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The best video doorbells: Porch thieves beware

What is the best video doorbell? The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 takes our top spot! We researched and analyzed the top video doorbells on the market to make your home more secure than ever before. Porch pirates will be a thing of the past with Ring's new technology.
jason-cipriani-author.jpg
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer on

The home security industry has been revolutionized with new technology, ranging from smart home sensors to smart locks to security video cameras. But one of the most subtle and effective security measures you can add to your home is a video camera doorbell.

These doorbells serve two purposes: they record footage of people who approach your front door, and they alert you with a pleasant chime or jingle when they're pressed -- just like a regular doorbell -- and have a video recording of everything just in case. 

Although these devices can be very useful and increase your home's security, it can be tough to determine which video doorbell you should pick. Luckily for you, we've put together a selection of the top video doorbells in 2022.

There are tons of top-tier video doorbells on the market, but these models caught our attention over their competitors.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

Best video doorbell

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
Ring

Camera: 1536 HD+ Video FOV: 150 degrees Object detection: Package, person Wired or Battery: Wired Smart Home Compatibility: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa Subscription: Ring Protect starts at $3 a month

For those interested in a doorbell camera that can give them a wider field-of-view, Ring's Video Doorbell Pro 2 is a good pick (as are many of its other security products). It can work with the Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, and Google Home smart home networks.

More importantly, you'll enjoy a field-of-view of 150 x 150 degrees. The camera's square aspect ratio does a great job of showing almost all of even the largest front porches, preventing someone from hiding in the corner. 

The Video Doorbell Pro 2 was the first Ring device to feature 3D Motion Detection that cuts down on false alerts, and when combined with Birds Eye View, you'll get a map that shows the exact path someone took as they approached your front door. 

However, this camera is wired, and there's a required Ring Protect subscription ($30 per year) if you want to unlock most of the device's features.

Nest Doorbell (battery)

Runner-up

Nest Doorbell (battery)
Nest

Camera: 1.3-megapixel, 960x 1280 HD Video FOV: 145 degrees Object detection: Package, person, vehicle, animals Wired or Battery: Both Smart Home Compatibility: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa Subscription: Nest Aware starts at $6 per month 

Google's Nest recently updated its entire home security lineup, including a new Nest Doorbell. The battery-powered doorbell can be used wirelessly or connected directly to your existing wiring for power and to trigger your home's chime.   

Furthermore, instead of charging customers for object detection, Nest now gives customers free package, person, animal and vehicle detection. The only downside? You only get three hours of video history for free. If you want to get familiar face detection and alerts, along with extended video history, you'll need to spring for a Nest Aware or Nest Aware Plus plan for $6 or $12 a month, respectively. Nest Aware will get you 30 days of video history, while Aware Plus nets you 60 days of history and 24/7 video history for the last 10 days. 

You can use a smart display that uses either Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa personal assistant to view your video cam feed, or the Google Home app on your smartphone to answer the door when you're not home. 

Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell

Best value video doorbell

Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell
Arlo

Camera: 1536 x 1536 HD HDR video FOV: 180 degrees Object detection: Package, person, vehicle, animals Wired or Battery: Wired Smart Home Compatibility: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa Subscription: Arlo Secure starts at $2.99 a month

Arlo's Essential Wired Video Doorbell is a more affordable option at $150. The design looks like Nest's new doorbell, but the light-up ring around the doorbell button near the bottom of the housing is interactive. It stays turned off when no one is present, but as someone approaches your door, it lights up to let the person know where to press. 

You'll get full head-to-toe coverage thanks to the wide-angle camera that can even see in a dark environment. You'll need to have an existing wired doorbell for this particular model, but that means it'll also play nicely with your chime so you can get alerts in your home and on your phone.

You'll need to subscribe to Arlo Secure if you want to take advantage of object detection, set activity zones and view video history. Plans start at $2.99 a month for a single camera, or $9.99 a month for unlimited cameras.  

Logitech Circle View Doorbell

Best video doorbell for Apple users

Logitech Circle View Doorbell
Logitech

Camera: 5-megapixel sensor with 1200 x 1600 HDR video FOV: 160 degrees Object detection: Package, person, vehicle, animals Wired or Battery: Wired Smart Home Compatibility: Apple HomeKit Subscription: iCloud storage plans start at $0.99 a month

If you've decided to invest in Apple's HomeKit platform, your options for a video doorbell are slim. However, the Logitech Circle View doorbell camera is an excellent pick. It has a 3:4 aspect ratio that offers plenty of visibility for your front porch and works in conjunction with facial identification technology that relies on your Apple Photos library to identify visitors. 

It's one of the only doorbells available that integrates with Apple's HomeKit Secure Video platform that stores your video in your iCloud account, forgoing the need to transmit your clips through a third-party. Instead, you're the only person that has access to the clips. The catch is you'll need to pay for an iCloud storage plan, which starts at $0.99 per month for a single camera. But it's important to note that video recorded by the doorbell doesn't count towards your accounts storage limit -- which is a nice bonus. 

Kangaroo Doorbell Camera + Chime

Best budget video doorbell

Kangaroo Doorbell Camera + Chime
Ring

Camera: 480 x 640  FOV: 70 degrees  x 60 degrees Wired or Battery: Battery Subscription: Cam Protect plans start at $1.99 a month 

If you're wanting to add a doorbell that doubles as a deterrent, then the Kangaroo Doorbell Camera is for you. At $30, you get a battery-powered doorbell and a wireless chime that you can place anywhere inside your home. 

You won't be able to live stream or answer the doorbell from your phone because it doesn't actually capture video. Instead, you'll receive alerts when motion is detected or someone presses your doorbell's button. That alert will contain an animated image -- much like a GIF -- that was stitched together by the camera taking multiple photos. 

The picture quality is good enough, but nothing you'll be overly impressed by. But that's not the point. The point is to keep would-be bad guys away from your porch, stealing packages. In fact, Kangaroo offers a Cam Protect plan that will reimburse you up to $250 if a package is stolen off of your porch while the camera is installed. 

What should you look for in a video doorbell?

Although all video doorbells will transmit or record video and play a doorbell sound when rung, they can differ significantly across their other aspects. Here's what we'd recommend you look for when choosing a video doorbell for your home.

Good resolution and field of view

You should strive to get a video doorbell camera with enough resolution for your needs. Video doorbell camera resolution can range from 480p to 1080p or even 4K resolution. While 4K resolution is not necessary for most people, 1080p can provide a crisp, clear picture and is the way to go if you don't mind spending a little extra cash on your doorbell camera. In addition, detail and color will be more vibrant, and individuals will be easier to recognize with better video resolution.

Motion detection

You might also look into motion detection for your doorbell camera. Many doorbell cameras have motion sensors built-in by default, so they will alert you if someone is approaching or leaving your door. Motion detection features are best used if you want to monitor who comes to your home and when. Taking motion detection one step further, most modern video doorbells can now tell the difference between a person, vehicle, animal or package -- and only alert you when an item you care about is detected. For example, you may not want to know every single time a car drives by your house, but you do want to know when FedEx has left a package at your front door. 

Night vision

Similarly, night vision functionality adds even more practical value to your video doorbell. Night vision cameras will continue to transmit and/or record video in black and white, and will allow you to clearly see who approaches your door even if there isn't enough ambient light for color. This, in turn, can provide better security -- for example, it may help you identify someone who attempts to break in while you are away on vacation. Newer cameras are now transmitting color video in low light environments. 

Power source

Doorbell cameras are typically powered through one of two methods: hardwiring into existing wires with your regular doorbell, or battery packs. Battery-powered options are better if you don't have a traditional doorbell installed in your home already. By contrast, hardwiring is more convenient and secure if you do have a traditional doorbell.

Smart home integration and cloud storage

Consider whether you want your video doorbell to connect with your smart home network, especially if you want to control it through voice commands. Smart home network integration is also excellent if you want to store video recordings in the cloud or on other non-SD card storage devices. 

Through smart home integration, you'll gain greater control over your video doorbell, including its extra features, such as permissions, face recognition, and more.

Cloud storage is also important to consider. Most doorbell video cameras have optional cloud storage subscription services. These require a monthly or annual fee, but mean you never have to worry about switching out microSD cards.

Features

Before buying a video doorbell, investigate all the advertised features that it provides, such as two-way audio so you can talk to whoever is on the other side of your door without opening the door, or facial recognition technology. Most video doorbell owners will at least want the ability to set recognition zones, preventing false alarms from sending push notifications to their phones all day when leaves blow by.

Can you install a video doorbell by yourself?

Sometimes. Most DIY video doorbells use battery packs and don't require you to mess with any wires for installation. However, doorbell cameras that do integrate with existing doorbell wiring will require some level of comfort and knowledge with electrical wiring. If you've ever installed an outlet or light switch, installing a wired video doorbell will be easy. 

That said, most video doorbell makers offer some sort of additional package that covers the cost of a professional electrician to install your doorbell for you. 

What is the best video doorbell?

The Ring video Doorbell Pro 2 is the best video doorbell. Our testing showed the Ring Pro 2 to be the most capable video doorbell on the market, even surpassing Amazon's Nest. This is due to Ring's industry-rocking 3D-mapping technology and other great features.

Video Doorbell

Nest Doorbell (Battery)

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell

Logitech Circle View Doorbell

Kangaroo Doorbell Camera+ Chime

Camera

1.3-megapixel, 960x 1280 HD Video

1536 HD+ Video

1536 x 1536 HD HDR Video

5-megapixel sensor with 1200 x 1600 HDR video

480 x 640

FOV

145 degrees

150 degrees

180 degrees

160 degrees

70 degrees x 60 degrees

Object Detection

Package, person, vehicle, animals

Package, person

Package, person, vehicle, animals

Package, person, vehicle, animals

N/A

Wired or Battery

Both

Wired

Wired

Wired

Battery

Smart Home Compatibility

Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

Apple HomeKit

N/A

Subscription

Nest Aware starts at $6/month

Ring Protect starts at $3/month

Arlo Secure starts at $2.99/month

iCloud storage plans start at $0.99/month

Cam Protect plans start at $1.99/month

What’s the difference between local storage and cloud storage for video doorbells?

Depending on the video doorbell you choose, it will either use local storage or cloud storage.

With local storage, your doorbell camera will only record and store a set amount of footage using its own internal storage. 

Cloud-based storage is more advanced and theoretically allows for endless recording. This method only works with doorbell cameras that can connect to a smart home or Wi-Fi network. But keep in mind that cloud-based storage doorbell video cameras usually incur a monthly fee to pay for the storage space.

How did we select these video doorbells?

Top-tier video doorbells prioritize features and functionality above other aspects, like price. For this reason, we selected video doorbells with a variety of excellent attributes and perks, like high resolution, facial identification, Wi-Fi connectivity, and footage transmitting to the cloud or other storage solutions.

We also specifically looked for doorbells that would be manageable to install, even if you don't have a lot of handyman skills. With luck, one of the above video doorbell choices will be a perfect fit for your home.

Are there alternative video doorbells to consider?

Here are some other options to look into:

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