Do Wireless Security Cameras Need Internet?

The answer? Maybe.

It all depends on how you want to use your security cameras.

You will need to connect your security cameras to internet if:

  • You want to watch the cameras remotely
  • You want to record and store footage

If you only want to watch live footage locally (i.e. from your own home), then no, you won’t need to connect your cameras to internet. But without connecting to the internet, you won’t be able to view live streaming once you’re away from home and you won’t be able to store recorded video to watch later.

We’ll explain our answer in depth below. We’ll also answer the next question most homeowners ask us, “Won’t the security cameras eat up all my bandwidth?”.

Let’s dive in...


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What can my wireless security camera do without internet?

To be fair, a wireless security camera can still perform basic functions without internet connection.

For example, without an internet connection, a wireless security camera can still provide:

  • 24/7 live viewing via a connected viewing device
  • Recorded and stored video via an SD card (you’ll need to buy the SD card separately)

What can my wireless security camera perform when connected to the internet?

Put simply, with internet connection, a wireless security camera becomes a mini-security system all on its own.

A wireless security camera’s abilities increase dramatically when it’s connected to the internet. Let’s take a look at some of the additional features you can enjoy when the security camera is connected to the internet.

24/7 remote viewing

Once your wireless security camera is connected to the internet, you can watch live or recorded viewing at anytime and from anywhere in the world. This means you can keep an eye on your home even when you’re at work, on vacation or just across the street.

Alerts & notifications

Most wireless security cameras come with built-in “alarm systems”. Depending on the model you purchase, your security camera may sound an alarm, send text notifications and/or send an email when it’s triggered by an alarm or motion.

At Richmond Alarm, our security cameras go one step further to allow homeowners to pick and choose the specific events you want to be alerted for.

For example, a homeowner can integrate our wireless security cameras with their security system and choose to receive phone and/or email notifications when:

  • Someone is at your front door
  • A unique user code was used to unlock the front door (i.e. your children)
  • An alarm is triggered in the house (i.e. the back door opens when the house is alarmed)

Along with the text notification, our wireless security cameras will also send a 10- to 15-second video clip so that you can see exactly what happened.

Recording stored video

When your wireless security camera is connected to the internet, you can choose to capture 24/7 recording that is automatically uploaded to and stored in the Cloud.

This means you will be able to access and view recorded video wherever you are.

“Won’t my security cameras use up all my bandwidth?”

The short answer? No. This is only an issue when there are a lot of cameras (i.e. more than 8 cameras) all running at the same time on your network.

Yes, this used to be a concern back when networks were weaker. Most homes today have a strong enough network connection to allow anywhere from 4-8 cameras to operate at the same time.

For homeowners who are worried about bandwidth, Richmond Alarm offers wireless security cameras that use “H.265” technology. This is a new video compression technology that cuts the bandwidth needed down to a fraction of what other cameras use.

Plus, when our experts install security cameras, they run various “speed tests” to ensure that the cameras don’t slow the internet connection. Nine times out of 10, the homeowner won’t need to upgrade their internet to accommodate their new wireless security cameras.

Have more security camera questions? Ask a Virginia security expert

Richmond Alarm offers a variety of wireless security options for both homeowners and business owners. We use alarm.com, the leader in Smart Home Security, to power our video monitoring solutions. Plus, we have over 70+ years of experience helping Virginia homeowners choose the video solutions that fit their needs and budget.

If you’re interested in investing in a video surveillance system or simply have more questions, contact us below. We’re always happy to chat!

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