It is difficult to find a home security camera that does not require a monthly subscription. Today’s self-monitoring cameras typically require a monthly fee to use important storage for your videos, as well as other useful features, because security brands are set on getting subscription fees.
Where is that leaving you? You can either look for one of the increasingly rare security cams that offer cloud storage without a subscription, or you can look for security cams that enable local storage, so they will automatically load the footage on the card and you can check it out. Security cameras aren’t always eager to advertise their local storage capabilities.
We have a list of the best outdoor security cameras that don’t require a subscription at all.
Summary of the Best No Monthly Fee Home Security Systems
- SimpliSafe – Best Equipment
- Abode – Best for Home Automation
- Ring Alarm Security Kit – Best Security Camera and Alexa Compatibility
- Arlo – Best Security Camera System with Free Cloud Storage
1. Nest Doorbell (battery)
Store 3 hours of video without a subscription
One of the best deals you can get for a video doorbell is if you don’t want to pay a subscription. Video doorbells can use a lot of video storage space if they are triggered frequently by people passing by. Not only does the Nest Doorbell have artificial intelligence to dismiss cars and recognize packages, but it also has a three-hour video history stored in the cloud, giving you time to act if there is trouble. The battery model for this list is easy to place and set up, and a charge lasts for three months. If you prefer not to use batteries, you can get a wired version of the cam. If you ever decide you need more security, the Nest Aware subscription will provide more storage options.
- Gorgeous minimalist design
- Intelligent alerts
- Doesn’t require a subscription for video history
- Useful quick responses
- Fine video details are on the soft side
- Inconsistent capture rates
2. Reolink Go Plus with Solar Panel
Subscription, no. Data plan, yes
- 7-day cloud video storage for free
- Solar power to charge the battery automatically
- 2K resolution
- Requires a data plan to use
Reolink is a brand that offers online cloud storage without the need to pay a subscription. Night vision to 33 feet and 2K resolution plus person and vehicle detection, along with two-way audio options, are what this 4G cam has to offer.
The real value is in the location storage options, along with seven days of free cloud storage that doesn’t require a subscription plan at all. This model includes a solar panel, which is great at keeping the battery charged when placed correctly, and gives you more options for placement.
You will need a data plan through a compatible carrier if you want to use this camera. The advantage of this option is that you don’t have to worry about getting too far away from the internet, and it’s more resistant to the internet going down.
3. Wyze Cam v3
Store video on an SD card
Works both indoors and outdoors
More detail with color night vision
Tons of security controls
Integrated power cord
Wyze has become one of the best brands for affordable security products and the extra-affordable Cam v3 is no exception. Despite the small size of the camera, it still has an SD card slot for local storage, so you don’t need the cam Plus plan to record video.
This model is made for indoor or outdoor use and can be mounted without fear of weather conditions. It has important features such as night vision and two-way audio, but you will probably want an outdoor power adapter.
4. EufyCam 2C
16GB of internal storage for capturing footage
Hub with built-in local storage
Great battery life
Hub-based systems take up extra room
While local storage can be more difficult to manage sometimes, this Eufy security system was designed with it in mind. Those who prefer to skip online video storage altogether will love the results. The system works thanks to the hub, which provides 16GB of internal storage without the need to buy an additional card. Eufy says that’s about three months of storage, depending on how often the cams are triggered.
Speaking of the cams, you get two of them, both ready for outdoor use and equipped with night vision and two-way audio, along with built-in spotlights that can trigger by motion as well. The video is stored using AES-128 data encryption, so it won’t be easy for anyone to intercept.
5. Defender PhoenixM2
32GB SD card and no internet connectivity
No internet required
A two-camera system with an LCD monitoring screen
Includes SD card
Requires personal monitoring of a display
If you want to go off the grid, this camera doesn’t need a data or wi-fi connection and doesn’t use the internet at all, instead, it sends data straight to the included 7-inch monitor. Night vision and two-way audio are included with the camera.
The system comes with two cameras that you can install, as well as a 32GB card that you can use to save the video you are watching. These cameras are wired, so they need to be connected to a source of power.
SimpliSafe – Best Equipment
No mobile alerts without paid plans
No person detection on indoor cameras
Can’t download videos to your phone without a paid plan
Kit required for an outdoor camera
If you don’t have monthly fees or professional monitoring, you’ll need a reliable security system made of quality components. That is exactly what SimpliSafe provides. Thanks to the fact that SimpliSafe makes its own hardware, it is one of the best home security systems on the market.
In our experience, the process of installing the system is so easy that you can have it up and running in a matter of minutes. The quality of the hardware is obvious: they are robust and durable. We have had ours for many years and there have been no signs that it has fallen apart.
6. Abode – Best for Home Automation
Compatibility with Apple HomeKit
DIY or professional monitoring
Compatibility with Nest cameras, Phillips Hue lightbulbs, ecobee thermostats, Schlage locks, Bose sound systems, and other IoT devices
Only a few camera models
Poor customer support
Person detection is not available on all cameras
A top choice for no-contract, no-monthly-fee home security is Abode, because of the system’s capabilities right out of the box. A simple abode security package called the Smart Security Kit cost us about 180 dollars. Environmental monitoring, home automation, and voice commands were built on top of the basic setup.
We had a lot of flexibility in the components of the smart home. There are a number of smart device companies with which Abode works. You can learn more about the company in our review of Nest cameras.
We had the option to add three or seven days of cloud storage for just 60 cents or $
2.40, or we could have added three or seven days of on-demand monitoring for just $1.98 or $4.62.
7. Ring Alarm Security Kit – Best Security Camera and Alexa Compatibility
Given Ring’s history, it’s no surprise that you can buy five different versions of Ring doorbell cameras. Ring also makes low-cost Ring Alarm security systems, which include control panels, standard Ring security cameras, smart lights, and smoke alarms, listeners. A five-piece kit for $200 was what we bought.
We could have built our own system from the beginning, choosing only the components we needed. That kind of flexibility is something we enjoy.
Neighbors app, which connects neighbors, police, and security personnel and allows users to post video clips and information about security events at their homes
Alerts to desktop and phone
Smart integrations with Google Assistant, Alexa, Schlage, Yale, Chamberlain, Leviton, and more
Lots of camera and video doorbell options
Hardwired doorbells that require advanced installation skills
History of security breaches and hackings
No local storage
No silent arming/disarming feature
8. Arlo – Best Security Camera System with Free Cloud Storage
A variety of high-quality video baby monitors, indoor cameras, and weatherproof cameras are available from the Arlo security camera system. It is one of the top choices when it comes to home security cameras. Since many of its cameras come with motion detection, we didn’t have to purchase a lot of extra components.
We put together a security system with just a hub and cameras that took care of all our needs. Arlo offers free cloud storage for select models, which is different from most of its competitors. You can use the cloud storage as evidence in case of a break-in by getting rolling seven-day cloud storage for motion events. There is a security system in the works, but we don’t know if the system comes with a no-monthly fee option.
Wide selection of Arlo cameras
Low-cost Arlo doorbell cameras
No door sensors
No glass-break sensors
No Apple HomeKit support
No free person detection
It is not easy to find a home security system that does not charge monthly fees. We tested the cream of the crop and found it was good. We are always willing to do more research to save a little money. Check out our page on home security deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday for additional savings tips.
Best Home Security Cameras Without a Subscription that stores video locally can help you avoid monthly fees and boost privacy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can security cameras be installed without the internet?
Your other primary option is using a data connection via cell towers like your phone, but this can be expensive. Even then, most home security cams are now designed to connect to your Wi-Fi for app access. Our Defend pick is one of the few home-friendly systems that doesn’t need an internet or data connection at all.
Which Arlo cameras don’t require a subscription?
You don’t have to subscribe to use any of the cameras. You don’t have the ability to store video online, and Arlo’s cards are only a backup option, not a primary storage option. Currently, we don’t have one on the list.
Do Wyze cameras work without a subscription?
You should be able to insert the card into the camera. Wyze is one of the most affordable home security camera options.
Will I lose any other features without a subscription?
That depends on what brand it is. Certain artificial intelligence features, some types of notifications, integrations with other smart devices, emergency response options, and more will sometimes be lost. It can be different based on the plan. Video storage is the main concern because it’s important for legal reasons and general usefulness. You wouldn’t want to be stuck with just live streaming.
Can you use SimpliSafe without professional monitoring?
Yes, you can use SimpliSafe without professional monitoring. Unfortunately, you cannot download videos, but you can receive notifications, see live feeds, and control your security system with the SimpliSafe app. You can also control the system using either Alexa or Google Assistant.
How much does ring alarm professional monitoring cost?
Ring Alarm offers full-service professional monitoring for $20 a month. You can also sign up for a year’s worth of service for $200, which lowers the monthly price to $16.66.