The Best Smart Video Doorbells of 2019

If you’re ready to answer your door the smart way, read about 2019’s best—and smartest—doorbells below.
Written by | Updated July 31, 2019
Best Overall
ring smart video doorbell cameraRing Video Doorbell
  • Lifetime theft protection
  • Easy setup
  • Lifetime theft protection
  • Easy setup
Security System Choice
ADT Video DoorbellADT® Video Doorbell Camera
  • Works anywhere
  • Integrates with security system
  • Works anywhere
  • Integrates with security system
Smart Home Choice
Vivint doorbell cameraVivint© Doorbell Camera
  • Custom notifications
  • Lots of storage
  • Custom notifications
  • Lots of storage

Knock knock. Who’s there? If you have a smart doorbell, you already know! Today’s smart doorbells come with everything from live video streaming to Wi-Fi–enabled apps, two-way talk, and home automation compatibility.

Compare the 5 Best Smart Doorbells of 2019

All of the video doorbells on our list include a mobile app, motion sensors, and two-way audio. They’re also compatible with other smart products and home automation. Here’s a look at how they stack up on other important features.

Price
Connection
Resolution
Read Review
Ring Video Doorbell ADT® Video Doorbell Camera Vivint© Doorbell Camera August Doorbell Cam Pro (2nd Gen) Nest Hello
Ring video doorbell camera ADT Video Doorbell Vivint doorbell camera August Doorbell Cam Pro (2nd Gen) Nest Hello Video Doorbell
Check Price on Amazon View Packages View Packages Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth
720p 720p 720p 960p 3-megapixel (2K) HDR
Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review

Reviews: Best Smart Doorbell

Ring Video Doorbell: Best Overall

Ring is the godfather of smart doorbells, which is why we kept their original video doorbell at the top of our list once again. There are a number of Ring doorbells to choose from, but we’re sticking with the OG because it’s been out long enough to work out the kinks and it delivers consistent, reliable security and convenience.

To compare all the Ring doorbells, see our exclusive Ring comparison table below.

 

We Like

One of our favorite things about the Ring doorbell is its straightforward installation. That, combined with simple operation, makes this Wi-Fi doorbell an easy choice for anyone who’s new to smart home gadgets. But don’t despair if you’re a tech junkie—Ring has enough smart functionality to please even the most advanced technophile.

  • Lifetime Purchase Protection
    Ring backs up their video doorbell with a purchase protection plan that will replace your Ring doorbell if it’s stolen at any time after purchase. This great coverage is nontransferable, and you must submit your claim within 15 days of the theft, along with your receipt and a copy of a police report.
  • Custom Motion Zones
    The Ring video doorbell lets you determine customized settings for motion alert zones and alert sensitivity. The original Ring, which we’re featuring here, comes with five motion zone settings to choose from. More advanced offerings make motion zones 100% customizable.

We Don’t Like

The original Ring is the most affordable of the Ring family, and there are some reasons why. Its customizable options are limited and the video quality is lacking.

  • Lower Video Resolution
    This doorbell camera has lower video resolution, offering 720p resolution, compared to 1080p from every other Ring video doorbell. However, the difference isn’t a complete deal-breaker—the high-quality night vision and other smart features make this video doorbell the best bang for your buck.

Compare the Ring Video Doorbell Family

Power Source
Recommended Bandwidth
Field of View
Video Resolution
Best For
Battery
Hardwired
Battery
Hardwired
Hardwired PoW (Power over Ethernet)
1 Mbps 2 Mbps 2 Mbps 2 Mbps
180° Horizontal
110° Vertical
160° Horizontal
90° Vertical
160° Horizontal
90° Vertical
160° Horizontal
90° Vertical
720p 1080p 1080p 1080p
Budget Smart security Hardwiring New home builds
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Data effective 04/29/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

ADT® Video Doorbell Camera: Security System Pick

The ADT video doorbell features a 720p camera, live video streaming, mobile alerts, and full integration with your ADT home security system. We like that you can access the doorbell camera—and all of your other home security features—from one app. You don’t have to switch from your doorbell camera app to your security app. With ADT, all of your mobile security controls are in one convenient spot. But that’s also where it falters. You can only get this video doorbell with the ADT Pulse® + Video package.

 

We Like

The ADT video doorbell delivers all the basics you want in a doorbell camera—HD images, two-way communication, and night vision—with the added security of a full ADT security system.

  • Works Anywhere
    ADT’s video doorbell works on any home, whether you already have a doorbell or not. This makes it great for any age of home and apartments or condos that may have been built without a doorbell. Best of all, it comes with a variety of mounting brackets, so this doorbell should work with any door frame.
  • Stands Up to the Elements
    This doorbell camera has a weatherproof IP65 rating. That means all the electronics are protected from dust and heavy streams of water. So, even if you live in an area with harsh weather, the ADT video doorbell should be able to take any beating Mother Nature dishes out.
  • Captures Images Two Ways
    You won’t miss out on any front porch happenings with this doorbell on guard. It records video clips when the motion sensor is triggered and when someone pushes the doorbell button. The addition of button-activated recording means you don’t have to worry about missing anything if something (like high winds) interferes with the motion sensor.

We Don’t Like

ADT only offers the video doorbell as part of a complete ADT security system.

  • Requires an ADT Video Contract
    Currently, the ADT video doorbell camera is available only when you sign up for the ADT Pulse® + Video package. While that means you’ll have the full power of ADT security watching out for your home, it might be a bigger commitment than you want. ADT typically requires a three-year contract with its professional monitoring packages, so that’s something to consider before you set your heart on this doorbell.

Vivint Doorbell Camera: Smart Home Pick

Hands down, Vivint’s doorbell camera is the one most suited for a smart home or security system. If you’re looking for a video doorbell that works seamlessly with home automation and is a key component in your overall security, Vivint is your best bet.

 

We Like

Vivint is a smart home leader, and their expertise shows in the Vivint doorbell camera. Because the company knows what smart homeowners want and need, Vivint was able to come up with a doorbell camera that’s convenient and keeps you safe.

  • Professional Installation
    This is one of the only smart doorbells on our list that comes with professional installation. When you’re looking at complicated wiring and meeting tricky tech specs, that kind of service can give you confidence and peace of mind.
  • Customized Notifications
    You have total control over how you receive alerts and notifications from your Vivint doorbell cam. Personalize your notification settings for alarms, video recording, or door lock sensors. You also get to customize your doorbell chime, which isn’t always an option on other video doorbells.
  • Lots of Storage
    Vivint gives you options for video storage—you can use cloud storage or opt for DVR recording. Either way, you’ll be happy with the live and recorded video options that are available as part of your Vivint package.

We Don’t Like

The only real downside to this video doorbell is that you can’t buy it as a stand-alone device. Right now, the only way to get the Vivint doorbell camera is to purchase a Vivint package.

  • Required Monitoring Package
    If all you want is a smart doorbell that lets you know when packages are delivered or that helps you screen visitors, then the Vivint doorbell cam is probably not what you’re looking for. This smart doorbell is available only as part of a larger Vivint package. The upside is that every Vivint package includes professional monitoring, but the downside is that it’s a lot to take on if all you’re looking for is a smart doorbell.

August Doorbell Cam Pro (2nd Gen)

August has received a lot of praise for its innovative smart locks and smart doorbell cameras. This company delivers streamlined function in a sleek package. August’s doorbell cam scores for style as well as unique security extras.

 

We Like

Our favorite thing about the August doorbell cam is its companion product, the August smart lock. Together, this pair offers an ideal smart security solution to keep your home protected and keep you in the know about who’s at your front door.

  • Hindsight™Video Capture
    Unlike other video doorbells that start recording only when someone rings the bell, the August doorbell cam doesn’t wait to let you know what’s happening. The Hindsight feature starts recording video seconds before someone approaches the door, ensuring that you don’t miss a thing.
  • Integrated Floodlight
    Even though the August doorbell cam doesn’t have night vision, it does have a built-in floodlight that provides enough illumination for clear nighttime footage. It also shines a light on people who approach the door, adding an extra level of security.
  • Simple Installation
    The August video doorbell is one of the simplest to install. It works with the wiring from your existing doorbell, and it comes with a USB charger so you can test everything and make sure the doorbell works with your router and wireless network before you hook it up.

We Don’t Like

While the August doorbell cam is sleek and stylish, its unusual shape and design present some surprising challenges. Customers report visitors getting confused about where to press the button to ring the bell.

  • Bulky Size and Shape
    Because the August smart doorbell is shaped like a square instead of the more traditional rectangular doorbell shape, it’s hard to fit it in the same location as many existing doorbells. But it needs the existing wiring to work, so getting the August installed may take some creative thinking.

Nest Hello

This smart home leader finally added a smart doorbell to their suite of home automation products. Given Nest’s track record of success with the Nest Smart Thermostat and bevy of Nest Cam options, we have high hopes for this latest addition.

 

We Like

We’re pretty eager to test out the Nest Hello’s advanced recognition capability that can tell the difference between a person and a thing. It can even recognize friends over strangers, making this the smartest doorbell of them all.

  • Facial Recognition
    Nest Hello includes Nest facial recognition technology that can detect whether it’s a person, an animal, or a vehicle triggering the motion alert on your video doorbell. With the Nest Aware subscription, your smart doorbell can even learn to recognize people in your family and others who visit the house regularly.
  • Prerecorded Messages
    Similar to pre-set text messages that pop up when you can’t answer the phone, the Nest Hello includes pre-recorded messages that make it easy for you to respond to visitors even when you’re too busy to answer. This provides extra security to make it seem like someone’s at home at all times.
  • True HD Video
    This doorbell cam has the best resolution of any video doorbell we’ve looked at—and it’s the only camera that lets you size people up from head to toe. Its range of view is wide enough to take in the whole porch and tall enough to let you see every visitor from top to bottom.

We Don’t Like

Although we trust Nest and its suite of smart home products, the Nest Hello was just released. That means its long-term performance hasn’t yet been tested. We’ll be carefully watching how customers respond, as well as giving the Nest Hello our own thorough once-over.

  • Subscription Required for Full Function
    As with most Nest products that feature video, you need to sign up for a Nest Aware subscription to take advantage of all the cool things the product does. If you want video storage and facial recognition, one of the most impressive features of Nest Hello, you need to pony up the extra cash for the subscription.

Things to Know Before Getting a Smart Doorbell

Smart doorbells deliver an instant upgrade to your security and provide convenience, but there are a few things to consider before you pull out the toolbox and start dismantling your current doorbell.

What Makes a Doorbell Smart?

Smart doorbells work like other smart products, which means they connect to the internet and with your phone or computer through an app. A smart doorbell may even be able to connect with other smart devices as part of a larger home automation setup.

Most smart doorbells use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet and other devices. They’re usually outfitted with cameras, speakers, and video recording. You can also find smart doorbells that use Bluetooth. The main difference between Wi-Fi doorbells and Bluetooth doorbells is the range in which you can access the doorbell and its features.

Why Do I Need a Smart Doorbell?

The biggest reason to upgrade your doorbell is convenience. A smart doorbell is like a peephole that you can see through no matter where you are. With a smart doorbell, you no longer have to jump off the couch when someone’s at the door—you can screen visitors before interrupting movie night.

Smart doorbells also provide extra security. Whether you’re at the office or running errands, you can see who’s approaching your home. This lets you identify any shady characters and helps you keep an eye on packages and other deliveries. If you combine your smart doorbell with a smart lock, you can also grant entry to dog walkers, house sitters, and other visitors.

Will It Work with My Existing Doorbell?

If you already have a doorbell, then a video doorbell could easily replace it and connect to the existing wiring. This lets you rely on hardwired power instead of just batteries. Wi-Fi doorbells that don’t require a battery are usually smaller, which keeps them off the radar of potential vandals or thieves.

If you don’t currently have a doorbell, you can still take advantage of a smart doorbell—you’ll just have to use a wireless doorbell that’s battery powered. Look for one that makes it easy to remove the battery for charging or buy a back-up battery just in case.

How Much Internet Speed Do I Need for a Wi-Fi Doorbell?

Most of the smart doorbells we recommend perform best with at least a 2 Mbps upload speed. Because smart doorbells are more likely to upload than download information, the proper upload speed is vital. Whether or not your doorbell records all the time or only when triggered can impact the speed your doorbell needs. If your doorbell streams video, it will also need faster speeds.

You should also consider how much a video doorbell may impact your monthly data usage and if you want to add cloud storage to your smart doorbell (so you can save and share videos). Depending on the type of storage plan you select, subscriptions can range from about $30 per year all the way up to $120.

Smart Doorbell Life Hacks

If you really tap into the smarts in your smart doorbell, you can do a lot more than watch delivery people come and go. These are our favorite smart doorbell life hacks to make life more fun, more convenient, and more in your control than ever.

Keep an Eye on Packages

The holidays may be over, but online shopping is a year-round sport for many of us. Know when your packages arrive—and make sure they stay put—with a video doorbell. If you pick one of our top smart doorbells, you can even tell the driver the safest place to put your deliveries.

Catch the Dog That Keeps Leaving You “Presents”

It’s happened to all of us—we run across the front yard to greet a friend and step in something smushy and decidedly stinky. You know it’s not your pooch (you don’t even have one), so who is the guilty party? Stop wondering and get your pristine lawn back with video doorbell footage of the dastardly deed.

Welcome the Kids Home from School

When you can’t be home after school, you miss your kids and worry about missing out on part of their lives. Blast that concern by adding a smart doorbell with two-way talk. This way you can see—and talk—to your kiddos every day, even if you can’t be there in person.

Silence the World during Naptime

You finally get the baby down and immediately the doorbell rings out, like a bell tolling for the loss of your sanity. Many smart doorbells come with features that let you set quiet times, to make sure no one gets between your baby and their precious naptime.

Answer the Door from Anywhere (Literally)

It could be the bathroom, the office, or a lovely little beach cabana—with a smart video doorbell, visitors will never know if you’re just behind the door or not. This adds convenience, but more importantly, it makes you and your home safer.

Avoid Awkward Encounters

No one likes to admit it, but we all have people we’d rather avoid. With a video doorbell, you no longer have to tiptoe to the peephole to screen unwanted visitors. A video alert on your phone will tell you exactly who’s at the door, giving you the choice to answer or be “not home.”

Enforce Curfews

Or at least catch them in the act! A video doorbell is the perfect way to verify your teen’s story about when they got home. It also gives you eyes on anything happening on the front porch so you’ll know if there’s more going on than a goodnight hug.

Smart Doorbell Options for Renters

Not all smart home or home security products work when you’re renting. Most likely, you won’t be able to install systems that require hardwiring and other invasive structural changes, which can make it tough to upgrade your household safety and convenience without a big battle with your landlord. And even then, you might get told no. If you don’t want to let renting get in the way of your safety and smart home upgrades, here are some options that provide the same benefits as the top smart doorbells on our list.

Ringo Smart Buzzer
This clever service is touted as a smartphone concierge that gives you remote control over your apartment buzzer or gated entry. There’s no equipment to install, so you won’t have to worry about dealing with your landlord.

  • Works with existing intercom system
  • Banking encryption protocols
  • Call-forwarding for up to five additional phones
  • Up to 20 access codes, depending on plan
  • Monthly plans starting at $3.99/month

Get Ringo

Peeple Smart Camera
See who’s at your door from anywhere with this peephole camera (hence the name—clever, huh?). It connects to your Wi-Fi to send you notifications and alerts when someone approaches the door, knocks, or opens the door.

  • Free app
  • Easy installation
  • 720p video resolution
  • No monthly subscription
  • Waiting list for some colors and finishes

Get Peeple

Smart Home FAQs

A smart doorbell might be your first foray into home automation. Once you have a taste, it may be hard to stop at just a smart doorbell. In case you get an itch to make your home smarter, here’s what you need to know to make it happen.

Our Approach

To find out which smart doorbells are the best, we compared features, price, reputation, reliability, and customer satisfaction. We pored over technical specs and thousands of customer reviews. After we narrowed it down to the best of the best, we pitted them against one another—looking for video resolution, response time, customization options, ease of installation, and whether or not there were any extra costs involved. Finally, we put our favorite five smart doorbells in order and broke down all the details to help you make a smart and affordable purchase.

24 hours researched
13 products considered
3,000+ customer reviews
15 coffees consumed

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

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