The 5 Best Video Doorbells of 2019
#4 August Doorbell Cam Pro
A highly innovative video doorbell camera with several smart home features.
- Works seamlessly with the August Smart Lock
- Able to work with other Smart home systems like Amazon Alexa, Echo etc.
- Up to 24 hours of video storage available for free
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Home security and comfort is one of the top priorities of homeowners. The bottom line is, you have things and you want to protect them, so what’s the best way to do that? Or further speaking, what is the most efficient, convenient and cost-effective way to do that? Well luckily, smart home technology has a way of inventing the best devices that amplify our home protection and make it easy to do so. In addition to your existing home security system, have you considered investing in a video doorbell? A video doorbell is the icing on the cake when it comes to your home. What better way to monitor your home than to see who is at your front door even when you’re not there? Video doorbells are one of the best smart home devices that you can invest in and we’re here to tell you why.
Nest Hello may be one of the most sought after video doorbell on the market and after a good look at its specs, it’s easy to see why. With Nest Hello you get all of the perks of your standard video doorbell, plus some extra points for the tech-savvy homeowner.
Nest Hello Pros
- Nest Hello’s facial recognition feature is, without a doubt, what sets this video doorbell apart from the rest. Along with your video doorbell, you can opt into Nest Aware, the monthly subscription that allows you to use facial recognition with your doorbell. Receive alerts to your phone whenever your family members or significant others arrive at your doorstep.
- Another one of the features that come with the Nest Aware subscription is the 24/7 recording and storage. Instead of only having access to a certain amount of video storage, you can access hours and hours of footage because your Nest Hello is constantly recording. This maximizes your video doorbell as a key part of your home security system.
- In addition to the fancy specs that Nest Hello has, you can also expect top video quality with their HDR camera. You won’t be let down with Nest’s quality, whether its day or night. The Nest Hello’s HDR camera will give you crystal clear images of whoever is at your doorstep so you can be aware. This also comes in handy should there be any type of disturbance because you’ll have a clear image of whoever the perpetrator is.
Nest Hello Cons
- The downside to the Nest Hello is that the installation is tricky and may require a professional to install. In that case, you can reserve a Nest Pro to come to your home and help you install it. This, of course, comes at an additional price, but if you’re worried about setting up your video doorbell correctly then this will be worth it.
- Having a Nest Hello video doorbell could be more expensive than it seems at first. Especially if you’re opting for the Nest Aware subscription, which gives you the 24/7 recording and facial recognition features. Nest has an edge with these features but you’ll have to pay a higher price for it.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is not only one of the most popular smart doorbells out there, it is also the very first one to hit the smart home scene. The Ring Video Doorbell gives you the ultimate video doorbell experience with its innovation, it’s user-friendliness and it’s high-quality video recording.
- It’s only right that one of the first video doorbells to hit the market would also have some of the highest video quality out there. View your guests at any time of the day with Ring’s 1080 HD video quality. With this type of definition, it’s the closest thing to actually seeing your guests in person.
- The Ring doorbell is one of the only devices that are customizable by color. You can choose from three different customizable faceplates so you’re new video doorbell matches or blends in well with your home’s exterior. Don’t worry, these faceplates are weather resistant so you don’t have to worry about your doorbell not functioning in the extreme cold, heat or even rain.
- In addition to the high-quality video that works during the day, you can also rely on Ring’s night vision camera. The night vision camera is built into the Ring video Doorbell and provides a clear, crisp view of your guests once they come to your front door.
- Most video doorbells are hardwired into your existing doorbell system but have a backup battery available in case of a power outage. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro model unfortunately has no backup battery available.
- In order to install you Ring Pro, you’ll need to have existing wiring installed. Unfortunately, if you don’t have wiring already the installation process could be pricey and extremely time-consuming.
When it comes to smart home technology, you want things that are seamless and easy to integrate. There are lots of great smart video doorbell brands but few integrate easily with other smart home devices. Brands like Skybell and August excel in that area, right along with their great features and some other unique perks.
- One of the main ways that video doorbells add up is through their free cloud storage that comes with the purchase of the equipment. How exactly does it work? When you purchase a Skybell HD Wifi Doorbell you get up to 7 days of storage with your device. This means you can log on to see any activity over the last 7 days. Most other companies charge you a monthly fee for anything more than 24 hours. If you want to avoid any monthly bills then Skybell is a great option for that.
- While Skybell doesn’t have seamless integration from within the app for other smart home devices, Skybell is still known to works with other smart devices. Whether you’re looking to sync your doorbell with your smart locks or with the lights in your home, it’s possible to integrate with other apps and it’s easy to install.
- Skybell is one of the only smart video doorbells that is mobile-only accessible. There is no web application available, so be sure to keep your smartphone handy.
- Similar to the Ring, your Skybell relies solely on electricity. If there is a power outage then your camera will shut off since there is no battery backup available.
Zmodo Greet Pro with Beam
If you’re looking for a great contender in the video doorbell game then Zmodo has all the specs that you love about the big guys but with half the price. Zmodo packs in high definition video, two-way audio and even personalized answering messages into one user-friendly smart doorbell. What makes this doorbell unique are the fun features and the attractive prices.
- What happens when you want to view your front door’s footage from yesterday? With Zmodo, you’re provided free video storage for up to 36 hours. What happens if you want to pull up storage from a few days or maybe a week ago? You can choose from one of Zmodo’s monthly cloud storage plans. Choose plans for up to 7 days or 30-day.
- Don’t put all of the home monitoring work on you, choose multiple users to gain access and receive alerts. If you’re partner or kids also have access you can all answer the doorbell and view live footage from the mobile app.
- Let’s say you’re not at home but you can’t speak with whoever came to your front door, you can record a personalized recorded message that will play through the two-way smart speakers. This especially comes in handy when you’re at work, driving or need to say something urgent to your guest.
- The biggest fault of Zmodo is the lack of smart home integration. The app, unfortunately, doesn’t work with other smart home devices. This means you’ll have to exit the app and open another one to signal your smart locks and smart lights. While this doesn’t seem like a huge inconvenience, this could be frustrating if you’re in a hurry. This is also not as user-friendly since other brands like August incorporate smart locks into their mobile apps.
August Doorbell Cam Pro
You’re getting a video doorbell because you want to create the perfect smart home ecosystem. Your priority is an easy user-experience and to be able to do everything from the same app. You want to be able to see, talk and unlock the door without switching between several different apps. The August Doorbell Cam Pro grants all of your smart home technology dreams and then some.
- August is a big company in smart home technology, offering doorbells and smart locks among several other gadgets. If you’re looking for the most seamless mobile app experience, video doorbell is August Smart lock compatible. Once integrated and installed, you can answer the phone and unlock your door all at the same time. Similarly, you can integrate your August doorbell with your Google Home or Amazon Echo for an even greater experience.
- If you want to avoid paying for the video storage monthly plans then you are granted a Free 24 hours of video storage with August. Scroll through your video footage of the last day to see what you missed while you were away, like maybe a package drop off, or a neighbor stopping by.
- While the August Doorbell is equipped with a backup battery, the backup battery is only temporary. It will last for a short period and needs to be charged every so often. Remember to charge this battery periodically to avoid complete loss of power.
- The installation process should be pretty simple if you have existing wiring in place. The August doorbell does need existing wiring to install. If your home doesn’t have wiring for a doorbell then you may want to contact a technician.
- Strangely enough, the August doorbell does have a night vision camera, but it is a floodlight night vision camera. This could be an issue for two reasons: the bright light doesn’t produce the best quality images, it isn’t discreet and it could be a nuisance to your guests.
How to choose the Best Video Doorbell for your home
No video doorbell is created the same. Well, they are, but mostly at the basic level. Every smart doorbell will do the same main functions to show you who is at your front door. You can expect that all video doorbells will allow you to answer your door from anywhere from your smartphone. When it comes to the extra stuff, you have to check the specs of each brand and see which ones work best for you. Since every video doorbell is different, choosing a model really relies on your personal preference. Here are a few of the special features, as well as some things to look out for before you buy your video doorbell
Ease of Installation
Installing a video doorbell varies from brand to brand, but most of them work with hard-wiring only. This means you must have an existing wiring system and transformerinstalled in order to make the installation process the smoothest. Most homes come with a default doorbell that is already installed. In most cases, you can remove your original doorbell and connect your smart doorbell to the existing wiring in your front door. This process is usually easy and can be done in a matter of minutes after following a step by step guide on how to do it. In the off chance that you don’t have a wired doorbell installed you can choose to install your own or hire a professional. There are tons of videos and tutorials that can guide you through self-installation if you choose to go this route.
Sometimes video doorbell companies require or suggest a professional technician. This will ensure that everything is connected perfectly and runs smoothly. For some of our top brands of video doorbells, there is a technician service available. For brands like Nest or Ring, you can choose to have a professional come to your house to install your new video doorbell. Either way, most companies do claim an easy set up process, so ultimately the choice is up to you.
Smart Home Interoperability
Since the surge of smart home technology, companies have been trying to achieve the perfect smart home interoperability systems. Most users believe that smart homes will make their lives easier and that in a few swipes and clicks they can control various home functions. To most technology companies and user’s surprise, this has been a lot easier said than done.
Many manufacturers have found it difficult to create software that is advanced and compatible with various smart home systems. With huge smart home systems on the market like Amazon Echo, Google Home and Nest, and even more growth, many developers find themselves in a bind. That being said, it isn’t impossible to create the perfect system, it just depends on which devices you choose.
The fact of the matter is, you’re getting a video doorbell because you want to live in a smart home and make your life technologically seamless. If you’re already enjoying the benefits of smart home devices like Google Home or Amazon Alexa then adding in a video doorbell is probably a priority. If smart home integration is important to you then make sure to check the brands to see which ones are compatible.
Wired vs Wireless and Power Source
Whether or not you want to purchase a wired or a wireless video doorbell is a matter of personal preference. To help you make the decision, you can start by asking yourself a few questions.
Do you have existing wiring? Is your wifi connection reliable? Do you remember to recharge batteries?
Most people may think that the wireless component is the key to an easy installation process. This isn’t always true, in fact, most homes already have existing doorbell wiring and chime. So if you’re choosing it based on installation, keep this in mind. While wireless devices may be much, much easier to install, you have to remember that it is also battery-powered and needs to be recharged from time to time to make sure it’s working properly.
Wireless video doorbells also rely heavily on your internet connection, so make sure it’s a strong one. If there is any interference with the transmission or motion sensors it may be difficult to stream video footage.
Interestingly enough, many of the high-powered video doorbells aren’t battery operated and require existing wiring. The more features it has and functionality you can enjoy, the more power the smart camera will need to operate. A few of the best video doorbells of 2019 that are wired are the RIng Video Doorbell Pro and the Zmodo Greet Pro.
With every release of a shiny video doorbell, the fight to have the highest video quality continues. Most of the top brands have high definition video for both day and night, giving you a crystal clear image when you pull up the stream on your phone. But how do they actually fare when put to the test? The answer is that it depends, but all of the best smart cameras will have around 1080p which is a pretty high resolution.
The downside to most of the video doorbells on the market is that most of them require a monthly subscription to enjoy the full spectrum of features they have. Ring, Nest and August all offer a cloud subscription that will allow you to access footage whenever and wherever you are. A cloud storage plan also can save footage from up to a certain amount of days. Skybell is the only brand that offers free cloud storage for up to 7 days with their equipment.
Why do you need cloud storage?
Cloud storage comes in handy when you want to look back on any activity that happened at your front door. Maybe you were away and couldn’t see the alert at the time. Perhaps you want to make sure that a package was delivered. You can go back through the camera’s cloud history, directly from the app. This also comes in handy if your video doorbell system is already synchronized with security cameras and motion sensors. Cloud storage space will amplify both your video doorbell functionality and your home security-all in one.
Another perk of having a cloud subscription is the fact that you can choose to access your live feed at any time, you don’t need to wait for the alert to show up.
How do Video Doorbells Work?
Most video doorbells work the same, it is essentially a smart camera with motion sensors that is installed by the front door. The camera records, sometimes constantly, the front door area of your home and the motion sensors detect any movement in its vicinity. Let’s say someone is approaching your front door, the motion sensor will detect the movement and send your mobile phone an alert letting you know before they ring the doorbell. Now after they ring the doorbell, your phone will be alerted again in addition to the doorbell chime in your home. You will then be able to open up the mobile app and view directly whoever is at your front door.
Let’s say you’re not at home but you’re expecting a package or have a family member stopping by. Your video doorbell allows you to view whoever is at the front door from wherever you are. You can choose to answer them by speaking or leaving them a recorded voice message. Through the mobile app, you can view live footage whenever you want to and go back and view previous recordings.
Video doorbells also are the ultimate convenience and comfort to homeowners. The scenarios in which a video doorbell will make your life easier is endless. If you’re not at home but you’re expecting a package, you can monitor and receive alerts when you’re away from the house. You can tell the mailman to leave the package at the door if you want to. If you are at home but can’t come to the door you can speak directly to the guest or even unlock it if you have a smart lock. Also, if you need to check to see if your kids made it home safely, you can do that with the video storage provided by most video doorbells. After you have your video doorbell you will quickly see how much easier your life becomes.
Video Doorbells vs. Security Cameras
While a video doorbell may seem just like a front door security camera, they are not exactly the same. A security camera at your front will record any activity at your front door and can even send alerts when they detect any motion. A video doorbell isn’t exactly a home security device, but it can be used in conjunction with one.
Video Doorbells provide an immense amount of security and convenience by allowing you to constantly monitor and see who comes to your home, even when you’re not there. There are numerous benefits of a video doorbell but most are relating to home security and personal convenience.
For home security, the video doorbell essentially enhances your existing home security system. By allowing you to see who is at your door and answer them you can deter potential threats. Speaking directly to the people who are at your front door through the doorbell’s speakers allude that you are home. Most burglaries happen when you’re not home and when no one appears to be there. In the case of a break-in, the cameras and motion sensors can give an accurate depiction of the attacker.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro vs. Nest Hello
Most people searching for the perfect video doorbell are going to hear about the Ring vs Nest debate competition. The two companies are some of the top choices in the video doorbell market due to their exceptional features, power and smart home functionality. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro and the Nest Hello both pack a punch when it comes to tech specs, but they differ a bit in their special features.
For the standard specs like video quality, installation, and connectivity, the two hold just about the same amount of power. With both video doorbell brands, you’re looking at top high-resolution cameras with night vision and the same 160-degree field of view. Both of the smart doorbells require existing wiring and need 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz connectivity.
With both the Ring Pro Nest Hello you can integrate it with your existing smart home devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home.
The greatest difference between the Nest Hello and the Ring Pro lies in the special features they offer. In this case, the Nest Hello stands out in the competition. The small device packs in facial recognition feature, 24/7 live streaming and prerecorded messages for visitors. This all comes with a cheaper price tag as well.
Overall, the best video doorbell all comes down to how you want your video doorbell to enhance your daily life. Comparing specs, price, and functionality, your decision will result in a smarter home that makes your life a bit easier.Read More