What's In This Article?
Video doorbells are a relatively new home security device, but they have become very popular with Baby Boomers across the US. The market for video doorbells is expected to almost triple to about $1.4bn over the next three years.
Baby Boomers are making home security a priority for many reasons.
- Baby Boomers have had lots of time to accumulate valuables like jewelry and other heirlooms and as a result, they are often targeted by criminals
- Home security systems not only offer protection from burglary, but some systems provide medical alert monitoring which can be a life-saving feature
- Home security systems, including video doorbells, give seniors and their families peace of mind.
Although the video doorbells market is still young, there are several different options to choose from – and it’s often difficult to determine which is best for you and your particular home security needs.
This guide will help you understand what you need to know about video doorbells and provide a process for selecting the best one for you.
Before we take a deep dive into video doorbells, here are our top picks. They’re listed in no particular order and include links to websites where you can order them from a trusted seller.
- OUR TOP PICK
Ring Video Doorbell 3
Eufy Video Doorbell T8200
LaView One Halo
Wisenet SmartCam D1
Popular For Good Reasons!
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 is a fantastic battery-powered unit. It’s priced at approximately $199 and includes a free 30-day trial of Ring Protect, a comprehensive service that activates video recording and photo capture for doorbells and cameras for as low as $3/month.3
The Eufy video doorbell offers exceptional value for money, as it has fantastic video quality and tons of other features – all for $160 with no monthly subscription charge.
At $195.49, it is a bit more expensive than some of the other systems on our list, but it has some great advanced features which may make it well worth the extra dollars.
Expensive, But Worth It
The Wisenet SmartCam D1 video doorbell system is the most expensive model on our list, but it also has the best video quality and countless built-in features. These great features enhance the level of security it offers and includes facial recognition, HDR video, monitoring zones, and “abnormal sound detection” (such as the sound of glass shattering or someone screaming.)
1080p HD Video
Advanced Motion Settings
Dual-Band 2.4GHz & 5GHzConnectivity
- High clarity for low-light scenarios, providing a clear image day and night.
- Receive facial snapshot alerts so you can easily determine who is at the door.
- You can have up to 3 instant responses that you can pre-record and use depending on who is at your door.
- Connect your Doorbell to Google Voice Assistant or Amazon Alexa
- HD 3MP Resolution
- Built-in Doorbell Chime
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
- Two-Way Talk
- Full Color Night Vision
- 180° Vertical View
- PIR Thermal Detection
- Customizable Motion Detection
- IP65 Weatherproofing
- Micro SD Storage up to 128GB
- Cloud Storage Option
- Instant Mobile Alerts
- LaView ONE Free App
- Sharp video quality.
- You can view live and recorded video
- Has sophisticated facial recognition
- Android and iOS mobile apps available
- Human detection so you won’t be getting alerts when cats show up on your porch
- Abnormal sound detection
- Amazon Alexa support.
What is a Video Doorbell?
A video doorbell is a type of home security device, though its core functionality also makes it useful for simply greeting guests or serving as a high-tech alternative to a conventional doorbell.
Video doorbells allow residents to see who’s outside their property, and many are designed to give the impression that someone is always home.
While they are a type of home security device, they shouldn’t be considered or used as an alternative to a home security system, though they can certainly complement each other.
Installing a video doorbell is a great way to add an additional layer of protection to your property and its contents, and give you peace of mind even when you’re not at home.
What Features Do Video Doorbells Have?
There are several different manufacturers of video doorbells and countless individual models. Most work the same way: when someone rings the doorbell, a signal is transmitted via your Wi-Fi network to your smartphone, which notifies you that there’s someone outside and allows you to access the camera through your phone.
Video doorbells often have various features to improve their functionality, such as thermal imaging, cloud video storage, facial recognition, sirens, and integration with other systems, such as your core home security system.
Some high-end video doorbells also have motion sensors and automatically begin recording when they detect any movement in front of your property.
How Much Does a Video Doorbell Cost?
In most cases, you will be charged an upfront equipment fee plus a monthly fee, depending on which storage package you decide to go for. There are quite a few models and packages that only charge you a monthly fee if you need extra storage, so many boomers may only need to pay for the one-time equipment cost.
Some plans offer 24/7 recording and save all video clips in the cloud for 30 or 60 days.
When it comes to video doorbells, as with most things, you get what you pay for. However, the models in our top picks section represent particularly good value for money, so you should strongly consider buying one of them.
You should expect to pay anywhere from $140 to $250 for the equipment, depending on what features and additional capabilities it has.
With regards to the monthly charge, you’re looking at spending anywhere from a few dollars to about $30, though many users don’t require additional storage, so they won’t usually need to pay a monthly fee.
Things to Consider When Buying a Video Doorbell
Aside from the cost, there are several other factors that you should consider when hunting for the best video doorbell for you. These additional considerations include video quality, compatibility, installation, and what features you’re looking for.
Some video doorbells are easier to install than orders. The main thing you should look out for with regards to installation is whether the model you’re interested in can run off a built-in battery. If not, it will need to be hardwired during the installation process, which makes it a bit trickier to install. However, this isn’t much of a headache if you’re paying a professional to install the system for you and to double check it’s working.
Video Doorbell Features
As mentioned earlier in this guide, different video doorbells have different built-in features, such as night vision and motion sensors, which can be programmed to prompt the camera to start recording when they detect movement automatically.
Certain additional features can make a video doorbell considerably more useful to you, so it’s a good idea to compare different systems’ features when scouring the market and gradually crossing options off your shortlist by eliminating it.
Some video doorbells can be integrated into your broader home security system, offering better protection for your home. If you already have a home security system and you’d just like to add a video doorbell, be sure the two systems are compatible.
Some models can record videos in a much higher resolution than others, which can be important if the police are trying to identify a crook from a video your system has recorded. For this reason, we recommend only considering video doorbells, which can record videos in high-resolution.
Video doorbells have, in the past, been hacked by criminals, so most have had their security countermeasures beefed up. It’s important only to consider purchasing a secure model, as otherwise, you are risking it being hacked.
Buying a great video doorbell for your home is a great way to deter crooks, make you and your family feel safe at home, and also give you some extra non-security related benefits and functionality.
However, a video doorbell should never be used as an alternative to a comprehensive home security system (you can check out our buying guide on home alarm systems here.)
It can be a good idea to opt for a paid monthly subscription if you feel you can benefit from the extra storage and having your camera recording what’s going on outside your property 24/7.
A Quick Video Doorbell Summary
- Video doorbells can be a great way to improve the security of your home and its contents while also giving you some additional non-security related functionality, such as being able to see who’s at the front door.
- These systems are becoming increasingly popular throughout the US – particularly among boomers and middle-aged adults – and the market for video doorbells is forecast to triple in size over the next three years.
- Despite the market being pretty young, there are loads of manufacturers and models to choose from. This can sometimes make it challenging to find the right one for you, but our guide should help you out.
- Video doorbells can have various features, such as night vision, motion sensors, and more.
- You should expect to spend anywhere from around $140 to $250 on a video doorbell system, depending on which brand you’re buying from and how advanced the particular system is.
- You can also opt for a monthly plan for cloud storage to store the videos and 24/7 recording.
- There are various things that you should consider when shopping around and comparing different systems, such as computability with your existing home security system (if you have one), video quality, and installation.