To conveniently monitor your home and outdoor area, you always need an outdoor camera. However, many people are annoyed by “another subscription” for the monthly cloud-based storage subscription that most outdoor security cameras come with.
Everything is a subscription these days, you are already paying for Netflix, Spotify, Disney+, and so on, and the last thing you want is another subscription, and that’s what we want too!
I will introduce you to the best outdoor security cameras without a subscription to make things easier for you. Not only that, but the products we are reviewing have the best Wi-Fi connectivity and also offer a (free) local storage or free cloud storage option.
Outdoor security cameras are known for being a bit more expensive, to begin with, compared to indoor cameras. But then, when you add in subscription costs, the costs add up.
To illustrate the insanity of subscription costs over 5 years, we have summarized all of the major brands’ video camera subscription fees in a handy video camera subscription overview.
Overview Video Cameras Subscription Costs 2023
|Product||No Cameras||Monthly||Yearly||Cost over 5 years|
|Arlo Secure Single||1||$3||$36||$180|
|Arlo Secure Plus||Unlimited||$15||$180||$900|
|Arlo Secure Unlimited||Unlimited||$10||$120||$600|
|Blink Plus Plan||Unlimited||$10||$100||$500|
|Canary Premium Additional Cam||1||$3||$30||$150|
|Logitech Basic Single||1||$4||$48||$240|
|Logitech Basic Home||5||$7||$70||$350|
|Logitech Premium Single||1||$10||$100||$500|
|Logitech Premium Home||5||$18||$180||$720|
|Nest Aware Plus||Unlimited||$12||$12||$600|
|Wyze Cam Plus||1||$2||$15||$75|
As the table above illustrates, the subscription costs wildly add up over 5 years, costing in most cases a multitude of the camera’s original purchase price.
Now let’s compare the features you have with each brand when you go without a subscription:
|Product||Number of Cameras||Storage||AI detection||Activity Zones|
|Arlo No Plan||Unlimited||None||None||None|
|August FREE||Unlimited||24-hours cloud storage||Yes||Yes|
|Blink Without Plan||Unlimited||None||None||Yes|
|Eufy||Unlimited||Local (SD Card or HomeBase)||Yes||Yes|
|Honeywell membership||1||24-hours cloud storage||Yes||Yes|
|Logitech||Unlimited||24-hours cloud storage||None||None|
|mydlink FREE||3||24-hours cloud storage||Yes||Yes|
|Nest No Plan||Unlimited||No videos, images 3 hours in cloud||None||None|
|Netatmo NORMAL||Unlimited||SDCard, Dropbox, FTP||Yes||Yes|
|Ring No Plan||Unlimited||None||None||None|
|SimpliSafe Free||Unlimited||Timeline 7 days||None||None|
|TP-Link Kasa Care FREE||10||SDCard||Yes||Yes|
The good news is that all brands support Live Streaming and Two-Way talk without a subscription, but the majority charges extra for “additional” services, and almost all charge for when you want to store your video footage in the cloud.
The main difference is that there are a few companies that do not cripple any functionality at all from your security video camera if you do not take a subscription.
Read on to find out more!
What is the best home security camera system without a monthly fee?
After looking at the key points of concern for customers looking to purchase a security camera, including but not limited to wireless cameras, sensors, video surveillance, smart integrations, and subscription costs, the best outdoor security cameras with no monthly fee are Eufy and Arlo, followed by Netatmo and Abode.
Most of them work perfectly with smart home security features like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant.
People like you and me want to take full responsibility for their security systems.
So it’s a good idea to look at the best DIY home security systems with no monthly fee.
To summarize, we recommend Eufy and Arlo as our preferred options for those who want full control over their surveillance, have the best hardware – while retaining the best camera features – but who do not want to spend another dime on another subscription.
And let’s forget about expert-monitored packages like ADT. You would not be reading this article if you were into those prices!
Best Outdoor Security Cameras with No Monthly Fee
Eufy Solocam S40 is the outdoor security camera you have been dreaming about in a perfect world. Eufy did about everything right here with many advanced features:
Charging: no more worrying about rechargeable batteries or worrying about not having enough battery life! The Solocam S40 comes with an integrated solar panel, and it only needs approximately 2 hours of sunlight every day to stay continuously powered. So no need anymore to climb up the tree or roof every few months or buy a separate solar panel.
It comes with a super-strong bright 600 Lumens spotlight that activates when motion is detected from even people 26ft (8 meters) away. This feature alone is good to scare away anyone entering your property with bad intentions.
It also comes with two-way audio so you can warn and shout at unwanted guests. Plus, it has a 90db built-in siren.
Using 2K high-definition video resolution, excellent video quality is also great for integrated night vision with full-color night vision and infrared night vision.
The Solocam S40 has a built-in storage capacity of 8GB. The footage is kept under AES128 military-grade encryption and will last for, on average, 2 months of storing video clips.
Eufy advertises the product as:
“Zero Hidden Costs. SoloCam is a one-time purchase. There are no monthly fees or hidden costs. Everything is done on-device for complete security and transparency.”
The SoloCam’s built-in AI chip has an “Instant Identification” person detection feature and detects people within 200 milliseconds.
This is, of course, faster than any cloud solution, where the data first has to be sent back and forth to the cloud.
In addition, because the AI chip trains itself, you do not need to worry about false positives and only alert your phone when it detects a real human, not pets or trees.
This outdoor camera also has an IP67 weatherproof rating, meaning that it doesn’t get affected by rain, snow, and extremely warm or cold temperatures.
Why did we choose to be this our absolute number one outdoor video camera?
eufySecurity has had great success by going the opposite way. While Ring and other competitors push us into expensive subscription models, Eufy has focused on developing security monitoring products for your home without subscriptions.
“There are no monthly fees or hidden costs” is one of Eufy’s key selling points.
None of their products require a subscription to be fully functional: With SD Cards and their HomeBase 2, no pesky subscription is required.
Nor do they try to talk you into subscribing to their Eufy Cloud Storage service.
It’s just there and available for those who want a little more convenience or who lack technical skills, DIY skills, or time.
We chose Eufy as the winner because their products offer the features that their competitors do (and sometimes more) and because of their high-end quality hard and software.
In addition, Eufy offers a wide range of additional security products so that you can complete and build an entire home security system using their products.
Such as eufy solar panel chargers, video doorbells, floodlight cameras, various indoor cameras, smart locks, home alarm kits, smart delivery boxes, baby monitors, motion sensors, entry sensors, and so on.
Their other Eufy outdoor cameras are excellent too: the SoloCam L20, the SoloCam E40, and the SoloCam E20, but we love the solar panel on this model so much that we declare this years’ winner.
- Integrated Solar Panel
- 2K High Resolution
- Powerful built-in spotlight
- IP67 weatherproof
- Never worry about charging
- Built-in siren
- Two-way audio
- Works with Amazon Alexa
- Works with Google Assistant
Arlo is another popular home security camera that requires no or low monthly fees. In addition, Arlo offers 100% wireless technology and is available for indoor and outdoor cameras.
Files are recorded continuously, and all wireless cameras can store video clips locally on a USB flash drive or external hard drive (no subscription!).
The subscription plans offered are “Arlo Secure” and “Arlo Secure Plus” and are optional and offer some cool features. However, we can live without them:
- Emergency Response 24 (get police dispatched with a touch of the button)
- Animated Preview (basically an animated GIF of the video, instead of a still photo)
- Object Detection (persons, packages, vehicles, animals)
- Your videos get stored for 30 days
We can live without these paid features, but it’ll be worth it for some people.
It is important to notice that with the Arlo Pro 2/3, Arlo included a generous free 7 days of free rollback cloud storage(so no subscription either).
Unfortunately, they stopped this service with the Arlo Pro 4 (!). So that’s not cool, Arlo. Anyway, it’s a great piece of hardware, and the Arlo Secure plans start at $2.99 per month.
The Arlo Pro 4 has a 2K HDR video resolution and can do live streaming up to 4k and a 160-degree viewing angle, a spotlight camera, two-way talk audio, and it checks off with a built-in siren.
You can optionally connect it to an Arlo Base Station, but it’s not necessary anymore.
The Arlo Pro also incorporates a powerful AI chip into the device. It can detect and recognize objects and notify you if it’s either a human entering your property or a package delivered.
It comes with a long-lasting rechargeable battery that will last you 6months on a single charge. Or that you can swap with a backup battery. This means you don’t have to charge it via a cable.
Still, you buy an additional battery that you can swap at any time. The battery charger is, unfortunately, a proprietary one. Still, it does have fast charging capabilities and an optional magnetic charging cable.
A brand that may be less familiar to the general public is Netatmo. This is a French (not Chinese) smart home brand that has been around since 2012.
Their motto is to offer only products with no subscription fees, data protection, privacy, and (this is also important:) free upgrades and constant free feature additions.
Just like Eufy, Netatmo specializes in “No subscription fees” products.
Their Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera with Siren provides excellent value for money and built-quality and smart features. It even looks classy.
The camera has a 1080p HD video view (the Eufy SoloCam has a better 2K video resolution).
Still, it does have a long-range motion detection of a whopping 65ft (20 meters) and an InfraRed night vision of 50ft (15 meters).
The integrated floodlight helps scare aware intruders and, of course, helps to find you your way at night.
You can set up alert zones to optimize your notification settings. And can configure it to detect several types of things.
For example, the Netatmo Outdoor Camera can distinguish people, animals, and cars on your alerts.
One of the coolest things about this camera is its storage capabilities. It comes with an encrypted 8GB Class 10 MicroSD card included.
But Netatmo brings the concept of local storage even further: you can also configure the camera to send the videos to your Dropbox account and even upload them to FTP!
Like any good outdoor camera, it’s weatherproof too and comes with HZO protection.
- Encrypted MicroSD card included
- Store to your Dropbox/FTP
- Built-in siren
- Built-in floodlight
- Field of view: 100°
- Looks classy
- Weatherproof: HZO protection
- Works with Apple HomeKit
- Works with Amazon Alexa voice control
- Works with Google Assistant
- Super easy setup
- Not cheap
- 1080p video quality might put some people off
- No two-way audio
- iOS App only
Abode is a great choice for no-contract home security and offers many advanced options.
You can start with a basic security kit of about $200 and build on that with add-ons to support environmental monitoring, home automation, and voice commands.
Setting up the Abode security system is easy. However, we recommend you go for the quickest setup, including an all-in-one unit that combines a siren, motion detector, and camera.
While other Abode systems require about 30 minutes of work, our basic installation steps include plugging in the hub, connecting to our internet router, downloading the Abode mobile security app, and placing sensors in our home.
- DIY setup
- Affordable pricing
- Dozens of intelligent integrations
- Expert monitors available
- Interior and exterior cams
- No minimum charge for recording
- Starter & custom kits
- Requires a strong and steady internet connection
- Limited trial period
If you opt out of Abode’s automatic monitoring, you can save some money. However, Abode’s on-demand monitoring prices are $8 for three days and $15 for a week.
If you choose a monthly or annual plan, you could get better per-day pricing with professional monitoring and extra video storage.
We recommend the 4 best outdoor security cameras with no monthly subscription – while still having control.
It’s about choices of freedom of your data and your capabilities to do it yourself.
However, depending on your budget, you can consider Arlo a better alternative to Nest IQ if you are not financially fit.
The good thing is that you control your security surveillance, and they are the best weatherproof outdoor cameras with no monthly fees.