8 Best Outdoor Wireless Security Camera System with DVR (2020)
Last update on 2020-05-24 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Owning a wireless security system comes with lots of risks and is a popular topic of debate. One of the most frequent discussions I tend to come across is “DVR vs. NVR.” For the moment, I’ll argue in favor of the DVR case. Before you is a list of the best outdoor wireless security camera systems with DVR for early 2020, as well as a handy buyer’s guide. Hopefully, it’ll help you decide on what DVR setup works best for you and your security needs.
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Comparing the Camera Systems
Aside from both DVR and NVR compatibility, Firstrend 8CH comes with a 2 TB hard drive for continuous video storage.
Customizable motion detection, 1 TB of storage, high-definition videos — ZOSI 1080P has all of that and more.
Praised as one of the best, the HeimVision HM241 has everything from high-quality video capture to a massive amount of storage space.
The Best Outdoor Wireless Security Camera Systems with DVR — My Top Picks
1. ZOSI 8CH Security Camera System
The ZOSI 8CH system comes with four cameras, eight channels, and a 1 TB hard drive. Each camera has a fantastic wide-angle view, so you can cover a massive yard with little to no effort. In fact, the maximum distance it can reach is 65 ft.
8CH’s cameras work both indoors and outdoors. Their rough, black exterior can handle all weather conditions, which I find useful since I live in a windy area with lots of dust particles in the air. Interestingly, unlike most security systems, the ZOSI 8CH opted for a black finish instead of a white one. That gives the cameras a stylish, sleek look.
Advanced H.265 technology allows the 8CH DVR to compress videos quickly. The DVR reduces the bit-rate and the size of the videos while they retain their image quality. This feature helps you save some storage space while receiving high-quality security footage in the process.
ZOSI’s DVR allows you to pick one of four different recording modes. But more importantly, you can assign different modes to each camera. I love this feature, as it allows me to record sections of my yard based on my needs.
2. ANNKE 8CH H.264
ANNKE’s 8CH system kicks it up a notch when it comes to distance. Unlike the ZOSI 8CH, this DVR system can record video from as far as 100 ft. I would recommend this system to anyone who has an open driveway, as ANNKE’s cams will give you a full view of your side of the street.
In terms of video compression, ANNKE isn’t as good as ZOSI, but only by a small margin. With H.264 compression, you’ll get crystal-clear videos that don’t take up a lot of disk space. But even if that weren’t the case, that probably wouldn’t be an issue since ANNKE DVR comes with a 1 TB hard drive. Furthermore, you can add more storage using the USB port in the back.
While this system comes with four cameras, you can easily install at least four more for added coverage. To me, eight cameras with HD-ready recording are always a win. Unfortunately, the night vision isn’t as clear as with other options on this list, but it’s still above average.
My favorite feature of ANNKE 8CH, however, is its remote access capability. This beast can connect to both Android and iOS devices, giving me both Live View and Playback options. In addition, it uses both Wi-Fi and GSM connectivity. Naturally, the DVR setup can send me push notifications and alerts, letting me know if there’s any suspicious movement in my home.
3. XVIM 8CH 1080P Security Camera System
Eight HD-ready cameras make XVIM 8CH stand out. Most of the options on this list tend to come with standard four cams. But then again, most of the choices aren’t XVIM.
Each of these cameras has a 2.0 megapixel 1080 HD resolution. In other words, the video output will be amazing, at the very least. But it doesn’t stop there; the cameras can record at a distance of 100 ft, 24 hours a day. They achieve this feat thanks to the built-in IR Cut Filter that allows true color recording at any point during the day. Any security system with a 100 ft clear, full-color night vision recording deserves my attention.
All eight cameras have an IPX66 weatherproof rating. They will withstand any harsh weather, from pouring rain to strong winds. Additionally, you can use the XVIM’s cameras both indoors and outdoors. Thanks to their range and high-quality video capture, they’re perfect for large houses with wide backyards and open driveways.
The DVR unit of the XVIM 8CH contains a 1 TB hard drive for video storage. Furthermore, you can look at the footage remotely using a smart device. Moreover, XVIM 8CH is compatible with both Android and iOS, as well as most PC and Mac platforms. You can observe the footage from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. In addition, you can change the settings of the cameras remotely using the native app.
4. Firstrend 8CH 1080P Wireless Security Camera System
The Firstrend 8CH system intrigued me when I saw just how much it could store. The DVR unit for this product contains a 2 TB hard drive — much larger than other products I’ve listed so far. But that’s not all; if I wanted to, I could actually install an additional 2 TB hard drive. Yes, that’s 4 TB of raw disk space for surveillance, and it’s a definite plus in my book.
As an 8CH system, it comes with four bullet-shaped cameras. Their white exterior gives them IPX66 protection against the elements. More importantly, each camera records video in 1080 definition. Additionally, the cams’ night vision can record at a distance of 65 ft, making them just a little above average.
Interestingly, Firstrend 8CH is both a DVR and NVR system. But no matter which option you get, you won’t regret your purchase. Both the DVR and NVR setups can connect to your smart device using a native app. With it, you can look at the live video feed no matter where you are. You can also access the data via a computer.
Just like most Firstrend products, you can use this system for both indoor and outdoor protection. Moreover, you can buy additional cams and cover more ground.
5. ZOSI 8CH 1080P Wireless 4 Cameras Security System
ZOSI is back on this list, this time with an 8CH 1080P camera system. And while I love the black design choice of the other ZOSI 8CH option I listed, these sleek white cameras are quite pleasing to the eye.
But their beauty comes with durability. Each camera is weatherproof, with the same IPX66 rating as the other ZOSI 8CH system. The devices record high-definition videos at a distance of 65 ft. And thanks to the IR-cut filter, they can record full-color videos during the night. Moreover, each video goes through H.265 compression. Without repeating myself too much, I’ll definitely recommend any system that gives me compact and crystal-clear videos.
When it comes to space, the ZOSI 8CH 1080P system comes with a 1 TB hard drive. The USB port allows me to back up any data. More importantly, the DVR has the option to record over the oldest footage once there’s no space left.
The DVR allows you to customize motion detection. Once the system spots strange movements, it will send push notifications to a smart device. Like all ZOSI systems, it’s compatible with both Android and iOS, as well as Microsoft Windows.
6. ANNKE 1080P FHD Wireless Camera System
Once again, we have an ANNKE product, and once more, it’s a product with both DVR and NVR options. The FHD, much like the ANNKE 8CH, supports eight channels and comes with four cameras. Each of these has a wide field of view and records footage in 1080 resolution. But the similarities to ANNKE 8CH don’t stop there. The native DVR also compresses videos using H.264 compression. The results are obvious — high-definition videos that don’t take up much space on the 1 TB hard drive.
Interestingly, one of the four cameras can act as a repeater. It will maintain the connection with the other devices for smooth, issue-free surveillance. In addition, these cameras have built-in motion detectors. The moment they spot something strange, you will get email alerts and push notifications on your smart device.
However, my absolute favorite feature of ANNKE 1080P FHD is just how easy it is to install. While there were no instructions, I managed to set it all up in less than half an hour. A true DIY wireless system has to be easy to assemble, which is why the FHD gets my personal seal of approval.
7. Hiseeu 8CH Wireless Security Camera System
Hiseeu’s cameras look lovely. There’s something about that silvery finish that stands out and gives the house a futuristic, robotic appeal. What’s more, the lenses themselves look like robotic eyes that will zero in on any intruder.
With a 1 TB hard drive and an eight-channel support, the Hiseeu 8CH shows that it has a lot more to offer than beauty and grace. Using H.265 compression, the DVR reduces the size of all videos in order to conserve up to 50% of storage space. In other words, you get reliable nonstop recording for 30 days.
The 1080 high-definition cameras are excellent for outdoor surveillance. With an IPX66 rating, they will endure rain, dirt, wind, and snow. However, they don’t do well in extreme weather conditions. You can view the live video from these cameras anywhere and at any time using the Hiseeu app. More importantly, the system will connect both via Wi-Fi and 4G/3G networks.
I should point out that the Hiseeu 8CH is the third security system on this list that supports both DVR and NVR recording. Amazingly, you get every cable that you need with the system. Usually, if I have a DVR setup, I need to get additional cables to connect everything. Having these in the package with the DVR is definitely a good thing, which is why Hiseeu 8CH is among the top-rated systems where it belongs.
8. HeimVision HM241 Wireless Security Camera System
People all over the internet have praised the HM241 as one of the best surveillance systems. Honestly, I can’t blame them. I had a hard time looking for potential flaws, and I have to say that I only found one. Namely, the HeimVision HM241 system might require you to buy some extra cables if you want to extend the system’s reach. And if THAT is the only flaw of a WIRELESS security system, then you know you’ve hit the jackpot.
HM241’s 1.3-megapixel cameras record videos in 960p resolution. That is lower than other devices on this list, but the videos are just as crisp, clear, and high-quality as ZOSI’s or ANNKE’s. Each camera has an IPX66 weatherproof rating, making them tough and durable. Moreover, they all have built-in motion sensors. Once they spot something, they will let you know via email and push notifications on the native IP-Pro app. You can connect to the HeimVision HM241 using either Wi-Fi or a GSM network.
The system also comes with both DVR and NVR compatibility. Unfortunately, you’ll need to buy the 2 TB hard drive separately, but the upside is that the unit can contain up to 6 TB of storage! That’s a lot of recording time.
All of those features would be enough to make the HM241 one of the best security systems of early 2020. Of course, the system also comes with high-quality night vision recording, remote access, and the capability of integrating additional cameras. In short, the HM241 is more than worth your time.
The Buyer’s Guide to Outdoor Wireless Security Camera Systems
Wireless cameras shouldn’t be hard to install. In fact, one of the major differences between wireless and wired security systems is installation. For instance, if I want to get a professional surveillance setup, I need something stable and that will always have a steady connection. Wired cameras, both indoor and outdoor, work better since the link they receive doesn’t glitch or break. Moreover, they have a steady power source, i.e., the house’s own electrical grid.
However, while a wired camera might be stable, it’s not practical. Installing these devices requires drilling and running cables through walls. On the other hand, wireless cameras don’t need any of that. You can just mount them outside, and they’ll be ready to go.
Of course, I should point out that there is a difference between “wireless” and “wire-free.” For example, a popular security product, Reolink Argus Pro, is technically not a wireless camera, despite obviously not needing any wires to work.
The main difference between wireless and wire-free surveillance cameras is the power source.
The former use hubs or bases that still need to be plugged in. In contrast, wire-free devices come with their own rechargeable batteries. Products like Reolink Argus Pro can survey your yard for days without turning off, thanks to this technology. But it doesn’t stop there. Using a USB port, you can connect a small solar panel to a wired outdoor camera. The sunlight will directly charge the device, giving it longer shelf life. Interestingly, you will often run into retailers who advertise both types of cameras as wireless, which is technically accurate.
Overall, one feature that both types of non-wired cameras have is that they are easy to install. Usually, it’s just a matter of placing their mount somewhere and sliding the camera in.
In 2020, we have HD cameras on our phones, tablets, and even sunglasses. It wasn’t long before security systems started using high-definition technology themselves.
Of course, there are still CCTV cameras out there with standard image quality. However, I would personally advise you against investing any money in them. Low-res devices will produce grainy footage. If an intruder is stalking your front yard, you won’t be able to see their face clearly. In fact, some of these cameras are of such poor quality that you won’t even be able to tell the person’s gender. On the other hand, even a standard HD camera will capture clear videos and high-resolution images.
But there’s more to a security camera than video quality and resolution. Even the best HD video devices will be useless if they don’t cover a wide enough field of view. Unlike old CCTV products, new cameras have a rotating mount that helps them move. By going left-to-right and back, the camera gets to capture a wide image. So instead of buying multiple cameras and installing them all over the yard, we can use only one or two with wide viewing angles and lots of mobility.
The best outdoor security camera ought to work 24/7. In order to achieve that, it’ll require two important features:
- A durable, long-lasting power source
- Proper night monitoring
I’ll cover the power sources a little later, but for now, let’s focus on what makes proper night monitoring. Firstly, you’ll need a camera with adequate night vision. Most of the time, burglars and home invaders strike at night, when the family is either away or asleep. An average camera will undoubtedly catch someone sneaking about your yard, but you won’t be able to tell what they look like because it’s too dark outside. Luckily, modern cameras come with spectacular night vision; they will record everything in their field of vision with astounding clarity.
Next, proper night monitoring includes a decent spotlight. With a spotlight on, intruders will avoid getting near your house, thinking you’re inside. But those that do approach will have their faces recorded, and the image will be as clear as daylight.
Finally, I should mention a relatively new feature that some modern cameras tend to utilize. Namely, instead of standard night vision, specific models record nighttime footage in full color. As of 2020, that’s the absolute pinnacle of night vision security, and if you can afford a camera that supports it, don’t hesitate to buy it.
Normally, we wouldn’t expect cameras to come with audio options. And yes, that also includes recording full-audio footage. But with modern security tech, getting an audio camera is not only possible but even a bit mundane.
Cameras such as the Arlo Pro, for instance, have a two-way audio function. Each device comes with a built-in microphone and a speaker. This option can come in handy when you’re away, but there’s someone in front of the door looking for you, like the mailman or a neighbor.
Let’s say, for example, that I’m at work but that I’m expecting an important package. My mailman can come to my door, and, as he’s waiting, the camera picks up on him and sends me a notification via an app. Using my smart device (a phone or a tablet), I can actually send a voice message that the mailman can hear through the speaker. More importantly, he can talk back to me as if we were using phones or instant messaging voice apps. That way, I could save myself the trouble of going to the post office later to pick up the package. In addition, the mailman doesn’t have to just stand there and waste his time.
Remote access is essential, as it will make your experience with the security system easier. A decent DVR setup will allow me to access the cameras using an app and a smart device from a distance. With such a system, I can pan, zoom, or rotate the camera in any way I want without actually having to touch it.
As a wireless or wire-free device, my camera should connect to Wi-Fi (though that’s not always necessary, as I’ll explain a little later). Of course, even Wi-Fi connectivity has its limits. Therefore, the first thing we need to do is to make sure that our camera of choice has a wide, long connection range.
Interestingly, some devices come with their own Ethernet ports. That gives you the option of actually hardwiring a wireless security camera for added internet stability.
Motion sensors are critical accessories in most, if not all surveillance systems. However, they are usually sold separately, which isn’t good if you’re shopping for wireless camera security on a budget.
Fortunately, lots of modern security cameras have a motion detection option. For instance, I can set my camera up to start recording if there’s any movement in the yard. Furthermore, the device itself can send me push notifications or motion alerts during the event.
Possibly the most important part of any outdoor wireless safety system, the storage needs to be of decent size. One DVR system I used recently had a 2 TB hard drive. Two terabytes can store up to 2,000 hours of standard definition footage and 500 hours of HD videos. Naturally, a proper DVR base will have the option to add more hard drives.
However, there are other options out there, even with DVR security setups. For example, modern cameras come with Micro SD card slots that can store plenty of footage. In addition, we can use Cloud storage and keep all of our recordings online.
Wireless or, more specifically, wire-free cameras tend to use batteries as their primary power sources. With that in mind, I need to look for a few key details in a camera:
- What is the battery life and its optimum capacity?
- Is the battery rechargeable?
- Can I recharge it using solar power?
A good rule of thumb is to get a camera with a powerful, long-lasting rechargeable battery. Some models even come with two, and when one battery runs out, the system automatically switches to the other one. That way, you can recharge the empty battery without compromising your safety.
Intriguingly, lots of modern cameras come with a USB port that supports small solar panels. These panels can charge the camera’s battery if exposed to direct sunlight for a while. In theory, a panel could keep your camera’s battery charged at all times, with no need to replace it.
Personally, I don’t pay attention to this feature in a security camera, but I feel like I should still mention it. Usually, surveillance devices come in one of two shapes: bullet or dome. It’s all in the name; a dome camera looks like an inverted half-sphere, while a bullet camera has an aerodynamic, sleek shape, i.e., like a bullet.
Most people will notice your security cam outdoors, so it’s all the same if you pick one shape over the other. However, there are some advantages to both. Bullet cameras tend to have a wider field of view than dome ones. On the other hand, an intruder won’t really be able to tell where a dome camera is pointing, which is quite evident with the bullet variant. Ultimately, the design choice is left to your personal taste.
The eight outdoor wireless security systems I listed all have one thing in common. In my opinion, they are the best that money can buy, and each of them is incredibly easy to install. And knowing how difficult it is to set up a DVR system to begin with, that says a lot.
If you liked my list, feel free to browse these products and buy them today. Also, don’t forget to share your thoughts on this topic down in the comments.
The short and quick answer is yes, but we’re not here for short answers. Most cameras on the market have a Wi-Fi connectivity option. However, there are some areas where there is no internet or even electricity.
As someone who had once owned a cabin in the nearby woods, I needed a good security system that didn’t require any internet connection. With that in mind, I started looking into cellular security cameras. These cams use SIM cards and require a cellular data plan, which can cost a pretty penny. But once you have it, it’ll work like a charm. With 4G/LTE and 3G network compatibility, these cameras can work 24/7, even in the most remote areas. Moreover, they almost always use high-capacity batteries, so I don’t need an external power source. When you compare them to Wi-Fi cameras, they hold up pretty well; in fact, some of them can even outclass internet-based devices.
Some people prefer owning security systems with digital video recorders or DVRs. Others feel that a network video recorder, or NVR, is the better choice between the two. And while these two recorders might be similar, there is a whole host of differences between them. So let’s compare them and see what makes them tick.
What Makes a DVR?
An average DVR contains the following features:
- It uses a single coaxial cable with a BNC connector and a single power cable per camera
- The coaxial cables are thick, and they use BNC connectors, which are hard to thread, are bulky, and take time to install
- Individual cameras require separate power sources
- DVR uses analog cameras, and it processes images directly
What Makes an NVR?
Compared to DVR, an NVR has these features:
- It uses a single Ethernet cable for power, video, and audio, as well as RJ56 connectors per camera
- With Ethernet cables and RJ56 connectors, the cameras are easy to install
- Almost all of the power comes directly from the NVR via Power over Ethernet or PoE
- Digital cameras process the images, not the NVR itself
Based on these features, you’d think that an NVR device is better than a DVR one. While it is true that there has been a gap between the two, modern DVRs have some fantastic capabilities. In addition, NVRs are usually expensive, so a DVR will work for you if you’re shopping on a budget.
If you’re looking for the best outdoor wireless security camera system with NVR, do stick around, as I might cover the topic in the future. After all, there are plenty of decent NVRs out there that you can check out. For now, let’s focus on what the DVR systems can offer.
In order to have the best outdoor security camera system with DVR, you’ll need a top-notch modern recorder with 2020 tech compatibility. To put it simply, your DVR will need to do the following:
- Allow access by Web ID
- Have USB for storage backup
- Allow multiple users to access it
- Provide search & play options for the footage
- Have decent recording options in terms of resolution, size, and quality
An average DVR comes with an input for multiple cameras, ranging from 4 to 32. These cameras are called channels, and you need to be able to see them all, either one at a time or all at once. In addition, the DVR contains a hard drive, but you can always have additional storage options. Micro SD cards, USB flash drives, disk drives, SSD, and others come to mind. Please check out this link for more information. It might help you build the best outdoor wired security camera system with DVR as its base.
There are a few crucial features that any outdoor security device needs to have. First off, the device will be outside 24/7. With rain, snow, hail, and wind, it might get damaged. Therefore, you’ll need to check for its IPX rating.
The IP stands for Ingress Protection. This rating will let you know if your product can withstand water and dust that come from outside. Usually, an IPX0 rating means that the camera will handle the elements poorly. The highest rating is IPX6, so any cam with these numbers is the one you’ll want to check out.
Next, you need to think about the camera lens itself; a quick rule of thumb is to buy a 1080 HD camera with a wide-angle view and clear night vision. Integrated spotlights can also be a helpful feature.
Finally, you’ll want to look at the brand name. Usually, I don’t pick individual brands like Arlo Pro or Reolink Argus, but there’s a reason some products get attention. An average customer knows the danger of a new, untested brand, so they stick with the familiar ones. That is subject to change after they test a new product, but you don’t really buy security systems every day. So if you’re new to buying CCTV camera surveillance, look for the best-known brands.
Most of what I listed for average outdoor security cams applies to wireless devices as well. However, there are a few other details I need to stress. Based on my experience, the best wireless camera should have:
- A Micro SD card slot
- Both Wi-Fi and 4G/LTE or 3G connectivity
- Solar panel charging via USB
- Rechargeable, powerful batteries that will last a long time
- A massive range for a stable connection
- A durable, IPX66 resistant cover
- Two-way audio options
- Motion detection and push notification ability
Naturally, not all cameras have these features. In fact, even if your device lacks half of these, it can still help keep you safe. But if you can, find a product that covers all of the features above — you won’t regret it.