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Best outdoor home security system 2024

Verified by Molly Dyson

Home security plays a crucial role in ensuring individuals’ safety and property protection, with outdoor surveillance a key component in enhancing this security. 

By providing real-time monitoring of your property’s external areas, home security systems act as both a deterrent to potential intruders and a means of gathering evidence in the event of a security breach. The presence of cameras alone can discourage criminal activities, as the risk of being recorded and identified increases significantly. Furthermore, modern surveillance systems offer advanced features such as motion detection, night vision, and remote access, enabling property owners to stay alert and responsive to any unusual activities, regardless of their location. 

This constant vigilance safeguards against theft and vandalism and contributes to a heightened sense of safety and peace of mind for homeowners.

Our experts assess the best outdoor security systems, comparing their features, performance and prices, enabling you to decide about your home’s security.

Our top three recommended providers
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Camera resolution

Higher resolution cameras capture clearer images, which is crucial for identifying faces or vehicle number plates. Look for HD or 4K resolution.

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Night vision

Ensure the cameras have good night vision capabilities, possibly with infrared or colour technology, to capture clear footage in low-light conditions.

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Motion detection and alerts

Systems with motion detection can alert you to activity in real time, allowing for prompt responses to potential security incidents. Some cameras can detect the difference between people, pets and parcels, which could be something you require.

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Weather resistance

Outdoor cameras should be weatherproof and withstand adverse weather conditions, whether that be rain, snow, extreme heat, or cold.

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Storage options

Decide whether you prefer cloud storage, which may require a subscription, or local storage, such as a hard drive or SD card for saving footage.

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Power source

Consider whether you prefer wired cameras, which require installation near power sources, or wireless cameras, which offer more flexibility but may need frequent battery replacements or recharging.

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Installation

Assess the ease of installation and if any maintenance is required. Professional installation might be needed for complex systems.

The best outdoor security cameras compared

This table allows you to compare our best outdoor security systems quickly.

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera Arlo Wireless Smart Video Doorbell eufyCam S330 (eufyCam 3) Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro Blink Outdoor Reolink Argus 2E
Price £259.99 £179.99 £499 for a two-camera kit £219.99 £89.99 from Amazon £84.99
Wireless or wired Wireless Wireless Wireless Wired Wireless Wireless
Resolution 1080p HDR 1080p HDR 4K 1080p HDR 1080p HD 1080p HD
Field of view 160° diagonal 180° diagonal 135° 140° horizontal, 80° vertical 110° diagonal 120° diagonal
Night vision Colour and infrared night vision Infrared night vision Colour and infrared night vision Colour night vision Infrared night vision Infrared night vision
Voice assistant Alexa, Google Assistant Alexa, Google Assistant Alexa, Google Assistant Alexa Alexa Alexa, Google Assistant
Power source Battery Battery Solar and battery Wired Battery Battery
Installation DIY DIY DIY Professional DIY DIY
Battery life 6 months 6 months 1 year N/A 2 years 6 months
Two-way audio Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Motion detection Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Storage options Local storage on SD card Local storage on SD card Built-in 16GB for 3 months usage, expandable via HDD/SSD up to 16TB Cloud storage with a subscription to Ring Protect Cloud with a subscription plan, local storage option Local storage on SD card

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera: Best floodlight camera

Best outdoor home security system Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight camera
The Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera features bright lights to deter would-be burglars (Arlo)

Key specifications

  • Price: £259.99
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Resolution: 1080p HDR
  • Field of view: 160 degrees diagonal
  • Voice assistant: Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Power source: Wired or battery
  • Battery lasts: Six months
  • Mounting: Wall or ceiling mounted
  • Two-way audio: Yes
  • Motion detection: Yes
  • Cloud storage: Yes, with a subscription, or local storage on SD card (not included)
  • Night vision: Colour and infrared night vision

Pros

x2 3,000lm floodlight User-friendly app Digital tracking

Cons

Certain features are only available with an Arlo Secure subscription (£3.49/month)

The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera stands out from traditional floodlight designs – a curved panel featuring a central black camera flanked by two white LED lights. These lights can be manually activated via the app or illuminated automatically upon detecting motion. The panel also incorporates motion sensors, infrared LEDs, a microphone and speaker, and an 80dB smart siren. 

The camera delivers crisp, vibrant 2K resolution and offers a 160-degree field of view. It provides colour night vision in low light conditions or when the floodlight is activated; in darker settings, it switches to infrared LEDs for sharp black-and-white night vision. It also features a 12X digital zoom and supports automatic zooming and tracking, focusing on and following moving objects.

Video recording is triggered by motion detection, but viewing stored footage requires a subscription to an Arlo Secure plan from £3.49 a month – a 30-day free trial is included. The subscription offers additional features, such as Advanced Object Detection, distinguishing between people, animals, and vehicles, package detection alerts, customisable alert settings, and cloud-based activity zones for tailored motion detection.

Our verdict

The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera is a good choice for DIY homeowners who want to monitor their property’s exterior. The wireless design makes installation quick and straightforward, providing crisp 2K video, including full-colour night vision. The camera promptly sends motion alerts, and other features, including zoom, tracking, and Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, work efficiently. While access to recorded video and some advanced features requires an Arlo Secure subscription, the monthly cost for a single camera is reasonable.

Arlo Wireless Smart Video Doorbell: Best doorbell camera

Best outdoor home security system Arlo wireless doorbell camera
The Arlo wireless doorbell camera provides good front-door protection (Arlo)

Key specifications

  • Price: £179.99
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Resolution: 1080p HDR
  • Field of view: 180-degree diagonal
  • Voice assistant: Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Power source: Battery
  • Battery lasts: Six months
  • Mounting: Wall
  • Two-way audio: Yes
  • Motion detection: Yes
  • Cloud storage: Local storage on an SD card (not included), or cloud-based with a   subscription
  • Night vision: Yes, black and white

Pros

Sharp video quality DIY installation Good battery life

Cons

Many features require subscription Doorbell is inactive when being recharged

This Arlo Wireless Smart Video Doorbell features a sleek, glossy black face, complemented by a white side trim and a matte black mounting base, with an alternative black side trim option available. It boasts a circular doorbell button encircled by an LED status ring, with the camera positioned towards the top edge, an ambient light sensor, and a microphone. The compact speaker is on the bottom edge of the doorbell.

Arlo’s model is a feature-rich device offering smart notifications that distinguish between people and packages. It boasts a durable battery life of six months and is easily mounted with the included plate and screws. 

The wide-angle lens provides an expansive field of view of 180 degrees diagonally, with a 1:1 aspect ratio that’s particularly effective for full-length views of people and checking for packages at your door. It also features a 12X digital zoom, motion sensors, infrared LED for black-and-white night vision, and an 80db siren with in-app activation. Local storage is available via an SD card, which you must purchase separately. 

The doorbell includes a three-month free trial of the Arlo Secure plan, which adds enhanced features, such as object detection, activity zones, smart alerts, and cloud recording. However, continued access to these features requires a post-trial subscription, costing £3.49 a month. 

Our verdict

The Arlo Wireless Video Doorbell is a great option for homeowners seeking a straightforward installation process and a high-resolution video doorbell. It has excellent video quality, even at night, a good field of view, and is compatible with a range of third-party smart devices, including Alexa and Google Assistant. 

However, it’s important to note that a subscription to an Arlo Smart plan is required to access some of its more advanced features.

eufyCam S330 (eufyCam 3): Best wireless camera

Best outdoor home security system eufyCam S330
The two-camera eufyCam S330 system allows you to monitor the front and back of your property (Eufy)

Key specifications

  • Price: £499 for a two-camera system
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Field of view: 135 degrees
  • Voice assistant: Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Power source: Battery and in-built solar panel
  • Battery lasts: One year
  • Mounting: Wall or eaves
  • Two-way audio: Yes
  • Motion detection: Yes
  • Cloud storage: No, built-in local storage 16GB for three months’ usage, expandable via HDD/SSD up to 16TB
  • Night vision: Colour and infrared night vision

Pros

Facial recognition and AI features Integrated solar charging panels Local storage built-in

Cons

Expensive

While battery-operated outdoor security cameras are easier to install than wired models, the batteries do require recharging or replacing over time. The EufyCam 3 S330 effectively addresses this issue with its solar charging panel. Although this two-camera pack comes with a higher price tag and requires the HomeBase 3 hub, which is included, these aspects are minor compared to its impressive features, such as crisp, clean 4K resolution, colour night vision, an integrated spotlight, and 100db siren. 

The solar panel on the top of the camera maintains the internal battery’s charge with just two hours of sunlight daily. However, the camera can be brought indoors to charge using the provided cable if necessary. Eufy states that the battery can last up to a year between charges, even without the solar panel, under normal usage conditions.

The camera supports full-colour and black-and-white modes for night vision recording, features 4K resolution and has a 135-degree field of view. It also uses AI self-learning to recognise faces and detect people, pets, and vehicles. 

Unlike many other security systems, all of the eufyCam S330’s features are available without a subscription, meaning that once the system is installed, there are no ongoing costs.

Our verdict

Despite the eufyCam 3 S330’s price tag, it offers considerable value for your investment, with two battery and solar-powered outdoor cameras capable of capturing high-quality 4K video and a hub that can store hours of footage locally. 

It encompasses all the expected features, such as smart alerts, voice control capabilities, facial recognition, and some extras, such as AI self-learning. The addition of a built-in solar panel for continuous battery power is a significant bonus, enhancing the system’s overall appeal and functionality.

Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro: Best wired camera

Best home security system Ring floodlight cam wired pro
The wired version of the Ring Floodlight Cam Pro means you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries (Ring)

Key specifications

  • Price: £219.99
  • Wireless: No
  • Resolution: 1080p HDR
  • Field of view: 140 degrees horizontal, 80 degrees vertical
  • Voice assistant: Alexa
  • Power source: Wired
  • Battery lasts: N/A
  • Mounting: Wall or ceiling mounted
  • Two-way audio: Yes
  • Motion detection: Yes
  • Cloud storage: Yes with a Ring Protect subscription
  • Night vision: Colour night vision

Pros

2x 1,000lm floodlights Bird’s eye mapping Good video resolution

Cons

Support for Amazon Alexa only Certain features are only available with a Ring Protect subscription Professional installation recommended

The Floodlight Cam Pro, a successor to the Floodlight Cam Plus, provides enhanced protection through a hardwired connection, and Ring recommends professional installation for this model.

It offers a sleek, sturdy, weather-resistant design in black or white and is equipped with two prominent 1,000lm floodlights above the camera lens.

The Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro features a 140-degree lens and captures crisp, full HD colour video during the day and at night, provided its six LEDs are activated. However, the infrared feature will record in black and white if the lights aren’t on. This camera also includes built-in speakers, enabling communication with anyone within its viewing range. Additionally, it boasts a loud 110dB siren that can be activated remotely, serving as a potent deterrent to potential intruders.

Other features include Ring’s innovative Bird’s Eye view, which provides an aerial map of motion activities around your property, radar-controlled 3D motion detection to reduce false alarms, and a pre-roll feature. This stores four seconds of footage recorded before any motion detection to better understand alert triggers. 

Our verdict

The Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro is an effective and straightforward home security solution. It captures high-quality video and has integrated LEDs and a siren to deter intruders. This device is functionally reliable and boasts an array of intelligent technologies and app-based features for enhanced security management. 

However, it’s important to consider that accessing cloud storage requires a Ring Protect subscription, payable monthly or annually. If an additional recurring expense is unappealing, you might want to explore other options.

Best outdoor home security system Blink outdoor camera
The Blink Outdoor is one of the most affordable security cameras on the market (Blink)

Key specifications

  • Price: Around £89.99 from third-party retailers, including Amazon
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Field of view: 110 degrees diagonal
  • Voice assistant: Alexa
  • Power source: Battery
  • Battery lasts: Two years
  • Mounting: Wall
  • Two-way audio: Yes
  • Motion detection: Yes
  • Cloud storage: Yes, with a subscription plan from £2.50 per month, or locally via Blink Sync Module 2 free service with a USB flash drive (sold separately)
  • Night vision: Yes, infrared night vision

Pros

Affordable price Two-year battery life Good video resolution

Cons

Support for Amazon Alexa only

Amazon acquired Blink in late 2017 and has continually expanded Blink’s home security offerings, with the Blink Outdoor marketed as its budget-friendly outdoor security camera. 

This fully wireless and weatherproof camera offers effortless outdoor mounting. Operating on just two regular AA batteries, it boasts an impressive battery life of up to two years. 

The Blink Outdoor produces clear, crisp video during the day, and although the infrared night video loses clarity after around 10ft, it’s sharp and easily viewable until that point. It supports Amazon Alexa, includes built-in speakers for two-way talk, and features temperature monitoring capabilities. 

Included in the price is the Blink Sync Module 2, which allows for the connection of a USB flash drive, enabling local video storage. This is a convenient option for those who prefer to avoid investing in a recurring Blink cloud storage subscription.

Our verdict

The Blink Outdoor stands out as a suitable option for those seeking an affordable outdoor camera, thanks to its long battery life, 1080p video quality, and straightforward installation process. While it necessitates a hub to connect to your network, this is conveniently included in the package and features a USB port for local video storage.

Best outdoor home security system Reolink Argus 2
The Reolink Argus 2 allows you to have outdoor home security without a monthly fee (Reolink)

Key specifications

  • Price: £84.99
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Resolution: 1080p HDR
  • Field of view: 120 degrees diagonal
  • Voice assistant: Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Power source: Battery or solar (solar panel not included)
  • Battery lasts: Six months
  • Mounting: Wall
  • Two-way audio: Yes
  • Motion detection: Yes
  • Cloud storage: Local storage on SD card, cloud storage optional
  • Night vision: Infrared

Pros

Affordable price Local video storage Good video resolution

Cons

App setup can be glitchy Limited features

The Reolink Argus 2 features a wireless design with a rechargeable battery, and a particularly convenient aspect is the ability to charge while the battery remains connected, ensuring no interruption in use – many other cameras require disconnecting. Another power option is recharging via a solar panel, purchased separately, allowing the camera to trickle charge continuously. This is especially appealing for eco-conscious homeowners or those who want to place their camera away from a mains power source.

With its 1080p HD resolution, the video quality is razor-sharp, and while there may be occasional lags, the Argus 2E generally provides high-quality footage. The camera features a PIR (passive infrared) motion sensor, a standard feature within this price range. This technology detects motion by responding to body heat, distinguishing between living beings and inanimate objects. This capability makes motion detection efficient, significantly reducing false or irrelevant alerts, such as those triggered by leaves blowing in the wind.

It incorporates seven infrared LEDs to produce crisp black-and-white night vision footage up to 33ft. The camera can also provide colour night vision, although the image quality of this mode is slightly reduced. Additionally, it includes a speaker and microphone for two-way communication and an internal 80db siren.

Our verdict

The Reolink Argus 2 stands out as a strong contender for a subscription-free outdoor home surveillance camera, thanks to its easy installation, crisp video quality both day and night, and local recording capabilities. Its weather-resistant design is perfect for placements in outdoor areas, and the rechargeable battery pack offers the flexibility of installation without the need for a nearby power source. While adding a microSD card to the package would enhance its value, the Argus 2 already offers considerable benefits for its price, making it a compelling choice.

How do outdoor security systems work?

Outdoor security systems function by using a network of cameras and sensors to monitor and protect the exterior of a property. 

These cameras typically capture high-resolution video, which can be accessed in real-time or recorded for later review. Advanced systems often include motion detection technology, triggering alerts or recording when movement is detected. Night vision capabilities allow for clear footage even in low-light conditions. Most systems integrate with smart devices, enabling remote access and control through smartphones or computers, while some connect to a central monitoring service. 

This comprehensive surveillance setup helps deter potential intruders and gives homeowners a sense of security and peace of mind.

What to consider when buying an outdoor security system

When purchasing an outdoor security system, several factors need to be considered. Balancing these factors depends on individual needs and priorities. For instance, a higher resolution and night vision are crucial for some, while others prioritise smart home compatibility or a specific power source.

Cost

This encompasses both the initial investment and ongoing expenses. A higher upfront cost might mean better quality and fewer maintenance issues, but you should also consider potential ongoing subscription fees.

Power source

Options include hardwired, battery-powered, or solar-powered systems. Battery-powered systems offer flexibility but require regular charging or battery replacement, while hardwired systems could require a more complicated installation process.

Technical specifications

  • Night vision: Essential for clear nighttime surveillance
  • Resolution: Higher resolutions provide clearer images
  • Lighting: Integrated lighting, such as floodlights, can enhance visibility and deter intruders
  • Weatherproof rating: Ensure the system is durable enough for your climate
  • Two-way audio: Useful for communicating with visitors or deterring trespassers
  • Motion detection: Increases the efficiency of the system by alerting you to activity

Subscription fees for recording or storing video

Some systems offer cloud storage for a monthly fee, while others allow local storage without ongoing costs. Cloud storage is usually unlimited but comes with a time limit on viewing stored footage, while local storage is limited to the capacity of your SD card or hard drive.

Smart home compatibility and scalability

If you have or plan to have a smart home ecosystem, ensure the system integrates well and can be scaled or expanded if needed.

Our top three recommended providers

Frequently asked questions about outdoor security systems

Outdoor security systems are effective deterrents against thieves. Visible cameras and the likelihood of being recorded make burglars think twice about targeting a property. Features such as motion-activated lights and alarms further discourage attempts at break-ins, as they increase the risk of detection and apprehension for potential intruders.

Using cameras that capture images beyond the boundaries of your property, including neighbouring areas, requires careful consideration of privacy laws. 

Though this isn’t always feasible, you should direct cameras away from neighbouring properties, shared areas, or public streets. When capturing images and audio beyond your property boundary, assessing the intrusiveness of such surveillance is essential. Adjusting the camera’s direction, using filters, or implementing privacy blocks can minimise intrusion. Under these circumstances, data protection laws apply, setting specific rules that must be followed, although enforcement of these rules can be challenging.

How we test smart home security systems

100+
hours of research
20
customer service calls
59
home security systems compared
700+
customer reviews read
6
experts consulted

Our Independent Advisor experts have researched and tested each home security system in order to provide fair, impartial and accurate recommendations. We compare products, features, quality and cost alongside what others in the industry say and how customers have also reviewed their experiences.

Our reviews are determined by the following categories:

  • Upfront and contract pricing
  • Packages available
  • Features and functionality
  • Usability
  • Customer experience

We examine 18 elements within these categories including:

  • Monitoring services and contract types
  • Data backup and storage
  • Warranties
  • Flexibility/customisation in bundles
  • Quality (image, sound, product)
  • Installation

All of our home security articles are verified by our in-house team of fact-checkers, to give consumers the knowledge they need to make an informed, up-to-date and confident decision. To find our more, read our article on how we review home security systems.

Katharine Allison

Energy Saving Writer

As Independent Advisor’s energy saving expert, Katharine, a keen advocate for sustainability, is an authority on solar panels, double glazing, and cutting-edge renewable energy technologies. Her dedication merges with a commitment to enlighten and steer readers toward embracing eco-friendly solutions and the latest trends in sustainability.

With over 10 years of experience, she has worked with some of the UK’s leading companies and publications, including the Federation of Master Builders, Architectural Digest, and Denon Construction. 

Katharine is particularly passionate about consumer causes and animal welfare and has art, philosophy, and psychology degrees. She lives with her sled dogs in East Sussex.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.