If you search for the best recommendations for security cameras, including many of our own, you’ll see the theme “Requires a Wi-Fi connection to work.”
This is not necessarily a problem. Everyone has a wireless network, and surveillance cameras are usually within range. If you need WiFi, it can cause serious annoyance. Your outdoor security camera may be too far away for a reliable WiFi connection, even if your router breaks down and you upgrade. You may also want to set up your camera in areas where there is no Wi-Fi at all, such as construction sites, campgrounds, or sheds on the edge of your property.
Next is data protection. Even if you’re wary of sharing so much information (including home videos) over an online connection, your concerns aren’t entirely unfounded. Big brands like Amazon, Wyze, ADT, Eufy, and Philips have experienced data breaches and vulnerabilities in the past. Some homes have recovered better than others, and internet security continues to be a concern for homeowners. Don’t forget the following legal ways to access security camera data: B. The murky world of police investigations that completely bypasses ownership.
All in all, it’s no wonder some people prefer security cameras that don’t use or rely on WiFi at all. Fortunately, there are still many options. If you are a WiFi-free provider, you can find a suitable camera solution here.
Option 1: Use LTE/Cellular Security Camera
When surveillance exceeds WiFi limitations, LTE cameras are a popular solution. These cameras use a cellular data connection (usually 4G), similar to smartphones, but 5G is coming soon for these cameras. With the penetration of cell phone base stations so widespread, cameras can detect signals and support app operation and live video viewing in all but the most rural areas.
Many of these cameras use your existing cell phone plan from providers like T-Mobile and Verizon, so it’s not difficult to make them work. On the other hand, you may need to pay a subscription to unlock cloud storage, and depending on your plan, you may incur additional charges or data throttles if you use too much data. Even without a plan, you’ll need to invest in a prepaid SIM card to keep your camera working. So it’s like having a subscription.
Two of our favorite LTE cameras are the Arlo Go 2 ($250) and the Eufy 4G Starlight ($150). Reolink Go is also a popular choice for a more adventurous security camera.
Option 2: PoE (Power over Ethernet) Camera Installation
PoE cameras connect an Ethernet cable directly from the gateway to the camera, providing power and a stable Internet connection to the camera that does not rely on wireless signals. Installing a PoE camera requires a lot of effort (at least an outdoor Cat6 Ethernet cable must be used) and may require the help of an electrician. Once installed, you never have to worry about Wi-Fi connectivity.
These cameras are suitable for large homes that don’t have a reliable Wi-Fi connection for outdoor cameras, or small businesses that want to monitor parking lots or outdoor seating areas with cameras. As with LTE cameras, key features may require a subscription, but this is a good way to improve your online privacy and your data is still stored in the same location. Business owners should consider this outdoor camera option, the Lorex Fusion 2K IP Cam ($400). Meanwhile, those looking for something more affordable may be interested in this Swann Home Security model, which currently costs less than $100.
Option 3: Find a security camera with local storage
The first two solutions can also connect you to the Internet, but that may not be your intention at all. If you want to ditch the internet connection completely for security and privacy reasons and avoid relying solely on nearby hardware, you should find a local storage solution.
Many security cameras offer local storage in the form of microSD cards, which can be purchased to store large amounts of data (1 TB or more if you’re willing to spend money). The problem is that most of these cameras, including many of the models on our list, offer local storage in addition to Wi-Fi, meaning you can’t actually use the camera without internet.
The exception is the Lorex brand. The Lorex brand offers home security systems that use local microSD storage and also support an offline mode that does not use the internet completely. This will not work with individual Lorex cameras set up using the app. A complete Lorex smart home security center is a must. You’ll also lose features like remote monitoring, automatic updates, and weather updates, but you’ll have a viable home security camera solution even without the internet. This is not easy to find these days.
Another option that is only available locally is a trail camera from a brand like Wsoda. However, while these stealth cameras are suitable for real-world trails, they can also be used for home security if needed.
Traditional security systems offer a variety of cameras and recorder devices with large amounts of memory and video feeds ready to receive. It’s a bit cumbersome, but it can be moved away from Wi-Fi and supports multiple cameras at the same time in large spaces and multiple angles.
There’s a catch, though: Network video recorders, or NVRs, are a good option if you want to stay off wireless networks but still using the internet. For the average home, this may grow very costly. For example, this Reolink system is presently selling for $770, but it comes with a video recording hub and PoE connections for reliable internet.
If you don’t need an Internet connection, you should look for a DVR or digital video recorder system that doesn’t require you to go online. This Annnke 8 cam system costs “$260”. Internet is free if you don’t use the app for remote viewing. This four-camera, eight-channel Zosi system, on the other hand, is available for about $100 for local recording only, but requires the purchase of a DVR-compatible hard drive. beginning. Always check the details with these recorders and hope that with a few tweaks you can get the zero internet setup you want.
Why not connect your security camera to a hotspot on your phone or laptop?
If you can’t rely on a Wi-Fi network through your router, you have the option of connecting to a hotspot created on your phone or laptop. However, this is not recommended for several reasons.
You must first run the connection process for each new hotspot. This can be a headache and may require you to remove old settings on your security camera. Second, even if you only use your security camera for a night of camping, these hotspots can quickly drain your battery life. This creates further complications when you need to save battery for photos, videos, or preloaded broadcasts. Third, hotspots have a short range, which means that your phone or computer must always be close to the security camera, which is usually not possible. Therefore, this method is not included in the solutions list.
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