Standalone Security Cameras: A Complete Buyer’s Guide &Top Picks

Many homeowners seek simple standalone security cameras with SD cards, easy DIY installation, mobile access, and smart motion detection.

These cameras, widely accessible, come with features like two-way audio, IR night vision, and no monthly subscriptions, making them a practical choice for both home and business owners.

This article delves into the benefits of standalone security cameras, essential considerations, and provides the top three recommendations currently in the market.

What Is A Standalone Security Camera

Standalone security cameras operate independently, eliminating the need for external recorders, subscriptions, or long-term contracts. These self-contained cameras come with their own power sources, wireless connectivity, and built-in storage, making them a hassle-free choice for various settings.

Wireless standalone cameras, a popular variant, transmit data through Wi-Fi or cellular networks, offering flexibility without the constraints of cables. While cost-effective and easy to relocate, they may face limitations such as signal interference and restricted bandwidth. Battery-powered options are common in residential use, although they may not provide continuous 24/7 recording.

For those seeking cellular connectivity, 4G standalone security cameras use cellular data, potentially requiring a data plan. In contrast, WiFi cameras connect to local wireless networks with no additional fees. Choose the autonomy and convenience of standalone security cameras for a straightforward and efficient solution.

Standalone Security Cameras – How to Choose

Here are the top factors of standalone security cameras you should take into account before your final choice.

1. Connectivity & Powering Options

When choosing a home security camera, consider whether it will be placed indoors or outdoors. Outdoor cameras must withstand the elements.

For outdoor use, decide between battery-powered standalone cameras (easy installation but requires periodic battery maintenance) or standalone WiFi cameras (learn more about how IP cameras get power).

2. Storage Options

Consider the video storage options provided by each home security camera. While many offer cloud storage with subscription fees, some have memory card slots for local video storage.

If your needs are simple, such as monitoring the front door, mailbox, or pets, standalone security cameras with built-in SD cards or dedicated SD card slots can be a practical and efficient solution, eliminating the need for a dedicated NVR/DVR.

3. Motion Alert & Mobile Access

Having motion detection and notification feature is essential for a standalone CCTV security camera in many scenarios.

For example, a standalone wireless security camera can send you push notifications, emails and even siren sound alarms when someone approaches your front door, unauthorized personnel lurk around or handyman drops by.

4. Night Vision Capability

To identify or make out faces of individuals approaching the area of interest, standalone security cameras should not only stream HD videos during the day but also at night.

Thanks to the starlight image sensor, high-quality standalone IP security cameras can provide sharper and clearer images and videos even in total darkness.

Shown below is the night vision image captured by the ZOSI 1NC-306 standalone security camera with an SD card slot.

The color night vision image

5. High Resolution

Most home security cameras have a resolution of 1080p, but that doesn’t mean they all deliver the same quality. Cheaper cameras tend to have smaller image sensors and less powerful processors, so a person’s face might be blurred more, especially if they’re moving or you’re capturing video at night.

6. On-device smart detection & remote access

Rather than subscribing to brands that charge recurring fees for smart detection, choosing a quality standalone security camera with on-device smart detection can save you money. These cameras, equipped with onboard smart detecting technology, provide timely alerts through push notifications, emails, and sirens for important events.

Additionally, prioritize cameras with remote access, enabling you to monitor live footage from anywhere in the world on your smartphone, tablet, or computer with internet connectivity, ensuring security even when you’re not on-site.

Top 3 Options Available for You

In order to simplify your selection process, we have compiled a list of the top three standalone security cameras and systems for you to consider.

ZOSI 1NC-519M – Standalone WiFi Security Camera with SD Card Slot

The ZOSI 1NC-519M standalone security camera operates on dual-band WiFi (2.4/5 GHz) with a USB power adapter. Compact and sleek, it is ideal for those seeking wireless HD surveillance.

Placed on flat surfaces like a desk or bookshelf, the 1NC-519M connects easily to local WiFi networks or can be used with a network cable. It features pan/tilt capabilities controlled through an app or automatic rotation and is equipped with infrared LEDs and a motion sensor, offering night vision up to 40 feet. With an SD card slot for local storage, the 1NC-519M provides event-based footage without relying on cloud subscriptions.

The ZOSI app facilitates video monitoring, motion detection scheduling, 2-way audio, and SD card footage review. Even without WiFi, it can record motions, making it a versatile option for surveillance needs.

4MP 2.4GHz/5GHz Dual Band Baby Monitor - 1NC-519M

  • 4MP Super HD
  • Cover Every Angle
  • Auto Tracking
  • Dual Band WiFi Connection
  • Two-Way Video Calling

Get more details from the standalone security camera system reviews here.
Below is a video shared by a user of 1NC-519M.

ZOSI 1NC-306 – Wireless Battery-Powered Standalone Security Camera

The ZOSI 1NC-306 standalone security camera offers a cable-free solution for home surveillance, featuring passive infrared sensors and starlight night vision for detecting human movement and monitoring in low-light conditions.

1NC-306 requires no additional base stations or hubs, providing a hassle-free setup. The camera includes an SD card slot and a user-friendly smartphone app for Android and iOS devices, allowing easy customization of settings such as motion notifications, two-way communication, motion schedules, and battery monitoring.

With a long-lasting rechargeable battery, and the option to add a ZOSI solar panel for continuous power, 1NC-306 stands as a reliable outdoor security camera.

Battery Powered Spotlight Security Camera - 1NC-306

  • Wifi Connection
  • Motion Activated Light & Siren Alarm
  • Rechargeable Battery Powered
  • AI Human Detection
  • Two Way AudioAI Human Detection
  • Proactive Sound & Siren Alarm
  • 100ft Color Night Vision

ZOSI 1NC-296 – Wireless Standalone Outdoor Security Camera with Built-In SD Card

The ZOSI 1NC-296 standalone WiFi security camera, equipped with an SD card slot, is a popular choice for local storage of event-based footage without the need for an NVR.

1NC-296 provides instant motion notifications or email alerts when motion is detected, allowing remote viewing of live feeds and the option to upload videos and snapshots to an FTP server.

With features like night vision, motion detection schedules, and pre-recorded video playback, the 1NC-296 camera offers customization.

The durable aluminum-alloy body and waterproof cable make it a reliable outdoor security camera suitable for monitoring various environments such as hallways, alleys, front doors, backyards, daycare centers, and stores.

C296 - Pan Tilt IP Security Cameras

  • 4K Ultra HD/5MP Super HD
  • Starlight Color Night Vision
  • Pan & Tilt
  • PoE/WiFi Connection
  • Light & Siren Alarm
  • Upgraded AI-Powered Detection
  • 2-Way Audio

Top 5 Benefits of A Standalone Security Camera

Standalone security cameras offer several benefits that make them an excellent investment for anyone seeking to safeguard their property.

Cost-effective: no extra fees

Standalone security cameras are an affordable security solution for individuals and small businesses. There are no subscription fees or contracts, with all recordings stored on the built-in micro SD card, making it a one-time investment compared to other security cameras.

Note: For Zosi cameras, the phrase “no extra fees” means on-camera smart features can be utilized without any subscription.

Easy to install and maintain: no extra settings

Standalone cameras are easy to install by homeowners and small business owners compared to complex security systems that require professional installation and extensive maintenance. Since standalone cameras aren’t part of a complex system, there is no need for ongoing maintenance beyond periodic cleaning.

Remote access

Using a phone or computer, standalone security cameras can be accessed from anywhere, making them particularly useful for people away from their homes or businesses who need to monitor their property. Remote access allows individuals to view live feeds, get alerts/notifications, and monitor the footage stored on the camera.

Assured security

Equipped with advanced features such as motion detection, night vision, and high-definition recording capabilities, standalone cameras are more reliable than ever. Standalone cameras with onboard detecting technology can help deter criminal activity and provide valuable evidence in the event of a break-in or other incident.


Still have any questions about the standalone security cameras and systems? Here we have prepared some FAQs and answers to clear away your puzzles. And please feel free to comment below if you have more to ask.

1. Will standalone WiFi security cameras consume internet bandwidth when they are not being streamed or accessed remotely? I have a 10Mbps internet connection and don’t want to exceed the bandwidth limit.

Standalone WiFi security cameras won’t utilize your internet bandwidth unless they’re accessed remotely or send you alerts when motion is detected.

In general, wireless standalone security camera systems don’t add much burden to your home network. (Refer to this guide to learn more about IP camera bandwidth calculation.)

2. Are there any standalone security video cameras that are inconspicuous and don’t require a constant power source or WiFi connectivity?

If a non-plugged in standalone security camera is needed, battery-powered cameras and solar cameras can be suitable options. These types of cameras offer the convenience of mobility and don’t necessitate power sources or power cables.

Moreover, standalone security cameras with SD card options can record motion detection events onsite, even without internet connectivity, for later viewing. With this feature, no detail will be missed.

3. Do You Need A Base Station for Your Home Security Cameras?

Base stations are no longer a necessity for your home security camera setup. Serving as central hubs for managing footage, base stations can be expensive and add to long-term costs. They are also vulnerable to disruptions caused by power or internet outages.

Standalone security cameras provide a hassle-free and cost-effective alternative. With easy installation, wireless connectivity, and no base station expenses, these cameras offer simplicity, affordability, and flexibility. Operating independently, they connect directly to Wi-Fi networks or smartphone apps for remote monitoring. Choose the freedom of standalone security cameras for a reliable and straightforward security solution.


The market is inundated with a plethora of do-it-yourself self-monitored standalone security cameras, it’s important to choose reliable and trusted suppliers with decades of experience and expertise like ZOSI right from the start.