The first doorbells date back to Victorian times when a twisting crank or pull rang an actual bell inside the house to alert residents to visitors at the door. Then, in 1831, scientist Joseph Henry invented the electric doorbell—but that tech wouldn’t become popular until the next century when people in the United States got over their (honestly super legit) fear of living in electrified houses. The next big breakthrough was the smart doorbell, which enabled video monitoring and hit the market in 2013.

This kit offers high definition and night vision. XTU

Smart doorbells harness Wi-Fi to monitor the area around the door 100% wirelessly, which means no messing with wires or outlets. Look for an option that includes advanced video features like infrared night vision and live view as well as two-way audio so you can “answer” the doorbell remotely.

This option stores data for up to 60 days and includes mobile notifications. Ring

For maximum convenience, many smart doorbells connect to an app so you can receive mobile notifications and modify your settings remotely. Look for a setup that records videos and stores them for up to 60 days so you can review and share videos and photos more easily—and retroactively monitor past activity if something comes up.

This setup includes advanced algorithms to filter unnecessary notifications. eufy

Video doorbells are only as good as their image quality, so look for a high definition option with distortion correction for the clearest view of your door. Some setups rely on advanced AI technology to detect movement and discern between human visitors and roaming animals so you get fewer notifications when the local raccoons visit your garbage bins.