In the long list of markets that millennials are allegedly killing, doorbells may seem to rank pretty low. If you’re visiting a friend’s house, odds are pretty good that you’ll be better off just dropping them a text than applying your finger to a bell, but there are a number of businesses out there changing the face of doorbells by turning them essentially into miniature security systems.
These smart home devices often combine sensors with more complex options like facial recognition and an intercom system to provide you with more coverage of your front door than ever before. But you deserve the best video doorbell. That’s why we’ve spotlighted 11 of the best video doorbells of 2020 for your consideration.
- The 11 Best Video Doorbells
- 1. Ring Video Doorbell 2
- 2. Ring Video Doorbell Pro
- 3. Zmodo Greet Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
- 4. Honeywell SkyBell Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
- 5. VIVINT Smart Doorbell Video Camera Pro
- 6. August Doorbell Cam Pro
- 7. RemoBell WiFi Video Doorbell
- 8. Smart Video Doorbell, Famisafe
- 9. NETVUE HD Camera Doorbell
- 10. AKASO Video Doorbell
- 11. MYPIN Video Doorbell Camera
- Video Doorbell Buying Guide
The 11 Best Video Doorbells
1. Ring Video Doorbell 2
The Ring system is arguably the progenitor of the video doorbell market, so of course it's going to occupy the top position on our list. It may cost a pretty significant $200, but the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is a stylish choice that will integrate well with your existing home automation system. Native compatibility with Amazon Alexa means that it's a natural choice to be used in conjunction with Echo Dots you may already have in your home.
The adjustable motion sensors can be tweaked to suit the specific needs of your home, and the video feed and two way talk communications always come in crisp and clear. You can even save and archive your videos and share them with friends, family, or police with little effort. Paid security monitoring systems are also available, and you can fine tune your mobile alert settings.
2. Ring Video Doorbell Pro
The Ring Pro constitutes a fairly significant step up in sophistication when compared to the Ring Doorbell 2, and it only costs about $50 more for the privilege. On the surface, they're pretty similar. Both include the same basic feature sets, and the range of vision offered by the camera itself is exactly the same, but the Pro adds advanced motion detection into the equation. In practice, that means that you can create your own motion sensor zones rather than relying on prebuilt options.
Additionally, while both these models promise 1080p video resolution, the Pro offers much smoother frame rates so you won't have to worry about choppy footage particularly in live view. It also sports a sleeker and stylish profile that will fit better if you're working with limited real estate. You should also keep in mind that it needs to be hard-wired to your existing doorbell wiring.
3. Zmodo Greet Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
Zmodo isn't the most well known name in the video doorbell market, but they've managed to provide a sensible range of doorbells that can keep pace with brands like Nest and Ring while coming in significantly under the cost of those models. And they manage to maintain most of the important features in the process. The Zmodo Greet offers 1080p video at a relatively smooth frame rate of 25 fps, and it can stream the video directly to your phone.
And for archiving purposes, Zmodo allows you to save your camera footage directly to the cloud. It even offers some cool features that you won't find in many of its higher priced contemporaries. That includes the ability to record and assign your own voice messages and adjust the brightness of the doorbell with just a tap of the phone app. Night vision function extends to a distance of 16 feet.
4. Honeywell SkyBell Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
Honeywell has been producing some of the best consumer home appliances like thermostats and security cameras for a long time, so a move into the doorbell camera market seems a natural fit to them. The SkyBell Slim is proof that they've made the transition smoothly. The video frame rates aren't up to snuff with some more recognized models like the Rings doorbell, but there's still a lot to like about this model if you're looking for something that's functional in just about any situation.
Especially valuable is the fact that the camera here offers a 180 degree field of view. That won't matter too much when just answering people at your door, but it's a huge boon if you're looking for this to double as a dedicated security camera that can identify cars and potential intruders. It operates in a range of -40 to 140 degrees as well.
5. VIVINT Smart Doorbell Video Camera Pro
There's one group of people who should absolutely look to the Vivint Smart Doorbell: those who've already invested into the Vivint home automation ecosystem. This video doorbell integrates nicely with the other products in the Vivint line, and it will transition nicely if you already have a smart home setup rigged up. But there's a lot of features to recommend even if you aren't on the smart home train yet.
A live video feed will be automatically streamed to your phone or your Vivint Skycontrol panel when someone rings the bell, but you can also establish settings for video playing when motion is detected. An especially cool feature for those with other Vivint security products is the ability to remotely unlock your security system if a friend arrives when you're not at home. And in a nice addition, the Vivint can store up to a terabyte of footage on DVR.
6. August Doorbell Cam Pro
The August Doorbell Cam Pro is one of the best and slickest video doorbells on the market. Not only does it sport an incredibly cool aesthetic, but it also comes jam packed with cool features and some of the best specs across the board. The image quality here is pretty much unmatched. You get HD footage both in broad daylight and at night, while built in floodlighting provides you with an extra layer of security you won't find with many other models.
And unlike many of its competitors, the August doesn't charge you for streaming cloud storage. This doorbell camera can save up to 24 hours of footage at a time, and paying every month into the pro plan allows you to save up to a month's worth of footage at once. Installation is as easy, and charging the video doorbell is as easy as popping it into the dock.
7. RemoBell WiFi Video Doorbell
The first video doorbell that RemoBell has brought to market is a little rough around the edges, but it's one of the best budget options, and it's incredibly flexible to the needs of your home. The RemoBell is eminently easy to set up. All you have to do is download the mobile app and mount the device on your wall. It can be completed in a matter of minutes, and navigation is an absolute breeze.
And while it may be a bit bulky in size, there are a ton of features on display here. Push button notifications are fully customizable, and you can create up to five profiles for your household. The RemoBell is also resistant to water and weather, and it can withstand a sizable range of temperature conditions. Its infrared sensor also lets it tell the difference between cars and people in its field of view.
8. Smart Video Doorbell, Famisafe
Famisafe isn't exactly an internationally known brand name, but they're willing to go the extra mile to compete with more prominent doorbell ringer manufacturers. Where many companies offer the consumer 30 days trials for cloud services, Famisafe provides you with a lifetime of cloud storage free of charge. Combine that with a lifetime of group notifications for your whole family for free, and you have a feature set that makes up for the few flaws in this best video doorbell.
If you want a model that will really last you a lifetime, this is one of the best doorbells available to you. In addition to being one of the most affordable video options around, it's also well protected against the elements, and the battery can last for multiple months. The Famisafe makes a strong argument for the notion that a simpler approach to design is sometimes the best approach.
9. NETVUE HD Camera Doorbell
Netvue's Belle is a doorbell camera that could potentially innovate the video doorbell market in some pretty incredible ways. At the heart of it is a relatively powerful artificial intelligence that can provide you with an immensely more sophisticated way to answer the door. By relying on some of the best facial recognition used in a consumer device, this doorbell camera can serve essentially as your concierge. Features including the ability to associate names with faces mean that the doorbell can direct delivery people where to drop off a package or greet your friends and family by name.
As you might expect from such a technologically advanced video doorbell, that's just the tip of the iceberg concerning modern features. This is an incredibly smart doorbell camera that's designed out of the box to work in conjunction with Alexa. You can even project door footage to an Alexa Echo Show screen.
10. AKASO Video Doorbell
AKASO has made a real meat and potatoes model with their doorbell camera. It's not going to reinvent how you think about how a video doorbell should work, and it's not the absolute best option on the market, but it does arguably the best job of offering all the fundamentals for a great value. When connected to the internet, you can use either a smart assistant like Alexa or Tosee Plus to check out footage at the door or receive notifications when someone arrives.
Instant alerts can be similarly set up to be sent to your phone when there's motion capture on the screen, and the smart sensors do a good job of filtering out cars or other non-threats. And the wide angle view of 160 degrees provides you with a great view of your surroundings even if you have a large yard in an open neighborhood.
11. MYPIN Video Doorbell Camera
Mypin is actually pretty identical to the Akaso in terms of general quality, features, and pricing. If you find yourself not liking the aesthetic of the Akaso model, the Mypin can suit your needs well. Features including an equivalent wide angle lens of 166 degrees, a tough IP65 outdoor waterproof design, and Wi-Fi connectivity ensure that this isn't just another fly by night product, even if it can't match the absolute highs of a more expensively priced smart video doorbell.
The image quality clocks in at a modest 720p, but the infrared night vision is particularly high-quality. In terms of two way conversations, the Mypin makes use of noise cancellation technology for better communication even when you're in a crowded environment, and the PIR motion detectors can transfer notifications instantly to your phone via the compatible smart app.
Video Doorbell Buying Guide
So now that we’ve identified the 12 best video doorbells of 2020, it’s time to discuss the important features in more detail. Some, like the presence of two way communications and wireless connectivity are pretty standard across the board. Some, like video resolution, may be present in every video doorbell but can vary significantly in quality. Others, like the ability to connect to smart home devices, are a bit rarer. In any case, we’re here to help you understand the fundamentals and pick out the best video doorbell for you.
Every video doorbell on our list offers the ability to answer the video on your phone. This is usually handled with a proprietary app from the manufacturer, but while the quality of these apps can differ somewhat, they generally aren’t going to be a make or break factor in purchasing a video doorbell. What could influence your decision is whether they support smart functionality.
The most commonly touted smart home devices in consumer video doorbells are virtual assistants like Alexa or Google Home. The premise here is simple. If you have a smart device like an Echo Dot, you can hypothetically change the settings of your doorbell camera and give it directions through the smart assistant interface.
If you have a screen enabled smart device like the Amazon Echo Show, it may even allow you to project the video clips from your doorbell directly on the screen. Beyond this, Alexa or other assistants may be used to control flood lights or project the footage to different displays depending on the sophistication of your video doorbell and the complexity of your smart home setup.
Rarer but more interesting are models like the Honeywell Skybell that allow you to integrate your video doorbell into more sophisticated smart home setups. Going beyond what Alexa alone offers, these can coordinate with compatible security systems and allow you to automate more complex tasks like flicking your smart locks on and off at command. If you’ve already bought into a security ecosystem with compatible smart devices, these can be great investments. If not, these features may not be worth your time.
Even if your device isn’t listed as being compatible with designated smart technology, you may be able to coordinate them using IFTTT. Standing for “If This Then That”, IFTTT is an interface that allows you to create minimalistic applets that allow Wi-Fi enabled smart devices to play well together. The IFTTT database contains countless different applets created by users, and more technically knowledgeable consumers can create their own applets in IFTTT that can allow them to achieve more sophisticated results with their video doorbell.
It’s important to recognize that every video doorbell we review above depends on Wi-Fi to work as intended. So be sure that it’s in close enough range of your router to actually register the wireless internet signal.
Video resolution is one of the biggest considerations to keep in mind when you’re trying to shoot online content or movies, but it matters a little less when looking at a video doorbell. While the best models around offer 1080p footage, the 720p that’s more common often isn’t something you have to concern yourself with too badly. A little graininess probably won’t be a make or break deal even if you find yourself needing to identify a possible intruder through saved video clips.
There are a few more factors that are actually more important. The field of view is one. A wider field of view will allow you to more accurately identify potential criminals before they become a threat and capture them on videos. Ultimately, how wide of a field you need is going to be determined by your home and your circumstances. A 180 degree field of view makes a lot of sense if you have a big wide lawn, but it may be less of a practical necessity if you find yourself living in an apartment positioned in a narrow hallway.
Similarly, a doorbell camera that offers night vision can be a significantly better option for your overall security than one that doesn’t. You should look into the quality of the night vision capabilities, whether the video records in black and white or color, and see the distance that a doorbell camera can record video at night before pulling the trigger on a purchase.
Every video doorbell on our list will provide you with the basic functions that you need without having to pay a subscription plan ,but it may be worth your time to evaluate the benefits that come from a month long plan. Which services come standard and which are locked behind paywalls can vary some, but the most common feature is the ability to store footage in the cloud. Most doorbell cameras will provide you with some level of remote video archiving, but if you want to hold onto videos for days or even a month, you may need to make an investment.
If you don’t want to have to pay a monthly subscription, you may want to look at a model that offers local storage. SD cards or other storage devices can then be transferred to a dedicated hard drive that can hold videos more long term. Additionally, Famisafe’s doorbell camera offers free cloud storage for life. It may not be the most advanced model on the market, but that’s a great deal.
The other service that many of these companies offer with their subscription plans is the ability to provide full professional monitoring. With these subscription plans you’ll get the same sort of coverage you’d get from a conventional security company like ADT. These sorts of plans are usually best invested in when your video doorbell is used as one component in a larger camera and motion detector system.
Almost every video doorbell you’ll find today comes with motion detectors built in, but not every company holds themselves to the same high standards of quality. If you’re using your video doorbell as simply a convenient way to greet guests, the most basic motion detectors will probably be fine. If it’s intended as a first response security system that you’re taking seriously, you may want to start looking into which models offer more detailed motion detection.
More specifically, you should keep an eye out for motion detectors that offer zone coverage. By designating zones that are risk factors and those that aren’t, you can maximize the value of your video doorbell and reduce the risk of false negatives by identifying the angles of attack that are the biggest risk factor for thieves or other criminals. Many video doorbell systems come with predesignated motion detection zones that you can put settings in place for, but only the best tend to provide you with the option to design your own zones from scratch.
While a video doorbell may seem like a frivolity on the surface, it’s actually a lot more than that. A good doorbell isn’t just a way to greet your guests. It’s also the first line of defense in your security system, and it can be a great way to keep track of the going ons at your home even when you’re away. If you’ve ever missed a package or a caller because you happened to not be at home, a video doorbell can help you.
We stand by each of the models that we’ve highlighted, and we hope that you find what you’re looking for here. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to share our knowledge with you. And if you’re looking for something a bit more robust, be sure to check out our guide to the best security systems of 2020.