The Best Video Doorbell

Last updated: May 29, 2019

We've rounded up the best video doorbells available on the market and tested them.

Jump down to our video doorbell buying guide if you want to know more about what to look out for when choosing.

Video doorbell buying guide 2021

A video doorbell are the contemporary version of your standard, ringer-only doorbell. Unlike traditional models, these videos doorbells do much more than just ring out when buzzed.

By having a camera, video doorbells allow you to see who is at your door - and sometimes even open it - from the comfort of your couch. Getting up to open the door can be annoying, especially if it's for something you'd rather not bother with, such as an unsolicited salesman. Thanks to this useful piece of technology, this is something that you'll no longer have to do.

Not so many years ago video doorbells were new to the market, so not many models were available. Now, however, there are plenty of models with a wide array of features to choose from. That's why we've created this guide, to help you pick the model that's perfect for your needs.

The following are the most important points to take into consideration when choosing your new video doorbell.

Your budget

Video is something that all video doorbells have in common. What they don't have in common though, is the price tag. When you're shopping for a new video doorbell, you'll be looking at a wide price range.

This is mainly due to the different features that different models have. Despite sounding like a pretty straightforward thing, there are many ways in which video doorbells differ from one another. These differences are the main reason for the price variation.

The general rule here is that more expensive models are better. Higher end models tend to have a better build quality and are more likely to last longer. Other things like smart features and weather resistance also play a role in a model's price.

Since a video doorbell is something that you don't buy that often and is supposed to last for years, we recommend that you get the best model you can afford.

Subscription options

Most video doorbells record video as well as streaming it live, and therefore require a place to store this recorded video. The models that you can currently find allow you to either store the videos on a SD card or send them directly to cloud storage. Each of these two options has an upside and a downside.

For the SD storage option, the upside is that you don't have to pay for a subscription. The downside of this option is that the data on the SD card will have to be deleted every now and then, to make space for more recent videos. You'll also have to pay for an SD card - which is usually, but not always, sold separately.

Cloud storage, on the other hand, can usually store unlimited amounts of recorded video. Your data is streamed to the cloud and stored there. The downside here is the additional cost of the monthly subscription fee.

Power source

Ring doorbell installationWired video doorbells require additional installation steps which are not necessary with a battery-powered model.

Unlike security cameras, video doorbells don't run all the time. As a result, they come in two different power options: battery-powered or wired.

With battery-powered models you will need to charge, or replace, the batteries every so often. This can be a hassle. With wired models there's no need to charge or replace batteries, but installation is a much more involved affair - you will need to wire the model into your existing doorbell wiring system. Some manufacturers provide an installation service to do this for you, or you can opt to hire a local electrician if you don't feel up to it.

If at all possible, we recommend a wired video doorbell.

Night vision

Video doorbells that are no good in low lighting conditions are useless. If you want to be able to see who is knocking your door at nighttime, this feature is a must. In devices like video doorbells, the term “night vision” is used loosely.

You might find that two models claim to have “night vision” but the actual video quality you get in low-lighting conditions is pretty different. Before you buy a model, you must be sure that it'll give you a night vision quality that allows you to easily identify a person.

Some models include a light instead of night vision, which can be a decent alternative.

Water resistance

It goes without saying that video doorbells are placed outdoors, which means they're continuously exposed to the weather. Unless you live in a very dry place where it never rains, water-resistance is a must-have feature for your new video doorbell.

It might be tempting to buy a cheaper model that isn't water-resistant. But there are so many ways that water can splash on your video doorbell, there's a chance that it won't last as long as you'd like. Being waterproof is a good safe guard that will help protect your investment.

One thing you should keep in mind when checking the water-resistance of the video doorbell that you're buying is the level of protection afforded. The heavier and more frequent the rain where you live, the higher level of water resistance you need.

Video quality

Another important thing to consider when buying a new video doorbell is the quality of the video output. A video doorbell with a poor camera that produces low-quality video is something that you need to avoid.

If the video quality is poor, you won't be able to easily identify the person at the door. High-quality models produce 1080p video, but 720p can be acceptable too.

Video field of view

The field of view is how wide a camera can see and is expressed in degrees. The wider the field of view of the camera the better. If a camera has a narrow field of view, you won't be able to see things that aren't directly in front of it.

When a camera is said to have a 90° field of view, this means that it can mainly see what's in front of it. On the other hand, a camera with a 180° field of view can easily see what's in front of it as well as what's on the sides.

A wider field of view is preferred in all scenarios. When choosing a video doorbell, try to get a camera with a field of view of 160° or more.

Smart Features

Some video doorbell models are capable of doing much more than showing you who is at the door. By connecting to the internet, these smart you notifications when someone is at your door, even when you're not at home. Models that have microphones allow you to speak to the person from your phone.

Other video doorbells can be paired with a mobile, which allows you to control different functions with ease. Motion sensors are another smart feature included with some video doorbells. Whenever the motion sensor detects motion, the doorbell will send you a notification and allow you to see what's going on.

Compatibility with a virtual assistant like Alexa allows you to control the doorbell with voice commands. This is something that you should look for if you have other smart devices around the house, so you can easily control everything from one place.

Scott Robbins's profile picture
This article was written and researched by Scott Robbins.
Hi, I'm Scott, the founder of Expertly Tested. I started this site to help people find the best products as quickly as possible, and without any outside influence. I've spent many years reviewing and tested products of all shapes and sizes, and am now putting my knowledge to work for you on this site.