Do Security Cameras Work Without Internet or Wifi?

Wireless security cameras don't necessarily require an Internet connection to function. There are several security cameras that can record their images locally on micro-SD cards or hard drives for later viewing. These cameras come in a variety of sizes and shapes, from outdoor models that don't need Wi-Fi to smaller indoor cameras that can be stored almost invisibly on a shelf or mounted on a closet. In most cases, Wi-Fi security cameras are easier to set up, less expensive, and offer excellent quality video at a lower cost.

For those who need to monitor remote locations such as farms, cabins, and other rural areas without electricity, battery- or solar-powered security cameras are the only option. It is possible to make security CCTV cameras work without Internet or Wi-Fi, or even without power. The following infographic illustrates the functions that a security camera can perform with or without the Internet. Additionally, if a criminal act occurs, security cameras that are synchronized with an NTP time server will have an auditable record.

When your IP security cameras have access to the Internet, you can get local and remote live broadcasts wherever you are. But this doesn't mean you can't use security cameras when your home or business doesn't have Internet access. Flora, the main editor of Reolink, published an article that explains all the details you'll need about “Do security cameras work when there's no power?” Previously, all cameras (and most sensors) had to be wired to a home's electrical and telephone system in order for the security system to transmit information. It's safe to say that most home security cameras were designed with either a WiFi or wired connection in mind.

However, there are battery-powered security cameras available that have an integrated SD card slot, which offers a local storage option for motion detection recording. This means that you won't have access to remote streaming capabilities; rather, you'll only have a local camera security system that will record to local storage, likely a hard drive or microSD card. For example, you can get a four-camera DVR system from Lorex for about the same price as a high-end WiFi security camera. Parents and older relatives may be the first situation that comes to mind when considering using security cameras without an Internet connection, since they usually don't have the latest and fastest Internet connection (or any other), but they still want the security of a security camera that will monitor them and alert them to anything out of the ordinary.

If there are no routers or Wi-Fi available, connect the battery-powered security cameras (including the Argus 3 Pro and the Reolink Go Plus) to your smartphone's access area and complete the initial setup.

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