Modern smart doorbell systems keep your home secure by alerting you to visitors on your property, showing you pictures and videos of who’s at your door, and making your home appear occupied.
You may find systems with bells and whistles which seem like they make your home safer, but which might prove a sunk cost if you just need the basics.
There are many options on the market, so finding the doorbell you need will ultimately depend on your budget, as well as the goal you have in mind.
Ring Video Doorbell 2
The Ring is one of the most well-known video doorbells on the market. Amazon acquired Ring in 2018, so it now works perfectly with Alexa.
Ring can alert you to motion and noise, record audio and video, and let you have two-way conversations with your visitors. The doorbell camera is a high resolution 1080p, and can run from a wired mains connection or a rechargeable battery, letting you position it wherever it looks best.
Optional extras include a musical chime, and the ability to store your videos in the cloud for £25 a year. If you don’t purchase this option you’ll only get to watch them live, which is fine for most cases but may prove unfortunate if you happen to record a crime.
Perfect for: people with Alexa
Where to buy: https://eu.ring.com/products/video-doorbell-2
Nest is one of Google’s most recent acquisitions, so this video doorbell works best with Google Home.
With 1080p video, night vision and a 160-degree field of view this doorbell is already a great investment, but it also comes superpowered with Google’s motion detection intelligence: basically, it’s better at telling apart a person from an animal or a moving tree branch, for example.
The Nest Hello is also equipped with facial recognition, so it can send tailored notifications when friends or family are at the door. Like Ring, you’ll need to pay if you want your video recordings stored in the cloud.
Perfect for: people who want to know exactly who’s at the door
Byron Wifi Video Doorbell
Byron is a heritage name in doorbells, so it’s exciting to see its first development into smart doorbells is such a solid contender.
Key functionality such as two-way audio (to say hello to your visitors or appear that you’re home when you’re not) and 1080p video is all here, and the Byron even features motion detection.
The wireless version is easier to install but the video is only 720p – meaning the resolution is lower, so the clarity is slightly less than you’d get from other models – and there is no subscription service available. You can back up your video to the included memory card, or save them to cloud services like Dropbox.
Perfect for: beginners looking for a cheap solution
The Ring Door View Cam
Are you renting? If so, this is the wireless doorbell for you. It’s wireless, with battery-only installation, and it fits over your existing peephole with no drilling required.
As with other products from Ring you’ve got 1080p video and two-way audio, as well as the trusted Ring app which works with Alexa. It has built-in night vision and knock detection, and it’s also possible to set privacy zones that the doorbell will not record. This is great if you have close neighbours with kids, or don’t want too much identifying information on your vehicle or property stored in the cloud.
Perfect for: people who rent their home
Arlo Audio Doorbell
If you have impaired vision or simply aren’t bothered about having video capability, the Arlo audio-only doorbell is a cost-effective option. It lets you have two-way conversations with your visitors, get alerts to your phone when someone is outside, and set up answer machine-like customised replies.
Rolling 7-day cloud storage is included in the price, and you also have the option to pair it with an Arlo security camera for extra safety and functionality.
Perfect for: audio only, no bells and whistles
August Cam Pro
This smart doorbell has a light that switches on when motion is detected, which deters would-be burglars as well as allowing the camera to record colour video at night.
Another interesting feature is that it adds buffers to video recordings: this means an extra few seconds of video before it detects motion or a button press.
Motion detection is via infrared, meaning it’s less sensitive to passing vehicles or trees in the wind, and August also offers free video storage in the cloud for 24 hours – but it does need to be hardwired.
When it comes to video doorbells, these gadgets keep your home safe as well as providing you a handy way to get the delivery driver to hold on for two more minutes while you get out of the shower.
While you can’t go wrong with extra bells and whistles, it may be possible to save some money if you don’t need extra functionality.
Perfect for: extra night-time security
Where to buy: https://august.com/products/august-doorbell-cam-pro
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