How To Choose The Best Outdoor Security Camera

How To Choose The Best Outdoor Security Camera

It's important to choose the best outdoor security camera because it's the first line of defense when it comes to protecting what is most important to you: your home and your loved ones.

Aside from potentially alerting you that someone unfamiliar is approaching your home, an outdoor security camera can tell you who they are and even deter them from breaking in if they are criminals.

Security camera on the wall.

Unfortunately, because of the myriad of features to choose from, finding the best outdoor security camera can be extremely challenging.

In this buying guide, we're going to tell you about some features you should look out for as well as highlight some of the best models on the market today. Let's get started:

*Notice: On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table.

Why You Should Take Great Care When Choosing Your Outdoor Security Camera

The key reason why it is important that you choose your outdoor security camera carefully is to keep you, your family, pets, and home safe. Not only this, by choosing the right model, you may deter thieves and other criminals altogether.

Also, it's important that you choose a camera that is equipped with all the right features to catch anyone breaking into your home.

For example, you want your camera to have infrared so that it works properly at night. You also need to ensure that your camera captures movement and has a high enough resolution to identify facial features and colors.

Without the above capabilities, you may be able to identify if someone is threatening your safety but you may not be able to prove who, something that is very important in a police investigation, for example.

Features To Pay Attention To When Choosing Your Outdoor Security Camera

Now that we've established why it so important to choose your outdoor security camera carefully, let's have a look at the features you should pay close attention to when making your final decision.

Motion Detection

Many modern cameras have motion detectors, which means they will only record once they detect some sort of movement.

The level of motion detection they have depends on the model you choose, so opting for one that is known for picking up even the slightest movements is essential.

Dog with a security camera.

This feature is a great way to save space on your disk and with the right connectivity, you can program it to send you an SMS or email alert if it recognizes movement that shouldn't be happening.

Field Of View

Choosing an outdoor security camera that has a wide field of view could help you pick up more activity than models with a narrow field of view.

Models with a narrow field of view should only really be used if you only want to survey one small area of your home or workplace, for example, your front door.

Night Vision

Choosing a camera with night vision capabilities will allow you to have a much better grasp on what is going on in your home. Without it, you won't be able to fully identify what is happening in your home or workplace when it is dark.

With night vision you'll be able to capture really high-quality images at night as well as during the day. If you fall victim to a burglary or other crime, night vision could be enough to identify the culprit for you.


The higher the resolution of your camera, the better the quality of the image. As a residential user, you may not feel that you need a high-resolution camera, but many modern models offer it anyway.

Picture resolution.

The higher the pixels or TV lines (TVLs) the higher the quality of the image you capture. Regular, low-quality cameras normally have approximately 420 TVLs while higher resolution cameras have around 700.


Some people like the idea of being able to hear what is going on during the footage that they capture, as a result, they opt for security cameras with recording devices that allow them to pick up sounds.

Security cameras with built-in microphones are great for businesses that handle sensitive information. While you can't control what people say out of the office, it is a good way to ensure that employees are not sharing information they shouldn't be during work hours.

The Best Outdoor Security Cameras On The Market Today

Purchasing the best outdoor security camera is crucial to yours and your family and friends well-being. Unfortunately, because there are so many models now on the market it can be very difficult to know which one to choose.

To help you, we've scoured the industry and chosen our top three outdoor cameras based on features, capabilities, and price.

Winner: Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

If you're looking for a security camera that can be used outdoors, is stylish, and is packed with a mound of awesome features then we recommend you check out the Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera.

The Nest Cam offers security to your home or business whether it is bright and sunny or dull and raining. With a fully waterproof camera, cables, and adapter, this model is elegantly designed to suit any exterior no matter what the conditions.

It is extremely simple to manually install and can be mounted virtually anywhere, including gutters thanks to its unique magnetic mount.

The security camera can record 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and has a 130-degree wide angle view through a crisp glass lens offering amazing quality footage.

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera side view.


Our Rating

Plus, you don't have to worry about resolution either as the Nest Cam offers viewers a clear 1080 pixels in HD during the day and at night time.

The Nest Cam comes with Nest Cam Outdoor, a system that alerts you via phone or email if the camera detects some form of activity. Next Cam Outdoor sends a photo of the event so that you can take the necessary measures to keep you, your family, and your home safe.

In addition to all the above, the reason we've voted this model the best outdoor security camera is its incredible built-in speaker and microphone which allows you to listen and talk back through a simple to use mobile application.

If you're relaxing in the bath and get an alert on your phone saying someone is trying to deliver a parcel, you can tell them exactly where to leave it without disturbing your peace and quiet.

By buying it through Amazon, you'll benefit from a free Nest Aware trial which allows you to get intelligent alerts as well as continuous Cloud recording.

In addition to the above, you can share your recorded content with friends, family, or the authorities if needs be as well as speed through old recordings to find key moments.

The Nest Cam comes with all the necessary tools for an easy installation and is currently priced at less than $160. Through Amazon, you can choose between the one and two pack outdoor camera as well as the one indoor and two outdoor pack depending on your security needs.

Runner Up: Zmodo 720p HD Outdoor Home Wifi Security Surveillance Video Camera System

While the name suggests that this awesome security can only be used outdoors, the Zmodo 720p HD Outdoor Home Wifi Security Surveillance Video Camera System can also be used indoors for all your home and business needs.

One of the reasons we have voted this Zmodo model top three in our list of best outdoor security cameras is because it comes with two 720 pixel cameras both offering crisp and clear HD footage.

Equipped with infrared lights, the Zmodo cameras have amazing night vision allowing you to see clearly up to 65 feet in the dark.

Not only this, they both have exceptional smart motion detectors which send you push notifications to your mobile with 5 snapshots whenever movement is detected.

Zmodo 720p HD Outdoor Home Wifi Security Surveillance Video pair.


Our Rating

Once the system is properly setup, you can view your camera remotely from the comforts of your smartphone, tablet or PC, whenever you want.

Best of all, you can record video and take pictures as well as download these pieces of media whenever you want through the Zmodo application on your mobile device.

And if that's not enough, you can send these videos and images to your friends and family as well as share them with the authorities if needs be.

The Zmodo security system can be setup in a matter of minutes thanks to its wireless technology. All you have to do is plug in your camera, download the Zmodo application through the Apple or Google Play store, and add the camera to your smartphone.

To get started, you need a password protected 2.4GHz wifi connection with WPA.WPA2 encryption as well as an iOS 7 and up or Android 4.0 and up smartphone to download the application.

We love this security system because it is one of the safest on the market today. It is also easy to expand upon so if you need to integrate additional cameras into your security system you can do so easily by simply purchasing new Zmodo cameras.

If all the above isn't enough, the Zmodo 720p HD Outdoor Home Wifi Security Surveillance Video Cameras System is priced very reasonably at less than $70 for the 2 pack model.

Plus, you can buy an additional 3 or 4 years of protection for less than $5 and less than $9 respectively.

Alternative: Wansview Outdoor 1080P WiFi Wireless IP Security Bullet Camera

If none of the above security systems tickle your fancy then we suggest you check out the Wansview Outdoor 1080P WiFi Wireless IP Security Bullet Camera.

This camera is not only extremely stylish but also packed with high-quality features that are bound to take your breath away.

With Pro HD video clarity of up to 1080 pixels, this Wansview model is able to capture 30 frames per second and offers a very crisp and fluent live stream that can help you understand what is going on even when you're not around.

Thanks to its ability to integrate with smartphones, tablets, Apple and Windows, the Wansview lets you live stream your videos straight to your device virtually effortlessly.

Wansview Outdoor 1080P WiFi Wireless IP Security Bullet Camera


Our Rating

It offers exceptional compatibility and supports remote viewing via iOS and Android mobile devices as well as Windows, Apple, and an array of web browsers.

The Wansview Outdoor 1080P WiFi Wireless IP Security Bullet Camera is very easy to setup. It has a simple setup and play system whereby you scan the Wansview mobile application QR code and let the magic happen.

All you really need is a good and safe internet 2.4GHz wireless connection, some sort of mobile device, and the system itself.

And , if all the above isn't enough, the camera is completely waterproof and made of aluminum meaning it is not only extremely durable but also rustproof. You'll quickly find out that it can resist even the harshest weather conditions.

Lastly, the Wansview security camera system has long distance night vision which offers a crisp line of vision even on the darkest nights of up to 67 feet. This long distance night vision offers some of the highest quality footage on the market to date.

Plus, by purchasing it on Amazon, you'll be able to get your Wansview model for less than $70 as well as an additional 3 or 4 years of protection for as little $4 to $9 depending on your security needs.

Our Verdict

Choosing the best outdoor security camera can be a challenging task. It is important that you consider what you need from your camera. We recommend you choose one that has high resolution, wireless integration, as well as night vision.

Having the extra option to listen and speak through your camera is a massive bonus if you run a busy household or simply don't want to be disturbed by visitors.

As you can imagine, we recommend the Nest Cam if you're looking for a functional, feature packed, and reliable security camera for your outdoor spaces. That said, it is among the more expensive models on the market today.

If you can't stretch your budget that far, the Wansview and Zmodo models still remain some of the best outdoor security cameras in the industry.

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