When trying to decide on which doorbell camera is right for your particular situation, there are plenty of things that should factor into your decision. That's why we have compiled an extensive list of things to consider that will help lead you to the best possible doorbell camera for your needs.
Buying a doorbell camera without knowing all your options, and features that separate the good from the bad is like finding a needle in a haystack. Therefore, we have done the work for you by outlining the most important factors for you to consider so you can make an educated decision about which doorbell camera is best for your unique situation.
Doorbell cameras can be installed and powered a couple of different ways—wired or using a battery. This means it could be powered by plugging it into a power outlet, through an Ethernet cable (which will probably require a PoE adapter), or by using the internal battery. The installation, according to your particular needs, will be a big determining factor as to which doorbell camera you will need to purchase.
Many of the new doorbell cameras are easy to install and come with detailed instructions, installation videos, and/or technical support that is available to you should you need assistance. And, they can be easily installed yourself depending on whether you have some basic skills, the proper tools, and are comfortable working with a little wiring. If you don't, then you will probably want to go with a wireless doorbell camera which uses a battery, transmitter, and receiver. A wireless doorbell camera communicates using a radio signal so no wiring is required.
There are some security companies that offer professional installation. In fact, the more sophisticated and complex the doorbell camera system is (think major wiring or home automation integration) the more likely it is the company will require that it be professionally installed to make sure everything is set up properly. Some brands offer professional installation and include the cost with the price and some don't. If they don't offer professional installation and you aren't comfortable doing it yourself, please don't hesitate to hire a professional.
Here are a few of the most important features you will want to look for in a doorbell camera.
A mobile app is commonly used to access, monitor, and control a doorbell camera system. The app provides the ability to watch live-streaming video from your mobile device, two-way communication, and other functions depending on the brand you choose.
Some doorbell cameras can be integrated with your home automation or might even come as an individual component of a whole house home automation system. If you already have a home automation system, you will need to look for a doorbell camera that is compatible with your particular system, whether it's the same brand or a third-party compatible one.
If you don't already have a home automation system, this would be a good time to consider one because many home automation systems come with a doorbell camera already included as part of their package. Home automation systems are changing the way we live by making everyday tasks easier and more convenient to manage, which, in turn, saves time and money.
The live view of a doorbell camera is one that provides a continuous live streaming video of what's going on outside your home versus having to wait for an activity alert to see it. However, be aware that most (but not all) battery-operated doorbell cameras don't have this feature. Most doorbell cameras have to be wired to your existing doorbell if you want a live view option.
Local & Cloud Storage
Doorbell cameras come with two different types of storage options—local storage or cloud storage. Local storage stores your videos locally within the device itself, which means your storage will be limited; however, it will be free of charge. Additionally, with a local storage option, your video clips, at some point, will be recorded over once they've reached their storage limits, which could cause you to lose valuable footage. Cloud storage will store your videos in the cloud, which will generally give you as much storage as you are willing to pay for.
Costs & Pricing
The cost and pricing of your new doorbell camera will depend on the type of system you choose and its associated features. And, whether those features are included in the price or are additional costs such as cloud storage or whether it's a wired or wireless system, etc.
A basic doorbell camera will generally run somewhere between $99-$250 or so. However, if your doorbell camera is part of a larger security ecosystem, well, the sky is pretty much the limit when it comes to price. Everything will depend on how extravagant you want to get.
Doorbell Camera Company Reviews
Now that you understand the basic functions of a doorbell camera, it's time to look at the different doorbell camera companies to find the one that has the features you need and best fits within your budget.