Even though many smart security cameras today are Wi-Fi enabled, there are ways to record directly to a digital video recorder (DVR) or use a mobile LTE plan. One question that often comes to mind when thinking of security cameras is what security camera works without wifi. The short answer is yes. There are security cameras that do not require Wi-Fi.
Do You Need WiFi for a Security Camera?
Most home security cameras use either a wireless or a wired connection. And why wouldn’t they? Nowadays, most people have WiFi, and many smart homes are also interconnected, so this seems like a no-brainer. However, not everyone has WiFi. Parents and elderly relatives will often be the first to think of installing cameras. They may not have access to the latest and fastest internet connection (or none) but still want to be alerted if anything is out of the ordinary. WiFi won’t work in other places: in an RV while on the road, in a rental or vacant storage property, or on private land far from an outlet or router.
Things To Consider When Buying A Security Camera
Monitoring your home with a security camera does not require you to connect to WiFi. Many companies now make security cameras that do not require a connection. When picking a WiFi-free security camera, the following points should be considered.
Keeping an eye on your feed in real-time is not necessary if you won’t be needing it. You can view all the footage recorded by most cameras by simply popping out the SD card. It is a little more difficult to have a live feed, but it is not impossible. WiFi-less security cameras can work anywhere with regular cellular data and others that can operate on local frequencies when placed nearby.
As a rule of thumb, most home cameras are accessed via your smartphone, tablet, or laptop via the company’s app. That is not bad, but not everyone will be comfortable with their device hooked up to the camera, which is often interrupted and annoying. We found the best solution to be an entirely separate viewing screen that comes with the cameras, capable of providing clear views of the camera’s field of view without interfering with personal devices.
If vandalism is a concern, you might want to look for a camera that can take some damage outdoors. While rain, snow, and extreme summer heat may seem obvious, the weather also plays a huge role.
Cameras That Don’t Need Wi-Fi
Here are a few camera models that do not need a Wi-Fi connection:
We have reviewed many Arlo cameras, but the Arlo Go doesn’t connect to your Wi-Fi network. The Arlo app was used to control the camera.
We reviewed Wi-Fi cameras like the Reolink Argus 2, and we also tested the Reolink Go, which requires a microSIM card, a cellular data plan, and either a 3G or 4G LTE plan. A 64 GB microSD card was used for storage, and cloud storage was also available. With the Reolink Go, you’ll be able to receive notifications from motion detection and see live footage using Reolink’s mobile app.
Remote control, remote viewing, and notifications for the Arlo Go and Reolink Go require cellular data plans.
Defender PHOENIXM2 Security Cameras
It is a powerful security camera setup that doesn’t just work without WiFi but can even function without any internet connection. This is a completely private, unhackable plug-and-play product, says Raj Jain, founder and CEO of the company, who launched it after his electronics store was robbed. In Canada, Defender cameras are constructed from aluminum to withstand the harshest weather conditions, such as rust, dust, and subzero temperatures. According to Jain, the system is robust, resilient, and ridiculously easy to use, providing homeowners and business owners peace of mind.
Night vision turns on automatically at sundown, allowing you to see up to 40 feet in infrared distance. Additionally, you’ll be able to communicate with anyone approaching using the two-way audio.
With the included split-screen monitor (which allows you to view all four simultaneously), up to four 480p cameras with 64º FOV can be connected with a range of just under 500 feet, and you’ll have access to SecureGuard encryption as well as the ability to store up to 128GB of video.
This was easy to set up and use with fast and friendly customer service.
Reolink 4G LTE Cellular Security Camera
GoPlus’ 4G LTE-enabled surveillance package gives you WiFi-free surveillance in 2K super-HD with 16x digital zoom, 4MP resolution, and a night vision range of 10 meters.
With the Smart Detection feature, you can choose which videos you want to replay based on what passes by, whether it is a car or a person. ReoLink’s motion-detecting system automatically records up to 128GB of video to microSD cards or its Cloud service.
The unit can last weeks or even months without recharging with its large 7800mAh battery, solar panels, and IP65-rated weatherproof design. Their app is simple and offers features like time-lapse and two-way remote chatting in real-time, and the ability to view a camera feed simultaneously with up to 12 users.
Konpcoiu Mini Security Camera
There’s no WiFi signal or power connection here – this camera works best as a nanny cam or a bodycam (with an attached clip) for biking and live streaming activities.
With a wide-angle lens of 130 degrees, the wide-angle lens shoots in 1080p HD, while the 1100mAh battery, which can last over 30 hours, provides the wide-angle lens with high-quality footage. A small SD card is included to get started and an easy-to-use user interface.
Divine Eagle Mini Spy Camera
This camera is extremely lightweight at less than one ounce, making it an ideal tool for catching thieves in the act.
The included stickers to cover the SD card slot are also a clever touch as a bonus. With a 1080p HD resolution and 90o field of view, the device works at a crisp and clear resolution, detecting motion up to 15 feet away and recording in 1080p HD.
Using a microSD card up to 256GB, you can record continuously 24/7 with this device running on Macs and PCs (you’ll need a microSD card to record).
Rockspace 360º Outdoor Motion Detection Camera
The two-pound camera has no cables and can track in virtually all directions without WiFi (although the option is there should you ever need it).
Using mobile or tilting cameras will give you significantly better viewing angles than fixed cameras. You’ll be able to stream in 1080p and digitally zoom into the target up to 65 feet away.
Besides working as a two-way intercom, the 9000mAh battery can be recharged via micro USB or solar panel (not included). It is also dust and waterproof to IP65 standards.
There is a free 30-day trial for cloud storage if you decide to use it. The data is encrypted.
Types of Cameras That Don’t Need Wi-Fi
Following are the different types of cameras that don’t require Wi-Fi.
Businesses usually use CCTV cameras for surveillance and the police for policing; they’re not normally used for home security. CCTV footage isn’t seen on an app but rather on several monitors, and it is stored on either a digital video recorder (DVR) or a network video recorder (NVR). Analog and IP CCTV cameras, as well as HD-over-coax cameras, are included in CCTV systems.
A coaxial cable is usually used to transmit analog video from a camera to a DVR.
TVideois transmitted uncompressed from the camera to the recorder via a coaxial cable. HD-over-coax cameras High-resolution video is available, but coaxial cables are rarely used.
As IP cameras are usually much more expensive than regular home security cameras, IP cameras are usually used for surveillance.
Are Security Cameras Without Wi-Fi Harder To Install?
Despite what you might hear from some home security companies, security cameras that do not require internet access through Wi-Fi are not necessarily harder to install than Wi-Fi cameras. Wireless cameras such as the Reolink Go and the Arlo Go can be easily installed since they don’t require internet access.
Wi-Fi vs. No-Wi-Fi Cameras
The question is, what are the benefits and disadvantages of using cameras that are Wi-Fi compatible and those that aren’t? Read on for more information.
Wi-Fi Cameras Pros
- No data plans required: Your home probably already has Wi-Fi, so you won’t need to buy any additional data plans.
- Livestreaming: You can stream live video from your home via your mobile app.
- Remote control: In addition to the ability to arm and disarm cameras, cameras typically allow users to zoom in optically and speak via two-way audio.
- Notifications: Depending on the camera’s artificial intelligence level, you will receive notifications when it detects movement, a vehicle, a package, a person, or a pet. You will receive more specific notifications as the camera’s artificial intelligence increases.
Wi-Fi Camera Cons
- Bandwidth usage: As you add more internet of things (IoT) devices to your network, they consume more bandwidth, causing your Internet to slow down.
- Faulty Wi-Fi: Any Chromecast user who has watched TV on it knows that Wi-Fi can be unreliable (in the absence of a mesh network like Nest Wi-Fi). The strength of your network may cause you to lose your connection occasionally if you solely rely on Wi-Fi.
- Hacking: Ring cameras3 show we can suffer from Wi-Fi camera hacks, especially if we don’t secure our network and mobile apps.
Non-Wi-Fi Cameras Pros
- Hackers can’t access them as easily. The data on cellular networks can also be hacked, but they are generally safer than the data on Wi-Fi networks.
- If you need remote features, you might be able to get them. The main benefits of smart home security include remote control, notifications, and live streaming, which can all be accessed if you have a data plan.
Non-Wi-Fi Cameras Cons
- It may be necessary to purchase a data plan. Again, you must purchase a mobile LTE plan to access the above features.
- They’re a bit bulky. Most CCTV cameras are bulky, particularly if they require a large DVR.
- Their prices are high. CCTV cameras are intended for business use or police use. They are more expensive than Wi-Fi security cameras.
While many smart security cameras on the market today require Wi-Fi, you don’t have to have it to enjoy all the benefits of IoT security cameras. You can use data plans without Wi-Fi and choose from a few good options. You don’t have to use Wi-Fi if you’re not interested in live streaming, remote control, or notifications. Your camera security system will be a local camera that records only to local storage, such as a hard drive or microSD card. Are you interested in learning about different security solutions you can employ for your safety? Check out the rest of Be-Safe’s resources today!
Daisy is the engine behind Be-Safe.org — from content production to product reviews and more. What drives her is the passion to make home security information easily available.