Best Peephole Cameras

We review peephole cameras and similar gear to see if they are good video doorbell alternatives for renters.
Best overall
JeaTone R9 peephole camera
JeaTone R9
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Mobile app
  • Icon Pros  Light
    4.3-inch screen
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Two-way audio
Most attractive
Brinno SHC500 peephole camera
Brinno SHC500
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No app
  • Icon Pros  Light
    2.7-inch screen
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Looks like normal peephole
Best budget
Digitharbor peephole camera
Digitharbor
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No app
  • Icon Pros  Light
    3-inch screen
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Built-in photo storage
Best over-the-door camera
Remo+ DoorCam 2
Remo+ DoorCam 2
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Mobile app
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Wide field of view
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Expensive
Best doorbell smart lock
Lockly Vision Deadbolt
Lockly Vision
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Mobile app
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Built-in smart lock
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Expensive

Peephole cameras seem like a good alternative to video doorbells for renters, but none of the major security camera brands sells a dedicated peephole camera. The Ring Peephole Cam was a promising option for a few years, but Ring discontinued it over a year ago.

To be honest, there isn't a single peephole camera in Ring's absence that we wholeheartedly recommend. Still, we found five picks to give you an idea of your options. If you're looking for an alternative that's less likely to affect your security deposit, consider skipping a peephole camera in favor of a no-drill mount for a reputable video doorbell.


Best peephole cameras


Compare the best peephole cameras

Product
Best for
Price
Resolution
Field of view
Recording formats
Learn more
Best overall1080p120ºVideo, photo
Most attractive480p90ºVideo, photo
Best budget1 MP (720p)120ºPhoto
Best over-the-door camera1 MP (720p)160ºVideo, photo
Best doorbell smart lock720p150ºVideo, photo

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.)Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

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Peephole camera reviews

1. JeaTone R9: Best overall

Best overall
JeaTone R9 peephole camera
JeaTone R9
$105.99

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The JeaTone R9 is our top pick because it includes Tuya mobile app controls, two-way audio, and better video recording options than Brinno and Digitharbor. We like the large 4.3-inch screen, making it easier to view what's outside your door.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Mobile app
Pro Bullet 1080p video quality
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Relatively short battery life
Con Bullet Long battery recharge time

JeaTone is the only peephole camera in our lineup with 1080p resolution, which gives it better quality than the similarly priced Brinno. It records video and still images to a card you buy separately. This digital door viewer replaces your peephole with a circular gray unit with a button, lens, and motion sensor—the installation process takes less than 10 minutes.

We like that you can use two-way audio to speak with visitors with the interior display or your smartphone. It's the closest thing to a video doorbell among peephole cameras.

Although JeaTone is the best peephole camera on our list, it has a surprisingly short battery life of around 45 days. You'll recharge the built-in batteries at least eight times a year—and the large battery takes up to seven hours to recharge—leaving your front door without a peephole.

Overall, the JeaTone R9 is a good option for renters who otherwise can't use video doorbells. Unfortunately, even the best wireless peephole camera is far behind mainstream doorbell cameras like Ring and Arlo.

2. Brinno SHC500: Most attractive

Most attractive
Brinno SHC500 peephole camera
Brinno SHC500
$97.00

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

From the outside, the Brinno SHC500 doesn't look much different than an ordinary peephole, helping it blend into your door. The interior design boasts an attractive pill-shaped unit with simple controls for viewing and recording activity at your door.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Attractive design
Pro Bullet Long battery life
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Low resolution
Con Bullet No automatic recordings
Con Bullet Poor quality

We like that the Brinno peephole camera includes the tools you need for installation, including a tightening tool that can also remove your existing peephole. Brinno's four AA batteries last up to 3,000 button presses, so you don't need to swap them often—and there's no waiting for a large built-in battery to recharge.

As lovely as Brinno is, its 480p resolution is much lower than most modern security cameras. This is passable when taking still images, but video clips use a time-lapse format that can make it harder to capture clear details.

There aren't any buttons or motion sensors on the outside of the peephole security camera, so it can't record automatically. Instead, you push a button inside your door to save an image or video. A few reviews say this camera isn't very durable, which isn't surprising.

Overall, the Brinno SHC500 is a good peephole camera for people that don't want a bulky unit outside their door. Still, Brinno's limited video options and lack of a mobile app make JeaTone the better choice overall.

Notepad
Brinno Duo

The Brinno Duo SHC1000W (about $200) improves the base model by adding motion detection, knocking detection, and mobile app controls. Unfortunately, most online reviews say it performs worse because it burns through batteries and still has the same weak 480p video quality as the SHC500.

3. Digitharbor: Best budget

Best budget
Digitharbor peephole camera
Digitharbor
$43.99

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Digitharbor is as basic a peephole camera as you can buy, with only photo storage and no video recording option. This helps Digitharbor sell for less than half as much as Brinno and JeaTone, but leaves you with not much else.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 1 MP resolution
Pro Bullet Automatic photo storage
Pro Bullet Affordable
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Poor image quality
Con Bullet Long battery recharge time
Con Bullet No customer support

While the 1 MP image quality is similar to 720p on paper, we noticed an overabundance of user reviews saying Digitharbor's photos don't always turn out. At least there's a button outside to ring a bell and automatically take a picture of your visitor. Digitharbor's built-in battery lasts up to six months on a charge, though recharging takes almost as long as with JeaTone—up to five hours.

The most unfortunate thing about Digitharbor is that it's a textbook generic product. There's no customer support website, and the user manual is simplistic at best. This means you'll need to rely on the return policy wherever you buy it. The low price and relatively long battery life are the main strengths Digitharbor offers.

4. Remo+ DoorCam 2: Best over-the-door camera

Best over-the-door camera
Remo+ DoorCam 2
Remo+ DoorCam 2
$199.00

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Remo+ DoorCam 2 is probably the best peephole camera alternative that's not a video doorbell. It's an over-the-door camera that doesn't require any tools to install and offers good video performance. (Though $200 is steep, considering this camera lacks basic features found on cheap Wyze cameras.)

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Fast installation
Pro Bullet Free cloud video storage
Pro Bullet Motion zones
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Short battery life
Con Bullet Expensive
Con Bullet Buggy operation

The 1080p HD video resolution on the Remo+ looks better than any other peephole camera on our list. We love that you can save videos in the cloud for up to three days for free. You can create motion zones to tell your camera which parts of your porch or hallway to ignore, but Remo+ lacks the smart motion detection that makes Google Nest cameras so good.

Even though Remo+'s features are a step above JeaTone's, we found plenty of reports of users struggling with bugs in the Remo+ mobile app. It scores lower on both app stores than the Tuya app powering JeaTone. It's nice that this camera is so fast to install because the three D-cell batteries won't last more than a couple of months before you need to swap them out.

Overall, the Remo+ DoorCam 2 is a good alternative to a door peephole camera but lacks the polish we expect from security cameras.

5. Lockly Vision: Best doorbell smart lock

Best doorbell smart lock
Lockly Vision Deadbolt
Lockly Vision
$419.99

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Lockly Vision deadbolt aims to solve two problems by combining a video doorbell and a smart lock. In theory, it's a good idea, but the $400+ price tag isn't budget-friendly. Still, it might be a good option for renters to swap out their locks with permission from the landlord.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Smart lock and video doorbell combo
Pro Bullet Two-way audio
Pro Bullet Guest access
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Expensive
Con Bullet 720p resolution
Con Bullet Longer installation time

Lockly Vision's doorbell functionality doesn't compare well with other video doorbells. The 720p video resolution is disappointing for a product that launched in 2021—when 1080p is standard on much cheaper cameras. But we like its two-way audio so you don't need to open the door to talk to visitors.

Unfortunately, the doorbell button is small, and there's no motion sensor—the camera might miss guests that don't see the button. While the doorbell camera isn't as good as we'd like, the smart lock works well and is a nice way to assign guest access to family, friends, and your landlord. There are multiple ways to unlock the door: a keypad, fingerprint, physical key, and an eKey in the Lockly app.

Lockly Vision takes around 15 minutes to install since it replaces the existing deadbolt on your door—longer than other peephole cameras on our list. We like Lockly Vision as a smart lock, but it can't keep up with rival video doorbells.

No-drill video doorbell mounts are better than peephole cams

One of the biggest barriers to installing a video doorbell as a renter is that you don't want to drill holes that lead to fees from your landlord. Don't settle for a peephole camera when you can use an actual video doorbell without any drilling. In no particular order, here are our picks for the best no-drill video doorbell mounts.

Bell
Battery-powered doorbells only

Please note that these are only for battery-powered video doorbells since attaching doorbell wiring to your door isn't safe, secure, or practical. Double-check the supported models before buying to make sure your doorbell is compatible.

Ring

The No-Drill Mount for Ring Video Doorbell (about $18) seems to be the company's "replacement" for the Ring Peephole Cam. It uses adhesive pads that help your Ring doorbell stick to various surfaces but works best on smooth surfaces.

While it works well enough, some users report the included adhesive isn't very effective outdoors. We suggest using some Gorilla Heavy Duty Mounting Tape if you need extra grip.

Light Bulb
Removing strong adhesives

Adhesive mounts can damage surfaces when you remove them by force. Following adhesive removal instructions from the manufacturer makes it easier and makes for less residue left behind.

Wasserstein

While Ring is the only doorbell camera brand that makes a first-party no-drill mount, Wasserstein is an excellent manufacturer of third-party adhesive mounts for Arlo, Blink, and Nest (about $15 or less). We like how Wasserstein's mounts match the shapes of different doorbells, so they don't detract from your doorbell's original design.

VMEI

VMEI Blink Doorbell Door Mount

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

VMEI skips adhesive mounts in favor of simple clamps that wrap around your door. We appreciate that the elegant stainless steel design complements most video doorbells. You can buy VMEI mounts for Ring, Eufy, Nest, and Blink (about $25 each). While VMEI is a relatively new, somewhat generic brand, we like that it's not bulky like our final pick, DoorbellBoa.

DoorbellBoa

DoorbellBoa (about $40) is one of the most popular anti-theft doorbell mounts on the market because it attaches to your door with a simple clamp—no screws or adhesives required. It also claims to be universal and includes spacers to help various doorbells fit inside the front case.

While it seems like a good fit for wider products—like Ring Video Doorbell—it's not ideal for slim models like Eufy's video doorbell and Blink's video doorbell, which slip easily through the 2-inch-wide front opening. Plus, we think it's too bulky and ugly compared to no-drill mounts from other brands.

Final word

We think the best peephole camera is a video doorbell with a no-drill mount on or near your front door. No matter your budget or tech preferences, there's more choice among traditional video doorbells from Google Nest, Ring, Arlo, Eufy, and Blink. Plus, no-drill mounts are affordable add-ons that stay in place with adhesives or a simple clamp.

Head over to our video doorbell review to compare the top brands.

FAQ

Are peephole cameras good?

While peephole cameras seem like a compelling alternative to video doorbells for renters, most options on the market don't fulfill this promise. Ring is the only major company to try its hand with the category, but it no longer sells the Ring Peephole Camera.

The remaining peephole viewer camera options are outdated and can't compete with modern security cameras in any meaningful way beyond replacing an existing peephole. Even peephole cameras from 2021 have tech that's at least five years out of date: weak image quality, practically no video recording, no smart home compatibility, and rudimentary mobile apps (if any).

Is the Ring Peephole Cam discontinued?

Ring discontinued the Ring Peephole Cam in April 2021 and hasn't announced any replacements in the year since then.

How we reviewed the best peephole cameras

At SafeWise, we have over a decade of combined experience reviewing and testing security cameras, so we don't say this lightly: peephole cameras are an unimpressive group. While there's no shortage of peephole cams online, good quality is a coin flip for the vast majority of these generic brands.

As we highlighted in our hidden camera review, the biggest issue is that generic brands come from small-scale manufacturers with limited production runs and almost zero long-term support. That's why we expanded our lineup to products with similar goals of easy installation for renters: video doorbell door mounts and an over-the-door security camera.

By including no-drill doorbell mounts, renters can use excellent video doorbells like Ring, Arlo, and Google Nest. You don't need to settle for a product you don't recognize.

To build our rankings, we looked at each product's installation options, aesthetic appeal, and if they deliver a good experience for renters. We held off on testing these products because there's not much demand for peephole cameras compared to more traditional security cameras and video doorbells. Instead, we base our conclusions on information collected from customer reviews and product listings.

Learn how we test and review products in our full methodology.

Related articles on SafeWise

Disclaimers

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided "as is" and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over nine years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.

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