With the advancement of technology and so many types available online from wireless to Indoor, night vision, outdoor security system, etc., the complex terms related to home security cameras can be hard to understand, especially when you are not aware of the security systems in general. The digital video recording (DVR) security camera system has been quite popular and handy these days as you can operate them easily using your smartphone. But with so many options and types available in the market, it becomes quite challenging to find the best wireless security camera under your budget.
To ease things for you, we have curated a detailed buying guide explaining all the factors you must consider before buying an outdoor security system camera for your home to understand its working & other aspects. So let’s begin with how the security system works and various types of it.
Why do you need Security System?
Before buying a security system for your home, it is crucial to understand whether you actually need it or not. The answer to it depends upon the security level you want for your place or organization. Security cameras equipped with DVR and night vision helps you capture the motion of any animal or trespasser in the daytime and night so you can always be aware of the unwanted movements or thefts that could happen at your home.
Also, Camera Recording/footage is strong evidence to show in court or police station against theft or burglary and thus it is advisable to install a security camera at home along with a security bell or alarm. Modern DVRs support multi-channel recording, which means you can hook up numerous (up to 16) security cameras and record at once. This allows you to monitor every inch of your premises from anywhere anytime without any fear of theft.
6 Best Outdoor Wireless Security Camera System with DVR
How does Outdoor security cameras works?
If you want to purchase an outdoor security camera for your home, you must know how it works and how it can be useful for you. Most of the outdoor security cameras are motion activated and start recording video or pictures upon motion detection. There are two types of Outdoor Camera: Wired and Wireless.
The wireless security system uses a Wi-Fi radio to connect to your home network or cloud-based server so you can access them from anywhere using your smartphone for unwanted motion detection. There are various types of models available in outdoor security systems that use wired Ethernet, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, or proprietary wireless technology to connect to a mobile phone.
Generally, a wire-free or wireless camera in an outdoor security system is easy to install and operate than a wired counterpart as they don’t require wiring. You can place them anywhere and these types of wireless camera use rechargeable batteries. But these battery-powered cameras are not suitable for cold weather as they tend to drain quickly in such weather. So they are best suitable for indoors.
If you want a security camera for outdoor, look for a Wi-Fi camera that can connect to either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz radio band to alleviate network congestion, like Enstar 1080P wireless IP camera that comes with 2.4Ghz/5Ghz DUAL BAND support for high-resolution pictures and video capturing along with night vision and motion detection technology.
Types of Security Systems for Home
The best security cameras are designed to work both indoors and outdoors but in case if you want to choose particularly for your indoor or outdoor area, here are majorly four types of security system you must be aware of:
1. Indoor Security Camera
Indoor cameras help to monitor the area inside the room or any place indoors. An indoor camera must be mounted above the ground level for better monitoring. This type of camera can be used to cover any indoor area that is easy to access like the hallway, dining room, bedroom, kids room, etc. Indoor cameras generally come with a plug-in option as compared to outdoor cameras that generally lacks an outdoor outlet to be plug-in. The indoor camera typically cost around $100, but the actual price can vary depending upon the model you choose. Here are some of the key features you must look for while buying an indoor camera:
- Two-way audio
- Mobile alerts and control
- Smart home compatibility
One of the best indoor cameras you may find online is Blink Mini Compact Indoor Security Camera, equipped with motion detection, night vision & two-way audio. The camera sets up in minutes and works well with Alexa, making it suitable for indoor areas.
2. Outdoor Security Camera
An outdoor camera has a generally more sturdy design than an indoor camera as it has to handle harsh conditions and weather, unlike an indoor camera. Due to this reason, these type of cameras comes with a weather-resistant case so they can bear extreme temperature ranges whether it is a rainy or sunny day. Generally, people prefer wireless cameras for the outdoor security system as there are fewer outdoor outlets. The outdoor camera is generally more expensive than the indoor one and typically costs around $200. Here are some key features you must look for while buying an outdoor camera:
- Motion-triggered alerts
- Facial recognition
- Custom activity zones
One of the most trusted brands for outdoor camera is D-Link. One of the most affordable outdoor camera kits you buy from this brand is D-Link HD CCTV Kit, equipped with a DVR and a hard drive for storage.
3. Wired Security Camera
As the name indicates, wired cameras don’t operate on batteries and thus you don’t need to worry about replacing batteries. They are either hardwired or plugged in into the home. Wired cameras use a wired data connection to communicate with a digital video recorder (DVR) or a network video recorder (NVR). The main difference between a DVR and NVR is that cameras send their footage to the DVR to process, whereas an NVR processes footage directly on the camera.
But there are some disadvantages of the wired camera, like:
- You have to add the properly wired system to your home for its proper working
- If power or wifi goes out, the camera may not be able to work, which occurs more often.
Due to these reasons, wired security cameras must be able to connect with mobile or landline backup so they can work in a blackout. Apart from disadvantages, there are some advantages as well, like:
- Consistent Power
- Fewer Internet Connectivity Issue
- Best for large homes
If you are looking for a wired outdoor camera with excellent performance, you must try Goowls Wired Security Camera, equipped with 2-way audio, night-vision motion detection compatible with Alexa cloud storage, and device storage for cloud storage & monitoring.
4. Wireless Security Camera
In comparison to Wired cameras, wireless security cameras are easy to install & a better option for outdoor security. These types of cameras require batteries for operation and use Wi-Fi or cloud storage to detect signals and store the video/pictures. Some of the wireless cameras come with rechargeable batteries while in others you have to replace the battery completely after a year or so.
Wireless or wire-free cameras are easy to install and you can do it by yourself if you know the basics. You can manage all its features including DVR and video storage using Wi-Fi, which is both an advantage and disadvantage of these types of cameras.
The top pick for an outdoor wireless security camera online is Arlo Pro 4 Wireless Security Camera due to its colourful night vision and HD quality video & picture recording features. Equipped with 2-way audio, it is a wire-free security camera suitable for both outdoor & indoor areas with no Wi-Fi-hub needed for continuous performance.
Benefits of Outdoor Cameras
There are various benefits of outdoor cameras for security purposes, making them a must-have device for your home protection. Here are some of the key benefits of outdoor security cameras:
1. 24*7 Surveillance
The outdoor security camera helps you to keep monitoring your kids, pets, adults, and all the crucial outdoor areas of your home 24*7 on your mobile phone. Whether day or night, modern outdoor cameras are designed to watch over your home when you are away so they can send you an instant alert upon detecting the unwanted movement of any trespasser.
2. Convenient Control
Modern security cameras pair with mobile apps to control & monitor all the activities on your smartphone with instant notifications, real-time video, and motion-triggered recording.
3. Improved Safety
Cameras equipped with two-way audio and real-time view provides better safety for your home as it instantly sends you alerts on motion detection and also let the intruder hear you via the two-way audio technology. Also, most of the security camera comes with HD night vision so you can get a better picture or video quality at night/dark to monitor your premises and getting alerts on motion-triggered activity.
4. Maintain Records
Outdoor security cameras help you to maintain a record of all the activities going around or on your premises for future purposes. These records can be extremely useful and solid proof in case of any theft or crime that happens around your premises. All the modern security cameras come with DVR or NVR technology and store data using cloud storage so you can record all the recordings and can view them later whenever you want.
How Outdoor Camera Can handle harsh weather conditions?
All the outdoor security cameras are designed to withstand the harsh temperature and weather conditions to be properly working in all seasons from rainy to summer. That is why every outdoor camera worth its salt must be able to withstand exposure to the elements and should carry an IP (Ingress Protection) rating.
The IP rating of any outdoor camera comprises two digits that let the user know how well the camera will hold up under most weather conditions. The first digit of the IP rating depicts how well a camera can resist dust and windblown particles, which ranges from 0 (no protection) to 6 (total protection from dirt particles and dust). While the second digit depicts how well the camera can resist moisture and ranges from 0 (no protection) to 9 (protection against close-range and extreme-pressure spray downs from all angles).
The majority of the outdoor security cameras have an IP66 rating that indicates they offer excellent protection against dust and moisture from all directions, making them weather & water-resistant. Such cameras are resistant from snow, rain, dirt & heat. So you should always check the IP rating of outdoor security cameras while buying the one to understand its effectiveness & durability.
How do Security Cameras store video?
While buying an outdoor security camera, it is crucial to understand first that how it will store video as various models store videos in different ways. Many outdoor security cameras come with free cloud storage for a limited time period (like 7-10 days) before deleting or overwriting the data, while others are completely paid subscription-based. So if you want to store recordings for a long time than 7-10 days, you need to take their 30 days subscription or so and then you can review/download it anytime.
In case if you have concerns about your privacy and don’t want cloud storage for your outdoor security system, you can go for the model that comes with a micro SD card to store videos. This way you don’t have to purchase the subscription and can transfer the data on any device using a NAS drive or a portable USB.
Also, some outdoor cameras come with a CVR (continuous video recording) plan that let you record & store videos up to 30 days of 24/7 video in the cloud. One of the most acclaimed outdoor security cameras with CVR technology available online is Google Nest Outdoor Cam with Night Vision. The HD surveillance camera is equipped with a 130-degree wide-angle view, 8x zoom and 1080p HD for crystal clear recording both day and night.
Outdoor Security Cameras features you should look for – Ultimate Buying Guide
Once you have made your mind what type of camera you would like to buy for your premises, the next step is to look for the features you require for complete protection & surveillance. Here are some key outdoor security cameras features you must consider while buying the best for you:
It is crucial to check whether the camera requires Wi-Fi connectivity or not. If it does, then whether it works on a 2.4 GHz network or a 5 GHz network? Because most wireless camera systems only compatible with either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz networks. So before buying one, check its connectivity according to the network you have at your home so there will be no connectivity or performance issue later.
Does the camera requires rechargeable batteries or it is plugged in? If it is wireless then what is its expected battery power? Is it a solar panel enabled or not? All these things are crucial to check to save cost later as the ones with rechargeable batteries or solar panels enabled are more cost-efficient in the long run than the wired ones or replaceable batteries-equipped ones.
The durability of any outdoor camera depends upon its IP rating as it tells you how well the camera can withstand the harsh temperature conditions, as we stated earlier. For example, if you reside in a country or city where the temperature ranges between 0-100 degrees Fahrenheit, you have to choose a camera that is compatible with that temperature range, otherwise, it won’t work in certain weather.
4. Video Quality
Video Quality is one of the most crucial aspects to consider while buying the security camera system as it tells you how well & clear the camera can record/capture the motion detection day and night. The higher the video resolution is, the better & sharper details you will get. Nowadays, most of the advanced security camera comes with 1080p HD resolution which is considered excellent
5. Field of View
The field of view of any camera determines how much area of your premises can be captured in one picture. Basically, it tells you how wide the camera footage is. Generally, an outdoor camera with a field of view of 110 degrees or better usually show a better view of your home and thus you always consider the field of view angle while buying one.
6. Motion Detection
Most of the camera system is motion activated and gets triggered upon motion detection. Whenever this camera captures the motion, it sends an alert on your device or smartphone to notify you. The best security cameras come with custom zones features that allow choosing specific areas to monitor and the camera will notify you if there will be any activity or movement in such areas.
7. HDR Quality
Capturing movements in outdoor are challenging with light and shadows getting in the way. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range helps in reducing most of the reflection and shadows to provide you sharp and clear pictures & videos in all the weather. The more the HDR quality of the camera, the better & clear pictures you will get. So always consider HDR Quality of the outdoor camera to get crystal clear recordings.
8. Zoom Level
A great outdoor camera never leaves the details. Some modern cameras can zoom in optically which means the camera itself automatically gets closer to an object. This type of optical zoom is generally preferable in the camera so you can get a better and zoom image of the trespasser in your premises in high resolution. But this feature is not available in all models, so you must check it while buying.
9. Night Vision
Night Vision is one of the crucial features to consider as it will allow the camera to capture crystal clear pictures or videos of movements at dark or night without alerting the trespasser. Night vision mode generally comes in two types:
- Infrared with LED Sensors: Gives black and white footage
- Bright white spotlight: Gives colour footage
Generally, the night vision works best with Infrared technology, so if you particularly want an outdoor camera with night vision, go for the one equipped with Infrared technology.
10. Audio Support
Most of the outdoor cameras come with a two-way audio feature along with a built-in microphone & speakers to let you talk to the person on the other side of the camera via its mobile app. This feature is really convenient for users and must be in all outdoor cameras for easy communication. But you won’t find this feature in analogue cameras as they are equipped with only speakers.
11. Storage & Recording
There are two types of storage you can find in security camera systems:
- Local Storage: It comes typically in form of a micro SD card inbuilt with the camera or an external HDD. The local storage let you record & store all the videos & pictures straightforward to the card or drive without the need of any cloud or server.
- Cloud Storage: In cloud storage, the footage is directly sent to a cloud server which might or might not require a paid package/plan to access or download.
Depending upon your requirements, you can choose anyone or the one with both kinds of storage so in case if one fails, you have another as a backup.
12. Smart Home Integrations
Nowadays, Google voice assistant and Amazon Alexa have become a vital part of smart homes and thus your camera must have to compatible with these types of voice assistants for seamless performance. Most outdoor cameras come with smart home integrations that let your voice assistants control the camera functioning using voice commands. From controlling our cameras to commanding them to get connect with Chromecast, voice commands help to seamlessly control the outdoor or indoor security systems.
13. Artificial Intelligence
Modern security camera system comes with Artificial Intelligence & person detection that tells the distinguish humans and everything else, to avoid unwanted notifications and hassles. Also, there are many that offer facial recognition technology to recognize the faces of your loved ones and knowns. You can save the details of your loved ones in the app to receive super-specific notifications. These type of cameras also comes with pet detection if you want to be notified of your pet’s movements. Here are some best pet cameras you can consider for your outdoor premises.
The geofencing feature allows you to hook your outdoor camera with GPS so that they would automatically turn on when we left the place and turn off when we returned. Geofencing can be a useful feature for you but it doesn’t come with every camera, so check carefully before buying.
15. Shared Access
Shared access is a useful feature you can find in wire-free or outdoor cameras that let you add other users so that they too can arm and disarm your cameras, convenient for visitors in particular.
Most of the security camera systems equipped with AI sends you notifications on any motion detection. Notifications are usually the part of the package or subscription you purchase but sometimes you have to pay separately for it, depending upon the brand or model type you are choosing.
17. Activity Zone
Activity zones specifically send you notifications of the specific areas you select for monitoring. This feature helps you to neglect the unwanted areas and let you send useful notifications of particular areas only.
It is crucial to check whether the camera you are choosing is easy to install or not. Some cameras come with DIY installation so you can just connect the camera or mount it on the wall, download the recommended app, connect the camera to your Wi-Fi, name it and done. While the other cameras require installation from the professional only, that can cost you additional bucks. So check the installation type prior to buying.
Most of the security camera systems come with a simple & reliable app that lets you operate and monitor everything on your device hassle-free. The app comes with various crucial features like live-streaming the footage, remotely control your camera and getting timely & regular updates. Before downloading the app, don’t forget to check its reviews and ratings on the play store.
If you are looking for a cloud-storage security camera system, it is crucial to check the privacy factors first, as data is everything these days. Here are some key features to check under privacy:
- Two Factor Authentication: It helps to prevent illegal account access by requiring users to enter a password or credentials to access camera accounts. You can add a Fingerprint ID, username, password, etc. to control unwanted access.
- Encryption: The outdoor security camera must be encrypted with AES-256 bit to protect your security footage. AES-256 bit is the industry standard for encryption recommended & used by the U.S military.
- Data Breach History: Before going for any brand, check its history of breaches on google to secure your precious data of home or business.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Do hardwired cameras work the same way as wireless cameras?
Yes, hardwired cameras work the same way as wireless cameras by providing the same level of protection and performance. The size can be varied however depending upon the brand and model type as well as other features.
2) Do wireless cameras need to be plugged in?
It depends upon the model you are choosing as some require to be plugged in while others are battery-powered. If your security camera requires an outlet, it should include a backup battery to continue to work during power outages.
3) How Much Should You Spend on an Outdoor Security Camera?
Although there is no limit to spending on outdoor security cameras and they are generally expensive than indoor cameras, but you can decide it according to your requirements and budget. The price range of outdoor security systems starts from $50 and vary according to model type, brand & features. There are multiple affordable options of outdoor security cameras available online that offer excellent video performance. But to access the premium features like motion detection & tracking, facial recognition, cellular data connectivity, time-lapse recording, rechargeable battery power and both micro SD and cloud storage options you have to pay more.
That is all about the outdoor security systems, its features and working you must consider while buying the right one for your premises. Hope our detailed buying guide will help you to find the right one under your budget according to your requirements. Always go for the reputed brands and check their warranty & other aspects we have mentioned above to get the proper protection & security. If you have any other queries, get in touch with us in the comments!