There are dozens of options for video doorbells but they all offer something slightly different so we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled the list of the best video doorbells. We use our smart home installation experience and device testing to give you the information you need to know about smart doorbells.
Best Video Doorbells: What You Need To Know
Video doorbells are a great way to protect your home and deter potential crimes. No one want’s their mugshot captured on a smart doorbell plastered all over the internet, just installing a video doorbell can prevent crime in and around your home.
However not all video doorbells are they same, they all operate slightly differently and have different installation requirements. Some video doorbells need to be hardwired while other video doorbells can operate on a batteries so they can be installed even if you don’t have an existing doorbell or wiring.
You should also know that most video doorbells require a subscription plan to save and capture footage for later use. Typically these subscription plans cost between $3-$10 per month but you should take into account the monthly cost when deciding what video doorbell to purchase.
Best Video Doorbells: How They Work
Smart video doorbells combine both a camera and doorbell into one device that you can install at your front door to keep tabs on what’s going on at your home. Video doorbells let you view the live and recorded footage even when your away home. You can also view the live footage on your phone if you want to see who’s at the door before you answer it.
Video doorbells work by connecting to your home wifi connection and then sending the live video footage captured to the cloud so that you can either view the live or recorded footage remotely on your phone, computer or tablet. Typically most video doorbells will store the footage from 5 to 30 days and allow you to review, download or email any of the footage you capture on your video doorbell.
Best Hardwired Video Doorbells
Tie: Ring Doorbell Pro & Nest Hello Doorbell
Hardwired video doorbells are the best video doorbells because they are powered by your existing doorbell wiring and offer the most features with 24/7 reliable recording and easy installation. The only downside is that these doorbells require that you have an existing doorbell and enough voltage to power the doorbell.
Hardwired video doorbells typically offer the most features, because they have a constant supply of power to power the extra features and recording and are the top of the line doorbells for the product category.
The two best video doorbells we have tested are the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and the Nest Hello Video Doorbell. You can’t go wrong with either of these smart doorbells as they are packed with high end features designed to protect your home.
Ring Doorbell Pro
The Ring Doorbell Pro has 1080P HD video recording, advanced motion detection alerts and allows you to store and review up to 30 days of footage for only $3 per month. The video footage on the Ring Doorbell Pro is crisp and clear with automatic night vision capabilities built in. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro will alert you when the doorbell is pressed and provide you with live footage that allows you two way communication with the guest at your door. All video footage is stored in the cloud and can be accessed from a computer, phone or tablet.
If you have an Alexa device with a screen like the Echo Show or Echo Spot you can even view the live streaming footage on your Alexa device. The Ring Doorbell Pro can integrate with your other Ring Cameras or your Ring Security system to provide a comprehensive home security solution.
Nest Hello Smart Doorbell
The Nest Hello Video Doorbell captures HD footage and has built in auto night vision detection to capture high resolution footage at night. The Nest Hello Smart Doorbell is designed to work with the Nest suite of products and integrates onto the same app as the Nest Thermostat, Nest Lock and Nest Smoke Detectors.
The Nest Hello Video Doorbell offers an easy to use app interface and what I like the most is that it allows you to sort and filter footage when people are detected so that you don’t need to watch hours of trees blowing in the wind just to see when your package was delivered.
The Nest Hello Video Doorbell will alert you when the doorbell is pressed and stream live video footage straight to your phone allowing you two way communication with whomever is at your front door.
The Nest Video Doorbell also works with Google Home Devices with a screen like the Google Home Hub which allows you to view the live streaming video footage right on your Google Home Hub device. You can also use Google Home devices as a remote doorbell.
The Nest Hello Video doorbell offers a $5/month video storage plan that will save your footage for 5 days. There are additional higher cost plans that allow you to save your footage for longer at a higher cost.
Learn More: Our Full Review of Nest Hello
Best Battery Powered Video Doorbell
Ring Video Doorbell 2
Battery Powered video doorbells allow you to install a smart doorbell even if you don’t have any existing wiring or an existing doorbell. Battery Powered video doorbells connect your your wifi network and work with rechargeable batteries that allow easy replacement and recharging.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is completely wireless but does offer the option of hardwiring to existing wiring if you move or decide to upgrade your wiring in the future. It runs on rechargeable batteries that should last between 6 months and a year with average usage, in higher traffic locations the battery life will be shorter.
We recommend getting a spare rechargeable battery so you can swap out your batteries without facing any downtime.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 offers 1080 HD streaming video footage and built in auto night vision. The Ring 2 will alert you when the doorbell is pressed or motion is detected and is capable of 2 way communication through your phone and the doorbell. The streaming video footage is then saved in the cloud which you can review on your phone, tablet or computer.
The Ring Smart Video Doorbell 2 also offers adjustable motion zones and sensitivity so you can dial in what you wan’t your Ring Doorbell to alert you to while filtering out unwanted alerts like cars going by on the street. It also works with Alexa and will allow you view the doorbell live stream on your phone on Alexa devices with a screen like the Echo Show and Echo Spot.
With battery powered doorbells they don’t have any hardwiring connecting them to a “chime” to Ring created wireless chimes that you can plug in and connect to your Ring Doorbell that will “Chime” just like a normal doorbell when the doorbell is pressed.
Ring Doorbells also work with Alexa and allow you use an Alexa device as a doorbell “Chime” when the doorbell is pressed.
The Ring subscription plan costs $3/month for 30 days worth of video storage.
Best Video Doorbell For Renters & Apartments
The Ring Door View Cam is one of Ring’s latest designs and is perfect for renters because it is completely battery powered and does not require you to screw anything into the wall. The Ring Door View Cam Works just like a typical wireless video doorbell but is designed to replace your peephole.
All you do is remove your existing peephole, install the Ring Door View Cam through the peep hole and you are ready to go with a smart video doorbell camera.
It works in both interior and exterior doors but is a great way to protect a corridor door or condo door if your association won’t let you mount a doorbell on a common hallway. Many associations have no problem with people changing their peep holes or adding a smart doorbell viewer to the peephole.
The Ring Door View Cam has 1080 HD streaming video that you can view on your phone with the footage being stored remotely in the cloud for your review on your phone, tablet or computer. In live streaming mode the Door View cam enables 2 way communication allowing you to talk with whomever is at the your door. It also comes has built in night vision, advanced motion detection and motion zone adjustment.
The rechargeable batteries can be removed from the interior side of the door for easy access and recharging. The Ring subscription plan is $3/month for 30 days of stored footage.
Best Video Doorbells Summary
A video doorbell is a great tool to keep your family safe and deter would be criminals. Choosing the right video for your home largely comes down to if you have existing wiring or if you will need to use a battery powered doorbell.
If you have existing wiring the Ring Pro Doorbell and Nest Hello Doorbell are top of the line video doorbells that won’t disappoint. Just make sure you factor in the monthly recording cost which is typically $3-5 into your decision to buy a smart doorbell. I
don’t like paying for monthly subscriptions but in the first year I had my smart doorbell installed I caught a delivery driver running over our fence and an attempted mail thief. After that I was sold that my piece of mind was worth basically what a cup of coffee costs monthly.
The smart doorbells are a great deterrent to crime as most criminals have no desire to be on camera with footage being shared throughout the internet.
If you need to use a battery powered doorbell both the Ring Doorbell 2 and Ring Door View Cam are excellent options and they have most of the same features it really comes down to your preference for mounting location. If you want to mount the doorbell in your peep hole the Ring Door View Cam is the right choice. If you want to mount the doorbell in a more traditional location like next to the door the Ring Doorbell 2 is a better option.