Everyone in the UK and around the world will get the feeling at some point in time that they think they hear a sound outside. Usually it’s nothing to be worried about but it’s always nice to get some peace of mind. That’s exactly what an outdoor security camera can give you. Outdoor security cameras are also a great deterrent for any real threats that might consider coming to your door.
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Here is a quick snapshot of our top-rated picks.
If you do feel nervous about getting robbed from time to time, don’t worry. You’re not being irrational. Research by YouGov indicated that 28 per cent of your fellow Brits share the same fear of being a victim of burglary. Whether you’re at home enjoying a spot of tea or you’re out running errands at the shops, having a security camera outside your house is always a plus when it comes to home security.
If you fall into that 28 per cent or if you simply would like to add a line of defence for your home, you should ensure that you do your homework on the topic of outdoor security cameras before you go out to make a purchase. Fortunately for you, we’ve put together an in-depth buying guide complete with our list of the top 10 outdoor security cameras on the market in the UK today.
The Top 5 Outdoor Security Cameras
Hopefully, we got to almost everyone’s burning security camera questions in our frequently asked questions section. We’ve packed in a ton of info on the topic of outdoor security cameras so we’re betting that after reading through our list of benefits, FAQs and the types of different outdoor security cameras, you’re about ready to get out there and make a purchase.
Before you do that, we suggest reading on to check out our choices for the top seven outdoor security cameras available in the United Kingdom today. We’re sure our top choices will provide a little something for everyone, every budget and every home! Remember that our top seven are just that, the top seven, listed in no particular order.
1. Arlo Ultra 4k
One of our overall favourite outdoor security cameras and possibly the best wifi security camera available in the UK today is the Arlo Ultra 4k. It’s exceedingly easy to use and the colour footage that it records is unmatched in clarity and sharpness. This camera is capable of recording different lengths of video while always keeping whatever the source of the motion is in the frame.
- UHD video quality - Zoom in to see sharp details with Arlo Ultra’s 4K and HDR advanced image quality technology
- 180 Degree diagonal field of view - See more with a wider angle lens that has auto image correction reducing the fish eye effect
- Enhanced night vision - See what’s lurking with color night vision allowing you to see video in color rather than traditional black and white
This camera’s motion-sensing is so good that it can even alert you as to whether the source of that motion is a person, animal or car, and it is almost always correct in its identification.
- Boasts useful two-way audio so then you can talk to whoever’s at the door
- Very high-quality 3840 x 2160 recording resolution
- Can record night scenes in vivid colour
- Comes complete with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries which typically last between three to six months
- Very compact which makes it easy to install and manoeuvre
- Limited field of vision with just 180-degree capabilities
2. Arlo Pro 3 Smart
Here we have a bit more of an affordable option than the Ultra from the good people at Arlo, although the Pro 3 Smart is still not exactly a bargain. It’s pretty similar to the Ultra including most of the same features while also carrying on the ease of use that consumers have come to expect from Arlo products.
- 2K Video with HDR - Zoom in on objects and see clearer details and colours in 2K HDR
- Color Night Vision - See what’s lurking with colour night vision or black and white
- Integrated Spotlight - Light up the night and identify unique details with the integrated spotlight
You won’t be getting the beautiful 4k images of the Ultra but with 2k HD, you’re still getting some high-quality footage. You can also zoom in and out on objects in the camera’s field of vision to give yourself a better idea of what you’re seeing out there.
- Comes with an integrated spotlight and colour night vision capabilities
- Very simple and easy wireless setup
- Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that last for six months
- Built-in smart siren to help ward off trespassers
- Superior audio quality on the camera’s two-way audio
- Very small and compact which makes it easy to move and easy to hide
- 2560 x 1440 video recording resolution
- An even smaller field of vision than the Ultra with just 160 degrees of possible range
3. Blink Home Security X2 (2nd Gen)
Here we have a much more affordable outdoor security camera for those balling on a budget. It’s here on our list of best outdoor security cameras but if you wanted, you could also move it indoors and it would be just as at home. You’re not going to get a ton of fancy features with this affordable option but it can certainly do the job.
- Extended battery life - 2-year battery life on two AA lithium batteries with a combination of two-way talk, Live View, and motion recording. Double the usage of the XT on a single set of batteries when recording video.
- 2-way audio - Talk to visitors through the Blink app on your smartphone or tablet.
- Customisable motion detection - Use activity zones to choose where motion is detected so you receive the alerts that matter.
It comes equipped with crisp 1080p video, decent night vision and no monthly fees attached. This means that once you’ve bought the camera, the payments stop right then and there. It also possesses a strong signal with the ability to connect to your wifi hub from as far as 20 meters away. This will also likely be the easiest outdoor security to set up that you’ll find on your search. No mount or drilling required; simply prop it on any surface you choose.
- Charges on two common AA batteries with an average lifespan of about two years
- Most affordable security camera you’ll find for this kind of quality
- Compact and versatile design allows for it to be used in several situations
- Very simply installation and setup procedure
- High-quality 1080p video
- Includes handy two-way audio
- Very limited 110-degree field of vision
- Black and white night vision only
- No zoom or tracking capabilities
- No motion sensors
4. Ring Floodlight Cam
The Floodlight Cam will be our first entry from Ring, one of the big guys right now in the security camera space. This outdoor security camera option allows you to record extremely sharp and clear video when the motion sensors are tripped, whether during the day or night time. It also comes equipped with two strong and bright floodlights that can be turned on manually, set to a specific, custom schedule of your choice or set so that they turn on automatically when motion is sensed.
- Works with select Alexa devices to launch real-time video with your voice.
- Lets you see, hear and speak to visitors from your phone, tablet and PC.
- You'll get a notification as soon as movement is detected.
These cameras can also be worked to connect to Alexa devices to launch real-time video with your voice. These do unfortunately require old-school wiring technology to get them installed which is not ideal but once it’s done, it’s done. Ring also boasts one of the best security apps in the game today which is becoming increasingly important.
- High-quality 1920 x 1080p video
- A well-integrated app for storing and monitoring video
- Very easy to use
- Customizable floodlights to keep the area illuminated whenever it pleases you
- Colour night vision capabilities when the floodlights are activated
- Two-way audio
- Only 140 degrees of view
- Can be prone to false alerts from things such as steam
5. Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
Our fifth and final entry on our list of the best outdoor security cameras that you can get in the United Kingdom in 2020 is the Nest Cam IQ from Google. This giant white camera with a glowing blue LED ring light is not a security camera that you’ll be trying to hide, or will be able to, for that matter.
- 24/7 live video. 130° wide-angle view lets you look after your home in 1080P HD, day and night.
- Receive a Phone Alert or email when Nest cam detects activity.
- Weatherproof, cable and adaptor, so you can leave it out in the Rain.
The only real downside of this camera is that you will need to drill through a wall to snake the cable through and into the closest outlet. But, once you’ve done that, you no longer have to worry about charging the thing and it will be recording video 24/7 if you want it to. It also comes with zooming capabilities on a 130-degree field of vision with motion and sound sensors so then you never missing any of the action.
- Strong blue LED light to help deter criminals
- Complete with zoom and track technology which means that it can identify what’s moving, zoom in on that thing and start tracking it
- Never having to worry about running out of battery
- 1080p video enhanced by an eight-megapixel (4k) colour sensor as well as a 12x digital zoom
- Very good night vision
- Sound sensors that can identify a person talking and differentiate that from a dog barking
- Specific alerts from the sound sensors
- Less than ideal 130-degree field of vision
- A bit difficult to install since the wiring needs to find its way inside your home
What Is An Outdoor Security Camera?
There are many different types of outdoor security cameras that have different definitions (we’ll get to that in a little bit). There are a few characteristics shared by all types of outdoor security camera. Whether they’re connected through your Wi-FI network, through the ethernet or through another method, all outdoor security cameras will be set up outside, usually on the front porch or near to a door.
Any quality security camera made for use outdoors will also likely be able to withstand all of the elements from rain to snow to heavy winds through to extreme temperatures both hot and cold. You don’t want to be worrying about your security system every time it drizzles, right? Some cameras can be on all the time but you can usually control when it is on so then you can turn it off temporarily for anything that you might need to do.
The most important thing that separates the security camera from other types of archaic doorway security device such as the peephole or window is that the camera will feed either to an app (most common nowadays) or to a repository located in your house where you can check out what’s at your front door without having to get right up close and personal if you think there might be something shady on the other side.
A neat and often times helpful aspect of the outdoor security camera is that it doesn’t just show you a live feed in front of your house. It can also record video so then you can check up on what’s been going on in your house after work, errands or whatever other activity you may have been up to that day. If you want more than a week of saved recorded video, you will likely need to get a special subscription. Otherwise, most security cameras will record over the video after about a week or so.
Do I Need An Outdoor Security Camera?
Of course, no one necessarily needs an outdoor security camera for their home. That said, as we mentioned before, they’re nice for someone looking for a little bit of peace of mind, whether you are home alone on a spooky night or out and about worrying about the safety of your beloved home. There are other reasons to get yourself and your house an outdoor security camera in addition to simple peace of mind.
It could be that you’re having issues with packages or other deliveries getting stolen from your doorstep when you’re out of the house or don’t come to the door immediately. It could be that you want to catch those pesky trash pandas red-handed in your trash cans. An outdoor security camera will give you the ability to see everything that’s going on just outside your house so you don’t have to sit there as your mind comes up with all sorts of monsters that could be at your front door.
The great thing about good outdoor security cameras is that they not only give you a glimpse at the possible danger outside but they can also send you alerts about any danger and record the events for posterity and later viewing. This could possibly help you identify someone who’s been stealing from your front porch but it can also simply indicate who’s at your door and whether they are friend or foe.
If you’ve got kids and pets, an outdoor security camera is also a great way to keep an eye on those rascals to ensure that they’re playing safely out. You can even get your outdoor security camera connected to systems in your house that can set off alerts when it senses suspicious movement. If you’re really struggling with safety outside your home, you may want to look into a full 24/7 hands-off security system that’s connected to a monitoring service.
While there are some ethical dilemmas to consider when thinking about how you’re going to use your security camera, those most often arise with indoor security cameras rather than those that face your front lawn or door where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy for the guest, wanted or unwanted.
Types Of Outdoor Security Cameras
There are dozens of different unique kinds of outdoor security camera available but to make sure that you get yourself the right one for what you need, you should make yourself familiar with of the varied outdoor security cameras that you can get.
To help you wade through all of the different kinds of outdoor security cameras and the different technology that comes with each one, we’ve put together a list of the nine most common types of security cameras on the market today. From box style to a motion sensor through to thermal technology, our categories don’t cover every single outdoor security camera out there. We’ll be casting a wide enough net to give you a great idea of what kind of cameras are out there for you to select from.
Box Style Camera
This camera is named because it is built in a box shape. It’s a standalone camera that functions much like most regular cameras and it can be easily set up and mounted outside your door as your outdoor security camera. These kinds of cameras will also often come with a ton of customization options for the lens, camera and housing so as to make the installation easier for you. They also come with several lens options including varifocal and fixed.
Dome Security Camera
This type of security camera is surely familiar to most as it is used in many public settings from the tube to other forms of transit and inside and outside many businesses. This is a mixture of camera, lens and mount all rolled into one small and discreet dome shape. It functions like most other cameras except for the fact that it’s enclosed in a dome.
These types of cameras are also hardy, so you can expect them to perform to standard no matter what the setting is outside. While we’re talking outdoor security cameras here, these types of cameras can also be used for indoor purposes, thanks to their aesthetically-pleasing, compact and unassuming look.
PTZ Security Camera
Now we’re starting to get into some more impressive categories of outdoor security cameras with the PTZ. This kind of outdoor security camera allows the owner nearly complete control over the camera with the ability to pan, tilt and zoom the camera remotely. This is a very handy feature for someone who will be checking in on their home while they’re out for extended periods.
Even if there isn’t anything going on outside, it can sometimes be fun to play around with the joystick or software that lets you control the camera. Not only can you mess around and control how the camera moves, you can also input preset patterns and positions so then you ensure your camera is looking in the right place at the right time even if you’re not sitting by the joystick.
This can help you focus on areas of particular interest without allowing other areas to be completely neglected. These cameras also come equipped with Auto Track movement that allows you to survey a wider area with the ability to zoom and get a better idea of what you’re looking at.
Bullet Security Camera
Here we have the classic bullet-design outdoor security camera which contains all of the usual elements you’d expect from your camera in a sleek, bullet-style body. This type of outdoor security cameras will more often than not come with IR illuminators. The sealed enclosure and general design of the camera also decreases your need for servicing as they are durable cameras.
It does have a smaller footprint which means it has a smaller range of vision compared to some of the other options out there. It is great in low-light situations however, so it could be the perfect camera for a small, dimly lit area that needs surveying. Not to mention that it doesn’t need any separate housing or lenses which limits the amount of work you need to do as the owner.
IP Security Camera
This is one of the more modern types of security cameras as it is able to transmit a digital signal over a network using an Internet Protocol. With this camera, you’ll be getting some of the best resolutions and scalability you’ll find in the outdoor security camera market. Some of these will even come with built-in video analytics software.
The use of an Internet Protocol by this camera makes it a much better management system than what analogue cameras will usually be dealing with. It also offers a range of different resolutions from VGA to 29 Megapixels.
Day/Night Security Camera
As the name suggests, this security camera will work for you whether it is night or day, indoor or outdoor. It is especially useful in outdoor situations with low light conditions. They also include an IR filter that lifts up as lighting levels decrease. This ability of the camera to adapt is what allows it to feed back great results both during the day and at night.
Thermal Security Camera
This one is a little rarer but if you do need something that can use thermal imaging as part of your security setup, here we go. These cameras use heat to differentiate between objects and they can produce useful security footage in very dark or harsh settings.
These cameras will analyze the heat signatures and differentiate people and animals from objects e even when it’s filming an area that is utterly and completely pitch black. It can also detect people in less than ideal conditions such as when they’re covered by smoke, haze, dust or a light fog.
Wide Dynamic Security Camera
Here we have another hi-tech option, the wide dynamic outdoor security camera. This type of outdoor security camera will allow the owner to balance light levels on a pixel by pixel basis, which can be very helpful. These types of outdoor security cameras are also great because they allow for a bevvy of different lighting levels.
These types of cameras are also ideal for those looking to identify people that might come and cause trouble on their front porch. They can capture clear shots of people’s faces when people are entering with a bright light coming from behind them paired with dark shadows coming from the front. Often you will find this type of camera being used in areas where you might expect a lot of sunshine or car headlights such as parking lots.
Wireless IP Security Camera
These types of security cameras are ideal for those who would rather avoid a cumbersome setup. These kinds of cameras are very easy to install and setup while also eliminating the cost of network cabling. You can thank the system’s Wi-Fi connections for that simplicity. These types of cameras also allow the user to tilt and swivel the camera to gain a wider viewing range.
These outdoor security cameras will also often come with motion detection technology that can supply the owner with instant alerts about intruders or unwanted visitors. These cameras will render crystal clear images, even in the lowest light.
Benefits Of An Outdoor Security Camera?
Now that we know what an outdoor security camera is as well as the main types you can expect to find out on the market, we can start discussing why an outdoor security camera can be beneficial to you and yours.
The benefits that having an outdoor security camera on your property will bring vary greatly depending on whose camera it is. There are definitely a few overarching advantages that everyone can enjoy when they decide to get themselves an outdoor security camera.
Keep Burglars Away
Just the sight of a security camera outside your house can deter a lot of would-be burglars but it is somewhat risky to just rely on dummy cameras. Veteran burglars are able to spot a fake camera that’s just there for show quite easily, not to mention that most robbers will case the house that they plan to rob for a few days. If they notice that the camera doesn’t actually do anything, it won’t deter them.
More often than not, when a burglar sees a working security camera installed by a professional system, they will move on to the next house and leave you alone. If a cheeky burglar decides to try your house even with your outdoor security camera, the footage that the camera takes can be used to help identify the criminal and hopefully get back whatever they stole.
Aid The Police
The above point leads into the next big benefit of having an outdoor security camera at your house: the footage that it will capture during an actual break-in could be crucial to helping the police find the culprit. Surely a high-definition video of the crime can’t hurt the investigation. Most likely if you’ve been burgled and you catch the burglar on camera, the police will be able to find that person, bring them to justice and return anything that they might have stolen from you.
Have An Eye On The Kids
Outdoor security cameras aren’t only useful for keeping bad guys out however. They can also be used for other functions such as keeping an eye on your little ones while you’re off at the shops or at work. Many of the new modern hi-tech security cameras out there will be set up with an app through which you can watch your camera feed from wherever you may be.
This is very handy for households with young kids where both parents work during the day. Thanks to the modern outdoor security camera, you can keep an eye on your kids playing remotely or make sure they get home or off the bus safe after school. Having that peace of mind can make your whole day more relaxed and assist you in being more focused and productive rather than being distracted by how your children are doing.
Keep Watch On Your Pets
Another group that the outdoor security camera can help you with is your pets. Just like with your kids, you can use the outdoor security camera to watch your dogs in the back or front yard and make sure they are being good while you’re away. Pets are a big part of many people’s lives and it can be worrisome to leave them home alone. It is expensive to pay someone to watch them so the security camera is a great way to cut costs and give you peace of mind.
If your pet gets out of your yard, you can set your camera up to give you an alert and you can also use the remote feed to ensure that your dog isn’t wreaking havoc by digging holes or ruining the garden while you’re away.
Insurance For Your Insurance
If a burglary does occur at your home, you will be required to file an insurance claim for theft or vandalism. Having a security camera can help mightily in these situations because it gives you proof of the incident. Your high-definition footage will properly document the incident while also serving to validate your insurance claim as well.
We all know how difficult insurance companies can be if you don’t have solid proof for a claim. Having a security camera in your home will also usually save you about 20 per cent on home security.
FAQs About Outdoor Security Cameras
Hopefully we’ve covered most of what you feel you need to know about outdoor security cameras before you head to buy one but surely there are still a few burning questions that we haven’t answered for you yet. Here in the frequently asked questions section, we’ll go over a few of the most common questions that we’ve come across regarding outdoor security cameras to provide you with informed and helpful answers!
What Features Should I Be Looking For When I Buy An Outdoor Security Camera?
It really depends on who you are and how you intend to use your outdoor security camera. There are a couple of baseline features that every decent outdoor security camera should have. You’re going to want to ensure that your camera comes equipped with 1080p HD video capabilities so then you can see everything in your feed crystal clear. You’ll also want your camera to have infrared night vision so then it doesn’t become useless at night when many robberies occur.
Two-way audio is another important feature you’ll want to have on your outdoor security camera. This way you can actually verbally deter any unwanted visitors or chat with wanted visitors that come to your door while you’re out. You’ll also need your camera to have Cloud and/or local storage so then you can save videos of any incidents.
Integration with Alexa or Google Assistant is also usually suggested to give you that added layer of coverage. Lastly, person detection is always a useful tool to have included with your security camera so then you can choose if you’d like to be notified when someone is approaching your door.
Is It Worth It For Me To Get An Outdoor Security Camera?
Of course it is. Having a security camera outside your house will greatly deter most criminals as we mentioned earlier. In the event of an incident, the cameras are also a great way to help solve the crime while also helping to alert the proper authorities much more quickly so as to get them on the scene as soon as possible.
How Can I Keep My Outdoor Camera From Being Stolen Or Tampered With?
Burglars may be rotten criminals but more often than not, they know what they’re doing. This means that they’ve thought up ways to get around or disable outdoor security cameras. Here are a few tips to help your outdoor security camera avoid that fate:
- Camera Placement – It is recommended to position your security camera high up enough where it would be quite cumbersome for someone to get up and vandalize or disable it. A nice camera cover is also suggested in case the vandal decides to start throwing things at your camera.
- Keep A Hidden Camera – Hiding your main camera will just invite more burglars to your home. Having one main camera that they can see is important but for the protection of that camera, it’s useful to get a second camera and hide it where it has a view of the other camera so then you can catch and stop anyone vandalizing it.
- Get Protective Housing For Your Camera – A good quality camera cover can save you a ton of money if a vandal gets their eye on your camera. There are also a few DIY ways to keep your eagle eye safe. You can create a protective box of chain link, you can convert an outdoor lantern for the purpose, you can build one out of PVC pipe and glue or you can even turn a birdhouse into your camera’s housing unit.
- Go Wireless – A common and easy way that burglars often disable old security camera systems is by simply cutting one of the system wires, thereby disabling the whole thing. To avoid this, try to go for a wireless security camera. This will also be cost-effective, more compact and easier to install.
- Passwords & Encryption – If you do go wireless, you will still have to protect against the more savvy burglars who can hack into your camera’s system. To help avoid this, invest in a password-protected camera system that allows for solid encryption.
- Love Thy Neighbor – Above all, the best way to ensure the safety of your house and security camera is by having a good relationship with your neighbours so then when you’re away from your house, you’ve got a reliable human set of eyes keeping a lookout.
Can I Install My Outdoor Security Camera Myself?
Nowadays, you certainly can. While some will still want to get the peace of mind and insurance of having a professional do the installation, you can save a ton of money by doing it yourself, sometimes upwards of 100 quid.
The outdoor security cameras coming out these days are actually designed with the consumer in mind. Companies have purposefully built their cameras so then they can be easily installed by any average joe who happens to buy it. It’s usually as simple as drilling it into the wall or sticking it on with the use of an adhesive.
So there you have it – the top five best of the best outdoor security cameras available to us here in the United Kingdom. We’ve broken down the range of benefits that you can expect to enjoy if you purchase an outdoor security camera, most important of which is probably peace of mind while also keeping you informed about the many different types of security cameras you might come across during your buying journey.
Whether it’s an IP Camera, a Wi-Fi-powered camera, a wired one or one that’s fitted with floodlights, we’ve informed you, the consumer, about all of the different types of camera that you can expect to find during your search while also ensuring that we cover all of our bases by answering any outlying burning questions in our FAQ section.
Our list is also complete with an analysis as well as the pros and cons of each of our top five choices, which we highly recommend. If you really want to know what the single best outdoor security camera option out there is, the Google Nest is the one for our money. You really can’t go wrong with this one as you get a camera that comes with all the bells and whistles while also not breaking the bank as much as you’d have to for some of the other more luxurious options.