Best outdoor security cameras 2024

Nest Cam with floodlight (wired)
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Whether you're building a complete 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.

The floodlight helps

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Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro Underside

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

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 it 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.

Our favorite is the Google Nest Camera with Floodlight, as it sports two bright LED lights for illuminating the yard and provides 3-hour event video history and onboard AI object identification for free. It's a superb deal and a product that has matured significantly since its rough launch, now becoming our favorite set of outdoor cameras.

If you cannot hardwire the floodlight camera to your particular position of choice, both Arlo and Blink offer compelling battery-powered alternatives that'll get the job done and last a long time on a single charge.

Otherwise, if you've already got a Ring camera system, it's always best to stick to the Ring ecosystem for maximum compatibility with Ring's app and the routines available to its interlinked products.

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.

As a note, we've removed Wyze cameras because of significant security issues. While these flaws have been fixed, the company's deceptive practices over a period of three years have caused us to lose trust in its products. Additionally, we've stopped recommending Eufy's cameras as of December 1, 2022 because of security issues.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.

With contributions from