TL;DR – These are the Best Video Doorbells:
1. Google Nest Hello
Best Video Doorbells
Google’s Nest Hello is the best video doorbell hands down, complete with all the bells and whistles you could ever want – pun intended. This nifty little device already has all the makings of a great video doorbell, including 24/7 live streaming and video recording, a video format that captures your visitors from head to toe, HDR capability, two-way audio, night vision, an IPx4 rated weather resistance, and of course, alerts and notifications.
However, it beefs up its feature set with things like facial recognition so you’ll know if a familiar face is coming. Package tracking, meanwhile, notifies you immediately if a package has been removed. You can even leave a pre-recorded messages for when you’re not home, and noise and echo cancellation ensures any audio captured in your security recordings is loud and clear. You’ll need a Nest Aware subscription to get some of the more advanced features like intelligent alerts and timelapse, but it starts at $5 a month, which is less than the cheapest Netflix plan.
Our only gripe here is that its installation is best left to professionals, as you’ll need a wired doorbell, a compatible chime and the right transformer. However, for all the features it brings to the table, the Nest Hello is well worth the extra $99 installation service fee.
2. eufy Video Doorbell 2K Pro
Best Budget Video Doorbell
The eufy Video Doorbell 2K was already a strong budget pick, but it’s gotten even better with the introduction of the new eufy Video Doorbell 2K Pro model. This upgraded option features many of the same quality capabilities of its predecessor but has two notable improvements. The first is beefed up local storage. With 32GB of onboard memory, the eufy Video Doorbell 2K Pro can record and store 5 whole days worth of footage.
This video doorbell can be set to record whenever the doorbell is pressed or when it detects a human, and it’ll record crisp footage with HDR (though the continuous recording mode saves footage at 1080p). It can send you notifications with facial snapshots so you know who’s at the door, and it’ll even let you communicate back and forth. The other upgrade with this version is the chime you put inside your home. The new chime unit offers eight different ringtones and has an adjustable volume.
3. Wyze Video Doorbell
Best Ultra Cheap Video Doorbell
Just check the price. The Wyze Video Doorbell is just $30, making it an almost unbeatable value. You might pay that much for a normal doorbell. But, with the Wyze Video Doorbell, you’re not only getting the video doorbell but also a chime to go inside your home. Wyze keeps the value coming by also offering free cloud storage, capturing 12-second videos when the camera detects motion and storing all clips for the previous 14 days.
The camera is sharp, and features a light to let visitors spot it and let unwelcome guests know they’re on camera (as well as infrared lights for night vision). The Wyze Video Doorbell also does things a bit differently by using a portrait aspect ratio, letting you see more vertically, so you can spot if packages are dropped off. This system also supports notifications directly to your phone, so you can see in real-time who’s at your door and communicate with them.
4. Arlo Video Doorbell
Best in unique features
The Arlo Video Doorbell has a few tricks up its sleeves that you won’t find in other video doorbells on the market. While it has all the trimmings that make for an excellent video doorbell, including intelligent motion detection alerts, 2-way audio, pre-recorded messages, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, it also boasts a few features that make it unique.
Among those features is its video call function. You can set this device to call your mobile phone directly if someone presses the doorbell. That way, you won’t just know when someone’s at your door, you’ll also be able to interact with them directly without that extra step of going through the app.
Other features that set it apart are its 180-degree field of view, 1:1 video aspect ratio, and that built-in siren that you can either set to go off automatically or trigger remotely in case of suspicious activity. What’s more is you also have the option to save your videos directly to your Arlo base-station or Smarthub, so you can keep your video footage locally.
5. Ring Video Doorbell 3
Best battery-powered doorbell
Whether hardwired or battery-powered, Ring Video Doorbell 3’s versatility makes it ideal for both homeowners and apartment renters. It’s definitely a favorite among folks who either do not have existing doorbell wires or cannot make too many big changes to the unit they are renting. In fact, its battery-powered model takes only a few minutes to install, and you won’t be needing the help of an electrician to do it.
It’s also popular among consumers who want extensive smart home integration. That’s because this video doorbell is easier to pair with existing locks, smart lights, and home alarms than many of its rivals.
Unfortunately, its video resolution isn’t as high as the top three contenders on this list. However, it’s just as reliable in terms of motion detection, alarms and notifications, and two-way audio, which boasts noise cancellation. And, it’s cloud storage service is pretty affordable, starting at $3 a month. Besides, 1080p resolution is pretty standard these days, so it’s not like you’re getting pixelated footage and images.
6. Ring Peephole Cam
Best for basic features
If you like the Ring Video Doorbell 3’s battery-powered feature, but you just don’t have the funds to spend $200 on a video doorbell, the Ring Peephole Cam might just be the perfect budget alternative. You’ll still be paying a little over $100, but you’re also saving $70, which could go into paying for that Ring Protect subscription for almost 2 years.
There are, of course, things that the Ring Video Doorbell 3 can do that the Ring Peephole Cam can’t. This cheaper alternative has a narrower field of view, for example, and it doesn’t give you the option to connect to your existing doorbell wires. However, it offers the same fundamentally important features like two-way audio, live viewing, night vision, and motion detection. It’s also compatible with many smart locks on the market.
Plus, it has a couple of unique tricks. It has a built-in impact sensor that notifies you when someone’s knocking at your door, for one. And, it takes care of that aging, unflattering peephole you’d rather not display, but still want to utilize.
7. Amcrest Video Doorbell Camera Pro
Best budget with local storage
The Amcrest Video Doorbell Camera Pro may be the least popular and one of the cheapest products on our list, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously. Sure, it has its share of limitations: namely, the 1080p resolution, the 140-degree field of view, and the 2.4GHz only support.
However, it also has a few things going for it. We certainly appreciate the MicroSD local storage, for one. You can put in a MicroSD card with up to 128GB storage space, instead of having to commit to a monthly subscription. And, its operating temperature range of -22 to 122°F certainly comes in handy to those folks living in places with the coldest winters.
Factor in its up to 16 feet of night vision and motion detection, 2-way audio, and motion detection alerts, and you’ve got yourself a great value. The catch? To get the live streaming function, you’d have to get the Amcrest Smart Home Cloud app and subscribe. The good news? You get your first year free with your purchase. Not too bad a deal.
8. Logitech Circle View
Best Biometric Video Doorbell
If you’ve got Apple HomeKit running the smart features of your house, you can extend those smarts to your door with the Logitech Circle View. This capable, HD doorbell camera can work together with the Face Recognition features of your Photos app on various Apple devices to let you know when it sees someone it recognizes at the door. It can send notifications to many of your devices, even popping up a video feed on Apple TV or making an announcement on a HomePod.
The camera offers a 1,200 x 1,600 resolution that captures a super-wide, 160-degree field of view with HDR, letting you see visitors in their entirety. There’s also support for night vision in full color with the ability to see up to six feet away in the dark. If you’re not near the door or not even at home, you have the option of using the doorbell for two-way communication. All that, and you can still set the Circle View Doorbell up where your standard doorbell used to live in most cases.
What to Look for in the Best Video Doorbells
Most video doorbells on the market offer basic features. They all have 2-way audio so you can communicate with whoever’s at the door even if you’re not home. These doorbell cameras are capable of recording videos, naturally, and at resolutions of 1080p and up. They have night vision, though some are better at it than others. And, they all offer compatibility with one or more of the most popular smart home systems and virtual assistants right now.
However, they do differ in quite a few ways that matter a lot to consumers. Here are the some of the main things you must consider when choosing the best video doorbell:
Installation and power
When it comes to installation, not all video doorbells are created equal. Some require a bit of electrical knowledge and experience similar to the best home security cameras, while wireless doorbells can be installed in minutes by anyone capable of inserting a battery.
It really boils down to the type of power source the video doorbell requires. Quite a few of them actually need doorbell wiring to work, although there are others that only rely on rechargeable batteries, making them perfect for many apartment renters. One or two have adapters so you can make them work even if you don’t have existing doorbell wiring at home.
Before you click that buy button, find out what kind of power source your choice needs and whether or not it’s something you can accommodate.
Storage and subscription
Cloud storage solutions are all the rage these days, which makes sense as they’re generally more secure. However, most video doorbells do not offer their cloud storage for free. Subscriptions typically start at $3 per month and can go all the way up to $30 a month.
Granted, if you’re getting the basic plan, you might be paying less than your Netflix or Disney+ subscription. And, you’re also getting additional features like live streaming, timelapse recording, and intelligent alerts.
However, that monthly subscription can still add up, which isn’t good if you’ve got limited funds. Luckily, there are video doorbells out there that come with free, albeit limited, subscription, or better yet, a MicroSD card compartment.
There are still some video doorbells out there with only 720p resolution. That’s hardly a surprise; many high-end ultrabook laptops only have 720p webcams. However, when it comes to your home and family’s security, the higher the resolution, the better. You wouldn’t want your home invaded by an intruder, and then realize that the only chance you have of finding the perpetrator is an extremely grainy, low resolution video.
These days, 1080p is standard and good enough. If you want something better, however, there are a few that offer 1,536 x 1,536 and 1,600 x 1,200 resolution.
Field of View
The field of view or viewing angle is another thing that differs from video doorbell to video doorbell. And, unlike camera lenses, it doesn’t follow that the more expensive ones typically offer the widest angles. A lot of video doorbells boast a 160-degree viewing angle, while there are some that give you a whopping 180 degrees of viewing pleasure. A handful still only have around 140 degrees.
Find out what’s best for your home or apartment before deciding. If you have a broader area to cover, then the widest field of view is better for you. However, if you only need to cover a smaller area – like if you’re in the corner apartment, for example – then a 140- or 150-degree video doorbell should suffice.
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Michelle Rae Uy is a freelance tech and travel writer, part-time production editor, and a full-time traveler from Los Angeles, California. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles, London and the rest of the world. Follow her on Instagram @straywithRae.