Choosing the right video doorbell camera provides a level of security when you’re interested in protecting your home and neighborhood. With so many models in the marketplace, it’s challenging to decide which one is right for you. We’ve broken down the must-have video doorbell features so we can share our top picks for homes and budgets of all sizes.
The Best Video Doorbell Cameras
With a combination of high-tech features and an easy-to-use interface, these video doorbell cameras are the top 5 models available today.
- Ring Video Doorbell Elite
- eufy Security Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
- Wyze Video Doorbell
- Ring Video 2nd Generation
- Arlo Essential Video Doorbell
Best Video Doorbell Reviews
When you’re looking for ways to better secure your home, consider one of our picks for the top video doorbell cameras. They include technology that works with your favorite voice assistants, and that even differentiates between the family dog and a package at your doorstep.
The Ring Video Doorbell Elite
may be the best-known option on our list, because it’s an Amazon product with a lot of marketing. It also naturally integrates with Amazon’s voice-activated family of products, which means it pairs well with Alexa’s voice command menu.
You can receive visitor announcements via an Amazon Echo or view packages in 1080p resolution as they arrive on your Echo, phone, tablet, or PC. The sound is two-way, too, so you can speak to visitors through your devices. The video doorbell’s sensitive motion detection tech works however you want it to. Receive an alert if there’s movement outside your home, or only get notified when someone presses the doorbell.
One of this product’s top perks is its Ethernet connection, which provides access when the power or WiFi goes out. You can also set up privacy zones for sensitive areas of your home or yard, and you can remove audio altogether.
Like most Amazon products, the Ring development team thought of just about everything, and the price you’ll pay reflects it. It’s a bit more expensive than other competing products, and the price goes up if you add on the Ring Protect Plan. This optional monthly subscription lets you record and review camera footage for up to 60 days after it saves.
However, the sleek design, responsive control, and Amazon brand reputation warrant the investment. Consider the Ring Video Doorbell Elite
a top contender if you want the ultimate video protection for your home in a small, simple package.
The eufy Security Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
brings something different to the market with a hard-wired doorbell that works with your existing doorbell wiring and stores everything on the unit itself. With local storage, you don’t have to pay for a subscription to store and access your files. Plus, some argue that it’s more secure.
It captures 2K images (2,560 x 1,920 resolution), but the “preview” photos it snaps in the moment are lower quality and not as easy to parse. The doorbell lets you choose custom responses to people, packages, and more, and it provides 2-way audio for real-time communication.
The video recognition AI works well, too, and can tell the difference between trees, dogs, and packages, so you won’t receive alerts all day long. Also, the fun holiday chime options are a nice touch.
This doorbell doesn’t support continuous recording, which is a problem if you want more context for your videos. You can only retrieve video from the doorbell directly, which makes viewing video difficult if you’re not at home. You also must be comfortable dealing with your own home’s wiring, because this is not plug and play. You can only hardwire it into existing power sources.
The real treat for users who choose the eufy Security Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
is security and cost. With no subscription plans to pay for, you get the same features and perks throughout the life of the device. With locally stored videos and photos, you have total control over your data. This perfectly priced doorbell is worth a look if you don’t like using cloud-based options.
The Wyze Video Doorbell
is the lowest-priced and smallest device on our list, making it an attractive option for those on a budget. The subscription plan is necessary to access any of your stored video clips, and there is no local storage. But the plan is relatively inexpensive. And even when you add it to the cost of the unit, it’s still priced far below the competition.
Where the Wyze may disappoint is in the wiring. You can only hardwire it, with no other option for powering it. It also features 1080p Full High Definition (FHD) as its highest resolution, which isn’t ideal in low-light scenarios. You may also be disappointed by the 12-second videos, which make it challenging to view longer interactions. Plus, you can only save videos to the Cloud for 14 days, even with the paid plan.
However, this camera is weather-resistant, durable, and plays a “chime” when people arrive in any room that you plug it into – no phone app needed. It’s small and affordable, too. If you have a limited budget and aren’t concerned about the 2-week window for recordings, the Wyze Video Doorbell
is a solid pick.
Ring Doorbell 2nd Generation
is another offering from Amazon’s security brand. It boasts 1080p video and many of the perks of the Elite, including 2-way audio, video monitoring from any connected device, and improved motion detection.
You can set up privacy zones to avoid monitoring in sensitive areas, and access better night vision features than previous models. You can also customize mobile notifications so you’re only pinged about hand-picked activities. This model has a built-in rechargeable battery, too, so you can remove the doorbell to charge it. Or, you can use any existing doorbell wires for continuous power.
The Ring app is a breeze to use, and you’ll love how it pairs with Alexa-enabled devices. As with all Ring cameras, the best features and cloud storage are reserved for paid subscriptions, so budget accordingly. With a low starting price and plenty of features, most Ring Doorbell 2nd Generation
buyers will find the price is right.
Another top name in security, the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell
promises a small, streamlined security experience that you can set up in minutes. The wire-free, battery-operated doorbell is indeed a breeze to install, and there’s a wired option if you have an existing doorbell.
The HDR video gives a clear picture of the people, animals, and packages that may arrive at your door. And the Arlo phone app lets you customize your notifications, whether it’s every visitor or just those who appear threatening or of interest.
The doorbell’s better features include 30-day cloud storage, emergency response, activity zones, smoke and CO2 alarm detection, package detection, and call a friend. But they’re only available if you pay for a subscription plan. The good news is the device includes a 30-day trial to see if it’s right for you. Also, the packaging promises 4 to 6 months of use per battery charge, but reviewers say it’s shorter than that, especially in colder climates.
Overall, this is a feature-packed doorbell in a small size that’s easy to charge and provides rich, 4K video quality. The field of view is larger than some cameras, too, and the distinction between package and person is a nice perk. Just be sure to include the subscription fee when you decide to buy the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell
What to look for in a good video doorbell camera
What makes a video doorbell camera different from other security cameras or even game cameras? The following features can make a world of difference and guarantee a frictionless experience for homeowners.
Most cameras rely on wireless technology to connect and deliver video feeds, with some working nicely with dual-band routers. While wireless is convenient for setup and maintenance, wired solutions remain necessary.
If you lose power or need a more stable option, doorbell cameras with an Ethernet port are ideal. Look for this feature if you plan to integrate your doorbell feed into an existing, compatible wired home security system.
Long battery life
With an old-school doorbell, you would plug it directly into your home’s wiring for uninterrupted power. Some of the newer video doorbell systems work with legacy electrical systems, so they’re a better option if you want to hardwire the unit.
For others, long battery life is essential, and you should be realistic about the time listed on the manufacturer’s specs. If you live in a colder climate or a high-traffic area, your doorbell camera will be very active, especially if you can’t turn off certain motion actions or reduce the recording area.
Few batteries perform quite as well as promised, so consider how long you want to go between charges, how easy it is to charge, and if you can use spare batteries to reduce downtime.
The better perks of these cameras almost always come at a cost in the form of subscription plans through the manufacturer. Ranging from a few dollars per month to almost $10 per month, you can add hundreds of dollars to your annual budget, especially if you use multiple cameras. Consider which features are always free, and avoid purchasing a camera that puts most of its best perks in a cost-prohibitive paid plan.
Make sure customer service is available to all users, too. Whether you need to return a faulty product or get help with setup, be wary of any company that can’t answer your questions in a timely and professional manner.
What is the best video doorbell camera for you?
The eufy Security Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
is the clear winner in terms of features, affordability, and security, even if it’s a bit tricky to set up. You won’t ever deal with dead batteries when you choose this hardwired video camera, and you won’t have to continuously monitor battery life to keep your home protected.
The biggest perk of the eufy is the local video storage. With no Cloud storage services to buy, you’ll save money in the long run and you’ll have total control over your videos. Just be sure to check the storage and manage your data properly.
You also get crisp 2K video quality, a smart AI sensor that distinguishes between people and pets, and a long product life. Altogether, this is pretty much the perfect doorbell camera.
If you want a high-quality product you can set up and forget about, the eufy Security Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
is the best option. It requires no additional subscription services, so you know exactly what you’re getting and how much it will cost at the time of purchase. Even better, if you have existing doorbell wiring (or easy access to an electrician), this is a solid investment.
About the Author: Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.