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The Best Outdoor Security Cameras for All Budgets

Learn what features to look for in an outdoor security camera and which cameras are best for your budget, location, needs, and preferences.

Security is key to protecting your home and property. The use of home security systems, such as security cameras, prevents theft while creating peace of mind. And, in the worst-case scenario, it empowers you to hold potential criminals accountable.

The use of smart home technology with WiFi and security cameras has made home security systems more powerful than ever before. Many services let you monitor your home 24/7, even when you are not there.

But there are many considerations to keep in mind when choosing a security camera for your property. We’ll explain all the features you need in a good home security system.

What to Look for in a Home Security Camera System

When browsing for the best home security cameras, specifically outdoor security cameras, there are key factors to consider. Your peace of mind is paramount, and the right security camera system can offer that. That said, here are 10 things you should look for before making a purchase.

  • Weatherproof Functionality: Ensure your outdoor cameras can withstand different weather conditions. Your cameras need to be ready for anything Mother Nature can throw at them, including rain and snow.
  • Video Quality and Video Resolution: High-definition (HD) video recording is important. Look for a cam offering at least 1080p to ensure clear images that can help identify faces or license plates.
  • Color Night Vision: This is an essential feature for any security camera system. Excellent night vision, preferably color night vision, will provide clearer images in low-light conditions. However, sometimes, a motion activated floodlight can be just as helpful.
  • Field of View or Viewing Angle: The broader the field of view, the larger the area your camera can cover. Aim for at least a 120-degree viewing angle.
  • Motion Detection: Home security cameras with motion sensors can provide notifications on your mobile phone when activity is detected, keeping you informed in real time.
  • Two-Way Audio: This is a great feature to communicate with someone at your door, especially for video doorbell cameras. It can deter unwanted visitors effectively.
  • Video Storage: Consider whether you prefer cloud storage or local storage, such as a microSD card or a hard drive. Video storage options often depend on personal preferences and specific needs.
  • Smart Home Integration: If you have other smart home devices, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, ensure your home security system can integrate seamlessly with them for a comprehensive DIY setup.
  • WiFi Connection: Be sure your home’s WiFi network can handle the addition of wireless security cameras. Stable Internet connection is crucial for clear video streaming and quick notifications.
  • Power Source: When it comes to the placement of even the best home security systems, the power source matters. Depending on whether your camera is a rechargeable battery-powered, solar-panel powered, or plug-in can influence whether you need professional installation and where it’s placed.

Among many security camera features, you may also want to consider options like facial recognition, professional monitoring, or self-monitoring. Well-known brands like Wyze, Nest Cam, Eufy, Arlo Pro, Google Nest, SimpliSafe, and Blink offer a variety of outdoor surveillance cameras that can cater to different needs.

Best Outdoor Security Cameras By Cost

To help you find the right option for your home, we compiled the best outdoor security cameras ranging from low- to mid- to high-cost devices that offer real-time control, monitoring, and backup solutions for better security at the budget that fits your needs.

Low-Cost Security Cameras (At or Under $100)

There are many options for those who need security on a budget. While higher-end models provide extra features, such as cloud and IoT connectivity, on-demand recording, and specialized applications, lower-end models often focus on well-designed, weather-resistant options that offer reliability at an affordable cost.

Wyze V3

Wyze is well-known for its lineup of cost-effective yet versatile cameras. The Wyze Cam V3 is an outdoor, weather- and dust-resistant 1080p camera that gives you affordable security wherever you need it.

At $35.99, features include color night viewing, unlimited storage, and advanced AI detection for those who subscribe.

Blink Outdoor

The Blink Outdoor camera is the top choice for many homeowners searching for a low-cost security solution. This wireless HD security camera provides 24/7 monitoring with infrared night-vision and battery-powered design.

Blink cameras are simple but well-made, offering a compact design and battery power for only $99.


Reolink offers customizable, reliable, and affordable PoE IP security cameras. Reolink’s cameras are designed to be portable, making them easy to deploy.

The Argus 3 Pro starts at just over $100 and the RLC line at around $45.

Mid-Range Security Cameras ($100-$350)

Mid-range security cameras are available for those interested in an extra measure of control with features such as cloud storage and greater performance capabilities.

Arlo Pro 4

The Arlo Pro 4 with integrated spotlight, wireless capabilities, and full 2K HDR is a good option for homeowners looking to spend a little more for security. It offers excellent performance without breaking the bank.

At just $350, it has become a favorite for those looking to secure their homes.

Apple Homekit

Apple’s Homekit cameras are a popular home security option for those who want to take a more DIY approach. By providing a variety of mid-range hardware options, all networked over home WiFi, they have created a full ecosystem of home security products.

Plus, the Homekit’s smart home capability can be integrated with many devices, including the HomePod, HomePod mini, and Apple TV.

The Logitech and Eve cameras range from $150-$250.

High-Cost Security Cameras ($400+)

For those seeking professional-level surveillance, there are high-end security cameras available. By delivering a wider range of vision, longer recording times, and powerful support teams, high-end cameras offer modern options and personalized service.

Swann Pro Enforcer

The Swann Pro Enforcer is for those looking to get the most out of their security equipment. The Pro Enforcer works day or night, in all weather, and offers integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant.

With Swann, you also get to choose between purchasing a system with four, eight, or 16 cameras.

The Swann Pro Enforcer provides professional-level surveillance technology to homeowners and can currently be purchased from Best Buy.


Lorex isn’t as popular, but it has become well-known by home-security professionals for its wide variety of security cameras for both indoor and outdoor use.

The Lorex 4K-A88 features a 4K Analog HD camera and an 8-channel DVR with 2 terabytes of storage. This camera has enough space to store all of your footage and will send you notifications when it’s getting full. You can take control of your home with the Lorex 4K-A88.

Another Option: Doorbell Cameras

Many homeowners are turning to doorbell cameras to help them keep an eye on their property. Doorbell cameras provide a field of view around the front door that can be powered by motion detection triggers.

Some of the latest brands include:

  • Arlo and Blink for low-end doorbell cameras
  • Ring for mid-range doorbell cameras
  • Nest for high-end doorbell cameras

Doorbell cameras add a layer of security for those looking for a smart, simple solution to monitor their front door.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Home Security Camera Systems

Is it Better to Have Wired or Wireless Security Cameras?

Wired cams are steadfast, offering glitch-free operation and crisp video, but they need professional installation and aren't easily moved.

On the flip side, wire-free cams are super flexible, easy to install, and able to be moved, making them great for renters. But remember, they rely heavily on your WiFi signal and you'll need to monitor battery life.

For steady performance and superior video quality, go wired. If flexibility and ease-of-use is at the top of your list, wireless is the way to go.

What's the Difference Between an IP Camera and an HD Camera?

When it comes to security cameras, IP and HD touch on different tech bits. IP cameras, or Internet Protocol cameras, are all about how they send data — they talk to your devices over the Internet. This allows you to monitor your camera from anywhere with a connection.

HD cameras, or High-Definition cameras, focus on picture quality. These are your sharp-eyed friends who don't miss a detail, catching everything in high resolution.

The best part? You can have both in one — this is called an HD IP camera.

How Many Cameras Do I Need for Home Security?

Deciding on the number of security cameras for your home isn't a one-size-fits-all situation. It ultimately depends on the space. For some households it’s 1-3 cameras, and for others it's 15+ cameras.

Start by considering high-traffic areas. Entrances like the front and back doors usually need a camera. Don't forget the garage and off-street windows as they're often targeted by intruders. For larger properties or those wanting extra peace of mind, adding cameras to monitor highly trafficked and otherwise hidden outdoor spaces can be helpful.

Find the Internet Service You Need to Protect Your Home

SmartMove is leading the way in connecting homeowners to the best Internet deals in their area. Whether you're moving to a new home or just looking to upgrade to a different provider, our Internet partners have packages that will help you keep any security system running smoothly.

We’ll even work with your provider to ensure you never see disruptions, so your home is secure no matter which equipment you choose.

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