A video doorbell can be a great addition to any smart home. As its name suggests, it’ll capture video footage of whoever is at your front door. That can be particularly handy if you’re away from your home, as it’ll let you see whoever is at your door via a companion app. Most are motion-activated, so even if your visitor doesn’t buzz the bell or knock on your door, it’ll still capture them.
And, if one of your delivered packages happens to “disappear” from your front porch, you’ll at least have footage of whoever decided to take it.
If you’re looking to pick up a video doorbell that can pair with your current smart home setup and act as an extra piece of home security, here’s what you should be checking out.
Before you commit to buying a video doorbell, it’s important to consider that most of these devices require a subscription service to store and archive your footage. Be sure to factor in the monthly or yearly cost for the respective services.
Owned by Amazon, Ring’s Video Doorbell captures 1080p HD video, has a built-in motion sensor, and a two-way talk function for when you can’t answer the door.
You can access live video via the Ring companion app on your phone, tablet or computer. If your house favours Alexa-powered smart devices, it’d make sense to fold this into your network of gadgets. For example, you can use the Echo Show to playback footage.
While the doorbell will let you seen live footage and send you notifications, you’ll need a Ring Protect Plan if you want to access recordings. These plans start from $4/month and will store recorded video for up to 30-days.
While this is the basic model, Ring has a few more variants available, most of which include additional features. The most recent being the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 ($399), which can capture 1536p HD head-to-toe video, has 3D motion detection and 5GHz wi-fi support.
There is a wired-only version of the standard Ring Video Doorbell ($95) available, but unless you already have a wired doorbell set up, it’s probably better to go wireless – unless you want to pay for an electrician to properly install it.
If your home favours Google smart devices like the Nest Hub, the Nest Doorbell could be the next thing you want to add to your network. Even without other Google devices, the Nest Doorbell is still a solid choice for smart home security.
This doorbell captures HD video with a 3:4 ratio, which gives you a wide field of view for your captured footage during both day and night. It has both a motion and proximity sensor, along with a two-way audio feed with noise cancellation.
The Nest doorbell will send you alerts and let you access a 24/7 live view via the Google Home App, along with a three-hour window of video history. If you want to access more video history, you’ll need a Nest Aware subscription ($9/month) to see up to the past 30 days or a Nest Aware Plus subscription ($18/month) to see up to 60 days.
Want an alternative option that isn’t Amazon or Google? Arlo mainly produces a range of security cameras but has started to branch out into the field of video doorbells.
The Arlo Doorbell has a 180-degree viewing angle with a 1:1 aspect ratio, giving you a head-to-toe view of your visitors, along with a motion sensor that will send you an alert when movement is detected. If you aren’t home, the doorbell’s two-way audio will let you answer the door via a video call. As an extra security measure, you can also trigger the doorbell to play a loud siren.
While the Arlo Doorbell will let you see live video streaming and receive motion notifications, you’ll need an Arlo Secure subscription ($4.49/month) to access features like 2K cloud recording, advanced object and activity zone detection, and 30-day video history.
This doorbell does need a wired connection to be powered up, so if your current living space doesn’t already have one of those installed, you might be better off with a battery-powered doorbell.
The Eufy Video Doorbell records in 2K UHD resolution with a 160-degree field of view and 4:3 aspect ratio, and runs on a six month battery life.
By using the Eufy Security app, you can customise the range of the motion detector’s activity zone. This way, you can avoid the doorbell triggering because it picked up a neighbour going for a walk on the other side of the street.
This doorbell comes bundled with a Homebase 2, which uses AES-256 data encryption to locally store recorded content. The local storage capacity is 16GB, which is around two months worth of video, so you’ll need to be diligent when it comes to making sure there’s enough space to spare. It can also be paired with both Alexa and Google Assistant.
Unlike the other video doorbells here, the Eufy doorbell doesn’t require a monthly subscription fee.