The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Security Cameras

A security camera is a great deterrent to keep criminals away from your property and secure your home or business premises. Hundreds of models are available, varying in their features and functionality. We curated the ultimate guide to outdoor security cameras to help you determine what to look for in a prospective system.

The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Security Cameras

Features to Look for in a Prospective Outdoor Security Camera

HDR & Video Quality

Older camera models used 720p resolution, but the new generation of this technology comes with 1080p as standard—accept nothing less. The more precise and more defined the picture, the better. This is not only for live monitoring but also for playback. 1080p will allow you to read the license plate number of cars that pull into your driveway, while it’s blurry in 720p.

If you want a camera system to identify people’s facial features, look for 2 K or 4 K resolution. The price is higher, but it’s worth it. This feature is essential if you own a high-risk business or where you might need to identify people with the police.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) removes shadows and glare from the image, providing a high-quality photorealistic picture.

Field of View (FOV)

This metric determines the width of the video. Look for models offering a minimum of 120 degrees, but 180 degrees is the best choice for optimal viewing field. Some cameras come with panning features that allow a 360-degree FOV.

Night Vision Outdoor Security Cameras

When they come during the day, they want your stuff. When they come at night – they want your life. So, buying a camera with night vision makes sense. Ensure your property has the ultimate protection at all times, day and night.

Night vision is available in infrared mode via LED sensors, producing black-and-white footage or color images, even at night. Color night vision is always the way to go if you have the budget.


This feature is critical if you want to zoom in on license plates or people’s facial features. Optical zoom is the best option, giving you high-resolution footage.


Some camera systems come with built-in speaker systems. You can record the viewing area and connect to a speaker through a phone app. This gives you the ability to use two-way communication through the camera.


Understand if the prospective camera model operates on Wi-Fi and needs a 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz network connection. If you have a 5 GHz router at home or in the office, you’ll need cameras that operate on that frequency. Unfortunately, most models only offer 2.4 GHz compatibility. You could also upgrade to a dual-band router to resolve the 5 GHz issue.

Power And Durability

Does the camera operate from a wireless power source, or must you hardwire it into the building’s electrical system? Find out its battery life if you’re using a battery-powered wire-free system. Determine whether it has rechargeable or replaceable batteries. Some cameras operate with a solar panel.

Choose a model with an IP65 rating to ensure optimal weather resistance. These cameras are waterproof.

Storage and Recording

Does the camera offer local or cloud storage? Local storage on MicroSD cards is great, but you’ll need to replace or download the card when it gets full. Cloud-based solutions provide unlimited storage space and more convenience but may require a subscription fee.

The amount of time security video recorders can store ranges significantly. Smaller smart home security cameras record video and store for about a week. Other smart security cameras can store video for about 30 days. Professional monitoring systems can store video for up to six months or more.

Dedicated App Integrations

Can the camera link to your iOS or Android device through an app? What kind of performance can you expect from the camera in-app?

Outdoor Security Cameras

With many options and features to choose from, these tips can lead you in the right direction and help you find the best outdoor security cameras for your needs. For example, your choices range from the well-known easy-to-install front door video doorbell cameras to high-tech, HDR, floodlight cameras with color night vision functions.

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