Confirm your guests—and keep tabs on your packages—with these smart security solutions
The most trafficked area of your home may not actually be indoors.
Between food deliveries, package arrivals and socially distanced drop-offs, the doorstep could be your property’s most important feature—and smart technology exists to help you keep tabs on this essential area.
Doorbell cameras enable users to see who—or what—is at your doorstep from anywhere in your house. Here are a few of our top picks for electric eyes out front.
Nest Hello Doorbell
Hello, from Google’s smart home brand Nest, is the feature-filled doorbell camera that you would expect from a tech giant. This Wi-Fi-connected device that can work with your existing wired doorbell, provides 24/7 streaming video directly to your phone, tablet or computer, captured in a 160-degree field of view, and presented in full-body 4:3, crystal-clear video, so users can see every detail of what’s on their doorstep. The Nest Hello is even clever enough to recognize packages—or frequent visitors—and send specialized notifications to your smart device. The Hello will also allow owners to use pre-recorded messages for when they can’t make it to the door, and the doorbell preserves the last three hours of video—so you can see exactly where a missing package went.
The Nest Hello doorbell is available for $229.
Arlo Essential Wireless Video Doorbell
The Arlo Essential Wireless Video Doorbell gives users the full picture of what is going on outside their door at any given moment—and with live-streaming HD video capturing a wider 180-degree viewing angle, it does just that. But Arlo knows you won’t be staring at your phone, watching your front door all day, so it’s built a highly intelligent, hugely customizable system of notifications for its users. Don’t care if a dog runs by? Tell Arlo to ignore animals. Only want a heads-up when a person has arrived? Arlo is eager to oblige. And for those who need to be in the know, Arlo can also send a notification whenever any movement is detected. Arlo can also act something like a voicemail system, allowing visitors to leave recorded messages, if you can’t make it to the door.
The Arlo Essential Wireless Video Doorbell is available for $199.
Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro
Built to ensure that your deliveries always make it to your hands, the Doorbell Camera Pro takes a proactive approach to thwarting package thieves. Equipped with Smart Deter technology, the Doorbell Camera Pro identifies when someone is attempting to remove a package from your porch and automatically activates a red LED Ring and a 65-decibel message warning the would-be thief that they are being recorded. In addition to its sturdy security features, Vivint’s smart doorbell performs many of the tasks you would want from a doorbell camera, including streaming live 1080p HD video to your connected device of choice. The Doorbell Camera Pro also possesses the ability to distinguish between people and packages and can let you know which exactly has shown up on your front step.
Quotes for the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro are available at vivint.com
Ring Video Doorbell Elite
The grandfather of the video doorbell trend, Ring is still an industry leader in the smart security device. The Ring Video Doorbell Elite offers homeowners live, on-demand 1080p HD video streaming to their smartphone, tablet, computer or Alexa-enabled gadget over a high-speed, wired ethernet connection—providing incredibly sharp viewing and uninterrupted service. In addition to providing real-time notifications for when someone is out front, the Elite boasts a set of solid security features, like motion-activated alerts, infrared night vision, and crime and safety alerts from public agencies.
The Ring Video Doorbell Elite is available for $349.