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Should You Use Your Home Security Camera Without Subscription?

In an era where personal and property security is paramount, choosing the right home security camera setup can be confusing. With numerous options available, a significant decision factor is whether to opt for a camera that requires a subscription for full functionality or security camera that operates effectively without subscription. This comprehensive guide explores both options to help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs.

What is a Subscription for a Home Security Camera?

A subscription plan for a home security camera typically involves a monthly or annual fee that unlocks additional features, such as cloud storage for video footage, advanced motion detection capabilities, and sometimes discounts on future purchases within the brand. These subscriptions are offered by various brands, each with differing terms and costs, affecting how and when you can access your video data.

What are the Differences in Home Security Camera Without Subscription?

No Cloud Storage Service

The absence of cloud storage is a primary distinction when opting out of a subscription. Without a subscription:

  • Video Storage: Brands usually provide cloud storage services at additional costs, varying in price and duration. For instance, Ring offers storage plans starting at $4.99 per month with up to 180 days of video history, while other brands like Blink and Eufy offer different durations and rates.
  • Deciding Factor: Your need for accessing historical video footage should guide whether a subscription is necessary. Without one, you rely on local storage, which might offer limited space and accessibility compared to cloud solutions.
home security camera without subscription vs. with subscription

Source: Arlo

More Functions in the Home Camera App

  • Advanced Features: Without a subscription, features like person detection, 24/7 monitoring, and motion-triggered video recording may be inaccessible.
  • App Functionality: The full utility of your home security system’s app might be contingent upon subscribing, limiting functionality for non-subscribers.

Discount on Further Purchases

  • Brand Loyalty Savings: Some companies offer discounts on further purchases to subscribers, which can be beneficial if you plan to buy additional products from the same brand.
  • Cost Strategy: For those considering multiple devices, subscribing initially and purchasing more units with a discount can be more cost-effective than buying several units outright.

Who Should Keep Subscribed?

People Often Away From Their Residence

For individuals who travel frequently or live in rentals, maintaining a subscription can be crucial:

  • Continuous Monitoring: Access to cloud-stored video helps keep tabs on your residence while you’re away, providing a timeline of events.

People lived at unsecure community

  • Security for Unsecure Locations: In areas where theft or vandalism is common, having cloud storage means you have evidence at the ready for law enforcement and insurance claims.

Who Can Just Work With Security Camera Without Subscription?

Security cameras without a subscription still offer many essential features: non-subscribers will typically have access to real-time monitoring, motion-activated notifications, and two-way audio, sufficient for many users.

Buying indoor security camera for Pet Monitoring and Elder Care

  • Sufficient Functionality: For monitoring pets or elderly family members, real-time video and audio may be all that’s necessary, reducing the need for recorded footage.
  • Privacy Concerns: Direct streaming can also avoid the privacy issues associated with stored video.
dual lens wifi camera P100A-details-4

People Highly Concerned About Personal Data and Privacy Safety

The Cloud service means footages of 30-180 days will store at the manufacturer cloud server, which is quite intolerable for some people who really care about the possibility that footage can be stolen and spread on internet, even that is a really small possibility.

Alternative Solution of Cloud Video Storage

Using memory cards as a local storage solution allows for manual review of footage without the need for internet bandwidth used by cloud services, it’s important to consider how much video your local storage can handle before needing to be cleared.


Deciding whether to use a home security camera with or without a subscription depends largely on your specific security needs, budget, and how you plan to use the footage. Understanding the trade-offs between convenience, functionality, and privacy is crucial in making the right choice.


Is there a security camera that doesn’t require a subscription?

While many cameras offer basic functionality without a subscription, those needing extensive video history without a subscription will need to look at models specifically offering significant local storage.

What are the differences between cloud storage and local storage?

Cloud storage allows for extended video storage, accessible online from anywhere. In contrast, local storage typically involves physical storage devices like SD cards, which must be manually accessed and can only hold a limited amount of data.