Security systems - no internet

8 Replies

Hi Everyone,

Recently acquired a class C duplex where neither tenant has internet service. I would really like to set up an external security camera, but are there systems that will work without an internet connection? Are there relatively cheap internet services I could buy just for the security system? I don’t pay any utilities at this duplex and don’t want to suddenly offer everyone internet access on my dime especially because I inherited the tenants and due to our Covid eviction policy, neither is current on rent. Thanks for any ideas and help. Cheers!

@Jean Sanchez there are cellular based security cameras, but the monthly cost may be higher than just subscribing to cheap internet service. If you did subscribe to internet, you could offer it to future tenants as included with rent.

If you are interested in cellular based security cameras, just Google the term. I have never used them so I have no recommendations.

Another option is you can install cameras and not connect the system to internet or cellular. The only way to review footage would be to physically visit the property. I am not sure that is what you are looking for.

@Jean Sanchez most (many) systems are not wifi dependent so they do not need internet to work. I have a system at my principal residence from myalarm it does not require internet and an intrusion will report at their HQ and they report to cops, fire and me.

Seems unusual to want to put up cameras at a duplex and incur the ongoing connection costs for them. What are you hoping to capture?

@Jean Sanchez there are cellular systems, or use standard WiFi cameras with a cellular router. The router will run $300-500, and your cellular data plan will be $20-60/mo. See if you can get a break by adding it as a line on your existing cell phone bill.

Sometimes though, fake cameras (or real, cheap cameras not connected to anything) work just as well.

Add a line to your existing cell service with a hot spot. Use the same power source for the camera to power a cheap cell phone. Hide the cell in a place only you can access.  Use a cloud based service to minimize streaming charges.

@Kyle J. #1. Tenants complain about car vandalism #2. My contractor has complained that 1 tenant is sabotaging his projects by deliberately crossing his caution tape after he retires in the evening, #3. One side is a tenant who has elected to holdover on his expired lease, has a pet without permission, and has been busted and put on probation for cocaine possession while living there.

I just bought the place about 3 weeks ago, so just trying to get a handle on what is really going on down there. It’s a C class neighborhood in a small town, nothing huge is happening, but if I have competing stories coming in or need to report criminal activity, I figure having external security cameras would be worth it. Going to look into the other suggestion. Thanks

You may want to consider 


1. Send very short non accusatory communication stating just facts of area concerns. Indicate you are looking into added security measures but tenants are responsible to secure property and personal possessions including renters insurance.

2. Post signs on property that cameras in public areas. (Up to you if you actually do)

3. Install solar floodlight(s). Tenants will think they are cameras.

This will work only for a few months giving you time. 


You may want to consider 


1. Send very short non accusatory communication stating just facts of area concerns. Indicate you are looking into added security measures but tenants are responsible to secure property and personal possessions including renters insurance.

2. Post signs on property that cameras in public areas. (Up to you if you actually do)

3. Install solar floodlight(s). Tenants will think they are cameras.

This will work only for a few months giving you time.