Best smart doorbell: boost your home security and never miss a package

The best smart doorbells for better security at home, peace of mind that you won't miss important visitors, and lots of smart features besides...

Best smart doorbell: Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus
(Image credit: Ring)

Nothing is more annoying than waiting all day for a package to arrive, only to miss it when it does. The best smart doorbells can fix this problem, allowing you to see what's happening at your door, get notifications sent to your phone, and even speak to people without needing to physically answer the door.

In short, it makes life a lot easier and, at a time when we're all spending more time at home than ever before, it can also serve as a home security system keeping you and your family safe.

If you already have a doorbell, many wired models are able to connect to existing wiring, while others may require you to get expert installation.

Wireless doorbells, however, are super-easy to set-up and use, only requiring a Wi-Fi connection and the means to mount it onto the wall. These could also be a great option if you rent or plan to move in the near future.

Whether wired or wireless, smart and video doorbells fit perfectly into a wider security set-up. If you're interesting in investing in better safety, take a look at our roundup of the best home security systems.

Scroll down to see how we rated some of the top video doorbells available to buy right now, from Ring to Nest and beyond.

The best rated smart doorbells 2021

best smart doorbell: Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus

Best wireless video doorbell: the latest release from market leaders Ring

Specifications
Camera quality: 1080p
Two-way comm?: Yes
Night vision?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Offers all the features seen in the Ring Video Doorbell 2, plus more+New four second pre-roll of each event +Lots of opportunities to personalise notifications
Reasons to avoid
-Bulkier than some other models
What is a smart – or video – doorbell?

Video doorbells – or smart doorbells, as they're also known – use Wi-Fi to connect your doorbell to a smart device. This makes it easy to keep an eye on your home, wherever you are, as well as providing reassurance before you open the door.

The latest release from market leaders, Ring, the Video Doorbell 3 Plus is a smart doorbell which will help to turn any home into a smart home and provide an extra layer of protection for families. We know it's expensive BUT it is reeeally good and it's recently won our Real Homes Awards for the Best Security Camera so you're onto a winner.

Full HD 1080p camera
Equipped with a full HD 1080p camera and an impressively wide field of view, expect high-quality video footage delivered straight to your smartphone. Whether you're coordinating deliveries, or simply checking who's at the door.

Two-way audio
This model features two-way audio, making it a great video intercom system for co-ordinating deliveries or visitors.

Adjustable motion zone
Building upon the same great features of the Ring Video Doorbell 2 (read more about them below), the Ring Video Doorbell 3 now also includes a new, adjustable motion zone, called near zone, that can detect motion within 1.5 to 4.5m of the front door, as well as enhanced dual-band 2.4Ghz/5Ghz Wi-Fi for improved connectivity. 

Turn cameras on and off as you wish
And, similar to all of Ring’s Doorbells and Cameras, both the new doorbells feature toggles that allow users to turn off video or audio recording for an extra layer of privacy, at any time.

Worth the 'Plus'? For an extra $25 or so, you can take advantage of the four second video preview pre-roll feature, which eliminates another gripe of the long-term wireless security consumer.

Real Homes rating 5 out of 5 stars

best video doorbell: Google Nest Hello

2. Nest Hello

Best wired video doorbell: a great option for homeowners with no plan of moving

Specifications
Camera quality: 1600x1200 resolution
Two-way comm?: Yes
Night vision?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+The app is super-easy to use+Doubles as a security camera+Video quality is excellent+Face recognition is an extra, but useful
Reasons to avoid
-Unlike some smart doorbells, it has to be wired in-You'll need to subscribe at extra cost for all the features-Without good Wi-Fi, there's a lag – or buffering

Worthy of the top spot on our list, Nest Hello offers everything you need in your next smart doorbell. Here's why it's our top rated product:

Stylish design

Boasting a slim and neat design, this smart doorbell will fit right on to your door frame, ensuring it does the job without ruining the aesthetics of your entrance.

Wide-angle perspective

Providing an impressive 160 degree view of your front door, it's easy to see who's directly outside and around your property, without having to open your front door. 

Voice communication

Communicate verbally with visitors to your home, thanks to handy two-way audio. This is perfect if you're coordinating deliveries with your mailman – from the office, a vacation, or elsewhere – or want to let a visitor know that you're five minutes away from home.

Facial recognition

If you're really concerned about security, it's also possible to set up facial recognition. Perfect for the elderly, or those who find the prospect of strangers at the door unnerving, this model can inform you when regular visitors are at the door, for peace of mind. 

Easy to use

Connecting this video doorbell to a smart phone app is easy, so tech-novices needn't be put off by a complex set-up system.

Factors worth considering

Unlike some smart doorbells, such as Ring Video Doorbell 2, Nest Hello does need to be wired in, which may be an inconvenience for some, especially those who rent their homes. But, in the long-term, at least you'll never have to change the batteries. 

It's also worth noting that you will have to pay for add-ons such as facial recognition, but without them the product still becomes quickly indispensable.

best video doorbell: Ring Video Doorbell Pro

3. Ring Video Doorbell Pro

Best Alexa-compatible doorbell: make the most of the features when you can

Specifications
Camera quality: 1080p
Two-way comm?: Yes
Night vision?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Get updates using Alexa + Easy to set up 
Reasons to avoid
-No option for rechargeable battery 

Perfect for those who are setting up a comprehensive smart home system, the Ring Doorbell Pro comes with all the perks of the other video doorbells from Ring, as well as some extra special features. Here's everything you need to know about it:

Alexa compatible

Compatible with smart assistant, Alexa, you no longer need to have your smart phone in hand to see who's at the door. Simply communicate via a smart speaker or – if you have the Amazon Echo Show – view your visitor live, on screen.

Read our handy Amazon Alexa review if you're considering a more complete smart home setup.

Answer your door from anywhere

As you'd expect from a video doorbell, it's easy to see who's at the door, wherever you are. But, what sets this model apart is its built-in motion detection, which allows users to be notified if it detects that there's someone outside.

This further enhances home security, as users are no longer reliant on someone ringing the doorbell – or frantically checking their camera – to know if someone is there.

Streamlined design

Unlike other offerings from Ring, this model also boasts a sleek and stylish design that won't ruin the aesthetic of your entrance.

Factors worth considering

Unfortunately, unlike other models available from Ring, there’s no option for a rechargeable battery, but reviewers say if you have an existing doorbell connection then setting up is quick and easy.

Best smart doorbell: Arlo Video Doorbell

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Arlo Video Doorbell

Best budget smart doorbell: simple storage and setup at an impressively low cost

Specifications
Camera quality: 720p
Two-way comm?: Yes
Night vision?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Doesn’t require a connection + Automatic backup for captured content 
Reasons to avoid
-Camera quality lower than the others

If you're trying to do smart home tech on a budget, the Arlo Video Doorbell is the one for you. Here's everything it has to offer:

HD with HDR

This doorbell will give a clear and crisp picture even in low light and extra bright conditions. 

Smart alerts

This doorbell will send you handy notifications when its motion sensor is triggered not just by people but also by packages, animals, and vehicles, so you can get a very good idea of what's happening outside.

Night vision

Perfect for the elderly, or those who are concerned about personal safety when the sun goes down, night vision allows users to see who's outside, however dark it is.

Factors worth considering

Set-up is a little bit fiddly with this doorbell, particularly where it comes pairing it with your device. There's a QR code you need to scan, but it doesn't give you much time to do this, so you may find it easier to just reinstall the doorbell as a new device on your phone or tablet. 

Best smart doorbell: Vuebell video doorbell

5. Vuebell Video Doorbell

Best compact smart doorbell: for a streamlined setup, go for the compact Vuebell

Specifications
Camera quality: 720p
Two-way comms?: Yes
Night vision?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Compact, elegant design + Night vision up to 10 metres 
Reasons to avoid
-Low camera quality

For those concerned about the aesthetic impact of a chunky video doorbell, the Vuebell Video Doorbell is an option worth considering. Here's everything you need to know about it:

Compact design

As mentioned previously, this model is designed for those looking for something compact. At just three inches square and one inch deep, it’s a little thing with minimal interface that won’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Motion detection and alert

In addition to notifying users when someone rings the doorbell, this model can also let you know if someone is lurking. While nine out of ten times motion detection won't pick up anything suspicious, it's a handy feature to have just in case.

View historical footage

On account of being linked to the cloud, it's also easy to play back through historical content, which is perfect if your key motive for buying a video doorbell is enhanced security. 

Night vision

A handy feature, night vision is perfect for those who are unnerved by the prospect of opening the door to an unknown nighttime visitor. 

How to choose the best smart doorbell for you

When it comes to buying the best video doorbell to suit your requirements, there are a few factors worth considering if you're looking to ensure you get the most for your money. These include:

Does it cover the basics?

Each of our best video doorbells features two-way communication, allowing you to both hear and speak to the person at your door, and night vision, which both come in very handy.

Does it need to be wired in?

Some smart video doorbells require wired installation, others are battery-run. Consider whether you have the time and money to get someone to wire-in your smart doorbell, or you'd rather get one you can fit yourself.

Camera quality

The ones on our list are mostly either 720p or 1080p, the latter being the better. Our first pick, the Nest Hello Video Doorbell boasts a 1600x1200 resolution; the highest on our list.

Two-way communication?

Important if you want to talk to the person at your door through your phone.

Night vision?

A necessity especially come dark nights in the winter. All the best smart doorbells have night vision so the device can record motion while you sleep.

What is the best smart doorbell?

We think the best video doorbell is the Ring 3 Plus, thanks to its impressive all-round performance. However, it's pretty much neck and neck with the Nest Hello, which also impressed our tester.