Best Video Doorbell Cameras of 2021

Today’s doorbell camera gives you extra surveillance and security to keep your home safe. A doorbell camera can do a lot more than sound a chime. Nowadays, a doorbell camera is the No. 1 surveillance feature you need for your home’s security.
Updated May 26, 2021
Written By
Dashia Starr | Home Security Writer
Evaluated over 90 safety products to help you protect what matters most. Check our Methodology

Today’s doorbell camera gives you extra surveillance to help protect your home. It can do a lot more than sound a chime. Nowadays, a doorbell camera is the No. 1 device you need for your security.

  •  Technology moves fast, and doorbell cameras are no exception. As a result, we’ve updated the “features to look for” section with more current and relevant technology to help you better understand the most valuable features.

The best doorbell camera welcomes guests, keeps an eye on packages, and captures suspicious activity from virtually anywhere. All features considered, the Arlo Video Doorbell is our top pick for its Object Detection, Intelligent Alerts, and voice assistant compatibility. Coming in wired and wireless options, it’s the perfect doorbell camera for renters and homeowners alike. 

Looking for the best doorbell camera? Start with the Arlo Video Doorbell. It’s the perfect doorbell camera that gives you smart home control and surveillance at an unbeatable price. But there are many other good options. Take a look at the other top picks to see which one works best for you. 

5 Best Smart Video Doorbells of 2021

Doorbell Camera Deals

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  • Get 15% off Abode accessories with a Starter Kit Order. Use code MEMDAY21
  • Get up to $220 off Arlo on Arlo Pro 3 Spotlight Cameras and up to 20% off Arlo Security Bundles. 
  • Get 40% off Blue by ADT systems with code FLAG40. 
  • Get 30% off a new SimpliSafe system + a FREE camera. 
  • Shop Ring Memorial Day deals starting at $160.
  • Get FREE installation on an ADT video doorbell and outdoor camera. 
  • Shop Frontpoint’s Memorial Day Sale to get 40% off + a FREE doorbell camera. 
  • Get the latest Cove specials and deals to save on systems and equipment. 

Check out more home security deals and limited-time offers.

Deals from these providers are accurate as of May 25, 2021.

Why do I need a doorbell camera?

The traditional peephole only shows a glimpse of what’s on the other side of your door. Video doorbells have one goal in mind — your safety. There are many choices for lenses, audio, and mobile app features. Regardless of which brand you choose, there are a few common benefits you’ll notice almost immediately:

  • Better outside views. No more squinting through the peephole and asking who’s on the other side. With doorbell cameras, you can look before responding to the door using your mobile app. And if you’re uncomfortable answering, most video doorbell cameras will allow you to record the activity or snap a photo to review later.
  • A smarter home. Technology is taking smart homes to a new level with more control. Most video doorbells connect with other smart home devices such as Alexa or smart locks to conveniently control your home through an app, voice commands or built-in control panel for ease.
  • Added home security. With built-in cameras and microphones, you’ll always know exactly who was at your home and when. With a few simple extra security measures, you’ll feel more comfortable knowing who’s at your home even when you’re not.
  • Reduce package theft. Never worry about porch pirates when you’re away. The best video doorbells are equipped with package detection, and others can show you a live view of your home at any time to make sure your package stays put until you get home.  

There are many video doorbell options to choose from. If you’re unsure which one works for your family and home, check out other top video doorbells.

5 Doorbell Camera Features to Look For

We narrowed down the top five features to look for when shopping for the perfect doorbell camera. Not all of these options may be necessary depending on your security needs, but they’re nice to keep in mind when comparing your top choices.
  • Prerecorded messages:

    Whether you’re not home or not accepting visitors, the best doorbell cameras let you send a prerecorded audio message letting guests know you’re unavailable. LOREX, Ring, and Nest offer doorbell cameras with this feature.

  • Package theft:

    Many homeowners add video doorbells to their homes to keep an eye on packages from their phones. Some of the best options, like Vivint, have a package detection feature to alert you when mail arrives and sound an alarm for lurking thieves.

  • Voice assistant compatibility:

    If you have Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, look for a doorbell camera that pairs with your voice assistant for hands-free control. You can use voice commands to answer the door, see, and speak to guests.

  • Color night vision:

    This is a new feature that’s becoming popular. Most doorbell cameras use infrared LED lights to show a black and white view of your phone. Some doorbell cameras have color night vision to give you a better view of what’s happening.

  • Custom activity zones:

    Most doorbell cameras let you select which areas you’d like to receive motion-triggered alerts beyond your porch. Use the app to draw out areas of your yard that you’d like to receive alerts from if there’s any activity.

Installation Requirements to Keep in Mind

While most doorbell cameras can be self-installed, some may require hardwiring. In these cases, you’ll need to turn off your power, find your existing chime box and then install the doorbell. The tools and steps for doorbell camera installation will vary by brand. If you purchase a video doorbell as part of a full home security system that requires professional installation, the device will be set up for you.

Compare the best doorbell cameras

Arlo Video Doorbell

View on Amazon

Lorex 2K QHD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell

View on Lorex

Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro

View on Vivint

ADT Video Doorbell

View on ADT

Ring Video Doorbell Elite

View on Amazon
Safety Score
8.4 7.67.66.85.2
Cost
$199.99 $179$249.99$200$349.99
Smart home compatibility
Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Amazon Alexa
Wired or Wireless
Wired or Wireless WiredWiredWiredWired
Storage
CloudLocal CloudCloudCloud
Installation
DIY DIY ProfessionalProfessional DIY or Professional

The 5 best doorbell cameras

  • Best doorbell camera

    Arlo Video Doorbell

    Our rating

    Our take

    The best doorbell camera is the Arlo Video Doorbell for its next-level security features. It gives customers more control over their home’s security using the Arlo app. You’ll still get smart home control and other popular doorbell camera features. Arlo’s doorbell camera isn’t just about the smart home perks. It has the features needed to help keep you safe. Here’s what we love most: 

    • Object Detection to spot the difference between people, packages, objects and vehicles, so you receive fewer false alerts. 
    • If there is an emergency, Arlo lets you respond quicker with Intelligent Alerts. You can alert the police, call for help or sound an alarm in seconds. 
    • Best of all, you can install it wirelessly for battery power or with existing doorbell wiring for continuous power without recharging.

     

    Stand-out features include

    • Flexible setup with wired and wireless installation.
    • Object detection feature to detect packages, people, pets, and cars.
    • Arlo’s Instant Alerts let you call 911, sound an alarm, and call for help from the app.

Arlo’s New Essential Indoor Camera 

Arlo recently added a new indoor security camera to its camera collection. The Arlo Essential Indoor Camera includes a built-in siren, smart home capabilities, two-way audio and other popular features. Be on the lookout for our in-depth review and rating to see if this camera is right for you. 

More from Arlo

  • Best doorbell camera features

    Lorex 2K QHD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell

    Our rating

    Our take

    The big difference between the Lorex 2K Video Doorbell and the Arlo Video Doorbell is the video quality. Lorex’s doorbell camera takes it a step further with 2K video — that’s more than twice the 1080p average camera quality. Some cameras don’t show clear videos in poor lighting, but Lorex has HDR to fix the camera’s exposure for crisp video clips automatically. Here’s what else sets Lorex apart. 

    • The convenience of sending a pre-recorded message if you cannot answer. Two-way audio is also available to speak to guests using the Lorex app. 
    • Color night vision instead of the standard infrared LED night vision for better doorbell clips in darkness. 
    • Built-in night light to automatically turn on or control using the Lorex app. We also like that it can shine during motion detection.

    Lorex focuses on giving you sharp images and videos, day or night, with your doorbell camera so there’s no need for other outdoor surveillance. Best of all, Lorex has one of the cheapest doorbell cameras compared to our other top picks. However, you’ll need existing doorbell wiring for setup, and the camera uses local storage.

    Stand-out features include

    • Automatically records five seconds before the activity begins to give you as much footage as possible.
    • Use Amazon Alexa’s screen devices to answer the door with voice commands hands-free.
    • Person detection feature to know when someone’s at your door and reduce false alerts of passing cars or pets.

Lorex Outdoor Camera Hands-On Review 

We took an up-close look at Lorex’s Smart Outdoor Wifi Camera. Our hands-on review shares what we liked and what could be better before you buy. We covered everything from installation to camera features to help you choose the right camera for your home. 

More from Lorex

  • Best smart surveillance doorbell camera

    Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro

    Our rating

    Our take

    If you’re looking for a doorbell camera that deters thieves and protects your packages, the Vivint Video Doorbell Pro is it. The Smart Deter feature sends an instant alert when you get a package. And if someone’s lurking, the doorbell camera will sound an alarm and shine a light to deter them. 

    • The 180-degree field of view gives you a full view of visitors from your smartphone using the Vivint app. 
    • Customizable motion zones to get alerts for specific areas of your porch and yard. 
    • 90-second motion-triggered clips instead of 20-30 seconds clips that other doorbell cameras offer. Continuous video recording is also available.

    Stand-out features include

    • LED light and 65 dB speaker to deter thieves using the Smart Deter feature.
    • Optional continuous video recording and 90-second motion-triggered clips.
    • Two-way audio to see and speak to guests using the Vivint app.

Add Vivint’s Smart Drive to Your System 

Did you know that Vivint offers continuous video recording for your home’s surveillance, including your doorbell camera? You can add CVR and 30 days of extra video storage to your security system using the Vivint Smart Drive. We like that you’ll also have access to all footage on the Vivint app for $250. 

More from Vivint

  • Best Wide-Angle View

    ADT Video Doorbell

    Our rating

    Our take

    ADT’s Video Doorbell Camera is a great doorbell camera that is simple but still has some of the more popular features. The camera has 720p video resolution, which isn’t as sharp as other doorbell cameras. But it comes with a 180-degree field of view, like the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro, to give you a wide view of activity. There aren’t many standout features that separate ADT’s doorbell camera from the rest, but you can rest assured that these popular features are included: 

    • Two-way audio to see and speak to guests using the ADT mobile app. 
    • Wirelessly works other security equipment using 2.4GHz wifi. 
    • Receive motion-triggered alerts to see live footage from anywhere using your smartphone. 

    But, like Vivint, you’ll need the ADT security system and service. Professional installation is also required. Keep in mind that you must upgrade to the Complete package for ADT’s Video Doorbell Camera and features. Mobile app control and cloud storage are included in the package cost.

     

    Stand-out features include

    • Multiple mounting bracket options for your doorbell camera for secure installation with the perfect fit.
    • Control your doorbell camera, smart home devices and security equipment using the ADT mobile app. Amazon Alexa voice commands are also available.
    • 180-degree field of view for a wide-angle view of people and packages on your porch.

ADT Security Equipment and Service Offerings

ADT is known for over 145 years of industry experience. But we’re impressed with the company’s smart home and surveillance equipment lineup. If you’re considering ADT you can expect the latest security features and reliable professional monitoring. ADT is one of our best home security systems compared to other top providers. 

More from ADT

  • Best Smart Video Doorbell

    Ring Video Doorbell Elite

    Our rating

    Our take

    We know there are many Ring doorbell cameras to choose from. The best is the Ring Video Doorbell Elite, thanks to its reliable Power over Ethernet connection. You’ll still get two-way audio, 1080p video resolution and motion-triggered alerts. But this Ring doorbell camera also has a few features that set it apart from the rest: 

    • Tell guests you’re busy or ask them to return later with the Quick Replies feature with pre-selected messages. 
    • Full control of all Ring security and doorbell cameras using the Ring app’s single dashboard. 
    • Use “People Only Mode” to only receive alerts when an actual person is at your door instead of packages, pets or passing cars.

    The Ring Video Doorbell Elite only works with Amazon Alexa, likely because Ring is an Amazon company. You’ll also need to add a Ring Protect plan if you’d like to save and play back recorded clips. DIY setup is easy, but professional installation is available.

     

    Stand-out features include

    • Works seamlessly with other Ring and smart devices using the Ring app.
    • Quick Replies feature to send pre-selected messages.
    • Different faceplate options to change the look of your Ring doorbell camera.

Ring’s New Mailbox Sensor 

Ring understands that mail theft puts your identity at risk. That’s why its new mail sensor helps reduce the risk of stolen mail and helps protect your identity with a sensor that attaches to your mailbox. It’s easy to install and sends mobile notifications when your mailbox is opened to keep you alert. 

More from Ring

Is package theft on the rise?

The pandemic has kept online shopping and deliveries on a steady rise. C+R Research shared statistics around online shopping — including that 84% of people have bought more online since the start of COVID-19. Naturally, that’s led to more package deliveries. Online shopping has made such an impact on packages that 59% of Americans receive a package at least once a week, up 10 percentage points from 2019. The recent survey also found that more packages are being stolen than before. Here’s what else you need to know about the latest package theft findings from C+R Research:

Why Do I Need a Doorbell Camera?

How to prevent package theft

People are outsmarting porch pirates with security equipment to deter thieves from their homes. As a result of package theft, 50% of those surveyed bought a doorbell camera or other security equipment. Here’s what we recommend to help prevent your packages from being stolen. 

  • Doorbell camera: A doorbell camera is one of the top security devices to prevent package theft. Most are equipped with package detection, two-way audio, and live surveillance. Best of all, doorbell cameras have motion detection to alert you if someone’s at your home, even when you’re not looking.

  • Outdoor security camera: Security cameras are great if you’re looking for surveillance that covers your porch, driveway and other surroundings. The best security cameras also come with motion detection, mobile app control and two-way audio. The big difference is more coverage and surveillance features for your entire yard.

  • Smart lock: Depending on your comfort level, you can ask your mail carrier to place your package inside the home when you unlock your smart lock from your phone. You’ll also get notifications when your door is unlocked for your peace of mind.

  • Lights: Most outdoor lights are motion-triggered to illuminate when they sense motion from cars or people. Lights are a great security option to help prevent break-ins and package theft because there’s a higher chance the thief will be seen. You’ll also have a better view of what’s happening outside your home. 

If you’re not ready to add additional security equipment right now, there are still a few tips you can take to prevent package theft. 

  • Schedule deliveries to a trusted friend or your workplace.
  • Ask your mail carrier about picking up from the post office or pickup location, such as Amazon’s package lockers. 
  • Require a signature for package delivery.

What to do if your package is stolen?

If your package is stolen, three are steps you can take to try retrieving it or get a refund. 

  • Contact the mail carrier to make sure the package has been marked as “Delivered.” 
  • Don’t hesitate to ask your neighbors if they’ve noticed any suspicious activity around your home or if there’s a mail mixup. 
  • Ask the retailer about their lost or stolen package policy. Keep in mind that these policies may only apply to insured packages. 
  • Begin a claim dispute with your bank to stop withdrawn funds. 
  • File a police report noting that your package was stolen. 

Additional package theft resources

The Bottom Line

The best doorbell camera is the Arlo Video Doorbell. It comes with next-level features such as advanced object detection and package detection to keep an eye on items from your smartphone. The doorbell camera top pick also comes with CVR and control using popular voice assistants. 

Doorbell cameras can deter porch pirates looking to steal packages or mail. You can use a doorbell camera’s features such as two-way audio, siren and LED light to keep a close watch or scare them away. Best of all, the footage is recorded to share with local authorities and help keep your neighbors safe.

Video Doorbell FAQs







Additional Video Doorbell Resources

How Do We Rank Video Doorbell Cameras?

The Safety Score is our way of thoroughly and fairly evaluating safety providers, products and services. The score focuses on four key categories to give you peace of mind: prevention, control, reliability, and response. We look at several features, including power source, installation, smart home compatibility, and video storage. All of the features are measured and summarized in a single, simple Safety Score.

Why Trust Us?

At Safety.com, we’re a team of specialists that keeps your safety and home security at the top of our minds. We’re dedicated to giving you the most up-to-date data, products and services to help you feel empowered and in control. Our goal is to provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision for your safety. We’re here to help.

Every day, our team of analysts and writers spend hours comparing, reviewing and testing the best products to make your journey to better security simpler. We use the Safety Score to rate providers, products and services to give you the best safety recommendations in the industry. Our methodology evaluates over 100 features based on four key factors — prevention, control, reliability, and response. 

We also stay abreast of the latest trending topics, product releases and recalls to keep you in the know. Whether you’re protecting your home, loved ones or personal data, we’re here for you.


Home Security Writer

Dashia Starr

Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.

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