Battery powered security cameras are a go-to for most homeowners and renters looking for a simple security solution that won’t require hours for installation.
Rechargeable options may require being plugged in now and again, while replaceable batteries allow for a completely wireless battery powered security camera, making them super convenient for even the busiest of us. But they are bad for the environment and hard to come by if you’re looking for reputable options.
Find out more about what battery-powered security cameras do, and when you might need one, before checking out our handpicked selection of the best battery-powered security cameras on the market, including the best outdoor battery powered security cameras and battery powered security cameras with night vision.
What Are Battery Powered Security Cameras?
Battery powered security cameras are home security cameras that function via one or more batteries. In other words, a battery powered camera is not hardwired, but can function either partially or completely wire-free.
A rechargeable battery will last for many years—decades, even. They are either kept inside the camera and charged via a cable (usually a USB on one end) or taken out of the camera and placed in a charging cradle.
Newer devices may also be charged on a magnetic dock, which only requires placing the device on top of it for it to recharge.
Disposable vs Rechargeable Batteries
|Disposable Batteries||Rechargeable Batteries|
|Can last for several months at a time, reducing the need to take outdoor cameras inside in order to recharge.||Designed to last as long as possible for security camera usage, so will last between a few weeks and a few months between charges.|
|Makes the camera significantly more mobile.||Makes the camera mobile, but will require bringing chargers if travelling.|
|Leaks are slightly more likely to occur, particularly if the battery brand is poor quality and cheap.||Leaks are highly unlikely to occur, especially with reputable brands.|
|Regularly purchasing high-quality disposable batteries becomes expensive.||More affordable than disposable, which require frequent repurchasing.|
|A major pollutant when disposed of improperly and properly due to hazardous and toxic materials, regularly ending up in bodies of water, on landfill, and in the soil.||Though they last far longer, batteries still contain toxic and hazardous chemicals like lithium and mercury, meaning they will have a negative impact on the environment in the long-term—but significantly less than disposables.|
When Do You Need a Battery Powered Security Camera?
Most of us are probably attracted to the idea of a wireless battery powered security camera just because it seems easier to install and maintain than a hardwired one. But there are specific circumstances in which the alternative won’t suffice.
Here’s when you’ll need a battery powered security camera.
Gardens and Porches
Outdoor security cameras are made all the more convenient when they are battery powered, which will allow you to leave the camera unattended for extended periods of time in gardens and above porches.
Hardwiring a security camera that’s outside is costly and anything but a quick setup; it will also involve compromising the integrity of outer walls to feed the wire through. Just make sure the camera you pick is weatherproof.
Whether you’re heading to a hostel in another country or road tripping the country in a camper van, not being at home doesn’t suddenly eliminate the security risks we associate with it.
Battery powered security cameras are just as easy to set up as they are to pack away. With no hardwiring, you can easily set one up in a hotel room, inside a van, or elsewhere on your travels, so that you can gain peace of mind over your belongings.
Outdoor battery powered security cameras are just as useful outside the home as they are in the more unusual workspaces that combine outdoor and indoor spaces, like farms and building projects.
Security cameras need to be portable and mobile in these working environments, which may be temporary or physically far from power outlets.
Top 5 Picks for Rechargeable Cameras
- Best battery powered security camera no wifi – eufy 4G LTE Starlight Camera
- Best battery powered security camera with night vision – Arlo Go 2
- Best 4K battery powered security camera – Arlo Ultra 2
- Best outdoor battery powered security camera – Ring Stick Up Battery
- Best battery powered security camera with smartphone app – AlfredCamera
eufy 4G LTE Starlight Camera
Best battery powered security camera no wifi
Unusually for a security camera, it also features integrated GPS, which makes it all the more convenient for on-the-go use. And since it supports 4G data plans, you won’t need to be in range of a wi-fi connection.
- Up to 3-month battery life between charges
- Supports LTE 4G cellular data plans
- IP67 weather resistant for outdoor use
- Expensive upfront and when factoring in data plans
- 2K video output will result in significant data consumption
Arlo Go 2
Best battery powered security camera with night vision
The Go 2 is another great (and expensive) choice if you’re looking for a mobile, battery powered camera that supports 3G and 4G. Seamlessly shifting between Wi-Fi and 4G when the former isn’t available, this 1080p camera is particularly great because of its full color night vision, which clearly illuminates dark surroundings even without a spotlight.
Unlike eufy’s new offering, the 4G element is designed more as a backup, making it useful if your home is prone to signal dropouts. The additional microSD card slot means you’re highly unlikely to ever lose any footage.
Most importantly, rechargeable batteries let you get the most out of all these features; using 4G, you’ll get about 3 months charge, while it can top out as high as 8 months when using Wi-Fi.
- Long battery life
- Magnetic charging cable
- Strong night vision
- Expensive, especially for a 1080p camera
- Footage saved to SD card can’t be viewed on a linked device (has to be physically uploaded to a computer)
- Expensive subscription fees
Arlo Ultra 2
Best 4K battery powered security camera
Significantly more spare change will be required for Arlo’s Ultra 2, it’s popular second entry into the high-end Ultra line. Sure, the price is painful (and don’t forget, you’ll want the subscription, too), but if quality footage is important for your needs, this is pretty much as good as it gets.
Up to 4K output equals super detailed image quality, and the 180-degree field of view means you won’t miss a thing. Weatherproofing, built-in spotlight and siren, and a heap of smart features designed to reduce false alarms and intelligently identify motion are all included.
Perhaps the most convincing feature for our purposes is the rechargeable battery, which Arlo claims lasts up to 6 months between charges—no mean feat for a camera outputting at such high resolutions. However, we’d recommend lowering your expectations: expect substantially less if it’s being put through its paces at optimum settings.
- 4K resolution
- Wide 180-degree field of view
- Up to 6 months battery life
- Expensive upfront
- Subscriptions will make the operating costs substantially higher
Ring Stick Up Battery
Best outdoor battery powered security camera
Fret not: we haven’t forgotten to include some great picks that don’t leave the eyes watering at the sight of the price tag. Enter Ring’s ‘Stick Up Cam Battery’. It’s an odd name, but one that effectively describes its small, oblong look and easy mounting and installation.
The base can be attached at one of two points on the camera: the bottom, for tabletop viewing, and on the back of it, for screwed wall mounting; the rechargeable battery pops out underneath.
It’s IPX5 weather resistant, with 1080p video, 115-degree field view, and infrared night vision, but don’t expect any artificial intelligence. Amazon has foregone battery life promises, but you can expect a couple of months between charges with basic use.
- Very affordable for an outdoor battery powered security camera
- Good quality video
- Intuitive mounting
- Charging takes between 5 to 10 hours
- No advanced or AI features
- Ceiling mounting requires extra parts purchase
Best battery powered security camera with smartphone app
We recommend picking up a portable USB charger so that you can leave your phone unattended for longer (might we add that this will also work a treat with AlfredCam, our purpose-built hardware camera that is powered by USB cable).
- Free to download
- Doesn’t require additional purchases to function as a battery-powered device
- Advanced features, like push notifications and two-way audio
What is the best battery powered outdoor security camera?
The Arlo Ultra 2 is the most advanced battery-powered outdoor security camera available on the market, capable of recording in up to 2K, but we’re loving Ring’s Stick Up Battery Cam as a solid outdoor cam choice that does away with eye watering prices.
Are there security cameras that run on batteries?
Blink Outdoor is one of the few security cameras from a reputable brand that runs on AA lithium batteries. However, eufy 4G Starlight Camera, Arlo Ultra 2, Arlo Go 2, Ring Stick Up Battery, and the AlfredCamera app are our picks for rechargeable battery-powered choices, which are more cost-effective and better for the environment in the long run.
How long do wireless security camera batteries last?
Wireless security camera batteries can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Factors that will impact battery life include image quality output, how much footage the camera records in a day, how the camera connects to the internet, and the battery type itself. Brands regularly make claims about maximum battery life capacity, which we’d recommend taking with a pinch of salt if you intend to record continuously or at very high quality.
Are there security cameras that don’t need to be plugged in?
eufy 4G Starlight Camera, Arlo Ultra 2, Arlo Go 2, and Ring Stick Up Battery all feature rechargeable batteries, meaning they will last for a couple of weeks to a couple of months at a time without being plugged in. Blink Outdoor functions via disposable AA lithium batteries, meaning it will never need to be plugged in.
Are wireless security cameras battery powered?
‘Wireless’ security cameras usually refer to the camera’s ability to function using wireless technology, whether that’s to upload footage, stream footage, or send push notifications to connected devices. ‘Wire-free’ cameras are ones that do not require being plugged in (but will usually still require recharging).
Battery powered security cameras are not just a great way to save time on a needlessly painful install, but they also help you to stay secure on the go, whether traveling and vacationing or living and working in different environments.
Their mobility means you can easily move them between different locations indoors and outdoors—just make sure it has an IP rating before you put it outside.