Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Best Outdoor Security Camera 2024: Stay alert with these tested cameras

Want to stop thieves before they can get into your house, one of our best outdoor security cameras will help you do exactly that and catch people before they get inside.

Putting a security camera on the outside of your house has two major advantages: first, thieves can see that your home is protected and may move onto the next house; second, you can get spot people up to no good before they have chance to move into your house. As a minor aside, outdoor security cameras also feel less intrusive, too, as they don’t capture you going about your daily business. Here, we’ll help you choose the best outdoor security camera.

We’ve compiled the best list based on all of the reviews that we’ve done. Each entry has a detailed description of the product, but you can also click through to the full reviews to get the full lowdown on your product of choice. There’s a full buying guide at the bottom of this article that can help you make the right choices.

Before we get into the main list of cameras, it’s worth saying that if you plan to buy multiple security cameras, you should buy them from the same manufacturer, as you’ll get a better deal on the cloud storage that way. Take into account other devices that you already have, too. For example, if you have a Ring Doorbell and Ring Alarm, it makes more sense to buy additional Ring cameras.

Best outdoor security cameras at a glance

How We Test

Learn more about how we test outdoor security cameras

All of our outdoor security cameras are installed properly outside of our test lab, monitoring real people. We run them for at least a week, so that we can tweak motion detection and find out how reliable or annoying each model is. We download sample footage from each camera, too, so that we can compare image quality between devices.

Arlo Pro 5

The best overall security camera
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

  • Excellent night footage
  • Improved battery life
  • Powerful smart detection features

Cons

  • New app removes some features
  • Can’t move widgets around

The update to the excellent Arlo Pro 4, the Arlo Pro 5 battery-powered camera can go indoors and out. It has the same 2K resolution sensor as the old model, but Arlo has updated this to a 12-bit sensor, which captures more colours. This has two impacts: daytime footage is sharper and more detailed, and nighttime footage can be captured in full colour, with razor sharp detail (with a little help from the camera’s spotlight).

The Pro 5 looks much like other Arlo cameras, with a lozenge-shaped body. There’s a battery inside the case, which can be removed to be charged, although there is an optional solar panel kit if you want to keep the camera topped up automatically.

This camera connects to Wi-Fi or an Arlo SmartHub, depending on your preference. It integrates into the Arlo app, alongside any other cameras you may have. Arlo has updated the app for this camera. It removes some of the more advanced modes that used to be available, but the simpler interface, which uses three security-style modes (home, away and disarmed) is easier to use for most.

Modes define which cameras are active or disabled, and can be set manually, or automatically on schedules or via your location.

Arlo’s app is brilliantly simple to use, making it easy to find recorded footage saved to the cloud, for which a subscription to Arlo Secure is required. Arlo Secure also adds intelligence, such as smart notifications, where you can notified about your choice of people, animals or vehicles. It’s quite an expensive subscription, but worth it as this is the best camera system overall.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Arlo Pro 5 review

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

The best security light and camera
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

  • Easier to install than previous model
  • Excellent image detection
  • Bright lights
  • Decent image quality

Cons

  • Subscription required to access all features
  • Can’t change bulbs

Ring has had a floodlight camera for a long time but the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro is the best yet. This wired model is easier to instal than the previous one, and can be wall- or ceiling-mounted. It has two bright LED lamps that you can angle where you want them, and a PIR sensor to control them.

Cleverly, Ring lets you control the detection range for the PIR sensor, so the light won’t keep turning on as people or neighbours walk near your light.

At the heart of the camera is a security camera, which has the 3D Motion Technology from the company’s Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. This uses radar to let you set a detection range. When used in combination with activity zones, it basically means that this camera won’t record motion when you don’t want it do.

Video quality is decent, with the floodlight meaning that the camera can record in colour at night, although it also has IR lights for black and white shooting as a backup.

As with other Ring cameras, you need to pay for a cloud subscription plan to store videos in the cloud. This is well priced, particularly if you have multiple Ring cameras and a Ring Alarm.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro review

Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery)

The best value cloud security camera
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

  • Offline recording
  • On-board object detection
  • Very flexible

Cons

  • New Google Home app not as good as the Nest app
  • No IFTTT

Nest has revamped its range entirely, with the Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery) the new wireless model, which can be permanently powered if you prefer. This model has onboard storage, allowing up to three hours of recording without a cloud subscription, along with people, animal and vehicle recognition.

If you want to record more footage or scroll back more than three hours, you can upgrade to a Nest Aware subscription that (at minimum) adds 30 days of video history. It also lets you turn on facial recognition so that the camera can tell you who it’s spotted.

The new Google Home app is a little clunky compared to the old Nest app, but it gets the basics right and there’s a useful view of recordings that shows you thumbnails for each event. A little more control over when the camera can and can’t record would be useful, too.

That said, video quality is good, the camera’s well priced and Nest Aware is arguably the best value cloud storage system available.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Nest Cam Outdoor review

EZViz CTQ3N

The best budget outdoor security camera
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

  • Great video quality
  • Good value
  • microSD card storage

Cons

  • Expensive cloud storage
  • Fiddly power connection

Comparatively cheap, the EZViz CTQ3N focuses on quality and getting the basics right. It may not have quite as smooth an app as the main competition, but this model has all of the main features that you need.

Installation requires you to screw the mounting plate to a surface: a wall or ceiling will do the job. You then need to run power to it using the provided power adaptor that must be plugged in inside; connection to your home network is via Wi-Fi.

This camera has a microSD card slot on it, so you can store video locally and don’t have to pay for cloud storage. That’s good news if you don’t want to have to shell out monthly.

Motion detection is good on this model, and you can set activity zones to only monitor a set portion of the video feed to cut down on the number of alerts that you get.

Shooting at 1080p, this camera produces very sharp and detailed footage during the day. At night, IR lights give good range but the camera also has a spotlight that can turn on, giving you full-colour night footage.

If you’re after a well-priced outdoor camera that gets the basics right, this subscription-free model is a great choice.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: EZViz CTQ3N

Annke NC800

The best quality outdoor security camera
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

  • Incredible footage
  • Shoots in near dark
  • Great value

Cons

  • Out-of-the-box experience not great
  • Needs a network recorder to get the most out of it

The well-priced Annke NC800 is a 4K video camera and part of the company’s night chroma range. That essentially means that it can ‘see’ in the dark, shooting some of the best quality video that we’ve ever seen, preserving details when it’s dark outside. Image quality during the day is even more impressive, and this camera beats the big-name competition hands down.

It’s a little fiddly to get this camera working. While it has an SD card slot, the basic Annke app isn’t very good. Instead, you’re better off using the NC800 with a network video recorder. You can use any ONVIF compliant recorder, such as the Synology Surveillance Station, which is a free add-on to Synology NAS devices.

Still, once connected to a suitable recorder, it means that you don’t have any ongoing costs. While the other cameras on this list are easier to get working and easier to use, if you put the time in and just want the best quality footage, then this is a great choice.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Annke NC800 review

Ring Stick Up Cam Pro

The best for motion detection
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

  • Excellent image quality
  • Radar-based motion detection
  • Cheap subscription plans

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low-resolution satellite images in some locations

Whether it’s video quality or battery life, there are plenty of features that may sway your decision over which outdoor security camera to buy, but if you’re fed up of being bombarded with incessant notifications about detected movement then the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro should be your next buy.

The reason for this is that the Stick Up Cam Pro makes full use of Ring’s ingenious 3D Motion Detection. By using radar and a bit of manual mapping via the Ring app, the Stick Up Cam Pro can detect the distance of activity within its field of view and recognise if something is actually worth reporting.

Because of this technology, you’ll only get a notification when someone or something has come within the camera’s genuine field of interest, at which point you can dive into the live feed, initiative a two-way conversation or even set off the built-in siren.

As great as the technology is however, it doesn’t come cheap. Set at £159.99, the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is definitely one of the pricier options on this list so if you’re tied to a budget then it probably isn’t the one for you.

What is handy is that the camera actually comes in two versions: wired and battery powered. This means that you can hook the camera up to your electrical system where possible, or have it run off of a battery if you want to place it further away from your home, like at the end of your garden.

The camera shoots footage in full HD 1080p resolution which is quite a step back from the 4K or even 2K options out there, but Ring has managed to make the most of this format with impressively bright footage, both in daytime and night-time recording. If you already have a Ring ecosystem in your home then the Ring Stick Up Pro Cam is an easy recommendation to add into the mix.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Ring Stick Up Cam Pro review

FAQs

Should I get a battery-powered model or mains powered? 

Battery-powered outdoor security cameras are the most flexible, as you can place them pretty much where you want them without having to drill any holes in your walls.

The downsides are that these models tend to use PIR motion sensors, so you may get more notifications and, if you point them somewhere busy, you can run the battery down quickly. Mains-powered security cameras tend to have activity zones to cut down how many notifications that you get and don’t need to be charged, but installation tends to be a little more complex.

Do I need cloud storage? 

Pretty much every outdoor camera that we’ve tested requires a subscription to a cloud storage service. These make a lot of sense, as you get secure online storage for your footage, so even if your camera is stolen, you can still get the footage.

How important is the viewing angle? 

Viewing angles are described in degrees, with higher numbers taking in a wider field of view. In other words, if you’ve got bigger viewing angles, then your camera will capture more. This is quite important outside, as a camera with a wide viewing angle will see more of what’s going on.

Typically speaking, look for a camera with 150-degree or wider field of view, although doorbells tend to be slightly narrower and more focusses to make it easier to talk to someone at your front door.

Can an outdoor security camera be stolen? 

As cameras are placed outside, then they can more easily be stolen. There are cameras that have magnetic mounts that are relatively easy to knock out of alignment or to the floor.

However, there are ways around the problem. Careful positioning of a camera so that anyone fiddling with it will be spotted is a good idea, and you can often buy or upgrade to a more secure outdoor mount that makes theft harder.

What else should I look for?

Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support is handy if you want to stream footage to your TV or screen-enabled smart speaker.

IFTTT can be useful, too, letting you control other devices when motion is detected, such as turning on a light automatically.

Nest cameras have Works With Nest automatic rules, so they can be turned on automatically when a smoke alarm goes off, for instance, or they can turn on your Hue lights automatically if suspicious activity is detected.

Should I turn an outdoor security camera on and off? 

For the most part, outdoor security cameras should be left on recording all of the time. The exception is that if you have a camera in your back garden, you may want to use the app to disable it when you’re outside.

How important is resolution? 

The higher the resolution, the more detailed the video, in general. That said, 1080p footage is generally good enough to find a frame in a video where it’s easy to spot a person’s facial details; go higher, if you want more detailed footage.

Are there any other features I should look out for? 

Some outdoor cameras have spotlights on them, which can be a useful way of advertising their presence to scare of thieves, and to improve the quality of the footage at night. All cameras have IR night vision, but you get a softer image when using this.

We also considered…

We’ve reviewed

1,332

Smart Home

See all reviews

Spec Comparison

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Model Number
Resolution
Voice Assistant
Battery Length
Battery Length
Smart assistants
App Control
IFTTT
Camera Type
Mounting option
View Field
Recording option
Two-way audio
Night vision
Light
Motion detection
Activity zones
Object detection
Audio detection
Power source

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words