Nothing is more annoying 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, 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 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 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
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.
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 £20 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
Designed with renters – and homeowners – in mind, there's no need to worry about wires or complex installation with this handy video doorbell. The older version of the Ring Video Doorbell 3 (above) , it still boasts plenty of handy features and will do more than required for the average user.
Does not require hard wiring
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, which can be removed and recharged with ease. Pick up two packs and you'll never have to go without a charge.
If you don't like the sound of having to recharge batteries, it's also worth noting that Ring offers a wired version, too.
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. So, whether you're at your desk, at the beach or simply lounging, upstairs, in bed, you're guaranteed clear perspective on exactly who's at the door.
This model also features two-way audio, making it a great video intercom system for co-ordinating deliveries or visitors.
Functions as a regular doorbell, too
With the addition of a Chime Pro device, this model acts as a regular doorbell, too, which is ideal for those who don’t always have their phone on them.
Factors worth considering
The design of this model is slightly less sleek and slimline than some of the other options available. But, really, this comes down to personal preference.
Real Homes rating 4.5 out of 5 stars
Our top pick for those seeking a hard wired video doorbell, this model is easy to use and offers everything you need in your next smart doorbell. A great option for homeowners who don't plan on moving house anytime soon.
Boasting a slim and neat design, this smart doorbell will fit right on to your doorframe, 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.
Communicate, verbally, with visitors to your home, thanks to handy two way audio. This is perfect if you're co-ordinating deliveries with your postman – from work, a holiday, or elsewhere – or want to let a visitor know that you're five minutes away from home.
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 and 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.
Real Homes rating 4.5 out of 5 stars
Most good video doorbells can double as security cameras, but the Arlo Essential Wireless Video Doorbell goes one step further with a built-in siren on top of its 1080p HD video, motion detection and night visions features. It's also completely wireless and easy to install.
Larger viewing angle
The 1080p video capture gives you a wider, squarer 180-degree view of what's going on outside which will, among other things, allow you to see the full picture including the package that your delivery person may or may not have left on the doorstep. It also means you'll be able to capture a better view if anything untoward is going on.
Arlo claims it's video doorbell is the only one with a built-in siren alarm, and it's definitely the only one on our list. It's certainly a unique selling point, boosting its use as a security camera as well as a doorbell. The device also calls your phone when someone is at the door, rather than sending a push notification that might be missed.
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 recommendable features, either.
Save for later
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.
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. Of course, you can also get alerts (motion and doorbell) sent to your phone or other smart device.
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
- Read next: the best security cameras for keeping an eye on your home, inside and out
How to choose the best video doorbell
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.
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.
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.
Important if you want to talk to the person at your door through your phone.
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.
Do I 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.
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 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 our tester.