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The best video doorbells to keep your home safer
Video doorbells are increasingly popular, one of the biggest drivers being package security — since you can get everything from groceries to electric vehicles delivered these days, it’s important to deter thieves before they strike. They’re also handy for general surveillance, or just making sure it’s safe to answer unexpected visitors.
Also read: What is a smart home, and why should you want one
All video doorbells offer motion- or button-triggered notifications on linked devices, allowing you to tune into live video, but feature sets can diverge radically from there. Check out six of the best smart video doorbells you can buy right now.
The best smart video doorbells:
Editor’s note: We’ll regularly update this list of the best video doorbells as newer ones launch.
Ring Video Doorbell 4
The original Ring Video Doorbell was the first such product to enter the market. A few generations on, the Video Doorbell 4 captures video in 1080p, and runs entirely on a removable battery. It supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, which is relatively uncommon in the smart home world — just make sure a router is close by if you’re going to try 5GHz speeds.
Some other features include two-way audio, customizable alert areas, and pre-roll video previews of motion events (you’ll see a few seconds before an alert was triggered, in other words). You can even use canned “quick replies” to answer visitors if you’re busy. Note that while you can use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant on top of the Ring app, Assistant fans should look to other doorbells first. Ring is owned by Amazon, so the product does more in the Alexa ecosystem.
If you only care about a basic feature set and want to save cash, you can opt for the wired Video Doorbell. Regardless, both that and the Video Doorbell 4 require a Ring Protect subscription for some features like recording.
Arlo Essential Video Doorbell (Wire-Free)
The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell is a competitive option that regularly goes on sale. It can be used with or without wires, and comes with great specs, including six-month battery life, HDR video, and a 180-degree field of view, surpassing the 160 degrees of the Ring Video Doorbell 4. Plenty of other standard features are in tow, such as two-way talk. It works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung SmartThings.
Unlike Ring, Arlo supports local video recording when the Essential is connected to an Arlo Base Station or Smart Hub. That mitigates some of the necessity for an Arlo Secure subscription, though a plan is still required for things like interactive notifications or person, package, vehicle, and animal detection. Without local storage, you’ll need Secure to get recordings, too.
Eufy 2K Video Doorbell (Battery-Powered)
Though you’ll have to take the 2K Video Doorbell down to recharge, it does have a six-month battery, and there’s a killer feature: its HomeBase module, which not only chimes but offers 16GB of local recording if you don’t want to pay for a cloud subscription. Its namesake video, meanwhile, is sharper than usual and in a 4:3 ratio suited to watching packages.
Check out the full review: Eufy 2K Security Video Doorbell
Eufy makes freedom from subscriptions a selling point, noting that features like activity zones and person detection aren’t behind a paywall. If avoiding yet another monthly fee is important, this doorbell should be on your shortlist.
Google Nest Doorbell (Wired, 2nd gen)
Google is known for great security cameras, albeit on the pricier side relative to features. We used to recommend the Battery version of the Nest Doorbell, but there’s finally a second-generation Wired model that offers the same essential specs, including a sleek design with a 145-degree (diagonal) field of view and HDR (high dynamic range) video.
Unlike its sibling, it can’t keep recording if power is cut. The tradeoff is never having to recharge a battery, and the option of continuous cloud recording for up to 10 days with a Nest Aware Plus subscription. The Battery model can only save event clips.
While the product is built for the Google Assistant ecosystem, you can also stream video to Alexa-compatible displays. In fact the Nest Doorbell is one of the “smartest” options on the market, able to handle person, package, animal, and vehicle detection on-device instead of farming it out to the cloud.
Video resolution is an oddly low 960p, yet still manages to look pretty good. Note that if you don’t care about continuous recording, you still get three hours of event recording for free, and you can spring for a standard Nest Aware subscription to extend that to 30 days and enable familiar face recognition. The latter tells you when the doorbell spots a labeled friend or family member.
Eufy Video Doorbell Dual (Wireless)
The Video Doorbell Dual is Eufy’s top-of-the-line option, improving on the 2K Video Doorbell with a second, ground-facing camera meant to guard deliveries. It recognizes both people and boxes, and even tells you when packages are delivered or picked up via motion alerts.
It might sound like the ultimate doorbell, but there are some limitations. It doesn’t detect bags or envelopes, so you’ll have to rely on human and button alerts whenever you order meals or groceries. The wireless version is also expensive in tandem with the required HomeBase 2 module, so while it’s subscription-free, you should probably go with the 2K Video Doorbell unless you get packages delivered on a regular basis.
Alternately, there’s a wired version of the Dual. It’s cheaper at $200 or less. Storage drops from 16GB to 8GB since it replaces the HomeBase with a chime module, but on the plus side, unlimited power means you get three-second preview videos.
Blink Video Doorbell
Amazon’s Blink security brand offers a variety of options at low prices. In fact, while the Blink Video Doorbell officially retails for $49.99, it can sometimes be found for even less.
It makes relatively few (major) sacrifices to reach that pricetag, sporting 1080p daytime views, lower-quality night vision, and a 135-degree field of view. There’s no object recognition, but it runs wire-free, using two AA batteries that last up to two years. The trick is that for anything beyond live views of button or motion events you’ll need to spend extra on a Blink Sync Module 2, which stays wired inside your home. It might as well be mandatory — shop for a bundle.
Related: Blink Outdoor camera review
Platform integration is limited to Alexa, and you’ll need a Blink subscription for cloud recording. You can plug a USB flash drive into the Sync Module 2 for local recording however, keeping costs in budget territory.