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Best video doorbell: Nest vs. Ring vs. Arlo and all the rest

Which video doorbell deserves to be mounted next to your front door? Our reviews lay it all out.

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Your front door is the gateway to your home, so it needs to be well protected. Whether you’re watching for trouble-makers, monitoring for parcel deliveries, waiting for friends to visit, or hiding from that weird neighbor who keeps asking to borrow your lawn mower, these dual-purpose video surveillance systems will help you keep an eye out.

If your house has existing low-voltage doorbell wiring, take advantage of it for uninterrupted service. If it doesn’t, we can recommend a battery-powered solution that’s more flexible when it comes to location. And if you’re renting and can’t mount anything to the wall—or you’d just prefer not to—we can recommend a couple of alternatives.

Most video doorbells come with motion detection, night vision, and smartphone alert features, so be sure to read our full reviews for details on how they performed. Many also require a monthly subscription to store video in the cloud, so factor a few years of service into the price before you make a decision.

And if you’re also thinking of adding outdoor security cameras to your arsenal, or integrating a video doorbell into a comprehensive smart home system, explore your compatibility options so you don’t find yourself juggling two or three different apps. 

Updated April 27, 2021 to add our Kami Doorbell Camera review. This isn’t the best video doorbell we’ve reviewed, but it delivers a solid set of specs, good video resolution, and respectable overall performance for its $100 asking price. The facial recognition the company touts, on the other hand, is pretty much a bust at this point.

Best wired video doorbell

This isn’t the least-expensive video doorbell on the market, but it is the absolute best, offering unique features you won’t find on competing products. It delivers very high resolution (1664 x 1664 pixels), posesses a 180 x 180-degree field of view that shows visitors from head to toe, and it flashes a light and sounds a tone when visitors approach, helping them locate the doorbell button while putting potential porch pirates on notice that they’re being monitored. You’ll want to sign up for the ostensibly optional cloud-storage plan ($4.99 per month) to get maximum benefit (you’ll get only a live stream from the camera without it), but its selling price includes professional installation, even if your home doesn’t have the low-voltage wiring it requires for power.

Best battery-powered video doorbell

For a very long time, Ring made our favorite battery-powered doorbell, and the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus—or the less-expensive Ring Video Doorbell Wired, if you’re on a budget—are fine choices for folks who’ve invested deeply in the excellent Ring ecosystem. But these days, Eufy makes a better battery-powered doorbell camera for most people. The Eufy Security Wireless Video Doorbell delivers higher resolution and local network storage (so you don’t need to pay for a subscription just to see recorded video). On the downside, it can connect only to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks.

Best budget-priced video doorbell 

Ring wins this category by building an inexpensive-but-strong video doorbell that can be integrated with the company’s increasingly diverse smart home ecosystem. Yes, it’s a single-band Wi-Fi device; and yes, it can’t ring your existing chime despite being wired to it. But it delivers pretty good 1080p video in daylight and very good black-and-white night vision when it gets dark. And it does it for just $60.

Best video doorbell for Apple HomeKit fans 

We’re becoming increasingly impressed with Apple’s HomeKit smart home initiative, especially the privacy to delivers with security cameras. Logitech capitalized on HomeKit’s best features to deliver the Circle View Doorbell, which is now our top pick in video doorbells for Apple users using HomeKit as the foundation for their smart home. 

Best video doorbell alternative

Here’s a great alternative to the video doorbell. The Brinno SHC1000 sits behind your door and provides a peephole-level view of your porch and whatever lies beyond. It replaces your current peephole, so a bit of DIY is required, but it will record and log visitors to a microSD card. Video quality isn’t up to that of a doorbell cam, but if you can’t mount any of those, it’s a solid alternative.

Another video doorbell alternative

Renters don’t always have the ability to change or install a doorbell. If that’s the case, consider the Remo+ DoorCam 2 has a nifty design sits over the top of your door, so you can keep watch without drilling holes or going inside a wall. It doesn’t have a doorbell function, but it will alert you to anyone on your porch. Two-way audio allows you to chat with people on the other side of the door without opening it.

Our video doorbell reviews

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At a Glance
  • Ring Video Doorbell 3

 
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