Ward off porch pirates with these best outdoor security cameras

Want to keep an eye on your property while you’re out of town? Worried about porch pirates stealing packages? Always be in the know about who or what is on your property by installing one or more outdoor security cameras. There’s a whole array of reliable models on the market these days, and you’re bound to find one that fits your needs — whether your priority is HD video, real-time alerts, or a weatherproof design. We’ve done the work for you and rounded up the best outdoor security cameras on the market right now.

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera ($174)

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One of the most popular outdoor security cameras on the market for good reason, the Nest Cam Outdoor lets you keep an eye on your property at all times. It plugs directly into power, so you’ll never have to worry about replacing any dead batteries. The camera also sends live alerts directly to your smartphone if it hears any loud sounds, like a window smashing. The model comes equipped with a built-in speaker and mic, letting you ask the FedEx person to leave the package on the porch or help you scare away any would-be thieves.

Got other smart products around the house? The Nest Cam Outdoor can work in conjunction with them. For example, if you own a smart washer and dryer, they can take data from your Nest Cam Outdoor and run the laundry when energy usage is low.

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ARLO Pro 2 by Netgear Security Camera System ($149)

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Want to eliminate the need to deal with pesky wires? This security camera from Netgear is wire free, and it’s easy to place it anywhere around the house. Each one provides a 110-degree field of view, so stick a few around the perimeters of your home to cover every inch of your property. Thanks to built-in night vision, these cameras get clear footage just as well at night as they do during the day. They also come equipped with motion activation, so whenever the camera detects movement on your property, you’ll receive an app notification or email in real time.

The camera will alert you only when motion is detected, to ensure the camera isn’t wasting its battery and you’re not getting bombarded with alerts all the time. Got an Alexa-enabled Amazon device with a screen such as the Echo Show? With a simple voice command, Alexa can show you live video from the ARLO camera instantaneously.

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Zmodo Wireless Security Camera System ($60)

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Looking for an outdoor security camera system that doesn’t require technicians or a complicated set-up? You can set up this two-camera system from Zmodo by yourself in minutes. Just plug in the WiFi-enabled cameras, download the Zmodo app, and the system is pretty much ready to go. The camera streams video directly to the app, and you’ll receive smartphone alerts whenever the camera detects motion. Thanks to 720p HD video, you’ll get vivid, crystal-clear footage at all times, even at night up to 65 feet. If you live in an area with unpredictable weather, rest assured that the camera is weatherproof and supports a temperature range from 14 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing you to protect your home during all four seasons, rain or shine. 

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Swann Outdoor Security Camera ($80)

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This outdoor security camera offers 4x optical zoom and full HD 1080p video to ensure you’re always getting clear footage. Even at night, the camera uses powerful infrared night vision to see in the darkness up to 100 feet. You can also customize the settings on the camera, including color and brightness, to suit your needs. It’s easy to mount anywhere outside your home, thanks to the extra long 100-foot cable, and it’ll stand the test of time, as proven by the sturdy aluminum design and IP66 weatherproof rating.

The round dome shape fits discreetly in corners, so it’ll blend into the exterior of your home without drawing attention. The camera also has a built-in microphone that records audio, adding an additional evidence-collection feature to your outdoor surveillance device.

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Blink XT Home Security Camera System ($130)

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Don’t want to rely on your home electricity to power the security camera system because you’re wary of a power outage? These cameras from Blink are totally wire-free and run on 2 AA Lithium batteries, which promise to last for about two years without needing to be replaced. The camera also comes equipped with motion detection, so when the unit senses motion, the WiFi-enabled device will send a real-time alert to your smartphone and a short recorded clip.

One of the most unique things about the Blink XT is that it comes with a local storage hub, so there’s no security concerns with cloud storage. Want to expand your camera system into the house? These weatherproof models can be used indoors or outdoors, and you can connect up to ten devices on one Blink Sync Module.

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Ring Spotlight Cam Wired ($199)

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Terry Walsh/Digital Trends
Terry Walsh/Digital Trends

Concerned about your outdoor security camera’s ability to capture clear footage at night? You won’t have to worry about that with this model from Ring. The camera comes with built-in spotlights and night vision, so even if it’s completely dark and there are no lights on, you’ll still get crisp footage at all times. See someone suspicious lurking around your home? You can trigger the 110-decibel alarm to scare them away and ensure they don’t come back.

With the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired, you also don’t have to worry about dead batteries. It plugs directly into standard power outlets, so your camera is powered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The camera is compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows 10, so you can experience live video and audio in real time, whenever you want to check in on things at home.

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