A security camera makes a great addition to a front porch. It demonstrates to would-be intruders that you’ve taken home security seriously, and thus deters break-ins before they occur. Moreover, if you go for an option with the right smart-technology built in, you’ll be able to check who’s calling even when you’re out of the house.
This is a relatively new and crowded field, and thus there are options to suit a range of budgets and circumstances. Here, we’ll take a look at a few of our favourite front door cameras available today.
This is a strong candidate for the best doorbell camera on offer in 2019. It integrates seamlessly into an existing nest-based setup, and packs an impressive feature-list.
The price-tag is pretty hefty, at just over two-hundred pounds. As with all of the Nest range, you’ll then be charged for the company’s cloud-storage fee. As such, it doesn’t suit those of us on lower budgets.
For your money, you’ll get facial recognition, excellent video quality, and peerless compatibility with Google’s assistant software. The camera constantly records video, and, as it’s a doorbell-camera, it comes with its own speaker and microphone, too.
Why We Love It
This camera exemplifies the sleek design you’d expect from a high-end company like Google. If you’re looking for a reliable solution that requires minimal intervention, then the Hello is well worth consideration.
Arlo are specialists in home automation, and the Ultra model sits right at the pinnacle of the company’s current roster.
At just over three-hundred pounds per camera, this is a premium camera suited to premium homes. Factor in the cost of the attached smart hub and you’re looking at a considerable one-off layout.
Of course, there’s a reason that this particular model is so highly-regarded. The cost of purchase gets you a range of high-end features that aren’t found on lesser models, including 4K and colour night vision, spotlights and sirens, as well as the same sort of two-way audio you’ll find on a doorbell camera.
Why We love It
The price might give many of us reason to hesitate. But given the importance of pristine clarity at the front door, the impressive spec of this camera might be enough to tempt many homeowners.
Home security shouldn’t require shelling out thousands of pounds. It’s worth therefore looking at a few of the more wallet-friendly alternatives from Reolink.
This device weighs in at a far more enticing £84.99 on the company’s online store. We should also factor in the company’s free seven-day recording service. If you’re especially tech-astute, you might pair it with a home server and store your footage locally.
You’ll get a surprising amount of functionality from this modestly-priced device, not least of which is easy integration with NVR and NAS storage devices. The build quality isn’t quite up to the standard set by the other cameras we’ve mentioned here, but you do get full 4k, a wide viewing angle, night vision, and a built-in microphone. At a fifth of the price, it’s difficult to complain.
Why We Love It
This camera is affordable without being cheap, and can deal with most of what the world throws in its direction. The feature list is impressive, but more so is the ease with which it can be integrated with on-site storage. For those of us who’d prefer to opt out of the cloud, it’s a winner.
This camera is built to integrate seamlessly with Swann’s DVR. They’re so named after their distinctive shape.
There are five and three megapixel versions of this camera available, with the latter weighing in at a very reasonable £67.99 per pair. If you’ve already made the investment in the matching DVR, then this makes expansion that much more affordable.
The spec-list is tempting, especially given the price-point. A three-megapixel camera boasts 50% more pixels than a 1080p one (which is 2MP). Moreover, you’ll get night vision, which will allow the recognition of crucial details like facial features, number-plates and clothing. It also comes with TrueDetect heat-sensitivity, which allows it to more easily respond to people and cars.
This is a BNC based camera, and should be paired with a matching NVR (or, alternatively, some inexpensive BNC-ethernet converters). It’s highly weatherproof, which makes it suitable for mounting outside of porches, and high up on walls.
Why We love It
This device proves that you needn’t spend a fortune to keep your home secure. While it lacks many of the more sophisticated features offered by smarter cameras, it weighs in at a tenth of the price, and, for the most part, serves exactly the same functionality.
Ring Video Doorbell
We’ve already covered Google’s candidate for best door entry camera. But what about the company’s biggest rival, Amazon? They’ve got a video doorbell of their own, which comes courtesy of their subsidiary, Ring.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 weighs in at a little less than the nest equivalent, at just £179.
The Ring, as you might expect, integrates into an Amazon Alexa system with the same ease that a Nest doorbell slides into a Google Assistant system. Thus, your choice will likely be determined by your choice of virtual assistant. The video comes in 1080p, and will provide you with instant mobile alerts, and built-in speakers and a microphone. As such, you’ll be able to have a conversation with whoever’s calling – provided that you’ve got the requisite upload bandwidth of around 2Mbps.
Why We Love It
It’s the easy integration with an existing Alexa system that’s the major selling point here, but the other features are nothing to sniff at. Given that the Ring weighs in at less than the Nest, it’s easy to hand Amazon a slight edge.
There are dozens of capable options out there, it’s difficult to state with certainty which doorbell camera is the best. When considering your options, be sure to account for your exiting setup. Do you want a BNC system, or a more modern ethernet-based one? Do you want a wireless system? Finally, you should bear in mind that some choices will tie you in to a certain family of smart-home hubs. For example, if you go with Nest now, you’ll lose functionality (and probably, money) if you elect to switch to a Ring later.