How to choose the best outdoor security camera (read before buying)

Before purchasing outdoor security cameras you need to understand some important facts that will help you to get the best kit and even save some money.

outdoor security camera in a pole

In this article, I explain how to choose security cameras for your porch and other areas around the house, since there are a lot of different options out there.

Theft and burglary are among the most common and rampant crimes today. Most homes experience these problems and naturally, the trauma it creates among the victims is unimaginable.

One of the simplest and most popular solutions to this problem is to install a security system in your home, especially on the porch. In other words, porch security cameras are a great help in preventing these crimes from happening.

So, how do you make sure that you get the best outdoor security cameras and not spend too much for it? Let us find out as you read on.

Factors to Consider When Buying Outdoor Security Cameras

Below are some tips which can help you in decision making.

Quality of Images is Most Important

Outdoor security cameras allow you to monitor your porch, patio, front yard, and fences. The idea is to have a system which can give you clear images is most helpful in identifying intruders when they are approaching your home.

There are several things to check out to make sure that the security camera you get can give you the best images:

  • Resolution – Megapixel security cameras can give clear videos and images. Meaning, these are those with 1080p, 4MP, 5MP or even 4K resolution. A good example of this is ZOSI 5.0MP HD Security Cameras System.
  • Night Vision – Burglary commonly happens at night. That is why your security camera must have great night vision features with multiple infrared LED lights and smart IR that reduces the excessive brightness when somebody approaches the camera too much.
  • WDR Wide Dynamic Range is a great feature that helps to compensate for the contrast between dark and bright areas so you can have a clear image when somebody moves from a sunny to a shadow area (let's say your porch).
  • DNR – Digital Noise Reduction is also a feature that helps you to better identify people moving in dark areas during the night time. It's common for any camera to have a lot of noise when the light is not good, so this noise reduction feature is something very important to identify a thief.
  • Angle of View – Your camera must have the best angle so it can cover a wider area. This way, you can get wider coverage of the area and you will be able to capture more images and movements. The angle of your camera must not be concentrated on one small area alone. Make sure that it can cover a wide area so you can monitor the premises properly.

The Outdoor Security Camera Must be Water Resistant and Have a Good Working Temperature

Outdoor security cameras may be installed in sheltered areas of your porch.

However, they are still prone to factors of nature like dust, heat, humidity, and a lot more. The weather and temperature are also factors which can affect the functionality of your security cameras.

Humidity and temperature are measured by °C or °F. The water resistance capacity of these cameras, however, are represented by IP ratings.

So, if you plan to install your security camera on alleys and open spaces, make sure its IP rating is IP65 or higher.

Your Security Cameras Must Be Discreet

This is another factor to consider. You would not want your outdoor security camera to be too obvious, would you? Make sure you get one which is just of the right size, less conspicuous, and can blend well with your decor. For this reason, a turret or dome surveillance camera is recommended for areas such as your porch.

Remember, the main reason why you are installing a security camera is for the surveillance and monitoring of your premises.

If you get a very obvious one, then intruders and unwanted visitors will be aware that you have one. This will make them more cautious and take necessary steps to avoid being detected and get on with their business”. Hence, your security will be useless.

Importance of Outdoor Security Cameras

Your front porch is one area in your house which is prone to burglary and “invasion”. That is why it is a wise and practical idea to install security cameras on your front porch. It may intimidate prospective burglars if they see the cameras, hence preventing them from invading your home.

Masked burglar with flashlight

Outdoor security cameras can give us a sense of security. Knowing that every movement and activity outside the home is monitored, it makes us feel safe and secure and make sure somebody in the front porch won't pass unnoticed.

Burglary happens during daytime

In reality, most cases of burglary happen during daytime. This is the time when the occupants of the house are out working and are in school. 

Most homes with this kind of set-up are usually empty during daytime. This is the best time for burglars. They can invade your homes without you knowing it until you come home.

Porch security cameras can monitor and record every activity within its scope. Hence, the incident will be recorded and stored.

Review the security camera footage

And when you review the stored videos, you will be able to get an idea of what happened and who invaded your home while you were away.

In this case, porch security cameras are instrumental to solve a crime – burglary. And thus, identify apprehend the criminal and bring justice to the aggrieved party.

Not only that though, but porch security cameras can also monitor, record, and store people or acquaintances who came to visit your home while you were away. 

However, there are security cameras which are capable of remote access. So, no need for you to wait until you are home to know the goings-on in your home. You can monitor it via your mobile devices.

The Best Outdoor Security Cameras

To help you out with your decision, here are two of the best outdoor security cameras. We recommend these devices because of their high quality, best performance, durability, and dependability.

ZOSI 5.0MP HD Security Cameras System

You can buy this a surveillance kit to protect different areas of your home.

The Zosi Kit It brings 5 Megapixel cameras which help you to see every detail and use digital zoom more effectively to take a look at somebody that is approaching your premises.  The cameras have day and night mode for up to 100ft night vision and IP67 weatherproof housing and can be installed  indoors or outdoors.

Its main features include;

  • 5MP Superior HD Resolution (2.5 X 1080p)
  • Weather-Resistant
  • 100ft Night Vision
  • Remote & local playback
  • Advanced & customizable motion detection
  • Multiple-devices viewing simultaneously
  • Secure and intelligent recording
  • No recording for specific areas

Check this kit on Amazon

Reolink Argus 2

Reolink Argus 2 is said to be an outdoor security camera of the best value.

Its size is just ideal for porches. It can capture all suspicious motions on your porch and door. This product is actually a best seller. It has the capability of capturing everything in vivid details, both day and night.

It comes to life a second after intruders and unwanted visitors invade your homes. Therefore making it capture all activities accurately, clearly, and in details.

Its features include:

  • Rechargeable Battery and Solar Powered
  • Outdoor/Indoor Protection; 1080 Full HD
  • Starlight Night Vision: Up to 33 feet starlight night vision
  • 2-Way Audio
  • Live View Anytime Anywhere
  • 2.4 GHz WiFi data transmission

Check this camera on Amazon

Reolink RLC-420

Reolink RLC-420 is a good choice if you prefer outdoor security cameras which run on a reliable power supply. It is a versatile PoE (Power Over Ethernet) dome security surveillance camera. And it comes with audio, too.

This type of camera is capable of capturing clear and vivid images and videos. Hence making sure that burglars and intruders will not go undetected. Installation and setup are easy since it comes with a plug-and-play configuration.

Its features include:

  • 5 MP/4 MP Super HD
  • Outdoor/Indoor Protection
  • 100 ft Infrared Night Vision
  • Audio Recording
  • Smartphone Remote Access and Control

Check this camera on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions on Outdoor Security Cameras

How to Protect Security Cameras From Vandalism?

You can install your outdoor security camera inside an anti-vandal housing or just buy an anti-vandal dome camera which can handle external impacts.

To make sure your camera can resist a vandal, just look for the models that have a resistant glass and are IK10 certified (resists most common impacts).

How to Avoid IR Reflection?

By IR, we mean infrared. There is a tendency for IR to reflect on objects or even on the dome or glass it's using to protect the lens. To resolve this, install your outdoor security cameras away from the closet wall or objects that can cause direct light reflection. Point them to the middle of the alley instead of a wall for example.

Checking for objects near the security cameras is also recommended. Be on the lookout for objects near the security camera which may reflect infrared light.

Security cameras with wide dynamic range and backlight compensation technology are highly recommended for such situations. These will give you optimal images 24/7. So consider using cameras with these features.

Will Porch Light Blind My Security Cameras?

To answer this question, it would be “YES”. Lights blind not only front porch security cameras, but any other kinds of cameras, too.

How do we resolve this then?

It would be best to install your front porch security camera away from your front lights. If you put it near the lights, chances are it may not be able to capture clear images and videos. All you will get are washed out images and white light for most of the frame.

Furthermore, light produces heat. Hence, it might trigger false alarm because of the heat the light emits. To resolve this, it will be best to install your porch security camera away from lights and open windows. This way, you will be able to capture quality images and videos.

Can I Install Outdoor Security Camera on my Condo?

In cases like this, it would be best to consult the condo board.

Make sure they approve before you set up a back porch security camera on your condominium unit. In situations where the condo board refuses your request, it would be best to negotiate. Try to talk them into installing one instead.

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