Thief stealing package from doorstep

The Best Doorbell Cameras of 2021

By Eric Schad Accessories, Stay Safe and SecureNo Comments

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Combining the convenience of a traditional doorbell with modern security, doorbell cameras are becoming an increasingly popular addition to many homes.

Compatible with your smartphone via an app, these devices alert you that someone’s at the door, providing a live feed of your doorstep and often two-way communication. Some units add smart features, such as voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant and the ability to lock the door remotely.

Spending money on a doorbell camera may seem unnecessary to some, but with our increased reliance on online shopping and the emergence of thieving “porch pirates,” it’s nearly become a necessity. Not only do doorbell cameras act as a deterrent, they also provide evidence you can give to the proper authorities if needed.

With a range of prices and extras, doorbell cameras can come bare-bones or laden with the latest security and tech features. Many of the top-rated doorbell cameras also come with Wi-Fi capability, night vision, cloud video storage, and more, combined with the simplicity of a push-button doorbell.

The design, functionality, installation process, video storage method, and subscription requirements can vary greatly from one model to the next, however, and there are dozens of choices available based on your exact needs. With that in mind, these are our picks for the best doorbell cameras of 2021 across the range.

Best Doorbell Camera: Eufy Security 2K
  • Video resolution: 2K (2560 x 1920)
  • Power: Hard-wired
  • Facial recognition: Yes
  • Two-way communication: Yes
  • Subscription: Not required

Best Wireless Doorbell Camera: Ring 3
  • Video resolution: 1080p (1920×1080)
  • Power: Rechargeable battery or hard-wired
  • Facial recognition: Yes
  • Two-way communication: Yes
  • Subscription: required to save video footage, $3/month

Best Doorbell Camera Without a Subscription: Morecam J1
  • Video resolution: 1080p (1920×1080)
  • Power: Rechargeable batteries
  • Facial recognition: Yes
  • Two-way communication: Yes
  • Subscription: not required to save video footage locally, else from $3/month

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Best Affordable Doorbell Camera: Toucan Video Doorbell Camera
  • Video resolution: 1080p (1920×1080)
  • Power: Rechargeable battery
  • Facial recognition: Yes
  • Two-way communication: Yes
  • Subscription: footage saved for 24 hours for free, otherwise plans start at $3/month

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Best Battery-Powered Doorbell Camera: Eufy Security 2K (Battery Model)
  • Video resolution: 2K (2560 x 1920)
  • Power: Rechargeable batteries
  • Facial recognition: Yes
  • Two-way communication: Yes
  • Subscription: Not required

Best Doorbell Camera for Apartments: Ring Peephole Cam
  • Video resolution: 1080p (1920×1080)
  • Power: Rechargeable battery or hard-wired
  • Facial recognition: Yes
  • Two-way communication: Yes
  • Subscription: required to save video footage, $3/month

Best Doorbell Camera: Eufy Security 2K

eufy Security, Wi-Fi Video Doorbell, 2K Resolution, No Monthly Fees, Local Storage, Human Detection, with Wireless Chime–Requires Existing Doorbell Wires and Installation Experience, 16-24 VAC, 30 VA

Eufy may not have the name recognition of a brand like Ring, but it’s actually a subsidiary of Anker, one of our favorite accessory companies. Offering a strong package of features at an entry-level price, the Eufy Security 2K video doorbell is our pick for the best overall doorbell camera on the market today. 

The camera provides a crystal-clear 2K (2560 x 1920) image, eliminating the graininess and distortion you get with lower-quality models. The motion detection of many doorbell cameras is overly-sensitive, but the Eufy has a sophisticated AI system with facial recognition that only alerts when a human being is physically at your door, instead of a large bird or stray dog.

Two-way audio is another bonus of this doorbell, allowing you to respond remotely if you’re around the back of the house or slipped out for a few minutes.

If you’re at home, you can still check the camera through the app, but there’s also a free wireless chime that comes courtesy of Eufy as well. With eight programmable rings, you can pick a tune that meshes with your musical tastes or a festive Christmas-themed tune.

To keep your investment safe, the camera has a hard plastic housing that’s weatherproof, even in the rainiest of climates. The proverbial icing on the cake? No subscription. Just make a one-time purchase and the Eufy Security Wi-Fi Video Doorbell is at your disposal for a lifetime.

The only real downside (for some) is that you’ll need to connect this version of the Eufy to existing doorbell wires, so it works best if you’re replacing an existing doorbell. If that’s the case or you don’t mind doing a bit of wiring beforehand, however, this is a high-quality device at a great price.

If you don’t want to deal with wiring, you do have another option. Eufy makes a battery-powered version of this camera, which we talk more about below.

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Best Wireless Doorbell Camera: Ring 3

Ring Video Doorbell 3 – enhanced wifi, improved motion detection, easy installation

Investors on “Shark Tank” passed on the Ring in 2013, and they’ve been kicking themselves ever since. Following its appearance on the hit TV show, Ring took off, becoming an interchangeable phrase with a high-quality doorbell camera — and for good reason.

The third generation of this product is the Ring Video Doorbell 3, which combines all the security must-haves with the extra features that technophiles crave.

While not the absolute highest on the market, video quality is impressive, with crystal-clear 1080p footage sent directly to your phone or optional Echo Show smart display. The doorbell includes dual-band (2.4GHz or 5.0GHz) Wi-Fi, providing more flexibility for your home setup.

Installation is just as easy: the removable rechargeable battery means that no wiring is necessary, and you only have to mount the camera in place to reap its benefits. You can also hardwire power to the Ring if you already have the right cabling installed.

Proprietary motion detection technology includes customizable zones, which is a godsend if you live on a busy street. Lesser cameras are likely to send endless alerts of someone passing by in the street or at the neighbor’s house. By using the Ring’s adjustable motion zones, you can hone in only on the delivery man, milkman, or whoever you’re expecting.

Ring offers the optional Protect Plan ($3/device, $10/household) for homeowners or renters who want more security. With this plan, subscribers can view, share, and store videos in the cloud for up to 60 days, and those with the Ring Alarm system will enjoy 24/7 camera monitoring.

Without the Protect plan, you can see the live feed and receive alerts, but there’s no automatic saving of footage for viewing later. This reduces the Ring’s usefulness, and we’d recommend a subscription for most people.

If you can expand your budget to include a small monthly fee, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 is an impressive piece of technology, and an investment you’re unlikely to regret.

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Best Doorbell Camera Without a Subscription: Morecam J1

【2021 Upgraded】 Morecam WiFi Wireless Video Doorbell Camera, with Chime, 1080P HD, Motion Detection, Night Vision, 2-Way Audio, IP65, No Monthly Fee(32 GB SD Card Pre-Installed) & Cloud Storage

You’ve already spent the money for the camera, so why spring for an extra subscription cost every month? Thanks to the Morecam J1, you won’t have to.

This doorbell camera comes with many of the features you’ll find in more expensive devices, including those with subscriptions. There’s a smart passive infrared sensor (PIR) to detect a person at the door, and 1080p video resolution for higher-quality video. A built-in microphone and speaker allows for two-way communication.

You’re also able to record a voice message if you’re out of the house, a feature rarely found in other cameras. Simply record three messages via the accompanying app, select the one you want, and visitors always know what’s going on.

To save even more money, you can save video to an SD card (a 32GB one is included in the package) rather than paying for a cloud storage plan if you don’t want to. The downside, of course, is that if someone manages to remove the doorbell and walk off with it, they’ve got the saved video as well.

Morecam has equipped the camera with rechargeable batteries and you’ll get an alert on your phone when a charge is necessary. It’ll last around 3-4 months of normal use between charges. When that need arises, simply unscrew the doorbell and connect it to a USB charger—it’ll be ready to go in a few hours.

While our top pick, the Eufy Security 2K, also doesn’t have an ongoing subscription, the upfront cost is usually higher. If you’re happy with the specs of the Morecam instead, you’ll save some cash.

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Best Affordable Doorbell Camera: Toucan Video Doorbell Camera

TOUCAN Wireless Video Doorbell Camera with Wireless Doorbell Chime, 1080P, 2-Way Speaker – Day and Night Vision – 180 Degree Ultra Wide Angle Lens / Zoomable

Home security is often synonymous with a higher bill, but that’s not the case with the Toucan video doorbell camera. Priced for budget-minded homeowners or tenants but without skimping on the extras, this doorbell camera provides top-notch security options at a super-low price.

Whether you’re just being cautious or live in an area prone to property crimes, the Toucan provides a slew of features to keep your mind at ease. Instant notifications and live feeds, a siren alarm, and emergency calling are all included to help keep your family and assets free from harm.

Although the camera doesn’t support a 5GHz Wi-Fi signal, if you’ve got a 2.4GHz network, you can use it to automatically send video to your phone via the Toucan app. The rechargeable battery lasts up to six months, easily outpacing many of Toucan’s competitors.

Basic service is free, which lets a single user use a single doorbell and save footage in the cloud for 24 hours. Pro plans start at $2.99/month, adding extra uses, devices, features, and cloud storage length.

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Best Battery-Powered Doorbell Camera: Eufy Security 2K (Battery Model)

eufy Security, Video Doorbell 2K (Battery-Powered) with Chime, 2K HD, No Monthly Fee, On-Device AI for Human Detection, 2-Way Audio, 16GB Local Storage, Simple Self-Installation

If you don’t have the technical know-how to wire up a doorbell camera, don’t stress. The battery-powered version of our top pick, the Eufy Security 2K Video Doorbell has you covered. Recharging is handled via a standard USB charger, and you can expect up to 120 days of battery life.

If you move house, or decide at a later stage that you’d prefer to have your camera hardwired, it’s not a problem: this model can also be connected to standard doorbell wiring instead of using the internal battery if you’d prefer.

Other than that, it’s the same camera as our top pick above, and all of the positive aspects remain unchanged. You get the same clear 2K (2560 x 1920) image, the same sophisticated AI system with facial recognition, and the same two-way audio system and free wireless chime.

Likewise, the most appealing aspect of the hardwired Eufy Security 2k model is found here as well: the camera requires just the initial purchase, with no monthly subscription fees required afterward.

The only downside, albeit not an unexpected one, is that you’ll usually pay quite a bit more for the battery-powered model than the cable-only version. If you’re handy with a soldering iron, go for the cheaper model, but otherwise this is the best battery-powered doorbell camera you’ll find right now.

There’s also a version that comes bundled with the company’s HomeBase device instead of a wireless chime. This is essentially a private “cloud” server that sits inside your house, securely storing up to 16GB of saved video that you can access via the app. It acts as a chime as well, of course, so you can still hear the doorbell ring!

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Best Doorbell Camera for Apartments: Ring Peephole Cam

Ring Peephole Cam with Ring Chime (1st Gen)

Ring’s line of outstanding products continues with the Ring Peephole Cam, a solution for city dwellers that don’t have the option of a permanently-mounted doorbell camera. In true Ring fashion, this camera provides a bunch of features including high-quality 1080p resolution, and mounts directly to your apartment door peephole.

The best aspect of the Peephole cam is its ease of installation. With no specialized tools, wiring, or drilling needed, you can install the camera in under five minutes. That’s less time then it might take to download the app and fill out the warranty information! That said, you can hard-wire it if you prefer.

Battery-powered and with extra features like knock/impact detection, this camera also has smart features, including the ability to pair it with voice-activated apps such as Alexa or Google Assistant.

As with other Ring devices, you’ll need a subscription to make the most of it, especially if you want to save footage to the cloud to review later. Again, prices start at $3/device.

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Main image via Shutterstock, product images via Amazon

About the Author
Eric Schad

Eric Schad

Eric Schad is a well-versed content writer who has been penning articles about travel, remote work, and cars for nearly a decade. Since 2013, he's lived in and visited over 20 countries.

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