See and record who is knocking on the door with the best video doorbells from Ring, Nest and the rest
Video doorbells are a fantastic addition to your home security setup. Also known as smart or connected doorbells, they hook up to your smartphone and, when someone rings the bell, you get an alert on your phone, followed by a live video feed of your visitor and the option for two-way audio. In other words, you can see them, but they can’t see you, and you can both talk to and hear each other. Some also have motion sensors, giving you an alert as soon as someone approaches your front door. A few even have fancy features such as face recognition or parcel recognition, so you can see if a courier has left a delivery on your step.
There are plenty of reasons to get a video doorbell. Even if you’re in another country when your doorbell rings, you get to see who it is and communicate with them. “Please leave it in the porch,” you could tell a delivery man, or “Mum, sorry I’m running late, I’ll be back in five minutes,” if she’s paying a visit. If you’re at home and don’t want to see that person, you can just pretend you’re out. Then there’s the security aspect. Burglars will either spot the camera and scarper or you will have video footage of them snooping.
So what features should you look out for? Is Ring the only brand worth buying? Are video doorbells affordable? Are they easy to install? Read on to find out answers to these questions and more, as well as our best video doorbell recommendations.
Best video doorbell: At a glance
|Best all-round video doorbell||TP-Link Tapo D230S1 (~£133)||Check price at Amazon|
|Best-value video doorbell||Ezviz DB2 (battery) (~£62)||Check price at Amazon|
|Best video doorbell for advanced features||Nest Doorbell (battery) (~£180)||Check price at John Lewis|
|Best wired video doorbell||Nest Doorbell (wired) / Nest Hello (~£229)||Check price at John Lewis|
How to choose the best video doorbell for you
What should I look out for in a video doorbell?
Your first consideration is how the video doorbell is connected, which really comes down to two options:
Battery-powered: Battery-powered doorbells get their charge from a rechargeable battery, meaning you don’t need any wiring in place; just a working Wi-Fi signal. While this has obvious benefits, it makes the unit bulkier and the battery will need charging. Luckily, you don’t have to do this too often. They last anywhere from two months to a year.
Wired: This means the doorbell must be connected to the wiring for your existing doorbell. This saves the hassle of changing batteries and the doorbell is usually more discreet. However, if you don’t have existing wiring, you may need to fork out for professional installation.
Your doorbell should have two-way talk with a decent microphone and speaker and a good-quality video image. With some video doorbells, you see people head to toe, while with others you only get a partial view. Check there’s a motion sensor and think about whether you want alerts to cover the full 180˚ to 185˚ view, or whether you want only a certain zone within the field of vision to be covered. Most doorbells have infrared LEDs so they can see at night, but this video will usually be black and white.
What other features are worth paying for?
You may want to access previously recorded motion and rings – perhaps because you missed a call or because someone on your street has told you about attempted break-ins. Be aware this comes at an extra price, sometimes more than £25 a year.
Will you be able to hear the doorbell? To hear it in the house (not just on your smartphone), you will need a chime unit. With wired doorbells you can usually connect them to your existing chime, whereas battery-powered doorbells typically need a proprietary unit. With some video doorbells these come in the box; with others, it costs extra.
What about smart home features?
Do you want your doorbell to be part of a bigger home security system – for instance, by adding security cameras that can connect with a central system hub? With certain video doorbells, there’s even smart lock integration so your doorbell can effectively let someone into your home once you give them the green light from your smartphone.
On a simpler level, it’s worth remembering that the two main players in the world of video doorbells – Nest and Ring – are owned by Google and Amazon respectively. That means that they tie in with the smart displays of both companies: Ring works brilliantly with Echo Show and Echo Spot speakers, while Nest Hello plays nicely with the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max Technically there’s a Nest skill for Alexa (but not a matching one of Ring for Google Home) but if you want maximum compatibility and support, it makes sense to ensure your systems match.
How much do I need to spend?
Video doorbells start at around £50 and go up to several hundred pounds. Don’t assume it’s always best to pay top whack as even the cheapest video doorbell in our roundup gets a great review. You may not need or even want some of the features in the more expensive video doorbells.
READ NEXT: Best home security cameras
The best video doorbells you can buy in 2023
1. TP-Link Tapo D230S1: Best all-round video doorbell
Price when reviewed: £150 | Check price at Amazon
The TP-LinkN Tapo D230S1 may not be the most attractive video doorbell around but it sure does pack in the features. Not only can this doorbell be used without a subscription (unlike Ring devices) it also comes with a chime in the box and a built-in LED light, enabling colour night vision.
It ticks most of the important video doorbell boxes. Image quality is excellent during the day and night. The app is easy to use and we found it performed well in our testing. There was very little delay between pressing the doorbell and the alert coming through on our smartphone and it was able to successfully and reliably detect people and packages via its smart detection algorithm.
You have to add your own storage, in the form of a microSD card slot, but that’s not overly expensive, and you can’t wire this doorbell up to an existing mains supply or chime. But, other than that, it’s a brilliant smart doorbell and our new all-round favourite.
Key specs – Camera: 2K (2,560 x 1,920) video with two-way audio; Field of view: 160 degrees; Local storage: Yes (via microSD card); Warranty: 12 months
2. Eufy Video Doorbell (battery): A fantastic all-rounder
Price when reviewed: £180 | Check price at John Lewis We’ve been big fans of the Ring series of video doorbells for a while now, but Eufy’s new doorbell has just knocked it off the top spot. This doorbell is battery-powered and, therefore, just as easy to install as the Ring.
It can be connected to your mains doorbell wiring if you can’t be bothered to charge it, although a monstrous claimed battery life of up to six months means that shouldn’t be too much of a bind anyway.
Image quality is excellent at 2,560 x 1,920 in resolution and we found that notifications came through on our phone almost instantaneously, something older Ring doorbells can struggle with. There’s no facial recognition but you can set motion zones and only send notifications when humans are detected.
Where the Eufy really steps out in front of the Ring doorbells, however, is that it’s free to run with no mandatory ongoing subscription; all the video clips it records are stored on the Eufy Homebase’s 16GB of integrated storage. This plugs directly into your Wi-Fi router and also acts as an internal chime – something Ring charges extra for. You can even get it to ring your Amazon Echo Dot if you can’t hear the chime in certain parts of the house.
The only thing Eufy can’t do is ring a mechanical chime. Otherwise, it’s pretty much the perfect video doorbell.
Read our full Eufy Video Doorbell review
Key specs – Camera: 2K (2,560 x 1,920) video with two-way audio; Field of view: 160 degrees; Warranty: 12 months
3. Blink Video Doorbell (battery): Best budget video doorbell
Price when reviewed: £60 | Check price at John Lewis Knock, knock. Who’s there? The ultimate video doorbell for the smallest of budgets, that’s who. The Blink Video Doorbell is a responsive all-weather option for those looking for a bargain. There’s great configurability with this one, including the ability to set motion and privacy zones, alter motion sensitivity and clip length and change video quality, too. You can wire it or slot in a pair of AA batteries, the latter of which should keep the Blink doorbell running for two years, Amazon says.
Even the £80 “Full System” version (pictured) is cheaper than our best value pick. It adds the Blink Sync Module 2 to the package, which then allows you to access the stream at any time and crucially, record clips via USB stick and avoid the monthly fee for cloud storage (which is otherwise £2.50/mth or £8/mth for multiple Blink cameras). As such, we would heartily recommend that option to save money in the long run.
There isn’t a chime included in the box – you will need to link it to a seperate Blink device for that – so you may want to opt for the Ezviz DB2 for £20 more if you are yet to become an Amazon enthusiast. But given the incredibly cheap price overall, it’s still the best option out there for those after some extra security on a tight budget.
Read our full Blink Video Doorbell
Key specs – Camera: 1080p HD (1,920 x 1,080) with two-way audio; Field of view: 135˚ (horizontal), 80˚ (vertical); Subscription required: No; Warranty: 2 years
4. Ezviz DB2 (battery): Best-value video doorbell
Price when reviewed: £62 | Check price at Amazon If you want the most doorbell bang for your buck, the Ezviz DB2 is for you: it offers a lot of features for very little outlay and has no ongoing subscription costs thanks to a microSD slot.
Unlike many other video doorbells, it comes with a chime and is incredibly easy to set up – simply stick or screw it to the doorframe and then charge it every few months (its battery life will depend on how often it’s used). Most importantly, the Ezviz delivers an impressive 176-degree view and crisp images from its 1,920 x 1,444 camera. There’s even a handy night mode for capturing nocturnal visitors.
The app is similarly intuitive and lets you easily tweak variables such as sensitivity, shape detection and notification times. Whenever someone presses the doorbell, your phone will ping and you will be able to interact with the caller remotely, which worked perfectly in our tests.
It’s very difficult to say anything negative about the Ezviz DB2 when you’re getting this level of detection and amount of features for under £100. There’s nothing that beats it for value.
Read our full Ezviz DB2 review
Key specs – Camera: 2K (1,920 x 1,444) with two-way audio; Field of view: 176˚; Subscription required: No; Warranty: 2 years
5. Nest Doorbell (battery): Best video doorbell for advanced features
Price when reviewed: £180 | Check price at John Lewis If you like the idea of the Nest Hello and its facial recognition but don’t want to wire it up to the mains, Google now has an alternative for you: the Nest Doorbell (battery). It’s much easier to install because you don’t have to connect it to the mains, and its battery that will last up to two and a half months before needing to be charged.
As with all of Google’s security products, image and audio quality is excellent, plus it’s stuffed with features, including AI-based facial recognition, and animal, vehicle and package detection. You don’t have to pay for a subscription to access most of the features and you even get some cloud video clip storage for free, although, the free video clip storage only stretches three hours into the past so it isn’t all that useful.
As with most video doorbells, you have to pay a subscription (starting at £5 per month) to unlock all the Nest Doorbell’s features, which puts it at a disadvantage to Eufy’s offering. However, given that this includes support for as many Nest security cameras as you own, and enables Google’s natty facial recognition feature, it’s actually pretty good value for those investing in it as part of a wider home security system.
Read our full Nest Doorbell (battery) review
Key specs – Camera: 960 x 1,280 resolution; Field of view: 145˚; Subscription required: No, but recommended (from £5/mth); Warranty: 2yr limited warranty
6. Arlo Video Doorbell: Best doorbell for image quality
Price when reviewed: £83 | Check price at Amazon Arlo’s video doorbell is a heavyweight new entry into the world of smart doorbells and it has a number of unique features.
Top of the list of reasons why you might want to buy one is its ability to automatically call your phone (via video or audio) instead of just notifying you via an app. You can then answer with a swipe as you would any other phone call or let it ring through to voicemail where your caller can leave you a voice message.
Aside from this novelty, the doorbell has great video quality at night and during the day. It’s at least as good as the Nest Hello in this regard.
Audio quality is superb, too, and it also has smart motion detection. It can tell you whether it’s spotted people, animals or vehicles and it can even alert you (just like the Nest) when a package has been left on your step. There’s no face recognition, though, which is where the Nest Hello beats all comers.
The only catch is that it isn’t battery-powered and needs connecting to existing mains-powered doorbell chime wiring, which means you may need professional help installing it. And, after the initial trial period expires (three months at the time of writing) you will have to pay a subscription fee to keep using most of the camera’s features.
Key specs – Camera: 1,536 x 1,536 resolution; Field of view: 180˚; Warranty: 1yr limited warranty
7. Ring Video Doorbell Plus: Best all-around Ring doorbell
Price when reviewed: £160 | Check price at Amazon
With its iconic illuminated bell pushes, Ring’s line of video doorbells has become a suburban staple and the Ring Video Doorbell Plus is the firm’s best bang-per-buck doorbell yet.
It’s easy to install and can be run off battery or mains power, it has a sharper 1536p camera than Ring’s previous offerings and – at long last – it comes with package detection, that can alert you whenever a delivery driver has left a box on your doorstep. Its best feature, however, is its 150-degree “head-to-toe” field of view, which allows you to see every inch of your visitors, down to the shoes they’re wearing. This also helps you where packages have been left, even if they’re fairly close to the door.
The Doorbell Plus misses out on video pre-roll and only operates over 2.4GHz Wi-Fi but those aren’t deal breakers and, in most other aspects, it performs brilliantly. Image quality is good, notifications are delivered in a speedy manner, and it’s very easy to install and operate. As usual with Ring doorbells, the only major problem is that you have to pay the subscription (from £3.49 per month) if you want to use all the features. However, if you’re sold on the Ring way of doing things, this is its best doorbell yet.
Read our full Ring Video Doorbell Plus review
Key specs – Camera: 1536p; Field of view: 150˚ (horizontal and vertical); Installation: Battery/Wired; Dual-Band Internet: No
8. Nest Doorbell (wired) / Nest Hello: Best wired video doorbell
Price when reviewed: £229 | Check price at John Lewis Originally called the Nest Hello, the Nest Doorbell (wired) was the best all-round video doorbell when it launched and is still among the very best. Notably, it’s designed principally to record video 24/7, just like a professional CCTV system and although you have to pay a subscription to access the cloud recordings, the prices can be pretty reasonable. Add excellent image quality and facial recognition and superb all-round performance and you have a pretty compelling package.
In its wisdom, however, Google, is doing its level best to make accessing these subscriptions difficult, and are attempting to shift customers away from the CCTV-style subscription and onto its newer Nest Aware packages. These are much more expensive for 24/7 coverage at £10 per month or £100 annually if you pay up front, although this does cover multiple Nest cameras.
In terms of image quality and features, the Nest Doorbell (wired) is still up there with the best but given the complications over subscriptions, it isn’t quite the slam-dunk recommendation it once was. It’s also significantly more expensive than other doorbells on this list.
Read our full Nest Hello review
Key specs – Camera: 1,600 x 1,200 resolution; Field of view: 160˚; Warranty: 2yr limited warranty
9. Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell: Best doorbell for Apple HomeKit support
Price when reviewed: £270 | Check price at Amazon It’s expensive but this Netatmo doorbell comes with a range of smart design features that are enough to give it a unique appeal.
From a design perspective, it’s very stylish, finished in grey and black and brushed aluminium. It captures video in crisp, 1080p resolution in HDR. It’s also one of the few video doorbells on the market to support Apple HomeKit, which comes with a number of benefits. It means you can use the HomeKit App instead of the Netatmo app for answering the door remotely or viewing the video stream. Similarly, you can employ your HomePod speakers as additional doorbell chimes and view the camera stream on your Apple TV.
Netatmo’s smart doorbell stores its clips on an internal microSD card and, from there, they can be downloaded to your phone or automatically uploaded to either a Dropbox account or an FTP server. Unlike other video doorbell makers, there’s no subscription cost for cloud storage, which helps to offset the high initial price. In our experience, its motion detection features work well, and isn’t too difficult to set up provided you already have a wired doorbell. If not, you will need an electrician to help set things up which will elevate the price even higher.
Read our full Netamo Smart Video Doorbell review
Key specs – Camera: Full HD 1080p; Field of view: 140˚; Warranty: 2 years
10. Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2: Best doorbell for security features
Price when reviewed: £220 | Check price at John Lewis The mains-powered Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is the best produced yet by the company, with fantastically crisp video and a range of advanced motion detection features. It’s also the nicest-looking doorbell Ring has made to date, with a much slimmer, less boxy shape than the usual Ring products.
It comes at an additional cost compared to the standard Ring doorbell, but that extra money gets you a camera capable of capturing 1536p footage with a wide 150-degree field of view, as well as HDR processing and colour night view. You will also get brilliant motion detection. The Pro 2 is not only able to detect movement within the field of view of the camera but it also allows you to set how close objects need to be before they set off an alert – especially useful for houses that have short front garden paths. Its headline feature, however, is its new Advanced Pre-Roll functionality. This allows the camera to capture full-resolution video footage from six seconds prior to motion being detected.
As it doesn’t work with a standard chime, you will need to invest in a Ring Chime (£30) or Chime Pro (£50) if you want the doorbell to be audible. There’s also the subscription to consider, which adds £25 per year for the lifetime of the device. However, that’s a price worth considering for the best mains-powered video doorbell from Ring.
Read our full Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 review
Key specs – Camera: 1536p HD video; Field of view: 150˚; Warranty: 2 months on parts, lifetime theft protection