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Do Wireless Security Cameras Need The Internet?

As you probably gathered from our previous statements, the answer is definitely — yes. In fact, in many places, people restrict internet access to their wireless security cameras. 

The reason they do this is that WiFi might leave the cameras vulnerable to hacking. There’s nothing easier than piggy-backing a WiFi signal nowadays, so places that take their security seriously, like banks and museums, often restrict access to their security cameras.

However, it’s not just jumping the signal that we have to worry about. WiFi blockers are a dime a dozen nowadays. Also, they are easy to use and install. 

That means that a burglar might disarm your security monitoring with a simple gadget. Not connecting your wireless cameras to WiFi is something to consider.

So, if you bought an IP camera but don’t have internet access in your area, or you don’t want the security camera to use up all your data, you can still use it. It’s easy to work around this problem.

There are two solutions for getting your wireless security camera to work without internet access.

Here’s what happens if you don’t have internet or have internet but don’t want your wireless security camera to connect to it.

Pros And Cons Of Wireless Cameras Without Internet

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Of course, everything has its roses and thorns, so we’ll go in a bit deeper on the pros and cons of wireless IP cameras.

Pros

  • No hackings: If something’s not connected to the internet, then there’s no chance of a digital data breach, as we’ve seen with cameras from Ring1 in the past.
  • No fees: Many web-connected cameras charge fees for cloud storage, usually monthly or yearly. But with no cloud storage, you won’t have to pay any additional fees after the equipment costs. Instead, your footage will be stored on a local, physical device.
  • During power outages: A considerable advantage of wireless cameras, in general, is that they’re not dependent on your home’s power, so they’ll continue to work even in a blackout.
  • No effect on bandwidth: Unlike WiFi-connected cameras, IP cameras won’t slow down your internet by taking up precious bandwidth.

Cons

  • Limited options: Although there are some IP cameras on the market, the majority are internet-connected.
  • Can’t control or access footage remotely: Without the internet, you can’t check in on a live stream from your phone or arm your camera remotely.
  • No push notifications: You also won’t be notified if the camera detects a person's motion, depending on its artificial intelligence capabilities.
  • No cloud storage: While the footage will be saved on some form of local storage, it won’t be uploaded to cloud storage at all, so if you want to create redundancy, you’ll have to do so manually.
  • The battery will run out: A disadvantage of all wireless cameras is that you have to either recharge or replace the battery eventually (unless it’s powered by a solar panel, but that’s relatively rare).

No Internet Connection

Most people think there’s internet accessibility everywhere. However, that’s not exactly true. Many places need a security system but don’t have access to the internet. 

Warehouses in industrial parts of town, rural farms, or empty houses still might need surveillance.

So, if you don’t want to spend a fortune installing the internet, you can still buy wireless security camera systems. However, keep in mind that you won’t be able to access the camera feed remotely.

Therefore, if you aren’t willing to compromise that instant access to data, you’ll need an internet connection. If the wireless security cameras don’t have a WiFi connection, you won’t be able to check them on your smartphone(mobile phones) or a computer or get notifications from motion sensors.

To make this happen, you need a wireless security camera system with a WiFi NVR. NVR is a network video recorder, and the security cameras won’t need WiFi because they will connect and communicate. Also, all you need after that is to connect them to a monitor or a TV, and you’re all set.

What Can My Wireless Security Camera Do Without The Internet?

A wireless security camera can still perform essential functions without an internet connection. For example, without an internet connection, a wireless security camera can still provide:

  • 24/7 live viewing via a connected viewing device
  • Recorded and stored video via an SD card (you’ll need to buy the SD card separately)

What Can My Wireless Security Camera Perform When Connected To The Internet?

Put, with an internet connection, a wireless security camera becomes a mini-security system all on its own.

A wireless security camera’s abilities increase dramatically when it’s connected to the internet. Let’s take a look at some of the additional features you can enjoy when the security camera is connected to the internet.

24/7 Remote Viewing

Once your wireless security camera is connected to the internet, you can watch live or recorded viewing at any time and from anywhere in the world. This means you can keep an eye on your home even when you’re at work, on vacation or just across the street.

Alerts & Notifications

Most wireless security cameras come with built-in “alarm systems”. Depending on the model you purchase, your security camera may sound an alarm, send text notifications and send an email when it’s triggered by an alarm or motion.

At Richmond Alarm, our security cameras go one step further to allow homeowners to pick and choose the specific events they want to be alerted for.

For example, a homeowner can integrate our wireless security cameras with their security system and choose to receive phone or email notifications when:

  • Someone is at your front door.
  • A unique user code was used to unlock the front door (i.e. your children)
  • An alarm is triggered in the house (i.e. the back door opens when the house is alarmed)

Along with the text notification, our wireless security cameras will also send a 10- to 15-second video clip so that you can see exactly what happened.

Recording Stored Video

When your wireless security camera is connected to the internet, you can choose to capture 24/7 recording that is automatically uploaded to and stored in the Cloud.

Are There Security Cameras That Don’t Require Wifi?

As we mentioned before, there are a few solutions if you want to opt for a system that doesn’t use a WiFi connection. Here are your options:

Security Systems

  • IP cameras
  • Cellular cameras

CCTV Cameras

“No WiFi security camera?” is the question, and security systems are the answer. WiFi security cameras are much more vulnerable and make the CCTV solution much more suitable.

CCTV stands for the closed-circuit television camera. It’s a security monitoring that privately monitors a particular area and doesn’t distribute the signal publicly. Most security systems are wired, and they can either use an Ethernet LAN cable (surveillance cameras) or a coax cable.

They might consider security systems that use a coax cable outdated. They are often analog and still the most common security cameras out there. This system has a resolution limitation. However, you can install HD security systems with existing coax cables.

The more expensive option is the IP security camera.

IP Security Camera

Like we already mentioned, the IP security camera needs a WiFi signal when you’re setting them up and when they detect motion. Otherwise, they won’t use up your data.

IP security cameras can be centralized and decentralized. Centralized IP security camera use and NVR, much like the wireless cameras that don’t need access to WiFi that we already talked about.

The NVR records and stores the footage and handles the alarms and the notification system. Decentralized IP security cameras don’t have a central NVR, and they store all data on an integrated SD card.

Pros of using an IP security camera: All data is accessible: The access to the feed is user-friendly but doesn’t allow unauthorized viewing. This requires an internet connection.

No security camera is also an option, but then the access to the footage is limited.

  • Unlimited Storage: Unlike security cameras, IP security cameras have unlimited storage.
  • Internet Access(internet connection) For Alarms And Alerts: You can receive notifications or emails if it detects any suspicious movement. This is the most significant benefit of IP security cameras as it allows immediate action.

However, as mentioned, it requires a WiFi connection.

  • No Maintenance Or Further Costs: IP security cameras are costly, but they don’t require any additional investment after installing them.
  • Flexibility: You can move the IP security cameras around, as they aren’t hard-wired.

Cellular Security Cameras

If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, consider cellular cameras. They do not require a WiFi connection but allow you to view your feed remotely.

They are ideal for remote areas without internet or an electric source.

Therefore, if you need to bypass the “no internet access” problem, cellular cameras are the way to go.

They don’t use WiFi or any other dedicated internet connection to transmit data. Instead, these “no WiFi” security cameras use a mobile network. The way they work isn’t much different from the way our cell phones work.

Cellular cameras run on the 3G/4G/5G network. What this means is that you still need a data plan — only a cellular one.

If you need surveillance somewhere with no power, let alone an internet connection, you can set up a cellular security camera with a battery or a solar power source.

However, keep in mind that these cameras have some limitations.

Given that they run on cellular data, they need a cellular network. Therefore, they would be useless in areas that don’t have good reception. 

If you can’t make phone calls from a specific location, the chances are you won’t be able to install cellular cameras either.

Cellular security cameras have some advantages over other “no WiFi” security camera solutions.

  • Pros of cellular security cameras: Easy to install: Since they don’t need a power source, you can easily install cellular cameras anywhere. Also, you can just as quickly take them down.
  • This makes them a perfect choice for temporary locations like construction sites, campsites, warehouses, etc.
  • Safer and Harder To Penetrate: The cellular signal is much more secure than the WiFi signal for transmitting data.
  • You can’t piggyback or hack the cellular signal with a simple gadget. Also, since they aren’t dependent on a power source, they are a safer option.

If there’s a power outage, your surveillance keeps going, especially if you have a solar-powered system.

  • Remote Viewing: You can access the feed from anywhere via your mobile phone. Also, you can receive alerts and notifications about movements.
  • The cons of using cellular security cameras: The price: Unlike the security camera, mobile cameras can be pricey.
  • There are reasons for that. The first one is that cellular cameras have software that’s more advanced than most cameras.
  • However, that’s not the only reason. They also require an extensive data plan, given that they run on a cellular network. If you need to access the feed frequently, that will increase your data usage.

You might need a big data plan.

  • Short battery life: Given that it places most cellular security cameras in a remote location, it’s hard to keep an eye out for battery life. That means that the battery can die without you noticing. This can be, however, easily solved with a solar-powered camera.

How To Connect Wireless Cameras To Computers Without The Internet

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If you want to view your camera’s footage on a computer without using the internet, it is possible; however, it will require some additional devices and cables such as:

  • Router
  • Ethernet cables
  • Power adapter
  • UTP (network) cables.

To use UTP cables as an example, we would:

  1. Plugin the camera into a laptop via the UTP cable.
  2. Set the camera’s IP addresses in the same range as our laptop.
  3. Open the camera’s web or mobile app and type in its IP address to see our footage.

Types Of Home Security Cameras

Zooming out a bit (no pun intended), we wanted to take a closer look at wired, wireless and wire-free cameras. What’s the difference between them, and what are the pros and cons of each?

Wired

Wired cameras are cameras that need to be either plugged in or hardwired to power. Their main advantage is that the user never has to worry about the batteries running out, and 24/7 continuous recording is possible. However, some people don’t want physical wires in their homes. Plus, hardwired cameras are the most difficult to install, and if the power in your home goes out, wired cameras will go out as well.

Wireless

As opposed to wire-free cameras, wireless cameras have wires that connect the camera to its DVR, while wire-free has, you guessed it, no cables whatsoever. The advantage of wireless cameras is easy installation, plus the fact that they will stay on during a power outage. However, you will have to worry about replacing or recharging batteries unless it’s solar-powered (a rarity). Plus, you won’t be able to record continuously 24/7 unless it’s plugged into its DVR. However, at least 24/7 continuous recording is a possibility with wireless cameras, unlike with wire-free cameras.

Wire-free

While they can’t record continuously, wire-free cameras are easy to install and require no wires at all.3 For neat freaks like us, the lack of cables is a must in our minimalist home. However, if you want that continuous recording, choose other wireless or wired cameras.

Can I Install A Wireless Camera Without Internet?

Wireless Security Cameras are closed-circuit television (CCTV) that transmit video and signal to a wireless receiver through a radio band. Many wireless cameras require at least one cable, which is the power adapter. Wireless cameras connect using either a LAN cable connected to the router or through the Wi-Fi network.

Most consumers prefer to get a wireless camera due to its low installation costs and ease to mount on the ceiling or walls. Wireless cameras can use an application to access camera settings or view a live feed. There is no limit to how many smart devices can connect to the wireless camera.

Having an internet connection allows you to access the live footage via your smart devices. If a household does not have access to the internet, one can purchase a sim card router to connect to the internet. You need first to buy a sim card that creates a mobile hotspot and inserts it into the sim card router.

If you don’t want to upload your live footage via your smart devices, you can purchase an SD card to record and save it on your SD card.

What Is A Sim Card Router?

A portable Wi-Fi router is just like your internet box at home, but instead of being attached to a phone cable, they have a SIM card inside instead. These portable Wi-Fi hotspot devices are pocket-sized and work by inserting a sim card inside them. If you get an ‘unlocked’ mobile Wi-Fi device, this means you can use any SIM card, from anywhere in the world, inside it.

It is a portable Wi-fi router, and instead of being connected to a phone cable, they will have a Sim card inside. If you get an ‘unlocked’ mobile Wi-Fi device, this means you can use any SIM card, from anywhere in the world, inside it.

 

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