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

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

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

Nothing is more frustrating than waiting all day for a package to arrive, only to miss it when it does. The best video 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 more convenient 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 safer.

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 stable Wi-Fi connection and the means to mount it onto the wall with screws or very strong, weather-proof mounting tape. 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 interested 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 video doorbells 2021

best video doorbell: Ring video doorbell 3 PlusReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Ring)

1. Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus

Best video doorbell overall

Specifications
Video: 1080p
Night vision: Yes
Power: Battery, wired
Dimensions: 12.8 x 6.2 x 2.8cm
Reasons to buy
+Offers all the features seen in the Ring Video Doorbell 2, plus more+New 4-second pre-roll of each event+Lots of opportunities to personalise notifications
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive
Do you really need a video doorbell?

That's a question only you can answer, but if you're wondering whether they're a worthwhile investment, we'll say that they definitely can be if 1) you're concerned about home security in your area; 2) you get a lot of home deliveries and don't like waiting around. Video doorbells are proving particularly useful in quiet, affluent residential areas that are prone to burglaries; thieves like quiet back alleys and gardens, but they sure hate the idea of being recorded on camera.

A fantastic recent release from market leaders Ring, the Video Doorbell 3 Plus is a smart doorbell that will help turn any house into a smart home while providing an extra later of protection for families.

How it performs

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

The model also features two-way audio, making it a great video intercom system for co-ordinating visitors or couriers.

Building upon the same great features of the Ring Video Doorbell 2 (read more below), the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus now includes an adjustable motion zone that can detect motion anywhere within 1.5 and 4.5 metres of the front door. You also get enhanced dual-band 2.4Ghz/5Ghz Wi-Fi for improved connectivity.

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.

How it looks

Slightly chunkier than other Ring products, the 3 Plus does give you the option of either silver or nickel covers - both included so you don't have to make any permanent decisions. The box also includes multiple mounts that make it much easier to position the doorbell at an angle or slanted downwards for those with front steps.

Anything else?

The elephant in this room is the price of the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, which is on the higher side. It's expensive, but we promise it's reeeeally good, even winning a Real Homes award for best security camera.

And for an extra £20 or so, you can take advantage of the four second video preview pre-roll feature, which eliminates another gripe for most long-term wireless security consumers.

Real Homes rating 5 out of 5 stars

best video doorbell: Ring Video Doorbell 2nd GenReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Ring)

2. Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen)

Best cheap video doorbell

Specifications
Video: 1080p
Night vision: Yes
Power: Wired, battery
Dimensions: 12.6 x 6.2 x 2.8cm
Reasons to buy
+Long-lasting battery +Included fixtures and retrofit option+Doesn't require hard wiring +Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Bulkier than other models-Doesn't have all the features of the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus

Designed with renters - and homeowners - in mind, there's no need to worry about wires or complex installation with the original flavour Ring Video Doorbell (Gen 2). It still holds its own against the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus and others, with plenty of handy features offering more than required for the average user.

How it performs

Equipped with a full HD 1080p camera and impressively wide field of view, expect high-quality video footage delivered directly to your smartphone. So, whether you're at your desk, at the beach or simply lounging upstairs in bed, you're guaranteed a clear perspective on exactly who's at the door.

Like other models, you also get two-way audio, making it a great video intercom system. It acts as a regular doorbell, too, as long as you have a Ring Chime, so you don't have to rely on your phone.

How it looks

Perfect for those who rent, or anticipate themselves moving in the not too distant future, this model does not require hard-wiring. Rather, it's powered by Lithium-powered batteries that can be removed and recharged with ease. Pick up two packs and you'll never have to go without a charge.

And if you don't like the sound of having to recharge batteries at all, it's also worth nothing that it can also be wired in.

Overall the design of the Ring Video Doorbell is slightly less sleek and slimline than some other options available. But, really, this comes down to personal preference.

Real Homes rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

best video doorbell: Google Nest HelloReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Nest)

3. Nest Hello

Best wired video doorbell

Specifications
Video: 1600x1200
Night vision: Yes
Power: Wired
Dimensions: H26 x W43 x D117cm
Weight: 1.21kg
Reasons to buy
+App is super-easy to use+Excellent video quality+Face recognition is an extra, but useful
Reasons to avoid
-Has to be wired in-Subscription needed at extra cost for advanced features-Buffering if you don’t have good Wi-Fi

Our top pick for those seeking a hard-wired option, the Google Nest Hello is easy to use and offers everything you need in a smart doorbell. It's a great choice if you're a homeowner who doesn't plan on moving house anytime soon.

How it performs

Providing an impressive 160-degree view of the area, it's easy to see anyone who's directly outside and around your property without even having to open your front door. Just talk with visitors to your home with handy two-way audio.

This is perfect if you're co-ordinating deliveries from your postman, even if you're at work, on holiday or pretty much anywhere else. If you've got a visitor coming round and you're still at the supermarket, you can let them know!

And connecting your video doorbell to the smartphone app is very easy, so tech-novices needn't be put off by a complex set-up process.

How it looks

Boasting a slim and neat design, this smart doorbell fits right onto your doorframe, ensuring it can do its job without ruining the aesthetics of your porch area. 

Unlike some video doorbells such as many of those from Ring, Google's Nest Hello needs to be wired in. This could be inconvenient for those who rent or just aren't confident with DIY, but in the long-term it can add convenience by the fact that it never needs recharging.

Anything else?

Add-ons such as facial recognition aren't available without a subscription but, with or without these features, the Nest Hello is an excellent product. 

Real Homes rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

best video doorbell: eufy video doorbellReal Homes Rated bronze

(Image credit: eufy)

4. Eufy Video Doorbell

Best 2K video doorbell

Specifications
Video: 2K HD
Power: Battery, wired
Dimensions: 14 x 5.4 x 2.8cm
Weight: 2kg
Reasons to buy
+Free storage+Great video quality+Base station included
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey

Boasting a sizeable upgrade in video quality thanks to a built-in Sony 2K sensor and professional-grade lens, you definitely won't miss any details with the eufy Wireless Video Doorbell from Anker. It's not cheap, but it's not short on features to recommend it, either.

How it performs

The eufy Video Doorbell comes with local storage, so you skip the sometimes expensive cloud storage subscription that many brands advertise. This is an added security bonus since, if something happens outside your home while you're away, you'll be able to save the evidence for use later.

Of course, in addition to the included chime, you can also get alerts (motion and doorbell) sent to your phone or other smart device.

How it looks

The doorbell comes with a base unit that acts as a chime and helps boost connection so, while you'll have to find room on a side table for the unit, it does mean you won't have to shell out for another item like with some Ring offerings.

Anything else?

The only reason the eufy Video Doorbell doesn't score higher is that it's main selling point - the crisp, high-quality video - won't make much difference to most people when viewed on a tiny phone screen. Otherwise, it's a great option.

Real Homes rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

best video doorbell: Arlo Video Doorbell

(Image credit: Arlo)

5. Arlo Video Doorbell

Best security doorbell

Specifications
Video: 1080p
Night vision: Yes
Power: Battery, wired
Dimensions: L4.7 x W3.5 x H14.3cm
Weight: 3.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Built-in siren+Compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa+Uses calling rather than push notifications
Reasons to avoid
-Chime has to be bought separately

Most of the best video doorbells can double as security camera, but the Arlo Essential Wireless Video Doorbell goes a few steps further.

How it performs

In addition to its 1080p HD video, motion detection and night vision, the Arlo Essential has a built-in siren that can deter unwanted visitors and alert you to anything untoward. It's also completely wireless and simply to install. 

The 1080p video capture gives you a wider, more square 180-degree view of what's going on outside which will, among other things, allow you to see the full picture. This includes the package that your delivery person may have left on the doorstep.

Arlo claims it's the the only video doorbell with a built-in siren alarm, and it's definitely the only one of our list. It's a unique selling point, boosting its credentials as a security cameras as well as a doorbell.

How it looks

Minute and somewhat inconspicuous, the Arlo Essential is light and small enough to be attached to the front of your home without ruining its appearance. This also means that, while those approaching your front door with a package (or visiting friends and family) will see it just fine, potentially intruders may overlook it.

Anything else?

The Arlo Essential calls your phone when someone is at the door, rather than sending a push notification that could be missed.

Nest Hello doorbell being pressed by young boy

(Image credit: Google)

Wired or wireless?

Video doorbells come as both wireless and wired. Wireless are easier to install and run on batteries; wireless ones require no maintenance ongoing, but do need to be installed.

If you are going to wire in and your home's electrics are old, you may find the existing doorbell wire isn't powerful enough (video doorbells generally need around 16 volts to work). The upshot? You may need to upgrade the doorbell's circuit with a transformer. 

How we test the best video doorbells

There's really only one way to do so: in a real-life setting over a period of weeks. That way, our team can ensure that we can give you feedback that will relate exactly to your experience of these smart buys when you use them at home. So, no to lab tests, yes to the team testing them thoroughly at home.

What is the best video doorbell?

We think the best video doorbell is the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, thanks to its impressive all-round performance. However, it's pretty much neck and neck with the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) and Nest Hello, which also impressed us during testing.

Caroline Preece
Caroline Preece

Caroline has been part of the Real Homes ecommerce team in the UK since the start of 2021, after working for the last decade as a journalist across publications in technology, entertainment and more. In her spare time she's usually obsessing about space-saving and DIY hacks for small spaces, and how to affordably make a rental feel like a home.