Data use with offline cam? WYZEC2

Lets say I am using the cam to monitor a location with no internet access. Upon arriving at the location I will activate the hotspot on my phone, log into the camera, and check the events to see if anyone has been there.

I realize the cam cannot send notifications, nor can I log in while I am away, and that is fine.

I do want to make sure the camera wont try to upload the full 32GB of stored video files to the cloud for any reason when I reconnect it to wifi.

Can someone confirm that the only data that will be used is the data required for me to view whatever clips I pull up while logged in?


You should be able to view the continuous recording that’s saved to the camera (if that was started when the camera had power and wifi, and power wasn’t lost in the meantime), but the camera doesn’t pend or hold onto event clips to send to the cloud at all. What’s on the SD card won’t get uploaded, that stays on the card.

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Correct. The camera will not try to upload the entire contents of the SDcard to the Wyze servers for any reason.

My experience has been that you cannot log into the camera with the phone that is actually providing the hotspot to the camera.

You must use a second WiFi device to log into the phone’s WiFi hotspot and set up the camera and then view the SDcard contents later.

So cellular data is only being used is when the camera and the second device authenticate with Wyze at setup and when re-connecting to view the SDcard contents.

When using the second device to view the SDcard on the camera ( either events or a continuous recording ) it is a direct WiFi link.

The 12 second event clips that usually get recorded in the Wyze cloud are not a thing in this scenario and are never recorded or uploaded anywhere.

At least that is my understanding. :smiley:

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These are wifi/cloud cameras remember. If this is your normal use case scenario I’d also research other avenues and camera systems (trailcams?) Since these cameras need a wifi signal for the majority of their functions. Wyze may not be the optimal camera system in this use.

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If you know of a $25 trailcam of similar size or smaller I would definitely be interested :wink:

The reason I chose this is because of the cost and because it is easily concealed. Also it is #1 on Amazon’s “No WiFi Security Camera” list somehow.

I wonder if the issue where you can’t use it on the same device you host the hotspot from is an iphone-only issue? It works fine on my Android but Android always does have better functionality when it comes to more technical use cases. However I would like the whole family to be able to use this…

Am I correct that the events list does not populate while the camera is offline? I hope I am wrong but it appears they could not be bothered to implement onboard motion sensing?!?

So if a malicious actor wants to circumvent this camera’s motion alerts, all they need to do is tamper with the wifi signal?

I do not, sorry! I use my gopros if I ever need any offline recording, and those are definitely not in that price range. I also have no experience with hot spot usage so can’t help there.

One reason the camera is fairly inexpensive is alot of the processing and setting storage is done server side. There are some processes done on the camera, but not many. The previous xnor person detection was all in camera, but the new Wyze person detection is processed server side for now.

When you check the event tab in app, it polls the servers and displays or populates with what is saved to the cloud. If a camera does not have wifi or is not online, it does not send clips to the cloud and nothing will show up in the event tab for that camera during that time. I would believe that the camera initiates the trigger when motion or sound is heard, but the upload would not occur since there is no signal or connection to the server.

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That’s all a malicious actor has to do to circumvent any WiFi based security system.

The key is how the system handles an interrupted signal from a cam or sensor. Many of them will let you know something is afoot the instant the signal drops.

Wyze will not.

But you can vote on that Wishlist item here:

This is why most professional security camera systems have all the cams connected to the Network Video Recorder by power over ethernet hardline cable running inside a steel conduit. :sunglasses:


Well yeah but I’m specifically referring to the fact that it will still record normally but it wont let the user know that someone broke in. So the user would have to review all the recorded footage in realtime everytime they get home, just to make sure they didn’t lose connectivity- which nobody will ever do.

Im guessing all I would have to do to circumvent would be to deauth the camera, then provide a stronger wifi signal via a directional antenna with no internet connectivity on the same channel and BSSID.

Instead of using the same level of motion detection as the cloud uses, they could easily provide a rudimentary offline version that is within the onboard processor’s capabilities, and call these “offline events” or whatever. Since offline use is minimal in the normal use case, it would not bother anyone to have a few incorrect motion alerts due to changing light or whatever.

One way around this would be to make a time lapse video while you’re not home:

Yes, there are numerous methods depending on whether you want to intercept the traffic or just shut it down - most of which are illegal in the USA.

A locked door as they say keeps honest people honest but typically does very little to deter a determined thief. Same with cameras, they best serve as a deterrent when visible and obvious but again won’t stop a determined thief. A hat and a mask render even the most expensive hardened cameras useless.

Now that said a lot of criminals are not particularly smart or careful and that’s how we end up with all that wonderful candid footage for the reality cop shows we used to have.


Hold on a second, guys. If the SD card settings are “Record events only”, wouldn’t that mostly satisfy the poster here? Won’t those still get recorded as relatively few files to the SD card offline? (I’d imagine it’s still a bit of a pain to take out the card and peruse in VLC, outside the native app.)

Of course I have zero faith in the thing’s SD handling anyway…


Hold on, hold on, apparently none of this will work?

It all depends on what the meaning of “offline” is… :slightly_smiling_face:

We are actually discussing two very similar but different things in these threads:

  1. The LifeHackster method - where the cam and the viewing phone do have internet access and do authenticate with Wyze before going offline, and do remain continuously powered after authenticating with Wyze. This still works. - see below.

  2. The @kyphos Norwegian fjord method - where the cam and the viewing phone do not ever have internet access after powering on and do not authenticate with Wyze before going offline. This no longer works.

Method 1 was actually an involuntary discovery for me when a battery backup kept the Wyze cams running and recording just fine to their SD cards during an extended internet outage.

Also, minutes ago, I just verified it again by unplugging my main internet router, but leaving the home mesh up and running.

So all cams were authenticated with Wyze, and are still on the WiFi LAN, but no longer have any internet connection.

Both an Apple iPhone and an Android phone were able to view the SD card recordings and view the live stream - verified by me walking in front of the cameras while watching on the phone.

The only “trick” was that I had to open the Wyze app with cellular data ON to authenticate the phone, then I had to turn cellular data OFF to force the phone to talk to the cams by the local WiFi LAN only.

So, while the @kyphos Norwegian fjord method sounds wonderful, especially when travelling beyond any cell phone coverage, it apparently stopped working just before I arrived in the Wyze community.

The LifeHackster method is more limited, but still works and can be quite useful - just as long as you have continuous power for the cams and some cell coverage with a phone or mobile hotspot when you need to interact with the cams. :grinning:

And I think this is one thing the WCO is supposed to offer - off grid time lapse and scheduled recording to its SD card, plus phone viewing.


Good point. I look forward to testing this. I did use an iPhone hotspot the last time.

Great summary, thank you. The most remarkable part is that “The @kyphos Norwegian fjord method” is neither imaginary nor hyperbole. Wow.

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Every so often I visit reality. :wink: Just wish I had time to visit those fjords!! :grinning:


I am honored to have an off-line recording technique named after me (the Kyphos Norwegian Fjord method)! I used it a lot. Sadly, this method is no more. It has ceased to be. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. It’s rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible.

The fjords were quite incredible. Geiranger (where my fjord time-lapse started) is about 100 mi inland. Definitely worth a trip some day. If the weather is good, you might spot a Norwegian blue*.

*obscure cultural reference.


Ahhh! I was pining to use that reference but didn’t see a good way. It was right there!


:joy: Not obscure where I grew up! :joy: The tale of ex-parrots with beautiful plumage was almost required memorization in fact! That and bringing coconuts to the midnight late show every Saturday. :popcorn: I still say that the Norwegian Blue would have a better chance of gripping it by the husk than either the African or European Swallow…

Maybe someone will make a coconut husk casing for the Wyze Cam Outdoors? For offline use of course… :wink:


The LifeHackster YT video is very helpful, and should be recommended viewing for anyone interesting in ‘remote’ time-lapse recording. His two device trick (iPhone plus iPad) for remote setup is pretty clever. But he fails to mention one essential little detail that @sodcam highlights. When configuring the setup using a smartphone’s hotspot, the phone must have cellular data connectivity. That’s not necessarily the case if (for example) one is in the middle of a Norwegian fjord, or in the deep woods or other off-the-grid location where there may not be cellular data coverage.

One other caveat - when the cam is running off battery without any internet connectivity, its internal clock will drift. When it boots up, the cam obtains time-of-day by querying internet NTP servers, and it then continues to update its internal clock via NTP in order to maintain accurate time. But the cam’s internal RTC (real time clock) circuitry is not terribly precise, and its sense of time will drift. As a result the timestamps on videos may not be 100% correct. Programmed start/stop times for TL recordings will be off a bit. The longer the cam runs in an off-line environment, the greater the time delta.