Best Outdoor Security Systems in 2024

Secure your home, yard, pool, forest, and chicken coop too. All you need is a security system built for the outdoors — and we’ve tested some great options.

Page Hero Image
Vivint Image
SecureScore™: 9.1/10
Vivint offers one of the best outdoor security cameras in the business along with an excellent system.
View Packages
ADT Image
SecureScore™: 9.2/10
ADT is a tried and true security system that works well in just about every setting, including outdoors.
View Packages
SimpliSafe Image
SecureScore™: 9.2/10
You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to protect your entire property. SimpliSafe sells an IP65 camera for under $200.
View Packages
  • Vivint Product Image
    SecureScore™: 9.1/10
    Vivint offers one of the best outdoor security cameras in the business along with an excellent system.
    View Packages
  • ADT Product Image
    SecureScore™: 9.2/10
    ADT is a tried and true security system that works well in just about every setting, including outdoors.
    View Packages
  • SimpliSafe Product Image
    SecureScore™: 9.2/10
    You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to protect your entire property. SimpliSafe sells an IP65 camera for under $200.
    View Packages
  • Arlo Product Image
    SecureScore™: 8.0/10
    View Packages

Security shouldn’t stop at your front door. You need a system that protects you inside the home — and out.

Not just any home security system will cut it. Any device you install outdoors needs to be able to stand up to the elements. The best outdoor security cameras need to tell the difference between cars, animals, and people. Each component needs to connect to a network, no matter how far it is from your Wi-Fi router.

>> Related: Buying Guide for Home Security Cameras

If that sounds like a tall order, it is. Lucky for you, I’ve spent a lot of time researching, testing, and writing about security systems. And I’ve found four that fit the bill.

Top Outdoor Security Systems in 2024

Arlo Pro 3 Cameras

Methodology: What I Look For in an Outdoor Home Security System

Every security system on this list had to pass what I call the “dream home test.” But that doesn’t mean it has to be the best security system for a large home. For an outdoor home security system, it means:

  • Could it cover a large, wooded property?
  • Could it capture crystal-clear footage of wildlife at night?
  • Could it keep running in bad weather?
  • Could it do all of the above without extra equipment?

If the answer to every question was yes, the system passed.

In less poetic terms, a great outdoor system has:

  • Rugged Devices: It doesn’t matter how advanced your security camera is. If it’s not IP65-certified (or higher) it won’t last outdoors.
  • Outdoor Cameras: Keep an eye on your property with an outdoor camera. The best security cameras for your yard won’t just be rugged. They’ll be smart enough to tell the difference between a bear and a burglar.
  • Mobile App: You shouldn’t have to be in your yard to watch over it. A great mobile app is a must for an outdoor security system.

FYI: Maybe you have no idea what IP65 means, and at this point, you’re too afraid to ask. I got you. IP stands for ingress protection. The first number refers to how well it can stand up to solids (six means it’s dust-resistant). The second number refers to how well it can stand up to water (five means it can handle some spray from all sides).1

  • 1 Vivint - Best Overall

    Vivint Product Image
    SecureScore™ 9.1
    Customer Service
    Features & Technology
    Ease Of Use

    Vivint offers a wide selection of premium products with advanced smart home capabilities and cutting edge technology. Although they require long-term contracts, professional installation, and 24/7 monitoring, Vivint keeps their products a step above the competition. This makes it well worth locking into their system for anyone that wants the most advanced security system on the market. Their cameras are also top-notch making them a great choice for securing your outdoor areas.

    • Wireless equipment
    • Advanced home automation and customizations
    • 7-inch touch-screen smart home hub
    • AI-powered outdoor, indoor and doorbell cameras
    • Professional installation service
    • Cellular monitoring with two monitoring facilities

    • Equipment can be pricey
    • Requires a contract up to 60 months
    • Short three-day cancellation window
    • Lack of pricing transparency on its website

    Why I Picked Vivint

    Rugged Devices

    The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro is (surprise, surprise) suitable for outdoor use. The same goes for the Vivint Spotlight Pro. I will say: I liked SimpliSafe’s spotlight design a bit better than Vivint’s. With Vivint, the light attaches to the bottom of the camera making it a bit bulky, whereas SimpliSafe has it built into the camera.

    Both Vivint devices have an IP65 rating. Rain, snow, or shine, they will work just fine.

    Not every Vivint security camera meant for the outdoors can actually take the heat (or cold, or wet). The Vivint Doorbell Camera has an IP33 rating. Light rain? No problem. A torrential downpour? Your doorbell may shut down.

    Did You Know? A lower IP rating is not necessarily a dealbreaker for a doorbell camera. Think about it. How much rain is your doorbell exposed to? You might have a portico that shields it from the elements. 

    Outdoor Camera

    So, Vivint has an outdoor camera. But does it have a good outdoor camera?

    My answer is, unequivocally, yes. When I tested one out for my Vivint review, I was impressed. Bear in mind, that’s coming from a guy who has tested dozens of security cameras.

    The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro stood out. First off, it works seamlessly with the rest of the system. When my siren went off inside, it also went off outside, thanks to the camera’s 85 dB siren extender. It terrified my delivery guy but delighted me. I was able to hear the siren whether I was inside my house or in my yard.

    That thoughtful design wouldn’t matter if the camera didn’t have excellent specs. The Outdoor Camera Pro has a 4K image sensor, 1080p resolution, and AI capabilities. You can’t ask for much more. Even though it’s not the 4K resolution of the Arlo Ultra 2, that 4K image sensor makes the image surprisingly crisp for 1080p resolution. With the Outdoor Camera Pro, I could see what was happening at night and in those early morning hours with dim lighting. This made it look closer to a 2K camera and reminded me of when I reviewed the Arlo Pro 4 security camera.

    FYI: 4K resolution means your video will have four times as many pixels as the industry-standard 1080p resolution. While you probably won’t notice much of a difference if you’re just looking at your video on your phone, those extra pixels give you way more clarity when using any digital zoom features.

    That said, I expected a wider selection of options. When I compare Vivint to ADT, I feel slightly disappointed. ADT lets me choose from its own camera range or Nest cameras. Vivint could stand to let me choose from multiple options, too.

    Mobile App

    The Vivint Smart Home app is plain excellent. It has a 4.6 Apple App Store and 4.1 Google Play Store rating, and the features to back it up. The only app that beats those ratings is ADT Control. It’s one of the reasons it makes our list of the best smart home automation security systems. When I tested it out, I managed to arm and disarm my system, customize my smart devices, and check my notifications without any issues.

    Here’s an example of why that matters. Let’s say you’re traipsing through your wooded property and can’t remember if you closed the gate behind you. You open up the Vivint app to check if your contact sensor shows the gate is open or closed. Alternatively, peek at the security camera footage. With an app as good as Vivint’s, you have options.

    Pro Tip: Vivint doesn’t always get things right. Skip the Vivint Classic app. It’s older and clunkier than their current app.

    Monitoring Options Professional only
    Installation Professional
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home
    Equipment Cost From $599.99
    Monthly Monitoring Cost From $39
    Contract Length 48 to 60 months
  • 2 ADT - Best Automation

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

    If you want reliability and experience, ADT delivers. They’ve been in business for 150 years and made the first home security offerings in the United States. But, that doesn’t mean their products or services are old. Quite the contrary actually. ADT continues to improve their products and services year after year. Most recently, they reduced the price for their professional monitoring. Even though it’s still more than DIY systems like SimpliSafe, their new pricing gives solid value considering they have some of the most robust monitoring infrastructure in the industry.

    • Intuitive and easy-to-use app
    • 24/7 professional monitoring with nine monitoring centers
    • Cellular backup
    • SMART Monitoring technology for faster response times
    • 150 years of experience
    • Offers Google Nest Cams
    • Now offers DIY components via ADT Self Setup

    • Requires a contract; 36 months minimum
    • Installation fee costs $99 minimum
    • Limited touch-screen control panel features
    • Equipment costs more than the DIY competition

    Why I Picked ADT

    Rugged Devices

    ADT’s outdoor camera isn’t just IP65-rated. It’s IP66-rated. That means it can withstand a lot of water with a solid amount of pressure. Ideal for withstanding burglars armed with hoses. (Kidding, but I actually tested this out by giving mine a good spray. Still works!)

    But when you sign up for an ADT package, you get more than just ADT products to choose from. Nest Cameras are an option too, including weather-resistant devices.

    FYI:Nest Secure, which was Nest’s home security system, is now discontinued. If you want a great Google-friendly security system, ADT is your best bet.

    Note: I said weather-resistant, not weatherproof. The Nest Cam outdoor or indoor ,2 Nest Cam with floodlight, and Nest doorbell have an IP54 rating. They can handle a splash of water or a bit of dust. But, if you live in an area with frequent and intense dust storms, Nest cameras are not for you.

    Outdoor Camera

    The ADT Outdoor Camera Pro is a perfectly respectable little camera. (As are all ADT security cameras. The company has an excellent reputation for a reason.)

    When I tested it out for my ADT security camera review, I appreciated that it had all the features I expect in a security camera, like:

    • 1080p resolution
    • Two-way audio
    • Infrared night vision
    • Smart home integrations
    • AI-powered human detection

    But I wasn’t surprised. It’s 2024. These are pretty standard features for a home security camera.

    For more advanced features, you have Nest. Its cameras have all the standard features you’d expect, plus AI-powered features. Familiar Faces is one example. Nest cameras can identify a face, save it, and notify you when that face appears on your doorstep. Pretty neat!

    Let’s say you have a gardener who comes by every Thursday. It would be good to know they made it safely on Thursday. It would be really good to know if they showed up on a Saturday night with hedge clippers. That’s one of the things I liked about Nest when I did a side-by-side comparison of Nest versus Arlo.

    Mobile App

    You wouldn’t think such an old company would have such a great app. But the ADT Control app earns its 4.9 Apple App Store rating and its 4.7 Google Play Store rating.

    Seamless arming and disarming? Check. Home automation? Check. Livestreaming and reviewing old footage? Check and check.

    Perfect for when you want to spot some wildlife on your outdoor security cameras. (I’ve spotted deer, turkey, and even a fox on mine.)

    FYI: Make sure you’re downloading the right app for your ADT system. Most people should use ADT Control. The app you download must match the panel you have, which could be different for an older molder like ADT Pulse. If you’re unsure, double-check with your ADT rep.

    Equipment cost Packages starting at $194.98
    Monitoring options Professional
    Monitoring cost Starting at $24.99 per month
    Contract length Starting at 36 months
    Installation options Professional or DIY
    Smart platform integration Alexa and Google Home
  • 3 SimpliSafe - Best DIY Option

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

    Its value proposition is right in its name. SimpliSafe aims to make your home security simple. Every aspect of its security offerings makes using the system easy from its easy-to-install equipment to its intuitive mobile app. That means you can set up outdoor security cameras quickly and monitor them with ease to keep tabs on your front and backyard. SimpliSafe also has some of the best professional monitoring in the industry.

    • Offers no-monthly-fee self-monitoring
    • Stylish wireless equipment
    • Allows DIY setup but offers professional installation
    • Equipment packages start at $250
    • Live Guard Protection feature for the Smart Alarm indoor camera

    • Missing a few types of equipment, like garage door sensors
    • Offers only a battery-powered option for outdoor video security
    • Monitoring price increased twice in the past three years
    • No touch screen keypad

    Why I Picked SimpliSafe

    Rugged Devices

    The SimpliSafe Outdoor Security Camera can withstand jets of water and gusts of dust. It has the IP65 rating to prove it.

    The SimpliSafe Video Doorbell also has an IP65 rating. That’s notable because many of their competitors tend to neglect doorbell durability. When I compared SimpliSafe to Vivint, for example, I was surprised to see the budget brand beat out the deluxe option. Vivint’s doorbell camera only goes up to IP33. So, if you have an exposed doorbell without cover from the elements, you might want to go with SimpliSafe instead of Vivint.

    Did You Know? Several iPhone models are IP68-rated.3 That means you can drop them in the bathtub without too much damage.

    Outdoor Camera

    The SimpliSafe Outdoor Security Camera is $189.99 on a bad day. Most of the time, it’s less than that, thanks to frequent deals on SimpliSafe packages. For context, Vivint’s outdoor camera costs close to $400.

    So, is SimpliSafe a great value? Or a case of “you get what you pay for”?

    In my experience, SimpliSafe really is a solid deal. It features a lot of the same specs and tech as its more expensive competitors, including:

    • 1080p resolution
    • Full-color night vision
    • People detection
    • Easy DIY installation
    • Built-in spotlight

    The big thing with SimpliSafe is that you must install it yourself. While that shouldn’t be a problem for most people, it can be a dealbreaker for some.

    Mobile App

    SimpliSafe offers a (you guessed it) simple mobile app. Simple, but effective.

    Can you orchestrate an entire smart home with it? No. But can you arm your system, lock your doors, and view your security camera footage? Yes. It would be nice if you could, say, customize an outdoor smart lighting system in the app. But most users will be happy with the basics. Case in point, SimpliSafe’s 4.8 and 4.4 ratings on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, respectively.

    Equipment cost Packages starting at $249.96
    Monitoring options Professional or DIY
    Monitoring cost From $19.99
    Contract length Monthly
    Installation options Professional or DIY
    Smart platform integration Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Watch
  • 4 Arlo - Best Outdoor Cameras

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

    Although Arlo is new to offering complete security systems, they know how to make high-quality security cameras. It’s what they specialize in after all. And when it comes to outdoor security, cameras are your best friend. So, even though you might not be able to get every bell and whistle for general home security like you can with Vivint, Arlo can keep your outdoor spaces secure with their huge selection of security cameras.

    • 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

    Why I Picked Arlo

    Rugged Devices

    Arlo boasts a long list of weather-proof devices. It’s easier to list them than to explain them individually.

    IP65 Arlo Devices

    • Essential XL Camera
    • Essential Camera
    • Pro 4 Camera
    • Pro 5S 2K Camera
    • Ultra 2 Camera
    • Video Doorbell
    • Essential Doorbell
    • Pro 3 Spotlight

    Any one of these devices will stand up to wind, rain, dust, and unpleasant temperatures. When I tested the Arlo video doorbell, I liked not having to worry about heavy rainstorms damaging my camera. I didn’t have the same confidence in the Vivint video doorbell.

    FYI: Like SimpliSafe, Arlo sells weather-proof doorbell cameras. Learn more about how these brands stack up in our in-depth Arlo versus SimpliSafe comparison.

    Outdoor Camera

    Arlo is, first and foremost, a smart camera brand, so it’s no surprise it sells several excellent outdoor cameras. I mean, take a look at these specs. The Arlo Ultra 2 records in 4K video. You won’t get that from SimpliSafe. The Arlo Pro 4 offers two-way audio with stunning clarity. The Arlo Essential XL features a built-in siren and spotlight — for just $149.99.


    Want to see how much an Arlo security system costs? Check out our full rundown of Arlo pricing. [/tips

    Any one of these cameras would do a great job keeping an eye on your backyard. But there’s one more I want to highlight: the Arlo Go 2.

    The Arlo Go 2 connects directly to the cellular LTE network and gets its power from a rechargeable battery. The best part? You could stick it in the middle of the woods and it would still work. That’s great news if you live in the woods.

    >> Read More: Best Security Systems for Rural Areas

    Mobile App

    Over the years, my colleagues and I have tested out plenty of Arlo products using the Arlo app. I’ve personally found the app intuitive, well-designed, and powerful.

    Here’s the thing: not everybody agrees. One user describes redundant notifications. Another dislikes getting signed out at random. Yet another complains the app is painfully slow.4 That’s why it ended up with only a 3.3 on the Google Play Store. Arlo does play a bit better with iPhones earning it a 4.1 on the Apple App Store. But still, none of that sounds fun. That’s one reason Arlo is not at the top of this list. If you care a lot about the quality of your mobile apps, read our roundup of the best security systems with a mobile app.

    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

More Devices to Boost Your Outdoor Security

Security cameras, sensors, and motion detectors make up Arlos suite of devices. While that combo is pretty powerful, it can’t do everything. To maximize your home security, you can add on a device or several.

Pro Tip: Not all home security systems play well with others. To check whether yours is compatible with IoT equipment, look for “Z-Wave,” “Zigbee,” or “IFTTT” integrations. And, make sure to take a peek at our roundup of the best IFTTT home security systems to maximize your home automation possibilities.

  • Smart Garage Door Opener: The garage door might be the most neglected point of entry in the home. Think about it: It’s a huge, unlocked door where some of your most valuable possessions are. A smart garage door opener removes the risk of you forgetting to close it. And an open garage door could allow an intruder to creep inside.
  • Smart Lights: One of the simplest and most effective ways to deter intruders? Light. You can get motion-detecting lights that turn on or off on schedule and flash different colors for some bad-guy deterrence. When someone sneaks into your yard, the lights can turn on, flashing red for that extra intimidation factor. This doesn’t mean replacing all of your lights either. Make your current light is smart by installing a smart light switch.
  • Mailbox Sensor: You get checks, packages, and personal letters in your mailbox. Why not protect it? A mailbox sensor will tell you when that flap opens.

4 Low-Tech Ideas to Make Your Yard Safer

I’m a big believer in the power of technology to keep your home (and the surrounding property) safe. But, sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best. Here are a few security measures you can take that don’t require a master’s degree in machine learning to understand.

  • Install a Fence: They say good fences make good neighbors. Well, tall ones also keep bad neighbors and criminals out.
  • Install a Pool Gate: If you have a pool, and children are in your life, you absolutely need a pool gate. An average of three children a day die from accidental drowning.5

Did You Know? Drowning doesn’t look like it does in the movies. A person might be in trouble if they’re upright in the water without using their legs, they have a panicked expression, or their hair is covering their face.6

  • Landscape Smart: Before you start planting this spring, consider how it will look to a criminal. Will there be plenty of hedges to hide behind? A perfectly climbable tree, right by the upstairs bedroom window? It’s something to think about before you head to your local nursery.

How To Power Your Outdoor Security System

One of the biggest challenges to extending a security system outdoors? Power. Your home is full of outlets and charging ports. Your yard probably isn’t. Good thing you still have options.

  • Wired: Don’t count out good old-fashioned wires and plugs just yet. The best wired security systems can stand up to the elements just fine.
  • Battery: When wires can’t reach, batteries are a neat, cost-effective option. If you want to be extra eco-friendly, look for a rechargeable option.
  • Solar: You might think renewable energy would be too expensive or impractical a solution for your home security system. You would be wrong. The best solar powered security cameras can record indefinitely on nothing but the power of the sun.

The Takeaway

There is no shortage of threats that can affect us outdoors. Natural disasters. Wildlife. Nasty neighbors. Car accidents. Any of those things could hit us in our backyard (or front yard, for that matter).

>> Read More: Emergency Prep Guide

A basic home security system will keep you safe once you cross the threshold of your front door. But what about before that?

You may need a security system that covers you before you get inside. One with rugged equipment, high-quality outdoor security cameras, and an app you can check from anywhere. You could do much worse than Vivint, ADT, SimpliSafe, or Arlo.


  • How long can a battery-powered security camera go without charging?

    It depends. A quality security camera battery should last somewhere in the ballpark of three to six months. Low signal strength, cold weather, and lots of activity could drain it faster.

  • Can you install a security system outside?

    Most security systems are designed to cover indoor and outdoor space. Since not every device works outside, check for an IP65 or higher rating before installing a component.

  • Can a security system cover a large property?

    Yes, if you’re strategic about device placement. The trick is to buy enough security camera equipment to cover your property. Then, install them in high-traffic areas like your driveway, front porch, and backyard.

  • How do you keep your yard safe?

    There are myriad ways to keep your yard safe. Start simple: Get a gate. In addition to that low-tech solution, you can also bring in some devices for extra help. Security cameras are a no-brainer, but don’t forget about floodlights too.

  • What is the best security system for outdoor use?

    After extensive testing, we found Vivint was the best outdoor security system of them all. But ADT, SimpliSafe, and Arlo are still great options.

Features of Outdoor Home Security Systems

  1. IP65+ Certification: Any device you put outside should be IP65 or higher, meaning it can stand up to dust and water. Other certs you might come across include IK08 and MIL-STD-810G (aka military standard).
  2. Cellular Connection: Your Wi-Fi may not reach the furthest corners of your yard. So don’t rely on Wi-Fi. Security systems that connect to 5G, 4G/LTE, or 3G networks don’t need to be near your router.
  3. Outdoor Security Cameras: To keep an eye on the outdoors, you need outdoor security cameras. A bare-bones DIY security package may only come with a simple nanny cam. Double-check that your package comes with the right cameras to record your yard, driveway, or pool.
  4. Solar Power: A small solar panel can power a security camera. That’s great news if you want to record footage far from your electrical grid. When you’re choosing your security system, make sure it offers solar-powered devices.
  5. Battery Power: When renewable energy isn’t an option, batteries will do the trick. Check device specs. Outdoor camera batteries should last at least several months (a year or more would be even better).
  6. Night Vision: The ability to capture low-light footage is essential for outdoor security cameras. Otherwise, they only work half the time! Look for cameras with infrared LED lights, low-light sensors, or both.
  7. Person Detection: Outdoor cameras capture cars, clouds, people, dogs, bicycles, and much, much more. But only some outdoor cameras can tell the difference. Look for features like “AI detection,” “person detection,” or “package detection” to make sure your camera won’t alert you every time some birds fly by.
  8. Professional Monitoring: You can't watch over acres of forest, but a professionally monitored security system can. For extra safety points, choose a security provider that owns its own monitoring centers.
  9. Professional Installation: If you want your security system to cover a lot of outdoor ground, you may want some professional help. Thankfully, most security providers are happy to oblige. Traditional providers often offer installation for free, while newer, DIY companies charge $100-200.
Citations only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. International Electrotechnical Commission. (2024). IP ratings.

  2. Google Store. (2024). Inside Nest Cam.

  3. Apple. (2024). About splash, water, and dust resistance of iPhone 7 and later.

  4. Google Play. (2024). Arlo Secure: Home Security.

  5. National Drowning Prevention Alliance. (2024). Drowning Facts – Have We Hit A Crisis Point In America?

  6. RNLI. (2017, March 24). How to recognise drowning: It’s not like the movies.

Rob Gabriele
Written By
Rob Gabriele
Managing Editor & Home Security Expert

As a home security expert and Managing Editor for, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles related to home security. His expertise is in smart home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in Indianapolis, IN.