Wyze cameras are a popular choice in many smart homes – perhaps even yours! They’re budget-friendly and yield great quality video footage. Most people use these smart cameras as they’re designed to be used – connected to the internet via Wi-Fi.
Sometimes, however, for varying reasons, using the internet for your Wyze camera may not be possible. Or, it may be something you prefer not to do. So this then begs the question – is it possible to use your Wyze cameras without the internet? If so, how?
- An internet connection is required for the initial Wyze Cam setup.
- You can then rely on local recording, but even this requires an internet connection for app-based playback.
- The Wyze Outdoor Cam has a Travel Mode which is designed to work without the internet.
- Mobile hotspots and Wi-Fi extenders can also help.
A Wyze Cam Overview
Wyze cameras are smart home cameras that typically work with Wi-Fi. They’re small, affordable and compatible with many smart home hubs.
Over the years, Wyze has greatly expanded their line, and they now come in a wide variety of options. Each of these has their own special capabilities. For example, there’s the Wyze Cam Pan v2, which has can spin 360°, allowing it to move and track motion. It can also tilt at 180° to catch motion from any angle.
Then there’s the Wyze Floodlight Cam, with attached lights to light up even the darkest areas around the outside of your home. There’s also their more classic indoor camera, the Wyze Cam v.3.
Wyze also makes both wired and wireless Video Doorbells. The Wyze Outdoor Cam complete with Base Station is also a popular feature in homes that use Wyze.
Wyze cameras have the ability to store footage locally, as well as in the Cloud. This means that even if you don’t opt for Cam Plus, Wyze’s Cloud subscription plan, your cameras can still store recorded video. Just make sure you purchase a microSD card, insert it, and you’re good to go!
These smart cameras are Wi-Fi enabled, meaning, they’re designed to work with an internet connection. Wyze cameras typically connect to the 2.4 GHz band of Wi-Fi. They need this connection to be able to communicate with the Wyze app, where you configure all of your camera’s settings.
Now, for various reasons, some users have wondered if they can use their Wyze cameras without an internet connection. But is this really possible?
Can You Use Wyze Without The Internet?
Some users have decided that they don’t want to use Wi-Fi or any kind of internet connection with their Wyze cameras. Perhaps they want to be ‘off-grid’ as it were and untraceable. Another reason is that they might be going on vacation, and there’s simply no Wi-Fi connection available where they want to place the cameras.
Many run into confusing information on this topic. This is because there are so many varying opinions. However, this confusion is due to a misunderstanding of the way Wyze cameras work, as well as when they do and don’t need an internet connection.
But when it comes to whether you can use Wyze cameras at some point without an internet connection, the answer is yes. However, there are stipulations to this:
For example, at the initial set-up, Wi-Fi is necessary. Your Wyze cameras need to connect to the app and the Wyze servers in order for your cameras to get up and running. This includes getting it registered to you on their servers and downloading any important firmware updates to keep them running properly. If you want to make any adjustments such as with motion or sound sensitivity, your Wyze camera must also have an internet connection.
Without an internet connection, you can’t make these adjustments, nor will these features work. And if you plan to use any of Wyze’s Cam Plus Cloud subscriptions, you’ll need internet to take advantage of this as well. The necessity of the internet is standard across pretty much all Wyze camera models.
So why say that yes, Wyze cameras can be used without the internet? Because while ideally, you want to use the internet, there is a way to do this without.
How To Use Wyze Cameras Without The Internet
Wyze cameras need internet at the initial setup. If you want to go offline and still record, this is possible, but only with the use of a microSD card. With a microSD card, purchased separately, your cameras can record continuously, even when not connected to the internet.
Note: this doesn’t apply to Wyze Video Doorbells, though, as there’s no micro SD slot, so they always need an internet connection.
Once your cameras are set up, insert a microSD card into your camera.
Once you’ve done this, go into your camera’s settings, then to Advanced Settings. From there, toggle the button that says Record to microSD card.
This way, your camera can now record continuously, even if disconnected from the internet – a fact that even Wyze has confirmed:
It’s to be noted, however, that things like motion or sound alerts, live view, or pretty much anything that has to do with communication between your smartphone and your Wyze camera, will not work without internet.
You can view footage from your cameras that’s recorded to the microSD card in one of two ways. One, you can re-connect to the internet, and use the View Playback feature in your Wyze app.
The second option is removing your microSD card from the camera, and inserting it into a microSD card adapter.
Then insert that adapted into the SD card slot of your computer, if it has one.
If it doesn’t, you can also purchase a USB adapter that has an SD card slot.
Using this, you’ll go into your computer, open up the micro SD card, and view the footage right from your computer.
Another option for using no internet is with the Wyze Outdoor Cam.
This particular Wyze camera comes with a feature called Travel Mode. When Travel Mode is enabled, as long as you have a microSD card installed, you can still get recordings. This is the case even if you don’t have a connection to the internet.
Tip: you’ll have to activate Travel Mode from home before you lose your internet connection. It can’t be activated without the internet. You can activate this mode from either the Base Station or Camera.
To activate travel mode from a camera, you’ll need to go into your Wyze app, then to your Wyze Outdoor Cam’s settings. Tap on Travel Mode. Make sure your camera is on, then hit Continue. You’ll then need to press your Wyze Cam’s Sync button twice, then hit Continue in the app.
The next screen will prompt you to connect to the camera’s Wi-Fi from the Wi-Fi list on your phone. After connecting, you’ll be prompted to allow location access. After that, you have the option of setting a password.
If you have multiple cameras connected to one Base Station, you may want to enable Travel Mode from the Base Station instead, so it affects all of the cameras. To do this, from the Wyze app, go to the Base Station’s settings. From there, select Travel Mode, and follow the steps outlined above for the camera.
Alternatives to Using Wyze Without The Internet
Unless you’re using the Wyze Outdoor Cam in Travel Mode, using Wyze cameras without Wi-Fi constantly being connected has limited functionality. Because of this, you might want to see what other options are available for using your cameras.
Let’s say you want to use your cameras in a more remote location where you’re sure the Wi-Fi won’t reach, or you want to use it on vacation to keep, let’s say, your Air BnB or cabin safe. A mobile hotspot just may be your answer.
These devices can provide internet to your cameras when Wi-Fi isn’t present or possible.
However, keep in mind that smart cameras do use up a fair amount of data. They need to record, decode video, and upload to the Cloud, to name a few. All of these things can take up anywhere from 10 GB to about 60 GB a month!
Because of this, most users go with an unlimited data plan to allay any worries about going over data allowances. Most cellular service providers offer different options for mobile hotspots, as do ISPs. There are many options so that you can choose what best serves your particular situation.
Maybe you want to place your cameras just out of reach of the Wi-Fi. A Wi-Fi extender could be a great solution.
A good-quality Wi-Fi extender can extend your Wi-Fi’s range up to a good 1,000 feet from your home.
This is a great option if you want to extend your Wi-Fi to let’s say, a shed out back of your house. The extra range should help the signal reach so that you can keep an eye on things from out there.
The only downside to Wi-Fi extenders is that sometimes they can be tough to set up, and may create a different Wi-Fi name to connect to, even though it’s using your established router. But, if you just need that little bit of extra boost, a Wi-Fi extender may be a good, affordable option for you.
Mesh Wi-Fi Systems
Mesh Wi-Fi systems are another great option if you want to extend your Wi-Fi’s range so that your cameras can still connect. These can get a little expensive, but many people agree that they’re worth it.
Most of these systems feature a router plus range extenders. They all work together to create a strong mesh network that will go beyond the traditional Wi-Fi routers provided by your ISP. They work even better than most standalone Wi-Fi extenders because the mesh system is more unified, and puts out a stronger signal with even further reach.
Alternatives To Wyze Cameras
If you want to be free of the worry of connecting to the internet via some sort of Wi-Fi connection, you can alternatively try 4G LTE cameras.
These are designed to connect to the internet via cellular service, just like our smartphones do. All you need is a compatible SIM card installed on which you have a cell service plan. Cameras such as the Reolink Go, Arlo Go, and Eufy’s Starlight Cam are all 4G LTE cameras.
Now if you’re just really adamant about going internet free, and just want to use cameras that don’t need internet at all, options in this category are somewhat limited. They can also be more expensive.
For one, certain CCTV cameras can go without being used with any internet. They can store footage locally instead of on any Cloud-based server. The only issue with this, is that you can’t view your footage remotely. You would have to either connect the camera to the internet, or take out the local storage media, such as a microSD card, and view it from a computer.
There are many reasons you might decide you want to go ‘off-grid’ and use your Wyze cameras without the internet. Privacy and lack of internet access are two of the most common reasons. However, being as they’re designed to be used with the internet, this isn’t always possible and can be done with only limited success. However, other options exist.
Mobile hotspots, Wi-Fi extenders, and mesh systems are all options you can explore. And if you want to go off-grid completely, some CCTV cameras can also be an option for you.