If someone comes to the door that you don’t know, how are you going to answer it? Whether it’s an uninvited guest, an intruder, or someone else who shouldn’t be knocking, most of us will rely on our trusty peephole to allow us to see what’s going on without having to confront the person face to face.
However, checking the peephole manually comes with a set of challenges. First, the person can see when you move in front of it, which kind of defeats the purpose. Second, you may or may not get a good look at him or her, depending on how good the lens is.
Fortunately, with the best peephole camera, the limitations that are commonly experienced become a thing of the past. Technology has made almost every aspect of our lives easier, and the peephole has now been upgraded as a result.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the best peephole cameras on the market today, as well as discuss the crucial elements that make each model worthy of hanging on your front door.
Greeter Digital Door Viewer & Doorbell (Editor's Choice)
Starting us off is a piece of technology that makes a seamless transition from having nothing installed on your door to having the most high-tech solution. As the name suggests, this device works both as a doorbell and a peephole camera in one. The reason that it’s also a doorbell is so that you can automatically see who’s at the door when they push the button. That kind of integration is what makes this model so effective.
First of all, we like this device because it is compatible with either PC or Mac (alternatively, Android or iOS). This ensures that you can make it work for you, regardless of the kind of technology you currently use. It’s also nice to have because then you can sync it to send alerts to any device you have, whether it’s a smartphone, a tablet, or a computer.
The way that the Ring Video Doorbell 2 works is that it notifies you when someone is at the entrance, whether or not they ring the bell. It uses motion sensors to give you a heads up, or you can activate it remotely if you prefer.
Once active, the unit will start taking high-quality HD video (1080p). Not only that, but it will provide you with audio and video, as well as the ability to use the device as an intercom as well. All of this functionality comes from such a small device that it’s kind of hard to believe that it’s possible.
The other cool thing about the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is that you can either run it off of the batteries that come with it, or you can connect it directly to the wiring that you use for your current doorbell. We highly suggest the latter option, however, as it reduces the chances of your new device getting stolen.
Should the worst happen, however, the manufacturer has you covered. Not only is the doorbell connected to your property via an internal GPS (meaning it won’t activate anywhere else), but you get lifetime purchase protection, so you’ll get a brand-new model in case of theft.
Overall, this device provides you with the ultimate security tool. Because it operates with wifi and syncs with your phone, you can monitor your house from anywhere and answer the door whether or not you’re home. Not only does this make it ideal for security purposes, but it will ensure that you never miss a package or a visit from anyone ever again.
Although the high-tech integration of something like the Ring Doorbell 2 is fantastic, sometimes you don’t need something so flashy. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective product that enables you to get a clearer picture of what’s going on in front of your door without all of the extra bells and whistles, then you will prefer to have something like this digital doorbell camera instead.
Compared to the Ring Doorbell unit, this is practically analog. By that, we mean that it’s simply an extension of your peephole that provides HD images on a large view screen. All you have to do is push the button to turn it on, and you’ll get crystal clarity. Best of all, the viewing port is mobile, so you don’t even have to keep it on the door if you don’t want to.
Installing this unit is a bit more complicated than other models, but it shouldn’t take too long. All you have to do is replace your current peephole with the camera provided and you’re done. They are already synced together, so you don’t have to worry about doing any other technical steps.
Overall, this peephole camera is perfect for those who want a relatively low-tech solution. As long as you don’t care about the other options of integration, such as motion detectors and smartphone notifications, then you will appreciate the reliability and simplicity of this device.
Getting back into full camera integration, this model from Zmodo enables you to monitor your front (or back) door remotely from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can either sync the device through the customized app, or you can access the footage online through the cloud. Either way, you are always able to answer your door, no matter where you are.
What we like about this machine is that it’s really easy to set up and install. Simply remove your old doorbell and wire this into the system. In most cases, though, you will lose your old doorbell function, so be aware of that. However, in its place, you will be able to record a message that will play for guests instead.
As with the other smart doorbell, this unit from Zmodo alerts you whenever there is someone present, even if they don’t press the button. One advantage that this system has is that the motion sensors are less sensitive, so it will take more than a strong breeze to activate it. Not only that, but it comes with a wifi booster, which ensures that you always have the best signal.
Once you are alerted, the camera starts recording automatically. Best of all, the footage is stored on the cloud, meaning that you don’t have to worry about a) providing a memory card, or b) erasing old footage to make room for new stuff. It will automatically save, and you can manage your clips online from your account.
Other features that we like about this doorbell/peephole camera include the night vision sensor (so you can monitor your front door in the dark), the weatherproof housing, and the three-year limited warranty. Although this system was plagued by technical issues when it first came out, many of the problems have been fixed and are working correctly.
As we’ve already seen, Ring is a company that makes some high-quality peephole cameras. If you were impressed by what the Video Doorbell 2 had to offer, then you will probably still appreciate the original model as well. When comparing the two, it’s hard to notice any significant changes, meaning that you can get a lot of the same functionality without the added price.
As with the other video doorbell, this model provides you with video and audio when someone is at the door. Not only that, but it comes with a two-way talking system that allows you to communicate with whoever is at the door, ensuring that you can either ward them off or welcome them inside. Best of all, the microphone and speaker have noise-canceling technology built-in, meaning that you won’t experience a ton of outside static or interference.
The other excellent thing about this peephole camera is that it syncs with any device that you may have. Whether it’s a smartphone, a tablet, or your home computer, all of them can connect to the machine remotely, ensuring that you have access wherever you are. Also, it automatically saves footage to the cloud (for a nominal fee), so you never have to worry about storage.
Other features that we appreciate about this device include the weather-resistant design, the infrared night vision setting, and the fact that you can either have it running on battery power (rechargeable) or you can connect it to your home’s wiring. Also, it comes with lifetime purchase protection, which enables you to get a replacement if the unit is ever stolen or damaged.
When picking out the best video doorbell camera, you can either opt for total integration, or you can get a model that will simply enhance your peephole’s current capabilities. With the Greeter Digital Door Viewer, this is the perfect choice for those who prefer the latter option. Rather than having to sync this device to your phone and pay a monthly service fee, you just have to install this machine, and you’re ready to go at all times.
What we like most about this model is that it installs quickly and efficiently. Simply replace your current peephole and mount the 2.5-inch screen, and you’re ready to go, just like that. When someone is at the door, you can either record images, video, or live stream through the screen.
As with other peephole cameras, this unit turns off when it’s not in use, which helps save the battery. In fact, this model can last up to 30 days on a single charge, which is incredible when you compare it to other units that have to be recharged almost every week.
As long as you aren’t worried about the fact that it doesn’t notify you automatically, nor that it doesn’t come with motion sensors, then you will appreciate the simplicity and reliability of this device. Also, even though it doesn’t save to the cloud, that’s another service charge that you can do without. Even then, it only matters if you decide to record video, which is purely optional.
Our final peephole camera model is another all-in-one integrated solution. As with the others, this unit can either sit by itself and run on rechargeable batteries, or it can connect to your home’s wiring so that it will never run out of juice.
With this camera system, you can monitor your doors with both audio and video capability, including a two-way microphone that comes with noise-canceling technology. The system uses smart motion detection and notifies you automatically whenever someone is at the door. All footage is uploaded to the cloud automatically, although it does come with a built-in memory card as well.
One thing that we like about this model is its energy efficiency. Although we recommend taking the extra steps to wire it into your house (so it won’t get stolen), the batteries will last for up to six months between charges. This is because it shuts off and uses so little power when it’s not recording.
Other features that we appreciate include infrared night vision, a weather-resistant shell, and the fact that you can connect up to four devices to it at once. This makes it easy to keep track of your front entrance, no matter where you are.
Considering that this machine is going to replace your current peephole, you want to make sure that it doesn’t take too much time or effort to get it up and running. That being said, there are two primary kinds of cameras that you can install.
First, there are those that mount in where your peephole is located. These are usually much more complicated since they require you to remove the old lens and install the camera in its place.
Second, some devices replace your doorbell instead. If you don’t want to mess with wires, drills, or screws, then you can stick them next to (or on top of) your current doorbell and use battery power. However, we highly recommend connecting these models to your wiring so that you never have to worry about whether there is enough power left for your next visitor.
With technology being so advanced these days, many devices can connect wirelessly to all kinds of other machines. If you want something that’s much more convenient, then you should get a peephole camera that can sync to your computer or smartphone. The way that these work is that they connect to your wifi signal and piggyback on it to upload video footage and notify you when you’re away.
Wired units, on the other hand, connect to a proprietary screen instead. Rather than syncing to a smartphone or tablet, they come with their own display that is usually mounted on the other side of the door.
The benefit of using this kind of system is that you usually don’t have to pay for mobile services and internet fees on a monthly basis. If you want to stay unplugged or you don’t want to worry about more passwords, having an “analog” model that’s hard-wired is the better way to go.
Low-tech versions of these cameras operate as a digital version of your current peephole. This means that they provide a clearer image with the added benefit of not giving away the fact that you’re behind the door when you check it. Still, many of these models even allow you to record video if you wish.
The difference between these and high-tech units, however, is the fact that you have to record to a memory card instead of uploading to the cloud. This doesn’t cost you anything, but it can be more of a pain to manage if you ever want to keep the footage. However, if you don’t care about having archives, then you can find a model that will rewrite old clips automatically so that you never have to worry about it.
For those who want a total security package for their front doors, having just a peephole camera is not enough. High-tech solutions provide you with a full suite of features and benefits that enable you to get more from your device. The most common mobile integration systems include:
If these features sound like something that you want to have, then it’s imperative that you choose a system that comes with all of them. Rather than buying a low-tech design that requires you to be onsite, these units enable you to monitor your house and your front door, even when you’re away.
When comparing the best peephole cameras, you have to differentiate between the systems that are fully loaded and those that are considered “low-tech.” To that end, we have decided on two top models, both of which fit one of these molds.
For those who want full integration and extra security features, we highly recommend the Ring Video Doorbell 2. This system comes with everything you could want from a peephole camera and then some. With a single device, you can ensure that your home has added security without the high cost of installing various cameras everywhere.
If you’re only interested in replacing your peephole with something better, then the Greeter Digital Door Viewer is the better option. We like that it comes with everything you need (including memory storage), as well as the fact that it doesn’t cost any extra to keep it up and running
Overall, when it comes to the best video doorbell camera, these are your top models.