Did you know that 36% of all Americans reported being the victims of package theft in 2019?

Package theft is a growing problem across the country, with “porch pirates” stealing recently delivered boxes right from their neighbors’ porches. This disturbing trend highlights how important it is to have video surveillance cameras around your porch and property.

Most people think of security cameras as being for home protection against break-ins. Of course, deterring break-ins is still very important, and home security cameras have been shown to be effective for this again and again. But having cameras on your front porch is useful for lots of things, such as greeting visitors remotely when you can’t come to the door.

However, there are many types of cameras available, and it can be challenging to choose the right ones for your home. When it comes to the front of your house, your main options are outdoor security cameras and doorbell cameras.

But which one is right for you?

This article will compare the pros and cons of doorbell cameras to standalone security cameras. Keep reading to learn all about the systems available to protect your front porch and entryway.



Video Doorbell vs. Security Camera


Your front yard and main entryway are among the most important places to protect. Break-ins often occur at the front door, and it’s important to keep an eye on the front yard since that’s usually the section most open to the world. Besides, when porch pirates strike, it’s almost always right in front of the door.

As mentioned already, you have two main options for protecting the front of your home: standard outdoor security cameras and video doorbells. People with smaller yards can often get away with only using a doorbell camera, while those will larger yards might need several security cameras.

Whichever system you choose for your home, in this article we’ll be comparing the features of ADT’s video doorbell and outdoor security cameras.


Video Doorbell

Our doorbell camera is more than just a security camera. With a built-in microphone and intercom speaker, it allows you to answer your door from practically anywhere with ADT’s mobile app.

While many video doorbells on the market record warped video from the wide-angle lens, ADT doorbell camera solutions feature de-warping technology to display high-quality video on your phone.

The doorbell camera allows you to confirm when you get packages delivered to your door. Then you get to keep an eye on them from anywhere in the house until you have time to grab them.

In addition to HD video with a 180-degree field of view, the camera also includes night vision. This is an essential feature for all security cameras, and it’s especially convenient for greeting guests that arrive late in the evening.

When the doorbell detects motion in front of your door, it will send a notification to your phone and begin recording video. It will also allow you to speak to anyone at your door, even when you aren’t at home.

Pros and Cons

Video doorbell pros:

  • A wide-angle lens captures the porch and yard in crisp high definition with a 180-degree field of view

  • Highly affordable, especially when compared to a full security system

  • Motion-activated doorbell camera starts recording automatically when it detects movement

  • User-friendly for both the homeowner and visitors, with an intuitive interface and controls

Video doorbell cons:

  • Since it is a doorbell, its use is limited to entry points around your house

  • Lower video quality (just 720p) compared to standalone outdoor security cameras

Whether you’re guarding your packages, protecting against break-ins, or welcoming your kids home from school, ADT's doorbell camera solutions lets you do all this and more.



Outdoor Security Camera

ADT outdoor security cameras take a more comprehensive approach to home video surveillance.

Like the video doorbell, each security camera features a speaker and microphone for two-way audio communication. This lets you speak and interact with anyone who happens to be near one of your cameras, just like you would at your front door with the video doorbell.

Unlike the doorbell camera, however, ADT’s security cameras have the ability to distinguish between visual information. This means your security system can literally differentiate between significant events and unimportant ones, only sending alerts to your phone when something serious takes place.

Also just like the doorbell camera, outdoor security cameras feature night vision for recording in low-light situations. This isn’t all, however: they also feature higher 1080p video quality, which makes it easier to see what’s going on in the live feed.

Outdoor security cameras make it easy to check on different areas around your property. If you thought you heard a sound behind the house, instead of walking to the back door to find out, you can simply check the camera from your phone. If you want to keep an eye on your dog while they play in the fenced-in yard, you can do that from the comfort of your couch or desk.

All the while you can shift between cameras to capture different views from around your house. While nothing compares to doorbell cameras for greeting guests and watching over packages, a complete security system gives you more control over your entire home.

Pros and Cons

Outdoor camera pros:

  • A complete security system provides wider coverage and fields of view than a single doorbell porch camera can

  • Highly customizable, with cameras able to be placed practically anywhere

  • Superior 1080p HD video quality 

Outdoor camera cons:

  • Less personal privacy, as security cameras are always on and recording your family and visitors

  • More complicated to install and use than doorbell cameras

  • Slightly more expensive to set up than a doorbell camera

When you need more than just a single front door video camera to feel safe, outdoor security cameras by ADT are the perfect solution.



Frequently Asked Questions


Now that you know the basics of video doorbells and security cameras, you might have some lingering questions. The following are some common questions people ask.


Do I Need a Video Doorbell?

A door-mounted security camera, such as a video doorbell, is one of the most efficient ways to secure the space in front of your house. This is because a good doorbell camera will capture not only your front porch but the yard in front of it.

With standalone security cameras, you might need two facing opposite directions just to get the same coverage. Because of this, a video doorbell may be the most practical option for front yard security.


How Can I Hide My Front Door Camera?

There are countless ways to disguise security cameras, from enclosing them in birdhouses to hiding them in shrubbery. However, keeping cameras hidden might not be your best option.

The visible presence of a camera can deter thieves by itself, whereas hidden cameras only capture their activity. Would-be thieves tend to avoid risky situations, so a visible camera usually keeps them away.

Still, if you’re interested in concealing your porch camera for aesthetic reasons, then a doorbell camera could be the right choice. Although the camera lens is visible, it’s stylishly designed and very minimalist. This gives you the best of both worlds: a visible camera to deter thieves and a sleek, minimalist look.


Will a Security Camera Work Through a Window?

During the day, pointing a camera through a window to capture activity outside shouldn’t be a problem. However, when it gets dark, window glare becomes a significant problem.

Although you can set up a front porch camera from inside a window, it’s far from the most optimal option. It’s far better to set up a wireless camera outside or to use a video doorbell.


Improve Your Home Protection Today


By now you should understand the differences between doorbell security cameras and standalone outdoor cameras. Each kind has its own set of drawbacks and advantages. But as you can see, a combination of both is usually best for optimal home protection.

Keeping your home safe isn’t something you can afford to leave to chance. Whether you’re guarding against package thieves or keeping your family safe, you can’t be too careful when it comes to security.

Fortunately, ADT can help protect your home with advanced, state-of-the-art security systems. Visit our shopping page today and begin protecting your home.


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