cheapest outdoor The security cameras I’ve tested have had a glaring problem, or the manufacturer prioritized extra features over essential ones. Who cares about Alexa support if the video feed is choppy? Is it really a good deal if I have to sign up for a monthly subscription to watch my clips?
It’s not perfect, but the Defender Guard Pro is a refreshingly simple outdoor security camera that delivers crisp video and supports the basic features most people want, all at an affordable price. Video clips are stored locally, there are no hidden extras – it even comes with a MicroSD card – and it works reliably for me (with some tweaking).
Let me keep the bad stuff out. The worst part about my use of Defender Guard Pro is the settings. There are two reasons you need to consider them before buying this camera.
First off, the Defender Guard Pro only supports the 2.4-GHz Wi-Fi band common to security cameras, but if your phone isn’t connected to the 2.4-GHz band on a Wi-Fi network, it may have issues during setup. Some routers allow you to switch frequency bands through an app, or you can create a guest network that typically operates on the 2.4-GHz band. I downloaded the Defender Guard app, signed up for an account (I’m happy to see two-factor authentication), and scanned the QR code on the camera, but I tried adding it multiple times due to this issue.
Second, the Defender Guard Pro is a tethered camera that requires a power outlet. You get a long power cord (10ft) with an optional extension cord (25ft), but the cable is not waterproof. The camera is designed to be mounted on the wall outside the house (screws are provided), you have to drill a hole to pass the cable through – only a short length of power cord at the end is waterproof. The camera supports Power over Ethernet, so you can also use an Ethernet cable, although it’s not provided. The camera itself is IP67 rated for water and dust resistance, and had no problem in rainy Scotland.
The Defender Guard Pro comes with a 32 GB MicroSD card, but you can also buy a 128 GB or 256 GB card (or insert your own). If you plan to turn on continuous recording, it may be worth buying a larger capacity card, but for recording events, 32 GB is more than enough.
With a maximum resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, Defender Guard Pro delivers pleasingly clear and smooth video at 30 frames per second. You can pinch to zoom (up to 16x digital zoom) and still see a reasonable level of detail. You can also switch to a lower resolution if you have limited Wi-Fi range, but video quality will inevitably suffer. The main weakness is the lack of HDR, so bright areas can appear overexposed (avoid installing the camera in direct sunlight).