The best video doorbell cameras

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The best video doorbell cameras

As people who get a lot of packages, we here at the Gadget Lab have a surefire way to make sure an important delivery happens: Just walk into the shower. If you’re sitting at your desk with your shoes on, waiting and ready, I guarantee every knock or bell is from someone trying to convert you into an obscure and expensive religion.

Even if you’re working in the backyard or having a hangover in bed, a smart video doorbell can help you decide which knocks are worth trying and which ones can wait until the next. My colleague Simon Hill and I have been testing these doorbells for months, staring at Instacart deliveries and stray raccoons from the safety and comfort of our couch. These are your best options.

Don’t see anything you need here? Don’t forget to check out our guide to the best indoor and outdoor security cameras and our guide to the best personal safety equipment and alarms.

The best smart doorbell

Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell
After months of testing, this doorbell performs reliably. It provides an expansive 180-degree square view of your front porch, quick alerts with clear notifications, and detailed day and night video. False positives are rare, and it never misses an action. Compared to other smart doorbell apps, the companion app loads a live view or recorded video very simply and relatively quickly.

I also appreciate that someone pressing the doorbell triggers a call on my phone. These calls are more reliable and quicker than other doorbell alarms, especially when away from home. The notification system is also better than most competitors, with boxes that highlight themes and animated previews that often save you from opening apps.

You can get the wired model for $150, or pay an extra $50 for the battery-powered version, but you’ll need the Arlo Secure plan ($3 per month) to take advantage of both. Without a subscription, Arlo doorbells are limited to live streaming and motion notifications. Arlo Secure adds significant additional features, including 30-day cloud video history, animation previews, interactive notifications, activity zones, and detection intelligence, enabling it to sort by people, packages, animals, and vehicles. If you don’t want to be pinged every time a neighbor’s cat crosses your porch, the ability to designate areas that should trigger motion alerts and filter them so you’re only notified about people .

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