Best Outdoor Surveillance System

May 11,2019
Best Outdoor Surveillance System

Outdoor security cameras are one of the first areas of concern for intelligent homeowners interested in stopping criminals in their tracks long before they get close to you loved ones. An outdoor surveillance camera can be placed anywhere outside your home that is easily accessible to strangers, such as at your front door, in your back yard, and along the walls of your home that face the street.

These cameras, many of which come with motion detection capabilities, can alert you when an unfamiliar person approaches your home. When activated, these cameras can sense motion, during both daylight and at night, up to 100 feet away. In addition, many of these cameras have excellent resolution, can send alerts to your phone notifying you of the movement, and can record the video for your later perusal, potentially saving key evidence for a later criminal case.

Important Features


A key feature found on newer and high-end cameras is the ability to record footage in color. While this does not affect the deterrent abilities of a camera, a color camera with a high resolution will provide the police department with a great deal more detail and infromation to work with than a black and white camera.

Wide Angle Lens

A wide-angle lens is an excellent option for homeowners who need a camera that can cover a large geographic area, and is perfect for use large backyards, where a viewing angle of up to 92 degrees is necessary. However, this sort of camera is typically not necessary for monitoring a front door, hallway, or individual room.

Speaker and Microphone

A microphone can be an incredibly useful feature for capturing identifying or compromising information about a thief during the course of the crime. In addition, the combination of a speaker and microphone in your home security system will allow you to question any visitors at your front door, and enables the two of you to have a back and forth conversation. These types of cameras are frequently found in secure sites that nonetheless have regular deliveries or visitors on the premise.

Movement Ability

One of the last features discussed today, and perhaps the most important for homeowners who actively monitor their video feeds, is the ability to move a camera from a remote location. Most advanced and high-end cameras offer their customers the ability to both zoom in on specific objects and to pan the camera to either side. For video feeds that are actively monitored, this feature is essential.

Check out our guide on what to look for in an outdoor camera to learn more.

Best Outdoor Surveillance Cameras

1. Nest Cam Outdoor

The Nest Cam Outdoor comes with a huge amount of features, packed into a very small device. The Nest offering comes with wireless communication capabilities, a whopping 1080p resolution, and two-way audio communication, allowing you to have a full conversation with anyone who is within hearing distance of your camera. In addition, Nest offers an optional subscription service which enables you to receive real-time alerts, store footage on their cloud network, and configure specific monitoring options.

Price: $175


  • Completely weatherproof camera.
  • Configured for wireless communication.
  • Excellent video resolution.
  • Two-way communication capabilities.


  • Must pay extra for storage and alerts.
  • Must be plugged in to a power outlet to work.

2. Netgear Arlo Pro

One of the best outdoor surveillance cameras on the market today, the Netgear Arlo Pro is a fully wireless camera that has all of the options you might ever require from a security camera, including rechargeable batteries that last for several months, several days of cloud storage for camera footage, and a control station that can work with up to five cameras. Lastly, the base station also comes with a USB hookup for your thumb drive and comes with a loud siren that can be heard anywhere in the average home.

Cost: $237


  • Fully wireless camera.
  • Comes with cloud storage account.
  • Rechargeable batteries reportedly last months before requiring replacement.
  • Can configure up to five cameras to work with system.


  • Image quality is not what you would expect from price.
  • Cloud storage is fairly expensive and is charged per camera.

3. Swann SWPRO-750CAM

The Swann Pro-750 pan tilt camera is an excellent choice for consumers interested in a very visible camera with significant deterrent capabilities. The Swann camera comes with a pan-tilt-zoom controller that allows you to move the camera towards the action, ensuring that key information is never out of view. In addition, the camera has high resolution, a motion sensor, and is reportedly quite easy to install by a regular homeowner.

Cost: $224.99


  • Offers major flexibility with ability to zoom, pan, and tilt.
  • Very visible camera that can deter potential thieves.
  • High resolution camera and storage.


  • Quite expensive in comparison to similar units.
  • Many customers have reported a poor customer service experience.

4.Defender Phoenix M2 Wireless

The latest offering from Defender, the Phoenix M2 Wireless system comes with a seven inch monitor and two night-vision capable cameras. The wireless system can work at up to 450 distance, allowing you to view footage from the monitor across your home's property. In addition, the unite comes with a 4GB SD card that can record up to 350 minutes of video footage. Lastly, each camera is capable of recording quality footage, at night, at up two 40 feet away.

Cost: $230


  • Excellent night vision resolution.
  • Can operate at up to 450 feet distance.
  • Can use a total of four cameras with the system.


  • Customers have raised issues with the quality of the equipment and have reported quite a few glitches.

Read our comprehensive how-to guide on selecting a home security company for more information. Plus, check out our review of the top home security companies.

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