Advertising for Ring and Nest video doorbells suggest you get everything you need straight out of the box. Dig a bit deeper and you begin to realise that what you get is a very basic package. With a Ring Doorbell this includes viewing the camera’s live stream 2 way audio and notifications. To do anything more advanced such as record your doorbell you will need to sign up to a subscription like Ring Protect and Nest Aware.
Subscriptions are around $30 – $60 per year. Assuming you have your doorbell for 5 years that can add up to $300 to the total cost of ownership. That’s quite a hefty chunk of cash!
Whilst, it’s understandable that the manufacturers want the recurring revenue more transparency it would be better if they were more transparent about the limitations of the devices without a subscription.
So, what can you do if you don’t want to pay for a subscription?
- Free cloud
- find a video doorbell that gives you free storage of your doorbell videos in the cloud
- Local storage
- find a video doorbell that stores the footage locally. Either on the device itself or on a base station or attached storage such as a NAS
The best video doorbell without subscription available at the moment is the Eufy Wireless Video Doorbell with 2K HD.
Top 4 Video Doorbells Without Subscription
Eufy Video Doorbell Wireless
Coming with 180-day battery life and 2k resolution doorbell camera the Eufy security hits all the right spots for a video doorbell without the need to make any additional purchases. Similar to all other Eufy products, you will only pay the one-time price of the doorbell. With it, you are getting a HomeBase kit, as well as the ability to store video and audio files for up to 30 days. In our opinion, this is one of the coolest security systems if you are on a tight budget. As all your data is stored locally on the HomeBase unit inside your house so there is no monthly fee associated with cloud storage.
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One of the coolest points about this product is that it supports two power sources. Thus, you can allow it to operate for up to 6 months on a single battery charge. Once it drains out, you can wire it and have it run without any glitches. Judging by our experience, this Eufy doorbell is the perfect combination of security and reliability. Apart from two-way audio and real-time video, you will also enjoy an expanded field of view that is highlighted by a 4:3 ratio. This means that you can see the person from head to toe before you speak or respond to the doorbell alert.
All your footage can still be accessed from anywhere over a 256-bit encrypted connection. As with a lot of video doorbell cameras you can connect it to Alexa and Google Assistant to add it into your smart home.
Drawing out activity zones allows you to define the areas where you want motion detection to operate which is invaluable if you live on a busy street or have a small garden. The only concern with this product is that this Eufy doorbell is quite bulky.
- Highlighted by a 2K sensor for crystal clear resolution
- One-time purchase with no additional costs/fees
- Can be wired or operate on a battery for up to 6 months
- Offers an expanded field of view that is set at a 4:3 ratio
- Gives you control over the detection zones
- Could be smaller
If what you are looking for is a sophisticated doorbell device that can be integrated with home systems such as the Apple HomeKit, then this is the right product for you. Coming in bronze color, this security system offers impressive image quality that is set at 1080p HD during both daytime and nighttime. With that in mind, you won’t have to worry about the image resolution varying based on outdoor brightness levels.
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One of the coolest features is that you can integrate this doorbell with other home devices. We set the doorbell to turn the outdoor porch lights on as soon as the sensor detects motion. In addition to that, we love that this product can be connected to multiple devices at a time. Thus, you and a few other family members can have access and monitor the real-time video.
Along with a few ringtone-inspired chimes, it also features a silent chime for those who don’t want to hear the loud doorbell ringing. It is great to know that this device supports on-demand and recorded videos (stored for up to 30 days) and that you can respond to an uninvited guest through two-way audio. While you can’t play a pre-recorded message, the real-time audio voice is quite clear.
As for the durability of this product, we are pleased to announce that it offers a battery life that is anywhere between 3 to 5 years. In addition to that, it can work in a wide variety of weather conditions, including temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also 100% water-resistant. With that in mind, our only concern is that the plastic construction feels a bit flimsy. Other than that, this is a reasonably priced security system that you should consider.
- Highlighted by 1080p HD daytime and nighttime image clarity
- Features an omnidirectional microphone to support two-way audio
- Offers a battery life of 3 to 5 years
- Supports on-demand and recorded video clips
- Can be connected to multiple devices at the same time
- The plastic construction feels flimsy
Remo+ Remobell S
If you are on a tight budget but don’t want to miss out on the benefits of a doorbell security system, then investing in this Remo + Remobell S is the right choice. What you are looking at is a wired doorbell that comes with a security camera. It offers 1080p HD resolution, two-way audio, and the ability to record and store videos without paying any additional fees (similar to Eufy). Most importantly, it offers real-time videos 24/7, 365 days a year, which means that you can be confident leaving your house and knowing if anyone steps foot at your entrance.
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While Remo offers paid plans, you can still use cloud storage for up to 3 days without paying a dime. To get this doorbell started, you will need a 16-24V AC transformer that is pre-installed in some households. Among its highlighting points is the dewarping option, which works together with the HDR camera to provide you with explicit image quality and an expanded field of view. The 180-degree sensor should detect any motion in front of your house, distinguishing humans from stray cats and dogs. It is great to know that the resolution is the same for daytime and nighttime videos, with the main reason for it being the infrared feature included in the HDR camera.
Similar to the aforementioned product, this one offers an intuitive app that is available for iOS 11+ and Android 5+ devices, allowing you to adjust the settings and receive alerts and notifications on your mobile phone or tablet. Not only that, but you can also respond to anyone who is standing at your entrance with real-time audio or pre-recorded messages. In addition to that, you will have full control over the zones that are detected by the accurate sensor.
As for the downsides, we would say the doorbell is rather loud. Not only the ringing chime but the camera and sensor, as well. Other than that, this is an affordable security system that you shouldn’t miss out on.
- Set at an affordable price
- Offers great image resolution in both daytime and nighttime
- Intuitive Remo app for iOS and Android devices
- Highlighted by a simple installation process
- Control over the detected zones
- Rather loud
Last on our list is another affordable doorbell security system that is highlighted by a sensitive PIR motion detector and an IP-55 weatherproof construction. Among its highlighting features are two-way audio and a 140-degree camera that should record most of the activity in front of your house. It is great to know that it offers 1920x1080p resolution for both daytime and nighttime recorded videos.
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The installation is simple as long as you have 16-24V AC doorbell wiring. If you don’t, then you will need to buy a separate power supply that can be used along with this doorbell. When it comes to two-way audio, the built-in omnidirectional microphone and speaker will allow you to communicate with whoever is at your door without having to open and let them in. Unfortunately, there isn’t an option for pre-recorded messages.
Already rocking a sophisticated look, we were happy that this doorbell allows for faceplate switch-ups. Thus, once you get bored of the black elegant appearance, you can attach the white plate. Once again, it can’t be connected to a 5.0 GHz network, which is a downside.
Other than that, there is not a lot that we can say against this product. It detects motion up to 16 feet away and is highlighted by a precise nighttime vision. It also features an Amcrest Smart App that is intuitive and will allow you to adjust settings and save videos/audio files on a 128GB MicroSD card. Overall, this is a fine-priced doorbell security system that can last you for years (with a 1-year limited warranty).
- Comes at a great price
- Highlighted by an accurate PIR sensor detection
- Features an omni-directional microphone and speaker for two-way audio
- 128GB MicroSD card for saving video and audio files
- 1080p HD resolution during daytime and nighttime
- Can’t be connected to 5.0 GHz
- Doesn’t allow pre-recorded messages