The best outdoor home security camera of 2020

A good outdoor security camera has to perform well and be able to tackle wind, rain, hail and all sorts of other weather changes. We’ve tested dozens of weatherproof cameras to arrive at this short list of favorites, including the feature-rich Arlo Pro 3, the budget-friendly Wyze Cam Outdoor and the reliable Arlo Video Doorbell.

There’s a lot of variation among the products that made the cut, so have a look for yourself if you’ve been looking for an outdoor home security camera to keep an eye on things outside your house. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The $500 Arlo Pro 3 (two-camera pack, plus hub) is an excellent security camera. It has 2,560×2,560-pixel streaming, color night vision, 12x zoom, a built-in siren and a built-in spotlight. Out of the box, you get motion and sound alerts and access to the live feed.

Otherwise you do need to pay an optional monthly fee, starting at $3 a month for the Arlo Smart subscription service. Arlo Smart adds a bunch of additional features, including detection zones and advanced notifications (people, animal, vehicle and package). The $10 price tier adds in E911, a feature that lets you contact local law enforcement from the Arlo app, no matter where you are. 

The Arlo Pro 3 isn’t cheap, but it’s an excellent home security camera if you have the money to spend.

Read our Arlo Pro 3 review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Wyze makes a variety of solid, affordable smart home devices — and the $50 Wyze Cam Outdoor Starter Bundle is no exception. For your money, you get a rechargeable battery-powered outdoor camera and a required base station, as well as a ton of features. 

In addition to standard features like HD live streaming and motion detection alerts, this affordable camera also comes with free two-week event-based cloud storage and a built-in microSD card slot for local storage. It has a customizable motion detection zone, an “off-grid” option called Travel Model and timelapse videos. Be sure to check out my full review of the Wyze Cam Outdoor if you’re searching for a great outdoor security camera at a great price. 

Read the CNET review.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The $150 Arlo Video Doorbell performs well as a security camera, has a long list of features and competitive cloud storage fees, starting at $3 per month. The optional cloud storage subscription gives you access to advanced person, animal, vehicle and package alerts.

This smart buzzer is easy to install, too, and features two-way audio, motion detection zones, arm/disarm modes and a built-in siren.

Read more about the Arlo Video Doorbell.

In summary

We’ve tested too many outdoor security cameras to list here, so be sure to check out my gallery below for an overview of all the models. It’s worth noting that whatever Wi-Fi security camera you end up buying will only be as good as your home’s network connection. If the connection is spotty, you might see pixelation in the feed, lag times and other related issues, so check your Wi-Fi speed before you start drilling holes in your walls. 

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