Best outdoor security camera: add some security to your backyard

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

Included in this guide:

best outdoor security camera: EZVIZ C3N
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(Image credit: EZVIZ)

Even though most of us can only dream of going on a long vacation 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 the 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 a 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 backyard or outdoor space, take a look at our roundup of the best outdoor projectors.

The best outdoor security cameras 2021

Ring Spotlight CamGold badge

(Image credit: Ring)

1. Ring Spotlight Cam

Best outdoor security camera overall

Specifications
Video: 1080p
Power: Wired, battery
Connectivity: Wi-Fi; Alexa
Dimensions: 4.9 x 2.7 x 2.9in
Reasons to buy
+Superb HD video with night vision+Totally customizable 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, you can opt for the best solution for you.

Gardeningetc rating: 5 out of 5 stars

ARLO Pro 3 Floodlight Quad HD 1440p WiFi Security CameraGold badge

(Image credit: Arlo)

2. ARLO Pro 3 Floodlight Quad HD 1440p WiFi Security Camera

Best outdoor security camera with floodlight

Specifications
Video: 2K
Power: Battery
Connectivity: Wi-Fi; Alexa
Dimensions: 7 x 6 x 2in
Weight: 3lbs
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic 2K video+Built-in floodlight and siren+Long battery life+2-way audio
Reasons to avoid
-Not exactly discreet

The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight builds on Arlo's reputation for creating some of the best security cameras with a floodlight option, which adds an entirely new level of safety to your outdoor system. It's also wireless, which means you can pretty much place it anywhere without worrying about connecting it to the mains power.

How it performs

The bright and generously sized floodlight surrounding the Pro 3's camera allows it to record clear, full-color video even in the pitch black of night, meaning you won't miss any of the action. It can also differentiate between cars, people, and any animals that may be about, so it won't be set off by a stray fox or wandering cat.

The 2K video gives you a crystal clear view of whatever is going on and, unlike the Netatmo Presence floodlight camera below, night vision captures color footage. The big downside is storage, which requires you to subscribe for cloud access or purchase an Arlo base station and microSD card.

The clarity does mean zooming is a little more user-friendly, giving the camera an ability to 'auto zoom' into zones of activity it detects. You can customize these motion zones so as not to wear out the batteries looking at your neighbor's driveway, and the app also gives you the ability to change what types of notifications you receive. 

You can even change how bright the floodlight is which, at 2000-3000 lumens, is incredibly bright by default. Left alone, the light will sit at 70% brightness, but you can shift this down as far as 5%.

Subscription

A subscription won't just get you cloud uploads for 30-days, but also the ability to integrate the camera with your Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT, or Samsung SmartThings home set-up. Then there are smart notifications and live streaming. Basically, Arlo makes it worth your while to sign up.

Anything else?

Arlo claims that the battery in the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight will last six months, but this is probably a stretch if it gets frequent use. Because constantly removing and charging the interior battery could get tedious, you might want to look into purchasing a solar charger to make things a little easier.

Gardeningetc rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

EZVIZ C3A Full HD WiFi Security CameraSilver badge

(Image credit: Ezviz)

3. EZVIZ C3A Full HD WiFi Security Camera

Best outdoor security camera for large gardens

Specifications
Video: 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 nighttime activity, so if you want to locate the camera near 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 hardwiring 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 the 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

KAMI Outdoor Full HD WiFi Security CameraGold badge

(Image credit: Kami)

4. KAMI Outdoor Full HD WiFi Security Camera

Best wireless outdoor security camera on a budget

Specifications
Video: 1080p
Power: Wireless
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Reasons to buy
+Easy to set up+Wide angle view+Long battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Design protrudes 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 setup and installation really easy. Plus, actually using the camera can all be done via the Kami app across a stable Wi-Fi connection. 

The 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 of 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.

Gardeningetc rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

EZVIZ C3N Full HD 1080p WiFi Outdoor Security CameraSilver badge

(Image credit: Ezviz)

5. EZVIZ C3N Full HD 1080p WiFi Outdoor Security Camera

Best wired outdoor security camera on a budget

Specifications
Video: 1080p
Power: Wired
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly clear color 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 color, 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 incredibly sharp 1080p image, even on the darkest of nights. So that you can see in color 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

Arlo Pro 2 Wireless Home Security Camera SystemSilver badge

(Image credit: Arlo)

6. Arlo Pro 2 Wireless Home Security Camera System

Best security camera system

Specifications
Video: 1080p
Power: Wired, battery
Connectivity: Wi-Fi; Alexa
Dimensions: 15.7 x 10.5 x 3.1in
Weight: 4.5lbs
Reasons to buy
+Choose your own package+Built-in siren+7 days cloud storage for free+2-way audio
Reasons to avoid
-Requires space for hub-Not cheap

The Arlo Pro 2 is a customizable home security camera system that can be used indoors or outdoors, allowing you to choose units based on your requirements.

How it performs

As one of the more expensive examples on our list, you'd expect the Arlo Pro 2 to offer something a little extra. That additional cost essentially comes down to the number of devices that are involved here. There's your security cameras – a choice of 2, 4, or 5 – and the hub itself, which needs to be placed inside.

The cameras are weatherproof, so are fine to position outside, but you'll need to find space for the main unit. From there you can connect your system however you want, with no restrictions on where you can place your cameras.

Anything else?

There's quite a generous amount of free cloud storage, and footage captured when the motion alert is activated will be stored for seven days. With a subscription, this becomes a month.

Gardeningetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars

NETATMO NOC-S-UK Full HD WiFi Outdoor Security Camera

(Image credit: Netatmo)

7. NETATMO NOC-S-UK Full HD WiFi Outdoor Security Camera

Best wired outdoor security floodlight camera

Specifications
Video: 1080p
Power: Wired
Connectivity: Wi-Fi; Alexa
Dimensions: 1.9 x 4.3 x 7.8in
Weight: 2.2lbs
Reasons to buy
+Doubles as floodlight+Fully weatherproof+Free video storage
Reasons to avoid
-Won't be hard to spot-Has to be hard-wired in

Our second favorite outdoor security camera, this wired option from Netatmo comes complete with a 1000 lumen floodlight and 105dB siren to help deter unwanted visitors and protect your property whether you're home or away.

Setting it up

Installing the camera is relatively simple providing you have an existing outdoor light that can be replaced. If so, the Netatmo Presence can be hooked up to the same wiring, ensuring that it is close enough to your internet hub to pick up a strong signal. If this isn't an option, our advice would be to hire a professional to install everything (assuming you're not a dab hand at electronics!).

How it performs

The floodlight is the unique selling point here, adding additional security that will really boost the use cases for your camera. You can also get a model of the camera with a loud siren that can be manually operated if you see something you don't like happening outside.

The security camera has a 100-degree field of view with a detection distance of 20m during the day. Infrared helps it see at night, picking up on motion and filming as needed. It can differentiate between things like vehicles, animals, and people, and you can set custom motion zones – sparing you of any notifications about your neighbors or a wayward fox passing through. 

The lack of a subscription is a real boon here, meaning you won't need to fork out additional costs for video storage. Instead, the Netatmo camera has a MicroSD slot for a card up to 32GB, or you can hook your account up to a Dropbox account or other FTP server for storage in the cloud.

How it's designed

You shouldn't expect the Netatmo Outdoor Security Camera to blend into the outside of your home, as it's designed as much as a deterrent as anything else. The sturdy casing does mean it will withstand harsh weather, however, with IPX7 standard protection and the ability to cope with temperatures between -20°C and 50°C.

Black Friday outdoor security camera deals

Investing in good home security has never been more important, and luckily Black Friday is drawing closer with its deals and savings on everything from alarms to security cameras. As the day has evolved, these offers have moved well and truly online, making it both easier and more difficult to find the best prices on those items you've had your eye on.

This is why we will be taking some of the hard work out of things by bringing the very best outdoor security camera deals to this page. So make sure to check back here ahead of Black Friday for those early bargains!

How to choose the best outdoor security camera

best security camera: Ring Spotlight Cam

(Image credit: Ring)

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 nighttime vision).

You can then view the live footage using an app on your smartphone 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 on 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. 

The best outdoor security cameras offer 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.

Caroline Preece
Caroline Preece

Writing for Gardeningetc since the start of 2021, Caroline is passionate about how an outdoor space can complement interior style. In her own time she is creating her own little oasis on her small balcony, or adding yet another houseplant to her extensive (and ever-growing!) collection.