With the rise of subscription-based services, you must pay a monthly fee for everything nowadays. Video doorbells are no exception, with many top brands like Ring and Nest requiring an ongoing subscription to access key features and recorded video storage. However, excellent options are still available that don’t force you into a never-ending payment plan.
In this article, I’ll share my picks for the top video doorbells in 2023 that don’t require a subscription. I’ve tested and reviewed dozens of models to find the ones that offer the best combination of video quality, smart features, mobile app experience, and local storage options. Whether you want a versatile wireless doorbell or a more advanced wired model, there’s something here for everyone and every budget.
Stick with me as I break down the key factors to consider when choosing a subscription-free video doorbell. I’ll also provide detailed recommendations on specific products, including pros and cons, ideal installation scenarios, and potential concerns. My goal is to equip you with the knowledge to confidently choose the right video doorbell for your needs, without the burden of ongoing fees. Let’s dive in!
Remo+ RemoBell S WiFi Video Doorbell Camera
The Remo+ RemoBell S WiFi Video Doorbell Camera is a smart home security device with HD video, motion sensor capabilities, two-way talk, and compatibility with Amazon Alexa. The device is powered by existing doorbell wiring and provides 24/7 surveillance of all front door activity. It does not require monthly subscription fees and records and stores all motion activity for up to three days via free cloud storage.
The device streams live videos in high-quality HD with a 180º wide angle and infrared vision. It also allows users to select areas of interest and sends instant alerts on their smart devices when motion is detected in the video doorbell’s view. Users can see, hear, and talk with visitors from their smartphone or tablet using the Remo+ app.
The RemoBell S is easy to install and configure and comes with all the necessary accessories and tools for installation. It can be used with either a mechanical or digital chime. The device has a slim and modern design and lights up when it detects motion, making it easier for people to find the doorbell.
The device’s video quality is good, with fast motion detection and display. The live feed video is excellent, and the recorded video has a fish-eye effect. The device has wide-angle detection, allowing users to see packages at their door.
The device is also weather-resistant and can operate from -4ºF to 122ºF. It allows multiple viewer access, with the ability to share use with up to five users. It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.
However, some users have reported issues connecting the device to Alexa and adjusting the motion detection zones. Despite these minor issues, most users are happy with the RemoBell S, especially considering its price point.
XTU WiFi Video Doorbell Camera
The XTU WiFi, Video Doorbell Camera, is a wireless, high-definition security device offering various features to enhance home security. The doorbell camera operates on a 2.4GHz WiFi connection and has a 32GB SD card pre-installed. It does not support 5GHz WiFi.
One of the critical features of this device is its 100% wireless installation and rechargeable battery, eliminating the need for any outlets or tangled mess of wires. The battery status can be monitored via a phone app. Following the user guide, the device is easily installed within 5 minutes without complicated tools.
The doorbell camera is built with high-quality material and is IP65 waterproof, making it safe for use in all weather conditions. It has a built-in PIR Sensor for motion detection, which sends real-time alarms and push notifications upon any triggered human detection. This feature enhances safety by allowing users to view whoever is at their door without opening it.
The camera also provides two-way audio, enabling real-time video talk with anyone in front of the camera. It supports local storage (up to 128GB Micro SD card) and cloud storage, with a free trial available within 7 days. When the storage space is exceeded, the original videos will automatically overwrite the previous file to record in a loop.
The doorbell camera has a built-in 166° wide-angle lens for a more precise and broader view. It also supports a multi-user sharing function, sharing key moments with the family anytime. The device is compatible with the “CloudEdge” app and can be viewed in real-time/live.
The package includes the video doorbell, a user guide, a micro USB cable, a tools package, and a 32GB Micro SD card. The doorbell camera can be charged using a DC 5V 1A or 5V 2A charger with a USB interface. The product is recommended for outdoor security use.
Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell
The Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell is a high-performance home security device with superior video quality and reliability. It features HD video with HDR, providing precise and detailed footage even in low light or bright conditions. The doorbell offers a 180-degree view, allowing users to see a person from head to toe or a package on the ground.
One of its standout features is the two-way audio capability, which allows real-time conversations with visitors or delivery personnel, even when the homeowner is away. This feature provides a convenient way to communicate instructions or inform someone that the homeowner is unavailable.
The doorbell also has an app that provides seamless access to live video feeds and recordings, ensuring that homeowners never miss a moment. Users receive instant notifications on their smartphones whenever someone approaches their door or rings the bell, allowing them to stay connected and informed no matter where they are.
The Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell requires wiring for installation, but the process is straightforward and hassle-free. The DIY aspect allows easy integration into existing setups without any issues. The doorbell is weather-resistant and delivers fast and easy installation to get the perfect camera view year-round.
However, some users have reported issues with the doorbell not ringing the mechanical chime after adding other Arlo devices to their system. Some users found the doorbell quite expensive compared to alternatives and were disappointed that a paid subscription is required to save the video to the cloud.
Despite these issues, many users highly recommend the Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell for its exceptional features and performance, making it a valuable addition to any home security system.
Eufy Security, Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
The Eufy Security Wi-Fi Video Doorbell is a high-tech device that enhances home security. It boasts a 2K resolution, ensuring high-definition video recording for clear images day and night. The doorbell uses HDR imaging to provide clarity in backlit or low-light scenarios.
One of the critical features of this doorbell is its local storage capability, which eliminates the need for monthly fees associated with cloud storage. The data is encrypted using AES 256-Bit encryption, ensuring privacy during transmission and storage.
The doorbell also features human detection technology, sending facial snapshot notifications to identify who is at the door quickly. It also allows users to customize activity zones for motion detection, ensuring alerts are only received when necessary.
The Eufy Security Video Doorbell offers a 4:3 aspect ratio, providing a larger viewable area from top to bottom. It also allows users to view three seconds of footage before the initial alert, increasing the likelihood of criminal identification.
The doorbell can be connected to Google Voice Assistant or Amazon Alexa for easy monitoring. It also allows users to record and set up to three instant responses for interaction and instruction giving.
However, it’s important to note that the doorbell requires existing doorbell wires and installation experience. It only connects to 2.4GHz networks and may require modification of the original chime or upgrade of the doorbell transformer if the original doesn’t deliver sufficient power.
Despite some reported inconsistencies with the motion detection feature, the Eufy Security Wi-Fi Video Doorbell is generally well-received for its high-quality video, user-friendly app, and local storage capabilities.
SkyBell SH02300SL HD WiFi Video Doorbell, Silver
The SkyBell SH02300SL HD WiFi Video Doorbell, Silver, is a high-definition video doorbell that connects to your home Wi-Fi. It allows you to see, hear, and speak to visitors at your door using your smartphone or tablet, even when you’re not at home. The device has won numerous awards, including the Best Video Doorbell by CNET in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
The SkyBell HD is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, allowing for voice commands for added convenience. It also features full-color night vision and a motion sensor that triggers live alerts. When the doorbell is pressed or motion is detected, the SkyBell HD records video to a free cloud account, which can be accessed by multiple users on your account for up to 7 days without any subscription fees.
The SkyBell HD app offers a range of features, including the ability to set the LED color on the doorbell, adjust motion sensitivity, and set a Do Not Disturb mode. The app also provides an activity history from the last 7 days. Videos can be downloaded directly from the app to your mobile device.
The SkyBell HD is designed to work in all weather conditions, functioning between -40 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a hardware kit, a mounting plate, installation tools, and a quick-start guide. The device requires a lithium battery and comes with a one-year warranty.
Despite its many features, some users have noted that the motion sensor doesn’t always pick up until the person is right at the door. However, the device usually starts recording before the bell is rung. Some users also had to update their wiring, transformer, and Wi-Fi to accommodate the device. Still, overall, the SkyBell HD is highly recommended for its excellent video quality, audio functionality, attractive design, and free video storage.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 – Best-in-class with cutting-edge features
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is a top-tier, wired doorbell with various advanced features. Released in 2021, this device offers Head-to-Toe HD+ Video, Two-Way Talk with Audio+, and 3D Motion Detection. It also includes built-in Alexa Greetings, an exclusive feature with a Ring Protect Plan subscription, and customizable privacy settings.
One of the standout features of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is its improved 1536p Head-to-Toe HD+ Video, which allows users to see more of who stops by and check in on package deliveries. The device’s advanced motion settings alert users when someone is in their front yard, providing accurate real-time alerts via the Ring app.
The 3D Motion Detection feature lets users pinpoint motion and distance, while the Bird’s Eye View provides an aerial view to track activity around the home. Users can map out their detection to only get alerts about specific areas with Bird’s Eye Zones.
The device also includes built-in Alexa Greetings, allowing it to automatically greet anyone who stops by, instruct delivery drivers where to leave packages and record detailed video messages. All these features can be controlled from the Ring app, which provides real-time notifications, live video and audio, and essential security settings.
Using the included tool kit, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 requires hardwiring to your existing doorbell wiring and doorbell chime inside. This ensures around-the-clock power and peace of mind. The device comes with a Satin Nickel faceplate, and after setup, users receive a digital coupon for one free additional faceplate.
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 has received positive reviews for its high-quality video, reliable motion detection, and user-friendly interface. However, some users have reported issues with the device’s compatibility with particular mechanical chimes and transformers. Despite these minor issues, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is generally considered a premium choice for home security.
WYZE Video Doorbell with Chime
The WYZE Video Doorbell with Chime is a high-quality, cost-effective solution for home security. It offers 1080p HD video with a 3:4 aspect ratio, providing a comprehensive head-to-toe view. The doorbell also features two-way audio and night vision capabilities, enhancing its utility as a security device. It is hardwired and compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, making it a versatile addition to any smart home setup.
Installation of the WYZE Video Doorbell is straightforward. Users must remove their old doorbell, connect the new one to the original wiring, and wire a fuse to the doorbell chime connections inside the house. The Wyze app provides step-by-step guidance through the entire setup process, making it easy even for those not particularly tech-savvy.
Once installed, the doorbell works seamlessly with the Wyze app, which is praised for its smooth operation and user-friendly interface. The loud doorbell chime offers different sound options, adding to its appeal.
However, some users have reported that the doorbell may go offline after the initial 24 hours of operation. This issue can be resolved by resetting the power to the device, either by flipping the breaker for the doorbell power or using a toggle switch in-line with the fuse at the doorbell chime. After a few resets, the doorbell seems to stop having this issue.
Despite this minor hiccup, the WYZE Video Doorbell with Chime has been highly recommended for its excellent video quality and competitive pricing compared to other video doorbell systems on the market.
Doorbell Video Ring Security Camera by RCA New and Improved
The Doorbell Video Ring Security Camera by RCA New and Improved is a security device that offers 3MP HD video, live streaming, night vision, and motion detection. It does not require recording storage fees as it comes with a free 16GB micro SD card for recording hundreds of events. The doorbell camera can be easily installed by connecting it to existing doorbell wiring and to a 2.4 or 5 GHz WiFi network.
The product is designed to work with an indoor 16V mechanical chime and can connect to RTSP streams. It is compatible with Zoneminder, a surveillance system software that can set up motion alerts. The device allows users to monitor their homes from anywhere using the RCA Security All-For-One app on iOS or Android devices.
However, there are some concerns about the product. The RCA app has been criticized for its performance, and the doorbell camera requires internet access for setup and operation. There are also concerns about network security, as the device frequently contacts servers in China and Singapore. The image quality has been described as having severe fish-eye distortion.
Despite these issues, the product has been praised for its easy installation, lack of cloud storage requirement, and compatibility with indoor chimes and RTSP streams. It’s important to note that changing the default password on the device can cause it to revert to the default settings if the WiFi network is changed or the device is reset.
Eufy security, eufyCam 2C 2-Cam Kit, Security Camera Outdoor, Wireless Home Security System
The Eufy Security eufyCam 2C 2-Cam Kit is a wireless outdoor home security system that offers a range of features designed to enhance the safety and security of your home. The kit includes two cameras with high-definition 1080p resolution, ensuring clear and detailed footage.
One of the standout features of this system is its impressive 180-day battery life from a single charge, reducing the need for frequent recharging. The cameras also offer detailed night vision capabilities, allowing you to view recordings or live footage in crisp clarity, even in low light conditions.
The system is equipped with human detection technology, which intelligently detects body shape and face patterns, ensuring you are only alerted when a person approaches, not when a stray animal does. This feature helps reduce false alarms and enhances the system’s overall efficiency.
The eufyCam 2C is also weather-resistant with an IP67 rating, making it capable of withstanding various weather conditions. It also has a broader field of view (135 degrees) compared to some other models on the market.
Another notable feature is the two-way communication capability, allowing you to communicate remotely with family members or pets. The system also includes a siren feature that can be manually operated or set to go off via the home base inside.
Despite its many features, the eufyCam 2C is easy to set up and use, with clear instructions provided. The system is compatible with HomeKit and does not require a monthly fee, making it a cost-effective choice for home security.
However, there are a few minor drawbacks. For instance, the spotlight feature is not very powerful, and bugs can trigger motion detection if they fly close enough to the camera. Despite these minor issues, the eufyCam 2C 2-Cam Kit is highly recommended for anyone seeking a comprehensive and reliable home security solution.