Home Tech Our Favorite Outdoor Security Cameras for Your Home or Business

Our Favorite Outdoor Security Cameras for Your Home or Business

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Our Favorite Outdoor Security Cameras for Your Home or Business

We’ve tested several other outdoor security cameras. These are the ones we like that just lost a spot at the top.

Arlo Essential Wireless Security Camera for $50: This is the most affordable way to try out Arlo products and is a solid security camera. Setup is a breeze, 1080p images are clear, and rich notifications are the best, but you do need a subscription to Arlo Secure ($8 per month for one camera, $13 for unlimited). Compared to our top pick, the Essential has a narrower field of view and lacks HDR, so it loses detail in bright and dark areas. I also tried the Essential XL ($100)which is the same camera with a much larger battery (4 times longer lasting).

AlfredCam Plus for $50: The AlfredCamera app lets you turn your old smartphones into security cameras, but the company also has its own line of affordable cameras. AlfredCam Plus is IP65 rated, can record up to 2K video, and comes with a 64GB microSD card. It includes a 9.8-foot cable, but you will need a power adapter. The free ad-supported version offers seven days of cloud storage for video clips. Unfortunately, you need a $6/month or $30/year subscription to unlock 14-day cloud storage, smart features (including person detection, scheduling, and zones), and better quality video for live streams and recordings.

Ezviz H3C for $70: I had trouble setting up this wired camera because it can only connect to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, but once it was up and running, it proved to be a decent performer. The Ezviz app has 2FA and allows fingerprint unlocking, which is useful. There’s also built-in AI for person detection, a spotlight, black and white night vision, and two-way audio, although it has delays and is of poor quality. The video quality is decent, up to 2K, and the live stream loads quickly. All in all, not bad for the money. I also tried the Ezviz EB8 4G (£300)which is quite similar to the H8 Pro we recommended above, except that it can connect to 4G mobile networks; This means it doesn’t require Wi-Fi, although you’ll need a SIM card and a cellular service plan.

Imou Knight Spotlight Camera for $160 either £100: A smart design and a solid feature set make this an attractive security camera for the right place. It can record up to 4K with HDR, has a 600-lumen spotlight around the lens, and can support microSD cards up to 256GB (sold separately) for local recording. The app offers a wide range of features, including detection zones, line crossing alerts, and detection of people or pets, although the AI ​​sometimes gets it wrong. Unfortunately, the low frame rate (15fps) often results in blurry images, but this narrowly missed the top spot.

Reolink Go PT Ultra for $250: If you need a wireless security camera that can connect to 3G or 4G LTE cellular networks, you could do worse than this offering from Reolink. It’s a pan-tilt camera that can record up to 4K video to a local microSD card (sold separately), or you can subscribe for cloud storage. It has a small spotlight and decent color night vision, and comes with a solar panel to keep the battery charged. Detection is reliable but does not always classify subjects correctly. Charging time and delay will depend on signal strength. Just be sure to check carrier compatibility and get a SIM card before purchasing.

Annke NC800 for $350: Capable of capturing high-resolution images up to 4K, the NC800 features focusless color night vision. This is an IP camera designed for local use with an NVR (network video recorder), although a microSD card can also be inserted for local recordings. There is PoE (Power over Ethernet), or you can connect over Ethernet to your router with a separate power connection, but either way, you’ll have to run cables. I had some issues with my phone’s frame rate at higher resolutions, but it delivers good image quality without lag. I also like that the app supports 2FA with fingerprint unlock. But the setup is complicated and far from intuitive.

Defender Guard Pro for $134: Previously our top pick, the Defender Guard Pro (7/10, WIRED recommends) checks most of the boxes. It’s affordable and offers 2K video, two-way audio, and local storage via an included microSD card. Additionally, there is a spotlight and a siren. The setup was flawed and you have to run a power cable inside, so it’s a pain to install. The price has also increased since we first recommended it and stock appears to be limited.

Swann AllSecure650 4-camera kit for $700: This kit includes four battery-powered wireless cameras and a network video recorder (NVR) that can connect to a TV or monitor via HDMI. The cameras can record up to 2K and the images are sharp and detailed enough to enlarge, although there is a slight fisheye effect. Night vision is reasonably good, but two-way audio lags and sounds distorted. I like the option to view all camera feeds simultaneously, the NVR’s battery backup makes it very easy to swap out batteries when one camera is running low, and everything is local with no subscription required. Unfortunately, the mobile app is poor, camera images sometimes take several seconds to load, and there doesn’t appear to be any 2FA. The NVR’s interface is also complicated to navigate with the provided mouse.

Arlo Pro 4 for $140: This camera was our top pick and remains an excellent purchase that is widely available. Its successor, the Pro 5, has slightly better battery life and improved color night vision, but there’s not a huge difference. This camera provides sharp and clear images; responds quickly; and it has an excellent detection and notification system, but you also have to take into account the cost of an Arlo subscription starting at $8 a month for a single camera.

Reolink Argus 3 Pro for $100: There are many things I like about this security camera, including its affordable price. It offers 2K video, local or cloud storage, two-way audio, siren and person recognition. The live stream charges quickly and it is economical to purchase a solar panel accessory for power. The app is a little confusing, but Reolink recently added 2FA. I also tried the Reolink Argus PT with solar panel ($160), which is a solid pan-tilt camera with a similar feature set. Both Reolink cameras also support dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz).

Eve outdoor camera for $250: This stylish floodlight camera needs to be wired and installation is complicated (you may need an electrician). It can replace an outdoor light to give you motion-activated light (up to 1,500 lumens), 1080p video (157-degree field of view), and two-way audio. But as a HomeKit camera, you’ll need an Apple HomeKit hub (Apple TV, HomePod, or iPad) and an iCloud+ storage plan. Unfortunately, the video and sound quality are average; It only works with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and is not compatible with Android.

Toucan Wireless Outdoor Camera for $50: The Toucan Wireless Camera looks like our top Arlo pick with a smart magnetic mount and easy installation. 1080p video is good in ideal conditions, but struggles in mixed lighting (no HDR). The two-way audio is passable. The app works well and loads the live stream fairly quickly, but it’s cloud-only, which means you have to subscribe (from $3 per month) if you want tagged events, more than the last 24 hours recorded, or download more than Five videos per month.

Toucan security light camera for $100: You can simply plug this camera into a power outlet and it comes with an 8 meter waterproof cable. It has a motion-activated light (1200 lumens), records 1080p video, and supports two-way audio. I found the footage to be quite detailed, but it struggled in direct sunlight. You can record locally to a microSD card (sold separately) and get 24 hours of free cloud storage, but it has limitations. Plans start at $3 per month. Even with motion detection set to the lowest sensitivity, this camera triggered too often during testing and there’s no way to filter out people, so I got frequent false positives (blowing leaves, moths, and birds all triggered alerts ).

Blurams Outdoor Lite 3 for $50: This is a feature-packed security camera for the price, with support for pan, tilt and zoom functions; spotlights; siren; motion tracking; continuous recording; and two-way audio. You can store images locally on a microSD card (sold separately) or subscribe to a cloud plan. The video quality is reasonable, but the app is very buggy and loading the live stream was inconsistent (sometimes it would just buffer indefinitely).

SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Security Camera for $160: A solid feature set, crisp 1080p video, and HDR support sounds tempting, but you need a Simplisafe security system (9/10, WIRED recommends) and monitoring plan to make this camera worth it, which makes it Too expensive for what you get. . (Arlo Pro 4 offers better quality video and more features.) However, it can be a useful add-on for existing SimpliSafe customers.

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