Best Video Doorbell Cameras of 2021

After poring over tech specs and hundreds of customer reviews, we chose the Ring Video Doorbell as our top pick.
Best overall
Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen)
Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen)
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Affordable price
  • Icon Pros  Light
    155º field of view
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Theft protection
Best for emergencies
Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell
Arlo Video Doorbell
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Mid-range price
  • Icon Pros  Light
    180º field of view
  • Icon Pros  Light
    12x digital zoom
Best extra features
Nest Hello Video Doorbell
Google Nest Hello
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Higher price
  • Icon Pros  Light
    160º field of view
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Intelligent alerts
Best privacy features
eufy video doorbell
Eufy Video Doorbell
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Local storage
  • Icon Pros  Light
    160º field of view
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Person alerts
Best cheap doorbell
Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell
Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Affordable price
  • Icon Pros  Light
    180º field of view
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Two-way audio

The Ring Doorbell Camera delivers high quality at a low price and without a contract.

Ring sends clear HD video straight to your phone when a visitor stops by. And you don’t need an existing doorbell to install one in your house—making it work for renters and homeowners alike.

See our other picks for the best doorbell cameras, gets answers to common questions, and learn about the top metro areas for package theft.

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Why try a wireless doorbell?

Wireless doorbell cameras are a great intro to smart home devices. They send push notifications when they detect motion, record video day or night, and have two-way audio for talking with guests at your door. With a wireless camera doorbell, you can tell the difference between a neighbor or mail carrier pressing the doorbell.



Compare doorbell cameras

Product image
List price*
Field of view
Power source
Pre-recorded messages
Learn more
Best overall
Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen)Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen)

155°

Battery or Wired

Icon No  LightNo
Best for emergencies
Arlo Essential Wired Video DoorbellArlo Video Doorbell

180°

Wired

Icon Yes  LightYes
Best extra features
Google Nest Hello

160°

Wired

Icon Yes  LightYes
Best privacy Features
eufy video doorbellEufy Video Doorbell

160°

Wired

Icon Yes  LightYes
Best cheap doorbell
Toucan Wireless Video DoorbellToucan Wireless Video Doorbell

180º

Battery

Icon No  LightNo

*Amazon.com list price as of 7/15/2021 at 3:00 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Checklist
Doorbell installation

Before deciding on a wireless video doorbell cam, check out your current doorbell setup. You’ll need to know the voltage and whether you have a wired doorbell chime or not. If you don’t already have a doorbell, you’ll need to look for a battery-powered model. They aren’t as common, but products like Ring have two power options that work with wires or batteries.

Reviews: Best smart doorbell cameras

The Ring Video Doorbell boasts 1080p resolution, a 155° field of vision, noise cancelation, night vision, and customization options through the Ring app. Its flexible power options, theft protection, and low price make it a fitting choice for renters and first-time homeowners alike.

At $99, you won’t need two month’s salary for this Ring. This doorbell cam is budget conscious and environmentally friendly. You can power your new smart doorbell camera with existing doorbell wiring, a backup battery, or even a solar charger (for a little extra).

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Suitable for renters and homeowners
Pro Bullet Affordable for all budgets
Pro Bullet Equipped with a wide angle lens
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Required subscription for video history

We also like Ring’s theft protection feature for the security camera itself. While wireless doorbell cameras can deter porch pirates, there’s no guarantee against thieves. In the event your Ring camera is stolen, Ring will replace it for free.

If you want more advanced features or a different type of video doorbell, take a deep dive into the family of Ring doorbell cameras for a closer look.

Thumbs Up
Ring has new doorbells

Ring recently released two new models: the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus. We plan to test these models and add them to our Ring doorbell review in a future update. We still recommend the original Ring Video Doorbell for most people because the price is hard to beat.

Ring Doorbell buyers guide for renters

Subscribe to our Youtube channel for more videos like this one! Learn how to protect your home, your loved ones, yourself and your belongings.


Best for emergencies

We already have a lot of good things to say about Arlo cameras. So we’re excited to see the company now has a video doorbell cam.

The Arlo Video Doorbell produces clear, full images of visitors from head to toe, thanks to the 12x digital zoom, 180° field of view, and 1:1 aspect ratio. And like many other video doorbells, Arlo offers extra features with a subscription.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 12x digital zoom
Pro Bullet 180° field of view
Pro Bullet e911 feature
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Odd answering method
Con Bullet Limited standout features

The extra that stands out the most is e911—a feature that connects you directly to first responders in case of an emergency. When you use this feature, first responders head to your home instead of your phone’s location. If something happens while you’re out of town, your home is in good hands.

We’ve yet to see this feature in other doorbell cameras, so if you want a device with sharp emergency responsiveness, Arlo is definitely worth a look.

When someone rings the Arlo wireless doorbell camera, you’ll speak with visitors through a phone call instead of the mobile app. We found this odd because you can still use the app to monitor your front door.

But despite its quirks, the Arlo smart doorbell camera still impresses. Its paid subscription offers the standard paid extras like a specialized motion alert and the ability to set activity zones when the motion sensors pick up movement.

Check out our in-depth Arlo doorbell review for more information.

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More from Arlo

If you already have an Arlo camera, the Arlo Audio Doorbell can connect to it.

Best extra features

The Google Nest Hello smart doorbell camera delivers curb appeal and game-changing features to your doorstep (for a price). The catch is that you need a Nest Aware subscription to get the best of Nest.

Without a monthly subscription, you can still capture 160° of footage for up to three hours. This means you can watch a live view of your entire front porch real time or watch the last few hours in case you missed something live.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Three-hour playback without a subscription
Pro Bullet Facial recognition
Pro Bullet Captures live video in 2K
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Steep price tag
Con Bullet Best features require a subscription

The basic Nest Aware subscription delivers up to 30 days of recorded clips, emergency call services, person alerts, activity zones for the camera’s motion sensor to focus on, and the ability to watch clips and time-lapses of your front porch. These are the features that make the Google Nest Hello worth its price.

The best paid feature is the Nest doorbell’s facial recognition. You can label and name visitors in the smartphone app, so the Nest can learn to tell you the dogwalker’s at your door or Grandma’s here for a visit.

Check out our full review of Nest Hello to get more details on this smart doorbell camera.

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The new Nest Aware

The improved Nest Aware subscription is now available. Here are some of the benefits: it now starts at $6 a month, and you no longer need a separate subscription for each Nest camera in your home.

Best privacy features

If you'd rather not send video to the cloud, the Eufy smart doorbell is worth a look.

The Eufy Video Doorbell is the only smart video doorbell on our list that doesn’t require you to send footage over the web. Its 4 GB of local storage gives you access to 30 days of footage without a subscription or broadcasting a feed on the internet. This wired doorbell requires existing doorbell wires. However, a battery-powered option is also available.

Local storage keeps your live video private and hidden from prying eyes. 

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Local storage
Pro Bullet No subscription required
Pro Bullet Person alerts
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Person alerts can send false notifications

Other doorbell cameras require a monthly fee to keep a record of your videos.
A Wi-Fi doorbell camera is still safe, but it requires a few more precautions like stronger passwords and two-factor authentication.

The Eufy doorbell’s people recognition feature distinguishes visitors from passing objects to minimize false alarms. Nest has the same feature but requires a subscription to access it. But even AI makes mistakes sometimes, like one user whose doorbell cam mistook a tree for a visitor.

To learn more about Eufy, check out our Eufy Home Security Review.

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Deal alert

For a limited time, Eufy's video doorbell is $30 off. That's a sweet deal; we recommend catching it while it lasts.

The Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell is one of the most affordable video doorbells on the market. We like that this doorbell is battery-powered so you don't have to mess around with wiring—making it great for apartments.

Unlike other doorbells on this list, Toucan doesn't connect to existing doorbell wiring. In exchange for occasionally needing to recharge the battery, installation doesn't require any electrical work just a few screws to mount it. It also comes with a handy wireless chime, so you don't need to rely on your smartphone to know if a visitor arrives.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet No wiring necessary
Pro Bullet Affordable
Pro Bullet Two-way audio
Pro Bullet Homes with wireless chime
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Limited video downloads on free plan

Unfortunately, the free cloud storage restricts you to five video downloads each month. And the entry-level paid plan (despite allowing unlimited devices) isn't as good of a value compared to Ring's plan.

While the Ring doorbell is still a better value in most cases, we think that Toucan has better potential for renters or even as a personal doorbell for specific rooms inside a house like a home office.

More brands we considered

Amcrest Video Doorbell Camera

We like the Amcrest Video Doorbell Camera (about $100) because it supports local video storage on a microSD card for a lower price than Eufy. But user reviews say the software isn't nearly as polished as the similarly priced Ring Video Doorbell. While it supports Amazon Alexa, it doesn't offer live video or doorbell notifications on smart displays like the Echo Show.

Blue by ADT Doorbell Camera

The Blue by ADT Doorbell Camera (about $200) offers free 24-hour cloud storage without a subscription. While you can you can use this doorbell security camera in a Blue by ADT security system, it works fine as a stand-alone doorbell. Unfortunately, it's pretty expensive compared to similar doorbells from Ring and Arlo.

RemoBell S

The RemoBell S (about $100) seems like an attractive alternative to Ring, but the video quality isn't great. There's a noticeable fisheye distortion that makes it difficult to make out details in videos. Another big drawback is that the infrared night vision isn't very powerful and won't activate at all if there's an illuminated porch light nearby.

Best video doorbells for home security systems

If you already have a security system, you might be able to get a doorbell camera through your provider. SimpliSafe, Vivint, ADT, and Frontpoint security systems all have quality doorbell cameras compatible with the brands’ equipment.

Camera
Price
Standout Feature
Learn more

SimpliSafe Video Doorbell

$169.00

Compatible with 8–24 V AC connections

Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro

$249.99

Videos have square aspect ratio

ADT Video Doorbell Camera

Prices may vary

Multiple mounting options

Frontpoint Doorbell Camera

$149.99

Alerts from motion sensor

Info current as of 7/15/2021 at 3:00 p.m. M.T. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Final word

The Ring Video Doorbell excels in two ways: it's one of the most affordable smart doorbells around, and it's easy to use. Because it has battery-powered and wired options, it's incredibly easy to install where you need it. Ring made it really hard to find a better deal than that, which is why it's our top pick for the best video doorbell.

Whether you want to watch for porch pirates stealing your packages or see who's at the door without getting up, a wireless video doorbell brings an extra touch of security to your front door and is a great companion for a smart lock. There are so many uses for doorbell cameras, but the right doorbell cam for you is the one that fits your needs. Our other top picks are great Ring doorbell alternatives.

Our approach

To find out which smart doorbells are best, we pored over technical specs and thousands of customer reviews. We compared features, price, reputation, reliability, and customer satisfaction. 

After we narrowed the camera doorbells down to the best of the best, we pitted them against one another—looking for video quality, response time, customization options, ease of installation, and any extra costs required. We also spoke with customers who own these video doorbells.

Finally, we put our five favorite smart doorbells in order and broke down all the details to help you make the right purchase. Learn more about how we reviewed smart video doorbells and other products in our full methodology.

Doorbell cameras FAQ

No. Whether through a paid subscription or local video storage, most doorbell cameras allow access to your past footage. Having a record of your visitors can help you identify any suspicious characters who stop by.

Video recordings of an incident boost your chances of finding the suspects who stole packages, vandalized your home, or attempted to break in.

Doorbell cameras can record as little as three hours to as much as 60 days. The amount of memory you need for footage depends on how often you check your doorbell app.

Video doorbells have been around long enough to include HD video. Look for a video doorbell camera with at least a resolution of 720p and a 120° field of vision.

Two-way audio is a standard feature in doorbell cameras because it’s crucial. This feature allows you to have a conversation with visitors on your doorstep whether you’re home or not.

We also like pre-recorded messages and noise cancellation. Pre-recorded messages are a lot like voicemail for your wireless doorbell camera—an automatic message that plays when you can’t answer the door.

Noise cancellation is also a helpful feature to look for because it boosts the audio quality and makes it easier to understand what the other person is saying.

The typical field of vision for humans is around 100° laterally.1 If you want a camera that shows your doorstep the way you see it, look for a field of view with at least 120°.

The Ring, Eufy, and Nest Hello doorbell cameras all have a field of view of 160° and up.

As many of us hunker down to limit the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19, video doorbells can play a unique role in social distancing.

Doorbell cameras let you see when someone’s at your door and also allow you to speak to visitors. Not only can you still get food deliveries and packages, but you can also instruct delivery drivers to leave items on the porch.

While it might seem like a small thing, a video doorbell can help protect you and every visitor at your door by giving everyone a little extra space. Just remember to disinfect the doorbell regularly, especially after deliveries, for everyone’s sake.

For more information on how to disinfect your home, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a helpful article about cleaning and disinfecting your house.

We recommend the Ring Video Doorbell as the best overall pick—its low price and high value is too hard to pass up. That said, the Google Nest Hello doorbell is a good pick for loaded extra features.

To learn more about how Ring and Nest compare, take a peek at our article on that very topic.

Yes, it does. You can talk to folks on your porch and hear them talking back to you.


Package theft in the U.S.

Nearly two million packages are swiped from porches every day across America—and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic.2

With people shopping online more than ever due to the novel coronavirus, those numbers are bound to go up. To help you understand your risk, we surveyed 1,000 Americans about their personal run-ins with dastardly porch pirates. 

We also looked at the major metros where package theft runs rampant. Find out if your town is a porch pirate favorite or a place they tend to sail past.

porch pirates 10 worst metro cities for package theft

Top 10 metros where porch pirates strike most

If you live in one of these metro areas, you’re at higher risk for package theft. To identify the metros where porch pirates plunder the most, we analyzed larceny-theft rates and Google Trends data.

Metro area
2020 ranking
2019 ranking
San Francisco, CA 11
New Orleans, LA 2N/A
Austin, TX37
Salt Lake City, UT 42
San Antonio, TX 5N/A
Columbus, OH 6N/A
Portland, OR 73
Baltimore, MD 84
Sacramento, CA 910
Los Angeles, CA 109

A closer look at the cities with the most package plundering

  • San Francisco remains a porch pirate favorite for the third consecutive year—topping our list once again.
  • New Orleans makes its debut this year, coming in as the second-most targeted city for package theft. San Antonio and Columbus are also newbies to our rankings for 2020. 
  • Austin jumped up four spots this year to round out the top three worst metros for porch piracy.
  • California remains the state with the worst package theft problem—30% of the cities on our list call the Golden State home.
  • Texas comes in second with 20% of the cities on our list.
 

Has the pandemic helped porch pirates profit?

As stay-at-home orders spread across the country in March, so did an upswing in online shopping. With more packages being delivered, it’s no surprise that porch pirates swooped in to make the most of our plentiful pandemic booty.

To find out exactly how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted package theft trends, we conducted a survey of 1,000 people from across the country. Find out if nationwide trends match your experience with porch pirates.

Package theft stats during the pandemic

  • Nearly 50% of Americans have experienced package theft in the past year. (That’s over 10% higher than in 2019.3)
  • Among package thefts that occurred in the past year, over 75% happened during the pandemic.
  • 67% of Americans say they shop online more since the pandemic started.
  • More than 50% of Americans get packages delivered at least once a week.
  • 63% of Americans say the pandemic has made them more concerned about package theft.
  • 68% of package thefts occur at single-family houses.
  • Less than half of those who experienced package theft took a proactive measure like using a package locker or installing home security to prevent it from happening again.

How to prevent porch theft

A smart doorbell camera is a good first step. Here are some other tools and best practices to protect your purchases and make those porch pirates walk the plank.

Subscribe to our Youtube channel for more videos like this one! Learn how to protect your home, your loved ones, yourself and your belongings.

What to do if your package is stolen

Precautions are a must, but sometimes packages get purloined anyway. If you’re a victim of package theft, here are some things you can do to minimize the damage.

How we identified the metros with the most package theft

To see where porch pirates run rampant, we analyzed 2019 FBI larceny* data in metro areas across the US.4 Then, we compared it to Google Trends data in those areas with the highest search for “missing package” and “stolen package.”

*Larceny includes theft of bikes, cars and car accessories, shoplifting, pocket-picking, and any property that is stolen but not taken by force and violence, or by fraud.

Related articles on SafeWise


  1. Robert H. Spector, The National Center for Biotechnology Information, “The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations 3rd edition. Chapter 116, Visual Fields,” 1990. Accessed July 15, 2021.
  2. Katie Schoolov, CNBC, “With Package Theft at an All-Time High, Amazon and Others are Fighting Back,” January 2020. Accessed July 15, 2021.
  3. C+R Research, “2019 Package Theft Statistics Report.” Accessed July 15, 2021.
  4. FBI, Unified Crime Reporting, “2019 Crime in the United States, Larceny-Theft,” October 2020. Accessed July 15, 2021.

Disclaimers

*Amazon.com list price as of 7/15/2021 at 3:00 p.m. (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest Hello, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

Katie McEntire
Written by
Katie McEntire
As a renter, pet-owner, and woman living alone, Katie McEntire takes safety seriously. She’s tested devices like pet cameras, home security systems, and GPS trackers in her own home and devices in the name of safety. In addition to testing, writing, and reviewing for SafeWise, she also makes videos for the site’s YouTube channel. She’s been featured on publications like TechGuySmartBuy, Forbes, Healthy Moms, and Digital Care. Katie has a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She’s held previous writing positions at Overstock.com and Top Ten Reviews.

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  • Thomas Cotter

    I’m interested in installing a video doorbell, but don’t want an Alexa to make it work (bad experience). I would prefer just having cell phone or computer access. What would be the best choices?

    • Rebecca Edwards

      Thomas, you don’t HAVE to use Alexa with any of the cameras on the list, it’s just an option if voice assistance is something that you like. I like the Ring doorbells because they’re tried and true and you have options for wired or wireless. But if you want the most secure video doorbell, I’d check out the Eufy. It doesn’t store anything on the cloud or with the company—it’s all local storage, so you have extra privacy on top of encryption.

  • Ruben

    I have just one recommendation: simply handle the package to the person and sign the receipt of delivery as other countries do instead of leaving it at the porch without even ringing the bell or knocking the door. If nobody is at home, delivery guy must return or leave a notice. Leaving it is not delivering it.