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The best smart doorbells offer several benefits. First, they can help to dissuade or foil porch pirates attempting to steal packages sitting outside your door. Also, as reported by The Washington Post, some doorbell camera firms have partnerships with police forces around the country, allowing law enforcement to request video recordings within a specific time and location to help apprehend other potential criminals.

In addition to thwarting (or at least documenting) crimes, smart video doorbells also provide a level of convenience. Whether you’re stepping out of the shower, or standing in line at the grocery store, you can see who is at your front door, and even enable audio to communicate with them. 

How we selected the best smart doorbell

As a freelance journalist for over 10 years, I’ve reviewed technology for publications including CNN Underscored, Popular Mechanics, Tom’s Guide, The Daily Beast, Architectural Digest, Apartment Therapy, The Spruce, and Bob Vila. I personally tested three of the doorbells on this list, and the rest of the selections are based on extensive research, recommendations from fellow tech colleagues, and reviews from users.

What to consider when buying the best smart doorbell

The best smart doorbell will address your specific needs and preferences. These are some of the factors to consider as you weigh your options:

Wired vs. battery-powered smart doorbells

This may be the single most important feature in selecting a smart doorbell Battery-powered smart doorbells make the installation process much simpler than their wired counterparts. Basically, you’re just attaching it to an exterior surface (using screws and a screwdriver) and then following the instructions on the app to connect it without having to tap into a home’s electrical system.

On the other hand, you have two options with a wired doorbell: if you already have a doorbell, you can just replace it with the smart doorbell—which still involves turning off the power, and disconnecting and reconnecting wires. If you don’t already have an existing doorbell, you’ll probably need to call an electrician to install it. That job can range from a simple task to a large undertaking depending on the home’s setup.

There’s another reason why your choice of wired or battery-powered matters. A battery-operated smart doorbell will need recharging at some point (unless it uses solar panels). Frequency varies by user, but at least 2 times a year, you’ll need to take the battery out to recharge it. If you choose this option, I recommend purchasing an extra battery, so you can just swap them out.

Field of view

The field of view determines how much of the area is visible in your doorbell’s view. For example, a portrait-oriented image will provide a taller vertical image, allowing you to see more of the person at your front door and the packages on the ground. However, a landscape image will provide a wider view, which allows you to see more of the background on both the left and right side. Also, some doorbell cameras have adjustable zones, so you can customize your preferred zone.

Integration

Many smart doorbells can integrate with your existing smart home products. Some work with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and a customizable automation platform called IFTTT which lets you string smart home actions together with just one command. However, some smart video doorbells aren’t compatible with one—but not the other smart home devices, and some (like SimpliSafe) only work in the Simplisafe ecosystem. Some options also offer better integration with platforms from their own manufacturers. For instance, Ring doorbells provide the tightest integration with the Amazon Alexa ecosystem since they’re made by the same parent company.

Storage

Most smart doorbells provide a minimal amount of free cloud storage, although you’ll need to pay a small monthly or yearly subscription fee. The type of plan you choose will determine how long your footage is stored. The advantage of cloud storage is that the cloud can store large amounts of data. On the other hand, if you choose a smart doorbell with local storage, you won’t need to pay monthly or yearly fees, but may not be able to store as much footage.

Video resolution

The video resolution will determine how clear the image is. You’ll want at least 1080p for clear video. There are video doorbell cameras available that have 720p resolution, but all of the smart doorbell cameras on our list have resolution rates of 1080p or higher.

The best smart doorbells: Reviews & Recommendations

Best smart doorbell overall: Google Nest Doorbell (Wired)

Why it made the cut: Weighing price and features, we think the Google Nest Doorbell has everything you would want or expect in a smart doorbell.

Specs

  • Video Resolution: 1280 x 960
  • Wired/Battery Powered: Battery
  • Field of View: 160 degrees
  • Integration: Google Assistant 
  • Storage type: Cloud

Pros

  • High-quality video
  • Chime included
  • Head-to-toe view
  • Notifications don’t require subscription

Cons

  • Expensive subscription plan
  • Requires doorbell wire

The Google Nest Doorbell is the best small doorbell for most consumers and contains all of the features you’d want. The HDR video provides crisp, clear images—even at night. Also, you get a head-to-toe view, so you can clearly see who is at your door, and also see those boxes on the ground. The camera livestreams 24/7 (instead of when it’s triggered by motion or noises) and can send specific alerts to your phone and Google Assistant speakers based on your preferences. For example, you can set it to only send alerts when people and packages are at the door, but not when animals and vehicles are passing by.

You can also talk and listen to visitors through the high-quality speaker and microphone.

While 3 hours of video storage are free of charge (as well as the alerts), you’ll need to subscribe to Nest Aware ($6/month) to keep 60 days of event video history. The Google Nest Doorbell is also in a variety of colors, including snow, linen, ivy, and ash.

Best smart doorball for privacy: SimpliSafe Pro Video Doorbell (Battery-Powered)

Why it made the cut: If you already have (or plan to purchase) a Simplisafe security system, it makes more sense to get this compatible Simplisafe Pro Video Doorbell than to purchase a product from another company.

Specs

  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Wired/Battery Powered: Wired
  • Field of View: 162 degrees
  • Integration: SimpliSafe only
  • Storage type: Cloud

Pros

  • Pan and tilt
  • 3 faceplate covers included
  • High-quality video

Cons

  • No free storage
  • Limited compatibility

If you take your privacy seriously, you’ll be glad to know that as the best smart doorbell for privacy the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro isn’t compatible with Alexa or Echo, so you don’t have to worry about these devices spying on you. The doorbell connects to your existing doorbell wiring. It provides sharp, 1080p images—even at night—and has a generous 162-degree horizontal field of view, which allows you to get a comprehensive view of what’s happening outside your door. The smart video doorbell can distinguish between people, vehicles, and pets, and you can set it so you only receive text alerts on your phone for people (since you don’t really care when a squirrel runs across your porch).

The ability to pan and zoom also helps you focus on what’s important, and the 2-way audio lets you converse with whoever is at your front door. Some smart doorbells are available in different colors. However, the SimpliSafe Pro Video Doorbell includes three faceplate covers in the package (cloud, jade, and obsidian) so you can change the look of the webcam easily and at no extra cost. Accessing footage requires subscribing to the company’s $4.99 a month plan. 

Best package detection: Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 (Wired)

Why it made the cut: A bird’s eye view lets you can view your property from above, and track the path to and from your door.

Specs

  • Video Resolution: 1536p
  • Wired/Battery Powered: Wired
  • Field of View: 150 degrees
  • Integration: Amazon Alexa, IFTTT
  • Storage type: Cloud

Pros

  • 3D motion detection
  • Bird’s eye view
  • Higher-quality video

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Subscription needed

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 provides a higher resolution (1536p) than most smart video doorbells with 1080p—even at night. The 3D motion detection feature on the Ring video doorbell employs radar to analyze how far away a person or object is, so it can only start recording when the subject is within the appropriate range. This results in more accurate motion alerts and reduces false notifications. Another feature, the bird’s eye view, provides an aerial map view—which shows you not only what’s on your front porch, but the path the person took to get there.

This helps you see packages wherever they are and also lets you know if anyone took a detour while on your property. In addition to changing the settings for your detection range, you can also change the motion settings so you can. The video doorbell also has two-way talk, which you can access through Alexa.

Best wireless smart doorbell: Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Battery-Powered)

Why it made the cut: Versatile enough to be battery-powered or wireless, the Eufy Video Doorbell 2K also has excellent video and local storage.

Specs

  • Video Resolution: 2560p
  • Wired/Battery Powered: Battery
  • Field of View: 150 degrees
  • Integration: Alexa, Google Home
  • Storage type: Local

Pros

  • 2K resolution
  • No monthly fees
  • Doorbell chime
  • Homebase reduces power consumption

Cons

The Eufy Video Doorbell 2K is battery-powered, but also includes the option to use existing doorbell wiring. It’s the best wireless smart doorbell because it’s great for people who live in a rental home or don’t have DIY electrician skills because it’s so easy to install. The package also includes a Homebase (a device stored on a table in your home) that connects to your router and stores video clips, providing 16GB of built-in storage. Because it provides a low-power wireless connection instead of standard Wifi, it can slash standby power consumption by up to 58%.

In addition, the smart doorbell can use either the Homebase speaker or Amazon Echo as its chime. You can also connect to Alexa or Google Voice Assistant to send voice alerts. The zone of detectable motion can be customized to reduce false alerts.

Best budget smart doorbell: Ring Video Doorbell (Wired)

Why it made the cut: It seems almost too good to be true, but Ring does make a video doorbell that’s quite affordable and provides a high-quality image.

Specs

  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Wired/Battery Powered: Wired
  • Field of View: 155 degrees
  • Integration: Amazon Alexa, IFTTT
  • Storage type: Cloud

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Works with Alexa 
  • Simple to set up and use

Cons

  • Chime feature costs extra
  • Storage requires purchasing a plan
  • Wired only

This is the least expensive of the Ring Video Doorbells (and also the smallest), but it doesn’t skimp on features or build quality. This model still provides 1080p resolution, and even clear night vision. It’s wired and works with your existing doorbell hookup, but doesn’t offer a battery option. In addition, the 155-degree field of view provides an extensive viewing area. Two-way talk lets you converse with visitors, and even includes noise-cancellation to minimize background sounds.

Despite its hardwired configuration, it can’t activate your home’s existing chime. For that, you’ll need to purchase a Ring chime ($20 or less).  Motion-detection zones and notification settings can all be customized to avoid false alarms. In addition to your smartphone, you can use Alexa and IFTTT to view footage, and also to speak to and hear visitors.  You’ll need to purchase a plan at $3 a month to review 60 days of saved footage.

Best weatherproof smart doorbell: 360 Video Doorbell (Battery-Powered)

Why it made the cut: The all-weather 360 Video Doorbell can stand up to whatever Mother Nature throws at it making it our pick for the best weatherproof smart doorbell.

Specs

  • Video Resolution: 2496p
  • Wired/Battery Powered: Battery
  • Field of View: Not available
  • Integration: Alexa
  • Storage type: Local

Pros

  • High waterproof rating
  • High-quality (2K) video
  • Can be used with battery or hardwired
  • Option to change sound of your voice

Cons

  • May be too long for tight spaces

The 360 Wireless Video Doorbell has an IP66 waterproof rating. This means that it can withstand heavy rainfall. In fact, it can withstand anything but immersion in water for 15 minutes in water or longer. That protection also applies to dust, which can be handy in some climates. This ruggedness makes it an ideal choice if you can’t install the video doorbell in a place where it’s covered by a roof. The video doorbell’s camera provides extremely clear images, even in low- or no-light conditions.

The video doorbell includes a base hub that provides 8GB of local storage. The hub is also a dual-band Wi-Fi amplifier and can extend wireless coverage for up to 984 feet. Motion settings can be customized to avoid false alarms. Also, the smart video doorbell has an optional automatic siren that will sound if someone tries to remove the doorbell from its mount.  

One clever security feature: You can change how your voice sounds when you answer the door. For example, there’s a male voice setting designed to disguise female voices, which the company says could be used to deter criminals thinking a woman is home alone.  Be advised, it’s the longest smart video doorbell on the list at over 6 inches in length, so make sure you have enough vertical space.

FAQs

Q: What’s the wireless video doorbell to buy?

The best wireless video doorbell is the Eufy Security Video Doorbell. It provides 2560p video resolution, and also local storage, which is more secure and eliminates monthly subscription fees. The video doorbell is battery-powered but is versatile enough to also use existing doorbell wiring, eliminating the need to purchase a wired camera if you change your mind. Also, the Homebase can also be used as a speaker.

Q: Is there anything better than a Ring doorbell?

A Ring doorbell provides a high level of security and the ability to view who is at your door—and the surrounding area. However, adding an outdoor security camera adds an extra layer of surveillance, since it can be mounted anywhere. This means that it can provide views from a different angle. Two separate video feeds are typically better than one.

Q: Are smart doorbells safe?

As a general rule, smart doorbells are safe. There have been instances in which they were hacked. When this happens, the criminal could control the doorbell’s volume—and ring it incessantly just to annoy you—or worse, then gain control of other connected devices, like your laptop. However, if you use a strong password (with 10 characters, including a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters), and enable two-step verification, you should be safe.

Final thoughts on the best smart doorbells

Whether you want to see who is at your door or keep an eye on deliveries, a smart doorbell lets you see what’s happening whether you’re at home, running errands, or on vacation. The Google Nest Video Doorbell has so many features that don’t even require a subscription and it’s easy to install and use. However, we like to provide plenty of options and the other best smart doorbells on this list were picked to meet the various needs of consumers, ranging from cost to data privacy.  



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