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. Here are our top picks in several categories:
Updated March 6, 2023 to add a link to our Reolink Smart 2K+ Wired WiFi Video Doorbell with Chime review.
Ring Video Doorbell 4 — Best video doorbell for most people
- Runs on either wired or battery power
- Color pre-roll video captures activity before the motion sensor is triggered
- People-only detection works as advertised
- Strong ties the rest of the Ring smart home ecosystem
- Short list of entirely new features
- Ring Protect subscription required to unlock its full feature set
- Trails the competition in terms of resolution and field of view
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 can be set up with your home’s existing low-voltage wiring, or it can operate on battery power (the battery is included). While we didn’t find it to be as sophisticated as the Nest Doorbell (Wired), it does gives you the flexibility to install it anywhere–such as a back or side door that’s unlikely to have the needed wiring in place. And if you’re a Ring Alarm user, or if you have other Ring cameras in or around your house and you’re already paying for the subscription needed to get video recordings, this is the doorbell to buy. Google Home users will prefer one of the Nest Doorbells we recommend below, while Apple HomeKit fans will be better service with Logitech’s Circle View product (also recommended below).
Nest Doorbell (Battery) — Best battery-powered video doorbell
- Battery powered, so it can be installed anywhere (it can also run on wired power and will integrate with your existing chime)
- Accurate and fast detection
- On-device video processing
- Subscription required for all but the most basic use
- Poor integration with Amazon’s smart home infrastructure
Despite its name, Google’s powerful and versatile Nest Doorbell (battery) can operate on either battery power or your home’s existing low-voltage wiring that powers your current doorbell. This smart home device was supremely easy to install and configure, it delivered crisp and clear video recordings, and it was consistently accurate with its alerts and notifications. If you’re firmly in the Alexa camp of smart speakers and displays, however, you’ll want to stick with Ring or another competitor, as this one works much better with Google Assistant products.
Ring Doorbell (Wired) — Best wired video doorbell
- On-device video processing
- Image classification
- Accurate and fast detection
- Subscription required to unlock all its features
- Requires low-voltage wiring
- Incompatible with Apple HomeKit
Nest’s Video Doorbell (Wired) builds on the excellent Nest Hello and improves it with on-device video processing, recording during power loss, and image classification. Opt in to a Nest Aware subscription, and you’ll also get 24/7 recording for up to 10 days, among other features. It’s not compatible with Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem, however, and Amazon Alexa fans would likely be happier with another pick.
Ring Video Doorbell Wired — Best budget-priced, wired video doorbell
- Easy to install
- 1080p video resolution
- Good night vision
- Very affordable
- Poor performance in low light conditions (e.g., at dawn and dusk, before night vision kicks in)
- Installation bypasses your existing doorbell chime
- People Only mode doesn’t deliver on its promise
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.
Blink Video Doorbell — Best budget-priced, battery-powered video doorbell
- Several image and detection adjustment options
- No requirement for an ongoing subscription
- Tight integration with Amazon Alexa
- No on-demand live view without the optional Blink Video Module
- No Google Home or Apple HomeKit support
If you have a tight budget for a video doorbell and don’t have the existing low-voltage wiring that the Ring Video Doorbell Wired depends on, you should definitely consider Amazon’s other smart home brand, Blink. The Blink Video Doorbell can operate on either wired or battery power and it has a strong set of features. However, you’ll want to also buy the optional ($35) Blink Sync Module 2 to squeeze the most value out of this device.
Wyze Video Doorbell Pro — Best budget-priced video doorbell, runner-up
- Operates on battery power or connected to low-voltage wiring
- Very easy to install and set up
- A well-made, sturdy device
- Advanced detection modes require a subscription
- There are no detection or privacy zones
The Wyze Video Doorbell Pro is a well-made, sturdy doorbell that works well, and it comes with a remote chime at no additional cost. It’s ability to operate on either battery power or connected to a low-voltage power supply is another big positive. But as with Ring’s doorbells and home security cameras–and a number of other competitors–you’ll need to buy a subscription package to get the full value from it.
Logitech Circle View Doorbell — Best video doorbell for Apple HomeKit users
- Full support for Apple’s Homekit Secure Video
- Records crisp video with HDR
- Excellent night vision, including color night vision
- Superb motion sensing, facial recognition, and privacy features
- Will be of no interest to folks outside the Apple ecosystem
- Some competitors offer higher resolution and wider viewing angles
- Slightly more complicated to install than competing doorbells
Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell — Best video doorbell for Apple HomeKit users, runner-up
- Posh industrial design
- Apple HomeKit support
- Local video storage
- Good video quality
- Absolutely no subscription fees
- Fiddly installation
- Limited detection modes
- No Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant support
The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell doesn’t require a subscription for video storage, and it supports Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem, but it’s missing some important features for a premium product.
Ring Peephole Cam — Best video doorbell alternative
- Simple wireless installation
- Excellent video quality and motion detection
- Easy integration with the broad universe of Ring smart home products
- Requires a peephole
- Paid subscription required to save recordings
The Ring Peephole Camera is an excellent choice for tenants who want to install a video doorbell without angering their landlord. It’s also a great solution for anyone who lives in an apartment or condo with an entry door that already has a peephole.
Remo+ DoorCam 2 — Best video doorbell alternative if your door doesn't have a peephole
- Easy installation on most entry doors–no peephole required
- No drilling or fastening required
- Good video image
- No doorbell function
- Won’t fit over doors with ornate features
- Limited motion zone and sensitivity settings
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.
Other video doorbells we’ve evaluated
The Kasa Smart Doorbell offers a great picture, plenty of settings, and comes with the option of 24-hour recording onto a memory card, but a cloud subscription is required to share recorded clips via the app. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is a premium offering with a couple of features that no competitor can match, but it costs a very pretty penny. EZVIZ makes some solid home security cameras, and its EZVIZ DB1C is a very good video doorbell, but it doesn’t have a battery-power option. We’ve tested dozens of other video doorbells, but these are the ones we think are worthy mentioning.
What you should consider when shopping for a video doorbell
If your house has existing low-voltage doorbell wiring, take advantage of it so you don’t need to worry about recharging a battery. Several battery-powered video doorbells can tap a wired connection to keep the doorbell’s battery charged. If you do want to buy a battery-powered model, make sure the battery can be easily removed for charging and that you can buy a spare battery, so you can swap it for one that’s on the charger.
If you’re renting you domicile and can’t install a video doorbell (or if you just want to make sure you can take it with you when you move out), consider one of our video doorbell alternatives that either connect to your entry door’s peephole or hang on top of the door.
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.
If you’re also thinking of adding indoor and/or outdoor security cameras for additional protection, or if you intend to integrate your video doorbell with a comprehensive smart home or home security system, explore your compatibility options, so you don’t find yourself juggling two or three different apps.