CNET: These outdoor cameras will help secure your smart home

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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. (Chris Monroe/CNET/TNS)

Outdoor home security cameras have changed a lot in recent years. Once limited to a few manufacturers, the space has since exploded into an industry full of options, which is great news for us as customers, but it can make the buying process a bit more complex. CNET has rated these as four of the best outdoor cameras on the market.

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Ring Spotlight Cam

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/ring-spotlight-cam/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

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 cost: $199.00 to $199.99

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.

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Kuna Toucan

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/kuna-toucan/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The Toucan outdoor camera connects to the included Smart Socket light bulb adapter via USB so you don’t have to bother with batteries or a power cord. It has a very discreet design and a built-in 100-decibel siren for an extra dose of deterrence.

The bad: Its Smart Socket adapter made the light bulb extend past the bottom of my wall light. The Toucan relies on the light fixture for illumination rather than infrared LEDs, it doesn’t work with smart home products from other manufacturers, and its motion sensor was too sensitive.

The cost: $143.10 to $149.99

The bottom line: If you’re looking to add a low-maintenance outdoor camera to your home security setup, Toucan could easily fit the bill.

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Canary Flex

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/canary-flex/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: Canary’s Flex installs fast, it’s 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 cost: $149.60 to $199.99

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.

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Netgear Arlo Pro

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/reviews/netgear-arlo-pro-review/#ftag=CAD187281f

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

The good: Netgear’s Arlo Pro provides indoor and outdoor security monitoring in a single camera. You get seven days of free event-based cloud storage, and its rechargeable battery is supposed to last for up to six months.

The bad: The Arlo Pro costs more than its competition, and it was difficult to see what was happening in night-vision mode. Some customers won’t want to deal with a hub accessory during installation.

The cost: $189.97 to $249.99

The bottom line: The Arlo Pro is an even smarter DIY cam than Netgear’s first-gen Arlo, but competitors are closing in fast with innovative designs and updated apps.

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The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Senior Associate Editor Megan Wollerton and Senior Editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit www.cnet.com.

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