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Using Wyze Without a Subscription – What Works and What Doesn’t

In order to help people get the best use out of their cameras, Wyze offers a few subscription services. In addition to Cam Plus, Wyze’s most popular plan, they’ve recently added Cam Plus Lite, Cam Plus Pro, as well as Home Monitoring. These subscriptions add on a few enhanced capabilities, giving you new ways to enjoy your cameras.

Now while Wyze cameras aren’t necessarily expensive as compared to some other brands, you still might turn your nose up at the idea of shelling out more money for a subscription service.

Let’s face it, as cheap as Wyze cameras are, if you purchase more than one, the cost can add up. For example, let’s say you opt for the Wyze Cam v3, which retails at about $29.99 on Wyze.com. Perhaps you purchase two for outdoor monitoring, and another two for the inside of your home – altogether you’ve just spent almost $120! Now to add a subscription service? 

Because of this, you might wonder if that extra service is even necessary. Is not having the camera enough? Do you actually need a Cam Plus plan as well?

What is Wyze?

Wyze, also known as Wyze Labs, Inc, is a manufacturer in the smart home sector, and as such, has created a line of smart home products designed to enhance the functionality of the modern smart home. The company, started by former Amazon employees, was created with the money-savvy consumer in mind. They wanted to offer these budget-conscious individuals options for smart home security that won’t break the bank.

Marketing image showing the Wyze Cam Pan facing leftwards.
The Wyze Cam Pan facing leftwards.

At the outset, Wyze produced mainly smart home cameras for both the inside and outside of your home. Since then, Wyze has expanded their line to include other smart home products. Though their line isn’t as extensive as some other smart home manufacturers, such as their top competitor, Ring, it does contain quite a few products that most smart homeowners find useful and essential in their everyday lives. 

In addition to their smart cameras, they also make smart lighting, such as smart LED bulbs and light strips. Their product line even boasts other helpful items such as thermostats, robot vacuums, a home security system, and even smartwatches! 

In order to use and control these devices, you’ll need to download the Wyze app and ensure you have a good Wi-Fi connection. The stronger the connection, the better, as it helps prevent lags in performance and video recordings.

They produce a wide range of useful products at affordable prices, without sacrificing quality – a win-win situation. In order to get the most out of their cameras, though, many have opted to take advantage of Wyze’s Cloud plan, Cam Plus. In recent times, however, Wyze has changed and even expanded their Cloud plans. So what does this mean for you?

What do the New Wyze Cloud plans offer?

Wyze, once only offering the Cloud subscription plan, known as Wyze Cam Plus, now offers a few more at various price points. These plans were created to help you get the most out of your smart home monitoring devices, while keeping in mind everyone’s budget and needs. So let’s get into a breakdown of what these plans have to offer, and which cameras they affect.

Cam Plus Lite

This newer plan is designed with the most budget-conscious consumer in mind – as most of Wyze’s customers are. It gives you the option to name your price – even if that price is $0!

Wyze recently announced this plan as a way to continue previously free or standard benefits such as 12-second event recordings and person detection. It also includes motion and sound detection, smoke and CO alarm alerts, and 14-day event cloud storage.

Unlike regular Cam Plus, Cam Plus Lite has a 5-minute delay between events. Meaning, that if something else occurs less than 5 minutes later, you won’t be notified, and it won’t be recorded in any way.

Cam Plus Lite is available for Wyze Cams versions 1 – 3, Wyze Cam Pan versions 1 and 2, and Wyze Outdoor Cams.

How do you Sign Up for Cam Plus Lite? (Is $0.00 Possible?)

When Cam Plus Lite was first introduced, there seemed to be some confusion as to how to sign up. So how do you get the coveted $0/month plan?

When it first changed over, Wyze sent alerts to current consumers’ smart devices. After clicking on the link provided, it took you to the Wyze website where you could make the necessary selections. If you missed those, no worries, you can get this plan by going into your Wyze app.

First, go to Account at the bottom of the screen.

Where to locate Account in Wyze App Home screen
Where to locate Account in Wyze App Home screen

On the next screen, select Services.

Services in the Wyze App Account screen
Services in the Wyze App Account screen

Across the top, you’ll notice tabs for Cam Plus, Cam Plus Lite, Home Monitoring, and Sprinkler Plus (useful only if you have the Wyze Sprinkler).

If you go to Cam Plus Lite, you’ll click the appropriate link, which will redirect you to the Wyze website where you can name your price.

Cam Plus Lite subscription in the Wyze app
Cam Plus Lite subscription in the Wyze app

You also have the option of subscribing once you sign in on Wyze.com. You would simply navigate to Cam Plus Lite, then follow the prompts to subscribe for each camera.

Of course, Wyze is really hoping you’ll pay something, so a prompt may come up explaining how any contribution helps deflect operating costs and all. At the end of the day though, you really can choose to pay nothing – I did!

Cam Plus

With Cam Plus, of course, there is a price – and this one is non-negotiable. It’s $1.99/month per camera, or $14.99/year per camera, depending on how you prefer to be billed. This plan has expanded a bit and offers more than before. It’s available for all Wyze Cams, except Wyze Cam version 1.

Inactive Cam Plus subscription in the Wyze app
Where you can subscribe to Cam Plus in the Wyze app

Cam Plus really enhances how your cameras work. For example, you get advanced AI detection that differentiates between people, packages, vehicles, and pets. They’re even on the verge of giving facial recognition benefits to Cam Plus subscribers!

Of course, you also get the other essentials such as Sound and general Motion detection, as well as smoke and CO alarm sound alerts. Event video length is unlimited, and there is no delay between recordings. This means that your cameras will catch everything, and record until the source of motion is gone.

Users who currently have Cam Plus Lite will notice alerts to upgrade to Cam Plus.

Wyze app suggesting upgrade to Cam Plus
Wyze app suggesting an upgrade to Cam Plus

Of course, this is optional. But Wyze is really hoping you’ll spring for the upgraded benefits.

Cam Plus Pro

Cam Plus Pro is a notch above Cam Plus and comes in at $3.99/month per camera, or $39.99/year per camera. This plan is designed to enhance your home security, and they even give you 24/7 professional monitoring to give you that extra piece of mind.

Cam Plus Pro only works with Wyze cams versions 2 and 3, and the Wyze Cam Pan version 1. This is also one of Wyze’s newer plans.

This plan gives you the option to arm and disarm your cameras just as you would an alarm system. It also offers Alarm Triggers so you can always know when something is amiss at home.

With this plan, instead of buying an expensive alarm system, each of your cameras is the alarm system. It monitors your home for suspicious activity. If something suspicious is detected and the alarm goes off, an alert is sent to both you and a live representative. If you don’t disarm your alarm via pin or safe word, emergency services are dispatched to your home.

Home Monitoring

A security guard looking at camera feeds on computer monitors
A security guard looking at camera feeds on computer monitors

Wyze’s Home Monitoring offering takes your home security up even further. It gives you everything that Cam Plus Pro does – plus much more. You get such perks as extra Arming modes, battery back-up in case the power goes out, and even an Emergency Panic Button.

Billing is also slightly different. Once $4.99/month, it now comes in at $9.99/month per account (as opposed to camera), or $99.99/year per account.

In terms of billing, this actually works out nicely. You can have up to 5 cameras covered by this plan, and as long as they’re part of your account, they’re covered. In this case, the more cameras you have, the more cost effective it is.

Home Monitoring is available for all Wyze cams. But to note, this is more of an add-on plan. A Wyze Cam Plus subscription is included for one camera. You’ll have to purchase additional Wyze Cam Plus subscriptions if you’d like options such as 12 second recordings, back to back recordings, and 14-day video storage.

While some may balk at the extra cost of adding on any kind of Cloud subscription plan, Wyze Cam Cloud subscriptions do offer some undeniably convenient and forward-thinking options.

Why Did Wyze Change Their Subscription Plans?

As inflation seems to affect every aspect of our lives, unfortunately, it has also trickled down to our smart cameras. Many companies, even Ring, have raised their prices to deal with the growing demand of upgrading and maintaining their technology and security.

Wyze Cam Features That Still Work Without a Subscription

While Wyze Cam Plus can be a great addition to your smart cameras, you may not want to shell out the extra money per year – or month, depending on how you choose to be billed. Because of Wyze’s recent changes to their plans, without a subscription of any kind, your cameras’ operations are very limited.

Instead of the 12-second videos users were once able to enjoy for free, now there’s only a snapshot. So if you don’t catch the event live, you can only see a snapshot in your smart device’s notifications.

You’ll still be alerted to motion, sound, and your smoke or CO alarms. But again, this will only be in the form of a still snapshot – no video.

If you want to do more, but still pay nothing, you can opt for the Cam Plus Lite subscription, and choose to pay $0. This plan offers everything Wyze used to offer without a subscription.

You can sign up using the Wyze smartphone app, which also can be used with or without a subscription:

The Wyze app download page on the Android Play store
The Wyze app download page on the Android Play store

It’s to be noted, though, when it comes to SD card recording, you can still use this even without even a Cam Plus Lite subscription. If you have a microSD card installed in your camera, you can go into your Wyze app settings, and opt for Continuous recording.

Wyze Advanced Settings microSD Card
Wyze Advanced Settings microSD Card

Your camera will continuously record until the microSD card is full, then start overwriting older footage. This is a great option if you don’t want to even use Cam Plus Lite.

What You Lose Without a Subscription

Unfortunately, when it comes to motion detection, your camera will no longer be able to differentiate between actual people and inanimate objects. This may cause you to have more false alarms than you’d like. That tree on your front lawn is about to get a lot more screen time.

You’ll also lose video recordings due to the fact that you only get snapshots now. While this may not be much of a problem to you at first, it can be when suspicious activities are afoot and you get a snapshot right before someone does something nefarious – but see nothing after that.

How Wyze Compares to Ring and Nest

The Ring Stick up Cam plug in
The Ring Stick up Cam plug in

While once you didn’t lose much without a subscription, things have changed. At this point, Wyze is very much like using a Ring camera with no subscription

Without Ring’s Cloud subscription, none of your videos are recorded – at all. If Ring detects motion, it will give you a snapshot and the option to view the Event live – but that’s it. If you’re unable to view the live feed, or just didn’t, you’re out of luck as you won’t be able to see what caused the motion event in the first place, just that an event occurred. 

As you can imagine, this doesn’t sit well with most consumers, especially if video evidence can help catch a burglar red-handed. Because of that, most Ring users deem the Ring Cloud plan to be necessary, instead of just a convenient add-on. Considering Ring cameras aren’t exactly cheap, this added expense can also be a sore spot for many.

When it comes to Nest Aware, similar is true. With Nest Aware, you can go back to your Event history to see what happened that triggered your cameras. Without the plan, however, much like Ring, you won’t have video of the event, just that one occurred. You would’ve had to view it live to see what actually happened.

Again, a frustrating scenario. When you buy a smart home camera, you expect it to be able to do everything that it can and have full access to all of its features. But in fine print, they add, ‘with paid XYZ subscription’. False advertising? Not necessarily. More like, selective omittance. 

You Might Want to Consider Cam Plus

Beforehand, not having Cam Plus didn’t have a huge bearing on the use of your Wyze cameras. However, after the recent changes, in order to get the best use out of your cameras, you may want to consider a subscription plan, even if it’s just Cam Plus Lite.

Without it, you’ll still have access to motion settings, and snapshots of motion and sound events. Being as Wyze cameras aren’t pricey to begin with, many go for the Cam Plus, as it still works out to being cheaper than purchasing a camera, and subsequent Cloud subscription, from the competition.

So while it’s not definitely needed, as the name states, it’s definitely a “Plus”.

About Yvette Griffith

Yvette is a freelance writer who also happens to be a smart home enthusiast! She owns several smart home gadgets like strip lights, smart bulbs, cameras, and more! With a knack for troubleshooting device issues, she’s been the go-to for family and friends for all kinds of tech-related issues - dating back to VCR’s!

Here on Smart Home Point, she shares her knowledge with the world in hopes it’ll help you create and maintain your smart home.

27 thoughts on “Using Wyze Without a Subscription – What Works and What Doesn’t”

  1. I ran 3 Wyze cameras for two years with subscriptions on each and never received what was offered for the plus service. Now I don’t have a subscription and I don’t even receive the 12sec anything motion recording and each camera has a empty SD chip. You get what you pay for I guess but will never suggest Wyze to anyone.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment, sorry to hear about your experience. That does sound odd – you definitely should have received at least the 12 sec motion recordings. Were Wyze customer service any help? I’d like to think that this would have an ‘easy’ resolution, but it sounds not – I can appreciate your frustration (and you not wanting to suggest Wyze to anyone anymore).

      Reply
    • same here– everything was great and now I dont want to pay for a subscription and can no longer get my little event clips either— and every camera has an sd card in it— such bogus bs— never recomenned wyze to anyone– its all about the money

      Reply
  2. Used to pay for the monthly subscription I can’t even get the 12 seconds and they $19.99 for One camera when you subscribe and two cameras is 39 99 this is ridiculous what happened to the 12 second clips

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear of your experience. It doesn’t seem particularly well handled – we’re still checking out the latest changes, but what they originally advertised doesn’t seem to have taken effect for all users :/

      Reply
  3. I have had wyze since the beginning and now without the forced subscription my cameras will not pick up sound or motion and will never send me a notification. I’ve deleted and added but no change. Last app updated killed them all. I have a memory card in each and still doesn’t matter. I now have paper weights. Wasted $$ with a now greedy company.

    Reply
    • Ugh really sorry to hear that, and especially that the latest app update caused you a bunch of issues. That’s pretty much the opposite of how “smart” products should work in an ideal world. 🙁

      Reply
  4. I have 3 Wyze cameras with sd cards which are worthless to me now since i have to have a subscription now to have continuous recordings for playbacks in case of security concerns. Thanks a low Wyze!. You just lost my business for future purchases of any Wyze merchandise.

    Reply
  5. I started out with one camera and an SD card and was totally impressed by what was offered the quality and the ease of use. I ordered three more cameras for a total of four. After several updates especially the last one I have lost the 12 second playback the motion and sound detection. I am not paying for a subscription. Need to quit apologizing either let us go back and download the old updates or fix the current update or tell us what your plans are

    Reply
    • I can understand your frustration for sure, and we’ll soon be updating this article in light of Wyze’s recent ‘interesting’ changes! However I’ve heard that you can choose to pay $0.00 for the Cam Plus Lite plan, which at least would bring back the 12 second playback. Of course the question then becomes: how long will Wyze allow users to choose $0.00 (or a nominal amount)?

      Reply
      • Every time I try to switch photo to video for sd card, it takes me to the prescription page. I saw a video on You Tube and whoever was talking about not having a prescription, said we could still use our cards, not true.

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  6. I purchased 3 Wyze V2’s about 3 years ago, and they worked great. Now I cannot save pics on my SD cards, and I say I’m kissing goodby to a relationship gone sour. I even purchased a Wyze smartwatch, and it sucks also. These startups have to stay ahead of the competition, and Wyze just can’t compete. Look at Yi Home. It’s $22.50 and works with same SD card that won’t work in your Wyze camera.

    Reply
    • I’ve heard some good things about Yi Home, I will have to check them out for some hands-on experience. I can certainly understand your annoyance with Wyze, it has been an irritating change for many customers.

      Reply
  7. Yeah I’ve had the wyze cameras for a couple months now.They worked well until the last update which removed the main purpose of it recording video.Unfortunately this just makes this wzye cameras seem like a scam,since even after you paid for it you still have to continue paying for the basic features.🤦

    Reply
    • It’s a frustrating change for sure (although “scam” might be a little harsh IMO). You can still opt to pay $0.00 for the Cam Plus Lite plan (we’ve just updated this article to show the steps required for this). I can understand your frustration though for sure.

      Reply
  8. I used to love my wyze cameras as it used to work fine taking shorter videos earlier but now my Wyze cameras are only taking still images (and very unclear images). I purchased a lot of wyze cameras and 2 wyze doorbells and have recommended to several around me. But now it asks me to pay for subscription when I try to click video in settings. I have replaced my security system (one with in house recorder) with more than half a dozen wyze wifi cameras knowing there will not be any subscription charged but with this now I feel tricked ! Can anyone help / share their experiences?

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear your experience, it’s a frustrating change from Wyze for sure. We’ve updated the guide to show how you can subscribe to Cam Plus Lite and only ‘pay’ $0.00 – meaning that you’ll get back your 12 second recordings (instead of just the snapshots).

      Reply
  9. Wyze has changed everything, and you cannot record video unles s you pay for a subscription, and if you do, they it makes your base-station useless as it wont save the video to its SD card…. i have invested over 500 bucks, and them removing recoding video to the base stations SD is disgusting, adn more like one of those “pay to play” companies… id NEVER recommend them. want to read the full post of what they have done, and how its affecting people like me, then here on their forums: https://forums.wyzecam.com/t/so-many-issues-where-to-start/225956/4

    Reply
    • Thanks for the link to their forums, that’s definitely annoying – and good to know regarding the Wyze Base Station. Whilst buying an SD card for each Wyze camera isn’t a massive extra cost, I agree that it’s frustrating when you’ve already spent so much money on Wyze’s products.

      Reply
  10. I just bought my cameras 3-4 months ago and wyze has rendered them useless. Was going to purchase the sd cards; however, from my experience and the comments their app has total control of all their camera’s/equipment and doesn’t provide advertised services even when we all paid for them. Last month I paid a yearly subscription; then 2-3 weeks later wyze cut all of my service until I purchase the sd cards.

    Reply
  11. just purchased doorbell camera and thermostat. after hooking up says not supported in Canada? Is this for real? How can you sell in store here and not offer the support? what am i missing?

    Reply
  12. About a year ago I convinced my employer ( small family business) to go with wyze cameras based on what they offered without subscription. We bought quite a few cameras, and then six months later added to those with quite a few more.

    Setting this up took quite a bit of time. I had to locate them and aim them, and some of them had to be put on solar panels. So I invested a few days into this at my employer’s expense of course.

    I come into work Monday morning to find someone has graffitied all over the wall to our building. Of course my employer expects that I have camera footage of this but that is when I learn there has been a change and now there are only still pictures of nothing and no one.

    I read about the different plans offered and went as far as signing up for one of the plans but getting the cameras to actually work on the plans at this point turned out to be a more miss than hit experience. A few hours into it my employer has had enough. This cost me some confidence in my recommendations and all confidence in wyzecam and their promises. They may offer this or that but those who have signed up for those plans find that they are not as convenient to implement as what existed before.

    They should stop playing games. If the cost is zero then they should return things to how they were before instead of hiding that. At this point I think that time and money are better invested in another system that has proven to be more consistent.

    I do believe wyzecam has lost their angle in what is a very competitive business.

    Reply

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