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Last updated on May 08, 2020

The Best Outdoor Security Cameras

Superior options in exterior surveillance. ​
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How We Reviewed the Best Outdoor Security Cameras

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37 Home security cameras considered

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6 Outdoor security cameras tested in 2019

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3 Top picks

The best outdoor security cameras use motion detection and facial recognition technology that monitors activity outside your home to detect real threats while ignoring innocent passersby. Once an intruder is spotted, these cameras effectively interrupt suspicious activity by shining a spotlight and sounding an alarm, all while alerting you via your smartphone so you can assess the situation and take additional action.

We used these criteria along with pricing, features, and installation requirements to evaluate popular outdoor security cameras and select the best ones in the market.

The 3 Best Outdoor Security Cameras

  • Arlo Pro 3: Best Overall
  • Ring Spotlight Cam Battery: Best Value for Price
  • Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro: Best for Professional Monitoring and Installation
 PriceWeather Resistance Rating
Arlo Pro 3$499IP – 65
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery$199IP – 55
Vivint Outdoor Camera ProRequires an individualized quoteIP – 65

*Data as of 04/24/2020

Arlo Pro 3

Best Overall
Arlo 3

Arlo 3

Pricing

  • $499

The Arlo Pro 3 earns the top spot in our list of best outdoor security cameras thanks to its superior performance and features:

  • Color night vision for enhanced video recording
  • Integrated spotlight that you can control manually or triggers by motion
  • 160-degree viewing angle to monitor a broad area with a single camera
  • Two-way audio to converse with visitors or interrupt prowlers
  • Built-in smart siren that goes off manually or triggers automatically
  • UV and weather-resistant casing and the ability to work from -4 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit

Purchasing the Arlo Pro 3 camera kit gives you two advanced outdoor cameras to maximize your home monitoring system. If you need more coverage, you can purchase additional cameras for $199 each. A one-year warranty and a free three-month trial of the Arlo Smart plan are also included in the purchase of the Arlo Pro 3.

Compatibility

The Arlo Pro 3 integrates with Apple Watch, Google Home, and Amazon Echo for convenient voice control and alerts. This outdoor camera requires Wi-Fi and broadband connections with a minimum upload speed of 2 Mbps. The Arlo Pro 3 is completely wireless and has a battery life of three to six months, but the included charge cord can recharge the battery in less than three hours.

Installation

A quick start guide comes with the purchase of the Arlo Pro 3. DIY installation involves screwing the mounting bracket into place. The camera itself attaches to the mounting bracket magnetically, so you can easily remove it for maintenance or in the event of extremely cold temperatures.

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

Best Value for Price
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

Pricing

  • $199

The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery offers all the features that can keep your property, home, and family safe, whether you’re there or not:

  • Motion-activated spotlight and instant motion alerts sent to your phone to allow you to react quickly
  • Infrared night vision ensures clear video output at all times
  • 110-decibel siren alarm can instantly send intruders running and alert neighbors to the nearby threat
  • Live feed available at any time
  • Set up adjustable motion zones to reduce false alarms
  • Two-way audio includes noise-cancellation technology for clear communication
  • Operates in a temperature range of  -5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 140-degree viewing angle

The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery comes with a one-year warranty and lifetime theft protection. 

Compatibility

The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery integrates with Amazon Echo for voice control and to send motion alerts to your Amazon devices. If you have select models of Amazon or Fire TVs, you can also view your live video feed and use the two-way audio feature through these devices. A Wi-Fi connection with a minimum upload speed of 1Mbps is required, but 2 Mbps is recommended for the best performance. A rechargeable battery pack keeps this camera completely wireless, but you can also purchase an optional solar panel to keep the battery charged with less maintenance.

Installation

All the mounting hardware is included with the purchase of the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. You can mount it on vertical or horizontal surfaces, and DIY installation is estimated to take only 5 to 10 minutes. 

Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

Best for Professional Monitoring and Installation
Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

Pricing

  • Only available through an individualized quote

The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro takes a “smart” and analytical approach to home security. With advanced identification abilities, this camera can differentiate between people and pets and wildlife and trees to avoid triggering false alarms. The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro also uses facial recognition technology to note how long someone hangs out in the camera’s line of sight, and then it displays a red LED light and sounds an 85-decibel alarm to startle the lurker. Here are more features:

  • Define specific surveillance zones—like by your vehicle or your garage door—to receive only the most important alerts
  • Choose how and when you want to be notified
  • View live footage from your smartphone at any time
  • Capture license plate information or other identification thanks to 3x HD zoom
  • Monitor a large area with a 140-degree viewing angle
  • See what happens at night with infrared night vision

A 120-day warranty is automatically included with the purchase of a Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro. You can obtain an extended warranty with the purchase of Vivint’s Premium Service. Before you can buy it, you’ll have to request a quote through the company’s website and talk to a salesperson.

Compatibility

As with all Vivint products, the Outdoor Camera Pro can integrate with Amazon Echo or Google Home for advanced control and compatibility. Vivint also has its own Smart Home app that allows you to view the live stream and control the camera. it requires both a Wi-Fi and broadband connection.

Installation

The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro requires professional installation. You can schedule the installation at the time of purchase. This camera uses hybrid-wired Wi-Fi technology for a stronger internet connection and smoother live streaming, which is one of the reasons why professional installation is necessary.

How We Chose the Best Outdoor Security Cameras

We looked for cameras that proactively scare off intruders with built-in spotlights and alarms. Wide viewing angles, two-way audio, motion detection alerts, and superior weather resistance represent additional factors we considered.

FAQs

What is the best wireless outdoor security camera?

Both the Arlo Pro 3 and Ring Spotlight Cam Battery offer exceptional wireless performance.

What should I look for when buying outdoor security cameras?

Two-way audio, motion detection, spotlights, and alarms allow you to take immediate action rather than simply record a crime as it takes place.

Are wired or wireless security cameras better?

Criminals may cut wires to disrupt the feed, but then again, they can damage wireless cameras, too. The decision to go wireless ultimately depends on the strength of your Wi-Fi connection.

About the Authors

Cathy Habas is a home writer for Reviews.com. Over the last six years, she's covered home security, home improvement, and landscaping for sites like Safety.com, Hunker, and more.