There are a lot of reasons for an outdoor home security camera. Selecting the best outdoor home security camera isn’t as simple as it initially sounds. This article will review the selection criteria and options.
The best outdoor home security camera is going to be the model that satisfies your unique criteria and price range. Reasons for needing an outdoor home security camera are typically for security purposes but sometimes include the simple need to keep an eye on a pet or simply for entertainment purposes.
The first thing to consider is availability and proximity of a power source. If there are nearby AC outlets, be sure to select a camera that has a sufficiently long cable to connect to the power outlet. If there is no power outlet available, you want to steer yourself towards a fully wireless model such as the Arlo Smart Home Security Camera. We did a detailed review on the Arlo Smart Home Camera and it’s perfect for areas where there’s no power.
Next, check the availability of a strong WiFi signal. The best way to check this is by walking over to the desired spot with a smartphone. Check the strength of your home router WiFi signal. If it’s anything less than three bars, you will need to find a better spot or upgrade your router. I had a similar problem when locating cameras outside. Upgraded my router to a Netgear AC1750 and that took care of everything. A new high powered router makes a huge difference.
The next important piece of selection criteria is weatherproofing. Most home security cameras aren’t waterproof and aren’t made for outdoor use. There are a few that are made for outdoor use, including the Arlo model we just discussed. Make sure the manufacturer specifically states outdoor use or you could wind up with serious issues.
Lastly, consider how you plan to mount the camera. Most cameras made for outdoor use include hardware for flat surface mounting. I strongly suggest using a bolt-on mount or you could wind up with a stolen camera. These devices are expensive and easy to steal which is why I suggest mounting the camera at least 8 feet above the ground. Use some good secure bolts and make it difficult to be easily removed. This will also ensure that wind won’t blow your camera into your neighbor’s yard.
Let’s look at some good candidates for the best outdoor home security camera.
As previously referenced, the Arlo Smart Home Security Camera is a good option for outdoor use. The camera is 100% wireless meaning that it runs off an internal battery. No AC power required. The camera can use an included magnetic mount with adhesive backing or a typical 1.4″ – 20 threaded tripod type of mount. I suggest purchasing a good tripod security camera mount and placing it at least eight feet above the ground. The bottom of the Arlo has a standard tripod hole that can be used to attach to this mount. The camera is waterproof so weather won’t be an issue.
The Ring Video Doorbell is another interesting outdoor option. This camera is attached to your current doorbell placement and includes special security screws to deter theft. The camera is powered by your current doorbell power and the wide angle gives you a complete picture of the front of your house. The Ring Video Doorbell provides false motion alert elimination features and is also waterproof.
Of course, the giant in home security cameras wasn’t going to be outdone in this space. Consider the Nest Cam Outdoor. It combines one of the finest pieces or hardware with an easy to use application and solid amount of integration. Well made and weatherproof. Nest was missing out on this space for quite sometime but all is forgiven with this well thought out model.
So in summary the best outdoor home security camera is going to be waterproof, easy to mount where you want it and have the proper power cable or battery. Start by defining your requirements, then use our Home Security Camera Feature Comparison to narrow down your selection. This will help you to find the right model for your application.
All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way. I have owned and tested dozens of cameras. Manufacturer support varies. There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions. There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).