The best video doorbell 2021: see who’s outside with the best camera doorbells

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

Included in this guide:

Best video doorbells 2021, image shows a white man pressing an Amazon Ring doorbell
(Image credit: Amazon)

The best video doorbells have become serious hot buys recently, partly because they're more affordable than they've ever been, but also because the convenience and security they add has been more valuable than ever in the last few years. When a visitor pushes the button, you can use your phone (or a smart screen) to see who's there no matter where you are, and you can even speak to them and hear them. Once you try one, there's no going back.

The best video doorbells will benefit anyone, and can help different people in different ways. For more vulnerable people, they enable you to see who's there without unlocking anything. For people with mobility issues, they mean you don't need to rush to answer. For absolutely anyone, it means you need never miss a delivery, or you can always miss cold callers.

Most smart camera doorbells also work as part of big smart home systems, so you could connect them to the best smart bulbs, for example, so the lights change when someone presses the button, or to the best smart speakers so that a chime plays all over the house, and you can chat with whoever's at the door right from your Echo.

Video doorbells can be a key part of a security setup too, because they include motion detection and video recording, so if you're setting up some of the best security cameras consider buying a doorbell from the same manufacturer.

These video doorbells are now more affordable than ever before, and a breeze to install: many models don't require any wiring at all, and fitting is usually a question of some basic work with a drill or some adhesive. 

The lowest prices on the web at the moment are shown next to our picks, but do take a look at our best cheap Ring Video Doorbell deals, too – they're often among the best Black Friday deals, and some models can be 30-50% off!

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

Ring Video Doorbell (gen 2) in two colours, on plain backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Ring / Amazon)

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

The best video doorbell for most people

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.

If you want to know about the differences between this and the pricier model, here's our Ring Video Doorbell 4 vs Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen) guide.

Nest Doorbell Battery 2

(Image credit: Google)

2. Nest Doorbell (Battery)

The best Google-powered doorbell

Specifications
Video: 960 x 1280HD, 30fps
Audio: Two-way with noise cancellation
FOV: 145 degrees
Night vision: Infrared
Motion detection: Yes
Storage: Cloud
Reasons to buy
+Portrait video is great +Pre-recorded responses+Records even when Wi-Fi is down
Reasons to avoid
-Not compatible with the Nest app

The Nest Doorbell (Battery) is a rebranded and redesigned Nest Hello, and there's also a wired version if you prefer. We like the battery one, though, as it's much quicker and easier to install. It's cute and much more attractive than many rivals, and we like the circular LED that illuminates the buzzer as somebody approaches.

The Nest enables you to answer the door from far away or set pre-defined responses, and if you subscribe to the video plan you get recognition of specific people as well as detection of packages, animals and vehicles. The vertical field of view means you see more of your visitor, although it does mean a narrower field of view when you have multiple people at the door, and there's HDR and night vision for clear visuals. 

In a nice touch, the camera can record for a full hour after Wi-Fi goes down or the power goes out, and if somebody steals it Google will give you a new one for free.

Although the doorbell is Nest branded and designed to pair with Nest hubs, you need to use the Google Home app; if you already have a Nest account you'll be asked to upgrade it. You can read more about what it's like to use through the Google Home app in the Google Nest Doorbell (Battery) review

Ring Video Doorbell 4 on white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Ring / Amazon)

3. Ring Video Doorbell 4

The best video doorbell for flexibility and features

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
Reasons to avoid
-No local storage

Ring's more advanced model is visually nearly identical to the cheaper model, 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 video features of the Ring 4 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.

One neat thing, too, is that the Ring Video Doorbell 4 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.

Arlo Video Doorbell on white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Arlo)

4. 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.

Nest Hello on white backgroundT3 Award


5. Nest Hello / Nest Doorbell (Wired)

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
Reasons to avoid
-Wired only

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 – which it has now renamed to Nest Doorbell (Wired). 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.

Ring Video Doorbell Wired on white background

(Image credit: Ring)

Best video doorbell for those on a tight budget

Specifications
Video: 1080p HD
Audio: Two-way
Power: Hardwired
FOV: 155°
Motion detection: Yes
Night vision: Infrared
Integration: Alexa, IFTTT
Storage: Cloud
Reasons to buy
+Sleek, smart design+High-definition footage+Easy to use smartphone app
Reasons to avoid
-It's a wired doorbell-You need to buy the Ring Chime separately-Footage takes a while to scroll through

If you are scrolling through this list of the best video doorbells feeling deflated because none of them are in your price range, the Ring Video Doorbell Wired could be the solution. 

Ring’s cheapest and smallest video doorbell delivers sharp footage, accurate motion sensing and you can speak to visitors through it as well. The catch? You won’t get a bell that chimes through the house, you’ll have to buy the Ring Chime separately which suddenly makes it much more expensive. There’s also no battery pack option so you’ll have to have it wired in. Luckily though, it’s likely to be compatible with your current doorbell’s wiring. 

With features like night vision, live video and compatibility with Amazon Alexa, which are all manageable from the intuitive smartphone app, the Ring Video Doorbell Wired is a fantastic choice if you are on a budget. 

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 on white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Ring)

7. Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

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

Specifications
Video: 1536p HD
Audio: Two-way
Power: Hardwired
FOV: 150°
Motion detection: Yes
Night vision: Infrared
Integration: Alexa, IFTTT
Storage: Cloud
Reasons to buy
+Full colour night vision+Customisable motion alerts+Head-to-toe video view
Reasons to avoid
-More features than most need

The Amazon-owned Ring puts out Pro versions of its video doorbells too – so if you've got a bit more money to spend you might want to choose to upgrade to this, which is the 2nd-gen Pro model. It's 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 2 model you can draw out custom activity zones yourself as well. There's 1539p HD head-to-toe video here, which means you can see more of the scene vertically (handy for packages left on the doorstep). The motion detection technology is more advanced than the other cameras in the Ring range as well.

One feature the Pro 2 doesn't give you is a wireless installation option – it has to be hardwired, so your choice is really determined by what you need and how much you have to spend. Whichever version you pick though, you've got one of the best doorbell cameras around if you go with Ring.

Eufy 2K Video Doorbell on white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Eufy)

8. Eufy 2K Video Doorbell

The best doorbell camera for affordable, high-resolution video

Specifications
Video: 2560x1920
Audio: Two-way
Power: Wired
FOV: 150°
Motion detection: Yes
Night vision: Infrared
Storage: Local or cloud
Reasons to buy
+Local storage option+High resolution+Affordable price
Reasons to avoid
-App not as slick as some

The Eufy 2K Video Doorbell has plenty going for it, not least that 2560 x 1920 pixel resolution for the video feed – when someone or something turns up at your door, you're certainly going to be able to see it. The picture you see includes HDR enhancements and distortion correction too.

Another appealing aspect of this particular camera is the affordability. While a paid-for cloud subscription service is available, you can opt to go for local storage instead, which means you only pay the initial up-front price in this case.

The camera's advanced AI ensures that only human beings trigger the motion detection feature, and the doorbell comes with a free electronic chime too (offering no less than eight ringtones). There's support for activity zones here as well, plus integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Byron Wi-Fi Video Doorbell on white backgroundT3 Award


9. 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
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks the security of a proper cloud storage system

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.

Ring Door View Cam on white backgroundT3 Award

10. 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
Reasons to avoid
-Only necessary for certain situations

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.

Maximus Video Doorbell on white backgroundT3 Award


11. 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
Reasons to avoid
-Hard to get hold of

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.

Matthew Bolton
Matthew Bolton

Matt is T3's master of all things audiovisual, running our TV, speakers and headphones coverage. He also handles smart home products and large appliances, as well as our toys and games articles. He's the only one on the team who can explain both what Dolby Vision IQ is and why the Lego you're building doesn't fit together the way the instructions say, so is truly invaluable.

Matt has worked for tech publications for over 10 years, in print and online, including running T3's print magazine and launching its most recent redesign. He's also contributed to a huge number of tech and gaming titles over the years. Say hello if you see him roaming the halls at CES, IFA or Toy Fair.