A video doorbell is a great way to see who is at your door without having to go to the door yourself. With package deliveries on the rise and concerns over home security, video doorbells are more popular than ever. This comprehensive guide will explore the ins and outs of video doorbells to help you choose the best one for monitoring deliveries and visitors.
An Introduction to Video Doorbells
A video doorbell is a doorbell that comes with a camera to give you a video feed of who is at your door. When someone rings the doorbell or triggers the motion sensor, you receive an alert on your smartphone or other connected device. This allows you to see and speak with visitors remotely using two-way audio.
Video doorbells are useful for keeping an eye on expected deliveries and visitors when you aren’t home. The cameras typically offer high definition video for a clear view. They can be wired into your existing doorbell wiring or powered by built-in batteries for simple installation.
With features like night vision, adjustable motion detection zones, and AI facial recognition, video doorbells provide security and convenience. Keep reading to learn what to look for when choosing one.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Video Doorbell
There are several key factors to evaluate when choosing a video doorbell for your home:
Look for 1080p HD video or higher for the clearest view of visitors. A wide field of view up to 180° is also ideal.
Video doorbells are either wired into your existing doorbell wiring or battery-powered. Wired models are more reliable but battery models are easier to install.
Alerts to your phone or device when the doorbell detects motion or is pressed. Smart alerts distinguish between people, animals, and packages.
Field of View
A wide field of view (140° to 180°) allows you to see more of the doorway and yard.
Infrared night vision enables clear video even in low lighting conditions.
Communicate directly with visitors using the doorbell’s built-in microphone and speaker.
Doorbells offer cloud storage plans or local storage like a microSD card to store video recordings.
Ensure the doorbell is compatible with your existing doorbell wiring system or WiFi setup. Also check compatibility with smart home platforms.
Taking these factors into account will help you select the ideal video doorbell for your needs and budget.
The Top 7 Video Doorbells of 2023
After extensive hands-on testing and research, these are the top 7 video doorbells of 2023 for keeping tabs on deliveries and visitors:
| Video Doorbell | Key Features |
| Ring Video Doorbell 4 |
- 1080p HD video
- Color night vision mode
- Dual-band 2.4/5 GHz WiFi
- Quick Replies for Alexa
- Affordable price
| Arlo Wire-Free Video Doorbell |
- 1:1 aspect ratio
- HDR video
- 180° diagonal field of view
- Pre-recorded quick replies
- Works off WiFi
| Nest Doorbell (battery) |
- Head-to-toe person detection
- 24/7 continuous recording
- 3 hour battery life
- Familiar Faces alerts
- Google Assistant built-in
| Eufy Security Video Doorbell Dual |
- 2K Ultra HD video
- No monthly fees
- Local storage with HomeBase
- AI facial recognition
- 160° field of view
| Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 |
- Head-to-toe view with 3D Motion Detection
- 1536p HD video
- Customizable privacy zones
- Alexa Greetings
- 5 GHz WiFi for reduced interference
| August Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Cam |
- 1440p HD video
- 145° field of view
- Alexa and Google Assistant integration
- Free 24 hour video history
- ADA Compliant
| Logitech Circle View Doorbell |
- 1080p HD video
- 160° diagonal field of view
- Night vision up to 10 feet
- 24 hours of free recordings
- Apple HomeKit Secure Video
Now let’s look at each of these top video doorbells in greater detail.
Ring Video Doorbell 4
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 delivers sharp 1080p HD video day and night for under $200. The color night vision mode provides increased visibility in low light versus traditional black and white night vision.
With a 155° field of view and adjustable motion zones, you’ll be able to see visitors from head to toe as well as customize areas you want monitored. It has built-in Alexa functionality for quick voice responses and connects via dual-band WiFi for a reliable signal. Overall, the Ring 4 is a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on features.
Arlo Wire-Free Video Doorbell
The Arlo Wire-Free doorbell stands out for its impressive 1:1 aspect ratio and HDR video quality, delivering a clear head to toe view of visitors. The 180° diagonal field of view shows your entire entryway.
It can connect directly to WiFi without needing an existing doorbell wiring system. You get free 3 month Arlo Smart cloud backups to store recordings. Plus, send pre-recorded quick reply messages to visitors when you can’t answer the door.
Nest Hello Doorbell
Now called the Nest Doorbell (battery), this smart doorbell can recognize people, packages, animals, and vehicles. The intelligent alerts let you know if an unrecognized person is at the door versus a familiar face.
It provides 24/7 continuous video recording when hardwired, or up to 3 hours of battery life for multiple days of brief events. The camera has HDR imaging and night vision. Overall, the Nest Doorbell offers some of the smartest features available.
Eufy Security Video Doorbell Dual
The Eufy Security Video Doorbell Dual is a versatile wired/wireless option offering 2K Ultra HD resolution and advanced AI. It can store recordings locally using the included HomeBase rather than relying on the cloud.
Facial recognition helps identify familiar faces and reduce false alerts. The dual camera design provides a complete view with the 160° field of view and HD night vision. Eufy keeps costs down by avoiding any monthly fees.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
Ring’s Video Doorbell Pro 2 captures video in 1536p HD for their highest video quality yet. The 3D motion detection provides a head-to-toe view of visitors and more accurate motion alerts.
You get customizable privacy zones, Alexa greetings to respond to visitors, and dual-band 5GHz WiFi for a stronger connection. At $249, it’s pricier than the Ring 4 but offers advanced features like pre-roll to see what triggered a motion alert.
August Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Cam
The August Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Cam is an affordable smart doorbell with 24/7 live streaming, two-way audio, and infrared night vision. It natively supports Alexa and Google Assistant for voice controls and smart home integration.
The doorbell provides free 24 hour video histories and activity zones to reduce irrelevant alerts. August ensures the doorbell is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for accessibility. Overall, it punches above its weight given the reasonable price point.
Logitech Circle View Doorbell
Designed exclusively for Apple users, the Logitech Circle View Doorbell features 1080p video, night vision, and 160° field of view. It supports HomeKit Secure Video for accessing clips and recordings right in the Home app.
Facial recognition allows you to create an Activity Zone around the door to reduce unnecessary notifications. With 24 hours of free video history and no monthly fees, it works seamlessly for HomeKit fans on a budget.
Choosing Between Wired or Battery/Wireless Models
One of the biggest decisions is whether you want a wired or battery-powered wireless video doorbell. Here’s an overview of their differences:
- Powered by existing doorbell wiring so no batteries to recharge
- Provides continuous video recording and monitoring
- More reliable WiFi connectivity
- Potentially requires professional installation
- No worries about power outages disabling the doorbell
- Runs off built-in rechargeable battery
- Typically easier DIY installation
- More placement flexibility since no wires required
- Options for solar power or quick swappable battery packs
- Requires periodic battery recharges depending on usage
In summary, wired doorbells tend to be the most full-featured but also costlier and difficult to install. Battery-powered models trade off some of those capabilities for simplicity and flexibility.
Video Doorbell Installation and Setup
Installing a video doorbell will vary based on whether you choose a wired or wireless model but typically only requires common household tools and minimal wiring knowledge.
Here is an overview of the installation process:
Picking an Install Location
Consider your entryway layout, existing doorbell wiring access, WiFi signal strength, and power sources. Most doorbells come with mounting kits and hardware.
Turning Off Power
Shut off power to existing doorbell wiring at the breaker box if hardwiring the new doorbell.
Removing Old Doorbell
If there is an existing doorbell, unscrew the cover plate and carefully remove wiring from old doorbell.
Use included anchors, screws, and spirit level to securely mount new doorbell base to wall or trim.
For wired models, connect the front and transformer wires from your existing wiring to corresponding terminals on doorbell.
Align doorbell on base plate and attach using security screw. This prevents easy removal.
Restore power at breaker and power on doorbell. For battery models, insert the provided battery before mounting.
Connect doorbell to WiFi using the smartphone app. Follow prompts to create account, connect to WiFi, and configure settings.
Press doorbell button or trigger motion sensor to ensure it works properly and connects to your phone with alerts.
With those basics covered, installing a video doorbell is a straightforward DIY project for most homeowners. Expert help may be needed if dealing with complex wiring systems.
Video Doorbell Usage Tips
Here are some top tips to get the most out of your video doorbell for monitoring deliveries and visitors:
- Adjust motion settings – Fine-tune motion zones and sensitivity to reduce false alerts from passing cars or branches moving.
- Customize alerts – Set special alerts for people, packages, familiar faces etc. Mute during high traffic times.
- Use two-way audio – Greet visitors or give instructions to delivery drivers when notified.
- Enable notifications – Be sure alerts and live video calls reach your phone or device when doorbell is pressed.
- Review recordings – Check the activity history in the app regularly in case you miss an alert.
- Share access – Grant access to family or friends to also receive alerts and view the live feed if needed.
- Position wisely – Mount the doorbell in a spot with a wide field of view and optimal lighting.
- Keep software updated – Install app and firmware updates for the latest features and security fixes.
- Clean camera – Gently wipe down the camera lens if it gets dirty to maintain video clarity.
Using these best practices helps you get the most security and convenience benefits from your video doorbell for home deliveries and guests.
Troubleshooting Common Video Doorbell Issues
Despite advances in technology, video doorbells can still encounter problems. Here are some troubleshooting tips for common issues:
Doorbell isn’t getting power
- Check power connections are properly wired
- Clean corrosion from wires with sandpaper
- Test transformer voltage output
- Try swapping in new transformer
WiFi connection is spotty
- Position WiFi router closer to doorbell if possible
- Install WiFi range extender to boost signal
- Enable 5 GHz WiFi for less interference
- Upgrade internet service plan speed
Notifications and live view delays
- Restart your home WiFi router
- Check internet speeds meet minimum requirements
- Update doorbell and app to latest firmware
- Delete and reinstall smartphone app
Motion sensor false alerts
- Adjust motion sensitivity lower
- Customize motion activity zones
- Ensure camera lens is clean and unobstructed
Video quality is poor
- Clean doorbell camera lens
- Enable HD video quality setting
- Improve home WiFi bandwidth
- Adjust Night Vision settings
- Mount doorbell closer to home WiFi router
Person detection not working
- Update doorbell firmware
- Delete and reinstall the app
- Teach facial recognition new faces
- Adjust angle and distance settings
Following basic troubleshooting can solve most common doorbell issues without the need for a professional.
Video Doorbell Security Concerms
While video doorbells improve home security, there are some privacy concerns to consider:
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- Inform visitors – Post signage disclosing recording to alert visitors.
- Disable audio – Turn off two-way talk unless needed.
- Limit WiFi access – Change default admin passwords and update firmware regularly.
- Beware smart home hacks – Isolate doorbell on a separate IoT network if possible.
- Review settings – Turn off facial recognition or other tracking features if not needed.
- Encrypt video – Choose a system with end-to-end encryption for cloud recordings.
- Position wisely – Only focus camera on entryways, not neighboring property.
Being mindful of these concerns will allow you to enjoy your doorbell without compromising privacy.
The Future of Video Doorbells
Video doorbell technology continues advancing quickly. Here are some exciting innovations on the horizon:
- Higher resolution 4K video for clearer detail
- Enhanced smart home integrations like smart locks
- Improved battery efficiency and solar power options
- AI notifications for fires, floods, break-ins and medical emergencies
- Built-in radars for motion tracking even without a camera
- Two-way audio using natural voice commands
- Package-specific compartments for secure deliveries
As video doorbells get smarter, they will offer even more benefits for security, deliveries and convenience.
A video doorbell allows you to safely monitor deliveries and visitors right from your smartphone. Today’s options provide HD video, smart motion alerts, two-way audio and advanced AI features to give you peace of mind.
Carefully compare wired vs wireless models and features like video quality, field of view, night vision, smart alerts and storage options. Top-rated brands like Ring, Arlo, Nest and Eufy offer high-performance modern doorbells.
With this comprehensive guide, you now have the knowledge to select the ideal video doorbell for your needs and budget to keep an eye on your front door from anywhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of a video doorbell?
Video doorbells allow you to see and speak with visitors at your door using your smartphone, providing security and convenience. They enable monitoring deliveries and guests even when not home.
How do you install a video doorbell?
Installation involves mounting the base plate securely, wiring the doorbell to existing doorbell wires, and connecting to WiFi. Battery powered models simply require mounting and WiFi setup without wiring.
How much does a good video doorbell cost?
Expect to pay $100 to $250 for a high quality video doorbell. Premium options with the most advanced features can cost over $250.
Do video doorbells work without existing wiring?
Yes, wireless battery powered video doorbells can be installed without existing doorbell wiring by mounting and connecting to WiFi only.
Do video doorbells capture footage 24/7?
Not continuously. Video is captured when the doorbell button is pressed or motion is triggered, then accessed via app. Some models offer continuous recording options.
What features should I look for in a video doorbell?
Prioritize HD video quality, wide field of view, smart motion detection, night vision, two-way audio, and compatibility with your smartphone and WiFi system.
What are the privacy concerns with video doorbells?
Privacy risks include unauthorized access to video feeds, audio recordings of conversations, and visitor tracking without consent. Proper positioning, settings adjustment, encryption and signage can help mitigate these concerns.
How long do video doorbell batteries last?
It depends on usage, but typical battery life is 1 to 6 months between charges. Low traffic areas and judicious motion detector settings extend battery life. Solar panels can also supplement.
How do I improve my video doorbell’s WiFi connection?
If the WiFi signal is weak, move the WiFi router closer, install a range extender, enable 5GHz WiFi frequency, and upgrade your internet speed plan if needed.
Why does my video doorbell keep having false motion alerts?
This is commonly due to overly sensitive motion settings. Adjust the motion detector zone and lower the sensitivity to reduce false motion triggers from passing cars, animals, wind and other sources.