Best Outdoor Security Cameras of 2022

Watch your property and deter snoops with these smart outdoor cameras

Best Outdoor Camera
Arlo Pro 4
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
$169.00
  • pro
    Wirefree
  • pro
    Advanced object detection
  • con
    Extra cost for best features
Best Budget Buy
Blink Outdoor
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$99.99
  • pro
    Affordable
  • pro
    Two-year battery life
  • con
    Barebones
Best with a Security System
Abode Outdoor Smart Cam
Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro
4 out of 5 stars
4
$299.99
  • pro
    Security system integration
  • pro
    Intruder deterrents
  • con
    Expensive
Best Security Light Camera
Arlo Essential Spotlight
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$91.99
  • pro
    Spotlight
  • pro
    Advanced object detection
  • con
    Extra cost for best features
Best Facial Recognition
Blurams Outdoor Pro
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$59.99
  • pro
    Facial recognition
  • pro
    Flexible cloud storage
  • con
    Unknown brand
Brianne Sandorf
Staff Writer, Home Security & Smart Home
Read More
June 30, 2022
11 min read

Outdoor security cameras are expensive and have a wide range of features, making it hard to know which to choose. We have five stellar recommendations for you that start with the Arlo Pro 4.


Outdoor security camera comparison
Provider
Price
Subscription price
Video quality
Details
$169.00Starts at $2.99/mo.2K
$99.99Starts at $3.00/mo.1080p
Abode Outdoor Smart Cam$299.99Starts at $44.99/mo.1080p
$91.99Starts at $2.99/mo.1080p
$59.99Starts at $1.99/mo.2K

Data effective 07/12/2022. Offers subject to change.

What to look for in an outdoor security camera

When looking for an outdoor camera, the top priority is weatherproofing. Only cameras marked explicitly as “outdoor” should go outside; indoor cameras are often cheaper but can’t withstand the weather.

You’ll also want a camera with decent resolution and night vision to easily see people and objects in clips. Built-in lights are also helpful.

Next, look for any features that help you detect visitors and deter intruders. We’re talking motion detection, people detection, package detection, facial recognition, two-way audio, sirens, stuff like that.

Outdoor camera features that work best for homes:

  • Weatherproof builds so that your camera can actually work outdoors
  • High-resolution video of 1080p or higher so you can clearly see the footage
  • Night vision so you can see what happens in the dark—color or starlight night vision are the best
  • Built-in lights to startle thieves and help with night vision
  • Two-way audio/talk so you can both hear what’s happening and shout at passersby to get off your lawn
  • Customizable motion zones so you can decide where on your property you want to detect motion
  • Facial recognition so you know who’s frequently caught on camera

Apartment-dwellers may not benefit from outdoor cameras. You get the most bang for your buck when your outdoor camera is mounted in a private outdoor space (on porches, siding, fences, etc.).

If you decide to use an outdoor security camera with an apartment, you probably only need one camera. In contrast, if you live in a home, you’ll want an entire outdoor security camera system with multiple cameras.

Doorbell cameras vs. outdoor cameras
Info Box

Though they’re technically outdoor security cameras, doorbell cameras serve a different purpose than the cameras we’ve reviewed here. If you’re looking for a device to watch your packages and notify you of visitors, check out our review of the best video doorbell cameras.

Want to read more?

Arlo Pro 4: Best outdoor camera

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
pro Wirefree
pro Advanced object detection
pro Amazon, Google, IFTTT, Apple, and Samsung compatibility
Price:
$169.99

Arlo Pro 4 is our top choice for an outdoor camera. It packs a punch with features and ease of use, and it’s wirefree.

The Arlo Pro 4 camera and its charging wires, mounting equipment, and paper work sit on a table just out of the box

The Arlo Pro 4 comes with color night vision, a built-in light, and 2K video quality, so you’ll never have a dark or blurry picture.

This camera is also wirefree rather than wired, meaning, in this case, that it uses batteries and not a plug or electrical wiring. Without those constraints, you can put it anywhere you want: on your house, on a fence, in a tree, wherever.

Arlo also has advanced object detection, which means it can quickly tell you the difference between an animal, person, vehicle, and package. That might not sound that helpful, but trust us—it can save you a lot of unnecessary push notifications.

Finally, Arlo has geofencing, which allows your Pro 4 to turn itself on and off based on your location. Most folks who choose to use geofencing want their camera on only when they leave the house.

The only downside is that you have to pay to use object detection and geofencing as part of your Arlo storage subscription.

Arlo subscription plans
Plan
Price for one camera
Price for unlimited cameras
Cloud storage
Details
None$0.00/mo.$0.00/mo.
Icon No  DarkNo
Arlo Secure$2.99/mo.$9.99/mo.
Icon Yes  DarkYes, 30 days
Arlo Secure PlusNA$14.99/mo.
Icon Yes  DarkYes, 30 days

Data effective 07/12/2022. Offers subject to change.

If you want your Arlo camera to record everything, not just motion-activated events, you can sign up for continuous video recording at $9.99 a month for 14 days or $19.99 for 30.

Arlo equipment

Here are a few things to consider about the Arlo Pro 4 hardware:

  • The Arlo Pro 4 comes in two colors, black and white. You can pick whichever color you like better or think would be more inconspicuous in your yard.
  • The Arlo Pro 4 comes with rechargeable batteries. These batteries are supposed to last six months, although our tests show they probably won’t last quite that long. Either way, when the batteries come up empty, you can remove them from the shell and charge them.
  • The Arlo Pro 4 has free local storage if paired with an Arlo base station or SmartHub. (Local storage means you’ll use an SD card to store footage instead of the cloud.)
  • The Arlo Pro 4 works with other security and smart home devices from Amazon Echo, Google Home, IFTTT, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings. This is a huge win if you’re into the smart home scene. 

Blink Outdoor: Best budget buy

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
pro Affordable
pro Two-year battery life
pro Amazon compatibility
Price:
$99.99

If you feel like your bank account is strained to the max, you will love the Blink Outdoor. It’s incredibly affordable. It even has a projected two-year battery life, so it will be a while before you have to buy more batteries.

Seriously, it’s rare to find a good 1080p outdoor camera for less than $100. Whenever we find one, we’re all, “Score!” especially when it’s from a critically acclaimed brand like Blink.

As a trade-off for the low price, the Blink Outdoor doesn’t have a lot of features. It’s missing the fancy motion-detection extras that you’ll see in most of our recommended cameras. But it has everything an outdoor camera really needs:

  • IP65 weatherproofing
  • Motion detection
  • Infrared night vision
  • Two-way audio
Play Video

Alongside your super-affordable Blink camera, you’ll need a Blink subscription plan. Blink plans cost about as much as Arlo Secure, but they offer twice as much storage. That’s another way you can stretch your dollar with Blink.

You’ll also get an extended warranty with your Blink subscription plus 10% off other Blink equipment.

Blink subscription plans
Plan
Monthly price
Yearly price
Cloud storage
Details
Basic Plan$3.00/mo.$30.00/yr.
Icon Yes  DarkYes, 60 days for 1 device
Plus Plan$10.00/mo.$100.00/yr.
Icon Yes  DarkYes, 60 days for unlimited devices

Data effective 07/12/2022. Offers subject to change.

You can also use local storage with Blink through a USB flash drive.

Blink equipment

The Blink Outdoor takes two AA lithium batteries. And for once, batteries are included. Even better, you shouldn’t have to replace them for a while—Blink estimates that those li’l batteries will last two whole years.

You can connect your Blink Outdoor to your Amazon Echo for some smart home-style perks. For example, Alexa can announce every time you get a camera alert. We don’t necessarily recommend that—most cameras get quite a few false alarms—but if you’re hard of sight or don’t want to be tied to your phone 24/7, it’s a great feature.

To learn more, read our Blink Cameras Review.

Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro: Best with a security system

Abode Outdoor Smart Cam
4 out of 5 stars
4
pro Security system integration
pro Intruder deterrents
pro Amazon, Google, and Z-Wave compatibility
Price:
$299.99

Are you more interested in a complete security system than a single outdoor camera? We recommend the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, a fancy high-tech camera that works with one of the fanciest, most high-tech security systems we recommend.

We've spent a lot of time with the 1080p Outdoor Camera Pro, and we prize its intruder deterrent features. On top of the typical features (night vision, two-way audio, a siren), this camera has Smart Sentry.

Smart Sentry scares off loiterers by lighting up and making a noise. But it doesn’t have facial recognition, so its alerts are indiscriminate. It might even try to scare you off when you’re working in your yard.

The camera also has a siren extender. If your alarm goes off, your camera will make noise too. It’s a handy way to scare off intruders while also alerting your neighbors.

Vivint subscription plans are expensive partly because you’re paying for home security monitoring plus camera storage. But TBH, compared to most other security systems, Vivint still costs a lot more.

Vivint subscription plans
Plan
Monthly price
Devices covered
Details
Smart Security Monitoring$19.99/mo.1
Smart Home Monitoring$39.99/mo.1
Smart Home Video Monitoring$44.99/mo.1

Data effective 07/12/2022. Offers subject to change.

If you want more than one Vivint camera, you’ll pay $5 per month for every extra camera you add to the system.

Vivint equipment

Your Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro needs to be hardwired into your home’s electrical system, which limits the places you can install it. Luckily, you don’t have to hastily befriend an electrician to get your camera set up. Vivint will send a pro to install your camera and security system for you.

Vivint is known for its intensely smart equipment with an in-app smart home setup. You don’t need third-party equipment to create an entire smart ecosystem, but Vivint pieces are also compatible with Amazon, Google, and Z-Wave if you want to look elsewhere.

That means that your Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro will work with other Vivint devices plus Amazon and Google smart assistants plus a whole host of other products that use the Z-Wave  protocol.

Ring cameras
Pin

If you want a camera that works with a more affordable home security setup, look at Ring Alarm cameras. Ring sells the Ring Spotlight Cam, the Ring Floodlight Cam, the Ring Stick-Up Cam Battery, and more. All these cameras work with the Ring Alarm system, and their subscription costs can be covered affordably with a Ring Protect plan.

Arlo Essential Spotlight: Best security light camera

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
pro Spotlight
pro Advanced object detection
pro Amazon Echo, Google Home, IFTTT, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings compatibility
Price:
$91.99

If you want to shed a little light on your yard, our favorite pick is the Arlo Essential Spotlight. It’s got a spotlight and all the fancy Arlo features at a lower price than the Arlo Pro 4.

Copy of arlo-essentials-spotlight-cam-1

Speaking of the Arlo Pro 4, the Arlo Essential Spotlight also has color night vision, two-way audio, and a spotlight. It uses the same advanced object detection to help you receive more accurate alerts and cut down on notifications. You can also use geofencing.

The main difference between the two cameras is the video quality. The Arlo Essential uses 1080p vs. 2K—but 1080p is more than adequate for viewing security camera footage in most cases.

The Arlo Essential Spotlight is an indoor/outdoor camera, although we recommend it for outdoor use only.

All Arlo cameras use the same plans at the same prices. (That includes the cost for upgrading to CVR.)

Arlo subscription plans
Plan
Price for one camera
Price for unlimited cameras
Cloud storage
Details
None$0.00/mo.$0.00/mo.
Icon No  DarkNo
Arlo Secure$2.99/mo.$9.99/mo.
Icon Yes  DarkYes, 30 days
Arlo Secure PlusNA$14.99/mo.
Icon Yes  DarkYes, 30 days

Data effective 07/12/2022. Offers subject to change.

Arlo equipment

The Arlo Essential Spotlight shares even more similarities with the Arlo Pro 4:

  • While Arlo cameras traditionally come white, the Essential also comes in black. It’s a win for 2004 goths everywhere.
  • The rechargeable battery is supposed to last six months, but after just a few days of testing, it dropped by 10%. We’re sure the sensitivity settings had something to do with it—we set ours to be pretty sensitive—but either way, we’re confident that the batteries will not last a full six months without a recharge.
  • You can skip the monthly payments and opt for local storage with an Arlo base station or SmartHub. But without the subscription, you have to say buh-bye to all the cool features that make us recommend this camera. Sigh.
  • The Arlo Essential works with most smart home brands: Amazon Echo, Google Home, IFTTT, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings.

Blurams Outdoor Pro: Best facial recognition option

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
pro Facial recognition
pro Flexible cloud storage
pro Amazon, Google, and IFTTT compatibility
Price:
$59.99

Is there a particular person that you’re trying to avoid? Do you just want to know who’s on your property? Sounds like you’re looking for facial recognition, and in that case, you probably want to try the Blurams Outdoor Pro.

The Blurams Outdoor Pro offers quite a few features:

  • 1080p video quality
  • Two-way audio
  • Starlight night vision
  • Motion detection
  • Sound detection

But the crowning jewel is the facial recognition.

Facial recognition is tricky. We have yet to test a camera with reliable, well-working facial recognition. Facial recognition software also tends to make cameras very expensive. But Blurams is a happy medium—if you don’t get what you need from your software, at least you spent only a modest sum (for an outdoor camera).

Blurams facial recognition will keep track of faces it sees more than once and allow you to put identifying names on them. This works best with people you know, but if strangers show up repeatedly on your camera feed, you can always assign them names. Like, “Bearded man with tattoos,” “Woman in pink tracksuit,” “Kid who stole all the candy from my Halloween bowl.”

Blurams price
Price Tag

You might have noticed this camera is a cheaper than the Blink Outdoor and has more features. So why isn’t it our best budget pick?

The Blurams Outdoor Pro doesn’t have as good of or as many Amazon ratings as the Blink Outdoor. It’s a great camera—especially with the facial recognition—but most folks will be more comfortable spending money on a tried, tested, and true product with better ratings by more people.

The Outdoor Pro has local storage and 24 hours’ free cloud storage. But if you want the convenience of more cloud storage (and most people do), you’ll need to sign up for a Blurams subscription.

Blurams subscriptions are flexible—you can sign up for as few as three days’ storage and as many as 30. Most folks will want more storage, not less, but some choose to only opt into storage, say, when they’re on vacation.

Blurams subscription plans
Plan
Monthly price
Yearly price
Storage
Details
Bluerams Guard 7 Days$4.99/mo.$49.00/yr.7 days
Blurams Guard 15 Days$5.99/mo.$59.00/yr.15 days
Blurams Guard 30 Days$14.99/mo.$149.00/yr.30 days

Data effective 07/12/2022. Offers subject to change.

Blurams equipment

The Blurams Outdoor Pro uses a plug, so you’ll want to install your camera within reach of an outlet.

Also, this camera is compatible with Alexa, Google, and IFTTT.  Through these platforms, you’ll be able to indirectly connect your camera with most major smart home devices. You just won’t have direct integrations that allow your camera to “communicate” with other products.

Recap: Best outdoor security cameras for home use

Still deciding? Let’s walk through our recommendations one more time.

  • Arlo Pro 4 is our recommendation for best outdoor camera due to its convenient wireless setup and advanced motion features.
  • Blink Outdoor is our best budget buy recommendation. It’s an affordable camera from a well-known brand.
  • Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro works only with the Vivint home security system, making it the perfect pick if you want a full security setup.
  • Arlo Essential Spotlight is our favorite light-centered camera. It has nearly everything the Arlo Pro 4 has but at a lower price.
  • Blurams Outdoor Pro offers affordable facial recognition plus tons of other useful features.

Methodology

When comparing cameras, we consider multiple factors, such as:

  • Price
  • Features
  • Subscription costs
  • Power source
  • Performance

Whenever possible, we spend several hours with the cameras we review. We test for video and audio quality, and we take note of how each camera may enhance your quality of life.

For this review specifically, we valued features that would make a camera suitable for easy outdoor use, including weatherproofing, installation options, night vision, and spotlights.

Outdoor cameras FAQ

What type of outdoor security camera is best?

We think any of the cameras we've recommended here is a good choice. We are partial to cameras with a good weatherproofing rating, a video quality of at least 1080p, night vision, and intruder-detering features like a spotlight or siren.

To pick one that’s best for you, consider your home’s size, where you need the camera(s), and which cameras are compatible with any security or smart home equipment you already own.

What’s the difference between indoor and outdoor cameras?

Weatherproofing, typically. Not all indoor cameras can put up with rain, snow, sleet, hail, cold, and heat. All outdoor cameras can, to some degree. Check the weatherproof IP rating to know exactly how weatherproof your  nzoutdoor camera is.

Of course, just because a camera is weatherproofed doesn’t mean it needs to go outside. All outdoor cameras work indoors—but they tend to be more expensive than cameras specifically designed for indoor use.

Should I have a hidden security camera?

Generally, no. We recommend keeping your home security camera where others can clearly see it.

First of all, the presence of a camera can be a deterrent. In our experience, people behave differently (read: better) when they know someone is watching. After all, if they’re doing something sketchy, they don’t want to be caught. So if your goal is to keep away intruders and vandalizers and such, a visible camera helps.

Secondly, hidden cameras can cause legal issues. If you catch the wrong thing on your hidden camera, you could find yourself in trouble (depending on where you live).

What outdoor security camera has the longest motion detection range?

We don't really know. Most camera companies don't release reliable information about their products' motion detection range (or their night vision range, for that matter). But all the outdoor cameras we've tested have worked well with home yards.

If you have an abnormally big yard, we suggest installing multiple cameras or extra motion sensors to cover the full range.

What outdoor security camera has the best night vision?

Any of our favorite outdoor cameras have decent, if not excellent, night vision. After all, what good is an outdoor camera if it misses all the action as soon as the sun goes down?

But if you want the outdoor camera with the best night vision, we'd pick the Arlo Pro 4. The motion-activated spotlight not only startles intruders (and cats), but it gets you color night vision.

Alternatively, the Ring Spotlight Cam records in a slightly lower resolution, but you still get color night vision. If you're looking for more options, check out our review of the best night vision cameras.

And don't forget, you can supplement any outdoor camera's night vision with good outdoor lighting.

Where’s Google Nest?

We’ve previously featured Google Nest Cameras (like the Google Nest Cam and Nest Cam with Floodlight) as some of our best outdoor security cameras. But this time, we felt like they weren’t the best options.

Here’s why. Google Nest Cams have low weatherproof ratings: IP54 versus the typical IP6-something. Not having high weatherproofing kind of kills the purpose of having an outdoor camera.

And if that’s not enough, Google came right out and said that it can’t guarantee its cameras will work in super-cold weather. If you have a sudden freeze, your Google camera might just … stop.

With that knowledge, we aren’t comfortable recommending Google above other more-weatherproofed cameras.

Where’s Wyze?

The Wyze Cam Pan and Wyze v3 are some of our favorite wireless cameras, but they didn’t quite make the cut for this outdoor camera piece.

The Wyze Cam Pan isn’t suited for outdoor needs, and the Wyze v3 narrowly missed making it into the best budget spot. Maybe next time!

Are outdoor security cameras worth it?

We think outdoor cameras are worth the cost because you'll always be informed of what's going on around your home. That’s priceless.

Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining Reviews.org, she wrote safety and security content for ASecureLife.com. Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on MSN.com, Social Catfish, and Parents.com. Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at brianne@reviews.org.

Related Articles

Row of houses protected by security systems
SimpliSafe vs. ADT Home Security
SimpliSafe and ADT are two well-known security brands, but which system will work better for...
A white, rectangular security camera sitting on a wooden tabletop
Best Cheap Security Cameras of 2022
Our round up of the best cheap security cameras for $100 or less. These 6...
An older farmer looks at his tablet while another farmer plows a field in the background
5 Best Rural Internet Providers 2022
Find your rural internet options, like satellite and DSL, here. Read on to compare providers...
A young couple sitting on the couch in living room watching TV
Comcast Xfinity TV Service Review
Comcast XFINITY's better-than-average features and On Demand selection can’t make up for a weak DVR...