Doorbell cameras (or video doorbells) allow you to remotely answer the door, check your property when you’re away, and act as a deterrent for would-be intruders. "With CCTV security cameras and intercom integration available, video doorbells are becoming incredibly convenient and helpful," says Chris Lewis, security expert and CEO of The Chris Lewis Group. "They can also add an extra layer of security to your smart home."
After consulting Lewis, we used hands-on experience and research to evaluate top models on essential features, including resolution, smart home compatibility, and storage. Our top pick is the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 for its superb motion detection and high-resolution camera with a wide field of view, offering some of the best protection and visibility available.
Here are the best doorbell cameras.
Best Overall: Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
Motion detection up to 30 feet away
Clear, sharp images in any weather
Difficult to install
No storage without a Ring Protect subscription
Who else recommends it? CNET also picked the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2.
What do buyers say? 91% of 3,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
Every model in the Ring doorbell camera range could have been a contender for our best overall pick, but the stand-out version is the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. This wired doorbell has a 1536-pixel full high definition (Full HD) camera with color night vision. This design, coupled with its 150-degree field of view, allows you to clearly see who is approaching your home, day or night, and in any weather.
Visitors don’t even need to ring the bell for you to know they’re there, either. The Ring Pro 2’s 3D “Pinpoint” Motion Detection sensor spots and tracks movement from up to 30 feet away and sends a notification upon detection. You can then open Live Video via the Ring app to see what’s happening in and around your property in real-time. Once connected to your doorbell, you can have a two-way conversation remotely with anyone who approaches.
While installation is easier on other models and there isn’t any cloud storage, you can opt for a Ring Protect subscription to store or review footage after the fact. If you pay for a subscription, you also get Alexa Greetings built-in. If you opt for this feature, the doorbell audibly greets anyone at your door and can relay preset messages.
Best Budget: Wyze Video Doorbell with Chime
14-day rolling cloud storage
Restrictive field of view
On paper, little separates the Wyze Video Doorbell and our top pick, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. In fact, the Wyze has several features that outdo its more expensive rival, including a 1080-pixel full high definition (Full HD) camera, 14-day rolling cloud storage for 12-second video clips, and easier installation. It missed out on the top spot because its 120-by-88-degree field of view is narrow, limiting what the camera detects. Its design, while compact, is also lacking and looks and feels less refined than higher-end models.
As for performance, when the Wyze Video doorbell detects motion, even if the visitor doesn’t ring the bell, the camera illuminates your porch in the same way a floodlight would, and it sends an alert. This alert is optional, and we turned it off after a few days because the detection was sensitive, and we were getting notifications too often.
Best Wireless: Arlo Essential Wireless Video Doorbell
Wide 180-degree field of view
Direct video calling
Storage is only available at extra cost
The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell is ideal for anyone who doesn’t already have a wired doorbell or doesn’t want the hassle of installing one. It runs on rechargeable batteries that Arlo promises will last around six months between charges. You also can connect to an outlet should you find battery life an issue.
The Arlo Essential has a wide 180-degree field of view that easily covers the whole of our front porch. You can set the doorbell to send a notification or call your phone when the bell rings. From there, you can connect and speak directly to your visitor in real-time. Besides the ease of setup, our favorite feature is a built-in siren that wards off unwanted visitors or animals remotely. Sadly, there are no free storage options, and connections would often drop out and require resetting.
Best Security Features: SimpliSafe Pro Video Doorbell
Smart, dual sensors identify motion type
Pan and zoom feature
No smart home compatibility
If you're interested in building a broader monitoring system, you can use the SimpliSafe Pro Video Doorbell on its own or as part of the Simplisafe Gen 3 home security system. It uses two sensors to detect motion and identify whether the movement is from a human, pet, car, or inanimate object blowing in the wind. It then only sends a notification for motion that may require your attention.
The camera streams in Full HD, with infrared night vision, and you can zoom in and pan around, thanks to its 162-degree field of view. A two-way audio feature allows you to speak to visitors or ward off intruders via the app. We found installation simple but experienced a setup delay because the camera failed to connect to our Wi-Fi. A system restart and switching to a 2.4GHz network fixed this issue eventually.
Best Motion Detection: Google Nest Doorbell
24/7 monitoring and free cloud storage
Difficult to install
Not compatible with all transformers
Google offers many features seen on other doorbell cameras in this list but takes them up a notch. Instead of recording only when it detects sound or motion, the Google Nest monitors your home continuously, 24/7. It lets you view a three-hour snapshot anytime via the app and offers this access without a subscription.
The Google Nest’s motion detection recognizes and will greet familiar faces, and you can also set it to give specific, pre-recorded instructions to delivery drivers. The camera resolution sits on par with Full HD, at 1600 x 2000 pixels on a 4:3 ratio. This quality means images across its 160-degree field of view are clear, and people will appear in full view (from head to toe). The Google Nest can be tricky to install, and it’s not compatible with all transformers, so check before you buy. You may experience notification delays too, but they’re minimal.
Best Privacy: Eufy Security Dual Cam Video Doorbell with HomeBase
HomeBase offers standard local storage
Temperamental motion detection
No wired option
While all doorbell cameras on this list use advanced encryption to offer high levels of privacy, if you want further peace of mind, we recommend the Eufy Security Dual Video Doorbell. Rather than streaming footage to the cloud, this Eufy doorbell comes with a HomeBase where you store footage locally. Its 16GB capacity is enough to hold around three months of video.
The camera’s 2560 x 1920 pixel resolution equates to a 2.5K display, making it one of the highest on this list, and it offers a 160-degree field of view. Thanks to its motion and light sensors, the camera starts recording before a visitor rings the bell, yet in our experience, this motion detection can be temperamental. Although the wireless nature of this doorbell makes it easy to install, if the Wi-Fi cuts out, it will stop working.
Best Cloud Storage: Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell
Dual storage options offer increased privacy
Customizable Alert Zones
Chunky, dated design
Cloud storage requires Dropbox account
The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell may look a little dated, but it offers many advanced, modern features to make up for this. It's one of only a handful of doorbell cameras compatible with Apple HomeKit. Its camera resolution is Full HD 1080-pixel with infrared night vision, meaning visibility is clear at all hours of the day. Its 140-degree field of view is adequate—not the widest in this list, but not the narrowest either—and it comes with zoom and pan features.
Netatmo’s motion detection notifies you when people approach your door, even if they don’t ring the bell, and you can set Alert Zones to make sure intruders can’t sneak up undetected. Built into the camera itself is an 8-gigabyte microSD memory card, or you can save the footage to the cloud via a Dropbox account or file transfer protocol (FTP) server—all without a subscription.
Best Subscription-Free: Eufy T8200 Video Doorbell
2K resolution with Distortion Correction
Facial snapshots and three-second clips with alerts
Low local storage
No cloud storage
If you want a subscription-free doorbell camera, but the Netatmo isn’t to your taste, you may want to try the Eufy Security 2K Video Doorbell. As its name suggests, it has a 2K (2560 x 1920 pixels) resolution, with a 160-degree field of view. This video quality, coupled with a Distortion Correction feature, makes images look detailed and sharp. The camera also uses built-in artificial intelligence (AI) technology to detect body shapes and face patterns to avoid false alerts.
When a notification triggers, the Eufy camera automatically captures and shares a snapshot of the person’s face and a three-second recording of what happened before sending the alert. All images and video are stored locally via a built-in 4-gigabyte memory card on the camera itself, which helps keep your footage private. However, this capacity is limited, and no cloud storage option exists for expanding it.
Best for HomeKit: Logitech Circle View Wired Doorbell
Color night vision
10-day video recordings
Limited smart home compatibility
No local storage
Subscription required for recording history
Few doorbell cameras are compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, but among those which are, the Logitech Circle View offers the most features and value for money. Powered by Apple HomeKit Secure Video, this doorbell comes with facial recognition, head-to-toe HD video, and color night vision.
It's one of the most compact and slim video doorbells on this list, yet still offers a wide 160-degree view in 1200 x 1600 pixel HDR resolution. Once you’ve set up your Circle View Doorbell in the Home app, you can access live view with two-way audio and see up to 10 days of recorded video on any Apple device. However, you need to have a supported iCloud+ subscription for this privilege. You can also view and control the doorbell using your voice via Siri if you prefer.
What to Look For in a Doorbell Camera
The benefit of battery-operated doorbells is that they don’t require any electrical know-how to install. You simply mount them onto your door or wall, turn them on and sign in to the relevant app to activate. They will also work if your power goes down, unlike wired options. This design makes them ideal for renters or people who aren’t into DIY projects. The downside is that you need to recharge them regularly, which is, on average, every six months or so, depending on their usage.
You don’t need to charge wired doorbells, but their installation is more difficult. You can connect the video doorbell to your existing wiring if you already have a doorbell. You can usually do this yourself as long as you follow the instructions and turn off the electricity beforehand. If you don’t currently have a doorbell and use a doorbell camera requires more advanced electrical knowledge, we recommend you seek expert help.
The higher your doorbell camera's resolution, the clearer the image should be and the easier it becomes to identify who is at or near your door. Most camera resolutions range from high definition (HD) at the lower end of the spectrum, up to 2K (2560 x 1920 pixels). Some more expensive models offer 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels), while you can also pay significantly less for standard definition (SD) cameras.
If you're using a smart doorbell for notifications, two-way audio, or as an anti-theft deterrent, you can get away with a lower resolution mode around the 480-pixel mark. However, if being able to monitor your property and see visitors clearly is important, we recommend you pay extra for a camera with a resolution of at least 720 pixels, but ideally one with a Full HD 1080-pixel resolution. This quality will give you a clearer picture of who's at your front door and provide more peace of mind if you frequently have unfamiliar faces stopping by.
Field of View
While a resolution determines how clear the images are, a camera’s field of view (FOV) governs how much of your porch, garden, or wider property is visible. As with resolution, the higher the field of view, the better. If a camera only lists one number when describing FOV, it means that the image is square. For example, a 150-degree camera has a viewing angle of 150 degrees both horizontally and vertically. If the camera has a different aspect ratio, the manufacturer lists the individual horizontal and vertical angles.
Look for a FOV of at least 120 degrees on the horizontal. Models with a 180-degree FOV are best, while basic, cheaper video doorbells can drop as low as 90-degree FOV. On these cheaper, 90-degree models, you can only view see the area immediately in front of the doorbell. You won't be able to see a visitor standing to the left or right of the camera. The vertical angle is less critical, but a head-to-toe camera with a larger vertical viewing angle helps cover a wider area. This extra coverage could be helpful if you want to check on packages on your porch.
Basic doorbell cameras with local storage typically have a capacity of 4 to 8 gigabytes of data, which equates to around a week to two weeks’ worth of footage. This limited capacity requires regularly clearing the card or transferring the saved data onto a computer. More expensive cameras offer up to 16 gigabytes of storage, or they allow you to use a personal microSD card with capacities up to 1 terabyte, which equals 1000 gigabytes.
Local storage options are more secure and offer more privacy, but they can be limited. Cloud storage options are more versatile but usually more expensive. Some companies charge a flat monthly or yearly fee for storing images and video in the cloud for a limited time. This period can typically range from 24 hours up to 30 days. After which time, the service will permanently delete the footage.
How do doorbell cameras work?
A doorbell camera alerts users "through a mobile device when someone arrives at their door," says Lewis. "This can be when a visitor presses the doorbell, or if they're detected by intelligent movement sensors." These cameras use sensors to spot movement around your front door or wider property before using cameras to capture images of the people, animals, or objects that triggered the alert. Once you receive a notification, you can view the camera live and in real-time and speak to the visitor via a two-way intercom system.
Some cameras begin recording a few seconds ahead of issuing an alert so you can see what was happening before the person rang the bell or approached your property. Being able to answer the door remotely is ideal if you're out of the house or can't get to the door.
What types of doorbell cameras are there?
Doorbell cameras range from simple doorbells with video functionality to advanced, high-resolution video doorbells with motion sensors, sirens, two-way audio, and customizable privacy zones and alerts powered by AI. Many more advanced cameras are compatible with smart speakers and other smart home devices, meaning you can ask Alexa to show you your front door via an Amazon Echo Show device or see live alerts on your smart TV.
These various doorbell camera types fall into two power categories—battery-powered or hardwired—and offer local storage via microSD card or cloud storage. All doorbell cameras require an active Wi-Fi network to work.
How do you install a doorbell camera?
Wireless doorbell cameras are the most straightforward to install because they don't require electrical wiring, transformers, or other parts of hardwired installation. You just need to mount the unit's baseplate and follow the manufacturer’s directions to position the camera securely. Wired doorbell cameras are a little more complex. If you plan to install yours yourself, some electrical knowledge is helpful. If you have any trouble, you may need to enlist an electrician to help get it up and running.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Victoria Woollaston is a freelance science, technology, and lifestyle editor with more than a decade’s experience testing and reviewing consumer products. She’s had first-hand experience with the majority of doorbell cameras on this list, as well as a number of others from different brands. She has the Ring Video Doorbell 3 installed in her home, and it’s connected to her Amazon Echo Show 8 in her kitchen.
To learn more about how video doorbells work and the features to look out for, Woollaston got advice from Chris Lewis, a security expert and CEO of The Chris Lewis Group. Using these insights, she looked for high-resolution video doorbells with wide viewing angles and a range of storage and power options to suit a variety of homes, needs, and budgets. She prioritized doorbells that offered video and audio features with motion detection.