If you’re considering investing in a home security camera, especially an outdoor model, power adapters can really get in the way.

Sure, you can use an extension cord and clips to secure everything in place, but what if you want to mount your camera to the fence surrounding your property or up in a tree? What if you simply want the flexibility to move your camera around the property? That’s where battery-powered security cameras come in. Here are four models that CNET editors found to be the best in the field.

Ring Spotlight Cam

CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (excellent)

The cost: $199 at ring.com

The good: Ring’s $199 Spotlight Cam installs in minutes and its integrated LEDs provide reliable security lighting for your yard.

The bad: You have to pay for Ring’s Protect cloud storage service to access saved video clips.

The bottom line: The Ring Spotlight Cam’s easy setup and solid performance make it a favorite among today’s outdoor cameras with built-in lights.

Canary Flex

CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (excellent)

The cost: $199 at canary.is

The good: Canary’s Flex installs fast, is well designed and its app is easy to navigate. It’s also a highly versatile camera that can watch over your house from pretty much anywhere.


The bad: The Flex is limited to 720p HD live streaming, it has a smaller 116-degree field of view and it currently only works with Wink for smart home integrations.

The bottom line: The Canary Flex isn’t perfect, but its adaptability, simple app interface and excellent design make it a great choice for anyone who needs a lot of flexibility in their home security setup.

Arlo Pro 2

CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (excellent)

The cost: $300 (single camera with hub) to $680 (three cameras with hub) at arlo.com

The good: The cameras and related Arlo app work well and allow advanced features like person alerts and motion zones (if you subscribe to the Arlo Smart cloud service).

The bad: $480 is pricey for a two-camera kit. It’s difficult to angle the cameras unless you mount and attach them to the included magnetic bases (which requires a more permanent install).

The bottom line: The Arlo Pro 2 security cameras ably deliver reliable live streaming and prompt activity alerts packed in durable weatherproof housing.

Ring Door View Cam

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (very good)

The cost: $199 at ring.com

The good: The entire Ring Door View Cam installation was ridiculously easy, despite it being the first time I ever uninstalled a peephole.

The bad: The plastic mount on the inside of the door is flimsy, the camera only works with Alexa (there’s no Google Assistant or Siri voice control) and there’s no free cloud storage option.

The bottom line: The Door View Cam is well suited for people living in apartments with its minimally invasive installation and solid performance.