YI Camera has plenty of features to offer to help you protect your home from potential intruders or monitor your child or pet such as remote camera access, smart voice control, HD video resolution, sound and motion detection, and much more.
YI is like any other smart home camera, it relies on Wifi to do many things, but many potential buyers are hesitant and want to know if it will keep recording and working when the internet is cut off, which is essential for them because intruders won’t wait for the internet to come back to break into your home.
So will YI Camera still work and record without the internet? The answer is yes, as long as the camera is powered on and contains a microSD card, the footage will be saved locally to that card, but all smart features such as remote access, voice control, AI smart detection and cloud storage will be lost until the internet returns.
What will continue to work?
The YI camera will not lose all its functionality when the internet is down and leave you without home protection, so some functions will work even if there is no Wifi inside your home and we will talk about that in the next sections of this article.
- Local recording: YI offers two storage options, the first one is cloud storage and this one will stop working when the internet goes away, and the second one is local storage and this one requires you to have an SD card inserted in your camera.
With local storage, your camera can record clips and store them on the SD card each time a motion or sound is detected (the size of the card needs to be between 4GB and 64GB).
You can only playback the video history when you’re connected to the network, or you can take the SD card off the camera and put it on a card reader, then plug it into your computer and view the files using a media player.
- Continuous recording: When setting up your YI home camera, one thing you need to consider is what recording mode you want your camera to be in, some people want to record continuously or only record when sound or motion is detected.
The good news is that the YI camera offers both recording modes and as long as an SD card is inserted, it continues to work even when the internet is down.
Continuous recording storage with a micro SD card uses loop recording. When the card is full, it will automatically delete the first hour of the video and the duration varies depending on the size of your card as shown in the following table:
|720P||[email protected]||[email protected]|
|4GB||12 hours||9 hours||5 hours|
|8GB||1 day||18 hours||10 hours|
|16GB||2 days||36 hours||20 hours|
|32GB||4 days||3 days||40 hours|
|64GB (2nd Gen)||8 days||6 days||80 hours|
What will not work?
In the previous chapter, we saw the features that will not be affected by the internet outage and in this chapter, we are going to see the features that will no longer be available.
- Remote access & device control: Generally speaking, smart cameras are accessed and managed through their mobile app remotely, which is the case for the YI camera.
With the YI Home app, users can adjust settings, view live stream and talk to people in their house, watch recorded clips and receive notifications whenever motion or sound is detected, and much more.
Unfortunately, managing and controlling your camera through the app is an activity that depends on a stable internet connection and it won’t be accessible when the internet goes away.
- Cloud storage: YI offers a cloud subscription to their clients in order to let them Store their video recordings in the cloud for up 30 days and access them anytime and from anywhere on the planet.
This feature also requires the device to be connected in order to upload the footage to the cloud and send it to your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
- AI detection: When you’re subscribed to the YI cloud you’ll benefit from advanced AI detection which is a Smart AI capability that is able to distinguish persons, vehicles, or animals accurately and reduce false alarms significantly.
AI smart detection can work only when the internet is available and you can’t receive smart alerts and notifications when the Wifi is down.
- Voice assistant integration: The YI camera works with voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant to allow their users to easily control the gadget with their voice and access the live stream from devices like Echo Show or Google Nest Hub.
The combination between YI and voice assistants is perfect for people who have difficulty using the app, or those who manage all their smart home appliances from these third-party services.
This integration works only when the internet is available and it disappears completely when it goes away.
- Firmware updating: A firmware update will upgrade your YI cam with advanced operational instructions without needing any upgradation in the hardware.
By updating the firmware, you will be able to explore new features that are added to the camera and also have an enhanced user experience while interacting with the gadget.
The firmware is usually updated automatically but it must be connected to Wifi to do so.
As you have seen in this article, even though the YI camera will continue to record without Wifi, many smart features that make the camera special will disappear and only come back when the internet is available.