CNET - Best overall video doorbell: Arlo Video Doorbell

Dec 20, 2021

We've tested the major video doorbells on the market, and these are the ones worth your money.


Arlo's wired Video Doorbell cam is easy to install, performs well and has competitive features and cloud storage fees starting at just $3 a month. With a cloud storage subscription, this wired doorbell gives you access to advanced functionality like custom person, animal, vehicle and package alerts.

The Arlo Video Doorbell, our pick for best video doorbell overall, also features HD video, a built-in siren, two-way audio, motion detection zones and arm/disarm modes.


Arlo's wireless doorbell is essentially identical to its wired version -- other than the fact that this doorbell cam relies on a battery instead. Wireless doorbells tend to be pricier but they offer convenient solutions to anyone without doorbell wiring.

The Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell has a great image, smart notifications and a dependable design. The real standout features are the expansive 180-degree field of view and affordable $3-a-month subscription for 30 days of cloud storage and other perks.

How CNET tests video doorbells

Testing to determine the best video doorbell is similar to testing any other home security camera. First I download the corresponding app and create an account (if I don't already have one). While a lot of products include tutorial booklets in the box with your purchase, I prefer to start with the app. A good app includes detailed steps on the installation process, as well as how to connect to your Wi-Fi network and actually get the smart device up and running. It's your one-stop shop for taking your doorbell setup from start to finish.

Make sure the doorbell is installed based on the manufacturer's specifications -- either hardwired doorbell or battery- or solar-powered. As soon as it's connected and I'm able to view the live video feed, I check the settings. I make sure features like motion detection or activity zones are enabled (they aren't always turned on by default) to get a complete sense of what it's like to use the product -- and to see how well the device actually works as a replacement to a regular, nonsmart doorbell. 


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