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How to Choose the Best Outdoor Security Camera for Your Needs

Nov 22, 2022|

An outdoor security camera system is a great way to protect your home and property, even if you’re hundreds of miles away.

Outdoor cameras are designed with security in mind, and outdoor cameras record live video footage of your property’s surroundings, detect lurkers, and send motion alerts to warn you about movement in the area.

Modern outdoor security cameras, like the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, even come with HD resolution and infrared LED color night vision, so you have a 24/7 view of your home — regardless of the weather, temperature, and sunlight.

In this guide, we discuss the most important camera features to look for to help you choose the best exterior security camera for your needs.

Vivint Outdoor Camera on a home's exterior.

How do outdoor security cameras work?

Outdoor security cameras are integral in protecting your property. But how do they work?

Thanks to technology, today’s wireless outdoor security cameras use your home Wi-Fi network to capture live and recorded footage of your home. Many outdoor security cameras are smart — meaning they’re equipped with AI features like motion and sound detection.

For example, Vivint’s Smart Deter system automatically plays a loud sound and illuminates an LED ring if lurkers are detected on your property.

You can use a mobile app, like the Vivint app, or a home hub, like the Vivint Smart Hub, to view the live or recorded footage using an internet connection. Your device is also your control panel when it comes to repositioning your outdoor security camera for a better view, adjusting its settings, and switching it on or off.

Sounds easy, right?

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Outdoor security camera features to consider

With hundreds of outdoor security cameras on the market, choosing the best security camera for your home can be a big task. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s what you need to know about finding the best system to suit your home and family.

Ability to withstand weather conditions

To be worth the investment, an outdoor security camera should be constructed of durable materials and able to withstand the elements — whether rain, wind, ice, or heat.

Outdoor cameras are given IP ratings, which give you an indication of how the device responds under weather conditions.

The first digit describes the device’s resistance against dust and hazardous parts and ranges from 0 to 6. Similarly, the second digit tells you how resistant the camera is to water and moisture and ranges from 0 to 8.

Ideally, you’d expect your outdoor security camera to have an IP rating of at least IP65 to be weatherproof, like the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro.

It’s also important to consider whether a company stands by its promises with a warranty. Vivint cameras are covered by a 120-day warranty and service plan where we’ll repair or replace any defective part of the system without charge to you.


If you’re investing in an outdoor security camera, the last thing you want is blurry, low-quality footage. For this reason, the resolution of your exterior camera is an important feature you should consider when buying a camera.

Outdoor security cameras come in different resolutions; however, a common resolution is 1080p HD. In fact, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro provides 1080p footage, which delivers high-quality videos without taking too much storage.

If you want to buy a 4K resolution camera, make sure that you have the network connection and storage to support the streaming; otherwise, you run the risk of lags and problems.

Motion and sound detection

Many outdoor security cameras have a built-in motion sensor that can detect motion and sound in the surroundings. If your outdoor camera is connected to your phone, it will even send a warning message or a live recording of your home when triggered.

Some cameras, like the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, also allow two-way talk.

That said, motion-activated security cameras are smart enough to know the difference between people, pets, and cars — so you don’t have to worry about getting repeated false notifications.

For added security, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro has a Smart Deter feature that proactively detects lurkers and sends them away with its LED illumination and a built-in siren.

Video storage

When it comes to storage, exterior cameras have different types of video storage options, including cloud-based storage, local storage, and continuous video recording (CVR).

Let’s take a closer look at each option.

  • Cloud storage: A camera with cloud storage automatically uploads videos onto a server. Most cameras offer free cloud storage for a limited number of days; however, there are subscription options with monthly fees available for unlimited cloud storage.
  • Local storage: Local storage on a micro-SD card, DVR, or hard drive is a video storage option for those who prefer to keep their footage on a memory card. The good thing about local storage is that it can work without an internet connection.
  • Continuous video recording (CVR): As its name suggests, CVR means that the security camera records continuously — as long as the device is active. CVR is a great option if you want to record all action 24/7.

The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro offers a cloud-based storage solution to provide real-time footage that’s automatically backed up and accessible from anywhere.

Smart home integration

Smart home technology has made our lives easier and safer. Without a doubt, controlling your home devices from a central control system can give you peace of mind, whether you’re close or far away from your home.

For this reason, choosing a Wi-Fi camera with smart home integration is essential for keeping things simple. Here are a few key things to consider.

  • IFTTT: If your camera supports IFTTT, it can be linked to other devices to create a holistic home system. For example, you could set up an automation for the floodlights to turn on as soon as the motion detection system is triggered.
  • Smart assistants: If you want a voice-enabled security camera, check the compatibility of your device with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. For example, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro works particularly well with smart assistants and home automation devices.
  • Other integrations: If you have a home security system already set up, check what other integrations could work well with your current setup, such as smart door locks, video doorbell cameras, and even lighting.
Vivint Outdoor Camera.

How much do outdoor security cameras cost?

Outdoor security cameras can range in price depending on many factors, like features, integrations (e.g., Google Home, Apple HomeKit), live streaming capabilities, wired or rechargeable battery life, HR/HDR resolution, two-way audio capabilities, and weather-resistant rating.

Depending on your home and needs, you might choose a battery-powered option for basic home security or invest in a modern camera with added features like the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro.

As a final note, when setting up your smart home security system, consider installation and professional monitoring costs apart from the equipment.

What is the best outdoor home security camera?

If you’re looking for a security camera with advanced features, then look no further than the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro. Here’s why you need this camera.

  • Smart Deter system: Equipped with a computer vision chip, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro can detect lurkers close to your home and proactively warn them that they’ve been spotted. As soon as the Smart Deter system is activated, the device will play a loud sound and illuminate its LED ring.
  • 24/7 monitoring: Vivint systems come with 24/7 monitoring included in the monthly service fee. Our team of home security pros remains on standby around the clock to help if needed.
  • 4k ultra HD video with high dynamic range: With a 4K ultra HD resolution and a 140-degree field of view, you’ll be able to see high-quality footage from your home and surroundings.
  • Durable against the elements: The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions without impacting video quality. The device is marked with an IP65 rating.
  • Night vision: With a night vision range of 55 feet, our outdoor camera guarantees that you’ll see what’s going on from morning to night.
Vivint Outdoor Camera.

Protect your home with outdoor security cameras from Vivint

If you want to keep your home and family protected, investing in a surveillance camera could be a good idea.

Choosing the best home security system (including outdoor and indoor security cameras) for your needs and budget doesn’t have to be difficult. If you want to see how the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro can bring you peace of mind with advanced home security, contact our Smart Home Pros at 855.822.1220 for a free consultation today.

Get a free quote today.

A Vivint Smart Home Pro will contact you within 24 hours. Or skip the form and call now: 844.481.8630.

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*Offer Details

Qualifying system purchase requires minimum $599.99 equipment purchase, professional installation and applicable services agreement. Click here for monthly service plan prices. DIY system purchases and reactivations of previously-installed systems not eligible for offer. Offer not available in all states or provinces. Equipment purchase may be financed separately subject to an agreement with one of Vivint’s third-party financing partners. Monthly $1.48 cellular network maintenance fee applies. Taxes and local permit fees may apply. New Vivint Customers only.

Third-Party Financing Options Available

Financing eligibility and terms subject to credit approval by one of Vivint’s third-party financing partners. Qualified customers may finance equipment purchase at 0% APR for up to 60 months. Month-to-month service agreement available when equipment is purchased upfront.

Vivint Systems & Services

System supports up to six cameras subject to sufficient WiFi speeds. Without a Vivint services plan, product and system functionality is limited (including loss of remote connectivity). Speak to a Vivint representative at the phone number in this offer for complete equipment, services, and package details, including pricing and financing details. Products and services in Louisiana provided by Vivint Louisiana Commercial Certificate #58280. See Vivint license numbers here.