So you want to put up security cameras in areas with no WiFi or Internet? The 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 cellular security cameras and help you gain an insightful idea of mobile security cameras.

Table of Contents:

Here are the things you need to notice before buying cellular security cameras:

Where to Install Construction sites, farms, etc.
Pros Flexible location/easy installation
Cons Battery life could be a problem
Recommended Camera Reolink Go/Go PT

What Are Cellular Security Cameras

The cellular security camera 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 the cellular security 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 that, in order to transmit videos, a cellular data plan is 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 cellular security cameras, like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.

Cellular Security Cameras

Where Can You Install a Cellular Security Camera

So is there any limitation for you to install a WiFi and 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 3G/4G/5G mobile 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, the remote cellular security 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 Security Camera Installation

Let's talk about the pros and cons of cellular security cameras. Just as nothing is perfect and without any flaws, so are cellular home security cameras. Here are the pros and cons of cellular security camera systems so that you can have an objective and comprehensive view of them.

Pros of Cellular Security Cameras

Flexible Location

Since most cellular security cameras are powered by batteries and part of them are solar powered cellular security cameras, 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 the battery/solar powered cellular security cameras to a new site without Internet.

One of the Reolink Go user Jens, installed this wire-free cellular surveillance camera for his barn in a breeze (as shown below) – no messy cablings or drilling holes.

4G Cellular 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, 3G/4G LTE/5G cellular security cameras can be set up by yourself within a few minutes.

Simply power your indoor/outdoor cellular security 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 wireless cellular security cameras to figure out what's happening out there.

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 Security Cameras

Price of Cellular Home Security Systems Could Be High

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

And here is the reality you have to face: the cellular security video 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 plan for the cellular surveillance cameras.

The specific mobile data plan cost of cellular security systems will vary with different carriers and the data sizes you choose (from 1GB to above).

Note that 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.

Key Takeaway: Though the price of 3g/4g LTE cellular security cameras is a bit high, you can also find some best and affordable options, like the battery & solar powered cellular security camera Reolink Go.

And if you feel that the cellular surveillance cameras are not affordable, check out these cheap and high quality security cameras as your alternatives.

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 cellular security camera and system reviews?

Few and arguable!

So you basically have nothing for reference and don't know if you should stake your money on certain WiFi battery powered cellular security camera brand you may have never heard of.

And some 3G/4G/5G mobile security cameras with sim card 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. So you can get instant 1-to-1 technical support when you meet any problems.

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

For the battery powered 3G/4G/5G mobile security cameras, you may concern that they could die out without your notice.

This guide about how to extend the battery life of wire-free security cameras can also provide some reference for the battery-powered cell phone wireless outdoor security cameras.

It is best that the 3G/4G/5G cellular 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.

Key Takeaway: The rechargeable battery powered cellular security systems would save you the cost to replace batteries frequently.

And it is even better if your wireless cellular security camera has a solar-panel back up, from which the cellular home security systems can get non-stop power.

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Is It Worthwhile to Buy a Cellular Security System

Now that you have learnt the pros and cons of cellular security cameras, it begs the following question:

Is it worthwhile to invest in a cellular security system now?

The simple answer is: it depends on whether you really need it.

More often than not, we are often asked by the users that: Is it possible to use a security camera without WiFi? Is there a home surveillance system that doesn't need the Internet?

If you happen to have the same security needs, the cellular surveillance 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 cellular security cameras in succession.

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

Designed to meet your security needs in places with no WiFi and power source, this mobile security camera Reolink Go 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, 1080p Full HD, IP65 weatherproof, two-way audio, Reolink Go stands out among other competitors with the starlight night vision, which means greater clarity and more details even in total darkness.

Updated: Now the outdoor cellular security camera Reolink Go is available in more countries and regions, including US, UK, Canada, German, Italy, France, etc. (click here to learn if it is open for sale in your location).

Watch the video below to check out the image quality of the cellular security system Reolink Go (shared by Jens on his Youtube channel).

Reolink Go

100% Wire-Free 3G/4G LTE Mobile Camera

No WiFi & Power Needed; Rechargeable Battery or Solar Powered; 1080p Full HD; Starlight Night Vision; 2-Way Audio; Live View Anytime Anywhere.

Updated, Nov. 2020: Reolink has released a new cellular security camera with pan and tilt feature, Reolink Go PT. Click the introduction video below to learn more about this wire-free 4G security camera.

Best Budget Alternatives: In case the cellular security cameras and systems are too costly for you, and you may only need to record videos onsite, Reolink Argus 2, 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 2 user will best prove how this camera braves harsh weather conditions.

Bump: Keep your camera away from thefts and vandalism! Read this post to learn how to protect your battery powered outdoor security cameras from them.

Reolink Argus 2

100% Wire-Free Starlight Camera

Rechargeable Battery & Solar Powered; Outdoor/Indoor Protection; 1080 Full HD; Starlight Night Vision; 2-Way Audio; Live View Anytime Anywhere.

FAQs about Cellular Security Cameras

To make you gain deep insights into the cellular security cameras, here we've rounded up some frequently asked questions about the wireless cellular security cameras for your reference.

Can Cellular Security Systems Work with WiFi

For most cellular home security cameras (including Reolink Go), 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.

If there is WiFi connection in your place, the battery & solar powered security camera Reolink Argus 2 would be your best bet as a suitable and affordable option.

How Can You Maximize the Data Usage 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 cellular security camera systems to avoid false alarms.
  • View the live feed or play back historic events of your battery/solar powered cellular security 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

I Have an iPhone 8 and Verizon for My Cell Service. If I get a Separate Cellular Plan with T-Mobile for the Cellular Camera Reolink Go, Can I Still View the Camera from My Verizon iPhone

Absolutely yes!

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

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

One sim card can only work with ONE cellular-based security camera. And it's also possible for multiple cellular IP cameras to share a single 3G/4G connection. But you may consult the mobile service providers to see if they can provide any discounts for bulk purchases.

All Comments Are Welcome

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

  • Greg Corrigan

    Hi Jenny,

    I need 4 x cams, but don't want 4 x sim cards/data charges. Is it possible to link the cams to share a single 3g/4g connection?

    Thx

  • Jenny Hu

    Hi, Tom, the data consumption varies with multiple factors, such as the data transmission speed and the number of motion detection events. So there is no definite answer regarding how much data it uses a month. But you can certainly adopt the insider tips introduced in the post to maximize the data usage. Hope this would help.

  • Alius Umbra

    Could you kindly tell us WHY it's not available in Nigeria? If we take it TO Nigeria, would it work with local cellular carriers?

  • Jenny Hu

    Hi William, yes, you can take the SD card from the camera to your computer at home and watch the video footage recorded on the SD card. If your camera connects to the WiFi network, you will be able to watch and download the video footage directly on your phone or PC without taking the SD card out of the camera. Hope this clarifies.

  • Jenny Hu

    Hi John, thank you for reaching out. You may use a data only SIM card instead and according to our test, this type of SIM card will not be blocked. Learn more, https://support.reolink.com.... Hope this helps.

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