A Ring video doorbell mounted outside an apartment door.
Ring/Amazon

When you own your home, mounting a video doorbell is pretty straightforward. If you’re in an apartment or rental, it can be a bit tricky, though. Here’s how to use a video doorbell without losing your deposit.

Select Your Doorbell Carefully

If you’re shopping for a video doorbell for your apartment, get off on the right foot by purchasing a battery-powered model, not a wired model intended to be used with traditional doorbell wiring.

Skip the wiring-required models and go with the battery-only or wiring-optional video doorbells like Ring, Blink, and the battery version of the Nest Doorbell.

Ring 3 Video Doorbell

With superior battery life to previous models, the Ring 3 makes it easy to park your video doorbell anywhere you want it and go longer without recharging it.

You’ll note that our selections are just battery versions of the popular mainstream video doorbells on the market, as those are your best bet. You’ll get the highest quality product with useful features, good support, and easy smart home integration.

There are specialty “peephole” video cameras on the market, but they’re very hit or miss in terms of quality and have lackluster (or non-existent) smart home integration. If you want a peephole camera, there is really only one option on the market worth looking at, the Ring Peephole Cam.

Ring Peephole Camera

As far as smart home peephole cameras are concerned, the Ring Peephole Camera is the only product worth looking at.

Formerly called the Ring Door View Camera, Ring discontinued it (much to our disappointment) and the original version of this article lamented how the only good peephole camera on the market was missing and that we hoped Ring would bring it back.

Serendipitously, the same day we published this article Ring announced the Door View Camera was back with a new name. If you can swap out your peephole, it’s the most low profile apartment doorbell camera you’ll find. If you can’t (or don’t want to use a Ring) keep reading.

No-Drill Mounts Are Your Best Bet

No-drill video doorbell mounts are about as close to a match made in heaven as you can get for renters looking to put up a video doorbell without damaging anything.

While there are various mounts on the market, one of the most popular is the Doorbell Boa. The design of it, and similar models, is pretty clever.

It’s a thin C-shaped bracket with a box to lock your video doorbell in on one side and a no-scratch tension screw on the other.

Doorbell Boa

This sturdy video doorbell mount is generously sized and nearly universal for the various video doorbells on the market.

You open the door, slip it over the edge of the door, tighten it down, and it’s secured in place. Short of somebody showing up with a battery-powered angle grinder, it’s not coming off the door.

Better yet, it doesn’t involve drilling into anything or modifying your door or walls. There’s no adhesive to clean up later, either.

Specialty Mounting Tape Works, Too

If you’re not a fan of the no-drill mount or your door frame and/or door depth is a poor fit for the bracket, you may have to move on to Plan B: mounting tape.

Using mounting tape isn’t as ideal, given that you can’t easily take it down, and it’ll likely be a bit of a hassle to get the adhesive off when you finally do. But you can stack the deck in your favor by using outdoor Command Strips to adhere the video doorbell.

There is an art to mounting a video doorbell with tape, however, including selecting the right video doorbell mounting plate to use with your tape.

The Best Video Doorbells of 2023

Ring Video Doorbell 4
Best Video Doorbell Overall
Ring Video Doorbell 4
Ring Video Doorbell Wired
Best Budget Doorbell
Ring Video Doorbell Wired
Arlo Essential Doorbell
Best Video Doorbell without a Subscription
Arlo Essential Doorbell
Profile Photo for Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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