Recent studies show a burglary happens every 26 seconds in the US. And a video doorbell could be a good first line of defense. You'll get the added convenience of knowing who is at your door from anywhere in the world.

My team and I research and tested over a dozen of the best brands to bring you our top 5 picks.

Top 5 Cheap Video Doorbell Cameras in 2020

1

Ring 2nd Gen Video Doorbell

The Ring 2nd gen provides all the premium features you'd expect along with improved motion detection capabilities (compared to the previous model).

It has Wi-Fi with complete control from the Ring app, 1080P recording, motion detection, 2-way audio, and the list goes on. An optional built-in rechargeable battery powers it or you have the choice to plug in to existing wiring.

This wireless doorbell (or wired) is a good addition to your home security solution at what many people say is a reasonable price.

Key Features:

  • Built-In Microphone and Speakers
  • 1080p Video Real-Time View
  • Two-Way Audio System
  • Motion Alerts and Motion Detection
  • Optional Battery Power
  • Subscription Service
2

SimpliSafe Wireless Video Doorbell Camera

Although it's not the cheapest video doorbell on our list, Simplisafe provides a good option if you want a full package for your smart home.

Based on our testing, the image was clear in just about every weather condition, and the 1080P HD video quality stood out even when it's dark.

You can play the video and clearly see if there are any visitors at the door because the video quality is fairly good.

We installed it on three separate doors, and in each situation, it was simple to install. The only downside is you need to purchase it with the entire Simplesafe security.

Key Features:

  • Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
  • HD Video Quality
  • 60 Day Risk-Free Trial
  • 2 Way Audio System
  • 162-Degree Field View
  • Easy Installation
3

Ring Peephole Cam

If you need a video doorbell that prioritizes safety for your home, check out the Ring Peephole Cam.

It has features like real-time two-way audio, 155 degree field of view (horizontal), night vision camera, battery-powered, and smart motion detection for unwanted visitors.

To set it up, all you have to do is unscrew your existing peephole with the tool that's provided in the box. Our team found this to be a handy feature while we were conduction our tests.

Key Features:

  • 155 Degree Field of View
  • HD 1080p Clarity With Wi-Fi Capabilities
  • Smart Motion Detection
  • Easy Installation
4

Tonbux Wireless Video Doorbell

Perhaps you need a smart video doorbell that can be installed anywhere in your home and gives plenty of video storage options.

If that’s the case, then this could battery-powered smart doorbell might suit your needs.

The features of this device are practically identical to my third pick except for a few slight differences.

With this smart doorbell, you can store your videos just on the internal SD card 16GB included – expandable to 32GB. Or take advantage of the free cloud service that comes with it. Through the cloud, you can store up video feed for up to 7 days.

Key Features:

  • Smart PIR Motion Zones Detection
  • Instant Motion Detection Alerts
  • 3 Adjustments to Level Sensitivity
  • SD Card Expandable Memory
  • Easy Installation (Requires Existing Doorbell Wiring)
5

Ring Video Doorbell 2

Last but not least is a doorbell security camera called Ring Video Doorbell 2. Please don’t confuse it with its other version, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro (which offers custom activity zones).

It offers all of the important features for your home security: two-way audio, battery-powered, detect movement, night camera, and waterproof protection.

The Ring Video Doorbell can also be powered through wires or by using rechargeable batteries. It doesn’t differ that much with the Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Pro.

One extra feature the Ring Video Doorbell 2 offers is your voice can control it through smart home devices like Alexa and Google Assistant.

A chime is sold separately, and one other thing to keep in mind is that you have to pay a monthly fee for storage to access your videos. Cloud memory storage fees of smart doorbells are limited and usually charged per 30 days.

Key Features:

  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Motion-Activated Alerts
  • On-Demand with HD Video Quality
  • Easy Installation

Features of the Best Video Doorbells

Many of the best video doorbells promise to solve all of your problems, but the truth is that each one operates a little differently and has a different quality. Below are the top things to consider before you make any purchase for your home, so read up for great deals.

Two-Way Communication

microphone

Having a smart home security camera on your doorstep is great, but having one that lets you talk is even better if there's someone at the door. It is one way to secure your property from porch pirates, thefts, home invasions, or unwanted visitors on your doorstep.

The truth is that there are cheap video doorbells out there with video capabilities, but not all of them include a microphone. This is fine if you want to spy on the person outside your door. However, those types of smart doorbells are not much more than an overpriced peephole.

Having two-way audio on your video doorbell is a key detail you’ll need to see in a top-rated security camera for your smart home. So make sure to look for this feature when you buy one for your home. When a visitor pushes the button, you’ll be immediately alerted on your mobile device.


After you see who’s there, you can answer the door and speak to the person through a microphone and hear their response through the speaker. Smart, right? Check here for other innovative ideas for smart home security.

PIR Motion Detection

motion

Since smart video doorbell makers know that this is a big concern for people, they're not including PIR (Passive Infrared) motion detection in some of their units. This automatically turns on the video camera to record when it senses an action or when it detects there's someone at the door.

Other more expensive products like the August Doorbell Cam Pro, Eufy Security Doorbell, Nest Hello Video Doorbell, and as well as the Arlo Video Doorbell offer the same feature. Some of these video doorbells even have facial recognition.

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This includes motion sensitivity, motion sensors, and person detection if there are unwanted visitors. It will automatically record, and you'll then get an alert via your smartphone or tablet.

It's just pretty convenient to know that you can control it using your smartphone. In this way, you don't miss what caused it though it could have been cool to have a buzzer with facial recognition.

IR Night Vision

moon

A video doorbell with IR Night Vision lets you see as well who's ringing your bell no matter how dark it is outside. It's also a great combination with PIR motion detection.

Like for example, if an intruder is lurking outside your home and doesn't push the doorbell button, their activity will still be recorded, and you'll be able to know that there's someone at the door.

Video Storage Location

video storage with chip

Many best video doorbells come with two different video storage options, and you’ll need to see which one you’re more comfortable with for your house.

The first option is cloud storage. This means that every time the video doorbell rings or activity is detected outside, the videos are recorded and stored online as well.

You can see the video anytime you need it. You can download the files, of course, but you may have to pay a small fee per month for long-term storage. [1] The second option is storing the video clips on the video doorbell itself. Some of the best smart home video doorbells come with an internal SD card. So every time a video recording happens outside your house, it gets saved onto this card. This is a better option for some people because there are no monthly fees to pay.


The only downside, however, is that most SD cards only hold 4-8GB of data. Therefore you’ll need to transfer files when it gets full to free up space for more recordings. Charges of cloud storage apply every 30 days.

Power Source

electric

In the world of video doorbells, you’ll find that they can be powered in one of two ways: through electrical doorbell wiring or with rechargeable batteries.

If you’re replacing an existing doorbell that already has two small wires running to it, you can buy a wired video doorbell without any problems. Just swap the doorbell wiring out of the old doorbell and into the new one, and you’ll be good to go.

If you’re looking to add a video doorbell to a location that isn’t already wired (or you don’t want to mess with anything electrical on your smart home), you’ll be better off getting a product that uses rechargeable batteries.

A video doorbell with rechargeable batteries can be mounted anywhere you want without electrical work. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to recharge them every 2 to 3 months.

Chime Included

doorbell chime

Here’s something that’s often overlooked by people when they’re buying a doorbell camera for their smart home. Without question, they expect it to come with a built-in chime of some sort.

Unfortunately, not all door security cameras are set with a chime feature. Since doorbell cameras alert you via a mobile app every time the button is pushed, there isn’t always a need for it to chime out loud.

Therefore, if you want to have this feature added in your smart home security, then you’ll need to buy this part separately or look for a video doorbell that includes it.

Waterproof

water

This is another feature that you may expect to be commonplace when buying a smart video doorbell. However, not all products are fully waterproof.

Some manufacturers cut costs by not including weather protection on their units because not all consumers need it.

If you’re placing the video doorbell camera in a location that’s covered from rain exposure, it shouldn’t matter if it’s waterproof.

If that's not the case, then it is best to get a waterproof video doorbell just to be safe. Since the weather is not something you can control, it's better to be safe than sorry.

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FAQs About the Best Video Doorbell Cameras

What is the Camera Quality of Video Doorbells?

The camera quality of most video doorbell cameras is at 720 up to 1080p HD. Most of these home security cameras have infrared lights, a wide field of view, motion detectors, and night vision technology.

If your smart doorbell records a high-definition live video, you can play the recorded footage in HD too.

What is The Field of View of Doorbell Cameras?

The field of view you can see depends on your video doorbell, where you placed it, and if there are any obstructions in the front door. With some high resolution, the field of view may be the entire walkway and porch, which is estimated at 50 feet field of view.

So when installing these devices, make sure that there are no obstructions on the field of view.

Is There a Monthly Charge for Ring Doorbells?

No, there are no monthly charges for some models of ring doorbells. However, there are optional add-on features like the Nest Aware that you can use for monthly or yearly costs. Like if you want a voice command support, you'll have to pay an add-on price or purchase a separate device for your video doorbell.

Depending on your video doorbell, it will still offer the basic features available. Then separately charge any add-on feature you want to access.

Is There a Video Doorbell That Doesn't Require a Subscription?

Yes, there are video doorbells that do not require a subscription. The Eufy Video Doorbell Cam, does not charge a subscription fee for the basic features.

It's worth taking into account that you do have the option to subscribe to additional features of the doorbell camera for a reasonably low price. Is it worth upgrading? It's your choice if you want the extra convenience.

We can confidently recommend the Ring 2nd Gen Wi-Fi video doorbell as our #1 budget pick based on our tests and positive customer reviews.

It provides built-in motion sensors, up to 60 days of video storage, when you purchase the subscription and pairs with select Alexa-enabled devices for voice control.

Based on all those features with the modest price point, it gets our vote.

Ring 2nd Gen Video Doorbell

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Built-In Microphone and Speakers
  • 1080p Video Real-Time View
  • Two-Way Audio System
  • Motion Alerts and Motion Detection
  • Optional Battery Power
  • Subscription Service
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Joe Castro

Joe Castro is the Director of Trusty Joe. Under the guidance of his father, a general contractor, Joe has been involved with a lot of handyman projects from a very young age. He combined this love for building with another passion of his, creative writing. Trusty Joe allows him to merge these two interests and offer the best of both worlds.