An IP (internet protocol) CCTV camera is usually easier to install than its analog counterpart. You even have the option to use it as a standalone. But the question now is, is there a way how to set up IP camera without internet? Or must the camera be online for it to stream and record.
Well, despite their name, Internet-protocol cameras can work without the internet. And this means you can also keep an eye on your property without a broadband connection or farther from the router.
In this guide, we’ll take you through these three methods you can set up your IP camera without the internet. But before we look at these methods…
What Type of IP Security Camera Do You Have?
First, an IP Security Camera is a type of CCTV that captures a video signal, then transmit it over a network. The type of network used here can be either wireless or wired over PoE Ethernet cables. And in either case, you can use your system without the internet if the necessary tech is also available.
An IP PoE camera is straightforward to use without the internet from the integrated wired LAN protocol. The wired LAN functionality is what we should still use to set up wireless cameras offline. But the likes of Hiseeu wireless security camera can still be set up wirelessly without internet.
The wireless LAN these cameras (like Hiseeu) use usually has its own built-in hub and operating spectrum via P2P (peer-to-peer). They don’t rely on the LAN signals 802.11 (standard for WiFi) or 802.3 Ethernet. But, of course, you’ll find manufacturers use the word WiFi to refer to their wireless connectivity.
Unlike the WiFi we know on standards 802.11 standards, P2P networks enable devices to communicate directly without relying on the servers. It’s where we get the term wireless ad-hoc network, a type of LAN that enables two or more wireless devices to communicate without requiring typical network infrastructure equipment, such as a wireless router or access point.
That said, though, there are P2P wireless security cameras that also have built-in WiFi (802.11) protocol. A nice example is the Hiseeu 2K Dual-WiFi NVR Kit.
FYI: LAN means “local area network”. Then P2P refers to a “peer-to-peer” network.
Features Lost When You Set Up IP Camera Without Internet
When you set up your IP camera without internet, there are a few features you end up sacrificing, such as:
- You won’t receive motion alerts to your phone or email. And this means something can happen on your property when away, but you won’t know about it.
- You also can’t view footage remotely when you’re away. You only get local viewing, which may be practically impossible for IP cameras like Arlo vs Wyze.
- You can’t back up footage to the cloud (or FTP Server), as they require the internet to work. It’s the reason the likes of Arlo Essential spotlight cameras are even tricky to use when the WiFi is down.
- Your camera can’t update to the latest firmware automatically. Thus, you will not have access to the latest features the manufacturer may introduce.
Steps on How to Set Up IP Camera Without Internet
In total, there are about three ways you can set up your IP security camera without the internet. The best method to use usually varies with the type of camera at hand. See below:
Method 1: Set Up the IP Camera with your PoE NVR
The first way how to set up an IP camera without the internet is to use a PoE NVR (network video recorder) system. It’s a pretty straightforward method, as you just need to hook up the cameras to the built-in PoE switch.
The built-in PoE switch is more or less a wired LAN port that you can hook up the (Ethernet) Cat 5 or Cat 6 cables from the cameras. Then once the NVR is powered up and connected to the monitor, you’ll be able to view your live footage locally.
If the NVR has a hard drive, the PoE security cameras will record video footage locally as well. And this means you can also playback the video histories on the connected monitor without an internet connection.
Speaking of video, you should know an IP address conflict is one of the many factors that cause video loss in security cameras. Not many people encounter this issue since the NVR generates IP addresses for each camera automatically.
However, the recorder usually generates an IP address using the specific port used at the time. And if you have multiple cameras connected to one port using PoE extenders, an IP address conflict is likely to occur.
To resolve the IP address conflict and get video back on all the cameras, you’ll have to log into the client software of your recorder. Then go to the network configuration section and assign unique identifiers to the camera with a similar IP address.
Method 2: Set Up the IP Camera with a P2P Network
The second way how to set up an IP camera without the internet is to use the built-in P2P network connection. It applies to only the IP wireless cameras that have the technology, such as the Hiseeu model we mentioned earlier.
One thing you should know here is that there are two types of P2P network connection used in video surveillance today. Ad-hoc WiFi networks are pure P2P since the devices get to connect and communicate without requiring any other infrastructure. Then there is the hybrid P2P that relies on a central client/ server for the devices to communicate with each other.
When dealing with the pure P2P connection, the featured CCTV system can efficiently work without the internet. The system, in most cases, comprises a wireless NVR and cameras, which have built-in nodes that sync up and enable file sharing directly.
In such a system, you usually just need to hook up a monitor to the recorder and power it up. Then when you power up the cameras, they all go live almost instantly, provided they are within range of the recorder.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, some of these wireless P2P recorders usually have a built-in WiFi modem (802.11 standards) too. The purpose of the internet connection here, though, is to just enable remote access on phone/ PC and cloud recording.
When we come to the CCTV system with hybrid P2P, there is a unique ID number (UID) that the manufacturer integrates at the developer level. The UID is what the security camera or recorder use to ping the P2P server via the dedicated mobile app/ client software.
But for the camera or recorder to communicate with the P2P (manufacturer) server, there must be an internet connection. Thus, you can’t complete the setup without the internet.
Method 3: Set Up the IP Camera on your Computer/ Laptop
The third way how to set up IP camera without internet is to use a computer or laptop. It’s a little more “techy” than the other two options, as you’ll have to manually locate and change the IP address. And to do that:
- Power up your security camera using the adapter that came in the box
- Switch on your PC (laptop or desktop). And once powered up, disconnect it from the internet (disable WiFi or unplug the LAN Ethernet from the router)
- Grab a network cable, then plug one end into the camera and the other into the LAN port of the PC. Some cameras come with an integrated network cable, which means you just need to hook up the other end to the PC.
- Next, identify the unique IP address of your camera. It’s not too hard, as you just need to launch the client software on your computer. Then go to the network configuration, and click on the “Scan Device in LAN” tab.
- Now, go to your computer network settings and put the computer on the same LAN as the camera. In other words, you have to modify the IP address of the computer to match that of the camera. But only the first three octets of the camera IP address should be similar, then the last octet a unique number (between 001 to 254), different from that of the camera.
- Once your camera and the computer are on the same LAN, you should be able to view it without the internet on your computer via the dedicated client software.
- You may also like: How to Set up Blink Wireless security Camera
- How to Connect Wireless IP Camera to DVR
After you connect the CCTV camera to a computer with a cable andset it up, remember to change the default “network access” status to Static. It helps make sure the IP address of the camera doesn’t change when it reboots.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can set up Step 5 the other way around: change the IP address of the camera to match that of the computer. But make sure you assign a unique number to the last octet to avoid conflict of IP addresses.
Another thing, you can view the camera footage on the browser on the computer by pasting its IP address in the URL box.
Try the Cellular Security Camera
In conclusion, these are the main ways you can use to set up an IP security camera without the internet. And as mentioned, the tricks can be handy in cases where you don’t have an internet connection or the camera is far from the router.
Out of the three methods, setting up the IP camera with the PoE or P2P wireless recorder is the easiest. They are both more like plug-and-play, as you just need to power up, then configure them with the client software from the manufacturer.
Besides the three methods, you can also go with the IP cameras that have their own built-in cellular connection. It still involves the internet, Yes. But now you get to set up the system with its connectivity, which doesn’t rely on fixed broadband. Then the best part, you can access your footage remotely.