Good Morning
Good Morning

Top picks for smart doorbells with live streaming video

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 uses a battery

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 uses a battery -- no wiring needed. Credit: CBS Interactive / Alexandra Gavillet

No peephole? No sweat.

When someone shows up at your doorstep, you want to make sure that it’s a visitor for whom you want to put out the welcome mat, These smart doorbells can show you a livestream of the person at your front door.

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Senior associate editor Megan Wollerton and senior editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit

SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell

CNET rating (out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD The doorbell has a 1080p high-definition resolution, on-demand clip recording and free video storage.

THE BAD There’s no Web interface, it doesn’t work directly with Samsung’s SmartThings or Wink, and you can’t tweak push alert settings or the quality of the video resolution in the app.

THE COST $169.75

BOTTOM LINE Its resolution and array of third-party integrations set it apart from the pack.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

CNET rating (out of 5)

3.5 stars (very good)

THE GOOD Like the SkyBell, Ring’s Video Doorbell Pro also has 1080p HD video resolution. Thanks to its slim design, this doorbell can fit more easily on a door frame than its oversized competition.

THE BAD You have to pay a minimum of $3 per month for cloud video storage.

THE COST $199 to $249.99

BOTTOM LINE A solid smart buzzer, and its space-saving design is a huge selling point.

August Doorbell Cam

CNET rating (out of 5)

3.5 stars (very good)

THE GOOD On-demand livestreaming and a 1280x960 HD resolution are two features that you don’t normally see in first-generation Wi-Fi buzzers. The video feed and push alerts are responsive and the app is easy to navigate.

THE BAD This smart buzzer has to be hard-wired and it isn’t compatible with digital chimes or intercom systems (only mechanical chimes).

THE COST $168.75 to $199.99

BOTTOM LINE One of the best models for the money.

Ring Video Doorbell 2

CNET rating (out of 5)

3.5 stars (very good)

THE GOOD The removable lithium ion battery makes it easy to install — and even easier to charge.

THE BAD You have to sign up for Ring’s optional fee-based cloud storage service to save and review past video clips. Its large size makes it a difficult fit on most door frames.


BOTTOM LINE Look no further than Ring’s battery-powered Video Doorbell 2 if you don’t want to deal with electrical wiring.

More news