Doorbell Camera Buyer's Guide - 2017

Considering buying a doorbell camera? Let us help you save time looking for the best options available. After hours of thorough research and testing, we have carefully selected what we consider the top video doorbells of 2017.

Doorbell Cameras

What to consider before buying a doorbell camera

Knowing what options and features available before searching for additional home security equipment can help save you money.

What is a doorbell camera?

Have you ever had a visitor ring the doorbell at an unexpected time and immediately had an uneasy feeling? Instead of peeking through a window, a camera allows you to see exactly who is at your door at all times. Many are small enough that they go undetected by visitors and have all the top smart features including a two-way microphone, live video monitoring, and home automation connectivity. Whether you are upstairs and can’t see the door or out of town, doorbell cameras let you know who is at the door at all times. In this guide, we will dive further into the features as well as give you our top recommendations to make your frontdoor more secure.

Price

The price is going to vary based on the features you want. You can purchase basic door alarms starting at around $30 but more advanced ones typically cost anywhere from $80-$200. As you continue reading, we discuss the top features that you should look for when finding the best doorbell camera for your home.

  • Low End - $30
  • Average - $80
  • High End - $200

Features

If you want the peace of mind that your front door is secure, the following features are very important to consider when shopping for a doorbell camera:

2-Way Communication, 1-way Video

With a 2-way microphone you can talk to anyone around your front door and they can respond. 1-way recording means that they cannot see back into your home.

Night Vision

You should be able to see who is at your door both day and night.

Smart Clips

Smart clips allow you to watch short videos on your phone of anyone who is at your door on-demand.

Motion detection

Get a notification if your camera detects someone near your front door.

Notifications

Remote notifications allow you to receive alerts for anyone who is near your door anywhere you are.

Wide-angle field of view

Having a wide field of view is important for keeping track of your entire front porch and the immediate surrounding area.

Smart Home integration

Smart home capability is very convenient because you are able to control more than just your front door camera from your smart device.

Recording Playbacks

Having the ability to view and save clips adds additional security if you see any suspicious activity.

Requirements

There are some basic requirements that vary based on which doorbell camera you choose. Some require that you have an existing doorbell in place whereas others are able to work regardless of having a doorbell or not. Some features that we think you should consider as requirements are Internet / wifi connectability and compatibility with Apple iOS, Android, or Windows operating systems.

Installation

A professional will typically only install your doorbell camera if you purchase a security package through a company. Luckily, DIY installation is a quick and simple process. If your the one you choose requires that you have an existing doorbell you will need to do some wiring, but this is also an easy process. There are step by step guide books as well as how to videos that will give you all the tips on the installation process.

Video Storage

Storage is an important consideration because you might not always have the ability to view a live video feed of your doorbell camera. It allows you to go back and see any activity at your front door. Some companies require that you pay a small monthly fee to get more storage if you need it.

How do they work?

A doorbell camera operates very similar to a normal webcam by displaying images from your front door to your tablet, smartphone, or computer. Many options on the market today are motion sensing and only turn on when the camera detects someone at the door or the doorbell is rang. You can view live footage or go back into the recordings so you always know who is coming and going.

1.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro records in HD 1080p quality with a wide angle view so you never miss anything at your door. The two-way microphone allows you to speak and hear to the visitors at your door in real time or from your smart device. No matter the time of day or weather outside, you monitor your front door.

Pros

  • Motion detection
  • WiFi compatible
  • Night vision with infrared LEDs

Cons

  • Price
2.

Zmodo Greet WiFi Video Doorbell

Zmodo Greet WiFi Video Doorbell

The Zmodo Greet is good for people who live in bigger houses where the WiFi signal might not reach throughout the whole home. The Beam WiFi extender makes sure that your Zmodo Greet is always online. If you are away, you can set a personalized message to play whenever anyone rings your doorbell. It does require that you have an existing doorbell in place before installation.

Pros

  • Price
  • Easy installation
  • Motion detection

Cons

  • Lower definition
3.

August Doorbell Cam

August Doorbell Cam

The August Doorbell Cam sends you alerts whenever someone rings the doorbell. View a live recording of them and with a two-way microphone used for communication. If you missed a person at your door or want to go back view an old recording, the August Doorbell Cam records and stores each interaction. Also, it is compatible with other August products to allow for a smart home experience.

Pros

  • Video recording
  • Motion detection
  • Instant updates

Cons

  • Price
4.

SkyBell HD Silver WiFi Video Doorbell

SkyBell HD Silver WiFi Video Doorbell Camera

The Skybell HD WiFi Video Doorbell offers superior recordings both day and night with 1080p resolutions and 5x zoom. It connects to your homes WiFi network giving you the ability to view images from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. The Skybell Doorbell Camera is well worth the investment because with top of the line weatherproofing, it will last a long time

Pros

  • Cloud storage
  • Color recordings at night
  • Snap photos

Cons

  • More difficult installation
5.

Vuebell Wifi Video Doorbell

Vuebell Wifi Video Doorbell Camera

The Vuebell Video Doorbell camera gives you all the top features you need. Communicate with visitors at your door through the two-way microphone. The one-way camera ensures privacy of your home. With 8 LED lights, you can see up to 18 feet at night.

Pros

  • Price
  • Motion detection pictures
  • Easy Installation

Cons

  • Lower resolution