standalone security cameras
Security Guide

Standalone Security Cameras Buying Guide: How to Choose & Best Picks

Home security cameras are one of the most essential parts of any home security system. You can see what your dog is doing during the day, providing notice of when the kids come home from school, or discovering who’s been hitting the liquor cabinet—or alerting you if a trespasser visits your home.

But many people don’t want or need a whole security system. They just want standalone security cameras to help them see what’s going on at home when they’re away.

Today, we are sharing some DIY standalone home security cameras that work in conjunction with smartphones, laptops, tablets and computers, together with features like motion detection, 2-way audio, IR night vision capability, live feed streaming, etc.


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 shopping for a home security camera, the first thing you’ll need to consider is if you’re planning to mount the camera indoors our outside. Only those cameras that are designed to withstand the elements should be placed on the outside of your house.

And, with outdoor cameras, you also have to decide if you want a battery powered standalone security cameras or Standalone WiFi security cameras. The former are easier to install, but you’ll have to recharge or change their batteries every few months. The latter might require you to install an outlet or drill holes through your wall, but then you won’t have to worry about it afterwards (learn more about how IP cameras get power).

2. Storage Options of Standalone Surveillance Cameras

You also want to think about what each home security camera offers in terms of video storage. Most will let you store videos in the cloud, but many require you to pay a subscription to do so. A few cameras have memory card slots, so you can save video locally.

Suppose you are just looking for a simple security solution for your property, like watching over front door mailbox or package, keeping tabs on young babies, pets, parked cars, garbage bin or swimming pool.

Getting a dedicated NVR/DVR for recording or storing video footage of one surveillance camera seems over the top. In such cases, standalone security cameras with SD card built-in or a dedicated SD card slot available is the boon for you.

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 (like ZOSI C306) when someone approaches your front door, unauthorized personnel lurk around or handyman drops by.

4. Night Vision Capability

Standalone security cameras should not only stream HD videos during daytime but also at night to identify or make out faces of those approaching the area of interest.

In virtue of the starlight image sensor, some quality standalone IP security cameras can deliver clearer and sharper images and videos even in total darkness.

Below is the night vision image captured by the standalone security camera with SD card slot, ZOSI C306.

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.

Best Standalone Security Cameras & Systems: Top 3 Options Available for You

To make your selection process much easier, here we’ve collected 3 best standalone security cameras and systems for your options.

Camera Type Features Camera Example Camera Image
Wireless Standalone  Security Cameras
  • 5MP Super HD
  • 2.4/5 GHz WiFi
  • Light & Siren Alarm
  • Color Night Vision
  • AI Human Detection
  • 2-Way Audio
C190 Pro C309
Battery Powered Standalone  Security Cameras
  • 1080P HD
  • Battery/Solar Powered
  • Light Alarm
  • PIR Motion Detection
  • 2-Way Audio
Standalone PTZ IP Cameras
  • Pan & Tilt
  • WiFi Connection
  • Light & Siren Alarm
  • AI Human Detection
  • 2-Way Audio
C289 C289 ptz wireless security camera 1000*1000 pixel

ZOSI C190 Pro – Standalone WiFi Security Camera with SD Card Slot

Running off dual-band WiFi (2.4/5 GHz) and powered by USB power adapter, compact and sleek ZOSI C611 is designed for those who are out there searching for wireless HD standalone security cameras right off the bat.

Sitting on the flat surface like desk, TV stand or bookshelf sporting on a black armor is ZOSI C611, which can easily be up and running after connecting with local WiFi network or sticking with a network cable.

Armed with pan/tilt motor, soft-looking ZOSI C611 is able to pan and tilt effortlessly controlled by an app or automatically rotate non-stop with a bit of tweaking.

What’s more, ZOSI C611 is embedded with infrared LEDs and motion sensor, which enables the camera to keep an eye on the perimeter at night or in a low-light condition with night vision range reaching up to 40 feet.

This standalone security camera also comes with SD card slot for storing event-based footage locally without relying on subscription-based cloud storage, a helpful alternative!

No doubt, you can always tap into apps or computer software to get a peek at what’s going on inside your house or office. Live stream video feeds, schedule motion detection, enable/disable motion notification, 2-way audio, review SD card footage all are accessible on ZOSI apps.

Or you can just let them sit there and watch your remote place even without access to internet of any kind, similar to ZOSI C190 and ZOSI ZSWNVK-H820, which can work to record motions even without access to WiFi or the internet.

C190 Pro - Smart 5MP Super HD WiFi Security Camera

  • 2.4/5 GHz WiFi
  • Light & Siren Alarm
  • Color Night Vision
  • AI Human Detection
  • 2-Way Audio

ZOSI C1 – Wireless Battery-Powered Standalone Security Camera

ZOSI C1 takes on home security cameras to a new height by ditching cables or wires completely, providing a 100% wire-free and hassle-free security camera solution for home surveillance.

Packed with passive infrared sensor and starlight night vision, this standalone security camera with SD card slot can detect human movement and objects radiating body heat as well as scout out large areas of interest at night or in a poorly-lit place, requiring no extra base stations or hub centers.

Besides, its companion proprietary mobile apps offering for Android or iOS devices are easily accessible for you. Its sleek interface and easy-to-navigate setup allow you to tweak the settings, including customizing motion notification, listen in and talk via the apps, motion schedule, battery report, alarm off/on.

Better though, you can configure the WiFi network using a personal hotspot to get the camera up and running. This standalone outdoor security cameras come with a long-lasting rechargeable battery, and you can add a ZOSI solar panel to provide non-stop power.

C1 battery-powered security camera 456*456 pixel

C1 Wire-Free Spotlight Camera

  • Motion Activated Light & Siren Alarm
  • Rechargeable Battery Powered
  • AI Human Detection
  • Two Way AudioAI Human Detection
  • Proactive Sound & Siren Alarm
  • 100ft Color Night Vision
  • 1TB Hard Drive

ZOSI C289 – Wireless Standalone Outdoor Security Camera with Built-In SD Card

Hailed as one of the best-selling standalone WiFi security cameras with SD card slot, ZOSI C289 can work independently without hooking up with an NVR, enabling you to save event-based footage locally to embedded micro SD card.

When motion is detected, you can get instant motion notifications or email alerts, as well as view live feeds remotely or upload videos or snapshots to an FTP server.

Similarly, it does offer night vision, motion detection schedule, pre-recorded video playback, and other customizable features.

Built with aluminum-alloy body and waterproof cable, ZOSI C289 is solid and ready to braves elements, a great standalone outdoor security camera for monitoring hallway, alley, front door, backyard, daycare center, store and such!

Explore More: Besides, there are many solid-built and reliable standalone security systems available for choosing, such as ZOSI 8RN-261W PoE camera system.

C289 Pan Tilt Zoom Wireless Camera Cameras

  • Automatic Cruise
  • Proactive Light & Siren
  • AI Human Detection
  • Color Night Vision
  • Two Way Audio

How We Test Home Security Cameras

To find out which is the best home security camera, we set up each of the models inside or outside a home, noting the difficulty or ease of installation. We then use the camera over a period of several days. The first thing we look at is the quality of the video it records, both day and night. As a person walks through the frame, were their faces clear and well-defined, or was it a blurry mess?

We also look at the features that are available through the camera’s app. Does it have such things as customizable motion zones? If you live on a busy street, you don’t want the camera recording video and alerting you every time a car drives by. A good home security camera should also have a scheduling feature, so that you can turn it off while you’re home, and on when you leave.

Last, we also consider how much it costs to view, save and share recorded video. While some cameras still let you view a few days of recorded video, the trend has been to only let you watch live video from your camera unless you sign up for a subscription. That means you can’t look back a few hours or days to see who was walking through your yard. And, most subscription plans also include extra features, such as custom motion zones.

Hottest Questions About Standalone Security Cameras

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.

Q1: Do Standalone WiFi Security Cameras Use Internet Bandwidth While They’re Not Being Streamed/Accessed Remotely? I Only Have 10Mbps Internet Connection.

A1: The standalone WiFi security cameras won’t eat up your Internet bandwidth unless they are accessed remotely or send you alerts when motion is detected.

In general, the wireless standalone security camera systems won’t add much burden to your home network. (Read this to learn the IP camera bandwidth calculation.)

Q2: Is There an Inconspicuous Standalone Security Video Camera That Doesn’t Need to Be Constantly Plugged in Nor Connected to WiFi?

A2: If you need a non-plugged in standalone security camera, the battery powered cameras and solar cameras can both be your handy options.

And for the standalone security cameras with SD card, even they are not connected to WiFi, they can also record motion detection events onsite for your later view, so that you will miss no single detail.


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.