Best Outdoor Security Camera: We Review 10 Contenders

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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.

Article Overview

Why Get An Outdoor Security Camera?

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.

  1. For starters, it can deter burglars because it gives the impression of being watched.
  2. Secondly, it helps identify suspects if and when a burglary or suspicious activity takes place.
  3. And finally, in some municipalities, you can even register your camera with the city to help your local community reduce and solve crimes.

What Outdoor Security Camera Features Are Critical?

Cartoon of a burglar about to break into a home (caption: Home Security 101: Getting Started)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.

What Is A DVR? (And Do I Need It?)

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).

CCTV iconDepending 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.

Best Outdoor Security Cameras

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.

Multi-Camera System: Amcrest Review

Amcrest 4K Security Camera SystemView on Amazon

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 for Check Amazon for availability is 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.

Pros

Cons

  • Lifetime support
  • Easy installation
  • Includes a DVR
  • 2,296-foot transmission range
  • Sends email alerts
  • Motion detection
  • Amcrest Link app
  • User complaints of the system being defective
  • No two-way talk

Price

Coupon Code

Amcrest products are often discounted off of MSRP on Amazon.

Floodlight Camera: Ring Floodlight Cam Review

Ring Floodlight CamView on Amazon

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.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 customer service
  • Easy installation
  • No DVR needed
  • Sends app alerts
  • Two-way talk
  • Motion detection
  • Night vision
  • Ring app
  • Money back guarantee
  • Expensive camera
  • Must pay monthly for video recording

Price

Ring Protect Cloud Plans

Ring charges for video recording.

  • Free
    • 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

Coupon Code

Ring products are generally discounted from MSRP on Amazon.

WiFi Camera: Arlo Ultra Review

Arlo UltraView on Amazon

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.

 

Pros

Cons

  • Wire-free
  • Weatherproof, better for hotter climates (can be used outside)
  • Motion-activated recording
  • Store footage from up to 7 days in the cloud for free
  • Great, clear footage
  • Battery level is displayed on the app and batteries are rechargeable
  • Sturdy equipment
  • Base station has a siren
  • Two-way audio and records sound
  • Easy to install
  • 3-second look back to view activity before the camera was triggered
  • Activity zones
  • Integrated spotlight
  • Noise cancellation
  • Auto-zoom and tracking
  • Must purchase a base station
  • Two-way audio can be delayed

Price

Cloud Plans

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.

Coupon

Arlo products are often discounted off of MSRP on Amazon.

Read Our In-Depth Arlo Review

Comparison Table

 Multi-Camera System: AmcrestFloodlight Camera: Ring Floodlight CamWiFi Camera: Arlo UltraBlink XT2Canary FlexDeep SentinelFoscamNest Cam OutdoorR-TechZOSI
Price Check Amazon for availability Check Amazon for availability $449.28 $99.99 Check Amazon for availability $399

$59.99 $173.12 Check Amazon for availability
$26.99
Number of Cameras Included4121111111
DVR IncludedCheckmarkNot neededNot neededNot neededNot neededNot neededNot needed
Night VisionCheckmark
98ft
Checkmark
30ft
CheckmarkCheckmark
20ft
Checkmark
20ft
Checkmark
Checkmark
65ft
Checkmark
20ft
Checkmark
98ft
Checkmark
120ft
Field of View103°140°180°110°116°130°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 122°F (Extreme Batteries for temps as low as -40ºF)-4 to 140℉–4° to 104°F-22° to 140°F-4° to 122°F
WirelessCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Video Storage2TB Hard DriveCloud Recording: $30/year or $3/month per cameraCloud Storage: Free 7-day video history2 hours of footage free, no additional cloud storage available1-day storage of 10-second video previews for free;
Membership: 30-day storage of full-length videos for $9.99/month or $99/year
Starting at $60/monthHard Drive or Foscam CloudCloud Storage:
$100/year for 10 days;
$300/year for 30 days
Must Purchase AdditionallyMust Purchase Additionally
WeatherproofCheckmark
IP67
Weather ResistantCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
IP66
CheckmarkWeather ResistantCheckmark
IP66
Motion DetectionCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
AlertsCheckmark
Email
Checkmark
App
Checkmark
App & Email
Checkmark
App
Checkmark
App
CheckmarkCheckmark
Email
Checkmark
App
Transmission Range2,296ftN/AN/A100ft from hubN/A100ft from hubN/AN/AN/AN/A
Video Quality4K HD1080p HD4K HD1280 x 720p1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD1000TVL1000TVL
960H
AppCheckmark
Amcrest Link
CheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Foscam Viewer
Checkmark
Warranty1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year Limited1 Year1 Year1 Year2 Year Limited1 Year1 Year

More Outdoor Security Camera Options

These outdoor security cameras didn’t make the list but they’re still worth sharing and adding to your list of possible options.

Blink | Canary | Deep Sentinel | Foscam | Nest | R-Tech | ZOSI

Blink XT2 Review

View on Amazon

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.

Pros

Cons

  • Wireless
  • No DVR needed
  • No cloud storage fees
  • Batteries last two years
  • Infrared night vision
  • iOS and Android apps
  • Some customers state their cameras got waterlogged
  • Some customers’ camera batteries lasted days
  • Only stores up to two hours of footage, no other cloud storage options
  • Requires a hub
  • No zoom
  • No two-way audio
  • Can’t withstand extreme winters

Price

Canary Flex Review

View on Amazon

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.

Pros

Cons

  • Great customer service, according to online reviews we’ve read
  • Wireless
  • No DVR needed
  • Canary Cloud offers access to events from the past 24 hours for free, and you can bookmark up to five videos
  • Ability to add emergency contacts
  • Canary Flex can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Two-way talk
  • Motion detection
  • Night vision
  • Android and iOS app
  • 60-day money back guarantee
  • Expensive camera
  • Some lagging
  • Can only connect up to 4 devices
  • Can’t withstand extreme winters

Price

Cloud

  • 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

Coupon Code

Canary products are generally discounted from MSRP on Amazon.

Read Our In-Depth Canary Review

Deep Sentinel ReviewDeep Sentinel camera

Visit Website

Deep Sentinel is unique from other outdoor cameras in this article because it uses artificial intelligence (AI) and remote security guards to prevent crime from happening. When a camera detects motion, the AI determines if it’s a threat.

If a threat is detected, the camera’s red LED lights will spin, bringing attention to the camera and potentially scaring off the criminal. At the same time, a live guard views the video stream to determine what type of action should be taken. This could include speaking via two-way audio to the criminal or contacting the authorities.

Pros

Cons

  • Two-way audio
  • Wireless
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Claims to contact police within 30 seconds
  • Uses AI and human security guards
  • Easy to use
  • Potential privacy concern – human (guard) access to your camera feed
  • More expensive than traditionally monitored security systems
  • LifeSentinel Subscription requires 1-year service contract
  • No door/window sensors, motion sensors, etc., so the interior of your home isn’t protected
  • If you live in an area with more extreme winters where temperatures drop below -4°F, you need to purchase Extreme Temperature batteries
  • No zoom
  • Not compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Home
  • No self-monitoring option with no fee
  • Each hub supports up to 6 cameras, so if you want more than 6 cameras you’ll need to purchase an additional hub
  • No cellular backup

Price

Below are the 6 camera kit options you have to choose from. Deep Sentinel’s professional monitoring, LiveSentinel, is required, which is also included in the table. The cost of LiveSentinel increases as you add more cameras to monitor a property.

With video recording, less than 10 seconds of streaming is sent to Live Sentinel Guards and your cloud storage is 64GB revolving.

 1-Cam Kit2-Cam Kit3-Cam Kit4-Cam Kit5-Cam Kit6-Cam Kit
Equipment Cost$399$549$699$849$999$1,149
LiveSentinel Subscription Cost Per Month$60$80$100$120$140$160

Add Ons

  • Additional Camera: $150
  • Extra High-Capacity Battery: $49
  • Solar Charger & USB+Extreme Temperature Battery Kit: $88
  • USB+Extreme Temperature Battery: $59
  • WiFi Range Extender: $30
  • Extra Standard Battery: $29

Coupon Code

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Deep Sentinel.

Read Our In-Depth Deep Sentinel Review

Foscam Review

Foscam FI9900PView on Amazon

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.

Pros

Cons

  • Great customer service
  • Store footage locally on the hard drive or use Foscam Cloud
  • Sends email alerts
  • Motion detection
  • Foscam Viewer app
  • No DVR included
  • No two-way audio

Price

Read Our Full Foscam Review

Nest Cam Outdoor Review

View on Amazon

Nest Cam OutdoorNest 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.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 customer support via phone & email
  • Wireless
  • No DVR needed
  • Live streaming video to computer, tablet or smartphone
  • 24/7 continuous recording
  • Two-way audio communication with built-in microphone and speaker
  • On/Off programming to coordinate with your schedule
  • Motion detection
  • Eight infrared LEDs for night vision
  • Mobile apps send push notifications
  • Syncs with Nest Learning Thermostat and Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm
  • Expensive
  • No local video storage
  • Must be plugged into a wall outlet
  • Recording is an extra charge
  • Can’t withstand extreme winters

Price

Cloud Recording

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.

  • Nest Aware: $60/year for 30 days of event video history
  • Nest Aware Plus: $120/year for 60 days of event video history + 10 days of 24/7 video history

Read Our In-Depth Nest Cam Outdoor Review

R-Tech Review

View on Amazon

R-Tech RVD70BThis R-Tech RVD70B 1000TVL camera has great night vision distance at 98 feet. It is vandal resistant, meaning that it has a very sturdy outer shell.

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.

Pros

Cons

  • Great video quality
  • Easy installation
  • 98 foot night vision
  • Vandal resistant
  • DVR not included
  • Weather resistant not weatherproof
  • No motion detection, alerts or app

Price

ZOSI Review

ZOSI Security CameraView on Amazon

We like that this camera is only $26.99 but 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.

Pros

Cons

  • Active customer support
  • Inexpensive
  • 120 foot night vision
  • Vandal resistant
  • No DVR included, motion detection, alerts or app

Price

Indoor Cameras, Night Vision, and WiFi

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.

If you’re just getting started, or want to know more about security cameras and how they work, checkout our surveillance systems guide. We also cover night vision and indoor WiFi security cameras.

Got any questions we haven’t answered?

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert and has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems, and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what’s happening behind the scenes. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

In 2018, she had her first child, which opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing products and services.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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Trusted Alarm
June 5, 2016 10:44 am

Nowadays there are different CCTV cameras that you can buy. Find something that can be connected with your phone. This way you can easily track what is happening in your home when you are out.

Escape Room Owner
May 9, 2016 10:39 am

I own an escape room company and we use security cameras in each of the rooms to help our customers out with clues. We did extensive research on our own and wish I would have seen this before we bought our system, but glad to see that Foscam is the #2 pick since that’s what we use. We’ve been very happy with them, they have a great working camera with clear images, a great user interface and sleek modern designs. Plus they were fairly simple to install and set up.