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Best Outdoor Home Security Cameras of 2022

Keep your home secure with these top security cameras.

Outdoor security cameras are a great way to protect your loved ones and property. Their very presence helps deter potential burglars. Whether you're adding to your existing surveillance system or are just searching for some affordable home security options, there are plenty of choices for the best outdoor security cameras. My picks range from the classic dome camera to high-tech options with top-notch, 1080p HD video.

Video quality among the many security camera options on the market is steadily improving. Standard features now include night vision and a motion sensor, while some models also include two-way audio, free cloud storage, IR LEDs, floodlights, spotlights, Wi-Fi 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 phone. You're 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 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 to help you find the best outdoor security cameras for your home and budget. 

David Priest/CNET

Arlo's latest Pro series camera is a fantastic device with features to spare. It boasts 2K HDR resolution, a 160-degree field of view, two-way talk, full-color night vision, a built-in siren and spotlight, compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit -- the list goes on.

This powerhouse of a camera costs only $180 -- pricier than super-affordable options like Wyze Cam V3, but easily worth the premium. For $3 per month, you can also get smart alerts, motion zones, 30 days of event history and a few other cool features. This wireless outdoor security camera has a local storage option to secure your videos directly from your home security system to your Arlo Base Station. In short, the Arlo Pro 4 is a fantastic home security camera for most people.

Read our Arlo Pro 4 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 wired camera comes with free two-week event-based cloud video storage and a built-in micro SD card slot for local video 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. The battery life of this outdoor cam can last up to 3-6 months between each charge.

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. Arlo Video Doorbell is battery powered and the cam battery lasts up to six months between charges.

Read our Arlo Video Doorbell review.

 

Ry Crist/CNET

If you need a camera to keep watch over a place where Wi-Fi won't suffice, then your best bet is to shop for a camera that can stay connected over cellular data instead. Your top two options are the Arlo Go 2 and the Eufy 4G Starlight Cam, each of which includes a SIM card slot for cellular connectivity along with similar features, including night vision and customizable motion alerts. They each cost about $250, too, though the Eufy 4G Starlight Cam is the slightly less expensive of the two.

Both performed well when we tested them out, and there are good reasons to go with either one. Still, I lean toward the Go 2 here mainly due to the fact that it includes a MicroSD card slot for expandable local storage. Eufy's LTE camera doesn't have a MicroSD card slot at all: Instead, you get 8GB of built-in local storage. That's a nice value if you don't want to buy a MicroSD card, but it also means your local storage is capped, and you'll need to pay a monthly fee if you want to store additional footage on Eufy's servers.

Another key difference: The Arlo Go 2 can connect over both LTE and Wi-Fi, while the Eufy 4G Starlight Cam doesn't support Wi-Fi. That makes the Go 2 the more flexible of the two cameras and can potentially leverage your home's Wi-Fi signal to reduce the LTE data usage.

Read more about the Arlo Go 2 LTE security camera.

 

Other products we've tested

We've tested too many outdoor security cameras to list here, but we've reviewed dozens of the most popular cameras from the biggest brands, including Google NestAmazon BlinkAmazon RingWyzeArloEufyCanary and many more. While many of these devices offer similar features, including 2-way talk, live streaming, app notifications and more, finding the right device for the right price can be a challenge. The above picks are the best options we've found so far.

How we test home security cameras

Hands-on testing is core to our evaluations of any home security products. In short, when it comes to security cameras, we pay special attention to resolution, night vision and latency, extra features, general performance and overall value. We evaluate all of these elements in a real home environment over the course of a week. If you want to read more about our review process, check out our in-depth article on how we test home security cameras and video doorbells.

Outdoor home security cameras compared

Our Picks Arlo Pro 4 Wyze Cam (2020) Arlo Video Doorbell Arlo Go 2
Price $180 $36 $150 $250
Resolution 2K 1080p 1,536x1,536 1080p
Field of view 160-degrees 130-degrees 180-degrees 130-degrees
Setup Wireless, indoor/outdoor Moveable, indoor/outdoor Wired, outdoor only Wireless, indoor/outdoor
Extra features Live streaming, two-way talk, night vision, weather resistance Live streaming, motion detection, night vision, weather resistance, integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant Live streaming, arm/disarm modes, two-way talk, motion zones, night vision and an integrated siren Live streaming, arm/disarm modes, two-way talk, motion zones, night vision, 4G/LTE support and an integrated siren
Review score 8.5 8.5 8.5 n/a

Outdoor home security camera FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about outdoor home security cameras. If you have any others, feel free to reach out on Twitter or you can email me from my author page (just click the little orange envelope).

What type of outdoor security camera is best?

Outdoor security cameras can be used for all sorts of purposes, and your particular needs will determine which one is best. If you're looking for minimal upkeep, a camera with a power cord might be the best bet, whereas monitoring spaces far from a power outlet could make a battery-powered device a better option. In general, cameras with at least 1080p resolution, a wide field of view, night vision and deterrence features like a spotlight or alarm will serve you well.

What are the privacy and security considerations for outdoor cameras?

If you're privacy conscious, then your best bet is to shop for security cameras that let you store the footage locally, usually on a MicroSD card or some other means of storage on the device itself. Once you start uploading your video for storage on a company's servers, then that footage is subject to whatever that company's policies are regarding storing it and sharing it.

On the security front, the best way to keep your footage safe from unauthorized access or hacks is to make sure that you're using two-factor authentication, which greatly reduces the odds that anyone will be able to access your account without your knowledge. If you're uploading footage to a company's servers, you'll want to make sure that the footage is encrypted along the way.

The most secure approach is end-to-end encryption, or E2EE, which means that nobody can access your footage without a unique decryption key associated with your device. With E2EE, even the company you're storing the footage with shouldn't be able to access your clips. "Encryption in transit" and "encryption at rest" are good standards as well, but they wouldn't necessarily prevent the company you're storing footage with from being able to access your clips.

One more thing: It should go without saying, but these cameras are meant to keep an eye on your own home and property. Set one up someplace where you don't have permission or where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and you could run afoul of the law.

What is the best security camera for cold weather?

Whether you're worried about extreme cold, rain or any other inclement weather, you'll want to be sure to check your camera's IP rating and lowest operating temperature. IP ratings of 65 or 66 are solid -- that means you won't get dust into the camera or water, unless it's totally submerged.

Generally, you'll also want to compare your regional winter temperatures to your camera's lowest operating temperature. Battery-operated cameras usually need warmer temperatures. Arlo's lowest temperature, for instance, is 14 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the Wyze Cam v3 can function at -4 F.

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