Best outdoor security cameras Android Central 2021

Whether you're building a completely DIY home security system or you just want a single outdoor cam to protect your yard, consider carefully what features you'll actually need. Do you want a spotlight to scare off intruders or subtler IR night vision? Wired, battery-powered, or solar power? Is 1080p resolution enough? And is one security brand better than the rest? We're here to help you decide, starting with the best outdoor security cameras on the market right now in every category.

Ring Floodlight Cam

Bright floodlights: Ring - Floodlight Cam Plus Outdoor Wired 1080p Surveillance Camera

Staff Pick

The Ring Floodlight Cam is a good pick if you want a quality security camera/lighting combination with great Amazon Alexa integration. When motion is detected, the floodlights come on, you're notified, and the camera rolls. There's 2-way audio to speak to whoever is on the other side of the lens and the ability to activate a siren to ward off intruders. The two floodlights shine at 1,800 lumens, casting a bright light on your chosen area. The camera is weather-resistant, and it also has infrared vision for low light/nighttime conditions. The Floodlight Cam is wired, so you will need a junction box to connect to.

Eufy Smart Floodlight Camera

One-time payment: Eufy Security Floodlight Cam

These powerful floodlights deliver 2,500 lumens each, brightly illuminating whatever is within range. They attach to a 1080p weatherproof camera with local storage and a loud, 100dB alarm to scare off intruders. The Eufy Floodlight Cam also connects to your Alexa or Google Assistant smart home. While most security cams need a subscription for AI person detection and smart alerts, Eufy offers this out of the box for free. That'll save you a costly monthly subscription! Like the Ring Cam, this needs an outdoor junction box.

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera

Wireless luminescence: Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera

Arlo sells wire-free floodlight cams, a big perk if you want to place them far away from a junction box. The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight shoots in 2K HDR at 160º FOV with enhanced color night vision and 2000 lumens of brightness, giving you clearer footage than most 1080p floodlight cams. You can even jump up to 3000 lumens if you buy the 25-foot USB charging cable. It also works with Alexa & Google Assistant and has a built-in siren. You'll want to subscribe to Arlo Smart for intelligent alerts and cloud storage.

Arlo Pro 4 Render

More subtle protection: Arlo Pro 4

Floodlights draw more power and more attention to themselves while also costing more; you may instead want a simple spotlight cam that still captures bright footage. The Arlo Pro 4 (like the Pro 3 Floodlight) records in 2K HDR at 160º FOV, with a rechargeable battery that can last up to 6 months per charge. It connects directly to your wi-fi network without a hub, but be prepared to pay for cloud storage and AI detection. Also, check out the Arlo Essential for cheaper 1080p recordings or the Arlo Ultra 2 for a 4K upgrade.

Foscam Outdoor Security Camera

Human-only detection option: Foscam G4 Outdoor Security Camera

As well as offering motion detection, the Foscam Outdoor camera can be set to human-only detection, which minimizes unwanted alerts from flying debris, falling leaves, or an animal passing by. It is weatherproof, has a night vision range up to 66 feet, and has a 112-degree angle view. You get 7 days of free cloud storage included, and there's also the option of using a microSD card up to 128GB. It's one of the best outdoor cameras that won't cost as much as its rivals.

Nest Cam Outdoor render

Intelligent imaging: Google Nest Cam Outdoor

The Nest Cam Outdoor set the standard for smart security cameras and still holds up today. This 1080p camera hits 8X zoom at 130º FOV, has two-way audio with motion and sound detection, waterproofing, and intelligent alerts through a Nest Aware subscription. You can see the past 3 hours of alerts by default but need a subscription for more. It has a 25-foot power cable, so you won't need to worry about battery life but will need to find a nearby box or outlet. We especially love the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor — which hits 4K resolution and 12X zoom — but it's mostly out of stock today.

Ring Spotlight Cam

Versatile placement: Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

You can buy the Ring Spotlight Cam with Battery, Wired, Solar, or a Mount for hardwiring to an electrical box. The battery option can last up to 6 months per charge, and you can buy multiple packs to swap in a full charge quickly — or you can keep it constantly charged with solar panels. Regardless of what works for you, you'll get a reliable cam with 140º horizontal FOV, two-way audio, a siren, Works with Alexa support, weather resistance, and smart detection with a subscription.

Ezviz Outdoor Cam 2

Affordable 24/7 protection: EZVIZ Outdoor Security Camera

The EZVIZ security camera has a 360-degree swivel base, allowing you to position it at the best possible angle for your home. As is typical with these security cameras, you will be alerted once the camera detects motion, but it will also sound off a siren and activate strobe lights. The camera has night vision and is weatherproof and dustproof. There are two focal lenses to choose from, one that gives you a broader view and another that locks in for a closer look. This camera includes a free month of cloud storage as well as a microSD slot for nonstop recording.

Eufycam 2 Official Render

Free online storage: Eufy Cam 2

These IP67 weatherproof security cams have batteries that last a full year on a charge and are easy to set up and recharge. They come in a two-pack bundle (though you can add additional cameras to it as well), and they offer both free cloud storage and the ability to store video locally. The downside is that you must plug in a hub, but that hub can sometimes improve your cameras' connection to wi-fi.

Blink Xt2 Outdoor Indoor Camera

Longest battery life: Blink Outdoor

These wire-free Blink cameras are rated to last two years on two AA batteries, so you can mount them wherever and not have to worry about constant recharges. Otherwise, you'll get weather resistance, two-way audio, and local microSD storage through the included hub. It has no spotlight, so it'll rely entirely on IR night vision for better or worse. You'll have to pay for cloud storage, and it lacks the sound detection or AI person detection of other cameras. There's a reason this is more affordable than other outdoor cameras.

Wyze Cam V3

Cheap and colorful: Wyze Cam v3

Technically an indoor/outdoor camera, the Wyze Cam v3 and its power cord are weather-resistant, with a Starlight CMOS sensor that'll produce color night vision without needing a spotlight (it shoots in IR in pitch-black conditions). It has a 130º FOV in 1080p, two-way audio, 14 days of free cloud storage clips plus a microSD card slot, motion and sound detection, a siren, and AI smarts with a subscription. You'll just likely need an extension cable for better placement options.

$36 at Amazon
Yi Outdoor Cam

360-degree sound detection: YI Outdoor Security Camera

Weather-resistant, the YI Outdoor Security Camera records in 1080p and has a lens view of 110 degrees. It has 2-way audio, night vision up to 50 feet, and 360-degree sound detection that, when coupled with its noise-canceling sensitivity, helps to reduce alerts from barking dogs and other random noises. You can store videos for up to seven days, and there is also the option of installing a microSD card to save your videos if you prefer local storage.

$40 at Amazon

The floodlight helps

When choosing the best outdoor security cameras for protecting your home, decide in advance where you'll want to place them and whether or not you have the budget to make your cameras more intimidating. A floodlight camera or spotlight camera will alert someone that they're being recorded and hopefully drive them off — but could also help the intruder spot and deactivate the camera.

So you'll want a camera you can mount high enough that robbers will have trouble reaching it. For wired cameras, you'll need to hardwire them to a junction box or to find a nearby outlet that someone can't easily access to unplug the camera; for wireless cameras, you'll want a cam that'll last long enough that you won't have to break out a ladder to replace the battery pack every week.

So depending on your needs, you could choose the Ring Floodlight Cam and its two bright lights to scare off intruders or the Ring Spotlight Cam for easier installation. The same applies when choosing either the Eufy Floodlight Camera or the Eufy Cam 2. Your choice will also depend on which brand you prefer. Eufy doesn't make you pay for AI detection, but Ring now offers end-to-end encryption. You could choose Arlo for superior resolution or Wyze and Blink for better camera prices. All of these brands have built a strong reputation with consumers.

Just choose carefully, because if you also plan to buy some of the best indoor security cameras or a smart video doorbell, you'll likely want to buy all of them from a single brand. That way, you can check all of the footage from the same app, and a single subscription would give you cloud storage and AI detection for all of them.

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