The Best Outdoor Security Cameras for Every Budget

Get peace of mind (and without signing up for a subscription) with these top-rated, easy-to-install cameras.

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September 20, 2022

Our Top Picks for Outdoor Security Cameras:

Even if you're not ready to install a full home security system, an outdoor camera can be incredibly handy for monitoring package deliveries, pets playing in the backyard or the unexpected. Whether you're looking for additional nighttime security or need to monitor your front door for porch pirates, an outdoor security camera serves a lot of needs. And many are available without a contract or monthly subscription service. We've rounded up the best outdoor security cameras below based on top reviews for image quality, battery life and easiness of installation. Take a look at our picks, and see which one meets your home's needs.

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What to Consider When Shopping for an Outdoor Security Camera

There are a lot of options to consider when shopping for an outdoor security camera. Prices range wildly from under $75 to over $300, so what's the best for your home? It depends on what you want to monitor and which premium features are important to you. How will you save the footage? More premium cameras come with monthly plans for storing footage and video history as only so much storage on integrated apps is free. And do you want alerts on your phone when motion is detected? If you live in a more rural area, that could mean a lot of pings at night due to wildlife, depending on the quality of the camera. And how important is image clarity? Most cameras have at least 1080p resolution, but you can also buy 2K and even 4K video cameras.

The most important feature to look for in an outdoor camera is how it's powered. A corded camera is typically less expensive but can look unattractive on a porch or patio and requires access to an outlet. A cordless camera keeps your security system more discreet and offers better curb appeal. Changing out batteries or recharging can be a chore, so we recommend looking for one with a battery that lasts several months.

Best Cordless Security Camera

For budget, features and quality, the SimpliSafe Outdoor Wireless Camera is the MVP. At just under $180, it has a 140-degree-wide view, shoots in color at night and can last up to six months on one battery charge. It only shoots in 1080p but has earned high praise from shoppers for its incredibly easy five-minute installation. No cords — just two screws and a really, really strong magnet. This camera also works wonderfully with our favorite DIY home security system and the connected app, which means you can get alerts when motion is detected and even talk through the app thanks to the two-way audio feature.

Best Corded Security Camera

Don't want to fuss with replacing batteries or remembering to recharge a camera? The eufy Outdoor Cam is the perfect set-it-up-and-leave-it camera. It features a 32GB microSD card so you shouldn't need to buy a hosting program to store video footage. Speaking of footage, the view isn't as wide as other cameras on this list, but it does shoot in 2K. For under $100, that's a steal.

Best Video Quality

There's clear footage, and then there's Arlo. We could also call this one the best splurge outdoor security camera because it's got it all. This camera shoots in 4K HDR, which means you'll still have incredible clarity even if you need to zoom into an image. Just one camera has a 180-degree-wide view that's perfect for when "you need the biggest, best view." If you have a large yard or a long driveway, this is the camera for you. It's compatible with Google, Amazon, Apple and other smart devices.

Best Budget Security Camera

On a strict budget? No problem. The wireless Wyze Outdoor Cam starts under $75, and shoppers have praised it for its color night vision footage. While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles, it's built incredibly tough. It's waterproof and can handle extreme temps — from below zero to a scorching 122 degrees Fahrenheit. We love it for its long battery life. According to the website, "Two integrated rechargeable 2,600 mAh batteries last up to 6 months on a single charge." And if that's not enough, you can buy a solar panel for it for under $25.

Best Doorbell Camera

For an apartment or condo, you may not need cameras mounted to the exterior, or you may not be allowed to install anything if it's a rental. For smaller outdoor security, a doorbell camera boasts many of the features that large outdoor cameras have, but in a compact little oval about four inches long. The SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro works with most doorbell wiring, any 8-24V AC transformer, and, yes, it's still a doorbell. But with the camera, it can tell you someone's coming before they even ring. The smaller camera shoots in 1080p and is perfect for monitoring package deliveries.

Best Floodlight Camera

For nighttime security, motion-activated floodlights are one of the easiest, budget-friendly home security items. But now, security and tech companies are combining flood light mounts with cameras. The eufy Floodlight Cam 2 features 2,500-lumen brightness combined with color 2K footage for clear video at night. And, it features audio, too, with two-way speakers and a high-volume alarm that can be triggered.

Best Portable Camera

So what about vacation homes, RVs or a home where you don't need monitoring all the time and wouldn't even have a power supply if you did? That's where solar power outdoor cameras, such as the VOSKER V150, come in. These cameras have teeny, tiny solar paneled roofs to collect enough juice to run at night. If you're monitoring a remote home like a cabin for camping, you don't need WiFi either. But this portable tech comes at a price of nearly $300, and it only shoots in 1080p. Still, it's earned glowing reviews from Best Buy and The Home Depot shoppers for its easy installation and ability to operate in harsh weather.

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