Getting Started

There are many wireless outdoor security cameras on the market with a variety of features, so whether you’re camera-savvy or a new buyer, it can be a challenge to select the best product for your security needs. Consumers need something easy to install and use that displays quality images as well as integrates intelligent technology.

For end users, finding a vendor who will provide support and upgrades for the camera and system software throughout the life of the product is also a necessity.

The following represents a list of some of the top wireless outdoor cameras available to consumers.

1. Logitech Alert 750e Outdoor Master System:
Consumers can access live video using their smartphones and tablets, and receive emails or push notifications based on sound and motion detection. Features include weatherproof casing, audio, and night vision. Unfortunately, this model is not compatible with Mac systems – the software is compatible with Windows only. Another notable drawback is that remote system management requires a yearly fee.

2. D-Link HD Wireless N Day/Night Outdoor Cloud Camera:
Like the Logitech 750e, the D-link Cloud Camera allows consumers to access live video via computers and smartphones. The D-link Cloud camera is compact, lightweight, easy to install, and useful for users with bandwidth limitations. While this model is an outdoor camera, it has limited night vision capabilities. Unfortunately, it also does not included cloud-based storage (although it does offer a web service for viewing video online).

3. The ZMODO 720P Wireless Security Camera:
The ZMODO produces high quality images (720p), can be viewed remotely via a smartphone, and is inexpensively priced. The ZMODO does not have audio, which limits its uses, and does not provide online video storage. Its low price (currently around $79.99) may be a selling point for consumers looking for an entry-level wireless security camera.

4. UCam 247-HDO 1080:
The UCam delivers high quality night vision, even in total darkness. It features motion detection, weatherproof casing, and setup and viewing via iPhone or Android. One drawback is image quality depends on the signal quality between the user’s network router and the security camera.

5. Nest Dropcam Pro
While it’s tempting to focus on hardware specs, beyond a certain point, it’s the software and services that really make the experience for most consumers. The Dropcam Pro product offering certainly seems to adhere to this perspective. As advertised, the picture is a crisp, clear HD shot. The Dropcam Pro outshines not only its predecessor, the Dropcam HD, but its top competitors as well. Dropcam Pro has twice the digital zoom power (8x) of the original (4x)—normally nothing to brag about, but newly enhanced visual quality makes it better than the pan/tilt/zoom on mechanized cameras of the same price. For me, the product is a another clear winner. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this product to a friend.

The Bottom Line

Depending on the intended security use of the camera, some features may or may not be indispensable. In general, consumers should look for cameras that provide online video storage, night vision capabilities (and range), HD video streaming, motion detection, audio capabilities, easy installation, email notifications, multiple-camera support, Mac and Windows compatibility, and mobile apps for iOS and Android.