Internet and home security cameras go together perfectly. But sometimes internet isn’t available. Perhaps your ISP is down. Alternatively, your camera might be in location and there is no WiFi. Lastly, it could be because there isn’t even any cellular service to be had. We’re going to look at how to deal with a security camera without internet availability.
We’ll look at all three scenarios and recommend a few options and provide some tips on how to get around this issue.
When your ISP is down, there isn’t a way to access them if the manufacturer has implemented authentication and streaming through the cloud. Worse yet, it’s possible that no motion events will be recorded. This means that if a bad guy walks in front of most internet dependent home security cameras, you won’t be able to see what happened.
The popular Nest Cam is victim to this type of architecture. As of now, every Nest Cam model is entirely dependent upon the internet for everything. If your ISP is down, it’s impossible to view the camera and even worse, there is no way to access any motion events that may have occurred during this time. That’s because it is all tied into the internet.
If you’re worried about this type of issue, there are alternative cameras to consider. Some home security cameras use an SD card for local storage. The Samsung SNH-V6414BN SmartCam HD Plus Security Camera is a camera that supports both cloud and an on-board SD card. When the internet stops, you’re still recording motion events to the on-board micro SD card. The events can be accessed when the internet returns. It’s a reliable camera with a fairly intuitive app that features 1944 x 1092 video quality with 130 degree coverage. Stock the SNH-V6414BN with a good sized micro SD card and you won’t have to worry about running out of storage during an extended outage. Be sure to read our detailed review of the Samsung Smartcam HD Plus.
For the times when your location is too far to reliably receive any Wi-Fi, there are now security cameras popping up with LTE cellular data capabilities. The Arlo Go was recently introduced and will take advantage of a data plan from Arlo or Verizon. This is the camera featured in the photo accompanying this article. As of the date of this article, data plans start at about $5 monthly for a minimal plan. The Arlo Go is a good solution for places where WiFi isn’t available. Think of locations like an outdoor shed, deep in the back yard or outdoors to watch the pool. Arlo is Netgear’s camera brand and has a reputation for reliable devices.
For times when there isn’t any internet or WiFi, or even power available calls for a different way of thinking for cameras. Ever see photos on Pinterest of wildlife in the middle of the woods? Many of those photos are taken with hunting trail cams. These cameras typically get mounted to or strapped around a tree.
Consider the Stealth Cam G42 No-Glo Trail Game Camera. Stealth Cam is a large manufacturer of scouting cameras for hunters and this one of their most popular models. Photos are written to an SD Card that can be removed and viewed on a computer. The camera is includes a weatherproof case. The back of the case has a slot to run cables or wires to secure it to a tree or similar structure.
So there you have three ways to deal with varying scenarios with a security camera without internet availability. While most home security camera owners may not be concerned about the occasional lack of internet availability, there are times where 24 x 7 capture is necessary.
All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way. I have owned and tested dozens of cameras. Manufacturer support varies. There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions. There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).