Feature-packed, smart security cameras will usually cost you a pretty penny unless, however, you own a Wyze Cam. Wyze made its name with indoor/outdoor cameras that are loaded with premium features at a cost that would rival a few gallons of milk. The Wyze 3 is no exception, as it is feature-heavy and only costs $20.
Wyze 3, along with its various generational cousins, can work without the cloud or Wi-Fi. That’s not to say that it will work seamlessly, as there are conditions. It has to be set up with a Wi-Fi connection before it can be used offline, and cloud storage is avoidable if you have an SD card—sold separately.
Wyze marketed their cameras well and retained many of the most popular smart camera features that their competitors have. Unfortunately, there are still a few holdovers from the less appealing aspects embraced by other smart camera manufacturers. The difficulty separating the Wyze 3 from both the cloud and Wi-Fi is one of them.
The Wyze 3 Cam will record without Wi-Fi, but there are a few things you’ll have to set up first:
- You’ll need a computer that has an SD card slot
- The initial setup will require a Wi-Fi connection
- An SD card for the Wyze
- Access to Wi-Fi to set up a recording for local storage only
Once you have everything ready, keep in mind that without Wi-Fi, some features will no longer be accessible, such as:
- The Wyze app will not connect to the camera
- No alert video notifications
- No motion detection
- No sound detection
Setting up the Wyze 3 without Wi-Fi will effectively turn it into a video recorder only, as it will continue to record until the 32GB SD card is used up.
Once your Wyze 3 is set up and you’ve downloaded the app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store, open the app and tap the Gear Icon under the live view to open settings. Select Advanced Settings > Local Storage. Select Continuous Recording on the next screen. The Wyze 3 will continue to record until the 32GB card is used up, then it will begin to record over the old data.
The Wyze 3 was designed for use with local storage—32GB SD card max—but some features will still connect with the cloud unless you turn them off:
- Carbon Monoxide
On the live stream view of your Wyze 3 on the Wyze app, tap the Gear Icon and then select Alert Settings. On the next screen, you will be able to turn off each one individually. Return to the Gear Icon > Advanced Settings > Local Storage.
Unfortunately, whichever Events you turn back on will be recorded to the cloud whether you are utilizing local storage or not. For simple recording purposes, it’s easy to get around, but event triggers are a different story.
A continuous recording will quickly exhaust your local storage, as 32GB is the maximum amount of data storage you can use locally. The Record Events Only setting will do the same, only slower.
Wyze’s original setup only allowed 12 seconds of recording when an event triggered the camera. Once the 12 seconds were up, there would be a minute cooldown before it would record again. This was an unfortunate miscalculation, as would-be thieves may not be revealed in that 12-second clip and the full minute cooldown became detrimental.
The solution was to add the local storage option to allow for full, one-minute recordings or continuous recording. Once again, that becomes an issue when storage is limited to 32GB. If you want to get rid of excess footage and avoid recording over it, you can format your SD card at any time.
- Tap the Gear Icon from the Wyze 3 live stream.
- Next, select Advanced Settings > Local Storage > Format.
- Select the FAT32 format, and your SD card will format and delete everything in the process, giving you a fresh 32GB of storage.
Keeping your resolution set on HD will burn through your storage in two to three days—assuming you are using the continuous recording option. However, you can reduce this by changing the resolution in the live stream settings.
On the Wyze 3 live stream view, Select the HD tab at the top, left-hand corner. You’ll see the options for 380p, SD, HD, and Cancel. Select the resolution you want if you need to increase the amount of footage you can contain on the SD card.
Using the Wyze 3 without Wi-Fi or the cloud is certainly doable; however, unless there is a specific reason for doing so—going off the grid, baby monitoring, etc.—you lose many of the features that the Wyze 3 is known for.
For the time being, most security cameras utilize some form of cloud communication, and all of them have to be set up with a Wi-Fi connection, unless you’re considering something that’s a fully closed circuit, with monitors rather than smartphones. Thankfully, there’s a workaround with the Wyze 3, so long as you’re willing to accept the losses with the gains.