The best outdoor security cameras in 2024

We take a close look at the best models that let you keep a close eye on your home.

Best overall

An Arlo Pro 5S 2K outdoor security camera on a blue and white background.

Arlo Pro 5S 2K

Best with 4K resolution

A Lorex 4K spotlight indoor/outdoor security camera on a blue and white background

Lorex 4K Spotlight Indoor/Outdoor Wi-Fi 6 Technology Security Camera

Best budget

A Wyze Cam v3 outdoor security camera on a blue and white background

Wyze Cam v3

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Over the past 8 or 10 years, the outdoor security camera market has changed dramatically. What was once a small market has become massive, with reports showing even more growth in the coming years. That’s great news for consumers; market growth means there will continue to be competition, which has kept prices for security cameras pretty low. It also forces higher-end features in commercial outdoor security cameras, such as 4K resolution image sensors and AI-enhanced capabilities, to appear more quickly on lower-end DIY models. Although there’s been plenty of focus on doorbell cameras to catch package theft and indoor cameras to ensure the pets aren’t wreaking havoc in the home, outdoor security cameras give you robust peace of mind over your entire property. The best outdoor security cameras are easy to use, smart, and include important security features like two-factor authentication to protect consumer data. 

How we chose the best outdoor security cameras

I’ve written about many types of different cameras, including outdoor security cameras, for a number of publications over the years, including PCMag.com, Consumer Reports, The New York Times, Tom’s Guide, and Gearbrain. I brought my expertise in this area to help discover the best outdoor security cameras. I also looked at critical reviews, user recommendations, and did a lot of research to narrow down our list to find the best models. 

To find the best ones, I carefully considered a number of factors, including specific features such as video resolution, night vision capability, and audio, as well as more expansive qualities, like ease of use, versatility, and smart home compatibility. 

The best outdoor security cameras: Reviews & Recommendations

You’ll find a variety of outdoor security cameras on this list, which should also accommodate a wide range of budgets and needs, from inexpensive models that cost as little as $30 to more feature-packed models that cost closer to $300. One of our picks should give you a better eye on your driveway or backyard and can help complement and strengthen a home security system.

Best overall: Arlo Pro 5S 2K 

Specs 

  • Video resolution: 2K video resolution
  • Field of view: 160 degrees
  • Power: Battery powered only 
  • System compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
  • Storage options: Cloud-based (via subscription)
  • Size: 3.5 x 2 x 3 inches

Pros 

  • Excellent video image quality
  • Has color night-vision capabilities
  • Includes built-in spotlight 
  • Dual-band WiFi (2.4GHz and 5 GHz)
  • Better battery life

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Lacks support for Apple HomeKit compatibility
  • Narrower field of view

Arlo included a few impressive improvements in this version of their Pro 5S 2K model, which is the successor to its popular Pro 4 model. Although they both can capture 2K-resolution video (2,560×1440), the newer model comes with a 12-bit image sensor, allowing you to shoot at a higher bit rate. That translates into better-quality video. The Pro 5S 2K also improved wireless connectivity; this version supports routers with dual-band WiFi (both 2.4GHz and 5GHz), while the Pro 4 only had the lower band—2.4GHz. 

You still get many of the great features found on the Pro 4, including its 160 degrees field of view, a 12x digital zoom, color night vision and black-and-white infrared night vision, a built-in spotlight, two-way audio, and the ability to use smart-home technologies like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. However, it lacks support for Apple HomeKit. 

Some might find this Arlo 5S 2K pricier than many others in its class. Plus, it also doesn’t offer any free cloud-based plans to access your video and photos. In order to access your videos stored in the cloud, you’ll need to sign up for one of Arlo Secure plans (starting at $4.99), which gives you the ability to access 30 days of your video recordings and provides you with additional features such as person, vehicle, and animal detection (and the ability to distinguish between them), and smart activity zones, which allow you to focus motion detection on a specific area within your camera’s field of view. The model is a bit pricey, but Arlo’s powerful collection of camera-based and cloud-based features makes it well worth the cost.

Best with 4K resolution: Lorex 4K Spotlight Indoor/Outdoor Wi-Fi 6 Technology Security Camera 

Specs 

  • Video resolution: 4K
  • Field of view: 140 degrees
  • Power: Wired only 
  • System compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Storage options: Local storage
  • Size: 3.0 x 3.0 x 3.4 inches

Pros 

  • Versatile
  • Excellent quality 4K video
  • Comes with dual-band WiFi
  • Includes WiFi 6 technology

Cons

  • 140 field-of-view is narrower than other models
  • Doesn’t have a battery backup

As a brand, Lorex has made very good quality outdoor security cameras for many years. This model is no exception. It stands out because it captures high-quality 4K-resolution video and has a very good 8-megapixel sensor that lets you shoot photos with more detail and data. It also comes with WiFi 6 technology, allowing faster data transmission to deliver impressive 4K resolution with fast loading time. Plus, it includes 2.4/5GHz dual-band WiFi for better connectivity. You can also use one of two smart-motion features: Person, Vehicle, and Animal Detection or Package Detection (both cannot be used simultaneously).

It’s not ideal for everyone, though. It has a 140-degree field of view, which is narrower than most in its class. It’s hardwired, so you may be more limited in where you need to place this model. It also doesn’t have a battery backup, which can be useful for units that are wired. 

Best wired with lights: Eufy Security S330 Floodlight Security Camera 2 Pro

Specs 

  • Video resolution: 2K 
  • Field of view: 360 degrees (horizontal); 130 degrees (vertical)
  • Power: Wired only 
  • System compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Storage options: Cloud storage or local storage 
  • Size: 12.2 x 7.9 x 7.1 inches

Pros 

  • Very versatile
  • Camera can pan 360 degrees horizontally
  • Lights are moveable and adjustable
  • Camera comes with pan-and-tilt capabilities
  • Lets you store video in either the cloud or locally

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a battery backup
  • Cloud storage reduces video footage to 1080p

Although image sensors have made incredible improvements over the years, you still often need a powerful light source to capture very good-quality video. That’s why this model from Eufy is an excellent buy. It captures 2K resolution video and has flood lights to make the subjects more defined and detailed, but the lighting is adjustable—for instance, you can adjust the color temperature of the lights. Also, the camera itself can pan 360 degrees horizontally so that you can see more of the setting outside your home. And the lights aren’t fixed, so you can turn and position the lights in different directions. 

It doesn’t come with a battery backup, which can be helpful if your power goes out. Also, if you use cloud storage, it will reduce the video footage to 1080p. That’s still great video resolution, and most consumers will be quite pleased with the quality and versatility of this outdoor security camera. 

Best with cellular: Arlo Go 2

Specs 

  • Video resolution: 1080p
  • Field of view: 130 degrees
  • Power: Battery powered only
  • System compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
  • Storage options: Cloud-based (via subscription); accepts microSD memory card for local storage
  • Size: 3.4 x 2.5 x 4.7 inches

Pros 

  • Very versatile
  • Can use either cloud or local storage
  • Includes color night vision 
  • Powerful Secure Plan features

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Need to pay extra for cellular plan

One thing almost every outdoor security camera requires is access to your home’s wireless network. But what if you have poor reception or don’t have a WiFi network at all? If you’re one of these people, consider the Arlo Go 2. It not only lets you hook up to a WiFi network, but you can also use a cellular plan. However, if you choose the latter, you’ll have to buy both a cellular plan and a SIM card. Also, it only works with Verizon, U.S. Cellular, and T-Mobile. 

It does have color night vision and two-way talk and audio, but it’s not perfect for everyone. For instance, it provides you with the option of using cloud storage via one of Arlo’s Secure plans (plans start at $4.99), which also lets you access special features or store your videos on local storage. Still, if you use local storage, you can’t access the Secure plan features, which include not only 30-day video recording but also person, vehicle, and animal detection (and the ability to distinguish between them) and smart activity zones, which allow you to focus motion detection on a specific area within your camera’s field of view. 

Best budget: Wyze Cam v3 

Specs 

  • Video resolution: 1080p
  • Field of view: 130 degrees
  • Power: Wired
  • System compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
  • Storage options: Cloud-based (via subscription); accepts microSD memory card for local storage
  • Size: 2.0 x 2.0 x 2.3 inches 

Pros 

  • Very affordable
  • Compatible with major smart technologies
  • Cloud subscriptions are relatively inexpensive
  • Color night vision is very good

Cons

  • Lacks support for HomeKit compatibility
  • Lower frame rate than other models
  • May not be as sturdy as other models

This hardwired security camera is one of the cheapest on the market, performing very well and capturing very good quality video. It also provides you with the option of storing your videos in cloud storage or on local storage using a microSD memory card

But it’s not the perfect option for all users. Those looking for high-res video probably won’t be happy since it shoots just 1080p video. It also shoots at a lower frame rate than other models: For Daytime and Color Night Vision, the frame rate is 20 frames per second (fps), and with Night Vision with IR lights frame rate of 15fps. This means choppier video upon playback However, remember to consider your needs—you’re most likely not looking for producing cinema-quality video. You simply want your security camera to capture decent video. And for that type of video, this model fits the bill.

What to consider when buying the best outdoor security cameras

If you want to install an outdoor security camera, you’re certainly not alone. According to a 2021 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of installed surveillance cameras grew nearly 50 percent, from 47 to 70 million in the United States from 2015 to 2018.

Here are some important factors to think about before you purchase an outdoor security camera: 

Video resolution

You’ll often see 1080p, 2K, or 4K resolutions in outdoor security cameras. A higher resolution means you’ll get a crisper image. A higher resolution will also fill up your local or cloud storage faster. That’s a problem if your subscription plan or card has a fixed limit to its capacity. If you’re trying to balance subscription costs for cloud storage with what resolution you’ll need, consider how detailed of a picture you’ll need. If you need more detail, go with a higher resolution. 

Lights

Light has always been incredibly important when it comes to capturing digital video and photos. That’s why if you need your outdoor security camera to capture better-quality video or photos, you should consider buying a model with flood lights. Such models not only allow for improved image quality, but they can also act as a deterrent to intruders. 

Power options

When planning to set up your new outdoor security camera, you’ll need to think about where to install it. This is not as much of an issue for models that only use battery power. However, hardwired connections require a direct connection to your home or an outdoor outlet with a weatherproof cord. This limits where you can place it. You make up for the lack of creative control with video and audio quality, which is better in a hardwired connection. 

FAQs

Q: How far can an outdoor security camera be from WiFi?

This will mostly depend on the strength and quality of the wireless network you plan to use and its position in your home. You should note that physical objects, like walls, will weaken WiFi signals. Try to place your outdoor security camera as close as you can to your wireless router.  

Q: Is it better to have wired or wireless security cameras?

It depends on your setup and where you’d like to position your outdoor security cameras. For instance, if you don’t have easy access to an electrical outlet, you may want to use a battery-powered model. However, you’ll need to remember to replace or recharge the battery. Wired security cameras give you better audio and video quality, but you need access to an outside outlet or direct connection to your home’s electricity.  

Q: Which is better: 1080p or 4K CCTV?

One of the benefits of having a 4K outdoor security camera is that, depending on the model you buy, you’ll have more resolution and possibly more detail. However, the quality of the video depends mostly on the lens and sensor quality. Another thing to consider when buying a 4K outdoor security camera is that it will fill up your storage capacity more quickly. 1080p is a great option if you’re trying to balance video resolution with storage capacity. 

Q: What are the disadvantages of security cameras?

Some outdoor security cameras don’t have the highest resolution or quality, at least compared to cameras found on cellphones or stand-alone cameras. They also don’t have as many features and aren’t as versatile. 

Final thoughts on the best outdoor security cameras

Many outdoor cameras on the market today offer 4K resolution, perfect for ultra-detailed shots. Cloud storage makes it possible to keep that footage safe, secure, and easily accessible—you’ll have to pay a subscription for it, however. Otherwise, look for an option that allows for external storage, like a microSD card. Regardless of the model you choose, an outdoor security camera is a great way to watch your entire home, whether you’re away, at work, or in your house.

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