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Best outdoor home security cameras of 2021

These smart outdoor security cams will keep your home safe and secure through rain or shine.

It's good to keep an eye on your home while away if you want to protect your loved ones and property. One of the most efficient ways to know what's happening around your home is to set up an outdoor security camera system. Whether you're looking to upgrade your existing video surveillance system with high-end devices or searching for more affordable home security options, there are plenty of outdoor cameras on the market to fit your needs, from the classic dome camera to high-tech options with top-notch video quality.

In fact, the video quality among the many security camera options on the market is steadily improving. Standard features include night vision and a motion sensor, and some options even include things like two-way audio, HD video and facial recognition. You can get a doorbell camera or a smart security camera that connects to your existing smart home setup, which you can monitor with your smartphone. You're really only a few cameras away from a full-blown security system that maximizes safety.

But technological capabilities are only half the battle. Unlike an indoor camera, the best outdoor security cameras have to tackle rain, wind, snow and all sorts of other weather changes and still perform well and record watchable footage. 

Are you ready to build your own outdoor security camera system? We've tested a lot of weather-resistant models to arrive at this short list of surveillance camera favorites for keeping an eye on everything outside.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Arlo Pro 3 (two-camera pack, plus hub) is an excellent security camera. It has 2,560x2,560-pixel streaming, color night vision, 12x zoom, a built-in siren and a built-in spotlight. Out of the box, you get motion and sound alerts and access to the live feed.

Otherwise you do need to pay an optional monthly fee for the Arlo Smart subscription service. Arlo Smart adds a bunch of additional features, including detection zones and advanced notifications (people, animal, vehicle and package). Bump it up a tier, and you get E911, a feature that lets you contact local law enforcement from the Arlo app, no matter where you are. 

The Arlo Pro 3 isn't cheap, but it's an excellent home security camera if you have the money to spend.

Read our Arlo Pro 3 review.

 

Wyze

Wyze makes a variety of solid, affordable smart home devices -- and the Wyze Cam is no exception. 

In addition to standard features, which include HD live streaming and motion detection alerts, this affordable camera comes with free two-week event-based cloud storage and a built-in microSD card slot for local storage. It has a customizable motion-detection zone, updated two-way audio and night vision and an improved field of view over the last-gen Wyze Cam.

Read our Wyze Cam review.

 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Arlo Video Doorbell performs well as a security camera, has a long list of features and competitive cloud storage fees. The optional cloud storage subscription gives you access to advanced person, animal, vehicle and package alerts.

This smart buzzer is easy to install, too, and features two-way audio, motion detection zones, arm/disarm modes and a built-in siren.

Read more about the Arlo Video Doorbell.

 

In summary

We've tested too many outdoor security cameras to list here, so be sure to check out my gallery below for an overview of all the models. It's worth noting that whatever Wi-Fi security camera you end up buying will only be as good as your home's network connection. If the connection is spotty or unstable, you might see pixelation in the feed, lag times and other related issues, so check your Wi-Fi speed before you start drilling holes in your walls.