This guide will tell you about TOP-5 best outdoor wireless security cameras and their differences. Some models can see in infrared or UV spectra while others can interface with IOT, which is the interconnectivity of lights, cameras, locks, security systems, appliances, etc. You will learn about the most important features your camera should possess, such as how well it sees regardless of lighting, how many images and footage it can store and whether it has the ability to inform you.

Security has never been more important than it is today. However, it’s important to dispel the illusion that the moral turpitude of society has just declined over time because that’s really a myth. The reality is, there is always a percentage of the population that’s up to no good, so as the population across the globe grows, so does the hard count of troublemakers. It’s just a natural result of sociology and mathematics.

What You Will Learn From This Guide:

Why Do We Need Outdoor Security Cameras?

Security cameras aren’t a new technology, having existed since the advent of closed-circuit television and compact-enough cameras, they’ve made it much more feasible to keep an eye on property and homes since human beings simply can’t watch everywhere all the time.

When recording video feeds became a feasible technology thanks first to magnetic tape, and later, digital storage, this became even more effective, because the cameras can watch property 24/7, and if something happens, the culprit’s face is logged, identifiable, and they’re just not going to get away with it.

However, they go just beyond their direct actual functionality. The presence of cameras makes for an excellent deterrent. When they’re seen, people are simply unlikely to even try anything to begin with. Similarly, their presence allows for peace of mind for customers at a location or residents of a home. You know that people are unlikely to attempt anything criminal or violent, and should they do so, they’re going to suffer the ultimate consequence of their actions.

You can finally relax and know you’re covered, in other words. Now, you may be thinking, “I live in a peaceful, quiet neighborhood, I don’t need to be so paranoid”. Well, remember, every neighborhood used to be peaceful and quiet until the first ne’er-do-well came along and did something stupid, setting a precedent. Don’t be that first victim, and don’t encourage that first trendsetter.

How Do Outdoor Wireless Security Cameras Work?

The technology behind cameras varies wildly in some aspects, with other aspects of the technology being pretty basic and universal. That in mind, let’s first talk about how a digital camera works, how wireless transmissions work, and then explore the different implementations.

First, let’s look at digital cameras themselves. A digital camera has a focusing lens, like any other camera. Instead of film or an analog light converter, there is an array of photosensitive diodes and transistors which convert the incoming light into RGB pixels, which are in turn compressed and encoded as video data or image file series (sometimes both).

Second, the wireless aspect. Wireless transmissions still work, fundamentally, the same way they have since Tesla and Marconi both independently discovered them around the turn of the century. Wireless (radio) transmissions use electromagnetism in two ways. To transmit, electricity is sent through an antenna, which causes it to shed photons (light particles), which travel at light speed, with few things able to obstruct them. When they collide with a tuned antenna, they convert back to electrons, which can then be assembled into logical signals. Traditional radio is analog, that signal, once boosted, directly producing the intended signal. However, with wireless devices like cameras, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, this is binary (digital) information which has to go through some additional processing somewhere, before it becomes useful.

So, how do these two technologies come together to make a modern security camera system? Well, this varies, but the basic concept is that a series of wireless digital cameras can be mounted at various points on the property. They transmit, through encrypted means, to a central hub which stores and processes the input, which can then be reviewed by occupants.

Some of these cameras record constantly, with a hub throwing out old footage after it expires unless it’s otherwise saved. Some of them only record when programmed timers tell them to, which relieves the storage concerns at the risk of needing occupants to remember to set them. Others record (or take snapshots) only when motion sets them off. This is a common setting, because it saves power, and prevents the need for sifting through hours upon hours of footage if you suspect something.

Many of these offer networking functionality so you can access the hub from local computers, your smart TV, or via your wireless devices, with apps able to notify you remotely if something is suspect.

What Are The Types And Their Differences?

We more or less clarified the differences by explaining how they worked, but there are a few more things we can look at.

First, there’s the range of visibility they can handle. For example, some have night vision, which allows them to see in less-than-lit areas at night. Others can see in infrared or UV spectra, which also makes it a lot easier to spot things with less than ideal lighting as well.

Other things include the ability to interface with IOT (internet of things), which is the interconnectivity of lights, cameras, locks, security systems, appliances, etc. Alexa, Google Home, and other devices like this allow for this kind of “smart house” capability, and not all camera systems work with this, though as time goes by, this will become increasingly commonplace.

What To Look For When Buying A Product?

Once more, a lot of these factors have already been pointed out in exploring this technology, but we’ll take a point-by-point look at some of the key things to look for, and why they matter, at the risk of some mild redundancy here.

  • Visibility Range – You want cameras that can see well regardless of lighting. Night vision or light filtering, if there’s glare, means that faces will be easier to see when the cameras capture them.
  • Image Quality – Okay, these cameras aren’t for entertainment (though amusing things may be seen, more on that shortly), but the better the image quality, the more effective it will be. You can more easily identify culprits and notice other odd things that you don’t want going on.
  • Storage – You want cameras that can store decent amounts of images or footage, so nothing important can get past you.
  • Notification – Cameras should be able to inform you, in real time, when something sets them off, which leads us to our next item.
  • Motion Detection – Cameras that spot motion are very commonplace (in fact, motion sensors for a lot of things are very cheap and common), and it’s helpful because the system can mark incidents, notifying you and earmarking points in a timeline where they spotted something suspicious.
  • Good Power Sources – Powering the cameras in intuitive ways can be very helpful as well. You want battery power, but having direct electricity helps too, so you don’t have to charge them regularly. The mix of both means no charging constantly, but also some reliability in a power outage (criminals love power outages).

My Personal Experience

So, I may have mentioned that back in LA, during my college years, I worked as a security guard for a mall. This was in the mid-90s, when digital security cameras were somewhat novel, but this was a busy, profitable mall, and it was in LA. The combination of these two things meant that we installed a brand-new digital and wireless camera system in 1995. The recording storage went to digital VHS, which is a short-lived technology that was quickly eclipsed by hard drives and then SSD being big and affordable enough to make practical.

Anyhow, the wireless signal on these puppies suffered from encryption problems that could still happen today if you cut too many corners. The actual signal was analog from these cameras because compression for a digital signal wasn’t what it is these days. The cameras captured a (for the time) high-end picture, digitally, but broadcast it as the precursor to HD footage to a receiver, which once more encoded it to store it on a digital VHS. Today, the footage would look like crap, but it was much better than any other feeds.

Well, one day, as I made my rounds, I happened upon some teenagers with a pocket TV, giggling and snickering. Well, that was suspicious activity in my book, so I looked over their shoulders, to see one of the employee corridors (which all had cameras). What did I see in this corridor but the mall manager (who had the privilege of wiping our footage at his discretion) and one of the survey girls putting on, shall we say, a show not meant for young eyes.

I knew this had been going on, and it wasn’t actually against the rules, since he wasn’t her boss, and it was “his” mall for the most part. I knew this was going on, and footage being deleted. I didn’t want to see that anyhow. But, now customers – customers under 18 at that – were witnessing this because our wireless feeds were not encrypted.

Needless to say, they were both utterly humiliated, and workplace canoodling came to a very quick and uneventful end. The lesson to take away from this is, if you have cameras around your property, be sure that the signal isn’t easily hacked or intercepted. They’re all encrypted digital signals today, but there are varying degrees of security with feeds like this, so take heed, lest interlopers see things you really rather they not!

TOP-5 Best Outdoor Wireless Security Cameras

Below, you will find a review of products within the price range from $50 to $250. Each of these items has a different number of cameras, with the most expensive surveillance system being equipped with four cameras. They all have a night vision function and are weather-resistant so you will not have to worry about leaving the device outside the house at stormy nights. These models also differ in the video quality varying from 720 to 1080 pixels.

Wireless Home Security Camera System with Siren – IOT-Ready Solution | Arlo Pro

Wireless Home Security Camera System with Siren: photo

We may as well start out with one of the high-end solutions by Arlo. If you don’t work in security, you probably haven’t heard of Arlo before today. If you have any security experience, though, then you know Arlo is a very popular modern provider of digital security systems, partnered with Netgear.

This system has a siren and a two-way audio system which makes this one of the smarter systems on this list, but also one of the more expensive ones as well.

Features

  • Cameras: Two.
  • Cloud Storage: Yes.
  • Night Vision: Yes.
  • Video Quality: HD video.
  • Power Source: Rechargeable battery system.
  • IOT-Ready: Yes, works with Amazon Alexa.
  • Weatherized: Yes.
  • Motion Sensing: No.

Performance

Arlo, as I said, is a very well-respected provider of surveillance equipment, partnered with Netgear and Amazon for IOT and high-quality video and encryption. These are basically hack-proof and will provide excellent HD footage/coverage with night vision and advanced cloud storage.

If you want the best thing going, Arlo is definitely a contender, but I would encourage you to look at a couple of the other offerings on our list before making a commitment because they do have some real contender competitors out there that’re worth a look too. But, if you wind up going with this Arlo equipment, you’re not making a bad choice regardless.

Pros Cons
  • High-definition video.
  • Solid encryption.
  • IOT compatibility.
  • Netgear hardware.
  • Two-way audio.
  • Siren system.
  • Cloud storage for large quantities of HD footage.
  • Keeps working when the power is out, on a basic level.
  • Very expensive.
  • The battery has to be recharged often.
  • Cameras blend in, which you actually usually don’t want, as their visible presence is a solid deterrent of criminal activity.
  • Can be a bit fragile if dropped, or exposed to severe weather.
  • Don’t use these if you’re in a hurricane or freezing rain prone part of the world.

Conclusion 

These are very modern, very secure, and very reliable. They’re not cheap, but they’re pretty hack-proof, IOT-ready, and capable of excellent footage recording. Arlo is a leading brand in surveillance, and with Netgear hardware behind them, you know you’re getting a solid system you can count on. Just remember, being weatherized doesn’t make them invincible against extreme climatological things, so beware of that.

IOT-Ready Solution: Check the current price

Outdoor PTZ WiFi Security Camera | SV3C 1080P

Outdoor PTZ WiFi Security Camera: photo

Looking like something out of science fiction, this camera has a lot of articulation as well as a multi-faceted lens system that allows it to capture things from many angles. This eliminates the need to worry about precise positioning when you mount the camera. It lacks a lot of the fancy features of other models, but the Wi-Fi signal is very safe and well-encrypted, and very reliable.

Features

  • Cameras: One.
  • Cloud Storage: No.
  • Night Vision: Yes.
  • Video Quality: HD video at 1080p.
  • Power Source: Standard wall voltage with an adapter.
  • IOT-Ready: Not directly, but other apps may be able to interact with it.
  • Weatherized: Yes.
  • Motion Sensing: No.

Performance

This camera is pretty standard outside the swivel mounting and high-end encrypted Wi-Fi. It’s easy to set up though, taking only a couple minutes to configure. It has a strong picture, but lacks cloud storage or any notification systems, making it rather basic for the price.

But, it does produce a quality image, and it’s very reliable and secure, making it an alright choice. If you want a basic but reliable camera, this might be worth looking into.

Pros Cons
  • High-definition video.
  • Solid encryption.
  • Swivel action.
  • Night vision.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Very overpriced for what it is.
  • No storage system.
  • A pain to mount.
  • Wi-fi has poor range.
  • Could interfere with other wireless devices on the network if not set up properly.
  • Doesn’t like heavy rain.
  • May be reset by lightning storms.

Conclusion 

I’m relatively okay with recommending this camera for basic needs. It has swivel action, a good picture, and a reliably-secure connection. It’s also easy to set up and removes the annoyance of pointing it when mounted. However, it’s awful expensive for what it is, and can be a bit of a pain to mount, meaning if you want something basic, one of the cheaper options may be less of a pain.

SV3C 1080P: Check the current price

Outdoor Wireless Security Camera | Blink XT Home Security 

Blink XT Home Security Security Camera: photo

This flat form factor camera is easy to mount, and the profile is easy to fit in places, making it a nice, sleek system easy to put just about anywhere. It’s Alexa-ready, with good encryption and motion activation making the passive security system much more viable.

Features

  • Cameras: One.
  • Cloud Storage: No.
  • Night Vision: Yes.
  • Video Quality: HD video at 720p.
  • Power Source: Rechargeable battery system.
  • IOT-Ready: Amazon Alexa ready with proper equipment additions.
  • Weatherized: Yes.
  • Motion Sensing: Yes.

Performance

This is also a pretty basic solution, but the form factor and motion detection are quite nice, as well as the motion-activated system which captures anything that may show up. It’s easy to fit in places, and is one of the more durable ones, as far as climate issues go.

It lacks cloud storage, but it is mobile and Alexa compatible, giving you better control over your security system, giving you solid peace of mind that you may not otherwise enjoy.

Pros Cons
  • High-definition video.
  • Solid encryption.
  • Slim profile.
  • Night vision.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Motion detection.
  • The shape isn’t rounded.
  • Batteries don’t have the best lifespan.
  • Doesn’t like hail or high winds, but few of these really do.
  • A bit fragile if it falls off.
  • The lens can scratch.

Conclusion 

This camera is pretty high quality, but it’s still a little overpriced for what it is. The slim profile makes it easy to fit some places, but the square shape actually kind of counteracts this in fitting it between some things as well. However, it’s a solid system, and the IOT readiness is going to be a common thing moving forward. It also has very good encryption, which removes the risk of interlopers or hijacking. I’m pretty okay with recommending it.

Blink XT Home Security: Check the current price

HD Outdoor Security Camera – Nice Budget Solution | SV3C 1080P

HD Outdoor Security Camera | SV3C 1080P: photo

This budget SV3C has solid IR and night vision, as well as motion detection and very good encryption. It lacks any storage or other advanced systems, but it’s a solid solution for what it is.

Features

  • Cameras: One.
  • Cloud Storage: No.
  • Night Vision: Yes.
  • Video Quality: HD video at 720p.
  • Power Source: Standard direct wall voltage and battery hybrid.
  • IOT-Ready: No, but some intermediary apps may be able to facilitate it.
  • Weatherized: Yes.
  • Motion Sensing: Yes.

Performance

This is a very basic solution, with good encryption and some motion detection. It doesn’t have advanced features offered by the more expensive ones on this list, but it’s very affordable, and it has a pretty decent video quality for what it is.

However, remember that motion sensing cameras have a real con that we’ll look at after this list, which can become something of a pest when you live near nature. This is a decent solution for the price, though.

Pros Cons
  • High-definition video.
  • Solid encryption.
  • Night vision.
  • Easy to set up. 
  • Motion detection.
  • A little over-simplified.
  • A bit annoying to mount.
  • The antenna is flimsy.

Conclusion 

For the price, this is a pretty decent camera, and it’s very obvious in what it is, acting as a good deterrent in and of itself. I’m pretty OK with recommending this camera, all things said and done.

SV3C 1080P HD: Check the current price

HD NVR Wireless Security CCTV Surveillance Systems | Smonet 4CH 720P

HD NVR Wireless Security CCTV Surveillance Systems: photo

This is the most advanced one on the list, aside from a lack of IOT. However, a lot of intermediate apps can make this possible.

Features

  • Cameras: Four.
  • Cloud Storage: Yes.
  • Night Vision: Yes.
  • Video Quality: HD video at 1080p.
  • Power Source: Standard direct wall voltage and battery hybrid.
  • IOT-Ready: No, but some intermediary apps may be able to facilitate it.
  • Weatherized: Yes.
  • Motion Sensing: Yes.

Performance

This is a powerful, multi-spectral system that is basically top of the line. If you want the maximum power in your camera system, this is definitely the one you want, plain and simple.

Pros Cons
  • High-definition video.
  • Solid encryption.
  • Night vision.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Motion detection.
  • Expensive.

Conclusion 

If you want the highest-end system going, this is the one for you, no ifs and or buts. However, it may be a little overwrought for some more basic needs.

Smonet 4CH 720P: Check the current price

Comparative Chart of Effectiveness Outdoor Wireless Security Cameras

Product Features

IOT-Ready Solution

• Cameras: Two.
• Cloud Storage: Yes.
• Night Vision: Yes.
• Video Quality: HD video.
• Power Source: Rechargeable battery system.
• IOT-Ready: Yes, works with Amazon Alexa.
• Weatherized: Yes.
• Motion Sensing: No.

Effectiveness: 10

SV3C 1080P

• Cameras: One.
• Cloud Storage: No.
• Night Vision: Yes.
• Video Quality: HD video at 1080p.
• Power Source: Standard wall voltage with an adapter.
• IOT-Ready: Not directly, but other apps may be able to interact with it.
• Weatherized: Yes.
• Motion Sensing: No.

Effectiveness: 9

Blink XT Home Security

• Cameras: One.
• Cloud Storage: No.
• Night Vision: Yes.
• Video Quality: HD video at 720p.
• Power Source: Rechargeable battery system.
• IOT-Ready: Amazon Alexa ready with proper equipment additions.
• Weatherized: Yes.
• Motion Sensing: Yes.

Effectiveness: 9

SV3C 1080P

• Cameras: One.
• Cloud Storage: No.
• Night Vision: Yes.
• Video Quality: HD video at 720p.
• Power Source: Standard direct wall voltage and battery hybrid.
• IOT-Ready: No, but some intermediary apps may be able to facilitate it.
• Weatherized: Yes.
• Motion Sensing: Yes.

Effectiveness: 8

Smonet 4CH 720P

• Cameras: Four.
• Cloud Storage: Yes.
• Night Vision: Yes.
• Video Quality: HD video at 1080p.
• Power Source: Standard direct wall voltage and battery hybrid.
• IOT-Ready: No, but some intermediary apps may be able to facilitate it.
• Weatherized: Yes.
• Motion Sensing: Yes.

Effectiveness: 10

FAQ 

What is the best outdoor security camera to buy?
The Smonet.

How is it powered?
Some are battery-powered, some are direct voltage, some are a mix.

Do you have to have WiFi for wireless security cameras?
Usually, you do these days, yes.

How to install the unit?
Instructions come with them – this varies.

Which is better DVR or NVR?
DVR for the most part.

Pros & Cons of Using These Products

Pros

  • You can catch who broke in.
  • Good deterrent.
  • Home insurance companies approve.
  • Good peace of mind.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Vandals like to smash them.
  • Animals can set them off, which gets annoying. Darn raccoons…

Conclusion

You need security these days, and the best solution is very overt surveillance. I don’t like the idea of cameras everywhere I go anymore than anyone else, but it just is what it is. I am confident one of these cameras will meet your needs.