Ring offers some of the best doorbell cameras on the market today, and they are one of the most well-recognized names in the game. Ranging from the basic Video Doorbell, which typically retails for $99.99, up to the company’s top-of-the-line Video Doorbell Elite for $349.99, it’s easy to find something with the features you’re looking for at a price you’re comfortable with. We know because we’ve spent a lot of time testing and testing and reviewing Ring’s Video Doorbells.
But just because Ring has some pretty impressive name recognition and a deep bench of offerings, it doesn’t mean they’re the only doorbell in town. We recently ran Ring products head-to-head against other comparable video doorbells on the market today, and we can understand why Ring isn't necessarily for everyone.
Did You Know: Ring was originally known as DoorBot, and was crowdfunded for a little over $250,000 back in 2012.
Despite being highly reliable, some people want a camera with higher resolution, one with more features, or one with a sleeker design. To help those folks, we’ve found the three highest-rated ring doorbell alternatives this year. If you’re looking for something different, we’d suggest taking a look at the following porch protectors.
- Nest Hello Doorbell Cam – Our Choice for Overall Best Ring Doorbell Alternative
- Arlo Video Doorbell – Our Choice for Top Features & Tech
- August View – Our Choice for User-friendliness and Day-to-Day Use
So let’s take a closer look at these three alternatives and see why we’d recommend them for consumers considering something other than Ring’s offerings.
Nest Hello – Best Ring Doorbell Alternative Overall
The Nest Hello is a great alternative to Ring’s line of video doorbells. Its low-profile design is great for those looking for an unobtrusive unit, and its video and audio quality are both outstanding. Add to that a robust family of other products and add-ons for home automation, and you’ve got yourself a really solid option.
The Nest Hello offers a stunning 1,600×1,200 resolution camera that captures everything within a 160-degree field of view. Ring offers the same field of view with only a slightly better resolution at 1080p (or 1,920×1080 to be exact.) If you’re not a camera person — don’t worry — the difference is negligible, and you really wouldn’t notice any degradation in quality when comparing the two side by side.
The Nest Hello also has some of the best audio quality we’ve ever seen in a video doorbell. While reviewing the Nest Hello recently, the audio was crystal clear. No tinny speakers or crackling communications, here. And since the Nest Hello also offers “always-on” functionality, you never have to deal with lag time as the unit “wakes up,” meaning you’ll never be awkwardly talking over your visitor.
Did You Know: If your Wi-Fi offers a choice between 5GHz and 2.4Ghz channels, set your doorbell up using 2.4. Even though it has slightly slower speeds, it penetrates materials like walls much more effectively.
We were also impressed with the Nest Hello’s advanced features like the ability to set activity zones — these are hot spots drawn out in the camera’s field of vision to make sure the motion detected is meaningful. We also got a lot of use out of its Familiar Face Alert system, where the doorbell camera uses AI to recognize guests who visit often and alert you to their presence (pretty slick!).
At $229, the Nest Hello is a little more pricey than most of the Ring doorbells, but we think the features are well worth it. We’d say it’s comparable to the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus in terms of features and price, but honestly, we’d prefer a Nest if given the option between the two. We feel like the Nest doorbell edges out the Ring on features, and we think the device is better designed all around.
Overall, the Nest Hello was one of our favorite doorbells we’ve reviewed, and it’s a safe bet that you’ll like it, too. Head over to our Nest Hello pricing page to learn more about it.
Next up… Arlo!
Arlo Video Doorbell – Best Features in a Ring Doorbell Alternative
If you’re looking for an alternative to Ring’s line of doorbells, you shouldn’t overlook Arlo. It has some of the coolest features we’ve seen this year in a video Doorbell, and you can’t beat the price point. At only $150, this sleek little doorbell still outperforms most of its counterparts that cost twice as much.
One of Arlo’s tag lines is that their doorbells “sees what others can’t,” which we found to be true. Its 1536×1536 resolution gets the job done, and more importantly, it gets it done reliably. While testing the Arlo Video Doorbell, we found it never skipped a beat, and when you add to this the camera’s 180-degree field of vision, it’s really tough to top it on video quality alone.
Did You Know: The numbers in a digital camera’s resolution (ie: Number x Number) refer to the number of pixels in the image itself. Generally speaking, the higher the number, the more detailed the image will be.
We were also impressed with Arlo’s two-way talk functionality that worked through our phone rather than push notifications from an app which can be easy to miss. While using the Arlo Video Doorbell, we were always able to know exactly when a visitor was at our door.
The Arlo doorbell also offers some interesting advanced features like smart notifications, which can differentiate between people, vehicles, animals, and other types of motion. Although the technology isn’t perfect, this feature was helpful for us, as we live on a pretty busy road. Without being able to differentiate between different types of movement, our phone would be going crazy all day with false alerts, picking up motion of cars driving by, people walking their dogs, you name it.
Also worth noting is the e911 function. This puts the Arlo Video Doorbell in a class of its own. If there’s an emergency, with a few clicks you can dial 911 from the app and be connected with a first responder. But what if you’re out of town and something happens? Don’t worry — Arlo knows. No matter where you are, the e911 call routes to the dispatch center closest to the address where the unit is located, meaning first responders will be able to help as quickly as possible, even if you’re on vacation in the Bahamas.
We also found that the Arlo Video Doorbell packages and add-ons are pretty unique, and for the price, there’s not an alternative Ring product that offers what Arlo does. At the end of the day, we can say that Arlo is a really impressive smart doorbell camera, and we think it’s a great alternative for anyone looking for non-Ring entryway monitoring and protection.
August View – Best Day-to-Day Use in a Ring Doorbell Alternative
The second generation of August’s video doorbell offers sharp video quality, intuitive features, and a simple-to-use app. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense video doorbell that will get the job done effectively and efficiently, we definitely think August is a safe bet.
While testing the August View, we were first impressed with the ease of installation. Unlike the Nest Hello, the Arlo, and most of Ring’s higher-end video doorbells, its entirely battery operated, meaning when we reviewed the August View earlier this year, we had it out of the box, installed, and running in about 15 minutes once the battery was all charged up. That’s fast!
The video quality offered by the August View is also commendable. It has a 150-degree field of view (which is plenty wide for most standard applications) at 1440p resolution. Honestly, you could almost shoot a movie on the thing. And once the lights go down, the quality doesn’t degrade at all. Using an array of ultraviolet diodes, the August View gave us some of the best nighttime images we’ve seen in a Video Doorbell. Super important if you’re concerned with trespassers or other unwanted nocturnal guests.
Did You Know: Ultraviolet light is beyond the visible spectrum, meaning that while you can’t see what’s going on, your doorbell can. And although the images won’t be in color, you’ll still be able to make out every detail.
Note that the August app is a no-frills experience, but that was totally fine by us. It was clearly designed with user experience in mind, and we had the hang of it minutes after using it. All of the functions are at your fingertips, so you won’t spend any time at all digging around trying to figure out how to mute notifications. That said, we do think the app could stand to be a little more feature-forward.
Also worth mentioning, the August View easily integrates with smart devices like Google Home, as well as the company’s array of smart locks, keypads, and other smart home accessories. If you’re looking to automate, August is a great place to start. And at a pretty reasonable $229.99, you’re not going to break the bank, either. To learn more, visit our August plans and pricing guide.
The Bottom Line: Ring Doorbell Alternatives
At the end of the day, when considering a Ring Video Doorbell alternative, you have to think about the features you want and the price you’re willing to pay. We doubt you’d be disappointed with any of these video doorbells on our list, be it a Ring Doorbell, an Arlo Video Doorbell, a Nest Hello, or an August View.
Each of the options we’ve highlighted today offer lots of great benefits with only a few drawbacks. And having used the products ourselves, we can say that they will all go the distance to protect your entryway from porch pirates and other nefarious activity.
If you’re curious, we use an Arlo Video Doorbell at our home. It does exactly what we need it to do (offers a touch of convenience and keeps the bad guys at bay), and we love the sleek look. But for someone who’s already running Google smart home products, a Nest Hello might be the right choice. And if you’re looking for something easy to set up and use with no fuss, an August View will be perfect. The point is — you have a few rock-solid doorbell options to choose from.
Ring Doorbell Alternative FAQs
Yes, there are several comparable doorbells on the market. We recommend taking a look at the Nest Hello, the Arlo, or the August View.
A Nest Hello costs about $230 and is similar in many ways to a Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus.
The Arlo doorbell offers unique features including one-touch emergency alerts and smart notifications that can differentiate between humans, animals, and vehicles.
We think so. It offers a no-nonsense setup, an intuitive, easy-to-use app, and a doorbell that provides high-quality video and audio.