Baby Monitors Guides

Wi-Fi Vs Non-Wifi Baby Monitor(Updated 2024)

Ashley Davis

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Do you want to find out Wifi vs Non-Wifi Baby monitors before deciding which type is good to pick? You’ve come to the right page with all the details on similarities and differences between WiFi and non-WiFi monitors.

If you’re looking for our recommendations for the best non-Wifi monitor to get, go here. This article just explores the differences and similarities of non-connected and internet-connected monitors.

Now, let’s get started with a summary;

In summary, Wi-Fi baby monitors rely on 2.4GHz or 5.0 GHz DHSS Wi-Fi and a few also use the 5GHz frequency band. On the other hand, non-Wifi baby monitors rely either on FHSS or DECT technologies that utilize 2.4 GHz and 1.9 GHz frequency bands respectively. To make it easy for you to easily distinguish those monitors that rely on WiFi and those that rely on other non-Wifi technologies, I have done an in-depth review and broken down the major differentiating factors using a table.

Read details of how non-wifi baby monitors work here.

Wifi Vs Non-Wifi Baby Monitors Comparison Table

WiFi Baby MonitorNon-WiFi Baby Monitor
Requires Wi-Fi, either 2.4 GHz Wifi or 5 GHz WifiDoes not require Wi-Fi
Can easily be hacked if it does not have robust security protocolsVery difficult to hack as most of them use frequency hopping spectrum (FHSS)
Longer time delay- up to 10 seconds
Unnoticeable time delay
Unlimited monitoring distance as long as you have internet connectionLimited monitoring distance of up to 1500 ft.
Most of them can record video and audio clips to the cloud or locally. Read our reviews of baby monitors with recording featureA few non-wifi baby monitor brands such as DBPower have a recording feature but most of them do not record.
Uses two frequency bands, 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz Uses either 1.9 GHz (DECT) or 2.4 GHz (FHSS)
Uses smartphone's screen as the display Uses a dedicated screen that measures 2.4 inches to 5 inches
It comes with a smartphone appDoes not come with a smartphone app as they are not connected to the internet.
Have better quality videos and images, some having 1080p HD and even 2k resolutionMost non-wifi monitors have low quality images and videos as they utilize Video Graphic Array (VGA). However, recent models such as Infant Optics DXR 8 Pro and Eufy Spaceview Baby Monitor have 720p HD resolution
Some can integrate with smart home ecosystems such as Google Home, Alexa Home or Apple HomekitThey do not integrate with smart homes

You should get a Wifi baby monitor if you are looking for a monitor that can allow you to use your phone app to view your baby’s images, and videos, or to listen to audio whenever you have an internet connection. On the other hand, if security is your top priority, get a non-wifi baby monitor as they are known to be almost unhackable.

The biggest difference between these two baby monitors is that Wi-Fi baby monitors are connected to the internet and they use a standard and open protocol, i.e. Wi-Fi, while non-Wi-Fi baby monitors are localized therefore they don’t require Wi-Fi. Read our reviews of the top-rated baby monitors without WiFi.

Below are other outstanding differences between non-wifi and wifi video baby monitors:

Monitoring

Wi-Fi baby monitors require a router since they operate using Wi-Fi while non-Wi-Fi baby monitors are localized so they don’t require Wi-Fi or internet connection. Non-wifi baby monitors are most suitable for you to monitor your baby within a limited distance of up to 300 meters or up to approximately 1000 ft. A few brands, however, exceed this transmission range and can transmit signals up to 1500 ft.

In summary, get a Wifi baby monitor if you want to monitor your baby without limitation of distance. On the other hand, get a non-wifi baby monitor if you are only interested in localized video and audio monitoring that will not exceed 1500 ft.

Privacy & Security

Non-Wi-Fi baby monitors handle data transmission via frequency channels that are non-static so they are theoretically speaking unhackable and hence more secure. Wi-fi baby monitors, on the other hand, use Wi-Fi which is open to hacking by anyone with basic hacking skills.

Get a non-wifi baby monitor for guaranteed privacy and security. If you decide to go with a Wifi baby monitor, go for those that use the most advanced encryption standard, AES 256-bit encryption.

Video Display

Wifi baby monitors rely on your smartphone app to display videos of your baby. On the other hand, non-wifi baby monitors come with dedicated screens of sizes 2.4 inches to 5 inches to display the videos of your baby. It is important, however, to note that non-wifi baby monitors do have smartphone apps as they are not connected to the internet.

Range of Transmission 

The transmission scope of both Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi baby monitors falls under 2.4GHz as stipulated by international standards. But, in general, Wi-Fi baby monitors that utilize Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (see below) usually have an unlimited range of transmission as compared to FHSS models and DECT models which do not exceed 1500 ft.

Time Delay

Non-wifi baby monitors do not have a noticeable time delay in transmission since they use peer-to-peer mode. Wi-fi baby monitors, on the other hand, transmit the feed to the cloud before transmitting it to routers and other wifi-connected devices such as your smartphone app or computer. This results in a wifi baby monitor experiencing lag in the transmission that can last for up to 10 seconds. Top on our list of best baby monitors without Wifi is Infant Optics DXR 8 Pro which has a negligible/insignificant delay of fewer than 30 milliseconds.

What is a non-wifi baby monitor:

A non-WiFi baby monitor is a type of baby monitoring device that does not require an internet connection to function. Instead, it operates using radio frequencies (RF) to transmit audio and, in some cases, video signals from a camera unit placed in the baby’s room to a dedicated parent unit. These devices are designed for real-time monitoring within a certain range, allowing parents or caregivers to listen to and sometimes see their baby from another location within the home.

Pros

  1. Enhanced Privacy and Security:
    • Non-WiFi monitors are less susceptible to hacking since they do not connect to the internet. This reduces the risk of unauthorized access to audio and visual feeds of your baby’s room, offering peace of mind regarding privacy and security.
  2. Simplicity and Ease of Use:
    • These devices are generally straightforward to set up, requiring minimal technical knowledge. There’s no need to configure network settings or download apps, making them user-friendly, especially for non-tech-savvy parents.
  3. Reliability:
    • Since they don’t depend on an internet connection, non-WiFi monitors are often more reliable in terms of connection stability. They are less likely to experience signal drop due to internet outages or bandwidth issues, ensuring consistent monitoring.
  4. Portability:
    • Many non-WiFi models are designed for easy portability, working well in areas without internet access, such as on vacations or in places where WiFi is not available or stable.

Cons

  1. Limited Range:
    • Non-WiFi monitors have a limited transmission range, often up to a few hundred feet at most. This can be a significant limitation in larger homes or when trying to monitor from outside, such as in a garden or a garage.
  2. No Remote Access:
    • Without internet connectivity, these monitors do not support remote access, meaning you cannot check on your baby from a different location. This can be a drawback for parents who want to keep an eye on their child while away from home.
  3. Fewer Features:
    • Generally, non-WiFi baby monitors offer fewer advanced features compared to WiFi models. For example, they may lack options like temperature sensors, motion alerts, or the ability to save and share video clips.
  4. Potential for Interference:
    • Although less prone to hacking, RF monitors can still experience interference from other wireless devices, such as cordless phones, microwaves, or neighboring baby monitors, which can affect signal quality and reliability.

Non-WiFi baby monitors offer a good balance between functionality and security for those prioritizing a straightforward, secure way to monitor their baby without the need for internet connectivity. However, their effectiveness is influenced by specific needs and circumstances, such as home layout, desired features, and the level of monitoring flexibility required.

What is a Wi-Fi Baby Monitor?

A WiFi baby monitor, in the context of baby monitoring, is a device that uses WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) technology to connect to your home’s internet network, allowing audio and video signals from the baby’s room to be transmitted over the internet. This enables parents or caregivers to watch and listen to their baby from any location with internet access, using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. WiFi baby monitors are part of a broader category of smart home devices that offer advanced features and connectivity options.

Key Features of WiFi Baby Monitors:

  • Remote Access: The most significant advantage of WiFi monitors is the ability to access the feed from anywhere, not just within a certain range from the baby’s room. This is particularly useful for parents who are at work or away from home but want to check in on their child.
  • App Integration: WiFi monitors typically come with a companion app that allows users to view live video, play back recorded footage, receive motion or sound alerts, and sometimes even monitor room temperature and humidity.
  • Two-Way Audio: Many WiFi monitors feature two-way audio, enabling parents to listen to their baby and also speak or soothe them through the monitor’s speaker.
  • High-Quality Video: These monitors often offer higher video quality, including HD resolution and night vision capabilities, providing clearer images even in low light conditions.
  • Expandability: Some WiFi baby monitors allow for multiple cameras to be connected to the same network, enabling monitoring of different rooms or angles simultaneously through the app.

Pros

  1. Remote Access:
    • The primary advantage of WiFi baby monitors is the ability to monitor your baby from anywhere with an internet connection. This is especially beneficial for parents who are away from home but want to check in on their child.
  2. Advanced Features:
    • Many WiFi monitors offer a range of advanced features through a companion app. These can include high-definition video streaming, two-way audio communication, motion and sound alerts, temperature and humidity monitoring, and the ability to play lullabies or white noise.
  3. Expandability:
    • Some models allow for the addition of multiple cameras, enabling parents to monitor different rooms or views from a single app, making them scalable as your family grows.
  4. Integration with Smart Home Devices:
    • WiFi monitors can often be integrated with other smart home devices and systems, offering a more connected and automated home environment.

Cons

  1. Security Concerns:
    • The biggest downside to WiFi baby monitors is the potential for hacking, as any device connected to the internet is vulnerable to unauthorized access. It’s vital to use strong, unique passwords and ensure your home network is secure to mitigate these risks.
  2. Dependence on Internet Connection:
    • WiFi monitors rely on a stable internet connection. If your home network is down or if you’re experiencing slow speeds, the monitor’s performance could be affected, leading to delays or disconnections.
  3. Complexity and Setup:
    • Compared to traditional non-WiFi monitors, WiFi models can be more complex to set up and require more technical knowledge to troubleshoot connectivity issues.
  4. Higher Cost:
    • Generally, WiFi baby monitors are more expensive than their non-WiFi counterparts, reflecting their advanced features and connectivity capabilities.
  5. Power Consumption:
    • WiFi monitors, especially those running high-definition video feeds, can consume a lot of power. This means they often need to be plugged in, which could limit placement options based on available outlets.

In summary, WiFi baby monitors offer a high level of convenience and advanced features that can greatly benefit modern, tech-savvy families. However, the potential security risks, reliance on a stable internet connection, and higher cost are important considerations when deciding if a WiFi baby monitor is the right choice for your family.

When to pick a non-wifi monitor over a Wifi monitor:

Choosing a non-WiFi baby monitor over a WiFi-enabled model might be the better option for you in several scenarios. Here are some considerations that could lead you to opt for a non-WiFi baby monitor:

  1. Privacy and Security Concerns: If you’re particularly wary of the potential for hacking or unauthorized access to the baby monitor’s feed—a risk associated with devices connected to the internet—a non-WiFi monitor offers a level of security and peace of mind that its internet-connected counterparts cannot match.
  2. Simplicity and Ease of Use: Non-WiFi monitors are generally straightforward to set up and operate. If you prefer a plug-and-play device that doesn’t require configuring network settings, downloading apps, or managing accounts, a non-WiFi model might be more appealing.
  3. Stable Connection Without Internet: If you live in an area with unreliable internet service or prefer not to rely on a WiFi connection for monitoring, a non-WiFi monitor ensures that you can still keep an eye on your baby without the need for internet access.
  4. Travel and Portability: Non-WiFi monitors can be more versatile for travel or use in areas without internet access. Their self-contained system makes it easier to set up and use on the go, whether you’re on vacation, visiting family, or anywhere else without reliable internet.
  5. Budget Considerations: Generally, non-WiFi baby monitors can be less expensive than their WiFi counterparts. If budget is a primary concern and you only need basic monitoring capabilities without the bells and whistles of advanced features, a non-WiFi monitor might offer better value.
  6. Limited Need for Remote Monitoring: If you don’t need or want the ability to monitor your baby from outside the home, a non-WiFi monitor suffices. It provides real-time audio and/or video within your home without the extra features and costs associated with WiFi monitors.
  7. Reducing Screen Time: Some parents prefer a simpler monitor to help limit the temptation of constantly checking a smartphone app, which can be a concern with WiFi monitors that provide continuous access to video feeds.

Go for a Wi-Fi monitor in these situations:

Opting for a WiFi baby monitor over a non-WiFi model might be the best choice under certain circumstances. Here are some scenarios where a WiFi monitor could be more suitable:

  1. Need for Remote Monitoring: If you want the ability to check on your baby from anywhere, not just within your home, a WiFi monitor is essential. This feature is particularly valuable for parents who work outside the home or travel frequently, allowing them to see and hear their baby from any location with internet access.
  2. Desire for Advanced Features: WiFi monitors often come with a range of advanced features accessible through a companion app. These can include high-definition video streaming, two-way audio, motion and sound alerts, temperature and humidity monitoring, and the ability to play lullabies or white noise. If you value these additional functionalities, a WiFi monitor is the way to go.
  3. Integration with Smart Home Systems: Many WiFi monitors can be integrated into broader smart home ecosystems, allowing for voice commands through virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, or connections with other smart devices. This can enhance your overall home automation and monitoring experience.
  4. Expanding Family: If you anticipate needing to monitor multiple rooms or children in the future, WiFi monitors can often support multiple cameras on the same network. This scalability is convenient for growing families who want a unified system for monitoring their children.
  5. Tech-Savvy Households: For families comfortable with technology and looking to utilize the latest advancements for home monitoring, WiFi monitors offer a cutting-edge solution. They fit well into a digitally connected lifestyle and provide a level of convenience and flexibility that non-WiFi monitors cannot match.
  6. High-Quality Video Needs: If clear, high-resolution video is a priority for you, WiFi monitors typically offer superior video quality, including HD and night vision capabilities, compared to most non-WiFi monitors. This can provide a clearer view of your baby, day or night.
  7. Data Tracking and History: Some WiFi monitors offer features like sleep tracking, video recording, and capturing special moments. If you’re interested in analyzing your baby’s sleep patterns or saving memorable moments, a WiFi monitor with these capabilities could be beneficial.
  8. Living in a Large Home: If you have a large home or experience signal issues with traditional RF monitors, a WiFi monitor might offer better coverage, especially if you have a robust WiFi network that extends to all areas of your house.

Video Comparison of Wifi and Non-Wifi Video Monitors

Non-Wifi’s FHSS vs Wifi

FHSS and Wi-Fi are both wireless communication technologies that utilize the 2.4 GHz frequency band. However, they differ in their approach to data transmission.

As discussed earlier, FHSS uses a hopping technique where the transmitted signal rapidly switches between different frequencies within a designated spectrum. This allows for increased resilience and reduced interference.

On the other hand, Wi-Fi (802.11 standards) uses OFDM technology to transmit data simultaneously through multiple sub-channels within the 2.4 GHz band. This enables higher data rates and is more suitable for high-speed wireless communication.

In terms of security, FHSS transmission can be considered more hackproof compared to Wi-Fi. With its hopping technique, it becomes more challenging for hackers to intercept and decode the transmitted data. However, with advancements in technology, Wi-Fi security has also improved significantly and is now considered relatively secure.

Local vs Wi-Fi Baby Monitors:

The Wi-Fi baby monitor utilizes OFDM technology to transmit data in the 2.4 GHz frequency, similar to local monitors that employ either 1.9 GHz for DECT or 2.4 GHz for FHSS. These three technologies differ in terms of range, display options, security, and susceptibility to interference.

Wi-Fi has an extensive range compared to local monitors that use FHSS and DECT. While local monitors can only connect within a range of 300 meters, Wi-Fi can be transmitted over the internet. Wi-Fi monitors offer the convenience of access through smartphone apps, whereas local monitors like FHSS and DECT require a handheld display unit. On the other hand, local monitors and particularly FHSS surpass Wi-Fi monitors in terms of security features, making it difficult to hack. Also, Wi-Fi monitors are more susceptible to interference from other devices operating on the same frequency band, leading to intermittent connectivity issues. In contrast, FHSS and DECT have shorter ranges but are less prone to interference.

Local monitors utilize localized close-circuit technology, which is not connected to the internet. In contrast, Wi-Fi monitors are more prone to hacking as they operate through routers that can be accessed remotely if not adequately secured.

Non-wi-fi vs Wi-ifi Baby Monitors Transmission Technologies (DSSS, FHSS, DECT)

DSSS Wifi Technology?
Wifi baby monitors use Direct-sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technology which is the most popular signal modulation and transmission method used today. DSSS wifi baby monitors utilize 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency channels and signals are converted into series of 0s and 1s. Once converted, the spreading modulator distributes the signals over a much wider band and these signals get demodulated at the receiving end. These signals are static – in that it doesn’t hop from one channel to another during transit but DSSS has the advantage of having a bigger bandwith and can be trasferred over long distances. DSSS baby monitors have an unlimited range – you can get the signals as long as you have access to the internet. The big disadvantage is that the signals are static and when in transit, they are not in any pseudo-random patterns which makes it easy for hackers to get access to them if the device has poor security settings.
FHSS Non-wifi Technology
Some non-wifi baby monitors use Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology that utilizes 2.4 GHz frequency like the Wifi DSSS technology but is hack-proof because it hops during signal transit. FHSS is a method of transmitting signals in one frequency band while switching/hopping from one channel(or one sub-frequency) to another, sometimes utilizing up to 88 channels or sub-frequencies. Each frequency band, for example, 2.4 GHz, is subdivided into sub-frequencies from which a signal can hop to, or away from as it is transmitted from the baby unit/transmitter to the parent unit/receiver. This technology was discovered back in 1941 by Markey Hedy Kiesler and Antheil George and it played a big role in powering secret communications during World War II as it couldn’t be intercepted like other radio signals of the day.
DECT Non-wifi Technology
Some non-wifi baby monitors uses Digital Enhanced Cordless Communications (DECT) technology which was introduced in Europe to be used for telecom usage and it defined its own unique frequency, 1.9 GHz. This unique frequency enables it to experiences less interference with other gadgets and can have a longer local range – making them ideal for walkie talkies back in the day. DECT Baby monitors have a much longer range of up to 1500 ft. and Panasonic (known for making DECT phones) has a long-range video baby monitor called Panasonic which has a super long range of 1500 ft.

I have described each of the baby monitoring technologies and compared FHSS vs DECT vs DSSS here.

Wi-fi baby monitors are excellent for unlimited-range transmission and if you use a smartphone, you’ll appreciate wifi baby monitors as they allow you to view and listen to your baby over the app. On the other hand, wifi baby monitors are known to have a lag in transmission of audio and videos, a lag of up to 10 ft. In addition, they can be hacked if you get a baby monitor with poor security settings or with no encryption. If you decide to get a wifi-enabled baby monitor, get one with robust security settings with at least AES 128-bit encryption. Some of the latest baby monitors such as Miku Pro, Nanit Pro, and Cubo Ai have AES 256-bit encryption which is bank-level secure.

Non-wifi baby monitors are excellent as hack-proof alternatives to wifi baby monitors but they do not have smartphone apps. They mostly come with dedicated screens. You will, however, appreciate the fact that non-wifi baby monitors barely have any lag in transmission, unlike wifi baby monitors.

Wrap up:

In the debate between WiFi and non-WiFi baby monitors, the choice ultimately hinges on individual needs, preferences, and lifestyle considerations. WiFi monitors, with their advanced features and remote access capabilities, cater to tech-savvy parents and those requiring the ability to monitor their little ones from afar.

They offer unparalleled convenience and a suite of functionalities—ranging from high-definition video to smart home integration—that can significantly enhance the caregiving experience. However, this comes with the need for a stable internet connection and a heightened awareness of security practices to protect family privacy.

On the other hand, non-WiFi baby monitors appeal to those prioritizing simplicity, reliability, and security from digital intrusions. They offer a straightforward, plug-and-play solution that excels in real-time monitoring within the home, free from the vulnerabilities associated with internet connectivity. For families living in areas with unreliable internet service or those concerned about the potential for hacking, non-WiFi monitors represent a secure and dependable choice.

Ultimately, the decision between a WiFi and non-WiFi baby monitor should be informed by evaluating the specific needs of your household, your comfort level with technology, and the importance of features such as remote access and smart integration versus privacy and security. Both types of monitors have their place in modern parenting, each offering distinct advantages that cater to different priorities.

By carefully considering these factors, parents can choose the monitoring solution that best ensures peace of mind and the safety of their baby, making the journey of parenting a little easier in our connected world.