Wireless cameras (with cloud service, good recording time)

23 Replies


First time posting! Seeking best recommendations for wireless cameras, and the biggest considerations. For me, it's:

- Cloud service that comes free or low-cost. 

- At least 3 months of recording.

Feel free to link me to a pre-existing discussion. I tried browsing but didn't see anything in my quick search.



Updated almost 3 years ago

Great answers and questions made me want to update my post: - Not continuous recording, but upon motion or sound. - Night vision is important. - I think I'll hard-wire the ethernet connection to avoid hangups. - Some need to be waterproof. Thanks for the great replies!

Updated almost 3 years ago

FINAL UPDATE: Thanks to everyone's suggestions. I went with Wyse Cam as suggested by @Kevin Lefeuvre Chose it because: - It as a 14 day record, no cloud fees, and goes to Amazon cloud - Really well priced - Great reviews https://www.amazon.com/Wyze-1080p-Indoor-Camera-Vi... Only downside is it stops recording after 12 seconds. But that should be enough to identify whoever came in/out in case of trying to determine who did damage, brought in unauthorized guests, etc. Thanks again everyone. I'll come back if the product gives issues.

I don't know how long it keeps it for, but the ring camera has an option for a solar panel to keep it charged, records motion and costs $3 a month for storage. Seemed like the best option for my STR.

At home I use POE cameras connected my network and a PC using Blue Iris software (http://blueirissoftware.com/). It is great but the storage is not in the cloud. You can access it from your PC or phone remotely. Retention is based on hard drive size. With drives being super cheap, you should be able save a lot. So, no cloud storage but also no monthly cost once you set it up.

So, it might not be what you're asking for but maybe these will help.

Be careful where you place the camera. There are privacy issues.


I love my Ring cameras - great video (day or night) that I can access instantly on my phone.  I have the spotlight ones, I just hardwire them in where there's already wiring for a porch light.  Simple to use and as inexpensive as you're going to find.

HOWEVER, you say you want at least three months' storage - do you want continuous recording?  Ring is based on motion detection and will record approximately one-minute clips of any detected motion (if the motion lasts longer, you'll get multiple clips until the motion ceases).  

Also, it is dependent on a good internet connection.  I can't use it at one of my houses because it's in a rural area that only gets DSL-quality service, which isn't fast enough to support the video quality.

You get what you pay for. If you get a cheap system now you will likely want to upgrade in the future. If you get a quality system that you can configure to record on motion or all the time with high quality cameras that you will never have to change batteries on I think you will be much happier.

My digital watchdog cameras cost between $250 and $500. The digital watchdog software is free you just have to buy a license for each camera that you want to record. I bought a laptop to use as my camera server and I can access the video via the cloud. I have a high powered zoom camera in the back so I can keep and eye on my boat at the dock and who is coming and going on the front of the house.

I can export high quality video and put it on a flash drive and give to the police if there were any issues.

Ok, so are any of these cell phone and Not internet camera connections? I am looking for a camera that can be accessed remotely but uses cell phone technology to transmit.

I have Ring, Yi and Night Owl cameras. 

Ring - Wireless and I have to occasionally charge the battery and pay for service. Very expensive for what you get.

Yi - Wireless and very inexpensive on Amazon. They store hours of video locally on an SD card and there is no cloud storage, but I can access them through the cloud and view what is stored on the device. I can get clips e-mailed to me in real time or download clips. They will hold hours of storage over months. They have a cloud option that I have not paid for. Best bang for buck.

Night Owl - This is a wired camera system that has a main DVR with hard drive for recording. It is accessible over an app. By far this system provides the longest storage, best motion detection and best camera reliability. It is wired which means no battery or network issues. The main unit is connected to the cloud for free and an app lets me manage the cameras and download video. This is a true camera security system.

I like the Night Owl best due to camera resolution and reliability. The Ring stuff is great when it works, but can be flaky and is the most expensive option. Even the Ring cloud storage will go down from time to time so I can't access the device at all, even though I pay for their service.

There is a Hikvision doorbell camera rebranded by LaView ( and may be 10 other  resellers) that's on Amazon for $99. Stores to local SD card and can access video from anywhere. Their app is little clunky ( even app is rebranded from original Hikvision app) but camera is great. I am using at personal home and overall happy with it for price I paid.

@John D. because if an incident occurs and I wasn't made aware until later, I have some time before it erases. I don't need constant filming, just whenever there is sound or movement (which would be daily anyway). 

We record 5 days back and have never had an incident happen I wasn't aware of a few days later.

I would love to better understand the legalities around surveillance in a location that is not your primary residence within your area.  Not sure if this is state or locally controlled.  I know certain areas can be very strict and some even have rules around how long you can keep recordings or how to dispose of if requested in writing by a recorded party.  Also, many areas do not allow you to record without written or audible notice.  Granted, I don't foresee a judge holding it against you if it helped resolve a serious issue.  

I have been using my Arlo for a little over a year now and it has worked great for us. I travel alot so my wife wanted something to make her feel more secure. I attached a 4TB hard drive to it so I didn't have to pay for any cloud service. Granted I am at the mercy of the state of my hard drive but I go in at the end of every week and review and delete old videos. I got the pro version so they came with rechargeable batteries and from my experience so far they have lasted upwards to 6+months on a charge. 

@John D. Having done property management and short-term rentals for as long as I have, there is wisdom in allowing for unforeseen circumstances, and allowing a buffer of time for one to act on it. A guest staying 3 months may not report damage done herself, for example. A legal action may occur months down the line requiring you to find evidence months in the past, etc. etc. 

@Farhan Abbasi check this previous discussion:


I'm using Wyzecam coupled with Google Photos for my properties. $25 each with no recurring costs. You can't beat the price and the ease of installation and the ease of use. Does what it says it does: HD quality videos and still images. Great night feature. Wifi connected. Adjustable sensitivity to motion. Motion detection zone also adjustable (not trigger when a car passes in the street). Extremely easy to install. App on iphone/android. Notifies when motion with a short video. Only 24 hours recording with memory card. So you need to extract what you need in 24 hours and store if the short video coverage is not enough (only limitation which has not been an issue so far). I use Google photos which offers unlimited free storage. Automated backup on the cloud thanks to Google Photo app. So the short motion clips get backed up on Google and stay for ever. No subscription to pay neither to Google nor to Wyzecam. The company is a startup with China/Bay Area affiliations, developing things fast.

@Kevin Lefeuvre - thanks for the link and wonderful suggestion. I went ahead with buying 2 of these and if they work well, I'll get 5 more for other properties. Chose this one that actually has a 14 day record, no cloud fees, and goes to Amazon cloud: 


Only downside is it stops recording after 12 seconds. But that should be enough to identify whoever came in/out in case of trying to determine who did damage, brought in unauthorized guests, etc. 

Originally posted by @Farhan Abbasi :

@Kevin Lefeuvre - thanks for the link and wonderful suggestion. I went ahead with buying 2 of these and if they work well, I'll get 5 more for other properties. 

 Oh cool!

Glad you liked it.

I'm on their mailing list and saw this newer model being announced. Will get them when I have some extra time to upgrade.