I’ve been looking forward to this article for quite a while now; thanks again Wirecutter for all your research. I’ve been doing my own research on this topic for months now and I recently purchased the Nest Outdoor Cam despite the fees and power cord concerns– turns out I love it. I screwed the magnetic base plate outside my third floor window, ran the cable between the window panes, closed the window and connected to an outlet that’s right under the window. Couldn’t be easier than that! Regarding the price: $100 for one year is less than $8.33 a month, which allows you to have “continuous video recording”– which unquestionably makes the Nest #1. Most cameras start recording too late and miss important seconds before the motion alert was even triggered. What’s the point of a motion alert if someone runs up to my door and runs away with my package, or worse? Arlo will miss most of it. Every smart camera needs continuos video recording.
I purchased the threaded outdoor mounts for all cameras. While it is only marginally more secure than the magnetic mount, it does look less easy to steal. If someone wants to steal the camera, they’re going to find a way.
We mounted our test group to a board outside of our New England house, pointed them at the same spot, and exposed them all to the same lighting conditions and weather. The two exceptions were cameras integrated into outdoor lighting fixtures, both of which were installed on the porch by my husband, a licensed electrician. All nine cameras were connected to the same Verizon FiOS network via a Wi-Fi router indoors.
After spending almost three months looking, listening, adjusting angles, and deleting over 10,000 push notifications and emails, we’ve decided that the Netgear Arlo Pro is the best DIY outdoor Wi-Fi home security camera you can get. Like the other eight units we tested, the Arlo Pro lets you keep an eye on your property and provides smartphone alerts whenever there’s motion. However, it’s one of the few options with built-in rechargeable batteries to make it completely wireless, so it’s easy to place and move. It also delivers an excellent image, clear two-way audio, practical smart-home integration, and seven days of free cloud storage.
The most annoying issue is that while the camera both tilts and pivots, there’s no resistance to the tilting mechanism. Since it’s top-heavy, that means it just tilts forward all the time, so you need to install it way up high on a wall in order to actually see anything other than your visitors’ shoes. While functional, the Ring app has fewer features than rivals, and video quality is mediocre in both daylight and at night. The battery-powered camera has a nifty solar panel accessory you can buy at an additional cost, but without it, battery life is average at best. Based on our calculations, you’re unlikely to ever hit the advertised 6 to 12 months. And finally, WiFi reception seems weaker than on other models we tested; in our experience, the Stick-Up Cam frequently failed to begin live video streaming. Your experience may vary, depending on your WiFi setup.
Available for iOS and Android devices, the Arlo app is easy to use. The home screen provides instant access to the alarm and a view of each connected camera, with Wi-Fi strength, battery life, and alarm status. A menu at the bottom of the screen features one-touch access to recordings and settings.
Where do you plan to place it? Do you need it for a holiday home? Is it going to be used to monitor a car on driveway?… How far away is the car? Is it to monitor the front door? Knowing your security objectives will help you choose the right camera, with the right features, to meet your needs.
Updated review. I previously posted a 1 star review hastily. I was contacted by xmarto support for assistance. Vanessa was extremely attentive to my issues and we attacked each one of them individually. First was the strength of signal of the cameras to the NVR (router/recorder). The company offers higher gain antennas you can attach to the NVR and or cameras to improve the signal. I also added some antenna extension cables to allow the more distant outdoor cameras to bring the antennas in the home instead of outside, significantly improving the signal. In addition, the new Dream Liner software (brilliant addition) to bounce the distant camera’s signal off other closer cameras, improved the signal to the NVR as well. I now have a constant image on my NVR monitor. The other issue was my mobile devices were not accessing the camera system. … full review
We narrowed the list by dropping devices that require a networked video recorder to capture video, considering only products that could stand alone, which kept our focus on models that are easier to set up and use. Most outdoor cameras cost from $100 to $200 each, with several features helping to determine the price:
I have both a NestCam (indoors) and just purchased the Arlo Pro (outdoor/indoor) based on The Wirecutter review. The one big negative with the Arlo Pro is that the cloud recording is not continuous whereas the Nestcam is. You are dependent with Arlo on the camera picking up motion. It picks up rain drops just fine, but four times has missed people!!! Yes, the Nestcam charges more for cloud recording versus the 7 days free, but the continuous recording is a far better experience than relying on the motion detection of the Arlo Pro. My apologies if I missed it, but don’t think I see the issue of continuous versus event-driven recording addressed in the article.
Zmodo’s 1080p Outdoor WiFi Camera requires a password-protected 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection with WPA/WPA2 encryption. It can be set up and controlled through the Zmodo smartphone app (available for iOS 7 and up and Android 4.0 and up).
Aside from being a location-limiting tether, isn’t the Nest’s power cord an obvious security weakness? I didn’t see any mention of concerns about an intruder easily cutting the cord and rendering the whole thing useless (not to mention ruining your expensive camera).
We penalize a camera if it requires an excessive amount of time to set up, or suffers from a confusing setup process. We also dock points if a camera lacks important features offered by the competition, such as programmable security modes or scheduled recordings. However, this can be offset if a camera provides other unique or particularly helpful features.
This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. When readers choose to buy The Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.
Bottom Line: The Nest Cam IQ is a 1080p home surveillance camera that offers facial recognition, automatic zoom tracking, motion- and sound-triggered alerts, and interoperability with many other smart de…
11ac adds features that increases throughput at short distances to the router, not very useful for security cams that are all over the house and behind multiple walls. Why spend money and add complications if 11n is fast enough to stream your video?
Good idea! Will try that too. I suspect they are not a bad company, but have a problem with the camera, a small European staff and are overwhelmed in trying to deal with it. But it would be nice to get a response.
The Nest Cam Indoor is the third generation of the celebrated Dropcam, and bumps up its predecessors’ video quality to 1080p. It’s easy to set up and, thanks to its magnetic, swiveling base, can be installed almost anywhere indoors. The video looks sharp; night vision is clear; the camera can be used as an intercom; and it interacts with the Nest Thermostat and the Nest Protect smoke detector, as well as numerous third-party smart home devices. But to really make use of the camera’s features, you’ll have to shell out $10 or more per month for the Nest Aware program, which gives you access to cloud storage and much more.
The other option that is missing right now is the ability to record a camera until motion stops. Right now, you pre-define how long to record for after motion is triggered. It will stop recording after that no matter what, but perhaps start again, which a delay in between clips.
If you’re still unsure which camera is best for you then have a read through of our buyer’s guide. It outlines the key considerations you need to think about before purchasing a wireless outdoor security camera.
One other thing we loved about the Nest is how on top of things the company seems to be. After a recent security flaw was reported, Nest kicked into action to add two-factor authentication, so in addition to entering a name and password to access the camera and recordings, you must provide a security code that’s sent via a text message.
If your outdoor needs are limited to your front porch, or you simply want to be able to view who’s at the door, a video doorbell, like the Editors’ Choice Ring Pro, might be worth considering instead. For more, see our picks for the Best Video Doorbells.
Hi! Does anyone know of a battery powered, non-internet/wi-fi dependable surveillance camera? I need to install one in a rural area where there’s no internet signal and no power outlet nearby. The Arlo Pro almost does it for me, if only it had the option to store the videos locally.
34 GUUDGO GD-SC02 720P Cloud Wifi IP Camera Pan&Tilt IR-Cut Night Vision Two-way Audio Motion Detection Alarm Camera Monitor Support Amazon-AWS[Amazon Web Services] Cloud Storage Service CA$24.34 ~ 25.00 CA$37.36 ~ 38.02 (666)
Motion activation is an essential feature. Without it, your camera will always be recording. This will use up electricity and storage space. Motion activation will trigger your camera to you only start recording when it detects motion in its field of view.
Push notifications are incredibly useful. For example, if the camera detects motion, it will send a notification or email to your smartphone. You will also be able to view the footage from your phone.
With resolutions ranging from 720p high definition cameras up to 4k ultra high definition surveillance cameras, Swann’s got you covered day or night, inside or out. Every security camera we sell is backed by a 12 month warranty (extendable to 18 months online), free 24/7 technical support and all the online help you may need to install home security cameras yourself.
Outdoor Weatherproof Heavy Duty Aluminum CCTV Security Surveillance Camera Housing Mount Enclosure & Bracket. Fits most CCTV and IP security cameras. Weatherproof aluminum camera housing and mounting …
You can see my post below on this issue. Very strange for such an authoratitive review site not to have mentioned that motion activated recordings only kick in about 5-10 seconds after the motion has started! Suspect it’s a battery powered issue. I went with fully wired Reolink and am very happy, but i suspect it’s less the data wire that’s the problem with arlo and the low power battery saving mode it goes into that takes a while to wake up from. But whatever the reason, it made the device absolutely useless for me. Perhaps if you have a really, really long drive, the Arlo might have started recording by the time someone gets to your front door!
Like many other electronic devices, today’s outdoor security cameras are smarter than their ancestors. Tied to the cloud, they can send alerts to your phone the moment someone approaches your door, or tip you off when they spot suspicious activity in your yard. Many also function as two-way communicators, letting you talk to visitors, tell solicitors to buzz off, or scare away other, even more unwanted “guests.”
Wireless camera systems come with an NVR (network video recorder). The NVR holds the footage for every camera which enables you greater control and ease of viewing footage when running multiple camera systems.
Nest has rolled out a new Nest Aware subscription plan. Consumers can now opt for a $5/month plan, which gives you access to five days of recordings for a single camera (the company already offers 10-day/$10 and 30-day/$30 plans), and $3/month for each additional camera. By comparison, Netgear Arlo’s least-expensive plan gives you thirty days, or 10GB, of cloud storage for up to 10 cameras for $9.99 per month or $99 per year. Although it doesn’t make any indoor-specific cameras, Ring’s Protect Basic plan costs $30 per year (or $3 per month), and gives you 60 days of video for a single camera.
OK, Grant. Explain WHY a 5-10 second recording gap was left out of the review? For security, that makes Arlo useless. Also, why wasn’t the Blink camera reviewed? I live in Phoenix, and in recent 119 degree heat, it preformed perfectly. Also, it starts recording INSTANTLY, and the cloud storage is free. It just seems fishy that you guys “forgot” to mention a fatal flaw and then completely ignore a very popular competitor that actually works and is cheaper.