Is the security camera good enough for my business? Does it have its own local storage? Will I need to pay monthly fees? These are some common questions you’ll find yourself wondering as you shop for a CCTV system. In this article, we’re going to share everything you need to choose the best security camera without a subscription. However, many video surveillance providers nowadays are consumer-based in that they don’t require service contracts to own. So, the subscription we’re referring to here is about cloud service.
Cloud vs Local Storage
- 1 The Best Security Camera Without Subscription Chart
- 2 The Best Security Camera Without Subscription Reviews
- 2.1 Editor’s Choice: Heimvision HM241A Wireless Security Camera System
- 2.2 Best of Budget: ANNKE 5MP Lite Wired Security Camera System
- 2.3 Best of Wireless: Arlo VMS4230P-100NAS Pro 2 WiFi Battery Security Camera
- 2.4 Best of Business: Reolink RLK8-410B4-5MP Super-HD PoE Security Camera System
- 2.5 Best of indoor: Wyze Cam V2 Smart WiFi Security Camera
- 2.6 Best of Outdoor: Reolink Argus PT Battery-Powered Security Camera
- 2.7 Best Release: VAVA HS003 Updated Version Wire-Free Wireless Security Camera
- 2.8 Best of Add-On: Amcrest 4K UltraHD PoE Turret Security Camera
- 3 Quick Guides: Tips to Help You Choose the Right Security Camera for your home or Business
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 What’s the best security camera without a subscription?
- 6 Conclusion: Our Top Picks
Over the past seven years, we have seen a bloom in cloud technology and wireless security camera systems. The good thing about cloud for CCTV is that you never have to worry about losing your captured footage. If you have a trustworthy provider, you’re the only one with access to your account as long you keep the login details to yourself.
Another thing, the cloud has the flexibility that enables you to retrieve data from virtually anywhere. As such, you’ll not only enjoy remote streaming but also playback video history while away from home or business.
Regardless, many cloud service companies have a pay-as-you-use subscription module that may lock you when late to renew. It also requires you to rely on the host availability and security of your sensitive data. So, if the servers of the provider are down, your linked security cameras will also not deliver the expected purpose.
Meanwhile, local storage comprises physical storage devices like hard drive discs, thumb drives, and solid-state drives (SSDs). So, you have complete control over who has access, how the data is stored, and managing your information security. The method is quite common in a security camera system with DVR or NVR, but you can also get a standalone system that has the function as well. It’s a great storage solution if you don’t want any monthly obligation with your system, or else your property doesn’t have internet.
But again, local storage isn’t easily accessible remotely, which means you can’t playback your cameras when away. Also, if the hard drive or SD card dies, the stored data dies with it as well. So, a hybrid storage solution that you can use a local drive as the primary storage, and cloud for backup can be very useful.
What’s The Best Security Camera without Subscription?
When choosing a subscription-free security camera system, there are three things you need to think about: the pricing, capabilities, and limitations. This will act as a heads up so that you can pay for exactly what you need.
From the eight systems that we selected, Heimvision HM241A has the best balance of the three, plus a high customer rating. It’s an expandable security camera system and does come with a preinstalled hard drive. So, you can have continuous 24/7 video recording and you’ll never need to pay for the cloud.
The Best Security Camera Without Subscription Chart
While searching for a consumer security camera with no monthly fees, both the supported resolution and available free storage space are very crucial. so, before we can discuss the various cameras, let’s have a quick comparison of the two aspects so that you can assess which system will better suit your case.
|Security Camera System Brand||Special Feature||Resolution||Free Storage Space|
|Heimvision HM241A Wireless Security Camera System||Best Of All||1080p Full HD||1TB
|ANNKE 5MP Lite Wired Security Camera System||Best of Budget||5MP Super-HD||1TB
|Arlo VMS4230P-100NAS Pro 2 WiFi Battery Security Camera||Best of Wireless||1080p Full HD||7 rolling days
|Reolink RLK8-410B4-5MP PoE Security Camera System||Best of Business||5MP Super-HD||2TB
|Wyze Cam V2 Smart WiFi Security Camera||Best of indoor||1080p Full HD||14 Rolling Days
(Cloud + MicroSD Card)
|Reolink Argus PT Battery-Powered Security Camera||Best of Outdoor||1080p Full HD||7 Rolling Days
(Cloud + MicroSD Card)
|VAVA HS003 Updated Version Wireless Security Camera||Best Release||1080p Full HD||128GB SD Card
|Amcrest 4K UltraHD PoE Turret Security Camera||Best of Add-On||4K Ultra-HD||256GB SD Card
The Best Security Camera Without Subscription Reviews
Editor’s Choice: Heimvision HM241A Wireless Security Camera System
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- 8-channel wireless NVR
- 4x 2MP bullet cameras
- Up to 65 feet night vision
- Preinstalled 1TB hard drive
- Advanced H.265+ compression
As mentioned, this is our overall best no monthly fee home security system, especially if you’re interested in 24/7 surveillance. It consists of an expandable 1080p HD NVR, thus you could also use it in an office, shop, or anywhere else you need multiple extra eyes.
The security camera system comes with only four cameras, but the NVR has a configuration of eight channels. So, you can fill the remaining slots as per your needs. But again, the camera/s you get must be 2MP HD, specifically model CA01, just as those provided.
Thanks to the integrated wireless technology, this security camera system doesn’t need cabling to operate. Both the camera and the recorder will automatically pair up when plugged in the power supply and mounted within signal reach. More on that, the cameras are IP66 weatherproof so that you can use them outdoor without worrying about dust, rain, and other harsh weather conditions.
Furthermore, the NVR box comes with a preinstalled hard drive so that you can start using it immediately. And since the system has the advanced H.265+ video compression, you can store over 50% more data than when using a standard codec.
- It delivers crisp and bright images
- Has a reasonable pricing
- Can work without internet
- Has a simple user interface
- Effortless and quick to install
- You can use indoor or outdoor
- It comes with relatively short power cords
- The cameras have no two-way talk or audio recording
- The camera antennas can’t be moved from side to side
Best of Budget: ANNKE 5MP Lite Wired Security Camera System
- 1080p Wired Security Cameras & 8 Channel DVR – 4 pcs security cameras deliver the best 1080p live...
- H.265+ Coding & Security-Grade 1 TB HDD – The built-in 1 TB HDD is tailored for professional video...
- 5MP Lite DVR recorder
- 4x 2MP bullet cameras
- IP66 weatherproof
- Motion capture areas
- H.265+ Video coding
- Preinstalled 1TB hard drive
If you’re looking for a cheap but quality security camera system, this piece does fit the bill. It’s also an expandable system that you can connect up to eight wired security cameras. However, it only comes with four pieces (cameras), then you can add the rest as your needs require.
Each of the sent cameras has a 2MP sensor and a wide 82.2° view angle. So, you get to cover a considerable space while at the same time recording in Full HD quality. Nonetheless, the DVR box has a 5MP configuration that can deliver sharper Super HD quality when you connect with 5MP cameras.
Furthermore, the CCTV recorder does support H.265+ video compression technology that maximizes storage space up to 7x longer than the standard H.264. The video coding technology also ensures smooth and faster streaming since the recording takes up less bandwidth.
Still, the CCTV system has customizable motion detection to help you keep an eye on what matters most. Also, the provided cameras are IP66 weatherproof, which means you can use them in an open environment without any issues.
Despite all that, though, the ANNKE security camera uses the analog BNC video cabling that may take time to set up. Hence, the reason it didn’t qualify for our first choice award.
- It’s very affordable
- Easy to navigate and operate
- Delivers crystal and sharp images
- Can connect with any audio device
- It has a well-made and durable construction
- It has a vague installation manual
- Quite a hassle to install the cameras
- The software-based motion detection is too sensitive
Best of Wireless: Arlo VMS4230P-100NAS Pro 2 WiFi Battery Security Camera
- 100 percent wire free: Free of power cords and wiring hassles
- 1080p HD high quality video with sharper and brighter details
- 1080p Full HD quality
- 100% wire-free design
- Inbuilt mic and speaker
- 100-decibel smart siren
- 3-second look-back capture
- 7-days rolling free cloud recording
Arlo is the best wireless security camera without a subscription that you get with a free cloud. Of course, some newer versions no longer support the offer, but the Pro 2 is still available in the stores and with the free 7-day free cloud recording. Yes, the plan doesn’t support continuous recording but the short video clips are pretty enough, considering you can now playback footages from anywhere.
Speaking of footage, this kit comes with two security cameras, each with a 2MP sensor that gives 1080p Full HD videos. The sensor works in hand with the built-in mic to deliver videos that you can also hear what the people in the background are saying. Even better, there’s also a built-in speaker that makes it possible to speak with the person facing the camera, like an intercom device.
As a wire-free model, the Arlo Pro 2 camera allows you to mount anywhere for as long it has internet access. The camera has a rugged plastic housing and also IP65 weatherproof seals to withstand the harshest weather conditions outside.
- It’s free cloud recordings
- Delivers crisp and detailed images
- Quick and straightforward to setup
- Has smart motion detection feature
- Supports audio recording and two-way talk
- It can work with Alexa for hands-free control
- It’s very pricey
- Night vision is pretty low
- It will never work without the internet
- Stunning HD Display – This security camera system displays in a 2560 × 1920 HD detailed image,...
- Plug and Play PoE System – The camera kit comes with 60ft network cables, which allows for easy...
- [Upgradable] 5MP NVR recorder
- Built-in microphone
- Up to 100-feet night vision
- Preinstalled 2TB hard drive
- metal housing, IP66 weatherproof
This can make a great piece if you need a good security camera system for your business. It starts with a generous budget that covers everything you need to get your device started and running.
The system consists of a 5MP PoE NVR and four bullet security cameras that you can use indoor or outdoor. Each of the cameras has a 5MP sensor that captures in Super-HD quality, about two-and-a-half times sharper than 1080p HD. They also have a wide 80° viewing angle and up to eighteen infrared LEDs for better clarity at night.
Unlike many 5MP CCTV systems, this Reolink NVR box can be upgraded its firmware to work with 8MP cameras. Also, the recorder comes with a preinstalled 2TB hard drive for free 24/7 video recording. It does support a loop recording feature that starts overwriting the oldest data so that you can always have the most current footage.
However, you could also set it to record with activity (motion-activated) or on a custom schedule to maximize the storage space.
Another thing, this CCTV system does support PTZ cameras. So, you could connect a model like RLC-423 for wider outdoor coverage.
- It has sturdy and durable designs
- Phone app is easy to operate
- Effortless and quick to install
- Can work in areas without internet
- Delivers super-clear videos and audio
- It can black out areas you don’t want to record
- It doesn’t have smart-home integration
- The motion detection is too much sensitive
- It has a limited instructional manual
Best of indoor: Wyze Cam V2 Smart WiFi Security Camera
- Live Stream from Anywhere in 1080p -1080p Full HD live streaming lets you see inside your home from...
- Motion/Sound Recording with Free Cloud Storage - Wyze Cam can automatically record a 12-second video...
- 1080p HD video quality
- Built-in MicroSD slot
- Built-in mic and speaker
- 14 days free cloud recording
- Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
For this one, we’ll let the reviews speak about it. It has more than 100,000 positive reviews on Amazon (only), making it the best indoor security camera without a subscription as you also don’t need to pay for storage. This is so as the camera has a free cloud plan that stores your footage in the form of short 12-second clips.
If you want the camera to record continuously (24/7), the little guy has a built-in MicroSD slot for up to 32GB card. The feature also ensures you can still have evidence after the internet was down or if you don’t have the internet at all.
Regardless, the security camera records in 1080p Full HD and also has audio functions. So, your 32GB card is likely to record (continuously) for only two to four days before its starts overwriting.
Another thing, the security camera doesn’t have a battery like most standalone cameras. So, you have to put it together in a place near to an electrical power outlet.
- It’s very cheap
- Straightforward to set up
- Has an easy-to-use phone app
- Captures clear and sharp images
- Can record to cloud or SD for free
- It has audio recording and two-way talk
- It doesn’t support browser access
- The cloud recordings are very short (12 seconds)
- You can stream all cameras on one screen simultaneously
- 100% Wire-Free and Solar Powered: Argus PT runs on 2.4 GHz WiFi and stays fully-charged with...
- Tilt & Pan and Stunning Night Vision: Argus PT can turn its head 355° horizontally and 140°...
- Pan 355°, Tilt 140°
- 1080p Full HD videos
- Built-in mic and speaker
- 100% wire-free PT CCTV
- Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
If you’re looking for the best outdoor security camera without a subscription to even the cloud, the Argus PT is a great option. Reolink offers it with 1GB of cloud storage, which is equivalent to 7-day video history since it only records by events (motion-activated).
Even better, the security camera has a MicroSD slot that you can use with a card of up to 64GB. As such, you can still have recordings even when the WiFi is down or if you don’t have internet in the mounting location.
More to lover, the security camera has a wire-free style, with a built-in battery that you can recharge with solar or plugged-in power. So, it can work well in locations like barns, construction sites, or hunting cabins where you don’t have electricity at all.
Nonetheless, you’ll be able to make the most from the camera when connected to the internet. It has an awesome Tilt and Pan feature that you can operate remotely from your smart device. Hence, covering more grounds of your compound from just a single piece.
- It delivers vivid, colored images
- Has multiple storage options
- Effortless and quick to set up
- Can connect with solar panel
- Has audio recording and two-way talk
- Supports voice control via Google Assistant
- It has a low motion detection range
- Has a flimsy (plastic) mounting bracket
- The siren volume is extremely low.
Best Release: VAVA HS003 Updated Version Wire-Free Wireless Security Camera
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- Built-in mic and speaker
- Local MicroSD card slot
- 1080p Full HD video quality
- 100-degree wide field of vision
- 2500mAh rechargeable battery
Although only about 5 years old, VAVA is quickly winning the hearts of many DIY enthusiasts and homeowners. The HS003 Updated version is one of their latest creation, less than five months old, but has become a favorite of many people. Not just by the way it looks but also in terms of performance.
The security camera system consists of two cameras and a base station that acts as the communication hub. It has a sleek spherical design that you can use indoors without being intrusive, plus an IP66 weatherproof seal to support outdoor weather.
Like many WiFi cameras, this model records in 1080p HD resolution to maximize bandwidth and storage consumption. It supports both cloud and local storage (up to 128GB TF card), which means you can use it without making any subscriptions.
Furthermore, each of the provided security cameras has built-in rechargeable batteries. Thus, you can mount almost anywhere, including on trees, since they don’t need any cabling. More on that, the system has multiple mounting options, including a screw-on mount, magnetic base, and desktop stand.
- It delivers high-quality videos
- Feels sturdy and durable
- Compact and easy to hide
- Pretty straightforward to install
- Has audio recording and two-way talk
- It’s relatively expensive
- Doesn’t have smart-home integration
Best of Add-On: Amcrest 4K UltraHD PoE Turret Security Camera
- EXPERIENCE ULTRA HD 4K – Stunning ultra-high quality 4K (8-Megapixel / 3840x2160) resolution...
- SMARTER SECURITY – Receive motion alert notifications and review footage via your smartphone with...
- Starlight technology
- Built-in microphone
- 4K Ultra-HD video quality
- 105-degree viewing angle
- Inbuilt MicroSD card slot
- IP67 weatherproof metal housing
Although Amcrest doesn’t have free cloud storage, this security camera can make a lovely add-on to your NVR system. And since NVR comes with a preinstalled hard drive, you necessarily don’t need to subscribe to their cloud packages. But if you got no NVR at the moment, you can still use as a standalone camera and record to the integrated MicroSD card.
The security camera has an 8MP sensor that delivers stunning and colored 4K Ultra-HD videos during the day. Then, when darkness falls in, the sensor switches to black and white, all thanks to the two added infrared LEDs. Despite no color, the night vision also has amazing quality from the integrated starlight illumination technology.
In addition to that, the security camera has a heavy-duty IP67 weatherproof metal housing. So, you can use it in the harshest weather conditions without a fail. The dome that the camera lens occupies is also flexible in that you can manually pan up to 360° or tilt 78°.
- It has a sturdy and durable design
- Offers crystal-clear and vivid images
- Has a reasonable price tag
- Can record videos with audio
- Can work alone or with NVR
- It covers a large scene with fewer blind spot
- You have to disassemble all camera to access the MicroSD card slot
- The software needs some improvement
Quick Guides: Tips to Help You Choose the Right Security Camera for your home or Business
The following are seven crucial factors to consider when looking for the best security camera without a subscription.
A security camera means no help if it only captures burry or distorted videos. So, consider the highest resolution possible, at least 1080p or 4k and 4K Ultra-HD if the budget allows. But again, keep in mind higher resolution will have a high consumption rate of bandwidth and storage.
A security camera system that supports a hybrid of both cloud and local storage is the best to have. It’s an attractive combination of features as you’ll have recordings even after either fails or otherwise, playback video history when away.
This is another desirable feature in CCTV nowadays as it picks up movements that cross the camera’s field of view and activate recording. However, there’s software-based and smart PIR motion detection, whereby the latter cut down on false alerts by a significant margin.
Ease of Installation:
Considering you’re looking for the best home security camera without a subscription, you also wouldn’t want to spend $300 to $1000 on professional installers. Therefore, ensure you’re comfortable with the installation and setup of whatever camera you pick.
If you do have smart devices ecosystem in your home, consider a security camera that you can add to them. Many security cameras now support automation services, including IFTT, Alexa, Google assistant, and SmartThings.
The viewing angle of a camera is what determines how much it can see. For the best performance, your security camera should have a perfect balance of the viewing angle and resolution. The higher the resolution, the wider the angle of view should be. But keep in mind very wide angles can affect the image quality if the resolution isn’t enough.
If you have a wireless camera, you have to make sure it maintains a Wi-Fi connection regardless of how far you move it. If you have a large home, therefore, ensure the signal range is strong enough to reach long distances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a wireless security camera work without electricity?
In general, a wireless security camera can transmit the footage through a wireless channel like WiFi. People tend to confuse it with a wire-free security camera, which is a battery-powered security camera that also has wireless connectivity. Therefore, a wireless security camera can work with or without electricity as you can plug it into an electrical outlet or it has batteries.
How Can I choose a good security camera?
If you’re new to video surveillance, you can easily be overwhelmed by the dozens of brands and hundreds of security camera models out there. However, there are seven easy steps we always advise our clients to follow. They include
- Discern the reasons you need CCTV
- Decide the camera type to have
- Choose your best power source
- Compare the camera capabilities
- Compare the various pricing
- Read the online reviews of previous buyers
- Finally, choose the model with the best score: That’s the security camera with the best pricing, finest performance, least limitations, and high customer recommendation.
What’s the best security camera without a subscription?
Technically, various situations require different surveillance features. Here are 8 best security cameras with no monthly fee in 2021:
- Editor’s Choice: Heimvision HM241A Wireless Security Camera System
- Best of Budget: ANNKE 5MP Lite Wired Security Camera System
- Best of Wireless: Arlo VMS4230P-100NAS Pro 2 WiFi Battery Security Camera
- Best of Business: Reolink RLK8-410B4-5MP PoE Security Camera System
- Best of indoor: Wyze Cam V2 Smart WiFi Security Camera
- Best of Outdoor: Reolink Argus PT Battery-Powered Security Camera
- Best Release: VAVA HS003 Updated Version Wire-Free Wireless Security Camera
- Best of Add-On: Amcrest 4K UltraHD PoE Turret Security Camera
How long can I record to an NVR hard drive disk?
Different security cameras have different resolutions, video compression, advanced features, and available hard drive space. So, we have no specific number of days your NVR system can record before overwriting or becoming full. However, you could use the following formula to get a rough estimation.
Recording days= [N x 10242 x 8] ÷ [Bitrate (kb/s) x 3600 x 24 x M]
**N is the available storage space in GB and M is the number of cameras. **
Conclusion: Our Top Picks
Although all the eight selections can make a great security system for your home or business, Heimvision HM241A and Reolink Argus PT Wireless Security Camera are our favorite options. They both have an average upfront cost that’s easy to get and a wireless setup that you need not hire a professional installer. Furthermore, the Heim vision is an expandable system that you can connect with multiple cameras for different positions of your property, plus has a preinstalled hard drive.
On its end, the Argus PT can cover a large area on its own, all thanks to the pan and Tilt feature. And best of all, it has a free 7-day rolling cloud recording and MicroSD card support for when the internet is down.
Anyway, we do hope the article had everything you needed to decide on the best security camera without a subscription to have. Happy Shopping; Fun installation; and safest moments.