6 Best Outdoor Security Cameras (2021): For Homes, Businesses & More

there Much A must consider when shopping for an outdoor security camera. It can be hard to decide which features you need, so here are some important questions to review.

wired or battery: Wired cameras usually require some drilling to install, they need to be close to a power outlet, they will cut if the power requires it, but they never need to be charged. If you buy battery powered security cameras, the installation will be easier, and you can choose the places you want. They usually run for several months before needing to be recharged and will warn you when the battery is low, but this means that you have to remove the battery, or sometimes the entire camera, to recharge it, which usually takes a few hours. It’s worth noting that you can buy solar panels to power some of your battery-powered cameras now, which gives you the best of both worlds.

Video quality: You may be tempted to use the highest resolution video possible, but that’s not always the best idea. You can see more detail in 4K video, but it requires much more bandwidth for streaming and more storage space for recording than Full HD or 2K resolution. People with limited Wi-Fi should be careful. You’ll generally need a wide field of view, so the camera can take in more, but this can cause a fisheye effect at corners, and some cameras are better than others at correcting distortion. An important feature, especially if your camera is facing a mixed lighting location with some shade and direct sunlight (or street light), is HDR support, which can prevent light areas from blasting or dark areas from losing detail.

Connection: Most security cameras will connect to a Wi-Fi router on the 2.4GHz band. Depending on where you intend to install it, you may appreciate the 5GHz band support, which enables streaming to load at a faster speed. Some systems, such as the EufyCam 2 Pro, come with a hub that can act as a Wi-Fi range extender. Keep in mind that you should not install a security camera in a place that does not have a strong Wi-Fi signal.

Subscription form: Most security camera manufacturers offer a subscription service that provides cloud storage for video recording. It’s not always as optional as it seems. Some manufacturers bundle in smart features like detecting people or areas of activity, making a subscription necessary to get the best out of cameras. Always keep in mind the cost of the subscription and be sure to clarify what is included before purchasing.

Local or cloud storage: If you do not want to sign up for the subscription service and upload videos to the cloud, make sure that your chosen camera offers local storage. Some security cameras have MicroSD card slots, while others record video to a distributed device inside your home. A few manufacturers offer limited cloud storage for free, but you can usually expect to pay around $3 to $6 per month for 30 days of storage for a single camera. For multiple cameras, a longer recording period, or continuous recording, you’re looking to pay between $10 and $15 per month. There are usually discounts if you pay annually.

Placement is important: Remember to Video surveillance camera is a powerful deterrent. You don’t want to hide your cameras. Also, make sure that the view does not look out over the neighbor’s window. Most cameras provide customizable areas for recording filtering or motion detection for areas of the camera frame. If you buy a battery powered camera, remember that you will have to charge it periodically, so it should be fairly accessible. The ideal position for security cameras is about seven feet above the ground and slightly downward.

false positives: Unless you want your phone to ring every time your cat strolls on the porch or when the neighbor’s dog runs in your garden, consider a security camera that can detect people and filter alerts.

Night vision and spotlights: Outdoor security cameras generally have infrared night vision, but low-light performance varies greatly. Always lose some detail when the light levels are low. Most night vision modes produce monochrome shots. Some manufacturers offer color night vision, although it is often colored by software and can look strange. We prefer floodlights because they allow the camera to take better quality shots, and the light acts as an extra deterrent to any intruder, but they aren’t suitable for every situation and drain batteries faster if not wired.

Camera theft: Concerned about the theft of the camera? Choose a camera that does not have onboard storage space. You may also want to consider a protective cage and screw mount instead of a magnetic mount. Some manufacturers have replacement policies for camera theft, especially if you have a subscription, but they usually require you to file a police report and get exceptions. Check the policy carefully before purchasing.

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