Ring, the Amazon-owned fan favorite largely credited with redefining home security with their Ring Video Doorbell, has since grown into a full-service home security company. While batteries aren’t hugely popular in security cameras across the industry just yet, Ring offers a couple of stellar options.
These battery-powered security cameras are equipped with all the smart and reliable features you know and love about the rest of Ring’s cameras – smooth 1080p HD resolution, infrared night vision, two-way talk, and motion-activated alerts.
With the Ring Stick Up Cam, for example, you have the option of using battery or plug-in power. So if you’re someone who likes to move your camera from one space to another to cover different targets, the battery setup is incredibly convenient.
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.
This unique camera checks off plenty of boxes in the flexibility category. Here are some more points to remember about Ring’s battery-powered cameras:
Ring 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.
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 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 1080p 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.
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.
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 that Arlo cams do fall on the pricier side of the spectrum; a Pro 3 system of three cameras and a SmartHub retailed for $499 last time I checked. Just a word of caution, though — these cams are priced fairly for what you get.
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.
Blink prices start at $35 for Blink Mini; Blink Indoor and Outdoor cost $79.99 and $99.99, respectively.
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.
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.
Jaime Fraze is an experienced digital editor in the tech, business and food spaces, having produced content for clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to fledgling nonprofits for more than 15 years. As a wife, mother and homeowner, she understands that buying home security products can be confusing and overwhelming. That’s why Jaime has constantly strived to ensure that every piece of content she produces has met SafeHome.org’s rigorous standards, and that her readers come away with the power to make better, smarter decisions. Learn more about Jaime here