Best outdoor security cameras 2023

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Best outdoor security cameras 2023

If you're shopping for the best outdoor security cameras of 2023, you'll want to find something that's weatherproof, captures high-quality footage, an

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If you're shopping for the best outdoor security cameras of 2023, you'll want to find something that's weatherproof, captures high-quality footage, and works well at night. It's also important to consider your budget and ongoing subscriptions that may be required to access premium features such as cloud saving and person detection.

Regardless of your budget, there's an outdoor security camera that'll fit your needs. From premium products crafted by Ring to budget-friendly options like those from Wyze, there are dozens of well-reviewed models that are perfect for protecting your home.

In fact, some of the best outdoor security cameras also double as floodlights –- allowing you to light up your yard. Others are wireless for easy , while a handful require wired connections (though this allows for continuous monitoring).

Below, you'll find a list of the best outdoor security cameras of 2023. You can't go wrong with any of them, but each one caters to a specific audience and budget, so take a closer look at each to figure out which is best for your home.

arlo pro 4 spotlight camera review 7 of 10

John Velasco / Digital Trends

Best outdoor security camera

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The Arlo Pro 3 was our pick for the best outdoor security camera for some time, but after testing the Arlo Pro 4, it brings a couple of new additions that help it earn our top pick. Just like its predecessor, it packs 2K resolution and a wide 160-degree viewing angle. Also included are a weatherproof camera with color night vision, a built-in LED spotlight, and a built-in siren that can alert you to danger.

What makes this model superior is the fact that it no longer is tethered to a hub in order to talk with your home's Wi-Fi network. You won't need it this time, which certainly streamlines the process. And best of all, not only does it perform as exquisitely as the Arlo Pro 3 when it comes to safeguarding your home, but it now boasts a lower starting cost of $200 for a single camera, whereas the Arlo Pro 3 started at $500 for a 2K camera system.

The Arlo Pro 4 includes a three-month free trial of Arlo Smart, which gives you access to advanced features like 30 days of recording history, activity zones, enhanced 911 calling, and advanced detection features.

wyze cam v3 review 5 of 9

John Velasco / Digital Trends

v3

Best outdoor camera for night vision

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Night vision is a vital feature for every outdoor security cam — you don't want the darkness to hide any detail, especially if something like a break-in happens. While our top cam picks include various kinds of night vision, Wyze's indoor/outdoor cam is particularly notable thanks to its Starlight Sensor, which can record night-time video in full color for users.

This wired cam includes all the other smart features that make Wyze's cams a great pick, including a motion and sound sensor for alerts, detection zones, sensitivity settings that you can tweak for best results, and two-way audio for communication. It's also compatible with Alexa and and is friendly with IFTTT if you'd like to complex routines based on the alerts the cam gives you.

The Wyze Cam v3 also has one of the best free video storage options around, with a 14-day cloud storage option for video clips at zero cost. There's also an SD card slot for local storage if you prefer that method. While it's an indoor/outdoor cam, you don't need to worry: All the outdoor IP65 resistances are included for all types of weather.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/lorex-dual-floodlight-v261lcd-e-1.jpg?fit=720%2C720&p=1Image used with permission by copyright holder

Lorex Dual-Floodlight V261LCD-E

Best outdoor camera for cold weather

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You don't need to worry about winter temperatures with this model, thanks to its IP65 rating that can endure -40 degrees Fahrenheit, suitable for even the coldest winters in the country. It also has particularly bright, 2,000-lumen, dual-LED floodlights (excellent for illuminating a large area at night) that can be triggered by motion cams. App controls also allow you to set manual start times and schedules for the lights.

That's just the start of what this winter-ready Lorex cam can do: It also includes a two-way audio option, compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant devices, and the expected motion alerts for your phone. There's no subscription plan or cloud sharing for this cam. Instead, it comes with a 32GB microSD card and port for free native storage. You can upgrade the model up to a 256GB card for extra space, which may be a good idea if you put the camera in a place that's difficult to reach without a ladder, such as above a garage.

Best outdoor security cameras 2023

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Ring Spotlight Cam Pro on a wall.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Best wireless outdoor security cam

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Amazon's to the Ring Spotlight Cam is an excellent option for those who don't want a full floodlight camera, but would still like lots of illumination for their porch, patio, or driveway. The surprisingly bright LED lights on either side of the cam can be set to light up along with the motion detection features.

There's a little bit of everything packed into the Spotlight Cam Pro's design, including basics like 1080p video, night vision, and two-way audio. But Ring also has some extras, like a siren you can sound, advanced 3D motion detection, and a “Bird's Eye” view option that gives you a model for where a subject may have gone. We also like that it's battery-powered with an option to plug into an outlet.

As with all Ring cams, you will really want a Ring Protect plan to enable video storage and video sharing, but otherwise, this is the most comprehensive wireless security cam we've seen to date.

Google Nest Cam 2nd-gen (battery).Google

Google Nest Cam 2nd-gen (battery)

Best value security camera kit

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Google's Nest Cam benefits greatly from Google's AI technology that can recognize people from cars, identify packages, and (with a subscription) do much more. While there is a wired version of this cam, we like the battery option for its versatility. We also love that it's one of the few cams that offer free online video storage – three hours worth – for free, although a Nest Aware subscription does add other benefits.

Nest works with both Google Assistant and Alexa these days, so you don't have to worry as much about which voice assistant you use. The cam itself is highly capable, with 1080p HDR video, night vision, zoom, two-way audio, and a variety of intelligent alerts. The snap-on mount is also a great way to make installation easy, no matter where you're putting it. There's even a feature to keep recording when the power goes down and save an hour of footage into local memory for review.

If the battery option isn't really your thing, you do can purchase a weatherproof outdoor cable and wire the cam into place as well.

The Arlo Pro 5S installed outside on a wall.

Arlo

2K

Best premium outdoor security camera

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The Arlo Pro 5S 2K doesn't cut any corners. Featuring a camera that captures 2K video, a wide field of view, sleek design, and color night vision, few products can match its performance. Unfortunately, all those features come at a price, as the Arlo Pro 5S 2K clocks in at $250.

That makes it one of the most expensive security cameras on this list, but if money is no object, it deserves a closer look. Not only does it offer every feature found on our beloved Arlo Pro 4, but it also features Dual-Band Wi-Fi for simplified installation, SecureLink Connectivity that allows it to stay protected during power outages, and a Low Power Mode that offers a 30% boost to battery life.

But beyond those features, it's eerily similar to its cheaper sibling. Still, if you need an outdoor security camera that's as cutting-edge as possible, you can't do better than the Arlo Pro 5S.

The Blink Wired Floodlight installed outside.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Wired Floodlight Camera

Best affordable floodlight camera

Blink makes plenty of great outdoor cameras, but few are as great as the Blink Wired Floodlight Camera. As one of the newest members of the Blink family, the Wired Floodlight Camera offers heaps of functionality despite its budget-friendly price of $99.

In case the name didn't give it away, the Blink Wired Floodlight Camera isn't just an outdoor camera – it's also a floodlight. And a bright one at that, capable of producing 2,600 lumens of LED light. You'll also benefit from motion detection, a wired connection that offers a constant power supply, and color night vision. Its design is a bit bulkier than others on this list, but that's largely due to the massive floodlights that loom over the camera.

Anyone in the market for an outdoor camera that's both affordable and powerful (and comes with shockingly bright floodlights) should give strong consideration to Blink's new product. But if you're looking for something with a more streamlined design, consider looking back at the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro mentioned earlier in our roundup.

The Wyze Cam Floodlight Pro installed on a wall.

Wyze

Wyze Cam

With the ability to capture 2.5K QHD footage and built with three adjustable floodlights that product 3,000 lumens of brightness, the Wyze Cam Floodlight Pro is a premium camera that doesn't carry a premium price. It's best for capturing large backyards or driveways (thanks to its powerful floodlights), but they can also be dimmed if you don't need quite as much power.

Rounding out the package is automation that senses when the sun goes down, support for microSD cards to store footage locally, two-way audio, and compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. Because it's a floodlight, it's a bit bulkier than most other products on this list, but it's a great option if you like the idea of filming in 2.5K QHD and want to light up your yard when motion is detected.

The Blink Outdoor Camera 4 mounted on a brick wall.

Blink

Blink Outdoor 4

The Blink Outdoor 4 takes everything you loved about the Outdoor 3 and makes it even better. The two-year battery life is still here, but you'll also benefit from a new 143-degree field of view, enhanced motion detection (including person detection), and improved night vision.

As usual, you'll need to spring for a Blink Subscription Plan to access everything the camera has to offer, but since plans start at just $3 per month, it shouldn't be a dealbreaker. Toss in a new design, a robust app, and full support for Alexa, and the latest member of the Blink family is mighty enticing.

The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro on display the 2023 Amazon Fall Devices and Services event.

Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Ring Stick

It's a bit expensive, but you're getting a lot of value out of this investment. The Ring Stick is designed to work both indoors and outside – giving it plenty of versatility. Along with its weatherproofing, the camera offers HDR video and films in 1080p, supports two-way audio, and is easy to thanks to its wire-free setup.

One minor sticking point is its lack of a built-in privacy shutter. That might be an issue if you're using it indoors, though you can quickly toggle alerts off and disarm the camera from the Ring smartphone app. But if you have it installed outside, you likely won't miss the feature. You'll also want to spring for a monthly Ring subscription to unlock additional features such as cloud saves and smart alerts.

Beyond those minor quirks, there's not much to dislike about this powerful outdoor camera. Homes with other Ring products already installed will love how easy it is to sync the device with the rest of their smart home, and Ring newcomers will enjoy its high-quality images, simple setup, and generous 155-degree viewing angle.

XL

The Arlo Essential XL Wireless Security Camera is all about battery life. Capable of running for up to 16 months before needing a recharge, it's leagues beyond most other products on the market. That makes it incredibly appealing if you're using it on a second property or plan to put it in a place that's cumbersome to reach (as you'll only have to take it down less than once per year).

It also benefits from support for 2K footage capture, color night vision, and a wide 130-degree viewing angle. You'll likely want to pick up an Arlo Secure subscription so you can get improved smart alerts and 30-day video history – though it's a bit more expensive than the competition at $5 per month.

The Essential XL is fully supported by the Arlo smartphone app, meaning you can easily set activity zones, view your alert history, or check out a live feed of your camera. And despite all these great features, the Essential XL is reasonably priced. To save even more cash, you can opt for the HD version, which offers all the same features, but ditches the 2K resolution for standard HD.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I place outdoor security cameras?

FBI crime data indicates that most (around 55%) home intruders try to get into homes through either the front or back door. So, you may want to have your security camera scoping out your doors. It's also a good idea to cover other entry points, like back windows, that are hidden away where someone could break in without being seen.

Where exactly to mount your outdoor cameras, however, depends on your property and your individual needs. You may have a shed in the back that contains expensive lawn equipment, for instance, and you might want to place more focus on that area. Perhaps your neighborhood has experienced a few break-ins recently, and the intruders typically enter through the garage, so you want to cover your garage area.

How many security cameras do I need?

Typically, having at least two outdoor cameras is ideal, not including your video doorbell. If you have a video doorbell to watch your porch, combined with an outdoor security camera covering the front and back areas of your home, this should be sufficient. However, if you have a large property, live in an area where there's a lot of property crime, or if you have vehicles or valuables stored on your property, you may want to add in an extra camera or two.

Can you use an indoor security camera outdoors?

No. An does not have the necessary protection from the elements, so it won't hold up outside. Some cameras are rated for indoor or outdoor use, and you can use those cameras outside. If you want to point your indoor camera out a window to watch the outdoors, you technically can do so. However, the camera's features probably won't work as well, and you're better off just buying a cheap outdoor camera.

Can outdoor security cameras be used indoors?

Yes, although it's not usually recommended because the cameras designed for outdoor use may not work optimally indoors. Again, you can opt for a camera that's rated for both indoors and outdoors, like a dome camera.

Do all outdoor security cameras have two-way audio?

The short answer is no. Many wired outdoor cameras feature two-way audio, which allows you to speak back and forth with someone through the camera via an app on your phone, but not all outdoor cameras have this feature.

If two-way audio is something you're interested in, consider doing research on which cameras have it, and of the ones that do, read up on which are better. Not all two-way audio is created equal — some companies do it well, while others do not. Keep in mind that cameras with two-way audio might cost a bit more than those that don't feature the technology.

How well does night vision work on an outdoor security camera?

Night vision on cameras typically uses infrared light to illuminate dark images at night. Essentially, cameras with night vision use this technology to backlight images to help you see what's happening in the field of view. Most outdoor security cameras feature night vision, but the quality varies from model to model.

If you're looking for superior night vision, go for the Arlo camera listed above, or research night vision quality before making a purchase.

How well do outdoor security cameras detect motion?

Motion sensitivity in outdoor security cameras varies widely, but generally, the technology works well regardless of the model you choose. Most cameras, even inexpensive ones, do an excellent job of detecting motion, and, if the camera is connected to an app, it will send a motion alert to your phone. Most people find that motion settings on cameras are too sensitive, meaning that things like rain, bugs, or even bright sunlight can trigger an alert.

If you're concerned about motion alerts, consider buying a camera that not only sends you motion alerts so you can monitor what's happening on your property but also allows you to adjust the motion sensitivity so that small things aren't triggering it all the time.

Can outdoor security cameras survive severe weather?

Most outdoor cameras have a rating of IP65 or higher, which means they are waterproof and can withstand someone spraying a hose on them. That usually (but not always) means that a camera with that rating can withstand extreme temperatures ranging from -40 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit or similar.

Cameras vary slightly in terms of survival in extreme weather, but anything with a rating of IP65 or higher will be fine for most climates. If you live in an extremely hot or extremely cold climate, you might want to consider a camera with a rating of IP66 or higher.

Do I have to pay for storage for an outdoor camera?

This depends a lot on the brand and the model. Generally, if a security cam has a memory card slot, you can use native storage without paying anything — it's just a little trickier to manage. If you want video footage to be uploaded to the cloud for easier viewing and saving, you'll often have to pay for it. Brands like Arlo and Ring only allow for free livestreaming video and require a plan if you want to save video for any length of time. Google is one of the best options here because its Nest cam offers a certain amount of free online storage without needing a subscription.

Is an outdoor security camera ever illegal?

It can be, although privacy laws haven't entirely caught up with home security cams yet. Generally speaking, you can't point a camera where people have the expectation of privacy. Pointing a cam at your porch and the street in front? Totally fine, it's considered a public area. Pointing a camera so that it captures footage of your neighbor's backyard or looks into their windows? Illegal, and you could get successfully sued for it.

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