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 smart doorbells 2021
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 best (in our opinion) 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.
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 also features two-way audio, making it a great video intercom system for co-ordinating deliveries or visitors.
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.
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.
If you're trying to do smart home tech on a budget, the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell is the one for you. The doorbell will give a clear and crisp picture even in low light and extra bright conditions, offering 1080p Full HD video.
You will be sent 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.
And 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 no matter how dark it is.
Set-up is a little bit fiddly , 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.
- Read next: Do you really need a video doorbell?
Worthy of a top three spot on our list, Nest Hello offers everything you need in your next smart doorbell. 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.
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. You can communicate verbally with visitors to your home thanks to handy two-way audio - 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.
If you're really concerned about security, it's also possible to set up facial recognition. Perfect for 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.
Connecting this smart doorbell to a smart phone app is also easy, so tech-novices needn't be put off by a complex set-up system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unlike other offerings from Ring, this model also boasts a sleek and stylish design that won't ruin the aesthetic of your entrance. Unfortunately 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.
Real Homes rating 4 out of 5 stars
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.
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
What features does a smart doorbell need to have?
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. Two-way communication is also important if you want to talk to the person at your door through the phone, whether you're away from home when someone comes around or not able to answer the door for some reason.
Does a smart doorbell need to be wired in?
Some smart video doorbells require wired installation, while 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 smart doorbells will be more reliable, as wireless options need to be recharged often, but renters or those looking to move soon might do better with something less permanent.
What about camera quality?
The smart doorbells on our list are mostly either 720p or 1080p, the latter being the better. Image quality matters if you're using your smart doorbell as a security device, as it captures more detail that you can refer back to later.