Smart Doorbells With Cameras

smart doorbell

Smart Doorbells With Cameras

The best smart doorbells let you see and talk to visitors via two-way communication on your smartphone (similar to an intercom) without opening the door. Some also offer security features like motion sensors and video storage.

A top pick is the Lorex LB200, which earns good scores for data privacy and video quality and offers affordable local storage instead of cloud storage. It has activity zones and a person detection feature to cut down on unnecessary alerts.


Many smart doorbell cameras function as traditional devices that chime when someone presses the button, but some offer additional security features. These include remote monitoring (often with two-way audio), which can help you screen visitors such as solicitors or porch pirates, even if you’re not home. Some models also provide automatic alerts to your smartphone when motion is detected, with some allowing you to arm or disarm your whole home’s security system, as well as view recorded video clips.

In addition to keeping you safe from unwanted solicitors and other unwelcome guests, a good quality smart doorbell can also help you protect your property against thieves who target home delivery shipments for theft. These criminals, known as porch pirates, often wait until a delivery is left on the front step of an absent house, then run up and grab it before it can be returned to the sender. Doorbell cameras can help you keep an eye on your porch and capture evidence when a package is stolen.

Look for a smart doorbell that offers high-quality video, night vision to make sure you can see what’s going on at night, weather smart doorbell resistance so it stands up to rain or snow, and integration with other devices such as lights that turn on when motion is detected. Most importantly, choose a model that works with the smart assistant you already use in your home.


The convenience of smart doorbells is that you can see who’s on your doorstep, even when you aren’t home. Some models have two-way audio for talking with visitors or scaring off porch pirates. Others connect to a smartphone app for remote monitoring and allowing you to check in on the kids after school or call the dog sitter to confirm she came by to walk your pooch.

Most models include motion detection and allow you to set designated zones and sensitivity settings to cut down on unwanted notifications or false alarms. Some have night vision to enhance visibility in low lighting conditions. Many also come with an attractive weather-resistant design to withstand common outdoor elements like rain, snow and wind. A few smart doorbells have the ability to integrate with other components of your home, such as lights or a security system for more protection and peace of mind.

One major consideration when selecting a smart doorbell is whether you want built-in memory or cloud video recording. While Google Nest and some other models require a subscription and use the internet for storage, Netatmo’s model includes free activity zones and up to three hours of event-based recordings, which cuts down on the need for cloud service (and monthly fees). Arlo doorbells, meanwhile, are battery powered and work with existing chimes or plug into an Amazon Echo or Google Nest smart speaker to notify you of a visitor.

Animal Control

Whether you’re curled up on the couch or sunning on the beach, you can always check who’s at your door with a smart doorbell. The most advanced options feature a camera, so you can see who’s there without opening the door. Many also have two-way talk, night vision, and HD video resolution. They can also be integrated with your voice-controlled smart assistant.

The best smart doorbells are weatherproof, so they can handle snow, rain, and hot or cold temperatures. They’re also easy to keep charged, with some offering low-energy mode for power savings.

Most of the models we test offer cloud storage for up to three hours, though some require a paid subscription for unlimited recordings or e911 emergency calling services. These subscriptions range from $10 to $50 per month for one or more cameras, depending on the features you choose and the amount of cloud storage you need.

The best value in our ratings is the SimpliSafe Doorbell Pro SS3 (Wired). It’s a battery-powered model that can store smart doorbell up to an hour of video locally, and it has an option for cloud storage with no monthly fee. Its face recognition works great, so you can tell the dogwalker from the delivery guy. It’s also a good choice for people who prefer to avoid monthly fees, as the base price is lower than Ring and Arlo’s plans and twice as low as Wyze’s plan.

Access Control

A smart doorbell with a camera is an easy way to stay connected to your front porch when you’re away from home. Most of these devices can send you an alert when someone approaches the door and give you a live video stream to see who’s there. Some can even provide face recognition capabilities to let you know if it’s the delivery man or a criminal who’s on your doorstep.

Many smart doorbells also have two-way audio capabilities to allow you to communicate with visitors from anywhere in your home. This lets you tell a delivery person to leave a package in a more discreet spot, for example, or speak to neighbors in a noisy neighborhood. Some can also play prerecorded messages to scare off a would-be burglar or other intruder. Many of these devices are compatible with smart home security systems, so you can arm or disarm your whole home’s system with a single app and receive notifications about events at your door.

The Netatmo Smart Doorbell Camera is one of the few models in our ratings that supports Apple HomeKit, which means you can employ your iOS devices — like your iPhone or iPad — to answer your door, view a live video stream and more. It’s expensive, but it has a range of smart design features and captures video in sharp 1080p resolution in HDR.

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