Smart Doorbell Cameras Reviews

Smart Doorbell Cameras Reviews

Ding Dong! The 3 Best Doorbell Cameras Reviews

finger-pushing-doorbellLast Updated: April 12, 2018.  The new smart doorbells cams are taking the market by storm.  These create the ability to view people coming up to your door, triggering notifications to any smart device.  They bring peace of mind to those who are nervous about answering the door without knowing who is there.  These also serve as a great 'peephole' and now those at home don't have to lift up the blinds to peek at who is there.

Make burglars think twice before stealing packages off the doorstep.
Image:  Burglar being caught by doorbell cam

Pros and cons of having a Security Doorbell viewer at the front door:

Pros
  • Crime deterrent
  • CBS reports that they drop crime rates by 55% in neighborhoods where installed
  • Easy to connect and stream on mobile device
  • Captures and records live footage
  • Add users in app so any family member can access
  • Able to set up 'smart zones' 10 to 40 foot perimeters of the doorbell camera
  • Talk with people (or the mailman) at the doorstep directly from a smartphone app
  • Free app control on each for iOS or Android

 

Cons
  • The ones you buy outright (aside from a security company) still up-sell you a monthly fee for them to store video footage on their cloud storage.
  • Depending on your technical skills; can be difficult to install
  • Dependent upon steady WiFi connection
  • App software can be buggy at times and sometimes miss users at your doorstep

 

For those looking to buy a new doorbell security camera here are the top 3 reviews:

#1 - FrontPoint Security HD Smart Doorbell

doorbell security camera device
In July of 2017, Frontpoint updated their doorbell camera to the new 'Slimline' model shown above. 

FrontPoint recently added a doorbell camera to their lineup in late 2016.  They use a third party product, Skybell, and integrate it with their app so you get a full security system with your doorbell camera.  This is a great all around camera although slightly bulkier than other top pick.  It looks less like a typical doorbell you would ring and more like a camera/tech product.  We rate the appeal a 5 of 5 (previously 3.5 of 5 and ranked 2nd until new version hit) and functionality 4.5 of 5.

user using skybell app

To add this to a Frontpoint security system users need to ask for it as they are not adding it to any promotions right now.  They do give you a discount so it is $160 over the $180+ users would pay for it on the internet.

Specifics include:

  • 1080 HD video camera
  • Frontpoint's security app integration
  • Night vision
  • Text alerts to answer or view history
  • Add & manage users
  • Made in USA

 

The monthly cost is going to be around $50 which will include 24/7 monitoring of the security system and doorbell video camera.  Frontpoint has done a great job at adding this to their lineup.  Users who use the Skybell cam through Frontpoint gives them one app to control all home automation and security features.  Better than logging in and out of several apps to see what is going on in the home.

Call Frontpoint at 855-861-8730

#2 - Vivint HD Video doorbell + Home automation system

video footage of vivint doorbell

 

Vivint is the only security company (as of 2016) to create their own doorbell camera and not use a third parties.  It integrates with their app flawlessly.  As soon as someone rings the doorbell, app users are notified and can swipe to answer and then talk to the person on the other end.  When talking to the user, try to have wifi connection or cell phone data will be burned quickly.

Part of a full automation security system.

vivint doorbell camera complete system

 

You can get Vivint doorbell smart cam in their automation package.  Monitoring is going to be $59-79 a month but this is a full security system.  The sky panel is touch screen and also connected to the doorbell cam.

This is the costliest option of all, but that comes with great quality.  Vivint has close to 1 million home security users already with a 20-year history so glitches in their app have already been worked out.  This company thrives on innovation so for users that want more than just a doorbell camera then this is your best long term option.

For a Free Quote call 855-298-7671

#3 - Ring doorbell viewer

Ring

Ring is the most well-known and popular of the doorbell cameras.  They are the original inventors of this product and re-branded from their original name, 'Doorbot'.  It is not as slim as Vivint's but much better looking than Frontpoints above.

They have a PRO version for $250 (free shipping) with a home security system add-on bundle.  There is also a $195 version which is hard to find the difference between the 'PRO' version.  Users download the Ring app and then sync to their doorbell camera, add security passwords and users and then it is up and running.  Once the flat fee to purchase has been paid, Ring gives users a free 30 day trial of storing footage to the cloud.  Because it's not connected to a DVR or any other kind of backup storage it is hard not to feel obligated to do this.  It is $5/mo, so affordable but users essentially can't use the product for security unless that is paid.

How they work:  

You can setup 'zones' on how far out the camera sees and records motions.  For instance, you can set 5-25' away.  The farther away, the more pictures and recordings you will have.  Every home is different, try to set it up so that your doorbell cam is not taking pictures of every passing car.

When the user rings the doorbell, your smartphone is notified and you can then view a live stream of who is there.  You can also 'answer' it and talk through your phone to them at the doorstep.  This is a great feature if you are at work and need to take a package or talk to whoever is at the door.

Recordings and pictures are saved so if needed you can look up the history of who has been at the front of the home.  We recently used this at Halloween (2016) to see the punk teenagers who walked up to the doorstep and smashed our pumpkins on the sidewalk!

(Image: Footage used by LAPD caught from a Security doorbell cam)

Conclusion

Smart door viewers are a great home automation product and if you plan on living at the location for 2+ years should be bought.  These do replace original doorbells and are not practical to move with you to the next home, although can be done.  Your 'ding dong' noise will stay the same when the doorbell button is pushed (as long as wiring has been done right).  Our second choice Vivint will install it for you, with the other 2 products users are on their own.  As long as you don't buy one that has negative reviews or no support then you are purchasing one that is a 'best of' contender.  With the top 2 choices, users can integrate their doorbell camera system with their home security system.  With option 3, it acts as a stand-alone device and users can pay for cloud backup storage through the Ring app.

Other things users should consider to keep crime away from the front of their homes are:  keep it clean, have a security sign, use outdoor cameras around the home and put neighborhood watch stickers.  Stay safe and let us know your thoughts and any experience with the new tech security gadgets.

[Total: 11    Average: 2.5/5]

38 Comments
  1. DT
    04/05/2018 at 11:36
    Reply

    Please be aware, Ring doorbell picks up motion from street. Every time a car goes by, the motion is aoctivated....really annoying. I’ve been in touch with 3 different techs at Ring with no resolve. The range is reduced as low as it can be but still picks up heat from cars. The latest one is sending me a ‘wedge’ to point the doorbell down instead of at street. Hopefully this helps .as I’m on the verge of ripping it out and installing a camera in a different location

    • Bency
      04/17/2018 at 12:02
      Reply

      Have you tried messing with sensitivity indicators? I know that my security system alerts me everytime there's movement and with a dog around that is quote often. So what I have done is added the option to be notified less and this has helped drown out the daily notifications while I'm at work.

  2. Alfie Chess
    02/18/2018 at 03:03
    Reply

    The fact that Vivint is the first security company to make their own doorbell camera is enough to prove to you that they are the best around. Their features are amazing and connection to the app is always seamless. I've been using Vivint HD Video doorbell + Home automation system for 5years now and I have never had any regrets. I always recommend to friends and they've appreciated it.

    • 03/07/2018 at 09:19
      Reply

      There were other doorbell cameras before Vivint but yes they were the first formal home security company to make their own and connect it with the rest of their services. Hopefully they continue to update the Sky Panel as some people have reported issues with connecting 4+ cameras with it (doorbell included) but the good news is that they spend a fortune on innovating.

  3. monica
    01/28/2018 at 21:20
    Reply

    We like the ring product, but it is not friendly to the blind as you need to see the buttons on your phone to speak to someone. It would be nice if they would have an alternate user page for visually impaired with a single button for intercom usage.

  4. Jules H.
    01/16/2018 at 12:15
    Reply

    I have it and I love it... really useful when I'm doing laundry or something and I hear the doorbell. I always have my phone with me so I can quickly see who it is. With the kids friends, or a solicitor always knockin', it's a luxury to see if I need to high tail it to the door or if I can finish the task at hand.

  5. Cameron Gates
    01/07/2018 at 18:36
    Reply

    Seems like frontpoint has one of the best systems in terms of compatibility through all the devices. From the app to the doorbell camera unit itself. I am still on the market for one but I am leaning towards number 1 on this list. My main concern is that the company continues to update the app and functionality years to come, and just doesn't do away updating the software...

  6. Billy Newton
    01/07/2018 at 18:31
    Reply

    I'm a fan of this new technology and I am in the process of flipping real estate. I bought a really torn up place in the bad part of DC. I imaging installing this would alieve some to be buyers of the home. I just need to figure out which model looks best, at first glace I do like the look of the Front Point doorbell camera. +1

  7. Charlie Z.
    01/07/2018 at 18:29
    Reply

    This would have been great during X-Mas! I had a bunch of packages delivered to my door and while I was work I was kind of worried they would be fine or still there once I got home. I will have to look into getting this soon, doorbell cameras may be the norm in the next few years as smart houses progress.

  8. Larissa Knowles
    01/07/2018 at 18:02
    Reply

    This camera helped my neice during Christmas time. They had a streak of robberies in the neighborhood and this picked up on somebody stealing their Amazon package. I think they sent it to the authorities but Amazon reimbursed her for the theft. You never know when you need an extra eye around. ;)

  9. Claude Swim
    12/31/2017 at 20:25
    Reply

    These things are awesome. I find myself checking it for fun not just security. Installation is pretty hassle free but like the author mentioned remember to turn off the breaker before messing with the doorbell wires! Brand wise I don't have a recommendation because I feel like they are all so similar now (newer 2018 models).

  10. James
    11/15/2017 at 13:14
    Reply

    Hopefully over the years they work on the cam quality with these. Great product and I noticed that RING is now worth over $1 Billion which all stemmed from offering these products. These are the new neighborhood watch program. And now you can see who takes your halloween candy bucket you leave out each year ha!

  11. Cameron Jones
    11/11/2017 at 10:44
    Reply

    The Vivint system is highly efficient because the company has invested so much money into research and development. I haven't owned any other doorbell camera systems, but the Vivint one is easy enough to setup and get started. Really neat system they have.

  12. Manny Guerrero
    11/11/2017 at 10:35
    Reply

    I own the FrontPoint Security Doorbell system because my parents gifted it to me. I bought a house in NE DC, which is notorious for being a really shady or crime riddled area. People walk by my house and it sticks out, it's kind of like a "HEY DON'T MESS WITH ME" sign. I feel safer because of it, but it still kind of stick out because nobody else on my street owns one. I feel safer though, and that's all that matters.

  13. Jaice Marshall
    11/02/2017 at 12:02
    Reply

    Honestly I think every body in each neighborhood should have one of these just to crack down on crime. They are much easier to install then a security camera system and less costly. The problem with that 'idea' is the ones who need it the most probably can't afford it. (Highest crime is typically in rural areas). It would be great if the government could do some kind of subsidy to get these on more front door steps to prevent incidents.

  14. Mac
    10/27/2017 at 15:14
    Reply

    The biggest selling point for my family and I is the safety. I like the idea of getting to see everyone to steps on my door steps. Like another commenter mentioned, I also get a lot of packages shipped here and I'd be more at ease if I had a camera monitoring the front door while I'm at work or away from my house.

    • Gary E.
      11/11/2017 at 10:40
      Reply

      I would buy one just because I have had a few packages gone missing over the few years when they were delivered and left on the front steps of my home. I generally buy online and they usually just send me another package, no problem, but I wanted to see what was going on. I feel safe in my home, just a little off due to the concern now whenever I buy something and it's shipped to my home.

  15. Joanna R.
    10/27/2017 at 15:12
    Reply

    The only thing stopping me is how am I going to get this thing installed? I would have to hire someone or get one my friends to come over and install it. I wish it were not as complicated as it looks to get it up and running. Do you know the easiest one to get installed? Maybe I can try that one.

    • 10/30/2017 at 10:26
      Reply

      Vivint installs theirs for you. If doing it yourself it is pretty simple. 1 - Turn off the electricity to porch/padio on circuit board is. 2 - Remove screws and remove wires off back of current doorbell. 3 - Tighten wires around new video doorbell. (Pamphlets provided with pictures). 4 - Mount back on and done! 5 - Turn back on electricity. Download app and sync with product from smart device.

    • DT
      04/05/2018 at 11:39
      Reply

      I installed both of my ring doorbells myself. Super easy

  16. Joel Olsteen
    10/27/2017 at 15:11
    Reply

    My in-laws have one installed in their property and they told me it's great to get a notification when they aren't home to see who is at their door. I am looking into getting one but for a good price. I have been scoping some out, but will probably settle for the vivint doorbell camera because it's aesthetically pleasing! :)

  17. Brian H.
    10/27/2017 at 15:09
    Reply

    The Doorbell Camera is probably going to be installed in most homes in the next decade or two as technology advances and smart homes become the norm. Most of my neighbors find it quirky that I have one. I think it makes life easier, what's not to love?

  18. Kelly
    10/27/2017 at 15:08
    Reply

    I found that statistic rather interesting. CBS reported that crime dropped 55% when installed in neighborhoods. That by itself, is a good reason why most HOA's should recommend installing door bell cameras to neighborhood homes to deter any crime. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jessie Stills
      11/11/2017 at 10:42
      Reply

      Remarkable. More people should go out and get this just for that statistic alone! Imagine if everyone owned one, then robbers would be less willing to consider breaking and entering into other people's homes. Any method that is proven to deter any crime should be explored.

  19. James D
    10/26/2017 at 08:29
    Reply

    It's pretty cool what these can do and I like that they are getting slimmer and better looking. The first few years of models look nothing like a standard doorbell and now they are getting hard to tell the difference. I hope that night vision gets progressively better as I have noticed that is the worst part regardless of brand you choose. You'll get pictures of them but it will be blurry and anyone could out fool these smart doorbells by wearing a mask, covering their face etc. Still a great deterrent and I think builders should start building them with the home rather then them being a add-on piece.

  20. Michael Littlejohn
    09/13/2017 at 17:31
    Reply

    Whatever you do, DO NOT buy one from a sales rep at Best Buy. Either do it yourself or go to the company directly as I wish I would have done above. Gross misinformation/deception from the point of sale at Best Buy relative to product and expressed customer needs. Less than desirable installation of your product, and disagreement between sales staff and technicians relative to needs/solutions for at least, appreciable performance from your camera system. Expressed desire to monitor on my own with no contract and no outside monitoring. I was informed that monitoring was required for the first month to set up the system and thereafter, through the app, I'd be able to self monitor. After not being able to make cameras more responsive as there were significant delays in image capture, if the cameras captured anything at all, I had them removed...despite a non-refundable installation fee, and after being shown the carelessness of the installation with bare camera wires un-estically cascading my rear door. Subsequently, I noticed I'd been billed for monitoring that I did not want, that was agreed prior, due to noted problems, that Vivint would provide two months free monitoring. It MAY now be resolved, However, I surprisingly and regrettably learned that without paying the $40 per month monitoring fee, I'll not be able to use the app from my phone or any mobile devise to a self monitored alarm I already owned a functioning ADT wall panel, a perfectly operating thermostat and a reliable doorbell.. Through the sales rep at Best Buy,, I was deceived resulting to UN- necessary replacement of these devices, replete with costs at NO added value.

    • Bill G.
      11/11/2017 at 10:31
      Reply

      Michael, I used to work at Best Buy and your experience with gross misinformation/deception is anecdotal evidence. The customer service experience and knowledge the customer service representative would have really just depends on the person, store location, and staff training. I agree that buying online and doing your own research is best.

  21. Beverly Jane
    08/11/2017 at 10:20
    Reply

    This is the post I've been waiting for! I think it's really beneficial, for me, to own a doorbell camera! I get A LOT of packages from shopping online shipped to our residence so having this would help get the would be robber's face on camera if anything like that ever happened.

  22. Mandy
    04/26/2017 at 15:20
    Reply

    Thanks for all this information. I have been looking into the options of having better locks on my front and back doors. This sounds perfect. I will have to go with an option that does install as I have no knowledge on electronics or wires! Bookmarked and shared!

    • June Leo
      05/20/2017 at 12:50
      Reply

      They work great over all. I would give them a go. I have been using one on my home for a little over 3 months and they are fantastic. They allow me to know what is going on in front of my house and behind my house at all times. We have a lot of kids in the area which is the main reason I got mine.

  23. David Gerard Ralson
    04/14/2017 at 15:13
    Reply

    I would love to have one on two doors on my home right now, not sure about the monthly fee but would be super nice to see what is going on right from my phone each time a stranger comes to the door.

  24. Mark
    04/06/2017 at 23:59
    Reply

    I hate to admit this but I found out about doorbell cameras from my neighbor when we went over to their place over dinner. Since then, I wanted to install a similar device in my home. I’ve been shopping around and found Vivint to have the specs I’m looking for, but it seems more people are recommending Ring door viewer. I’m not to keen on the monthly backup storage fee, but it’s really worth checking out.

    • Scot Z.
      03/05/2018 at 09:02
      Reply

      just make sure your WiFi is up to the task. we have Ring and can NOT get video to play for crap. It says we have "ok" reception but never have videos when we need them. kinda pointless to watch nothing going on when it alerts us. very aggravating. we have Frontpoint for other parts of security and now, we are looking at getting their doorbell too..... IF we get it, hope it works better.

  25. Eloise
    02/28/2017 at 19:55
    Reply

    I've felt so much safer at home ever since getting one of these. The quality is very good when streaming the doorbell camera from my phone. I have no complaints, I didn't realize there was companies that could connect it with my security system! I don't believe ADT has this feature yet but those top two would be a good idea to switch too. It's nice to have the footage available for access up to 60 days. Now I can see whether the person who door bell ditched was a punk teenager or something more.

    • Harry
      04/10/2017 at 14:31
      Reply

      I thought the same thing! We have a lot of kids in the area and I have had everything from eggs to smashed pumpkins. I got mine installed last week and I love it. I have also been able to bust one of the local UPS driver throwing my package at the door! I reported him and have the proof of it. No more pulling one over on me!

  26. Anna
    01/18/2017 at 19:57
    Reply

    Well I have number 3 and I love it. It's really worth every penny when it's dark out, I'm by myself and someone knocks. Normally I would hide and not answer the door and be worried all night wondering who was there. Now I don't have to worry about who's there, because I can see them. I'm more comfortable now!

  27. Greg
    01/07/2017 at 16:50
    Reply

    I'm of one such persons that gets nervous when someone is at the door. I would never want to answer till I get to know whom the person is. I so much like the door viewer. It helps me a lot, I could easy view who is my door before I proceed to open or not. The Doorbell Camera is really great!

    • Mary
      03/01/2017 at 04:11
      Reply

      Wow! I thought I'm alone on this. I hardly get to open my door not until I get to know whom the person is. I feel more secured. Doorbell cameras are really cool.

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