Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Outdoor security cameras are not only helpful in keeping an eye on your home and property, but they also act as deterrents for intruders, vandals, and thieves. Here are our handpicked recommendations to help you keep your home and property safe.

What to Look For in an Outdoor Security Camera in 2023

There is an excellent selection of outdoor security cameras on the market, but not every one will suit your needs or be a great fit for your security setup. It’s crucial to remember a few things before starting your security camera shopping.

One of the first things you’ll want to look for in an outdoor security camera is its video quality. Higher-resolution cameras typically have better video quality with much more detail. But you must find a balance between your budget, network bandwidth, and available storage. 1080p or 2K cameras are sufficient for most people.

The video storage options and subscription-based features will also play a vital role in your purchase. Unless you are okay with paying monthly subscription fees for cloud storage, you’ll want an outdoor security camera with local storage. Similarly, some cameras lock a lot of features behind a subscription plan. So you’ll have to be mindful of what you are getting for free and what you may have to pay extra for.

Features like night vision support, two-way audio, and motion alerts are essential. Most decent cameras will have these, but you check expert and user reviews for how different security cameras perform in these aspects. Also, if you plan to install a complete security system with sensors, motion detectors, and other smart devices. In that case, it’s a good idea to pick an outdoor security camera that plays well with the rest of the security system.

Lastly, privacy is a tricky topic with security cameras, whether indoor, outdoor, wired, or wireless. If the video from your cameras goes to the company servers for storage or processing, there is always a risk of a breach or leak. And the track record of most security camera manufacturers is not great. For example, several security flaws were found in Anker’s Eufy security cameras in 2022, Nest cameras were hacked in 2019, and a Wyze Cam vulnerability allowed remote access to locally stored images and videos. So you have to decide whether you are okay with the off chance of footage from your outdoor security camera leaking or being accidentally shared with someone else. Remember, no internet-connected device is 100% safe.

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How-To Geek’s product recommendations come from the same team of experts that have helped people fix their gadgets over one billion times. We only recommend the best products based on our research and expertise. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product. Read More »

Best Outdoor Security Camera Overall: Google Nest Cam

Google Nest indoor security camera mounted to a wall
Jason Montoya / How-To Geek



Free access to activity alerts and three-hour event history

A bit pricey

Easy to install and set up

No color night vision

Option to go wireless or wired

The Google Next Cam, officially known as the Google Nest Cam (battery), is a fantastic outdoor security camera with wire-free installation, excellent video quality, and built-in smart detection. It’s a bit expensive, but the inclusion of local backup storage makes it a better value than the competing security cameras.

Unlike the previous generation of Nest cameras, the Nest Cam’s built-in battery allows you to install it anywhere within range of your Wi-Fi signal and not worry about running a cable for power. But if you want to avoid charging it every few months, you can buy a $35 weatherproof power cable for a wired installation.

The Nest Cam has a clean design and comes with features you come to expect from security cameras, including 1080p video recording, two-way talk, and a 130-degree field of view. The audio and video quality is excellent, and the installation is hassle-free.

Although several Nest features are locked behind a subscription, you can get free alerts for activity zones and three-hour event history. However, a Nest Aware subscription will get you familiar face detection, sound alerts, at least 30 days of event history, and the ability to call 911 from the Google Home app.

The one big drawback of the Nest Cam is its lack of color night vision. Unlike our other recommendations, it captures IR-powered black-and-white videos in low light. That said, the quality of this black-and-white recording is pretty decent. But if your heart is set on color night vision, you can opt for the Arlo Pro 4, our pick for the best wireless outdoor security camera.

Google Nest Cam

Best Outdoor Security Camera Overall

Nest Cam is a well-designed camera that delivers impressive performance. It supports wireless installation and has a decent set of features that don’t require a subscription.

Best Budget Outdoor Security Camera: Wyze Cam v3

wyze cam v3



Free access to 14-day motion event clips and alerts

Wired connection can limit placement options

Color night vision

Monthly subscription is cheap

If you don’t have the budget to go for expensive outdoor cameras from Nest or Arlo, Wyze offers an affordable and excellent option in the form of the Wyze Cam v3. It tops out at full-HD resolution but has most of the features you might want in a good security camera. For example, it offers person detection, color night vision, two-way talk, and activity or motion zones.

Being a budget offering, the video quality of the v3 can’t take on more expensive cameras. But still, you will have no trouble with detail in both daytime and night. However, the audio quality in two-way talk leaves a bit to be desired.

Another thing going to the Wyze camera is its relatively cheap “Cam Plus” subscription, which costs just $2 a month and is needed for features like cloud storage, person alerts, vehicle detection, animal detection, and package detection. You also have the option to get the potentially free “Cam Plus Lite” subscription that gives you access to person detection and 14-day cloud storage for motion events. But without a subscription, you’ll be limited to motion and sound alerts. You can also use up to a 32GB microSD card for local video storage.

Wyze Cam v3

Best Budget Outdoor Security Camera

This reasonably priced outdoor security camera can capture full-HD videos and has one of the most affordable subscription plans on the market.

Best Wireless Outdoor Security Camera: Arlo Pro 4

arlo pro 4



Solid video quality and overall performance

Limited free features

Completely wireless

Color night vision

Although the Arlo Pro 4 is almost three years old, it remains a top choice among wireless security cameras thanks to its versatility and impressive performance. The Pro 4 can capture in 2K resolution, and the resulting video is crisp with plenty of detail. The camera also has a wide 160-degree field of view, and you get color night vision with a built-in spotlight for low-light situations.

Being a wireless camera, the Arlo camera packs a battery, which the company claims can last up to six months on a single charge. But if you choose the “Best Video” setting, you’ll have to juice it up after around six weeks. Thankfully, you can pull the battery out without the need to uninstall the camera when it’s time to juice it up, which takes under three hours.

You also get the usual features such as two-way talk, siren, and support for digital assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant. It can also work with Apple HomeKit, but you’ll need the company’s SmartHub, which costs $100.

Unfortunately, the Arlo Pro 4 is not the cheapest option, and you’ll need a subscription to access most of its features. Subscriptions start from $5 and go up to $25 a month. But besides the cost, it’s a great outdoor security camera that won’t disappoint you.

Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera

Best Wireless Outdoor Security Camera

$140 $200 Save $60

From color night vision to 2K video recording, the Arlo Pro 4 is chockful of features that make it one of the best outdoor security cameras. It also works with Apple HomeKit, but you’ll need the company’s SmartHub.

Best Outdoor Security Camera System: Ring Alarm Pro

ring alarm pro



Built-in Wi-Fi 6 router

Local video storage requires a subscription

Backup internet access

Not compatible with Google Home, HomeKit, IFTTT

Easy to install and set up

The Ring Alarm Pro is undoubtedly the best home security system for most people. It can work with various sensors, motion detectors, video doorbells, and more, including outdoor security cameras.

It delivers a responsive and reliable experience, and the app offers detailed instructions to install the system efficiently.

One of the unique features of the Ring security system is the built-in Eero Wi-Fi 6 router that’s ready for the Internet of Things and has no trouble reaching and communicating with the various sensors and gadgets you put around the house as a part of the security system. Moreover, Ring Alarm Pro can offer backup data connectivity through a mobile data connection to your Wi-Fi-enabled devices in case your internet connection faces an outage. You will get 3GB of free mobile data per month, which isn’t a lot but enough for occasional interruptions.

All of Ring Alarm Pro’s features aren’t cheap, however—you’ll need to pay $20 monthly for everything the system offers as part of its Pro subscription. You can go for cheaper Basic or Plus subscriptions but lose out on professional monitoring, backup internet, and more.

Unfortunately, the Alarm Pro is not without quirks. You have to deal with multiple apps, and there is no keyfob to arm or disarm the system quickly. You can, however, use Ring’s Geofencing feature to get a notification every time you are away from the property and haven’t armed the system. Moreover, you need a subscription to save footage locally from connected Ring cameras.

Ring Alarm 8-piece Kit

Best Outdoor Security Camera System

The Ring Alarm Pro shines as a home security system. It’s easy to install and works with a ton of Ring and third-party devices. Moreover, you get a built-in Wi-Fi 6 router.

tapo colorpro C325WB



Excellent video performance

Wired connection can limit outdoor placement

Motion detection and activity zones available without a subscription

Color night vision

If you don’t want to deal with monthly subscription fees and prefer local storage, the TP-Link Tapo C323WB ColorPro is an excellent option. This camera supports microSD card storage of up to 512GB that you can use to store video captured by the camera. You’ll also be happy to know that AI-based motion detection features and activity zones are provided without a subscription. That said, there is optional subscription-based cloud storage if you change your mind in the future.

One of the highlights of the TP-Link camera is its video quality. It captures clear and detailed video in both daylight and nighttime thanks to a larger image sensor and an f/1.0 aperture lens. Other features include support for QHD resolution, IP66 dust and water resistance, two-way audio, and a 127-degree field of view.

The C323WB is also easy to install and comes with a three-meter-long power cable, making it much more flexible in mounting locations. Moreover, the company supplies the necessary screws and mounting hardware in the box. Wi-Fi is available in terms of connectivity options, but you can also use Ethernet for a more stable connection.

tp-link tapo c325wb

TP-Link ColorPro Wi-Fi Outdoor Camera

Best Outdoor Security Camera without a Subscription

$90 $120 Save $30

With excellent video performance both day and night, this TP-Link Tapo security camera is an easy recommendation. But more importantly, it allows you to store your camera footage locally.


How do I install my security camera?

Security camera installation is typically a simple DIY project. Manufacturers include everything you may need, apart from tools like drills, screwdrivers, or hammers. You just have to decide on the placement, mark its position, drill the holes for any wires or screws, and mount the camera. If your camera needs power, ensure its placement is within a couple of feet of a power outlet.

How do I power my outdoor security camera?

You’ll find two types of outdoor security cameras on the market. Some cameras have a built-in battery that needs charging every few weeks or months. These cameras don’t need constant power. But for outdoor security cameras that don’t have a battery, you’ll need to plug them into a wall outlet for power.

Where should I mount my outdoor security camera?

Doors, driveways, and any obscure areas that can act as entry points are usually great places to start. But depending on the layout of your home or property and what you want to be covered by the camera, you can pick a vantage point. It’s also a good idea to mount the cameras eight to ten feet from the ground.

Can outdoor security cameras be used indoors?

Outdoor security cameras can be used indoors. In fact, camera manufacturers typically market them for both. But in case you want to place an outdoor security camera on a table or some other place rather than mounting it on a wall, you may have to buy an optional stand.

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By John P.

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