Back that thing up (locally) with these security cameras

Back that thing up (locally) with these security cameras thumbnail

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On-device video storage

Eufy security cam

Source: Eufy

Security Cameras That Store Locally (Not The Cloud)
Android Central

As our connected lifestyles and smart homes continue to merge, we are finding new ways to secure our houses and belongings. One of the best devices for keeping tabs on our stuff is a smart security camera, and there certainly are tons to chose from. In light of recent data breaches and privacy scandals, many are looking for options that feature local storage solutions (a.k.a. don’t use the Cloud), so we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites here for your reference. My favorite out of the bunch is the eufy Security Cam. I like that it has all of the features I want, with none of the added expenses (subscriptions).

Best Overall: eufy Security Cam


Source: eufy

Eufy makes a line of quality smart home products like the Indoor/Outdoor camera, but one of the things we like best about its products is the one-time fee model they espouse. You don’t have to purchase an ongoing cloud storage subscription to access or store your videos, and this device even comes with a 16GB microSD card, which is enough to store up to a year’s worth of recordings. While all files are stored locally, you can use smart assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant to connect it to the rest of your smart home system. Unlike some other cameras on this list, you can view your recordings through the app, safely and securely.

You can get this system with a single camera and base station or you can get up to three in a bundle. The camera films in 1080p with night vision and has an IP65 weatherproof rating, which should protect it from most weather events. The camera’s 140-field of view isn’t the best on this list, but it’s still pretty comprehensive. Best of all? A single charge will last up to a full year, so no fiddling about with charging the batteries every few months.


  • No monthly subscriptions
  • microSD card included
  • Works indoors and outdoors
  • Year-long battery life
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant


  • Storage capacity could be better
  • A bit on the pricey side
  • Field of view isn’t the best

Best Overall

eufy Security Cam

No nickel and diming here

This 1080p wireless security camera system is weather-proof and is suitable for use both indoors and outside.

Best Value: Wyze Cam Pan

Wyze Cam Pan

Source: Android Central

This little device from Wyze is a true utility camera. Not only can you record and live stream in full 1080p HD (including night vision), but you can use Alexa or Google Assistant to control the camera from wherever you are. Perhaps most interesting of all is the granularity of control that this indoor camera affords users. You can pan, tilt, and zoom through the app, and attached to its base it can rotate a full 360-degrees to see the entire room.

All of these granular controls are available directly in the Wyze app, which makes you feel like a security guard at a high-end Las Vegas casino. That’s right, you can follow your cat all around the house directly from your phone!

Yes, Wyze has come under fire due to a major data leak, but if you opt-out of its cloud service in favor of the onboard storage option (of up to 32GB), then you should have no worries. Note that this device is not compatible with 5GHz Wi-Fi networks, but it should still record and stream adequately for most needs.


  • 360-degree view with rotating base
  • Can pan, tilt, and zoom
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Superb value
  • HIgher storage than the top pick


  • Recent data leaks are concerning
  • Expandable storage limited to 32GB
  • Doesn’t work on 5GHz networks

Best Value

Wyze Cam Pan

Versatile value camera

This camera has the ability to pan up to 360 degrees, and even tilt up and down to make sure you see everything that’s going on.

Biggest Storage: Arlo Pro 3

Arlo Pro 3 Lifestyle

Source: Arlo

The Arlo Pro 3 might be one of the more expensive security camera systems available, but it comes packed with a lot of great features. For starters, the base-level configuration comes with two cameras and a base station that enables the Arlo cameras to wirelessly communicate with each other. You can back up data your data locally on a microSD card via a USB drive that can be connected to the base station.

The downside to all of that local storage is that you can’t view recordings through the otherwise good Arlo app; rather, you’ll have to connect it to your computer If you want to be able to view recordings in the app, you’ll have to subscribe to Arlo’s cloud storage plan.

Not only can you view and record in 2K HDR, but you can even view and record in color regardless if it’s day or night. The cameras also feature an integrated spotlight and sport a 160-degree field of view.

Setup also could not be easier. There are no wires to mess with, and the cameras attach magnetically to their mounts. You also recharge the battery with a magnetic cable (like the one for some smartwatches), and each charge lasts up to six months. Most impressive of all the Arlo Pro 3’s features is that you can store up to a whopping 2TB of footage through the external hub. That’s a lot of squirrel footage to go through!


  • Can store up to 2TB via hub
  • Color night vision
  • Record in up to 2K HDR
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant


  • One of the more expensive systems
  • Local storage can’t be viewed through the app

Biggest Storage

Arlo Pro 3

Wireless wonder

This system features upgrades from the previous version, including a built-in spotlight, 2K HDR recording, and color night vision.

Best Listener: Yi Outoor Security Camera

Yi Outdoor Cam

Source: Yi Technology

Yi might not be as well-known as some of the brands higher up on this list, but don’t take that as a sign of its quality. This affordable security camera comes packed with a ton of great features, including IP65 weatherproofing, 110-degree field of view, 1080p imaging, two-way audio, and up to 128GB microSD card capacity for a ton of on-device, local storage.

The Yi camera offers a pretty standard app experience, with the ability to set up alerts and view live, on-demand video. It does come with seven days of activity alert video storage in Yi’s cloud for free for the lifetime of the device. This is great, but if you want more advanced cloud storage features, there’s a subscription for that.

This camera’s killer feature, in my opinion, is its audio prowess. It features a 360-degree noise-canceling, hypersensitive microphone that the company claims can eliminate environmental noise to provide you with a much clearer, more accurate sound. And speaking of sound, you can activate a loud alarm from the camera to deter unwanted guests (or just to scare your partner!).


  • Noise-canceling microphone
  • Built-in alarm
  • 128GB capacity for local storage
  • Great value


  • No AI or machine-learning human detection
  • Field of view could be wider

Best Listener

Yi Outdoor Security Camera

A SOUND investment

This camera has high-end features at a low-end price, including tons of on-device storage and active noise cancellation.

Most Imposing: Foscam Outdoor Security Camera

Foscam Outdoor Camera

Source: Foscam

Some cameras are innocuous, and some just mean business. This Outdoor Security Camera from Foscam definitely looks the part of a menacing security guard, which might be just the deterrent you’re looking for at your home. It has one of the better IP ratings we’ve seen on a security camera with IP66, and it can see up to 66 feet ahead at night with its night vision and IR lights. On the down side, its 112-degree field of view isn’t the best we’ve come across, and it doesn’t have a battery-powered option

The 4-megapixel camera can record up to 1080p, and it has built-in, two-way audio so that you can communicate with whoever may be on the other side of that lens through Foscam’s app. As with all of these providers, Foscam offers cloud storage solutions, but you don’t have to take advantage of that if you don’t want to. This camera can accept up to 128GB microSD card, so you can store all of your files locally for added peace of mind. Note that this camera only works on the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi spectrum.


  • Military-grade appearance
  • 128GB capacity for local storage
  • Human detection
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant


  • No battery-powered option
  • Doesn’t support 5GHz spectrum
  • Relatively short field of view

Most Imposing

Foscam Outdoor Security Camera

This camera means business

Not only does this camera look tough, but it IS also tough with IP66 weatherproofing and infrared lights.

Most Futuristic: EZVIZ Outdoor Security Camera

EZVIZ Outdoor Cam

Source: EZVIZ

I love this little camera not just for what it’s capable of, but for how it stands out. To me, it looks like something straight out of WALL-E or Voltron, and those looks alone go a long way towards making it “futureproof.” This device sits somewhat in the middle of the others in terms of price but has a few features that are not so common with the other cameras on this list.

For starters, the camera is on a 360-degree swivel base, so you really can get a full view of your front or backyard. It has a siren and strobe lights (which is a first as far as I’ve seen) to alert you to the presence of an intruder and scare them away. Its camera also features two different focal lenses for a wide-angle view and a zoomed view, like many recent smartphones! Best of all, you can put in a 256GB microSD card to keep your footage literally in-house. It also has IP66 weatherproofing and works with Alexa and the Google Assistant. If you don’t have an Amazon Echo Show or Nest Hub, fret not. All of the camera’s great features can be accessed via the EZVIZ app, including the ability to zoom in up to eight times.

Perhaps the biggest downside to this camera is the way it’s powered. It needs to be within three feet of an outlet, or you’ll have to configure power over Ethernet, which may require additional hardware and/or professional installation. Just be prepared to get a little help setting it up.


  • Highest storage we’ve seen for microSD card
  • Dual-focus lenses
  • Built-in strobe light
  • 360-degree viewing


  • No battery-powered option
  • Installation can be challenging

Most Futuristic

EZVIZ Outdoor Security Camera

The future of surveillance

This little camera punches above its weight class, with features like strobe lighting, dual-lenses, and large storage capacity.

Bottom line

As you can see, while there is no shortage of security cameras that can store your data in the cloud, the list of devices that can store video locally seems to be dwindling. My favorite is the eufy Security Cam because I like that the company offers a great product for a flat fee, no hidden costs or subscriptions needed. Assembly is simple, the camera is durable, and the battery lasts forever. Win, win, and win!

If the eufy is a little too pricey for you or doesn’t quite meet your needs, then there are a number of less expensive alternatives with varied feature sets. Whatever device you go with, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your data is safe in your hands.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Jeramy Johnson is proud to help to Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he’s not writing about Amazon products and services, he’s defending his relationship with his side-chick Alexa to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.

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