Best video doorbell: use a smart doorbell to protect your home this winter

The best video doorbell will instantly enhance your home security – just what you need for the longer, darker nights

the best video doorbell: ring doorbell
(Image credit: Ring)

The best video doorbell is an easily installed – and pretty affordable – way to enhance your home security. As well as actively deterring criminal opportunists and making it easy to keep an eye on your home, from any location, a smart doorbell will provide invaluable reassurance if you – or a relative – are nervous about opening the door to a stranger. Plus, it makes the process of receiving parcels easier and more efficient.

How we test 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.

But do you really need a video doorbell? Or is it just another smart home gimmick that you don't really need? We don't think so. In fact, we'd go so far as to say that it's a pretty essential aspect of any smart home security system.

Find top tips on how to buy the best video doorbell, below. Then, browse our pick of the best video doorbells below. There are option for renters and homeowners, so you're sure to find something that suits your preferences.

What is the best video doorbell?

The best video doorbell is the Nest Hello, thanks to its impressive all-round performance. However, it's pretty much neck and neck with the Ring 2, which also impressed our tester. Keep scrolling to find out more about both below, and to see the rest of our top picks:

  • The best video doorbell: Nest Hello
  • The best wireless video doorbell: Ring Video Doorbell 2
  • The best video doorbell for advanced features: Ring Doorbell Pro
  • The best budget smart doorbell: Iseebell HD Video Doorbell
  • The best smart doorbell for video playback: Skybell HD Video Doorbell
  • The best compact smart doorbell: Vuebell

The best video doorbells

best video doorbell: next hello

(Image credit: Google)

1. Nest Hello

The best video doorbell: our top pick of the best smart doorbell money can buy, and it's easy to use

Specifications
Best for: Easy to use
Camera quality: 1600x1200 resolution
Two-way comms?: 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 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. 

Voice communication

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.

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 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.

Read our full Nest Hello review. Then, browse more smart doorbells from Ebay

best video doorbell: ring doorbell 2

(Image credit: Ring)

2. Ring Video Doorbell 2

Best wireless video doorbell: Ring’s wireless video intercom system is our second pick of the best smart doorbell

Specifications
Best for: Wireless
Camera quality: 1080p
Two-way comms?: Yes
Night vision?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Long-lasting battery + Included fixtures and retrofit option 
Reasons to avoid
-Bulkier than most models

Designed with renters in mind, there's no need to worry about wires with our next best pick, the Ring Video Doorbell 2. You'll find everything you need to know about it in our comprehensive Ring Doorbell 2 review. Or, for a quick overview, keep reading:

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, its 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 offer 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.

Two way audio

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.

Browse the full range or smart doorbells available on Amazon

best video doorbell: ring doorbell pro

(Image credit: Ring)

3. Ring Doorbell Pro

Best video doorbell for advanced features: a doorbell that buddies up with your favourite voice assistant

Specifications
Best for: Alexa-compatible
Camera quality: 1080p
Two-way comms?: 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 set-up.

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.

Slimline 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.

Shop more smart doorbells from Very

best video doorbell: iseebell video doorbell

(Image credit: Iseebell)

4. iseeBell Wi-Fi Enabled HD Video Doorbell

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

Specifications
Best for: Easy setup
Camera quality: 720p
Two-way comms?: 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 iseeBell Wi-Fi Enabled HD Video Doorbell is the one for you. Here's everything it has to offer:

Simple to set up

Another very welcome wireless video doorbell for those without an existing doorbell connection, the iseeBell is superbly simple to set up, and will cost you less than half of what the Ring Video Doorbell 2 will, too. 

Wide angle

Enjoy a 180 degree field of vision, delivered straight to your smart phone. Plus, the option to view content sent to the cloud.

Two way communication

Despite it's price, this model boasts a whole host of high-end features, including two-way audio, which allows users to communicate with whoever should show up at the front door.

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

Well, the camera quality isn’t the best. At 720p, it’s a bit of a step down from the 1080p of our previous picks, but if that isn’t a deal-breaker for you, we'd more than recommend this handy video doorbell.

Browse more video doorbells available from AO

best video doorbell: skybell video doorbell

(Image credit: SkyBell)

5. SkyBell HD Silver WiFi Video Doorbell

Best smart doorbell for video playback: cool-looking and capable, with a thoughtful provision for video storage

Specifications
Best for: Video storage
Camera quality: 1080p
Two-way comms?: Yes
Night vision?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Free video playback and storage + Alerts you even if doorbell isn’t pressed 
Reasons to avoid
-Requires existing doorbell connection

The futuristic-looking SkyBell HD Silver WiFi Video Doorbell is certainly an eye-catcher, making it a good deterrent for would-be criminals casing the joint. Here's why it made our top list:

Store video footage

What sets this model apart from the others in our list is its ability to store and play back video captured over the past seven days, which may come in handy should you ever be a victim of crime. The same service with a Ring doorbell is £25 a year, so it’s certainly worth considering. 

Full HD 1080p video

As with our top two models, the SkyBell also offers high quality video that's perfect for observing who's outside, both in real time and retrospectively. 

Two way audio

Another handy feature that we've seen in the other top performing video doorbells, this model from SkyBell also comes equipped with two way audio, which allows you to communicate with whoever some knocking, no matter where in the world you are. 

Factors worth considering

The one thing to bear in mind with this model is that it does require an existing doorbell connection, or for you to factor in the cost of installation if you don't have one.

Browse the full range of video doorbells available from John Lewis & Partners

best video doorbell: netvue video doorbell

(Image credit: Netvue)

6. Vuebell

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

Specifications
Best for: Compact
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 that 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 unsavoury, it's a handy feature to have just incase.

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 you're key motive for buying a video doorbell is enhanced security. 

Night vision

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

Shop the full range of video doorbells available from Argos

How to buy the best video doorbell

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.

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.

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