One easy way to safeguard your against property theft, home invasion, porch pirates, and even unwanted solicitors is to identify who is at your doorstep before opening the door. Enter the video doorbell, a first line of defense for homeowners that not only lets you see and speak with the person outside, but also records footage of visitors that approach your door while you're away or unable to answer. These devices typically use Wi-Fi to stream live video to your phone and offer a variety of features, including cloud video storage, motion detection, sirens, and interoperability with smart locks and other smart home devices. Read on to find out what to look for when choosing a video doorbell for your home.
As it turns out, OEMs and carriers have taken matters into their own hands for video chatting. Some carriers, including Verizon, T-Mobile, and others have video calling built into every phone sold by the carrier. You can quickly and easily video chat with anyone else on the service. Thus, someone with a Galaxy S7 on T-Mobile and someone with an LG V20 on T-Mobile can video call each other directly from the dialer app like you were making a phone call. They're a bit restrictive, but they tend to work pretty well when you can actually use them. We hope these options are expanded over time.
Viber began life as a voice calling app. You used to be able to call people on the service along with regular phone calls. It has since evolved into a full-fledged messaging service. You can still make phone calls like you could before (for a fee). You can also text chat, video call, and more. It also features encryption on voice, text, and video calls between Viber users. There are a few extra fun features like hidden chats as well. It's a little bit heavier, similar to Facebook Messenger. However, it's otherwise not bad. The app isn't overly popular in the United States, but it's quite big Internationally. The in-app purchases are for things like stickers and other personalization items.

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Wired doorbells are not quite as easy to install as their wireless counterparts, but they are far from difficult and you don't have to worry about losing power unless your whole house loses power. Since most homes already have doorbell wiring, installing a video doorbell is as easy as removing your old doorbell, disconnecting the two wires, connecting your new doorbell to the wires, and attaching it to the outside of your house. In most cases you can connect the doorbell to an existing chime box as well.

Molly K. McLaughlin is a New York-based writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering technology. She has tested and reviewed all sorts of software, mobile apps, and gadgets. Before launching her freelance business, she was an editor at PC Magazine, covering consumer electronics, followed by a stint at ConsumerSearch.com, a revie... See Full Bio


PowerDirector is one of the most comprehensive video editor apps on this list. It comes with a ton of features, including quick editing tools, various effects and other tools, and it even comes with things like a collage maker and slow motion support. The interface is relatively easy to work with and it utilizes the classic timeline editor method. It should be more familiar for those who video edit often. It’s free to download and use, but you’ll need to fork out some extra money to get all the features. This is a for real video editor, especially for larger screens like Chromebooks or tablets.

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Love FilmoraGo! This app is truly amazing! I usually download apps first and give them a good try before rating them but this right here beats any other editing app. I just made an edit and it turned out perfect. Hope to see this grow further in the near future! Also some frame rate issues could be fixed. Occurs a lot when tiny clips are combined, not allowing it to play right. Overall a great app.
FilmoraGo for iOS is an easy-to-use app to take your normal, everyday videos into artist creations that will look like it cost hundreds of dollars to create. Just choose a video, select an overall theme and design for the video and add the music you like. It also provides basic video editing functions like trim, filters and transitions. Another great part is that, it automates your video, allowing you to just pick the best parts that you need and let the app do the rest.

Several of the products here (Adobe Premiere Elements is a notable exception) still support 3D video editing if that's your thing, though the this has been replaced by 360-degree VR footage like that shot by the Samsung Gear 360 as the current home-theater fad. As is often the case, our Editors' Choice, CyberLink PowerDirector was the first product in this group to offer support for this new kind of video media.

Using this app, you can create awesome green screen videos. PowerDirector also comes with tutorial videos for all of its functions. Most of its features are available in the free version, but upgrading to the full version allows you to remove watermark, ads, and even to extract videos in 1080 and 4K resolutions. It is supported in Android 4.3 and above.

Another program, VSDC Video Editor Pro, simply has too outdated an interface, making common tasks difficult. Longtime pro video editors will note the absence of Avid Media Composer, which is simply too unwieldy for PCMag's primarily consumer audience. There are a couple of more interesting applications—NCH VideoPad and AVS Video Editor among them—that we simply haven't tested yet.

One of the capabilities that has been making its way into consumer-level video editing software is more-detailed color grading. Color wheels, curves, and histograms give editors control over the intensity of every shade. Related to this is support for LUTs (lookup tables), also known as CLUTs (color lookup tables). This staple of pro-level software lets you quickly change the look of a video to give it a specific mood. For example, think of the dark blue look of thriller movies like The Revenant. You can download LUTs for free from several sites or use those included with some video software to give your video a specific look. One well-known LUT type is the kind that can make a daytime scene look like it was shot at night.
Other measures of performance include startup time and simple stability. Again, video editing is a taxing activity for any computer, involving many components. In the past, video editing programs took longer than most other apps to start up, and unexpected shutdowns were unfortunately common, even in top apps from top developers such as Adobe and Apple. The stability situation has greatly improved, but the complexity of the process, which increases as more powerful effects are added, means crashes will likely never be fully eliminated, and they often raise their ugly heads after a program update, as I found with the latest version of Pinnacle Studio.
Skype is one of the most popular video chat apps for any platform. It has native apps on most platforms, including PC, which makes it one of the best cross-platform options out there. The Android app certainly isn't perfect, but it can usually get the job done. You can do group video calls with up to 25 people. The app also features a free text chat, Microsoft and Facebook account integration, and you can even call regular cell phones for a nominal fee. The app still needs work, but it's definitely better than it was a year or two ago. The cross-platform support is top notch as well.

Another program, VSDC Video Editor Pro, simply has too outdated an interface, making common tasks difficult. Longtime pro video editors will note the absence of Avid Media Composer, which is simply too unwieldy for PCMag's primarily consumer audience. There are a couple of more interesting applications—NCH VideoPad and AVS Video Editor among them—that we simply haven't tested yet.


As with all software services, pricing and packages are an important consideration when it comes to video conferencing. The prices quoted and the product descriptions below are typically for the lowest level of service per user per month. (For more pricing information, click through to the individual reviews.) All but one of the video conferencing services I tested offers free trials (most for 30 days) and many don't require a credit card on file, which means you don't have to worry about being charged automatically when the trial ends.

CutStory is a video editing app for Instagram stories. It makes it easy to chop a longer video up into the required length for Instagram Stories (15 seconds maximum per clip). This way, you can repurpose longer videos—from your brand’s YouTube library, for example—and create more robust content without having to continually stop and start the camera.
JusTalk is another one of the lesser-known video chat apps. However, it's actually pretty decent. You'll be able to theme your app as you please. Additionally, you can do things like doodle while in a video call to add a bit of fun to the proceedings. It also features group chats, encryption, and cross-platform support. It's a decent alternative to something like Google Duo where video calls are the primary feature. However, we don't see it competing too favorably with a chat app that also has video chat features. The app is free to download and use. The in-app purchases are for things like themes and other personalization perks. They don't affect functionality, really.

I test each service's prominent features, but it's up to you to decide whether or not you need dial-in numbers, VoIP, or both options for your audio, and whether or not you need video calls in addition to screen sharing. Some services offer both teleconferencing with dial-in numbers (local or toll-free) and VoIP calling, while some offer just one or the other. A few offer international dial-in numbers. Adobe Connect doesn't offer teleconferencing at all but can be integrated with a number of other services. Most offer video calls via webcam, although a few don't.


PowerDirector is one of the most comprehensive video editor apps on this list. It comes with a ton of features, including quick editing tools, various effects and other tools, and it even comes with things like a collage maker and slow motion support. The interface is relatively easy to work with and it utilizes the classic timeline editor method. It should be more familiar for those who video edit often. It’s free to download and use, but you’ll need to fork out some extra money to get all the features. This is a for real video editor, especially for larger screens like Chromebooks or tablets.
Using this app, you can create awesome green screen videos. PowerDirector also comes with tutorial videos for all of its functions. Most of its features are available in the free version, but upgrading to the full version allows you to remove watermark, ads, and even to extract videos in 1080 and 4K resolutions. It is supported in Android 4.3 and above. 

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