RTSP local availability when internet or Wyze servers down?

Once the WyzeCam has been flashed with the RTSP enabled BETA firmware, and RTSP has enabled and verified to work, will the RTSP feed work on the local network only, with no internet connectivity?

I initially wanted to do this for security/privacy reasons, however I have mostly gotten past that. But what Is worrying me now is after just having bought some of these cameras, I see posts here of two outages in less than a week (8/22/2019 and 8/28/2019). That certainly does not give me much confidence in the product I just bought. Knowing that the cameras would still be accessible via RTSP on my local network if Wyze servers have issues again, or if I decide to force things to be local-only via firewall rules, would go a long way in giving me confidence to keep the cameras I have bought, and probably buy several more.

AFAIK, the Wyze app on my smartphone does not have any way to talk locally to the cameras over the LAN - so I understand I would probably need to temporarily restore internet access to the cameras should I want to reprogram some aspect of their operation. I am not that familiar with RTSP, but I believe it has some basic control function possibilities - if the Wyze RTSP implementation supports that.

One could argue for/against the need to turn off internet access for the cameras for privacy reasons. But if the cameras just stop working when the Wyze servers have problems - that would be very bad from a basic functionality standpoint. A show-stopper, really. Hence my question: will RTSP still keep working and remain available for local viewing if Wyze servers are taken out of the picture (either because of recurring outages at Wyze, or a firewall)?

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I think you mean RSTP. It is just a new (Rapid) version of Spanning Tree Protocol, a way to communicate while preventing loops on networks. I suspect lack of internet accesss would NOT affect traffic on your LAN if it’s set up properly. Comments made by others lead me to believe that local devices (iPads, phones) can communicate directly with the Wyze cameras on the same LAN and not rely on internet access. Can anyone confirm this?

Thanks for the reply. I would love it if indeed local devices can communicate with the Wyze Cameras without requiring internet. I haven’t seen that mentioned anywhere, but I am very new to these forums. I did read one post (since posting my question above) that mentioned when the Wyze cameras reboot, like after a power failure, that they may need to connect to the internet to regain functionality. I would hope that is not the case and that RTSP would come back to full functionality without internet connectivity, but luckily we have few power failures around here so it might still be workable if things are indeed that way. A camera that can work totally standalone and local (after initial setup) would be the ideal product offering though. Connect it to the internet and you get enhanced features, but the basic features are there without internet. This would imply that the user would need to know how to access RTSP locally in the first place.

Actually, it is indeed RTSP - “RealTime Streaming Protocol” - that I am asking about.

I am also using RTSP and Blue Iris and openvpn. After set up, you can use the cameras without the internet. The issue is if they drop out for whatever reason.It is not just a power failure issue …at least for me it isn’t. I suspect it is a Wifi issue. Whatever the cause, It happens to me quite often. To “reset” them, they have to be connected to the internet. (it’s possible unplugging will do the same trick, I haven’t tried that though, as it is impractical for me where they located. Sorry I have no idea about the Wyze server question.

Thanks, haertig- I am also very new to this forum. RSTP and RTSP are very different things and I wasn’t sure which you were concerned about. I, too am very curious about the reliability of these cameras if the internet goes down- our DSL is terrible and often goes down several times per hour (especially if it rains, not really useable) and is hard to get back up. The internet service via cable is not much better in our neighborhood and these things need to stay working whether the internet is available or not!

I have done some testing of WyzeCam plus/minus internet.

I booted the WyzeCam with full internet access present, and the camera initialized normally. RTSP worked. I then killed internet access with the firewall. The WyzeCam continued to work - both RTSP and through the Wyze app. Note that I only “killed the internet” for NEW connections, existing connections were allowed to continue, which explains why the Wyze app continues to work after the kill.

FWIW, for you technical people, here is what I did in the firewall to “kill the internet” (note that br2 is the bridge/vlan that I have the WyzeCam isolated on):

iptables -N restricted_access

iptables -F restricted_access

iptables -A restricted_access -p tcp -j REJECT --reject-with tcp-reset

iptables -A restricted_access -j REJECT --reject-with icmp-host-prohibited

iptables -I FORWARD -i br2 -m state --state NEW -j restricted_access

I will go back and run my “kill the internet” test again, but this second time I will kill it totally (wiping out existing connections as well as new ones).

With the internet firewall as above (internet blocked for NEW connections) I unplugged then replugged the WyzeCam forcing a reboot. The WyzeCam would NOT fully initialize with no internet access. During an normal initialization, the WyzeCam LED goes SolidYellow → FlashingYellow → FlashingBlueAndYellow → FlashingBlue → SolidBlue. Without internet access, it hung at FlashingBlue, therefore not fully initialized. The camera was non-functional in this state.

So my conclusion is: The WyzeCam REQUIRES internet connectivity to reboot. Without internet availability during boot, the WyzeCam is about as useful as a rock.

However, if the WyzeCam is already booted and functional when internet access disappears, it will apparently continue to work as a local RTSP stream.

Bottom line: You MAY be able to sneak by and remain functional (local RTSP feed) if internet access disappears and then comes back. But if you also lose power, you are dead in the water if the WyzeCam tries to reinitialize without internet. It is also important to note that when the WyzeCam hangs when it tries to boot without internet access, simply restoring internet access does NOT get you past the hang. The camera appeared to hang indefinitely, remaining hung even after I restored internet acess. After internet is restored, you MUST then subsequently powerdown/powerup your WyzeCam to force it to try initializing again.

This is not ideal. I hope that the developers will at least rework the firmware so that the WyzeCam will automatically attempt to retry initialization if its first attempt fails. The way it is now, it appears that a power failure will hang your WyzeCam. Because a power failure would kill your router too, and upon power restore, the WyzeCam probably reboots faster than your router reboots, so the WyzeCam would see no internet available as it reboots from a power failure.

Final note: I ran my test once, so that is only one data point. It is possible that running the test multiple times might produce different results. However, I stopped after one test because that one test proved to me that at least sometimes, WyzeCam initialization will fail with no internet available. Even if it only fails one time out of ten, that’s still a chance that you need to be aware of if you have remote WyzeCams where you cannot easily go over and unplug the thing to force a reboot.

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I need to amend my report above. I tested again for the ability of the Wyze Cam to reboot successfully without having internet present. In this second test, it was successful. The camera still ended up in the FlashingBlue state, but the difference this time is that I WAS able to connect to its RTSP stream over my local network. This connection was not guaranteed (sometimes I could connect, other times I couldn’t). But it is promising that sometimes I could. So it appears that I was wrong when I said the Wyze Cam requires an internet connection to boot. Concluding that connections to the Wyze Cam are intermittent is quite different than concluding that it cannot boot. So I retract my initial conclusion about not being able to boot.

Now I need to troubleshoot why the connections are intermittent. The cause could be instability in the Wyze Cam firmware, but it could also be problems in the clients I am using to connect to the RTSP stream. In my tests, I have been using VLC as the client trying to connect to the Wyze Cam. I have tested using VLC from a Linux computer, and also using VLC from an Android tablet. Connections are intermittent from both platforms, and sometimes a connection can be made, but it freezes after a few seconds.

I did note a high occurrence of the following error message in the Linux VLC logs:

avcodec decoder error: more than 5 seconds of late video → dropping frame (computer too slow ?)

The Linux computer running VLC is anything but slow, however, the presence of this error message it telling. Next, I will try using different software as the RTSP client. I need to investigate what other programs will access an RTSP stream. I am assuming that ffmpeg might, and possibly mplayer. We’ll see what I can find.

I have noted that when I am able to connect to the Wyze Cam from my Android tablet, the connection appears stable. Funny, because that tablet is a very cheap and slow Amazon Fire HD8. That is NOT a fast tablet by any means. But once connected to the Wyze Cam, it appears to keep the connection better than my fast Linux desktop does. Hmmm.

More testing to do…

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I have had a Wyze Cam running for testing with no internet connectivity for a good week now. The RTSP feed drops after a while (maybe an hour on average? the timing of the drop is variable). But I have been able to successfully reconnect to the RTSP without needing to reboot the Wyze Cam thus far. That part is good. I just wish the feed wouldn’t drop in the first place. I still cannot say what the cause of the drop is. Is it the Wyze Cam? Or is it the client I am using? My WiFi is very solid here, so I doubt that would be the cause. But it cannot be ruled out at this point.