The Best Doorbell Cameras of 2022

Ahead, our guide breaks down the key features of doorbell cameras and offers details on our top-favorite picks.

By Glenda Taylor and Jasmine Harding | Updated Nov 1, 2021 12:54 PM

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Best Doorbell Camera Options

Photo: amazon.com

Doorbell cameras have definitely arrived. They show “who’s there?” and most can be conveniently configured with a smartphone, computer, or smart home device, enabling a range of innovative functionality, such as the ability to remotely converse with the person at the door. It’s a brave new world, indeed, when it comes to the once-humble doorbell.

Want advice on picking the right video doorbell for your home, your budget, and your day-to-day needs? Read on to learn about the key features of this tech and explore some of the best doorbell camera options available.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Google Nest Doorbell
  2. RUNNER UP: Arlo Video Doorbell
  3. BEST BUDGET: Ring Video Doorbell
  4. BEST VALUE: eufy Security Battery Video Doorbell Camera
  5. UPGRADE PICK: Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
  6. BEST FOR APARTMENTS: Ring Peephole Cam with Ring Chime
  7. BEST FOR SECURITY: Ring Video Doorbell 4 with Ring Floodlight Cam
Best Doorbell Camera Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Doorbell Camera

So, what exactly sets the best video doorbell cameras apart? Below, we’ve outlined several of the features you’ll want in this home security gadget.

Wired vs. Wireless

Traditional doorbells are hard-wired to draw power from the home electrical system. Wired doorbell cameras can take advantage of this same system. These doorbells are designed to wire into existing doorbell and chime systems for constant power. Before buying a wired doorbell camera, make sure to check that the voltage is compatible and consider the installation process and possible costs.

Wireless doorbells don’t hard-wire into an existing system. There’s no circuitry to mess around with, so the best wireless doorbell options are much easier to install and can be placed just about anywhere. One minor downside is that they’ll need occasional recharging or battery replacements.

Smart Device Integration

Many camera doorbells operate as stand-alone devices, but others are designed to integrate with smart home devices or a home security system. These doorbells can be configured to function with smart home technology such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. If you plan on integrating the camera with a smart home device, make sure the smart video doorbell is compatible with the technology you already own.

To sync the doorbell to your smartphone, tablet, or computer, an app is required. Through the app, you can configure the doorbell’s features, such as real-time monitoring, taking photos, and remote video recording.

Range of View and Resolution

Doorbell cameras with a wide range of view allow you to see not only what’s directly in front of the door, but on both sides. Some doorbell cameras offer a full 180-degree range of view, allowing a full half-circle in front of the doorbell; these models are ideal for keeping an eye on deliveries and limiting opportunities for theft. Others offer a reduced range of view, some as narrow as 90 degrees. A range of view of at least 160 degrees should provide an adequate viewing area.

The higher the video camera resolution, the clearer the video playback will be. Some of the cheapest models offer modest resolutions as low as 480p (pixels), which can result in a grainy picture. Many top-of-the-line doorbell cameras are now beginning to offer resolutions up to 1080p, similar in picture quality to a newer television.

Video Recording

Most doorbell cameras offer some type of video recording—either continuous video recording (CVR) or motion-activated recording—which can be played back later. Playback is important should you need to review a portion of the video; for example, if you can’t find a package, you can go back and see where the delivery driver put it. Motion-activated recording stops when no more motion is detected, so you don’t have to sift through hours of recorded video to find a single event. Both CVR and motion-activated recording can be stored in the following three ways.

  1. To a local wired digital video recorder (DVR).
  2. To a removable micro-SD disk, inserted in the doorbell.
  3. To the cloud, which usually requires purchasing a subscription from the manufacturer.

Transmission Range

Larger homes may benefit from a long-range wireless doorbell, which increases the operating distance between transmitter and receiver from the standard 100 or 150 feet to nearly 3,000 feet.

While the transmitter remains just outside the door, its indoor receivers can be moved throughout the home as needed—whether to avoid waking a sleeping child on the second floor or to carry it to the farthest reaches of the house. One of the biggest perks of a wireless doorbell is the portability of its parts: without wires to root it, users also can take the entire system with them in a move, or pull the transmitter from its position to inspect and repair.

Advanced Features

The best doorbell cameras come with a range of advanced features that improve user experience and home security. Ahead are a few commonly found features in quality doorbell cameras.

  • Motion detection: Doorbell cameras with motion detection can be configured to send alerts to your phone the instant someone approaches the door. If you live on a busy street full of pedestrian traffic and bicycles, however, you might not want alerts every time someone passes by. Motion detection on some doorbell cameras can be configured to start recording video, rather than sending an alert if you get too many “false” alerts.
  • Night vision: When it gets dark outside, camera doorbells with night vision automatically switch to infrared mode so you can still see whoever approaches your door. Like daylight imagery, the higher the camera’s resolution, the better the image will be when night vision is activated.
  • Two-way audio: The newest feature in doorbell cameras is the ability to communicate verbally with the person at your door, via a smartphone or a smart home device. This feature comes in handy if you want to give a delivery person instructions on where to leave a package or ask visitors to state their business.
  • Chime settings: Doorbell cameras can offer dozens or even hundreds of chime options, including music and holiday themes. Some have the ability to play files that have been uploaded from personal sound libraries, such as a favorite song that isn’t already on the menu. Some doorbell cameras also have the flexibility of placing additional receivers in various locations around the house, so a ring is never missed.
  • Other add-ons: A smart doorbell camera can include several security add-ons to boost home security. Pre-roll recording captures footage in the few seconds before a doorbell ring or motion detection, so you can see what happened before you were notified. Doorbells with 24/7 recording essentially double as a security camera, providing around-the-clock monitoring for your front porch. Facial recognition is another smart feature that helps you detect if the person stopping by is a friend or a stranger. Some doorbell cameras come with security cameras and even floodlights, which illuminate the area when someone is nearby.

Storage and Security Plans

As mentioned above, doorbell footage can be stored locally (on a DVR or an on-board SD card) or to a cloud service. Local storage options come at a one-time cost to purchase the hub device or SD card. To access recorded clips, you’ll need to physically access the storage device (except for some hubs that have Wi-Fi connectivity).

While some free options are available, cloud storage is usually available as a subscription service with a monthly fee. Often provided by the manufacturer, these services securely store footage online so you can access them from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Some doorbell cameras require a subscription service to take advantage of key features like video storage, so keep this cost in mind when shopping for a new doorbell.

A few doorbell camera manufacturers go beyond creating cameras, offering paid, opt-in security plans to monitor your home. These security plans can unlock premium features on the camera, like custom detection zones or face alerts. Or they can go a step above and integrate the doorbell camera into the security system with services like 24/7 professional monitoring.

Installation

Most shoppers want an easy-to-install doorbell camera. A wireless doorbell camera is an attractive option for this reason. They just need to be mounted with mounting hardware or adhesive tape and connected to your smartphone or smart system, and they’re ready to go.

Wired doorbells can be a bit more tricky since they need to be hard-wired to your existing circuit. If the new doorbell is compatible with an existing system, installation becomes much easier (if you’re comfortable working with your doorbell circuitry system). If you’re not much of a DIYer, or if the new doorbell is not compatible with the old system, it’s best to call a licensed electrician for installation.

Our Top Picks

Doorbell cameras take front door security to the next level, making it easy to watch your home’s comings and goings. Greet guests and monitor your front porch with the best doorbell cameras ahead.

Best Overall

best doorbell camera nest
Photo: walmart.com

With the Google Nest Doorbell, you’ll never miss a package or a visitor. This wired video doorbell is excellent for those hoping to boost home security. It offers live streaming with night vision, so you can check in anytime. With a 160-degree field of view and 1600p HD video resolution, this camera shows a crisp head-to-toe image so you can easily monitor who is at your doorstep.

Since its recording feature isn’t motion- or sound-activated, this doorbell camera catches every moment. It provides basic motion and sound detection notifications, two-way talk, and allows for pre-recorded responses. More advanced features like continuous video recording and familiar face detection are available through a paid subscription for Nest Aware.

For those who want an easier installation process, a pricier wireless version of the Nest Doorbell is also available.

Product Specs

  • Type: Wired
  • Price: $$-$$$
  • Storage: By subscription

Pros

  • Impressive 1600p HD video resolution
  • 160-degree viewing angle
  • Can pre-record responses

Cons

  • Video storage, recording, and familiar face detection require Nest Aware
  • Higher subscription cost than some competitors

Runner Up

best doorbell camera arlo
Photo: amazon.com

User friendly and fully featured, the Arlo Video Doorbell offers motion detection, night vision, and real-time audio. The doorbell camera itself delivers high-quality video resolution, adjustable between 1536p, 1080p, and 720p, while offering an exceptional 180 degrees of visibility.

When the motion detector picks up movement, a siren can sound, or you can receive a smartphone alert if you opt into a paid subscription. The Arlo Secure plan gives users access to video storage and other features including person, vehicle, and animal detection.

Built to endure the rigors of outdoor installation, the Arlo camera installs easily via existing doorbell wiring. Alternatively, the Arlo is available as a wireless doorbell at a higher price point.

Product Specs

  • Type: Wired
  • Price: $$
  • Storage: By subscription

Pros

  • 1536p HD video resolution
  • 180-degree viewing angle
  • Built-in alarm siren

Cons

  • Video storage and advanced detection require an Arlo Secure plan

Best Budget

best doorbell camera ring
Photo: amazon.com

This wireless video doorbell from Ring boasts a range of convenient security features, including live view, two-way talk, improved motion detection, and night vision. Offering 1080p HD video, users can opt to receive real-time notifications and live views of the front door area. Video storage and playback, as well as photo and video sharing are available through an optional Ring Protect Plan subscription.

With advanced motion detection and privacy zones, users can determine where motion is—or isn’t—detected. This feature ensures that visitors’ movements are captured, but it keeps the motion detector from sounding every time branches sway on the tree next to the front door.

This Ring doorbell camera integrates with both Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices. It’s available as a stand-alone device or with Ring Chime. If price is a concern, consider opting for the Ring Video Doorbell Wired version, which costs half as much as its wireless counterpart.

Product Specs

  • Type: Wireless
  • Price: $
  • Storage: By subscription

Pros

  • 1080p HD video resolution
  • Programmable privacy zones
  • Available with or without Ring Chime

Cons

  • Video playback, sharing, and storage require Ring Protection Plan

Best Value

best doorbell camera eufy
Photo: amazon.com

Eufy’s doorbell cameras are among the best video doorbell options for those looking to scrap monthly fees. This wireless video doorbell includes several attractive features for a relatively low upfront cost—and no monthly subscription cost. This doorbell bundle includes a wireless doorbell camera and Wi-Fi-enabled chime. When installed, the pair forms a closed, wireless connection and offers 120 days of run time on a single charge.

This system is secure and eliminates the need for cloud storage (although users can opt-in to a paid cloud storage plan with Eufy). Instead, 1080p HD video footage is stored locally on a micro-SD card (not included) on the Wi-Fi chime. For all these perks but even better video quality, consider upgrading to Eufy’s 2K Wireless Video Doorbell.

Although storage is local, you can still take advantage of live streaming, two-way audio, pre-recorded responses, motion detection, and activity zone settings from your smartphone.

Product Specs

  • Type: Wireless
  • Price: $-$$
  • Storage: Local; no subscription required

Pros

  • 1080p HD video resolution
  • Secure local storage
  • Can pre-record responses
  • Programmable activity zones
  • Accurate human detection

Cons

  • SD card not included

Upgrade Pick

best doorbell camera pro2
Photo: amazon.com

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is the updated version of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and includes a suite of performance-boosting features. This wired doorbell includes the features shoppers have come to expect from Ring doorbells, including HD video, live view, motion detection, two-way talk, night vision, and video recording (with a Ring Protect Plan subscription). This doorbell is also available bundled with the Ring Chime Pro.

For even better security, the Ring Pro 2 includes their 3D motion detection feature. This feature offers excellent motion detection, allowing the camera to detect motion and pinpoint and distance. Users can set a motion perimeter up to 30 feet away, so you can monitor your front yard as well as your porch. A bird’s-eye view feature adds even more detail to motion tracking, showing an aerial map of where motion has been detected in the detection zone.

Product Specs

  • Type: Wired
  • Price: $$$
  • Storage: By subscription

Pros

  • 1536p video resolution
  • Advanced motion detection
  • Bird’s-eye view feature
  • Programmable privacy zones

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Ring Protect Plan required for video playback, recording, and storage

Best for Apartments

best doorbell camera ring1st
Photo: amazon.com

While many wireless doorbells are suitable for apartment life, this Ring wireless doorbell takes apartment security a step further with a built-in camera that is designed to replace the door’s peephole. The kit comes with all the necessary tools to install the video doorbell through the existing peephole in about 10 minutes, no wiring or drilling required.

Once installed, the wireless doorbell and peephole camera can be connected to the user’s phone or tablet to receive real-time notifications when the camera detects motion outside the door or when someone presses the doorbell button. The wireless doorbell does come with the option of recording and storing up to 60 days of videos, but this feature requires a subscription to the Ring Protect Plan.

Product Specs

  • Type: Wireless
  • Price: $$
  • Storage: By subscription

Pros

  • 1080p HD video resolution
  • Compact design fits into peephole
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Removable rechargeable battery pack

Cons

  • Ring Protect Plan required for video recording and storage

Best for Security

best doorbell camera allnew
Photo: amazon.com

Installing floodlights is one effective way to boost home security. This bundle from Ring includes their Ring Video Doorbell 4 as well as a Ring Floodlight Cam to keep a watchful eye on your front door.

The Ring Video Doorbell 4 is Ring’s most recent upgrade and a step up from the Ring Video Doorbell 3. It includes features most shoppers look for in a video doorbell, like HD video, night vision, two-way talk, motion detection, pre-roll recording, and customizable motion and privacy zones. This wireless doorbell is easy to install and includes a quick-release rechargeable battery to keep it running without hassle. It’s available as astandalone device or with Ring Chime Pro.

The wired Ring Floodlight Cam is an attractive security add-on, which offers many of the same features as the doorbell camera, but with security in mind. The Floodlight Cam provides motion-activated HD video and live streaming, customizable motion zones, two-way talk, real-time notifications, and a loud security siren, in case you need to scare someone off. A Ring Protect Plan subscription is a must to take advantage of video recording.

Product Specs

  • Type: Wireless and wired
  • Price: $$$$
  • Storage: By subscription

Pros

  • 1080p HD video resolution
  • Customizable privacy zones
  • Motion-activated flood light
  • Loud alarm siren

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Ring Protect Plan required for video recording and storage

Our Verdict

For better front door security, consider the Google Nest doorbell, which offers one of the highest video resolutions available, a wide field of view, and numerous advanced features through the Nest Aware subscription. If you want something more budget-friendly without monthly costs, the eufy doorbell camera is a feature-filled alternative that doesn’t require a subscription for video storage.

How We Chose the Best Doorbell Cameras

With lower price points and easy-to-use features, quality video doorbell cameras are becoming more accessible to the average shopper. Since they’re still a bit of an investment, it’s important to find a suitable pick. We combed over product specifications and read consumer reviews to narrow down our top picks.

Our picks range from subscription-free wireless models to options that more closely resemble a security camera than a doorbell. To cater to a range of homes, we chose a variety of doorbell types with different video resolutions, motion detection settings, fields of view, and other features. While the premium picks on this list come at a higher cost, we also included some affordable options with the goal of making better security more accessible.

FAQs

Q: How do video doorbells work?

Video doorbells combine features of a doorbell and a security camera into one device. Depending on the mode, they can notify you when someone rings the doorbell or motion is detected at the door (via chime or push notification to your phone). The camera functions like a virtual peephole and can offer live viewing or video recording.

Q: Do doorbell cameras record all the time?

It depends on the doorbell camera. Doorbell cameras can have doorbell-activated, motion-activated, or around-the-clock recording options.

Q: Do wireless doorbells need batteries?

Yes, wireless doorbells operate on battery power. Typically, both the receiver and the button will need batteries, though there are some products with receivers that plug directly into a power outlet.

Q: Do wireless doorbells interfere with Wi-Fi?

Wireless doorbells can interfere with the home Wi-Fi signal because both systems operate on a similar frequency. Some wireless doorbells are designed with the ability to change the operating frequency to help prevent issues with Wi-Fi.

Q: Why does my doorbell battery die so fast?

Cold weather or a high frequency of use can quickly drain a doorbell battery. This is especially true for wireless doorbells that use cameras to integrate with the home automation and security systems, because motion alerts, live streaming, and weak Wi-Fi signals all contribute to rapid energy usage. Very high volume levels or a malfunctioning chime box also may be responsible for batteries dying quickly.

Q: Can doorbell cameras be hacked?

Doorbell cameras that send and receive information via the internet can be hacked, yes. But you can reduce the risk by using a secured home Wi-Fi network, strong and regularly updated passwords, and by enabling two-factor authentication.