Do All Smart Doorbells Need a Subscription?

The answer is no, not all smart doorbells require a subscription to function. However, some features and benefits of smart doorbells may depend on whether you have a paid plan or not. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of smart doorbell subscriptions, and help you decide which option is best for your needs and budget.

What are Smart Doorbells?

Smart doorbells are devices that replace your traditional doorbell with a camera, microphone, speaker, and motion sensor. They allow you to see, hear, and talk to visitors at your door from anywhere using your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Some smart doorbells also integrate with other smart home devices, such as locks, lights, and security systems, to create a more convenient and secure home environment.

Why Do Some Smart Doorbells Need a Subscription?

While most smart doorbells work without a subscription, some of them offer additional features and benefits that require a monthly or annual fee. These features may include:

  • Cloud storage: This allows you to save and access your recorded video clips online, instead of on a local device or memory card. Cloud storage can be useful if you want to review past events, share footage with others, or have a backup in case of theft or damage.
  • Advanced motion detection: This enables you to customize the sensitivity and zones of your motion sensor, so you can reduce false alerts and focus on the areas that matter most to you. Advanced motion detection can also distinguish between people, animals, vehicles, and other objects, and send you notifications accordingly.
  • Facial recognition: This allows you to identify and name the faces of your frequent visitors, such as family, friends, or delivery people. Facial recognition can also alert you when a stranger or an unrecognized face is at your door.
  • Smart alerts: These are notifications that provide you with more information and options when someone is at your door. For example, you may receive a snapshot of the visitor, a live video feed, or a voice message. You may also be able to respond with a pre-recorded message, a call, or a text.
  • Video quality: Some smart doorbells may offer higher resolution, wider angle, or better night vision for your video recordings and live streams, depending on your subscription plan. Higher video quality can improve the clarity and detail of your footage, and help you identify faces and license plates more easily.
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How Much Do Smart Doorbell Subscriptions Cost?

The cost of smart doorbell subscriptions varies depending on the brand, model, and features you choose. Here are some examples of popular smart doorbell subscriptions and their prices as of January 2024:

  • Ring Protect Plan: Ring offers two plans for its smart doorbells: Basic and Plus. The Basic plan costs $3 per month or $30 per year, and covers one device. It includes 60 days of cloud storage, advanced motion detection, and smart alerts. The Plus plan costs $10 per month or $100 per year, and covers unlimited devices. It includes everything in the Basic plan, plus 24/7 professional monitoring, cellular backup, and extended warranty.
  • Nest Aware: Nest offers three plans for its smart doorbells: Aware, Aware Plus, and Aware Pro. The Aware plan costs $6 per month or $60 per year, and covers one device. It includes 30 days of cloud storage, advanced motion detection, facial recognition, and smart alerts. The Aware Plus plan costs $12 per month or $120 per year, and covers unlimited devices. It includes everything in the Aware plan, plus 60 days of cloud storage and 10 days of 24/7 video history. The Aware Pro plan costs $30 per month or $300 per year, and covers unlimited devices. It includes everything in the Aware Plus plan, plus 60 days of 24/7 video history and 4K video quality.
  • Arlo Smart: Arlo offers four plans for its smart doorbells: Premier, Elite, Ultra, and Ultra 2. The Premier plan costs $3 per month or $30 per year, and covers one device. It includes 30 days of cloud storage, advanced motion detection, smart alerts, and 2K video quality. The Elite plan costs $5 per month or $50 per year, and covers one device. It includes everything in the Premier plan, plus 4K video quality. The Ultra plan costs $10 per month or $100 per year, and covers up to five devices. It includes everything in the Elite plan, plus unlimited cloud storage and e911 emergency call service. The Ultra 2 plan costs $15 per month or $150 per year, and covers up to 10 devices. It includes everything in the Ultra plan, plus priority customer support.
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Do You Need a Smart Doorbell Subscription?

The answer to this question depends on your personal preferences, needs, and budget. If you are satisfied with the basic functionality of your smart doorbell, such as live video and two-way audio, you may not need a subscription at all. However, if you want to enjoy the extra features and benefits that a subscription offers, such as cloud storage, facial recognition, or 4K video quality, you may want to consider paying for a plan that suits you.

To help you decide, here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • How often do you use your smart doorbell?
  • How important is it for you to save and access your video recordings online?
  • How much storage space do you need for your video clips?
  • How sensitive and accurate do you want your motion sensor to be?
  • How useful is it for you to recognize and name the faces of your visitors?
  • How valuable is it for you to receive more information and options when someone is at your door?
  • How clear and detailed do you want your video footage to be?
  • How much are you willing to spend on a smart doorbell subscription?

By answering these questions, you can weigh the pros and cons of smart doorbell subscriptions, and choose the option that works best for you.

Conclusion

Smart doorbells are devices that enhance your home security and convenience by letting you see, hear, and talk to visitors at your door from anywhere. Some smart doorbells require a subscription to access additional features and benefits, such as cloud storage, facial recognition, or 4K video quality. The cost of smart doorbell subscriptions varies depending on the brand, model, and features you choose. Whether you need a smart doorbell subscription or not depends on your personal preferences, needs, and budget. We hope this article has helped you understand the pros and cons of smart doorbell subscriptions, and make an informed decision. Thank you for reading!