Finest video doorbells in 2021: Leading smart doorbell video cams ranked

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These are the very best video doorbells based upon video clip high quality, notices, wise house combination and more

Best video doorbells in 2021

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The best video doorbells could help prevent people from stealing packages from your front stoop — or at least identify the porch pirate. That’s because a doorbell camera records all the activity happening in front of your front door, and sends you an alert to your smartphone. Some smart doorbells can also let you know when a package has arrived, helpful in this delivery-heavy era.

The best doorbell cameras are also good for those with mobility issues. For example, if you can’t get to your front door easily or quickly, you can use your smartphone to tell your visitor to wait until you get to the front door.

We’ve tested dozens of video doorbells to bring you what we think are the best.

What are the best video doorbells?

After testing all of the top models, we think that the best video doorbell is the Nest Hello Smart Wi-Fi Video Doorbell. It has the highest video quality, can recognize individual faces and can even announce them, too. But, to get most of the Nest Hello’s great features, you’ll need to subscribe to Nest Aware, which starts at $6 per month, but includes 30 days of video for an unlimited number of cameras at one location.

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If you’re looking for a smart doorbell you don’t need to wire, we recommend the Ring Video Doorbell 3, which can run off battery power alone (you’ll need to recharge it every few months). The Ring Video Doorbell 4 also runs on battery power, and has color Pre-Roll feature that adds up to four seconds of video before a motion event occurs, so that you can better see people as they approach your door. It’s currently available for $199; stay tuned for our review.

In the meantime, check out our picks for the best video doorbells.

The best video doorbells you can buy today

1. Nest Hello

The best video doorbell overall

Best video doorbells: Nest Hello

Nest Hello (Image credit: Nest)

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Video Resolution: 1600 x 1200
  • Field of View: 160 degrees
  • Works with: Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Size: 4.6 x 1.7 x 1 inch
  • Wired/Battery: wired
  • Starting Storage Fee: $6/month, $60/year for 30 days video
REASONS TO BUY
Great video quality
Flexible scheduling
Facial recognition
REASONS TO AVOID
Uses a lot of bandwidth to upload video
Requires hardwired connection

The Nest Hello takes the top honors as the best video doorbell overall, as it produced the best-looking video we’ve yet seen from one of these devices, and its microphone and speaker were excellent, too. This is one smart video doorbell, too: The Nest Hello can also recognize people’s faces, and announce them via a Google Assistant compatible device when they come to your door. (It also works with Alexa).

While the Hello needs a hardwired connection, it continuously records video, so you’ll never miss an event. You can also set up specific zones, so you’ll only be notified when a person or object appears in that area of the frame. To get most of these features, you’ll need to subscribe to the Nest Aware service (starting at $6/month or $60 year for 30 days of video), but they’re worth it.

2. Ring Video Doorbell 3

The best video doorbell for wireless installation

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus (Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Field of View: 160 degrees
  • Works with: Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT
  • Size: 5.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Wired/Battery: Yes/Yes
  • Starting Storage Fee: $30/year for 60 days video
REASONS TO BUY
Can be wired or battery-powered
Pre-roll shows all movement
Works with a good number of other smart home devices
REASONS TO AVOID
No package detection
No preview notification
Subscription required for many features

Because it can run entirely on battery power, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 is the best video doorbell for homes or locations where there isn’t already power. But the reason Ring’s video doorbells also rank so high is that they can also run using a hardwired connection, making it very versatile. That’s why we recognized it in the Tom’s Guide Awards 2021 for Smart Home.

This 1080p doorbell camera offers good customization for motion alerts, although it’s not as robust as the Ring Pro’s. However, you still get the same ability to share videos with neighbors, as well as Ring’s affordable video-storage fees.

Ring’s video doorbell can also be paired with an optional Ring Chime ($29) or the Ring Chime Pro ($49), if you don’t already have a doorbell chime inside your house. The Chime Pro also acts as a Wi-Fi repeater, good for if your front door is out of range of your router.

3. Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen)

The best video doorbell value

Ring Video Doorbell (2nd generation) (Image credit: Future)

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Field of View: 160 degrees
  • Works with: Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, IFTTT
  • Size: 5.05 x 2.50 x 1.08 inches
  • Wired/Battery: Yes/Yes
  • Starting Storage Fee: $30/year for 60 days video
REASONS TO BUY
Inexpensive
Customizable motion zones
Good-quality video
Works wired or battery powered
REASONS TO AVOID
No pre-roll feature
No package detection

Ring’s original Video Doorbell has been upgraded: The Ring Video Doorbell (2nd generation) has a 1080p camera (up from 720p on the original), as well as improved night vision and better motion-tracking capabilities. And, at less than $100, it’s still the best video doorbell for those on a budget.

Like the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and 4, we like that you can use this model either wired or on battery power alone, and you can create custom motion zones, and also see what’s going on in your neighborhood. Plus, Ring offers very affordable video storage plans starting at $30 a year.

4. Arlo Video Doorbell

Best video doorbell for animal detection

Arlo Video Doorbell (Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Video Resolution: 1536 x 1536
  • Field of View: 180 degrees (diagonal)
  • Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Size: 5.1 x 1.8 x 1 inches
  • Wired/Battery: Yes/No
  • Starting Storage Fee: $3/month (single camera)
REASONS TO BUY
Great video/audio quality
Person, package, animal detection
Feature-packed app
REASONS TO AVOID
Requires subscription for most features
Wired only

Arlo makes some of the best home security cameras, so it should be no surprise that the Arlo Video doorbell is one of the best video doorbells, too. It delivered high-quality video and audio both day and night, and features both person and package detection. Arlo’s video doorbell also works with Alexa and Google Assistant, so can receive notifications on smart speakers, and livestream video from the doorbell to an Amazon Echo Show or Google Nest Hub smart display.

Arlo’s app has a ton of features, but some of them, such as motion sensitivity, are difficult to find. Also, the video doorbell has to be hard-wired. And, for most of the smarter features, including video storage, you need to sign up for a subscription.  But, if you have Arlo’s security cameras, its video doorbell will make an excellent addition, as you can add up to five cameras for $10 a month.

5. Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

Sees more of your front porch

RIng Video Doorbell Pro 2 (Image credit: Ring)

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Video Resolution: 1536 x 1536
  • Field of View: 150 x 150 degrees
  • Works with: Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT
  • Size: 4 x 1.8 x 0.88 inches
  • Wired/Battery: No
  • Starting Storage Fee: $30/year for 60 days video
REASONS TO BUY
Shows more of front porch than other Ring cameras
Great video quality
Slim design
REASONS TO AVOID
No package detection
Expensive
Wired only

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is the first from the company that has a square aspect ratio, which means the video is as tall as it is wide. What that means is that it can show much more of your front stoop than other Ring doorbells — so you’re more likely to see when a package has been dropped off. It also has customizable motion zones and a new “radar” feature that helps cut down on unwanted notifications.

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 delivered excellent video quality, was very responsive, and wasn’t too hard to install. Just know that it’s not battery-operated, and you’ll also need to subscribe to a Ring Protect plan (starting at $3/month or $30/year) if you want to get the most out of the video doorbell.

6. Logitech Circle View Doorbell

Best video doorbell for HomeKit users

(Image credit: Logitech)

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Video Resolution: 1200 x 1600
  • Field of View: 160 degrees/3:4 portrait view
  • Works with: Apple HomeKit
  • Size: 4.68 x 1.65 x 1.1 inches
  • Wired/Battery: Yes
  • Starting Storage Fee: $2.99 per month/10 days of video
REASONS TO BUY
Good video quality
Slim
Secure cloud storage
REASONS TO AVOID
Setup could be easier
Only works with HomeKit/iOS devices
Expensive

If you’re an Apple HomeKit user, you don’t have many choices when it comes to video doorbells. The Logitech Circle View is one of the few options, and fortunately, it’s pretty good. We liked its 3:4 aspect ratio, which shows more of our front porch, as well as its sharp video quality both day and night. It also has very secure cloud storage and it can identify people by face if they’re in your iCloud photos.

However, the setup process — which is done entirely in the Home app on your iPhone — could be easier. And, the cloud storage plan ($2.99/month for 10 days of video storage) isn’t as generous as other companies. But, if you’re on HomeKit, this is one of your best — and only — options.

7. Ring Peephole Cam

Best video doorbell for apartments

Ring Peephole Cam (Image credit: Ring)

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Field of View: 155 degrees horizontal, 90 degrees vertical
  • Works with: Amazon Alexa
  • Size: 4.4 x 2.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Wired/Battery: No/Yes
  • Starting Storage Fee: $30/year for 30 days of video
REASONS TO BUY
Simple to install
Good video quality
Works with Alexa
REASONS TO AVOID
Storm door can block night view
Doesn't work with Google Assistant

Can’t install a traditional video doorbell, or live in an apartment? The Ring Peephole Cam is the best video doorbell for you. It replaces a traditional peephole, giving you an electronic means of seeing who’s at the door. (Don’t worry; it has a peephole built in). Because it screws into place, you don’t have to drill any new holes into a door, so your landlord won’t get annoyed.

Because the Peephole Cam is battery-operated, you’ll have to recharge it once every month or so, depending on how often you use it. And while it works with Alexa—you can view a feed from the camera on an Echo Show, for example—it doesn’t work with Google Assistant.

8. Ring Video Doorbell Wired

The cheapest Ring video doorbell — with some compromises

Ring Video Doorbell Wired (Image credit: Future)

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Camera resolution: 1080p
  • Field of view: 155° horizontal
  • Audio: Two-Way Talk with Noise Cancellation
  • Night Vision: IR LEDs
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4GHz
  • Size: 3.9 x 1.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Starting storage fee: $3/month for 30 days video
REASONS TO BUY
Inexpensive
Good video quality
Small
REASONS TO AVOID
Does not work with existing door chimes
Requires purchase of Ring Chime if you want to hear a ring

The low price of the Ring Video Doorbell Wired — just $60 — is very tempting for those looking for a budget video doorbell from a reputable brand. However, there are a few caveats that will make the total cost a bit higher. That’s because this video doorbell does not work with your existing doorbell chime, so you’ll need to tack on an extra $20 or so to purchase a Ring Chime if you want to hear the familiar ding-dong in your home.

Otherwise, the Ring Video Doorbell Wired works well, produces a quality image, and has a slim profile. You’ll need a Ring Protect subscription (starting at $3/month) if you want to save recordings, which also adds to the overall cost. But, this is a good video doorbell with a comparatively low entry fee.

9. Maximus Answer DualCam

This video doorbell can show you if packages arrived

Maximus Answer DualCam (Image credit: Maximus)

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Video Resolution: 1080p (top camera) 720p (bottom camera)
  • Field of View: 180 degrees (vertical)
  • Works with: n/a
  • Size: 4.5 x 1.8 x 1 inches
  • Wired/Battery: Yes/no
  • Starting Storage Fee: $4.99/month for 7 days video
REASONS TO BUY
Dual cameras show more of visitors and packages on the doorstep
Installation is simple
Kuna app is easy to use
REASONS TO AVOID
The volume of doorbell speaker is low
Doesn't work with other smart home systems

While many video doorbells claim to have a wide field of view, virtually none of them can see what’s happening right at your doorstep—where the majority of your packages are dropped. The Maximus Answer DualCam solves this problem by packing two cameras: one that looks straight out, and one that looks directly down. That way, you can see if there’s a package at your door—and if someone tries to steal it.

The dual-camera setup worked well, though this video doorbell has a few rough edges. Its speaker is pretty quiet, and there’s a delay between the time you talk and a visitor hears you. Plus, the Maximus doesn’t work with any other smart home system, such as Alexa or Google Assistant.

10. Eufy 2K Video Doorbell

An inexpensive video doorbell that delivers on the basics

Eufy 2K Video Doorbell (Image credit: Eufy)

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Video Resolution: 2560 x 1920
  • Field of View: 150 degrees
  • Works with: Alexa, Google Home
  • Size: 4.8 x 1.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Wired/Battery: Yes/no
  • Starting Storage Fee: $3.99 a month or $29.99 a year for 30 days of video
REASONS TO BUY
Easy-to-use app
Doorbell chime included
Built-in storage
REASONS TO AVOID
Requires wired connection
Doesn't support multiple users

The Eufy 2K Video Doorbell records good-quality video over a 150-degree field of view. While you can sign up for cloud storage (which starts at $30/year for 30 days of storage), the Eufy 2K also has a microSD card slot, so you can save footage locally, too.

However, the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell has a few drawbacks: It’s a wired-only device, only supports one user (so you can’t share it with family members), and has limited smart-home interoperability. But for around $150, it’s not a bad deal.

Rate result table
Eufy 2K Video Doorbell
1
Nest Hello
0
Ring Video Doorbell 3
0
Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen)
0
Arlo Video Doorbell
0
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
0
Logitech Circle View Doorbell
0
Ring Peephole Cam
0
Ring Video Doorbell Wired
0
Maximus Answer DualCam
0

How to choose the best video doorbell

Wired vs. wireless

Video doorbells typically require 16 volts or more to work. If you have a newer house, this may not be an issue. But as we found out, older homes with more-antiquated systems may not deliver enough juice. One of our test houses, which was built in 1946, was sending only about 10 volts of electricity to the existing doorbell, which wasn’t enough to power the two doorbells in the roundup that lack built-in batteries.

After we upgraded the doorbell’s circuit to a 20-volt transformer, everything worked as advertised. Most people shouldn’t have to upgrade their transformers, especially with newer houses, and the two doorbells that have built-in batteries don’t require power from the doorbell at all.

Some doorbells, like the Ring Video Doorbell 2, can run on battery power. This is incredibly helpful if your existing wiring isn’t getting the job done and you don’t want to upgrade the transformer. Just remember that you’ll have to recharge these units regularly.

Doorbell placement

Your choice of doorbells will also depend on whether you’re replacing an existing doorbell or installing a doorbell where there isn’t one already. The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the most flexible. While it can replace a hardwired doorbell supplying 8-24 volts of electricity, its rechargeable battery means you could put this doorbell anywhere. And the optional Ring Chime add-on can even sound an audible chime inside the house, just like a traditional doorbell would.

The August Doorbell Cam requires 16-24 volts of electricity and can replace only a wired mechanical doorbell.

Field of View

Do you want a narrow view of just the person at the door, or do you want to see everything around your entryway? The Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Ring Pro boast 160-degree viewing angles, which let me see my whole porch and driveway.

Video Resolution

The higher the resolution, the sharper the image, which will make it easier to identify people at your door. Ring’s higher-end doorbells record video in 1080p, while the August Doorbell Cam’s resolution is actually 1280 x 960, not quite “full” 1080p resolution.

Night Mode

The video doorbells we tested take different approaches to capturing video at night. The August Doorbell cam uses motion-activated LEDs to light the area in front of the camera, so it can capture colors a little better. Ring’s doorbells use infrared night vision to see in the dark, but the result is monochrome video.

Design

Aesthetics may be a concern. After all, you’re bolting this thing to the front of your house! The Ring Pro looks the most like a traditional doorbell, and Ring even includes four faceplates, so you can choose which matches your house’s trim or paint one exactly the shade you like.

Video doorbells vs. security cameras

Video doorbells don’t necessarily make the best home security cameras. While the apps let you choose to receive motion alerts as well as doorbell alerts, motion-triggered events often resulted in video of a person or car just exiting the frame.

A dedicated home security camera may be a better choice if you’re looking for actual security, because you can position such a camera in more places. And when you get a motion alert, you can back up the video and see what happened before the alert came in.

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