Do Wireless Security Cameras Need Internet?

Do Wireless Security Cameras Need Internet

Security cameras are slowly becoming a must in many households across the country. It’s also one of the things on my priority of home devices to invest in.

We live in a pretty secluded area and safety has always been a major concern. While we haven’t had any alarming experiences at home yet, we still sought out to have a few wireless security cameras around the property just to have a set of eyes on anything going on outside.

One major concern I always have for wireless security cameras is WiFi connection. We don’t have the strongest signals that reach far out into our main gate, which is my primary area of concern I want to install security cameras in.

I’ve done a lot of research and tons of reading up on multiple resources to get answers on this query. If you’re also asking “do wireless security cameras need internet?”, no need to look further because I’ve got all the answers covered right here!

Do Wireless Security Cameras Need Internet

While wireless security cameras seem to be the norm nowadays, not all of them require being connected to the internet to function.

So to answer the question, “do wireless security cameras need internet?”, the answer is a big no.

Wireless cameras often require WiFi to transmit videos and footage over to a cloud service. But without WiFi and being connected to the internet, how does a unit do it?

How do wireless cameras work without internet connection?

As we’ve established, wireless security cameras do not require WiFi or an internet connection to function or to store and transmit video recordings to a cloud service.

But without an internet connection, how does one do it?

Network video recorders

A Network Video Recorder or NVR is a specialized kind of computer that helps security camera owners record footage and videos. With this security camera system, one can connect multiple wireless camera setups with LAN cables.

An NVR allows for data and video storage without the use of the internet. It instead uses the cable connection to transmit data into a monitor or TV for live viewing.

NVRs are a great option for viewing live footage and videos without the use of an internet connection. To add even more convenience, NVRs create a private network of all your security cameras. This allows you to connect and  manage your security cameras spread across your property. A wireless security IP camera is often used with NVRs.

While you can view your camera’s live footage on site, remote viewing isn’t possible without an internet connection.

If you want to have access to your security camera system remotely, internet access would therefore be required.

Backup SD cards

Another way a wireless security camera is able to store and transmit data and videos is with an on-board SD card.

Many wireless security cameras available in the market today come with backup SD cards. These come in handy when there is an interruption in your internet network.

Backup and on-board SD cards often activate when your unit senses an interruption in WiFi signals. Once activated, this makes sure it doesn’t miss a single moment.

Wireless Security Cameras Without Internet: the Good and the Bad

People who prefer using wireless security cameras have their reasons. To help you determine whether it’s for you as well, we will be laying down below a detailed breakdown of both the good and the bad of wireless security cameras without internet.

The good

No data breach and hacking

Anything that connects to the internet is vulnerable and susceptible to hacking. When hackers gain access to your security camera system through the net, the data transmitted through it and all your videos and footage can be intercepted without your knowledge and consent.

Remember, nothing that connects to the internet is safe from hacking and data breach. Once you connect to the net, you put yourself out there to be a victim of the crime. This is one reason why some people may choose to use wireless security cameras without the internet.

To prevent data breach and hacking, many regularly update their internet security systems.

Save on bills and money

Your wireless security camera system not connecting to the internet means no additional internet fees. They won’t eat up any of your bandwidth and you won’t feel the need to upgrade your current internet plan.

And if you also choose to run your new wireless security camera system with either batteries or a solar panel, you can say goodbye to additional electricity fees you would otherwise need if you plug them in.

There are some who choose to run wireless security cameras without internet as doing so helps many save on monthly utility bills.

No cloud subscription needed

Today’s modern wireless security cameras would often require some sort of cloud subscription to store and transmit data and videos into a cloud storage.

If you choose to operate your security camera without internet though, you won’t have to deal with such subscription fees. Let’s be honest, these cloud subscription fees can be expensive and can add up with years of use. This is another reason why some choose wireless security cameras that don’t require the internet and specific subscriptions.

And piggybacking on our second point, because you’re choosing local storage, this also means you get to save some precious money if you don’t bother with monthly or yearly cloud subscription fees.

Never affect internet speed and quality

Using your new wireless security camera system without an internet connection means you won’t have to worry about it affecting your internet speed and quality.

Running a security camera while connected to a WiFi network might have some effects on your internet bandwidth and speed. A surveillance system that is most likely operating and keeping a watchful eye 24/7 eats up a lot of your internet bandwidth.

This can lead to slow connection on all your other devices or slow video transmission from your camera to your cloud service.

For people with limited internet bandwidth and those who don’t want to upgrade to unnecessary pricier plans understandably much prefer wireless security cameras without the use of the internet.

No power ≠ no security camera

One last pro to having a non-WiFi camera is even if the power goes out, your camera won’t stop recording. It’s not dependent on an internet connection so even if your WiFi dies, it will simply keep recording and functioning as it always does.

The bad

No remote access and live streaming

Having your home security cameras hooked up to the internet opens up the possibility of remote access and live streaming.

Without an internet connection, this isn’t at all a possibility as an internet connection is what allows for remote access and live streaming.

Even if you set up a NVR system, you can only view and access it on site, but you can’t access your camera remotely.

No real-time push notifications and alerts

Another selling-point for WiFi cameras are real-time push notifications and alerts. Most systems will send out alerts and notifications straight to your phone if movement or intruders are detected. But without an internet connection, this isn’t possible so you can’t rely on these alerts for security purposes.

On-site video storage = no remote backup

Because there is no cloud service, on-site video storage is the way to go with either an NVR or an on-board SD storage. This can be a big con for anyone worried others may gain physical access to your data and videos. And without the internet, you can’t store them on a cloud.

Do Security Cameras Need Wi-Fi?

Are there Security Cameras that Don’t Require Wi-Fi?

If WiFi isn’t an option for you, a cellular security camera might be a more viable option. They are a popular choice for people who want to keep an eye out on remote properties without electricity or internet connection.

These instead use a cellular subscription plan you pay for and offer convenient features like remote access and viewing, alerts and notification, and cloud subscription.


Wireless security cameras are kind of the norm in today’s modern times and today’s modern security measures. But for people who would much prefer it, can they function without the internet?

The answer: a big resounding yes! Wireless security cameras don’t need the internet to function, but without it, you can miss on some pretty big functions like remote access and live streaming, alerts and notifications, and remote storage and backup.

But why do some people prefer to use them without hooking them up to the internet?

  • You won’t have to worry about data breach and hacking,
  • You can save on bills,
  • You won’t have to pay for cloud subscriptions,
  • You won’t have to worry about it affecting your internet speed, and
  • It keeps on surveilling even when power is down.

And that has been our detailed answer to the question, “do wireless security cameras need internet?”!