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Q&A: Can You Use The Dropcam/Nestcam Outdoors?

Reader Question:

I'm looking to pick up an affordable wireless security system for my home, but I mainly want these cameras to be outside instead of in. Will a Nestcam work in this situation? Are they weatherproof?

UPDATE (7/14/2016): Nest released an outdoor version of their popular camera dubbed the Nestcam Outdoor which is available on Amazon.

When it comes to an affordable home security camera that is wireless, there are a few models on the market to choose from. The Dropcam Pro now known as the Nestcam is the most popular option among consumers likely due to the brand name and Google association. The principal advantage of a wireless IP camera like this is the ability to install the cameras in just a few minutes without any need to perform complicated networking or electrical work. They are virtually plug-and-play minus a few, quick configuration steps that are completed using the companion mobile application.

The problem with the Dropcam/Nestcam design is that is not weatherproof out of the box and is only made for use indoors. This is surely a bummer for many potential buyers yet there is a few workaround that may make outdoor use possible. For example, many companies are producing aftermarket enclosures that are intended to house these models in an outdoor environment.

Here are a few options that I have found to be suitable:

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Outdoor Case With Metal Gooseneck – $69.90 (Amazon)

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Outdoor Metal Mount & Case – $69.90 (Amazon)

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Bird House Case – $29.90 (Amazon)

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Dropcase Outdoor Case – $24.90 (Amazon)

Keep in mind, if you purchase a Dropcam or Nestcam for use outdoors with one of the cases above, you'll still need to power the device somehow. Chances are the included 10-foot power cable won't be long enough for your needs. Due to this, I would recommend picking up something like the Nestcam 20ft power cable extension from Amazon for only $6.99 allowing you to effectively double the distance of the camera from its necessary power source.

If you've found a better alternative to using your Dropcam Pro or Nestcam outdoors or simply a different wireless IP camera that supports use outdoors then feel free to share this information for other readers' benefit in the comments section below.

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