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Standalone Security Cameras Buying Guide: What to Consider & Best Picks

Standalone Security Cameras Buying Guide: What to Consider & Best Picks

Many homeowners hope for simple standalone security cameras with SD cards, a DIY home security camera with minimal installation, or a portable wireless surveillance camera with mobile access & smart motion detection.

Fortunately, there are so many standalone security cameras with features like motion detection, two-way audio, IR night vision capability, etc. Better yet, these cameras require no monthly subscription at all, making them a popular choice for homeowners and business owners.

In this article, we'll take you through the advantages of standalone security cameras, potential considerations when selecting one, and the top three picks for the best standalone security cameras available today.

What Is A Standalone Security Camera

A standalone security camera operates independently to monitor an area and record any activity without an external recorder. Unlike traditional security camera systems, standalone cameras do not require any additional subscription fees or contracts.

Standalone security cameras are regarded as self-contained cameras as these autonomous devices work with their own built-in storage options, wireless connectivity, and power sources. These cameras are typically compact and easy to install, making them a popular choice for homes, businesses, and public spaces.

Wireless standalone security cameras

Among various types, wireless standalone security cameras are particularly popular. These cameras do not require any cables for power supply or network connections. Instead, they transmit data via Wi-Fi signals or 4G/LTE cellular networks and typically rely on rechargeable batteries or solar panels for power.

Wireless standalone cameras offer cost-effective solutions and can be effortlessly relocated without additional wiring. Due to their user-friendly installation and operation, these cameras are frequently employed in residential settings.

However, you should mind that factors such as walls, interference from other wireless devices, and limited bandwidth can affect their wireless signal. Additionally, to conserve battery life, these cameras may not provide continuous 24/7 recordings.

Editor's Tips: A 4G standalone security camera connects to the Internet using cellular data, which means it may require a data plan. Instead, a WiFi camera connects to a local wireless network and typically has no additional fees at all.

Do You Need A Base Station for Your Home Security Cameras?

Not at all. A base station isn't necessary for your home security camera.

Traditionally, base stations have served as the central hub for managing, storing, and processing footage from multiple security cameras within a network.

However, base stations can be expensive, adding to the overall cost of a security system. Moreover, the maintenance or potential replacement of a base station also contributes to long-term expenses.

Security camera systems that rely on a base station are more susceptible to disruptions caused by power or internet outages. When a base station loses power or internet connectivity, the entire security system may become non-functional, leaving the premises unprotected.

For those seeking freedom from the constraints of a base station, standalone security cameras emerge as an attractive alternative. Standalone security cameras offer a multitude of advantages that cater to users' preferences for simplicity, affordability, and flexibility.

Standalone security cameras offer a hassle-free and cost-effective solution. Their easy installation and wireless connectivity can offer users a user-friendly approach to securing their premises. Built-in storage options and the absence of base station expenses make them an affordable choice for many families.

These cameras can operate independently with the ability to connect to Wi-Fi networks or smartphone applications for remote monitoring. The flexibility and independence of standalone security cameras make them a reliable and attractive solution for those seeking a more straightforward security system.

Standalone Security Cameras – What to Consider

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a standalone security camera. Not all cameras are created equal, and some may not offer the features and capabilities that are required for specific use cases. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a standalone security camera:

1. Connectivity & powering options

Remember to choose a standalone security camera that can be powered by a battery or solar panel.

A battery standalone camera is the perfect security solution when there is no electrical outlet in your place and requires no messy cables or drilling holes. Standalone WiFi security cameras, for example, can be hooked up to a WiFi router without needing an extra base station.

In case your place has only cellular coverage but no WiFi network, such as your country house or remote vacation home, you can choose a standalone outdoor security camera with a SIM card, like Reolink Go Plus, to view live feed remotely and record motion events onsite.

2. Storage options

Some standalone security cameras store footage locally on an SD card or other internal storage, while others require you to connect to a cloud storage service. It's important to consider both the cost and convenience of these options, as well as the security of the data that is being stored.

Compared with cloud storage, local storage is a more secure option and free from some privacy concerns. Moreover, users don't have to pay extra subscription fees for the service.

The only thing to note is that once you choose a standalone camera with an SD card, you'd better ensure it has enough storage capacity, otherwise you have to clean memory regularly.

3. Monitoring area

The size and layout of the area you need to monitor decide the type of standalone security camera to choose.

For instance, a small monitoring area only needs a basic standalone camera that focuses on the most important point. A large monitoring area, on the other hand, requires a wide-angle security camera to cover the entire area for effective surveillance. You may even need an advanced camera that has a pan-tilt or zoom feature to capture every movement in the area.

Additionally, high-resolution cameras are best for areas that require detailed images, such as license plate recognition.

Meanwhile, if you want an outdoor standalone security camera, weatherproofing and vandal-resistant ratings are key factors to be considered.

4. Night vision capability

Standalone security cameras should not only stream HD videos during the daytime but also at night to identify or make out faces of those approaching the area of interest.

Many standalone cameras provide clear images or videos in low light or no light conditions usually through the use of infrared LEDs. In addition, some standalone cameras are equipped with a quality image sensor and spotlights to deliver clearer and full-color images and videos even in total darkness.

Battery Standalone Security Cameras

5. On-device smart detection & remote access

Many brands will require users to subscribe for smart detection, which will cause recurring subscription fees. But a quality standalone security camera with on-device smart detection can save you a lot.

Choosing a security camera with onboard smart detecting technology can help you stay alert whenever an important event happens. It can also send you push notifications, emails, and even siren sound alarms when someone approaches your property.

Remote access is another crucial feature to consider. It enables you to view live footage on your smartphone, tablet, or computer from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. You can check your home or office's security, even when you're not physically present.

To make your selection process much easier, here we’ve collected the three best standalone security cameras and systems for your options.

Reolink Argus 3 Pro is one of the best standalone security cameras providing a 100% wire-free and hassle-free security camera solution for home surveillance. With its wireless, battery-powered design, this camera provides convenient placement options without sacrificing quality.

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 Argus 3 Pro boasts impressive 2K 4MP resolution and color night vision, which enables you to get clear and vivid footage both day and night. Also, this standalone security camera with an SD card slot has on-device detecting technology. It can detect human movement and vehicles, requiring no extra base stations or hub centers.

Besides, its companion proprietary mobile apps offered for Android or iOS devices are easily accessible to you. This ensures that you're always in the loop when it comes to any suspicious activity in your monitoring area.

This standalone outdoor security camera comes with a long-lasting rechargeable battery, and you can add a Reolink solar panel to provide non-stop power.

Running on a 2.4GHz or 5GHz WiFi and powered by a rechargeable battery, Reolink Argus PT is designed for areas without access to power outlets.

Argus PT

100% Wire-Free PT Camera

2K+ 5MP Super HD; 5GHz/2.4GHz WiFi; Rechargeable Battery & Solar Powered; 355° Pan & 140° Tilt; IP65 Certified Weatherproof; Color Night Vision; 2-Way Audio; 122° Wide Viewing Angle.

With its pan-tilt functionality, the Augus PT provides a wide coverage area, allowing you to remotely control the camera's movement and adjust the viewing angle as needed. Whether you want to keep an eye on your home, office, or any other property, the Augus PT offers flexible and comprehensive surveillance.

The camera supports an SD card slot, enabling you to easily store your video footage locally. By utilizing an SD card, you have full control over your data and can access it directly from the camera or transfer it to other devices for further analysis or backup.

The Reolink Argus Eco is an exceptional choice for those seeking an affordable yet reliable WiFi standalone outdoor security camera. Packed with impressive features and offering a seamless user experience, it stands out as one of the best options in its price range.

Reolink Argus Eco

100% Wire-Free Bullet Camera

Rechargeable Battery & Solar Powered; IP65 Certified Weatherproof; 1080 Full HD; Smart Motion Detection; 2-Way Audio; 100° Wide Viewing Angle.

With a smart PIR sensor, Argus Eco enables you to get instant motion notifications or email alerts when any strange person gets near your house. This WiFi standalone security camera can work independently without a base station, enabling you to save event-based footage locally to a micro SD card.

Argus Eco grants you the freedom to monitor your property from any desired angle. Whether it's monitoring your front porch, backyard, or driveway, the Argus Eco excels in providing reliable surveillance.

Top 5 Benefits of A Standalone Security Camera

Standalone security cameras offer a range of benefits that make them a wise investment for anyone looking to protect their property.

Cost-effective: no extra fees

Standalone security cameras are an affordable security solution for individuals and small businesses. They don't require any subscription fees or contracts, and store all the recordings on the built-in micro SD card. This makes it a one-time investment compared to the other types of security cameras.

Note: Regarding Reolink cameras, when we say "no extra fees", it means that you can utilize the on-camera smart features without requiring a subscription.

Easy to install and maintain: no extra settings

Unlike complex security systems that require professional installation, standalone cameras can easily be installed by homeowners and small business owners. And since they are not part of a complex system, there is no need for any ongoing maintenance beyond periodic cleaning.

Remote access

Standalone security cameras can be easily accessed from anywhere using a phone or computer. This feature is particularly helpful for people who are away from their homes or businesses and need to check on their property. Remote access allows individuals to view live feeds, get alerts or notifications, and monitor the footage stored on the camera.

Ensured security

These cameras are equipped with advanced features such as motion detection, night vision, and high-definition recording capabilities, making them more reliable than ever before. Standalone cameras with on-device detecting technology can help deter criminal activity. They can also provide valuable evidence in the event of a break-in or other incident.

Hottest Questions about Standalone Security Cameras

Still have any questions about the standalone security cameras? Here we have prepared some FAQs and answers to clear away your puzzles. And please feel free to comment below if you have more to ask.

Can I Use A Standalone Security Camera Without A Subscription?

Yes, standalone security cameras are designed to be self-contained and operate without setup or subscription fees.

Generally speaking, a standalone security camera will be able to capture images or videos and store them on an internal storage device such as an SD card or hard drive. You can then access these images remotely via the internet from any device with an internet connection.

Do Standalone WiFi Security Cameras Use Internet Bandwidth While Not Activated/Accessed Remotely?

Standalone WiFi security cameras do use internet bandwidth while not activated or accessed remotely. The amount of bandwidth used depends on the camera's specific functions and settings.

Some security cameras may only use a small amount of data when they're inactive, Others may utilize more data when sending notifications or streaming video footage from motion-activated events.

If you want to conserve your network usage, you can keep an eye on the camera's settings and adjust them according to what type of activity you need from it (e.g., low-resolution video feed if motion detection isn't enabled).

Does Any Standalone Security Camera Not Require A Power Source?

If you need a standalone security camera not plugged into any power outlet or dependent on WiFi signals, battery-powered cameras, and solar cameras can both be your handy options.

And for the standalone security cameras with SD cards, even if they are not connected to WiFi, they can also record motion detection events onsite for your later view, so that you will miss no single detail.


Investing in a standalone security camera is a smart decision for safeguarding your home or business. By considering factors such as storage, and connectivity options, you can find the perfect camera to meet your specific needs. Additionally, choosing a reputable brand is necessary as it has trustworthy customer service and support that can help if you experience any issues with the device.

Share this guide with anyone who's considering getting a standalone camera. Or if you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave them in the comment below.


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