A cheap doorbell camera is an excellent way to keep your home and its inhabitants safe. Using your smartphone, tablet or smart display, you can monitor what’s occurring outside your home and receive notifications if motion is detected.
Unlike traditional doorbells, which require hardwiring, many cheap doorbell cameras are wireless and don’t require any electrical work. With more and more doorbell cameras on the market, we’ll help you pick the perfect option for your home.
What Is a Doorbell Camera?
A doorbell camera, also known as a video doorbell, combines two devices: a doorbell and an outdoor video camera. You can safely keep a close eye on your front door and property using a doorbell camera.
The doorbell works as you might expect; once pressed, it sounds a chime inside the house to alert you that someone is at the front door. However, it’s smarter than a traditional doorbell, allowing you to be notified directly on your smartphone or tablet.
Cheap Doorbell Camera Comparison
|Features||Blink Video Doorbell||Kasa Smart Video Doorbell||Wyze Video Doorbell||Ring Video Doorbell (Refurbished)|
|Power Source||Battery||Hardwired||Hardwired||Battery or Hardwired|
|Video Resolution||1080p HD||2K HD||1080p HD||1080p HD|
If you have a smart assistant in your home, such as Amazon Alexa, it can notify you of the doorbell alert with an announcement. Smart devices with screens can even show you a video feed of your front door, which leads us to our next point.
The camera feature of a doorbell camera allows you to see who is standing at your front door, viewable from your smartphone, tablet or smart display (such as an Amazon Echo Show). You can pull up a live feed at home or while at the market and see who’s there.
Most video doorbells also include monitoring features so that you can be alerted, and a video can automatically be captured if motion is detected. A two-way intercom system also enables you to communicate with whoever is at your door.
Blink Video Doorbell
|Video Resolution||1080p HD|
The Blink video doorbell is our favorite cheap doorbell camera. Normally retailing for $49.99, it has been priced as low as $34.99. But its price isn’t the only factor that attracts us to this camera; it sports many smart home features.
Installation of the Blink video doorbell is relatively easy. During our testing, we had no issue affixing it to our test home. Blink provided a template to drill two screws into our brick siding, and we set the unit up wirelessly, so it required no traditional doorbell wires.
When wireless, the Blink video doorbell promises to last up to two years with a pair of AA batteries, but the exact life is dependent on which features you choose to enable. We decided to take advantage of Blink’s motion detection feature and night vision mode.
When pressed, the Blink video doorbell can sound a chime through any Blink Mini indoor cameras or smart assistant speakers you may own. We set up our unit to play a traditional doorbell chime via all Echo devices in our smart home.
With a Blink video doorbell, you can pay to save video footage to the cloud for about $30 a year. Or, you can purchase the Blink Sync Module 2 for a one-time $35 charge and save your video locally — you’ll never have to worry about a subscription fee.
The Blink video doorbell is available in two colors: white and black. You will need Wi-Fi and an active internet connection to use it. The Blink video doorbell includes a one-year hardware and service warranty.
Kasa Smart Video Doorbell
|Video Resolution||2K HD|
For budget smart home gadgets, we commonly turn to Kasa Smart’s range of affordable products. There is no exception when finding an excellent smart doorbell.
The Kasa Smart video doorbell is great, but it won’t be the right choice for everyone as it requires a hardwired connection. If you already have an old hardwired doorbell, the swap will be easy and you’ll never have to worry about replacing batteries.
The Kasa Smart video doorbell features a 2K HD resolution camera and a night vision mode for when the sun goes down. You’ll be able to keep a close eye on your front door no matter the time of day and jump into a two-way intercom conversation whenever needed.
We love that Kasa includes a doorbell chime in the box that you can plug in anywhere in your home. We recommend placing it in a common area, such as a living room or kitchen. Of course, you can also receive notifications on your smart assistant or device.
If you wish to save captured video footage (such as from motion events), you can either save it continually on a micro SD card or subscribe to Kasa Care. If you subscribe to Kasa Care’s video storage service, it will cost you about $10 a year.
The Kasa Smart video doorbell is available in a singular design: a white doorbell with a black front plate. You will need Wi-Fi and an active internet connection to use your Kasa Smart product. The video doorbell includes a two-year hardware and service warranty.
Wyze Video Doorbell
|Video Resolution||1080p HD|
Wyze offers another solid yet affordable product with the Wyze video doorbell. Designed to be hardwired via traditional doorbell wiring, this nifty video doorbell is the smallest we could find and the most ingenious.
Most video doorbells display their feeds in a landscape format, but this typically cuts off your visitors’ feet or even their heads if they are tall enough. Wyze has its camera display video in a portrait format so you can see visitors “from head to toe.”
The Wyze video doorbell delivers solid performance with its 1080p full HD video quality, which sports night vision mode for when it gets dark. You will need a subscription to save video as there is no local storage; a subscription costs $24 a year.
Wyze includes a small doorbell chime that you can add to any outlet. In addition, the Wyze video doorbell can ring your Echo devices or other smart home gadgets for notifications.
The Wyze video doorbell is available only in a white finish. You will need Wi-Fi and an active internet connection. The video doorbell includes a one-year hardware and service warranty.
Ring Video Doorbell (Refurbished)
|Power Source||Battery or Hardwired|
|Video Resolution||1080p HD|
Ring is arguably the company that made the video doorbell famous after it appeared on “Shark Tank” in 2013. Ring was acquired by Amazon in 2018. Luckily, if you don’t feel like shelling out full price for a Ring video doorbell, you can get one good as new for less than $90.
You can operate the Ring video doorbell via its built-in battery or hardwired installation. Install the mounting bracket where you wish to place your new doorbell, then click the video doorbell into place, and you are ready to begin.
Featuring all the modern functions you would expect from a video doorbell, the Ring video doorbell features a full 1080p HD resolution and night mode. Captured video can be saved to the cloud with the Ring Protect Plan for $3 per month per device.
When your Ring video doorbell is pressed, you’ll receive a notification on all your smart devices, including any Amazon Echo units. You can also receive a notification for any motion detected by the doorbell, helping to keep you safe and sound.
The Ring video doorbell is available in two finishes: satin nickel and venetian bronze. You will need Wi-Fi and an active internet connection to use your Ring product. The Ring video doorbell includes a one-year hardware and service warranty.
We selected the best cheap doorbell cameras for your home through hours of hands-on testing and research. We established a strict set of criteria, ensuring that each option we selected met high standards, offering value and functionality.
Factors in our decision-making process included price, power source, video resolution and brand reliability. With price being the foremost factor, no option we selected exceeded $90.
We selected doorbells with varying power sources, allowing homeowners to wire smart doorbells into existing wiring, use rechargeable batteries or pop in a couple of AA batteries. Our top pick, the Blink video doorbell, supports wired and wireless installations.
We worry about video quality less these days, as most doorbell video cameras include at least a 720p HD resolution. For our roundup, all of the doorbell cameras have at least full 1080p HD resolution, so you can see who’s at your front door.
Lastly, we focused on brands that have already established a reliable reputation within the smart home community. Every doorbell camera on our list offers at least a one-year warranty backed by a trustworthy and reliable company.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Is the Best Budget Video Doorbell?
Our research found the Blink video doorbell to be the best budget video doorbell available to shoppers. Coming in at $49.99, the Blink video doorbell offers a full 1080p resolution. The doorbell can be wired into your existing doorbell wiring or set up with AA batteries. It features a two-way audio intercom, night vision mode and compatibility with Alexa.
Which Doorbell Camera is Best With No Subscription?
The Blink video doorbell is our favorite option for shoppers on a budget who also don’t want to rely on a cloud subscription. Add on the Blink Sync Module 2 for about $35, and you can choose to save your video footage locally to a USB flash drive — no need to have an ongoing subscription to Blink services.
Are Doorbell Cameras Worth It?
Doorbell video cameras provide two primary benefits to homeowners: a doorbell system that can alert you when it rings, no matter where you are located, and a security system to keep an eye on your front door. The former is a convenience feature that many homeowners will enjoy, while the latter is worth it for anyone who wants to protect their home.
Michael Archambault is a senior writer at Codetic specializing in technology.