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There are lots of low-cost home security cameras on the market that connect over WiFi. Many of these surveillance cameras are great but what if you don’t have WiFi or internet access, or even a power supply?
In this article, we’ll explain the different options you have in these circumstances and we’ve also compiled a list of the best cameras to cope with them so you can find the right setup for your needs.
Do You Need Wifi For Security Cameras?
Even though most people today have internet access and home WiFi that is not always the case.
Perhaps you have elderly relatives who want a home security camera but don’t have an internet connection or maybe their connection is just too slow to use a high-tech wireless camera system.
Or you might be looking for a security camera system for when you are traveling, for an RV, or to keep an eye on property where there is limited internet access, WiFi, or even electrical power.
In general most home security cameras are WiFi-enabled but you can get a security camera system with similar functionality without the need for WiFi.
Considerations When Buying Security Cameras Without Wifi
There is a huge range of home security cameras but if you want something that works without WiFi the list is a lot smaller.
When it comes to choosing a security camera setup without wifi, there are a few things you need to take into consideration.
The higher resolution makes the difference between an average and high-quality video recording. Most video cameras have resolutions from 720p up to 4K. When choosing a camera without WiFi, it’s important to look for the highest resolution for your money.
- Do You Need Power?
If you’re looking for a non-Wifi camera then you might also need one that runs without a permanent power connection. Lots of cameras run on batteries so this is not too much of a problem.If you won’t be able to recharge the batteries for a while, however, you might want to look for something that uses solar power to keep the batteries charged.
- Do You Need Remote Viewing?
Without Wifi this is difficult but not impossible. Most non-Wifi cameras store the footage locally on an SD card, hard disk, or even a network video recorder (NVR).There are however several home security cameras that can use cellular connections to upload the footage to cloud-based servers so that you can view it remotely.
- Will The Camera Be Inside Or Outside?
If your security camera system will be placed outside and particularly if there is likely to be harsh weather and extreme temperatures, then you want to look at how durable the camera is.Fortunately, there are several cameras on the market that have you covered in all of the above situations.
- Mounting Options
If you plan to use your security camera in one spot, you can opt for a stationary model. However, if you prefer that your cameras rotate or pan around an area, then look for cameras with pan and tilt features built-in.By considering these factors and comparing different security cameras that work without WiFi, you can find the best option for your needs.
Our Top Security Cameras Without Wifi
Below we summarise our research on the best non-Wifi home security cameras on the market. There are many differences between each of these security cameras, so be sure to do your homework on each one before making a selection.
Best Non-Wifi Cellular Connected Security Camera
The Reolink GO PT is our top pick for security cameras without Wifi because it runs on a 3G/ 4G LTE connection.
It doesn’t require electricity, telephone, broadband, or wi-fi connection so it’s ideal for keeping an eye on those ‘out of the way’ locations.
The Reolink works just as well outdoors as indoors and comes with superb night vision. With the Starlight CMOS sensor, it captures crystal clear, crisp videos in Full HD 1080p during the day and even at night.
You can control it remotely with the App to Pan, Tilt, and Zoom with355° Pan, 140° tilt, and a 6X digital zoom. This means you can be sure there are no blind spots, allowing you to keep a full view of your property.
It comes with a rechargeable battery that can be charged with the included solar panel. This ensures you have power even on cloudy or rainy days. It also has a power adapter if needed.
The Reolink GO PT also has wide-angle Motion Detection that ensures all movement near the camera will be picked up. You can set it to send you instant notifications via the app, or email and you even set a customized voice siren to scare off intruders when motion is detected. Not only that but with the 2-way audio, you can also listen and respond via the built-in speaker and mic.
To store your videos you have the option of using the Reolink cloud service to enable remote viewing and you can also store them locally on the 32GB Micro SD card.
Overall this is a fantastic bit of kit for monitoring areas that don’t have Wifi or internet.
Best Non-Wifi Rugged Outdoor Security Camera
This is one of the toughest security cameras without wifi we looked at. Phoenix is made of durable, rust-resistant aluminum and has an impressive tamper-proof design that can survive all forms of weather.
It comes with a dedicated 7inch LCD screen, that connects to the camera via an encrypted wireless connection from over 450ft away.
On the LCD screen, you can view up to 4 cameras at once with a full, split, or quad screen.
The Phoenix automatically changes to night vision mode when the sun goes down and gives you a clear view up to 40 feet away and also has motion detection to pick up intruders.
You can also listen to and communicate with visitors or intruders with clear two-way audio, thanks to the integrated speaker and microphone in the camera and handheld display.
Thanks to its local SD card recording, there is also no need for contracts or subscription fees. A 128Gb SD card will give you almost 1500 hours (that’s about 2 months) of continuous recording.
According to reviews, customer service with the Defender is quick and easy. This is mostly via online chat sessions but you can ask them to call you so you can speak to someone in person.
Best Non-Wifi Security Camera Without Cloud Subscription
This security camera system from Reolink is one of the top security cameras without wifi that keeps all your video locally stored and avoids costly subscription services.
The 5MP cameras have a high resolution of 2560×1920, with recording at 30 frames per second. This gives you super clear and sharp images.
It comes with a built-in 2TB HDD (expandable up to 8TB). According to Reolink, 2TB of storage will provide continuous recording for 4 cameras for about 8 days at the highest quality video settings, you can get longer recording time if you lower the bitrate.
All the cameras plug directly into the bundled Network Video Recorder (NVR) and are powered by Power over Ethernet (PoE). With PoE, you can link each camera to the NVR with a single cable that provides both power and video signal.
This security camera system also has great night vision features. Using 18 infrared LEDs in each camera it captures crystal clear videos at night and with a huge range of up to 100ft. As with most cameras it also comes with motion detection.
These home security cameras don’t require wifi or an internet connection but you do have the option to connect it up to the web. If you do, then you also get additional functions such as motion alerts and remote live and recorded viewing via the Reolinnk App.
One other great feature is that you can view multiple camera feeds on the same screen by plugging the NVR into a TV or monitor.
Best Non-Wifi Indoor Camera
This indoor camera doesn’t need Wifi as all video footage is saved to an internal SD card. It’s small enough that you can discreetly place it just about anywhere in your home.
Motion sensors are great and catch all movements within a short range of the camera. The SwitchBot Indoor Camera employs AI-based human identification to distinguish between objects and people.
It has a good 120-degree wide-angle view and with the little stand that comes you can place and adjust it to the exact direction you like.
Checking the video footage is easy, simply connect the camera to a computer using the provided USB cable or remove the SD card and slot it into your computer.
The infrared night vision from this camera is also excellent, allowing you to view every detail in the dark with six infrared LEDs that turn on automatically in low light situations.
You do have the option to connect this camera to wifi and the internet so that you can view the video in real-time on your smartphone and get alerts but as it records everything to an SD card (up to 128GB) it’s not a requirement.
Best Non Wifi Mobile BodyCam Security Camera
BOBLOV W1 32GB Personal Pocket Video Camera
Although body-cams are not strictly home security cameras, they are worth a mention because of how flexible there are.
This small body camera is great if you want a simple personal security camera. It’s reasonably priced and small enough that it can clip to your clothing or fit easily in a pocket when not in use.
It’s pretty basic and doesn’t require Wifi or the internet to work. It records everything on the built-in SD card.
It’s very easy to use with a simple on/off slider and works great in daylight or at night.
To start recording you have 3 options.
- Record Video with Audio.
- Record only Audio with no Video.
- Take pictures.
The picture quality is great, but the one downside is that it doesn’t have any image stabilization which can mean you get a shaky video if you are running or jogging. Other than that this is a great bit of kit that gives you peace of mind when out on the streets.
Other Top Picks
The Annke 5MP plug-and-play security camera system is another top pick for those looking for home security cameras without WiFi.
This wired setup can send live video to a smartphone or tablet but will start recording and save the footage to the included 1TB hard drive so you don’t need Wifi to get it working.
There are 4 cameras and a 1TB hard drive in the Annke 5MP 5-in-1 system. The cameras have a wide-angle lens and come with a night vision function that makes it possible to see in the dark.
If you’re looking for a camera that can keep an eye things without worrying about WiFi connectivity, the Amcrest 4k security camera is a great option.
This camera records fantastic quality video up to 4k resolution, making it perfect for recording large areas. The camera uses a 12-60fps shooting rate that allows you to capture fast-moving objects in high definition. All footage can be saved to an SD card or you can buy an NVR to add even more storage.
The Amcrest is also capable of recording audio, so you can get an accurate account of any activity going on in the area. You can also quickly access the footage recorded by the camera by using the Amcrest app on your smartphone or tablet.
Frequently Asked Questions About Non-Wifi Cameras
What Are The Advantages Of Wired Security Cameras?
Compared to Wifi-connected/ wireless security cameras, wired cameras have some distinct advantages.
Wired cameras usually have direct power
As well as being wired to your internet router, many wired cameras are also plugged directly into your building’s power supply. This means you’ll never have to worry about the video feed being interrupted due to batteries running out.
Wired cameras can generally record 24/7 so you never miss a moment. A wireless camera will tend to run on battery power and to reserve power, and usually only record video when motion is detected.
Wired cameras have less signal loss
One of the biggest disadvantages of wireless security cameras is their signals can be interrupted by objects in the environment, a wired connection is not as susceptible to interference as a wireless camera.
The signal for wifi/ wireless cameras can be blocked by walls or other obstacles, or even affected by bad weather. Wired camera systems do not suffer from this problem as they are typically plugged directly into your internet router. This makes them ideal for numerous camera installations throughout the home and outside.
Wired security cameras are less likely to be hacked
One of the biggest advantages of wired security cameras is that they are much less likely to be hacked than wireless cameras. This is because wired cameras are not dependent on a wireless signal, which can be intercepted by hackers.
Wired security cameras provide a clearer image than wireless
The main reason wired cameras provide a clearer image compared to wireless cameras is that a wired connection is not as susceptible to interference.
Most WiFi-enabled cameras use cloud storage to save video footage. If you do not have a connection to the internet, or the cloud storage servers go down, you will not be able to access your video recordings.If you have a camera that is hooked up to a local storage device, you can always access your video no matter what is happening with your connection to the internet.
Wi-Fi Cameras Can Affect Your Bandwidth
Wired cameras won’t overload your bandwidth on your home Wifi. Wi-fi cameras can clog your Wifi and slow down the streaming of movies, TV, etc. Getting a wired camera means you won’t have this problem.
What Types Of Cameras Don’t Need Wi-Fi?
Let’s look at the types of cameras that don’t need Wi-Fi.
- Internet-Connected Wired Security Cameras – cameras that still rely on an internet connection but are wired directly to your home/ business router rather than using a Wifi network.
- Local Storage Cameras – cameras that store all video footage on a local storage device like a built in SD card or local hard drive (NVR) usually do not require a connection to the internet or a Wifi connection.
- CCTV Cameras: Closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) are often used by businesses, police forces, and other surveillance organizations. Video is generally viewed on dedicated displays and saved on a DVR or NVR. Most CCTV systems have internet-connected and non-internet connected options.
- IP Cameras – An IP camera (Internet protocol) is a digital security camera that transmits and receives video footage through an IP network. Like CCTV, they are commonly used for surveillance but unlike CCTV they do not necessarily need a local recording device. These can be used on or off the internet.
- HD-Over-Coax Cameras: The majority of HD over Coax cameras are 1080p (about 2 megapixels), with a few providing up to 4MP. They transmit uncompressed video to recorders via coaxial cable. These are generally used in non-internet connected systems.
Can Security Cameras Work Without The Internet?
Security cameras can be used without the internet, and some can even be used without electricity. A connection to the internet is generally only necessary for remote viewing of live or recorded video or for live alert notifications.
The capabilities that come with an internet-connected security system are useful, but in some circumstances, it is not always possible. For example, rural areas, farms, or off-the-grid properties often do not have stable internet connections.
What Security Camera Functions Can I Use Without An Internet Connection?
Security cameras may be used in a variety of ways without requiring an internet connection. The following are some of the features you can utilize without internet access:
- Viewing Live Video With a Monitor
If you have a monitor connected to your security system, you can watch live video 24 hours a day. You can check up on every square inch of your property at any time of day or night, regardless of the hour.
- View Recorded Video
You can save recorded video on external local storage devices such as SD cards or a Network Video Recorder (NVR) without using the internet. Video can then play played back at any time.
What Security Camera Functions Can’t I Use Without An Internet Connection?
If you don’t have an internet connection certain functions are not available.
- Remote viewing and monitoring
The internet makes it possible to access and monitor live and stored video from a remote distance. Without internet, you will still be able to view the videos (on a monitor or local computer), but you won’t be able to remotely access them.
Motion and sound sensors in security cameras will pick up movement or noise. You can receive alerts to your linked device via push notifications but both your device and the camera must have an internet connection for this to work.
- Data backup in the cloud
The internet has made data storage and retrieval easier than ever before. With a single button tap, all your data can be immediately backed up in the cloud. Without the internet, however, you will be limited to storing and backing up to local storage devices
Are Security Cameras Without Wi-Fi Harder To Install?
Installing a wired security camera that’s not using Wi-Fi generally requires more work than wi-fi cameras.This is because most non-wifi security cameras are hard wired.
You’ll need to have some tools on hand, too. It’s also wise to take a few minutes to consider where you want to install your cameras and how easy it is to route the cables from the recorder to that location.
If you’re installing your camera outdoors by brick or stone, you’ll need to use a specialized drill, such as a metal-bonded diamond drill. Make sure to buy or borrow a ladder if you’re planning to install your cameras close to high ceilings.
Can You Use Security Cameras Without Power?
You can use rechargeable, solar or cell-powered batteries to power your security cameras and still have all the same features as a system that is powered by a standard electrical power source.
Even if you have a direct power supply, it’s still a good idea to have a camera with a backup battery in case the electricity goes out.
Although wi-fi cameras that are connected to the internet tend to have more features, there are still many security cameras available that do not require an internet connection or Wifi.
These surveillance cameras still offer a wide range of security features, but without the need for wifi. As shown above, there are security cameras that run on battery power or solar power, so you never have to worry about losing power to your security system as well as security cameras that enable internet access over a mobile/ cellular connection.
It can be hard to navigate the security camera market with so many options, but we hope our list of the best cameras without WiFi will save you time and stress and helps you to find a home security setup that suits your needs.