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Cellular Security Cameras: Top 6 Things You Must Know

Jenny Hu7/1/2024
cellular security camera

If you want to put up security cameras in areas with no WiFi or Internet, cellular security cameras can be your handy solution that don’t require Internet and electric source. In this quick article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about 3G/4G/5G security cameras and help you gain an insightful idea of mobile security cameras.

What Are Cellular Security Cameras

The cellular security systems are a good replacement of the PoE cameras and traditional wireless security cameras requiring network for data transfer.

Instead of using a dedicated Internet connection, a cellular surveillance camera transmits video signals over a mobile network, making it the ideal security solution for locations without Internet and power source.

And these cameras work in a way similar to your cell phone: a cellular module is installed in the main control panel and it can send signals wirelessly to the monitoring stations. Since the cellular based security cameras needs to run on the 3G/4G/5G network, they are also often referred to as 3G/4G LTE/5G mobile security cameras.

Note: In order to transmit videos, cellular security camera data plans are required for a 3G/4G/5G security camera with sim card. And there are some common carriers offering such service for the battery/solar powered security cameras, like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.

Cellular Cameras

Where to Install a Cellular Surveillance Camera

So is there any limitation for you to install a cellular battery powered security camera?

To put it simply, as long as there is cellular service in your place (you can make phone calls and send texts), you should have no problem putting up a cellular security system with cameras.

And as the cellular outdoor security cameras can work with no Internet, they are especially ideal for the areas where a strong Wi-Fi signal or hardwired Ethernet and an electrical power source are not available.

To sum up, these mobile cameras are perfect for:

  • Construction sites
  • Barn, farms & ranches
  • Boats, docks & marina
  • Vacation home, cabins & sheds
  • RVs, campsites & food carts
  • Warehouses
  • Wildlife studies
  • Hotels & Airbnb rooms

Cellular video Camera Installation

Advantages of Cellular Video Cameras

Cellular home security cameras provide a host of advantages and benefits compared to their wired counterparts.Here are some major advantages:

Flexible Location

Since most cellular devices are powered by batteries and part of them are solar-powered, no electrical outlet is required.

And neither is the WiFi network needed for the cellular surveillance video cameras.

So you can basically place the 3G/4G LTE/5G security cameras anywhere you want to check in, then you can access the outdoor wire-free battery cellular cameras from your smart phone.

And when your security needs change, you can easily take down your cellular home security systems and reposition them to a new site without Internet.

Check out the picture below: One of the Reolink Go Plus users installed this wire-free cellular surveillance camera for his barn in a breeze (as shown below) - no messy cablings or drilling holes.

4G Security Cameras

Safer and Securer

Compared with the security cameras relying on Internet to transfer data, security cameras that use cellular signals are much safer and it is hard for the intruders to hack a cellular security system.

But don’t get me wrong – there are also some secure point-to-point (P2P) wireless camera systems.

For example, Reolink has the highest level of security protection for its surveillance cameras, including SL encryption, WPA2-AES encryption and SSL-TLS enabled to prevent exposure of users’ privacy.

Besides, in case of an unexpected power failure, the battery/solar powered cellular enabled security cameras and systems are still good to work.

Easy Installation

Similar to the wire-free security cameras, cellular surveillance camera can be set up by yourself within a few minutes.

Simply power your indoor/outdoor cellular cameras and insert a sim card into the camera.

After you download the camera seller’s customized App on your phone, you can easily access the 3G/4G security cameras to figure out what’s happening out there.

You can check this instructional video to see how easy the installation and setup can be.

Remote Viewing from Anywhere

Traditional wireless home surveillance systems without Internet will upset you if you want to watch live viewing videos remotely.

But cellular security systems won’t!

As just noted above, the security cameras with cell service can allow you to steam live feed anywhere on your phone, even with no WiFi and power source.

Cellular IP Camera Remote Access

Cons of Cellular CCTV Cameras

These cellular also have a few downsides and limitations, such as the following ones:

Price of Cellular Home Security Systems Could Be High

The WiFi and battery powered mobile security camera cost is certainly one of your TOP concerns.

And here is the reality you have to face: the cellular cameras are relatively more expensive than the other types of camera models. Not only is the cellular camera alone expensive due to the advanced technology, you also need to spend some money on the data plans. The specific mobile data plan for security camera like this will cost you differently based on carriers and the data sizes you choose (from 1GB to above).

At the same time, live streaming and manual recordings can increase the data consumption, meaning you may need to pay more money for the data service of a 3G/4G/5G mobile security camera.

Quality of Cellular Surveillance Cameras Is Hard to Tell

Search WiFi and cellular battery powered security cameras in Amazon, and you would find a series of options there.

However, most of the cellular security systems for sale are from unknown brands.

What about reviews of these cameras? Few and arguable! So you basically have nothing for reference and don’t know if you should stake your money on certain brand you may have never heard of.

And some 3G/4G/5G cameras may work well in the first few months. After that, the cellular surveillance cameras may get weak AT&T or Verizon signals, failing to send photos to your phones.

Key Takeaway: To get the best cellular security systems, it is recommended to choose the reputable security camera brands that offer sound after-sales service, such as Reolink. So you can get instant 1-to-1 technical support when you meet any problems.

Battery Life of 3G/4G LTE/5G Security Cameras Remains to Be a Problem

For the battery powered wireless cellular security cameras, you may concern that they could die out without your notice.

It is best that the 3G/4G/5G security cameras powered by batteries can send you low battery notifications, so that you can keep informed of the battery consumption and replace/recharge batteries in time.

Note: The rechargeable battery powered cellular security systems would save you the cost to replace batteries frequently. And it is even better if your security camera has a solar-panel back up, from which the cellular home security systems can get non-stop power.

Is It Worthwhile to Buy a Cellular Camera System

Whether investing in a cellular security system is worthwhile depends on your individual requirements. If you happen to need a security camera that can work without WiFi, the cellular cameras, without doubt, would be the best bang-of-your-buck.

And with the technology of cellular technology advancing, it would simply be a matter of time for the cellular home security systems to become affordable.

Best Cellular Security Camera for Your Options

As mentioned above, the options for 3G/4G/5G cellular wireless security cameras are still limited.

The good news is that some renowned security camera brands are now joining in the competition for cameras with cellular data connectivity in succession.

Reolink, for example, has launched its battery powered & solar powered cellular camera combined with affordable price and decent quality, the Go Series.

For example,designed to meet your security needs in places with no WiFi and power source, this mobile security camera Reolink Go PT Ultra provides an ideal security solution for your barns, farms, boats, campsites, construction sites, vacation home, remote cabins, etc.

Apart from the common features such as 100% wire-free, 4K super HD, IP65 weatherproof, two-way audio, Reolink Go PT Ultra stands out among other competitors with clear night vision, which means more details can be captured even in total darkness.

Reolink Go PT Ultra

4K 8MP Wire-Free 4G LTE PT Battery Camera

4K 8MP; Smart Detection; 355° Pan & 140° Tilt; Battery/Solar Powered; Color Night Vision; Smart Real-Time Alert.

Best Budget Alternatives: In case the cellular cameras and systems are too costly for you, and you may only need to record videos onsite, Reolink Argus 3 Pro, is a budget-friendly option for you as a wire-free rechargeable battery-powered & solar powered outdoor security camera.

It comes with a smart PIR motion sensor and a built-in SD card slot. Even though you are unable to watch live viewing on your phone or receive instant alerts when there is no Internet, the motion detection events can be stored locally for your later check.

This video submitted by a Reolink Argus 3 Pro user will best prove how this camera braves harsh weather conditions.


1. Can Cellular Security Systems Work with WiFi?

For most cellular home security cameras (including Reolink Go series), they cannot work with WiFi or your phone hotspot, as they are designed to operate in places where the Internet is not available in the first place.

2. How Can You Maximize the Data Plan of Your Cellular Surveillance Cameras

Below are some practical ways to optimize the data usage of your cellular wireless security cameras:

  • Place your outdoor cellular surveillance systems in low-traffic areas to reduce unwanted motion-triggered videos.
  • Adjust the motion sensitivity of your 3g/4g LTE security camera systems to avoid false alarms.
  • View the live feed or play back historic events of your battery/solar powered cameras in a lower resolution.
  • Install your cellular security systems within good cellular coverage.

Also read: How Much Data Does a Cellular Security System Require

Absolutely yes! For example, if you have an iPhone 8 and Verizon for your cell phone, you can still view the Reolink Go cameras with T-Mobile SIM card from your Verizon iPhone.

You only need to purchase an SIM card and a compatible data package from the supported carriers of your cellular security system. And the providers of your phone won't impact your normal use of the security camera.

4. Is There a Possibility for Two Wireless Cellular Security Cameras to Work with One Sim Card

Usually, a SIM card with an associated data plan is assigned to only one security camera. But you may consult your local cellular carriers whether they would have a bundle package deal on more than one security camera.


As a good alternative for PoE and wireless cameras, cellular security cameras are the best choices for places where Internet connectivity is limited.

Do you have any more questions about the cellular surveillance camera or its alternatives? Let us know if you do and be sure to check out the important things about 3G/4G LTE/5G security cameras above!


All Comments Are Welcome

Jenny is an editor from Reolink. Her posts are helpful for homeowners, undergraduates, small business owners, and pretty much anyone who needs security tips for a worry-free world. If you want to say hi, you can email her at (replace # with @) to connect!