In my quest for home security, I’ve stumbled across the Ring doorbell camera. While it’s a fantastic device, its subscription fee can be a turnoff.
So, I embarked on a journey to find the best alternatives that offer equal, if not better, features without recurring costs.
If you’re like me, seeking a budget-friendly, one-time investment solution, stick around. I’m about to share my top picks for ring doorbell camera alternatives that don’t require a subscription and still offer top-notch security.
Why Opt for a Ring Doorbell Camera Alternative Without Subscription?
Ring video doorbells are among the most popular doorbell cameras currently in the market. That being said, this doorbell brand carries a major downside – the monthly subscription fee. Many users prefer a secure home environment without the added cost of subscriptions.
The high price tag often associated with video doorbells without subscriptions is a deterrent for many.
However, with choices like the Eufy video doorbell and Amcrest Wireless Doorbell Camera, our top wireless picks, you can enjoy advanced security features such as superior night vision and motion detection at a more cost-effective solution.
Though these advanced features aren’t always turned on by default, they can effortlessly be enabled through the brand’s app, which also assists in the installation and monitoring of the doorbell.
Unlike Ring, these alternatives can function optimally without a subscription but with their full features intact, bumping up their value despite their affiliate commission.
The only potential downside observed was the slow USB storage; however, ample storage to save up to 6 months of video clips using the default 20-second clip length is provided.
Top 5 Ring Video Doorbell Camera Alternatives that work without Subscription
Eufy 2K Doorbell Camera
The Eufy 2K Doorbell Camera is a perfect alternative to the Ring Doorbell Camera. Its ‘2K’ 2560×1920 HDR doorbell camera provides a premium preview and an additional 1600×1200 package camera captures user footage with unmatched clarity.
With a robust 6-month internal rechargeable battery life and local encrypted storage on the base station, it ensures your doorstep is always under surveillance.
This model is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant and has certified IP65 weather resistance.
Most outstandingly, it brilliantly integrates its human detection feature and object detection. The dual motion detection with radar technology triggers alerts and notifications when a person or package is detected at your doorstep.
The Eufy 2K Doorbell Camera offers excellent vision both day and night, ensuring clear images at all times.
Moreover, it includes two-way audio communication, allowing for interaction with guests or warning off intruders.
Furthermore, one of the strongest points for the Eufy 2K Doorbell Camera is the absence of a subscription fee.
This means all the premium services are available without additional costs, making it a splendid ring doorbell alternative.
Amcrest 1080P Video Doorbell Camera Pro
The Amcrest 1080P Video Doorbell Camera Pro is a strong contender among alternatives to the Ring doorbell. Embellished with high-quality hardware, it distinguishes itself with its unique feature of never needing to be charged.
This battery-free video doorbell is powered by a home’s existing doorbell wiring, a task that might require an electrician’s help.
Despite being a hassle-free device devoid of battery changes or frequent charging, it may not be conducive for all homes, especially those lacking the necessary wiring.
The Amcrest doorbell boasts a 1080p resolution, improved by a colored night vision, a 140-degree viewing angle, and a two-way audio communication feature, making it a modern and versatile cog in any home’s security apparatus.
It’s compatibility with Alexa, Home assistant, and other smart home ecosystem apps, provides convenient app control.
One of the highlights of the Amcrest doorbell is that it can store video clips directly on a Micro SD card, up to 256 GB, helping users avoid a cloud subscription, and providing a convenient and cost-effective solution.
This feature is a crucial factor in the case of hardware components like a microSD card. In terms of pricing, it is available for £180 on Amazon and includes a plug-in chime, offering excellent value for money.
Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell
The Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell offers a compact yet robust alternative to the Ring doorbell. Despite its modest size, the Arlo Essential eliminates the blink-an-eye moments and blindspots with a 180-degree vision of your entrance.
Equipped with HD quality, the 1536x1536p camera footage is clarity defined, also supporting 12x zoom and HDR for comprehensive coverage.
Connecting directly to your WiFi without extra hubs, it simplifies setup. Powered by existing doorbell wiring, it obviates battery-related hassles.
Although this unit lacks a free recording feature without a subscription – a minor blindspot – it syncs all video footage to the cloud securely with encryption, enabling easy access and serving as a practical alternative to the blink sync module.
Its standout feature is smart home compatibility.
It integrates seamlessly into smart home ecosystems such as Samsung SmartThings, Google Home, and Alexa, adding onto your home’s IQ.
Plus, the Arlo Secure allows you to activate a siren from your smartphone upon receiving a suspicious alert, creating a proactive security measure.
Despite the absence of free recording without a subscription, the impressive installation ease and excellent camera footage quality make it an Arlo Essential buy.
XTU Wireless WiFi Video Doorbell Camera with Chime
The XTU Wireless WiFi Video Doorbell Camera with Chime is an excellent alternation to Ring due to its multiple advanced features.
Arguably one of the best rechargeable battery-powered options on the market, this doorbell also provides a reliable 2K high-resolution camera to enhance property surveillance. It’s a superb selection for customers in search of the blink video doorbell best.
Notable for its FHD 1080p camera, the XTU doorbell offers high-quality video with a 166-degree viewing angle, ideal for various doorbell settings such as being under a porch or beside a shady tree.
Additionally, it also boasts night vision and built-in motion sensors, allowing round-the-clock vigilance and push notifications ensuring immediate alerts via a user-friendly mobile app.
The key feature that sets XTU apart from Ring is its lack of a subscription fee. The doorbell camera offers real-time updates with notifications sent directly to your smartphone, making it a convenient tool to enhance your home’s security.
Endowed with an unconditional lifetime warranty, this solidifies the manufacturer’s comfort in their product’s durability and quality.
Although some users believe there are better camera qualities available in the market, XTU maintains its popularity among users who desire reliable performance and convenience in a video doorbell camera.
Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell
The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell offers a sleek, modern design coupled with advanced features.
Imitating the unmatched video quality and design precision of the lorex, and the budget-friendly yet advanced feature accessibility like the Wyze, the Netatmo doorbell is true to its promise of providing superior alternatives to the Ring Doorbell, thanks to its seamless no-subscription-required model.
With aluminum casing and squared-off styling, it radiates a modern aura compatible with all kinds of homes – functionally rivaling the Video Doorbell Dual.
This wired model replaces conventional models and preservers the charm by sticking to doorbell connections by your front door for it to operate.
The major replacement to the traditional doorbell is how it doesn’t include a chime, thereby operating as a barely noticeable kit.
Its valuable compatibility with Apple HomeKit is a unique characteristic reminiscent of its lorex counterpart, enabling the display of its videos, and making it an optimal option for iPhone and HomePod users.
Rivaling the high-resolution Lorex, the camera’s daytime image quality is unparalleled. Infused with top-notch night vision illumined with shades of gray, it quiets any flaws that might pop up in imagery clarity during the late hours.
Emphasizing data privacy like Wyze, a unique feature of Netatmo is its Micro SD card slot used for video file storage – a rare feat in modern doorbells.
This doorbell also offers compatibility with Dropbox and an FTP server should you desire a different storage location.
Available on Amazon, it might be perceived as a pricier choice. However, reminiscing package detection features from Lorex, elegant design elements, and the added bonus of no subscription make it a popular choice among users seeking a high-end, stylish doorbell.
Analyzing and Comparing Features
Camera and Display Quality
Camera and display quality play a pivotal role in selecting the right video doorbell for your home.
For instance, the Eufy 2K Doorbell not only offers a 2K resolution but also features dual motion detection and AI person detection to ensure accurate image results.
On the other hand, the Amcrest Video Doorbell and the budget-friendly Blink 1080p provide good resolution at 1080p, along with a wide field of view; the former with a 140-degree angle and the latter with the Sync Module 2 for local video recording without a subscription.
The Arlo Essential and XTU also offer a similar 1080p resolution complemented by an extensive field of view: 180 degrees for Arlo and 166 degrees for XTU. Lastly, Netatmo excels in daytime image quality and robust night vision.
All these battery video doorbells ensure sharp images and a sound balance between horizontal and vertical views using their high-quality cameras.
A suitable aspect ratio, such as 4:3 or 3:4, is ideal as it shows more of your doorway. However, it’s crucial to remember that a doorbell’s image quality is also influenced by factors like lighting conditions and a swift internet connection.
Regarding the display, the real-time view can be instantly displayed on your smartphone through the mobile app.
Most of these models are compatible with Android and iOS systems, along with popular smart home systems like Alexa, Google Home, and even IFTTT. Thus, with the click of their light-up doorbell buttons, these doorbells provide stellar video quality without subscription fees.
Night Vision and Motion Detection Features
Night vision and motion detection are two pivotal features aiding in accuracy and robust home security systems.
For night vision, the Eufy 2K Doorbell not only delivers crisp and clear night-time images but also highlights its advanced AI Detection, a distinct human detection feature that assesses motion to determine if it was caused by a human, reducing false alarms.
Similarly, other doorbells like the Amcrest 1080P Doorbell, Arlo Essential Doorbell, and XTU Video Doorbell all offer high-quality night vision clarity, with Amcrest incorporating an AI Human Detection feature to discern between human movements and other objects.
The Netatmo Doorbell uses infrared LEDs to provide clear night vision, ensuring your property is always well-illuminated.
Motion detection adds an extra layer of security using object detection technology by alerting you to the presence of unexpected movement at the door.
The doorbells under consideration possess advanced motion detection capabilities.
The Eufy model stands out with its dual motion-detection technology that includes a radar sensor. Meanwhile, the Amcrest Doorbell uses a mixture of passive infrared motion sensors and AI capabilities, for accurate alerts.
The Arlo Essential Doorbell and the XTU Video Doorbell offer customizable motion zones, which means you can set specific areas you want to be monitored for movement.
In this respect, all these alternatives offer superior capabilities for ensuring security around the clock, catering not only to day-to-day usage but also to enhanced nighttime performance.
Moreover, for those seeking a battery video doorbell, Eufy and others provide reliable options. You’ll receive push notifications on your smartphone, and be able to see, and talk to, whoever is at your front door from anywhere.
For budget-conscious consumers, the Blink 1080p + Sync Module 2 is a great choice; it delivers quality video and the Blink Sync Module enables local recording without a subscription.
Ease of Installation and Setup
Installation and setup can be a significant consideration when choosing a video doorbell. The Eufy 2K Doorbell, similar to our last pick, the Wireless Doorbell Camera, excels in easy installation, courtesy of its advanced app control whether you choose the battery-powered or the wired variant.
The installation process is simple and can be finished in minutes. It’s straightforward; connect the wires of your existing doorbell to the Eufy device, mount the doorbell on your doorstep, and then integrate it with your preferred smart platform including Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
The Amcrest 1080P and Arlo Essential Doorbells are both wired models, requiring a connection to existing doorbell wiring.
Benefitting from the Lindo Pro Video Doorbell settings, the Amcrest model does not need battery changes or frequent charging due to its wired design.
Incorporating features from the Lorex Fusion Collection like the LED night light, the XTU Video Doorbell stands out by boasting a 100% wireless design, offering easy installation without the concern of dealing with wires.
Finally, the Netatmo Doorbell requires a wired connection for installation, and while there is no plug-in chime included in the kit, it supports Apple HomeKit, which makes Internet connection a breeze.
In terms of setup, all doorbells come with clear instructions that can be stored on a microSD card and necessary tools, reducing the need for professional installation or advanced technical knowledge.
Some doorbells might need a quick wireless pick or a little troubleshooting in the beginning, but their respective tech support services offer quick and helpful assistance.
Storage and Connectivity Options
Storage and connectivity options are crucial factors when considering a video doorbell. For instance, maintaining data security while choosing between local and cloud storage can be a significant selling point.
On the other hand, a doorbell’s seamless and stable connectivity is fundamental for delivering high-quality video with fewer interruptions.
The Eufy 2K Doorbell takes data security to its core by offering local encrypted storage on the base station, providing a robust and secure place to save your data.
It stands out for being able to make your videos easily accessible for review directly from your phone.
In contrast, the Amcrest Video Doorbell offers an alternative approach to storage. It enables videos to be saved directly on a micro SD card, conveniently eliminating the need for a cloud subscription, and thereby reducing dependency on the internet.
While both Arlo and XTU do not offer any free recording without a subscription, XTU offers sleek doorbell settings, allowing you to save clips conveniently on the pre-installed 32GB SD card or to your cloud for seamless storage and ease of access.
Meanwhile, Netatmo Doorbell is unique due to its versatility of storage options, offering the comfort of keeping recordings directly on the device using a micro SD card, or for added data security, they can be stored in your personal Dropbox account or FTP server.
When it comes to connectivity, models like the Aosu Doorbell Camera and the Blink Video Doorbell are highly rated as they can directly connect with your home WiFi without the need for an additional hub.
Nevertheless, the strength and reliability of the WiFi signal in your doorbell area can significantly influence performance – the stronger the WiFi signal, the better the video quality and fewer interruptions in communication.
Moreover, for those keen on integrating their video doorbell to their smart home ecosystems, like Google Home or Alexa, these doorbells make an excellent choice.
Doorbell settings allowing for connectivity using cellular networks, like 3G, 4G, or 5G, can make the devices more versatile and reliable, especially in areas with poor WiFi coverage or for those looking to prevent false alarms caused by intermittent connectivity drops.
Furthermore, the Google Nest Hello stands out as the top candidate with beautiful doorbell settings, offering continuous high-definition audio and video streaming along with intelligent alerts without any extra cost.
It accentuates the blend of storage and connectivity options vis-a-vis its counterparts, thus making it a versatile and must-consider smart doorbell solution.
Making an Informed Decision
Making an informed decision when selecting an alternative to the Ring Doorbell Camera without a subscription can be challenging, given the plethora of doorbell camera options available. This decision should be rooted in careful consideration of your unique needs and preferences, with a special eye on crucial features.
Consider all aspects of camera and display quality, night vision, advanced motion detection features, as well as the seamless ease of installation and setup. Pay heed to the storage and connectivity options.
Prioritize a doorbell with a hefty on-board storage, like the one that offers up to 6 months of video clips using the default 20-second clip length, which best meets your requirements.
Spend sufficient time analyzing each option’s merits and shortcomings. Firstly, assess the image quality. If you prioritize pristine footage, the Eufy 2K battery video doorbell might emerge as an appealing pick due to its high-resolution camera.
Meanwhile, if you crave a fuss-free setup, you might lean towards the fully wireless and battery-powered XTU doorbell, in sync with our wireless pick.
Importantly, weigh the stability of the doorbells. For those easy to remove from the doorstep, there are enough contenders that stay rock-solid once installed. This ensures the security of your home in a way that best aligns with your lifestyle and budget constraints.
Finally, remember that while no single product is perfect, selecting the right video doorbell camera, devoid of the premium price tag, can offer you peace of mind and bolster the safety of your home.
Note: When you buy through certain links in this article, a small affiliate commission may be earned.
Integrating Smart Tech Into Home Security
Smart technology is revolutionizing the way we ensure the safety of our homes.
Video doorbell cameras, like the Arlo Essential with its compact design, extensive compatibility, and secure user footage privacy through “arlo secure”, are integrating into our home security systems, significantly increasing peace of mind and overall security.
These video doorbell cameras seamlessly integrate into your existing smart home ecosystem.
Devices like the Eufy 2K Doorbell, Amcrest Video Doorbell, Arlo Essential, and XTU Doorbell not only compatible with popular smart home platforms such as Alexa or Google Assistant but also offer IFTTT support. The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell even provides support for Apple HomeKit.
This integration into smart home systems including IFTTT, allows for a cohesive and centralized home security experience.
From app control on your smartphone to live preview feeds from your doorbell, nothing is out of your reach. Instant notifications on potential security breaches are relayed, enabling rapid response.
Smart technology devices offer more than just a video feed.
With features like two-way audio communication, smart detection, night vision capabilities, and an included plug-in chime, they form a critical layer in your home’s security infrastructure.
They are an invaluable asset in protecting your home and are shaping the future of home security.
However, to ensure optimal performance and utility, professional installation of these smart devices like the Arlo Essential, which provides up to 180 degrees of preview, is recommended. This ensures your doorbell camera functions at its best, providing utmost security.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use a Ring Doorbell without a subscription?
Yes, you can use a Ring doorbell without a subscription. However, without a subscription, the use of any doorbell brand, not just Ring, would be confined to live alerts and two-way communication features when the doorbell button is pressed or person detection is activated by motion.
Sadly, without a subscription, you won’t be able to access recorded camera footage or any event history as these services are part of Ring’s Protect Plan. Other premium features such as Smart Alerts and setting motion zones are also subscription-bound.
Hence, while your doorbell can operate without a subscription, you’d be foregoing some critical features, like person detection and camera footage recordings, that enhance the use of your Ring doorbell or any other brand’s doorbell.
It ultimately depends on your personal needs and preferences. If you require only basic monitoring and instant alerts, a doorbell without a subscription might meet your needs.
However, if you are desirous of more advanced features like camera footage access or video history, a Ring subscription or some other doorbell brand’s subscription, or no-subscription alternatives like the Blink 1080p + Sync Module 2, might be a better fit as they leave no blindspot in your coverage.
How long do videos stay on video doorbells?
The duration videos stay on video doorbells depends on the specific product and whether you have a subscription to a cloud storage service. Typically, if the doorbell uses a cloud storage service, events are automatically deleted after a number of days, usually between 10 to 60, this depends on the service provider and the integrated hardware capabilities of the doorbell.
For instance, Ring Protect Plan provides solid data security and hardware that allows easy access via its professional apps, stores videos for up to 60 days (in the USA). Different providers may offer diverse storage timeframes.
In case your doorbell camera uses local encrypted storage, like an SD card or a hard drive, for instance, the rechargeable battery-powered Lorex video doorbell provides this optionally, videos stay until the storage is filled up.
The downside here is often the storage speed when compared with cloud storage. After this phase, the older videos usually get overwritten by new ones due to limited capacity, for instance, some products offer only 16GB memory that can’t be expanded.
All users must remember to regularly check their video doorbell’s storage to ensure crucial footage is not missed.
If you have an essential video you wish to save, the best approach is to download it to your phone or computer using the respective apps as soon as possible to prevent it from being deleted.
Thus, using apps isn’t just about controlling your video doorbell, it also aids in securing potentially critical footage.
Are these alternatives compatible with other smart home systems?
Yes, the alternatives to Ring Doorbell Camera mentioned in this article are compatible with various smart home systems.
What is the best alternative to the Ring doorbell?
Determining the “best” alternative to the Ring doorbell largely depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. One key consideration is package detection capability. The Eufy Dual Doorbell Camera, for example, is a compelling contender not only for its impressive video quality but also its unique package detection feature.
Armed with advanced technology, this outdoor sentry alerts you of package deliveries, offering a blend of convenience and data privacy.