Best Security Cameras for Preppers

Monitoring your home or property is easier than ever thanks to cameras packed with functionality. Cameras are great deterrents and good for intruder notification, but the best security cameras capture clear footage that’ll help you make quick decisions. There are a huge number of video security systems available, but they aren’t all equal.

This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best security cameras for preppers, tested them, and now the results are in: the overall best, a budget option, and a CCTV pick. If you need a camera system that you can rely on, one of our suggestions will help hold down the fort.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

Blink Outdoor Gen 4 Cameras

The Best Security Cameras

Blink Outdoor 4

Reliable, Versatile, and a Good Value

A robust camera system with great picture quality, notification options, and outdoor durability.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Blink has an intuitive app, solid devices, and an easy setup system. They are also limitlessly configurable, so you can add on cameras easily with indoor cameras or with more outdoor cameras with a single Sync Module.

Recently, they dropped their fourth generation model that improved the field of view and a few other features over the Gen 3 cameras. All Outdoor Blink cameras have held up well in our tests over the years and the battery life is amazing.

Here is everything you get with this camera system:

  • Indoor/Outdoor wireless camera
  • 2 AA batteries last up to 2 years
  • 1080p, 30fps, 143-degree field of view
  • IP65 weatherproof, -4ºF to 113ºF (-20ºC to 45ºC)
  • Wireless Sync Module, app playback, optional cloud storage
  • Live stream, <10s alert notification, two-way audio, IR spotlight, multiple detection/block zone grid
  • Alexa integration

With great quality paired with good value, it’s easy to see why the updated Blink Outdoor 4 Cameras tops the rest.

Wyze Cam OG Security Camera

Budget Security Camera


Lightweight, Easy to Install, and Inexpensive

This small camera is inexpensive but effective, sending alerts and clips similar to systems ten times the cost.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Fire up this small camera, hook it up to your WiFi, and enjoy some easy peace of mind- even if you rent or live in an apartment. It has an unbeatable price and is a great stand-alone system if you are just getting started.

With a hassle-free setup and an app that works well, anyone who doesn’t have a camera system should at least get a WYZE.

Here is how this small security camera measures up:

  • Indoor/Outdoor wired (power) camera (wireless adapter optional)
  • 1080p, 20fps, 120-degree field of view
  • IP65 weatherproof, -4ºF to 131ºF (-20ºC to 55ºC)
  • MicroSD storage, app playback, optional cloud storage
  • Live stream, <10s alert notification, two-way audio, spotlight, detection zones, alarm recognition
  • Alexa/Google/IFTTT integration

If you are looking for an inexpensive way to get started with video security, the WYZE Cam OG Security Camera is the best option.

Sansco CCTV Security Camera System

CCTV Security Cameras

Sansco Security Camera System

CCTV, Expandable, and Versatile

A hybrid CCTV/remote notification camera system that will help you upgrade your security situation.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Sansco bridges the best of both worlds, with a cabled CCTV camera system that also works with and without the internet. If you aren’t looking to rely on WiFi, or even the power grid for video security, this system is for you.

The installation is a little more involved, but you can set up the DVR directly connected to a monitor for live viewing feeds with crystal clear 1080p footage. With an alternate or fallback power source, this is the best pick for those serious about security on or off the grid.

Here is what is included:

  • 4x Indoor/Outdoor wired cameras (expandable up to 8 cameras)
  • 1080p, 20fps, 120-degree field of view
  • IP66 weatherproof, -4ºF to 131ºF (-20ºC to 55ºC)
  • 1TB DVR with compatible phone and tablet app (expandable up to 8TB)
  • 24/7 Live stream loop, two-way audio, IR spotlight, detection zones

With simple hardwired reliability and predictability, the Sansco Security Camera System is the best choice for those looking for a CCTV solution.

Everything We Recommend

Blink Outdoor Gen 4 Cameras

Blink Outdoor 4

A robust camera system with great picture quality, notification options, and outdoor durability.

Where to Buy

$120* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Wyze Cam OG Security Camera


This small camera is inexpensive but effective, sending alerts and clips similar to systems ten times the cost.

Where to Buy

$25* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Sansco CCTV Security Camera System

Sansco Security Camera System

A hybrid CCTV/remote notification camera system that will help you upgrade your security situation.

Where to Buy

$170* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Cameras We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to a few brands and types of security camera systems that we compared: Blink, Ring, WYZE, Sansco, REOLink, Swann, SimpliSafe, Nest Cam, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We considered a wide range of video surveillance equipment, and there are a lot of options out there. We stuck with residential cameras, mainly due to cost and practicality.

We’re always looking for new and better equipment, so if you have security cameras you trust, let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested equipment annually so we can try to get it in the next roundup round and see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best security cameras have a few features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Reliability
  3. Clarity
  4. Storage Options
  5. Versatility

When you get the right blend of these, you can find the perfect cameras to keep your property safe. Below, we break down what each of these features means for the security cameras that truly set themselves apart.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something like security and surveillance shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. There is a wide range of prices in our picks, so there is no need to spend beyond your means.

You never want to spend too much money on one resource, especially when it comes to tech. It’s better to diversify your spending to make sure you are covered for a wide range of scenarios.


When you get a security camera system, you want to be able to rely on it. Most have limitations like power needs, internet connection, and external apps. Any interruption in these and you may not get the notifications, live streaming, or recording at all.

Hard-wired systems can skip over wireless complications, and some can even be powered separately from your main home panel. Intruders with intent could still cut wires, but good planning with the positioning of these types of systems can help prevent that.


If you get a notification that there is movement on one of your surveillance cameras, watch the clip, and can’t make out whether it’s an intruder or a squirrel- you have a problem. Don’t settle for systems with poor picture quality. In this day and age, 1080p video is the bare minimum we would consider.

Wide-angle lenses can help the cameras catch a wider field of view, which can improve coverage. Paired with good video quality, you can discern friends from foes easily. The downside is that better video needs more storage capacity for clips or feed loops.

Storage Options

Many of the newer security cameras offer in-camera microSD storage that is sold separately. This is optional, and useful only for saving and transferring clips in higher quality, as the apps that come with them also have small clips.

CCTV options use DVRs to record and usually have massive storage capacity. Our pick has 1 TB of storage included and can be expanded to 8 TB total. A single terabyte of 1080p video is 416 hours of video, so that could loop a little over 48 hours of storage across 8 cameras. Increasing the storage could get you well past a week of continuous footage.


Continuous footage isn’t always the best- motion detection has come a long way and is a great way to preserve power and data storage. Motion detection can also push notifications, which is a great feature. Notifications are one of the most versatile features, where you can stay informed without constant live monitoring from anywhere in the world.

Other versatility in security systems is in how they are set up, expanded into multi-camera systems, and can bypass resource needs. Our upgrade pick is the most versatile in these regards since it doesn’t require grid power or internet- but it can still use both to improve its versatility.

Why Cameras are Important for Home Security

Cameras are an important part of your home security plan and are the tip of the spear. They function to gather information and give you an early warning about intruders or other things happening on your property.

First off, cameras can deter intruders completely. Would-be burglars often check for home security equipment, like cameras, signs, alarms, video doorbells, and floodlights. Preventing them from even thinking about breaking in is one of the most underrated security features of a camera system.

Next, cameras can notify you almost instantaneously- whether you are inside or away from home. Most times these notifications will be delivery people, friends, and family- but even then it is nice to know what is going on around your home. The clips it notifies you with can be stored and shared if you need to investigate them further.

Last, cameras can record a good bit of footage depending on which storage you have them set up with. Cameras will not only help you with evidence against others, but they can also help defend you when you stand your ground.

Who Needs Security Cameras?

Preppers and non-preppers all benefit from security cameras. Preppers lean more into prevention, notification, and deterrence rather than after-the-fact video evidence for law enforcement, but even the cheapest cameras can do it all these days.

We consider security cameras essential for home preparedness and security. That’s why we have it listed in our main home kit:

You can find expandable options, so most systems can be configured for the exact number of cameras you need to set a perimeter around your property.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best security cameras are useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical survival experience:

Ashby, M. (2017). The Value of CCTV Surveillance Cameras as an Investigative Tool: An Empirical Analysis. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research. Volume 23. Pages 441 – 459. (Source)

Gong, J., et al. (2021). The Invisible Shadow: How Security Cameras Leak Private Activities. CCS ’21: Proceedings of the 2021 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. Pages 2780 – 2793. (Source)

Welsh, B., et al. (2019). Private Security and Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) Surveillance: A Systematic Review of Function and Performance. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice. Volume 36. Issue 1. Page 56 – 69. (Source)

The Final Word

It is more affordable than ever to get set up with video surveillance with clip recording, alerts, and push notifications. Pick up a security camera system to protect your stuff, improve your security, and stay informed.

Here are a few other reviews and guides our subscribers have found helpful:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our testing found the Blink Outdoor 4 Security Cameras to be the best option given its value, reliability, clarity, storage options, and versatility.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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The Best Security Cameras

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

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