Best Overall Doorbell
Ring is the biggest name in video doorbells and is a great solution for anyone.
Best Security Packages
If you’re looking for a simple solution to see who’s at your door, or a full-blown security system for your entire home, Lorex offers something for everyone.
Best Feature Set
Nest Hello offers it’s amazing Nest Aware service that surpasses the others.
Best Overall Doorbell
Best Security Packages
Best Feature Set
|System||Ring Doorbell||Lorex Doorbell||Nest Hello||Arlo Video Doorbell||Frontpoint Doorbell||Skybell Doorbell||Vivint Doorbell||SimpliSafe Doorbell||Zmodo Greet|
|Ranking||1st View on Amazon||2nd View Packages||3rd View Packages||4th View Packages||5th View Packages||6th View on Amazon||7th View Packages||8th View Packages||9th View on Amazon|
|Best Accolade||Best Video Doorbell Overall||Best Security Packages||Best Feature Set||Best User Experience||Most Low Profile||Best Free Storage||Best Smart Home||Best Affordable Integration||Best Variety|
|Equipment Cost||Starting at $99.99||Starting at $129.99||$229.99||$149.00||$189.99||$199.00||$249.99||$169.00||$149.00|
|Monthly Cost||Starting at $3.00||N/A||Starting at $5.00||Starting at $2.99||Starting at $49.99||N/A||Starting at $39.99||Starting at $14.99||Starting at $4.99|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Ethernet||Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth||Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi|
|Power||Battery, Wired, PoE||Wired||Wired||Wired||Wired||Wired||Wired||Wired||Wired|
|Field of View||160°||164°||160°||180°||180°||180°||180°||162°||120°|
|Google Home Compatibility||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||2 Years||1 Year||3 Years||1 Year||120 Days||3 Years||2 Years|
|Read Review||Ring Review||Lorex Doorbell Review||Nest Hello Review||Arlo Doorbell Review||Frontpoint Doorbell Review||SkyBell Review||Vivint Doorbell Review||SimpliSafe Doorbell Review||Zmodo Greet Review|
We work to review the best doorbell camera options on the market to ensure you always have a system that’s dependable and that meets your unique needs. Everyone needs a doorbell camera that’s durable, easy to use, and reliable. You also want one that works to ensure you have the best possible view of what’s happening outside of your door. Yet, the right price matters as well, especially if you are purchasing one of the more expensive or higher-quality systems on the market today.
Doorbell cameras are constantly changing, which makes it harder for consumers to know which one is right for them. We are seeing a significant number of changes to these doorbells as well as how they work with your existing home security systems and home automation solutions. That’s why we’ve done the research for you to ensure you always have access to the best doorbell camera for your home.
Our team looks at all aspects of each doorbell camera to determine which one is best. This includes the durability, functionality, connectivity, customer service, and the brands themselves. We look at features and pricing as key components of making review decisions. We firmly believe the best doorbell cameras on the market today are those that offer solid customer service, an easy-to-use interface, incredible reliability and, of course, a good price tag. Doorbell cameras are all different, but these reviews can help you sort through the details.
Before digging into the different options, here are some quick stats to help you get a feel for these doorbell video cams and what you can expect:
|Doorbell Cams Tested||22|
|Test Duration||1-2 weeks|
|Video Resolution||1080p HD|
Now without further ado, let’s take a look at the best doorbell cameras on the market today.
You simply cannot think of doorbell cameras without thinking of Ring. They’ve earned the #1 spot with DIY setup, best-in-class technology, and affordable products and services.
Ring offers four video doorbells: Video Doorbell, Video Doorbell 2, Video Doorbell Pro and Video Doorbell Elite. Ring’s Video Doorbells all allow you to see, speak and hear people at your front door. Ring’s doorbells are compatible with most smartphones, PCs, and tablets.
Ring video doorbells are all very easy to install. All of them, except the Video Doorbell Elite, can be self-installed by anyone who possesses the necessary DIY skills. They each take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to install. Ring Doorbells work on any home as they are available in both hardwired and battery-operated versions. So, you don’t need a hard-wired doorbell connection to install. Ring Doorbells are durable. They are all certified for outdoor use and operate in temperatures from -5 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. They all come with motion detection, night vision, and two-way talk. One of the most significant negatives with the Ring Doorbells is the lackluster battery life. Ring says that they average 12 months of battery life. However, when tested, they only offered a little over two months of battery performance.
With crystal-clear, high-resolution video and color night vision all in a 160-degree wide field of view, the Lorex doorbell is going to capture everything you’ll need to see.
Right out of the box, we were impressed with Lorex’s sleek design and simple controls. Once we dug a little deeper, we found advanced functions and features, including person detection, customizable alerts, and an exceptional ability to capture what’s going on at night. Not many doorbell cameras on the market do as well as Lorex in this regard.
That said, there were a few friction points. We found the installation process to be a bit tricky, particularly because you only have the option of hardwiring it into your existing doorbell (although there are lots of benefits to having a wired doorbell cam). There’s also no battery backup in the Lorex, meaning that if the power goes out, your camera will no longer function.
The Lorex app is well designed and intuitive, and its features are more useful than gimmicky. And, more importantly, everything just works how it’s supposed to. There’s no messing with seemingly non-functional motion zones or getting 1,000 alerts every time a gust of wind shakes the branches outside. It functions exactly as intended with very little tweaking on the user’s part.
One last thing that we liked — Lorex Doorbell is one of the few doorbell cams on the market that stores its data locally via a microSD card. This means you have immediate access to your data, and you’ll never have to pay a monthly storage fee. Major bonus points for Lorex there. We honestly don’t know why more doorbell camera companies don’t take this approach. Read more in our Lorex price guide.
Day or night, Nest doorbell live-streams crisp HD video and sends it straight to the cloud. The Google product also offers facial recognition. Your nest just got a whole lot safer.
The Nest Video Doorbell lets you see who is at your door day or night. Nest is compatible with Google Home Mini so the device can announce when someone is at your front door. The Nest video doorbell produces crisp, bright images thanks to HD video and night vision. You can check-in anytime with live streaming. Nest also features a 3-hour snapshot.
The Nest Doorbell is a great home security product. It continually streams video to the cloud 24/7. The Nest Video Doorbell offers sharp HD video and is easy-to-install and use. Since the Nest requires a hard-wired connection, it might not be the best option for customers who need a battery-operated doorbell.
The new Arlo Video Doorbell combines a 180° viewing lens, automatic video calls when your doorbell is pressed, and other helpful features — all at a competitive price point.
Although it’s the newest doorbell on the block, the Arlo Video Doorbell is billed as one of the better smart doorbells with a wide-angle, diagonal viewing lens. The video doorbell lets you see your visitors from head to toe, so that you always get the full picture. Although the resolution is only 720p HD (we like to see 1080p these days), the Arlo Video Doorbell does offer two-way audio, a prerecorded message feature, motion detection, night vision, and other nice features. Also, the cost of this doorbell camera is reasonable at only $149.99.
The Arlo Video Doorbell is a late-comer to the market, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. This feature-rich device offers person, package, car, and animal detection. Users can set custom activity zones, view live-stream video, and communicate with visitors via two-way audio or prerecorded messages. The monthly monitoring cost is cheap at $3/mo. And Arlo is running a deal for three free months of the Arlo Smart subscription service. Check out our guide to Arlo pricing for more info.
Frontpoint brings us the Slimline doorbell camera. The small, sleek, wireless cam is actually made by SkyBell, but has the features you’d expect from the home security giant Frontpoint.
Frontpoint has been in business for 11 years and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. They were the first to use cellular technology in all their systems and they added their doorbell camera to their lineup in 2016. The new Slimline Doorbell Camera comes with a wide variety of features and is available in two different colors which are silver and aged bronze. The Frontpoint doorbell is actually a third-party product of SkyBell so the doorbell chime compatibility will require the SkyBell Digital Doorbell Adaptor which is not included with your purchase.
The new Slimline Doorbell Camera, which is a third-party product of Skybell, can be purchased for $189.99 and is compatible with Frontpoint’s other equipment. However, this is not a standalone system. This particular doorbell camera requires you to sign up for the Frontpoint Ultimate Plan if you want to use it. The Ultimate Plan is Frontpoint’s premium plan so it does come with all the bells and whistles (which are quite impressive), as well as 24/7 monitoring. Additionally, all of Frontpoint’s equipment/monitoring plans require a 3-year contract; therefore, if this is something you can’t commit to, you might want to look elsewhere. While there are some requirements to use this doorbell camera, the additional security features and the 24/7 monitoring are all reasonably priced for what you get.
SkyBell doorbell cams offer fancy features galore. HD 1080p video, night vision, third-party integrations — the works. And their real-time mobile alerts keep you in the loop.
The SkyBell Wi-Fi doorbell is one of the best on the market. It features high-definition 1080p video, motion detection and color night vision. It also works with a variety of third-party devices and integrations and offers free video storage. Plus, if your doorbell is stolen, SkyBell will replace it free of charge. The app provides a detailed history report so that you can review activity for the day, such as missed visitors and doorbell alerts. The fact that SkyBell provides so many features make it a top pick for doorbell cameras.
The SkyBell is an impressive video doorbell that offers exceptional third-party integration. It provides a variety of features including motion detection and sharp HD video. It features a quiet mode so you can turn the chime off when you don’t want to awaken sleeping family members.
One of the significant disadvantages of the SkyBell is that it requires a hard-wired connection. There is not a wireless battery-operated version available.
Vivint is a high-tech doorbell camera with a modern, dare-we-say elegant design. It has more smart features than you can shake a stick at — but it does require professional installation.
Vivint’s Doorbell Camera is an attractive, minimalist doorbell camera. It fits in nicely with most home’s decor. This high-tech doorbell features infrared night vision, HD-resolution, and a wide-angle 180-degree lens. Vivint offers professional installation and support on their video doorbells.
Vivint’s Doorbell Camera is a well-designed, high-tech doorbell that comes with a variety of useful features like a wide-angle lens and Vivint Sky integration so that you can unlock your front door and more using the app. One of the main disadvantages of Vivint’s Doorbell Camera is the high-monthly monitoring rates. Expensive professional installation is required, and you must sign a contract or pay costly equipment fees.
Setup is smooth sailing with the SimpliSafe video doorbell. And that’s just the beginning. The stylish products offer full-HD image quality, loads of features, and affordable pricing.
The SimpliSafe video doorbell is wildly popular among consumers. The brand introduced their home security products in 2009 and rolled out their new smart doorbell camera with a wide-angle lens a couple years back. There are many features that make the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro stand out, but two of the features, in particular, are the built-in heat and motion sensors. These support heat signatures and human motion detection so it only sends alerts for human detection and will ignore cars and prevent other similar false alerts from being sent.
The SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro sells for $169/ea. with the cloud storage option costing $5/mo. If you decide to forego the video storage option, the SimpliSafe app will send an alert to your phone if it detects activity. Then you can access the live video feed and talk with your visitor remotely. With this option, you won’t have a recording and you have to be near your phone when the alert is sent; otherwise, you won’t know who was at your door.
Additionally, the installation and connection processes are extremely easy. You can install the doorbell with just a screwdriver. And, the connection setup can be performed using the provided QR code that reads the information and connects to your Wi-Fi network without you having to do anything other than capturing the QR code. Also, if you have or plan on installing a larger home security ecosystem, the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro can be easily integrated to work as part of a larger system. Or, if you prefer, it can be used as a standalone doorbell. Additionally, this doorbell’s basic features will work regardless of whether or not you choose to pay for a monthly video recording subscription. See our SimpliSafe cost guide to learn more.
This doorbell cam offers simple plug-and-play setup, free cloud storage, and a generous 60-day money-back guarantee. No wonder Zmodo has sold 8 million products in the last decade.
Zmodo was founded in 2009 and has since sold more than 8 million products in the smart home market. The Zmodo doorbells are widely regarded and have recently been seen on the Harry Show. Additionally, Zmodo is one of the few smart home equipment companies that own both their hardware and user experience end-to-end. Zmodo is always striving to deliver high-quality products at affordable prices. And with the Zmodo Greet doorbell cameras, you simply install the doorbell by connecting it to your home’s current wiring, download the app, which is free, and use the instructions provided in the app to set up your new doorbell while connecting it to your Wi-Fi service. This entire process can be completed within minutes.
The Zmodo Greet smart doorbells have five different types of Greet doorbells. The Greet Smart Doorbell which is $89, the Greet HD Smart Doorbell which is $149, the Greet Select Smart Doorbell which is also $149, the Greet 1.0 Smart Doorbell which is again $149, and the Greet Pro Smart Doorbell which is $179. They also offer three different video recording storage option plans. A Basic plan that will store your alert clips for the past 36 hours which is free. A 7-Day Plan that stores seven days of continuous cloud recordings, seven days of alert clip storage, and it costs $4.99/mo. or $49.90/yr. And, with this system, you pay per camera, so this plan gives you 50% off any additional camera subscriptions you purchase as well. Then there is the 30-Day Plan that gives you everything the seven-day plan does, except you get those services for 30 days versus seven, and it costs $9.99/mo. or $99.90/yr. Also, if you subscribe to the Zmodo newsletter, they will give you a 15% off coupon. You really can’t go wrong with any of the Zmodo Greet doorbell cameras. They have great designs, as well as being weatherproof and extremely durable. Additionally, they are well-priced compared to other doorbell cameras on the market.
As the name suggests, a doorbell camera acts as a doorbell and a camera. Doorbell cameras, also called video doorbell cameras, have become a staple security measure for many homes across the country. That is, it monitors your entryway and delivers serious peace of mind for you and your family. (Most doorbell cameras are much more than just a camera, as we’ll soon find out.)
With a doorbell camera, your packages stay relatively safe, as the devices serve as a great first line of defense against ‘porch pirates’. They also protect against more nefarious crimes such as break-ins, burglaries, home invasions, and the like.
These doorbell cams come in both hardwired and wireless options. With a wireless (battery operated) doorbell camera, setup is a cinch and you’ll be up and running in less than 30 minutes.
Also, most doorbell cameras come with a companion app, so you can control the features and functions via your smartphone, tablet, or even desktop computer. And the capabilities are nothing short of impressive. With many doorbell cameras, you can do anything up to and including:
When it’s tripped, the motion-detection feature on the doorbell camera triggers the recording. The duration of the activity is then recorded and stored accordingly. Other cameras offer continuous recording, day and night. If your budget allows for it, it’s best to upgrade to cloud video storage, which can offer virtually limitless storage, so long as you’re willing to pay for it.
Another great thing about doorbell cameras is that most will send a text alert when they sense activity. This way, you can open the app and see exactly who’s at your door, and of course, take any necessary action.
Like any security solution, doorbell cameras do have their faults. For instance, thieves have (ironically) learned to steal the very doorbell cameras themselves. Also, many of the cameras have limited range and/or panning functionality.
But all in all, the advantages of owning a video doorbell camera far outweigh the disadvantages.
Pro Tip: Not sure what to look for in a doorbell camera? Head over to our Doorbell Camera Buyer’s Guide to learn about the features and tech and other important info. It’s all there!
Nobody really needs a doorbell camera, but these nifty devices sure make life safer and more convenient. With this in mind, doorbell cams are more important than other tech gadgets like smart watches, TVs, and other smart home features.
Doorbell video cameras are ideal for those who:
It’s a good rule of thumb to expect the unexpected. You simply never know if and when a criminal is going to target your home. And a quality doorbell camera has stopped many-a-criminal in their tracks. So while you don’t necessarily need a doorbell camera, they are more than worth the money and highly recommended.
After going over the reviews above, you will probably want to make a decision about which of the best doorbell cameras is right for you. However, to do that, you will need a little more information. You will also need to know the different features that come with doorbell cameras. Knowing and understanding those features will help you select the one that best suits your needs. Because there are some features you might not need and others you won’t want to go without.
All the features affect our rankings differently and we base our information on the ones consumers care about the most.
Here are the different available features for the best doorbell cameras on the market:
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for a doorbell that’s loaded with features, you’ll want to check out the Arlo video doorbell. It’s got a functionality list a mile long, all for the reasonable price of $150.
Next, let’s go over some of the questions you should ask yourself. Questions that will make it easier to determine which options and features you really need and which ones you don’t.
Doorbell cameras come in many different styles. But the best doorbell cameras boast the latest technology & remote capabilities like 2-way talk, 24-hour streaming, and more. It’s up to you how advanced (or basic!) you want your entryway security to be.
Go basic with a bare-bones image capturing camera, or outfit your home with the best video doorbell camera that delivers impressive technology like:
Video Doorbell Camera Price
Just like with home security systems, you get what you pay for with doorbell cameras. The prices range anywhere from $99 to $499. But we’ve seen deals as low as $49 for smart doorbells. With that said, the original Ring Doorbell (720 HD image quality) is a steal at $99, and we wouldn’t recommend going much cheaper than that.
Ring also sells the Ring Video Doorbell Elite that goes for $499! And of course, this device is stacked with the latest and greatest features and tech available. Other options that fall in the mid-range for doorbell camera prices include the Nest Cam ($229), and the SkyBell HD and August Doorbell Cam Pro (Both sell for $199).
The point is, you can outfit your home with a doorbell camera at pretty much any price point. Some doorbell cameras are so reasonably-priced that they’re purchased along with home security systems and smart home automation systems. Others come with a steep price tag, but offer more impressive features and technology.
When buying a doorbell camera, there are several different factors you need to think about before making a final purchasing decision. The doorbell camera you choose should include the features and options that match your family’s specific needs. Therefore, reading reviews, pros and cons, and doorbell camera guides will give you all the general information you need. But until you know exactly what you need, you’re not quite ready to make any decisions just yet, because everyone’s situation is unique.
The following questions will help you narrow down your choices to match the best doorbell camera with your particular needs.
Will doorbell cameras work with my phone?
Most doorbell cameras come with a corresponding mobile app, as well as a desktop version of that app. Therefore, you will need to make sure the video doorbell camera you choose is compatible with your phone and/or the other mobile devices you have. Additionally, the desktop apps will also need to be compatible with that specific version of the app as well. Which means your Mac or PC will need to be the version of the app that is compatible with your computer. Another thing to keep in mind is that most doorbell cameras are generally not compatible with Blackberry devices.
Do doorbell cameras work with home automation devices?
There are a wide variety of doorbell cameras that work with home automation systems. If you have a home automation system in place or are thinking about getting one, you should look for a doorbell camera that is compatible with the equipment you have. Or one that is compatible with third-party equipment that covers your brand. Then buy the one that has what will work with what you have or with the system you anticipate purchasing.
What kind of internet do I need for a doorbell camera to work?
Some doorbell cameras use your internet connection to function. Therefore, if you want to use a doorbell camera that connects to your internet, your internet will need to be Wi-Fi enabled. Additionally, if your Wi-Fi signal isn’t strong enough, then you might have to install a Wi-Fi network extender to improve your network’s range.
Are doorbell cameras weather resistant?
If you’ve never thought about whether or not doorbell cameras are weather resistant, don’t worry, you are not alone. However, any time you have outdoor equipment, you should research its durability. A video doorbell camera should be able to withstand a wide variety of environmental elements such as heavy rain, high winds, snow and ice accumulations, and be able to withstand temperatures that are sub-zero or remain below freezing for extended periods of time.
Should I have a wired or wireless doorbell camera?
There are two types of doorbell cameras, wired or wireless. First, you will need to ask yourself if you have the skills to install a wired (hardwired) doorbell camera. And, if the doorbell camera you are considering is compatible with your existing doorbell’s wiring (if applicable) and/or other home security equipment.
Wired doorbell cameras are powered by connecting to the wires of your existing doorbell. So if you don’t have a doorbell, this could be a problem because you will have to have your new doorbell wired with new wiring which will probably require an electrician. So, unless you are familiar with how electrical wiring works, you should probably hire someone to install it for you. However, with that being said, many doorbell camera systems come with help videos and technical support that could guide you through the process if you feel like attempting it yourself. That is unless you don’t have an existing doorbell, in which case we recommend you hire an electrician.
Wireless doorbell cameras are powered by a battery. That means there is no wiring involved. Additionally, a wireless doorbell is portable so it can be moved around, which is great for renters or those who move frequently. And, some doorbell companies have a theft protection policy as well. So if your doorbell is ever stolen, they will replace it for free. Not all doorbell camera companies offer this though, so if that feature is something you think you might need, you will need to look for this option before making a purchase.
Am I comfortable with installing the doorbell on my own or do I need it professionally installed?
Whether or not you can install your new doorbell camera yourself will depend on several things. For example, if you buy a battery-operated doorbell camera, then, yes, you will easily be able to install that camera yourself with no tools necessary.
If you buy a wired doorbell camera, then you will need to determine if you have the tools necessary to install the type of doorbell camera you want to buy. Then you will need to determine if your existing doorbell wiring and/or home automation/security equipment are compatible with the doorbell camera you want to buy. Then, of course, you will need to review the installation instructions to see if you have the skills required for that particular installation. Most doorbell camera options come with help videos and technical support to help you with the installation if needed.
However, if you don’t have an existing doorbell and you want to buy a hardwired doorbell camera, you will probably need to hire an electrician to do the installation for you. Because if there is no existing doorbell wiring present, your new doorbell camera will need to be completed wired with new wiring. So unless you are an electrician, or have significant electrical skills, you probably should not attempt to do this type of installation yourself. Because not only could it be dangerous, it could also turn into a fire hazard if it is not done right. Electricity is not something you want to take any chances with.
Can I install a doorbell camera if I’m a renter?
If you are a renter or you move around a lot, then you should consider installing a wireless doorbell camera. But before you buy a doorbell camera, you will need to talk with your landlord first because of possible privacy issues. If he/she does not give you permission to install a wireless doorbell camera, you could explain all the reasons you feel you need one such as to keep you and your family safe from crime, because you feel threatened by your environment or circumstances in any way, etc. And if he/she gives you the OK, make sure you get their permission in writing.
Additionally, although you should probably stick with a wireless doorbell camera, if you want a wired doorbell camera and your landlord gives you his/her blessing which he/she might do if you have it professionally installed, it’s even more important that you not only get your landlords blessing, but that the written permission he/she gives you includes exactly what you can and can’t do as far as drilling holes in the walls, ceilings, etc. This will protect you from having to pay damages due to miscommunication when you move out. You will also need to realize that sometimes a landlord will give you permission to have a hardwired doorbell camera installed, but he/she might also require that you leave it with the rental when you move.
Is motion detection important to me?
Having a motion detection feature is extremely important and that is why most video camera doorbells have it. The motion detection feature will send you an alert if any motion is detected within the field of vision of your doorbell camera. This will enable you to take the appropriate action based on who is at your door. For example, if a potential thief approached your door, you would be sent an alert at which time you could tap the app to see who’s there. You could then contact the authorities, or, if your doorbell has a two-way talk feature, you could instruct them to leave…or else.
Do I need a two-way talk feature?
The two-way talk feature is important because it allows you to talk remotely with whoever is at your door. Most, but not all, doorbell cameras come with this feature. When the doorbell camera detects motion, it will send you an alert, at which time you can tap the app and pull up the live video feed of your front door. You can then talk to your visitor. Additionally, some doorbell cameras also offer other features such as a siren or prerecorded messages you can control using the app if a potential threat is observed.
Do I need night vision?
Night vision is extremely important when it comes to a doorbell camera. The night vision feature is what enables you to easily see who is at your door at night, when it is cloudy outside, in extremely shady areas, etc. Night vision works using infrared technology to make the video appear as if it was daylight. The higher the resolution of your doorbell camera the better your night vision, and everything else will be.
Is the doorbell camera’s video quality important?
Yes, the video quality, or resolution, of any home security camera is important. The video quality will give you crisper, clearer images, and will provide you with truer colors both of which are important when it comes to properly identifying a criminal or what ultimately transpired at any given time of the day or night. Doorbell cameras have anywhere from 480p up to a 1080p resolution. So try to get the highest resolution you can for better images.
What about a doorbell camera’s field of vision?
A doorbell camera’s field of vision is how wide of an area the camera can see. A 90° angle means the doorbell camera can only see the area in front of the camera. A 180° angle means the doorbell camera can see the area in front and to the sides of it. So obviously, the wider the field of vision, the better. This is important because many thieves will try to avoid detection by staying outside of a cameras field of vision.
Do I need a live video feed?
Yes, you do need a live video feed; otherwise, what is the point of having a camera at all. With the live video feed option, your doorbell camera will give you real-time access to what is happening at your home at all times. When your doorbell camera detects motion, it will send you an alert at which time you can tap the app to see what triggered the alert. Then you can respond accordingly by using the two-way talk feature, contacting the authorities, or whatever action you deem necessary.
How do the doorbell camera recordings work?
Most doorbell cameras come with either a continuous recording feature or an intermittent recording feature that only records when it detects activity. The continuous video recording feature will record everything 24/7. The intermittent recording feature will only record when it senses activity. That means if you want to be able to see what’s happening at your door at any given time, you will need to purchase a doorbell camera that has the continuous recording feature.
Do video doorbell cameras record audio as well?
A few other things you might want to inquire about are whether your chosen doorbell camera has a video recording feature and that it is also capable of recording audio as well. However, with that being said, you need to be careful when using the audio feature because in some states you cannot record audio without having the other person’s consent. But if your chosen camera does come with an audio feature and you do not want to use it, you might be able to disable the audio recording feature, depending on the brand.
Should I opt for local video storage or cloud video storage?
A cloud video storage feature is good to have if you can afford it. There is also a local video storage option that has internal storage capabilities or you can store your video using a microSD card neither of which require you to pay for storage other than the price of the microSD card. However, once the storage is full, the camera will record over the pre-existing video, which could present a problem if you ever need to access the recorded history of your doorbell camera. That is where cloud storage has the advantage because you can store as many hours of video recordings as you are willing to pay for.
Installing a doorbell camera doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, you can have your system setup in a matter of minutes, with limited tools, and without breaking a sweat. Some doorbell cameras even come with the tools (drill bits, screwdrivers, screws, etc.) that you need.
We’ve provided a basic rundown of how to install a doorbell camera. By no means are the bullets below a substitute for your doorbell camera’s instructions. This is only meant to illustrate how fast and easy DIY installation can be.
Doorbell camera installation steps might include:
(Again, this is not a replacement for an instruction manual. Always defer to the manufacturer’s instructions, as every doorbell camera has different installation requirements)
It’s also possible to install a doorbell camera even if you don’t have an existing doorbell. However, this is a bit more involved and takes more patience and time to install. But in the end, you can keep a hawk-eye on your entryway, grant access to friends and family, and shoo away pesky porch pirates.
Want the safest and most futuristic apartment unit in the complex? If so, start by outfitting your front door with a doorbell camera. If you rent an apartment or condo, you have a handful of doorbell camera options to choose from. Certain video doorbell cams also work great for duplexes, flats and lofts, penthouses, Airbnb units, and the list goes on.
With a doorbell camera, you can watch your doorstep in real-time. It doesn’t matter if you have an upstairs or downstairs unit, you can view who’s creeping in the hall, and even give them a stern warning with two-way voice. So… what exactly should renters look for in a doorbell camera?
The best doorbell cameras for apartments and condos have a few things in common. First, they should be wireless. After all, getting permission from management to install a doorbell camera (even a wireless one!) can be a losing battle. So the less invasive, the better. Wireless doorbell cameras don’t require drilling or splicing wires, so they can be set up and taken down in a jiffy.
Also, you want to make sure the doorbell camera comes equipped with HD video, night vision, a wide-angle lens, and real-time motion-activated alerts via mobile app. These are standard features that most video doorbell cameras come with, and are important for renters and homeowners alike.
It’s worth mentioning Ring’s latest product for apartment-dwellers. The new Ring Door View Cam actually attaches to the peephole in your door and provides the same HD image quality and nifty features of other Ring Doorbells. This wireless device sends motion-activated alerts when someone comes to your door and/or rings your doorbell. But Ring is just one option for renters. There are plenty of others worth looking into.
Is it legal to have a doorbell camera in my apartment?
That’s a great question. And to answer it you should start by checking with your apartment manager. The law isn’t so black-and-white, but the management should have the most recent codes and laws on file. Now, even if you get their permission, you should also check with neighbors who might be impacted by a live-feed doorbell video camera. Many apartment units are opposing, where doors face one another. So in a way, your fancy new doorbell camera could be considered an infringement on your neighbor’s privacy. And the last thing you want is a disgruntled neighbor. Even if it’s not required by law, it’s best practice to run it by your neighbors before installing a doorbell camera.
The most affordable doorbell cameras fall around the $100-$150 range. This is downright cheap, especially when you consider the technology you’re getting. When you go with a low-cost doorbell camera, you don’t have to skimp on features. In fact, the best affordable video doorbells come stacked with HD image quality, night vision, 24/7 live-streaming, a nifty companion app, and other impressive features. Be sure to refer back to our Top 10 list above. Several of our top picks can be purchased for under $200.
What’s a smart home without a doorbell camera that works with Alexa? The truth is, doorbell camera companies are racing to put out smart-home compatible devices. And Amazon’s Alexa tops the list. So if you’re considering an Alexa compatible doorbell cam, you’re in luck. We’ll highlight just a few of your options here. But rest assured, more companies will be releasing smart doorbells that integrate seamlessly with the almighty Alexa.
With an Alexa compatible doorbell camera, you can flex your vocal chords from pretty much anywhere in the house to see, hear, and talk to people at your front door. You can access your live feed for viewing and control, and even give more advanced commands like “Alexa, show my front door.” However, it’s important to note that video-based commands do require Amazon’s Echo Show or Spot devices.
First up, we have the Ring Doorbell — the industry standard. The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is 100% compatible with Alexa. This powerful combination of devices lets you view, listen, and speak with visitors at your door. Tell the pizza man to hang tight, or tell the porch pirate to get lost. You can start and stop your Ring feed and even view your most recent video. The more advanced Ring Doorbell Pro allows for Alexa voice commands. Say “Alexa, show my front door,” or “Alexa, hide my front door” to close out the live feed. And you better believe Alexa will do your bidding. You can also nickname your front door anything you want to suit your fancy.
Moving on from Ring, the Nest Hello video doorbell is also compatible with Alexa. With this doorbell cam, you can view a live-feed of your entryway using Amazon’s Echo Show or Spot. And finally, we have SkyBell, another doorbell camera that works with Alexa. With SkyBell, you can tell Alexa to take snapshots of your front entryway, record video, and other commands.
There are other Alexa compatible doorbell cameras, but these are a few of the most popular and most purchased of the bunch. It’s one thing to have a doorbell video camera that you can view from your smartphone. But the moment you connect your doorbell cam to Alexa, you’ve officially entered the upper echelon of smart home enthusiasts.
Video storage is yet another important factor to consider. You see, your camera will capture images and video of everyone — from the mailman to masked men. So when you need hard evidence to find a crook, the best thing is crisp and clear video.
So this begs the question: where are you going to store your video clips? Some doorbell cameras (like DoorBird) offer local video storage via a microSD card, while most others have cloud storage that you pay to access. The main difference is convenience, quantity of video stored, and price.
Local storage is limited in its storage capacity. MicroSD cards typically range between 16GB and 128GB. Of course, 128GB offers loads of storage space. But video recordings can fill a card pretty quickly — especially if you configure your camera to continuous recordings (24/7!), opposed to even-based recordings (when motion is detected). Most doorbell cams that offer local storage will generally include a microSD card. The best part about local storage… there’s no monthly subscription fee!
On the other hand, you have to pay to access the convenience of ‘the cloud’, which is often viewed as the superior storage option. The cloud is an outside server that stores your doorbell camera video clips for you. And there’s really nothing the cloud can’t handle; you can continuously record for 10,000 lifetimes and it will still have room for more video recordings. The biggest drawback is that you have less control of your video when it’s in the cloud, compared to when it’s in your physical possession on a microSD card.
So which is better? Local storage or cloud storage? Well, it’s apples and oranges, really. The 21st century folks who value speed, efficiency, and limitless storage capacity typically go for a low-priced cloud storage plan. Others tend to be cagey about their video data and want complete control over their video clips. Those people go with local storage. So it’s really a matter of personal preference. But the best doorbell cameras today offer cloud video storage.
If you are not sure about whether or not you should invest in a doorbell camera, it is best to consider what it would mean to have one. For example, having a doorbell camera is like having an extra layer of security and the peace of mind that comes with it. Additionally, a doorbell camera is highly visible, which means just the fact that you have one could stop a crime before it even begins.
There are a multitude of reasons that having a video doorbell camera is the right way to go. Aside from making you and your family feel more secure, the doorbell camera will give you the opportunity to see who is outside your door and in the vicinity before you open the door to go outside. It will also enable you to see who is at your door and communicate with them without having to open the door. Additionally, if you have latch-key kids, it will enable them to deal with people at your door without having to open it while there is no adult supervision present.
Then there are the other features of having a doorbell camera such as being able to see if a package has arrived, to make sure your kids arrived home from school safely. It is also great to see who is coming and going while you are not there, especially if you have teenagers who think they are adults and are testing their boundaries. Other reasons a video doorbell camera could come in handy is if your neighborhood has been experiencing car or home break-ins, to help locate a child or senior that goes missing, and finding lost pets, etc. The reasons for having a video doorbell camera are almost endless!
YES! Yes, they are! Ask anyone who has a doorbell camera if it is worth the price and they will probably give you an emphatic YES! If you are still unsure, just ask yourself what your family’s safety worth to you and we bet you will have your answer. Crime happens everywhere, it could happen to you, even if you live in the best neighborhood in the country.
OK, that all makes sense, but what if you do not have the money for a doorbell camera? The answer is…even the cheapest doorbell camera is better than not having one at all. And, having a doorbell camera and being able to prevent a crime rather than being a victim of crime would ultimately be cheaper than having to pay insurance deductibles, paying to replace stolen items, or worse…having to pay for medical bills, etc.
We have lots of great affordable options on our list that, when it really gets down to it, are something you could afford for less than a cup of coffee a day. So skip that cup of coffee for the next few months and you will have easily paid for that doorbell camera without much extra effort on your part.
Doorbell camera online reviews are a dime-a-dozen, but not all reviews are created equal. This is crucial to remember, as many reviewers have the best intentions, but completely mislead people to the wrong products and services.
All of our reviews are the result of extensive research and testing. We dig deep into the best home security products available. Our objective reviewers discuss the pros and cons of different systems — in this case, doorbell cameras.
We then assign a SecureScore™ to each product. Our SecureScore™ rates customer service, value, equipment, features and tech, and ease-of-use. This gives you, the reader, a well-rounded picture of the product. And there is no other resource anywhere online that covers home security products and services with the same attention to detail that we do.
The aim is to educate our readers so that acquire the knowledge and confidence to make a wise buying decision. And to that end, we do everything we can to earn and maintain the trust of our readers. It’s why we do what we do.
By now you should have a solid understanding of the best video doorbell cameras out there. These devices serve as a great first line of defense and are capable of safeguarding your home and family. And the latest doorbell cameras come stacked with impressive mobile apps that let you access, view, listen, talk, and take total control of your entryway, from anywhere in the world!
Doorbell cameras are relatively inexpensive (especially considering the features and tech), easy to install, easy to use, and they can even integrate with smart home ecosystems. So whether you choose Ring, Nest, SkyBell, August — or any of the other doorbell cameras that we reviewed — we’re confident that you’re equipped with everything needed to make the right choice for you.
Jaime Fraze has 16 years of writing and editing experience, with seven years spent writing about emerging technologies. As our home security camera expert, she has hand-tested and reviewed every major security camera brand and has written more than 300 articles on the topic. Previously, Jaime has contributed to award-winning media outlets such as the Rocky Mount Telegram and the Daytona Beach News-Journal. As a homeowner and mother of two, Jaime is constantly looking for ways to keep her home and family safe. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English/Journalism from the University of Delaware.