Modern home security cameras come in all shapes and sizes. There are wired and wireless cameras. There are standard video cameras and video doorbell cameras. And of course, you can choose between interior and exterior units. Location plays a key role in determining the features that are most important. Some features may be especially important for your outdoor cameras.

Vivint Smart Home is a company that specializes in home automation and wireless security equipment. In late 2020, they published a comprehensive security camera buying guide that remains one of the most popular posts on their site. In that post, they talk about some of the most important features for exterior cameras. Let us review some of them here.

Motion Activation

In order to preserve storage space and battery life, it’s helpful to have cameras that don’t run twenty-four hours a day. But in order to make that happen and still get adequate security, you need cameras with motion activation. A motion-activated camera works the same way as a motion-activated light. The camera is equipped with a sensor that, when triggered, turns the camera on. The camera then records video for a set amount of time.

Wide Angle Lens

Outdoor security cameras fitted with wide angle lenses offer a much better view of a larger area. This may not be what you are after for the front porch, where a narrower view is desired. But if you are looking to get a view of the entire front or back yard, a wide-angle lens is the perfect choice.

With the wide-angle option, you can mount a single outdoor camera on the corner of the house and get sweeping views of the entire yard. Essentially, wider angles let you cover more area with fewer cameras. That is a good way to save money.

Infrared Night Vision

Even though the vast majority of home burglaries occur during daylight hours, you still want your home security cameras to work properly at night. So in addition to motion sensing, a camera with infrared night vision night vision lets you see any prowlers who decide to hang around your house after the sun goes down.

Just be warned that night vision quality can vary from one brand to the next. This may be one area in which you generally get what you pay for. If you plan to invest in cameras with night vision, do some research first. Read as many online reviews as you can.

On-Board Two-Way audio

A lot of camera manufacturers are now including on-board audio systems in their outdoor models. These are two-way audio systems that allow you to communicate with people through the camera itself. These types of cameras are paired with mobile apps to facilitate audio communication.

On-board audio enhancements were first introduced to the security camera arena with the video doorbell a few years back. The concept has worked so well that manufactures are now building audio systems into entry-level outdoor security cameras.

Remote Access

Perhaps the most important feature of all is remote access. With remote access capabilities, you can view camera feeds any time of night or day, in real time. In other words, you do not have to wait to see recorded video footage later on. You can see exactly what is happening as it unfolds.

Thanks to some particularly good technology, today’s security cameras are leaps and bounds ahead of previous generations. You can get a lot of camera without spending a lot of money. Come to think of it, that is all the more reason to install outdoor security cameras in your home.