Are packages getting stolen off your doorstep? Do you have a nosey neighbor that spends a little too much time hovering near your porch? Or maybe those darn kids keep ringing your bell and running away? If so, it might be time to beef up your home’s security with a video doorbell.
Video doorbells are exactly what they sound like. While traditional doorbells leave you blind to who it is that might be visiting until you get to the door, video doorbells provide a live feed that you can watch on your phone. Most also record and store the last several hours or days’ worth of footage in the cloud, which you can access for a monthly subscription fee. In cases of theft or stalking, you’ll have video evidence you can take directly to the police.
Most video doorbells are easy to install and require just a few minutes’ work with a screwdriver before you’re up and running. Typically, they can replace your existing doorbell and draw power from the same power source. Some others are powered by rechargeable battery packs.
The Nest Hello comes equipped with a host of features that make its higher price tag worth it. It has an intercom for two-way audio communication, high-definition video, night vision, and facial recognition. And somehow all of that is squeezed into a slim, futuristic design that fits easily on any doorframe.
Unlike most other video doorbells, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is battery powered, so there are no wires to mess with during installation. The only downsides we saw were increased size and the need to charge the battery every three to six months. It also works with Alexa, if that’s important to you.
HD Silver Doorbell
While other video doorbell companies charge you for access to the video they record and store in the cloud, the SkyBell HD will let you see the last seven days of footage for free. It also looks the most like a traditional doorbell, instead of the HAL9000 aesthetic of some of the others.
Pro Smart Doorbell
SimpliSafe has originally defined itself as a leader in home security devices, and now they have entered the video doorbell game with their SimpliSafe Pro. While it isn’t compatible with your Amazon Echo or Google Home devices, the Pro integrates easily with your other SimpliSafe systems.
Doorbell Cam Pro
A companion app provides an easy-to-follow installation guide. Plus, the doorbell cam pairs with other August home security devices. If you already have or choose to invest in an August Smart Lock as well, you’ll be able to see who’s at the door and let them in (or lock them out) from anywhere in the world.