The 7 Best Smart Doorbell Cameras to Buy in 2017

Always know who's knocking at your door

Ring video doorbell
Photo from Amazon

Smart doorbell cameras work in tandem with your smartphone, so you can see who's knocking at the door and avoid answering it for unexpected visitors. But, in addition to video, they also offer a slew of other handy features to keep your home protected, including two-way talk, infrared lighting (for when it's dark out) and motion detection. There are certainly plenty of smart doorbell options, so if you need some help finding the right one for your home, keep reading to see our best picks and we promise you'll never be a victim of ding-dong ditching again.

Well-known in the video doorbell space, Ring’s Video Doorbell 2 is a superb choice for buyers looking for a great combination of price, features and ease-of-use. Available right out of the box with motion-activated alerts, 1080HD video (and video recording) and two-way talk, the Ring 2 instantly helps you keep watch over your house via Wi-Fi (and to your phone via cellular connectivity), whether you’re inside the house or on the other side of the world.

Capable of working with just about any home, the Ring 2 incorporates its own internal battery pack that lasts between six months and a year before needing to be re-charged. Beyond battery life, the Ring 2 allows you to monitor via night vision, as well as live video-on-demand through Ring’s subscription-based service (cloud-based storage is included). Compatible with both iOS, Android, Mac and Windows, the Ring 2 also offers a water-resistant design, plus two different color styles.

Connecting to your home via Wi-Fi or wired LAN, the Aleko Wi-Fi Smart Doorbell introduces a two-way intercom between your doorbell and Android or iOS smartphone. It also has a door unlock function and a motion detector. Once a visitor presses the doorbell button, homeowners can see, hear and speak to visitors, as well as take a video or photo for later reference. For additional security, the Aleko adds a tamper alarm. Eight separate doorbells and eight mobile devices can work simultaneously for homes or offices that have multiple entrances.

The available infrared light assists in seeing who is at the door at night, whether it’s an expected guest or an unwanted visitor. Beyond functionality, the Aleko adds an AC/DC power supply that eliminates the need for battery swapping unlike competitor models that focus on battery life. Setup is easy for both beginners and experts, taking no more than 30 minutes from start to finish.

Zmodo’s budget-priced Greet Smart Doorbell is a standout option for the wallet-conscious shopper and includes many great features found on higher-priced models. The Zmodo offers two-way communication, so you can see and speak to visitors, plus smart motion detection that sends alerts via smartphone and records a short video clip whenever motion is sensed. And if you can’t answer the door, the Zmodo can play a brief, personalized voice message when you’re unavailable.

Beyond its mainstream features, the setup utilizes existing doorbell wiring and adds the Zmodo Beam as a dual Wi-Fi extender and Wi-Fi companion to the bell, which pairs quickly to the downloadable Android and iOS smartphone app. Once it’s installed, the 720p camera helps capture up to 8GB of video storage with an option for a subscription-based cloud backup service that combines with night vision, so you can see and remember who is at your door no matter the time of day. While it doesn’t offer true “HD” video capture at 1080p, the Zmodo offers just about every feature a smart doorbell shopper could want at a price that’s too good to pass up.

Available with a full HD camera and recording video at 1080p, Ring’s Doorbell Pro offers a feature-rich smart doorbell with Amazon Alexa compatibility. The Doorbell Pro includes more standardized options such as night vision (so you can see visitors during the evening hours) and a wide-angle 1080p camera for a complete view of your home’s entrance. Cloud recording enables you to maintain and view footage anytime, while automatic motion sensing sending alerts to your smartphone upon detecting any type of movement at the front door.

The ultra-slim design offers four interchangeable faceplates for pairing with the style of your home. The inclusion of Amazon Alexa allows Ring Pro owners to say “Alexa, how is my front door?” and see what’s going on right from your phone. Installation is easy: It just requires a connection to your existing doorbell since there’s no rechargeable battery option on-board.

The VueBell Wi-Fi HD doorbell has an incredible field of view (we're talking 185 degrees horizontally and 120 degrees vertically) and records at 720p. It offers a live camera view, real-time two-way audio, cloud storage, infrared night vision and zero concern over battery life (it installs by connecting to the existing doorbell’s AC/DC wires and requires one quick scan of a QR code to personalize access to your smartphone). The downloadable Android and iOS app provide immediate notifications and a live view when an alert is triggered by the motion sensors or the doorbell is activated. A snapshot of the visitor can quickly and easily be captured and stored in memory for later use. A cloud storage subscription provides more space for future playback or more chimes and other multi-music tones, so you can personalize the type of tone you want with every doorbell activation.

If you're looking for a smart video doorbell that's quick and easy to install, check out the one from RemoBell. Available right out of the box with six AA batteries, there’s no need to hardwire the RemoBell to your existing doorbell. Just mount the included bracket by screwing it into the wall, snap the main unit on the bracket and, for added peace of mind, screw in the additional security screw. Beyond fast installation, the RemoBell adds two-way audio, infrared night vision, advanced motion sensors, low battery reminders, 256-bit AES security and a 120-degree viewing angle.

Additionally, the RemoBell is water- and weather-resistant (it's capable of withstanding temperatures 0 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The included Cloud system for storing video is good, but it requires a small monthly subscription fee (and with no local storage, it’s a must if you want true security). Fortunately, each subscription works for up to five viewers, so it's possible to have multiple household members connected. Looking past storage, alerts come instantly via apps for both Android and iOS. While the lack of a desktop app is disappointing, the RemoBell offers great value, four months of battery life, inexpensive storage options and a great installation process.

Widely praised and one of the best-known options in the smart doorbell space, the SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell offers both a unique design and excellent feature set. Available with a 1080p camera and 5x zoom, it includes motion sensors to help identify if a visitor, whether wanted or otherwise, is at your door. Monitoring the door is a snap, thanks to the downloadable Android and iOS app that lets you view the doorway at any moment.

The design of the SkyBell is equally unique, trading the boring, rectangular style for a circular design that’s coated to help prevent rust. The included battery in the SkyBell HD is good enough to run the doorbell for a short time in the event of a power loss, but connecting to your existing doorbell wiring is the best solution for long-term use. The SkyBell HD really shines with its free cloud storage, which allows owners to record, download and view videos anytime, anywhere.

And in addition to being water-resistant, it's capable of operating in extreme temperatures (-40 to 149 degrees Fahrenheit), so whether you're living in Alaska or Arizona, you can still see who's ringing the bell.


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