large image

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 2022

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.

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 4

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

Pros

  • Excellent quality
  • Works with Wi-Fi or base station
  • Smart features through cloud subscription

Cons

  • Requires cloud subscription for biggest features

The Arlo system is one of the most powerful, using a range of wireless cameras that talk to a base station plugged into your home network. These cameras can be used inside or out, giving you whole-home coverage, which is why we’ve listed them under their own special section. The best model at the moment isthe Arlo Pro 4, which has a 2K resolution.

This model is very similar to the older Arlo Pro 3, although this camera doesn’t need a base station and can connect directly to your Wi-Fi. That gives you a bit more flexibility and makes the Pro 4 a cheaper system to buy into than the Pro 3. If you do have a base station already, you can connect the Pro 4 to this.

The Arlo system is one of the best and most convenient to use, although you do need to buy an ArloSecure plan to get the most out of it and get cloud storage. All cameras are controlled by the same excellent software, which lets you set cloud activity zones so that you only get notified about movement in areas you’re interested in. You can further enhance this with smart notifications, letting you choose to get notified about your choice of people, animals or vehicles.

One of the best things about the Arlo system is its modes. These let you choose how you want your cameras to work. Geolocation is the easiest to set up, letting your cameras turn on when you go out, and move to a schedule when you get home. With a schedule, you can set which cameras record when, saying turning on all downstairs cameras at night when you’re in bed, but turning them off during the day. It’s a hugely powerful system that’s far better than anything the competition has.

The Pro 4 has excellent image quality, shooting at a higher resolution than most of the competition, plus it has a spotlight that lets it shoot in full colour at night. It’s a relatively expensive camera, but if you’re looking for the best overall choice, this is hard to beat.

Arlo is relatively expensive to buy into but additional cameras work out at better value. If you want an easy-to-install wireless system to cover inside and out, there’s nothing better.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Arlo Pro 4 review

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

A great security camera and utility light
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

Ring Stick Up Cam

A powerful indoor/outdoor camera that can be powered via Ethernet
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

  • Flexible installation
  • Indoor and outdoor installation
  • Well-priced cloud storage

Cons

  • Fiddly to find motion events
  • No Google Assistant camera viewing

There’s a lot to like about Ring’s Stick Up Cam. This model is designed to be used inside or out and has a clever trick: it can use Power over Ethernet (PoE). Using the adaptor in the box, you can power the camera via an Ethernet cable, which also provides a rock-solid internet connection. If you’ve got poor Wi-Fi outside or just need to place the camera a long way from your home, this solution is ideal, giving you around 85m of range.

Beyond that, the camera is excellent. Thanks to Ring’s powerful software, you can set up motion zones to monitor, and you can now tune the system so that you only get notifications when a person is spotted. All footage is saved to the cloud alongside any footage from other Ring cameras or doorbells.

More recently, Ring has introduced modes, which lets you control the camera’s operation: armed the camera records disarmed it turns off. Even better, modes can be tied into the Ring Alarm system, so when you disarm your alarm system you can choose to have the Stick Up cam turn off so that you don’t record yourself at home.

Image quality is excellent from this camera, producing sharp, Full HD images. If you’re looking for an extremely flexible camera that doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi, this is the model for you.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Ring Stick Up Cam review

Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery)

A simple-to-install outdoor camera with plenty of features
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

A great budget outdoor camera that doesn’t need a subscription
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

Shoots the best quality video that we’ve seen
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

Eufy SoloCam S40

Simple to install, good-quality footage and no subscription costs
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

  • Solar panel keeps battery charged
  • Great video quality
  • Integrated storage

Cons

  • Not much control over when the camera records
  • No cloud subscription option

A hassle-free wireless outdoor camera, the Eufy SoloCam S40 can keep itself charged thanks to its large solar panel. There are no ongoing subscription costs, and the high-quality video (including full-colour night vision) is stored on the 8GB of storage.

The solar panel on the top of the Eufy SoloCam S40 means this wireless camera is fairly large compared to rivals, but the flip side is that you only need to mount the camera, not the camera and a separate solar panel.

It’s extremely simple to set up. The solar panel needs two hours of sunlight per day to stay charged, and Eufy provides a simple mount that can be screwed to a wall, with a ball joint providing plenty of flexibility to point the camera where you want it. Once in place, the camera needs to be connected to the Eufy Security app. The Eufy Security app isn’t quite as polished as that offered by the competition, but it does get the basics right.

Video is recorded to the camera’s 8GB of internal storage, which Eufy says is enough for two months of footage. There’s no microSD card slot to upgrade storage and no option for cloud recording, but Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility let you stream the footage to a compatible smart display.

During the day, footage is very sharp and detailed. At night, we first tested the camera without its spotlight, using its IR vision instead to capture footage in black and white. Here, there’s a good amount of detail, although the image does become softer. With its spotlight on, the Eufy SoloCam S40 can shoot in full colour at night. The footage is a little bit blurry, but the quality of the picture is good enough to identify individuals.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Eufy SoloCam S40 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

1,155

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 2004, 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.