Best Video Doorbell Cameras (Pricing & Features)
Take a peek at how the top 10 choices stack up against each other. This chart will provide a glimpse of some of the most important specs, such as night vision, image quality, warranty, and more.
|Provider||Total Score||Price||Monthly Fee||BBB Rating||DIY instal||Trial Period||Warranty||Connection||Field of View||Movement Detect||Night Vision||Resolution||Storage||Two-Way Talk||Works With Alexa|
|ADT||9.1/10||$199||$29+||A+||No||6 months||1 year||WiFi||180°||Yes||Yes||720p||Cloud||Yes||Yes|
|SimpliSafe||9.1/10||$169||$15+||A+||Yes||60 days||3 years||WiFi||162°||Yes||Yes||1080p||Cloud||Yes||Yes|
|Arlo||8.7/10||$57||$2.99+||A+||Yes||30 days||1 year||WiFi||–||Yes||No||–||Cloud||Yes||Yes|
|Nest||8.6/10||$230||$5+||–||Yes||30 days||1 year||WiFi||160°||Yes||Yes||4:3||Cloud||Yes||Yes|
|Ring||8.6/10||$249||$21||–||Yes||30 days||1 year||Wired||160°||Yes||Yes||1080p||Cloud||Yes||Yes|
|August||8.6/10||$199||$2.99+||B-||Yes||30 days||1 year||WiFi||120°||Yes||Yes||1080p||Cloud||Yes||Yes|
|SkyBell||8.5/10||$199||$0||–||Yes||60 days||1 year||WiFi||180°||Yes||Yes||1080p||Cloud||Yes||Yes|
|RemoBell||8.5/10||$99||$3+||A||Yes||30 days||1 year||Wired||180°||Yes||Yes||1536p||Cloud||Yes||Yes|
|Eufy||8.4/10||$160||$0||–||Yes||30 days||120 days||WiFi||160°||Yes||Yes||2K||Local||Yes||Yes|
What is Video Doorbell?
Video doorbells are exactly what they sound like, but it does go a bit deeper than that. These devices are like the typical chimes that sit on the front door, but they also contain high-quality cams and microphones. This lets people know who is at home without even leaving their spot on the couch.
Like surveillance cams, these items can be wire-free or hardwired as well as connected via WiFi or battery-operated. It depends on the brand, but most businesses ensure HD quality pictures and live streaming as well as infrared night vision and movement sensors.
Clients can usually access an overview of who visited the house by using the accompanying mobile app. This can show who stopped by, any conversations that took place, and a snapshot of detected movement around the front door.
Since they belong outside, these accessories must be sturdy and weatherproof.
The options in this review are a good representation of what consumers can expect to see in this market.
Again, it might be wire-free, or it could require some initial hardwiring set-up. Different companies have their preferences, but only a few calls for the help of an expert technician. Most of the time, it takes less than an hour to get things up and to run. Just be sure that the power is off, and there aren’t any live wires posing a threat. If drilling is required, it will be minimal. The devices usually come with mounting brackets and faceplates as well as step-by-step instructions. Plus, the mobile application can ensure that everything is properly hooked up.
The chart above reviews the 10 smart video devices in this list, and one of the metrics is Alexa compatibility. These days, this Amazon accessory can sync with just about anything. So, it’s crucial that surveillance equipment works with it, too. Even if this is the only integration a customer uses, it can make for a much smoother experience.
For instance, they can use voice commands to turn the device on or off, as well as communicate with their guests. It can be as easy as saying, "Alexa, show the front door," to view a live feed of the home’s exterior.
Video Storage Options: Local vs. Cloud
Another metric in the chart was how the devices store media files like images and live recordings. First of all, not all smart doorbells can do this. Secondly, those that do will vary in how much data they can hold. Here’s a closer look at the differences between how accessories keep hold of files.
Local: Less Space, More Safety
This involves using an SD card or something similar to store media files. It’s like when people kept their digital camera photos on a micro SD chip. There’s less space for data, but it also puts the user in control.
- More prone to hacking
- No monthly fees
- Ranges from 16GB-128GB
- Limited capacity
- Not good for continuous monitoring
Cloud: A Common & Convenient Option
This choice grants unlimited capacity, which is especially convenient for keeping live footage safe. Those kinds of files can be quite big. On the other hand, there’s usually a monthly charge involved, although it’s just a few dollars.
- Ease of use
- Included in may devices
- Infinite space available
- Might not be as secure/controlled
- Must pay for it every month
Top Details to Consider Before Buying
Now that the top 10 list is complete, it’s time to talk about how actually to make a decision. After all, the needs of one customer are going to differ from what another family wants. Here’s a run-down of what to look for while shopping around for doorbell cameras.
This is a great resource when a person wants to track down a thief or burglar. The continuous recording means that they can see what happened at their front porch before, during, and after the theft. However, this feature often costs extra and will require a monthly fee for storing the media files.
Typically, this is how a smart doorbell camera stores image snapshots and live footage. It has its benefits, particularly the infinite amount of space. Just be aware that it costs a few extra dollars a month to take advantage of it. Even so, it can keep that important data safe.
HD Vids & Images
Most people would agree that there’s no point in having an outdoor cam if the images are grainy and spotty. High-definition resolution is a must-have, and fortunately, it’s quite common. This ensures crisp, crystal-clear pictures. Paired with infrared lighting and facial recognition, users can identify people no matter the time of day.
Local Storage Options
Even though most doorbell cameras don’t utilize local SD cards, it’s still a viable option. Besides, it grants clients more control over their data since it’s not swirling around on the Internet. Also, it doesn’t come with a monthly fee, and lots of companies are adding more and more space each year.
Many doorbell cameras have sleek sensors that track movement and can alert the user when something or someone approaches the house. The detection range varies, but most devices can at least see who’s walking on the sidewalk outside. This can help to calm parents’ nerves and keep them updated on when packages arrive.
Since burglars and thieves like to work after the sun goes down, it makes sense that these devices should include low-light settings. Many of them have infrared LED lights and sensors to capture images and live recordings well past sunset. This allows for greater ease of use, peace of mind, and bolstered safety.
It’s not just movement that people need to be aware of. The most-revered accessories can pick up on audio and sounds, too. Moreover, some of them even have noise-reduction technology so that users can focus on the important audio without hearing ambient sounds like cars and birds.
While lots of people prefer wireless doorbell cameras, they’re not absolutely necessary. That said, they can be much more convenient than the hardwired alternative because the set-up is simple, and there are no cables to worry about. Even so, the connection may be a bit less reliable, which is something to think about.
How to Buy Video Doorbell Camera
With all of the possible doorbell cameras out there, it can be hard to pinpoint which ones meet the family’s needs. Here are a few things to consider. These key points will help with narrowing down the options to an approachable number
1. Review the Home's Needs
Are there kids at home? Pets? Would the family prefer wire-free or wired doorbell cameras? These are some things to think about. Some people want two-way talk while others are more concerned with image quality. Reviewing what’s a must-have and what’s a nice-to-have is crucial.
2. Find Some Favorite Brands
Odds are there are at least a couple of businesses in this list that sounded familiar. Sometimes it helps to have a recognizable name in the options list. Think back to any companies that provided service for the household in the past. Or, ask friends if they have any brand names that they always turn to.
3. Figure Out the Non-Negotiables
Every customer is going to have those things that they need to have, or else there’s no deal. Maybe it’s 1080p HD image quality, or perhaps the device needs to be wire-free. Maybe being able to see in the dark is non-negotiable. Having a list of must-haves will narrow down the options.
4. Feedback and Research
It’s never a good idea to purchase something without at least checking one or two reviews. Fortunately, there are countless doorbell cam descriptions and video doorbell reviews that can help. Check out what past customers have to say. See what their chief complaints were and if it’s something that’s on the non-negotiable list.
5. Budget Accordingly
While security equipment is wonderful to have, it’s not always a necessity. Families must budget and determine what they can afford before they start shopping around. Remember that some products require a subscription fee or an additional base station, so add that to the budget, too.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do These Cams Work?
These small devices have many of the same capabilities as a security cam, with the addition of working as a front door chime or bell. Some of them can replace the existing wiring, while others are battery-operated. The sensors read or detect approaching movement, which triggers the entire system and alerts the user that someone is nearby. From there, customers can use the microphone to talk to their guests. Alternatively, they can play-back footage from earlier in the day.
Do These Cams Need WiFi?
Most of the items in this review do call for a WiFi connection. That said, others work via an ethernet cable, a battery, or another wiring set-up. To play it safe, it’s better to assume that the device will need a wireless Internet hook-up. That said, many of the accessories have a cellular backup in case of a power outage. It’s better to read reviews to learn more about a specific device.
Do These Products Record All the Time?
Again, as people go through the reviews, they will notice that some accessories do continuously record while others don’t. It depends on the model and what consumers want. If someone would like to have 24/7 live streaming, they can look for products that offer that. Other items may capture image snapshots but not recorded footage. In other cases, customers can pay for a subscription plan that allows them to monitor their homes at any time of day.
Can Someone Steal a Ring Doorbell?
Technically, yes, someone could steal it. However, they would need to know that the house has such a device, and then they would need to go out of their way to gather up a bunch of tools. No one can take it apart without a tool kit, so the odds of someone stealing it are quite low. The Ring company has a replacement guarantee for customers in case this scenario happens.
Will These Cams Work With a Phone?
Yes. Just about all of the articles out there talk about how the devices are compatible with iPhone and Android. Some companies even have their unique app, such as ADT Pulse or Ring’s Neighborhood application. This allows for remote access to the products as well as any recorded footage, captured snapshots, and special details like two-way audio.
Are These Doorbell Cams Weather-Resistant?
The majority of them are since they are meant to be outside. Each brand’s website will have a specs page where customers can see the maximum temperatures that the accessories can withstand. Besides that, most of these products can stand up to rain, snow, and wind. As always, read reviews to get the full story.
Should One Have a Wired or Wireless Doorbell Cam?
This depends on what the individual wants. Some people prefer wire-free security doorbells because they don’t have to drill any holes to connect the device. Others want to have a hardwired or battery-operated set-up because they feel it gives them a more stable and constant connection.
Ring in 2020 With a New Device
There is a reason why there are more and more reviews for doorbell cameras. They work very well and consistently deter crime. Plus, there is a range of security doorbells available, whether a person is on a strict budget or they want on-demand streaming, image capture, and night vision. In the end, any type of front door device is going to be better than none at all. They’re a convenient safety parameter for families, rents, pet parents, and frequent travelers.