Is There a Security Camera That Works Without WiFi?
Looking for a camera that doesn't use WiFi? We've got the information you need and some top picks.
Like any device that connects to a WiFi network, security cameras are vulnerable to hacking. If you’re worried about hacking, you’re likely already on to the next logical question: Is there a security camera that works without WiFi? The answer is yes, but there are a few things to consider before you go shopping.
Is There a Security Camera Without WiFi?
Yes, there are security cameras without WiFi. Typically, security cameras use WiFi to send footage to the cloud so that you can view it on an app. But “No-WiFi” options store the footage locally. Some will save footage to a digital video recorder (DVR), while others store footage on a memory card.
You may have had a DVR for your television to watch shows whenever you want. A security camera DVR works in a similar way. Instead of a television, the camera sends recordings to the DVR using a coaxial (coax) cable connection. You can hook the DVR up to a television or monitor to watch the footage.
Memory cards are a popular storage option for no-WiFi cameras. To watch the footage, all you need to do is pop the memory card into your computer. If your computer doesn’t have a memory card slot, for less than $20, you can purchase a memory card reader that plugs into your computer’s USB port.
Are No-WiFi Cameras Harder To Install?
It depends on what type of camera you choose. Cameras with memory cards are typically just as easy to install as a WiFi camera.
Cameras with DVRs, on the other hand, can be a little more complicated. You’ll need to install the camera and then connect it to the DVR with coax cable. If the security camera is outside, you may need to drill through your walls to get the coax cable from the camera to the DVR.
No-WiFi Security Cameras: Pros and Cons
I’ve already mentioned some of the pros and cons of no-WiFi cameras, but here’s a full list to help you make an informed decision.
Harder to hack. With other security cameras, if a hacker can get into your WiFi network, they can gain access to your security camera. Because these cameras aren’t connected to a WiFi network, hackers can’t gain access to them without being in your home.
24/7 recording. Many cameras with cloud storage don’t let you record 24/7 and only record when the camera senses motion.
Long-term affordability. With local storage, you don’t need to pay for a monthly cloud storage subscription.
Limited capabilities. Without WiFi, your camera won’t be able to send your phone motion notifications and you won’t be able to live stream video on your phone. Some cameras will allow you to use a data plan to access these features instead of WiFi. Data is more secure.
More expensive. Cameras with local storage tend to be more expensive than WiFi options, particularly ones that come with a DVR. This isn’t always the case, though. For example, you can get a four-camera DVR system from Lorex for around the same price as a high-end WiFi security camera.
Harder to install. Cameras with DVR systems are harder to install because you’ll need to connect the DVR to the camera with a coax cable.
Best Security Cameras That Work Without WiFi
After more than a decade of trying out security cameras, there are several no-WiFi options that I think are solid choices for most homes.
Best high-end no-WiFi security camera
Arlo is one of the biggest names in security cameras, and it’s often top on lists like these for good reason. Although the Arlo Ultra 2 is pricey, at around $300, it has more features than any other memory card camera on the market. It offers 4K video resolution, color night vision, person, package and vehicle detection, a siren to deter potential intruders, and the largest field of view I’ve seen on a security camera.
Budget no-WiFi security camera
At around $220, the Reolink Go Plus is a little more budget-friendly while still providing great features. It gives you the option of local storage on a memory card or you can use cloud storage through a data plan. Its 2K video resolution is super clear, plus it comes with extra features, such as person and vehicle detection, night vision and two-way talk.
Best DVR no-WiFi security camera
If you want a DVR system, Lorax is a great choice. They offer affordable systems with multi-camera packages. For example, the Lorax 1080p 8-channel Wired DVR System comes with four cameras and a 1TB DVR for less than $300.
The 2K cameras have night vision, but the best feature is the active deterrent option. When switched on, the camera will flash an LED light and sound a siren to deter potential intruders.