Best 9 Smart Video Doorbells - 2021
If you only add one smart home product to your home, make it a smart video doorbell. This clever device lets you answer the front door from anywhere, and often chat directly with visitors — “be home in five minutes,” or “leave the package under the bench.” That combination of convenience and security makes video doorbells one of the most practical smart home products.
The tech experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute should know, since we test all smart home products, from light bulbs to smart plugs to slow cookers (yep, those are connected these days, too!). To find the best video doorbells, we road tested over 12 smart doorbell cameras, viewing hours of feeds and logging countless comings and goings of deliveries and visitors to real-life households. Our experts also considered things like ease of installation, camera and audio quality, and integration with other smart home devices — for example, can the video doorbell communicate with your smart lock, allowing you to not just greet people remotely, but also let them inside?
Keep in mind that all these connected devices will only be as good as the network they run on, so you may need to upgrade your internet speed or use WiFi extenders to ensure a strong connection, from the front door to every corner of the home. These are the top picks, according to Lab tests:
- Best Overall Smart Video Doorbell: Arlo Video Doorbell
- Best Value Smart Video Doorbell: RemoBell S
- Best Smart Video Doorbell Without a Subscription: Eufy Security Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
- Best Wide-Lens Smart Video Doorbell: Skybell HD
- Best Wireless Smart Video Doorbell Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus
- Best Feature-Rich Smart Video Doorbell Google Nest Hello Smart Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
- Best Smart Video Doorbell for Apartments Ring Peephole Cam
- Best Smart Video Doorbell for Vivint Users Vivint Smart Doorbell Video Camera Pro
- Best Touchless Smart Video Doorbell: Alarm.com Touchless Video Doorbell
Arlo is a leading name in security cameras, and it brings the same standard of excellence to this top-rated video doorbell. Its intelligent camera can distinguish people from animals, cars, and other moving objects, eliminating annoying false notifications. Crisp 1536×1536 resolution and 180º viewing angle provide superb video quality during day and night and two-way audio lets you communicate clearly with visitors too.
A $3 per month subscription plan gets you 30 days of video storage. The Arlo Video Doorbell is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and it works with IFTTT (If This Then That), allowing you to create chain reactions through your smart phone, for example turning on the porch light when someone rings the doorbell.
BEST Value SMART VIDEO DOORBELL
This bargain smart video doorbell is a good option if you’re looking to dip a toe into smart home technology. Besides the low upfront cost and three days of free video storage, there are no monthly fees attached. Picture quality is surprisingly good and the RemoBell S offers more features than you might expect, including two-way audio, infrared night vision, and a built-in alarm feature.
Why we love it
BEST SMART VIDEO DOORBELL WITHOUT A SUBSCRIPTION
Security Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
A competitive price tag isn’t the only reason to consider Eufy 2K Video Doorbell: Our experts also like the two-way audio and high-def camera (though the viewing angle is more limited than with other top picks). But what really sets this doorbell apart is the fact that video footage is stored locally on a microSD card slot with military-grade encryption. Not only does that eliminate monthly subscription fees, it enhances the Eufy Security Video Doorbell 2K’s data privacy and protection.
Why we love it
BEST WIDE-LENS SMART VIDEO DOORBELL
Skybell HD WiFi Doorbell Camera
The Skybell HD is distributed through many commercial channels, making it a favorite with security professionals — but you’ll find it on Amazon, too. Our experts like the 1080p HD video with 5X zoom and extra-wide camera angle, helpful if you have an expansive front entrance.
The app is intuitive and user-friendly, including the ability to hush the doorbell chime, say during baby’s nap time. Skybell HD also provides superb night vision and its motion sensor alerts you even if no one presses the buzzer, for added security. The brushed aluminum or oil-rubbed bronze finishes provide a touch of elegance to your front door.
Why we love it
BEST WIRELESS SMART VIDEO DOORBELL
Video Doorbell 3 Plus
Ring was once the Q-Tip of video doorbells, and the brand that invented the device is still worth a look (especially after Amazon bought it a few years back). Our experts like the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, a battery-powered doorbell that’s a cinch to install and offers superb picture quality. The doorbell can be controlled by voice via Amazon Alexa (naturally!), but also Google Assistant.
The intuitive app lets you set monitoring and privacy zones (eliminating the neighbor’s house, for example) and the four-second pre-roll of what happened before the doorbell detected motion is helpful for tracking down package thieves. For additional security, consider the $3 monthly subscription with 60 days of video storage.
Why we love it
BEST FEATURE-RICH SMART VIDEO DOORBELL
Nest Hello Video Doorbell
Google Nest is the tech giant’s smart home ecosystem and the experience starts at the front door with the Google Nest Hello Smart Wi-Fi Video Doorbell. It obviously works with Google Assistant, so you can chat with visitors from any room through your smart speaker.
Our experts also like the facial recognition feature, which means Nest Hello can even tell you who’s at the front door. The $6 monthly subscription plan is costlier than most, but in addition to the 30 days of video storage, you’ll get an alert when the camera detects a package delivery, good if your neighborhood is prone to porch pirates.
Why we love it
BEST SMART VIDEO DOORBELL FOR APARTMENTS
This battery-powered device installs easily in front of any existing peephole, delivering all the benefits of a standard video doorbell — answer the door from anywhere, talk to visitors, and get up to 30 days video storage under the $3 per month subscription plan. This one is especially smart, as it can detect the sound of a knock at the front door, in addition to a buzzer or bell, and notify you accordingly.
Why we love it
BEST SMART VIDEO DOORBELL FOR VIVINT USERS
Smart Doorbell Video Camera Pro
It doesn’t make too much sense to spring for this pricey doorbell if Vivint smart home intelligence isn’t coursing through your home (the brand is a leader in high-end connected home technology). But if you are so lucky, you’ll love the new doorbell, with its 180º picture quality, package delivery notification, and seamless integration with other Vivint products, from locks to light bulbs to the garage door.
Our experts also give the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro points for its unique theft deterrent technology, which uses artificial intelligence to identify package thieves and scare them off with a series of loud sounds and flashing lights.
Why we love it
Best Touch-Free Video Doorbell: Alarm.com Touchless Video Doorbell
In a sign of the pandemic times, more manufacturers are coming out with contactless smart devices, including the Touchless Video Doorbell from Alarm.com. Our experts haven’t tested it yet since it hasn’t hit the market (later in 2021!), but we’re excited to check out the “person detection” technology that the doorbell deploys to distinguish human visitors from other kinds of motion. That makes it even easier to maintain social distance with visitors, while minimizing surface transmission of germs, bacteria, and viruses. The Touchless Video Doorbell boasts many key features our experts look for, including two-way communication, full HD camera resolution, and an expansive 150º vertical field, helping you take in everything that’s happening on the front porch. One clever feature we haven’t seen before is the onboard heating element, which ensures that the doorbell will work in frigid temperatures. It’s another example of how the smart video doorbells continue to innovate, to the benefit of consumers.
How to choose the right smart video doorbell for you
The smart video doorbell market has become busy. Keep these key factors in mind as you sort through the options:
Wireless vs. hardwired: Battery-powered smart video doorbells are easier to install than hardwired models, but they often don’t have as many features. If you’re leaning toward hardwired, make sure the device will work with your current setup by unscrewing the old doorbell from the wall and seeing it it’s attached to a pair of wires.
Integration: Do you want your video doorbell to communicate with other smart home products? Check the manufacturer’s website for a list of compatible devices. Especially with big brands, you’ll find a long list of locks, light bulbs, garage door openers, and more.
Subscription fees: Most smart video doorbells offer extended video storage, 30 days typically, for around $3. But there are some models out there that use a memory-card slot for storing video clips locally, lowering costs as well as the risk of a data and security breaches.