Best Outdoor Security Cameras of 2021

Outdoor security cameras are easier to set up than ever. Check out our top picks.
  • Best Wire-free Camera
    Built-in spotlight
  • Best for a Security System
    Quote required
    Unique intruder alarm
  • Smartest Alerts
    Facial recognition
  • Best Budget Buy
    Good value for the price

Outdoor security cameras used to be a hassle to set up. You had to string cords across your yard, drill holes in walls, and strategize about power outlets. But things have changed in the last few years, and these days, outdoor cameras go up faster than you can say “surveillance.”

Sure, some outdoor cameras still use power cords you have to plug in (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing). But you’d be amazed at how many security cameras are wire-free with long-lasting, rechargeable battery packs. Check out our top outdoor camera picks—both plug-in and wire-free.

Compare outdoor security camera specs
ModelImagePriceStorageLearn more
Arlo Pro 3$299.99*Cloud or local storage (with Arlo SmartHub)View on Amazon
Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro Vivint Outdoor Camera ProQuote requiredCloud or local storage (with Vivint Smart Drive) View Camera
Google Nest Cam IQ OutdoorNest Cam IQ Outdoor$399.99Cloud storageView at Best Buy
Blink Outdoor$99.99Cloud or local storage (with Blink Sync Module 2) View on Amazon
Ring Spotlight Cam$199.99Cloud storageView on Amazon
Reolink Argus 3 with solar panel$129.99Cloud or local storageView on Amazon
Kasa Cam Outdoor$139.99Cloud storageView on Amazon
EufyCam 2$299.99**Local storageView on Amazon
Blue by ADT Outdoor CameraBlue by ADT Outdoor Camera$199.99Cloud or local storageView Camera List Prices (as of 11/30/20 01:28 PST) Full disclaimer
* Price for two-camera starter kit that includes Arlo SmartHub.
** Price for two-camera starter kit that includes Eufy HomeBase 2.

Arlo Pro 3: Best wire-free camera

The Arlo Pro 3 packs prime features and versatility into one small package.

Arlo Pro 3 camera

Arlo cameras never let us down when it comes to tech features. The Arlo Pro 3 packs a slew of impressive specs into a single device, including crisp 2K ultra-HD resolution, smart alerts, smart home integrations, and an easy-to-install magnetic mount. You can put this camera just about anywhere.

Along with all the fancy stuff, you also get standard features from the Arlo Pro 3, including night vision, motion detection, two-way audio, cloud storage, and mobile app control.


  • Wire-free design
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Built-in spotlight and siren
  • 2K ultra-HD resolution and HDR
  • Alexa, Google, IFTTT, and HomeKit integrations
  • Magnetic mount and charger
  • Auto zoom and track
  • Custom activity zones


  • Pricey
  • Requires Arlo SmartHub
  • Needs Arlo Smart subscription for best features
  • Full 2K resolution requires microSD card

What we like

The Arlo Pro 3 offers more features in one camera than a lot of other brands have in their whole line-ups. If you want high-quality video resolution and phone notifications that tell you more than just “motion detected,” then the Arlo Pro 3 is a great pick.

Arlo Pro 3 price and features
ModelImagePriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
Arlo Pro 3
$299.99*Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, IFTTTView on Amazon List Prices (as of 11/30/20 01:28 PST)
* Price for two-camera starter kit that includes Arlo SmartHub.

The Arlo Pro 3 is a wire-free camera, meaning you don’t have to worry about stringing power cords across your backyard. But it does require the Arlo SmartHub to work. So if you don’t already have one, then you’re going to want to opt for a starter kit that includes the hub.

One benefit of the hub is the option for local storage. The Arlo Pro 3 offers cloud storage through Arlo’s Smart subscription plans, but you can also use your own microSD card for up to 128 GB of local storage. Hackers begone.

Smart alerts

The Arlo Pro 3 gives you a lot of information about what it sees. Instead of just saying “motion detected,” this camera can tell the difference between people, cars, animals, and packages.

You can also select custom activity zones, so the camera watches the areas you care about, rather than sending you alerts every time the neighborhood kids run down the sidewalk.

Megaphone icon
Heads up
If you want access to the best and brightest of the Arlo Pro 3’s features, you’ll need to opt into an Arlo Smart subscription plan. Plans start at $2.99 per month.

What we don’t like

The Arlo Pro 3 has a lot going on and not all of it works perfectly. For example, it’s a little tricky to get the full 2K resolution the camera offers. You have to use a microSD card with your hub, and the camera’s live view will only be in 2K if you’re connected to your home Wi-Fi network.

This camera also has longer lag time than a lot of other models on the market (about five seconds). That could be because it’s battery-powered, which tends to slow things down a bit.

Want something cheaper?

If you don’t care about having the latest model, then the Arlo Pro 2 has a lot of the same features as the Arlo Pro 3 but at a much lower price.

You still get 1080p HD resolution, wire-free installation, night vision, motion detection, and all that jazz. But you’ll pay around $100 less than you would for the Arlo Pro 3. Even less if you can find a deal. Check out our Arlo Pro 2 review for all the deets.

Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro: Best for a security system

The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro is a premium camera that works with Vivint’s home security system.


A lot of home security systems treat cameras like a lonely afterthought. But Vivint does things differently. The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro is one of the best outdoor cams on the market, and it has some unique theft-deterrent features we haven’t seen on other models.

If the camera spots a stranger in your yard, it can flash its LED light and make a whistling sound to let the person know they’re being watched. The sound usually makes the intruder look up as well, which means they look straight into the camera’s watchful eye and give you a full view of their face.


  • 4K image sensor
  • Both cloud and local storage options
  • Unique lurker alerts with Smart Sentry
  • Alexa and Google integrations
  • Customizable alerts
  • Person detection


  • Requires a Vivint security system
  • Not available for online purchasing
  • Pricey

What we like

Along with its thief-beware features, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro has 1080p HD resolution with a 4K image sensor. The image sensor doesn’t give you 4K resolution, but it does let you zoom in on images and still see things clearly.

If you need to check small details like a license plate of a car on the street, then the image won’t blur out as much when you zoom in.

Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro price and features
ModelImagePriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
Vivint Outdoor Camera ProVivint Outdoor Camera ProQuote requiredAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant View Camera

Data effective as of 11/30/20. Offers subject to change.

Vivint also made the Outdoor Camera Pro super customizable. You can set exactly which notifications you want to get, schedule when the camera turns on, and change the lurker alert tone. Plus, the camera works with your full Vivint home security system, so if you want the camera to turn on whenever you arm your alarm system, it can do that.

Smart clips and continuous video recording

The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro offers two types of video recording: event-based recording and continuous video recording. Event-based recording is activated by things like motion, and it records in clips that last 20–90 seconds. With Smart Clips, you can set your Vivint camera to record a clip whenever it spots a person.

If you’d rather go with continuous video recording, which records footage 24/7, then you’ll need the Vivint Smart Drive. The Vivint Smart Drive can store around two weeks’ worth of footage.

What we don’t like

Unlike all the other cameras on our list, you can’t buy the Vivint Outdoor Camera online and set it up in your yard. It’s available only as part of the Vivint home security system, and it requires professional installation.

The Outdoor Camera Pro is such a cool cam, we’d love to see it available as a standalone solution. But for now, you’ll need to opt in to the full Vivint experience.

Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor: Smartest alerts

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor has sweet AI features like familiar face recognition.

Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor shown during nighttime

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is a hefty weatherproof camera that gives you excellent video quality and impressive AI features like facial recognition. You’ll know exactly who’s in your yard—or you’ll know it’s a stranger and you need to do something about it.

Nest cameras on the whole  are renowned for attractive design that won’t throw off your home decor, and they have innovative technology that puts the smart in “smart home.” The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is no different. It’ll keep things classy on your exterior wall.


  • 4K image sensor
  • Familiar face recognition
  • Continuous video recording option
  • Auto zoom and track features (Supersight)
  • Does not require a hub
  • Custom activity zones


  • Pricey
  • Requires indoor power outlet
  • Requires Nest Aware subscription for best features
  • No local storage option

What we like

Most outdoor cameras can’t give you as much information as you get from the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor. With its familiar facial recognition, you not only know when a person is standing in your yard, but you’ll know if it’s someone you know. You can even name people in the app so the Nest can tell you who it spots.

Google Nest IQ Outdoor price and features
ModelImagePriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
Google Nest Cam IQ OutdoorNest Cam IQ Outdoor$399.99Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantView at Best Buy

Data effective 10/23/20 18:17 PST. Offers subject to change.

Along with facial recognition, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor lets you set custom motion zones, so you only get alerts about specific areas of your property. The camera can also tell the difference between the sound of people talking and a dog barking, and it can send you specific audio notifications.

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

Continuous video recording

Most security cameras record only in motion-activated clips. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor can do the clip thing, but it also offers a continuous video recording option if you subscribe to the Nest Aware Plus plan. That means you get 24/7 footage of your property.

Just keep in mind: continuous video recording can do a real number on your internet connection.

What we don’t like

First off, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor isn’t cheap. We recommend looking for sales or discounts, since at full price, this camera costs around $400. The upside is it works seamlessly with all other Google Nest products, so all your devices can talk to each other and you can set rules for how they work together.

Needs Nest Aware subscription

The price of the camera’s not the only cost you have to deal with. You’re going to want to subscribe to a monthly Nest Aware subscription. Without Nest Aware, you can’t use the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor’s best features, like facial recognition and sound detection.

Nest Aware plans start at six bucks per month for 30 days’ worth of cloud storage. On the bright side, one Nest Aware subscription covers all the Nest devices in your home.

Want something cheaper?

The Google Nest Cam Outdoor gives you a lot of the same features as the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor but for less than half the price.

You also still get 1080p HD resolution and cool Nest Aware features like a continuous video recording option and cloud storage. Installation is also similar—you still have to thread a cord through a wall, door, or window. Check out our Nest Cam Outdoor review to get the scoop.

Blink Outdoor: Best budget buy

The Blink Outdoor packs long battery life and high-quality video into an affordable camera.

Blink Outdoor

At only $99.99 for a starter kit and $89.99 for an add-on camera, the Blink Outdoor is an affordable cam with excellent value.

A lot of cheap security cameras sacrifice features to make up for price, but the Blink Outdoor gives you good video quality, customizable settings, and extra-long battery life at a wallet-friendly price.


  • Affordable price
  • 2-year battery life
  • Amazon Alexa integration
  • Both cloud and local storage options (with Blink sync module 2)
  • Adjustable motion zones


  • Finicky night vision
  • No Google Assistant integration

What we like

Blink’s biggest claim to fame is its cameras’ battery life. The Blink Outdoor has an advertised battery life of two years on just two AA batteries. That’s great if you don’t want to worry about recharging your camera every other month or so.

Blink Outdoor price and features
ModelImagePriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
Blink Outdoor$99.99Amazon AlexaView on Amazon List Prices (as of 10/23/20 18:17 PST)

Its wire-free, battery-powered design also makes the Blink Outdoor easy to install. You don’t have to run wires or plug in power cords. Mount the Blink wherever you need it. Installation is a cinch and will only take you a few minutes.

Cloud and local storage

The Blink Outdoor uses the Blink Sync Module 2 to hook up to your Wi-Fi. The Sync Module 2 also offers a local storage option—just use a USB drive. If you prefer cloud storage, Blink has subscription plans starting at three dollars a month.

Good video quality

For the price, we’re pretty impressed with Blink’s video quality. The Blink Outdoor records in 1080p HD resolution and images look pretty good—crisp and clear. The Blink app also gives you plenty of options to customize activity zones, notifications, and video settings.

Most cheap cameras don’t let you adjust motion zones as easily as the Blink, so we consider that a pretty big perk. Without that, you’ll end up chucking your phone across the room from all the “motion activated” alerts.

What we don’t like

Blink is owned by Amazon, and Google and Amazon don’t always get along. All this to say the Blink Outdoor doesn’t work with Google Assistant. We hope they’ll add it as an integration at some point, but for the time being, it’s Amazon Alexa or nothing.

The Blink Outdoor’s night vision also isn’t the best we’ve seen.

Ring Spotlight Cam: Best security light camera

The Ring Spotlight Cam is a good option for a security light/camera combo.

Ring Spotlight Cam shown during nighttime with the spotlight illuminating the area around the camera

The Ring Spotlight had a built-in spotlight and siren before it was cool. This camera is still a solid option if you want a camera with a super-bright security light, HD video, and a loud siren to scare away potential intruders.

This camera doesn’t have the slimmest design in the world, but any lurkers will definitely spot it and know you have a security camera ready to catch their every move.


  • Built-in spotlight and siren
  • 1080p HD video with HDR
  • Person detection
  • Adjustable motion zones
  • Integrates with other Ring devices


  • Clunky design
  • Features vary depending on power source

What we like

The Ring Spotlight gives you options when it comes to power sources. You can choose from a battery-powered, solar-powered, or hardwired model.

We like the battery-powered model because it makes installation easy, but it does mean you have to recharge the battery pack every six months or so.

Ring Spotlight Cam price and features
ModelImagePriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
Ring Spotlight Cam$199.99Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantView on Amazon List Prices (as of 10/23/20 18:17 PST)

If you’re worried about battery life, the Ring Spotlight actually has room for two battery packs. Only one battery pack comes with the camera when you buy it, but you can purchase a second one separately if you want double the battery life for your camera.

Bright security light

Security lights are some of the most effective and basic security devices you can use. We like that the Ring Spotlight combines a motion-activated security light with an HD camera.

You can adjust the light settings to be on all the time or to turn on when the camera senses motion. If you opt for the battery-powered camera, using the light a lot will drain your battery faster.

What we don’t like

The Ring Spotlight’s features change depending on which power source you choose.

For example, if you go with a hardwired camera, you’ll be able to customize activity zones so you don’t get motion notifications outside of certain areas. But if you go with the battery-powered camera, motion zone adjustment is not as customizable. You’re limited to choosing broad areas.

Make sure the camera model you choose has all the features you want.

Clunky design

The Ring Spotlight is not small or subtle. It’s quite a chunky camera, and people will notice it on your house.

That could be a good thing if you’d rather the camera act as a visible deterrent to potential thieves. But just know that it might throw off your decor.

Reolink Argus 3 with solar panel: Best solar-powered

The Reolink Argus 3 is an affordable camera with a solar panel option.

Reolink Argus 3 and solar panel mounted on a brick wall near a yard

The Reolink Argus 3 looks similar to Arlo’s camera designs, but comes at a much cheaper price. This wire-free camera combines a rechargeable battery option with a solar panel for constant power without the cords.

Since it doesn’t have wires, you can set up the Reolink Argus 3 just about anywhere. And it offers options for both cloud and local storage.


  • Solar panel power option
  • Built-in security light and siren
  • Mounting strap option
  • Both cloud and local storage options


  • Battery is not removable
  • No adjustable motion zones

What we like

The Reolink Argus 3 is easy to install since it’s wire-free and comes with a mounting strap. If you don’t want to (or can’t) screw the camera mount onto a solid surface, Reolink includes a strap you can thread through the back of the mount and tie around a tree or a post.

Reolink Argus 3 with solar panel price and features
ModelImagePriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
Reolink Argus 3$124.99Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant View on Amazon List Prices (as of 10/23/20 18:17 PST)

The Argus 3 also uses a rechargeable battery, so you don’t have to plug in any cords or string wires. That makes installation easier, but without the solar panel, you will have to take the camera down to charge roughly every six months.

With the solar panel, you shouldn’t have to worry about charging much at all. We tested the Argus 3’s solar panel on a sunny day and it charged about 10% every hour.

Cloud and local storage

If you prefer cloud storage, you can opt for a Reolink cloud storage plan. They’re not the cheapest storage plans we’ve seen, especially considering the price of the camera. You’ll pay at least $4.99 per month.

If you don’t want to pay the fee, no worries, Reolink offers a local storage option. Just insert a microSD card into the camera itself, and you’re good to go.

What we don’t like

As with a lot of cheaper cameras, the Argus 3 does not technically have adjustable motion zones. You can’t choose which areas of your yard you want to receive motion detections from, but you can choose areas you want the camera to ignore. This is a kind of backward way to get customized motion zones, but we’ll take it over nothing.

The Argus 3 also doesn’t have HDR. HDR stands for high dynamic range and it basically makes images look better even in mixed lighting conditions. HDR definitely makes a difference in video quality, and it’s noticeable with the Argus 3.

Kasa Cam Outdoor: Best for smart lights

The Kasa Cam Outdoor works with all the Kasa-brand smart lights.

TP-Link Kasa Cam Outdoor with packaging

You may have heard of Kasa’s smart lights, smart light switches, and smart plugs, but did you know it also offers cameras? The Kasa Cam Outdoor is a decent outdoor camera, and it integrates with all of Kasa’s other smart home stuff so you can set scenes and rules between your lights (or plugs) and your outdoor camera.


  • Built-in siren
  • Customizable motion zones
  • Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration
  • Seamless integration with Kasa smart lights and devices


  • Average night vision
  • No person detection

What we like

The Kasa Cam Outdoor has 1080p HD resolution, and its video quality looks good in action. There is some slight lag time, but that’s pretty normal with security cameras. And the Kasa Cam offers all the usual stuff we expect from security cameras, including two-way audio, night vision, motion detection, and mobile notifications.

Kasa Cam Outdoor price and features
ModelImagePriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
Kasa Cam Outdoor$139.99Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantView on Amazon List Prices (as of 10/23/20 18:17 PST)

The Kasa Cam Outdoor is easy to install. It has a magnetic mounting plate that makes it simple to position and point where you want it.

You can also adjust the Kasa Cam’s motion zones so you don’t get a bunch of unwanted alerts. Activity zones are fully customizable with this camera, so you can precisely outline the areas you care about.

What we don’t like

The Kasa Cam Outdoor doesn’t have any AI features to speak of. It doesn’t have person detection or sound alerts, so it’s pretty much limited to motion activation only. That means you might get some false alerts from things like shadows or tree branches.

Power cord required

We have a lot of wire-free, battery-powered options on this list, but the Kasa Cam Outdoor isn’t one of them. You’ll have to plug this baby in, which might mean drilling a hole through your wall if you don’t have a convenient window or door to thread it through.

EufyCam 2: Most secure storage

The EufyCam 2 prioritizes privacy so you don’t have to worry about hackers.

If security camera hacking incidents concern you (and we don’t blame you), then the EufyCam 2 might give you some peace of mind. All Eufy cameras prioritize privacy with local storage that’s still accessible from your smartphone.

Since footage from your Eufy cameras isn’t uploaded to the cloud or stored on company servers, it’s much more secure than a lot of cloud options out there.


  • 1-year worth of battery life
  • No subscription necessary
  • Wire-free design
  • Military-grade encryption
  • Built-in siren
  • Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit integrations


  • Battery is not removable or replaceable
  • Requires Eufy hub

What we like

Eufy has the longest battery life on our list besides the Blink Outdoor camera. Your EufyCam 2 should hold a charge for about a year with standard use.

EufyCam 2 price and features
ModelImagePriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
EufyCam 2$299.99*Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKitView on Amazon List Prices (as of 10/23/20 18:17 PST)
* Price for two-camera starter kit that includes Eufy HomeBase 2

The battery in the EufyCam 2 isn’t removable, so you’ll have to take the whole camera down to charge it. Thanks to the long battery life, that shouldn’t be a big problem though since you’ll only have to take it down about once a year.

Wire-free design

The EufyCam 2 works a lot like the Arlo Pro 3: it doesn’t have any wires or power cords, but it does sync with a hub. When you buy a starter kit, it will come with the Eufy hub and a camera or two, and you can add additional cameras from there if you want.

What we don’t like

The EufyCam 2’s battery is not replaceable. So when the battery stops working, the whole camera’s gotta go. That shouldn’t really be an issue because the battery is rated for 300 charges, but just a heads up that you can’t swap battery packs with this one.

Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera: Best pro monitoring

Blue by ADT gives you access to ADT monitoring without the contract.

Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera

If you’d only ever heard of one security system, it would be ADT. It’s the best-known name in the home security biz. But ADT home security systems are pricey, and its cameras aren’t the best.

Blue by ADT solves all of those problems with high-quality cameras you can use without a contract.


  • Both local and cloud storage
  • No contract required
  • Works with Blue by ADT security sensors
  • Rechargeable battery pack


  • No Google Assistant integration
  • Pricey

What we like

Like a lot of our other favorite cameras, the Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera is wire-free and battery-powered. You can remove the battery pack to charge it without having to bring the whole camera inside.

Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera price and features
ModelImagePriceSmart home integrationsLearn more
Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera$199.99Amazon Alexa, IFTTTView Camera

Data effective as of 10/23/20 18:17 PST). Offers subject to change. 

The Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera also offers features we’ve been missing from actual ADT cameras, namely facial recognition and human detection. The camera can recognize familiar people, although it works best if the person is standing less than 10 feet from the camera.

Works with Blue by ADT security system

If you want a whole-home security system with professional monitoring, then Blue by ADT is a good choice. It will cost way less than a traditional ADT system, and you still get that blue sign in your yard that says “Protected by ADT.”

If you don’t care about pro monitoring or a whole system, you can still use the Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera on its own as a standalone device.

What we don’t like

Blue by ADT’s facial recognition isn’t as good as what we’ve seen from Nest Cameras. And most notably, Blue by ADT doesn’t currently integrate with Google Assistant. If Google’s your go-to smart speaker, then Blue by ADT probably won’t work well for you.

This camera doesn’t work with HomeKit either, but so few cameras do that we can’t really fault it for that.

Recap: Which outdoor security camera is best?

Outdoor cameras are more accessible than ever before. Find one that will keep an extra eye on your property.

Outdoor security cameras are more versatile, accessible, and affordable than ever. Choose the model at the right price and with the right features for your yard.

Arlo Pro 3: Best wire-free camera—The Arlo Pro 3 gives you the best of all words: built-in siren and spotlight, wire-free design, AI features, and smart notifications all in one device.

Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro: Best for a security system—The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro is a premium camera that works with the Vivint home security system. It’s a shame you can’t get it as a standalone, but Vivint’s system might be worth it for you.

Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor: Smartest alerts—Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor was one of the earliest cameras to have AI features like facial recognition. It still has some of the smartest notifications around so you know which to pay attention to.

Blink Outdoor: Best budget buy—For what you get, the Blink Outdoor is a great value for the cost. At only about $100, you get high-quality video, customizable settings, and impressively long battery life.

Ring Spotlight Cam: Best security light camera—The Ring Spotlight Cam combines a really bright security light with an HD camera. We also like that it has room for two battery packs.

Reolink Argus 3: Best solar-powered—The Reolink Argus 3 is affordable, and with the solar panel to power it, you don’t have to worry about charging the battery.

Kasa Cam Outdoor: Best for smart lights—Kasa is mostly known for its smart lights, but the Kasa Cam Outdoor is a great addition to your Kasa ecosystem. It’s a solid outdoor camera and works seamlessly with your Kasa smart lights.

EufyCam 2: Most secure storage—Eufy opts for secure local storage rather than cloud storage to keep your video footage as private as possible. Plus, the EufyCam 2 is a high-quality, HD camera that’s easy to install.

Blue by ADT Outdoor Camera: Best pro monitoring—Blue by ADT gives you the benefits of the ADT name but in a much more accessible package. We think this camera is better than the ones from the official ADT home security system.

Still not sure which camera is right for you? Check out some of our other camera reviews:


What is two-way audio?

Two-way audio is when your security camera lets you both hear what’s happening in a room (or outside) and talk through the camera yourself. The camera has a built-in speaker and microphone for two-way communication and you use the app on a mobile device to hear what people on the other side are saying and then respond. (The app works on both iOS and Android.)

Keep in mind that cameras with two-way audio usually work like walkie talkies. You push a button in the app to talk, and, while you’re talking, you can’t hear what’s happening on the other end. And while this is a pretty standard feature in indoor cameras, two-way audio is relatively rare in outdoor security cameras.

It’s becoming more popular. But for the time being, if you see an outdoor camera that offers two-way audio, go for it.

What is a base station?

When it comes to home security systems, a base station is the hub that connects all your various sensors and devices together. For home security cameras, a base station does the same thing—but the devices in question are all cameras.

Base stations are most common with 100% wire-free outdoor (or indoor) cameras. If your cameras don’t have a wire connecting them to your wireless network, then a hub serves as the mediator.

Keep in mind, base stations often have to be plugged directly in to your internet router. That’s not as convenient if you keep your router hidden away somewhere, like in a basement or garage.

Is your house ready for outdoor security cameras?

Security cameras can take a toll on your internet connection, especially if they have high video resolution. Not sure your internet is up to the task? Check out our plan recommendations below.

Recommended internet plans for home security cameras
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Performance$35*100 MbpsView Plan
Price for Life 100 Mbps$49100 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
Rate requires paperless billing. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Speeds may not be available in your area.

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