While there are security systems that offer outdoor cameras, they also come with hefty up-front costs and typically have monthly subscriptions. Those who want a system they can truly self-monitor without having to rely on a third party should consider a wireless outdoor security system with both audio and DVR. These systems come with up to eight cameras that tie to a single base wirelessly.
Rather than use cloud storage, which requires subscription fees, these systems use a DVR base that holds up to 4 terabytes (TB) of data, making them capable of storing up to 2 months’ worth of video footage. These DVR bases even connect to Wi-Fi, allowing the user to access live and stored video footage via a smartphone. Ahead, learn what features one should consider when shopping for the best outdoor wireless security camera system.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Outdoor Wireless Security Camera Systems With DVR
Camera resolution and storage capacity are two key features to consider when shopping for the best security cameras. Other essential characteristics of these systems, too, should be a part of your decision-making process.
Although wireless security cameras communicate to other DVR bases via radio signals, most systems still require the cameras to be either plugged into an outlet or hardwired to a home’s electrical system to receive power. There are some fully wireless camera systems that use rechargeable batteries; however, these batteries frequently need replacing or need recharging every 1 to 2 months, which can be tedious for a system with six to eight cameras.
Resolution for outdoor video cameras is determined by the number of pixels the camera displays across a screen horizontally. Whereas older surveillance cameras once produced grainy images, today’s cameras can produce high-resolution images capable of picking up fine details, such as facial features and license plate numbers. A good video camera should have at least 1080p resolution. The number refers to the number of pixels displayed across the screen. The more pixels, the clearer the picture and the better the owner is able to make out faces and other crucial details. In addition to 1080p cameras, many cameras also offer 3-megapixel resolution, which produces a higher-resolution image than a 1080p camera.
Coverage area is determined by the number of cameras in the system, which determines the breadth of the space the cameras can cover as well as how wide an area the lens can view. Budget-priced systems will include four cameras, which are suitable for smaller properties or to cover one or two sides of a structure. Larger systems with six to eight cameras are ideal for covering an entire property or larger homes, but these are more expensive. Since systems with more cameras produce more video footage, they take up more space on the system’s DVR drive.
This type of camera system stores all camera footage on a hard drive, which the user can play back later either through a mobile device that’s connected to the hard drive via an app or by connecting a monitor to the hard drive. How much video a hard drive can store depends on its size. Most camera hard drives have capacities that range from 1 to 4 terabytes. Smaller 1 to 2 TB hard drives are capable of holding around 30 days of footage, while larger 3 to 4 TB models can hold up to 60 days of footage.
Motion Detection Technology
Many outdoor wireless camera systems use a motion detector that activates the cameras when they detect motion in the area, helping to maximize video storage by only recording when someone enters the property. This technology typically has sensitivity settings that are customizable, so the system isn’t tripped by false alarms, such as a swaying tree branch or small animals. Some cameras even allow the user to draw specific motion detection zones for each camera in the system. This is particularly useful for cameras that may include a driveway or road with foot traffic and passing vehicles.
Camera systems that feature two-way audio allow the user to speak with the visitor on their property via a two-way microphone and speaker mounted on the camera. This feature is ideal for those who want to interact remotely with anyone who enters their property. For this function to work, the DVR base must be connected to Wi-Fi, which allows the user to interact with the system remotely via a smartphone or other mobile device.
Cameras that come equipped with infrared night vision technology are capable of producing high-resolution video even in meager light conditions. These cameras use infrared light to illuminate images. Some cameras can even render full-color images at night. Most wireless security camera systems have a night vision range of around 65 feet. Some cameras come equipped with LED lights that illuminate the area to capture better footage while also scaring away potential intruders.
Our Top Picks
The list below narrows the field of outdoor wireless security camera systems to some of the best home security cameras on the market. It includes systems with ample storage capacity, high-resolution cameras, and enough cameras to cover a large area.
High resolution, ample storage on the hard drive, and thoughtful extras make this wireless security system from Smonet one of the best on the market. Its 3-megapixel camera provides better resolution than 1080p, making it easier to make out faces while giving it clearer night vision. The system also comes with eight cameras, which allows it to cover a large area, making it suitable for more extensive properties.
The Smonet also comes with other excellent features, including the ability to differentiate humans from passing animals and vehicles, helping to save video storage for actual events. It supports remote access via a smart device and will also send email push alerts, making it easy to self-monitor. Its 3 TB hard drive provides enough storage for up to 30 days of video footage.
Get the Smonet wireless security camera system on Amazon.
Best Bang For The Buck
Installing a home security camera system doesn’t have to be an investment. This set of four cameras from Firstrend is an excellent option for those looking to add security on a budget. It comes with four wireless cameras, making it a great choice for those with smaller properties or who may only need to surveil one or two sides of their home. Its 2 TB hard drive is enough to hold up to a month of camera footage.
While it may not offer the same level of resolution as higher-end systems, its 1080p cameras create a clear enough picture to see facial details. Six infrared LEDs on the cameras provide up to 65 feet of night vision. Camera footage is accessible remotely via a compatible smartphone app, which allows users to play back video remotely and set up alerts when the cameras detect motion.
Get the Firstrend 4-piece wireless security camera system on Amazon.
With its set of eight cameras, this wireless outdoor security camera system is a suitable choice for covering larger properties. The cameras are well supported by a 3 TB hard drive capable of keeping up to 50 days of video footage for up to four cameras simultaneously. With their 3-megapixel resolution, these cameras make it easier to make out faces and other details than when using systems with 1080p cameras. Infrared technology allows these cameras to produce images up to 65 feet away at night.
Recorded and live camera footage is viewable via a smartphone app. These cameras also use Hiseeu’s advanced AI technology, which allows it to better distinguish humans from animals, reducing false motion triggers that waste hard-drive space.
Get the Hiseeu wireless security camera system on Amazon.
While many wireless cameras still require the user to connect each camera to a wired power source, which can limit placement, this model is truly wireless, allowing users to place the cameras wherever they want. Its four cameras come equipped with rechargeable batteries that connect via Wi-Fi, meaning they can be placed anywhere within range of the base.
Since the cameras activate via motion sensor, they save battery life by only recording when needed. This system is also equipped with LED infrared lights for enhanced nighttime visibility and an audible alarm that scares away intruders. A built-in microphone and speaker allow the homeowner to communicate with visitors. Battery life varies from 1 to 6 months based on the amount of activity around the house.
Get the Zosi wireless security camera system on Amazon.
While most wireless security camera systems use motion detection, Zosi offers an added layer of control by allowing the user to set specific motion detector areas for each camera. This feature makes the system ideal for homes with nearby sidewalks or roads that may trigger the camera motion detectors with passing vehicles or foot traffic. Its 2K resolution provides a clearer picture than 1080p cameras.
In addition to motion-detection zones, Zosi also allows the user to choose from several recording modes. Each camera can be set to record continuously, during scheduled times, or when they detect motion. Live views and recorded video footage are viewable remotely via the Zosi smartphone app.
Get the Zosi wireless security camera system on Amazon.
While most security camera systems come with 1 to 3 TB of storage, this system from Ohwoai uses a 4 TB hard drive, making it capable of holding a whopping 60 days’ worth of video footage, all of which is viewable locally or remotely via the Ohwoai app. That large capacity coupled with eight cameras makes this system suitable for surveilling large properties.
Each camera is equipped with a 3-megapixel lens that produces high-resolution images, making it easier to pick out faces or read license plate numbers. A cluster of 36 LEDs lights around each camera lens creates excellent nighttime images.
Get the Ohwoai wireless security camera system on Amazon.
This camera system from Firstrend comes with a 3 TB hard drive, making it a great choice for those who want to perform continuous monitoring of a smaller total area. The camera can be set to record continuously for comprehensive footage or, to save hard drive space, it can be set to turn on when the camera detects motion.
The system will also send an email or app alert when a camera is triggered. With its eight cameras, the Firstrend system is capable of covering larger properties. Six infrared LEDs in each camera allow for a range of up to 65 feet of visibility at night.
Get the Firstrend 8-piece wireless security camera system on Amazon.
With its 3-megapixel resolution, set of eight cameras, and advanced motion detection technology, the Smonet wireless security camera system is the best all-around wireless security camera system on the market. Those looking for the best budget option should consider the Firstrend 4-piece wireless security camera system, with its four cameras and affordable price.
How We Chose the Best Outdoor Wireless Security Camera Systems With DVR
We used several criteria to narrow the field of outdoor wireless security systems down to the top seven. A good wireless security system should allow the user to make out faces and other important details. With that in mind, we chose systems that have at least 1080p resolution while leaning toward those with higher 2K and 3-megapixel resolutions. Recording capacity is also crucial with a DVR system, so we stuck with models that have at least 1 TB of storage, which is enough to record up to 30 days of footage. In addition to storage and camera quality, we also factored in other features, including motion detection capability and the ability to access live and recorded video footage remotely via a smartphone.
If you’re wondering how NVR (network video recorder) differs from DVR (digital video recorder) or how wireless security systems get their power, then read on for answers to these and other commonly asked questions about wireless security camera systems.
Q. What is the difference between NVR and DVR?
NVR and DVR systems differ in how they record video footage. Whereas DVR systems process the data the camera records at the DVR unit, the NVR system encrypts and processes video footage at the camera before sending it to the recorder.
Q. Is there a security camera that works without Wi-Fi?
Outdoor wireless security cameras do not require a Wi-Fi connection. Many communicate to the base directly. The user can access that video footage by connecting a monitor to the base. However, if the user wants to view video footage remotely, the base must be connected to the home’s Wi-Fi.
Q. How do wireless security cameras get their power?
Wireless security cameras may not connect to the base via a wire; however, most must be connected to a power source either via a standard outlet or by hardwiring. There are some truly wireless systems that use rechargeable batteries, but this is not ideal for systems that have six to eight cameras.
Q. What is the easiest home security camera system to install?
Most home security systems have a very similar setup. They require the user to mount the cameras and connect them to a power source. Once plugged in, the cameras are already pre-linked to the DVR base.
Q. Which camera is best for home security?
The Smonet wireless security camera system, with its high-resolution cameras, large-capacity DVR, and ability to differentiate humans from other animals and objects makes it the best wireless security camera system you can buy.
Q. Which security camera has no monthly fee?
Cameras that store their recorded video footage in the cloud usually require a monthly fee. Since outdoor wireless camera systems with DVRs have a local storage device, they don’t have monthly fees.
This content was originally published here.