Ideas for a local /no subscription video doorbell?

Not sure where else to put this…
I’m tired of Ring constantly raising the annual subscription fees for a single doorbell cam.

Looking for a solution with the following:

  • Local NVR (prefer my own choice of hardware)
  • No subscription fees
  • Android phone notifications of activity (very important to me)
  • No vendor lock-in (unifi cams now lock you in where their cams need their nvr and their nvr only takes their cams)
  • able to add additional cams in the future (not just the doorbell)

I saw a post on here asking about it in 2022, and a video from yt “The Hook Up” in 2022, but didn’t know if there were any better current/upcoming offerings.

Here’s the 2022 vid:

Does anything even come close to meeting these requirements? I need to get out of the annual cycle of Ring.

I guess I should give a brief overview of my network… not sure it matters… but here it goes:

pfsense firewall
unifi switches and AP’s
Truenas NAS
various dell servers in my rack

planning on a big update in 1-2 months with a new Supermicro 36 bay Truenas, but I’d want to keep my NVR separate… don’t want to “run down” the drives in my main Truenas file server w/ constant NVR writes. Also getting a new server or two (new to me… R740XD, etc)

I have a Synology with surveillance station and it just works. Doorbell cameras can be tricky as many still need a connection to the mothership or they do weird things. I have an Amcrest AD400 which works ok. It does need to phone home and I could not get the talk feature to work through surveillance station. I really have no need for it though. I also have a seperate pool on the NAS for only the security cameras.

I have a handfull of POE Reolinks that I really like. No phoning home and they do people, pet, and auto detection very well. They did not have a doorbell camera when I got mine and would consider it. Also, if you have vlans, put them on their own vlan and you can lock everything down. The Amcrest camera is the only one with internet access.

I went with the Lorex 2K and 4K white colored units since mine are in direct hot tropical sunlight.

Local storage, no extortion fee, supports multiple simultaneous RTSP streams, and I was able to get them into Homebridge. The only downside is Lorex does not have a public API for events.

You can pick them up for 50% off during sales events.

If you care about Privacy, never ever use smart devices and especially from google or amazon… The biggest data collection company’s after Facebook.
I read some article about those smart doorbells that shared information and if there was other devices nearby it hooked up to them as a mesh network.
Smart devices = evil devices. :smiley:

System lock-in aside, I am very happy with the Unifi doorbells and NVR.

good to know. I assume it requires a cloud account?

yeah, vlan is the plan for the cameras. for sure.

For notifications to phone, yes, it uses the cloud to send the notifications. The rest can be done with purely local accounts.

I use Eufy, which has been good for the last 2 years (no subscription). One of the things I like about this company is that they have a whole ecosystem of devices you can add. Video Doorbell Cameras | eufy US

Yeah until they had a huge security flaw that allowed anyone to access other peoples cameras. I don’t trust that company with anything.

Thanks for the article. I still have them. They will only see the outside of the house if they can. The article also says at the end “However, keep in mind that for someone to actually obtain access to your video feed this way, they’d need to log in to your account using your information and password to get a unique URL for the camera feed, which changes for each stream. They’d also need to accurately guess when the camera is streaming, which is when an event happens that triggers the camera to record or when someone is viewing the live feed.”



yeah I followed the Eufy scandal and am not going to touch them with a 10ft pole.

1 Like

Reolink doorbell cam (available on Amazon) feeding BlueIris. Works like a charm. There is a subscription fee for BlueIris ($30/year), which has much broader applications than just a doorbell cam. No data leaves your network unless you send it. You can power the wifi version of the cam from the 20V typically used for doorbells. If you can feed an ethernet cable, power it with POE.

Unfortanatly the Reolink camera was not out when I got mine. If it was, that would have been my pick as my existing Reolinks have been great. No phoning home and they just work.

ok interesting idea. didn’t know blueiris is now a subscription. thanks.

I don’t think it is a subscription. I think it’s an annual maintenance charge or something like that.

The Blueiris yearly fee is for the software updates. You can still use it if you don’t pay the fee.
Along with that you get Code Project AI software.
Been using it for 4 years and has been working pretty good. The only problem I have with it is in the 2 way talk. It is half duplex instead of full duplex so it’s pretty useless feature.