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My favorite battery-powered security cameras of 2020

Want a security camera sans adapter? These are the best of the best.

Not only do battery-powered security cameras give you more installation freedom than their wired counterparts, they also typically have weather-resistant housings for use outside. That means you can install these cameras on a fence, in a tree -- or pretty much anywhere (as long as your Wi-Fi network reaches it). 

I've picked three models that I especially like for a variety of reasons. The Arlo Pro 3 is my favorite all-around camera. Period. Since it happens to be battery-powered too, it's my favorite for this list. I like the Blink XT2 for its reasonable price -- $100 -- and its long battery life (up to two years). The third and final camera in the list, the Logitech Circle 2, offers a wide range of compatible accessories to further extend its battery-powered convenience. 

Read more: The best video doorbells of 2020

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Arlo Pro 3 home security camera is battery-powered so you can mount it to a tree or a fence without having to think about an annoying power cord. It's also weatherproof to tackle the elements and is supposed to last for a few months on a single charge, depending on usage.

In addition to its convenient rechargeable battery, the Pro 3 has a lot of standout features: a built-in siren, arm/disarm modes -- and person, animal, vehicle and package detection alerts (with an optional Arlo Smart subscription plan).

It has typical features, too, like motion alerts, night vision and two-way talk. The Pro 3 works with Alexa and Google Assistant. Read the Arlo Pro 3 review.

Read more: The best indoor security cameras of 2020  

Chris Monroe/CNET

The Blink XT2 costs $100. For your money, you get one battery-powered camera and one Sync module. The Sync module is supposed to extend the camera's battery life and it helps the app and the camera communicate. 

If you already have a Sync module from a previous Blink purchase, you should be able to use it with the XT2 as well. If that's the case, you'll only need to buy the standalone camera for $90. 

The camera has 1080p HD live streaming, alerts, free cloud storage, night vision and weather-resistant housing. It runs on two AA lithium-metal batteries that are supposed to last for up to two years. 

I've been testing one since July 2019 -- and it's still going strong. The Blink XT2 works with Alexa. Read more about the Blink XT2.

Logitech

The Logitech Circle 2 comes in two versions -- the $180 wired model and the $200 battery-powered 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 is weather resistant. It has 1080p HD live streaming, night vision, two-way talk and a time-lapse feature. It's supposed to last between one to three months on one charge. 

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 more hereRead the Circle 2 (wired model) review.

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