Home » Security Camera Guides » Security Cameras On Your 4G Data Plan? The Complete Guide to Cellular Security Cameras

Security Cameras On Your 4G Data Plan? The Complete Guide to Cellular Security Cameras

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When it comes to surveillance cameras, having one that you can manage from more-or-less anywhere in the world seems like a dream come true, right?

As it turns out, IP camera developers are increasingly incorporating mobile data as a means of uploading and viewing footage, allowing you to use your camera even without a wifi connection.

It’s critical to understand what you’re purchasing and how you’ll utilize it before making a purchase. What is the best option for home security among the various alternatives available? 

What Are Cellular Security Cameras?

Cellular security cameras differ from other forms of monitoring in that they do not rely on wifi. This makes it a perfect form of security for homes, businesses, and anything in between: it can go with you anywhere that has a mobile data network.

Cellular security cameras aren’t wired. Instead, they use a cellular network to send data. Cellular cameras are a convenient method to keep an eye on your property at all times thanks to their wireless connectivity.

How Do Cellular Security Cameras Work?

Cellular security camera systems are an excellent substitute for PoE cameras and standard wireless security cameras that require a network to send data. 

A cellular surveillance camera delivers video signals via a mobile network rather than a dedicated Internet connection, making it the ideal security option for regions without Internet or electricity.

Cellular security cameras function similarly to mobile phones in that a cellular module is inserted into the main control panel that transfers signals wirelessly to monitoring stations.

Because cellular-based security cameras require a 3G/4G/5G network to function, they are also known as 3G/4G LTE/5G mobile security cameras. A cellular data plan is necessary for a 3G/4G/5G security camera with a sim card in order to send videos. 

Several major carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, provide similar services for battery/solar-powered cellular security cameras.

When Do You Need A Cellular Security Camera?

Cellular security cameras are ideal for the following applications:

  • Construction sites
  • Farms, ranches, and barns
  • Marinas, docks, and boats
  • Cabins, vacation homes, and sheds
  • Food carts, RVs, and campsites
  • Warehouses
  • Wildlife research
  • Hotel rooms and Airbnb locations.

If you have the same security requirements, cellular surveillance cameras undoubtedly provide the best bang for your bang while being super convenient. With cellular technology progressing, it will only be a matter of time until cellular home security systems become cheaper.

The Pros

Evidently, there’s a pretty vast range of applications where cellular can be used to great effect. But what about it exactly is so good? Check out the good (and the not so good) features that cellular security cameras provide.

Mobile

There is no need for an electrical outlet to power cellular security cameras because most are powered by batteries or solar-powered in an attempt to make them even more mobile. The cellular security video cameras also don’t require a WiFi network. 

So you can simply put the 3G/4G LTE/5G security cameras anywhere you wish, and then use your smartphone to access the outside wire-free battery cellular cameras. Need ideas as to camera placement? Check out our article.

a man holding an iphone

When your security requirements change, you can quickly deactivate your cellular home security systems and relocate your device to a different location without either wifi or a power outlet.

Enhanced safety and security

Using cellular data is actually considered to be safer than using WiFi; particularly public hotspots, which are extremely susceptible to hacking.

Security cameras that utilize cellular signals to transport data, then, may also be more secure than cameras that use wifi to transfer data.

Don’t get us wrong: there are secure point-to-point (P2P) wireless camera systems available.

Another obvious benefit is that, assuming the camera is powered by a battery, it will continue to function in the event of a power outage, meaning there’s less chance of footage loss.

Remote viewing

Advances in home automation and smart devices also mean advances in security. Cellular security cameras work nicely with these systems. It’s simple to broadcast a live feed from anywhere on your mobile device because the cameras use cell service, just like your phone. 

Mobile security solutions keep you in the loop whether you’re on vacation or just doing errands for the day. Viewing a security feed on your phone (without the need for Wi-Fi) is just one of the numerous things you can do with it. 

Look for a security supplier with a password-protected mobile app (like how AlfredCamera’s App Lock works) while seeking a mobile solution. This will guarantee that your cameras’ connection is secure.

Installation is simple

3G/4G LTE/5G cellular security cameras, like wire-free security cameras (Wireless: linked to the internet through Wi-Fi, with a wire connecting it to a power supply), maybe set up in a matter of minutes. 

Simply turn on your interior or outdoor cellular security cameras and install a SIM card. You may access the wireless cellular security cameras after downloading the camera seller’s tailored App on your phone to see what’s going on out there.

Recommended reading: Wired vs Wireless Security Systems | A Comprehensive Guide

Trail cameras

A security camera that uses cellular data is an excellent alternative if you’re searching for a trail camera because it’s able to be used virtually anywhere and it’s more-often-than-not totally wire-free. Trail cameras are frequently used to observe wildlife in their natural environment (either for hunters, photographers, and hobbyists alike). 

wildlife in winter

The Cons

There is no such thing as perfection, not least of all cellular home security cameras. What are the cons?

Price

One of your main concerns may be the price of security cameras. Unfortunately, cellular security video cameras are more costly than other types of cameras. 

Not only is the cellular camera itself costly owing to modern technology, but you’ll also need to pay for a data subscription. The cost of a cellular security system’s mobile data plan varies depending on the provider and the data size you select. Alternatively, here is a list of security cameras that don’t require subscription.

Live streaming and uploading video data constantly can consume a lot of data, so you might have to pay more for a 3G/4G/5G mobile security camera’s data plan that’s unlimited.

Battery life remains a problem

You might be concerned that battery-powered mobile security cameras will die without warning. It’s ideal if battery-powered 3G/4G/5G cellular security cameras can offer you low-battery warnings so you can stay aware of battery usage and replace/recharge batteries on time.

It’s also more useful to have a rechargeable device as opposed to having to spend money on replacement batteries, but batteries can be advantageous depending on your needs, since they will no doubt last longer.

Some products also feature solar-panel backups that can provide continuous power to your cellular home security system.

If you’re starting to wonder if cellular security camera is your best bet, here is a list of different types of security cameras for you to explore.

Our Picks | Top 4 Cellular Security Cameras

Now you’ve got an idea as to what to look out for in a cellular security camera, it’s worth checking out some of the best the market has to offer. Thankfully, we’ve whittled it down to five: here’s our top 5 picks. 

Available on Reolink. From $229.49.

The Reolink Go PT. (Image via Amazon)
Image via Amazon

Reolink’s flagship 4G product is perfect for those on the move. Totally wire-free and suitable for the outdoors, the camera runs on 4G and 3G networks, meaning a WiFi connection isn’t needed.

Up to 1080p capture, a rechargeable battery, and the option for solar power all make the camera well-equipped for a vast range of security needs, but the standout feature is its 355 degree pan and 140 tilt ability. This means that virtually any blindspot, even in large areas, can be covered.

Arlo Go 

Available on Amazon. From £269.99.

Arlo Go. (Image via Amazon)
Image via Amazon

Claiming to be ‘the world’s first and only 100% wire-free, IP65 Certified weather-resistant, SIM card connected mobile HD security camera’, the Arlo Go is another well-liked option for those looking for cellular security. 

Two-way audio, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, and advanced motion detection make for modern and robust security, while the option for local back-up storage via an SD card ensures a reliable way to backup footage in the event of a signal dropout.

Vosker V200

Available on Vosker. From $349.99.

Vosker V200. (Image via Vosker)
Image via Vosker

Though on first glance it might seem like some sort of strange military gadget, Vosker’s V200 is a powerful, LTE-functioning security camera. Ideal for construction sites, farms, and more, the camera captures full 1080p footage and features A.I. image recognition technology to give you more useful information via the dedicated app.

As the aesthetics suggest, it is extremely durable, and functions in temperatures as low as -40 degrees celsius, while the built solar panel maximizes battery life. Clearly, this is the security camera you want with you if you ever happen to be in Antarctica…

Available on Reolink. From $208.99

Reolink Go. (Image via Reolink)
Image via Reolink

Though the Go PT may have the edge over this earlier model thanks to its super-wide visibility, the Reolink Go is a slightly more affordable model that boasts many of the same features as its older brother. 

Night vision and motion sensor technology make the camera useful in most lighting conditions, so you can receive alerts day or night. The 130 degree viewing angle will also let you monitor pretty large spaces even without pan or tilt capabilities. 

FAQ

Can wireless cameras work without wifi?

The internet isn’t required for wireless security cameras. Rather, a variety of security cameras may store their footage locally into micro-SD cards or hard drives, allowing it to be viewed later. Mobile LTE data allows for upload and streaming via 4G or 5G.

How much data does a cellular camera use?

On standby mode, about 2mb per day is typical, but this might vary. You can utilize between 260mb and 700mb (approximately) for 1 hour of recording or playback on the app when recording or connecting to the camera. Typical motion detection settings only record for 15-30 seconds each time motion is detected.

What is an LTE security camera?

4G LTE security cameras are video surveillance cameras with built-in LTE that can operate in areas where there is no electricity or Internet. To put it another way, security cameras with LTE require a tiny SIM card.

What is the best cellular trail camera?

Trail cameras, sometimes known as camera traps, are an excellent way to photograph timid animals who don’t come out to play until people have left the scene, prefer to explore their area during non-social hours, or both. At the present, the SpyPoint Link-S-Dark is the finest.

Can I use a spy camera without wifi?

Yes, security cameras may be used without Wi-Fi. There are additional alternatives for connecting your security system to cameras that aren’t Wi-Fi enabled. While Wi-Fi is the most frequent way to have security cameras, it is by no means the only option to have the camera that a person requires for peace of mind and protection.

Conclusion

When it comes to securing your house, your best option is going to be a wireless security camera or Wi-Fi-enabled security camera. These cameras can be used in conjunction with a home security system to provide total home protection. It’s an excellent choice if you want to go above and beyond to protect yourself, your family, and your home.

That being said, mobile data-enabled cameras will be useful in many other situations, particularly for those who are regularly on the move, go camping, or oversee a farm/construction site.