Cellular trail cameras are great if you are planning on setting them up in a hunting area with no Wi-Fi access. These kinds of cameras use cellular network connections such as 3G, 4G, or 5G in order to transmit photos and videos to your device. If you are looking for a cellular camera without a plan, you are probably looking for a Wi-Fi-enabled camera.
You need a plan for a cellular camera to fully function. These cameras connect to the nearest cellular tower to transfer photos to your device. If the connection is poor, it will save the images and videos on an SD card provided that it has one.
In this article, we will talk about why cellular cameras need a data plan and we will also talk about the pros and cons of owning a cellular camera. If you want to know why cellular cameras need a data plan, read on!
What Is A Cellular Trail Camera?
Cellular trail cameras are specifically designed to be used outdoors, especially in remote locations. These kinds of cameras are often used in hunting grounds but they are also sometimes used as security cameras for your home.
Cellular cameras capture movement through a motion detector. This is why these cameras are popular amongst hunters as these cameras do well in capturing wildlife photos and videos/
Cellular trail cameras, also called scouting cameras or game cameras, transmit photos and videos to a connected device via a cloud-based system. Cellular game cameras are great if you like to keep track of the animals during hunting season without disrupting their natural activities.
How Do Cellular Trail Cameras Work?
Cellular trail cameras work a lot like cell phones. To be able to communicate with other people via a cell phone, an outbound and inbound signal is needed so the phone can act as a two-way communication device. This is the same for cellular trail cameras.
These kinds of cameras rely on outbound and inbound signals from cellular towers to be able to transmit data to your device. Cellular cameras typically connect to the nearest cellular tower that has the strongest signal transmission, especially in remote and heavily wooded areas.
Since cellular cameras need signal transmission to function, they also need a SIM card to be able to connect to the cellular towers. AT&T and Verizon are two cellular providers that are commonly used by trail camera manufacturers. However, you can also provide your own SIM for cellular cameras. It is important to note that cellular trail cameras are not often compatible with third-party SIM cards. This is because most trail cameras already come with a SIM card.
To use a cellular camera, you will need to activate the camera’s SIM card so it can connect to your chosen mobile network provider.
Do You Need A Plan For A Cellular Camera?
Yes, unlike a traditional trail camera, cellular trail cameras need a cellular data plan. Unlike Wi-Fi-enabled cameras, cellular trail cameras need a 3G, 4G, or 5G cellular connection instead. Cellular trail cameras are often used in remote locations which is why a cellular data plan is needed to be able to connect to the nearest cellular towers.
Cellular cameras also need a SIM card to be able to connect to a network provider. The network provider for a cellular camera does not have to be the same as your phone’s provider.
It is best to get a cellular trail camera data plan from a network provider that has the strongest signal in your area. This is to prevent connection mishaps from happening such as loss of connection or data. If the signal is poor for some reason, the photos and videos that a cellular camera will capture will often be saved in its local storage (SD card) if it has one.
How Much Does A Cellular Camera Data Plan Cost?
Cellular trail camera plans will depend on the service provider and data plan that you will choose. If you are planning on getting a cellular trail camera, the data plan can cost anything between $5 to $50 dollars per month. You can also opt to pay for the plan annually at a lower price.
Typically, trail cameras already have a SIM CARD included and it will either connect to an AT&T or Verizon signal. Some of the trail camera manufacturers that offer a data plan when you buy their trail cameras are Bushnell, Browning, Covert, Moultrie Mobile, Spypoint, Stealth Cam Fusion, and Tactacam.
For regular LTE cameras, you can also get a plan at one of the major U.S. cellular network providers such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular. These data plans can cost anything between $10 to $50 per month.
Pros And Cons Of Having A Cellular Camera
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of having a cellular camera.
Cellular cameras are great if you want to have live updates of the area, especially if you place the cameras in a remote location. Cellular cameras also have motion detectors. Having reliable trail cameras is great if you use them for hunting or even for home security purposes.
For cellular trail cameras, you will be able to choose a plan that can fit your needs. Some trail cameras offer a free plan for a limited number of photos each month. There are also date plans where you can get thousands of photos per month. You will also be able to choose data plans that have unlimited photos plus a couple of videos.
Some cellular cameras are also solar-powered while others have rechargeable batteries that can last for months. Cellular cameras are also easy to set up and they don’t require professional installation. Being a wireless system, you also won’t have to worry about wires.
Activating the SIM card on a cellular camera is also easy as you can do it on your smartphone using the camera’s app. If you are placing a cellular camera in a remote location, you also won’t have to worry about finding a Wi-Fi connection to be able to use the camera.
While cellular cameras have a lot of features that can benefit you, there are also disadvantages to owning one.
Cellular cameras need a data plan which means you have to pay for a monthly or annual data subscription. Most of these data plans are also for one camera only.
If you have multiple cellular cameras, you will have to pay extra per month for every additional camera that you have. Some providers also only allow one camera per plan so you will have to pay for another full-priced subscription if you have multiple cameras. Having multiple cameras mean paying for data plans can get very expensive.
Cellular trail cameras also often have a SIM card included and may not be compatible with third-party SIM cards. You won’t be able to provide your own SIM card if this is the case.
What Is The Best Data Plan For You?
The best cellular trail camera plan for you will depend on how you will use it. If you know that you won’t need to have thousands of pictures captured every month, a lower data plan may work for you. Plans at a lower cost also have lower data consumption per month.
To put it simply, you need a data plan for a cellular camera. This is because cellular cameras rely on cellular towers so you can see images on your phone without going to the location where you set up the camera.
There are several data plan subscriptions that you can choose from to fit your needs. Some data plans can connect multiple cameras but at an additional price.
We hope this article helped you answer your question regarding cellular cameras and data plan subscriptions. If you have any other questions, let us know via the contact form on our website!