Best Google Nest and Ring Video Doorbell Alternatives

Your options include top-scoring models from CR’s tests made by Logitech, Lorex, Netatmo, and SimpliSafe

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Logitech, SimpliSafe, Netatmo video doorbells Photo: Logitech, SimpliSafe, Netatmo

When you think of video doorbells, Google Nest and Amazon's Ring probably come to mind. Those two brands make some of the most popular video doorbells you can buy. But you might wonder about options from other companies.

“When you use a Google Nest or Ring video doorbell, they upload footage to Google’s and Amazon’s servers,” says Justin Brookman, director of privacy and technology policy for Consumer Reports. “Given the growing concerns over how Google and Amazon use the data they collect, consumers might not feel comfortable trusting these companies.”

At Consumer Reports we test video doorbells from more than a dozen brands. Below you’ll find the five best Google Nest and Ring doorbell alternatives from our video doorbell ratings. The list is arranged in alphabetical, not rank, order. CR members can click on each video doorbell's name for detailed ratings and reviews.

No matter which model you choose, read our guide on how to prevent security cameras from being hacked. And learn about how CR's tests revealed data security and privacy gaps in video doorbells.

Free video storage: None.
Optional storage plans: Requires an Apple iCloud storage plan of $3 per month for 10 days of storage for one camera or $10 per month for 10 days of storage for up to five cameras.

CR’s take: The Logitech Circle View Doorbell is unusual in that it only works with a special feature of Apple's HomeKit smart home system called HomeKit Secure Video. Through this software, it uses end-to-end encryption to keep your video secure. As a result of this tight-knit integration, the Logitech doorbell only works with iPhones (sorry, Android users), only stores your videos in Apple iCloud (if you pay for a storage plan), and requires an Apple home hub (either an iPad, HomePod smart speaker, or Apple TV streaming box) to process motion alerts for people, animals, and vehicles. In fact, there's no Logitech app for the doorbell; it uses the Apple Home app instead.

But if you're a big fan of Apple products, this doorbell will work quite well for you. In our tests, it receives a Very Good rating for video quality and offers great data security and speedy response time for alerts and loading live feeds. Its only flaws are that its data privacy isn't very good and it doesn't offer as many smart features as other top-rated options. Other features include monitoring zones, facial recognition, a night light for color night vision, and high dynamic range (HDR) video for more vivid video.

For 10 days of cloud video storage for one camera, you'll need to subscribe to a 200GB iCloud storage plan at $3 per month. For up to five cameras, you'll need a 2TB iCloud plan at $10 per month. The Logitech Circle View Doorbell requires low-voltage doorbell wiring for power and can ring your home's existing doorbell chime.

Free video storage: Yes, using the included 32GB microSD card.
Optional subscription: Not available.

CR’s take: The Lorex 2K QHD B451AJD-E WiFi Video Doorbell claims to offer 2K resolution video, but our tests found its performance isn't any better than its 1080p sibling below. In fact, it earns almost identical scores in our tests, including a Very Good rating for video quality, strong scores in our data security and response time tests, and middle-of-the-road scores for data privacy and smart features. So what sets this Lorex model apart? It offers more smart features, including person detection, color night vision, high-dynamic range video, recorded messages for when you can't answer the doorbell, monitoring zones, geofencing (this feature uses your phone's location to receive alerts when you're home), and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

This Lorex model stores footage locally on a 32GB microSD card that comes with the doorbell. If you want to store even more footage, the doorbell supports up to a 256GB microSD card. It also requires low-voltage doorbell wiring for power and can ring your home's existing doorbell chime.

Free video storage: Yes, using the included 16GB microSD card.
Optional subscription: Not available.

CR’s take: The Lorex LNWDB1 1080P WiFi Video Doorbell is one of the more affordable options on this list, and it offers performance on a par with some doorbells that cost significantly more. In our tests, it rates Very Good for data security and earns a middle-of-the-road score for data privacy. It also offers superb video quality and response time, as well as a decent array of smart features. They include monitoring zones, geofencing (this feature uses your phone’s location to receive alerts when you’re home), and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

This Lorex model stores footage locally on a 16GB microSD card that comes with the doorbell. If you want to store even more footage, the doorbell supports up to a 64GB microSD card. It also requires low-voltage doorbell wiring for power and can ring your home’s existing doorbell chime.

Free video storage: Yes, using the 8GB microSD card (included).
Optional subscription: Not available.

CR’s take: The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is one of the most expensive models in our ratings, but it's worth considering if you want to keep your footage as secure as possible. All footage is stored locally on an 8GB microSD card that comes with the doorbell. Netatmo claims that only one screenshot per video—not the video itself—is uploaded to its servers, so some information is available to you in case the doorbell gets disconnected.

In our tests, the Netatmo doorbell rates Very Good for data security and receives a middle-of-the-road score for data privacy. It also offers great video quality and a decent array of smart features, but its response time is on the slow side compared with the competition. Features include person detection, high dynamic range (HDR) for more vivid videos, and voice control via Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit/Siri, and Google Assistant.

In addition to local storage, the Netatmo video doorbell can store videos on a Dropbox account or personal web server. It also requires doorbell wiring for power and can ring your home's existing doorbell chime. It works with both low-voltage and high-voltage (230 volt) systems.

Free video storage: None.
Optional subscription: $5 per month for one camera for 30 days and $10 per month for unlimited cameras for 30 days.

CR’s take: If you’re concerned about privacy, then the SimpliSafe Doorbell Pro SS3 is the doorbell to buy because it's the only model in our ratings with a Very Good rating for data privacy (the highest of any doorbell in our tests). It also rates well for video quality and data security. The downsides? It lacks many smart features, and it's slow to send alerts and then load live video feeds. Its few features include monitoring zones, person detection, and HDR video, but there's no support for voice control via digital assistants.

If you’d like cloud storage for video clips, you can get 30 days for $5 per month for one camera or $10 per month for unlimited cameras. The SimpliSafe video doorbell requires doorbell wiring for power and can ring your home's existing doorbell chime.


Home Content Creator Daniel Wroclawski

Daniel Wroclawski

I'm obsessed with smart home tech and channel my obsession into new stories for Consumer Reports. When I'm not writing about products, I spend time either outside hiking and skiing or up in the air in small airplanes. For my latest obsessions, follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@danwroc).