SafeHome.org may receive compensation from some providers listed on this page. Learn More
We may receive compensation from some providers listed on this page. Learn More
Battery-powered security cameras are the easiest to set up and can be installed just about anywhere. See which battery powered cameras we chose as our favorites.
You might be a little wary of battery-operated security cameras. Won’t you have to be charging them all the time? And don’t those rechargeable batteries wear out over time? We understand the concern, but if you take a closer look, there are actually several advantages to cutting the cord.
For one, battery-powered cameras provide around-the-clock video monitoring that isn’t reliant on the grid. Even if there’s a power outage or if a savvy burglar intentionally cuts the power to your house, cameras that run on batteries will still be able to protect your home.
Additionally, battery-powered cameras are incredibly easy to install. Without the need for wires, you can set them up in virtually any location you desire, such as a detached shed, your front yard, or even a cabin in the woods.
Just a few years ago, only a handful of battery-powered cameras existed. Now, they’re everywhere. Almost every security camera manufacturer has their own take on battery-powered cameras, making it tricky to find the best product for your home.
We’ve tested the top-rated battery-charged models for ease of use, features, value for money, and more. Here’s the cream of the crop of this new breed of security cameras.
The Amazon-owned Ring changed the face of home security in 2011 with a new product that could tell anyone with a smartphone who was at the front door. The Ring Video Doorbell was a mega hit. Since then the company has brought a whole line of home security equipment to market, including some top-selling battery-powered options.
Ring’s battery-operated 1080p cameras can hold their own against any of Ring’s other plug-in, wired, or solar-powered security cameras in terms of quality, reliability, and advanced features. The latest Ring battery-charged models all come with infrared night vision, two-way talk, motion-activated alerts, live views, and real-time notifications. You also have multiple power options. Let’s take a look at some of Ring’s most popular battery-operated models as well as their prices.
|Ring Spotlight Cam Plus||$169.99|
|Ring Spotlight Cam Pro||$229.99|
|Stick Up Cam||$99.99|
|Battery Doorbell Plus||$179.99|
One of the best things about Ring’s battery-powered cameras is with the right equipment, you don’t ever have to recharge or replace their batteries. For instance, you can purchase a solar panel for the battery-powered Ring Stick Up Cam. While that means you’ll have to install additional hardware, it saves you the trouble of recharging the camera a couple of times a year.
Alternatively, the Ring Spotlight Cam combines the power of Ring’s network and features with powerful motion-activated lighting. This is a camera with two really big things going for it: a rechargeable battery pack, and a spotlight that doesn’t need to be hardwired into any existing lighting or wiring in your home to work.
Ring checks plenty of boxes in the flexibility category. For starters, Ring offers a wide range of security cameras, not just battery-powered ones, so you can use a combination of plug-in type cameras and battery cameras where they make the most sense.
Ring also makes it easy to customize all of their cameras’ features to your needs. While the cameras aren’t perfect, installing and setting up Ring devices is basically a breeze, making them a hot pick for DIYers.
Another benefit to using a battery-powered system is price — Ring offers lower prices for this type of system. For example, with both the Spotlight Cam Plus and Spotlight Cam Pro, the battery-powered model is $20 less expensive than the solar and wired models.
To learn more about my full experience with Ring’s battery-powered cameras, check out my in-depth Ring Camera review.
Lorex cameras have been a strong performer for years, and one of the reasons I rely on their cameras so consistently is their longevity in the business. They’ve been around for about 30 years, becoming a mainstay with a massive selection of tough equipment and professional-grade security cameras that are grouped essentially into four categories: digital IP cameras, MPX/wireless cameras, wire-free cameras, and Wi-Fi cameras.
Lorex’s wire-free cameras and systems pack the same common features I’ve seen in other Lorex cams. You’ll get up to 2K resolution, two-way talk, and night vision, as well as newly added active deterrence and person-detection features. Those latter features performed quite nicely in a couple of Lorex cameras I reviewed not long ago. And although those cameras weren’t wire-free, they didn’t give me too many installation hassles.
Lorex offers a variety of battery-powered systems to choose from. For example, the Lorex 2K Smart Home System includes the Lorex Home Hub, indoor/outdoor battery-operated cameras and indoor Wi-Fii cameras. The battery-operated cameras have a wide diagonal viewing angle, two-way talk and a rechargeable battery. The cost for this system is $259.99.
If you’re someone who likes to customize your technology to suit your lifestyle, Lorex is probably going to suit you. These cameras offer a lot of customization, which can be great for folks who like to tinker with their gadgets and tailor them exactly to their needs.
Another great thing about Lorex is that you are never going to run out of options. Its line of wire-free cameras has resolutions ranging from 1080p to 4K, comes in indoor and outdoor models, and even has pan-and-tilt versions. A lot of the battery-powered cameras also offer smart features like person detection and motion-activated lighting.
As far as hardware quality goes, Lorex is leading the pack.
We have Arlo to thank for introducing battery-powered cameras to the home security market. It all started with the Arlo Wire-Free, a simple camera with 1080p resolution and the ability to detect motion.
From there, Arlo continued to innovate, and its current line of battery-powered cameras pack the best features we’ve ever seen in these types of devices. The Arlo Ultra 2, Arlo’s flagship product, has a 4K resolution, an ultra-wide 180-degree viewing angle, AI-driven smart detection, and built-in siren and lights to act as deterrents.
Arlo offers some of the most flexible battery-powered camera systems on the market. The brand’s full suite of security products rests on two key selling points: complete home security and flexible, easy setup. Each time I pick up new Arlo cameras to review, I tend to come to the same conclusion: They do both of those things really, really well.
In keeping with Arlo’s theme of simplicity, I love how it’s super easy to pop out the battery chamber in the camera and ease the included rechargeable battery right in, then pop everything right back into place. No screwdrivers, no sweat, and no fighting with inanimate objects.
And in addition to wire-free installation, thanks to rechargeable batteries, Arlo cameras hold up really well against the outdoors, which is incredibly important for security cameras these days.
Note, however, that premium quality products come with a premium price tag as well. A starter kit for the Arlo Ultra 2, which includes a SmartHub and two cameras, costs a whopping $600. There are cheaper cameras from Arlo, of course, with the Essentials line starting at just $129.99 per camera.
For affordable home security without unsightly power cords, Blink is a nice, low-maintenance option. The sleek, cube-shaped camera system has two main draws: fast Wi-Fi connectivity and extended-life batteries for up to two years of continuous use.
Clearly this is an Amazon-owned brand worth getting to know, which I noted when I tested the Blink camera system recently. Here are a few more things to know about Blink:
The Blink camera system allows you to access, monitor, and control Blink cams through one small sync module, communicating smoothly with your smartphone so you can view what’s happening in live HD video. Just don’t expect too much in the way of accessories or advanced features here. But what stands out about Blink cams is that they use two AA lithium batteries that will last up to two years – an obvious nod to convenience and affordability.
The Blink Outdoor offers two-way audio, infrared night vision, motion detection with alerts that are sent right to your phone, and an easy setup. It costs $99.99.
Blink Indoor comes with many of the same features: infrared night vision, two-way talk, motion detection, and easy setup. It costs $79.99.
The clean, round lines and glossy finish of a Reolink camera might have you thinking these are super-expensive devices. In fact, Reolink, another mainstay in the industry, offers a pretty stacked package for affordable prices – and that holds true for their large selection of wire-free cameras, too. The Reolink Argus 3, as shown above, costs $110, which is very reasonable.
In addition to handling the essentials of home security with ease, I believe Reolink’s best asset is its ability to acclimate with almost any outdoor environment, thanks to wire-free installation, 1080p HD resolution, and color night vision.
What you’re not going to find with Reolink, at least with many of their wire-free cams, is a high-end feature set with things like person detection and 24/7 recording. But by and large, you’ll get in Reolink a nice selection of solid cameras for folks who don’t want to spend a lot of time tinkering with their tech.
Up until the last decade or so, installing cameras around the house often involved complicated installations and hardwiring often left to a professional. The big, bulky equipment didn’t do much for aesthetics, either.
These days, installing security cameras has never been easier. Much of this is due to the abundance of wireless and battery-powered camera technology that’s come to dominate the industry. Some cameras, like the aforementioned Reolink camera system, can be used interchangeably with batteries-only or with plug-in power, depending on your preference.
Aside from having the whole setup process controlled by a mobile app, expect a faster installation on the hardware side, too. But don’t get too comfortable once you get the camera online; though they’re meant as “set it and forget it” devices, it’s important to remember to monitor your cameras’ battery life and make sure you’re aware when it’s time to change them out.
Before we take a closer look at the pros and cons of wired vs wire-free, let’s take a second to review some of our favorite cameras from the providers listed above side-by-side.
|Ring Spotlight Cam Plus||Color Night Vision||$169.99|
|Lorex 4K Spotlight Indoor/Outdoor Cam||4K Resolution||$229.99|
|Arlo Ultra 2||180-Degree Field of View||$299.99|
|Blink Outdoor||2-Year Battery Life||$99.99|
|Reolink Argus 3 Pro||Smart Alerts||$118.99|
Batteries often don’t tell the whole story about how a camera is powered. You might see the terms “wireless,” “wire-free,” and “fully wireless” interchangeably, sometimes indicating that a camera can receive power either through wires or batteries.
Wireless security cameras communicate over the internet, but they sometimes require plugging into a standard AC outlet. Reolink’s Argus Eco, for example, is a wireless camera, but it does need to be plugged in. Reolink Argus 2 and Argus 3 cams, however, are wire-free devices that run on batteries. Make sense?
Of course, with battery power, you can’t avoid having to climb up and change them at some regular interval. This means your camera will be offline for a short time, which obviously isn’t the ideal scenario.
Indeed, it’s not something everyone prefers; there are always pros and cons to both wired and wireless scenarios. For more tips on choosing the best camera for you, pop over to our security camera buying guide.
Though they’re a favorite of renters, battery-powered cameras aren’t strictly for those on the go or wire-averse; these cams actually have much to offer anyone. It’s no coincidence, after all, that so many of us are reliant on battery-powered phones, speakers, laptops, smart watches, and a whole litany of other battery-powered products to help improve, organize, or manage our lives.
Personally, a camera I don’t have to plug in is a camera that (usually) looks nicer in my home and makes life easier. Simple, right?
But with so few complex installation hassles, I still make a point to recommend battery cameras to folks who are looking for better apartment security, who travel or move frequently, or who just don’t like wires hanging around the house.
Many battery-powered cameras have basic motion detection, allowing them to record video efficiently. You might also find that some cameras don’t offer the option of continuous recording; rather, battery-powered cameras work best as self-monitored devices, where you can receive alerts, view live footage, and store clips. Cameras that record continuously require more power and aren’t very practical for battery setups.
Two-Way Talk is an active deterrent feature I often emphasize as a must-have feature. Why? Because you can scare off intruders simply by using your own voice. Or in more benign cases, you can use it to communicate with parcel drivers, family members, and even pets. It’s a great feature found in almost every camera, including battery-powered ones.
A camera isn’t worth much if it doesn’t provide at least a decent picture in the dark, as criminals often wait for the cover of night to strike. In battery-powered cameras — since the connection often is less stable than with a wired or PoE device — you might find night vision to be somewhat lacking. While the camera will most likely pick up any pertinent activity, the recordings do tend to yield a grainy picture.
Most home security brands now come with a companion mobile app that will enable you to access, monitor, and control your battery-powered home security cameras remotely. The best security camera apps are well-organized and intuitive, allowing you to control your cameras and get deeper insights into any suspicious or unusual activity. Features like privacy masking, sensitivity, and motion scheduling help you get the most out of your camera in protection and reliability.
Most battery-powered cams produce video in 1080p HD, the most common benchmark for video dimensions in home security cameras. As long as your Wi-Fi connection remains somewhat stable, you should see footage clearly, with little noise or interference. During busier times, wireless and battery-powered cameras tend to fluctuate, occasionally dipping below HD quality. Higher-resolution cameras, you’ll note, might require more power and drain your battery faster.
There are several types of recording options being either a continuous recording or intermittent recording option. Every brand will have their own selections from which you can choose. And the same goes for how you pay for those services. Any given brand might offer one or both options as part of one of their packages or a limited amount of storage for free. And, a brand might also offer a limited amount of cloud storage for free with larger cloud storage options available for a fee. So if storing your videos is important to you, then look for a brand that has the video recording storage options that best suit your needs.
For the most part, you’re not going to find anything complicated or time-consuming about installing battery-powered cameras. That’s what DIY is all about, right? They can be placed on a surface for easy indoor monitoring, or mounted on a wall. Or outside, they can be drilled into place using the included brackets, which shouldn’t be too complicated, either. Without wires, it’s also super easy to test out different angles and zero in on specific threats with these cameras.
A battery-powered security camera with wireless connectivity is one that uses a cellular signal to communicate. The cellular signal works by using radio frequencies just like your mobile phone does. The radio frequencies work with your security alarm's sensors throughout your home, and they communicate with the control panel to notify the monitoring center when activity is detected.
Today’s smart home technology allows many battery-powered cameras to integrate with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and other automation platforms for a truly connected experience. You can use voice commands to get real-time information on who’s at your door, what time your kids’ school bus arrives, and what all that racket is upstairs.