Best Outdoor Security Cameras

We've tested over a dozen outdoor cameras, and Arlo Pro 4 is our top pick.
Best overall
Arlo Pro 4
Arlo Pro 4
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • pro
    Battery, wired, or solar
  • pro
    1440p video quality
Best smart detection
Nest Cam (Battery)
Nest Cam (Battery)
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • pro
    Battery, wired, or solar
  • pro
    Affordable cloud storage
Best for budgets
Wyze Cam Pan v3
Wyze Cam Pan v3
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • pro
    Wired only
  • pro
    Pan-and-tilt functionality
Best spotlight camera
Ring Spotlight Cam Pro (Battery)
Ring Spotlight Cam Pro
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • pro
    Battery, wired, or solar
  • pro
    3D motion detection
Best battery life
Blink Outdoor security camera
Blink Outdoor
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
  • pro
    Battery, wired, or solar
  • pro
    2-year battery life

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. We may earn money when you click buy links. Learn how we test and review.

Outdoor security cameras can be your home's first line of defense. The Arlo Pro 4 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. It's not as bright as the Ring Spotlight Cam, but Arlo's well-rounded smart home compatibility and excellent video quality make the difference.

Like all outdoor cameras on our list, it's a great option for the front yard, backyard, and other outdoor areas. Read our full comparison to see how it compares to other top outdoor cameras in terms of features, cost, and ease of installation and use.



Compare the best outdoor security cameras

Product
Best for
Price
Power source
Video resolution
Field of view
Night vision
Learn more
Best overallBattery, wired, solar1440p (2K)160ºColor, infrared
Best smart detectionBattery, wired, solar1080p130ºInfrared
Best for budgetsWired1080p120º lens

(360° pan, 180° tilt)
Infrared
Best spotlight cameraBattery, wired, solar1080p140ºColor, infrared
Best battery lifeBattery, wired, solar1080p110ºInfrared

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

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Best outdoor home security camera reviews

1. Arlo Pro 4: Best overall

Best overall
Arlo Pro 4
Arlo Pro 4
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$199.99

 *Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Arlo Pro 4 spotlight camera gets the job done without requiring a lot of tech knowledge or DIY household know-how. It's super easy to set up, and we like that the wireless camera can be installed at any vantage point. We also love the 2K video resolution that outperforms every other outdoor Wi-Fi camera on our list.

pro
Pros
pro 2K video resolution
pro Security system and smart home compatibility
pro Easy to set up and install
con
Cons
con Pricey cloud storage plans
con Local video storage costs extra

By adding multiple Arlo cameras to your Arlo Home Security System, you have an interactive outdoor security camera system that can watch every access point on your property. Arlo's smart home compatibility is equally impressive since it works with platforms like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Home.

Arlo recently raised the price of its Arlo Secure cloud storage plans,  making it one of the more expensive options on our list. Its single-camera plan costs almost as much as Nest's unlimited-camera plan. While you can store local video on a base station, you must buy one separately.

Learn more in our Arlo Pro 4 review.

Light Bulb
Arlo Essential Indoor

Although Arlo Pro 4 works as well indoors as out, this Arlo camera may be overkill for the living room. You can cut the price by getting the Arlo Essential Indoor (around $100). It lacks a spotlight and requires a power cable but comes with a nifty privacy shield for extra security.

2. Nest Cam (Battery): Best smart detection

Best smart detection
Nest Cam (Battery)
Nest Cam (Battery)
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$179.99

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

The Google Nest Cam (Battery) is hot on Arlo's heels with one of the best wireless outdoor cameras we've ever tested. The video looks great, and Nest Cam's biggest draw is the fantastic smart motion detection that tells you if a person, animal, or vehicle passes by. There's even a tiny amount of free cloud storage if you don't want Nest's industry-leading paid plan.

pro
Pros
pro Unrivaled smart detection
pro Great video quality
pro Affordable cloud storage
con
Cons
con No siren
con Some features require a cloud plan

The best thing about Nest's smart detection is that you don't need a subscription to use it like with Arlo and Wyze. You still need a paid plan for the advanced face and sound recognition options. Fortunately, Nest offers the best cloud subscription on the market. For $6 a month, you can record unlimited Nest cameras. This is less than half that of a similar offering from Arlo.

If you upgrade to Nest Aware Plus from about $12 a month, you'll unlock continuous recording for all of your cameras—provided they have a power cable. By comparison, Arlo's continuous recording plan requires an extra purchase for every camera, even if you have a regular subscription.

We're huge fans of its smart home compatibility since it supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Although the Nest Cam lacks a built-in siren and spotlights like Arlo and Ring, you can use the two-way audio to startle trespassers into retreat.

Learn more about this sleek camera in our Nest Cam Battery review.

Bell
Installing Nest cameras

Looking to install one soon? We've got a Nest Cam installation guide to help out with that.

3. Wyze Cam Pan v3: Best for budgets

Best for budgets
Wyze Cam Pan v3
Wyze Cam Pan v3
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$39.98

 *Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

It was a pleasant surprise that the new Wyze Cam Pan v3 follows the trend of Wyze's latest cameras by offering weatherproofing. While you can find other outdoor pan-and-tilt cameras for less than $50, this is the first model from a mainstream brand. It could be better, but the price is hard to beat.

pro
Pros
pro Immensely affordable
pro Pan-and-tilt functionality
pro Local storage via microSD card
con
Cons
con Special power source for outdoor operation
con Sometimes buggy

Like the previous Wyze Cam Pan model, this camera uses internal motors to reposition the camera, which helps make up for an otherwise narrow field of view. You can manually point the lens from the Wyze app or set it to follow moving objects through the frame. It's especially handy as a nanny cam for checking on the kiddos.

Out of the box, Wyze's cameras can record video to a microSD card (sold separately), or you can use a limited amount of free cloud storage. For improved cloud storage, you can upgrade to a Cam Plus subscription for about $2 a month per camera—it's the cheapest cloud plan on our list.

Because this is a new product, customer reviews say it's a little buggier than usual, something we hope Wyze addresses soon. Also, the power cord in the box isn't weather-rated, so you need to buy that separately. (It's not available yet, but Wyze says it starts shipping this January.)

We have yet to test this camera, but you can learn more about this brand in our Wyze cameras review.

Light Bulb
Wyze Cam v3

If the pan-and-tilt feature isn't enticing, consider the Wyze Cam v3 (about $36), which offers most of the same features. It's been available much longer, so there are fewer bugs.

4. Ring Spotlight Cam Pro: Best spotlight camera

Best spotlight camera
Ring Spotlight Cam Pro (Battery)

 *Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Ring made its name with excellent Ring Video Doorbells, but you can find the same tech in the sleek Ring Spotlight Cam Pro. It's the priciest camera on our list, but it has an excellent spotlight and unique motion-detection features. Plus, you can combine it with the Ring Alarm security system for comprehensive outdoor security.

pro
Pros
pro Bright built-in spotlight
pro Bird's Eye View
pro 3D Motion Detection
con
Cons
con Fewer smart alerts than Nest
con Requires cloud storage plan

The Ring Spotlight Cam Pro brings over a few features from the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro: 3D Motion Detection and Bird's Eye View. These features use radar for a precise view of people entering your property and even show their route on a satellite map. Still, these cool features don't make up for Ring's lack of animal and vehicle detection.

Ring is the only brand on our list without free video storage. This means no rich notifications, person alerts, or recordings without paying for a Ring Protect plan. You can still watch a live feed and receive some notifications, but Ring's better with a subscription.

And because you can power it with a battery, solar panel, or hardwiring, you can buy the Ring Spotlight Cam for where you want to install it. We love that it supports two battery packs for extra time between charging sessions. (The second battery costs extra.) Plus, you can sound a built-in siren from your phone, making this outdoor cam a mini all-in-one security system.

Learn more in our Ring Spotlight Cam review.

Bell
Ring Stick Up Cam

You can save over $100 by choosing the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery (about $100), which skips the advanced features, spotlight, and extra battery. Check out our Ring Stick Up Cam review to learn more.

5. Blink Outdoor: Best battery life

Best battery life
Blink Outdoor security camera
Blink Outdoor
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
$99.99

 *Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Blink is small, smart, and discreet—all characteristics we like to see in a home security camera. But our favorite thing is that the Blink Outdoor nibbles on batteries while other brands gobble them up—you don't have to change or recharge for up to two years. Just set it up and relax.

pro
Pros
pro 2-year battery life
pro Sync Module 2 supports local video storage
pro IP65 weatherproof rating
con
Cons
con Short recording duration
con No smart motion detection features

This battery life comes at a cost—Blink Outdoor is pretty basic. It lacks smart motion detection and records only short videos. (Videos top out at 60 seconds.) We like that Blink plans offer affordable cloud storage starting at $3 a month for a single camera or $10 for unlimited cameras. This is the same pricing structure as Blink's sibling company, Ring.

The Blink Outdoor comes with a Sync Module 2, which helps extend battery life, and has a USB port for local storage. You only need a spare USB thumb drive of up to 256 GB, and you're recording videos without a subscription.

With an IP65 rating, the Blink camera isn't waterproof, but it is water-resistant. It can withstand a typical rain shower or a splash from the sprinkler but don't expect it to survive a hurricane.

Learn more in our Blink cameras review.

More outdoor cameras we considered

Eufy SoloCam E40

There's a lot to like about the Eufy SoloCam E40 (about $130)—Eufy's entry-level wireless outdoor security camera. Its 2K video resolution delivers the excellent video quality we associate with Eufy cameras. Plus, the battery life is on par with similarly-priced cameras from Arlo and Reolink. But it lacks a spotlight, you can't expand the built-in video storage, and there's no cloud storage option.

Learn more in our Eufy cameras review.

Reolink Lumus

We don't talk about the Reolink Lumus (about $55) nearly enough compared to the Reolink Argus 3 Pro, our reigning security camera champ. But Lumus is easily one of the best wired outdoor cameras. Its 10-foot power cable may not be very long, but it's better than the outdoor cable add-on Wyze uses. Ultimately, Wyze's pan-and-tilt feature puts it ahead of Reolink Lumus on our list.

Learn more in our Reolink cameras review.

ZOSI C190

The ZOSI C190 (about $40) doesn't dazzle with loads of extra features compared to Wyze. But we were impressed by the powerful night vision that captures activity up to 80 feet away. It also has one of the highest weatherproof ratings of all the cameras on our list—IP67. Still, we think Wyze is a better fit for budget-minded folks.

Learn more in our ZOSI cameras review.

Final word

We recommend the Arlo Pro 4 as the best camera outside your house because it's easy to install and comes with various smart home integrations and power options to fit almost any niche. With its built-in siren, it provides solid protection while deterring break-ins.

Still, you must subscribe to a cloud plan to unlock Arlo's best features—smart motion detection and video recording—and the plans aren't as affordable as they once were. Check out our FAQ section to learn more about outdoor cameras. For an overview of our favorite cameras for different settings, head to our review of the best wireless security cameras.

Outdoor security camera FAQ

We generally recommend wireless security cameras for their ease of installation. While many a model doubles as a solar-powered camera to increase the time between charges, this usually requires buying a separate solar panel. Otherwise, you must regularly recharge the batteries to keep the outdoor cam running.

On the flip side, wired cameras aren't always inferior. If you don't want to deal with batteries, choose a wired camera that plugs into an outlet or hardwires into an electrical circuit. The installation may involve extra drilling to run power cables but limits your placement options. Most wireless cameras also support wired power cables.

The benefit of a wireless security camera is the ability to place it 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 comes down to what matters more—placement flexibility or an uninterrupted power supply.

We don't recommend using an indoor camera or nanny cam outside because it lacks weatherproofing and is more susceptible to temperature changes. While indoor cameras are generally more affordable than their outdoor counterparts, getting a camera that can handle the weather is worth the extra cost.

Although popular brands like Arlo, Ring, and Blink sell outdoor cameras starting at around $100, you can find cheap outdoor security cameras from brands like Reolink, Wyze, and ZOSI for $50 or less.

All outdoor cameras allow you to view live video and receive some notifications without a subscription, but it's more complicated when you want to record video:

  • Reolink, Wyze, YI, and ZOSI all have local video storage via a microSD card you buy separately.
  • While some Eufy cameras use a microSD card, most of its outdoor models have built-in storage. You can only add more storage by buying a base station like the Eufy HomeBase 3.
  • Arlo cameras require a compatible base station to save video without a subscription.
  • Google Nest, Reolink, Wyze, and YI are great options for a small amount of free cloud storage.

Beyond the free storage options, you can expect most outdoor camera manufacturers to offer paid cloud storage subscriptions.

The number of outdoor cameras you need depends on a few things, including the area you want to cover and the camera's field of view. A good baseline is a camera for each access point, like the front yard, the garage, and the backyard. (For the front porch, consider getting a video doorbell instead.) From there, you can add more cameras until you reach the level of coverage you want.

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 dust to enter the camera enclosure. The second number indicates how water-resistant the enclosure is.

A camera enclosure with an IP65 rating can protect against dust and low-pressure water spray, basically rain and snow. A rating of IP67 means total dust protection and complete protection against three feet of water.

In addition to the IP rating, you can look at the temperature ratings in the camera specs. We dig into this more in our review of the best weatherproof security cameras.

Lighting won't be a concern if you only want to capture video footage during the daytime. Plus, all modern security cameras come with infrared night vision. You can expect good image quality within 10 to 15 feet of most cameras, with more powerful cameras doubling this range.

Aside from catching culprits in the act, a spotlight security camera or a floodlight camera is a good option for color night vision and lights to help you find your way at night. Keep in mind that other light sources can interfere with night vision capabilities, especially if your neighbor uses a super bright solar security light, by creating glare or washing out details.

How we reviewed the best outdoor security cameras

Arlo Pro 4 with magnetic mount

Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise. 

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

When rating 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. We've tested multiple wireless outdoor security cameras in-house and at our homes. We looked at dozens of expert reviews and thousands of customer reviews to round out our research.

Check out our methodology to learn more about how we rank, review, and test products.

Compare the best home security systems

Brand
Best for
Monthly cost Icon Tooltip  Dark
Starter equipment price
Contract required
Smart home compatibility Icon Tooltip  Dark
Learn more
Read review
Best overall$599.00
Icon Yes  LightNo *
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Budget pick$245.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon,
Google
Most experienced$0.00
Icon No  LightYes
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Best customer experienceQuote required
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon, Google
Best optional monitoring$199.15
Icon Yes  LightNo
Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.
Full ADT disclaimer

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Disclaimers

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided "as is" and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over nine years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.

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