Outdoor wireless camera recommendations


#1

I have a need for 3 or 4 wireless outdoor cameras. These will be installed at a vacation property so I need something with fairly good battery life since we're only there every 6 to 8 weeks or so and having batteries die in between visits would be a problem. The cameras aren't for a security application--I'm planning on using them to check on the property, make sure the landscaping company is doing what they're supposed to and generally keep an eye on things.

I need to be able to access the recordings via and app and the ability to view a live stream would be a huge bonus. I was looking at Arlo but battery life and performance seem to be an issue. Wyze cams are out because of wired power. That leaves me with the Ring stickup cam or the about to be released Blink XT2. Oh yeah and nest is out because F@&% Google!

Does anyone use any of these in a similar application and are you happy with them? Any other suggestions or models I should consider?


#2

Why couldn't you use a solar panel to charge a battery and connect the Wyze camers to that?


#3

I personally do not recommend "Wireless" outdoor cameras, especially if you are not there full time, as to many points of error (battery, internet service up/down, cloud servers, etc) A POE system ....they are much more reliable (mine has never went down or any issues in 12 months so far) and you still have the same "features" you are looking for access live and recordings via app, plus accessing the recordings doesn't cost you a monthly fee.

Not to mention picture quality, the best wireless cameras are only 1080p, POE's are up to 4k, you can literally zoom in on a blade of grass and can identify people 300 feet away.


#4

Mostly because the panels are big enough to be an eye sore.


#5

I agree that PoE would certainly be the ideal way to go. Unfortunately, the way the house is constructed, I'd need to run the Cat6 cable through the crawlspace and up the stud bays. I've already spent more time in the crawlspace than I ever wanted to and it's something I REALLY want to avoid.


#6

Depedending on which "wireless" system you look at you should consider how many months of those monthly fees would it take to equal paying someone "one time" to run those cat 6 cables, then the cables are there and should be compatible anytime you choose to upgrade different camera systems.....you stay out of the crawlspace, and long term you save $$ and are much happier with the reliability.


#7

I use Arlo. They have proved to be very reliable, are well made, provide free 7 day recording without subscription, battery life is around 2 months, audio in both directions, sound and video sensitivity settings, have IFTTT support, 4k resolution on the newer cameras, base station has a siren. A bit expensive but the best as far as I'm concerned. By the way, I think there is also a solar charge option I recall seeing before too.

The only negative I have is the inability to activate a custom mode using integrations such as IFTTT. This is quite annoying when you only want to activate some of the cameras. It's a known issue and they don't care to fix it, which is very annoying.

The other aspect where I think they are quite stupid is the free level only allows for 5 cameras (unless you purchase another base station and link 2 accounts). This is designed to force you towards one of their subscriptions. This narrow minded stupidity on their behalf means I won't buy the additional 3 or 4 cameras I would otherwise want from them...

But for a 5 camera system, it mostly works fine in my opinion.


#8

I haven't seen these yet.....what is the minimum internet bandwith speed recommended for these as 5 cameras at 4k wirelessly has to be pretty high I would think?


#9

yeah, when first released they had some performance issues. Not sure about the bandwidth recommendations. I have older versions which were 720p and a single 1080p one I added later. I think the 4k cameras need an updated hub.

Oh also....In the app, you can choose which camera to stream in real time.....one or several at a time. As I indicated above, I have older cameras with lower resolution but all 5 can stream at once on my connection but I do have something like 30-40 Mbit connection most of the time so it's no problem.


#10

Arlo Ultra product info here. Nothing I could find on bandwidth. And (ouch) $999 for a 4 camera setup.


#11

yeah but the older lower-res bundles are discounted quite a lot now...


#12

This was my main reason I didn't go wireless as my "rural" ISP the best upload available is 5mb/s and the 1080p cameras if I remember right needed 1mb/s per camera. Being that my televisions are streamed via internet and all other internet of things, I could just see the network problems I would face.


#13

Understandable, I'm lucky to have this connection. Asia rocks for cheap high bandwidth internet, including on mobiles. When I go back to the UK time by time it's like going back to the dark ages


#14

Looking at that link, it is what I suspected the 1080p's recommend 1 mb/s per camera, oddly their 4k (4 times the resolution) is only recommended double at 2 mb/s per camera. So in my case I would be limited to 2 cameras with my bandwith.


#15

Costco has an Arlo Pro 2 five camera bundle for $599 which is a decent price--of course currently out of stock.

You mentioned in a previous post of 2 month battery life. Two months is pretty tight for me and might be a deal breaker given that I could go two months between visits. I'm assuming actual life is based on the number of detected motion/record events. Any feel for how many recordings that represents?

Also, it's not clear from the info I've seen how the batteries are recharged? Are they easily removed from the camera without removing the camera from the mount?


#16

I have an Arlo setup. But I'd never go wireless again.

Battery swaps are an issue. My wife likes the ease of use, but she isn't going to climb a ladder to replace the battery when I'm on the road.

But my biggest complaint is about speed and lack of "pet" detection. Pet detection used to work, but it looks like they changed something when they modified their subscription. I've been trying to catch a dog leaving gifts in my yard, but the camera just won't pick him up. It will see cars driving on the road and me walking in the yard, but no longer detects animals.

As for speed, Arlo only seems to record after detection begins, so you miss the start of an event. I've been able to use external motion sensors to fire recording a little sooner, but then I'm using power faster.

When the Arlo dies, or when Netgear gives up on the product, I'm going to install a POE Lorex system.


#17

Actually the charger can be attached with the battery in situ (it's a USB mini connector to the rear of the camera casing with a little rubber flap providing some protection). And then it effectively becomes mains powered. I didn't try this beyond the normal charging time (which by the way is not quick, typically overnight is required), but I see no reason why you couldn't just leave the charger connected and then you don't have to worry about the battery expiring. Either that or fit the solar charging option I mentioned...


#18

Unfortunately I have the CR123 version. I keep a stack of rechargables which I rotate.


#19

I use Blink for that exact scenario. I have 1 outdoor camera mounted to a fence in my backyard where I can keep an eye on the pool while I am away for an extended period. The battery in the older xt model is supposed to last 2 years. Then new XT2 models (coming soon) should get 1 year (depending on configuration of course). I use the blink app to access a video and audio feed from my home when I'm not there. The picture quality is good and I have had zero issues with it so far in the 1 month that it has been in service.


#20

Do the cameras show remaining battery percentage and if so, would you mind checking how much has the battery depleted in the month that it has been in use?

Also. the XT2 battery life is listed as 2 years which is likely a pipe dream but I'd be happy if I could get 3 months of life out of them.