Best security camera: safeguard your home in time for summer

The best outdoor security cameras to monitor your property whether you're home or away, from Ring, Ezviz, Arlo and more

best outdoor security camera: Arlo Ultra 4K
(Image credit: Arlo)

Even though most of us can only dream on going on a long trip away right now, it's still vital to make sure our home security is the best it can be. Keeping safe is as important now as it ever has been, and you can give yourself that extra peace of mind with the best outdoor security camera for your home.

As well as acting as a deterrent to criminals who might otherwise target your home, these cameras will also allow you to view action from outside should something happen. 

Many will offer cloud storage so you can keep footage for longer, and outdoor cameras also boast weatherproof designs that ensure it will keep working through rain, snow, a heatwave or high winds.

Choosing the best outdoor security camera for your home can be a challenge, so we have assembled some of the leading products and looked closely at their offerings from wired and wireless installation, picture quality and reliability.

Scroll down to see what we thought and, if you're looking for more top picks for your garden or outdoor space, take a look at our roundup of the best outdoor lights.

The best security cameras 2021

best outdoor security camera: Ring Spotlight CamGold badge

(Image credit: Ring)

1. Ring Spotlight Cam

Best outdoor security camera overall

Specifications
Image definition: 1080p (Full HD)
Power: Wired or battery
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Dimensions: H12.6 x W6.91 x D7.59cm
Reasons to buy
+Superb HD video with night vision+Totally customisable motion detection+Intuitive app enables total control
Reasons to avoid
-Wired version plugs in leaving potential weakness

Awarded the top spot in our guide, and the best option for garages, the Ring Spotlight Cam combines a security camera with a light, plus deterrent functionalities to boot. It's (now) pretty reasonably priced, too.

How it performs
The Spotlight Camera will shoot and record footage from the entrance to the garage in brilliant 1080p HD video. This is further supported by a 140 degree wide angle camera lens which will cover the ground at the front and sides. As day turns to night, 1080p infrared night vision sets in which will ensure you're covered even with the lights off.

The integrated motion-activated spotlight works in harmony with the infrared night vision to give you that crisp video around the clock. Motion sensors are adjustable and you can even set an alert for each time motion is detected, so you're always in the know.

Anything else?
For added security, there's a security siren alarm to scare off intruders and two-way audio so you can communicate with anyone on your property all through the very impressive app. Available in wired or wireless options (there's £30 difference between them) so you can opt for the best solution for you.

Gardeningetc rating: 5 out of 5 stars

best outdoor security camera: EZVIZ C3AGold badge

(Image credit: EZVIZ)

2. Ezviz C3A Battery Security Camera

Best outdoor security camera for large gardens

Specifications
Image definition: Full HD
Power: Wireless
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Reasons to buy
+Feature-packed, offering security, flexibility and remote access uses+Great build quality+Easy to set up
Reasons to avoid
-Subscription to cloud services

If you have a large home or garden, then the Ezviz C3A is a security camera worth considering.

How it performs
Streaming live footage and saving footage in Full HD means that the image quality is really clear. The camera will also capture night time activity, so if you want to locate the camera near to the entrance to the cat flap or the dog's outside home you can see what they are up to at all hours of the day.

The security camera is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery which can last up to three months. This makes installation mega easy: not only does it avoid hard wiring but it means that if you change your mind on its location at a later date it can be easily removed by just releasing some screws.

Anything else?
Just as with some other security cameras in this guide, the Ezviz C3A allows you to communicate directly with the house via the microphone on your phone. The weatherproof camera can be used around the home and garden – as long as it’s within Wi-Fi range. And it's all controlled via the Ezviz app, which does persuade you to sign up to cloud storage for a fee, but this is not essential to get the most out of the camera.

Gardeningetc rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

best outdoor security camera: EZVIZ C3NSilver badge

(Image credit: EZVIZ)

3. Ezviz C3N Colour Night Vision Camera

Best outdoor security camera on a budget

Specifications
Image definition: 1080p (Full HD)
Power: Wired
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly clear colour nighttime footage+Two-way audio+Siren+Very reasonable price tag
Reasons to avoid
-Wired-Requires a strong Wi-Fi connection

Next up on our list for the best outdoor security cameras is the Ezviz C3N. It's a great choice of camera which shoots and records in colour, and is ideal if you're on a tight budget.

How it performs
Equipped with two built-in spotlights, two infrared (IR) lights and optical lenses, the C3N displays an incredible sharp 1080p image, even on the darkest of nights. So that you can see in colour the lights stay on, unless you opt to have the lights come on when motion is detected or black-and-white footage which will turn off the spotlights.

To add to the accuracy of the night vision, the embedded AI algorithm will detect the option of human shapes in real-time so you can easily determine who (or what) has come onto the driveway.

Anything else?
The spotlights, two-way audio and siren can all be controlled through the intuitive Ezviz app. Available as a wired option, only. During the registration process, you are prompted to subscribe to CloudPlay storage (free for the first 23 days, then a fee from £2.99 will be incurred depending on your choice of plan), which will give you more options.

Gardeningetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars

best outdoor security camera: Arlo Ultra

(Image credit: Arlo)

4. Arlo Ultra Smart Home Security CCTV Camera System

Best outdoor security camera with hub

Specifications
Image definition: 4K UHD
Power: Wireless
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Reasons to buy
+Enhanced colour night vision+180 degree diagonal field of view+Auto zoom and tracking
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

If you need to extend the reach of your Wi-Fi to enhance the security of an outbuilding or the land to your property, then the Arlo Ultra could help. It comes with its own Ultra SmartHub (VMB5000) which enables wire-free operation of the two cameras, extending the Wi-Fi range to give you more freedom over where you set the system up.

How it performs
The Arlo Ultra is the only security camera in our guide to boast 4K footage which will display details in the clearest of qualities. Even if you zoom in there's no hiding, especially with HDR advanced image tech.

The wider angle lens, which covers a 180 degree view, has auto image correction to reduce the fish eye effect, and give you the best possible viewing range when surveying your land.

Colour is recorded in extremely sharp detail at night, too. The integrated spotlight will light up the way so you can watch in colour all night long, which can also act as a deterrent to any unwanted visitors to the outside of your property.

Anything else?
Advanced object detection, intelligent motion-detection alerts and cloud activity zones where you can set specific areas to monitor. You can store  your video and audio recordings in the cloud for up to 30 days, too. The monthly Arlo SMART subscription will unlock more features, but this is charged at £6.49 once the trial expires.

best outdoor security camera: Kami 1080p Wireless Outdoor

(Image credit: Kami)

5. Kami Outdoor Battery Camera

Best budget wireless security camera

Specifications
Best for: The shed (if you can't hard wire)
Image definition: Full HD
Power: Wireless
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Reasons to buy
+Easy to set up+Wide angle view+Long battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Design protudes a little

If you know you want a wireless camera for the shed and are looking for one on a budget, the Kami Outdoor Battery Camera could be just what you have been waiting for.

How it performs
The Kami Outdoor Battery Camera is truly wireless and operates on a single battery charge for up to six months. This makes set up and installation really easy. Plus, actually using the camera can all be done via the Kami app across a stable Wi-Fi connection. 

Footage is recorded in three definitions – Auto, SD and HD – which you can choose from in the Kami app. It's in black and white but no details are missed, and each time motion is detected you can opt to receive a notification or a six second clip is saved down onto the app, onto a Micro-SD card or you can unlock a secure clear backup on the Kami Cloud.

Anything else?
To sign up to the cloud, you get up to one month free storage and then it would be up to £149.99 per year (£12.50 per month). You can also add up to 5 Kami cameras onto the app, so that's more than enough to keep a watchful eye on your home. And engage with two-way comms, too.

  • Read next: the best sheds to store your garden essentials in style

Arlo Ultra alert viewed on smart watch

(Image credit: Arlo)

How do outdoor security cameras work?

A camera of this nature will operate via your home Wi-Fi or its own hub to live stream footage of any outdoor activities. The majority of the cameras are available in at least a standard definition and go up to 4K ultra high definition – the higher the definition the clearer the image quality will be. The camera will work the same way during the day as it does at night time (if the camera offers night time vision).

You can then view the live footage using an app on your smart phone or tablet, or revisit recordings either saved in dedicated storage clouds or short clips which are triggered by motion detection.

What makes a security camera suitable for outdoor use?

All security cameras which claim to be suitable for outdoor use, including those which feature in this guide, are weatherproof and can be installed to a building's exterior. This does often mean that some handy DIY is required by either you or an electrician, depending on whether you opt for a mains-powered or battery-powered camera. They should also be placed high up the wall so they can't be stolen. 

An outdoor security camera offers a great way to keep an eye on all your outbuildings (sheds, garages etc) or the driveway, especially when you're not at home so the footage can be used as evidence should the worse happen.

What is the best outdoor security camera? 

To recap, if you want to buy the best outdoor security camera, our top pick is the Ring Spotlight Security Camera. It will shoot and record footage in brilliant 1080p HD video and its infrared night vision will give you perfect images around the clock.