Wired doorbell camera

Wired doorbell camera DEFAULT

Video Doorbell Wired

Video Doorbell Wired - Black

$

Answer the door from anywhere with our smallest wired doorbell camera yet. Video Doorbell Wired includes all the essentials- HD video and Two-Way Talk, advanced motion detection, and real-time alerts sent straight to your phone, Alexa device, or Ring Chime so you’ll always know when someone stops by. FREE Expedited Shipping

  • Includes a free day trial of Ring Protect.1

Please note:

  • Requires existing doorbell wiring for power supply
  • Video Doorbell Wired does not sound your existing doorbell chime. To hear audio alerts in your home, pair with a Ring Chime, compatible Alexa device, or select the Video Doorbell Wired + Chime bundle.

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Motion Detection
& Alerts

Customizable
Privacy Settings

Works
With Alexa

Essential security for your front door.

Answer the door from anywhere with Video Doorbell Wired. See visitors in crisp HD video, get real-time alerts when motion is detected, and stay connected to home no matter what.

Stay in-the-know wherever you are.

Get notified in real-time when visitors press your doorbell or trigger the built-in motion sensors. Adjust motion settings to filter out motion on a busy street or at a neighbor’s house and receive only the alerts you care about most.

See who’s there, day or night.

See, hear and speak to anyone at your front door from your phone or tablet in p HD video. Night vision with sharp contrast ensures you’ll never miss a detail – even in the dark.

Worry-free Wired Installation

Complete Control from the Ring App

Real-Time Notifications

Receive real-time notifications on your phone and tablet to stay in-the-know when anything happens at home.

Live View

Get real-time video and audio with the Live View button. Need to let a guest in? Lock and unlock a compatible smart lock with a simple tap.2

Connected Devices

Connect to select Ring devices to see what’s happening and control them all from a single dashboard.

Security & Privacy Control

Control Center allows you to view, control, and customize important security settings.

Safety Alerts

Stay connected to your community with real-time crime and safety alerts from your neighbors and local public safety agencies.

Don’t miss a thing.

Get even more out of your Ring devices with a Ring Protect subscription starting at $3/month. Try it free for the first 30 days.1

Record and Capture

Record your videos and capture photos to review, save, and share the moments you missed at any time.

Customize your alerts and minimize interruptions by getting notifications only when your device spots a person.

Rich Notifications

See exactly what triggered an alert with a photo preview right in the notification without opening the Ring App.

Flexible Options

Subscribe to Protect Basic to cover one device for $3/month (or $30/year), or activate video recording for all of your home’s devices with Protect Plus for $10/month (or $/year) per location.

Extended Warranty and 10% Off

Choose a Ring Protect Plus or Pro subscription to extend the warranty on all your devices at home and save 10% off select products at Ring.com.

Works with Ring Video Doorbells

Do more with your Video Doorbell and connect it to an array of compatible devices to help create a smarter, secure home.

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Connect Your Ring of Security

Link Video Doorbells and all your Ring devices to the Ring App to make your security work better together, so you can control them all from your phone or tablet.

“Alexa, show me my front door.”

Enjoy hands-free home monitoring with select Alexa-enabled devices. Hear custom notifications and use Two-Way Talk with Echo Dot, launch video with Echo Show and more.

Open Doors Right From the App

See who’s there with Video Doorbells, and open doors for friends and family right from the Ring App with select smart door locks like Schlage Encode.3

Choose a doorbell that’s right for you.

Need help deciding? Ask Ring by taking a quiz or speaking with an expert at

Description

Total protection and peace of mind

Best-in-class technology, ultimate performance.

Price

Power Source

Live Video and Two-Way Talk

p HD Video

Motion Detection and Alerts

Control From Ring App or Alexa-Enabled Device

Pre-Roll Video Previews

Quick Replies

Works with Existing Doorbell Chime When Hardwired

Enhanced Dual-Band WiFi

Interchangeable Faceplates and Inbox Accessories

Built-In Alexa Greetings

Bird's Eye View

Head-to-Toe Video

Tech Specs - Video Doorbell Wired

Size and Color

Features

Power and Connectivity

Installation

General

Security

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the video doorbell save my videos and photos so I can view them later?

A free day Ring Protect Trial is included with any Ring doorbell or camera purchase unless you are already subscribed to a Ring Protect Plus or Pro Plan at the same location of the new device. You can choose to subscribe to Ring Protect at any time. After you subscribe, save, review and share all videos and photos captured by your doorbell or camera. You will be charged when you subscribe to a plan or after your trial ends. More information about video storage can be found here.

If you have a subscription to Ring Protect, you can share your videos and photos with anyone, including neighbors, friends, family and local law enforcement.

Click here to learn more about Ring Protect.

What’s Ring Protect?

Ring Protect is a comprehensive service that activates video recording and photo capture, saving and sharing for your Ring doorbell or camera, plus a few extra perks.

Click here to learn more about Ring Protect.

Do I need Ring Protect to use the video doorbell?

No. You can still use your doorbell or camera to watch over your home and answer the door from anywhere, even without a subscription to Ring Protect. Without Ring Protect, you’ll still receive real-time notifications when anyone comes to your door, and you can answer the notification to see, hear and speak to visitors in real time right from your mobile device.

However, without a subscription to Ring Protect, you won’t be able to review any videos that you missed in real time, and you won’t be able to save your videos or share them with anyone. Photos will not be captured. Click here to learn more about Ring Protect and to choose a plan that works for you.

1Find details on Ring Protect Plans below:
Free trial is not applicable for locations with an existing Ring Protect Plus or Protect Pro subscription. Terms and limitations apply. See Ring Protect Subscription Plans for more information.
Extended warranty coverage applies to eligible Ring devices, provided you subscribe to Ring Protect Plus or Pro during the original warranty period, until you discontinue your subscription. Non-Ring and other third-party devices are not eligible for the extended warranty. Read more about our warranty.
2Sold separately. A compatible smart lock must be set up in the Ring App to enable this functionality.
3Requires integration with Key by Amazon.

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Video Doorbell Wired

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Sours: https://ring.com/products/video-doorbell-wired
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Editor's note, March 25, Ring has been called out for its partnership with local police departments in the US, leading privacy advocates to express concern about the data Ring shares with law enforcement and how they use that information. In December , thousands of Ring users' personal information was exposed, leading us to stop recommending Ring products. Ring has since updated its security policies, from offering customers a Control Center dashboard allowing people to more easily access privacy and security settings to requiring two-factor authentication. 

We have resumed recommending Ring's products with this caveat: If you have concerns about Ring's privacy policies, make sure to familiarize yourself with its privacy statement. You can read more about how we factor Ring's privacy policies into our recommendations here. CNET has not and will not be issuing Editors' Choice awards to Ring while the company's policies around law enforcement and surveillance remain on their current course. 


Like

  • A fantastic $60 price tag
  • A solid set of features

Don't Like

  • No battery-powered option
  • Ring's trajectory on privacy

Ring's new $60 Video Doorbell Wired may well be the best value in a video doorbell on the market. It's a better deal than the second-gen Video Doorbell released last year and other high-quality devices from competitors, and it includes almost all the same monitoring smarts, clear image quality and a simple installation process that most people will be able to figure out in under half an hour.

While Ring has significantly improved its security over the past year, however, questions about privacy linger: Just this week, police in LA were discovered to have been asking customers through the Ring app for footage of demonstrations without indicating specific crimes they were investigating -- raising serious questions about the company's past aggressive courtship and ever-expanding relationship with police forces across the country.

Despite my concerns about such issues, I can't deny that Ring has broken new ground. This is a great video doorbell under $, something few companies have tried and none until now have accomplished. (It'll be £49 in the UK and AU$ in Australia when it goes on sale later this year.)

Going 12 rounds in the Ring

The Ring Video Doorbell Wired is the result of years of honed hardware and sharpened software -- from its p resolution and solid night vision, to its motion alerts and easy-to-use two-way talk. Compared to other devices on the market, this new doorbell clearly offers the best value around.

Held up next to last year's $ Ring doorbell, the two devices look similar. The two biggest changes are that Video Doorbell Wired is exclusively wired (it can't be battery-powered) and it doesn't support dual-band Wi-Fi. In addition, it doesn't have a near zone for motion detection, though this won't feel like a significant loss for most people.

Even excellent competitors (including our current favorite, the Arlo Video Doorbell) boast similar features at significantly higher prices. Arlo's device costs $ -- not terrible, but not terribly affordable either. The cheaper Ring doorbell doesn't have a field of vision that's quite as wide as Arlo's, so many packages will be left below the camera's line of sight. And its motion alerts aren't quite as customizable -- Ring doesn't distinguish between pets and cars, for instance. Even so, this accessible doorbell cam will do what most people want it to.

Read more:The best video doorbells for

Putting a Ring on it

Testing out the Ring Video Doorbell Wired was the first time I'd ever installed a doorbell. Sure, I've used each of the major devices, but in those cases one of my colleagues did the hard work of actually getting the things up and running.

I was delighted to discover that installing doorbells isn't that hard after all -- at least, not when you have an app that walks you through the process, step by step. I was testing out my new Ring less than 30 minutes after unboxing it, and I was showing my parents how to check the front door feed and use the two-way audio soon afterward.

In short, installing the Wired doorbell is a breeze -- inasmuch as fiddling with circuit breakers and wires can be a breeze. My one question is, since the $60 price tag may appeal just as much to renters who don't have access or aren't allowed to alter their wiring, has Ring missed a bit of an opportunity to release a battery-powered alternative alongside this device?

That thought has more to do with the quality of the video doorbell than anything else: At $60, it's hard to imagine these things won't fly off the shelves.

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The subscription

Alas, while Ring is breaking new ground on its price, the $3 monthly fee -- which is fairly standard in the industry now -- is the same as ever.

A subscription-based Ring Protect Plan isn't required, by any means, but without the basic plan ($3 a month or $30 a year), you won't get the best features of the device and app: day video storage, video saving and sharing, snapshot capture, People Only Mode (which only notifies you if a person approaches the door, as opposed to, say, a truck passing in the distance) and push notifications that use snapshots.

If you have a Ring Alarm device, you can also opt for a more expensive subscription service called Ring Protect Plus, which offers 24/7 professional monitoring among a few other minor perks -- all for the price of $10 a month or $ a year.

Most people, it seems, will use the Basic Protect Plan, and what you get for the price is solid. It's neither exciting nor disappointing.

Bring your home up to speed with the latest on automation, security, utilities, networking and more.

How secure and private is Ring, really?

Late in , CNET temporarily placed a moratorium on recommending select Ring devices as security snafus piled atop privacy scandals -- but the security developer has made significant and laudable strides in the year since, to the point that we feel comfortable that your video feed will remain under your control under the company's current policies.

Multifactor authentication, which is by no means an industry norm yet, is now mandatory on Ring products, diminishing their vulnerability to certain types of hacks. A new security Control Center handed more transparency and control to people who are concerned about their privacy and security settings in the Ring app. Most recently, Ring began to roll out end-to-end video encryption (though the Video Doorbell Wired does not support it at this time).

All of these improvements seem to mark a tide change in the company's approach to security, and it's made recommending Ring's products easier.

And yet.

While Ring has dramatically improved its device and app security, the company's approach to privacy has been less commendable. Ring has continued to foster relationships with police forces across the country, and it's waffled on how transparent it's been about the nature and scale of those relationships. (Up-to-date information remains on the Ring website, though it's not particularly easy to find.)

What's wrong with working with the authorities? If police get a warrant, they can likely get footage from any security company, after all, not just Ring.

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You might reasonably worry about police overreach in a world where privacy seems to be at risk of dissolving at any moment, but the problem with Ring is more particular than that: Ring actively facilitates the connection between police investigators and users for requests that may or may not be ethical or even constitutional. Typically, individual investigators or investigative teams require warrants to access private footage from security cameras, and warrants, crucially, require that a specific crime is being investigated.

If their police department is partnered with Ring, by contrast, investigators do not need to satisfy these requirements. They'll have to provide a case number and incident details, but those don't necessarily correlate with specific criminal investigations, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation report on last year's LAPD requests demonstrates. And since people are opted into the Neighborhood program by default, recipients of police requests may not fully understand their right to refuse them -- or the significance of accepting such requests -- despite Ring adding some clarifying information in the body of request emails.

This issue is complicated. During a phone conversation I had with Yassi Shahmiri, Ring's director of communications, she described some of the measures delimiting how law enforcement investigators can use the footage request forms. Beyond requiring a case number, Ring uses geographical restrictions to limit requests from police to users in close proximity to the crimes being investigated. In addition, police can only request a hour window of footage.

Given such guardrails are already in place, and recent improvements to the Neighbors feature in the Ring app, how much more responsibility for curbing potential abuses by police forces should Ring shoulder?

If Ring's partnerships with police weren't part of the equation, maybe the company's current privacy measures would be sufficient. But certain abuses by police -- such as requesting footage of demonstrations without a clear crime to investigate -- are made significantly easier through their relationships with Ring.

In a follow-up email, Shahmiri said, "Ring's policy expressly prohibits Video Requests for lawful activities This LAPD Video Request meets our guidelines, as it includes a case number and specifically states that the public safety enforcement user is requesting video to only identify individuals responsible for theft, property damage, and physical injury."

But this situation only serves to highlight the problem: if a police department requests footage of lawful activity, but can state as its intent the identification of perpetrators of a wide range of criminal behavior, there are clear loopholes in Ring's Video Request guidelines. In short, a case number and statement of crimes suspected doesn't seem to be sufficient.

Ring actively pursued (and continues to service) its relationships with police forces that seem to be using those services for questionable purposes and with questionable outcomes. Shahmiri says Ring has not been proactively seeking partnerships with police forces since the beginning of , but that doesn't change the fact that the company has gained hundreds of such partners in the past 12 months.

Ring's recent partnerships may simply be a result of inertia, but they have real, present-day repercussions, enabling police overreach in a way few could have imagined 10 or 15 years ago.

While Ring has seriously improved its security in the past year, its inability to fully address the critical issues of privacy has left me feeling uneasy endorsing its products too enthusiastically -- even when the devices themselves are excellent, as is the case with the Ring Video Doorbell Wired.

A difficult choice

The Ring Video Doorbell Wired is a great product -- a fantastic value for the $60 price tag. The Ring app is also a pleasure to use, and the Ring Protect Basic Plan is comparable to competitive subscription services. Ring's security has also dramatically improved over the past year or so.

Despite how much I like this Ring Doorbell, I can't give it an Editors' Choice award while the company's policies around law enforcement and surveillance remain on their current course. Perhaps it's more the responsibility of the governing bodies of the United States to enact policy that delimits how police can access and use footage gained from companies like Ring. But until such policy is put in place, Ring could and should be doing more to enact a responsible stop-gap, at the very least requiring its users to opt into receiving police requests (as opposed to being opted in by default) and requiring police to give more specific information about the customer's right to refuse.

The new doorbell is impressive for its price. I sincerely hope the company takes on privacy in as aggressively as it did security in

Sours: https://www.cnet.com/home/security/ringsvideo-doorbell-wired-is-the-best-cheap-doorbell-cam/
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A smart doorbell camera allows you to see who’s on the other side of your door, even when you aren’t home, so you can weed out guests who don’t come bearing Girl Scout cookies. We recommend the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired because it delivers fewer false alerts than any video doorbell we tested and offers a subscription plan that allows it to distinguish among people, animals, cars, and packages. If you don’t have existing doorbell wiring, the Eufy Security Video Doorbell 2K (Battery-Powered) is an easy-to-use option with a great image and a battery that can deliver about four months of service on a full charge.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit (with a compatible base station, such as the Arlo SmartHub), Google Assistant, IFTTT, SmartThings

The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired is our top pick because, along with its great hardware and fast response times, it can accurately distinguish between people, animals, vehicles, or packages. This means it also keeps false alerts—a problem with many other models—to a minimum. For that advanced sensing and the ability to capture video clips up to five minutes long, you need a $3-per-month Arlo Secure subscription. But we think these features are essential, and the price is fair (otherwise you’re restricted to motion/bell alerts and live video streaming). The Arlo doorbell camera also captures crisp video with a × resolution and a wide, degree viewing angle in a square format; this provides a comprehensive vertical and horizontal view of what’s going on in front of your door, whether it’s deliveries or visiting raccoons.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

In the Eufy Security Video Doorbell 2K (Wired), Eufy includes a lot of features that most other companies charge for, such as enough internal memory to store up to 30 days’ worth of video, as well as the ability to distinguish between people and other motion, such as from birds or swaying branches. (The Arlo, however, was a little more accurate in this area.) The wired Eufy doesn’t have as wide a viewing angle as the Arlo, but it creates clear recordings as long as it detects motion, for up to five minutes, and it stores those clips in its 4 gigabytes of built-in memory or Eufy’s cloud service, which offers 30 days of history for $3 per month per camera (or $30 per year). Although this Eufy model draws power from your existing doorbell wires, it doesn’t work with your existing chime—but it does come with its own wireless plug-in chime, so that isn’t really a problem.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Just because you don’t have doorbell wiring doesn’t mean you can’t have a video doorbell. We like the Eufy Security Video Doorbell 2K (Battery-Powered) because it combines solid performance with a strong battery that lasts about four months. It can store up to six months’ worth of footage on the included base station, or you can opt for Eufy’s cloud service, which offers 30 days of video history for $3 per month per camera (or $30 per year). It also delivers a bright 2K image and clear two-way audio. Unlike its hardwired counterpart, recording is limited to second clips, and as with many battery-operated models, it may leave a small gap in between those events if motion continues. However, this model’s performance and flexibility make it the best option for people who need to go wire-free.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings

Google’s Nest Doorbell (Wired) is the most advanced DIY smart doorbell camera we’ve tested. Unlike most smart doorbells, it can record and store video in the cloud 24/7, but it does so at × pixels, which is still crisp but a slightly lower resolution than on our top two picks. For easy access, Google’s cloud service also automatically tags clips that include motion or people, using facial-recognition software to learn and identify over time who is coming and going. This comprehensive approach comes with an elevated price, however: A Nest Aware subscription, which is essential for video recording, costs $6 a month to capture motion events and store them for 30 days, or $12 per month to store events for 60 days or to store 24/7 recording for 10 days—so the operating costs are higher than for most doorbell cameras we tested. (If you pay annually, you can save a few bucks, from $12 up to $24 for the top-tier plan.)

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Works with Ring

The Ring Video Doorbell Wired is the solid sub-$ doorbell camera we’ve been waiting for. It’s smaller than most Ring doorbells (and cheaper, too), it captures clear p images, and it delivers accurate motion and person alerts. However, it needs to be hardwired, it works only with Amazon Alexa, and it doesn’t offer detailed alerts or local storage as some of our other picks do. And even though it’s inexpensive, it requires a Ring Protect Basic plan (which starts at $3 per month or $30 per year) to record motion events.

Everything we recommend

Why you should trust me

I first started testing smart-home devices back when the only smart-home devices were X Over the past 15 years, I’ve had my hands on everything from remotes and security cameras to AV receivers and smart light switches. I’ve also written tech articles for The New York Times, Wired, Men’s Health, and others.

Who this is for

Smart doorbell cameras are for people who want to be able to screen their visitors the way they do phone calls using caller ID. They allow you to monitor who is at the door and to choose whether to answer it, whether you are cooking, have mobility issues, want to keep social distancing, or just aren’t home. These cameras also serve a valuable security function by recording video of whoever (or whatever) comes to your door or crosses your walkway, whether it’s FedEx or UPS dropping off packages or the types of miscreants who like to pilfer them.

These devices replace your existing doorbell with one that bundles a ringer button, a camera, a microphone, a speaker, and several sensors. When a smart doorbell camera is triggered by motion or a push of the button, it notifies you via an audible chime and a smartphone notification, and it streams live audio and video to your phone or tablet so you can hear and see your visitors in real time. You can even talk with those visitors or, in the case of solicitors, send them on their way.

Doorbell cameras also serve a valuable security function by recording video of whoever or whatever comes to your door or crosses your walkway.

In most homes with a powered doorbell, you can simply swap out your old doorbell button for a smart one and use the existing wiring; a few models can also run on rechargeable batteries. One practical issue some homeowners face is not having an adequate power transformer, a device that reduces your home’s volt electrical service to a lower (and safer) voltage as required by many smart doorbells. Though the majority of smart doorbells claim to work with the standard volt transformer found in most homes with a wired doorbell, some are rated for 16 to 24 volts and may require installation of a power transformer to work properly. If you install a smart doorbell and hear humming, or if the doorbell chime doesn’t sound right, your existing transformer is likely the issue. If you’re not comfortable with or knowledgeable about home wiring, it’s best to hire an electrician.

Installing an all-seeing eye on your front door necessarily raises issues of privacy—both yours and that of your unwitting neighbors. Many people assume that the companies that make these cameras have free access to your recordings, though that shouldn’t be the case. We provide a few scenarios and suggestions in “How to Keep Unwanted Eyes From Spying on Your Security Cameras,” but it’s incumbent upon you to take a few minutes to understand companies’ terms of service and privacy policies. We also consider these issues when making recommendations (see Security, privacy, and smart doorbell cameras). Also, keep in mind that some neighbors, postal workers, pizza delivery drivers, and other guests may not appreciate being recorded—and may be protected by local or state laws. For more about these issues, see our post “Security Cameras, Ethics, and the Law.”

How we picked

Four of the smart doorbell cameras tested, shown mounted on an exterior wall.

We focused exclusively on smart doorbell cameras you can install yourself, rather than on higher-end models that are part of a larger security system. That eliminated options from ADT and Vivint, which require additional equipment and sometimes hefty subscription fees.

All smart doorbells, when they detect motion, deliver a remote live view and smartphone alerts. The latter is especially handy for package drop-offs, but it also allows the doorbell to double as a security camera for your entryway, even if no one rings the bell. Some cameras let you tweak the motion-detection area and sensitivity so that you aren’t constantly alerted to every person passing by your home. Some can even distinguish humans from a moving car or a leaf that’s blowing by.

We also looked for features that make doorbell cameras easier to use, including the following:

  • Cloud storage for clips: Most of the models we tested require an ongoing subscription to access previously recorded video beyond a very small window of time, which can be anywhere from two to 24 hours. This allows you to access content even when the system is down—or if it’s been stolen (it happens!).
  • Smart-home integration: Various integrations with other smart devices and platforms can be useful. For example, some models allow you to use smart video displays such as Amazon’s Echo Show to view doorbell feeds, or to use a smart speaker like the Google Home as an intercom. Of course, if you aren’t interested in expanding beyond your front door, who and what your doorbell is compatible with is a nonissue.
  • Battery support: Not everyone has the wiring necessary to install a smart doorbell, so battery-powered models are convenient for many people, especially renters. However, you need to charge that battery as often as once every several weeks, depending on how many people are coming and going, as well as the number of recordings and alerts the doorbell is sending.
  • High-resolution video: All of the models we tested have at least p resolution, but some include a higher resolution to capture the most important details and to recognize faces.

The average cost of a smart doorbell has dropped over the years. Most doorbells can be had for $ or less, although some battery-operated models and those with advanced motion sensing and facial recognition (such as the Google Nest Doorbell) cost around $

How we tested

In every round of testing, we mount each of our test subjects to a homemade rig that houses up to four doorbells. The rig includes standard doorbell wiring and an indoor switch so we can flip power to operate one doorbell at a time. During our testing, we compare the quality of live and recorded audio and video. We also time how long each doorbell takes to send motion and bell notifications, as well as to establish a video and voice connection, and we take note of video recording times. We then repeat these tests over both Wi-Fi and our phone’s LTE connection, using Android and iOS devices. When issues come up (such as too many or too few alerts), we try to tweak the settings to see what works best for each doorbell.

The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell and the Eufy Security Video Doorbell 2K shown next to each other attached to a house.

Since video doorbells (and all smart cameras) create more potential for privacy and security issues than any other smart-home device, we monitor the practices of each company, review issues that come up in the news, and keep tabs on how each company responds to those incidents. During testing, we also connect devices to Firewalla Blue, a firewall device that monitors the communications of all devices on a network and reports which devices are sending out data and to what country. Once we narrow down final candidates, we review privacy policies and send our own questions to the company behind each candidate, specifically looking for clauses or activities that are outside normal practice in this category. (See “Security, privacy, and smart doorbell cameras,” below.)

Security, privacy, and smart doorbell cameras

Wirecutter takes security and privacy issues seriously and, as much as possible, investigates how the companies whose products we recommend deal with customer data. As part of our vetting process, we research all of the security and data-privacy practices behind our picks. We also reach out to all of the companies that produce our top picks and ask them to respond to an extensive questionnaire to confirm issues that we think should be of primary concern for any potential buyer. Here are the results.

How our picks compare

Is two-factor authentication available and/or required?

  • Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired: Yes/yes.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Wired): Yes/no.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Battery): Yes/no.
  • Google Nest Doorbell (Wired): Yes/no.
  • Ring Video Doorbell Wired: Yes/yes.

Is user data encrypted in the cloud?

  • Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired: Yes.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Wired): Yes.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Battery): Yes.
  • Google Nest Doorbell (Wired): Yes.
  • Ring Video Doorbell Wired: Yes.

Is video transmitted using end-to-end encryption?

  • Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired: Yes.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Wired): Yes.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Battery): Yes.
  • Google Nest Doorbell (Wired): Encrypted in transit and at rest—but not while in use.
  • Ring Video Doorbell Wired: Encrypted in transit and at rest for all devices; optional end-to-end encryption of video available on select devices.
  • Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired: Only if required by law in a criminal case under a legally enforceable search warrant or other equivalent court order that is supported by probable cause.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Wired): No; law enforcement must contact owners directly.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Battery): No; law enforcement must contact owners directly.
  • Google Nest Doorbell (Wired): No, except when required by law, such as via a valid subpoena or court order, and then only by limited personnel.
  • Ring Video Doorbell Wired: Unless necessary to comply with law or in an emergency, Ring does not share video without customer consent.

Do you share data with third parties?

  • Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired: No.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Wired): No.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Battery): No.
  • Google Nest Doorbell (Wired): Yes, but only with permission and only with approved partners (such as a home security service provider).
  • Ring Video Doorbell Wired: Ring shares information for the purpose of personalized ads and web/app analytics, but customers can choose to opt out of sharing for these purposes from Control Center in the Ring app.

Does this device offer tamper alerts in case of theft or power outage?

  • Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired: Yes, the camera will send smartphone notifications if there is a power outage.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Wired): No.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Battery): No.
  • Google Nest Doorbell (Wired): Yes, users will get a notification through the Nest app if Nest goes offline, whether that’s a power or Wi-Fi outage.
  • Ring Video Doorbell Wired: No.

Is location data recorded or shared?

  • Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired: No.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Wired): No.
  • Eufy Security Video Doorbell (Battery): No.
  • Google Nest Doorbell (Wired): No.
  • Ring Video Doorbell Wired: Users must input an address and zip code when setting up a device. If it’s invalid, the app will ask to use Location Services, but users can decline.

Wirecutter long-term tests all of its picks, including keeping track of app, firmware, and policy updates, as well as hardware and software incidents. Should any privacy or security issues be found with any of our selected products, we’ll report that here and, if necessary, update or alter our recommendations.

Our pick: Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired

A close-up of our pick for best smart doorbell camera, the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired, attached to a house.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit (with a compatible base station, such as the Arlo SmartHub), Google Assistant, IFTTT, SmartThings

The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired delivers the most accurate smartphone alerts of any doorbell we’ve tested. When the doorbell detects movement, it can distinguish whether the source is a person, an animal, a vehicle, or a package, and it records crisp video for up to five minutes at a time with crystal-clear two-way audio. The Arlo doorbell camera’s image is also more comprehensive than that of any of our other picks because it combines a degree viewing angle with a square aspect ratio. That gives you a head-to-toe view, so you can see whether it’s the paper or a package on your stoop. Like many of the doorbells on our list, this model requires a monthly subscription fee to enable the specialized alerts and the storage; Arlo Secure costs a modest $3 per month.

The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired provides a view that spans from head to toe and beyond. Note: Gif is for illustrative purposes and does not represent actual video resolution or frame rate. Video: Rachel Cericola

The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired provides a view that spans from head to toe and beyond. Note: Gif is for illustrative purposes and does not represent actual video resolution or frame rate. Video: Rachel Cericola

In addition to video, motion detection is one of the main things that make the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell worth the upgrade over a standard doorbell. People don’t always ring the bell; they may knock or even just peer into the window. It’s important that motion detection be accurate because, as with any security camera, recording can often be falsely triggered by a passing car, a bird, or a tree. We found the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell to be more accurate than others we tested, sending alerts when relevant motion occurred and tagging people and vehicles clearly. Whereas other video doorbells typically picked up every car that drove by the house, the Arlo, due to the system’s intuitive sensitivity-range settings, managed to limit alerts to cars pulling into our driveway.

In our testing, both live and recorded images were always clear, during the day and at night. Although the 2K image from the Eufy doorbell cameras slightly edged out the Arlo’s ×resolution image in clarity, the Arlo provides a degree viewing angle and a square aspect ratio, which produces more imagery around your doorframe. That makes it adept at keeping an eye on critters and packages.

A screenshot showing camera recordings on the Arlo app.

With a subscription, the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell can distinguish among people, animals, vehicles, packages, and general motion.

A person shown pressing the doorbell button on the Arlo smart doorbell, as recorded by the doorbell camera.

With a subscription, the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell can distinguish among people, animals, vehicles, packages, and general motion. Photo: Rachel Cericola

Night mode image of person shown pressing the doorbell button on the Arlo smart doorbell, as recorded by the doorbell camera.

With a subscription, the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell can distinguish among people, animals, vehicles, packages, and general motion. Photo: Rachel Cericola

We typically received smartphone alerts, which included a thumbnail photo, within six seconds. Once you expand that notification, it shows a bigger picture with motion highlighted in a box, as well as options to mute notifications or, if something untoward is happening, to trigger a built-in siren. One neat feature we especially liked was the ability to receive a video phone call when someone rang the doorbell, instead of just getting a simple smartphone notification (which for some people can go unnoticed). You can stop the calls by enabling Silent Mode—but that also silences rings from the bell, so you get nothing. We think it would be nice to be able to silence phone calls but still receive alerts. You can also enable a prerecorded greeting that offers visitors a chance to leave a message if the doorbell goes unanswered after 20 seconds.

In addition to video, motion detection is one of the main things that make the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell worth the upgrade over a standard doorbell.

Arlo offers the option of local storage, so you can record to an Arlo SmartHub or Base Station as long as it is model VMB, VMB, VMB, or VMB We used the VMB with a microSD card. This is a cheap way to store video, but it eliminates some of the features we love, including specialized alerts, thumbnails on notifications, access via the web client, and the ability to grant access to other users.

The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired currently works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit (when paired with a compatible base station, such as the Arlo SmartHub), and Google Assistant. We successfully set up Alexa Routines that responded to motion or button presses by turning on a Yeelight bulb and Wyze Plug. We also used the Alexa app to enable notifications on our Alexa devices when the doorbell was pushed.

The Arlo app is the same one that works with all Arlo devices, including the Arlo Pro 4 (one of our outdoor camera picks). In-app features include the ability to set or adjust motion sensitivity, activity zones, and the recording times. As with all Arlo cameras, with this one you can program recordings to last a set amount of time, between 10 and seconds. We prefer the option to record as long as there’s motion; it stops recording when a motion event ends, for up to five minutes. If motion continues beyond that, the Arlo doorbell camera makes a new clip, but in our tests it regularly left a negligible, two-second gap in between recordings.

The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell offers a few security features. It has two-factor authentication and allows only one user or device to be logged in at a time on the same username and password. That means if you’re logged in to your iPad, for example, your iPhone will be logged out. If you want to have multiple users, you can grant an unlimited number of guests access and also manage and limit what they’re allowed to do.

The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell has several anti-theft features, as well. First, it has a built-in siren, which you can set to trigger automatically or manually in the app. We measured the siren at 90 dB from a foot away, which is about the same as a lawn mower; it’s not exactly terrifying, but it could startle a few porch pirates or trash pandas. Also, if the power is cut, the Arlo app will send a tamper notification with a thumbnail photo. We typically received this kind of alert within three seconds of our cutting the power. And finally, the Arlo also has an internal battery that provides about five minutes of backup power, enough to give you a live view, send alerts, and record whatever is going on outside your house.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Even though the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired has a battery backup, it needs wiring to function on a daily basis. (Arlo recently released a battery-powered version, which we talk about in Other good smart doorbell cameras.) We found that the battery lasts only about five minutes and is intended for emergencies so that you can catch whoever is trying to steal your doorbell. If you don’t have an existing doorbell and aren’t comfortable with wiring, hire an electrician or check out our battery-powered pick.

Runner-up: Eufy Security Video Doorbell 2K (Wired)

Eufy Security Video Doorbell 2K (Wired)

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

The Eufy Security Video Doorbell 2K (Wired) captures detailed 2K video and clear two-way audio, and it offers the option of recording video clips to the cloud or storing them internally. Unlike our battery-operated pick, this model is hardwired, so it can record longer clips (up to five minutes, as long as it detects motion) without gaps in between recordings. Capturing recordings locally to built-in storage frees you from monthly fees and worries about hackers possibly accessing your data sitting in the cloud. (It also prevents concerns about inadvertently draining your monthly data allotment, if you have satellite internet.) However, local storage also makes your clips inaccessible should your power or Wi-Fi go out—or if someone swipes your doorbell. (That’s one of the reasons we recommend getting cloud storage.)

The wired Eufy doorbell camera captures very high-quality video to its internal 4 GB hard drive in × resolution, which in our tests was sharp enough for us to see faces at the door, license plates in the driveway, and movement on the sidewalk 60 feet away. We tweaked sensitivity and adjusted activity zones so that it wouldn’t alert us to every person, car, or school bus that went by.

This version of the Eufy Security Video Doorbell 2K requires doorbell wiring since it doesn’t have a battery or any type of backup power. If you have an existing doorbell, installing the wired Eufy is an easy swap, but your old chime will become a piece of wall art—this model doesn’t work with mechanical or digital chimes, only the included plug-in chime, which gives you eight doorbell sounds to choose from.

During testing, we found that the Eufy doorbell triggered smartphone alerts within three seconds of motion, a little faster than our top pick; you can opt to receive these alerts on your smartphone with or without a thumbnail photo. The camera can distinguish between humans and general motion (such as trees blowing in the wind or cars driving by), which we found could greatly reduce the number of nuisance alerts. In our long-term testing, we had a handful of instances where it tagged car tires and trees as “human,” but overall we found that alerts worked pretty well, considering that the makers of most other smart doorbells charge for this feature (or don’t include it in their models at all). We found that tweaking motion sensitivity and activity zones to focus on a specific area of our porch helped a bit. We’re also going to try using the included wedge mount, which angles the doorbell on the door frame, and we’ll report back with any changes.

Motion alerts can direct you to the recorded event or a live view, based on your settings. There’s also an option to trigger prerecorded responses, or you can add up to three of your own. (We input a “sad trombone” sound just because we could.) The Eufy doorbell camera records motion continuously, for up to five minutes straight. If motion continues beyond that, it creates a new clip yet doesn’t miss a second of action, in contrast to the Arlo.

A screenshot from the Eufy Security mobile app showing the doorbell settings.

The Eufy Security app is useful and makes it easy to access recordings.

A person alert screenshot from the Eufy Security mobile app.

The Eufy Security app is useful and makes it easy to access recordings.

A screenshot of a person in front of the Eufy doorbell at night.

The Eufy Security app is useful and makes it easy to access recordings.

The Eufy Security app is useful and easy to navigate. Through the app settings you can adjust motion detection, activity zones, streaming quality, and recording quality. The last item is important, because if your phone is more than a few years old and doesn’t support 2K video playback, you will be able to access only live video—no 2K recordings. (The iPhone 7 and newer, as well as Android devices with Quad-HD displays, support 2K video.) The app also gives you options to tweak the volume for the doorbell and the ringtone; the chime volume, however, is a manual setting on the plug-in device itself.

You can integrate the Eufy doorbell with Amazon Alexa. In our tests, whenever someone pressed its button, we got a quick response on Amazon Alexa devices, which variously included bringing up a live video on our Echo Show 5 and issuing a customized doorbell sound on other Echo devices (we tried the dog bark, crowd cheers, and other sounds). The Eufy doorbell camera is also compatible with Google Assistant devices, but it’s currently limited to live streaming on a Nest smart display or Google Chromecast.

A close-up of a person ringing the Eufy Video Doorbell 2K (Wired).

The Eufy Security Video Doorbell 2K offers the option of local storage, or you can pay for Eufy Cloud, which provides 30 days of video storage for $3 per month per camera (or $30 per year). The 4 GB of built-in memory is enough to store up to 30 days’ worth of recordings (based on 30 videos a day, each 30 seconds long; your mileage may vary, but we think it’s a decent amount of storage). Eufy employs the same type of encryption the US government does (AES , to be specific), and only the user and invited guests can access live video and recordings—Eufy claims the system is so secure that even the company doesn’t have access to your recordings. Having the storage embedded is more secure than using a removable SD card, which is easily swiped. The trade-offs: You can access recordings only through the app (only a live view is possible on the web browser), and you need to keep the doorbell connected to both electrical power and your home’s Wi-Fi. If the power goes down while you’re on vacation, for example, you won’t be able to access prior local recordings, which is something you can do with video uploaded to the cloud. (Read our blog post “How to Keep Unwanted Eyes From Spying on Your Security Cameras” for a list of potential problems and solutions involving cloud storage of video.)

Also great: Eufy Security Video Doorbell 2K (Battery-Powered)

A close-up of the Eufy video doorbell, attached on a house.

Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

If you don’t have doorbell wiring, adding it can be a daunting (and expensive) task. The Eufy Security Video Doorbell 2K (Battery-Powered) puts a video doorbell anywhere within range of your Wi-Fi signal. Of the battery-operated doorbells we tested, this model is the complete package: It captures 2K images, it can store them in the cloud (with a subscription fee) or locally to the included base station, and it delivers reliable alerts. It also includes an internal battery that Eufy says should provide about days of use when fully charged—and we found it to come close, as we got about four months in between charges.

The best thing about the battery-powered Eufy doorbell is that setup doesn’t require any wiring and that its battery can last several months. Many of the non-wired doorbells we tested were dead within days or weeks; in contrast, the Eufy delivered about four months of power on a full charge at a home with fairly frequent deliveries and people using the front door several times a day. If you live on a busy street, your mileage may vary (and you should tweak your settings to remedy any problems). Unlike other doorbells, which have a removable battery, this Eufy model’s battery is internal, so you have to remove the entire doorbell to charge it. That design also means that if the internal battery dies, so does the doorbell. (We long-term test all of our picks and will report back if this happens to ours.) Removing the doorbell is easy enough to do with the included doorbell pin, although a paper clip should work, too. Charging takes about four hours, so you should plan to do that while you’re at home. If you have doorbell wiring, this model can be hardwired, but in that situation we recommend getting the Arlo or the wired Eufy, seeing that both of those models are slimmer, less expensive, and capable of recording longer clips.

Otherwise, this doorbell delivers bright images with a × resolution, which translates to 2K—and twice as good as the footage from a p model. When you’re reviewing doorbell footage, that little bump in quality could mean the difference in identifying who has been stealing packages off your porch. The degree field of view is slightly smaller than that of the Arlo, but it still captures a generous view of the surrounding area. Audio is easy to understand in recorded video, as well as while you’re speaking live to the person at your door through the app. You can also opt to have the doorbell deliver a prerecorded message; the app includes a few standard selections (“We will be right there”), or you can record up to three of your own.

In our testing, the Eufy battery-operated doorbell delivered smartphone alerts within seven seconds of motion. If you find that you’re getting too many notifications of pedestrians or cars going by, you can tweak motion sensitivity or create an activity zone to capture motion only in a specific area. As with all video doorbells, these features cut down on useless notifications, but in this case they can also help to preserve the battery life of the doorbell: The less activity there is, the longer the battery will last. Eufy also offers the option to filter out random motion by setting the doorbell to specifically capture people. Like the hardwired version, this battery model sometimes misidentified a tire as human in our tests, but we found using these settings to be helpful in narrowing down nuisance alerts.

Because this Eufy model uses a battery, it can’t record lengthy clips like the Arlo can. Instead, it limits recordings to 60 seconds, about average for a battery-operated doorbell. If motion continues beyond that time, a new clip starts recording, but we did find that the system left a gap in between, which averaged about eight seconds in our testing. Some people may consider that to be a dealbreaker, but we think the performance and battery life make for a reasonable trade-off. You can store recordings locally on the included base station, called the Home Base, which connects to your router inside. The Home Base has a 16 GB hard drive, which Eufy says can hold about six months’ worth of 2K clips (based on an average of five minutes of recording per day). It also provides a strong connection to the doorbell and sounds when the bell is pushed (instead of requiring a separate plug-in unit as the hardwired model does). The doorbell can also integrate with Amazon Alexa so that an Echo device produces a chime, or you can connect it to an existing mechanical chime (but not a digital one). You can also opt for Eufy cloud storage, which starts at $3 per month per camera or $30 per year. This service adds to the cost but stores clips offsite, which means you’ll be able to access them if your power or Wi-Fi goes down.

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-smart-doorbell-camera/
Ultimate Video Doorbell Comparison: Finding the Best

Best video doorbells in Top smart doorbell cameras rated

The best video doorbells could help prevent people from stealing packages from your front stoop — or at least identify the porch pirate. That's because a doorbell camera records all the activity happening in front of your front door, and sends you an alert to your smartphone. Some smart doorbells can also let you know when a package has arrived, helpful in this delivery-heavy era. 

The best doorbell cameras are also good for those with mobility issues. For example, if you can't get to your front door easily or quickly, you can use your smartphone to tell your visitor to wait until you get to the front door. 

We've tested dozens of video doorbells to bring you what we think are the best.

Ring Video Doorbell Black Friday deals

It's still a ways away, but you can already find some Ring video doorbell Black Friday deals; we'll be updating the page regularly now through November. And be sure to check out our best Black Friday deals for discounts on everything from TVs to Airpods to mattresses and more.

What are the best video doorbells?

After testing all of the top models, we think that the best video doorbell is the Nest  Doorbell (battery). It has the highest video quality, can recognize individual faces and can even announce them, too. And despite its name, you can also hardwire it. But what we like most is that Nest is now offering a few features for free, such as rolling three hours of video and person, package, and vehicle detection. 

If you're looking for something less than $, the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen) is your best bet. It has a p camera, you can use this model either wired or on battery power alone, and you can create custom motion zones, and also see what's going on in your neighborhood. However, Blink announced the $49 Blink Video Doorbell, which has many of the same features (except for person detection); it's available for preorder, and will start shipping in late October.

For a deeper dive, be sure to check out our comparison of Ring vs. Nest video doorbells, as well as our Ring vs. Ring Pro vs Ring 3 page, which examines every Ring video doorbell in depth.

Just in time for Halloween, Ring is rolling out "spooky" quick replies as well as themed chimes for its video doorbells. Instead of a traditional chime, you can pick from bats, ghosts, howl, scream, spooky organ tones, creepy laugh, a screeching cat, and a creaky door. However, the chime tones go away on November 1.

Check out our picks for the best video doorbells.

The best video doorbells you can buy today

1. Nest Doorbell (battery)

The best video doorbell overall

Specifications

Video Resolution: x / 30 FPS

Field of View: degrees

Works with: Alexa, Google Assistant

Size: x x inches

Wired/Battery: yes/yes

Starting Storage Fee: $6/month, $60/year for 30 days video

Reasons to buy

+Great design+Very sharp video quality+Free person, animal, package, vehicle detection+3 hours of video storage free+Works as both battery or hardwired

Reasons to avoid

-No optional chime-Limited accessories

The Nest Doorbell (battery) gets almost everything right. Its vertical aspect ratio means you can see more of your front door; it can work either wired or on battery power alone, and it has a lot of great features, such as the ability to recognize familiar faces, packages, animals, and vehicles.

Even better is that the camera also offers some of those features for free, as well as three hours of rolling video storage — things that used to require a subscription. If you want longer storage, you can still sign up for Nest Aware, which starts at $6/month. 

Read our full Nest Doorbell (battery) review.

2. Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen)

The best video doorbell value

Specifications

Video Resolution: p

Field of View: degrees

Works with: Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, IFTTT

Size: x x inches

Wired/Battery: Yes/Yes

Starting Storage Fee: $30/year for 60 days video

Reasons to buy

+Inexpensive+Customizable motion zones+Good-quality video+Works wired or battery powered

Reasons to avoid

-No pre-roll feature

If you're looking for the best video doorbell under $, the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd generation) is your best option. It has a p camera (up from p on the original), as well as improved night vision and better motion-tracking capabilities. It's still the best video doorbell for those on a budget.

Like the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and 4, we like that you can use this model either wired or on battery power alone, and you can create custom motion zones, and also see what's going on in your neighborhood. Plus, Ring offers very affordable video storage plans starting at $30 a year. Ring also added package detection for this model, bringing its feature set more in line with the competition.

Read our full Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen) review.

3. Arlo Video Doorbell

Wired video doorbell with package detection

Specifications

Video Resolution: x

Field of View: degrees (diagonal)

Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Size: x x 1 inches

Wired/Battery: Yes/No

Starting Storage Fee: $3/month (single camera)

Reasons to buy

+Great video/audio quality+Person, package, animal detection+Feature-packed app

Reasons to avoid

-Requires subscription for most features-Wired only

Arlo makes some of the best home security cameras, so it should be no surprise that the Arlo Video doorbell is one of the best video doorbells, too. It delivered high-quality video and audio both day and night, and features both person and package detection. Arlo's video doorbell also works with Alexa and Google Assistant, so can receive notifications on smart speakers, and livestream video from the doorbell to an Amazon Echo Show or Google Nest Hub smart display.

Arlo's app has a ton of features, but some of them, such as motion sensitivity, are difficult to find. Also, the video doorbell has to be hard-wired. And, for most of the smarter features, including video storage, you need to sign up for a subscription.  But, if you have Arlo's security cameras, its video doorbell will make an excellent addition, as you can add up to five cameras for $10 a month.

Read our full Arlo Video Doorbell review

4. Ring Video Doorbell 4

Color pre-roll lets you see visitors better

Specifications

Video Resolution: p

Field of View: degrees

Works with: Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT

Size: x x inches

Wired/Battery: Yes/Yes

Starting Storage Fee: $30/year for 60 days video

Reasons to buy

+Can be wired or battery-powered+Pre-roll much improved+Large ecosystem of compatible devices

Reasons to avoid

-No end-to-end encryption-Small vertical field of view-No package detection

The Ring Video Doorbell 4 can run on battery power or as a wired unit, making it easy to install just about anywhere. This p doorbell camera offers good customization for motion alerts, although it's not as robust as the Ring Pro 2. Also, its field of view is more limited than the Ring Pro 2, the Arlo, and the Nest, and like other Ring doorbells, it lacks package detection. However, its new color Pre-roll feature does make it a lot easier to see visitors. 

If you have a lot of other Ring devices, this video doorbell will work well within the Ring and Amazon ecosystem. But, it's not compatible with Google Home or HomeKit.

Read our full Ring Video Doorbell 4 review.

5. Nest Hello

A more compact Nest video doorbell

Specifications

Video Resolution: x

Field of View: degrees

Works with: Alexa, Google Assistant

Size: x x 1 inch

Wired/Battery: wired

Starting Storage Fee: $6/month, $60/year for 30 days video

Reasons to buy

+Great video quality+Flexible scheduling+Facial recognition

Reasons to avoid

-Uses a lot of bandwidth to upload video-Requires hardwired connection

The Nest Hello (now known as the Nest Doorbell (wired)  produced some the best-looking video we've yet seen, and its microphone and speaker were excellent, too. This is one smart video doorbell, too: The Nest Hello can also recognize people's faces, and announce them via a Google Assistant compatible device when they come to your door. (It also works with Alexa). 

While the Hello needs a hardwired connection, it continuously records video, so you'll never miss an event. You can also set up specific zones, so you'll only be notified when a person or object appears in that area of the frame. To get most of these features, you'll need to subscribe to the Nest Aware service (starting at $6/month or $60 year for 30 days of video), but they're worth it.

Read our full Nest Hello review.

6. Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

Sees more of your front porch

Specifications

Video Resolution: x

Field of View: x degrees

Works with: Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT

Size: 4 x x inches

Wired/Battery: No

Starting Storage Fee: $30/year for 60 days video

Reasons to buy

+Shows more of front porch than other Ring cameras+Great video quality+Slim design

Reasons to avoid

-Wired only

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is the first from the company that has a square aspect ratio, which means the video is as tall as it is wide. What that means is that it can show much more of your front stoop than other Ring doorbells — so you're more likely to see when a package has been dropped off. Better yet, Ring added package detection, so you know when something arrives. It also has customizable motion zones and a new "radar" feature that helps cut down on unwanted notifications. 

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 delivered excellent video quality, was very responsive, and wasn't too hard to install. Just know that it's not battery-operated, and you'll also need to subscribe to a Ring Protect plan (starting at $3/month or $30/year) if you want to get the most out of the video doorbell. 

Read our full Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 review.

7. Logitech Circle View Doorbell

Best video doorbell for HomeKit users

Specifications

Video Resolution: x

Field of View: degrees/ portrait view

Works with: Apple HomeKit

Size: x x inches

Wired/Battery: Yes

Starting Storage Fee: $ per month/10 days of video

Reasons to buy

+Good video quality+Slim+Secure cloud storage

Reasons to avoid

-Setup could be easier-Only works with HomeKit/iOS devices-Expensive

If you're an Apple HomeKit user, you don't have many choices when it comes to video doorbells. The Logitech Circle View is one of the few options, and fortunately, it's pretty good. We liked its aspect ratio, which shows more of our front porch, as well as its sharp video quality both day and night. It also has very secure cloud storage and it can identify people by face if they're in your iCloud photos.

However, the setup process — which is done entirely in the Home app on your iPhone — could be easier. And, the cloud storage plan ($/month for 10 days of video storage) isn't as generous as other companies. But, if you're on HomeKit, this is one of your best — and only — options.

Read our full Logitech Circle View Doorbell review.

8. Ring Video Doorbell Wired

The cheapest Ring video doorbell — with some compromises

Specifications

Camera resolution: p

Field of view: ° horizontal

Audio: Two-Way Talk with Noise Cancellation

Night Vision: IR LEDs

Wi-Fi: b/g/n @ GHz

Size: x x inches

Starting storage fee: $3/month for 30 days video

Reasons to buy

+Inexpensive+Good video quality+Small

Reasons to avoid

-Does not work with existing door chimes-Requires purchase of Ring Chime if you want to hear a ring

The low price of the Ring Video Doorbell Wired — just $60 — is very tempting for those looking for a budget video doorbell from a reputable brand. However, there are a few caveats that will make the total cost a bit higher. That's because this video doorbell does not work with your existing doorbell chime, so you'll need to tack on an extra $20 or so to purchase a Ring Chime if you want to hear the familiar ding-dong in your home.

Otherwise, the Ring Video Doorbell Wired works well, produces a quality image, and has a slim profile. You'll need a Ring Protect subscription (starting at $3/month) if you want to save recordings, which also adds to the overall cost. But, this is a good video doorbell with a comparatively low entry fee.

Read our full Ring Video Doorbell Wired review

9. Maximus Answer DualCam

This video doorbell can show you if packages arrived

Specifications

Video Resolution: p (top camera) p (bottom camera)

Field of View: degrees (vertical)

Works with: n/a

Size: x x 1 inches

Wired/Battery: Yes/no

Starting Storage Fee: $/month for 7 days video

Reasons to buy

+Dual cameras show more of visitors and packages on the doorstep+Installation is simple+Kuna app is easy to use

Reasons to avoid

-The volume of doorbell speaker is low-Doesn't work with other smart home systems

While many video doorbells claim to have a wide field of view, virtually none of them can see what's happening right at your doorstep—where the majority of your packages are dropped. The Maximus Answer DualCam solves this problem by packing two cameras: one that looks straight out, and one that looks directly down. That way, you can see if there's a package at your door—and if someone tries to steal it.

The dual-camera setup worked well, though this video doorbell has a few rough edges. Its speaker is pretty quiet, and there's a delay between the time you talk and a visitor hears you. Plus, the Maximus doesn't work with any other smart home system, such as Alexa or Google Assistant. 

Read our full Maximus Answer DualCam review.

Eufy 2K Video Doorbell

An inexpensive video doorbell that delivers on the basics

Specifications

Video Resolution: x

Field of View: degrees

Works with: Alexa, Google Home

Size: x x inches

Wired/Battery: Yes/no

Starting Storage Fee: $ a month or $ a year for 30 days of video

Reasons to buy

+Easy-to-use app+Doorbell chime included+Built-in storage

Reasons to avoid

-Requires wired connection-Doesn't support multiple users

The Eufy 2K Video Doorbell records good-quality video over a degree field of view. While you can sign up for cloud storage (which starts at $30/year for 30 days of storage), the Eufy 2K also has a microSD card slot, so you can save footage locally, too. 

However, the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell has a few drawbacks: It's a wired-only device, only supports one user (so you can't share it with family members), and has limited smart-home interoperability. But for around $, it's not a bad deal.

Read our full Eufy 2K Video Doorbell review.

How to choose the best video doorbell

Battery vs. Wired

Video doorbells come in one of two varieties: Wired or battery powered (Some, like the Ring Video Doorbell 4 and the Nest Doorbell (battery) can do both). If you're replacing a traditional doorbell, a wired video doorbell makes the most sense; you just have to make sure that there's enough power going to the doorbell. Typically, there will be an V transformer providing power, which should be enough for most video doorbells.

If you're planning to install a video doorbell where there is no existing wiring, buying a battery-powered model is far easier (and cheaper) than hiring an electrician. Just remember that a battery-powered video doorbell will have to be recharged occasionally. Some, such as the Ring Video Doorbell 4, have a replaceable battery, so there's no downtime while you're juicing it back up. Some companies also sell solar panels that can help keep the video doorbell's battery charged.

Doorbell placement

Your choice of doorbells will also depend on whether you're replacing an existing doorbell or installing a doorbell where there isn't one already. In general, though, you want the doorbell to be about 4 feet off the ground, so it's high enough to see everything well, but not too high so that its button is hard to push for shorter individuals.

Field of View

Do you want a narrow view of just the person at the door, or do you want to see everything around your entryway? Some video doorbells will offer a wide, landscape view, while others have a portrait orientation; the latter is especially useful for seeing packages dropped off close to your door. 

Video Resolution

The higher the resolution, the sharper the image, which will make it easier to identify people at your door. Most video doorbells now have at least a resolution of p.

Package, person, and animal detection

It's good to know more than just that there's something at your door; better video doorbells can tell you if a person is approaching, if there's an animal, or if a package has been left at your doorstep.

Night Mode

The video doorbells we tested take different approaches to capturing video at night. The August Doorbell cam uses motion-activated LEDs to light the area in front of the camera, so it can capture colors a little better. Ring's doorbells use infrared night vision to see in the dark, but the result is monochrome video.

Design

Aesthetics may be a concern. After all, you're bolting this thing to the front of your house! The Ring Pro looks the most like a traditional doorbell, and Ring even includes four faceplates, so you can choose which matches your house's trim or paint one exactly the shade you like.

Video doorbells vs. security cameras

Video doorbells don't necessarily make the best home security cameras. While the apps let you choose to receive motion alerts as well as doorbell alerts, motion-triggered events often resulted in video of a person or car just exiting the frame.

A dedicated home security camera may be a better choice if you're looking for actual security, because you can position such a camera in more places. And when you get a motion alert, you can back up the video and see what happened before the alert came in.

How we test video doorbells

To test video doorbells, we self-install the devices on houses and tested in real-world conditions with friends and family ringing the bells day and night. 

We evaluated ease of setup, the design and features of the app, and how well the app and doorbell kept us notified; some video doorbells can send you a large number of false motion alerts, which you don't want.  

Of course, we also look at video and audio quality, both during the day and during the night, as well as how quick the cameras were to recognize motion and start recording. 

We also factor in interoperability and compatibility with other smart home devices and security systems, as well as how much you'll pay for cloud storage to save the video.

Sours: https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-video-doorbells,reviewhtml

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