A house with both a wireless security camera and a video doorbell

Q. How should I choose between a wireless security camera and a video doorbell?

A. Video doorbells are security cameras that are built into a doorbell. The Ring Pro gets a 68, our highest testing score.

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But if you want to also monitor other areas inside or outside your home, go with wireless security cameras. In both cases, these cameras send alerts and videos or images to your smartphone when they detect motion. The trade-off is that you might risk a bit of privacy.

“Some companies have deployed these with weak security that can be circumvented,” says Justin Brookman, director of privacy and technology policy for Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports. “Don’t use default credentials. Make sure you set up your own unique username and robust password.”

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the July 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

Smart Doorbells for Your Home

Looking for peace of mind and security when you're not home? On the 'Consumer 101' TV show, Consumer Reports' expert, Eric Hagerman, explains to host Jack Rico why a smart doorbell might be the answer.