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11 best video doorbells for upgrading your home security system

We tested smart doorbells for picture quality, good looks and ease of use

Zoe Phillimore
Friday 05 January 2024 17:24 GMT
<p>Most video doorbells let you talk to the person on your doorstep, even if you’re on the other side of the world</p>

Most video doorbells let you talk to the person on your doorstep, even if you’re on the other side of the world

Our Top Picks

Video doorbells are brilliant – even when you’re not home, they allow you to see and speak to who’s on your doorstep via your smartphone, and even let callers leave you a message.

There are a lot of different smart doorbells on the market, and picking the right one for your home depends on a few factors. First up, let’s talk a little about what video doorbells actually do. They work by connecting to your phone wirelessly through wifi. They all have a small camera and mic in them, which beams footage and audio to an app on your phone. Your doorbell will send alerts to your phone when it picks up movement by your front door, or when someone presses your doorbell.

There are two types of devices: battery-operated and wired-in. The latter doesn’t require charging but does require a full-on installation. This might be easy if you already have a wired doorbell, but a little more time-consuming if you don’t.

The battery-operated versions have batteries you need to plug into the mains from time to time, to recharge them. Their battery life depends on a few different factors, including how many times the camera is activated. So, if you have a lot of passersby activating the sensor, it will drain your battery fast. You can alter your preferences in your app settings, to determine just how much the camera gets activated.

Other features you might like to look out for on your video doorbell of choice is the package detection (it alerts you when it senses a package is on your doorstep); away-from-home outbound auto messages, so you can say you’re away or will be back in five; options for callers to leave messages, and multiple users having access to the video doorbell.

There are a few sneaky hidden costs with many video doorbells. One is that they often don’t come with a chime – so, if you’re in the house without your phone, you won’t hear the doorbell. You need to buy the chime separately or as part of a bundle deal. The second thing to factor into your budget is storage – many doorbells require you to take out a subscription for cloud-based storage if you want to review your footage, or have it recorded at all.

How we tested

A selection of the best video doorbells we tested for this review

We spent about five months road-testing doorbells, in an extremely busy household. After easy installation, we were looking for doorbells with good audio and picture quality, and that didn’t lag, so we could have an actual proper conversation when away from our home. We also wanted a doorbell that looked nice on our front door. Decent night-vision quality was also appreciated, as was general picture quality. Another thing we factored in was data storage – what were the costs of subscriptions for cloud-based storage and how long was footage stored for if we needed to go back through our calls and look. Here are the ones that rang our bell.

The best video doorbells in 2024 are:

  • Best video doorbell overall – Ring video doorbell 2nd generation: £99.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best premium video doorbell – Ring video doorbell 4: £139.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best budget buy – Blink video doorbell: £59.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for security features – Ezviz DB2 battery-powered video doorbell: £89, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best subscription-free doorbell – Toucan wireless video doorbell: £99.95, Toucansolution.co.uk

Ring video doorbell 2nd generation

best video doorbell
  • Best: Video doorbell overall
  • Features: HD camera, two-way talk, night vision
  • Record and review subscription: £3.50 per month (30-day free trial included)

This iteration of the Ring doorbell is still up there with one of the best around. Although it’s a second gen, it’s essentially the “basic” Ring doorbell, except it’s anything other than basic. It has pretty much all of the whizzy features of the Ring doorbell 4 (which is also featured in this round-up), at a more purse-friendly price. There’s an HD camera, with really good feedback to your phone, the lag was very fractional – almost imperceptible, in fact, and it even has night vision. The field of vision is smaller but we didn’t find this was a huge issue in our house. If your house is very large, perhaps you might feel you want something with more coverage.

It was an absolute breeze to install too – DIY novices will be able to do it with no trouble. Once set up, it enables you to talk to people on your doorstep through the easy-to-navigate app, even when you’re not at home. The doorbell sends alerts to linked phones – you can choose whether it tells you just when the doorbell is pressed, or also when the doorbell senses motion nearby. We liked that it sensed when a parcel had been left on our doorstep, but this feature only worked sometimes (our doorbell couldn’t actually see the floor).

If you want to review previous footage, or send it to other parties, you’ll need to pay for a Ring Protect subscription, which starts at £3.50 per month.

  1. £99 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Ring video doorbell 4

best video doorbell
  • Best: Premium video doorbell
  • Features: HD camera, two-way talk, night vision, advanced motion detection, colour pre-roll, enhanced dual-band wifi and customisable privacy settings
  • Record and review subscription: £3.50 per month (30-day free trial included)

Ring is perhaps the best-known brand on the video doorbell circuit, and this is one of its top-of-the-line products. There are loads of helpful features included with this video doorbell, and setup was easy, thanks to the app, which also has videos showing you how to properly install the doorbell.

The bell itself makes a chime and notifies you on your phone, but an additional chime is handy to have for people in your house who don’t have the app on their phones. We went for a chime pro box (£49.99, Amazon.co.uk), which also boosts your doorbell’s wifi signal.

On to the actual functionality. The HD camera is sharp, with a fish-eye view of your doorstep – and beyond. We found we could easily make out faces on the camera, even when using night vision. The live view was handy, as was the two-way talk – we often spoke to couriers remotely from our app when we were away from home. We tested it at a residential house on a busy road, with lots of pedestrians walking past too. We found by tweaking the sensitivity of the motion detection, we weren’t plagued with irrelevant notifications. It also detects when a parcel has been left on your doorstep, which was very useful.

The app interface is simple to use, and it’s easy to review older footage. You get a 30-day free trial of Ring Protect when you install the product, and this enables you to review, save and share old footage – we found this to be essential for what we need a video doorbell for, so stumped up the £3.50 per month for the basic package. If you have an Amazon echo show smart speaker, it will show you live footage from your Ring doorbell.

The key difference between the ring doorbell 4 and the ring doorbell (also included this round-up) is you get a corner kit in the box, so you can angle your doorbell properly; two interchangeable plates, if the silver doesn’t match your aesthetic; a slightly wider field of vision, and the 4 features pre-roll preview. The latter function captures footage four seconds before motion is detected (it’s recording a rolling buffer on the doorbell’s internal memory, which overwrites itself), so you can see how something unfolded before the main event.

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Blink video doorbell

best video doorbells
  • Best: Budget buy
  • Features: HD camera and infrared night video, two-way audio
  • Record and review subscription: £2.50 per month (30-day free trial included)

Amazon’s suite of home security cameras includes this blink video doorbell. It offers great functionality at a lower price point. Setup is easy, as is installation – the app takes you through both. You can use it as a standalone doorbell, or together with a sync module, which is sold separately or as a bundle on Amazon (£89.98, Amazon.co.uk). The great thing about the sync module is it stores your footage locally, which means you can avoid the use of a cloud, if you have privacy concerns. The doorbell’s battery life also lasts longer if you use a sync module. Though we did test it without the module and it worked fine.

You also get a free 30-day trial of the Blink subscription, which is the cloud-based storage option. After that, it’s £2.50 per month – £1 cheaper per month than Ring’s similar offering.

But what of the functionality? Pretty good. We experienced a tiny lag between phone answering and real-time doorstep action, but that wasn’t too bad. The audio quality was decent – both hearing what someone was saying on the doorstep and then speaking to them through our app. We could adjust the motion-detection function, so it only triggered recording of relevant events, and adjust the length of the clip it captures. The night vision was decent too.

The actual doorbell is less obtrusive than some others we tested, and it comes in white or black (no interchangeable plate, though, so you have to commit up front). It does look a bit more plastic than some others, but it’s slimmer, so should fit on almost any door frame.

  1. £59 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Ezviz DB2 battery-powered video doorbell

best video doorbells
  • Best: For security features
  • Features: 2K ultra HD video, night vision, two-way audio
  • Record and review subscription: £2.99 per month (seven-day free trial included)

The viewing angle on this doorbell is impressive, it’s 180 degrees – perfect if you have a large drive. And the 2K picture and sound quality is great too. It’s also very easy to set up through the app, although it doesn’t take you through how to install the physical doorbell. It does come with two wedge kits, though, so you can make sure you’re getting the right angle on your doorbell. We liked that it included a plug-in chime for inside the house, so, if you’re far from the door, you should still hear when someone comes calling. Many video doorbells don’t have this included, as you have to buy it as an extra.

The two-way talk is smooth on this doorbell, with barely any perceptible lag time. We found the functionality a tiny bit annoying – when the doorbell is pressed, it calls your phone, which then takes you through to the app when you answer. But this is something you’d get used to and doesn’t cause any major issues.

The Ezviz is also bolstered by some additional security features. There’s a loitering-detection function, which triggers an alarm if people hang around the area for longer than the time period you’ve specified. You can also specify how hard your doorbell works, in terms of what it’s monitoring, to prolong battery life – great if you’re away for long periods of time.

You can store footage on a cloud or locally on a micro SD card (this isn’t included). If you want to use Ezviz’s CloudPlay, you’ll get a free seven-day trial, then it’s down to you to fork out for a subscription, which starts at £2.99 per month. The actual doorbell is quite chunky, yet not as wide as some other doorbells. It’s white plastic, though, with a large button. You can’t miss it – for better or worse.

  1. £67 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Toucan wireless video doorbell

best video doorbells
  • Best: Subscription-free doorbell
  • Features: Free cloud-based storage for the past 24 hours, 180-degrees ultra-wide-angle view, night vision, two-way talk, doorbell chime with six selectable chime sounds
  • Record and review subscription: From £2.99 per month

For a fraction of the price of some doorbells on this list, the Toucan does most of the things the others do. It has video and two-way talk, meaning you can see and speak to whoever’s at your door. We found the sound on this doorbell did distort, even at low volumes, so this may be where it falls down slightly. But unless audio quality really matters to you, you’ll be fine with this doorbell.

You can adjust the radius for motion detection and also the motion zones. Also, rather impressively for the price, it comes with a battery-operated chime kit. This was very handy, as we could move it from room to room as we went, and even carry it on us if we were in the garden. If you detect something dodgy going on via your camera and you’re not at home, you can set off a siren or make a 999 call from the app.

The Toucan also offers free cloud-based storage for the past 24 hours, and it will let you download five videos a month. If you want to extend the period or have unlimited downloads, you will need to upgrade to pro or elite packages, which start at £2.99 per month. A smart thing about this doorbell is you can have it play pre-recorded auto answers, such as telling couriers to just leave a package.

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Eufy S200 video doorbell

best video doorbells
  • Best: For digital privacy
  • Features: Two-way talk, night vision, chime box
  • Record and review subscription: N/A

Setting up this doorbell is a bit of a faff, compared with the other options on our list, but only because you have to set up the included chime box first, then the doorbell. This still only took us about 20 minutes, though. Once set up, the picture was of very decent quality, thanks to the 1,080px camera, and the audio quality was good on the two-way talk.

Using the app wasn’t quite as slick as some others we tested, but we are being super picky on that point. Another good point is the excellent night-vision camera – probably the sharpest and brightest picture we tried, and the lag time between action and display on the phone is minimal.

You can insert a micro SD card into the chime to store your footage locally, which is great for people who have privacy concerns.

The doorbell itself looks smart – it’s totally black, with a blue light-up ring around the button. While not obtrusive, it is slightly wider than some others in this line up, so make sure it fits your doorframe. It is probably the most attractive doorbell we tested – although, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  1. £99 from Eufy.com
Prices may vary
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Arlo wireless smart video doorbell

arlo wireless smart video doorbell review
  • Best: For if you’re often out
  • Features: HD camera, two-way audio, night vision, siren, messaging, motion sensor
  • Record and review subscription: £9.99/month (30-day trial included)

This mid-range video doorbell has a lot of great features. There’s a good 1,080px camera on board, which provides crisp footage and there’s also very little lag between the action and it being displayed on our phone. The two-way audio is also great and allows us to have a conversation with callers.

When the bell is rung, all linked phones will receive a call and immediately be able see who’s at your door without having to open the app. From this screen, you can talk directly to the caller, or send an automated message from a selection of pre-loaded messages should you be otherwise indisposed.

The Arlo doorbell doesn’t look bad, either. You can choose between a plain black or black with a white-gloss trim colourway. It’s also pretty slim, so will fit on most doorframes. You can use this as a battery-operated doorbell, or have it wired in. Plus, there’s an easy guide on the app to guide you through installation of the battery. It took us about 15 minutes from opening the box.

  1. £179 from Arlo.com
Prices may vary
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Eufy S330 video doorbell

Eufy-S330-Indybest-video-doorbell-review
  • Best: For hassle-free deliveries
  • Features: 2K full HD dual cameras, package detection, local storage, loitering detection, chime box
  • Record and review subscription: N/A

As with the Eufy S200, the S330 comes with a “HomeBase” included. This stores your data locally, which means it’s great if you have privacy concerns and/or don’t want to pay storage subscription fees. The installation of this product is fairly easy, but the HomeBase has to be connected to your router via a cable, which means having another plastic box on your shelves. The HomeBase also acts as a chime for your doorbell, so you can hear it in the house even if you don’t have a connected phone on you.

What puts the S330 above many other video doorbells is those dual cameras. One camera catches footage straight on, while the other captures footage from the floor. We found this brilliant for when delivery drivers brought packages – especially in combination with the package detection, which alerts you when something’s been left on your doorstep. The app displays this footage spliced together, so you can see the front-on and doorstep footage in the same window.

The so-called AI-powered delivery guard will also remind you throughout the day to collect your parcel (this can wear a bit thin) and warn you when someone approaches your parcel, which did give us peace of mind. We also loved the “balanced motion detection” feature, which makes the doorbell take a break after each motion it detects – this meant we didn’t get repeat alerts for the same event, and saved our doorbell’s battery life. You can tweak this in your settings. The picture quality on our phones was first class, and although there’s a lag time it’s almost imperceptible. We were thoroughly impressed by the S330, but it’s quite a jump price-wise from the S200.

  1. £229 from Eufy.com
Prices may vary
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Aqara G4 smart video doorbell

Aqara-G4-smart-video-doorbell-Indybest-review
  • Best: For Apple home households
  • Features: Chime box, local storage, voice changing, night vision, facial recognition
  • Record and review subscription: N/A

As well as working as part of Apple home, the Aqara doorbell is compatible with Google and Alexa’s home hub displays. This makes it a flexible option if you’re still working out what smart-home setup works for you. Installation was frustration free – the chime box and doorbell are pre-paired, so you just switch on the chime, load batteries in the doorbell and scan the QR code on your phone. The doorbell itself is quite large – it’s not going to fit on thin doorframes very easily. Although it’s got a plastic finish, we liked that it’s matte, so it didn’t look too plastic-fantastic on our front door. We also liked that it included a (very loud) chime box as standard, and that we could change these chimes, depending on our mood.

The Aqara G4 comes with a seven-day free cloud-based storage option or you can insert a microSD card, if you prefer to keep your data locally. Other good points for those who are privacy conscious is that it can disguise your voice – which is fun, but might be useful if you are worried about unknown callers. The picture quality is decent – not the best in this round-up, but we found it perfectly fine. And it gives a nice wide angle.

We were also impressed by how short the lag time is – there’s basically none, which made it much easier to conduct a conversation. There is facial recognition – the doorbell can learn up to 30 faces – and when it does you can set up devices to power up, such as switching the lights on when it recognises a family member is arriving home when it’s dark outside.

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Tapo D230S1 smart battery video doorbell

Tapo-D230-smart-battery-video-doorbell-Indybest-review
  • Best: For wide-angle views
  • Features: Local memory, 2K camera, colour night vision, AI detection, chime box
  • Record and review subscription: From £2.70/month (30-day free trial included)

The new kid on the block, Tapo has recently launched this smart battery video doorbell. This is another brand that has been kind to us, including a chime box as standard. This box needs to be connected to your router, but is much smaller and more discrete than Eufy’s version. The doorbell itself, however, is not going to win any awards for looks – it almost has a retro 1980s tech feel to it. However, the tech underneath is anything but old-fashioned.

There’s colour night vision, which we found really helpful to work out who was calling after hours (there’s a spotlight and starlight sensor integrated into the doorbell). There’s also the top-to-toe camera angle, which we found pretty decent at capturing the whole person on our doorstep rather than just their foreheads. This is useful if they’ve dumped a large delivery on your doorstep. There’s absolutely no lag here, which meant we had frustration-free interactions. The sound quality is crystal clear, too. There is also AI software integrated into it, which tells you whether a vehicle or person is outside your house – you can filter these notifications to suit you.

  1. £149 from Tapo.com
Prices may vary
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Nest doorbell, battery

best video doorbells Nest
  • Best: For Google households
  • Features: Intelligent alerts, HDR camera, messaging, two-way talk
  • Record and review subscription: £5 month after 30-day free trial

If you already own a Google device, such as a Google Hub or Nest thermostat, you’re going to find the Nest doorbell integrates perfectly into your life. And even if you’re not a seasoned Google fan, this doorbell is a decent option.

We loved that it was easy to set up via the app – we didn’t even have to remember our wifi password – and the app is easy to use. When we say easy, we also mean basic, especially when compared to some of the others in this roundup. That surprised us slightly, but actually, it did all the essential things we needed it to so we didn’t feel like we were missing out. We were able to see and speak to callers live on our doorstep, and the inbuilt AI sends an alert to your phone to let you know when it’s detected a parcel, animal, person or vehicle – and it’ll tell you which it reckons it is. You can set the activity zones too, so if you live by a busy street or share a driveway, you won’t be getting irrelevant notifications.

While we weren’t blown away with the picture quality, the sound quality is great and the lag time is imperceptible. This meant speaking to someone on our doorstep was frustration free and we were able to leave instructions if we weren’t able to answer the door. If you subscribe to Nest Aware for storage, you can also opt in (or out) of having facial recognition, so your doorbell can recognise frequent calls and you can choose to not be notified every time your partner gets home, for example – we found this super useful. We appreciated an extra privacy feature too; a small green light comes on the Nest doorbell when someone is live viewing it.

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Video doorbells FAQs

Do video doorbells work with Alexa?

Most popular video doorbells are compatible with Alexa and Amazon Echo devices. For the most seamless setup and experience, Alexa users should consider choosing a Ring doorbell. Ring is also owned by Amazon, so the functionality between the devices is more reliable than with a third-party video doorbell.

Video doorbells list which voice assistants and smart home setups they’re compatible with. Look out for the “Works with Alexa” badge, the “Works with Hey Google” (or “Works with Nest”) badge, and the “Works with Apple HomeKit” badge.

Wondering which voice assistant is best? Check out our guide to the best smart speakers for use around the home.

Is there a monthly fee for a video doorbell?

Most of the bestselling video doorbells don’t store recordings locally, but upload their footage to the cloud. This makes them more secure — as an intruder would be unable to access and destroy the evidence — but to cover the cost of storing and viewing these recordings, a monthly subscription fee is charged.

Many video doorbells work without a subscription, either by deleting footage after a short while, only providing live audio and video feeds, or by storing their recordings locally. We’ve chosen the Toucan wireless video doorbell (£99.95, Toucansolution.co.uk) as the best video doorbell without a subscription.

How do I install a smart doorbell?   

Battery-powered video doorbells are easier to install than their wired counterparts, and can usually be secured to a wall or door using the supplied anchors and some basic tools.

Installing a wired video doorbell requires basic knowledge of wiring. Each doorbell will have a slightly different installation, so follow the instructions carefully. If you’re not confident, book an electrician to do the job.

Some general tips to bear in mind: take a picture of your old wiring before you begin, so you can put things back the way they were, if needed, and switch off the power at the fuse box before you start working (though if you need us to tell you that, you should probably call an electrician).

Do you need an electrician to install a Ring video doorbell?

Like changing a light fitting or rewiring a plug, installing a video doorbell does not require a certified electrician to carry out the work.

This doesn’t mean installing a video doorbell is a simple or safe task. While there are easy-to-follow guides online, if you want to be absolutely sure the doorbell is properly installed, it’s worth calling a professional. Most electricians will be very familiar with the leading brands of video doorbell and can carry out the work quickly and without fuss.

Do all doorbell cameras need wifi?

Not all video doorbells need wifi, but most do. Some video doorbells have SIM cards and operate on mobile data networks. Wired video doorbells will continue to work like a traditional doorbell even if you lose wifi.

The verdict: Video doorbells

The Ring doorbell offers incredible value for money. You get great HD image and most of the top-of-the-range functions at a fraction of the price of some others in this round-up. The subscription fee is fair for the service offered, in our opinion. Plus, we love how customisable the functions are, from choosing your chime to how sensitive the motion detection is. If you’re not keen on cloud-based storage, the Eufy S330 looks great and offers quality footage, plus the chime box is included in the price.

Combine the best video doorbells with the best broadband deals

Forget complicated systems, we’ve found the best home-security cameras that give you ultimate peace of mind. Read more about best home security systems

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