Best outdoor wireless cameras for pets: Maintain a watchful eye

Best outdoor wireless cameras
(Image credit: Amazon)

The best outdoor wireless cameras are not only great for the security of your home, they also allow you to monitor your pets when you're not at home. By showing images or video footage of outdoor areas, you can see what's happening at all times. What's more, with most cameras, you can even get alerts whenever there is movement, prompting you to check that everything is going well.

Trouble is, there are just so many of them on the market. As with the best pet cameras for indoor use, you can find outdoor wireless cameras from recognised names as well as lots from companies you've likely never heard of and each one is likely to be claiming to be best. There are, however, certain features you need to look out for. First, it's vitally important that an outdoor wireless camera is able to withstand the weather. That means it has to be waterproof or weather-resistant and durable.

A camera will need to be able to cope when it pours with rain and equally works well in snow or when the sun's rays are beating down. It's also vital that your camera will last for many months before needing a change of battery or a recharge. At the very least, you want a camera to power on for three months but you can find ones that will last twice or even four times that. Often, the more you pay, the better you'll get.

Of course, it's also important that the camera is able to take good video. You will likely have seen lots of examples of CCTV cameras with grainy black-and-white footage that you can barely make out. Most cameras today are better than that. You also need a camera which has a wide field of view so that you can see as much of the outdoor areas as possible. But if you team up a wireless outdoor camera with one of the best pet trackers, you'll always know the whereabouts of your furry friend.

In this guide, we look at a wide variety of cameras, from those which won't trouble your pocket and others that will require an ongoing subscription to make the most of the features they offer. So let's zoom in on the best outdoor wireless cameras in 2022.

PetsRadar's pick of the best outdoor wireless cameras for pets

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outdoor wireless cameras ArloBest buy award

(Image credit: Arlo)

Arlo Pro 3

Best overall outdoor camera for pets

Specifications

Maximum resolution: 2K (2560 x 1440)
Field of view: 160 degrees
Requires base station: Yes
Battery life: 3-6 months
Animal detection: Yes, with subscription
Storage: Local, Cloud

Reasons to buy

+
High resolution
+
Animal-tracking functions
+
Great design

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite pricey

Whether you're pet watching or not, the Arlo Pro 3 is just about the best outdoor security camera on the market today. It's well designed, with an attractive shell and a removable battery. It has an excellent app that is easy to use and gives quick access to all of its key features. There's a long list of those, including plenty of options to suit pet owners and garden watchers.

The Arlo Pro 3 is wireless, meaning that you can screw it to any fence post, tree or your shed, as long as the camera is within communication range of the Arlo base station. There’s no need to run any cables and no need for a cabled power source. Going wireless also means you can move the camera later on, if there's a new favorite digging spot you wish to monitor. You'll likely only have to charge the batteries every couple of months (depending on use).

An Arlo Pro 3 set-up generally consists of two or more cameras and the base station and is at the more expensive end of outdoor cameras. However, each camera unit sports a sensor with impressive 2K resolution and color night vision, spotlights and sirens built in to scare off intruders, two-way talk, and (as long as you pay for a monthly subscription) advanced motion detection that can detect the difference between humans, vehicles and animals.

Alerts sent to your phone will tell you broadly what the camera has seen, so you'll know at a glance whether you're going to see some cute animal antics or a rogue scoping out your premises. It's all highly professional and slick.

outdoor wireless camerasPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)
Best budget outdoor camera for pets

Specifications

Maximum resolution: Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Field of view: 110 degrees
Requires base station: Yes
Battery life: 2 years
Animal detection: No
Storage: Cloud only

Reasons to buy

+
Great battery life
+
Affordable
+
Free cloud storage

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited viewing angles

The Blink XT2 shares many features with the Arlo Pro 3. It's totally wireless, sending its pictures back to a base station inside your home. It's waterproof, so you'll be able to install it anywhere, even where it will be exposed to the elements. It has night vision and motion detection, so it'll capture everything that's going on.

However, the Blink XT2 is cheaper than the Arlo Pro 3. For the cost of a simple two-camera Arlo arrangement, you could pick up five individual Blink XT2 cameras and completely cover your perimeter. There's no subscription involved; all of your footage is stored in the cloud for a limited time.

You will have to make a few concessions in the process of bagging yourself a bargain outdoor camera. The sensor here is a more pedestrian 1080p, though in practice, it is pretty solid. The viewing angle is greatly reduced, too, so you'll capture less in the frame and may need to invest in additional cameras.

There's also no local storage, so you'll need to rely on Blink's parent company Amazon for cloud storage services, and the motion detection is far more limited, unable to specifically pick animals out of the scene.

But the XT2 has one last trick up its sleeve. It's powered by AA batteries, rather than proprietary battery packs, which makes recharging the camera a simple case of switching to a new set of cells. Blink also claims it can last up to two years on a single pair of batteries. While you might not get quite that in practice, that's a serious amount of time without maintenance – perfect if you're planning to mount it somewhere high up.

Blink has recently released a new camera model, the Blink Outdoor, but the XT2 remains our budget choice as the Outdoor is more expensive for the extra benefit of local storage.

outdoor wireless cameras victurePets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Victure)

Victure HC300 Wildlife Trap Camera

Best hidden outdoor camera for pets

Specifications

Maximum resolution: Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Field of view: Not stated
Requires base station: No
Battery life: Variable
Animal detection: No
Storage: Local only

Reasons to buy

+
Can be put anywhere
+
Simple to operate

Reasons to avoid

-
No networking
-
Simple motion detection

If you're not concerned about the connectivity and smart features of commercial security cameras, here's an alternative option. The Victure Wildlife Trap Camera is a trail camera meant for tracking wild animals. There's no reason you can't employ the same tech in your garden to capture footage of your own pets or scope out visiting wildlife, and given its low price, this may well tick a few boxes that the others on this list do not.

You won't be able to bring up a live view on your smartphone or receive motion alerts as there's basically no smart functionality. Instead, you'll need to pull the Trap Camera open to view your footage or remove its SD card, where you'll find either high-resolution photographs of your garden goings-on, 1080p video footage or time-lapse video giving you a long-term overview of today's outdoor action.

There is motion detection, although it's on the more simplistic end, so may be easily triggered if you point this towards an area where there's likely to be unwanted movement. You can adjust the sensitivity, at least, though it may take a while to find the sweet spot.

There's also infrared night vision, with an array of 38 LEDs giving a bright view of what's happening, and waterproofing that is claimed to withstand the humid damp of a rainforest.

outdoor wireless cameras EzvizPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Ezviz)

Ezviz C3N

Best wired outdoor camera for pets

Specifications

Maximum resolution: Full HD (1920x1080)
Field of view: 125 degrees
Requires base station: No
Battery life: N/A
Animal detection: No
Storage: Local, cloud

Reasons to buy

+
Decent image quality
+
Wireless option
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
No animal detection

Ezviz's wired security camera is a tough old cookie. It's heavy, solidly built, and obviously made to withstand the weather. It also claims to feature colour night vision, although it's more 'spotlight night vision' in which the camera shines its impressively bright pair of LEDs onto the scene. 

Those hoping for a full-colour look at midnight garden invaders may be better served by the likes of the Arlo Pro 3. Credit where it's due, though: the monochrome infra-red night vision is superb, and manages a crisp 1080p picture day or night.

Being a wired camera, you have to be more careful with positioning. Waterproof adapters for its cables are included, and you'll need to supply a right-sized PVC pipe to run those cables along. The benefit, of course, is that this doesn't rely on potentially shaky wireless connectivity (though you can choose to run it on Wi-fi if you wish) and it doesn't require batteries. Once installed, it should work with no maintenance required.

The Ezviz C3N is a little rough and ready, and the app reflects that, but it’s still a better experience than you might expect at this price. It's not quite our favourite budget camera, as the Blink XT2's presentation and convenience are better, but if you want to hike up the ladder once and once only, the C3N could be the option that suits you best.

outdoor wireless cameras Arlo 4KPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Arlo)

Arlo Ultra 4K

Best premium outdoor camera for pets

Specifications

Maximum resolution: 4K (3840x2160)
Field of view: 180 degrees
Requires base station: Yes
Battery life: 3-6 months
Animal detection: Yes
Storage: Local, cloud

Reasons to buy

+
Wide-angle image
+
Animal detection built in
+
Incredible picture

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

If you really want to push the boat out on a pet camera, the Arlo Ultra 4K is the way to go. It has all the key features of the Arlo Pro 3 – the weatherproofing, colour night vision, integrated spotlight – and a similar compact design. While the Arlo Pro 3 will do just fine for most tasks, such as security or dog-watching, the Ultra 4K brings a few upgrades to the table.

The 2K sensor of the Pro 3 has been increased to 4K here, meaning that it captures almost four times as many pixels. It also claims a 180-degree field-of-view and covers a wider area than its cheaper sibling.

The Ultra 4K has twin motion sensors on each camera unit for greater precision and a wider range of animal detection. Its extra resolution can be used to automatically zoom in on a target and track it through the frame – great if you're looking to watch back footage of far-off antics. This feature is also included on the Arlo Pro 3, but it really shines with the resolution of the Ultra 4K. Two-way talk gets an upgrade, with a twin microphone array able to cancel out wind noise.

The only issue with the Arlo Ultra 4K is its price. This is more the sort of installation you'd find in a professional environment than something used to spy on a cat. But if you have the money to spend, it's the best home and pet security product around.

Best outdoor wireless cameras for pets: Ring Spotlight Cam BatteryPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

Best outdoor wireless pet camera for Alexa

Specifications

Maximum resolution: 1080HD Video
Field of view: 140 degrees
Requires base station: No
Battery life: 6 months
Animal detection: Yes
Storage: Cloud with subscription

Reasons to buy

+
Quality images
+
Motion-activated spotlight
+
Quick-release battery pack

Reasons to avoid

-
Subscription required to access cloud storage

We’re loving the stylish battery-powered 1080HD camera from Ring with a motion-activated spotlight and infrared night vision that clearly captures what’s going on outside your home.

You can easily connect your Ring camera with Alexa and the two-way audio system lets you easily hear your pet or visitors and converse with them from your phone, tablet, or PC. There’s also a siren that can be activated remotely, so if you’re away from home and see something suspicious, it’s easy to raise the alarm.

With customizable motion sensors and instant motion-activated alerts, you’ll never miss a thing, and the adjustable mount means you can easily install and move the camera to wherever you want it to be. 

It also comes with a quick-release battery pack, meaning you can charge the battery without having to take the camera down, and the recharge time is super speedy, with a USB cable getting the job done in around three hours. There’s also the option of adding on an additional battery pack for backup power or a solar panel for a continuous charge.

Standard features, such as two-way talk, instant notifications, and live view are available straight out of the box, but you’ll need to purchase a Ring Protect subscription for $3/month to be able to store unlimited footage in the cloud for 30 days. 

Compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows 10, the camera comes with a one-year limited warranty and includes lifetime theft protection. 

best wireless camerasPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: DCT)

DCT Wireless WiFi Security Camera for Outdoor/Home

Best outdoor wireless camera for cats

Specifications

Maximum resolution: 1080HD Video
Field of view: TBC
Requires base station: No
Battery life: 1-6 months
Animal detection: Yes
Storage: 120GB, 30-day free trial Cloud storage

Reasons to buy

+
Fully waterproof
+
Comes with night vision
+
Plenty of features

Reasons to avoid

-
Can only be rotated by hand

Cats can be a bit trickier to keep an eye on than dogs. After all, they can move around a lot more, get onto higher surfaces, and climb over fences.

With this in mind, this camera from DCT has almost everything you could possibly want from a camera designed to monitor your cat's activities.

Waterproof and wireless, it is perfect for outdoor operation. The battery life is impressive too, helped out by the fact that battery life is only seriously leached when notifications are triggered.

Speaking of which, in addition to comprehensive motion detection, there is the function for echo cancellation and noise suppression, as well as a two-way audio system that allows you to communicate with any strangers that may be in the garden.

All this can be operated from an app that you need to sign up for, with the option to use multiple cameras being available.

However, a lot of the features are only available as part of the subscription, meaning this could be an ongoing expense that you don't need. Also, the cameras can only be rotated by hand. This isn't always an issue, as it has a wide field of vision, but it seems strange that for a camera with so many functions, this seemingly basic feature isn't present.

Dzees Siren Alarm Spotlight Outdoor CameraPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Dzees Siren Alarm Spotlight Outdoor Camera

Best outdoor wireless camera with siren

Specifications

Maximum resolution: 1080P
Field of view: 360°
Battery life: 3 - 6 months
Animal detection: Yes
Storage: Micro SD card or Cloud

Reasons to buy

+
Color night vision
+
Smart motion recording
+
Spotlight and siren alarm

Reasons to avoid

-
Motion detection but no motion tracking

One of the best reviewed cameras on Amazon, this little beauty from Dzees has pretty much everything you could want in an outdoor wireless camera and not only does it also look stylish, it's affordable too.

With 360-degree coverage, the camera has 4X digital zoom and you can adjust the direction of the camera quickly and easily from the app. The wireless camera runs on 2.4 GHz WiFi and comes with a built-in battery that will give you get 3 - 6 months of life with each charge. It also has the option to be connected up to a solar panel for additional peace of mind.

Featuring AI motion detection that will pick up on people, pets and vehicles, you'll receive instant security notifications straight to your phone, and it also has a built-in spotlight and 90db alarm siren, which can be activated manually or automatically from the app. 

The camera has color night vision that can record up to 100 feet and with infrared and built-in spotlight integration, you'll be able to view the video with clear colors even in low light. It also has two-way audio, so you can converse with your pet in real time when you're out and about.

Best outdoor wireless cameraPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Nest Cam (battery)

Best for easy installation

Specifications

Maximum resolution: 1080P
Field of view: 130 degrees
Battery life: 1.5 to 7 months
Animal detection: Yes
Storage: Local and Cloud

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to install
+
Great wide coverage
+
Free animal detection

Reasons to avoid

-
Non-removable battery

Aside from looking very sleek, the Nest Cam is one of the best outdoor wireless cameras on the market. As well as offering a wider field of view than many of its rivals, it also boasts great night vision and a high 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second which means the images are going to be sharp at any time of the day. Not only that, it's possible to pick up sound and to use the camera to have a two-way conversion with anyone who happens to be outside. You could, if you so wish, even call out your pet's name and see if they respond. It's a lovely way to engage.

The Nest Cam is also weatherproof, adhering to the IP54 standard, and it's really easy to install. Once you've set up the account and synced the device to your Wi-Fi, you simply attach the base to the wall. Since, the base is magnetic, it's then a case of just moving the camera close and it'll stick. This also means that you can easily pull the camera away from the base when you need to recharge it. You can also move the camera around a bit so that you get it at an optimal angle.

But how long will the battery last? According to Google, recording 20 to 25 events per day will see the battery run down within six weeks. Yet, if it records just two to four events per day, you'll get seven months out of it. Much depends on the ambient temperature too, though. Zooming in and out using the 6x digital zoom may have an effect and talking too much will mean more frequent charging. 

Opt for a subscription and you'll get a little more out of the camera. As it stands, you will be able to store three hours of rolling video for free and detect animals, people and vehicles but pay each month for four week's worth of storage and face detection. All-in-all, it's a good offering, especially if you're already part of the Google ecosystem. If there's a downside, it's that you can't remove and replace the battery so you'll be without coverage for a short while while it charges.

How to choose the best outdoor pet cams

If you're installing a wireless outdoor camera, you'll need to consider battery life first and foremost. The actual battery life may vary from the manufacturer's stated claims depending on how often the camera is activated; it's safe to presume, in most cases, the life will be a little lower than suggested. 

Every time a wireless camera runs out of juice you'll either have to bring it inside to charge it, putting that camera out of action for some time, or switch out a fresh battery. If you've mounted the camera somewhere high up, that means getting the ladder out – so a longer lifespan is, clearly, preferable.

Motion detection is particularly important if you're aiming to use a camera to watch your pets. You'll need to mount your camera, wired or not, somewhere it won’t pick up too many false positives. Even if your camera is smart enough to tell the difference between people, animals, and cars, ensure you angle it in such a way as to avoid busy roads or frequent public thoroughfares.

Finally, of course, there are the specs: a higher resolution sensor gets you higher quality footage and the various storage options allow you to access that footage in different ways. Night vision is probably essential, but if you spend a little more you'll likely end up with a sensor which can handle low light (and glare) with much more aplomb, raising the threshold for having to switch to a night vision mode and letting you see further into your garden when things are dark outside.