In this day and age, everyone wants to protect their homes, offices, and every other piece of property they own. We all love to have a sense of security.
Therefore, it’s no wonder that many homeowners are installing a battery wifi camera. However, does everyone have the same options when it comes to safety?
The overall answer is — no. Those of us who live in remote locations, or have offices in areas with no WiFi signal available, can’t exactly buy the first surveillance systems for businesses and call it a day. Sure, there’s a wide variety of security cameras available.
However, most of them work with WiFi. So, what’s left for us who can’t or won’t use a WiFi signal to connect our security cameras?
You have options even without WiFi
Not to worry — no WiFi doesn’t mean that we have to leave our houses or offices without any security. It just means that we have to shop around a bit more.
What’s more, it’s not like the security cameras were invented after the WiFi. They used to work without any internet connection for decades! Therefore, rest assured – you have options.
While WiFi security cameras are now the most commonly spread option, they aren’t the only option on the market.
For example, you can hardwire the security camera to your home. This option doesn’t give you as broad access as the WiFi security cameras do, but they are accessible in different ways.
What’s more, they are an excellent choice for those who don’t have any access to WiFi. Well, when the options are limited, anything’s better than nothing, right?
Moreover, hardwired cameras are also an excellent option for those who think that WiFi is too vulnerable. Some people don’t trust a wireless connection and think it’s easily hackable. Therefore, they seek out other options when it comes to security cameras.
The bottom line is — all security cameras achieve the same thing. They give us peace of mind, keep our property safe, and deter crime. But, how do they work? Here’s everything you need to know about security cameras that don’t require a WiFi connection and how to get wireless security cameras to work even without an internet connection.
Can wireless cameras work without 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 very 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. What’s more, they are easy to use and install. That means that a burglar could potentially disarm your surveillance system with a simple gadget. Not connecting your wireless cameras to WiFi is definitely something to consider.
So, if you bought a wireless security 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. In fact, it’s easy to work around this problem.
There are a couple of solutions for getting your wireless security camera to work without internet access.
Here’s what happens if you don’t have internet or if you have internet, but don’t want your wireless security camera to connect to it.
No internet connection
Most people think that there’s internet accessibility everywhere. However, that’s not exactly true. There are a lot of places that 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 on installing 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 up on them on your smartphone or a computer or get notifications from motion sensors.
To make this happen, you need is 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 with each other. What’s more, all you need after that is to connect them to a monitor or a TV, and you’re all set.
Related Topic: 8 Simple Hacks on How to Hide a Camera in Plain Sight
Bypassing an internet connection
Another solution for those of us who are untrusty and refuse to put our faith into the vulnerable WiFi is a wireless security IP camera.
Furthermore, this is also a great option for those who are on a limited data plan and don’t want their security cameras to use up all of the bandwidth.
Wireless security IP cameras only need WiFi when you set them up. You have the option to connect the camera to a router and then set it up via the software on your phone. Since this is just a one-time connection, the camera won’t stay connected to your internet the entire time.
This is an excellent option because it offers both benefits. It doesn’t eat up your data, and you can still remotely monitor what’s happening. What’s more, if you enable the motion detection alerts, you’ll get notified every time there’s movement in the monitored area.
Therefore, the wireless security IP cameras only use the internet when you access the feed from your phone or when there’s movement. Meanwhile, the video is captured on an SD card within the camera, so the feed can’t be interrupted by WiFi blockers.
The pros and cons of WiFi security cameras
In a nutshell, a WiFi connection enables people to have access to the live camera feeds.
That means that we can see in real-time what’s happening in the areas we are monitoring.
Other commodities, like notifications and alerts sent to us wherever we are, are also a part of the WiFi security camera package.
The pros of WiFi security cameras are:
They transmit footage by connecting to the WiFi network, and you can mount them anywhere.
However, you still need to think about power sources, as they do need access to one.
A quick solution for homeowners and renters: WiFi security camera systems are just as easy to take down.
Therefore, if you’re renting a house or an apartment, it’s easy to take the system down in case you move. Since there’s no need to purchase a more permanent system if you’re changing locations frequently, WiFi security camera systems are the ideal choice.
However, there are also some cons to WiFi security camera systems. Some of them we already mentioned.
The cons of WiFi security cameras are:
However, it’s not just the gadgets that burglars might use that we have to worry about.
WiFi signals are everywhere, and there are probably tens of them in the vicinity of our security cameras. These competing signals can overlap and interfere with the feed.
The situation is even more complicated for those who live in an apartment complex. With so many homes occupying the same space, there’s bound to be a lot of different signals or various strength.
Dependant on the access and the strength of the WiFi signal: When using a wireless security camera system, we have to place all cameras within the WiFi range. This is a problem when it comes to wireless outdoor surveillance cameras.
The walls and metal framework, combined with the distance, can result in connectivity issues.
No power — no cameras: This isn’t necessarily a problem that’s limited to wireless cameras.
However, if there’s a power outage, you will lose you feed.
The size of the system is limited: If you have a large property, four cameras that usually come in wireless kits might not be enough to cover the entire thing.
We highly suggest checking this top 3 choices we listed:
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:
- IP cameras
- Cellular cameras
“No WiFi security camera?” is the question and CCTV cameras are the answer. WiFi security cameras are much more vulnerable and make the CCTV solution much more suitable.
CCTV stands for closed circuit television camera. It’s a surveillance system that privately monitors a particular area and doesn’t distribute the signal publicly. Most CCTV cameras are wired, and they can either use an Ethernet LAN cable (IP cameras) or a coax cable.
CCTV cameras that use a coax cable might be considered a bit outdated. They are often analog and still the most common security cameras out there. This system has a resolution limitation. However, you can install an HD CCTV camera with existing coax cables.
On the other hand, a bit more expensive option are the IP cameras.
IP WiFi security cameras
Like we already mentioned, the IP cameras do need 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 cameras 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:
No WiFi security cameras are also an option, but then the access to the footage is limited.
Unlimited storage: Unlike the WiFi security cameras, IP security cameras have unlimited storage.
Internet access for alarms and alerts: You can receive notifications or emails if any suspicious movement is detected. This is the most significant benefit of IP security cameras as it allows immediate action.
However, as mentioned, it does require a WiFi connection.
No maintenance or further costs: IP security cameras are costly, but they don’t require any additional investment after you install them.
Flexibility: You can move the IP security cameras around, as they aren’t hardwired.
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. In fact, the way they work isn’t much different than 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 where you have 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 do 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 area, 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:
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 when it comes to transmitting data.
You can’t piggy-back or hack the cellular signal with a simple gadget. What’s more, 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. What’s more, you can receive alerts and notifications about movements.
The cons of using cellular security cameras:
There are a couple of reasons for that. The first one is that the 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. Furthermore, if you need to access the feed frequently, that will increase your data usage.
In other words, you might need a big data plan.
Short battery life: Given that most cellular security cameras are placed in a remote location, it’s really 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 set up a wireless network without internet?
We already talked about working around having no WiFi with wireless security systems. All you need is an NVR. But, does NVR require internet, or can it really work without it? Furthermore, are there any alternative options?
Does NVR require internet?
WiFi security cameras can work just as well without WiFi when you hook them up to an NVR. Network Video Recorder and the cameras will connect to each other and communicate without any use of the WiFi signal.
When you power the cameras and the NVR, they will immediately connect to each other. Then you can connect the NVR to a monitor and surveillance can begin! The data will be stored on an SD card.
NVR-based security cameras are very flexible. Furthermore, all data is processed in the camera, rather than in the video recorder. The IP cameras capture images and process all data before they transfer it to the NVR. In most cases, this includes audio data as well.
Given that the cameras don’t have to be connected physically to the NVR, the entire system is more flexible. Furthermore, NVRs receive a digital signal, so the video quality is excellent.
A wired security kit works just as well as the wireless one. However, the data is transmitted via the cables so that the installation process might be a bit more difficult.
But it also doesn’t require an internet connection at all. Of course, cellular cameras that we mentioned before, are also a fantastic option. Phone line security cameras are a great way to set up a wireless network without internet.
How do WiFi cameras work?
Of course, for those of us who like to get down to the nitty-gritty, it’s important to understand how exactly do WiFi security cameras work.
WiFi has revolutionized a lot of markets, not just the surveillance process. What used to be a huge hassle is now a one-two step process.
Installing WiFi security cameras and monitoring your property is easier than ever. Gone are the days of waiting for a specialist to come and wire your entire house with obtrusive wiring so that you can set up security cameras.
Via an RF radio transmitter, wireless cameras transmit the feed to a receiver. The receiver is connected to physical or digital storage. Therefore, you can store the data on an NVR or the Cloud, for example.
Connecting the cameras to your PC or your network
Most WiFi security cameras offer a software that you can download. That allows you to keep an eye on the feed via your phone or your computer. Furthermore, it allows you to get notifications and alarms.
Every wireless camera in your surveillance system that uses WiFi has to have a connection to your network. After that, you can set up a page that will allow you remote access to the feed. Many security companies offer apps now that provide the same benefits in just a few clicks.
IP CCTV cameras
IP security cameras, an updated version of the analog CCTV cameras, use networks to forward high-quality images. They turn the video and audio feed into data and send that data through a network or an internet connection. Therefore, it’s easy to access the footage from anywhere.
WiFi security cameras — features
Wireless WiFi security cameras come with many features. The most prominent features are:
1. Wireless technology
Of course, the lack of any wires that would alert potential intruders that there is a surveillance system in place is the number one feature. What’s more, the signal can go out even if there’s a power outage.
2. Motion detectors
Not that long ago, motion sensors and security cameras were two different things. However, modern technology combined these two essential security features into one device — WiFi security cameras.
They will start recording each time they sense a movement, which minimizes the data usage and data space usage.
3. Remote access
Because they use WiFi to transmit data, you can access your live feed at any time. All you need is an app, a piece of software that will allow your cell phone or computer to access the footage remotely.
4. Scheduled recording
Some WiFi security cameras have the option to schedule recordings. That means that you can pick the additional times your WiFi security cameras are recording. Meanwhile, you’ll still get alerts, notifications, and emails on your phone in case of any movement or alarm triggering.
How do digital WiFi security cameras work?
Digital cameras are the improved version of analog cameras. What’s more, they avoid interference and have many other added features. Analog cameras are less secure and therefore prone to picking up unknown signals. Furthermore, others can pick up the signal of your analog camera if they tune into the same frequency.
Therefore, digital WiFi cameras are the way of the future. You can adjust the frequencies and pair your receiver to work on the same frequency as the cameras.
You can check out security cameras with 2T2R MIMO antennas if you’re looking to boost your signal. They will allow for a better connection and a stronger signal.
What’s better — WiFi security cameras or cellular security cameras?
For those looking for a quick, easy and cheap option, WiFi cameras will do just fine. They operate on a network that you can use for other devices. That is not the case with cellular cameras that are also much pricier.
Choosing the right kind of a surveillance camera really depends on many factors. Location and internet access are primary factors here. Both WiFi and cellular cameras have their pros and cons, but if you’re looking to really install a camera without the use of WiFi or internet — cellular cameras are the way to go.
The limitations of WiFi security cameras
Let’s do a little recap of the limitations of WiFi security cameras. Firstly, the WiFi signal has to be strong for WiFi security cameras to work. Without it, you can receive footage or tap into the live feed. Therefore, all cameras have to be placed within the WiFi range.
If there are no substantial obstacles between our cameras and the central hub, the range is around 500ft. However, thick walls and metal framework disrupt the signal.
Furthermore, it’s very easy to hack into a wireless feed. WiFi security cameras are vulnerable and less secure. The fact that they are battery-operated is both a pro and a con. It will keep the camera running in case of a power outage, but you have to keep an eye out for the battery life.
Have you found what you are looking for? If not here are some of our recommendations:
A few parting words
We hope that those who have been wondering whether they need a WiFi connection to get their wireless cameras to work found all the answers to their questions. Wireless security cameras are a great addition to any home or business surveillance system.
What’s more, the selection is so vast that there is a sure way to get around any obstacle you may encounter — even the lack of a WiFi connection. To recap, here are your options:
- You can set up a wireless security camera kit that transmits data to an NVR that stores it on an SD card.
- IP security cameras will allow you to limit the use of internet and lessen the use of bandwidth since they only connect to WiFi when you access the feed or when they sense movement.
- Cellular security cameras forgo the use of cable or WiFi internet connection and use a cellular network instead.