Wyze 4+ years on

Wyze 4+ years on

I want to disclose that for many years I have been a Network/Systems admin for places such the government (1,000+ user office), Dell Research, Cable Company, etc. with over 20 years experience I’m not a network lightweight. [Mod Edit]

A few years ago I was very much security camera retarded however. Never interested me, that was for the security folks that monitored the physical aspects of the company. My job was the network infrastructure.

So I had decided I wanted to own a home in the location I wanted it but work from whatever state I saw fit. Bought and RV and decked it out with network equipment. And, I purchased several wyze cameras as a test since I was going to be over 1,000 miles away. I’m cheap, well on some things, shrug, so wyze cameras. And they worked well for the most part. I was able to know what was happening at my RV and the house wayyy up north in near real time. I ended up with most of the cameras outside under the eave of the house (second story to keep people from @#$!@$ with them) out the weather and out of direct sunlight. There were a couple on the outside of my RV also. Some inside the house and RV.

I eventually ran into issues with cameras that would become unresponsive (wireless noise levels mostly). Some would respond enough to reboot them and sometimes they were just down until power cycled. Not a problem for the RV cameras because I could just power-cycle them when I got home. But the house cameras up north, that was a 18 hour drive from me one way, big problem. So a caffeine induced weekend (cannonball run) later I had a kitchen timer on them that reset all the cameras twice a week. I was happy once again. Everything was functioning 98% and since I had camera overlap all was good. If a camera hung it would reboot in a day or so and until then an adjacent camera had it covered.

Then. Woot! Human detection! Now I didn’t have to check every single video of wind in the trees. Unless I was really really bored. The camera system had become a much more automated fair. Then, they had a falling out the folks that hey had partnered with. Wow, that was short lived! My spidey sense said something a little dirty had happened. But hey, they had us covered right? Right? They said so. Then I find out I have to “register” to keep human detection after being told I was grandfathered in. No fuss, no muss, right? Well, this tipped the scales for me personally.

I had mentioned that I have no small amount network experience. I can tell you the pin outs various implementations of Ethernet wiring, T1 wiring (almost gone now), etc. I can tell you the structure of your TCP/IP datagram and the structure of the frame it is encapsulated in. In my early years I spent time as a hacker. Wardriving, etc. Not your typical network admin. I always record everything. I mean everything. Every website people go to and how long they are on a given page. Every email they send. Their CPU and disk activity to correlate with the other data. I record everything. Even at home.

So I run a somewhat complex network of Cisco switches and VPN equipment at home and this makes it much easier to record information I want. It takes the right equipment. What I had been recording for some time on the wyze cameras (don’t get me started about Roku) I did not like one bit. Traffic destination, times, and volume. The human detection fiasco just pushed me over the edge into action. You can’t make money selling cameras for $20 and offering free recording. And maybe you make the mistake of initially sending your data to China thinking nobody will know but just because you redirect it to AWS (Amazon Web Services) or wherever doesn’t mean anything has changed. Location or seeming location of data doesn’t mean much. Maybe you incure latency but in the end that can be dealt with in how you buffer, etc.

There was also dealing with recorded video on the SDCard (maybe 15-20% usable), muddy video, horrible audio, wireless issues, bad RTSP, etc. I could write a book on wireless. I had to implement one of the earliest forms of it back many years ago when it was far worse than today (much more reliable now). It’s still [Mod Edit] though IMHO. Only so many devices can talk ok on residential and residential sucks. But even if your run the “good” stuff you will run into problems based on your environment and the medium the signal has to go through. I run pretty good wireless and after about 10 wyze cameras at the house it was getting pretty rough. Wireless is just not a reliable medium unless you are in a business and far enough away from other businesses to control your environment or you only use a few devices. Not long ago in the residential world people had to manually set their wireless channels in their router (if they knew how to, usually set to channel 1 or 6 by default). And wireless ideally needs a few channels of separation from anything somewhat close in frequency. Now imagine living in a subdivision and everybody has newer access points which dynamically change channel (all the damn time, and there are only 11 channels) and channel 9 you picked a couple days ago, that’s now trash. Go fish. If you run your cameras outside this can be a big problem. Most people are not going to be able to visualize this problem. I can, and I see when some [Mod Edit] wireless router changed frequencies (channel) and now my cameras have high noise levels (making them harder to talk to). I’ve implemented a lot of enterprise wireless infrastructure and it always leaves a slight snarl on my face.

Ok, so now after a few years of my endeavor into security cameras I have reached my Wyze Rubicon. Something had to change. I initially tried alternate firmware. Very very cool in the added functionality it was just too unstable. In the end I began searching for a replacement.

Now I primarily run Amcrest POE security cameras. Although there are still a couple Wyze cams running inside (alternate firmware). How are the Amcrest cameras? Well it’s a night and day difference. Love the Amcrest. Cost wise I never purchased Wyze cameras off of their site. I purchased off of Amazon. So usually I paid $30 for a Wyze cam off of Amazon and I pay $50’ish for an Amcrest camera from there but it’s 10x the camera in options and settings. The Amcrest cameras have been running off of POE for many months and I have had zero problems. Very reliable. The image is many magnitudes better in detail (5mp, 2k (vertical)) and color. I can firewall out Internet and DNS (local DNS server) access and record locally to an FTP server.

It’s a pain to run the Ethernet cable through the roof for the POE cameras. But running Ethernet POE is WAY easier than running 110 AC power to the Wyze cams. The Amcrest cameras are perfectly what I wanted, or imagined what I wanted, when I started. There are some quirks but I’ve figured them all out. Really happy now.

Would I go back to Wyze? Yeah, I would. If they offered that small form factor with poe so I could get wire speed video quality and I could firewall them out and record to FTP with somewhat similar options to Amcrest. Yeah, in an instant. The Wyze cams were so small in the black outdoor mounts along with paint scheme I chose for the house that I could put somebody in the front yard and tell them multiple cameras were pointed at them and ask them to find one. They never could unless I pointed them out. There were 6 cameras up front. They camouflaged that well. Mostly due to size. No missing finding my Amcrest cams because they stand out. I’m going to paint the base of the cameras but still they are pretty large by comparison. If Wyze doesn’t change I’m perfectly happy loving my Amcrest cameras.

Would I recommend Wyze to somebody who only wants 1-3 cameras. Absolutely. I always say “something is better than nothing”. I would say to Wyze that they need to provide more secure options for their customers to record their videos. Not everybody is enamored with and trusts the cloud.

MOD NOTE: Post edited to conform to the Community Guidelines.


Does Amcrest push updates without asking?

1 Like

I will agree that almost universally that unless you NEED wireless, a wired connection is almost always better (in lots of ways).

1 Like

No. Not even sure if it could be automated.


Aside from that I don’t even think there have been any firmware updates for some time. Doesn’t bother me because the Amcrest cameras I use do everything I want. The one thing I miss is human detection but everything else more than makes up for it IMHO.

I use two types of cameras from them. One dome and the other bullet.

IP5M-T1179EW-28MM Dome
IP5M-B1186EW-28MM Bullet

These are “POE” (power over Ethernet) cameras so you need a POE switch to make them work. I got a NETGEAR 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged PoE+ Switch (GS308PP) for the POE part. The cameras pull a max of around 4 watts at night (infrared powered also) and 3’ish watts during the day.

4 watts x 8 cameras is only 32 watts and the switch is 83 watts but you always want some overhead and you may end up plugging something more power hungry into it such as a POE wireless access point so extra power is smart IMHO.

1 Like

Hey @camera3

Do you mean the total SD card function was 15-20% usable, or just the video you recorded/offloaded from it?

I mean it recorded just fine but it was utter frustration trying to watch the videos. Long buffering times, audio out of sync, the more I used it the slower it got, etc. I very much liked the idea of it so I put quality SD cards in every camera.

It was so damn irritating that I finally stopped using it. Only on very rare occasions and even then it was hit or miss. I wanted it to work like I read it would work but it was anything but usable. Total PITA.


Thanks! Here’s additional recent on it…

These things are anecdotal. We know nothing about your environment vs what mine was.

Based on my years of experience you never want anything 90%. You want 100%. You want to have happen exactly what you expect. I don’t want to miss somebody messing with my house because of a cooldown window. I don’t want to have to struggle to pull data off of an SD card when it’s time sensitive (had an incident with an inlaw that required police and it picked that moment to be difficult). It’s a security camera, I want it to reliably do its job.

The Amcrest cameras have not once missed a beat since installation. Not quite a year yet but many months. They have never hung up. I have had zero problems watching video recorded to to the SD card on any camera. They have missed zero motion events. The audio has never been out of sync. The video quality is good enough I can tell when the mailperson puts netflix movies into my mailbox (big and deep front yard). I have four separate motion detection zones which each has their own sensitivity settings and are pixel based and can be painted into any shape I want. The camera does WDR (wide dynamic range) and I can record a scene that is full daylight and easily see things in the shadows behind the house whereas it would be pitch black on the Wyze cam. I could go on for a while on the advantages of the Amcrest cams.

My main thing is the camera doing what it says it does. In that respect the Amcrest cams nails it IMHO. They have tons upon tons of excellent reviews on Amazon. People really like them. Businesses really like them. They are reliable.

1 Like


I’m enjoying your detailed perspective.

1 Like

Up until recently it was NOT a security camera.

B. Intended Use of Wyze Products and Services

Our Products and Services are intended to be accessed and used for non-critical, non-commercial, home-based, personal uses and not for safety, security or time-sensitive purposes.

1 Like

Even worse, no Oxford comma.


What a great read. Thank you for posting.

1 Like

You had me until you ended up buying and installing Ethernet connections to the cams, now you are comparing, if I may, apples and oranges, Everything works better with a direct connection.

1 Like

Yeah, me too until he didn’t vote over here:

Pure narcissist. :wink:

What an odd post. Do you work for Amcrest? So I would need an ethernet drop everywhere I would want a camera? I run 6 Wyze cameras with a Plume mesh network and rarely have a hiccup.
Critiquing Wyze is fine on their forum, but having the main thrust be recommending an alternate competing brand that isn’t wireless seems uncool.

It may be an odd post, but I would REALLY like to know more about the redirect of the traffic and where it’s going. If it’s not to the AWS cloud servers it’s supposed to be stored on, where is it going? Even then, who really has access to those servers?

Yes, running POE to a bunch of cameras is not the same as running a bunch of wifi cameras, but having a company sell your data, especially highly personal / sensitive home security / surveillance video data, is probably worth the hassle to some people. It certainly is to me.

I suspect this is a case of someone that has found a solution that work well for them, and in their enthusiasm, overlooks any drawbacks that might apply for other person’s situation.

Personally, I use my Wyze cameras in conjunction with other cameras (Zmodo & Blink), rather than any replacing the other.

I have no idea what you are talking about. What traffic redirection? All (well, most) Wyze live video is point to point, while events are uploaded to their cloud and AI servers.

The apps have metrics gathering but I don’t know whether the cameras do.

The OP said this:

“You can’t make money selling cameras for $20 and offering free recording. And maybe you make the mistake of initially sending your data to China thinking nobody will know but just because you redirect it to AWS (Amazon Web Services) or wherever doesn’t mean anything has changed. Location or seeming location of data doesn’t mean much. Maybe you incure latency but in the end that can be dealt with in how you buffer, etc.”

That’s redirecting your data somewhere else other than where they said it was going…why and where?

Oh that. That’s just false.

There was no “redirection” and no sending video traffic to China, ever, so far as I understand. What there was were some P2P servers in TUTK’s network that were hosted on China. These P2P servers just help your phone and your camera find each other. Then the video stream is point to point.

It was mostly cosmetic but Wyze blocked those portions of the TUTK network so we use non-China P2P servers (and more recently WebRTC).