The Best Video Doorbell Cameras
Never miss a delivery. These WIRED-tested picks will help you keep tabs on your front porch from anywhere.

Simon Hill Adrienne So

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    As people who receive a lot of packages, we in the Gadget Lab have a foolproof way of making sure an important delivery shows up: Just step into the shower. If you're sitting at your desk with your shoes on, waiting and ready, I guarantee that every knock or ring will be from someone trying to convert you to an obscure and weirdly expensive religion.

    Even if you're working in your backyard or hungover in bed, a smart video doorbell can help you tell which knocks are worth lunging for and which ones can wait until next time. My colleague Simon Hill and I have tested these doorbells for months, peering at Instacart deliveries and stray raccoons from the safety and comfort of our couches. These are the best picks for you. 

    Don't see anything you need here? Don't forget to check out our guides to the best indoor and outdoor security cameras and our guide to the best personal safety devices and alarms.

    Updated September 2022: We've added the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro, Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell, and updated the Logitech Circle View Doorbell. 

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    Arlo Video Doorbell Support Hero
    Photograph: Arlo

    The Best Smart Doorbell

    Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell

    This doorbell has performed reliably over months of testing. It offers an expansive 180-degree square view of your front porch, swift alerts with clear notifications, and detailed video during the day and night. False positives are rare, and it never misses the action. The companion app is very straightforward and relatively quick to load a live view or recorded videos compared to other smart doorbell apps. 

    I also appreciate that someone pressing the doorbell triggers a call on my phone. These calls come through more reliably and quickly than alerts from other doorbells—particularly away from home. The notification system is also superior to most competitors, with a box highlighting the subject and animated previews that often save you from opening the app.

    You can get the wired model for $150 or pay an extra $50 for the battery-powered version, but you need an Arlo Secure plan ($3 per month) to get the most from either. Without a subscription, the Arlo doorbell is limited to live streaming and motion notifications. Arlo Secure adds important extras, including 30 days of cloud video history, animated previews, interactive notifications, activity zones, and detection smarts that enable it to categorize by person, package, animal, and vehicle. The ability to dictate zones that should trigger motion alerts and filter them, so you only get notifications about people, is essential if you don’t want to get pinged every time the neighbor's cat crosses your porch.

    Photograph: Google

    The Runner-Up

    Nest Doorbell (Battery)

    The Nest Doorbell comes in second, mainly because it’s more expensive. At $180, the wireless battery-powered version is less expensive than the wired version, which costs $229. It requires the Google Home app. For a 30-day video history and smart alerts, you also need to subscribe to Nest Aware, which costs $6 per month—more than twice the cost of Arlo Secure.

    I (Adrienne) have tested the battery version for months, and I find it very easy to mount, take off, and charge. Each charge lasted more than a month. (I also suggest keeping Google’s branded chargers, since the off-brand USB-C chargers increased charging time from 5 hours to 15.) 

    The field of view is smaller than the Arlo’s, but it’s still expansive enough to see packages left on our porch, and night vision picks up Instacart and DoorDash deliveries. Google’s smart notifications are on point when it comes to identifying faces and packages. And it’s hard to put a price on the ease of being able to incorporate your Google-enabled cameras, streaming, thermostat, and devices all under one app. If your wallet can stand the sting, it’s worth it.

    Photograph: Eufy

    Best for Local Video Storage

    Eufy 2K Video Doorbell

    Crystal clear video, local storage, and a decent set of features make this an attractive prospect for anyone on a budget. It provides a wide view of your front door in a 4:3 aspect ratio (same as an iPad), copes well with various lighting conditions, and offers some smart features. The Eufy's performance isn’t perfect, but it was consistently quick to load during several months of testing. 

    This doorbell does not require a monthly subscription, which is becoming rare. I tested the battery-powered Eufy 2K Video Doorbell that comes with the HomeBase 2, which connects wirelessly to the doorbell and acts as a range extender, chime, and local video storage server. You can record videos locally without uploading to the cloud and access them from anywhere via the Eufy Security app on your phone. The onboard AI allows you to limit notifications to people. You can also tweak the sensitivity and set activity zones to reduce unwanted alerts.

    The battery-powered model comes with 16 gigabytes of storage on the HomeBase and costs $200, or you can get the wired version for $50 less, though it ships with a Chime and has just 4 gigabytes of storage on the doorbell itself. Eufy's human detection isn’t as accurate as Arlo’s, but it gets it right most of the time. The main drawback with the Eufy doorbell is the delay when loading the live view or reviewing videos. It usually takes a few seconds to load, and there’s some lag with conversations, particularly if you’re away from home and don’t have a fast connection.

    Dual-Cam Alternative: The Eufy Video Doorbell Dual ($260) (7/10, WIRED Recommends) adds a second downward-facing camera and boasts on-device package detection and face recognition. The AI is a little flaky, but the second camera ensures a comprehensive view of your porch.

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    Photograph: Wyze

    Best Budget Video Doorbell

    Wyze Video Doorbell Pro

    The Wyze Video Doorbell Pro (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is the first video doorbell I’ve tested under $100 that doesn’t fail to alert or record some visits or completely lack smart features. It's our budget recommendation, but with caveats. The Cam Plus subscription is an extra $2 per month (currently offered at $15 for the year if you pay upfront). Even factoring that in, this is a relatively affordable option, and you don’t have to sacrifice smart alerts or AI detection for people, vehicles, pets, and packages.

    It provides a 1440p, square, 150-degree view of your front porch. There’s a pronounced fish-eye effect and some pixelation (especially if you zoom in), but video quality is generally solid. Perhaps more importantly, this doorbell did not miss a visitor or motion event in my two weeks of testing, and the AI detection was surprisingly accurate. The Wyze app is straightforward, quick to load videos stored in the cloud with a timeline that marks events clearly, and you can tweak sensitivity and set a detection zone.

    Without the subscription, there’s a 5-minute cooldown between recordings and a 12-second limit on video, so it's a must. Battery life is also a concern. Most folks will have to charge every couple of months. There is sometimes a delay on alerts and lag on the two-way audio, especially if you are away from home, but nothing egregious. Wyze has also been called out for security issues in the past, though it promises improvements.

    Photograph: Logitech

    Best for iPhone Owners

    Logitech Circle View Doorbell

    This is as close as you can get to an Apple video doorbell. It’s compact and boasts a 160-degree field of view with a 3:4 portrait aspect ratio that takes in your whole porch and captures visitors head to toe. Video is crisp and clear, in bright or low light, and the live feed is impressively quick to load. The notification system can tell the difference between animals, people, and vehicles, and will start to recognize familiar faces over time.

    The Logitech Circle View Doorbell works directly through the Apple Home app. Ten days of encrypted videos are stored in your iCloud account (if you have a 200-gigabyte subscription or higher). Alerts come via Apple devices, but your regular chime will also sound when this doorbell is pressed. You will likely need an electrician to install the Logitech Circle View. While it may be the ideal option for Apple households, you need a subscription for recorded video (starting from $3 per month) and a HomePod, Apple TV, or iPad set up as a home hub. 

    The complete lack of support for Android or Alexa will turn some people off. There’s a built-in night vision light, which ensures high-quality color video when it’s dark, but it’s on all the time by default, and it’s bright. You can turn it off permanently, but I wish it was motion-activated. I also have one more warning: The Logitech Circle View worked well for the first few months, but this doorbell has stopped working on several occasions in the last few weeks, and I had to cut the power at the fusebox to reset it. Worryingly, there’s no warning when this happens. It simply stops recording events and can’t connect through the Home app.

    Photograph: 360

    Honorable Mentions

    Other Video Doorbells

    We have tested several other video doorbells and have a few more waiting in queue. These are the ones that narrowly missed out on a place above.

    360 Doorbell X3 for $160: This video doorbell offers good-quality video, though details were occasionally lost in direct sunlight or darkness. I like the inclusion of a plug-in chime with 8 GB of storage, and the optional battery pack ($40) is smart and can plug onto the bottom to recharge the doorbell, so you never have to remove it. Alerts were accurate but sometimes slow to come through to my phone. The AI recognition was inconsistent, and the sound was often distorted. The app is also a little clunky and lacks two-factor authentication.

    Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell for $100: This is a familiar-looking wireless video doorbell with a battery-powered chime. It looks identical to the SwannBuddy below, but Toucan’s app is quicker to load, and the performance is more reliable (though it did not catch every visit). Video quality is limited to 1080p, and the camera doesn’t deal too well with mixed lighting. You get 24 hours of free cloud storage and can subscribe for more, starting at $3 per month. There’s no smart detection, but you can set custom zones.

    Amazon Blink Video Doorbell for $50:  Amazon's Blink doorbell comes in a battery-powered or wireless version, works with Alexa, and comes at a very attractive price point. We are testing it for a future update.

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    Photograph: Swann

    Tough to Recommend

    Video Doorbells You Might Want to Avoid

    We didn't like every video doorbell we tested. These are the ones we don't recommend.

    Swann SwannBuddy Video Doorbell: This doorbell comes with a wireless battery-powered chime and the option of local storage, but the positives end there. The video quality is poor, the app is painfully slow to load and glitchy, and the doorbell frequently fails to register motion. I found the battery life disappointing. I must also question the decision to provide local storage via a MicroSD card inserted in the doorbell (the chime would make more sense and be more secure).

    Ezviz DB2 Video Doorbell: An affordable video doorbell that comes with a plug-in chime, the Ezviz DB2 works quite well, but it is very chunky and kinda ugly. Video footage is detailed, but I had issues with blown-out bright areas when the sun was shining. The app is solid and quick to load, doorbell presses trigger a call to your phone, and you can record locally by inserting a MicroSD card in the chime. Sadly, it only offers a very limited option to define motion zones--a big problem if you live on a busy street. I also found the battery life below average, and it's tricky to remove. 

    Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus: I tested the Ring Doorbell 3 Plus, which boasts a laundry list of features, including pre-roll footage (providing four seconds of black and white video before bell presses), seamless Alexa integration, and quick replies. Video and sound quality are solid. But the app is bloated, and performance was very inconsistent, with delayed notifications and long loading times. We also have a few more thoughts on Ring's program with law enforcement below. 

    A Word on Surveillance

    Or, Why We Hesitate to Recommend Ring

    In the past, we've covered Ring quite critically. The company's ubiquitous cameras have turned the suburbs into a surveillance state and been subject to high-profile hacks. However, its long-standing relationship with law enforcement is the primary reason why we hesitate to recommend Ring cameras. To use a Ring camera, you need to download the Neighbors app. The app incorporates Ring's Public Safety Service (NPSS), which allows law enforcement to post information and request photos and videos directly from Ring customers.

    Late last year, Ring underwent an independent audit with NYU's Policing Project, which resulted in important changes—such as making police requests public, and allowing Neighbors to ban people who frequently post racist content. You can also disable the Neighbors service in the app (although you're still automatically enrolled when you install a Ring camera.) However, Ring's relationship with law enforcement is still unique; even Nextdoor removed its Forward to Police feature in 2020. If this relationship makes you uncomfortable, we think you have other good options available. 

    What to Consider

    Shopping for Video Doorbells

    Wired Vs. Battery Powered: Smart doorbells require more power than traditional doorbells. You may need a new transformer, and you will likely want to hire an electrician for safe installation. The main advantages of wired doorbells are that you shouldn’t need to touch them again after installation, and they will ring your existing doorbell chime. Wired doorbells are usually a bit cheaper and slimmer than models with batteries, too.

    Battery-powered smart doorbells are easy to install yourself and can be mounted wherever you like. The main downside is that you must remove and charge the battery every few months, which means some downtime unless you buy a spare battery to switch in. Remember also that your regular doorbell chime won’t work with a battery-powered smart doorbell, so you will probably need to buy a wireless chime device to plug in somewhere in your home, though you can also configure smart speakers to act as doorbell chimes.

    Most battery-powered video doorbells can also be wired, which may be the best solution if you have concerns about power outages.

    Resolution and HDR: The higher the resolution, the clearer the picture you get, but consider that higher resolution video also requires more bandwidth to stream and takes up more storage space. If your front porch is in direct sunlight or strong shade, we strongly recommend opting for a video doorbell with HDR support as it helps to prevent bright areas from appearing blown out or shadowy areas from being too dark to see.

    Field of View and Aspect Ratio: If you want a head-to-toe view of the person at your front door, then think about the field of view and aspect ratio offered by your prospective pick. A wider field of view will take more in but can cause a fish eye effect. Rather than a traditional landscape aspect ratio, you may prefer a square or portrait view to ensure you can see a visitor’s face and any packages that might be on your porch.

    Local or Cloud Storage: If you don’t want to sign up for a subscription service and upload video clips to the cloud, ensure your chosen doorbell offers local storage. Some video doorbells have MicroSD card slots, while others record video to a hub device inside your home. You can expect to pay somewhere around $3 to $6 per month for 30 days of storage for a video doorbell.

    Advanced Features: Many video doorbells offer features like package detection and person recognition. These features can be handy for filtering alerts, so you only get useful notifications. Bear in mind that you may need a subscription to gain access to advanced features.

    Choosing a Brand: If you already have a security camera system or plan on getting one, it makes a lot of sense to stick with the same brand for your doorbell. That way, you can access everything in the same app and get a single subscription if required. If you have a smart home setup, check that the doorbell is compatible with your preferred ecosystem and voice assistant.

    Security: A couple of things we recommend looking for are two-factor authentication (2FA) to ensure that someone with your username and password cannot log into your doorbell and encryption to ensure anyone accessing the manufacturer’s servers cannot see your Wi-Fi login details or watch uploaded videos.

    Adrienne So is a senior associate reviews editor for WIRED, where she reviews consumer technology. She graduated from the University of Virginia with bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish, and she previously worked as a freelance writer for Cool Hunting, Paste, Slate, and other publications. She lives in Portland, Oregon.Senior Associate Reviews Editor
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