The 10 Best Video Doorbells
This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in July of 2015. Give your home or office a higher level of security by installing one of these video doorbells. They offer HD cameras, Wi-Fi connectivity, image capture, night vision, and more. You can even talk to someone at your premises from anywhere in the world via your smartphone or tablet. Some of the higher-end models can get a bit pricey, but the peace of mind they bring is well worth the money. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
November 22, 2019:
Ring makes the most popular video doorbells overall, almost without a doubt. The Ring Pro is just about the most full-featured, but the Ring 2 is also an excellent choice and costs considerably less. And for renters, the Ring Peephole Cam is perfect -- it's one of the few from a big-name manufacturer that can be installed without permanently altering the home. All three of them are remarkably easy to set up. The August Pro and RemoBell Wireless offer similar functionality, though you'll need to pay a monthly fee to get the most out of them.
There are also some lesser-known models that work quite well in the right situations. The Zmodo Ding and Lifemement Smart are both relatively affordable and work quite well as long as you're okay with a 720p resolution. The VTech Landline is especially reliable and has great audio quality and unlike most it doesn't require the use of a separate PC or smartphone to use, so it's great if you're really not into smart home integration. In the same vein, the Eufy Security is actually one of the most effective simple video doorbells but offers almost no smart functionality outside of voice control. And the SimpliSafe Pro is worth looking into if you already own a couple of their powerful and reliable home security devices. Alternately, if you decide that you don't need the video aspect, there are some great wireless doorbells that you might like, and if you aren't attached to the automated nature of a smart doorbell, a simpler video intercom
AIPhone Commercial When you need to set up a highly secure and incredibly reliable video intercom system for a business, look to AIPhone for the right combination of components. As you might imagine, it's quite the investment, but if costly equipment and intellectual property depends on maximum security, it's probably the way to go. aiphone.com
Nest Hello Part of Google's extremely popular Nest ecosystem, the Hello is one of the most popular and easiest to use. It installs using your existing wiring to replace your current doorbell and offers advanced features like Wi-Fi connectivity, a high-definition camera, HDR recording, and a 160-degree field of view. If you're a fan of highly integrated smart home systems, this one's worth a look. store.google.com
A New Kind of Doorbell
Many video doorbells come equipped with the option to connect it to your existing doorbell system or simply operate it on battery power.
Video doorbells are making it easier to secure and monitor your home without breaking the bank. If you want to see who is at your door and even communicate with them without leaving your bed, kitchen, or backyard, then a video doorbell is the way to go. Some devices require very little installation and connect directly to your home WiFi network so you can view the video from your smartphone or tablet even when away from home.
Some are equipped with motion sensors that activate the camera, and others can even lock and unlock your door remotely so you can let someone in while you are away or ensure that you are keeping out unwanted intruders. Some video doorbells are equipped with a two-way calling feature that uses VOIP to conduct video calls from wherever you might be. If you happen to be at work or on vacation when an important delivery arrives, you can use the two-way communication feature to let the delivery man know exactly what you want him to do with the package.
While there are many security camera systems on the market that can be purchased at affordable prices and operated remotely, many people are opting for video doorbell systems as a way to conveniently secure their homes without spending exorbitant amounts of money.
Many video doorbells come equipped with the option to connect it to your existing doorbell system or simply operate it on battery power. If you choose the battery power option, you will likely have to recharge a couple of times a year. Many can be easily connected to the existing electrical doorbell system in your home using a few simple tools and easy to follow instructions.
The right video doorbell will do more than alert you of a visitor at your front door. It will act as a home monitoring system and help you to feel more secure and in control.
More Options Than You Can Imagine
In order to determine what type of video doorbell will work best for you, you will first need to determine how you intend to use it. If you simply want to see who is at your door before answering, a basic video doorbell system might work for you. However, if you want to be able to communicate with visitors and delivery persons even when away from home, you will want to invest in a WiFi-enabled system that is compatible with your smartphone or tablet.
Others, however, require a more complicated installation process and might even require that you hire a handyman.
Once you have determined your specific needs, there are a number of other factors to consider. First, consider the operating range of your chosen doorbell. This is especially important if you go with a wireless option. You will want to ensure that the video doorbell and its monitor will function properly in all areas of your home.
Second, consider the installation difficulty. Some wired and battery-operated doorbells can be easily installed in under thirty minutes by following a simple set of included instructions. Others, however, require a more complicated installation process and might even require that you hire a handyman.
Third, consider the design. While this might not be an important factor to some, others prefer that the doorbell blend in with the home decor so it's not painfully obvious and sticks out like a sore thumb when visitors approach.
Fourth, consider whether or not the doorbell will effectively integrate with any existing home security accessories. If you already have a home security system, especially if it is WiFi-enabled, you will want the doorbell you choose to be compatible and allow both systems to work together.
Finally, as with every product you intend to purchase, consider your budget. It is possible to sacrifice a few unnecessary features and still install a high-quality video doorbell that is both functional and convenient in order to stay inside your price range.
A Brief History of the Video Doorbell
The first doorbell in recorded history was invented by William Murdoch in 1817. He installed a doorbell in his own home using pipes and compressed air. In 1831, Joseph Henry created a doorbell that could be rung using an electric wire. Wired, electric doorbells were common in many homes by the early twentieth century.
It has only been in recent years that wireless doorbells became more commonplace. The early wireless doorbells worked using a radio transmitter and battery power. These are still used today, however, some wireless doorbells are now equipped with WiFi capabilities.
Video surveillance and doorbell technology have now merged to create video doorbells that alert residents of visitors while adding a layer of security.
The history of the video doorbell integrates the doorbell and early home security systems. Home security systems date back to the late nineteenth century when Edwin Holmes marketed the first alarm system in 1877. He started the Bell Phone Company in 1878 and gained the right to use phone company lines to connect phone cables to alarm systems.
After World War I, the general public began seeking more ways to keep their homes secure, and insurance companies even offered discounts to homeowners who chose to install alarm systems. The early systems used electromagnetic technology connected to a bell or a battery to alarm doors and windows.
Following World War II, motion detection and more advanced surveillance technology, including motorized cameras, were introduced. The picture was transmitted to a television or other monitor and could be controlled remotely. Some came equipped with an intercom to communicate with visitors from inside.
Thankfully, technology has since evolved with the rise of the Internet. The cameras are being made smaller with clearer pictures and recording capabilities. Video surveillance and doorbell technology have now merged to create video doorbells that alert residents of visitors while adding a layer of security.