Video doorbells are nifty devices to let you see who is at the door and talk to them. Also, you can record any activity. But most of the popular video doorbells come with a subscription plan to view the videos. Thankfully, there are a few video doorbells without subscription plans or an affordable plan.
These video doorbells let you access the video files via local storage. Or, some of these video doorbells allow you to access the files for free for about a week. In the latter case, you will have to be proactive in retrieving the files when required. The local storge option ensures that there’s only a one-time cost involved.
If you are looking for a video doorbell without subscription plan, here are the best ones. But before that,
- Take a look at these battery-powered outdoor security cameras
- Looking for an affordable indoor security camera?
1. Blink Video Doorbell
- Resolution: 1080p HD | Night Video: Yes, HD
- FoV: 135-degree
The Blink video doorbell is the one for you if you do not want to spend much on a video doorbell. Despite the low price tag, it bundles several nifty features like two-way audio, infrared vision for low-light videos, and long-battery life. The company claims that the battery can power the bell for two years. Of course, this will vary as per the usage.
It works as advertised and records videos whenever the motion sensor is triggered. The videos are fairly decent for the price. However, it lacks HDR. So, if the area in front of your door has a mix of shade and sun, some videos may appear a bit darker, especially if the background is bright.
It’s worth noting that the Blink video doorbell is not independent and needs a bridge to function. It needs to pair with Sync Module 2 to connect to the internet. And it’s this Sync Module that lets you store your video files. It bundles two USB-A ports, and you can connect a thumb drive to record the videos.
On the other hand, the Blink app lets you receive notifications on the phone. And if that was not enough, you can set up a geo-fence where you’d want the video doorbell to be triggered. This feature comes to use if you live in a high-traffic area.
The two-way audio feature lets you have a conversation comfortably with anyone who’s at your door, thanks to the clear audio. The doorbell is not perfect. The sensor is slow and needs a little time to start recording when triggered.
2. XTU Doorbell Camera
- Resolution: 2K | Night Video: Yes
- FoV: 166-degree
Another inexpensive video doorbell is the one by XTU. This one brings a decent bundle of features such as 2K recording, a sizable battery, and a loud chime. The best part is that it sports a premium look and delivers impressive performance for the price. Several users have praised the video quality for its clarity and sharpness.
The XTU video doorbell comes with a 10,000mAh battery that can last around 5 months when used moderately. Of course, the charge may die down sooner when used extensively. The good news is that you can hardwire the XTU video doorbell if you want to remove the hassle of recharging batteries.
Setting up the doorbell is easy and simple, and quite a few have pointed this out in their reviews. Like the one above, it needs a Bridge to function and connect to the internet. For now, it supports cards up to 128 GB. Alternatively, you can also opt for cloud storage. However, the SD card option and cloud storage do not work together.
Like the one above, it supports both two-way audio, night vision, support for companion apps, and smartphone notifications. The night vision is clear and crisp, and you should easily make out what’s in front of the camera. However, the motion sensors of the doorbell are either a hit or a miss.
3. eufy Security Video Doorbell 2K
- Resolution: 2K | Night Video: Yes
- FoV: N/A
Another video doorbell without subscription plans is the one by Eufy. Eufy is a popular name in the video doorbell arena primarily for its affordable pricing, and the Video Doorbell 2K is no exception. It brings the advantages of local storage along with high-resolution video recording with HDR. The latter ensures that you get sharp videos both during night and day. And the unique 4:3 aspect ratio provides a tall FoV. When it comes to storage, it supports 4GB of memory.
Perhaps the best thing about the video doorbell 2K is its support for pre-buffered recording. It ensures that the video doorbell starts recording a few seconds before the ring.
The videos are crisp and colorful and have good contrast levels. And the built-in HDR ensures that the daytime recordings are uniform. Likewise, the nighttime videos are sharp and detailed. It’s a wired video doorbell, and if you do not have prior experience in handling electrical wiring, you may want to call someone to install it.
Aside from the above, it bundles nifty features like two-way audio, phone notifications, optional 30-day cloud storage, and support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
The Eufy Video Doorbell 2K is hugely popular on Amazon and has more than 4,000 user reviews to its credit. People have high praises for its picture quality, night-vision, and helpful tech support.
4. Arlo Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell
The Arlo Essential Wire-Free is one of the expensive video doorbells, and as you may have expected, it brings a good trove of features to the table. On top of it, it sports a premium look and delivers high-resolution videos. However, note that it’s not strictly a subscription-free doorbell.
Here, you will have to invest in the Arlo Smart Hub. The hub comes with a USB-storage drive to record and store video. It’s an added investment, but if you wish to upgrade to other Arlo products in the future, it’s a worthy investment.
Aside from that, it sports premium features like 12x zoom, built-in sirens, and Home and Away mode. And the feature that makes it a worthy purchase is the bright and sharp videos.
It supports both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and a couple of other third-party apps. While it has plenty of other features, they are locked behind the subscription plans.
If you are already in the Arlo ecosystem (or plan to upgrade), it makes sense to buy the video doorbell. But do keep in mind that the camera is expensive, and the lack of features in the offline mode is limiting.
The Doors Have Eyes
If you are looking to save money yet want the best possible experience, the XTU and the Eufy 2K video doorbells are good picks. The high resolution makes sure that you can make out faces and people without any issues. And the offline video files give you the peace of mind that you will be able to access them any time. Just make sure to check them regularly before before the doorbell’s system overwrites them.
Last updated on 19 February, 2022
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