Have you ever seen those videos of someone running up to a front porch and stealing their packages and then driving off? Well, it turns out that with those cameras they end up catching a huge percentage of those people. So I decided that it was time to invest in my own outdoor security camera. But with so many to choose from, I had no idea where to start.

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I did some digging around and found out that there are a ton of different options for outdoor cameras. You’ve got your high-end and low-end cameras. Some are wireless and some are wired. Generally though, the more you spend on a camera, the more features you’re going to get. So what are some features to look out for?

Important Camera Features

Quality Lenses

A lot of the cheaper cameras still work great at closer distances, but once you get out to about 30 feet the quality tends to drop dramatically. While the more expensive cameras with better lenses can sometimes catch people up to 100 feet away. But for security on your front porch you probably won’t ever need to record something that far away.

Night Vision

Since the whole point of an outdoor camera is to capture them in the act and considering that most crimes occur at night, it’s probably ideal if your camera could actually record in the dark. Most outdoor cameras come with night vision, but it’s probably good practice to look out for the feature.

Storing Video

If you’re going to use your camera as evidence to prosecute someone you’ll probably need a way to store your recordings externally. Some higher-end outdoor cameras come with a separate DVR feature. Another feature to look out for is motion detection. Some cameras will only record when they detect motion, saving you a ton of storage space. Also, you’ll want to make sure you have the ability to fast forward through your footage easily to help you locate when the crime occurred on video.

Wired vs. Wireless

Wireless electronics are all the rage these days, but when it comes to cameras you’ll probably want to go wired. Broadcasting high resolution video over your Wi-Fi all the time is a great way to slow down your entire network. You might also experience a lag time when watching live video feeds from your camera. So if you can, hook up a wired outdoor camera.

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What are the Best Outdoor Cameras?

Without further ado, here is a list of great cameras based on these considerations:

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

The Nest Cam is well build and weatherproof. It comes with a built in speak and a microphone so you can communicate with anyone at your front door. It comes with a high quality wide angle (130° view) lens and records in 1080p high definition day or night. It also comes with a wire so you won’t have to worry about any lag time or overloading your network. You can also set it to send you alerts when it detects activity.

Swann – PRO-760 – Super Wide-Angle Security Camera

If you’re looking for a more traditional outdoor camera the Swann Pro 760 is a solid bet. With its rugged weatherproof outer casing and durable power cord, would-be thieves would be hard pressed to get through this camera. It can also record up to 98 ft. away – at night! It comes with an RCA connector, deterrent stickers, and a 1-year warranty.

Foscam 960P Outdoor HD Wireless IP Camera

Not all great cameras have a wire. If you’re confident your wireless network can handle HD video feeds this camera is your best bet. Foscam boasts about their super easy setup and high quality high definition video. They also offer a free trial to their video cloud, but you also have an option to record locally on your computer. It can record at night up to 100 ft. and is compatible with both iOS and Android.

Conclusion

Outdoor cameras have come a long way in the past few years. Almost any outdoor cam you buy these days will probably do a good enough job to secure your packages from theft. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable and get an outdoor camera today!