Wireless Surveillance Camera without Internet – The Benefits of Internet-less Cameras

Erik Goodman
13 min
June 27, 2022

Whether or not to connect your surveillance camera to the internet depends on how you use it. Although rare in today’s world, your neighborhood or home may not have access to the World Wide Web. Or, your network may be overloaded due to tons of devices using your Wi-Fi router. Whatever the reason you want to use surveillance cams without a network connection, you can achieve this. For example, you could use a video recorder to record directly or connect the system via LTE mobile internet. So, we are here to help you choose the right solution if you don’t want your surveillance system to use Wi-Fi traffic.

Types of Wireless Surveillance Cameras without Internet

So, are there video surveillance systems that can work without an internet connection? To put it simply, yes, there are some. There are Arlo Go and Reolink Go, two options that come to mind first. Both of these systems use the mobile Internet and can store video on a built-in micro SD card or upload video data to cloud storage. What’s more, you’ll be able to monitor the system’s performance via a mobile app compatible with almost all modern smartphones and tablets. However, if you’re not satisfied with solutions that use cellular data plans, then here are a few types of systems to consider:

  • CCTV (Closed Circuit TV). Used by large enterprises and security agencies, these solutions are rarely applied as home surveillance systems. They are capable of transmitting live video signals to multiple monitors at once. In addition, they upload video data to a recorder such as a DVR or an NVR. Depending on the type of network the units are connected to, they can be analog or IP.
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  • Analogue. This is an older type of surveillance system using analog cams that transmit the signal to the DVR via coaxial cable.
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  • IP. A state-of-the-art type of surveillance equipment, they are a combination of a minicomputer and digital units. Although they are designed to transmit a signal to the internet via IP protocol, you can set up a private network so your cams don’t use Wi-Fi.
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  • HD-over-coax. These cameras are rarer because they still transmit the signal over coaxial cable, which is an outdated data transmission channel. Capable of capturing and transmitting high-resolution video, they transfer the signal without compression.

Your home security company will probably insist that you use Wi-Fi cameras with an internet connection, as installing such systems requires less time and effort. In fact, there are some cams that do not require an internet connection at all. Alternatively, you can use devices connected via mobile Internet. Regardless of why you want to use surveillance cameras without a WAN connection, it is not true that installing such systems is a more complicated task.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Types of Cameras

When choosing a video surveillance system, take a responsible approach as the safety of you and your family depends on its performance. The market is literally flooded with solutions that use the internet and those that can work without Wi-Fi. For example, if you need remote viewing, it is best to choose a unit with an Internet connection. This way, you can monitor what’s going on from multiple cameras and receive notifications of burglary-related movements. However, a large-scale system equipped with several cameras can put a heavy load on your router and consume a lot of electricity, and this is non fiction. So, what to choose? First, let’s look at the pros and cons of both solutions.

Pros and Cons of Wireless Surveillance Camera Without Internet

Internet-less systems are more secure because they are harder to hack remotely. Even if you use cameras transmitting signals over a mobile internet network, it is much safer than if they were operating even on a secure Wi-Fi network. Moreover, such systems still support data transmission as well as a remote control, making them well integrated with smart home systems. However, internet-less ones have a few drawbacks that you should be aware of:

  • Large size and weight. Because they are bulkier, you will have more difficulty finding ideal camera mounting locations. In addition, they can work with fairly large-sized video recorders.
  • Optional data plan. If you want features such as remote control and live video feeds, then you’ll need to pay for an extra LTE plan.
  • Higher cost. Since these cameras were built for demanding tasks, you’ll have to spend more money for their purchase and installation.

So, even if the cameras work without a Wi-Fi connection, they most likely need a dedicated 4g (LTE) data plan so you can receive real-time data. However, if the only reason to choose wireless cams without an internet connection is that your home network has low bandwidth, you can improve it by purchasing mesh routers.

Pros and Cons of Wi-Fi Cameras

Now, the first advantage of these solutions is that you don’t need to buy a separate mobile plan because the units will work in a dedicated Wi-Fi network. This means you don’t have to pay extra to your mobile phone provider. Secondly, you will still be able to see what is happening in the field of view of the devices in real time. Thirdly, you’ll be able to make the most of your remote viewing; from arming/disarming to zooming in and even sending a voice or sound to the speakers to deter thieves. Fourth, you’ll be notified of movement and possible intrusion. Notably, modern devices use AI algorithms that allow them to recognize false alarms, such as those caused by natural phenomena. While these advantages look tempting, here are a few drawbacks of Wi-Fi cameras to be aware of:

  • There is a high probability of the system being hacked. As Wi-Fi networks have a rather low level of security, there is a high probability that the network your cameras are running on will be compromised. In addition, if your mobile app password is not strong enough, intruders can gain remote control of your security system.
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  • Wi-Fi network failures. Everyone has probably encountered a situation where the Internet connection is suddenly lost. In such cases, rebooting the Wi-Fi router is the only way to fix the problem. So, just imagine how unstable a video surveillance system running on a Wi Fi network can be.
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  • Low bandwidth. If your home network is literally overloaded due to a large number of connected devices, the bandwidth may not be sufficient for the cams to work properly. So, you should take care of scaling your network by purchasing additional Wi-Fi routers.

A Wi-Fi surveillance system is far from an ideal solution, especially if you need to protect critical facilities. So, your reluctance to put a strain on your home network is not the only reason to opt for a wireless surveillance camera without the Internet.

4 Best Cams without Wi-Fi

We’ve done extensive market research and feedback from many users to select the top 5 solutions that you can use without a Wi-Fi hotspot. All of the options below are IP66 waterproof and work well in almost all-weather conditions. You can use them both for indoor and outdoor surveillance as well as covert option.

Reolink H.265 4K PoE Security Cameras without Wi-Fi

Supplied with 4 units weighing 0.5 kg each, this system has a control station that allows continuous recording in 4K Ultra HD format around the clock. The station houses a built-in 2TB storage device that provides enough capacity to store up to 20 days of content. Users can also expand the storage capacity by adding an external drive with up to 4TB capacity. With a length of 7.4 inches and a footprint of 2.4 inches, the cams are quite compact and easy to mount. Everything you need for mounting is included. By installing the app on your iOS (iPhone)/Android device, you can view your cameras at any time. The only drawback to the system is that it is expensive, so it is hardly suitable for people on a tight budget.

HeimVision HM241 Outdoor Security Cameras without Wi-Fi

This is an excellent outdoor video surveillance system with 4 weatherproof cameras that can be used in all weather conditions. It comes with a powerful video recorder that records and stores video data to an internal 6TB drive. Able to work in areas without Wi-Fi coverage, it offers advanced features including night vision (even in complete darkness without a single ray of light), motion detector (thanks to the powerful sensor), and email notification of camera tampering. By installing a mobile app, you can control the system remotely and also view the video in 960p format on a smartphone or tablet and 1080p on the recorder. Despite features such as night-time video, direct control via app, and a large amount of internal storage capacity of the video recorder, this system is considerably less expensive than its counterparts.

HeimVision HM241 Outdoor Security Cameras without Wi-Fi

This is an excellent outdoor video surveillance system with 4 weatherproof cameras that can be used in all weather conditions. It comes with a powerful video recorder that records and stores video data to an internal 6TB drive. Able to work in areas without Wi-Fi coverage, it offers advanced features including night vision (even in complete darkness without a single ray of light), motion detector (thanks to the powerful sensor), and email notification of camera tampering. By installing a mobile app, you can control the system remotely and also view the video in 960p format on a smartphone or tablet and 1080p on the recorder. Despite features such as night-time video, direct control via app, and a large amount of internal storage capacity of the video recorder, this system is considerably less expensive than its counterparts.

Arlo Pro 4g Security Camera

Designed specifically for people who travel frequently or are on business trips, this cellular security camera with a built-in battery is more compact and portable than the solutions above (the smallest among the others). Requiring no Wi-Fi connection, the unit is weatherproof and can be used even in harsh weather conditions. You can also hide it easily from intruders or place it next to the doorbell. According to numerous reviews, this system comes with a reliable mount that allows you to install it anywhere, such as a construction site or a cabin at the lake. What’s more, you can also use Arlo Pro as hidden barn cameras or RV cams without enabled Wi-Fi to protect your property. Capable of streaming live video, it also has night vision and two-way audio. By installing a dedicated mobile app, you can stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the camera’s field of view. Notably, Arlo Pro is also popular as a little nanny cam (although it makes more sense to use a Bluetooth system) without Wi-Fi so you can keep an eye on your baby. Similar devices are also used on the driveway.

ZOSI 8 Channel Camera

Although wireless surveillance systems dominate the market, wired cams are still in demand. ZOSI 8 is a high-quality surveillance system with dome cams that support VGA and HDMI monitor transmission ports. It also comes with all the necessary cabling needed to install the system. If standard cables are not long enough, you can purchase extra-long cables at a reasonable price. Linked to the DVR with 1 TB of embedded storage, the cameras also come with their own 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz router. That means you have the option of both wired and wireless camera connectivity without having to use your home network that can be hacked by an internet spy.

Installation and Operation Features of Wired Cameras

Although wireless (cordless) cameras have become an integral part of smart home systems, it still makes sense to use wired devices in some contexts. This is especially important if you live in a remote area or if you have a low-bandwidth network in your house. The main advantage of wired cams is that they cannot be hacked by intruders operated over the Internet. Wired systems also do not rely heavily on the speed of your Internet connection or the stability of your router. Because these cameras transmit video signals to the video recorder, there is also no monthly fee to view the captured video. However, you will have to put some effort into cabling, installing the cams, and selecting a location for the video recorder and monitors.

Wrapping Up

Although most video surveillance systems on the market today require an internet connection, this does not mean that even choosing an external barn camera or nanny cam, you will need a Wi-Fi connection. There are some excellent systems that do not require Wi-Fi and can broadcast video signals over a mobile network or even coaxial cable. Furthermore, if you require remote management capabilities with the ability to watch the video in real-time via an online service or app, you would probably have to eschew Wi-Fi powered systems in favor of more autonomous cellular cameras. Depending on the site, you may need to set up a local network with units and a DVR working with built-in storage. Regardless of your requirements and preferences, there is always a camera to suit your needs.

F.A.Q.

Is there a surveillance system in the UK with outdoor (outside) units that do not require Wi-Fi?

There are many solutions on the market to suit your needs. For example, you can use the RLK8-410B4, an Ethernet-powered system with high-resolution cams transmitting video signals to a video recorder with 2TB memory of storage.

How do wireless devices transmit a video signal offline without Wi-Fi?

Depending on the type of system (cable or cellular), it can transmit the video signal via coaxial cable or mobile network (to be controlled via mobile). The capability to transmit data over a wireless network makes them more compact and easier to install. So, in the standoff of wired vs wireless, the latter won out.

I have a weak internet connection. Would it be difficult for me to organize a system based on cellular cams?

If you’re in an area with good mobile coverage, you can buy a 4G/LTE device with a SIM card that will stream video directly to your smartphone via a dedicated mobile app that connects to units and allows monitoring when activated. For example, try the cheap solutions from ADT or Blink.

What is the main disadvantage of wired systems?

Wired surveillance systems can shut down if the main power is turned off. They are also more complicated to install than their wireless counterparts. We, therefore, recommend choosing cordless discreet surveillance solutions.

Is it possible to increase the local storage capacity?

Although many recorders contain a single internal drive, some models support external drives and memory cards.

How can I improve my home network so that it will provide enough bandwidth for my surveillance system?

Build a scalable network to which you can connect additional routers. It is best to create a mesh network supporting 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and multiple connection points so that the electric devices you use do not interfere with or overload the network.

How can I protect my garage?

You can install a standalone floodlight camera to keep an eye on your property with night lighting.

I want to install a miniature unit. What kind of small cam can I buy?

We recommend the Rettru XD Mini, is one of the smallest cameras on the market.

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