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Best outdoor smart home cameras 2019: See outside your home anytime

Many home security cameras are naturally indoor cameras, but there are numerous options when it comes to outdoor security cameras too.

If you’re wanting to keep an eye on the area in front of your home, perhaps check up on an alleyway or similar, or have a camera focusing on your garden and your back door, you’re in luck.

Here’s our guide to the best outdoor cameras around. 

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

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  • Measurements: 128 x 93 x 93 mm, 568g
  • Features: Night vision, weatherproof (IP66 rated), 12x digital zoom, speaker, three microphones, compatible with Google Assistant
  • Camera: 8MP, 4K sensor, 1080p video recording, 130-degree wide angle
  • Power: Wired
  • Operating temperature: -40°C to 45°C
  • Recording access: 3 hours (without subscription)
  • Subscription cost: £4/month or £40/year for 5-days history,  £8/month or £80/year for 10-days history or £24/month or £240 a year for 30-days

The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is for outdoor use only, sitting alongside the Nest Cam IQ which is designed for indoor use. There is also the older Nest Cam Outdoor to consider if you want a cheaper alternative from Nest for outdoor use. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is IP66 rated and capable of resisting temperatures from -40°C to 45°C. This is a wired camera that needs power from inside your home, but it offers secure wiring options directly through the backplate to avoid exposing the wires. 

It records continuously at 1080p resolution day or night and will send notifications if it detects movement, sound, someone talking or people. A large and powerful two-way communication system allows you to talk to visitors or scare off intruders, and there is a Supersight zoom feature that will track and follow people as they approach your home.

Without a Nest Aware subscription, you’ll be able to see activity from the last three hours and get alerts for motion and person detection. With the subscription, you’ll get up to 30 days footage, as well as other benefits including the ability to download important footage, more intelligent alerts, familiar face detection and other features such as activity zones and clips.

Ring Floodlight Cam

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  • Measurements: 150 x 250 x 150mm, 2200g
  • Features: Dual LED floodlights, 110-decibel alarm system, two-way audio system, custom motion zones, 270-degree ultra wide motion sensor, Amazon Alexa compatible
  • Camera: 1080p video recording, 140-degree wide angle lens
  • Power: Wired
  • Operating temperature: -30°C to 48.5°C
  • Recording access: No access to cloud footage without subscription
  • Subscription cost: £2.50/month or £25/year for 30 days history

Ring is best known for its video doorbells but the company also offers an outdoor smart camera that includes powerful floodlights, a loud alarm and an ultrawide angle motion detection system. 

The Ring Floodlight Cam is capable of differentiating between objects and people with a passive infrared sensor system that’s clever enough to detect objects, cars and animals within the vicinity. It also allows you to adjust these settings to your own needs. Like other cameras on this list, the Ring Floodlight Cam also includes intelligent motion zone settings and the ability to record 1080p video day and night. 

Access to recorded footage requires a monthly subscription at an additional cost but with floodlights, an alarm system and two-way audio, this camera is a brilliant option for those looking for a deterrent based smart home camera.

Netatmo Presence

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  • Measurements: 200 x 110 x 50mm, 1kg
  • Features: Night vision, weatherproof, 12W dimmable LED floodlight, person, car and animal detection, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant compatible
  • Camera: 4MP sensor, 1080p video recording, 100-degree wide angle
  • Power: Plugged in
  • Operating temperature: -20°C to 50°C
  • Recording access: MicroSD storage up to 32GB (8GB card included for up to 100 videos), no cloud recording
  • Subscription cost: No subscription

The Netatmo Presence is a security camera and light in the same device, recording 1080p video day and night and capable of detecting people, cars and animals up to a customisable 20-metres.

The LED floodlight can be switched on manually or set to switch on when it detects a person, animal, car or all three, while the Presence’s weatherproofing means it is able to withstand rain, snow, moisture, dust and dirt.

Netatmo doesn’t offer cloud recording, with all videos stored locally on the microSD card. An 8GB storage card comes with the device, but you can switch it out for higher storage if you wish. It will support class 10 cards up to 32GB.

arlo pro

Arlo Pro

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  • Measurements: 79.3 x 48.6 x 70.5 mm (camera), 58.6 x 174.5 x 126.5 mm, 316g (base station)
  • Features: Night vision, motion and audio detection weatherproof, custom modes, smart scheduling, IFTTT, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
  • Camera: 720p video recording, 110-degree wide angle
  • Power: Wire-free, rechargeable battery-powered
  • Operating temperature: -10°C to 50°C
  • Recording access: Seven days viewing, downloading and sharing (without subscription)
  • Subscription cost: Premier £6.49/month or £64/year for 30 days of cloud recordings or Elite £9.99/month or £99/year for up to 60 days cloud recordings

The Arlo Pro slots in above the standard Arlo cam, but below the Pro 2. All it’s missing from the Pro 2 is 1080p video capture – instead, you get 720p like the original Arlo cam, but otherwise it’s very similar to the Pro 2 and uses the same hub. Yes, there’s an included base station that connects to your router, offering a siren as well as the option to use local storage.

However, it does offer motion and audio detection, (two-way audio) as well as having black-and-white night vision. The big boon over the standard Arlo Cam is that it uses rechargeable batteries – it can also be connected to mains power should you wish. 

As with any Arlo device, you will need to subscribe to one of the plans to get the most out of it – especially if you’ll be away for more than a week at a time. 

Arlo Ultra

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  • Measurements: 89 x 52 x 78mm, 331g
  • Features: HDR, microphone, speaker, light, coloured night vision, motion and audio detection, siren, auto-zoom and tracking, weatherproof, custom modes, smart scheduling, IFTTT, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
  • Camera: 4K video recording, 180-degree wide angle
  • Power: Wire-free, rechargeable battery-powered
  • Operating temperature: -10°C to 50°C
  • Recording access: Seven days viewing, downloading and sharing (without subscription)
  • Subscription cost: One year Premier recording subscription included. Premier £6.49/month or £64/year for 30 days of cloud recordings or Elite £9.99/month or £99/year for up to 60 days cloud recordings thereafter

The Arlo Ultra sits at the top of the Arlo range and it’s a pricey bit of kit, especially as it requires a specific SmartHub rather than working with the same hub other Arlo cameras work with. That said, the Arlo Ultra offers 4K HDR video recording and a 180-degree field of view, making the video the other Arlo cameras capture look poor in terms of comparison.

Along with 4K HDR video capture, the Arlo Ultra has coloured night vision, a microphone and speaker and a built-in light that can act as a security light. It also offers all the same features as other Arlo cameras in terms of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility and it has person detection, package detection (in beta) and it offers automatic zoom and tracking – which Nest Cam IQ also does.

The Arlo Ultra comes with one year of the Arlo Premier Smart Plan included, after which you will need to sign up to one of the plans to get the most out of your Ultra camera. If you can justify the cost, the Arlo Ultra will really deliver in terms of the quality of footage you will be able to capture outside your home.

Canary Flex

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  • Measurements: 110 x 48mm, 240g
  • Features: Night vision, weatherproof, speaker, microphone, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatible
  • Camera: 1080p video recording, 116-degree wide angle
  • Power: Wired or wire-free
  • Operating temperature: -20°C to 45°C
  • Recording access: 24 hours with unlimited downloads and social sharing (without subscription)
  • Subscription cost: £7.99/month or £79/year for 30 days history

The Canary Flex is weatherproof and it can be used indoors or outdoors, recording 1080p video day or night. It can be plugged into the mains, or used wire-free and recharged.

The Flex features a 360-degree magnetic swivel base that is mounted to a flat surface, while the camera snaps into place on the base and can twist in any direction you want. Like others on this list, there are a range of other accessories available too.

There is no extra hub to connect to your router, it features a built-in speaker and microphone and it comes in black and white colour options. Canary offers 24 hours of video viewing without a subscription after which you pay a flat rate a month or year for 30 days history.

Logitech Circle 2

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  • Measurements: 86.4 x 71.1 x 66mm, 207g (wired), 96.5 x 81.2 x 94mm, 340g (wire-free)
  • Features: Auto night vision up to 5-metres, two-way talk, 8x digital zoom, adjustable pan and tilt, weatherproofing, person detection with subscription, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit compatibility
  • Camera: 1080p video recording, 180-degree wide angle
  • Power: Wire and wire-free options
  • Operating temperature: TBC
  • Recording access: 24 hours unlimited streaming and downloads (without subscription)
  • Subscription cost: Basic £2.99/month for 14 days, or Premium £7.99/month or £79.99/year for 31 days

The Logitech Circle 2 is available in wired and wire-free models, both of which are weatherproof and both of which can be installed inside or outside of your home. It will film in 1080p day or night, like many of the others on this list, but it has a slightly wider field of view at 180-degrees.

Logitech claims the Circle 2 can be set up in minutes, it doesn’t require an additional base station attached to your router and the wire-free, battery-operated model is claimed to last up to three months before it needs recharging. Like the Netgear Arlo further down this list, there are a number of extras that can be bought for the Circle 2, including a backup battery and weatherproof extension cable.

You’ll be able to see 24 hours of recorded video without a subscription, but if you want to go back further, you’ll need to sign up to one of the Circle Safe plans. The Circle Safe Premium plan adds person detection, motion zones, and advanced event and alert filters on top of the features that come with the Free plan and Basic plans.



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