Best video doorbells

Author pictureAuthor picture
Author picture
Written by
Author picture
Edited by

Looking to protect what matters most? Get matched with your best security system.

    red and black video doorbell

    Video doorbells are one of the best security items you can add to your home because they don’t just capture crimes in progress (like someone stealing a package or keying your car); they can also prevent crimes. The video and two-way audio let you talk to anyone at your door without opening it, which can help prevent assault and forced entry.

    There are several categories of video doorbells, however, so shopping may be confusing. We’ve found information about some of the best video doorbells to help you choose the right one for you.

    5 best doorbell cameras

    After trying dozens of video doorbells in hands-on testing, we narrowed to a list of the five best in the different categories we researched: stand-alone video doorbells, video doorbell locks, budget video doorbells and security system video doorbells.


    Ring Video Doorbell 4: Best all-around

    ring video doorbell 4
    Logo
    • Full security system: Works with all of Ring’s security system equipment
    • AI built in: Person and package detection
    • Subscription needed: Subscriptions start at $4 per month
    • Wire-free installation: Can be installed anywhere

    Shop Now
    What we like
    Ring made the original video doorbell and still leads the pack. While there are a lot of different versions of the Ring Video Doorbell, we like Ring Video Doorbell 4 the best. It’s easy to use, includes clear video and audio, has easy-to-use app features and is basically a no-fuss gadget.

    One of our favorite features is you can stick this doorbell anywhere since it doesn’t need wiring. Typically the downside of wireless is that you need to charge the battery every couple of months, but Ring solved that problem. For around $40 you can get an accessory that charges the battery using a small solar panel.

    Some other features include:

    • 1080p HD
    • Night vision
    • Two-way audio
    • 160-degree field of view
    • Amazon Alexa compatibility
    What to consider
    To record footage rather than just looking at the live view on your phone, you’ll need a Ring subscription for your video doorbell. Subscriptions start at around $4 per month. For professional monitoring with a Ring Alarm system, you can bump up to the Pro subscription plan for $20 monthly.

    If you want the option of adding a compatible security system down the road, Ring offers that, too. Its full security systems offer sensors, cameras, car monitoring, security lights and more.



    SimpliSafe Video Doorbell: Best security system pick

    simplisafe video doorbell
    Logo
    • Full security system: Works with all SimpliSafe’s equipment
    • AI built in: Person detection
    • Subscription needed: Subscriptions start at around $10 per month
    • Wired installation: Must have doorbell wiring for installation

    Shop Now
    What we like
    The SimpliSafe Video Doorbell is ideal if you're looking for a full security setup. Bundle it with a security package from SimpliSafe and you have wall-to-wall security that covers everything from your front porch to window sensors and indoor camera surveillance.

    Some other features include:

    • 1080p HD
    • Night vision
    • Two-way audio
    • Pan and zoom
    • 162-degree field of view
    • Person detection
    • Alexa and Google Home compatibility
    What to consider
    If you don’t want to pay a monthly subscription, the SimpliSafe video doorbell probably isn’t a good choice. While it does have a free option, it only allows you to see live video from the app and won’t record or connect to the rest of your security system.

    Fortunately, you just need to pay $10 per month to get the added features. For professional monitoring, you’ll need the Fast Protect monthly subscription, which costs around $30 per month.



    Nest Doorbell: Best for free storage and AI

    nest doorbell
    Logo
    • No security system: Google no longer carries Nest security systems
    • AI built in: Person, pet, vehicle and package detection
    • No subscription needed: Stores 3 days of footage
    • Wired or wire-free installation: Pick the best option for you

    Shop Now
    What we like
    With most other video doorbells, you need to pay a monthly subscription fee if you want video footage saved. Google’s Nest Doorbell gives you up to hours of free video storage. If you catch the push notification on your phone, you should have time to download any important footage. It’s important to note that if your power or Wi-Fi goes out, though, the camera will only save one hour of your footage.

    With the Nest, you can choose from four color options to best match your home’s exterior. Plus, you can choose between wired or battery-powered.

    Probably the most impressive feature, though, is Nest Doorbell’s AI. It can learn the faces of people who frequently visit your home so you have fewer alerts on your phone. If you choose, your doorbell will only notify you if it catches a stranger near your door (but not when your kid runs in and out 100 times in a row).

    Some other features include:

    • 1600p HD
    • Night vision
    • Two-way audio
    • 160-degree field of view
    • Google Home compatibility
    What to consider
    You may want more than just three hours of storage. In that case, you can upgrade to a Nest Aware subscription, which starts at $6 per month. It’s a good choice because you’ll also need a subscription to access extra features like face learning.


    Wyze Video Doorbell Pro: Best budget pick

    wyze video doorbell pro
    Logo
    • Not compatible with security system: Doesn’t allow for professional monitoring
    • AI built in: Person, pet and package detection
    • Subscription needed: Subscriptions start at around $10/month
    • Wireless installation: No need for wiring

    Shop Now
    What we like
    The Wyze Video Doorbell Pro is around $50 cheaper than its competitors, but it still offers many of the same features, like two-way audio and night vision. You also get some added features like pet and package detection.

    The monthly subscription plans are fairly inexpensive. Cam Plus subscriptions start at around $2 per month. You’ll need a Wyze Cam Plus subscription to get smart features like pet, person and package detection and video recording.

    Some other features include:

    • 1440p HD
    • Night vision
    • Two-way audio
    • 150-degree field of view
    • Alexa and Google Home compatibility
    What to consider
    The main difference between this budget video doorbell and the others on our list is its video is a little lower in quality. Its view is also a little narrower than some of our other picks, but you probably wouldn’t notice much of a difference in a side-by-side comparison.


    Lockly Vision Elite: Best video doorbell smart lock

    lockly vision elite
    Logo
    • Added security features: This video doorbell is also a smart lock
    • No AI: Only detects motion
    • No subscription needed: Video is stored locally on an SD card
    • Wireless installation: No need for wiring

    Shop Now
    What we like
    The Lockly Vision Elite has a video doorbell and a smart lock all in one. It offers a multitude of ways to unlock (fingerprint, key, code, app and voice control) and automatically locks the door after it shuts, which is great if you have forgetful people in your household.

    Another great feature is the solar charging — no need to worry about charging the battery or buying a separate solar panel. The Lockly Vision Elite has a solar panel built in.

    Some other features include:

    • 1080p HD
    • Night vision
    • Two-way audio
    • 130-degree field of view
    • Motion detection
    • Alexa and Google Home compatibility
    What to consider
    While all the added features of this video doorbell are great, you pay for any additions. The Elite will run you about twice as much as most of the other picks on this list.

    We also found the installation instructions a little hard to follow. We were able to set it up, but it took around an hour, which is far longer than with our other picks.


    What to look for in a video doorbell

    There are some key features to look for when choosing a video doorbell. Here are some terms you need to know:

    • Field of view: This is how much area the camera lens can “see.” Most quality video doorbell cameras have a field of view of 120 degrees or more.
    • Resolution: This term is basically how clear the camera’s video will be. Look for cameras that have a resolution of 1440p HD or better.
    • AI identification: Cameras that use AI identification can tell the difference between simple motion, like the movement of a tree branch, and a person. More advanced AI can tell the difference between people, cars, pets and packages. The most advanced AI can even tell one person from another.
    • Wired vs. wireless: When it comes to video doorbells, some run on batteries, while others need to be connected to existing doorbell wiring. If you’ve never had a doorbell with wiring in your home, it’s best to go with a wireless version.
    • Smart-home integration: Many video doorbells are compatible with smart-home devices like Alexa Echo or Google Home Nest Hub. When connected, you can see videos from your doorbell on the device. The doorbell can also be connected to other smart-home devices to set up routines.
    • Two-way audio: Once an added feature, two-way audio is now a basic addition to video doorbells. It allows you to talk with anyone at your door without even being at home. There is a microphone and speaker built into the doorbell. When someone’s at your door, you talk through the doorbell using the app.

    » MORE: Best home security systems

    How to install a video doorbell

    Installing most video doorbells takes just a few minutes. In most cases, your first step is to download the app, then the app will take you through the installation steps. Generally, you connect the doorbell to your home’s Wi-Fi and then mount the doorbell.

    If you have a wired doorbell, mounting will consist of attaching the mounting plate to your doorframe, connecting two wires coming from your home to two wires on the back of the doorbell and attaching the doorbell to the mounting plate.

    With wireless video doorbells, you’ll just need to install the mounting plate and then attach the doorbell. With lighter versions, you can skip the mounting plate and attach the doorbell beside your door with double-sided tape. This is a good option if you’re a renter and want to minimize damage during installation.

    Suggested for you

    ADT
    Vivint
    Frontpoint

    Don't want a flaky system?

    Get a personalized comparison to find reliable security & support near you.

    HawaiiAlaskaFloridaSouth CarolinaGeorgiaAlabamaNorth CarolinaTennesseeRhode IslandConnecticutMassachusettsMaineNew HampshireVermontNew YorkNew JerseyPennsylvaniaDelawareMarylandWest VirginiaKentuckyOhioMichiganWyomingMontanaIdahoWashingtonTexasCaliforniaArizonaNevadaUtahColoradoNew MexicoOregonNorth DakotaSouth DakotaNebraskaIowaMississippiIndianaIllinoisMinnesotaWisconsinMissouriArkansasOklahomaKansasLouisianaVirginiaWashington DC

    FAQ

    How much does a video doorbell cost?

    Most video doorbells cost anywhere from around $100 to $200. Video doorbells with built-in smart locks can cost up to $500.

    Is there a monthly charge for a doorbell camera?

    You don’t have to sign up for a subscription in most cases, but without a monthly subscription, you often won’t be able to record footage or access extra features like AI detection.

    What are the benefits of a video doorbell?

    With a video doorbell, you can catch a package thief, talk to someone at your door without being there and keep an eye on who’s coming and going at your home.

    Do video doorbells require batteries?

    Some do. Others connect to your home’s electrical system or use small solar panels for power.

    Do camera doorbells record all the time?

    No, most will only record when they sense motion. Then they send a push notification to your phone to let you know there is a recording you can watch.

    Did you find this article helpful? |
    Share this article