule of thumb, most security cameras can hold footage ranging anywhere from 30 to 90 days. For personal use, a camera that can hold up to 30 days of footage is probably more than enough, but if you plan to use one for enterprise stuff, then we recommend you go for models that can hold at least three months’ worth of footage. You never know when you might need to check back on things that have happened in the past within your perimeter, as a business.
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William is a tech buff and former corporate security officer turned cybercrime analyst. Computers have few secrets left for him, but home security and alarm systems… Well, those have plenty of secrets for their users, which William is now uncovering and explaining. His articles on home security helped many people take the matter seriously, invest in highly performing systems, and avoid becoming victims of burglaries.