- Sharp 2K video image
- Remote chime included
- Local video storage
- Dual-band Wi-Fi support
- Hardwired ethernet option
- No battery-power option
- Video streams secured by HTTPS, not end-to-end encryption
- No Apple HomeKit support
The affordable Reolink Smart 2K+ Wired WiFi Video Doorbell offers a sharp image with several detection and power options. There’s a dual-band Wi-Fi adapter onboard, or you can hardwire it to your network.
Price When Reviewed
Best Prices Today: Reolink Smart 2K+ Wired WiFi Video Doorbell with Chime
What the Reolink Smart 2K+ WiFi Video Doorbell with Chime lacks in a snappy name, it makes up for in features and video quality. This smart video doorbell produces high-quality images and comes with options not found on many competing products.
The camera has 180-degree (diagonal) field of view and a 5-megapixel image sensor that delivers resolution of 2560 x 1920 pixels. That’s about twice that of a standard high-definition sensor. Video bandwidth, and thus image quality for streaming, can be set at three levels. In our tests the lowest-bandwidth option ran at about 400Kbps on a serene image while the highest was around 4Mbps.
I found the video quality to be very good and easily sharper than many competitors. It was clear enough to view my car license plate—something that hasn’t always been possible with other doorbell cameras—and the video compression didn’t result in a poor image.
This review is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best video doorbells.
Reolink’s video doorbell has local video storage
Video is recorded locally to a microSD Card in the doorbell itself. Reolink included one for our review, but buyers will need to provide their own (cards with up to 256GB capacity are supported). You’ll also have the option of using one of the Reolink’s network video recorders (NVR). Reolink’s RLN36 NVR costs $212 and can host up to 36 cameras. It can store up to 48TB of recordings, but you’ll need to provide your own drives. An NVR for a single camera would obviously be overkill, but if you have other Reolink security cameras, you can use one device to pool all their recordings in a single place.
This local storage option is perhaps one of this doorbell’s best features because it frees you from the burden of paying a subscription for video storage in the cloud. You also don’t need a subscription to unlock any of the doorbell’s other features, a practice that’s becoming distressingly common in the home security camera market. Those fees add up quickly and can often double or triple your total investment in the product over its lifetime.
Reolink does offer a cloud storage option if you want to store video offsite. The basic plan is free—although it limits you to a single camera—and offers video storage for up to seven days (you get 1GB of storage). Paid plans start at $6.99 per month for up to five cameras and include a 30-day history (you get 80GB of storage). You can get more details about Reolink security practices at the preceding link.
While Reolink doesn’t use end-to-end encryption for video streaming, relying instead on HTTPS, the company tells us video stored in the cloud is encrypted. All other types are data are encrypted in transit as well as at rest..
Motion detection settings in the Reolink video doorbell
Recordings can be triggered by movement or by pressing a button on the app interface. For detection-based monitoring, a six-second video buffer lets you review anything that happened before the triggering event.
Several settings are available to hone the detection algorithm and reduce false alerts. Smart detection filters movement based on how close it appears to a human, while Motion detection adjusts the amount of movement required to trigger the camera. Objects can also be filtered by size from small to large, and there are threshold settings for how long something must be in motion before the alarm is triggered.
Detection zones can also be established so motion inside those zones is ignored. This can be useful if, say, a public sidewalk in the camera’s field of view gets triggered every time someone walks by. All Reolink cameras use the same app, so if you already have another Reolink camera, you’ll be right at home. I found the app very easy to use and had a glitch-free experience.
Reolink’s video doorbell offers uncommon connectivity
The Reolink Smart 2K+ Wired WiFi Video Doorbell offers unusual network connectivity options: Most people will take advantage of its dual-band (2.4- or 5GHz) Wi-Fi connectivity (many security cameras can connect only on the 2.4GHz band), but hardcore smart-home dwellers will be intrigued with the option to set up a hardwired ethernet connection. Using ethernet cable eliminates any concerns about wireless range or congestion, but it’s uncommon for homes to have existing ethernet runs to a doorbell.
If you have existing 12-24-volt wiring in place from an existing doorbell, the doorbell can utilize that for power. If you don’t, and don’t want to install a transformer and pull wires to the doorbell, Reolink provides a 24-volt DC power adapter that you can simply plug into an outlet. You also have one other option: Reolink offers a different model of this doorbell that supports power-over-ethernet (PoE), in which electrical power is carried over the same ethernet cable that’s used for data. With that model, you’ll need either an ethernet switch with PoE features, or a PoE power injector.
The doorbell comes packaged with an indoor chime. The unit plugs straight into a wall outlet and connects over a proprietary radio link rather than Wi-Fi. If someone comes to your door and presses the bell, the indoor unit will sound a rather loud chime that is difficult to miss. When someone is at the door, you can see them in live video in the app and chat to them.
Reolink supports both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can stream video from the doorbell to a smart display based on either of those technologies. There is no such support for Apple HomeKit.
Reolink’s video doorbell delivers a lot of value
Sharp image quality, local video storage, dual-band Wi-Fi with the option of wired ethernet connectivity, an included wireless chime, dual power options, and a very low price make the Reolink Smart 2K+ Wired WiFi Video Doorbell with Chime a very attractive alternative to some of the better-known video doorbells on the market.
The one big downside—at least for people who don’t have doorbell wiring already in place—is that there’s no option for battery power. Including an AC adapter is great, but you’ll still need to pull wire to the doorbell. Apple smart-home aficionados, meanwhile, will be disappointed by the absence of HomeKit support.