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Everything You Need to Know About Doorbell Cameras

Discover the convenience and security of doorbell cameras. Say goodbye to outdated peepholes and welcome the power to see and communicate with visitors from the comfort of your couch. Learn how doorbell cameras work, explore their features, and find the best option for your home. Enhance your peace of mind and take control of your doorstep security.

Before 2013, the only way to see the person standing at your front door was to open the door or check through a peephole. 

The problem with opening the door to see who’s there is that it exposes you to potential criminals or unexpected situations.

And you’ll only get a tiny viewing angle from a peephole.

But today, thanks to doorbell cameras, you can see who’s at your doorstep and even engage them in real-time convos without leaving your couch.

Doorbell cameras, also known as video doorbells, are internet-enabled doorbells that double as security cameras. They work with mobile apps and have features you’ll find on standalone security cameras. 

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about doorbell cameras, and you’ll learn: 

  • How they work
  • Their types and features
  • Benefits of having one 
  • Factors to consider when shopping for one 
  • Installation and maintenance tips

How Do Doorbell Cameras Work?

A doorbell camera uses motion sensors to detect movement near your front door. Once it detects motion, the camera starts recording and sends a notification to your connected smartphone or other devices.  

Essential Features of Doorbell Cameras

Doorbell cameras have various features that make them excellent for doorway surveillance: 

Motion detection: Doorbell cameras have built-in motion sensors to detect when someone is at your front door. 

Video recording: Motion triggers the video recording feature of doorbell cameras. When activated, the camera starts recording activity within its field of view. 

Wide-angle lens: A wide-angle lens helps doorbell cameras to cover more of your front porch and the surroundings. 

Remote access and control: Most doorbell cameras work with a mobile app that alerts you when it detects movement. The mobile app allows you to remotely access and control the camera from anywhere with an internet connection.    

Two-way audio: Integrated microphones and speakers enable communication between you and whoever is at the door. You can tell visitors you’ll be with them in a moment or instruct a delivery guy on where to drop your package using your phone. 

Local or cloud storage: Footage recorded by a doorbell camera can be stored locally on an SD card or in the cloud. Cloud storage ensures you can still access your footage, even if the camera is stolen or damaged.

Night vision: Doorbell cameras are often equipped with infrared LEDs and other night vision technologies to capture clear images even during nighttime.  

Weather resistance: Doorbell cameras are installed outside. So, they are designed to be durable and withstand harsh weather. 

Types of Doorbell Cameras

Depending on their source of power, there are three types of doorbell cameras you can buy: 

Wired doorbell cameras: These require a wired connection to your home’s electrical system to function.

Some wired doorbell cameras use existing wiring for traditional doorbells, while others use Power over Ethernet (PoE) cables for power and data transmission. 

Cameras using PoE cables are suitable for areas with Ethernet connectivity but no doorbell wiring. 

Battery-powered doorbell cameras: These are wireless doorbell cameras powered by batteries. Their batteries are recharged with a charger or replaced when they run down. 

Solar-powered doorbell cameras: Like battery-powered doorbell cameras, these doorbell cameras also have batteries. However, their batteries are recharged by energy from the sun, which is converted to electrical energy by a solar panel. 

Benefits of Installing Doorbell Cameras 

  • Crime prevention: The presence of a video doorbell will make any thief think twice about attempting any illegal activity on your property.
  • Incident documentation: Footage recorded by doorbell cameras can be invaluable for investigating suspicious activities, validating insurance claims, and helping law enforcement track down criminals. 
  • Convenience: With a video doorbell camera, you don’t have to get off your couch to know who’s at the door. Also, you can easily communicate with delivery drivers and visitors when you’re not home. 
  • Integration with smart home systems: You can integrate doorbell cameras with smart home devices and home security systems for enhanced protection. 
  • Peace of mind: Whenever you’re away, you’ll be relaxed knowing you can remotely view your front door, communicate with guests, and warn off intruders.  

Best Doorbell Cameras

These doorbell cameras are worth checking out if you’re in the market for one:

AOSU Ultra V8S 

The AOSU Ultra V8S video doorbell has a 5MP Ultra HD resolution for capturing sharp, detailed images. It also has eight 850nm enhanced infrared lights for clear night vision

The doorbell camera comes with a Wi-Fi Homebase plugged into an electrical outlet. The Homebase has 8GB of built-in storage for storing videos and functions as an indoor chime. 

There are two installation options: wired and wireless. The doorbell camera can use existing doorbell wiring for continuous power or its battery, which can last 180 days on a single charge

Its AI-powered motion detection with human detection capabilities helps to eliminate false motion alerts. You can also customize the motion detection zone to monitor specific areas. 

AOSU’s video doorbell has 166 degrees of view and an aspect ratio of 4:3. This enables you to see head-to-toe images of people standing at your door and packages left on the ground. 


  • Can be battery-powered or wired
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • No subscription fees 
  • Built-in storage
  • Night vision 
  • Long battery life 
  • Weatherproof design 
  • Two-way talk 
  • 5MP UHD resolution 
  • AI-powered motion detection 


  • Not compatible with some doorbell chimes
  • No SD card slot on the base station
  • Only three options for the doorbell sounds

Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell

Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell combines 1080p HD with HDR technology for clear and balanced video quality. 

You can speak to visitors using the two-way audio feature or respond with pre-recorded quick reply messages if you’re busy. 

The video doorbell has a built-in siren that scares away unwanted guests. You can manually activate the siren or configure it to go off automatically when the camera detects motion. 

Although Arlo’s wired video doorbell has many useful features like smart activity zones and intelligent motion detection, you can only enjoy them after subscribing to Arlo Secure, which costs $4.99 monthly.

With an Arlo Secure plan, you get interactive notifications that allow you to take action directly from your phone’s lock screen. 


  • Intelligent motion detection 
  • Smart activity zones 
  • Two-way audio 
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant 
  • HD video quality 
  • Built-in siren 
  • Night vision 
  • Weatherproof design
  • Wide viewing angle  


  • Requires a subscription to access most features after the three-month trial
  • Mounting bracket fits the doorbell like a skin, leaving no allowance for error

Wyze Video Doorbell Pro 

Wyze Video Doorbell Pro is a budget-friendly doorbell camera. It is battery-powered but can also use existing doorbell wiring.  

The doorbell camera has a 1440p resolution which is 33% clearer than traditional HD. It also has an ultrawide viewing angle that provides an expansive view of your front porch and its surroundings. 

It comes with a chime unit that has 20 unique tunes that you can choose from. You can adjust the volume of the chime to suit your needs.  

There’s a smart motion detection feature, but you have to purchase a Cam Plus subscription to use it. Cam Plus costs $1.99/month or $19.99/year

Purchasing a Cam Plus subscription also unlocks other benefits like longer video recording and unlimited cloud storage. 


  • Weatherproof design 
  • Two-way audio 
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant 
  • Long-lasting battery 
  • Motion detection
  • Ultrawide view 
  • 1440p resolution 
  • Night vision 
  • Dual installation options    


  • No person or package detection
  • No cloud storage without a subscription
  • Requires a Wyze account

Google Nest Doorbell (battery) 

The Google Nest Doorbell (battery) has a built-in rechargeable battery, so you can install it anywhere. You can connect it to existing doorbell wiring or a power outlet for continuous power. 

The camera has full HD video and four high-power infrared LEDs for seeing in low-light conditions. 

It has high-quality two-way audio with noise cancellation, so you can communicate clearly with guests. You can also respond with pre-recorded messages. 

The Nest Doorbell uses advanced motion detection technology to differentiate between people, packages, animals, and vehicles. 

You get three hours of event video history without a subscription. If you want access to more video history, you’ll need to purchase a Nest Aware or Nest Aware Plus subscription for $6/month and $12/month, respectively.


  • HD video quality 
  • Night vision 
  • Two-way audio with noise cancellation 
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant 
  • Tall vertical field of view 
  • Advanced motion detection 
  • Average of 2.5 months battery life 
  • Weatherproof design 


  • Can’t disable recording status light
  • Incompatible with the Nest app or site
  • Phone notifications could be faster

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Doorbell Camera 

Keep these in mind when buying a doorbell camera: 

Price: There are sub $100 video doorbells and doorbells that cost over $200. For example, AOSU Ultra V8S retails for $249.99 while Wyze Video Doorbell Pro is $97.99. 

When considering the price of a video doorbell, remember that some require ongoing subscription fees while others don’t. 

Video quality: Look for a video doorbell with high-definition (HD) resolution. If you want even clearer and more detailed footage, you can go for video doorbells with 2K or 4K Ultra HD resolution. 

Weather resistance: Doorbell cameras are mounted outside—exposed to harsh weather and extreme temperatures. 

A good video doorbell should be weather resistant and remain functional in extreme heat or cold. 

Night vision: Your video doorbell should be able to capture quality footage in low-light conditions and at night so you’ll always have a clear view of your front door. 

Installation: Can you install the doorbell camera by following a DIY guide, or will you require professional assistance? If you can do it yourself, do you have the necessary tools?  

Installation and Maintenance of Doorbell Cameras 

The process of installing a video doorbell can vary depending on its type and manufacturer. However, here is a general guide to help you with the installation process:

  • Choose a suitable location: You can install your video doorbell on the wall next to your door or the doorframe. Place the video doorbell at least four feet away from the ground. 
  • Carry out the installation: Follow the instructions in the manufacturer's manual to set up your doorbell camera. Before starting the process, ensure you have all the tools to complete it successfully. 
  • Test your video doorbell: After installing your video doorbell, test it to see if it’s working correctly. If it’s not, check if the error is from your end or if the product has a problem. 

To get the best out of your doorbell camera after installation, follow these simple maintenance tips: 

  • Keep it clean: Regularly clean your doorbell camera with a soft, clean cloth. Avoid using abrasive materials or cleaning agents that can damage the device. 
  • Charge or replace the battery: If your video doorbell is battery-powered, periodically check the battery level and recharge or replace it as needed. 
  • Update your device’s firmware: Check for firmware updates released by the manufacturer and ensure your device is always up to date so you can enjoy the latest features and security patches. 

Enjoy Convenience and Peace of Mind With Doorbell Cameras 

With a video doorbell, you can see who’s at the door, scare off porch pirates, monitor deliveries, and communicate with visitors from anywhere. 

So, if you’re still using a regular doorbell, consider replacing it with a video doorbell to enjoy next-level convenience and peace of mind. Consider all the factors we laid out in this guide when selecting your doorbell camera, and you’ll get one that suits your security needs and budget.

Call us if you need professional help with installing your doorbell camera. We can also advise you on the type of doorbell camera suitable for your home. 

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