Best Outdoor Security Cameras of 2024

Outdoor security cameras are a great first line of defense and a way to ensure your delivered packages are safe and secure. Check out our list of the top outdoor security cameras below.

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Lorex Image
SecureScore™: 9.2/10
Lorex Technologies Inc provides security cameras and security camera systems. That is it. There are no monitoring services, no extra sensors, nothing but security camera systems.
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Ring Image
SecureScore™: 9.2/10
Ring is an overall favorite among users and hands-down your best bet for DIY outdoor home security. With a strong Amazon-backed network, Ring brings us sharp 1080p HD video quality and a nice selection of weatherproof cameras.
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Arlo Image
SecureScore™: 8.0/10
Arlo’s outdoor security cameras give users a completely wire-free setup without sacrificing quality. Arlo provides features like a 100db siren, night vision, and up to 7 days worth of video recording throughout their camera line.
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The Best Outdoor Security Cameras of 2024

Lorex cameras

In the U.S, a burglary happens every 30 seconds.

We’re not saying that to scare you, but this sobering statistic should make you want to take precautions against becoming a victim yourself.

Studies have shown that one of the best ways to deter would-be criminals is to set up security cameras around your property. The psychology behind this is pretty simple — if someone who’s up to no good sees a camera watching them, they’re far more likely to keep on walking.

That said, there’s a huge variety of outdoor security cameras on the market today. This is good news if you’ve got a pretty specific security need to fill, but it can be bad news if you’re prone to decision fatigue.

With the sheer number of security cameras available on the market today, it can be a little difficult to decide on the right one for you and your family. There are a ton of great options to choose from, but just as many that are hardly worth the money. Do you know which one you’re looking at? Don’t worry — we do, and we’ve compiled this list of the best outdoor security cameras to help you decide.

  • 1 Lorex - Best Equipment

    Lorex Product Image
    SecureScore™ 9.2
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    Lorex is the premiere provider of indoor and outdoor security camera solutions. For outdoor cameras, it offers a wide range of categories that includes IP, analog, wire-free, Wi-Fi, 4K, pan-and-tilt, and a bunch more. No matter what type of outdoor camera you’re looking for, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in Lorex.

    Likewise, you can find a Lorex camera at just about any price you’re looking for. Here’s a complete breakdown of some of their most popular models and what they’ll cost you:

    Lorex Camera Pricing Breakdown

    Lorex Camera Price
    4K Ultra HD Active Deterrence Security Camera With Color Night Vision $79.99
    4K IP Wired Dome Security Camera $129.99
    4K Spotlight Outdoor Battery Security Camera $149.99
    2K Outdoor PTZ IP Camera $499.99
    2K Spotlight Indoor Outdoor WiFi Camera $169.99
    1080p WiFi Floodlight Camera $179.99

    Pro Tip: Lorex is always running deals on their huge product lineup. Before you make your choice, make sure you check out the “Deals” section of their website. Their clearance section is up to 50 percent off!

    We know, that’s a ton of cameras across a huge range of prices. And that’s not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the models Lorex offers: there’s actually a ridiculous number of models to choose from. But if you’re looking for a great mid-range surveillance camera, we might suggest the 3 MP Camera. It features a motorized varifocal lens, night vision and an adjustable field of view. Also look out for 4K, 8-channel NVR camera systems with floodlights, spotlights, bullet- and dome-shaped cameras, you name it. Lorex seems to have it all.

    • HD Video Quality (4K in Some Models)
    • Long-Range Color Night Vision
    • Lots of Equipment and Bundling Options
    • Smooth App Experience
    • No Contracts or Monthly Fees
    • Up to 1 Terabyte of Internal Storage
    • Long History in the Home Security Industry

    • Lorex Website Is Hard to Navigate
    • Occasional False Notifications
    • No Professional Monitoring Options
    • Limited Customer Service Hours

    If you’re in the market for advanced camera features, like vandal-proof construction, up to 4K resolution, and optical zoom, you should definitely take a look at Lorex outdoor cameras. These are hardy devices that can operate even in extreme weather.

    We should note, though, that Lorex isn’t known for its cutting-edge technology. You won’t find cameras with Alexa voice control, and they’re not compatible with smart home devices. And it goes without saying, you don’t get AI features like facial recognition. If you’re looking for a complete list of what these cameras do and don’t include, check out our full Lorex camera review to learn more.

    Connectivity Wi-fi, ethernet
    Power Wired, battery, PoE
    Field of View Up to 160°
    Resolution Up to 2160p
    Storage Cloud, Local
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • 2 Ring - Best Outdoor Cameras for Alexa

    Ring Product Image
    SecureScore™ 9.2
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    The Ring Camera is an excellent outdoor home security camera built to link easily with an existing Ring Video Doorbell or work as a stand-alone system. Ring is designed well to handle the elements and can provide an easy-to-use and install design that many property owners can appreciate.

    Ring offers a number of outdoor cameras, including the Ring Stick Up Cam, Ring Spotlight Cam, and the Ring Floodlight Cam. And with Ring, you’re not just buying security cameras, but rather complete outdoor security. As the names suggest, two of these cameras come with lighting options so you’ll not only catch potential bad guys on video but you’ll be able to frighten them away.

    • Easy DIY Installation
    • Wireless models available
    • 1080p HD Video
    • Designed for Indoors or Outdoors
    • Highly Customizable Settings
    • User-Friendly Mobile App
    • Live Video Streaming
    • Two-Way Talk
    • Motion-Activated Notifications
    • Infrared Night Vision
    • Works Well With Alexa

    • Occasional Missed Motion
    • No Advanced Video Resolutions (2K or 4K)
    • Equipment Costs Can Add Up
    • Professional Monitoring Only Available in U.S. and Canada
    • History of Privacy Issues/Hacking

    The Ring Camera is a superior outdoor home security camera for numerous reasons. Ring, which has worked hard to become a well-known player in this industry, is recognized for its Ring Video Doorbell. The Ring Camera links to the doorbell if you have both, creating a simple way to monitor various areas around your home, from garage doors to the backyard. This is a feature-filled camera with 3D motion detection, HDR video, and two-way audio, but it is one of the more affordable outdoor security cameras, as well.

    Ring equipment is also famously easy to use. Most cameras are plug in or battery-operated, or if you opt for the hardwired models, the installation process is still pretty straightforward. Most cameras also boast some serious security functionality from high definition resolution to night vision, and from motion-triggered floodlights to high-volume sirens.

    In contrast to Lorex cameras, it’s simple to link your outdoor Ring Camera to home automation, including the Amazon Alexa platform. The app is also very easy to use and lets you turn on or off your system anywhere, receive notifications, and get a live view at any time.

    When it comes to costs, the Stick Up Camera is the lowest-cost option. Operating on batteries, it is regularly $99.99. The Spotlight Cam Plus, available in battery, wired, plug-in, or solar power, is priced at $169.99 to $229.99. The Spotlight Camera Pro, also available with four power options, costs $229.99 to $249.99.

    When it comes to outdoor cameras, there are several models to choose from. The Stick Up Camera is the most affordable, but there are plenty of others with specialty features. Here’s a quick rundown of Ring’s options:

    Stick Up Camera Pricing Breakdown

    Model Power Source Price
    Stick Up Cam Battery $99.99
    Stick Up Cam Pan Tilt Battery $139.99
    Stick Up Cam Plug In $59.99
    Stick Up Cam Pan Tilt Plug In $129.99**
    Stick Up Cam Solar Solar $139.98
    Stick Up Cam Elite PoE $199.99

    Floodlight Camera Pricing Breakdown

    Model Power Source Price
    Floodlight Cam Plus Wired $199.99*
    Floodlight Cam Plus Plug-In $219.98
    Floodlight Cam Pro Wired $249.99
    Floodlight Cam Pro Plug In $269.99
    Floodlight Cam Pro (Premium Colors Wired $269.99

    Spotlight Camera Pricing Breakdown

    Model Power Source Price
    Spotlight Cam Plus Battery $169.99
    Spotlight Cam Plus Plug In $169.99
    Spotlight Cam Plus Wired $199.99
    Spotlight Cam Plus Solar $229.98
    Spotlight Cam Pro Battery $229.99
    Spotlight Cam Pro Plug In $229.99
    Spotlight Cam Pro Wired $249.99
    Spotlight Cam Pro Solar $249.99

    On Sale for $199.99

    One noteworthy caveat is that Ring cameras don’t record unless you pay for a cloud subscription; but on the bright side, Ring’s subscription fees are affordable. In fact, you need only one subscription to cover an unlimited number of cameras, and that subscription costs $10 per month. Head over to our in-depth Ring Cam review to learn more.

    Connectivity Wi-fi, ethernet
    Power Wired, battery, PoE
    Field of View Up to 140°
    Resolution Up to 1080p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • 3 Arlo - Best Wireless Outdoor Camera System

    Arlo Product Image
    SecureScore™ 8.0
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    The Arlo security camera lineup is extremely impressive. These are some of the most high-tech, high-quality cameras on the market and their features are all top of the line, including 4K resolution, color night vision, and exceptional professional monitoring.

    The Arlo Ultra 2 is currently the best camera from Arlo’ arsenal. It features the highest resolution at 4K, a person detection feature, and a built-in spotlight, among other things. It’s also one of the most expensive Arlo cameras, but that’s expected based on the camera’s quality and features. Keep in mind, though, these cameras aren’t cheap. The Arlo Ultra 2 costs $299.99.

    If you’re looking for something more middle-of-the-road, you could also head over to our review of the Arlo Pro 4. It’s a powerful piece of equipment, but it doesn’t offer all of the bells and whistles of the Ultra 2. As such, it’s a little more affordable at just $199.99.

    For a completely mobile outdoor security camera that you can place anywhere, consider the Arlo Go. This camera can be placed absolutely anywhere. It is completely wire-free and weatherproof. It features long-lasting rechargeable batteries. To use the Arlo Go, you need to have an LTE mobile plan and deep pockets. It costs $249.99.

    With all of Arlo’s outdoor security cameras, you get 7 days worth of video recording for free for up to five cameras. You can also connect a USB drive to the base station for local storage. One of the unique features of Arlo’s outdoor cameras is the 100db siren. This loud siren can help scare away criminals before a crime even happens.

    Arlo’s outdoor security cameras feature intelligent artificial intelligence-based smart detection. So, the cameras can distinguish between a person, car or another object.

    Arlo Camera Price Breakdown

    Camera Power Source Price
    Essential Indoor Plug-in From $39.99
    Essential Battery From $49.99
    Essential Indoor Plug-in From $59.99
    Essential XL Battery From $99.99
    Essential Spotlight Battery From $69.99
    Pro 4 Battery From $139.99
    Pro 5S 2K Battery From $179.99
    Ultra 2 Battery From $249.99
    Go 2 Battery From $249.99

    • Detailed 2K resolution
    • AI-friven detections
    • Wi-Fi connectivity
    • Long battery life
    • Great app experience

    • Expensive
    • Requires a subscription to access all features
    • Mounting hardware a little flimsy

    Arlo Outdoor Home Security Cameras are a great option for anyone who wants wireless outdoor cameras. These surveillance cameras can be placed just about anywhere making them good for home security but also for monitoring wildlife and other purposes. One of the things to keep in mind is that you will need a mobile data plan for the Arlo Go. Check out our hands-on Arlo camera analysis to learn more.

    Connectivity Wi-fi, ethernet
    Power Wired, battery, PoE
    Field of View Up to 180°
    Resolution Up to 2160p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • 4 Google Nest - Best Google Outdoor Cameras

    Google Nest Product Image
    SecureScore™ 8.5
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use


    Nest makes two outdoor security cameras — the Nest Cam and Nest Cam with floodlight. Both allow you to easily monitor your outdoor space rain or shine. They are waterproof and durable. The Nest Cam operates on batteries (and can be used indoors as well as outdoors) while the Nest Cam with floodlight is wired.

    Both cameras use artificial intelligence to distinguish a person from an animal or car. You can get instant alerts on your phone or smart device when the surveillance camera detects motion or a loud sound. Activity zones allow you to get alerts for specific areas, like your front porch or driveway. Both cameras feature a built-in speaker and microphone. So, you can provide instructions for the delivery person or inform a burglar that you are calling the police.

    Don’t worry if you miss alerts. With the Nest app, you can watch the past three hours of footage. Thumbnail images provide crucial snapshots of important events. So, you don’t have to watch an entire three hours of footage to see if anything important has happened. If you subscribe to the Nest Aware service, you can create and share video clips with neighbors, the police or anyone else. You can also create and share time-lapse videos.

    • Plenty of features
    • Simple set up and installation
    • Great UI in app
    • Exceptional design
    • Long battery life

    • Somewhat pricey
    • No color night vision
    • Resolution just average

    The Nest family of outdoor cameras are a good choice if you already use the Nest family of products as they are compatible with other Nest smart home products. A Nest Outdoor Cam is also a good choice if you want to add more products later on — like the Nest Learning Thermostat.

    The outdoor cameras are good solid surveillance cameras for both outdoor home security and monitoring. They offer quite a few useful features like night vision, instant alerts, and a wide-angle view. The main disadvantage is that you’ll need to purchase the Nest Aware subscription to get things like cloud storage, time-lapses, and intelligent alerts. See our full Google Nest Cam analysis to really understand what it’s like to protect your home with this popular camera system.

    Connectivity Wi-fi
    Power Wired
    Field of View Up to 130°
    Resolution 1080p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • Blink Product Image
    SecureScore™ 7.6
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    The small but powerful Blink camera lineup is known for affordability and ease of use. If you’re looking for a small camera that’ll cover all the bases you need without costing an arm and a leg, you’re going to want to check them out.

    • Fully Wireless Cameras
    • Easy DIY Installation
    • Lightweight, Minimalist Design
    • 1080p HD Video Resolution
    • Two-Way Talk
    • Infrared Night Vision
    • Low-Cost Cloud Storage
    • Local Video Storage
    • Smart Home Integration

    • Lacks Advanced Motion Features
    • App Setup Can Be Glitchy
    • Relies on Wi-Fi Connection
    • No Continuous Recording
    • Requires Separate Hub to Connect

    Blink isn’t really big on options — they only offer a handful of cameras — and if you’re talking about outdoor cameras, they have two to choose from. Here’s a quick breakdown of them both:

    Blink’s Outdoor Cameras

    Camera Blink Outdoor 3 Blink Outdoor 4
    Resolution 1080p 1080p
    Field of Vision 110 degrees 143 degrees
    Power Battery Battery
    Person Detection No Yes*
    Cost $99.99 $119.99

    *with the purchase of a $3-per-month Blink subscription

    Like we said above, you’re not really going to be blown away with a long list of features on these cameras, but for the price tag, they’re going to get the job done well. If you need a hassle-free solution that you’re not going to have to do too much fiddling with, they’re a great choice.

    Both of these cameras have Amazon Alexa support, too, which makes automation a breeze. Head over to our Blink Camera review for a deeper dive.

    Connectivity Wi-fi
    Power Battery
    Field of View Up to 143°
    Resolution Up to 1080p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa
  • 6 Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 - Best Pro Monitored Cameras

    Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 Product Image
    SecureScore™ 8.7
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    Wyze cameras stand out for many reasons. They are affordable, durable, and overall a good value because of the combination of their low prices and the features they offer. Another thing that stands out about them is the option to add professional monitoring.

    Professional monitoring is a feature that we rarely see in security cameras, mainly because it has privacy implications. It’s not a good idea to let strangers, even though they work for a security company, have access to your live indoor camera footage. That said, it could work for outdoor cameras, which is why the Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 is special. Being an outdoor camera, Wyze’s partner monitoring center can check its live feeds without compromising your privacy.

    Professional monitoring starts at $3.99 per month per camera, and you can freely select which camera to enroll in this service.

    • Low-Price and Feature-Rich Smart Home Cameras
    • Easy Online Shopping with Clear Product Selection
    • 14-Day Free Cloud Storage
    • Unique Motion Tagging Accelerates Video History
    • Motion Detection Zones Reduce False Alerts
    • Advanced Sound Recognition
    • Smart Home Accessories Available
    • Compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT

    • Face recognition requires monitoring plan
    • Corded Cameras Require Power Outlets
    • No Backup Batteries
    • Limited Video Storage without Upgrade

    The way Wyze’s professional monitoring works reduces false alarms while ensuring reliable detection. The Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 (and other latest Wyze Cam models) have on-board artificial intelligence. The AI determines if the motion detected is caused by a person, an animal, or a vehicle. It only sends an alert to the monitoring center when it detects a person.

    From there, an agent will review the footage and access the live feed if necessary. If there’s a real cause for alarm, they will follow the usual professional monitoring alarm response. That includes informing the homeowner and calling emergency dispatch.

    The monitoring service is optional, and again, you can activate it on select cameras only for $3.99 per month for each camera.

    Connectivity Wi-fi
    Power Wired
    Field of View Up to 110°
    Resolution Up to 1080p
    Storage Cloud, local
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home
  • 7 Zmodo - Cheapest Outdoor Cameras

    Zmodo Product Image
    SecureScore™ 7.3
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    Zmodo offers a variety of outdoor security cameras. There is the 1080p Outdoor
    Wi-Fi Camera. This is one of the newer offerings in Zmodo’s lineup of outdoor cameras. It offers sharp 1080p HD video, night vision, motion detection, and remote viewing. There is also a 720p version of this camera. These home surveillance cameras connect to Wi-Fi. With Zmodo, you get 36 hours of free cloud storage. Zmodo allows you to set pre-determined viewing areas, which helps to cut down on false alarms.

    Another offering is the Zmodo Sight 180 Outdoor video doorbell. It also features night vision, 1080 HD video, motion alerts and has a wide 180-degree lens. Zmodo also just introduced the Snap Pro, which is a wire-free 1080p camera. It features electromagnetic mount and is weatherproof, which means that you can place it anywhere outdoors. This outdoor security camera is available for pre-order now but will not ship until January 2019.

    • Low-Cost Cameras
    • Simple, Discreet Design
    • No Paid Subscription Required
    • Clear 1080p Video Quality
    • Numerous Indoor Camera Options
    • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
    • 30-day Money-Back Guarantee
    • 1-year Warranty

    • Limited Features
    • Some Delay on Wake Time in App
    • Bulky design

    Zmodo offers several outdoor security cameras — all very affordable compared to similar outdoor cameras. You get 12 hours of free cloud storage. There are no fees or hidden charges. The picture quality is pretty great on the cameras. The software supports multiple cameras. Therefore, consider Zmodo if you want an affordable outdoor surveillance camera. You can customize your outdoor security camera setup to best suit your needs. There are also several cloud storage plans to choose from and start at just $4.99 a month. We recently tested Zmodo cameras in our home. You’ll be surprised by what we found.

    Connectivity Wi-fi, ethernet
    Power Wired, battery, PoE
    Field of View Up to 360°
    Resolution Up to 1080p
    Storage Cloud
    Smart Platform Compatibility Alexa and Google Home

How to Power an Outdoor Security Camera

Setting up security cameras around the exterior of your home has numerous benefits, but up until the last 5-10 years or so, it often involved complicated installations and hardwiring done by a professional.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for outdoor security solutions, you might also want to consider lighting — lighting is one of the best ways to prevent burglars from coming on your property.

These days, with an emphasis on wireless DIY technology, almost anyone can add outdoor cameras to their home – whether it’s an entire system of cameras rife with advanced features, or one high-tech gadget that can automatically pan and tilt over an area to get up-to-the-second coverage. And it’s all controlled via a mobile app.

Lorex Outdoor Camera Installed

Lorex Outdoor Camera Installed

That’s all easy enough, but if you’re wondering how to power outdoor security cameras, it’s important to remember that not all outdoor cameras are powered the same way. In our review repertoire, we’ve tested PoE (Power over Ethernet) cameras, wire-free (battery) cameras, plug-in cameras, hardwired cameras, and the most popular configuration, wireless cameras.

We suggest doing an in-depth perimeter check around your home, paying special attention to the location of power outlets. This is especially crucial if you have a “wireless” camera that needs to be plugged into a wall.

Wait… a wireless camera that needs to be plugged into a wall? But I thought it was … wireless?

Yes, terminology in the security camera industry can get a bit confusing, especially when it comes to wireless, Wi-Fi, and wire-free cameras. It’s hard to keep all those W’s straight, so here’s a quick cheat sheet.

Wired, Wi-Fi, or Wired Free? Which is which?!
  • Wireless cameras are powered over the Internet, but they sometimes require plugging into a standard AC outlet.
  • Wi-Fi cameras are wireless cameras, but not all wireless cameras are Wi-Fi cameras.
  • Wire-free cameras are completely wireless cameras that run on batteries.

Still confused? Here’s an example: The Blink wireless camera system we reviewed most recently includes a battery-powered indoor camera, a small plug-in camera, a battery-powered outdoor camera, and a sync module. Since they’re wireless, we got the whole thing online in under 30 minutes. That’s a lightning-fast install, owed mostly to the fact that the indoor and outdoor camera are both powered by two extended-life AA batteries that last up to two years.

Blink Outdoor - Installed

Blink Outdoor – Installed

And, zeroing in on the outdoor camera for a moment, we had a device that worked without wires, which gave us lots of flexibility. Who needs wires, anyway?

This is a typical configuration, but keep in mind you can also buy a wireless kit from another brand that includes more than cameras – like a SimpliSafe system, for instance, with alarms, sensors, and cameras that you can set up in DIY fashion. In this industry, it’s all about your needs and preferences.

Of course, as with any battery-powered technology, you do have to remember to change batteries or recharge the batteries from time to time. This is no different than any wireless electronic device, and many cameras we’ve reviewed send us reminders through their mobile app that the battery is low.

Pro Tip: Wondering what features and tech to look for in a security camera? See our Home Security Camera Buying Guide to learn everything you need to know to make a smart buying decision.

Ring’s wireless cameras, which include battery and plug-in devices, take a similar approach to Blink’s. But after reviewing both brands, we did notice one big difference: Ring’s battery cameras use a rechargeable battery pack, not the extended-life batteries Blink uses.

We’ve found advantages to both setups, but let’s break it down. Here are the pros and cons for both wireless and wire-free configurations.

Wireless vs. Wire-Free

Wireless Setup Wired Setup
Pros Cons Pros Cons
Usually more Affordable Usually Have to Install Yourself Usually More Reliable Much Harder to Install
Can Install Anywhere Have to Recharge Batteries Harder to Vandalize or Steal Harder to Adjust
Usually Have More Options Higher Risk for Malfunction Consistent Video Quality Offline if Power Goes Out

But here’s our bottom line: Regardless of what you choose, security cameras will help keep your home safer in the long run.

How to Hide Security Cameras Outside

An outdoor security camera is one of the most vital tools in our home security setup. We’ve reviewed a ton of them – floodlight cams, spotlight cams, stop-speeding-down-my-cul-de-sac cams, all kinds of cameras for all kinds of functions and purposes. We highly recommend them for dimly lit backyards, for front porches and patios, or beamed onto outdoor recreation areas like swimming pools and playsets.

But what if you need a camera you don’t want would-be burglars to see? What if you’re dealing with someone more brazen, who isn’t spooked by deterrents like this? If you’re wondering how to hide security cameras outside, read on!

For times when you need a more discreet setup, we’re sharing three ideas on how to put your outdoor camera into incognito mode:

  • Put it in a birdfeeder or lawn ornament. This might require some creative underground wiring if your camera has a power cord, but if you’re handy with underground wiring, you could choose this option for some nice 3-dimensional coverage for your yard.
  • Install a camera with outdoor lighting. Our favorite one is the Ring Floodlight Cam, which gave us powerful outdoor lighting for our dark and spooky backyard. As a two-in-one device, Ring Floodlight looks much less like a camera and much more like an attractive light fixture.
  • Go green! Hide the camera in shrubbery or tree branches. Quick pause, though – we always dole out this one with a word of caution. You’ll want to keep checking on this camera pretty frequently, as it’s very easy for branches and leaves to move around out there, possibly blocking your live feed.

If you’re willing to put in the time and flex your creative muscles, you’re sure to find a nice hiding spot for your outdoor camera.

FAQs About Outdoor Security Cameras

Do outdoor cameras record sound?

Yes, some of the best outdoor cameras will capture sound. Not all systems will automatically pick up on audio, though. This depends on the settings you select and the system itself.

Do outdoor cameras have 2-way audio?

Yes, many outdoor cameras will provide two-way audio for you. This means you can talk back-and-forth with a person outside. This is ideal if you need to ask someone to leave or you do not feel comfortable opening the door.

Can you control outdoor cameras with a home security system?

Yes, you can control outdoor cameras using a home security system. Most outdoor cameras integrate with a complete home security offering in some capacity.

Do outdoor cameras have night vision?

Yes, most outdoor cameras have night vision. Look for cameras that include infrared LED night vision for the best possible results. Some companies go further and offer color night vision. This provides a higher level of clarity but isn't necessary for all people

Are outdoor cameras waterproof?

Yes, some outdoor cameras are designed to be waterproof. However, most other cameras are designed to be weatherproof or water-resistant. Be sure to check the specific terminology before buying.

Do outdoor cameras require professional installation?

No, not all outdoor cameras require professional installation. Installation requirements depend on the type of home security cameras or system you purchase.

Do the outdoor home security cameras work with Alexa?

Yes, some outdoor cameras work with Alexa as well as other smart home assistants.

Do outdoor cameras record and store video?

Yes, some outdoor camera systems will offer long-term storage either in the cloud or in a local hard drive.

Features of the Best Outdoor Security Camera Systems

Most outdoor home security cameras are equipped with night vision, motion sensors, and high-resolution video capability. Here are some other features of outdoor security cameras that you should look for when shopping for one.

Motion Detection

Any security camera worth its salt has to have effective motion detection. Modern-day cameras are known to include features that can be customized to fit our needs, and it can usually be done simply through the camera’s mobile app. From adjusting sensitivity to mapping out privacy zones to distinguishing between people, animals, and vehicles, we have more options than ever to get the most out of our outdoor cameras.

Two-Way Talk

Cameras without two-way audio, or two-way talk, are becoming more rare as the security industry evolves. We’ve made no secret of our love for this feature, for one main reason: there’s nothing like using our own “outside voice” to spook potential burglars. Relatedly, it’s especially helpful for times when you’re trying to make an unwanted visitor think you’re home … when maybe you’re not.

Night Vision

Seeing at night has gotten a whole lot easier in outdoor security cameras thanks to full-color night vision. Not every camera has it – most indoor cams don’t – but monitoring your space at night in full color is an experience that, in our opinion, can only be seen to be appreciated.

High Resolution

We tend to pay extra attention to video quality when choosing security equipment. These days, we’d be hard pressed to find a security camera without high-resolution video; the lowest we’ve seen is a standard 720p SimpliCam, which still records in high resolution but not quite as sharp as the industry-standard 1080p, or HD. For us, HD is essential for any camera; a camera that records in up to 1080p resolution will most likely give you smooth, reliable footage with lots of detail. Higher resolutions, like 2K, 5MP, or 4K, are certainly impressive, but keep in mind that they’re by and large unnecessary in DIY cameras.

Video Recording

As wireless technology continues to dominate the industry, we have seemingly endless flexibility in terms of how we want to record our video footage. Now, we’re no longer limited to just a hard drive like an NVR/DVR system for storing footage around the clock; many cameras these days record motion-activated video clips as an easy way to monitor your home yourself.

Cloud Storage

Cloud security technology has propelled simple security cameras into smart home devices. It’s not as expensive as it once was to store camera footage in the cloud; a monthly subscription from Ring Protect, for example, to store video footage starts at only $3.49 per month. Plans offered by other brands tend to be a bit pricier, but the bottom line is: if you don’t have an option for local storage like an NVR or microSD, the cloud is always a nice alternative.

Built In Siren

As new cameras are released into the market each year, we’re finding more and more of them offered with built-in sirens. This is an encouraging development for us, for one key reason: sirens are one of the most effective active deterrence tools. In many cameras, including Arlo, Ring, and the beloved Nest, the siren can be activated manually or set to activate when motion or sound is detected, all through the mobile app.

Live View

Front door, back door, and everywhere in-between — this feature allows you to remotely tap into your outdoor security camera and watch the activity unfold. Live view capability is great for those who travel often, and it’s especially well-suited for the curious consumer. So pull up a chair and pop some popcorn, the live stream is about to start.


Looking for an outdoor security camera that can weather the fiercest storms? You’ll want to go with a weatherproof camera. Sun, wind, rain, sleet, snow (even very feeble tornados) — the elements have never met such a worthy adversary. Weatherproof outdoor home security cameras are built with quality materials that last and last.

Written By
Jaime Fraze
Security Camera Expert

Jaime Fraze has 16 years of writing and editing experience, with seven years spent writing about emerging technologies. As our home security camera expert, she has hand-tested and reviewed every major security camera brand and has written more than 300 articles on the topic. Previously, Jaime has contributed to award-winning media outlets such as the Rocky Mount Telegram and the Daytona Beach News-Journal. As a homeowner and mother of two, Jaime is constantly looking for ways to keep her home and family safe. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English/Journalism from the University of Delaware.