Video Doorbell vs Security Camera (Which Reigns Supreme?)

It is always a good idea to have some eyes on your home; after all, you never know who might decide to wander around your home while you are not there.

But what is the best way to go about this? Do you choose a security camera or a video doorbell?

Standalone security cameras are usually more versatile, reliable, and secure than video doorbells. Compared to security cameras, however, video doorbells are usually more user-friendly and affordable. The choice between a video doorbell or a security camera will depend on your personal needs and budget.

video doorbell vs security camera

Below I get into more detail about what you get with a video doorbell vs. a security camera; both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to understand the implications of using each system.

Pros and Cons of Video Doorbells

Video Doorbells


Video doorbells have very quickly become very popular among many homeowners. Especially with the very strong appeal of owning and living in a smart home. Part of the reason why video doorbells are so popular nowadays is that they are basically a 2-in-1 device.

They, of course, serve the function of informing you when somebody’s at your doorstep and, at the same time, allow you to see who exactly is at your doorstep without you going anywhere near your door.

In fact, many of today’s smart video doorbells will allow you to monitor what is happening around your front door even when you are nowhere near your home.


Good Levels of Security

Video doorbells offer various security features.

They are capable of detecting motion and thus record video when somebody is close to your front door and notify you immediately over your smartphone.

There are real-time notifications, even if somebody tries to tinker with the doorbell. And since the video footage can be saved remotely, you will not lose this footage even if the doorbell gets stolen and is never retrieved.

The authority and police can then use this footage as evidence.



Video Doorbells are usually a little easier to install and use. Video doorbells are usually independent of other home systems and do not require any complicated installation or renovation work.



Overall compared to security cameras, video doorbells are usually cheaper to buy, install, and maintain.


Easily Accessible By Other People

You have to be very mindful of the placement of a video doorbell. Yes, it will capture footage of anyone getting near your front door, but if anyone can access it and destroy it, then this device is inherently flawed, so to speak.

Of course, it will capture anyone wandering around your front porch, but it may prove almost entirely useless when it comes to a mindful criminal who is aware of their surroundings.

As a matter of fact, there are many stories and videos of people stealing Ring doorbells.

What is worse is that not being aware of these flaws and limitations of video doorbells can give you a false sense of security.


Limited Application

One of the biggest problems with video doorbells is that they need to be installed near your front door.

A video doorbell needs to serve the purpose of a doorbell in the first place, and this limits the places where it can be installed.

As a result, this also limits the field of view and the area around your home that it can monitor.


The Wide Angle Lens

This can be both an advantage and disadvantage depending on how you look at it.

Video doorbells usually have wide-angle lenses. That way, they can capture a very wide field of view, which increases the area of video coverage, but at the same time, this can create some low level of distortion at close range.


Monthly Subscriptions

Video doorbells may also require a monthly fee, like Ring doorbells, for example.

Ring doorbells do work without a monthly fee, but if you want to have the video captured by the doorbell stored for you to review later, you have to pay a monthly (or yearly) fee.


Pros and Cons of Security Cameras

Security Cameras

Adjustability and Customization

One of the biggest advantages of security cameras is that they can be installed in many different places and areas of your home. This allows for more personalized and thorough video coverage of your home.


More Secure

Compared to video doorbells, security cameras are harder to reach and tamper with, meaning there is a lower chance of somebody stealing or destroying them.

The majority of security camera manufacturers also sell additional protective housings and mounting for added security.

A more secure camera that is far from the reach of a burglar serves as a better deterrent as criminals will know that they will be captured on video before they can do anything about it.


Higher-Quality Video Footage

A security camera is usually capable of capturing high-quality video footage compared to a video doorbell. This also extends to better IR and night video capabilities and quality.


Monthly Subscriptions

Security cameras, on the other hand, are not much different, for the most part, as they too will usually require a monthly subscription. It is just the business model many companies go after today.

Even Arlo, which was well known for their free cloud services, have changed for better or worse.


May Be Harder to Install

One of the problems that many homeowners may face with video cameras is that they may be harder to install. In certain areas around your home, it may even be impossible to install a video camera.

This is where wireless video cameras may be a better solution as they are the most versatile.


Higher Price Tag

Unfortunately, video cameras are also more expensive compared to video doorbells. But the higher price tag is usually well-justified.

You cannot provide proper video coverage with one video doorbell, and installing multiple doorbells seems like a waste of money. You will probably need so many video doorbells that the total cost will be mind-numbingly high.

In comparison, you will be able to provide proper video coverage with several video cameras at a much lower price compared to buying multiple doorbells.


What Is Better a Video Doorbell or Security Camera?

A security camera, usually, cannot replace the function of a doorbell; however, it is perfectly capable of capturing video footage of a particular area around your home.

A security camera is a lot more versatile as you will be able to adjust the camera’s angle to better suit your needs. In contrast, a video doorbell and the area it can cover, despite the wide-angle lenses, will be quite limited because it is attached directly to a solid surface.

A video camera may also be a lot harder to access and reach by a criminal. And in some cases, with cameras installed inside your home and overlooking the outside through the window, for example, maybe completely impossible to reach.

A video camera will be able to capture high-quality video footage at comparable or better resolution and quality than a video doorbell.

As you can tell, it is my belief that a security camera is a better choice. Here’s the thing. Security cameras are plain and simple, more versatile, adjustable, and usually more secure.

Some opportunistic thieves may find those futuristic-looking video doorbells as if just asking for being stolen. Some may even think the video of them may be stored on the doorbell, so they will try to steal it anyways.


Can You Combine a Video Doorbell With a Security Camera?

Video Doorbell With a Security Camera

The really nifty thing is that, maybe, we don’t need to choose between one or the other.

Here’s what I mean.

You can combine and use a video doorbell with a security camera in tandem to provide a full spectrum of video coverage of the areas around your home. However, it is important to use video doorbells and security cameras that can be easily integrated to work together.

The only disadvantage of combining a video doorbell and a security camera is the price and how good the integration is. Choosing both is definitely going to be more expensive than sticking to just one, and you really do not want to deal with two security systems that do not integrate well together.

For example, Ring is a well-known manufacturer of smart home security solutions; many homeowners already have a Ring doorbell or Ring alarm security. And what better way to further improve their home’s safety by installing one or several Ring Stick Up Cameras?

These cameras are battery-powered and can be mounted both indoors or outdoors. In the very beginning, when these cameras were introduced, there were some integration issues. But things are looking very different today.

Today, you get a security camera capable of integrating with the whole Ring Ecosystem to provide you with some of the best security features and capabilities on the market.

There are also a few different models; depending on your needs, you can use corded cameras, PoE cameras, and even Solar-powered cameras.

More information about these video cameras can be found on Amazon right here.

Can Ring Alarm Be Hacked?

How to Prevent Ring Doorbell Theft?

Does Ring Doorbell Need Power?

SimpliSafe vs Cove

Security Camera vs Baby Monitor

How To Blind Neighbor’s Security Camera

Photo of author


Edward Clark
Edward Clark, with 15 years of hands-on experience, is a distinguished expert in smart locks and home security systems. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Cybersecurity and is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). His credentials include certifications from ASIS International, IAPP, CompTIA, NTS, and CEDIA. With expertise spanning risk management, electronic security, and data privacy, he's been featured in The Guardian, Forbes, Wired, and more. Edward's mission: guiding individuals toward secure homes using the latest technologies.

Leave a Comment