The Nest Hello video doorbell, one of the best video doorbells of the year.

If you've been tempted to get a video doorbell, it's easy to see why. These compact streaming cameras let you video-chat with visitors and keep an eye on dog walkers, kids coming home from school, and package deliveries—from the screen on your smartphone. Porch pirates, beware.

Global spending on video doorbells is predicted to almost triple from last year through 2023, according to data insights firm Strategy Analytics, from $500 million to $1.4 billion.

As these internet-connected devices evolve, CR beefs up its lab tests accordingly.

“Similar to our recent improvements to our wireless security camera testing, we improved our picture-quality tests to challenge the video doorbells with more complex lighting scenarios,” says Bernie Deitrick, CR’s test engineer for video doorbells and wireless security cameras

Our picture-quality tests evaluate a camera’s picture in good light, low light, and zero light (to determine how well its night vision works, so you can be confident that the racket out back is only the raccoons again). Then we add various levels of backlighting to each lighting scenario to challenge the cameras' sensors.

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We also look for a variety of smart features, including monitoring zones (which can tighten the focus area that generates motion alerts), facial recognition (for spotting familiar and unfamiliar people), voice control (with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri), and geofencing (which turns cameras on and off as you come and go).

All of the above features factor into our unique Smart IQ score for smart-home devices. Last, we test the response time to capture the lag between the press of the doorbell to the alert on your smartphone (crucial when someone is waiting at your front door). All these test results are combined into an Overall Score for every model in our video doorbell ratings.

We recently completed testing of eight additional video doorbells from brands such as Geeni, Netvue, Remo+, Ring, SimpliSafe, Wisenet, and Zmodo. Of the eight new models we tested, only one model, from Wisenet, made it into the top of our ratings.

Read on for reviews of the best video doorbells from Consumer Reports’ tests, listed in alphabetical order, not by ranking. (CR members can see ratings for each model.) You’ll find models from August, Google Nest, and Ring, in addition to Wisenet, all of which feature night vision, HD video, voice control via digital assistants, and two-way audio.

For a deeper dive and direct comparisons, check out our full home security camera ratings

5 Great Video Doorbells

August Doorbell Cam Pro
Free video storage:
24 hours
Optional subscription: $3/month to $5/month
CR’s take: The August Doorbell Cam Pro is a fantastic video doorbell, but it’s not the smartest model we’ve tested. It receives high marks for video quality and response time but a less-than-ideal Fair rating for Smart IQ, owing to its lack of many smart features compared with the competition. However, it is one of only two models in our ratings to offer color night vision, thanks to its built-in floodlight.

The feature set also includes voice control via Amazon Alexa and a rolling 24 hours of free cloud video storage for video clips triggered by the camera's motion sensor (footage that captures movement, not dead air). With an optional subscription to the August Premium or Premium Plus video recording plans, the available video storage space increases to a rolling 15 days or 30 days, respectively. The Premium plan costs $3 per month, and the Premium Plus plan costs $5 per month.

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August Doorbell Cam Pro

Price: $200

Video quality
Smart IQ
Response time
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Nest Hello Video Doorbell
Free video storage:
 None, but 3 hours of snapshots
Optional subscription: $5/month (or $50/year) to $30/month (or $300/year)
CR’s take: The Nest Hello Video Doorbell is one of the best video doorbells you can buy. It receives an Excellent rating for response time and offers terrific video quality, but it falls into the middle of the pack when it comes to its Smart IQ. The Nest Hello’s features include HDR video for vivid picture quality, geofencing, person alerts, voice control via Google Assistant, prerecorded messages for when you can’t answer the door, and a rolling 3 hours of motion-triggered snapshots (not video clips).

If you want to sign up for the Nest Aware subscription, you'll get 24/7 continuous video recordings, facial recognition, and monitoring zones. Note that the Nest Hello is offered in hardwired version only and can’t run off battery power. If you have an existing doorbell that's hardwired, it will work just fine.

Quick Take

Nest Hello Video Doorbell

Price: $230

Video quality
Smart IQ
Response time
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Ring Video Doorbell
Free video storage:
None
Optional subscription: $3/month (or $30/year) to $10/month (or $100/year)
CR’s take: If you live in a home without a hardwired doorbell, the Ring Video Doorbell is a great option because it runs on a built-in rechargeable battery. It also costs less than half the price of some competing models. However, its lower price does come with a sacrifice on video quality, where it receives a Fair rating. Despite its subpar video quality, this model does very well in our response time and Smart IQ evaluations.

As for features, it comes with voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, monitoring zones (although they aren’t as customizable as those on the Ring Video Doorbell Pro or Nest Hello), and alert schedules to prevent alerts at certain times of day. With an optional subscription to a Ring Protect Plan, you’ll get a rolling 60 days of motion-triggered video clips.

Quick Take

Ring Video Doorbell 88RG000FC100

Price: $200

Video quality
Smart IQ
Response time
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Ring Video Doorbell 2
Free video storage:
None
Optional subscription: $3/month (or $30/year) to $10/month (or $100/year)
CR’s take: For a battery-powered video doorbell with better video quality than the Ring Video Doorbell delivers, consider the somewhat pricier Ring Video Doorbell 2. It receives a Good rating for video quality and superb ratings for response time and Smart IQ.

Its feature set includes a removable rechargeable battery, voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, monitoring zones (although they aren’t as customizable as those on the Ring Video Doorbell Pro or Nest Hello), and alert schedules. With an optional subscription to a Ring Protect Plan, you’ll get a rolling 60 days of motion-triggered video clips.

Quick Take

Ring Video Doorbell 2

Price: $170

Video quality
Smart IQ
Response time
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Wisenet SmartCam D1
Free video storage:
None
Optional subscription: $5/month to $20/month
CR’s take: The Wisenet SmartCam D1 requires a hardwired connection, but it offers superb video quality. In fact, it is one of only two models in our ratings with an Excellent rating for video quality. It also earns a strong score for Smart IQ, but its response time could be better.

The Wisenet SmartCam D1 comes with plenty of premium features, including monitoring zones, facial recognition, person detection, abnormal-sound detection (such as sirens, glass breaking, and screaming), HDR video, and voice control via Amazon Alexa. With an optional subscription to one of three Wisenet SmartCloud storage plans, you’ll get a rolling 30, 60, or 180 days of motion-triggered video clips. The plans cost $5 per month, $8 per month, and $20/month, respectively.

Quick Take

Wisenet SmartCam D1

Price: $230

Video quality
Smart IQ
Response time
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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.