Wireless functionality with your WiFi wildlife camera

Until a few years ago, you would not find WiFi or other wireless technology on a wildlife camera. All camera traps were stand-alone devices, storing all the recordings on a memory card. Nowadays, we see more and more forms of wireless connectivity. Here we explain which wireless functionalities are currently available for your wildlife camera and how they are distinguished from one another. In fact, there are four types of camera traps:

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Wildlife camera traps without WiFi or other wireless features

These are the traditional camera traps that function completely autonomously, in which the recordings are stored on a memory card. Since this type of wildlife camera trap has no built-in 4G or WiFi, you always have to physically visit the camera and extract the recordings from the memory card. These cameras do not have any wireless functionality. 

Camera traps with Bluetooth functionality
Wildlife cameras with Bluetooth functionality allow the owner to connect to the camera at a short distance (up to about 20-25 meters in an open line of sight), to extract the captured images or adjust settings. This works via an app that needs to be installed on a phone or tablet (suitable for iOS and Android). For this, it is necessary that you have a smartphone or tablet with Bluetooth functionality. In most cases, the images downloaded to the app are a reduced version of the original. The original file is always saved locally on the memory card. The moment you start downloading the images, the connection will switch to a 'WiFi hotspot' that will be launched by the wildlife camera trap itself. This is why this type of wireless wildlife camera trap is often referred to as ‘Bluetooth / WiFi functionality’.

The connectivity of a Bluetooth / WiFi wildlife camera

It is, however, important to realise that this does not mean that you can also use this type of wireless wildlife camera trap to make a connection between your wireless camera trap and your own WiFi network at home. This requires a different type of wireless camera trap, which will be discussed below. Wildlife camera traps with Bluetooth / WiFi functionality are particularly interesting when you place the wireless camera at a location that is difficult to reach (such as the top of a tree near a bird's nest, high up in the gutter, or deep in the dense bushes). They are also ideal if you want to disturb the area as little as possible. For example, to photograph the nest of a meadow bird or the den of a beaver. Of course, we have great bird nest wildlife cameras with WiFi functionality for such occasions. This Bluetooth wireless functionality is also nice for when you place a camera trap in your own garden, so you can view the recordings while sitting on the couch as long as you are within a specified range. Some models, such as the Campark cameras, also offer the possibility to live stream the view of the camera when the connection is established. This can be fun for when you place the wireless camera trap with Bluetooth / WiFi function in your garden; when you see something appear in front of the camera, you can watch it right away. Camera traps with Bluetooth functionality:



Wildlife camera traps with WiFi functionality
Wildlife camera traps with WiFi functionality are cameras that are able to connect to an existing WiFi network of your own internet provider. There are currently very few cameras that offer this functionality. In general, a wildlife camera with this type of WiFi functionality also features the Bluetooth function, as discussed earlier. With the WiFi functionality of such a wildlife camera it is possible to download the images - from anywhere in the world (as long as there is an internet connection) - to a special app on your phone or tablet, without the need for a SIM card - and therefore extra costs. To do this, it is required that you place the wildlife camera trap within the range of an accessible WiFi network (e.g., your garden or holiday home). An additional advantage of the WiFi functionality is that when your wildlife camera trap gets stolen, you can still have access to all the images, since they have already been automatically forwarded to the app on your phone or tablet. Wireless camera traps with WiFi functionality:

  • Reolink Argus Eco
  • Reolink Argus 3 PRO

Wireless camera traps with SIM card functionality
Wildlife camera traps that can be equipped with a SIM card, whether or not already integrated in the camera by the manufacturer, make it possible for images to be send directly to an e-mail address or cloud server using 4G. You will be notified immediately when your camera trap triggered a response. This SIM card functionality allows you to receive images at an unlimited distance and is not limited to locations with an existing WiFi network. It only requires a coverage of the mobile 4G network of the SIM card provider that you are using. In contrast to wildlife camera traps with a Bluetooth or WiFi functionality, there are always additional costs associated with the use of these type of wireless camera traps. In this respect, it does not make much difference which 4G provider you choose and whether you want to use the wildlife camera in the Netherlands or elsewhere in the EU.

The costs of a 4G wildlife camera trap

The costs between the providers are almost the same and due to the net neutrality, the costs are the same throughout the EU. In terms of costs, it mainly depends on whether you use a subscription, bundles of benefits, or whether you just pay the consumption directly using prepaid credit. In any case, sending one photo from the wildlife camera trap (usually as a reduced version of the original) using 4G costs about 1 cent. However, if you choose to send photos in larger resolution or even in actual format, or if you choose to send videos (if possible), the data consumption - hence the costs - is much higher. This is best illustrated with an example from the provider KPN. The prepaid tariffs of KPN can be found here. One photo is about 50 KB in size, so you can forward about 20 photos for that 15 cents. However, a real-size photo is easily 3 to 5 MB in size, so you will pay around 30 to 50 cents for each photo. A 7 MB video costs as little as €1. So in that case, you would be better off getting a discount bundle or small sim-only subscription. For example, Lebara currently has a monthly cancelable sim-only subscription with 500 MB for €3.50 per month. So the rate per MB is then 0.7 cents, and for forwarding one 10MB video you will pay 7 cents. You can then forward 50 videos of 10 MB per month with such a bundle. If that is not enough, you can take a monthly bundle of 1 GB for €7. Finally, it is sometimes also possible to order an extra SIM card with your existing mobile subscription (for example, for use in a tablet). This can then also serve perfectly as a SIM card in your 4G wildlife camera.

The benefits of using a 4G wildlife camera with a SIM card

Wildlife camera traps with a SIM card for 4G are often used to monitor wildlife traps, which can reduce the timespan that animals spend in a cage and only alert the entire capture team when the desired species is caught. This functionality also works well for monitoring remote locations or to minimize disturbance (e.g., a bird's nest), which would be harder if your where to use a wildlife camera with WiFi functionality. In addition, such 4G wildlife camera traps are an excellent alternative to 'traditional' security cameras since they are waterproof and do not require a power or WiFi network connection. As a result, they are highly mobile and can efficiently secure remote areas or objects, and you will always receive the evidence on your phone, tablet, or computer within 10-15 seconds after making a recording. Even if the 4G wildlife camera trap is stolen or destroyed, it is often the case that the images have already been sent to the owner, so he or she can take action!

Purchase a SIM card with 4G with your wildlife camera trap

Most wildlife camera traps with a 4G SIM card functionality are standard provided without a SIM card. This is because most wildlife camera traps can be equipped with a 4G SIM card of your choosing. Therefore, you as a customer are free to pick your own provider. However, every wireless wildlife camera trap must be installed to work with the chosen 4G SIM card. That is why we offer you the possibility to choose to add a prepaid SIM card from KPN to your order. We will then configurate your wireless wildlife camera trap with this 4G SIM card and can already insert the email addresses on which you want to receive the images and/or videos. By doing this, you can use your camera trap as soon as you receive it, and you don’t have to trouble yourself with the settings! Setting up the wildlife camera itself is quite precise and not always easy, so we recommend that you check this option if you are going to order a wireless camera trap featuring a 4G SIM card functionality. When placing your order, you can indicate in the comments to which email address(es) the images should be sent. We will make sure this information is already entered in the wireless camera trap before sending it to you. Of course, you can easily adjust these details yourself later on at any time. Should it be the case that you have purchased this type of wireless camera trap elsewhere, but you do not get it to work. We provide the service to install it for you on a ‘no cure, no pay’ basis. If we manage to get the wireless camera trap properly installed, then you pay € 50, -, including the return of the camera trap with 4G functionality to your address. If we fail, you pay nothing, and we will return the wireless camera trap to you. If you want to use this service, make sure you send us a request first via e-mail to info@wildlifemonitoringsolutions.nl. It is also possible to call us on +31643444755. Wildlife Camera traps with 4G SIM card functionality:

Wilsus Tradenda 4G Wireless

Seissiger Special Cam LTE

Reconyx HyperFire 2 models

Spypoint Flex

Spypoint LM2

Complete your camera purchase in our online store

As you can see, we undoubtedly have a suitable wireless wildlife camera for you, whether that be with WiFi, Bluetooth or a 4G SIM card connection. Of course, it is also possible to purchase a non-wireless wildlife camera trap. If you are experiencing any type of difficulty with a product, such as the WiFi connection of a wildlife camera for instance, then do not hesitate to contact our customer service for help. Do not wait and purchase your wildlife camera now.