By opting for baby monitors without a subscription, you can save a significant amount of money that can be better utilized for purchasing other essential baby safety products. As someone who has tested different baby monitor models with storage capabilities, I must confess the frustration that you may feel and which I felt as well when I found out that my $300 smart baby monitor requires a $10/month subscription to access recorded footage.
We were able to find several subscription-free monitors – some using Wi-Fi and some relying on localized area networks. In deciding which brands to include in our list and reviews, we came up with evaluation criteria that factored in no-fee elements of the monitor’s storage feature, size of storage, ability to download and edit the stored materials, formats the storage could be accessed and replayed.
We also evaluated the various video memory formats vs space-consumption features of each particular format. For example, we found that models that could save footage in MPEG-4 format gave the best storage space usage value owing to their size and compatibility with various devices. We also awarded more scores to storage formats that were accessible on more devices with memory formats such as Flash(FLV and F4V) scored poorly as they cannot be played on iOS devices.
For Wi-Fi monitors, we favored those that gave the option for both cloud storage and localized network storage. This way, parents are not limited by a singular storage option and can choose the preferred method according to their needs. In addition, we also looked into the security features of each monitor’s storage system, ensuring that it would not be easily hacked or prone to data breaches. We did include a few monitors that have small subscription fees for cloud storage and zero subscription fees for local storage.
In conclusion, while some may argue that subscription-based baby monitors offer more advanced features and convenience.
List of Best Monitors with no Subscription:
- Bonoch Baby Monitor – Best for local use, no WiFi
- eufy S340 Smart Sock – Best smart sock monitor for monitoring breaths
- Arenti Baby Monitor – Best Wi-Fi-enabled monitor without a subscription
Comparison Table of our Best Baby Monitors without Subscriptions:
|Bonoch Baby Monitor
|Paid and Free
|App and Screen
Reviews of our Best Baby Monitors without Subscriptions in 2024
Bonoch Baby Monitor:
The Bonoch Baby Monitor is our top pick for the best baby monitor without a subscription. It excels in meeting our key criteria by offering a zero-subscription option and providing users with a local-storage feature. What sets this monitor apart is its Wi-Fi independence and utilization of hackproof FHSS technology, along with powerful encryption algorithms that ensure the protection of your data.
I was truly impressed by the Micro-SD slot, which offers the flexibility to choose from a range of SD cards, including 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. With 32GB, you can confidently store 10 to 12 days of footage, while 64GB allows for 20 to 24 days, and 128GB provides an impressive 40 to 48 days of video storage. If the available storage is exhausted, the device automatically overwrites files starting from the earliest date, ensuring uninterrupted recording even when the memory is full.
A typical 32GB Micro-SD card is very affordable coming just at around $6 and $128 GB option not exceeding $20. So, once you get this monitor, your only cost is a max of $20 and you are all set with getting quality stored footage. No monthly fees to access your stored data!
While it didn’t do as well as Infant Optics DXR 8 Pro in terms of signal range and connectivity, I was able to utilize a few ways to get it to stream uninterrupted. The Antennae positioning worked wonders as a booster for me. I was also toying around with the camera angle and finally found a spot that worked great.
Compared to cloud-storage options, I’d go for this if you want a secure monitoring unit that guarantees you 100% signal security using its hackproof FHSS technology. With an encrypted signal as an added layer to its secure technology, you can count on this to be safer than any Wi-Fi unit that stores data in the cloud.
I should also mention format features. The footage in my Bonoch was stored in exFAT32 format which which segments different footage files per day for easy access. Bonochs’ exFAT32, unlike FAT32 which has a size cap of 4GB for one file, can write much larger files. This is perfect if you want uninterrupted footage streamed with no gaps or hiccups while backing up videos from cam to computer. exFAT32 also means the files are more likely to be good even after it is removed from the camera and inserted into your PC.
I found the SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB Micro SD Card to work very well with this monitor. It provides the necessary storage space for all your footage needs, without the added cost of monthly subscriptions. And with its advanced technology and features, you can be sure that your data will be safe and easily accessible.
eufy Baby S340 Smart Sock:
If you prefer a smart baby monitor without subscription plans and using Wi-Fi that gives you superior monitoring capabilities compared to Bonoch above, consider the eufy Baby S340 Smart Sock. This baby monitor is perfect for parents who want to keep a close eye on their little one’s vital signs and sleep patterns.
The eufy Baby S340 comes with a smart sock that comfortably fits on your baby’s foot, continuously monitoring heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep. The data is then sent to the base station which displays the information on your smartphone app.
While evaluating this monitor, I drew upon my extensive experience with the Owlet Smart Sock, as both devices utilize wearable technology to monitor a baby’s vital signs. The standout feature of the eufy Baby S340 is its remarkably stable Wi-Fi connection, in stark contrast to the Owlet, which frequently loses signal and fails to connect to the base station or smartphone app. I have previously expressed my concerns regarding the reliability of the Owlet’s connection in a separate post.
Being a low-cost option compared to Owlet, I like this Sock but would still recommend Owlet if they’ll fix their connection issues in their future upgrades. Owlet is a no-subscription monitor as well but with a steep price of almost double Eufy’s price.
In comparison to Bonoch, this monitor offers the convenience of easily accessible stored footage through cloud storage, accessible via the app. Additionally, it is eligible for FSA and HSA, unlike Bonoch. One downside to eufy S340 is that it doesn’t have an option for local storage and you have to rely on a Wi-Fi connection to store your data.
ARENTI Video Baby Monitor
If you prefer a video baby monitor with the flexibility to store in the cloud and on a local Micro-SD card, with zero-subscription local storage fees, then the ARENTI Video Baby Monitor could be a perfect choice for you.
This monitor offers the flexibility of using either its 5-inch LCD screen or the Arenti app. What sets it apart from Bonoch is its impressive local storage capacity of 256 GB, which is double the maximum capacity of Bonoch. However, it ranks third due to its cloud storage option requiring a subscription, while local SD storage remains free of charge. However, it stands out by providing a generous 7-day free cloud storage option, setting itself apart from other brands that offer no free storage at all in their cloud storage offerings.
In comparison to Bonoch, whose maximum SD storage capacity is 128GB and can store up to 48 days of footage, Arenti offers 256GB of storage, which can accommodate up to 4 months of video footage. That’s equivalent to 120 days, nearly three times the duration provided by Bonoch’s free storage plan. It is, however, important to note that the Arenti camera records video when motion is detected, unlike Bonoch which can be set to record continuously. Here are the best recording monitors.
If you opt to have you data on the cloud, they offer a very reasonable subscription cost starting at $2.99 per month which is considerably less compared to other brands such as Nanit whose plans are as high as $10/month or Nest whose plans are as high as $30/month.
How to Pick the Best Subscription-Free Baby Monitors:
- Storage space: When choosing the best baby monitor without a subscription, you need to consider the amount of storage capacity available for local and cloud storage. A higher capacity gives you more flexibility in terms of storing longer video footage or having more devices connected.
- Storage format(MPEG, MP4, h.264, etc): It is important to select a monitor that offers video storage in a format that is compatible with your devices and easy to access. Some monitors may only offer cloud storage in specific formats, which can limit your options.
- Cost of storage accessories: Some baby monitors come with the option of expanding your storage capacity by using microSD cards or external hard drives. Before purchasing, be sure to check the cost of these accessories and if they are necessary for your needs.
- Features available for free plan: Most baby monitors without subscriptions offer basic features for free, such as live streaming and motion detection. However, some brands may charge for additional features like two-way audio or temperature monitoring.
- Monthly subscription cost: If you do decide to opt for cloud storage, be sure to compare the monthly subscription costs of different brands. Look out for any hidden fees or long-term contracts that may make the monitor less cost-effective in the long run.
- Privacy and security: With any type of baby monitor, it is important to prioritize privacy and security. Look for monitors that offer secure connections and encryption for all data transfer. Some brands also offer additional privacy features such as password protection for live streaming.
- Customer support: In case of any technical difficulties or inquiries, it is important to have reliable customer support from the brand. Look for monitors that offer multiple channels of communication such as phone, email, and live chat.
- Brand reputation: It is always a good idea to research the brand and read reviews from other parents before making a purchase. Look for trusted brands that have a good reputation for quality products and customer service.
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Sandra W. Bullock is a highly skilled expert in baby safety, specializing in both indoor and outdoor safety. With her previous experience in retail support, she has successfully assisted numerous parents in installing essential safety equipment such as baby gates, cabinet locks, and outlet covers. Additionally, Sandra has collaborated with various child care facilities, providing valuable safety consultations and comprehensive training to caregivers.