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Whether you’re buying your first outdoor surveillance system or looking to upgrade an existing system, you can increase the surveillance on your property without going broke.
Forget the complicated, multi-thousand dollar security systems. These outdoor security cameras are easy to install and an affordable way to protect you and your home.
- Why Get One?
- Features To Look For
- Best Cameras
- Comparison Table
- What Other Brands Might I Consider?
- Indoor Cameras, Night Vision, and WiFi
Investing in an outdoor security camera is a small upfront price for what could save you lots of headache, time and money down the road.
- For starters, it can deter burglars because it gives the impression of being watched.
- Secondly, it helps identify suspects if and when a burglary or suspicious activity takes place.
- And finally, in some municipalities, you can even register your camera with the city to help your local community reduce and solve crimes.
When shopping for a system, there are several things to consider. Some features will be important in your situation, while others you might choose to forego. We put together a list of all the factors to keep in mind in our security camera 101 article.
Some of the cameras we review have DVR (Digital Video Recorder), which means they can record the security footage, so you can view it later. Think of it as the equivalent of TiVo for your television that records TV shows so you can watch them later. It’s helpful to have DVR when you need to look back and reference activity that took place previously (identifying a burglar’s identity during a break in or what happened to your missing package).
Depending on the type of DVR and the number of cameras you have will determine how much footage it can hold. But, just because it has DVR does not mean continually records video. Due to limited storage space, cameras often only capture when it detects motion. So if you need access to footage 24/7 or have a high traffic area to monitor (a busy street) you might want to get a CCTV system (Closed-Circuit Television) which gives you uninterrupted video.
With that in mind, here are our top picks. However, make sure you read them all as some might be a better fit for you than others.
The Amcrest 4K security system is a four channel security camera system acts like a plug-and-play system. The installation process is surprisingly easy even though there are multiple cameras and a DVR to set up.
The cameras have an IP67 weatherproofing rating, motion detection and night vision up to 100 feet away. Each camera has an 87º view angle and they operate in temperatures ranging from -40° to 140°F.
You can view the footage through your DVR or the iOS or Android app. The hard drive holds 2TB of footage but is expandable up to 10TB. At 2TB, you can record up to 24 days of continuous footage at high resolution or up to 120+ days of recording if you opt for lower resolution setting or motion detection recording.
Getting four cameras and a DVR foris rather reasonable and the camera has great tech specs. We definitely recommend checking out this camera system if you’re looking to monitor multiple areas at home or for a business.
Ring’s Floodlight Cam has a built-in light to help ward off any unwanted visitors. The camera has some great features including two-way talk, and an app to send you instant notifications when the camera detects motion.
However, this is a pretty pricey camera and you’re required to pay an extra monthly fee if you want to store any video. If you want a strictly digital way to secure your camera footage, Ring may fit the bill. But, if you prefer to have a DVR and a lower cost system, you should look elsewhere.
Ring beat out Canary Flex and Nest Cam Outdoor because it has a larger operating temperature range (-22° to 120°F), lower cloud subscription fees and a wider viewing angle (140°).
Ring has partnered with over 400 law enforcement agencies across the country and users can access the “Neighbors Portal” portion of the app to help alert neighbors of nearby crimes.
Ring Protect Cloud Plans
Ring charges for video recording.
- Ring and motion alerts
- Custom motion detection
- Interact with visitors
- Live video on demand
- Protect Basic $3/month or $30/year
- Covers 1 Ring doorbell or security camera
- Includes everything in the Free plan
- 60 days of video recording
- Review, share and save Ring videos
Arlo Ultra can be used both inside and outside. It’s wireless, so it’s easy to install since it can go almost anywhere. It uses a magnetic mount for the camera, but you can also purchase a more sturdy mount for the outdoors.
Arlo only records when it senses motion, but you can upgrade cloud storage plans to have continuous recording. You can connect up to 5 cameras to the base station.
The cameras have 4K HD video, 12x zoom, 180° field of view, night vision, weatherproofing and have an operating temperature of -4° to 140°F.
- 2 cameras and base station:
Arlo doesn’t require a subscription plan for live video streaming and basic notifications. However, you will get so much more out of your camera by choosing one of their Smart Plans. Check out their cloud storage options here.
|Multi-Camera System: Amcrest||Floodlight Camera: Ring Floodlight Cam||WiFi Camera: Arlo Ultra||Blink XT2||Canary Flex||Foscam||Nest Cam Outdoor||R-Tech||ZOSI|
|Number of Cameras Included||4||1||2||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|DVR Included||Not needed||Not needed||Not needed||Not needed||Not needed|
|Field of View||103°||140°||180°||110°||116°||98°||130°||22.6° to 81.2°||72°|
|Operating Temperature||-40 to 140℉||-22° to 120°F||-4° to 140°F||-4° to 113°F||-4° to 113°F||-4 to 140℉||–4° to 104°F||-22° to 140°F||-4° to 122°F|
|Video Storage||2TB Hard Drive||Cloud Recording: $30/year or $3/month per camera||Cloud Storage: Free 7-day video history||2 hours of footage free, no additional cloud storage available||1-day storage of 10-second video previews for free;|
Membership: 30-day storage of full-length videos for $9.99/month or $99/year
|Hard Drive or Foscam Cloud||Cloud Storage:|
$100/year for 10 days;
$300/year for 30 days
|Must Purchase Additionally||Must Purchase Additionally|
App & Email
|Transmission Range||2,296ft||N/A||N/A||100ft from hub||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Video Quality||4K HD||1080p HD||4K HD||1280 x 720p||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1000TVL||1000TVL|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year Limited||1 Year||1 Year||2 Year Limited||1 Year||1 Year|
These outdoor security cameras didn’t make the list but they’re still worth sharing and adding to your list of possible options.
The Blink XT2 camera is weatherproof and can operate in temperatures ranging from -4° to 113°F. The camera’s resolution is 1280 x 720p, which is less than what other cameras offer at 1080p.
You can connect up to ten devices on your Blink account, so there’s plenty of room to video monitor the exterior of your home. The view angle is 110° as well, so you can cover a large area, and it has a one-year limited warranty.
Unfortunately, it does not have zoom capabilities, so there’s a chance your footage could be too blurry at 720p with a 110° view angle to capture a license plate or clear face. This is why Blink XT ranked lower in our review.
You can use Canary Flex indoors and outdoors, so you can monitor all entrance areas of your home. According to customer reviews, Canary Flex performs much better than its predecessor, Canary. The Flex can be plugged into an outlet or used with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, so you can decide how you’d like to use it.
Unfortunately, Canary Flex isn’t the cheapest camera, and you can only connect up to four cameras on one account. If you’re planning on more than four cameras outside your home, we suggest going with another camera.
Two-way talk is a feature available, but you only get it if you purchase the cloud package. The Canary Flex has many great features including a 116° wide-angle view, 1080p HD footage, 25-foot night vision, weatherproof, operating temperature of -4° F to 113°F and a one-year warranty.
- Free Access: 1-day storage of 10-second video previews for free
- Membership: 30-day storage of full-length videos for $9.99/month or $99/year
The Foscam FI9900P has excellent picture quality for both day and night. It has IP66 weatherproofing and night vision up to 65 feet. You can digitally zoom up to eight times, and the camera has sound detection.
This Foscam camera has a one-year warranty and works in temperatures from -4 to 140℉, so it would be best if you live in a state that doesn’t have a severe winter.
Foscam has great customer service, so if you come across any hiccups, you can always call for help. Record video to the hard drive for free, or you can purchase remote storage on Foscam Cloud.
Nest Cam Outdoor has some great camera features. It has a 130° field of view and an operating temperature of -4° to 104°F. The 1080p HD video allows you to zoom in eight times digitally to get a clearer picture of a thieves face or license plate.
The camera is weatherproof, so it’s okay if this gets some rain or snow on it. It has a two-year limited warranty and two-way audio, which is very clear.
You can have up to ten Nest Cams connected in one home and have up to two homes on one Nest account.
So what are the downsides? The camera doesn’t come cheap, and on top of that, you’ll most likely want to sign up for a cloud storage package. Without cloud storage, this camera is almost useless.
Cloud recording is optional for the Nest Cam outdoor, but without it, you can only see what happens in real-time. We suggest signing up for Nest Aware cloud recording to get full use of this camera. Below is the cloud pricing for one camera.
- $100/year for 10 days
- $300/year for 30 days
The viewing angle is smaller than other cameras at 22.6° to 81.2°. A huge plus is the wide range of operating temperatures at -22° to 140°F and there is a one-year warranty.
We’re a bit bummed that there’s no motion detection and it’s only 1000TVL video quality. According to Arcdyn, with 1000TVL cameras, you can hardly recognize a face or read a license place from more than ten feet away.
The manufacturer states that it is weather resistant and not weatherproof. However, we haven’t read any complaints about its performance in the weather, so we aren’t holding this against them.
We like that this camera is onlybut still has decent camera features. There are some restrictions to it, but if it meets your needs, you can save some money by going with Zosi.
This camera has a one-year quality warranty and is rated IP66 for weatherproofing. The camera’s night vision allows up to 120 feet, and the operating temperature is -4° to 122°F.
The camera is described as having 1000TVL, but is that comparable to a camera with 1080p resolution? No. Similar to R-Tech above, it will only be good for up to ten feet.
Unfortunately, this is a huge factor and one we can’t recommend for every element of home security. If you need a camera near your front door, this may be a good option. However, if you want a camera over your garage overlooking your driveway, the video quality of this camera may not be good enough. Its customer support is active and responds to comments on Amazon.
After reading our outdoor security camera reviews, hopefully you’ve found the best fit for your outdoor space. If you haven’t, make a list of specific features you need to help you narrow your search.
Got any questions we haven’t answered?
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