Let’s face it; smart technology is here with us folks, and now, it’s going a notch higher. If have always been in love with the ‘knock-knock’ jokes, then we are sorry to disappoint you with the new technology in the name of video doorbells. All your jokes will now fall flat since the owner will already know who is at the door. Smart Home technology has only been around for the past ten years. During this short period, great strides have been made to ensure homes are at par with the ever-changing innovations.
Video doorbells work the same way you would with conventional door buzzers. The only difference is that they have a visual feed. Here, you can transmit video feeds through your phone, tablet or PC. What’s more, video doorbells come with built-in microphones which allow you to converse with your visitor.
Although the technology is relatively new, it is gaining popularity in Smart Homes and becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. Video doorbells also double up as security tools since you can keep an eye on your premises even while away. As a homeowner, the technology gives you the upper hand as you can choose who to admit into your house without necessarily getting to the door first. In case of a potential intruder, you can easily take the necessary steps to prevent a home invasion before it happens.
Video doorbells come with motion detection sensors. Anytime a person or moving object stirs within the camera’s range, a notification is immediately sent to the homeowner. Just like all technological innovations, video doorbells come with various features which set them apart.
Here are some of the best video doorbells currently on the market;
Top 10 Video Doorbells of 2020 Reviewed
1. Ring Video Doorbell 2
- Attractive slim design
- Easy to set-up
- Can be set up anywhere
- Notification sound is irritating
- Security screw is easily accessible
- Slow response time
Best Video Doorbell for Compatibility
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is compatible with tablets, phones and PC’s. It allows you to watch your doorstep at all times, from any location. This is made possible via a Live View on demand option and streaming of 1080p HD images. With in-built motion sensors, real-time alerts are sent to your phone whenever the sensors are triggered or the door bell is pressed.
The video doorbell is also fitted with an in-built microphone and speakers with noise cancellation features. Through a two-way audio system, you can talk to your visitors from inside the house, or your current location.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is battery-powered which eliminates unsightly wires. It comes with a quick release battery pack. This means you don’t need to remove the entire device to change the batteries. The pack also comes with two interchangeable face plates. The motion sensors can be adjustable to various levels to suit your needs. When combined with the Alexa app, it opens up an entire array of other features such as a hands-free option, enhanced notifications among others.
2. Ring Video Doorbell with HD Video
- High quality video images
- Holds charge for a long time
- Quality lithium batteries
- A little thick in build
- Has issues with 5G network
- Large cars affect the motion sensors even when far away
Best Video Doorbell for all-round protection
It takes approximately five minutes to install the Ring Video Doorbell with HD video. Compatible with all your electronic devices, it comes with a wide angle view and 720hp resolution. To ensure all-round protection for your property, the doorbell features infrared night vision capabilities. Notifications on your phone are instant when the doorbell is pressed or the motion sensors are activated.
From anywhere in the world, you can get on-demand video and audio feeds at the touch of a button courtesy of Live View. A two-way communication system with an in-built microphone and speakers makes communication easy and instant.
The motion detectors can be adjusted to various levels to enhance security. With the use of Alexa, you can unlock voice recognition features. This is where the system recognizes your voice and responds to voice commands. This unit comes in a wide range of colors to choose from.
3. Mountdog Video Doorbell
- Easy to install and requires little maintenance
- Video transmission is fast as it is fitted with a high-speed video processor
- In-built infrared allows recording of HD videos at night
- Does not connect with 5G WI-FI
- Not compatible with Alexa
- The doorbell rings both inside and outside the house
Best Video Doorbell for low maintenance
Built with a unique design, the Mountdog Video doorbell features a two-way audio communication system, with noise cancellation. The noise cancellation feature enhances audio quality and clarity as it blocks off background noises. The video feed is a one-way channel and is compatible with Smartphone’s, iOS, Android, tablets and PC systems.
While most video doorbells require you to subscribe to cloud and pay for the service, Mountdog offers it for free. Videos can be stored for up to seven days for free. Mountdog also has an expanded internal storage capacity of 16GB, in the form of an SD card.
The motion detectors of the Mountdog Video Doorbell are super-sensitive and can detect the slightest of movements. Even before the doorbell is pressed, you will have received an alert on your device announcing a visitor. What’s more, the sensor’s sensitivity levels can be adjusted to suit your preference. The video doorbell comes with two sources of power; AC supply and two rechargeable batteries. On a full charge, the batteries can provide uninterrupted power for up to six months.
4. Simplisafe 10 Piece Wireless Home Security System
- Easy to set up
- Wireless connectivity
- Unit can be customized
- The in-built siren is not loud
- The unit has no heat sensors
- No sensor available for a garage door
Best Video Doorbell for full-package security
Simplisafe is an entire security system for your home. Instead of just providing a video doorbell, the package comes with extra security accessories to cover your entire home. Apart from monitoring your front door, Simplisafe provides a total of six detectors than can be placed in strategic locations around your home; indoors and outdoors.
The package includes; a base station complete with a siren, a panic button that automatically alerts the police when pressed, a HD enabled video doorbell, a motion sensor, four entry sensors, security stickers for your windows and a yard sign. Monitoring for the first month is done by the company free of charge.
The security system has a 24-hour power backup unit in case normal supply is interrupted. The video doorbell keypad is burglar-proof, while the camera is secured inside a stainless steel shutter. The Simplisafe unit is capable of using either cellular or WI-FI connections to ensure you can watch your home at all times.
5. Eufy Security WI-FI Video Doorbell
- No video storage subscription required
- Provides facial snapshots of visitors before the main alert
- The unit’s hardware heats up
- Video doorbell surface scratches easily even with careful handling
- App does not provide constant stability especially when live streaming
Best Video Doorbell for high resolution
Standing out with its sleek, slim design, the Eufy video doorbell comes with a high-resolution video camera which transmits crystal clear videos and images. The camera has a 160-degree view and a 4:3 aspect ratio, to capture a wide angle view of your front door. Equipped with HDR imaging, the video clarity is not compromised by varying shades of backlight or darkness.
Instead of storing recorded footage on cloud, the Eufy unit comes with a 4GB internal memor and an encryption feature to protect the footage in storage or when sharing. The camera is also equipped with a face and human recognition feature to avoid sending unnecessary alerts.
For easier communication, you can pre-record up to three instruction messages to play for your visitors. You can also zone your front porch, and leave out areas you do not deem necessary for the motion detectors to cover. If you are upgrading from a traditional doorbell to video doorbell, Eufy can work with the existing doorbell wiring.
6. Remobell S WI-FI Video Doorbell Camera
- Works with all major apps
- Motion detectors can be integrated with blinking lights
- Only uses AC for power
- No rechargeable battery power option
- Oversensitive motion detectors can trigger false alarms
Best Video Doorbell for weather resistance
The Remobell video doorbell is rectangular with smooth rounded edges. The doorbell button is located at the bottom of the unit in the form of a round silver button. The camera is large and circular, equipped with high-resolution to produce clear videos and images in any weather conditions, even at night.
The camera captures a wide 180-degree view angle, supported by motion sensors that send alerts to your phone when triggered. A two-way communication system allows you to speak to your visitors through an app that is compatible with all major systems including iPhones.
Saving your videos to cloud for three days is free with Remobell S WI-FI Video Doorbell Camera. A subscription plan is also available if you prefer your videos to be stored longer than the three-day free period. Compared to other video doorbells that limit access to one person only, Remobell can be used by a maximum of five people simultaneously.
7. 1byone Video Intercom System
- Does not require apps or software to operate
- Comes with double lock features
- Does not require internet
- Connected by wires
- No motion sensors
- Fixed, non-portable monitor
Best Video Doorbell for two-way video channel
Fitted with a HD camera for crisp, clear images, the 1byone video intercom is also equipped with a 7-inch color monitor. A majority of video doorbells are equipped with a one-way video channel the homeowner is the only one with a visual on the visitor. The monitor provides a unique two-way video channel. What’s more, the guest and host can see each other while conversing.
The intercom’s camera provides a 120-degree view angle of your front door and comes with infrared to transmit clear images even when darkness sets in. The unit’s internal memory can be expanded up to 1GB to provide additional video storage space. A button located on the monitor’s side allows you to get a glimpse of the camera’s images.
For durability, the front panel of the video doorbell is constructed using aluminum, which also secures the unit against vandals. The panel additionally shields the intercom from elements of weather. Set up takes a few minutes and comes in a 2-wire format. The connection cable measures 49ft.
8. 1August Doorbell Cam Pro
- Equipped with a Hindsight feature that records videos before alerts are sent
- Well designed app and hardware
- Two-color options to choose from; grey and silver
- The camera has a narrow view
- You cannot zone motion sensor areas
- Cloud storage package is expensive
Best Video Doorbell for easy installation
The August video doorbell is one of the most advanced security units. This is thanks to its ability to easily get integrated with other systems such as Smart locks among others. You will love the fact that the set up is simple as the video doorbell’s app allows you to install the camera feature first, and then provides a step-by-step installation tutorial.
The unit features a large round-shaped button, fully ringed with LEDs. The LED lights are linked to the motion sensors and switch on whenever the detectors are triggered. What’s more, you can adjust the brightness of the LED lights. The video quality is great and comes in live HD. Apart from clear visuals; the videos are accompanied by audio. The built-in LED lights enable the camera to capture quality full-color visuals at night.
Real-time alerts are sent to your phone immediately the motion sensors detect movement. You can adjust the sensitivity of the sensors and customize only to receive important alerts. A two-way audio communication system is also in place to talk to visitors.
9. Anboson 7-inch Wired Video Doorbell
- Does not require apps or WI-FI
- Straight forward installation
- Cannot record footage
- Unclear instruction manual
- Can only handle one monitor
Best Video Doorbell for low lighting
The Anboson 7-inch Wired Video Doorbell stands out with its efficiency. Once a visitor at your doorstep pushes the ring button that comes with this video doorbell, it sets off a series of events. The 7-inch indoor monitor the video doorbell comes with lights up and transmits a live video feed of the visitor. This is made possible by an outdoor HD camera.
A call button located below the screen of the monitor enables you to talk to the visitor. The camera is also equipped with infrared to function well with low lighting and in darkness. It also provides clear images which make visitor identification easy. Notably, the high-resolution monitor is hands-free and can be integrated with electric door locking and unlocking functions.
Just like a TV set, the monitor’s color, contrast, brightness and volume can be adjusted. You can also select your preferred doorbell chime from a choice of 16 ringtones available. The monitor and doorbell are constructed using hard and durable plastic. An instruction set-up manual comes with the unit.
10. Honeywell Skybell Slim Design Video Doorbell
- Equipped with 500MB of internal storage
- Simple installation
- Features can be easily customized
- App navigation requires a little getting used to
- Over-sensitive motion detector
- The mounting bracket may not be compatible with some doorbells
Best Video Doorbell for expanded storage
The slim designed Honeywell video doorbell is a reliable unit built for convenience and fitted with easy-to-use features. The camera that comes with this product streams high definition videos making it easy to identify visitors. The two-way communication system produces clear audio quality and is equipped with microphones and speakers of excellent quality.
The doorbell is constructed using a weatherproof casing that can withstand temperatures ranging from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This guarantees durability. You will like the fact that the app that comes with the Honeywell video bell is compatible with all operating systems such as iOS, Android and Apple.
The motion sensors of this unit are extremely sensitive and equipped with face and human recognition features. The system sends the homeowner an alert of an approaching visitor. For nighttime safety, the camera is fitted with a full-color night vision system.
How to Choose the Best Video Doorbell – Buying Guide
For you to make an informed decision on the type and make of the video doorbell you plan to purchase, it is good to understand what to look out for. This goes a long way in narrowing down your search. When choosing the best video doorbell, you should consider the most important features that will add value to your home. These may include power source, backup system, pre-programmed menu, night vision capabilities, and how the system gels with other smart home devices already in use.
We understand how it can be challenging trying to figure out the best video doorbell for your home. You need not worry anymore; here is as a checklist for the most important functions that should be in a quality video doorbell.
1. The standout features
At the end of the day, ask yourself, “what do you want a video doorbell to achieve?” For example, probably you host family or friends frequently, even when you are not around. A video doorbell offers peace of mind, and you can monitor your front door at any time. A smart lock can complement a video doorbell as it allows you to open your front door to visitors even when you are miles away. Depending on your lifestyle, mannerisms and overall nature opt for a video doorbell that supports your homely habits.
Come to think of it; a video doorbell is not the ultimate answer to all your security problems. It only acts as a supplement to already existing systems like alarms and CCTV cameras. Below are the most important features a quality video doorbell should possess;
Most video doorbells have this feature. A visitor does not have to reach the doorbell before you are alerted of their presence. The level of sensitivity on different video doorbells varies. For example, some video doorbells will alert you even when a visitor leaves your doorstep. For others, you can adjust the level of sensitivity on the device.
For other such doorbells, you may opt to map out the area of your front porch that you would like covered by the motion detectors. This helps in preventing unnecessary notifications like those from falling leaves, stray cats, or trees swaying in the wind. The mapping feature also comes in handy if your home is located near a busy street.
This refers to the clarity of the image feed; the higher the resolution, the clearer the video image. Resolutions may range from as low as 480p to as high as 1080p. It is worth noting, however, that resolution works hand in hand with the ability of a camera to adjust to varying light levels. This means if you buy a video doorbell with a high resolution, but with poor light adjustment, the images you receive will be of poor quality.
Field of view
This refers to the area the doorbell’s camera captures. It is determined by the location of the video doorbell and the angle. For example, a video doorbell with a 180-degree angle, will capture the entire front section of your front porch, and still cover the sides. A 90-degree angle will capture the front part, and a tiny portion of the side. So simply put, the wider the view, the better. Whenever possible, go for a camera with a 180-degree view.
A lot can happen under the cover of darkness. It is, therefore, important to have a clear view of your doorstep for enhanced security, especially during the winter season when darkness sets in early. A video doorbell with night vision and infrared capabilities will work magic on this front. Cameras are equipped with different levels of night vision adjustment features. This, therefore, means no matter how dark it gets, you can adjust your camera accordingly to provide clear images. Other video doorbells adjust automatically to their environment.
As mentioned earlier, communication is a vital benefit of video doorbells. The enabler is a two-way in-built audio system which allows you to talk to your visitors and find out the purpose of their visit. The audio system also allows you to hear the sounds of your neighborhood. For instance, you can hear your neighbor driving off, or hear a stray cat roaming on your front porch.
Once motion sensors detect activity, an alert is sent to your mobile phone in real-time so you can respond appropriately. The alert is sent by the app and informs you of the specific type of movement detected. The app, therefore, plays a central role in the video doorbell system. Ensure the video doorbell you intend to purchase comes with a reliable app or can work with other established apps. This prevents situations of delayed notifications already overtaken by time.
2. Consider its Appearance
Apart from up-to-date features, your video doorbell should look aesthetically good on your front door. It should not protrude too much from the door’s frame. If you are undertaking an upgrade, compare the device you are replacing it with your new preference. Avoid scenarios where the mounting is supported by objects such as pieces of wood or adhesive tape. There should also be no wires sticking out. Your front door acts as the gateway to your home and a good first impression when somebody approaches your front porch is important. When shopping for a video doorbell, ensure it compliments the dimensions and color of your door’s frame.
3. Ease of Installation
Some video doorbells require professionals to set-up, while others are in the DIY category. To avoid extra costs, choose one that you can install yourself. Before you begin the installation, confirm the range of WI-FI connectivity. You can easily do this using your phone. Check if the WI-FI connection is active at the spot you plan to mount your video doorbell. If your phone is connected, then you can go ahead. However, if there is no connection, then you need to consider a different location to mount your video doorbell.
4. System Integration
Smart Homeowners tend to have various other devices at their disposal. Some video doorbells can easily be integrated to work with other devices. This is made possible by the systems being compatible with various applications. It is convenient to have a single app to control all your smart devices. Ensure, therefore, that the video doorbell you plan to purchase will be integrated with the rest of your Smart Home appliances under the roof of a single app. Remember, the app you choose should have fast loading times as well.
5. Power source
Video doorbells come with two power options; wired or battery powered. If you did not have a conventional doorbell prior, then a battery-powered video doorbell will be your best bet. If you prefer the wired option, a majority of video doorbell installation packs come with the required accessories such as adapters with the relevant outputs. Others can be connected to back-up systems. In the event of a power outage, your video doorbell will continue working.
6. Cloud storage ability
There is rarely sufficient space to store all the recordings of video doorbells. It is, therefore vital to have a cloud storage option. In such a case, recorded videos are conveniently stored in the cloud for around 30 days. During that time, you can access the recordings and review them. In case of an incidence of burglary or vandalism, you will have sufficient evidence either to press charges, pursue compensation or both. Another option is to purchase a video doorbell equipped with a built-in expandable internal memory.
7. Weather resistance for durability
A video doorbell is an outdoor device. It is exposed to the various elements of weather ranging from hot temperatures, strong winds to freezing and wet conditions. A quality video doorbell should, therefore, be able to withstand the changing seasons and remain operational. Most manufacturers counter the effects of weather by installing hardware that can handle the climate. Not all video doorbells are fitted with this technology though, and it is always advisable to confirm its presence. The weather-resistant hardware should extend to the functions of the camera as well. Others have outer casings constructed using weatherproof materials such as aluminum and stainless steel.
8. What are the costs involved?
The cost of a video doorbell entirely depends on the features that come with the unit, brand and the extras. The first considerations concerning cost will boil down to how much you are willing to spend, what features you prefer and if you are willing to pay more for extras. The costs of wired and wireless video doorbells also vary. Luckily, due to the numerous products on the market, there is a video doorbell for every budget.
As a Smart Homeowner, it is your responsibility to secure your property, both indoors and outdoors. The means to the end may vary, but the main objective always remains the same. A video doorbell is the kind of device you will install, and later wonder how you ever survived without it. Remember, you cannot put a price tag on peace of mind and knowing you have eyes on your property even when you are not physically present. There is no harm in doing everything within your power to protect your home and your loved ones.