Your front door is the gateway to your home, so it needs to be well protected. Whether you’re watching for trouble-makers, monitoring for parcel deliveries, waiting for friends to visit, or hiding from that weird neighbor who keeps asking to borrow your lawn mower, these dual-purpose video surveillance systems will help you keep an eye out.

If your house has existing low-voltage doorbell wiring, take advantage of it for uninterrupted service. If it doesn’t, we can recommend a battery-powered solution that’s more flexible when it comes to location. And if you’re renting and can’t mount anything to the wall—or you’d just prefer not to—we can recommend a couple of alternatives.

Most video doorbells come with motion detection, night vision, and smartphone alert features, so be sure to read our full reviews for details on how they performed. Many also require a monthly subscription to store video in the cloud, so factor a few years of service into the price before you make a decision.

And if you’re also thinking of adding outdoor security cameras to your arsenal, or integrating a video doorbell into a comprehensive smart home system, explore your compatibility options so you don’t find yourself juggling two or three different apps. 

Updated September 4, 2020 to add our Ring Video Doorbell (Second Generation) review. Ring delivers a lot of value in this $100 product, and it’s a no-brainer buy if you’re steeped in the Ring ecosystem and don’t want to spend more for more features. Just know that you’ll need to become a Ring Protect subscriber if you want access to video recordings from this product; otherwise, you’ll only ever get a live view from the camera.

Best wired video doorbell

Arlo makes some of our favorite home security cameras, and now it offers the best hardwired video doorbell. You’ll need to pay for a subscription to take advantage of everything this product can do, but if you already have other Arlo cameras, you might already have that. The better news is that this video doorbell costs less than $150.

Best battery-powered video doorbell

For a very long time, Ring made our favorite battery-powered doorbell, and the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus—or the less-expensive Ring Video Doorbell (Second Generation), if you’re on a budget—are fine choices for folks who’ve invested deeply in the excellent Ring ecosystem. But these days, Eufy makes a better battery-powered doorbell camera for most people. The Eufy Security Wireless Video Doorbell delivers higher resolution and local network storage (so you don’t need to pay for a subscription just to see recorded video). On the downside, it can connect only to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks.

Best video doorbell alternative

Here’s a great alternative to the video doorbell. The Brinno SHC1000 sits behind your door and provides a peephole-level view of your porch and whatever lies beyond. It replaces your current peephole, so a bit of DIY is required, but it will record and log visitors to a microSD card. Video quality isn’t up to that of a doorbell cam, but if you can’t mount any of those, it’s a solid alternative.

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