Whether it’s to keep an eye on your car in a driveway or watch for deliveries at your front door, an outdoor camera can help improve security and convenience at your home.
After testing indoor security cameras for a number of years, we’ve now started testing outdoor cameras, including big-brand models from Nest, Hive and the Amazon-owned Ring.
Alongside video quality and features, we assess how simple the cameras are to install on the outside of a property, and how easy they are to use. Importantly, we also place a strong emphasis on security, so you can avoid a camera that can be easily targeted by hackers.
Wireless camera reviews – see all our fully tested models, including outdoor security cameras and indoor surveillance cameras, and Best Buys for under £50.
How to install an outdoor security camera
Unlike indoor surveillance cameras that can often be placed on a table or shelf, an outdoor security camera usually needs to be installed on a wall or outdoor surface. You can do this yourself if you are confident enough with DIY.
Some cameras we’ve tested are battery powered, meaning you won’t need to worry about hiding the power cables. For mains-powered cameras though, you’ll need to either fix the cable with clips or ties, or drill a hole in the wall to thread the cable to where there is a power socket.
If you want to use an external socket instead, you might need weatherproofing for the cable and plug. If you aren’t 100% confident with the installation process, get an electrician to do it for you.
Once you have the camera installed and positioned, you just need to download the Android or Apple iOS smartphone app and get the camera online.
Wireless outdoor cameras on test
Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, £329
Google’s Nest brand is best known for circular and stylish smart thermostats, but it makes security cameras, too. The mains-powered Nest Cam IQ Outdoor can be mounted on an outside wall or surface and has 12x digital zoom and night vision to keep an eye on your home. It’s at the pricier end of the market, so make sure you check our review before buying.
See if this camera made the Best Buy grade in our Nest Cam IQ Outdoor review
As its name suggests, this Amazon Ring camera is battery powered, meaning you won’t need to worry about power cables when you install it. This 1080p resolution camera is weather resistant, has night vision capability, motion detection and works with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Alongside an outdoor security camera, it can also be used as an indoor surveillance camera if you prefer.
Get all you need to know in our Ring Stick up Cam Battery review
Hive View Outdoor, £159
Hive, the smart home brand owned by the parent company behind British Gas, offers an indoor Hive View camera and also this model that can be used on the outside of your home. This stylishly designed, mains-powered camera comes with a base hub and all the kit you need to mount it. It’s also compatible with Alexa, along with the Google voice assistant.
Get the full lowdown on this outdoor camera in our Hive View Outdoor review
Other outdoor security cameras on test
We’ve tested a range of other models at different prices to help you find the perfect camera.
- Arlo Pro 3 – pricey but feature-packed, with 2K video quality, colour night vision and IP65 weather resistance.
- Blink XT2 – a versatile camera that can be used indoors and outdoors, and costs just £90.
- TP-Link Kasa KC200 Outdoor Cam – a stylish and far cheaper alternative to models from Hive and Nest.
- Yale All-In-One – well known for its locks, does Yale deserve a similar reputation for its cameras?
- ieGeek Outdoor with Rechargeable Battery – a lesser-known name, we find out if ieGeek can measure up.
How to protect your camera from hackers
Our previous investigations into smart devices and security have revealed a number of issues with wireless cameras, including an investigation in June 2020 on cameras using the CamHi app, allowing cameras to be targeted by hackers to spy on your home.
We put all wireless cameras that we test through a set of rigorous assessments of how they protect you from hacking attacks.
While no product is 100% secure, we ensure the manufacturers have taken the right steps to stop the majority of attacks. If we find any significant vulnerabilities, we contact the manufacturer to get them fixed, or we advise you not to buy the camera.
If you already have a camera in your home, it’s worth considering some simple steps for peace of mind.
Our in-depth guide on wireless camera security can help, as we shine a light on dodgy practices and offer tips on how to use and shop for a wireless camera you can rely on.