The best video doorbells are some of the hottest buys of 2021, because they've become so affordable, but add both safety and convenience to your home. When someone pushes the button, you can use your phone (or a smart screen) to see who's there no matter where you are in the world, and you can even speak to them. Once you try one, it's one of those real "Why did we ever live without these!?" experiences.
The best video doorbells are a great upgrade for everyone, but can help different people in different ways. For more vulnerable people, they enables you to see who's there without unlocking anything. For people with mobility issues, it means 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.
Smart camera doorbells are usually also able to be part of larger 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.
Video doorbells also work as motion-detection cameras, so if you're setting up some of the best security cameras to watch your home, the doorbell can form part of that network – it's best if you buy both from the same manufacturer, though.
These video doorbells are now more affordable than ever before, and a breeze to install to: 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!
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.