Best Wireless Outdoor Security Cameras for Your Home

Adding outdoor surveillance as part of a home security camera system or CCTV system can be an economical and practical way to secure and protect your home. There are many systems to sift through, each with a number of great features, such as motion detection, smartcam HD megapixel resolution, vandal proof, pan tilt and even night vision, as well as wireless video surveillance, which is the area we will cover in this article. Remember: not every home has identical outdoor surveillance needs.

The Wirecutter is a website that lists the best gadgets and gear for people wanting to save stress and time figuring out what product to buy. It is a technology buyer’s guide. The items are tested and findings reported. Here are two wireless outdoor security cameras the website recommends:

Netgear Arlo Pro

Netgear Arlo Pro

Nearly three months were spent looking, listening, and adjusting angles before recommending the Netgear Arlo Pro as the top choice of do-it-yourself outdoor Wi-Fi home security cameras. 

Eight were tested. The Arlo Pro allows an eye to be kept on the property and provides alerts on your smartphone when there is motion detected. This security camera is one of the few security cameras with built-in rechargeable batteries that make it completely wireless.

It is easy to move and place. The camera delivers

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    7-day free cloud storage
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    Practical smart-home integration
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    Clear two-way radio
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    An excellent image

The WiFi surveillance camera can be attached to the back deck, placed over the garage, or on the front porch. It provides a peek at what caused a noise outdoors whether it is a raccoon going through a trash can or someone stealing a package from the steps.

When alerted of possible danger, a record of events can be created. It helps identify people as welcome or unwelcome guests. Kids and pets can be monitored when you are not out where they are.

One of the sources used in the research was the feedback provided by Amazon customers. The security cameras that made the final cut became part of the test group based on availability, features, and price.

The test group was mounted on a board outside a New England home. All were pointed at the same spot and exposed to the same weather conditions and lighting. The cameras were connected to the same network via an indoor WiFi router. It was necessary to be near an outlet because only three of the tested cameras offered a battery power option.

Most of those needing an outlet required an AC connection. That factor limits where the cameras can be placed. Each camera’s app was downloaded to a Samsung Galaxy S6, an iPad, and an iPhone 5.

The cameras were up for weeks guarding the residents’ front door. The cameras alerted the residents of the milkman, packages, family members, and friends. They were then tilted to see the kind of results that were generated by facing a house across the street that was about 50 feet away.

The Arlo Pro was chosen as a reliable, compact, and, thanks to the removable, rechargeable battery, completely wireless. A charged battery will provide operation for at least two months. It was the only device offering 7-day free cloud storage.

The camera packs audio and in motion-triggered recordings. The Arlo Pro requires a Base Station that is connected to and powered by a router. The Base Station is ‘the brains’ of the system.

There is a piercing 100-plus decibel siren included through the app or by automatic motion or audio. The 720p resolution and 130-degree viewing angle provide clear video footage during the day or at night.

The two-way radio is easy to understand from both ends. Motion and auto alerts can be triggered by an ability to set rules. The level of sensitivity is adjustable so that every car driving by is not recorded on video or sends an alert.

With your mobile device, you can set up geofencing or schedule-based alerts. The controls are simple to find in the app that is available for Android and iOS devices. Adding the Arlo Pro to your smart-home system can be done with IFTTT, Wink, and Stringify. The device is SmartThings certified, and future app updates will be included. For a fee, the ADT Canopy is also compatible.

Nest Cam Outdoor

Nest Cam Outdoor

A strong runner-up is Nest Cam Outdoor. It continuously records 1080p video around the clock. The Outdoor Cam integrates with hundreds of products in the Work With Nest program.

It is the only model that has a cord that is truly weatherproof. It is the $100 to $300 annual cord and subscription cost that kept this camera out of the number one spot. The camera has a separate magnetic mount rather than an integrated mount.

It can be attached and positioned easily. There is a lot of movement flexibility, but the camera needs to be within reach of an outlet, which might be problematic outside the house. The power cord is lengthy, and the camera has a 10-foot USB cable attached. Another 15 feet can be gained with the adapter/power cord that is included.  

The Nest Cam Outdoor’s sound and 1080p images are impressive. The camera delivered clear, detailed images, which were among the best when tested with the other security cameras. It has an 8X digital zoom and a 130-degree field of vision.

The Nest app can be integrated and is easy to use with other Nest products such as the smoke and CO detector, thermostat, and indoor and outdoor cameras. The camera can be turned on and off at set times of the day. It can go into away mode that is based on a mobile device location.

When activity is detected by the Nest Cam Outdoor, it sends an email or alert with a photo of the occurrence. It has a built-in microphone and speaker that lets you listen and talk through the app.

You can ask the mailman to leave packages at the door or let people know you are aware of their presence. The installation is simple. Plug it into an exterior outlet, and mount the camera. It can be put on a magnetic surface that requires no drilling.

A free Nest Aware trial is included in the purchase. You get continuous cloud recording and intelligent alerts. More precise signals are available through Create Activity Zones. You can make and share time-lapses or custom clips.