How To Choose The Best Outdoor Security Cameras For Your Smart Home

Smart security cameras are not the same: some are best used inside the home, while others are rugged and can work regardless of rain, sun or snow. If you already have smart indoor camera why not take it to the next level and add outdoor surveillance with a good outdoor security camera?

Here we will show you how to choose the best outdoor camera that suits your needs.

What makes a good outdoor security camera

A reliable outdoor security camera must be able to withstand the weather and record clearly.

At a basic level, your outdoor security camera should have the following four things:

  • Weather protection – should be rat proof IP65 and higher.
  • Cloud or local storage – or both, if the security camera allows it.
  • Night recording – usually includes IR modes and low light modes.
  • Compatibility – with any system that your smart home is running on.

Beyond that, there are five other qualities that help smart cameras integrate better into an existing smart home system:

  • AI Capabilities – includes face recognition, geofencing and activity zones.
  • Video quality – field of view, resolution, HDR, zoom levels.
  • Audio recording – useful during investigations, but can also be used for other purposes, such as talking to Amazon Alexa on the street.
  • Power supply – some have large battery capacities that last for months on a few hours of charging, while others require an electrical connection.
  • spotlight – In addition to being a useful thief deterrent, spotlights also help you move around outside your home at night.
Also Read :   How to Easily Update Your Router's Firmware

These five don’t have to be in the outdoor security camera. You can continue without them all. However, all of these features are good to have and can help you make a decision.

Surveillance camera selection

Choosing a security camera depends on your needs. Before you go shopping, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is my budget?
  2. Can I afford a one-time purchase or should I subscribe?
  3. How many cameras will it take to protect my home?
  4. Where will I place each camera?
  5. Do I need an NVR? How will I connect my outdoor cameras?
  6. Does my house always have power outages?
  7. What is the climate in my area?
  8. What other devices do I have or plan to add to my smart system?

Given the different characteristics of the cameras, you may have a relatively “poor quality” or “fragile” security camera that works great on your home system without hurting your wallet.

For example, you might have a smart doorbell camera that looks at the place where the postal carrier always puts your packages. You can leave all the advanced AI features to that doorbell and save on that part with your outdoor security camera in favor of a better resolution. The reverse also works if your outdoor smart camera has a better view outdoors.

Your other devices may also play a role in your choice. If you have multiple outdoor cameras, some may have spotlights while others may not. Or you can ditch the spotlight on the camera and get a dedicated spotlight instead.

When it comes to connectivity, Wi-Fi helps if your home network supports it. If you’re only based on using the same router you use for your internet needs, then it might be time to consider getting a dedicated router for your security cameras, or connecting them all to an NVR.

Also Read :   7 Factors to Know Before You Buy Smart Home Security System

When considering batteries small can help during short breaks. Some of them are wireless – charge them for eight hours or so and they’ll last from a week to a month. Mileage varies, and other solar panel devices can help offset the power costs of a security camera.

Smart doorbells vs. security cameras

You may already have a smart HD camera doorbell and are wondering if an outdoor security camera would be overkill. Unfortunately, the answer is always this: it depends.

Some smart doorbells can be installed next to the door and are basically “set it and forget it”. But there’s a problem with that: their view is only limited to what’s in front of your door. If you have a driveway or a wide lawn, your would-be thief may get by unnoticed.

Surveillance cameras can help you hide your blind spots. They can also give you more data as they have stronger lenses and camera sensors that fit into their relatively large frames. These things can even record license plates from a few feet away if they’re at the right angle.