Best Wireless Outdoor Security Cameras: Ring Spotlight Cam vs Arlo Ultra vs Blink XT2 vs Canary Flex & More

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Having an outdoor security camera lets you keep an eye on everything going on around your home. But having to run wires limits your locations, not to mention you may need to budget time and money for a professional installation.

The good news is there are finally viable wireless outdoor security camera options. These cameras vary widely in quality and functionality so we’ll help you narrow down your best options.

Article Overview

What Features Do You Need?

Man looking into security camera: Home Surveillance Cameras 101Security cameras have come a long way since the day when it was simply a camera recording to a video cassette that had to be rotated out periodically. Now cameras offer motion detection, zooming, pan & tilt, high definition video, smart home integration, you name it. We know these advances in technology (and the lingo that comes with them) can be overwhelming, so we’ve put together a home security cameras 101 guide to help you gain a solid understanding of the fundamentals when it comes to modern day security cameras.

Should I Worry About My Camera Getting Hacked?

Keep in mind that anything that’s connected to WiFi can ultimately be hacked. Think about the direction your camera is pointing toward and what a hacker could be seeing.

If your cameras have pan, tilt and zoom capabilities, this can complicate things a little more because a hacker could adjust the camera positioning. Additionally, WiFi cameras with two-way audio can allow hackers to listen in and speak to those who are in the room. This is why we don’t recommend using WiFi-enabled cameras in children’s rooms.

Person hacking into security camera on laptop (Can Home Security Cameras Be Hacked?)While WiFi cameras are ubiquitous and convenient because they can be viewed remotely via smartphones, tablets and web browsers, we do urge you to think twice about where you position these around your home.

Think about what you really need your cameras for. You could get in the habit of unplugging them when you’re home, etc. and only leaving them on when you’re away from home and want to keep an eye on things. For the full scoop on risks of security camera hacking, including brand names that don’t have the best track record, we invite you to check out our article on security camera hacking.

Security Doesn’t Start With Your Camera

It’s also important to realize that security leaks don’t start with your cameras. Learn how to protect your WiFichoose a secure router (we like the Eero because in addition to offering great speeds, it lets you easily lock your system down to only accept devices you recognize). Lastly, for the ultimate security layer, consider installing a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which will anonymize your location and encrypt any data in transit.

Best Wireless Outdoor Security Cameras

We consider the quality of each camera, the features available, the ease of use and other factors when we choose our rankings.

Arlo Ultra Review

Arlo Ultra#1

View on Amazon

Our #1 pick is the Arlo Ultra. This outdoor wireless camera has a long list of desirable features including an motion-activated integrated spotlight that increases security and can scare away a potential threat.

One thing that sets the Arlo Ultra apart from other cameras we review here is the 4K HD camera resolution. It’s the clearest picture available on this list. Other features include motion-activated footage, auto-zoom and tracking, and 180º field of view. It also features noise-canceling technology, which allows you to hear things clearly when using two-way audio. Also, you can set up activity zones if you want to monitor specific areas of your home.

Installation is simple with a magnetic mount and simple 5-step instructions. The app is user-friendly and gives you access to your camera wherever you are. If you want to save on energy costs, you can add the solar panel for charging. The operating temperature range is -4ºF to 113ºF, and the camera is weather-resistant. It’s an indoor and outdoor camera so you can buy several cameras and sync them together to meet all of your security camera needs.

A base station is necessary with this camera, and some customers complain that the two-way audio can be delayed. Also, there are some limitations with the viewing as there are no options for pan or tilt. You’ll get 1 year free of the Arlo Smart Premier Service with rolling 30-day cloud recordings. After that, there’s a monthly fee.

Pros

Cons

  • Motion-activated recording
  • Highest resolution available
  • Auto-zoom and tracking
  • Two-way audio and records sound
  • Noise cancellation
  • Activity zones
  • Battery level is displayed on the app and batteries are rechargeable
  • Solar power charging option
  • Weather-resistant
  • Easy to install
  • 3-second look back to view activity before the camera was triggered
  • 1 year of Arlo Smart Premier service with rolling 30-day cloud recordings
  • User-friendly app for Android and iOS
  • Works with Amazon AlexaGoogle Home, Apple HomeKit and IFTTT
  • 1-year warranty
  • No pan or tilt options
  • Monthly fee for recording after 1-year free trial
  • Requires a base station
  • Two-way audio can be delayed

Tech Specs and Pricing

  • 2 cameras and base station: Check Amazon for availability
  • Solar panel: $71.99
  • Color night vision
  • 4K HD resolution
  • Field of view: 180°
  • WiFi connectivity: 2.4/5.0 GHz
  • Operating temp: -4ºF to 113ºF

Cloud Recording Options

Arlo Ultra includes a 1-year Arlo Smart Premier trial. After the trial ends, you can purchase the Arlo Smart Premier or Elite plan or opt for no service plan. Arlo doesn’t require a subscription plan for live video streaming and basic notifications. However, you’ll get so much more out of your camera by choosing one of their Smart Plans. Check out the cloud storage options here.

Read Our In-Depth Arlo Review

Ring Spotlight Cam Review

Ring Spotlight Cam#2

View on Amazon

The Ring Spotlight Cam comes in at #2 on our list. This outdoor wireless camera is an excellent choice because of it’s motion-activated LED spotlights and siren. Those features and the broader field of view are what made us choose the Ring Spotlight Cam over the Ring Stick Up Cam.

This camera also has motion notifications, two-way audio with noise cancellation and the ability to create activity zones for your frequently monitored areas. The Ring app is user-friendly and allows you to use an in-app zoom feature to see what’s going on. Also, there’s no base station.

Like the Arlo Ultra, this camera has a solar power option. This option allows you to charge your camera continually but does connect with a wire. The solar panel and the camera are both easy to install and are weather-resistant, with operating temperatures between -5°F to 120°.

You can use the Ring Spotlight Cam as a single camera or connect it to the Ring Alarm system. Using it with the system allows you to connect it and other cameras, like the Ring Doorbell camera, to all work together as a home security system.

There are no remote pan or tilt options, and there’s a monthly fee for recording. Also, some customers complain that the notifications are not always dependable.

Pros

Cons

  • Motion detection
  • Zoom available in the app
  • Two-way audio
  • Noise cancellation
  • Activity zones
  • Rechargeable battery with solar option
  • Weather-resistant
  • No base station required
  • Easy to install
  • User-friendly app for Android and iOS
  • Works with Amazon Alexa
  • 1-year warranty
  • No pan, tilt
  • Monthly fee for recording

Tech Specs and Pricing

  • $199.99
  • Solar panel: $49.99
  • Night vision
  • 1080 HD resolution
  • Field of view: 140° horizontal, 78° vertical
  • WiFi connectivity: 2.4 GHz
  • Operating temp: -5°F to 120°F

Monitoring Plan

Ring monitoring offers 3 options. However, if you want video recording, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee.

 FreeBasicPlus
Price Free$3/month or $30/year$10/month or $100/year
CoverageOne doorbell or cameraAll devices at one address
Ring & Motion AlertsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Live Video On DemandCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
WarrantyOne yearOne yearExtended
Video RecordingCheckmarkCheckmark
Review, Share & Save VideosCheckmarkCheckmark
Professional MonitoringCheckmark

Read Our In-Depth Ring Review

Blink XT2 Review

Blink XT2#3

View on Amazon

Our choice for the #3 spot is the Blink XT2 wireless security camera. You can use this camera indoors or outdoors, but its IP65 weather-resistant casing and -4° to 113° F operating temperature makes it a desirable outdoor choice.

This camera has features like motion recording, two-way audio, infrared night vision and the ability to designate your preferred activity zones. Installation is easy, and the 2-year battery life keeps you from struggling to put it up or take it down often. Blink gives you free cloud storage for hundreds of clips stored up to a year without a contract or fees. You can also connect up to 10 Blink cameras on one account.

There is no pan, tilt or zoom available, and this camera does require a base station.

Pros

Cons

  • Motion detection
  • Two-way audio
  • Activity zones
  • Extended 2-year battery life with two AA lithium batteries
  • IP65-rated/weather-resistant
  • Easy to install
  • Free cloud storage for a year
  • User-friendly app for Android and iOS
  • Works with Amazon Alexa
  • 1-year warranty
  • No noise cancellation
  • Requires a hub
  • No pan, tilt or zoom

Tech Specs & Pricing

  • 1 camera kit Check Amazon for availability
  • Infrared night vision
  • 1080p HD resolution
  • Field of view: 110°
  • WiFi connectivity: 2.4 GHz
  • Operating temp: -4° to 113° F

Comparison Table

In the table below, we compare the cameras reviewed in this article. All cameras are for outdoor use, have motion detection and are wireless.

 1st: Arlo Ultra2nd: Ring Spotlight Cam3rd: Blink XT2Canary FlexReolink Argus PTZmodo Snap True
Solar OptionCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Two-Way AudioCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Noise CancellationCheckmarkCheckmark
Activity ZonesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Camera Resolution4K HD 1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD
Night VisionColorCheckmarkInfraredUp to 25 ftUp to 33 ftCheckmark
Pan/TiltCheckmark
Zoom12xAvailabe in the appAvailable in the app Available in the app
Field Of View180°140° horizontal, 78° vertical110°116°355° horizontal 140º vertical180°
Operating temp-4ºF to 113ºF-5°F to 120°F-4° to 113° F-4° to 113° F 14° to 131º F32° to 104° F
WiFi Connectivity2.4/5.0 GHz2.4 GHz2.4 GHz2.4 GHz2.4 GHz2.4 GHz
Free Cloud Storage7 DaysUp To 1 Year24 Hours7 Days7 Days

What Are My Other Options?

These cameras didn’t make our top 3, but you could find that one of these outdoor security cameras is a good fit for your needs.

Canary |Reolink | Zmodo

Canary Flex Review

Canary FlexView on Amazon

The Canary Flex camera is easy to use inside or outside. With a wide range, operating temperature of -4° to 113° F and night vision up to 25 feet, it may be something for you to consider. You can use it wirelessly or plugged in.

Motion detection and two-way audio are the 2 main features. Zoom is available but only in the app. There’s no base station for this camera, and the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries should last several months without charging.

Two-way audio and extended cloud service are only available if you pay the monthly fee for premium storage. Also, you won’t have options for pan, tilt, noise cancellation or activity zones. Another thing to consider is that some customers complain about the camera going offline frequently.

Pros

Cons

  • Motion detection
  • Zoom available in the app
  • Two-way audio
  • Powerful rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts months before recharging
  • Weatherproof
  • No base station required
  • Easy to install
  • User-friendly app for Android and iOS
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • 1-year warranty (2 years for members)
  • No pan or tilt options
  • No noise cancellation
  • No activity zones
  • No local storage capabilities and must pay for membership for cloud storage (you get 24 hours free)
  • Several customers report having frequent offline episodes when using wirelessly

Tech Specs & Pricing

  • $129.97
  • $9.99/month for video history
  • Night vision up to 25 feet
  • 1080p HD
  • Field of view: 116°
  • WiFi connectivity: 2.4 GHz
  • Operating temp: -4° to 113° F

Canary Cloud

  • Free Access: 1-day storage of 10-second video previews for up to 4 devices
  • Membership: 30-day storage of full-length videos for $9.99/month or $99/year for unlimited devices

Read Our In-Depth Canary Review

Reolink Argus PT Review

ReoLink Argus PTView on Amazon

Reolink has a line of wireless cameras, and we think the Argus PT is their best option for outdoor use. It can be used with a rechargeable battery or with a solar panel.

One feature that sets this camera apart is the pan/tilt option that opens up the field of view to 355° horizontally and 140º vertically. This camera offers other features like motion detection and two-way audio. There is no base station required, and it’s easy to install. Also, you get free cloud storage for 7 days, or you can upgrade to one of several plans based on the number of cameras and GB of storage you need.

This camera doesn’t offer zoom, noise cancellation or activity zones. But, the main reason it didn’t make our top 3 is that Reolink has a lot of negative customer reviews. Those reviews include problems with support, device setup and consistent performance. One other issue is that the operating temperature of 14º to 131º F does not work well in places where there is extreme winter weather.

Pros

Cons

  • Motion detection
  • Remote pan and tilt
  • Two-way audio
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Solar power option
  • IP65-rated/weather-resistant
  • No base station required
  • Easy to install
  • Free cloud storage from the past 7 days
  • User-friendly app for Android and iOS
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • 2-year warranty
  • No zoom
  • No noise cancellation
  • No activity zones
  • Various customer complaints
  • Not great for extreme winter temps

Tech Specs and Pricing

  • Camera 2 pack $274.99
  • Camera with solar panel $159.99
  • Night vision up to 33 feet
  • 1080p HD
  • Field of view: 105° (355° horizontal 140º vertical with pan/tilt)
  • WiFi connectivity: 2.4 GHz
  • Operating temp: 14° to 131º F

Reolink Cloud

  • Free: 7 days for 1 camera up to 1GB of cloud storage
  • Standard Plan: $4.99/month 30 days for 5 cameras up to 30GB of cloud storage
  • Premier Plan: $9.99/month 30 days for 10 cameras up to 80GB of cloud storage
  • Business Plan:$14.99/month 60 days for 20 cameras up to 150GB of cloud storage

Read Our In-Depth Reolink Review

Zmodo Snap True Review

Zmodo Snap TrueView on Amazon

The Zmodo Snap True indoor/outdoor camera is another choice to consider for your wireless camera needs. There’s a comprehensive list of features, and it’s easy to use.

One unique feature is that the built-in motion sensor alerts you instantly when motion is detected while also preventing false alerts from things like trees moving in the wind. Other features include motion detection, two-way audio and the option to designate activity zones for viewing areas you use the most.

One issue with using this camera outside is that it charges on a charging pad with a plug. So, most likely, you’ll need to move it for charging. There have been some complaints about dropped connections, motion detection not working well, and you won’t have a noise cancellation feature. Also, it’s operating temperature doesn’t support extreme winter temperatures.

Pros

Cons

  • Motion detection
  • Remote zoom in app
  • Two-way audio
  • Activity zones
  • Rechargeable battery
  • IP65 weatherproof
  • Easy to install
  • Free cloud storage from the past 7 days
  • User-friendly app for Android and iOS
  • 3-year warranty
  • No pan or tilt
  • Requires charging pad
  • Requires a hub
  • No audio-detection recording (only motion detected)
  • No noise cancellation
  • Some users complain about dropped connections
  • A few complaints about motion detection not working well
  • Not great for extreme winter temps

Tech Specs and Pricing

Can Your Outdoor Cameras Help Your Community?

This 1-minute video from WXOW in La Crosse, MN, shows how some police departments are reaching out to citizens to make communities safer. Be sure to check with your local law enforcement agency to see if similar programs are in your area.

Find The Right Place For Your Wireless Outdoor Camera

Wireless outdoor security cameras are a great way to keep an eye on your home’s hard-to-see places. You can be sure you’re placing your cameras thoughtfully by reading our guide to home security camera installation & placement tips. The right camera in the right place can make all the difference.

Where will you put your wireless outdoor security camera?

About The Author:

Julie has been writing professionally since 2012. She is an active volunteer for a local arm of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country. Everytown does comprehensive research on gun violence and makes recommendations on how we can all make our communities safer. Her involvement with this organization has given her invaluable information about how to keep our kids safe.

She enjoys writing not only about gun safety, but from family-related content to informative articles about technology, events and healthcare. In her free time, you might find her hiking, trail running, biking or swimming. You might also find her in the kitchen where she loves to cook and bake.

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.

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