Wired vs wireless doorbells – which is actually better?
In the battle of wired vs wireless doorbells, which should you pick? We weigh up your options
The battle of wired vs wireless doorbells is hotting up as more people embrace smart, video doorbells. So it's time to pick a side, but which will work best for you?
If you've looked at the best wireless doorbells and can't decide which is for you, this guide aims to help clear up the pros and cons when picking one type of connection for power over another.
To be clear, that is what is meant by wired and wireless – it's about power supply. So they should both come with WiFi for internet connectivity making that wireless in all cases, but for power you may want mains powered or battery powered.
If you already have a mains-powered doorbell then you might find the transition to a video doorbell quite simple, many coming with the adapter kit needed to install. If not, or if you don't want to mess with wiring, battery-powered models are an option too. So which is best for you?
What's the difference between wired and wireless doorbells?
A wired doorbell uses your home's electrical wiring to power the doorbell. This is useful as it means you always have power so once installed you don't need to touch the doorbell again. However it does mean the installation can be more complex as it may involve working with your electrical wiring, installing an adapter and making sure everything is safe. This is relatively straight forward but, depending on your DIY confidence, you may want a professional to do the install. So that's another cost to factor in.
Alternatively there are battery powered models which feature a large removable battery that generally lasts around six months on a charge. This varies depending on how much use the doorbell gets and what kind of scanning settings are used. But in all cases you can remove the battery to charge it, usually overnight, before placing it back for the next several months of use. This means an easier installation that doesn't require wiring.
How long do battery video doorbells last?
While most of your automated home may be mains powered, a video doorbell is outside so wiring can be difficult and battery options are helpful to have. But will it last the six months many manufacturers claim?
In reality the life of the doorbell is directly related to use. Some will not only alert you when the doorbell is pressed but also when there is motion detected. The level of motion scanning frequency can be changed, in most cases, using the app. So as you play with these kinds of settings you can find the best amount of scanning without costing you too dearly on battery life.
It's worth noting that even a regularly used video doorbell will still last you months before needing an overnight charge. Since the battery is easily removed in most cases, usually with a security screw using a dedicated screwdriver, and easily charged using a USB cable, charging isn't really a big deal.
Is a wired doorbell better for features?
As mentioned there are lots of settings to play with on most video doorbells and these can usually be turned on and off as you need. While you may want to be cautious with how much you use on a battery doorbell, to save life, you don't need to take that into consideration with a wired model.
So, while a wired doorbell may take more time and effort to install, once that's done you can get the most out of it without having to worry about saving battery life. In the past some wired models offered more features as a result but now most models offer all the same features just with a wired or battery model option to pick from.
Some doorbells are only wired though, so if you need a battery powered video doorbell be sure to check that's an option on the model you're looking at before you fall in love with it too much.
Are battery video doorbells less secure?
Since you can remove the battery from the non-wired models it's a fair question to ask if they're less secure. If you're using your doorbell as a motion alert security system then the concern that a possible burglar could remove the battery is genuinely well placed.
Thankfully, as mentioned, these models generally require a specific screwdriver to remove the screw that holds that battery in place. So while the potential burglar could get hold of that and remove the battery, realistically they could easily just smash the doorbell off the wall with a hammer whether it's wired or wireless.
So, in reality, battery or wired doorbells are as secure as each other. Presuming you keep that battery charged and don't leave the doorbell without power to securely monitor your space.
Luke is a veteran journalist and editor of over two decades where he has written about everything but specialises is technology, science, health and fitness, smart homes and health. He contributes to Real Homes, T3, Tom's Guide and TechRadar, among many other titles. As a father of two, any spare time he gets is enjoyed surfing, reading, hiking, camping and generally getting out in nature.
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