If you're in the market for a wire-free best 4G security camera that can sit outside your property without relying on a Wi-Fi connection, then cellular security cameras might be for you.
With this technology, you can easily monitor far-reaching areas of your property, from anywhere, anytime.
These cameras come in a range of prices. So whether you're looking for a basic battery-powered security camera to monitor your backyard or a self-sustaining solar-powered camera to cover a compound, shed, or garage, cellular cameras are your best bet.
While most cellular security cameras are motion-triggered, there is also one model available that supports 24/7 continuous recording so read on for more!
My main recommended outdoor cellular security camera is the Reolink Go PT Plus. It offers a truly wire-free and hassle-free experience with its portable design, not to mention crisp and clear 2K Super HD resolution. I've carried out extensive testing on the Wi-Fi version of this camera which you can read about here.
As an alternative, the Arlo Go 2 LTE is another great option. It’s got a built-in spotlight and swappable batteries for extra convenience.
Best 4G Security Cameras for Homeowners
The Reolink Go PT Plus is a portable and wire-free 4G security camera, making it perfect for homes, backyards, and garages without enough Wi-Fi range.
- Solar Power: Yes, purchased separately
- Image Quality: 2K Super HD
- Storage: Includes 32GB SD card and free 7-day cloud storage trial
- Weatherproofing: Yes, IP64
- Recommended Carriers: T-Mobile (for Europe and USA), Vodafone, EE, and Orange (for Europe)
- Average Data Usage: 2GB for 1 hour of 1440p footage (3Mbps bitrate)
The Reolink Go PT Plus is my best choice for an easy-to-install 4G cellular security camera.
Battery and Power Options
It’s a resilient device that provides extensive security coverage where needed and can maintain itself for about 1-4 weeks depending on usage (without a solar panel).
What I find extra neat is its solar-charging feature. Paired with a compatible Reolink Solar Panel, it provides steady power and puts less strain on the battery so you don’t have to recharge it so often (or at all).
Once connected, the camera does impress. It has 2K Super HD video quality, which serves up sharp visuals and offers a detailed view of every scene.
On top of that, the varied tilt and pan ranges make sure to capture everything around its immediate vicinity.
That being said, many users have reported inconsistencies and unresponsiveness with cellular networks.
Also, its motion detection features are somewhat slow, often failing to recognize fast-paced motion events caused by animals and high-speed vehicles.
- Can connect to a compatible solar panel to extend battery life
- Offers 2K Super HD resolution
- Immediate alerts through push notifications or emails.
- IP64-rated enclosure; weatherproof and ideal for all conditions.
- 355° Panning and 140° tilting for wider coverage.
- Users report considerable delay between motion detection and footage capture
- Night vision quality is somewhat average.
- Testers have also reported unreliable connectivity and a lack of 4G signals in certain areas.
- Pan and tilt controls can be too sensitive.
- Some users have complained about the slow loading time in the mobile app.
The Arlo Go 2 LTE/Wi-Fi Security Camera is a flexible and portable surveillance camera that provides intelligent security without the need for a hub.
- Solar Power: Yes, purchased separately
- Image Quality: 1080p HD
- Storage: Includes 32GB SD card and optional free 7-day cloud storage
- Weatherproofing: Yes, IP65 weather-resistant enclosure
- Recommended Carriers: Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and more (Check the full list here)
- Average Data Usage: 700MB to 2GB per month
The Arlo Go 2 is a cable-free, wireless home security device. It's a great option for motion detection with a lengthy battery life.
Build and Image Quality
It boasts a clear live feed, delivering crisp 1080p HD video, and at night, sports a built-in spotlight and color vision to keep the footage crisp as ever.
There’s also a siren and two-way audio system, letting you put out warnings or chat with anything or anybody on the other side.
This device is robust and built to withstand typical weather conditions. So unless there’s a flood or a hailstorm, it will be fine.
On the downside, you'll have to pay extra for a SIM card, and video recording subscription. On top of that, users report that compatible network providers/ISPs are limited in specific regions.
- 2-3 Month battery life
- Supports both Wi-Fi and Cellular 4G LTE
- IP65 weather-resistant for year-round use
- Integrated spotlight
- Supports a compatible solar panel to extend battery life
- Requires a subscription for cloud storage and full smart functionality
- Can be limited to certain network providers (e.g., T-mobile)
- Users have complained about additional hidden charges for their subscription service
- Dimensions are somewhat large compared to other cameras
- Lacks PTZ control
- Limited to 1080p HD video
The eufy S230 is a no-nonsense 4G camera with 2K resolution images and a battery/solar setup that can sustain itself without manually recharging.
- Solar Power: Yes, powerful enough to maintain 3 days’ worth of battery with just several hours of sunlight
- Image Quality: 2K resolution with fully compatible starlight color night vision.
- Storage: 8GB local storage (internal)
- Weatherproofing: Yes, IP67 waterproof
- Recommended Carriers: Vodafone, O2, EE, Three and EIOTCLUB
- Average Data Use: 500MB per month recommended
Eufy’s 4G Camera S230 is a high-efficiency outdoor security camera that uses a 4G LTE connection. Unlike the competition, it's compatible with many network providers, making it a flexible choice for your home.
Starlight Night Vision and Self-Sufficient Power
It's the first cellular outdoor model to offer 2K HD resolution alongside Starlight Night Vision, managing to deliver solid 2K color images 24/7.
Also, there’s no need to worry about changing batteries. The 4G Camera S230 features a strong battery that can last up to three months on a single charge.
On top of that, you can hook it up with the eufyCam Solar Panel Charger for continuous power. So with enough sunlight, you’ll be able to keep it running without having to recharge it manually ever again.
- Long-lasting battery with an average battery life of 3-months
- Solar panel chargers can be purchased to possibly extend battery life indefinitely
- 2K HD resolution and Starlight Color Night Vision
- Built-in AI to filter up to 95% of false alarms.
- GPS to track the location of the camera
- 8 GB of local storage, no SD card required
- IP67 waterproof rating
- Configurable spotlight
- Subscription-free access to the Eufy app and to review locally stored footage
- Solar panel charger needs to be purchased separately
- Slightly more premium than the mid-range options
- Device testers have found that the device tends to eat up a lot more mobile data with extended use.
The Reolink TrackMix LTE Plus is a high-performance battery and solar-powered security camera that connects to 4G LTE for remote surveillance.
- Continous Recording: Yes
- Solar Power: Yes, 66W panel included
- Image Quality: Max resolution of 2560 x 1440 at 15fps
- Storage: Micro-SD card slot available for max 256GB (not included)
- Weatherproofing: Yes, rated as waterproof
- Recommended Carriers: T-Mobile (for Europe and USA), Vodafone, EE, and Orange (for Europe)
- Average Data Usage: 2GB for 1 hour of 1440p footage (3Mbps bitrate)
Without any need for Wi-Fi, the Reolink TrackMix LTE Plus is a highly reliable 4G camera that provides around the clock 24/7 coverage.
This security camera relies on a powerful 66W solar panel and 155Wh rechargeable battery for higher energy efficiency and prolonged battery life.
Dual Lens Feature
With the Reolink TrackMix LTE's dual-lens system, it’s able to record full views and close-ups at the same time, making sure to pick up any small details and obscurities that a single lens might miss.
Also, it’s got a dual-tracking sensor, meaning that the camera will pan, tilt, and zoom to keep up with any significant objects moving in front of it.
This security camera is highly reliable with some impressive features. However, for most homes, it may be too "commercial grade", considering its large dimensions and the equally large price tag!
Alternatively, I recommend its scaled-down counterpart, the Reolink Track Mix LTE
- Dual-Tracking and Dual-View Technology
- 24/7 Recording for 2 days continuously on a full battery charge.
- Smart Detection to discern between people, vehicles, and pets
- Includes Two-Way Audio
- 2K Clarity & Night Vision image quality
- 66W solar panel and 155Wh battery included for continuous operation
- High Price: The camera the most expensive on our list
- Testers have found that it supports only 1 guard position and 32 preset positions
- Installation is not DIY-friendly due to the large dimensions of the solar panel and camera mount
The V300 is an easy-to-use 4G security camera that allows you to monitor remote locations without relying on Wi-Fi.
- Solar Power: Yes, purchased separately. Extends battery life to 6 months.
- Image Quality: Full HD 1080p at 15fps
- Storage: 16GB Micro SD card included
- Weatherproofing: No
- Two-Way Audio: No
- Spotlight: No
The Vosker V300, although not my top pick, still holds up a few notable features. Namely, it doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi and comes with a SIM card right out of the box.
Besides that, it’s easy to get up and running fast, especially if you need to beef up security in a rush.
Battery and Solar Charger
Battery-wise, it packs a strong 14,000 mAh lithium score, being able to work solo for a decent 2-4 weeks.
Combined with a solar panel, its operating time may extend up to 6-9 months. However, there might be certain issues with the small solar panel’s performance.
Based on user feedback, it may not fully power up the battery, affecting the advertised battery lifespan.
Image Quality and its Limitations
Packing an AI-driven feature called VOSKER SENSE, the Vosker V300 offers proactive security. It cleverly filters out potential risks, helping you avoid manually shuffling through unnecessary footage. This adds to the device's user-friendliness.
That said, not all users find the HD images to be crisp. Some report issues with odd coloration in the pictures, such as purple or magenta tints.
- Relatively faster and easy to set up.
- Comes with a pre-activated SIM card and options to pick a monthly plan right out of the box
- Option to install a solar charger to extend battery life.
- Includes AI Image Recognition to minimize false alarms
- Built-in GPS to locate the camera
- Users have reported that the app and data plan could be better.
- The motion recording can be inconsistent.
- A few users have also complained about footage carrying a purple/magenta tint.
- Slightly more expensive than the competition
- Some device testers have reported that the solar charger is not enough to maintain the device
- Users have also complained about the subscription paywall that’s instituted for live streaming.
What is a Cellular Security Camera?
A cellular security camera is a wireless surveillance camera that uses the 3G, 4G, or 5G cellular network to transmit video footage and receive real-time alerts.
It eliminates the need for a Wi-Fi network connection and can be installed in remote areas or locations that don't have Wi-Fi connectivity (but do have cell coverage).
Why Pick a 4G Security Camera over a Wi-Fi or PoE model?
The most significant advantage of cellular security cameras lies in their flexibility. Cellular security cameras are powered by batteries or are solar-powered. Therefore, there is no need for electrical outlets. You also don’t need Wi-Fi or a wired PoE or Coax network as these cameras use a 3G/4G LTE/5G network for data transfer.
Cellular security cameras are also easy to install and can be set up within a few minutes. You can also install them anywhere you like and reposition them to some other location without drilling holes or dealing with messy cables.
They’re also safer and more secure than traditional security cameras because they transfer data using cellular signals, and hacking a cellular security system is extremely rare. Also, with cellular security camera systems, you can stream videos remotely anytime and anyplace, even without Wi-Fi and a power connection.
Guide to Choosing a 4G LTE Security Camera
As you know, the key benefit of a cellular security camera is its flexibility. It doesn't require traditional internet connectivity or a hardwired power source.
However, before you decide to go for one of these devices, there are a few things you need to look for and consider:
- Connection Quality: Figure which network provider and data plan you’re going to set up for this camera since remote control and viewing capabilities entirely depend on this.
- Battery Life: Consider a camera with long battery life as it makes for easier maintenance.
- Video Quality: Look for high-definition resolution, at least 1080p, ensuring clear and detailed images.
- Storage: Does it offer cloud storage or do you require an SD card? More footage always requires more storage space.
- Camera Durability: If positioned outdoors, make sure it has an official IP rating for weather resistance.
For enabling the full functionality of a 4G LTE security camera, a cellular network is key. So if the 4G/LTE signal is poor or inconsistent where your camera is installed, it will hinder the camera's ability to upload video and interface with the smart apps.
So before you decide on a cellular camera, make sure you consider:
- The network provider/carrier or ISP.
- Signal coverage for where you hope to install the camera.
- A sufficient data plan
- Compatibility between the security camera and the network provider.
Verify Signal Strength
You can easily do this if your smartphone also relies on the same network provider. If so, simply take your smartphone where you hope to install the camera and check the signal strength.
- First, switch off the Wi-Fi in your smartphone.
- Then, head over to where you’re going to install the camera. The closer the better.
- After that, check the number of signal bars you’re getting at the top of the display. Usually, if it indicates full bars with a label such as “4G” or “4G+,” you’re good to go.
- To verify further, you can access the internet and do a quick speed test. Either through a speed test by Ookla for a detailed breakdown or fast.com for a quick reading.
- Make sure to run it twice so you can ensure the signal is consistent.
With this simple process, you can easily confirm if your desired network has enough signal. Beyond that, you can also try contacting your ISP, or their website, to see if they officially support 4G coverage in your area.
Typically, you need at least 5 Mbps Upload speed for a smooth experience.
Decide on a Plan and Compatibility
After making sure your desired network provider has sufficient coverage, you have to make sure the security camera supports your network provider/ISP and decide on a data plan.
Usually, the cameras will mention what carriers they recommend and how much data they consume to stream footage.
Network Comparison Between Our Top Pick and Runner-Up
Take, for instance, the Reolink Go PT Plus+. Their website recommends T-mobile for US and Europe and estimates a data plan of at least 1GB per month.
Conversely, the Arlo Go 2 supports almost any carrier and recommends a data plan of around 2GB per month.
So likewise, consider these specs and make sure to formulate your data requirements before purchasing the camera.
Battery Life and Backup Power with Solar Panels
For these wire-free cameras, batteries and solar panels are their only lifeline. Therefore, making sure your security camera has a solid battery and the option to draw power from solar panels is essential.
Higher battery life and supplementary power via solar minimizes the amount of maintenance you have to carry out.
So instead of having to replace or recharge the batteries every couple of weeks, you can extend this to 4-8 months (such as the case with the Reolink Go PT Plus).
Indefinite Battery Life
However, In some high-performance cameras such as the Reolink TrackMix LTE Plus, you can forgo this entirely as the solar panels can keep the batteries topped up indefinitely.
However, this all depends on usage and weather conditions, so it's not always a “set it and forget about it” situation like wired security cameras.
Whichever camera you choose, make sure it offers at least 1080p resolution. Clear and detailed images can be the difference between identifying an intruder and missing important details in case of a security breach.
If a high-definition resolution is your goal, it’s best to go for cameras such as the Reolink Go PT Plus and the eufy 4G Camera S230. Both provide 2K clarity ensuring crisp, detailed footage.
However, if your budget is limited and you only need to cover a small area in your home, 1080p is good enough. For this, you can go for the Arlo Go 2 LTE/WiFi camera.
Storage is another crucial concern when purchasing a 4G LTE security camera. It's the holding tank for your footage.
Bigger Storage Capacity, More Footage
In this case, bigger is always better since more footage needs more storage.
The Reolink Go PT Plus, for instance, gives you a couple of options: it can store footage on a 32GB SD card or you can opt for their cloud service. (Which does demand a monthly subscription).
Or, Review and Delete
On the other hand, if storage isn’t that important to you, the Eufy S230 is a decent alternative.
It doesn’t include any hidden fees or subscription services, just a local 8GB internal storage to store a month's worth of footage for you to review and delete at your immediate leisure.
If you’re hoping to install your 4G LTE cameras outside in the rain and snow, durability is a significant factor.
In this regard, I suggest going directly for the IP rating and operating temperatures. These two specs can help you get a concrete idea about the extreme weather conditions the camera is capable of withstanding.
The Arlo Go 2 LTE/Wi-Fi Security Camera, with an IP65 rating and -4°F to 113°F operating temperature is a good example of a durable model.
Likewise, the Reolink GO PT Plus, certified with an IP64 weatherproof standard, is another likely candidate, durable enough for various weather conditions.
How I Tested These Cameras
I've tested a large number of security cameras over the years (from brands like Reolink, Lorex, and Annke), which you can check out on my YouTube channel.
For this guide, I spent a long time engaged in in-depth research to identify the best cellular security cameras available today. I generally disregard a lot of the generic cameras available across the various marketplaces, as they all lack after-sales support.
Along with reviewing each camera's specs, I analyzed customer reviews along with real-life experiences on YouTube to gather information to help rate the various models.
This led me to the five devices that covered a decent range of budgets, use cases, and features, with, minimal issues.
Do I Need a SIM Card for a 4G Security Camera?
Yes, a SIM card is required for a 4G security camera as it allows the camera to connect to the cellular network and transmit data.
It's important to choose a compatible SIM card and select a suitable data plan for uninterrupted monitoring.
How is Video Footage Stored in a 4G Security Camera?
Video footage from a 4G security camera is typically stored in the cloud, allowing you to access and review it anytime from your smartphone or computer.
However, some models may also provide options for local storage using an SD card or a separate network video recorder (NVR) for added flexibility.
Are Cellular Security Cameras Expensive to Run?
With cellular 4G LTE cameras, you need to spend extra on data plans and cloud storage instead of piggybacking off your existing Wi-Fi connection.
So essentially: yes. Cellular security cameras can be somewhat more expensive than traditional wired/wireless surveillance cameras.
But compared to the benefits and flexibility these devices offer, they can be a minor expense.
Cellular 4G LTE security cameras can be a great asset when you want to improve surveillance but don’t have enough Wi-Fi range in the far-reaching corners of your home. To ensure constant surveillance in areas without Wi-Fi, choosing the best 4G security camera is essential.
So when it comes to these devices, my main recommendation is the Reolink Go PT Plus. It sits as the top contender thanks to its 2K image quality, pan, and tilt functions alongside a decent battery that can be extended with solar power.
As for the runner up, the Arlo Go 2 is also worth a look.
So which camera is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.