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Best Security Cameras without Subscription Buying Guide

Yolanda11/14/2022
Home Security Cameras without Subscription or Monthly Fee

Tired of being tied to a long-term alarm contract and paying on-going subscription fees? Looking for security cameras that are owned and controlled by yourself? Now you have better options!

You can purchase a home security system without subscription fees, control the devices by yourself, and reduce your monthly bills. In this article, we'll recommend some of the best cameras with no subscription for your home security. Keep reading and find the one for you.

How Do Security Cameras Charge Monthly Fees?

Before we talk about security cameras with no subscription, it's necessary to know how those security companies charge monthly fees.

You might have heard about getting professional surveillance services from security companies such as ADT, Vivint, Costco, etc. By signing a contract and giving them money, you can get the lease of home security system equipment, professional installation, 24/7 monitoring services, and replacements from those companies.

It seems quite convenient and hassle-free, right?

However, everything comes with a price. The contract will restrict you with many dos and don'ts, and require you to pay monthly fees ($14.99 to $34.99) in order to get surveillance and other services like installation or repairment. More services lead to more money you need to pay. Also with a contract, you will be attached to their product for a long time.

Usually, the contract length ranges from 12 months to 60 months, but most contracts would be about 36 months. The longer the contract is, the few monthly fees you'll have to pay. But if you want to cancel the contract before it expires, you may face penalties.

Meanwhile, keep in mind that all the security equipment belongs to the security company rather than you. If you move to another place or fail to return them when the contract expires, you have to pay extra fees for the company's loss.

In the worst case, if anything goes wrong with the manufacturer, you will bear unpredictable losses. American company Spectrum stopped supporting its customers and refused to convert the cost of their investments, leaving them suffer great losses. Check the news here >>

Do All Security Cameras/Systems Require A Subscription?

Are there any security cameras or systems that don't require a subscription?

Of course yes! There are plenty of home security companies providing DIY security camera systems with no monthly fee for monitoring service. You pay for the products you select and you own them for a lifetime, without subscription fees or contracts to bind you. And you have all the control.

You need to pay attention to the product description before you make a decision, because there may be some hidden fees for its usage. For example, the security camera you choose does have the basic functions: monitoring, recording, saving footage, etc. But if you want advanced features like AI detection, face recognition, or cloud storage, you'll have to pay for these extra services.

Don't fret, though. Most of these services are optional. If security cameras with basic functions can satisfy your needs, you can save a lot of money without paying any subscription fees. Even though you decide to pay for those advanced features, it won't be more expensive than the subscription fees required by contract companies.

Top brand companies normally have a full range of security products with clear price tags and a warranty. They offer DIY home security systems with no monthly fees and no contract, and you can freely install home security systems on your own.

Benefits of Security Cameras without Subscription or Monthly Fees

Having security cameras with no monthly fees means you can completely control them as you like. Today, more and more homeowners, like you, prefer these smart products.

With a DIY security camera system that requires no monthly fees or subscription, you would get a lot of benefits, which include:

  • The complete ownership of the cameras
  • Admin access to your cameras anytime from anywhere
  • No leaking out of the privacy of your home to any others
  • Control when and where to monitor
  • Customized alerts on your mobile phone or computer
  • 2K 4MP or 4K or even higher resolution of live videos
  • Two-way audio to talk to the other end
  • Easy installation and setup
  • A customized home surveillance system
  • Warranty and reliable after-sale service
  • And more (you name it)

Don't worry about the installation work even if you are a beginner. Most of the security cameras without subscription fees are plug-and-play, which means you can install and set up the camera quickly. If you're still confused, the manufacturer is always there to help.

Compared to those cameras with a contract, security cameras with no subscription are more friendly to renters or anyone likely to change their residence. They can move anytime with the camera and get rid of the cancellation penalties.

Comparison of home surveillance systems with and without subscription

Here's a chart for you to take a quick look at the main difference between these two kinds of security cameras so that you will know which one suits your best.

Item Security Camera with No Subscription Security Camera with Contract & Subscription
Average Cost $50 - $300 for a camera
$300 - $1,000 for a system
$30 per month, $360 a year, and $1,080 for 3 years
Contract No Yes
Ownership of the camera You (who purchases the product) The security company (who provides the surveillance service)
Installation and repairment DIY or hire professionals Professional team, extra fees needed
Management of the camera You have admin access to the camera and can manage it anytime. The security company is in charge of the camera. You can't access it randomly.
Warranty Limited time warranty & lifetime after-sale service During the contract term

Best Security Cameras without Subscription: Do It Yourself

There are a lot of security cameras without monthly fees that can protect your family and save your budget. They have everything you need from local storage to smart detection.

Here we recommend three kinds of security cameras with key features and strong performance. You can choose the best one for your home or business.

Reolink Argus 3 Pro is one of the most popular wireless cameras without a subscription. It's powered by a rechargeable battery and solar panel (purchased separately). It supports 2.4/5 GHz dual-band WiFi for communication. 100% wire-free and hassle-free!

Reolink Argus 3 Pro

2K 100% Wire-Free Spotlight Camera

2K 4MP Super HD, Battery/Solar Powered, Person/Vehicle Detection, 5/2.4 GHz Dual-Band WiFi, Color Night Vision, Two-Way Audio.

The 2K (1440p) high resolution of this smart camera allows you to view everything clearly. 122° wide viewing angle means more areas can be covered. Also, with a motion-activated spotlight, you can get color night vision.

Most importantly, it has up to 128GB of local storage thanks to its microSD card slot. Or, if you want more storage, you can try Reolink's Cloud service, which is optional. The basic plan of cloud service is free! Give it a try if you don't mind.

If you want to know how others like this camera, you can check the review of this wire-free security camera with no subscription.

If you prefer a security camera requiring no contract and no messy cables, the PoE camera RLC-811A is the one for you.

Reolink RLC-811A

4K Smart PoE Camera with 5 Spotlights

4K 8MP Ultra HD Day & Night, Person/Vehicle Alerts, 5X Optical Zoom, Two-Way Audio, Built-in Siren, Color Night Vision, Live View Anywhere.

This smart PoE security camera boasts a lot of features: 4K 8MP ultra-high resolution, person/vehicle detection, instant alerts to your mobile device, two-way audio for remote communication, etc.

It supports up to 256GB of local storage, which is enough for most people. The installation can be very easy. With one single network cable, you can charge the camera and get data transmitted. Just plug and play!

Having your own home surveillance system is not as hard as you think. RLK8-800B4 is a powerful security camera system you can't miss.

Reolink RLK8-800B4

4K 8-Channel PoE Security System

4 pcs 4K Ultral HD Security Cameras; 2TB HDD 8-Channel NVR for 24/7 Recording; Person/Vehicle Detection; Plug & Play; 2 Network Solutions.

This surveillance kit includes an 8-channel NVR with a 2TB HDD built-in, which enables you to monitor and record 24/7. There are four 4K ultra-high definition cameras in this kit, each one embedded with person/vehicle detection. No subscription fees at all!

These cameras feature clear night vision and can see things within up to 100ft. You can view the live feed of multiple cameras on the same screen and check every corner of your property. When any motion is detected, you'll get an instant push notification and know what's happening.

This heavy-duty security camera system has a storage capacity of up to 12TB. You can put those cameras in different places and get your whole property covered. With one kit, you can monitor important areas all day long without missing a beat.

FAQs about Security Cameras without Subscription

Do all security cameras require a subscription?

Not really. You can purchase a camera without signing a contract from many manufacturers and use it for a lifetime. However, there may be some optional subscription fees for advanced features like AI detection, cloud storage, etc. Luckily, some brands like Reolink have products with person/vehicle detection and require no extra fees.

Reolink doesn't require any subscription fees for all the security cameras and systems. You can make full use of the person/vehicle detection, local storage, and other functions for free! The only exception is the optional cloud service for Reolink's battery-powered cameras. Reolink Cloud offers multiple plans and the basic plan is free with 1GB of cloud storage. Other advanced plans require subscription fees ranging from $3.49 to $17.49 per month. You can view Reolink Cloud for more information.

How to cancel a security camera contract?

If you have signed a security system contract and want to get out of it, here are a few ways you can try to avoid cancellation fees.

  • Relocate the security system to your new residence. If you are moving to a new apartment, you can still keep the security system in most cases. But you need to review the contract to find relevant clauses or negotiate with the alarm company.
  • Transfer your home security system to others. You can transfer the contract to your family members and friends. Also, make sure you've made everything clear about the surveillance equipment and the remaining part of the contract.
  • Turn the contract into a month-to-month plan. But this depends much on the alarm company. You can call them and ask if you can make this change.

There are more solutions to help you get out of a security contract. No matter which one you choose, you must be sure that you keep all the equipment of the alarm company well and that there is no breach of the contract.

Conclusion

If you're tired of signing a contract with security companies and paying ongoing monthly fees, now is the time to get your own home security cameras without a subscription. It's easy to start and the cameras you purchase have everything that a security company can offer.

Being in charge of your home security can be very meaningful and fun. You can control the cameras by yourself without worrying about privacy infringement. But still, be aware of hidden monthly fees. Remember to check the product page carefully and ask the manufacturer if you have any questions.

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Yolanda is an editor of Reolink, and also an independent writer showing great interest in technology and art. She has studied home and business security issues for years, and always shares useful tips and tricks with her fans.