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These battery-powered security cameras keep watch without the wires

Ditch the power adapter for one of these easy-to-install, battery-powered security cams.

Megan Wollerton Former Senior Writer/Editor
4 min read

The Blink XT2 weatherproof security camera runs on two AA lithium batteries.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Editor's note, March 26. 2021: Ring has been called out for its partnership with local police departments in the US, leading privacy advocates to express concern about the data Ring shares with law enforcement and how they use that information. In December 2019, thousands of Ring users' personal information was exposed, leading us to stop recommending Ring products. Ring has since updated its security policies, from offering customers a Control Center dashboard allowing people to more easily access privacy and security settings to requiring two-factor authentication

We have resumed recommending Ring's products with this caveat: If you have concerns about Ring's privacy policies, make sure to familiarize yourself with its privacy statement. You can read more about how we factor Ring's privacy policies into our recommendations here. CNET has not and will not be issuing Editors' Choice awards to Ring while the company's policies around law enforcement and surveillance remain on their current course.  

If you're considering investing in a home security camera, especially an outdoor model, power adapters can really get in the way. Sure, you can use an extension cord and clips to secure everything in place, but what if you want to mount your camera to the fence surrounding your property or up in a tree? What if you simply want the flexibility to move your camera from your backyard to your living room -- and back outside again?

That's where battery-powered security cameras come in. 

Arlo and Ring currently dominate the lineup of battery-powered DIY cameras, but there are a lot of options. They range from rechargeable doorbells that replace traditional peepholes to AA-battery-powered weatherproof cameras that claim to last two years. 

Scroll through your choices below to find a good fit. It isn't an exhaustive list, but it covers a lot of the major cameras out there today. 

Want a facial recognition camera? Here are the best ones of 2019.

Note CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

32 outdoor security cameras that take home security seriously

See all photos

The cameras

This Arlo cam was the company's first battery-powered indoor/outdoor camera. It's still sold today and uses four CR123 batteries. As far as specs go, it has 720 HD resolution, night vision, motion alerts and seven-day free cloud recording.

Pay for the Arlo Smart cloud subscription service to access some more advanced features.

Read the Arlo review.

The Arlo Go may look like the other Arlo cameras, but this model is unique. Instead of Wi-Fi, the Go connects to a cellular network. It's still battery-powered, but the Go has a rechargeable battery rather than CR123s. 

Like the other models, the Arlo Go is weatherproof. It offers 720p HD resolution, night vision, motion alerts and two-way audio. 

Read the Arlo Go review.

The Arlo Pro is similar to the Arlo camera, but comes with a rechargeable battery instead of CR123s. It has 720p HD resolution, night vision, motion alerts and two-way talk. This model has the same seven-day free cloud storage as the Arlo.

Read the Arlo Pro review.

The Arlo Pro 2 upgrades to 1080p HD resolution, but otherwise has a lot of the same features and functionality as the other Arlo cameras. It comes with a rechargeable battery and is weatherproof so you can use it outside. 

Read the Arlo Pro 2 review.

The Ultra is Arlo's 4K camera. Like the other Arlo cameras, the Ultra is battery-powered and weatherproof. It adds on advanced features via one year of free access to the Arlo Smart cloud subscription service like person, vehicle, animal and package detection. 

Read the Arlo Ultra review.

The Blink XT2 is another battery-powered camera that's weatherproof. This camera has 1080p HD resolution, a 110-degree viewing angle and comes with two AA lithium batteries. It claims to have a two-year battery life and offers free cloud storage. 

Read the Blink XT2 article.

The Canary Flex is a rechargeable weatherproof camera that's supposed to last for months on a single charge. I really like the design of this camera, and it performs well too and comes with one day of free cloud storage. 

Read the Canary Flex review.

Logitech's Circle 2 camera comes in two models -- a wired model and a battery-powered model. 

I tested the wired model (link below), but the rechargeable battery-powered Circle 2 is very similar. It's weatherproof, it has 1080p HD resolution, a 180-degree viewing angle and a variety of optional accessories. Plus, it works with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri.

Read the (wired) Logitech Circle 2 review .

Ring's Door View Cam is a battery-powered doorbell. Unlike other Ring doorbells, the Door View Cam replaces a traditional peephole. It's easy to install and costs $3 per month to access saved video clips. It works with Alexa voice commands.

Read the Ring Door View Cam review.

Like the Logitech Circle 2, the Ring Spotlight Cam comes in a wired and a battery-powered version. I tested the wired version (linked below), but these two cameras have the same features. 

It has 1080p HD resolution, two-way talk, motion alerts, motion zones and a built-in 110-decibel siren. Like other Ring cameras, pay $3 per month for access to your saved clips. 

Read the (wired) Ring Spotlight Cam review.

The Stick Up Cam also comes in wired and battery-powered models. I tested the wired model (link below), but the other version comes with a rechargeable battery.

It's a weatherproof camera with 1080p HD resolution, motion alerts and more. Again, pay $3 per month to view your video clips. 

Read the (wired) Ring Stick Up Cam review.

This is the first-gen Ring Video Doorbell. It's still sold today and can be either hardwired or battery-powered via the included rechargeable battery. It has a 720p HD resolution and costs just $100.

Read the Ring Video Doorbell review.

The Video Doorbell 2 is the next-gen version of the original Video Doorbell. It too can either be hardwired or battery-powered, but this model has 1080p HD resolution rather than the Video Doorbell's 720p. 

Read the Ring Video Doorbell 2 review.

Watch this: How to install the Ring Peephole Cam