Can You Have Security Cameras Without Wi-Fi?

Updated: Mar. 19, 2024

Can You Have Security Cameras Without Wi-Fi? We've got the information you need and some top picks.

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Like any device that connects to a Wi-Fi network, security cameras are vulnerable to hacking. If you’re worried about how to protect your home security camera from being hacked, you’re likely already on to the next logical question: Is there a security camera that works without Wi-Fi? The answer is yes, but there are a few things to consider before you go shopping.

Is There a Security Camera Without Wi-Fi?

Yes, there are security cameras without Wi-Fi. There are two main types of home security cameras: IP cameras and cloud cameras. Cloud cameras need Wi-Fi to send footage to the cloud so you can view it on an app. But “No-Wi-Fi” or IP cameras store footage locally. Some 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 surveillance footage.

Memory card

Memory cards are a popular storage option for no-Wi-Fi 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 a few bucks, you can purchase a memory card reader that plugs into your computer’s USB port.

Are No-Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi 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 it’s an outdoor security camera, you may need to drill through your walls to get the coax cable from the camera to the DVR.

No-Wi-Fi Security Cameras: Pros and Cons

I’ve already mentioned some of the pros and cons of no-Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi network, they can gain access to your security camera. Because these cameras aren’t connected to a Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi, 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 Wi-Fi. Data is more secure.

  • More expensive. Cameras with local storage tend to be more expensive than Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi security camera.

  • Harder to install. Security system installation of DVR systems can be challenging because the DVR must be connected to the camera via coaxial cable.

Best Security Cameras That Work Without WiFi

After more than a decade of trying out security cameras, there are several no-Wi-Fi options that I think are solid choices for most homes.

Best high-end no-WiFi security camera

Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless Security Cameravia merchant

Arlo is one of the biggest names in home 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.

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Budget no-WiFi security camera

Reolink Go Plus Smart 4MP 4G Battery Camera via merchant

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.

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Best DVR no-WiFi security camera

1080p 8 Channel 1TB Wired DVR Systemvia merchant

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.

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