1080HD video definition, sharp images for recording. Combines real ringers/chimes with virtual smartphone "ringers". Room for upgrades, such as floodlights.
Some concerns about the Wi-Fi signal boost claims. Video signals work intermittently. Sensitive motion detector can send multiple false positives.
Good wide-angle coverage and image definition. Minimal delay between ring and response. Stylish unit, can be hardwired or battery powered. Zone activation allows users to detect visitors before they even reach the doorway.
Motion sensor is actually a heat detector – can miss visitors in doorway. Hardwiring can affect original doorbell activation. Wi-Fi connection is variable, requires frequent updates.
Very easy wireless installation and smartphone sync. Works well in low light or night situations. True motion detection reacts quickly to visitors. No hardwiring involved.
Mounting bracket is made of plastic, not secure. Noticeable delay between doorbell activation and recording. No working doorbell or buzzer included, just the phone connection.
Can lock/unlock doors remotely. Attractive retail price point for equivalent features. Can be hardwired in tandem with existing doorbell systems.
Very limited customer support and installation information. Contains an alarm that can activate during set-up. Concerns about product description accuracy.
Easy installation to existing in-house wiring. App is intuitive and easy to use, and video routes reliably via Wi-Fi.
Some installation issues for less-experienced users. A few reports of unit failing entirely. Receiver and doorbell may not sync correctly.
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Whether you’re concerned about home security or you just don’t want to get off the couch to answer the door for someone you’re not expecting, a video doorbell can save you time and worry. Never again will you have to open your door to someone you don’t know, and you can even keep track of who’s ringing your bell when you’re not home.
A video doorbell can be a somewhat pricey investment, so you want to be sure to choose the best model for your home security needs. That means knowing what power type, resolution, field of view, app support, and other features would work best for your house. With so many different video doorbells on the market, sorting through all the options can be confusing.
At BestReviews, we strive to make shopping as simple as possible. We buy all our own products, so our recommendations are never biased. With the help of experts, we identify the most important features in the products we’re considering and then field test some of the top models to see if they perform as well as they should. That allows us to arm you with all the information you need to choose the best products for your home.
Are you ready to buy a video doorbell? Take a look at our top recommendations in the product list above. For general information about video doorbells, continue reading our shopping guide.
A video doorbell is a doorbell connected to camera. A WiFi connection enables it to transmit information to a specially designed app that allows you to use your smartphone, tablet, or other connected device to see who’s at your door.
A video doorbell usually comes equipped with speakers and microphones, too, so you can communicate with the person at your door. You get an alert on your device whenever the doorbell rings, enabling you to see who’s at your door even if you’re away from home.
Video doorbells often have additional features, such as motion detection, for added home security.
For the best performance, your video doorbell should be placed as close to your home’s WiFi router as possible.
Because a video doorbell is connected to an app, you can answer your door from the sofa or the office.
Most video doorbells are equipped with night vision, which means you’ll be able to clearly see who’s at your door both day and night.
Through the video doorbell app, you can speak to the visitor no matter where you are, so no one will know that you aren’t at home. You’ll also be able to record any suspicious activity at your door in case you need to report it.
If you’re worried about a delivery person leaving a package on your doorstep where it might be vulnerable to thieves, your video doorbell can alert you when it arrives. You can then direct the deliverer to leave it in a secure location, or you can hurry home to bring the package inside.
Because you can answer your doorbell from anywhere with the connected app, potential thieves won’t know that your home is empty when you’re away.
A video doorbell’s field of view (FOV) is the size of the area the camera can capture.
Ideally, you want a camera with as large a field of view as possible.
A 90° FOV will only show the area in front of the doorbell and just a bit on the sides.
A 180° FOV will show the area directly in front of the doorbell, as well as to the sides.
Some models offer a 120° FOV, which can be a little bit less expensive than a 180° video doorbell but provides nearly as wide a view.
Many video doorbells have a live-streaming function through the app, so you can check on your property at any time.
Video doorbells are powered in one of two ways: they can be wired into your home’s electrical system or run on a battery.
Wired video doorbells are the most difficult to install. These typically work best if you have an existing doorbell already wired into your home’s electrical system. Most video doorbells are compatible with the types of connectors in existing wired doorbells. If you don’t currently have a wired doorbell, you’ll need to hire a licensed electrician to install the video doorbell.
Battery-operated video doorbells are extremely easy to install. These contain an internal battery that you charge to operate the device. Most video doorbells can be charged using a USB cable and take about five to eight hours to charge. You won’t need to recharge your video doorbell very often: a charge can last anywhere from six months to a year. Most video doorbell apps alert you when the battery is low, so your doorbell won’t just suddenly stop working.
Battery-operated video doorbells are extremely easy to install. You simply screw the mounting plate in place outside your door and set the doorbell inside.
For a video doorbell to be useful, its camera must provide a sharp, clear image. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the resolution. The higher a video doorbell’s resolution, the better its images will be. Some models offer a resolution as low as 480p, while others are as high as 1080p. Choose the highest resolution you can afford.
Some video doorbells are equipped with motion sensors that alert you when someone is moving around near your front door. If home security is a priority, this feature is particularly helpful.
You may want to look for a model with advanced motion-detection capabilities. These video doorbells allow you to monitor a specific area while ignoring others. If you live on a heavily trafficked street, this feature can help prevent the video doorbell from alerting you every time a car passes in front of your home.
Some video doorbells have a “do not disturb” setting, so if someone in the house is sleeping, you don’t have to worry about the bell ringing.
Since security is often a greater priority after dark, it’s important to choose a video doorbell that provides clear images even in low light. Choose a model that offers night vision capabilities, so you can tell who’s at your door no matter how dark it might be outside.
For many homeowners, what makes a video doorbell so helpful is the ability to communicate with visitors without opening the door – or even being home. If you choose a model that offers two-way audio, you can speak to people at your door and hear what they have to say in response.
If you live on a busy street, it’s also a good idea to look for a video doorbell audio system with a noise-cancellation feature. That way, you’ll be able to hear what visitors are saying even if there is traffic noise or a lawn mower in the background.
Most video doorbells have a recording feature. This is a nice security feature to have.
Video doorbells are connected to an app that allows you to view the images from the camera, speak to visitors, and receive alerts about the system even if you’re away from home. Choose a model with an app that offers a user-friendly interface, is easy to connect to, and provides reliable customer support in case you experience any issues.
Some video doorbells provide cloud storage that allows you to save footage from the camera for a certain period of time. This feature is handy for home security because you’ll have video evidence in the event of a burglary or some type of vandalism.
If you opt for cloud storage with your video doorbell, you’ll likely need to pay a monthly fee.
Prices for video doorbells vary depending on the resolution, whether they’re wired or battery operated, and what other features they provide. In most cases, video doorbells range from $50 to $500.
A low-resolution, battery-operated video doorbell with a smaller FOV usually costs between $50 and $100.
If your video doorbell will be hardwired into your home’s electrical system, you may also be able to connect it to your home’s security system.
A medium-resolution, battery-operated video doorbell with just under a full FOV costs between $100 and $200.
A high-resolution, battery-operated or hardwired video doorbell with a full FOV costs between $200 and $500.
Q. What devices can I use with a video doorbell?
A. The devices or operating systems compatible with a video doorbell depend on the model. Most doorbells and apps work with Apple and Android devices, but it’s important to check the product specifications to verify that the model you choose will work with your smartphone, tablet, or other device.
Q. Can my video doorbell be used in place of a security system?
A. While a video doorbell can alert you to strangers at your door, it doesn’t replace a security system. If someone attempts to break into your home, a security system will alert your local police department automatically. A video doorbell is unable to notify authorities. Security systems also monitor other possible dangers in your home, such as smoke or other evidence of a fire, which a video doorbell can’t do. However, a video doorbell can be a great addition to an existing security system if you want to make your home as secure as possible.
Q. Does a video doorbell require a Bluetooth connection to operate?
A. No, most video doorbells are WiFi connected. That means the WiFi connection in your home must be strong enough to reach the area where you plan to install the doorbell, so it can send the necessary notifications to your device through its app.
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