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Outdoor security cameras on test: wireless cameras from under £100

Keep an eye on your garden with a weatherproof camera – we've just put models from Xiaomi, Ring and Nest to the test

We all want to protect our homes against intruders, and a security camera clearly visible on your property is a great advantage on that score. 

Our tests include affordable outdoor models suitable for gardens and yards, pricey camera setups with floodlights, and everything in between. Importantly, each of them go through rigorous security checks to make sure you're protected from cybercriminals, as well as real intruders. 

Read on for details on our latest wireless security camera reviews, and find out why some models are giving customers a short shrift on security. 

Or head straight to our wireless security camera reviews to see indoor and outdoor models to suit all budgets.

Xiaomi Wireless Outdoor Security Camera 1080p, £90

Best known for its range of affordable smartphones, Xiaomi also produces this outdoor security camera – and it's a fraction of the price of comparable models below from Ring and Nest. 

The camera is toughened to IP65, so it should withstand even the rainiest British summer. It records video in Full-HD and has an infrared-illuminated night mode and motion detection. 

Alongside price, another big advantage it has over the Ring and Nest is that you can record video to a micro-SD card in case you need to use it later on. You can sign up to a cloud storage subscription, too, but this isn't required to record video, as with the rival cameras below.  Unfortunately, it doesn't work with smart assistants from Amazon, Apple or Google. 

Find out how this outdoor camera fared in our Xiaomi Wireless Outdoor Security Camera 1080p review.

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Nest Cam with Floodlight, £270

Designed to compete with the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, this outdoor camera from Google's Nest brand is a serious piece of kit, albeit with a serious price. 

Alongside the weather resistant Full HD camera, it features a set of powerful integrated floodlights to illuminate the darkness at night. 

To control the camera you download the Nest app to your smartphone or tablet. The Nest Cam can also be linked to an Alexa or Google Assistant-powered smart assistant for voice control, but it’s not compatible with Apple Homekit.

Our Nest Cam with Floodlight review reveals our test results, tech specs and full verdict on this outdoor camera.

Ring Stick Up Cam Elite, £180

Made by the Amazon-owned Ring brand, this camera differs from the others in that it's equally at home inside the house as it is outside.

The camera records video at Full HD resolution with infrared (IR) night vision, and it also has a built-in siren that can be used as a deterrent. 

You can connect the camera to your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant smart device, but just like the Nest, it isn't compatible with Apple HomeKit.

See our full verdict on this indoor/outdoor camera in our Ring Stick Up Cam Elite review

Also in our latest test batch

  • D-Link DCS-8300LHV2 - £87, indoor camera with Full HD video, night vision and the ability to record video to local storage.
  • TP-Link Tapo C210 - £40, affordable indoor camera from TP-Link that works with Amazon Alexa and Google assistant.
  • Nest Cam Indoor 2nd Gen (wired) - £90, second generation of Nest's standard indoor camera that rivals the Ring Indoor Cam.
  • Nest Cam (indoor or outdoor, battery) - £180, Nest's answer to the Ring Stick Up Cam Elite featured above.
  • Imou Bullet 2S - £100, outdoor camera with 2K video quality and local storage options.
  • Imou Rex 4MP - £68, the indoor version of the Bullet above that also has 2K video and local storage.
  • Imou A1 4MP - £60, another Imou indoor camera with built-in panning and tilting, meaning it can cover a wider area.
  • Ezviz Elife - £120, this camera can be used either indoors or outdoors, with local storage for video clips. 
  • Ezviz C6N 4MP - cheap, eyeball-shaped indoor camera with Full HD video and a range of storage options. 

Read our guide to 10 genuinely useful things you can do with a wireless security camera for some useful applications in and around the home.

Phone downloading a software update

Why some smart device brands are selling consumers short on security

All wireless security cameras on test have been fully assessed on how well they protect your privacy and security against malicious hackers. 

However, a vital defence for any smart product is the ability to be regularly updated with security fixes and patches against new threats.

We routinely ask brands how long they will provide security updates to their cameras so you know how long they'll be safe to use – and you can ensure you're making a purchase that lasts. 

While some brands are forthcoming with information, others are less than clear about their policies, and some major brands are offering support periods that are clearly inadequate.

Read more about smart device security in our detailed guide, where you can also check a range of product categories, including wireless cameras, to see how long brands promise to support them.