Features to Look for in an Outdoor Security Camera

More and more of us are protecting our homes via video—here’s what to look for in a good system.

Today’s outdoor security cameras are built to brave the elements year-round, be especially watchful at night and transmit every moment of unexpected action to your WiFi-connected device. While you’ll find many of the same features across manufacturers, there are a few that might be particularly handy to have.

Cable Free

Tool-free stick-on installation; and you won’t have to juice it up for two to five months. ZUMIMALL

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Installing anything on the outside of your house can feel intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. Some outdoor security cameras attach with strong adhesive backing so there’s no drilling, screwing or hammering involved.

Easy Installation

With a five to eight month life per charge, you can install and forget this product—until you need it. Conico

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Many systems will not only allow you to see guests, delivery people and potential intruders, they give you the ability to speak to them through the unit. Some even come with mobile apps that allow you to communicate with visitors whether you are home or not.

Plays With Others

You can use other internet-connected gadgets in your house to control this device. Goowls

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Mobile apps are hugely useful for controlling and using your security camera system. Check whether the unit you’re interested in comes with an app, what reviewers like and don’t like about the app and what functions you can perform with your device. Some apps send alerts or video clips to your phone when motion is detected, others allow you to communicate with a person who’s outside your door through your mobile device.

Full Setup

With four networked devices, you can blanket your property. heimvision

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If you have more than one area that you want to keep a watchful eye over, look for a model that comes with multiple cameras. This can also be useful when you need multiple views of one target space.

Truly Untethered

Power pack charges up with energy from the sun; unit can be controlled by voice command with some smart speakers. REOLINK

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Energy source is an important factor to consider when choosing the right security camera. Many run on rechargeable batteries—but it varies from brand to brand how long the unit will work between charge-ups. Others are corded and need to be plugged into electric power. A smaller number of options come with solar-powered batteries.