Do you remember when you could go out and leave your door unlocked? When you knew all your neighbours intimately, and knew they all had your back? No? Neither do we! The fact is, those halcyon days of neighbourly care seem to only exist in heavily curated TV shows and stories from the 1950’s. Today, we have to be a little more savvy. When it comes to home security, you cannot be too careful. Your neighbours are busy, you have your job to go to, and you cannot spend all day worrying about if you locked the door. Or if that parcel has been delivered. This is why outdoor security cameras are more than ever! Not only does it protect your home, it sets your mind at rest when you have those niggling little questions. Today, we check out the best outdoor security cameras for 2021.
There are so many questions! Wired or wireless cameras? How many cameras do you need, how do you view them when out of the house? How can you scare away prowlers remotely, and can you streamline your home security and smart home apps to make life easier? Join us as we delve in to explore the answers to all these questions and more.
Which is Better: Wireless or Wired Security Cameras?
Put simply, wireless security systems are better for those who require multiple areas to be surveilled. A wired system is better for installing one fixed camera to watch over the entire area. Whilst wired security systems can be much more reliable, they can be tough to install without assistance, and you can’t always place them where you want them. Wireless systems however give you the freedom to set up wherever, and the batteries often last a long time. Outdoor security cameras ultimately relies on its power source, so you need reliability.
As time and technology has progressed, wireless systems have become more and more reliable. So both battery and mains powered products can work just as effectively. So long as you choose a good product from a trusted provider. Another great reason for having a wireless home security system is the ability to move and replace your cameras when necessary. This is especially useful if renting a property. When its time to move, simply detach and go!
What are the Best Outdoor Security Cameras?
The best outdoor security cameras are those with top quality imaging technology, and can be linked to your smartphone or tablet. High resolution video (1080p or 4K is optimal) and infrared night vision are key, as is a wide viewing angle. A remote activation alarm system will also be of great value. However there are other factors to consider, and these are based on personal preference. Many companies will supply cloud storage space for video capture, though this will come at a monthly subscription cost. And there is a time limit on how long video will be stored for. With a few companies, however, you can get around this by using MicroSD card storage.
You might also be wondering: what’s the difference between surveillance cameras and security cameras? A security camera captures images only when motion is detected, but simply acts as a streaming camera any other time. A surveillance camera, however, is wired to a specific monitor, and records day and night. Most home security systems operate to record only when motion is detected, which is a great thing as it saves your storage space!
There are many security systems out there, so which should you choose? We have rounded up the top 5 makes and models. Join us as we compare products and features, and dive into just what makes a great outdoor security system.
Arlo Ultra 4K
Arlo have arguably been running the show when it comes to outdoor security camera’s, and the Ultra 4K brings you a lot of features, though at a higher price than other makes. This is a CCTV camera system that can deliver up to 4K video anytime of the day with infrared nighttime security. Even the zoom is full HD (at 1080p) or Ultra HD with 4K (at 2160p), meaning no distortion when needing to check faces or see license plates clearly. Plus, the 180° diagonal vantage view means you can capture every movement at an impressive range.
The integrated spotlight is mega sharp, and useful for deterring interlopers. Buyers can choose up to three wireless cameras, and each one is weather resistant and easy to install. And when you are out and about, watch securely anytime from your smartphone or tablet!
The downside is that the battery life, which only lasts between three and six months. However the two accompanying Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries are rechargeable at any time, without reducing the life of the battery overall. This device comes with 1 year free trial of 30 day online storage, which is chargeable monthly thereafter. However, you do have the added option of using the MicroSD card reader, which is a nice touch.
- MicroSD Slot
- 4K Video
- 180° viewing field
Blink XT2 (2nd generation)
This outdoor security cam is a wonderful option as its versatile. If you require an indoor camera, just move an existing camera inside with no problem! As outdoor security cameras, these have some powerful functions. The two-way talk audio allows you to use your smart device to talk to your would-be guest, or give instructions to the delivery driver. The Blink XT2 works with Alexa to set up commands, view video clips, stream, and arm or disarm your home security. All via your personal assistant!
With 1080p with infrared HD night vision, you can rest easy that images are captured and stored when needed. And with free secure online video storage, you can store up to two hours of footage, with no monthly subscriptions! The clips last five to sixty seconds long, which can feel a little limited. However, the audio and colour video capture is great quality, if a little grainy on larger screens. Night vision recording will be in black and white, but this is also good quality.
Unfortunately, the viewing angle of 110° is not the best. However, this is available with up to five cameras as standard, covering all areas. And extra cameras can be added for a fairly decent price per unit after that. Whilst this is battery powered, the two AA lithium batteries pack a punch with a projected two-year life! Peace of mind guaranteed.
- Extreme weather proofing
- Indoor Outdoor functionality
- 110° viewing field
Ring are another company leading the pack when it comes to outdoor security cameras. The two extra bright LED Ring spotlight attached either side of the camera give a combined 1800 lumens brightness, and can be set up in a variety of ways. Manually via the smartphone app, on a set timer, or movement trigger. You can also tailor alerts to your requirements at any time. While the movement sensor can be a little sensitive to things like steam, the positive takeaway is that you can be alerted to even the tiniest movement. The weather proof cameras are great for extreme conditions too, withstanding a drop to -25° C, and and up to 50° C.
The 1080p FHD camera delivers great quality video both day and night, with infrared night vision and a 140° viewing field. Customise motion detection areas via the Ring app, so you can focus on which areas matter most. You can also view anytime through the app for peace of mind. Plus, the remote-activated alarm system is great for scaring away prowlers, and you also have two way audio with noise-cancelling technology should you need it. This system is also compatible with Alexa and enabled devices.
Ring have give the option for both wired and wireless systems. The one we would personally opt for comes with a rechargeable lithium-Ion battery pack. The wired version, however, would require an outdoor socket for operation. A minor caveat is the Ring Protect subscription model. A monthly charge is required to record and store video through cloud technology, meaning if you don’t pay you wont be able to record. There is also no MicroSD slot to get around this.
- Extreme weather proofing
- 1800 lumens floodlight
- 140° viewing field
If you want to save on Wi Fi surveillance, but still get decent quality, this is the one for you! However, please not that this is a wired camera system, so requires an outdoor power source, and more in-depth installation. Set-up is relatively painless despite this, and all cables and the MicroSD card slot are fully weatherproofed. The EZVIZ model is mounted on a 360° swivel plate, and has a 118° field of view with 8x zoom. The HD 1080p resolution cameras can pick up anything both day and night with up to 30 metres night vision. You can also use the two-way audio via the app on your smartphone or tablet to speak to guests.
Use the app to operate strobe light and sound the 100dB siren remotely. This can also be operated via enabling motion detection. Video is recorded when motion in detected, though this can also be triggered via the app. Recorded video can either be stored on the 16GB MicroSD card, or by signing up to their CloudPlay plan. This is chargeable monthly or yearly. It is great that you have the option and aren’t locked into a subscription as with companies like Ring or Arlo.
A neat thing about this outdoor security camera system is that it works with both Alexa and Google Assistant, and you can operate via voice commands. However, it also is compatible with IFTTT. This is a software that allows connection to a host of apps, allowing you to record commands for more streamlined performance. Sadly, this is only available as a one camera option, though at a price this good you can purchase additional systems should you require.
- 16GB MicroSD Slot
- Compatible with Google Assistant, Alexa and IFTTT
- 360° swivel function with 118° viewing field
EufyCam 2 Pro
The EufyCam is another great option that doesn’t contain hidden costs. Once purchased, there are no monthly charges for cloud storage, simply record security video via the 16GB MicroSD card slot. It is wireless, so easy to set up and install. You also have the option to add extra cameras to the system if required. The 1080p resolution cameras operate with a 140° viewing field, and black and white night vision that gives crisp and clean images when you need them most.
Use the app to watch live streamed footage, get alerts when you need them most and record clips of up to sixty seconds. Clip sizes can also be adjusted via the your smartphone. The outdoor security system is also compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, allowing you to control all aspects of your compatible devices using you iPhone or iPad.
Whilst the device is equipped with an alarm, this cannot be triggered to scare of trespassers. This will only be triggered if an intruder tries to remove the camera or base. The wireless security system comes with rechargeable Li-Ion battery, which should last around 1 year. This is a great option to avoid hidden costs, though it does come at a rather high price overall.
- 16GB MicroSD Slot
- Compatible with HomeKit
- 140° viewing field
The Best Outdoor Security Cameras Explored
The question of wired versus wireless security systems is likely a matter of preference. As is choosing a system that works with your smart home system. There are always personal preferences to consider when it comes to perusing outdoor security cameras. But there are certain elements you want to make sure you have before buying. If you are investing in home security, remember the following rules.
- Opt for FHD (1080p) or UHD (4K) quality cameras
- Wireless is great for rental properties, and moving cameras easily
- A MicroSD slot will likely stop you facing a monthly fee for video storage
- If you can, opt for remote alarm and light triggering via your app. this is a great way ward off interlopers
- A two-way audio system will allow you to talk to guests and delivery drivers
Whatever you choose, nothing can compare to the peace of mind you will have in knowing that your home is protected. Whether you are in bed and you hear something outside, or you are out and about and want to just check-in. You can check your smartphone, and keep on with you day with worries at all. Share this with your family and decide which option would suit you best. And never spend the day worrying again!
|Arlo Ultra 4K||Arlo||View on Amazon|
|Blink XT2||Blink||View on Amazon|
|Ring Floodlight||Ring||View on Amazon|
|EZVIZ CTQ3W||EZVIZ||View on Amazon|
|EufyCam 2 Pro||Eufy||View on Amazon|