The Best Cheap Video Doorbells of 2019

Video doorbells (aka, smart doorbells) allow you to see who is at your door and to speak with that person, regardless of whether you're at home.

A smart doorbell is basically a WiFi-connected video camera with a two way intercom. The doorbell uses WiFi to beam audio and video to a phone, tablet or Alexa speaker. 

Most video doorbells have night vision and motion detection. They also send alerts when someone is approaching the house or nearing the door. For a monthly fee, this video footage can be stored in the cloud like a home security system.

Some video doorbells get power from traditional doorbell wiring; others use batteries or have a battery backup. You'll need a wired model if you want your video doorbell to chime inside the house like a regular doorbell. Otherwise, you'll need to be within earshot of your phone.

A video doorbell can't unlock a door wirelessly. I suggest looking at smart locks if that's what you want (some locks come with a video doorbell). However, if you're looking for a simple way to avoid stolen packages, keep an eye on your property or avoid solicitors, then a video doorbell might be worth it.

Here are the best-reviewed video doorbells that have sold for $100 or less in the last 12 months:


Good Price: $100 | Great Deal: $86

Many Amazon customers say that the Ring doorbell is easy to install and use, but the motion detection is easily confused by passing cars. Live someplace cold?: A Ring customer service agent admitted that the doorbell doesn't work well (or at all) in sub-freezing temperatures.


Good Price: $75 | Great Deal: $70

This video doorbell has a clear picture and is relatively easy to install (despite poor instructions), according to several Amazon customers. Some reviewers say the motion detection feature requires a lot of motion to activate; others advise charging the batteries for day before installation (and removing the batteries altogether if hardwired).


I'm sorry that I don't have more to list here. Amazon.com features lots of inexpensive video doorbells. Unfortunately, the positive reviews for these products seem fraudulent. Bummer.


 
 
John DeFeo