Can you use cams without internet?

I just re-did my (flawed) test. Here’s what I did and found:

  1. I unplugged my router, modem and camera. Restarted the router but not modem. Then re-powered the camera. Could not connect to the camera.

  2. Plugged modem back in. Once internet was available, camera connected.

  3. Unplugged the modem. Camera continued streaming for 3-4 minutes at which time its light started flashing blue and the stream froze. But after a minute or so, the stream resumed and ran for over 15 minutes. This is with the app continuously connected to the camera.

  4. I then went back to the home screen in the app and tried to reconnect to the camera. That failed.

So I have to agree, local streaming is not possible except in cases where the stream was started in the presence of internet accessibility and the stream is not interrupted if the internet is not accessible.

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Loki,
Thanks for re-running your test.

As you know, my objective has been recording to SDcard in the absence of internet connectivity, but I certainly have used Live viewing when on location (i.e., off-net) to make sure the camera was pointed correctly, was level, etc. That was part of my setup prior to starting local recording to the SDcard (whether event driven, continuous, or time lapse). This all used to work quite well, and made the Wyzecan a very useful device for field recording. But no more.

Your latest test adds some useful pieces to the jigsaw puzzle of what works (and not) when internet access is not available, or ceases to be available:-)

Hopefully @WyzeTao and friends will be able to reassemble the pieces and restore off-line functionality to what it used to be.

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I have a Pan Cam with the RTSP FW installed, and can confirm the same behavior that the others have experienced. If the cam is on a LAN w/o internet access the ONLY way to view the cam is via RTSP. Attempting to view or connect to the camera via the app only works if an active Internet connection exists.

I hate that everything is so awesome, and then it’s hobbled by the lack of a locally stored token in the APP to authenticate the APP: camera handshake when trying to connect and use the PTZ functionality of the APP on a LAN w/o internet connectivity.

If this was fixed I could get my company to deploy a bunch of these at work, And that’s even if the price tripled.

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Just want to update that I didn’t forget this thread. I am waiting for an answer from ThroughTek since the heartbeat is a proprietary protocol. I will update when I get their reply.

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Tao,
Thanks for the update:-)
I appreciate you keeping us informed.

Got reply about the packets. The packet size depends on different firmware version, which makes sense to me. There are two types of heartbeat happening every few seconds for 70 bytes or less. (I am obfuscating some details here to protect their IP). This explains for 91.132.137.155 and 66.23.205.130.

For 23.83.132.78, both TUTK and I think there was some streaming activities happened. I hope @gelly035-happy can give out the network capture starting/ending time + device MAC so we can check for logs. Not that we don’t trust you but we want to see if it matches the logs. I don’t know if that is still possible since I believe the devices were returned. Without that info we can’t draw a firm conclusion what happened there.

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Tao,
I agree with you (and TUTK) that the traffic reported by golly’s firewall to 23.83.132.78 was due to some sort of streaming. Perhaps motion-triggered recordings to WyzeCloud that he didn’t know about. Or an errant media stream caused by a bug. You’ll probably never know.

As for the traffic to 91.132.137.155 & 66.23.205.130, I do understand your need for ‘obfuscation’ in order to protect the IP of your partner, and I don’t want to pry into your network design decisions. However, I will reiterate that ‘heartbeat’ traffic (packets every three seconds or so, going to two different servers) seems excessive. You don’t need heartbeat packets that often to keep the NAT mapping in place, nor to deal with occasional changes to the Customer’s public IP address. Based on my experience designing similar systems, permit me to offer a respectful heads-up. In the future, you might find that the combined flood of those ‘heartbeat’ packets coming from thousands/millions of Wyzecams becoming a burden on those servers.

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I agree with your comments about the excessive heartbeat packets. I will pass that feedback to TUTK and ask why they need it to be so frequent. Thanks!

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:+1:
You’re welcome…

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yes, so i returned the cameras, so i can’t take more captures. I am pretty sure i did not have the app open on my phone. There should be no need for a heartbeat as you are on local lan. i sound like a broken record now, enable LAN only mode and all your problems go away for that use case (like you do with RTSP, it is just hat the frame rate @ 10 fps is unusable ). Another comment is that the fact that you use 3rd party IP on your heartbeat packets, also means that you don’t know what goes in those packets? how is that even possible? i understand there is someone’s IP there but Wyze should be aware of what goes in those packets and why.

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Can Wyze camera work without continuous internet connection. NO!
Can sensors work without continuous internet connection. NO!
Do sensor notification arrive with random delays? YES

WYZE - you need a lot wize advice. But I can tell the over-enthusiastic crowd is dangerous if followed.

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Tell us what you have. I know the way of the world today is fear. But so far no one has had anything detrimental other than fret for the masses here. Even the enthusiastic wouldn’t be enthusiastic if there were evidence there was a issue. Tell us what you’ve seen. Let’s analyze this.

I have Wyze cameras (with SD card) and several magnetic sensors and motion detectors. All this is talking to a Pixel3. My WiFi is riding on meshed Asus 88 and a hardwired Asus 68 as AP and Asus 68 as repeater. The Motorola modem talks to cable with 100+ Mb speeds.

As soon as the internet goes down the telephone tells me all is kaput. As soon as internet returns all comes to life.

Other comps, NAS,printers and scanners work fine during the internet outage on the WiFi LAN.

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Ah. I thought you had evidence of the cameras phoning China, which they do not.

You are right however that they do not work well without Internet. These cameras are tied tightly into the Internet so you can use them from outside your house. We have been trying to get Wyze to create an Internet-free mode of operation if they don’t find the Internet at startup, but so far we have been unsuccessful at getting their attention focused there.

The only thing that works without Internet ATM is SD card recording, IF you had Internet on the camera at startup. Once Internet is removed, that is all that continues. Unfortunately requiring Internet to start often cripples that function too, as in a cabin in the woods.

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The only cameras I can think of are Dash Cams.
I have a BlackVue 750 Dash Camera in my truck and it only needs a wifi connection with my phone to view/download videos recorded on the cam and to change settings.
It would make a great security camera anywhere when connected to a 12 volt supply.

I believe you can purchase cloud storage, but I’ve never needed it and it’s not required.

I tried a " Wansivew" outdoor camera, but sent it back because I couldn’t get it to connect to my wifi router.
Probably something I was doing wrong, but it shouldn’t be that hard.

I’m a bit suspicious of all these Chinese cameras needing a connection to their servers without my knowledge.

My front door is pretty boring, but still.

I might add that I found as long as the power is not lost after setting it up it will still record to the SD card.
But, if you lose that power you’ll need the Internet to start it up again.
It would be a valuable asset if Bluetooth were added so cameras could be started monitoring without the Internet connection.

Unfortunately, Wyze mainly focuses on software development on the camera.

It’d be great if they would just create an Internet-free mode of operation. They can keep the existing app and Internet setup – the camera and app work great in and out of the house. But if it doesn’t detect Internet, then go to local-only operation. That’s within the realm of a software update.

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Yep, like the Dash Cam I mentioned.
Change the software so that it connects through wifi to your phone.
Make changes to settings and start video recording with your phone. No Internet needed.

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Add another lost customer (who would likely be good for 6-12 of these guys if the above wasn’t true).

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For those that are passing on the Wyze cameras, they WILL stream via RTSP with the firmware update (it’s easy). You then use a third party program or app to view the cameras, also the Pan and Tilt features are also lost on the Pan Cam (unless you add Internet, or share it out via mobile hotspot and use a device that’s not the hotspot to run the Wyze app)

With RTSP & the firmware update you get the ability to view the camera within the LAN and without Internet connectivity (to the rest of the world).

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