When you spend your hard-earned money and order a package, you hope the thing you are buying will bring delight to you and your family--and not to a “porch pirate” who snags your delivery before you ever get to see it. And yet a 2017 survey from insuranceQuotes found that 25.9 million Americans have had packages stolen from their houses.
While there are many things you can do to help prevent package theft, one of the best is installing a video doorbell. A video doorbell does not physically prevent theft like a package dropbox or porch bag, but it can act as a powerful deterrent. Additionally, if a package is stolen, a video doorbell can help to capture evidence on exactly who the package-napper is. This information can be a profound help when you’re working with local police or online companies to try to get your package returned.
So without further ado, here are the five best video doorbells of 2019.
#1: Best Video Doorbell Under $200
Ring Video Doorbell 2
At $199, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is one of the best video doorbells on the market at a great price. It features a 1080 HD camera with infrared night vision, allowing you to watch your doorstep--and packages--day and night. You can connect to this doorbell with your phone, tablet or PC, making it easy to monitor your house when you’re away from home. The system sends alerts to your devices whenever motion is detected, or when someone rings the doorbell. The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is Alexa-compatible, and it includes lifetime theft protection.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 can be powered either via a removable, rechargeable battery pack, or through permanent doorbell wiring. It then connects to your other devices through Wi-Fi. If you find that your Wi-Fi network does not extend well enough to your front door, a Ring Chime Pro is a great way to help it reach that extra distance, while also providing the ability to hear alerts throughout your house whether you have your phone on you or not.
There’s a lot we like about the Ring Video Doorbell 2, but one potential downside is that it does require a subscription for optimal function. The subscription is only $3 per month, so it’s not exactly going to break the bank, but it’s still always nice to know all the potential costs before you sign up for something.
#2: Video Doorbell With The Best Smart Home Integration
Nest Hello Video Doorbell
At $229, the Nest Hello Video Doorbell is slightly more expensive, but it has a lot of features that make it very attractive. For one, it has a slightly different camera setup that is designed to show people in their entirety, instead of cutting them off partway. This may make it easier for this doorbell to capture more of your porch--and the packages on it.
Another advantage of the Nest Hello is that it has a better frame rate than the Ring 2. While the Ring camera records footage at 15 frames per second, the Nest Hello records at double that, which means that you will have smoother video and may have an easier time recognizing the people on your porch, especially if they’re moving quickly. And speaking of recognizing people, the Nest Hello offers a facial recognition feature (offered with a subscription to Nest Aware).
Another perk that comes with that subscription is the ability to access a complete video history from the last 5, 10, or 30 days (depending on the subscription you order). Unlike many other video doorbells, the Nest Hello records continuously, not just when triggered by motion. This can give you more footage to review, should something unfortunate happen to one of your packages.
One downside of the Nest Hello is that, unlike the Ring 2, it cannot operate on a battery pack. It needs to be hardwired into the house, and that means that someone has to install it, whether it’s you or a professional, which makes it slightly less convenient. Unlike the Ring 2, the Nest Hello works with Google Nest, not Alexa.
#3: Best Video Doorbell under $100
Ring Video Doorbell
You can think of the Ring Video Doorbell as the little brother of the Ring 2. They’ve got a lot in common, but the Ring 2 is slightly more sophisticated. On the other hand, at only $99.99, it’s really hard to argue that Ring 1 isn’t worth it. Instead of filming in 1080p, like the Ring 2, the Ring 1 films in 720p. The camera field is also somewhat different on the ring 1. Surprisingly, it captures a wider field than its big brother, with 180 degrees horizontally and 110 vertically to the Ring 2’s 160 horizontal and 110 vertical.
If you’re looking to install a video doorbell that works with Alexa but don’t want to break the bank, the Ring Video Doorbell may just be the right one for you.
#4: Best Value Video Doorbell
If even swinging $100 for the Ring 1 doesn’t sound doable, that doesn’t necessarily mean that having a video doorbell is an impossibility. At $59.99, the DophiGo 960p is just about as cheap as it gets. At that price, if it keeps even one package from being stolen, it’s probably already paid for itself!
The DophiGo works off of a rechargeable battery, which makes it convenient and easy to install. As the name suggests, it records in 960p HD, and like the other doorbells on our list, it features night vision capabilities. And purchasing the DophiGo gives you access to life-time free cloud storage, meaning that you don’t need a subscription plan to keep your video recordings.
#5: Smarter Than Average Video Doorbell
NETVUE Video Doorbell
If you want the smartest doorbell you can find on a budget, you might consider the NETVUE Video Doorbell. At 129.99, the NETVUE has a variety of attractive features. This doorbell (like most on our list) is Alexa compatible. It features motion detection and night vision capabilities, and it has a high quality microphone and speaker, so you can greet visitors or the Amazon delivery person. Or if you’d prefer, scream at the passerby who’s suspiciously eyeing the package on your front porch.
The NETVUE Video Doorbell features facial recognition, much like the Nest Hello, but at a cheaper price. It can be used with either an iPhone or Android.