Help me, Tom's Guide: What security camera and video doorbell should I get?

Help me Tom's Guide
(Image credit: Ring, Nest, Arlo, Wyze, Eufy)

Often, when someone buys a video doorbell, they don't stop there; many also add more devices, such as a security camera or smart floodlight. However, you don't want to be stuck switching from one app to check on your door, and another app to check on your camera. But which company offers the best value when it comes to getting multiple devices to secure your home?

While we've reviewed many of the best video doorbells and the best outdoor security cameras, we look at them individually, and not necessarily as part of a group of products. So if you want to go with a family of products when you’re outfitting your home, which makes the most sense? That’s just the question that Steve, one of our readers, wanted to know.

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I'm looking for 3 cameras, one for my front door which could be a doorbell camera, another which would be a flood light for the side of my garage where we don't have any windows and a third one for the back if my home in my screen porch. Does any combo exist for what I'm looking for? I don't really want 3 different apps on my phone but only one with the 3 cameras if possible. More interested in wired cameras but not against battery if better and something with a reasonable monthly subscription if not free. 

— Steve

If you're thinking about buying a video doorbell and one or more security cameras, it pays to stick with the same brand, not just for convenience, but also for your wallet. That's because many companies offer a discount on their subscription services if you have more than two devices. We highlight this in our best security camera storage plans article, but I'll summarize things here for some of the top brands.

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Security camera subscription fees
Row 0 - Cell 0 1 cameraUnlimited camerasRecording days

On a dollar-for-dollar basis, Ring offers the best value; while it's not the least expensive plan, it offers you the longest amount of storage — you'll be able to view recordings as far back as 180 days. On an individual camera basis, Wyze is the least expensive option, but you only get to view 14 days of recordings.

Now, let's get down to the products themselves. For several companies, I priced out a video doorbell, floodlight camera, and security camera, and tried to keep the cost as close to $500 as I could. I then added what a subscription would cost over two years.


Ring Video Doorbell ($99)
Floodlight Cam Wired Plus ($199)
Spotlight Cam Plus ($199)

Total equipment costs: $497
Total after two years: $697

If you've seen our story on the best Ring video doorbells, you know that the company has nine video doorbells, but for this exercise, I chose its least expensive model that we like. While it doesn't have the head-to-toe video of some of its pricier options, you do get package detection. 

Ring also has a number of other accessories, such as motion sensors and smart lights, so it's easy to expand the system around your home, too. 


Arlo Essential Wireless video doorbell ($129)
Arlo Pro 3 Wireless floodlight ($249)
Arlo Essential Spotlight ($129)

Total equipment cost: $507
Total after two years: $747

As you can see, while Arlo's equipment costs aren't much more than Ring's, its higher subscription cost drives up the price. One thing to note, though: Arlo's subscription also covers 4K camera resolution — something its competitors don't. As we mentioned in our Arlo Pro 4 review, not only does this provide sharper video, but also lets you digitally pan and zoom in on subjects. However, you will need to spend more initially for one of its 4K-capable cameras. 


Nest Doorbell Wired ($149)
Nest Cam with Floodlight ($279)
Nest Cam (Battery) ($179)

Total equipment cost: $637
Total after two years: $757

Nest is a bit of a unique case. The company offers three hours of video recording history for free, as well as person, package, and vehicle detection — something Ring and Arlo charge for. However, if someone comes through your yard in the middle of the night, you're not going to know it unless you happen to be awake, in which case it's worth paying for storage. 

The price of Nest's equipment is a bit more expensive upfront, but over two years, the cost isn't as large because of its lower subscription fees. If you like Nest, then wait until their products go on sale.


Wyze Video Doorbell Pro: $93.99
Wyze Cam Floodlight Pro: $149
Wyze Cam: $35

Total equipment cost: $237
Total after two years: $477

Wyze's smart home devices are great for their value. While you're not going to get the video quality of Nest, Ring, or Arlo, you'll get good-enough performance for a much lower price. 


Eufy S330 Dual video doorbell ($259)
Eufy S100 Wired Wall light cam ($149)
Eufy Security S220 SoloCam ($129)

Total price: $537

Last but not least is Eufy, which doesn't charge a subscription to save videos. It also lets you store videos locally, either on the cameras themselves or in a base station. (Eufy's dual video doorbell camera comes with the base station, though you will have to provide your own hard drive). 

We haven't had a chance to test the Eufy S100 Wired Wall light cam, so we can't say how it will perform compared to other smart floodlights we've tested. However, we do like Eufy's video doorbell and its security camera, so we feel reasonably confident that its floodlight camera will also perform well. 

I hope this makes things a bit easier for you to decide which system to purchase. One more consideration: Ring, Arlo, Wyze, and Nest all either have, or work with, professional security monitoring companies. So, if you want even more peace of mind when you leave your home, you can integrate your existing devices into a home security system. This will cost more — you'll need some more equipment in your home, and the monitoring fees are around $20 per month — but at least you won't have to get rid of everything you already purchased.

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Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.