Most Wi-Fi cameras require a power outlet, which puts a real damper on where you can place them. Battery-powered Wi-Fi cameras, while not as numerous as their wired counterparts, offer much more flexible placement. Here are the best models available.
If you’re not interested in tearing up your walls to run wire (or paying an electrician to do it), wireless battery-powered security cameras are pretty appealing. There’s no video feed cable, no power outlet required, and if you’re willing to charge the batteries a few times a year then installation is as simple as screwing the mounting point into the wall or even just setting the camera on a shelf in your home.
Arlo Ultra ($399)
If money really isn’t an issue and you simply just want the best battery-powered Wi-Fi camera on the market, you can’t go with the Arlo Ultra.
The Ultra can record in 4K HDR, which is quite impressive for a battery-powered camera. It also can do color night vision thanks to the built-in spotlight, making it easier to recognize objects (unlike the typical black and white night vision that most other cameras that makes it more difficult to distinguish between things on the video feed). It has two-way talk capabilities and a really wide 180-degree field of view so you see much more of your yard or home.
It’s also weather resistant, so you can place outside if you’d rather keep tabs on the outside of your house. Plus, it has strong magnetic mounts to make it easy to mount the cameras but just as easy to dismount it whenever you need to recharge it.
The downside is that a proprietary hub is required in order to operate the Ultra cam, but once you have the hub installed, you can add as many cameras as you want with little hassle.
Ring Stick Up Cam ($179)
Ring doesn’t only just make video doorbells. They also make standalone Wi-Fi cameras as well, and the Stick Up Cam comes in a battery-powered version that works great anywhere around your house.
While it doesn’t do 4K video like the Arlo Ultra, it can at least churn out 1080p video and comes with all the features you’d want, including two-way talk and night vision, as well as motion alerts and plenty of different ways to mount it.
If you only need one or two Wi-Fi cams in your house and need them battery powered, this is definitely the way to go.
Budget Option: Arlo Wire-Free ($249 for 2)
If you want a more economical battery-powered option, Arlo’s original wire-free option is still pretty adequate for most people. You can also find them on sale throughout the year, and usually the more cameras come in a bundle, the more you’ll save.
The cameras can only record 720p video, which isn’t terrible, but it’s certainly not the standard anymore. Plus, they don’t use the latest rechargeable batteries that the newer Arlo cameras use. Instead, these use unique CR123A batteries, which you can find at most stores, but they’re certainly not as common as AA or AAA batteries (and significantly more expensive)
On the plus, these cameras still offer night vision and motion alerts, which are crucial features when you’re wanting to keep tabs on your house.