The best video doorbell 2021: see who’s outside with a smart doorbell camera

Boost your home security with the best video doorbell camera – including the best cheap video doorbell camera options

Ring Video Doorbell 2nd Gen
(Image credit: Ring)

The best video doorbells are a smart upgrade you'll wonder why you ever lived without. Smart camera doorbells enable you to see who's at the door on your phone from anywhere you have an internet connection, and even to talk to them. This means you need never miss a delivery (you can just tell the courier where to leave the parcel), you don't need to leave your garden to tell a visiting friend to come around the back, and you can just straight-up ignore cold callers.

The best video doorbells are a massive improvement for people with mobility issues, or who are especially vulnerable. They can ask a caller to wait while they make it to the door at their own speed, or can ask them their business without unlocking. And deaf people will get pinged right on their phone, where they can feel the vibration, and see the notification.

You can also do useful things like connect your doorbell to the best smart bulbs so the lights change when someone presses the button, and they can connect to the best smart speakers, both to make a sound when someone calls, and to see and talk to whoever's there.

The best video doorbells can also function as security cameras, warning you when they've detected motion, as well as when someone has pushed the button. Many of them are part of the same ecosystems of products as the best security cameras, so you could also see what's happening in the garden from the same app.

And they're easier than ever to install, with many models not requiring any wiring at all, and easy fitting either with drills or adhesive alone in some cases.

Oh, and they're remarkably affordable these days – not some luxury for rich techies, but priced low enough to be a natural upgrade for anyone who'd benefit from one. You'll find the current lowest prices for our picks on this page, but don't forget to check out our best cheap Ring Video Doorbell deals, too!

What is the best video doorbell?

For most people, the best video doorbell of the moment is the All-new Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen). The name is a little on the confusing side, but the product is straightforward: it offers sharp and clear image quality, and the option or either running it battery powered or wired. It comes with great customisability for its options (including the ability to set motion detection in specific zones, and the black out parts of the image to protect neighbours' privacy), and is a really affordable price. You can use it just as a smart doorbell and motion detector without a subscription – to record footage requires a Ring plan additional payment.

The best video doorbell cameras right now

Best video doorbell: Ring Video Doorbell (gen 2)

(Image credit: Ring / Amazon)

1. All-new Ring Video Doorbell (gen 2)

The best video doorbell balancing price and performance

Specifications
Video: 1080p HD
Audio: Two-way
Power: Battery/Hardwired
FOV: 155°
Motion detection: Yes
Night vision: Infrared
IFTTT compatible: Yes
Integration: Alexa, IFTTT
Storage: Cloud
Reasons to buy
+Very inexpensive+Full HD sensor+Decent motion detection and night vision
Reasons to avoid
-No quick-swap battery

With the second generation of its bog-standard Video Doorbell, Ring really has let the best technology trickle down. The sensor gets a kick up from the 720p of its predecessor to a full 1080p number, there's newly-upgraded motion sensing and night vision, and a host of other tweaks that make this the best video doorbell, pound-for-pound, that you can buy today. 

It's almost comical how good this is when the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is twice its price, given that the latter includes only small quality of life upgrades over this. Sure, there are downsides to the Ring Video Doorbell, the fact that you'll have to unscrew the thing from its wall mount to charge it being prime amongst them, but you only need to do this every couple of months, and it's probably worth sacrificing a little convenience for such a quality product at such a low price.

Bear in mind that the price you pay for any Ring product, like many others, is not limited to the initial hardware outlay. If you want to store your footage in the cloud, there's a fee. If you want a proper chime (and don't have an existing doorbell to wire it in to) you'll need to buy one – though the All-new Ring Chime is only around £30/$30. Even given all this, the All-new Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen) is a superb option, even if it is difficult to recite its name ten times fast.

All-new Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen) vs Ring Video Doorbell 3: the choice explained

Best video doorbell: Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus

(Image credit: Ring / Amazon)

2. Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus

Plus price, perhaps, but video pre-roll is a killer feature

Specifications
Video: 1080p HD
Audio: Two-way
Power: Battery/Hardwired
FOV: 160°
Motion detection: Yes
Night vision: Infrared
IFTTT compatible: Yes
Integration: Alexa, IFTTT
Storage: Cloud
Reasons to buy
+Great video features+Loads of bundled accessories+Removable battery

Rolling towards the higher end of the Ring lineup, you get a camera almost visually identical to the base level unit, save for the easily removable face plate. That's there so that you can pull out the rechargeable battery and quickly switch it out with a new one. You'll find mildly upgraded hardware inside, with a slightly different sensor and lens, and dual-band 5GHz networking, which isn't actually that big a boon for this type of product, but hey – it's here.

The key feature of the Plus over the slightly-cheaper Video Doorbell 3 (which we're not recommending because we thing paying the extra for this version is smarter) is its constant recordings; there's a low-energy sensor continuously filming in black and white, and when triggered by a motion alert, it stitches on a few seconds of pre-roll ahead of the full-quality video recorded after the motion alert, potentially giving you much more information in the case of a security breach. All in all, a great security device, and a great video doorbell, as our full Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus review explains.

One neat thing, too, is that the Ring Video Doorbell 3 includes mounting wedges in the box, allowing you to get just the right angle for your camera without paying extra for a chunk of plastic. These, plus the removable battery and pre-roll are the main reasons to get this version compared to the cheaper model above – they all certainly make it more convenient, but whether they're worth spending the extra on is up to you. We will say that the wedge mounts are more useful than you might be expecting.

Best video doorbell: Arlo Video Doorbell

(Image credit: Arlo)

3. Arlo Video Doorbell

The new kid on the block, but packed with old expertise

Specifications
Video: 1536x1536
Audio: Two-way
Power: Hardwired
FOV: 180° diagonal
Motion detection: Yes
Night vision: Infrared
IFTTT compatible: Yes
Integration: Alexa, IFTTT, Google Home
Storage: Cloud
Reasons to buy
+Huge camera view+SIP video call alerts+Good smart home integration
Reasons to avoid
-Wired only

Arlo's small doorbell camera doesn't exactly shout that it's a doorbell. That could be an issue, given that some callers won't look for more than a second before hammering on your front door with a closed fist instead, but that's just about the only thing it doesn't do well.

The key feature here is its camera, which has a 180-degree diagonal field of view and a unique square video ratio, meaning it can pick up the full length of whatever's in front of it. That makes it great for keeping an eye on packages that have been left on your doorstep, and recording footage of porch pirates scurrying off with them, if that's a concern.

You will need existing doorbell wiring to install the Arlo Video Doorbell (no batteries here)m though it doesn't explicitly need the Arlo Hub that Arlo's other security cameras (such as the Arlo Pro 3) rely on; it can do most things on its own. That includes not just alerting you of a motion event but video calling you as well, so you just swipe to see what's going on.

Best video doorbell camera: Nest Hello


4. Nest Hello

A superb video doorbell with the best motion detection

Specifications
Video: 1080p HD
Audio: Two-way
Power: Hardwired
FOV: 160°
Motion detection: Yes
Night vision: Infrared
IFTTT compatible: Yes
Integration: Alexa, IFTTT, Nest
Storage: Cloud
Reasons to buy
+Handy face recognition+Strong and stable cloud storage+Continuous recording option

As Amazon picked up Ring, so Google picked up Nest, and it now has a great wireless video doorbell of its own: the Nest Hello. A lot of the features here (1080p video, night vision, a 160-degree field of view) match those that Ring offers, but Nest does them all just as well on the whole.

Where the Nest Hello does have a slight edge is with Google's AI-powered motion detection system: it's smarter at spotting the difference between a person and anything else, and can identify friends and family too, sending special prompts for those you know.

Like Ring, Nest also makes you pay if you want to keep your video doorbell recordings in the cloud, rather than just tuning in live whenever there's a button press or a motion alert. The price is higher though: a Nest Aware subscription plan will set you back £80 per year. The Nest is slightly bigger, too.

Best video doorbell camera: Ring Video Doorbell Pro


5. Ring Video Doorbell Pro

A good video doorbell if you've got a bit more cash to spend

Specifications
Video: 1080p HD
Audio: Two-way
Power: Hardwired
FOV: 160°
Motion detection: Yes
Night vision: Infrared
Integration: Alexa, IFTTT
Storage: Cloud
Reasons to buy
+Full colour night vision+Customisable motion alerts+Comes with smart Ring Chime

The Amazon-owned Ring puts out a Pro version of its video doorbell too, so if you've got a bit more money to spend you might want to choose to upgrade to this version. The Pro is slightly smaller and a little more aesthetically pleasing than the standard Ring Video Doorbell form, and the faster 5GHz Wi-Fi standard is supported, just like on the Ring 3 Plus. If you do opt for the Pro model you can draw out custom activity zones yourself as well.

All of the Ring video doorbells in this list offer 1080p HD video recording, but the Pro doesn't give you a wireless installation option – it has to be hardwired. It's really down to what you need and how much you want to spend. Whichever version you pick though, you've got one of the best doorbell cameras around.

Best video doorbell camera UK: Byron Wi-Fi Video Doorbell


6. Byron Wi-Fi Video Doorbell

The best doorbell camera if you don't want to pay a storage subscription

Specifications
Video: 1080p HD
Audio: Two-way
Power: Battery or Hardwired
FOV: 160°
Motion detection: Yes
Night vision: Infrared
Storage: Local
Reasons to buy
+Two-way audio+Motion detection+No subscription cost

Byron has been making doorbells for a long while now, so its foray into smart, wireless video doorbells comes with a guarantee of quality and heritage – even if the Byron Wi-Fi Video Doorbell itself isn't quite as sleek and stylish as some of its rivals.

All the key functionality is here ready and waiting for you to utilise, including two-way audio and companion apps that run on your smartphone and tablet. The video feed is 1080p HD and there's even motion detection as well.

There are two versions of this video doorbell: one that connects to your existing doorbell wiring; and a cheaper wireless option with 720p video. And there's no subscription to pay – you save recordings to the included memory card or link them to a service like Dropbox.

Best video doorbell camera: Ring Door View Cam

7. Ring Door View Cam

A peephole-mounted video doorbell for renters and people in apartments

Specifications
Video: 1080p HD
Audio: Two-way
Power: Battery
FOV: 155°
Motion detection: Yes
Night vision: Infrared
Integration: Alexa
Storage: Ring Protect subscription needed
Reasons to buy
+Simple installation over a peephole+Battery powered, so no wires+Ring app is one of the best around

Another Ring doorbell, but this too is definitely worth a place in our best video doorbell list. The Ring Door View Cam is particularly good for anyone renting accommodation, because it fits simply in an existing peephole, with no drilling required.

Again, you've got 1080p HD video and two-way audio, as well as the very solid Ring app, so whichever Ring camera you decide to get from this list, you shouldn't be disappointed. Alexa support is included, as you would expect.

From built-in knock detection to night vision, it's another impressive option from Ring. It's also possible to set privacy zones that the doorbell simple can't see, so you could block out a door across the hall.

Best video doorbell camera: Maximus Video Doorbell


8. Maximus Video Doorbell

This video doorbell will keep your deliveries safe – if you can get one

Reasons to buy
+Watch packages as well as people+Two hours of recordings kept for free

The Maximus Video Doorbell brings something new to the party by throwing two cameras into the mix – one to look your doorstepper in the face, and one to look at the packages being left down at foot level, just in case they get pinched.

Keeping an eye on packages seems to be one of the primary reasons people pick up video doorbell cameras in the first place, so Maximus might be on to something here. You get all the standard features included too, like motion sensor alerts and 1080p live video streaming.

You can control the doorbell with an app on your phone as well as with Alexa or Google Assistant, and you can view the live stream and the last two hours for free. The big issue, really, is availability; the product appears to be in limited supply, and readers in the UK are unlikely to find it for sale at all.

Best video doorbell camera: Netatmo Video Doorbell


9. Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell

Another video doorbell on the way to the UK, the Netatmo will just require a one-off payment

Specifications
Video: 1080p HD
Audio: Two-way
Power: Wired
FOV: 160°
Motion detection: Yes
Night vision: Infrared
Storage: Local
Reasons to buy
+Complete your Netatmo smart home set+No subscription fee to worry about

The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell instantly caught our eye because of the brand name it had (Netatmo makes some of our favourite smart home kit).

There's video and audio recording of course, and motion sensing alerts, and even people detection. You don't get a battery option though – this is a video doorbell you have to plug in, wires and all. You get 1080p video quality and night vision too for those evening callers.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the Netatmo Video Doorbell is that you get all the features for your up-front payment, with no subscription required: video can be archived to a memory card, an FTP address, or a linked Dropbox account, so take your pick. We've been watching it eagerly, and think it'll easily deserve a much higher spot in our list of the best video doorbells once it's on sale.