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Best wireless home security cameras on the market in 2021

Outdoor cameras are invaluable for home security -- but wiring them can be a massive pain. We've got the solution.

If you've ever tried to replace an exterior light fixture or just tried to find a plug for a heater on your porch, you know how much of a pain powering devices out-of-doors can be. Add that to the difficulty of finding the perfect placement and angle for an outdoor security camera, and it can make for a frustrating afternoon. But these days you can find wireless smart cams that are just as good as wired options. That means you can install a security camera on a fence or put a hidden camera in a tree -- or anywhere your Wi-Fi reaches -- to scale up your home security system, augment the peace of mind you get from your indoor camera and video doorbell, and keep an eye on your house by deterring intruders, all without having to worry about fiddling with wiring.

There are plenty of battery-powered security cameras out there if you want to ramp up your home security. All of the cameras on the market have different security features, from motion sensors to color night vision to backup batteries. You can also get a smart security camera that connects to your existing smart home setup. Some of the higher-end wireless security camera models even have things like two-way audio and facial recognition. This just means that you really have to do a deep dive to find the outdoor camera (or cameras) that works best with your home and existing setup.

But who has time to sift through all of the options? I made time. I've picked a handful of the best battery-powered security cameras I especially like, taking into account things like video quality, field of view, video storage, whether it offers a mobile app with recording options, if it connects to your existing smart home setup and its battery life. Keep reading if you're looking for the best wireless camera to meet your home security needs.

Read more: Best video doorbells

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Arlo's latest Pro series camera is a fantastic device with features to spare. It boasts 2K 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 $200 -- pricier than super-affordable options like Wyze, 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. In short, the Arlo Pro 4 is a fantastic security camera for most people.

Read our review.

 

Arlo

Arlo's floodlight camera is the best on the market -- and unlike most floodlight cams, you can install it without wires. It includes weatherproof housing, crisp HD livestreaming, reliable alerts and true security camera features with arming and disarming capabilities -- plus a built-in siren and a very bright built-in floodlight. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant, too. 

Read our review.

 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Arlo's Video Doorbell is our favorite doorbell cam on the market, and the Essential Wire-Free device is identical -- other than the fact that it's battery-powered. The Wire-Free Doorbell is $200 (plus $3 a month for the subscription service), but you get a bunch of great perks for that price, including smart notifications, a 1:1 aspect ratio, motion zones, two-way talk and more.

Read our Arlo Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell review.

 

Logitech

The Logitech Circle 2 comes in two versions -- the $180 wired model and the $200 battery-powered camera model. I reviewed the wired model, but spent time testing both. 

The battery-powered Circle 2 is a solid camera. Like the Pro 3 and the Blink XT2, the Circle 2 connects to your wireless network and is weather resistant. It has 1080p HD live streaming for crystal-clear picture, night vision, two-way talk and a time-lapse feature. The rechargeable battery is supposed to last between one to three months on one charge. It also offers free 24-hour cloud storage, storing 10- to 60-second motion-based videos. Push notifications are sent via app to your phone when the camera detects movement.

It also works with a variety of accessories -- the $30 plug mount, a $40 window mount and a $20 magnetic mount. If you use either the plug or window mount with your Circle 2 battery-powered camera, it will work with Siri (via Apple HomeKit and HomeKit Secure Video), as well as its standard support for Amazon Alexa.

Annoyingly, the battery-powered Circle 2 does not support Apple HomeKit without either the plug or window mount accessories.

Read our Logitech Circle 2 (wired model) review.

 

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