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Best Outdoor Security Cameras

Security Camera

Best Outdoor Security Cameras

Video doorbells are great for keeping an eye on the entrance to your home, but what about your backyard? Or your driveway? For those, you need outdoor security cameras.

They’re weatherproof, and most run on rechargeable batteries, allowing you to mount them almost anywhere, even to a tree (provided it’s still in range of your home’s WiFi). If you have floodlights in these areas, you could even take advantage of their steady stream of power and install specialized floodlight security cameras.

Most cameras save footage to the cloud, but some let you save it locally on an SD card or a USB drive. Either way, the cameras use rolling storage, where the oldest footage is deleted to make room for new footage when there is no free space.

The smart features you’ll find on any given camera vary, but many of them send you smartphone alerts when they “see” things of interest, such as people, cars, animals, and packages. Other common features include voice control via digital assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant; two-way audio, for speaking to visitors via your smartphone or digital assistant; and the ability to silence motion alerts at certain times of day, say, during the day while you work from home.

Below you’ll find details on the five best outdoor security cameras from our tests, listed in alphabetical order. They’re made by Arlo, Ring, and TP-Link. All feature two-way audio, schedules for silencing motion alerts, and voice control via Amazon Alexa. Other features you’ll find in some of these models include:

  • Monitoring zones. This feature allows you to highlight areas of the camera’s field of view, such as a driveway, to monitor for movement—or ignore when there is movement, such as a busy street.
  • Person, package, vehicle, and/or animal detection. The camera can detect the presence of people, packages, vehicles, and/or animals in the camera’s field of view and record footage when those objects are detected.
  • Geofencing. This feature uses your phone’s location so that the camera will record and/or send alerts only when you’re away from home.
  • e911. You’ll find e911 in the camera’s smartphone app. With it, you can call your home’s local 911 dispatcher directly if there is an emergency. That could save valuable time if you’re away from home because usually you’d be connected to the 911 dispatcher closest to where you’re calling from, before being put through to your local police department so that you can ask them to check on your property.

5 Best Outdoor Security Cameras

1. Arlo Essential Wireless Security Camera VMC2030-100NAS

Free video storage: None
Optional subscriptions cost: Through an Arlo Secure plan, you can get 30 days of cloud video storage for $3 per month for one camera or $10 per month for unlimited cameras; 30-day storage with in-app emergency response buttons costs $15 per month for unlimited cameras; 24/7 continuous video recording costs $10 per month per camera for 14 days and $20 per month per camera for 30 days.

2. Arlo Pro 2

Free video storage: Seven days of cloud storage, or more via a USB drive
Optional subscription costs: Through an Arlo Secure plan, you can get 30 days of cloud video storage for $3 per month for one camera or $10 per month for unlimited cameras; 30-day storage with in-app emergency response buttons costs $15 per month for unlimited cameras; 24/7 continuous video recording costs $10 per month per camera for 14 days and $20 per month per camera for 30 days.

3. Arlo Pro 3

Free video storage: Yes, via a USB drive
Optional subscriptions cost: Through an Arlo Secure plan, you can get 30 days of cloud video storage for $3 per month for one camera or $10 per month for unlimited cameras; 30-day storage with in-app emergency response buttons costs $15 per month for unlimited cameras; 24/7 continuous video recording costs $10 per month per camera for 14 days and $20 per month per camera for 30 days.

4. Ring Stick Up Cam (Battery)


Free video storage:
 None
Optional subscription costs: Through a Ring Protect plan, you get 60 days of cloud video storage for one camera for $3 per month (or $30 per year) or 60 days for unlimited cameras for $10 per month (or $100 per year).

5. TP-Link Kasa Cam KC200


Free video storage:
 Rolling two days of storage for two years from the initial setup date
Optional subscription costs: Through a Kasa Care plan, you get 30 days of cloud storage for one camera for $3 per month (or $30 per year) or 30 days of storage for up to 10 cameras for $10 per month (or $100 per year).

Contact Bishoff Home Services to install your home security system

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