Outdoor security cameras can be one of the best options for keeping an eye on your property, whether you’re at home, at work, or away on vacation. Noticeable outdoor cameras may help deter thieves — and if a potential intruder doesn’t see the cameras and attempts to break in to your home, you’ll have a record of what he or she looks like to show police.
Comparing Outdoor Security Camera Features
When choosing an outdoor security camera, take note of its wireless range. Keep in mind that wireless signals won’t transmit through concrete or aluminum side, so you may need to have a professional run Ethernet cable and drill holes to mount hardwired cameras. This not only drives up installation costs, it also limits where you can place your outdoor surveillance cameras.
Not every camera or package will provide the same features. Evaluate the following features and how important they are to you to determine which camera may be the best fit for your needs.
- Motion activation
- Pan/tilt ability
- Resolution and picture quality
- Recording and storage availability
- Remote viewing capabilities
- Company-provided monitoring
- Security of the company’s Cloud-based storage
We’ve compared outdoor security cameras from top home alarm system companies to help you decide which system may be right for you and your family.
ADT offers the OCR-810 day/night wireless security camera, compatible with the company’s Pulse home automation package. The ADT Pulse® package provides one indoor and two outdoor cameras, but you can connect up to 10 cameras to your system. The OCR-810 requires a solid, secure wireless connection to speak to the Pulse system. An ADT monitoring Wi-Fi extender may help to increase the range of your wireless signal. The camera also requires an AC power source.
The motion-activated camera records clips in 30-second segments and stores them on ADT’s secure WPA2-encrypted server for 30 days. You can also select preset recording times and take advantage of 24/7 monitoring through ADT monitoring’s fully staffed monitoring centers.
Vivint’s Smart Protect and Control and Smart Complete home automation packages allow you to add two or three additional smart devices, respectively, and an outdoor security camera is among the options. Vivint provides 24/7 monitoring services with both packages, as well as 1 TB of distributed Cloud-based backup with the company’s Space Monkey® storage solution.
The limits on the number of cameras and other smart devices you can add could be a drawback to choosing Vivint if you’re interested in setting up surveillance across your entire home. However, as Vivint recently started offering security camera options, the company may expand the capabilities and connectivity in the future.
Protection 1 provides multiple options in outdoor security cameras for its customers. The cameras, measuring less than two inches in diameter, are unobtrusive and discreet, offering high-resolution day and night video capture without the use of conspicuous infrared lights.
Unlike many home security providers, Protection 1 offers a DVR option to store up to 2 TB of data locally in a covert wall-mounted housing. For an added fee, you can opt for Cloud-based storage. Either storage option allows you to view live or recorded videos over the Web or through your iOS or Android mobile devices. You’ll receive text or email notifications if a camera detects motion and turns on, so you can watch the live feed of your property and take the appropriate action promptly to protect your home.
LifeShield provides an outdoor security camera with any of its home security alarm packages. The motion activated, high-resolution camera is triggered by the alarm and captures snapshots or video clips, which you can save on LifeShield’s secure server to view later or view in real time on the Web or through the LifeShield app for iOS or Android mobile devices.
If you purchase the advanced camera service for an additional monthly fee, you can set a schedule to capture stills or videos, or simply use the mobile or Web-based app to tell the camera to take a picture or video clip at any time.
The Frontpoint high-resolution outdoor camera, model ADC-V721W, is built to withstand virtually anything nature can throw its way: it’s weatherproof up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit and below freezing. Video surveillance is included with the company’s ultimate monitoring package. The camera offers motion-activated recording, text or email notifications when an event has occurred so you can view it on the Web or through Frontpoint’s mobile apps for Android and iOS, and 50 MB of secure, Cloud-based storage for video clips.
The cameras employ Frontpoint’s Geo-Service through Alarm.com. This is a unique feature that tracks your location through your cellphone. You can set it to automatically turn your outdoor cameras off when you are home and on when you leave, if you want.
Find the Camera That’s Best for You
Outdoor security cameras can help enhance your sense of security, help deter thieves, and let you monitor your property when you’re away from home. It’s important to find the camera – and the security system – that best fit your lifestyle.
Check out our Home Security Cameras Buyers Guide for some helpful information about your camera choices.