Best Wireless Video Doorbells (December 2016)

*My Smarta Home is supported by its audience.When you purchase through links on my site, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Learn More*

User Ratings

The Ring video doorbell has lots of attractive features but in order to help you make up your mind, let’s have a look at some of the reviews that have been written about it.

These reviews are from people who have bought and used the Ring doorbell and are the closest that we can get to “experts”!

The doorbell has an 80% approval rating which means for every 4 positive reviews that are written,  1 critical review is written.

And so in order to keep this same balance, I looked at 100 reviews- 80 reviews were positive that I looked and 20 reviews were negative.

From the positive reviews, the features that buyers are most pleased with are related to how easy the doorbell is to install and how fantastic the cloud storage system is. Closely followed by praise for the quality of the video, customer service and how convenient (and life changing) it is to answer your door remotely.

From the critical reviews the feature that is most unpopular is the motion detection- many people find that it is too sensitive and triggered too frequently by passing cars or trees blowing in the wind.

Skybell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell

At- a- Glance Features

Video & Audio Features
HD
Night Vision
Live View
Motion Detection
Wide Viewing Angle
Audio
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark

Software Features
iOS App
Android App
Windows 10
Mac
Multiple Users
tickmark
tickmark
red-40144_640
red-40144_640
tickmark

 

Connection
Storage
Cordless
tickmark
The doorbell unit connects to the handheld unit using a radio frequency
On the handheld unit. The photos and videos can be downloaded onto a PC

Design & Warranty Features
Different Colors
Weatherproof
SmartLock Compatible
Warranty +
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark

 Video & Audio

The video quality of the camera in the doorbell is 1080P HD. The doorbell offers a color display during the day and even at night (up to 15 feet.)

Regardless of the time of day (or night), this doorbell provides you with a super 24/7 monitoring system.

Another important feature is live feed. This is the ability to access the video display of the doorbell at any given moment.

This is very useful if you away from home and you just to to make quick, random checks on your home. Or perhaps if you just need a little distraction whilst at work!

Another great benefit is motion detection and the sensitivity of it can be changed between low, medium and high.

If any motion is detected, you will be sent a notification and a video.

Not only does the camera offer HD quality pictures but the field of view is between 120°- 130°. This is great news for you because it means that a very large area around your front door can be carefully monitored!

Software

This doorbell is compatible with Android and Apple phones and tablets. The apps are free. Your Android phone or tablet needs to be running version 4.4 or higher, your Apple devices need to be running iOS8 or higher.

These apps allow you to access the doorbell using a piece of equipment that you probably already have (a smartphone or tablet.) You don’t need another piece of equipment because you can use the phone or tablet that you already own and it means that you can “answer” your font door or monitor it even when you are away from home!

There are no apps to make this doorbell accessible via a Windows phone, tablet or desktop. Neither is it accessible via an Apple laptop or desktop computer. These features are likely to appear in future upgrades.

Connection & Power & Storage

This doorbell will connect to your smartphone, tablet or PC via your Wi-Fi. It will connect to routers running on 2.4Ghz (on “b”, “g” or “n” mode) but not those that are running on 5 Ghz.

If that sounds a bit complicated then most of us that have the Internet at home will be able to connect their device to our Wi-Fi with minimal fuss.

However, the doorbell needs to be hardwired (connected to your electricity) as it cannot be powered by a battery.

A lot of people have an existing doorbell that is hardwired which can be easily uninstalled and replaced with a Skybell.

Finally in this section, we will examine cloud storage more closely. Cloud storage is the means to store the captured videos and photos from your doorbell.

The doorbell captures videos and photos when the motion detector has been triggered and when the doorbell has been pressed. Storing these images can be very helpful in crime prevention because they can be shared with law enforcement agencies. Storage is an important part of the device’s security function.

Cloud storage can also help for life’s lighter moments. Your storage will help you to keep those snippets of doorbell videos that make you laugh which you can then share with your friends and family

Cloud storage is also free.

Design & Warranty

The Skybell HD video doorbell comes in two colours; bronze and silver. This gives you the ability to choose which color best suits your house perfectly!

It is weatherproof. The doorbell is designed to work in harsh environments such as heat, rain, snow and humidity. The device is covered with a protective coating.

The exact operating temperatures are -40 °C- 65 °C (which is -40 °F- 150 °F.)

Come rain, come shine or any other weather this device will carry on regardless.

The unit is compatible with the Kevo Smart Lock from Kwikset.  If one of these locks is installed and you are using your Skybell device, you can be anywhere in the house or the world and still be able to unlock your front door. Now that is what I call easy!

The  device comes with a 12 month warranty. You will also get free replacements for life for any units that are stolen, as long as you can send a copy of the police report of the theft and your proof of purchase. This will provide you with an amazing peace of mind.

User Ratings

The Skybell HD has lots of attractive features but in order to help you make up your mind, let’s have a look at some of the reviews that have been written about the device.

These reviews are from people who have bought and used the Ring doorbell and are the closest that we can get to “experts”!

After looking at the reviews the features that are mentioned most often by happy buyers are;

 

My Opinion

After researching this device in a lot of detail and thinking about how it compares to other devices on the market, here is my list of pros and cons.

Pros

Free Cloud Storage

Color Night Vision

Cons

Doesn’t work with a battery

No Apps for Windows phones, tablets or laptops

A bit expensive

August Doorbell Cam

AT- A- GLANCE FEATURES

Video & Audio Features
HD
Low Vision
Live View
Motion Detection
Wide Viewing Angle
Audio
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark

Software Features
iOS App
Android App
Windows 10
Mac
Multiple Users
tickmark
tickmark
red-40144_640
red-40144_640
tickmark

Connection | Power | Storage | Features
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth
CAT 5/ LAN
Battery
16V- 24V
Cloud Storage
tickmark
tickmark
red-40144_640
red-40144_640
tickmark
tickmark

Design & Warranty Features
Different Colors
Weatherproof
SmartLock Compatible
Warranty +
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark

Video & Audio

Camera Resolution  The video quality of the camera in the doorbell is 960P HD. This will provide you with a great quality of picture.

Viewing Angle Not only does the camera offer HD quality pictures but the horizontal viewing angle is 120°. This is great news for you because it means that a very large area around your front door can be carefully monitored!

Night Vision At night the clarity is just as crisp using August’s low light technology.

Regardless of what time of day or night it is, you will be certain of getting a very clear picture of exactly what is happening outside of your front door.

Motion Detection is a  recently added feature.  This uses a Passive Infrared Sensor (PIR) to detect heat changes in it’s field of view.

You will be sent a notification as soon as your doorbell detects any motion near your front door before your doorbell is rung.

The motion detector has different levels of sensitivity so that it can be adjusted to suit your individual circumstances.The levels can be adjusted via the app on your smartphone or your tablet

Motion detectionis a very important feature for people who are looking to buy more than just a doorbell. It will enhance your sense of security and well being.

Live feed is another popular feature with users.  It is a separate feature to motion detection and means that at any given moment you can view the live video feed of the doorbell cam.

I think that this feature is helpful in 3 ways. If you away from home and you just to to make quick, random checks on your home. If you have had a report that suspicious looking people have been spotted in your neighborhood or even if you just need a little distraction and light relief whilst at work!

And finally in this section, the Ring doorbell features 2 way audio, so that your visitor can talk to you and you can talk to them. You can make an important guest feel welcome before you even open the front door!

Software

iOS App  The Doorbell Cam can be operated via an app for your iPhone.  It works with the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6+. These devices need to be running iOS 8 or iOS 9. Unfortunately, the app does not work on iPads.

Android App The Doorbell Cam can be operated via an app for some Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy range of phones and the Nexus range of phones. A more complete list can be found here.

Importantly, these Android phones must be equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 (which is a recent and low energy version of Bluetooth) and be running either Android 4.4 (KitKat), 5 (Lollipop) or 6 (Marshmellow.)

The App does not run on Android Tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tabs.

Windows 10 Unfortunately the Doorbell Cam cannot be accessed by any Windows device- phone, tablet or laptop.

Mac Unfortunately, the Doorbell Cam cannot be accessed from your Mac laptop or desktop.

Connection & Power & Storage

Wi-Fi This doorbell will connect to your smartphone your Wi-Fi. It will connect to routers running on 2.4Ghz but not those that are running on 5 Ghz. It supports the WPA, WPA2 and WEP encryption.

Basically, nearly everyone who has Internet at home should be able to set up and use a Doorbell Cam quickly and safely. Detailed instructions on installation can be found here.

It is important to check the speed of your Internet (and the strength of the signal) by your front door to make sure that it is fast enough to make the device work properly.

A good Wi-Fi signal and speed will make the doorbell work better in two ways. Firstly, there will be less delay between an “event” happening (such motion detection or someone ringing the doorbell) and you being notified of it. Secondly, when you are watching video from your doorbell, it will much less likely to freeze or pixelate.

Power The Doorbell Cam needs to be connected to wires that provide between 16V- 24V of power. In other words, you need to either uninstall your existing electric doorbell and connect this device up to those wires, or have a new set of wires installed.

Yes, this installation takes longer than installing a battery operated doorbell but once you have it installed, it gives your Doorbell Cam a couple of advantages. Your doorbell will never need to have it’s battery re-charged and  it allows you to view a live feed of what is happening outside of your front door now.

Cloud Storage Cloud storage is the means to store the captured videos and photos from your doorbell. The device captures videos and photos when the motion detector has been triggered and when the doorbell has been pressed.

Not only are these images stored but they are then available to download and to share. There is a very serious benefit of this storing and sharing capability because if a crime has been commited, any images can be shared with yoour local police.

On a much less serious level, this means that if the Doorbell Cam records any funny moments, these too can be shared with your friends and family and make everyone laugh!

Doorbell Cam’s cloud storage is free for the first 6 months, if you activate your device by 31st December 2016.

Cat 5/ LAN The doorbell cannot be connected to your Internet at home by a cat 5 cable or wire.

Bluetooth This device does not use Bluetooth.

Design & Warranty

Colors The Doorbell Cam comes in 4 colors; gold, silver, black and red. This means that there is enough choice for you to choose the perfect colour for yoour front door.

Weatherproof  This device can  operate effectively in temperatures ranging from -13 °F- 122 °F (-25 °C to 50 °C) and in humidity levels from 0%- 95%- which I guess shows that it is rain proof!

The doorbell cam has been designed to keep working in all weathers

SmartLock Compatibility

This device was designed and made to be compatible with another of the manufacturer’s products, the August Smart Lock. However, because of this, it is not compatible with any other types of electrical lock.

The combination of a video doorbell linked to an electrical lock is pretty awesome because then you can answer your doorbell remotely as well opening your front door without having to be at home- or if you are at home you don’t need to get up out of your chair!

This device comes with a 12 month warranty. Other video doorbell companies offer free replacements for devices that are stolen.

My Opinion

I am going to offer a few pros and cons about August’s Doorbell Cam. I have spent many hours finding out all about video doorbell cameras (of which this device is one example) and so these pros and cons are based upon my own comparison.

Pros
Cons
tickmark
Beautifully designed
red-40144_640
Expensive
tickmark
Part of a family of "smart" products
red-40144_640
Storage is expensive
tickmark
Camera has a high resolution
red-40144_640
Not battery operated
red-40144_640
No free replacements

User Ratings

The Ring video doorbell has lots of attractive features but in order to help you make up your mind, let’s have a look at some of the reviews that have been written about it.

These reviews are from people who have bought and used the Ring doorbell and are the closest that we can get to “experts”!

The doorbell has an 80% approval rating which means for every 4 positive reviews that are written,  1 critical review is written.

And so in order to keep this same balance, I looked at 100 reviews- 80 reviews were positive that I looked and 20 reviews were negative.

From the positive reviews, the features that buyers are most pleased with are related to how easy the doorbell is to install and how fantastic the cloud storage system is. Closely followed by praise for the quality of the video, customer service and how convenient (and life changing) it is to answer your door remotely.

From the critical reviews the feature that is most unpopular is the motion detection- many people find that it is too sensitive and triggered too frequently by passing cars or trees blowing in the wind.

Ring Pro

At A Glance Features

Video & Audio Features
HD
Night Vision
Live View
Motion Detection
Wide Viewing Angle
Audio
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark

Software Features
iOS App
Android App
Windows 10
Mac
Multiple Users
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
red-40144_640
tickmark

Connection | Power | Storage Features
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth
CAT 5/ LAN
Battery
16V- 24V
Cloud Storage
tickmark
red-40144_640
red-40144_640
red-40144_640
tickmark
tickmark

Design & Warranty Features
Different Colors
Weatherproof
SmartLock Compatible
Warranty +
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark

Video & Audio

Camera Resolution The Ring Pro doorbell has a resolution of 1080P. 

Viewing Angle 160° horizontal and 100° vertical.

The video of the front of your house will not only be very clear because of the 1080P resolution but the large horizontal and vertical viewing angle result in a large area outside of your front door being monitored.

Motion Detection provides an extra layer of security because the Ring Pro does not just notify you when someone rings the bell. It alerts you when someone approaches your front door or enters your front yard.

The detection is controlled in two ways. Firstly, is a sensitivity setting. This can be adjusted from low to high depending on where you live.

 

Secondly, you can set up specific zones. This works by highlighting different areas within the camera’s field of view and only when motion is detected in these zones will you get an alert.

Night Vision The camera’s infrared function results in good quality video even at night and even if you haven’t got a light by your front door. You are provided with round the clock monitoring.

Live View is the ability to view what you doorbell is “seeing” at any given moment. Live View is possible because the Ring Pro is hardwired and not battery powered.

Wherever you are, check in and take a look. This is fantastic if you are expecting an important delivery and you want to make sure that it is delivered or if you want to check that the kids arrive home when they say they will!

Audio allows you to talk to your visitor and your visitor to talk to you. You can make a guest feel welcomed before they even enter your house or you can dissuade an unwelcome guest to leave as soon as possible.

Software

iOS App The Ring Pro works with software version iOS 8 and later. It works on iPhones and iPads.

Android App I cannot find any specific information regarding the version of Android software that the Ring Pro uses.

However, the Ring video doorbell (another product made by this company) needs version 4 or higher and so I think it would be the same for the Ring Pro.

Any smartphone or tablet that runs version 4 or higher will work with this device.

Windows 10 The Ring Pro works on any device that runs Windows 10- smartphones, tablets or laptops. It will not work on earlier versions of Windows, such as Windows 8.

Mac There is no app for Mac laptops or desktops.

Connection & Power & Storage

Wi-Fi: This device can connect to 2.4Ghz and the newer, faster 5.0 Ghz routers, which is very unusual for a video doorbell. Most products only connect to 2.4Ghz routers.

Allowing connection to faster routers means that the doorbell will work more effectively in terms of response times and the quality of video that can be seen.

Power This device needs to hard wired into your existing doorbell wiring or you need to have a new wiring system installed. It cannot be powered by a battery.

Having to uninstall an existing doorbell or installing new wiring and then installing the Ring Pro is more time consuming than just installing a battery operated video doorbell.

But the longer term benefits should make up for it because you will not have a battery that needs recharging and you will have access to premium features such as Live Feed.

Cloud storage is the means to store the captured videos and photos from your doorbell. The doorbell captures videos for two events- when the motion detector has been set off or when the doorbell has been pressed.

The biggest benefit of using cloud storage is so that any videos of suspected criminal behaviour such as break ins or package theft can be shared with the local police.

Of course, storage can also be useful in a far more light hearted way. In that some of the videos that are recorded might be very funny and something that you may want to share with friends and family.

Storage for the Ring Pro costs $3 per month or $30 for a year.

The doorbell cannot be connected to your Internet at home by a cat 5 cable or wire. Nor can it be connected to your devices via Bluetooth.

Design & Warranty

Colors Other video doorbells give you a choice of different colors but the Ring Pro gives you 4 different coloured swappable face plates.

Weatherproof The device operates between -5°F and 120°F.  (-20.5°C and 48.5°C)

SmartLock Compatibility The unit is compatible with some electrical lock systems, such as LockState, Kisi and Lockitron.

Warranty

 

Click to open expanded view

Optex IVPDH iVision+

The Optex IVPH iVision + was launched in the Autumn 2014.

Optex is a company that makes products that infrared security products.

The iVision+ is a video doorbell but it includes a handheld unit with a 2.4″ LCD monitor built in. And so you are buying two items. A video doorbell that attaches to the wall outside your front door and a handheld unit with an LCD screen.

These video doorbell and handheld unit do not connect to each other using Wi-Fi but instead they connect to each other directly as long as they are within 330 feet of each other.  So, whilst this gives you a lot of flexibility whilst you are at home, you cannot access this system

So whilst you can

At a Glance Features

HD
Night Vision
Live View
Motion Detection
Field of Vision
Audio
red-40144_640
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
tickmark
Press a button on the handheld unit
Additional purchase required
60°- 90°
2 Way

iOS App
Android App
Windows 10
Mac
Multiple Users
 
Not applicable as it comes with its own monitor with a 2.4" screen

[table “21” not found /]

Different Colors
Weatherproof
SmartLock Compatible
Warranty
  
red-40144_640
tickmark
tickmark
18 months
Only in black & grey
-4 °F to 122 °F
Need to buy a "Gateway Unit"

Detailed Features 

Video and Audio

Video Resolution There are no specifications that I can find on the resolution of the video on the handheld unit. All that we do know is that the screen size is 2.4″.

Night Vision It has LEDs that come on at night to help keep a clear picture in low light levels.

Live View You can connect the handheld monitor to the video doorbell at any time to get a live view of what is happening outside of your front door. The Vision + labels this as “Active Browsing”.

Motion Detection This device can only detect motion if it is paired with another product, the RCTD 20U.

The visitor or intruder needs to press the doorbell in order for you to be alerted.

Viewing Angle Again, I struggled to get any details of the exact field of view that the camera provides. Although I do not think it

Audio There is two way audio so that you can communicate with the person at your front door.

Software Features

Since the Vision+ does not connect to any smartphones, tablets, or laptops it does not need any apps.

Connection | Power | Storage | Features

Battery or 16-24V power

The video doorbell can be powered by batteries or by doorbell wire. If it is powered by battery (x3 AA’s) then you will not be able to access Active Browsing.

Live View is a feature that is only available when the doorbell camera is connected by wire.

The hanheld unit comes with rechargeable batteries and a charging cradle.

Storage The handheld unit stores photos. These photos can be downloaded onto a computer and shared.

Design & Warranty Features

Different Colors The Vision+ only comes in one color- black.

Weatherproof  The video doorbell is designed to work in temperatures ranging between -4° to 122°F (which is -20 °C- 50 °C).

It can work in environments that are less than 90% relative humidity. It is splashproof  and so it will keep working at long as it is not exposed to long periods of heavy rain or submerged in water.

Smartlock Compatible The Vision+ does not connect to any smart or electrical locks.

Warranty 18 months from the date of manufacture.