We all want to know who’s at the front door, and homeowners have been striving to get a clear view of their visitors for decades, but nothing quite beats the best video doorbells when it comes to keeping an eye on your front door and driveway.
These little gizmos come with a long list of exciting benefits that you definitely need to witness first-hand to believe. But this means having to purchase the doorbell camera in the first place, which is where things could turn out to be a bit difficult.
Well, as much as shopping for just the right video doorbell for your door isn’t any bit as easy as you might want it to be, we’ve done all we could to make it a breeze for you. Keep reading to find out what you need to be on the lookout for when on the hunt for these devices, and scroll down to see some of the best picks on the market.
Why You Need A Video Doorbell
The whole essence behind a video doorbell is a rather straightforward one; it works pretty much like a peephole, just that it does a little more in terms of convenience and fun of use.
First and most importantly, these units help safeguard your property against burglary, theft or intrusion, helping keep home invaders as well as porch pirates at bay. And this is all made possible by two things; the sight of the video doorbell staring down at them and enabling you to identify the culprit so that you can take the right steps to prevent future instances.
Besides the security bit, these devices also make it easy for you and your visitors when they come knocking on the door. You can see who is at the door from wherever you are, and if the unit features a two-way communication function, you can actually talk to them.
The other instance in which you’ll need these devices is when checking whatever is going on in your front yard, whether it’s investigating that dog that leaves you unsolicited “presents” or checking whether the kids are back from school.
The list of things you can do with these units is a long one, so let’s move on to looking at some of the things you need to be keen on when shopping for one.
What To Look For In A Video Doorbell
If there’s one thing that could prove to be a living nightmare for any homeowner, it has to be a device that breaks down just weeks after purchase.
But to be on the safe side you must make sure you get a top-quality unit that can stand long-term use even in some extreme conditions, but this shouldn’t mean complicated installation or difficulty of use.
So here are a few things you can factor in if you want to get a video doorbell that offers the best.
Wired vs. wireless video doorbell
Perhaps the most difficult decision to make when it comes to these units is whether to consider a wired or a wireless one. Well, not to worry; it all depends on what you have in place already.
If you have an existing wired doorbell installation, then a wired one shouldn’t be difficult to install, since all you have to do is connect the unit to the wires connected to the previous unit.
However, if you are not good at the installation of these systems and you really want to do it the DIY way, then a wireless one would be easier to install. The good thing about a wireless unit is that it comes with an inbuilt battery pack that powers the unit.
But the wired one has its upside as well since it doesn’t run out of power unless the entire house doesn’t have power. On the other hand, the wireless one will deplete the battery eventually, but you can always replace it to continue using the unit.
It should be weather resistant
Using a video doorbell in the outdoors puts it exposed to a constant pounding from the weather. And while this can be inevitable, it goes without saying that the weather can be quite unforgiving with rain, extreme temperatures, and humidity all taking a toll on the unit.
As such, you need to be careful to pick a camera that’s built to withstand such extremes and still operate as normal if you want to get the value for your money.
Once the unit records the activities that go on around the front of your property, it becomes important to have a way of storing the footage so it’s accessible if you ever need to review it. This is where the need for sufficient storage space comes in, whereby cloud storage is by far one of the most essential ways of storing your footage.
However, it’s also worth to have a unit that features a local storage options such as an SD card, preferably with high storage space.
Shareable with more than one user
If you have one or two loved ones, or an entire family that can answer your door if you are not at home, then it’s best to find a unit that offers multi-user functionality.
This enables those who you want to bring onboard to receive notifications when any activity is detected on the door. And the best part is that in most cases, such units enable this sharing without any extra cost on your side.
Better yet, this can come in different types, from a mobile app to in-home control panels that enable someone to see who’s knocking at the door, which can be great for kids.
How easy and secure is the installation?
We’ve already mentioned that the installation is one of those things you really need to be keen on when shopping for a video doorbell. But there’s more to the installation of these units than just deciding whether to go for a wired or wireless one.
One thing for sure is that as much as you need an easy installation for your video doorbell, you definitely don’t want it to be easy for an intruder to remove or tamper with from the outside. Thankfully, most of them feature security screw that prevents tampering, and some have a smart feature that sends you a notification if it’s removed.
in most cases, these doorbells come with a number of features that allow them to perform different functions. And the motion detection feature is by far one of the most reliable functions you can count on when it comes to these units. Check out our Motion Sensor Security Lights Article for even more help.
This usually has everything to do with a passive infrared sensor, also known as PIR tech that detects any motion by people or objects within its range. When incorporated to the unit, the function helps send you alerts when it detects any motion in your front yard.
With some video doorbells, you can even set the level of sensitivity that you want for the PIR sensor to reduce the number of false alarms that might come with high sensitivity, or avoid missing anything.
Keeping watch over your front door shouldn’t end with the fading light, in fact, you need to keep even more vigil at night time since it’s the time most intruders are likely to strike.
In that case, a unit with night vision always proves to be a must-buy if you are to have the peace of mind that you need even after nightfall. Infrared lights video doorbells usually have black and white lighting on the person or object so visibility becomes even easier.
But you can find some units with enough clarity of night vision so you can be sure who or what’s on the door.
What You Should Know Before Buying A Video Doorbell
Now that you know what to go for when shopping for these units, let’s look at some of the things you need to know before you can dive all in for a doorbell of this kind.
What does a smart video doorbell mean?
These doorbells are not any different from most other smart devices for home security. This simply means these units work by connecting to your computer or mobile phone through an app. And you can actually connect some of them with other smart devices in your home if you have your eyes on home automation.
Some of these units feature speakers, cameras, video recording, and motion detection functions. And while almost all of these devices use the internet for connection, but you can also find some that connect with Bluetooth.
But the difference between a Wi-Fi unit and a Bluetooth one is that with the Bluetooth connection, you won’t be able to access a wide range of features as you would with a Wi-Fi one.
Is it compatible with the existing doorbell?
That’s a question you can’t help but ask yourself before you pull out that toolbox to take down you current doorbell. Well, we’ve got some good news for you; if you have an existing doorbell, you could easily replace it with a smart one and use the wiring that you’ve been using with the old unit. However, keep in mind that this won’t work for you if you plan on using a wireless doorbell.
How fast should my internet speed be?
Well, it all comes down to this, doesn’t it? As we’ve mentioned, these units work with internet connection in order to work with your phone or PC. Thankfully, you don’t necessarily need incredibly fast internet speeds for this; anything above 2Mbps of upload speed will work just fine.
What makes the upload speed crucial is that smart doorbells are most likely to upload information that download. One more thing, however, this will also depend on how your doorbell records; some record continuously, while others record only when triggered to reduce energy consumption.
In that case, a doorbell that records continuously will require faster upload speeds to cater to the information that’s being constantly recorded.
The other thing you need to factor in is the level at which you think the addition of the unit is going to affect your data usage. Also, you’ll need to consider whether additional storage will be necessary, but fortunately enough, some of these units come with local storage, which might come in very handy at enhancing your storage capacity.
Best Video Doorbells For 2019
All said and done, it’s time to get started with our list of some of the top video doorbells on the market. And what better way to start than with one unit that has it all?
Let’s begin with the outstanding Alexa compatibility of this Ring doorbell, which enables it to work with Echo devices once the doorbell motion detector is triggered or if someone presses it. Besides, it allows you to see and talk with your visitors in real-time.
You will also enjoy the efficiency that this unit offers as far as installation goes; thanks to the fact that it’s powered by a rechargeable battery so you don’t have to struggle to connect it to your home power system.
Another remarkable feature is a Live View that allows you to check-in on your home whenever you feel like and from wherever you are.
While still at it, it’s worth mentioning that the video quality is also something you’ll go out of your way to love in this doorbell since it offers an impressive 1080 HD video that ensures you can see everything and or everyone clearly; no more guesswork.
Your doorbell further ensures you are sorted through the night with an included infrared night vision that will also blow you away. Not only does it offer an around the clock recording, but also the IR design ensures there’s no visible light that might be disruptive or consume a lot of energy.
With instant alerts as soon as this doorbell detects any motion on your front door, you can bet that you won’t miss any action whether it’s a visitor, family member moving around or an intruder.
The other features worth a hard look here include a high versatility since this unit allows you to view live video from your phone, PC or tablet. The others include an adjustable sensitivity of the motion detection function, interchangeable faceplates to match your style and taste as well as an easily removable battery pack.
Here’s another video doorbell you can’t help but love not only due to its solid construction and the outstanding performance but also for super ease of use and a lot more features.
First off, the installation can’t get any easier as this unit comes with everything you need to install it. What’s more, you won’t have to deal with wiring or any drilling.
The quality of the video itself is the other thing that makes this camera worth going for. With an impressive 1080P high definition video quality, you will be able to see everything in detail.
For all-around security, this unit further does a great job at sending you alerts on your PC, phone or tablet once anyone comes knocking on your door or presses the doorbell. But that’s not all; it also packs in motion sensors that alert you if they detect any motion in the front yard.
What’s more, this unit works with Alexa to offer you unprecedented flexibility since this function not only allows your doorbell to notify you whenever there’s anything going on around your front door, but it also allows you to use Echo devices to speak with your visitors, thanks to the 2-way audio.
And that’s not all yet; you’ll also come to love such features as the removable battery pack for easy replacement once your battery runs low on power. Others include privacy settings to customize your privacy zones and disable the audio to focus on what matters as well as adjustable sensitivity of the motion detectors.
Next on our top picks is another doorbell that packs in enough features to transform your peephole into a smart home security unit that never disappoints.
First off, a weather-resistant capability is one of the things you must be very keen not to miss when shopping for these units, which is what makes this one a great option. Thanks to its waterproof and dustproof design, you can count on it to last for decades despite the rough outdoors.
Energy efficiency is the other factor that could make a world of difference, and another of the unit’s features that leave the competition in the dust as its robust 2600mA battery can last for up to two months on a single full charge.
The angle of view of the video doorbell also matters, a whole lot, which is where the 166-degree viewing angle of the camera on this unit pushes the limit at giving you an incredible view of the area around your door.
More importantly, the quality of the video is also worth considering, since it’s one of the things you can’t afford to miss. Not to worry, with an impressive upgrade high definition real-time view, this camera ensures you’ll never miss a bit.
You’ll also love other features such as a night light receiver that this unit comes with, a smart PIR motion detector as well as the wireless design that makes the installation anything but a breeze.
What’s more, you can also set the sensitivity of the motion detector at low, medium or high and be able to get alerts on motion detected at up to 11.48 feet.
Above all, storage should be the least of your worries, thanks to this doorbell’s ability to support TF cards with up to 32GB memory.
A human induction function is also a remarkable feature in this unit that enables you to walk around at night without bumping into stuff inside your house.
Second last on our list is another video doorbell that will definitely blow you away with its wide range of exciting features.
While motion detection is one of the most essential features you can wish to have on these units, this one features a PIR motion detection function that detects even the slightest motion. But the best thing about it is that you can set the sensitivity at low, medium or high depending on your needs and it can detect motion at up to 11.48 feet.
The quality of the video is also something worth thinking about before diving in for any particular unit, and this one doesn’t disappoint at that feature, thanks to its 720P HD output that ensures you can see everything or everyone in crisp clear detail.
A two-way talk function always plays a significant role at helping you talk with your visitors even when you are miles from home, which is one thing this unit does a great job at by ensuring you can enjoy noise-free conversations with your visitors.
The angle of view is anything but impressive as well, with a remarkable 166-degree wide-angle of view that enables you to see everything happening on your front door.
But that’s far from all this doorbell has to offer, as it also features additional features like a reliable infrared sensor as well as LED for perfect night vision.
Then you’ll also come to love other features as instant alerts when the motion detector is triggered or when someone presses your doorbell. A wireless design enables easy, fast installation as you won’t be struggling with any cables or drilling.
What’s more, it also comes with an inbuilt SD memory card with the ability to support up to 16GB, and a video looping feature that enables automatic overwriting of the oldest videos to create space for new videos so space will never be a problem for you.
One thing to note, however, is that this doorbell works with a 25.4 GHz Wi-Fi and not a 5GHz, so keep that in mind when setting it up.
You guessed right! We saved the best for last since this video doorbell has a hoard of features that put the competition to shame.
What better way to start than with the one feature that truly stands out, the small but versatile design of this YIROKA video doorbell. The sleek design of this unit not only looks great on your property, but it’s also built to fit the size of the standard American door frame for homes.
With a night light receiver, this doorbell is designed to keep you sorted around the clock as the indoor ringtones ensure you don’t miss any visitor even at night, but it also packs in a human induction function that you can use as light at night to avoid accidents.
A waterproof is the other features that truly make this doorbell worth that money, not to mention that it’s also dustproof, which makes it great for use in the outdoors for years on end.
Power is also worth considering when making the choice for a video doorbell, and this one never disappoints at that, thanks to its robust 3200 mAH battery, which is capable of lasting up to 3 to 6 months on a single charge. Just make sure to charge it fully before use to enhance its durability.
False positives are yet another one less thing to worry about when using this unit thanks to its PIR detection function that’s designed to detect even the slightest motion in its range. But the most exciting bit is that you can actually set the sensitivity that you want for the motion detector to suit your preference.
And this doorbell isn’t done just yet, as it also comes with other features like an impressive 160-degree viewing angle as well as an incredible 720P full high definition video quality so you can bet that you won’t be missing any bit of the action.
My Overall Opinion
Video doorbells are by far one of the most important additions you can incorporate into your home security system. These units are sleek and blend in perfectly with your frame. And what makes them even more exciting is the fact that the installation isn’t necessarily a difficult task.
But above all, it pays to have such an essential unit on your door that not only makes your property more secure but also helps relate with your visitors on a personal level no matter where you are when they come knocking.
Go ahead and check out the one that best fits your home, these doorbells are sure to be the one bit you’ve been thinking of adding to your home.