Best video doorbell: wired and wireless video doorbells for your home

The best video doorbells, from welcoming chimes to secure video recording systems

best video doorbell: Ring Video Doorbell Pro
(Image credit: Ring)

Whether you're interested in getting a futuristic video feed of your front porch or you just want a more convenient way to screen couriers, the best video doorbells can bring a touch of personality - and security - to your home.

These days a knocker just won't do, but a smart doorbell can offer your guests a proper welcome as they reach your home (or a useful intercom for delivery workers in an age of social distancing). And, with camera-equipped doorbells, you'll have peace of mind that there's always an eye being kept on the front porch, whether you're there or not.

Smart doorbells are a convenient, simple-to-use, and often affordable DIY job for the home, also offering added security and being able to work in tandem with many other security cameras and alarms you may already have.

Our top picks here include wired and wireless options, meaning there’s something for renters and homeowners alike. And - if you're looking to really boost safety - check out our guide to the best security cameras.

The best video doorbells in 2021

Google Nest Hello

(Image credit: Google)

1. Nest Hello

Best wired video doorbell

Specifications
Connectivity: Wired
Smart assistant support: Alexa; Google Assistant
Camera: 1080p
Storage: Memory card
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use app+Google image quality+Extra features include facial recognition
Reasons to avoid
-Has to be wired in-Subscription required for some features

The top offering from a brand other than Ring, the Google Nest Hello, is a fantastic option recommended for homeowners who don't plan on moving anytime soon. Of course, it has to be wired in, but this comes with its own benefits, such as never recharge the batteries.

How it performs

One of the best things about the Nest Hello is its cross-platform compatibility, meaning it will work with Google Assistant products and Alexa. This makes it more accessible for those who already have a smart home set-up that they want their new doorbell to integrate with.

The 2K video feed allows you to see pretty much your entire front porch, with visitors visible from head to toe. You can also send pre-recorded audio messages to the doorbell (such as instructions on where to leave a package) should you not want to answer the door at that moment.

Anything else?

Less good is the added cost of having to sign up for a subscription if you want advanced features like facial recognition, but they're well worth it if you want the full experience. It's also a bit spotty with bad Wi-Fi, so make sure you have a strong connection.

Livingetc rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

(Image credit: Ring)

2. Ring Video Doorbell Pro

Best wired video doorbell (runner-up)

Specifications
Connectivity: Wired
Smart assistant support: Alexa
Camera: 1080p
Storage: Cloud
Reasons to buy
+Slim design+Alexa smart home support+Alexa Greetings
Reasons to avoid
-Needs to be hardwired-More expensive than other Ring models

The 'Pro' model in Ring's suite of doorbells needs to be hardwired, but it also has a slimmer, more stylish design and a slightly wider field of vision.

How it performs

The main selling point of the Ring Pro is the smaller unit, which is much more compact and looks better on older and more modern homes alike. It also boasts enhanced dual-band Wi-Fi for better connectivity, color night vision, and Alexa Greetings, so your house can literally answer itself if you're not there.

Otherwise, it is pretty similar to other models and benefits from the same reliable Ring app, advanced motion detection options, and Alexa compatibility. 

Livingetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Arlo Essential Video Doorbell

(Image credit: Arlo)

3. Arlo Essential Video Doorbell

Best wireless video doorbell

Specifications
Connectivity: Wireless
Smart assistant support: SmartThings, Alexa, Google Assistant
Camera: 2K; 180 degree FOV
Storage: Cloud
Reasons to buy
+Built-in siren+180-degree diagonal viewing angle+Pre-record messages and take messages from visitors
Reasons to avoid
-Some features require Arlo Secure subscription (3 months included)

The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell can either be hardwired or run on battery power, giving you more choice about how you use it. It also gives you extra insight into what (or who) is at your door, with a 180-degree diagonal view that lets you see more.

Recorded messages

Probably the best feature of the Arlo Essential is the ability to both leave and take messages. So useful for when you're not going to be home (or when you've got your heart set on a long weekend bath), you can leave a quick voice note for any visitors or delivery people to tell them where to leave a package.

And they can also leave their own messages for you to listen to at a convenient time - super handy!

More security

Arlo has built a siren into the doorbell, which is something it boasts over the ranges from Ring or Google, and you can either set this to activate automatically or manually through the app. Arlo Secure (free for 3 months, then about $3/m) also gets you cloud recording, advanced object detection, and custom activity zones.

Ring Video Doorbell Wired

(Image credit: Ring)

Best budget Ring doorbell

Specifications
Connectivity: Wired
Smart assistant support: Alexa
Camera: 1080p
Storage: Cloud
Reasons to buy
+Most affordable smart doorbell from Ring+Smaller model+Great features
Reasons to avoid
-Needs to be hardwired-No chime included

Ring Doorbells have dominated the market for so long, but they've always been a little on the pricey side. That changed with the release of a new budget-friendly option - the Ring Video Doorbell Wired.

How it performs

As the name suggests, this is a doorbell that must be hardwired, so maybe it won't suit renters or those who might want to move soon. However, this comes with its own benefits for everyone else, including not needing to be constantly recharged.

And it has pretty much everything you'd expect and want from a Ring Doorbell, with costs being cut somewhere outside of features and specs. Of course, you won't get 3rd party chime compatibility, Alexa greetings, or a choice of faceplates, but that's more or less it.

Anything else?

If you're interested in some of Ring's more advanced features like 60-day cloud storage and snapshots, you'll need to fork out for the Ring Protect Plan at around $3/month. 

Livingetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars | read our full review of the Ring Video Doorbell Wired

eufy Video Doorbell 2K

(Image credit: eufy)

5. eufy Video Doorbell 2K

Best security doorbell

Specifications
Connectivity: Wireless
Smart assistant support: Alexa, Google Assistant
Camera: 1080p
Storage: Memory card
Reasons to buy
+Brilliant 2K video+Video footage is stored locally, so no extra fees
Reasons to avoid
-You'll need to find space for the base unit/chime

An option for those who want to look beyond Google and Ring, the eufy Wi-Fi Video Doorbell comes recommended for the security-conscious.

How it performs

Straight away, one big thing the eufy doorbell has going for it is local storage on a memory card, meaning you won't need to spend more on a cloud subscription as many other models require. There's also a chime included within the accompanying base station, so you won't have to rely on your phone notifications.

It's completely wireless, taking away a lot of the fuss involved with installing wired doorbells, and will work with both Alexa and Google Assistant if you want to hook it up to your smart home. 

Anything else?

Video footage is shown in a 4:3 square aspect ratio, which allows you to see more of your porch area while looking slightly wrong on a phone screen.

Livingetc rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

EZVIZ DB1C 1080p AI Powered Video Doorbell

(Image credit: Ezviz)

6. Ezviz DB1C 1080p AI Powered Video Doorbell

Best budget video doorbell (runner up)

Specifications
Connectivity: Wired
Smart assistant support: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
Camera: 2K
Storage: microSD card (cloud storage with subscription)
Reasons to buy
+105-degree horizontal viewing angle+PIR technology to reduce false motion alerts+Can be used with other Ezviz security devices
Reasons to avoid
-Needs to be hardwired-Subscription required for cloud storage

A budget offering from security leaders Ezviz, the DB1C smart doorbell will suit those who want a simple, well-designed device that integrates with other devices such as security cameras and systems from the brand.

How it performs

As such, it is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and you can control it via the Ezviz app.

The drawback for some will be that it needs to be hardwired in, with professional installation recommended, but this means no charging downtime and no bulky case to house the battery. The doorbell sits pretty flush (relatively, compared to the rather boxy Ring doorbell design) to the wall yet gives you 180-degree viewing angles that allow you to see more of your porch area. 

Anything else?

Handily, the Ezviz DB1 can house a microSD card for storing video footage, but you'll need to pay for a subscription if you want to upload to the cloud.

How to choose the best video doorbell for your home

best video doorbell: Google Nest Hello

(Image credit: Google)

Will my video doorbell work with Alexa/Google Home?

Compatibility with your smart home hub will depend on the smart doorbell you buy, but, generally speaking, Ring doorbells will always work with Amazon Alexa smart speakers and displays. The same goes for Ring Alarms and other security products, as they all come under the same banner.

Similarly, Nest products come from Google and so will work well with a Google-branded doorbell. Anything else will vary, so it's important to check before buying.

Once set up, we absolutely love how the best smart doorbells work with smart displays such as the Echo Show or Nest Hub, allowing you to see what's going on outside from the comfort of your kitchen or bedroom. For more on this, take a look at our guide to the best smart speakers.

Are video doorbells safe?

Many are concerned - and for a good reason - about the security implications of essentially strapping a surveillance device to the front of your home, but there are many protections in place preventing things from getting dystopian. 

We would recommend going for a well-known brand so as not to fall foul of a device that's more vulnerable to hackers, set a strong password when signing up, always download software updates when they are released, and make sure all settings are correct for your needs.

All this said, smart doorbells could actually form an essential part of the best home security systems, adding an affordable camera that can detect motion and send alerts directly to your device when something untoward is going on. 

Are video doorbells worth it?

As you may have noticed while walking down the street, smart doorbells are becoming more and more popular - but are they worth it?

Priced significantly higher than ordinary audio chime doorbells, indeed, they won't be worth the extra cash for everyone. However, as we all continue to rely on our smartphones to access the outside world and make more use of couriers and home deliveries than ever before, they can be a game-changer.

They're also fantastic for those building out their smart home, with most able to connect with Google Home, Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and more with ease. Finally, if nothing else, they're great for keeping an eye on what's happening around your home.

What is the best video doorbell?

Though there are lots to be said for the simplicity of an audio-only chime system, the video doorbells from Ring really are fantastic. The range of connected options, from video playback and recording to phone notifications, is fantastic, and the fact it’s all achieved from a battery-powered supply is remarkable.

They’re not only great alert systems but a first step towards securing your home with a video camera installation too.

Given the range of features they support, you’d be forgiven for expecting the Ring Video Doorbell systems to be twice the price they are. But the scale of the Amazon machine, the parent company behind Ring, means they stay relatively affordable. As a result, any of the Ring options above get our recommendation.