Top Doorbell Cameras Reviews
Ding Dong, See Who is at the Door From a Phone
Last Updated: January 2nd, 2017. The new smart doorbells are taking the market by storm. These create the ability to view people coming up to your door, triggering notifications to any smartphone. 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.
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 whomever is at the door.
- Recordings and pictures are saved so if needed you can lookup 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 our doorstep and smashed our pumpkins on the sidewalk!
Here is a look at the pros and cons of having a door viewer
- Crime deterrent
- Easy to install & use on mobile device
- Captures live footage
- Add users in app so any family member can access
- Able to setup 'smart zones'
- Talk with people at the doorstep
- The ones you buy outright (aside from a security company, like our #3 recommended) still upsell you a monthly fee for them to store footage on their cloud system.
- Depending on technical skills can be hard to install
- App software can be buggy at times or sometimes miss users
Without further ado, for those looking to buy a new doorbell security camera here are the top 3:
#1 - Vivint doorbell + automation system
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.
You can get Vivint doorbell smart cam for free in their automation package. Monitoring is going to be $59-79 a month but this is for a full security system. The sky panel is touchscreen and also connected to the doorbell cam.
This is the costliest option but also the best. 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.
Call Vivint for a Free Quote at 855-298-7671
Learn more by clicking here
#2 - FrontPoint Security HD Smart Doorbell
FrontPoint recently added a doorbell camera to their lineup in late 2016. Unlike Vivint's, they use a third party product, Skybell, and integrate it with their app. For them, this saves time and user hassle providing a working product and app to their home security system lineup. This is a great all around camera although bulkier then our #1 & #3 pick. It looks less like a typical doorbell you would ring and more like a camera / tech product. Looks wise we give it a 2.5 of 5 but functionality is 4.5 of 5.
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.
Some of the specs 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
#3 - Ring door viewer
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.
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 #1 choice Vivint will install it for you, the other 2 users are on their own.
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.