Smart Doorbell Cameras

smart doorbell

Smart Doorbell Cameras

A smart doorbell lets you monitor who’s at your doorstep, even when you aren’t home. They can replace existing wired doorbells or work wirelessly using battery power.

Google’s Nest combines great alert latency with free smart detection that ignores smart doorbell people, packages, possums, and vehicles, and three hours of local storage (for no extra cost). Eufy offers similar functionality for cheaper with six months of storage.


A smart doorbell camera (also called a video doorbell) captures both video and audio in one unit. Depending on the model you choose, it will either save footage locally in its built-in micro-SD card or remotely through a cloud server. The best models also offer a backup cellular connection or landline to keep your doorbell working during power outages.

Many homeowners choose to install a smart video doorbell to help combat so-called porch pirates, who steal packages from front porches when the owner is not home. You can prevent this crime by enabling your smart doorbell to notify you of any motion on the front porch and using two-way audio to ask the delivery driver to leave your package in a secure location until you are home.

When you purchase a smart doorbell, make sure it has night vision capabilities so that you can see who is on your front porch even after the sun goes down. You can also look for a model that has a weatherproof design, so it will not melt in the summer or freeze in the winter.

A smart doorbell can give you peace of mind whether you are at work, out with the kids or on vacation. You can use your smartphone to check that the children came home from school, the dog sitter showed up to walk the dog or that your guest is who they say they are. If you want to be even more confident that your home is secure, consider pairing it with a dedicated security camera.


If you’re worried about porch pirates or just want to be able to talk with your guests without having to answer the door, smart video doorbells offer an added level of convenience. The best models have two-way communication capabilities, allowing you to communicate with visitors through your smartphone. This feature is especially helpful if you have mobility issues, as it lets you save time and doesn’t force you to open the door.

Many smart doorbells come with motion sensing, allowing them to begin recording video automatically when someone approaches your home. This allows you to avoid unwanted solicitors or even catch your dog walker if you’ve left them a key. It’s also reassuring to know you can check who is at the door even if you’re inside on the couch or out of town.

Some smart doorbells require a subscription for cloud video storage or to enable some features, while others use built-in memory to store footage locally. For example, the Nest Hello requires a monthly fee for its basic functionality. But, it does stand out with free smart detection that monitors dozens of events each day, including passing cars and neighborhood cats. The Eufy Video Doorbell Dual has a similar feature set, but relies on 4GB of on-board storage to keep the data local instead of relying on internet bandwidth to operate.


Doorbells are an integral part of home security systems, letting you know when someone is at your front door—even if you’re not there to see them. Smart doorbells add more functionality by giving you the smart doorbell option to view a live video feed of visitors and communicate with them through two-way audio.

Some smart doorbells also include motion sensors to detect any movement on your porch and notify you. This feature is especially useful when you’re expecting a package delivery or are worried about burglars targeting your doorstep. Some also offer features such as face and parcel recognition, giving you more options to choose how you answer your door or tell a pet sitter where to leave a package.

Some of the best smart doorbells have a camera that automatically records any activity it detects, while others store footage on a microSD card or in the cloud for a fee. Be sure to check the camera’s storage settings and read reviews to make sure you’re happy with your choice. Some video doorbells will delete recorded video after a certain period of time, which can be a good thing if you don’t want to keep it around. Other models will save recorded footage to a device such as a smartphone, but this means your privacy is potentially compromised. Look for a model that uses secure encryption and has been vetted by third-party experts like the ICO or FBI to avoid data breaches.


When someone approaches your home, a smart doorbell notifies you through an app on your smartphone or integration with a hub like the Vivint Smart Hub. It can also let you communicate with a visitor through two-way audio, and some models offer features such as face recognition or parcel detection to see what’s arriving on your doorstep before you open the door.

A few smart doorbell cameras also add a safety component, providing e911 calling to connect you with first responders. That’s a feature we particularly value, since it might help prevent crime when you’re away from home and doesn’t rely on your phone signal to work. Arlo stands out as the only smart doorbell camera we’ve tested that offers this option with a subscription, though it costs $8 more per month than the plan for Nest’s e911 extra.

You’ll also want to consider whether a video doorbell camera relies on cloud storage or keeps recordings locally on the device itself. A few options like the Nest Hello and Eufy use local storage to keep footage safe from theft, but the trade-off is that you don’t have access to it if your internet connection goes down. Some smart doorbells also support voice assistant integration and display their live feed on Alexa devices with a screen, such as the Nest Hub Max or Arlo Pro.

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