There’s a great variety of video doorbells out there, spanning all manner of budgets and styles. If you’re unfamiliar with these gadgets, you might (understandably) feel overwhelmed by all of the brands and features, but don’t worry—we’ll cover all of the information you’ll need to know and we have all of the best video doorbell recommendations at the ready.
Buying and installing a video doorbell is a fairly easy process overall, but there are definitely a few features and other elements you should be aware of before making a purchase. Here’s what you’ll need to consider:
- Compatibility: Do you want a smart home doorbell that’s compatible with your existing smart home devices or a separate third-party option? Sticking with Alexa or Google is a good idea if you have other smart speakers and displays in those ecosystems, but if you aren’t, you can make a clean start with whichever doorbell you like best. If you already have home security cameras from a particular company, you may want to stick to that ecosystem too.
- renting an apartment, however, your landlord probably won’t be so flexible, which is why we also included an option that slots into your peephole. Installation: If you own a home, you can opt to replace your existing doorbell with one of these. If you’re
- Resolution and Aspect Ratio: As is the case with any camera, a higher resolution is better. All of the video doorbells in this list shoot in HD (typically 1080p), while some can even capture events up to 4K. Keep in mind that the downside here is higher video quality takes up more storage space. We also favor cameras with a 4:3 aspect ratio, as opposed to 16:9, as it means more details (to see a visitor’s full body instead of just their torso and face, for example).
- Power Source: You’ve got two options here: battery power or your home’s existing doorbell wiring. A battery-powered doorbell is easier to install but will run out of juice every so often. On the other hand, a wired doorbell always has power but is trickier to install and won’t work if your wiring doesn’t work.
- Cloud Subscriptions: Most video doorbells require a cloud subscription to save your footage and to grant you access to advanced features including motion zones and facial recognition, or to review past videos. There are local video storage doorbell alternatives out there, however, if cloud storage isn’t your thing. And live video is always an option if you don’t want to pay extra for subscriptions.
- Chime Options: Yes, video doorbells offer tons of cool modern features but it’s easy to forget they are still doorbells and they’ll need chimes just like their dumb counterparts do. The majority can use your home’s existing chime, but some (usually battery-powered options) don’t, and you’ll need to purchase a separate chime on top of things.
- Price: Traditional doorbells are dirt cheap and these … aren’t. Pricing varies by model, of course, but expect to pay about $150-$180. Don’t let sticker shock get the best of you, though; video doorbells have TONS of awesome, convenient features and they’ll pay for themselves ten times over within mere months.
- ✓ Compatible with Google
- ✓ 4:3 aspect ratio
- ✓ Subscription plan is solid
- ✗ Expensive
- ✗ Its best features really only work with other Nest devices
If you’ve already got a slew of Google-compatible smart home gadgets and are wanting a video doorbell that’s compatible, the Nest Doorbell is your best option. It comes in both wired and battery-powered flavors (though the former is $50 more), and requires the free Google Home app to work (Android/iOS).
With it, you’ll be able to see what’s happening at your doorstep 24/7 either through the live feed or timely notifications. You can also talk with visitors in real-time or use prerecorded quick responses. The doorbell is able to successfully differentiate animals, vehicles, packages, and people then filter its smart alerts accordingly so you only see specific person, sound, and motion notifications like Package Delivered, Animal Seen, Vehicle Seen, etc., and aren’t alerted every time a leaf blows across your lawn.
The 4:3 aspect ratio on the video feed shows you the bigger picture of what’s happening on your doorstep. It also features HDR, which helps with both night vision and bright high-contrast light scenarios, allowing you to make out details clearly any time of day. You can even set up Quiet Time during hours you don’t want to receive notifications.
The battery model comes in four colors (Snow, Linen, Ivy, Ash), has a 1.3MP color sensor with 6x digital zoom, a 145-degree field of view, an IP54 rating, and a white LED status light ring. It captures footage in 960 x 1280p at up to 30fps and measures 6.3 x 1.8 x 0.95 inches. Since it doesn’t require wiring, it’s easy to install and a little more versatile. Many homes only have wiring on the front door, so this will work on the back door too.
The wired model comes in two colors (Black, White), has a 3MP (2K) sensor with 8x digital zoom, a 160-degree field of view, an IPX4 rating, and an RGB light ring and status light. It captures in 1600 x 1200 at up to 30fps and measures 4.6 x 1.7 x 1 inches.
You should also consider signing up for Google’s Nest Aware subscription service (starts at $6 per month). This service covers unlimited devices and gives you access to 60 days of event video history—saved and stored in the cloud—and lets you review 24/7 history back to 10 days (wired model only). It also lets you save event clips, teach your cameras to learn familiar faces, and get intelligent alerts when glass breaks or a smoke alarm goes off (with Nest speakers and displays).
Nest Doorbell (Battery)
Keep an eye on who’s at your door with the battery-powered Nest Doorbell.
Nest Doorbell (wired)
The wired version of the Nest Doorbell lets you keep an eye on who’s at your door.
- ✓ Alexa-compatible
- ✓ Tons of great features
- ✓ Chime bundle available
- ✗ Only the battery model says its weather-resistant
- ✗ No IP rating listed
If you’re a fan of Alexa-powered smart home gadgets, you’ll definitely want to check out its two Ring options. If you want a wired option, go for the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2; if batteries are your thing, pick up the Ring Video Doorbell 4 (and again, the battery option is $50 cheaper). You also have a few bundle options available, like with the Ring Chime Pro, should you want one.
Either option comes with Head-to-Toe HD+ video, two-way talk with Audio+, Live View, 3D motion detection, built-in Alexa Greetings (a feature that’s exclusive to the subscription-based Ring Protect Plan, which starts at $3 per month), and customizable privacy settings. Both ship with a satin nickel faceplate and include a free 30-day trial of the plan. Additionally, both options support 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi connections
The Ring Video Doorbell wired camera shoots video in 1536p with a 150-degree horizontal field of view. It features HDR and color night vision, measures 4.49 x 1.9 x .87 inches, and requires a minimum upload speed of 1Mbps (though 2Mbps is recommended). Likewise, the battery model shoots 1080p video with a 160-degree field of view.
It features black-and-white night vision, as well as a removable and rechargeable Quick-Release Battery Pack that’s included. It measures 5.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 inches and recommends having a minimum upload speed of 2Mbps. Only the battery model is weather-resistant; neither lists a specific IP rating, however.
If you do want Ring Protect, you’ll need to choose either the Basic plan ($3 per month or $30 per year) or the Plus plan ($10 per month or $100 per year). The Basic plan activates video recording for one device, stores your video history for 60 days, lets you save and share videos and snapshots, enables People Only Mode, and supports Rich Notifications.
The Plus plan does all that and enables recording for all of your devices. You’ll also get 24/7 professional monitoring for your Ring Alarm, extended warranties for all of your devices, and even 10% off a few select Ring products.
It’s also worth noting that Amazon has announced its first Blink Video Doorbell. While it’s not out yet, it is currently available to pre-order for a wallet-friendly $49.99. This video doorbell offers 1080p daytime capture, infrared night video, and two-way audio.
You’ll also be able to customize things like alerts and privacy settings. You can even choose whether you want to store clips locally via the included Sync Module 2 and USB drive, or via one of Blink’s subscription plans (starting at $3 per month).
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
This HD video doorbell detects who is at your door and notifies you, plus it has built-in Alexa Greetings.
Ring Video Doorbell 4
Enjoy a battery-powered connection to seeing who is at your front door.
- ✓ Inexpensive
- ✓ No subscription required
- ✓ HD video with HDR
- ✗ Wired model not compatible with existing chimes
Just because most video doorbells tend to be pricey doesn’t mean you can’t get one if you’re not rolling in the dough. In fact, neither the wired and battery-powered eufy Security Wi-Fi Video Doorbells require you to have a subscription (be it to access your recording history or additional features)—just purchase the gadgets and that’s it. For what it’s worth, the wired version is the more affordable of the two, so we recommend choosing that one if your house supports it.
Both smart doorbell options support 1080p HD video, HDR, and distortion correction. They also let you speak with guests at your door in real-time without you having to open the door. Eufy’s Security video doorbells make use of AI technology and a sophisticated algorithm that can intelligently detect human face patterns and body shapes.
That means eufy will only send you a notification when there’s a person at your door, not when there’s an animal running through your yard. Features like person detection cost extra with most video doorbells, but not here.
The wired model includes a free electronic chime, as the doorbell itself is not compatible with existing chimes. That device supports eight fun ringtones, including a few holiday options, and makes it easy to adjust the volume level.
The battery-powered model offers better resolution thanks to its 2K sensor and pro-grade lens. It also features an expanded 4:3 field of view. Whichever one you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy quality footage without busting your wallet.
eufy Security Video Doorbell
This battery-powered camera is budget-friendly and doesn't require a subscription.
Eufy Security Video Doorbell
This wired video doorbell doesn't require a subscription to work, and is inexpensive.
- ✓ Excellent and accurate notifications
- ✓ Wide field of view
- ✓ Robust subscription plan
- ✗ Requires subscription to access recordings
Nothing’s more annoying than receiving a push notification from your video doorbell every time it notices a leaf blow across your lawn … except maybe when the camera goes out because the weather’s terrible. Ensure you’re getting accurate and helpful notifications all day every day by choosing the Arlo Essential.
This wired option has some of the most reliable notifications out there. The Arlo also offers an unbeatable 180-degree field of view, a crisp HD image with HDR quality footage (great for super bright and low-light areas), night vision, and a weather-resistant design that’s built to withstand rain, heat, and cold.
You also have the option to add on an Arlo Secure plan. Arlo Secure ($2.99/month for a single camera, $9.99/month for unlimited devices) gives you unlimited video cloud storage for 30 days, protection against theft of locally stored videos, activity zones, person/package/vehicle/animal detection, interactive alerts, smoke and carbon dioxide alarm detection, Arlo store discounts, and priority support access.
The Arlo Secure Plus plan ($14.99/month for unlimited cameras) gives you all of those features plus 24/7 emergency response, premium 4K video cloud storage. You can further customize your plan by adding on the Continuous Video Recording feature, which covers 14 days for $9.99 per month, or 30 days for $19.99 per month.
Get accurate notifications no matter who or what is at your door.
- ✓ Affordable
- ✓ Perfect for renters
- ✓ Comes with a chime
- ✓ Easy to install
- ✗ No IP rating listed
- ✗ No dual-band Wi-Fi support
Those who live in an apartment or don’t want to deal with the fuss of changing out the doorbell or other hardware can still reap the benefits of video doorbell technology. Amazon’s Ring Peephole Camera upgrades your peephole and takes under five minutes to install—no drilling or fussing with wires necessary. And, naturally, it works with Alexa, so you can use voice commands with it and have it play notifications on your compatible Echo devices.
It even comes in a bundle with the Ring Chime that you can pair to hear real-time notifications. The 1080p camera lets you see, hear, and talk to your visitors even when you’re not at home, and it’ll also send you notifications on your connected devices whenever movement is detected or someone knocks on your door.
You can also view visitors (and chat with them) via select Echo and Fire TV devices. And bonus points, if someone knocks on the door that will activate the Peep as well, just as if they rang the doorbell. The downside is it doesn’t stand out as much as other security system options, so it might not deter porch pirates.
The exterior portion of the camera measures 2.26 x 4.4 x 1.16 inches, while the interior portion measures 1.85 x 3.83 x .78 inches. It offers up a 155-degree field of view and works on your 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network. No IP rating is listed, but the outdoor portion of the camera can handle temperatures ranging from -5 up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (-20.5 to 48.5 degrees Celsius).
Additionally, a Ring Protect subscription lets you record, review, and share your footage for the past 60 days. And once you’re ready to move out, just pop the camera out and replace it with a standard peephole.
Ring Peephole Camera
Enjoy video doorbell technology without making your landlord upset.