Best Outdoor Security Cameras

We tested a dozen outdoor cameras to find the best for wireless, motion detection, night vision, and budget.
Best overall
Ring Spotlight Security Camera product image
Ring Spotlight Cam
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Battery, wired or solar
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Built-in motion spotlight
Best for smart homes
Nest Cam (Battery)
Google Nest Cam Battery
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Intelligent motion detection
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Works with Google & Alexa
Best video
Arlo Pro 4
Google Nest Cam Battery
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Battery, solar (wireless)
  • Icon Pros  Light
    1440p (2K) video quality
Best budget
Reolink Lumus
Reolink Lumus
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Icon Pros  Light
    High weatherproof rating
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Built-in spotlight

Outdoor security cameras can be your home’s first line of defence. The Ring Spotlight Cam tops our list as the best outdoor home security camera because it does double-duty as a smart security camera and a motion-activated security light. Wireless outdoor security camera systems like the Arlo Pro 4 also impressed with integrated security that can cover the front yard, backyard, and any other outside areas all at once.

Find out how each outdoor camera performs for features, cost, and ease of installation and use.



Compare the best outdoor security cameras

Every outdoor camera on our list features motion detection and DIY installation. See how they compare in cost, power source, and image quality.

Product
Best for
Price
Power source
Resolution
Night vision
Weatherproof rating
Horizontal field of view
Learn more
Best overallBattery, wired, solar1080pColor/infraredIP55140°
Best for smart homesBattery1080pInfraredIP54110°
Best videoBattery, solar1440p (2K)Colour/infrared160°
Best budgetWired1080pColour/infraredIP65100°

Prices are accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

1. Ring Spotlight Cam: Best outdoor security camera overall

Best overall
ring spotlight cam
Ring Spotlight Cam
Our Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
$289

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Ring is known for its doorbell cameras, and Ring puts the same smart technology and sleek design into the compact Ring Spotlight Cam. It lets you see, hear, and speak to people on your property from anywhere; and you can access it on any mobile device or PC. Although it comes with a higher price point ($289 for one camera), we think its perks and reputation are worth it.

As soon as the Ring Spotlight Cam detects motion, video starts recording and the light comes on—that’s two burglar deterrents in one. You can even set custom motion zones to make sure the areas you want to monitor are always protected.

And because it can be powered by battery, solar panel, or hardwiring, you can buy the Ring Spotlight Cam that works for where you want to install it. Plus, the addition of a built-in siren that you can sound from your phone makes this camera a mini all-in-one security system.

Unfortunately, it doesn't include any free cloud storage—prices start from $4 per month.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Built-in spotlight
Pro Bullet Two-way talk
Pro Bullet 110-decibel siren
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Pro Bullet Works with Alexa
Pro Bullet Battery, solar, or hardwired options
Pro Bullet Two color choices: black or white
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Expensive
Con Bullet Short battery life
Con Bullet No free cloud storage
Notepad
A word about wireless security

Several Ring camera users have reported breaches in their accounts that allowed a stranger to use the two-way communication to intimidate them. This is a risk every user takes when they use any internet-connected wireless system. The good news is you can minimise the risk with proper internet security. Here are a few easy tips for securing your system from online threats:

  • Use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts.
  • Opt for extra security measures like two-factor authentication.
  • Add shared users instead of sharing login credentials.
  • Change your home Wi-Fi password frequently.

We still confidently recommend Ring and other similar wireless internet-connected systems. And while these threats are real, they can be avoided with a few extra precautions.

2. Google Nest Cam Battery: Best outdoor security camera for smart homes

Best for smart homes
Nest Cam (Battery)
Google Nest Cam Battery
Our Rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$319

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Smart gadget pioneer Nest doesn’t disappoint with the Google Nest Cam Battery, which we consider one of the best outdoor battery-powered security cameras. It offers a bevy of features including intelligent motion and activity alerts, and two-way talk. We're especially big fans of its smart home compatibility since it supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, the most popular smart home platforms around.

Although the Google Nest Cam Outdoor is the best outdoor camera with continuous recording, this feature is only available if you add a Nest Aware subscription. The same goes for person alerts, which reduce the number of false alarms due to wandering dogs or rambunctious tumbleweeds.

One thing we really like is that the Nest Cam Battery includes three hours of cloud storage. Sure, it's not a lot, but it's something. For more storage, fees range from $9 to $18 per month to record video from all of the Nest cameras in your home, with a discount if you pay for a whole year upfront.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
Pro Bullet Intelligent motion detection
Pro Bullet Provides 130° view with wide-angle lens
Pro Bullet Delivers crisp picture
Pro Bullet Three hours free cloud storage
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Expensive
Con Bullet No solar power option
Con Bullet No siren

3. Arlo Pro 4: Best outdoor security camera for video

Best video
Arlo Pro 3
Arlo Pro 4
Our Rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$259

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Arlo Pro 4 security cameras get the job done without requiring a lot of tech knowledge or DIY household know-how. Setup is super easy, and you have the option to permanently mount the cameras outside or set them on a ledge or other vantage point. One of the things we appreciate about the Arlo Pro 4 is that it works just as well indoors as out. We also love the 2K video resolution that outperforms nearly every other outdoor Wi-Fi camera on our list.

When you add multiple cameras to your Arlo Pro 3 system, you have an interactive outdoor security camera system that can keep an eye on every access point to your property, since they're completely battery-powered. If you're not keen to climb up and recharge the camera, you can also purchase a compatible solar panel (though Arlo's solar panels are almost twice the price of Ring's).

On the downside, there's no free cloud storage—you'll need to fork out an additional $4.49 to $21.99 per month for Arlo Secure or Arlo Secure Plus.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Easy setup
Pro Bullet Small, unobtrusive design
Pro Bullet Smart home compatibility
Pro Bullet 100% wireless
Pro Bullet 2K video resolution
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Pricey when not on sale
Con Bullet No free cloud storage

4. Reolink Lumus: Best budget outdoor security camera

Best budget
Reolink Lumus
Reolink Lumus
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
$79.99

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

For a sub-$100 security camera, the Reolink Lumus bats well above its average when it comes to features. It boasts a spotlight, 1080p video, colour night vision, PIR motion detection, two-way talk, and a siren.

It even has a higher weatherproof rating (IP65) than our Ring and Nest picks (IP55 and IP54, respectively) and offers SD card storage, meaning you don't have to pay any monthly subscription fees unless you want more than the included seven days of free cloud storage.

If the Lumus was battery or solar-powered, it'd give our top picks a run for their money. Unfortunately, it's wired only. While that makes for simple plug-and-play installation, it means placement is limited. Also, the 100-degree field of view falls behind our other picks, and since there's no pan or tilt functionality, the camera is stuck on a static view.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Colour night vision
Pro Bullet Affordable
Pro Bullet SD card slot
Pro Bullet 7 days free cloud storage
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Wired power only
Con Bullet Comparatively small field of view
Checklist
What should I look for when buying outdoor security cameras?

Some of the most important features to look for when deciding on exterior security cameras include: 

  • Weatherproof rating
  • Wi-fi range
  • Ease of installation
  • Power source and battery life
  • Motion detection
  • Alerts and notifications
  • Cloud storage and live feed options

Final word

We recommend the Ring Spotlight Cam as the best camera for outside your house because you can choose the power option that works best for you. With its motion detection system, video recording, and built-in siren, it provides solid protection while deterring break-ins.

FAQ

The number of outdoor wireless security cameras you need depends on a few things, including how much area you want to cover and the field of view provided by the camera.

If you have multiple access points you want to keep an eye on, like the front porch, the garage, and the backyard, you’ll probably need a camera for each of those locations. And, depending on both the size of your yard and the wide-angle view of the camera, you could need multiple cameras to cover the whole area.

For whole-home coverage, you may want to check. out the best DIY home security systems with outdoor cameras.

An outdoor security camera needs to be able to take a beating, and the best way to tell if your camera can withstand the whims of Mother Nature is to check out the IP (Ingress Protection) rating.

The first number in an IP rating shows how difficult it is for things like dust and water to enter the camera enclosure. The second number shows how tamper-proof the enclosure is.

An IP65 rating means the camera enclosure is protected from dust as well as low-pressure water spray, which means the camera should stand up to rain and snow. A rating of IP67 means total dust protection and the ability to withstand full immersion in water up to about three feet.

If you only want to capture video footage during the daytime, then lighting probably won’t be a concern. But most of us want a security camera to be an extra set of eyes when ours aren’t available—like when we’re sleeping.

To capture clear images after the sun sets, you want a camera with night vision. Night vision capabilities vary, but the most important things to look for are the range for which night vision works and the image resolution.

For those who want to do more than catch culprits in the act, a spotlight security camera or a floodlight camera is a good option. These cameras use motion sensors to activate both video recording and the lights.

But lights can interfere with night vision capabilities, so keep that in mind. If video footage is more important to you than scaring off hoodlums, then you might want to skip the lights.

The benefit of a battery-operated camera is the ability to place the unit anywhere on your property. Hardwired cameras have more placement restrictions (and trickier installation) because you have to connect them to a power source.

But cameras that rely on batteries are at higher risk of leaving you unprotected if the batteries run out and you don’t notice. It really comes down to what matters more—placement flexibility or an uninterrupted power supply.

Outdoor security cameras can get power through a battery or by tapping into your home's electrical system. 

Some cameras have batteries that can be  recharged through a solar panel. Otherwise, you'll need to regularly replace the batteries to keep the camera up and running.

Wired cameras plug into an outlet or are spliced into your home's electrical circuit by a professional. The latter is known as hardwiring. Wired cameras sometimes feature a backup battery to reduce  vulnerability during a power outage.

How we reviewed

To find the best outdoor security cameras, we looked for the features that matter most to consumers, including cost, reliability, ease of use, smart home capabilities, weatherproofing, and night vision. Our team tested multiple wireless outdoor security cameras in-house and at our homes. Plus, we looked at more than 20 expert reviews and thousands of customer reviews.

  • 16 hours researched
  • 32 products considered
  • 1,200+ customer reviews
  • 13 coffees consumed

To make our list, cameras needed to stand up to weather and have good night vision. We also liked cameras that use a wireless connection, are motion-activated, and offer some smart home compatibility. For this list, we only considered standalone outside cameras rather than those available as part of a professionally monitored outdoor security camera system.


Disclaimer
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time of publish and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer’s website at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise Australia utilises paid affiliate links.
Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards

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