Ring dominates the market when it comes to video doorbells, and they’ve successfully expanded into overall home security with cameras, lighting, and more. Ring’s success and popularity haven’t been without controversy. There was backlash over how police agencies requested data using Ring’s Neighbors app, which thankfully became more transparent with latest update. Before that, there were numerous reports of hackers infiltrating Ring smart cameras and using the microphones to harass and cajole owners — and their small children. Then, there was a security vulnerability in the Ring doorbell last year that could have potentially allowed hackers access to homeowners’ networks through Wi-Fi passwords.
All this is to say that some customers are understandably apprehensive about bringing Ring devices, particularly ones with cameras, into their homes and onto their properties. If you’re wondering what other options you have for home security and video monitoring, the answer is: Quite a bit.
There’s a host of video doorbells out there, and along with them, varying degrees of monitoring, recording, and even emergency help and 24/7 home surveillance and response.
- Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro
- SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro
- Blue by ADT Doorbell Camera
- Scout Video Doorbell
- Google Nest Hello
Vivint is one of the video doorbell manufacturers that takes package theft super seriously. Vivint’s approach is that its Doorbell Camera Pro doesn’t just record crime, it actively helps prevent it. How? When the camera sees someone trying to take a package, it activates a 65 dB speaker, which might scare off the thief and will also alert you and your neighbors. That’s actually a very unique and pretty cool feature that might result in a box bandit dropping your goods and making tracks.
Vivint’s monthly monitoring leans more toward a whole home security solution and starts at $30 a month, which also includes 24/7 professional home monitoring for emergency services. If you want to compare Vivint to Ring, we’ve saved you the work. Just read our side-by-side comparison, Vivint versus Ring: Which home security system is right for you?
SimpliSafe is one of the pioneers of do-it-yourself (DIY) security, and the company is known for its wireless home alarm systems. The doorbell is another link in that home security chain. SimpliSafe Doorbell Pro zaps you an alert when someone’s at the door — even if they don’t ring the bell. With a wide field of view and night vision, you can see everything happening outside your door.
SimpliSafe’s interface is designed to be a little more thoughtful with its alerts, using two different sensors: One spots the heat signatures of people, while another detects a human form. This should cut down on squirrels triggering the bell.
SimpliSafe’s standard monitoring plan at $15 per month gives you cellular backup in case of power loss — but zero access to cloud recordings. For that, you’ll need to upgrade to the Interactive option for about $25 each month. Read our review of the SimpliSafe Home Security System to get the finer details.
Security giant ADT is a familiar name, and they’ve branched out from traditional phone and armed responses to help you get a better look at what’s going on outside your home. With Blue by ADT Video Doorbell, you’ll check all the now-familiar video doorbell feature boxes, and you can do it with a trusted name that’s been around a long time.
ADT’s Blue Video Doorbell is super small, making it great for narrow doorways and trim, but it’s got full 1080p HD resolution plus a wide 180-degree field of view with night vision. You can customize your motion zones, a feature Ring is known for, and it’s got a lengthy 9.8-foot (3-meter) motion-detection range.
You do need doorbell wiring to affix this video bell, and, unlike competitors, there is no option for an audible chime or to connect to your old doorbell’s bell, so you need to keep your phone and the app handy.
With ADT’s self-monitoring, you can take control of your own security and monitoring or loop in with ADT’s vast network of pros and let them handle it. For $19.99 a month, you can upgrade to cellular backup coverage.
Anyone who’s ever had a package go missing from their doorstep knows how frustrating it can be. Video doorbells, like the Scout Video Doorbell, can help deter package theft and provide you with helpful video evidence for police reports, package claims, and to post on the neighborhood Facebook page to warn others.
The Scout Video Doorbell has all the features of some other models, including 1080p HD video recording in any lighting, two-way audio that lets you talk to visitors in real time via the Scout app, pre-recorded messages, and 24/7 coverage. Scout’s monitoring plans are more limited, though, and start at a higher price — around $9.99 per month — but you do get included 4G LTE backup and unlimited notifications.
Google’s answer to the video doorbell, Nest Hello, is designed to integrate with the entire Google Nest ecosystem seamlessly. You can get alerts to your smartphone, of course, but if you have a Google device with a screen, like the Google Nest Hub or Hub Max, you can get an instant look at who’s at the door.
Unlike some other video doorbells, Hello does not include a chime or speaker. Instead, it’s made to work with your existing chime (the physical doorbell). This doorbell is also wired, meaning you need to have existing doorbell wiring in the location you want to use it. That wiring keeps it powered 24/7, so there’s no need to worry about changing batteries.
If you don’t pay extra for the Nest Aware monitoring feature (where plans start at $8 per month), you will have only limited features with the doorbell. For example, you’ll only be able to see clips of events, not the video. You can, however, take a live look outside your door at any time.
With Nest’s smart Person Alerts, Nest Hello claims it can tell the difference between a person and a thing, then alert you if somebody is creeping on your doorstep.
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