Accessing Wyze Cameras Remotely on Cellular Network with Disabled Home Internet - How is it Possible?

Hello Wyze community,

I’ve recently encountered an interesting situation with my Wyze cameras, and I’m hoping someone here can shed some light on it. I have three Wyze cameras connected to my home Wi-Fi network, which is fully functional with a cable modem, a mini cell tower range extender, and all the devices powered on. However, I had my cable provider intentionally disable all internet services to my home, and yet, I can still access my camera feeds through the Wyze app on my iPhone when I’m 10 miles away and connected only to my 5G cellular network.

Here’s what I’ve observed so far:

  1. The camera feeds are not as smooth or continuous as when I’m connected to Wi-Fi. I usually have to open the Wyze app twice to get one of the cameras to respond.
  2. If I unplug one of the cameras and go far away from my home network, the Wyze app correctly detects that the device is offline.

The only explanation I can think of is that the mini cell tower range extender, which is connected to my modem via a Cat5 LAN cable, might somehow be bridging the connection between my cellular network and home Wi-Fi network.

Does anyone have any insights into how this remote access is possible, despite my cable provider disabling all services to my home? I’d greatly appreciate any explanations or suggestions on how this is working.

Thank you in advance for your assistance!

Also, a few other observations that might help:

  1. I am also receiving Wyze camera notifications (sound, motion, etc.) on my Apple Watch when I am far away from my home network.
  2. The outside network connection from the ISP is not split amongst my neighbor units, it is directly connected to the main ISP line (Spectrum).

What do you mean by that description?

Sounds like it has a cellular connection.

Welcome to the Wyze User Community Forum @moosecodes! :raising_hand_man:

It does sound like your WiFi has switched from using the ISP internet thru the modem to using the Cellular Range Extender thru it’s LAN connection. The Modem is just acting like a switch now since both are connected to the Modem’s Ethernet ports.

Unplug the range extender. If the app goes dark you have your answer. Hope you have an unlimited data cellular plan.


Thought about this some more… Is your “mini cell tower range extender” a Cellular Signal Booster or is it a Cellular Network Extender?

Since it is connected to your modem’s Ethernet port, I am guessing it is a Cellular Network Extender which is actually a Cellular over IP solution. If this is the case, I suspect you still have some form of internet thru your ISP.

If it is a Cellular Signal Booster, then you are most likely pulling internet thru your cellular data plan.

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@K6CCC - Yes, this is correct. This is a device that was issued to my home network by the cell provider to improve the connectivity for my mobile devices. The representative also made it clear (as does the display on the device itself) that this is often referred in laymans terms as a “mini cell phone tower” because technically, all of my neighbors with the same cell provider will have their signal boosted and be connected to the device within my home network since it is in proximity. That sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

If I would to take a guess based off a conversation that I had with the Verizon representative when the device was sent to me, I would opt for the Cellular Network Extender option. That sounds more like what they said, but I am not really sure. I do have unlimited data on my cell data so that should be okay either way. But still, it still seems so odd that this is occurring. Maybe a vuln?

You should be able to pull the specs from the model number searching the internet to determine it’s exact functionality. If it is an open cellular access point for anyone in the area, I would be concerned. But again, DC the Ethernet cable and see if you still have access to your cams. That will tell you how it is being routed. If it drops, then it is internet access thru cellular. If it doesn’t, your ISP hasn’t cut you off, just dropped you to the lowest speed.