The Complete Guide to Doorbell Cameras

Doorbell Cameras

Doorbell cameras have become a popular choice for homes all across the United Kingdom. These handy devices, which allow you to monitor who is at your doorstep, communicate with them in real time, and deter potential burglars, also happen to be pretty easy to install.

However, there are a few considerations you will need to keep in mind when picking the perfect system. For example, whether you want cloud storage for the captured video and how you can integrate the camera within other devices in your home.

The purpose of this guide is to help you understand doorbell cameras. We will first show you how they work, how you can install them, and a few important choices in terms of features. Then, we will suggest the best four brands for 2024 and explain what makes them a good option for your home’s security.

Why Have a Doorbell Camera?

The first question potential buyers ask themselves is: Do I really need a camera in my doorbell?

Well, there are many excellent reasons why choosing this type of device can be a great idea - especially as doorbell cameras become a very affordable option. So, let’s take a look at the benefits of doorbell cameras and camera ecosystems in a little more detail.

Enhanced Safety

One of the main advantages of having a doorbell with a camera is that you can see who is ringing before you open the door. This, of course, reduces the risk of unexpected or potentially dangerous encounters. You can identify who’s at your door without physically opening it, which can be especially beneficial for elderly or more vulnerable people. What’s more, doorbell cameras act as a powerful deterrent to potential intruders. The presence of a visible camera tends to discourage burglars, thus making your home less appealing as a target for break-ins!

Delivery Monitoring

Doorbell cameras can also help protect the delivery of packages. You can actually monitor them in real-time, receive alerts when packages arrive, and even instruct delivery personnel on where to place them (which is ideal if you are a busy parent and need to pop out to do school pickups or shopping). With package theft on the rise, doorbell cameras can also help deter any ‘porch pirates’ and capture video evidence if someone does approach your property and tries to steal your belongings.

Two-Way Communication

Many doorbell cameras come with two-way audio. This means you can communicate with visitors without having to open the door. This can be useful for greeting guests but also for providing instructions to delivery personnel or discourage potential intruders. Most doorbell cameras can be accessed via mobile apps, smart speakers, or other devices, making it easy to see who's at your door and communicate with them.

Footage Storage

Cameras that record video footage of all doorstep activity can also be invaluable for documenting incidents. So, they can provide evidence in case of disputes, or even assist law enforcement in the event of a crime. Plus, with motion detection parameters, you can watch over your driveway and cars from the comfort of your home.

How to Install a Doorbell Camera

Although there are different doorbell camera models, most of them share the same basic steps when it comes to installation. So, let’s quickly see what setting up your new camera tends to look like.

The first step is checking what’s in the box - and whether you’re missing any components. Typically, your camera will come with a wall mounting bracket, wall screws, anchors, and sometimes a drill bit. The second step is to make sure you have Wi-Fi at the door. Most cameras require at least 2.5 Mbps upload speed to work.

In most cases, you will need to place your mounting bracket in the desired location, mark the screw holes, and insert the doorbell wires into the bracket grooves. But let’s talk briefly about the difference between wired and non-wires cameras, and how the battery works.

Wi-Fi Version vs Wired Doorbell Cameras

Doorbell cameras come in two main versions: Wi-Fi and wired (which uses the existing doorbell wiring).

Wi-Fi doorbell cameras are typically easier to install because they don't require any wiring. You place them somewhere with good Wi-Fi and a power source (more on this in the next section) and you can then access them remotely through, for example, an app. Wired doorbell cameras are powered directly by the existing doorbell wiring and operate continuously. These cameras often integrate with your existing doorbell system and chime, and tend to be more stable as they don’t get affected by the occasional Wi-Fi signal issues.

Doorbell Camera’s Battery Life

Most Wi-Fi doorbell cameras are battery-powered, which means they can continue functioning during power outages (or if someone were to cut your doorbell wiring). With wired doorbell cameras, though, you don't have to worry about recharging or replacing batteries.

If you choose a Wi-Fi doorbell camera, the battery life can be an important consideration, as it varies significantly between different models and brands. Some models, for example, can last for several months with just a single charge, while others need more frequent recharging. Some of the factors to keep in mind when picking your next camera are usage (continuous streaming or frequent alerts will drain the battery more quickly), climate (extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, affect battery performance, too!), and the Wi-Fi signal strength (a weak Wi-Fi signal forces the camera to use more power to maintain a connection).

Here's the good news, though: Many doorbell cameras provide status alerts, notifying you when the battery is running low. And a few others can connect with extended power sources like solar panels!

Choosing the Right Doorbell Camera

We’ve covered some of the ways in which doorbell cameras work. Now, let’s talk about features! In this section, we'll dive into crucial factors like subscription plans and how your new doorbell camera can integrate with your smart home. Plus, a few privacy considerations for yours and your neighbours peace of mind.

Subscription Cameras & Cloud Storage

Many doorbell cameras require a subscription to function. The cost depends on the manufacturer, but there will be considerable discounts if you choose an annual plan over monthly billing. Subscriptions also tend to include more advanced features like motion detection, customizable zones, and person detection. Just keep in mind that some can be cancelled at any time without penalties, while others require you to commit to a longer plan.

The price of the subscription usually correlates with the amount of cloud storage you get with your purchase. For example, the Ring camera can only store footage in the cloud (or online) and not locally, while Google’s Nest supports local storage if you have a Google Home/Nest ecosystem.

Ultimately, it all depends on what you require. If you want to keep a longer history of recorded footage (and you want to access it remotely), cloud storage can be very valuable. If this is not a priority, then local storage and real-time alerts might do the trick.

Smart home integrations

One of the best things about modern doorbell cameras is that they can integrate with various smart home devices.

For example, your camera can work alongside smart locks. You can get a notification when someone enters your house and you can lock or unlock your door from your smartphone. So, you can remotely grant access to family members or service providers but keep your door locked the rest of the time.

Doorbells can also integrate with your smart lighting system. For example, it can activate porch lights when it detects motion or when the doorbell rings, making it easier to see visitors in low-light conditions.

Lastly, doorbell cameras can also integrate with your security system or alarm to trigger alerts in case of suspicious activity or when the doorbell is pressed. So, you get an immediate response to potential threats or security breaches.

Privacy Concerns

Doorbell cameras provide you with some pretty valuable security features, but they also raise important privacy concerns. A common one is the field of view of your doorbell camera and whether it inadvertently captures your neighbours' property or activities. You can address this by adjusting the camera's angle and motion detection zones to focus only on your property. It's usually enough to void capturing areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as other people’s windows or gardens.

Another privacy concern is the potential for unauthorised access to your doorbell camera or the data it collects. This can also be mitigated by choosing a manufacturer that has a proven record of good security updates, enabling two-factor authentication (so you are required to verify with your phone to see your recordings), and using a strong and unique password.

Top 4 Brands of Doorbell Cameras 2024

If you think seeing who’s on the other side of the door is a good idea... then it’s time to choose the best doorbell camera. We have selected the top four choices for 2023. So, let’s take a look!

Google Nest

The Google Nest doorbell camera is considered by many experts the best-performing device of its type. It’s quick, it includes free cloud storage, and it can send instant real-time notifications to your smartphone.

Main Features:

  • Free video cloud storage for three hours.
  • Accurate motion detection (person, vehicle, animal, package).
  • Activity zones to monitor certain areas of your home.
  • Battery and wired options.

The wireless Google Nest starts at £157.84 for the video doorbell. The WiFi camera + Snow Nest cam security camera costs £247.83 and the WiFi camera + Cam with floodlight costs £423.50.

Google Nest Video Doorbell


The Ring doorbell provides an excellent combination of convenience and performance, offering both wired and WiFi versions. All Ring cameras can send notifications and allow you to hear and speak to your visitors, no matter where you are.

Main Features:

  • Motion detection when people come into the property.
  • Notification for smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
  • Two-way channels in real-time.
  • Recording and capturing of videos and photos (paid).

The wired Ring doorbell camera (1080p) starts at £49.99 and the second generation wireless doorbell camera (also 1080p) costs £59.99. The Ring Protect service, which is optional, costs £3.49 a month.

Ring Video Doorbell


Arlo offers a wired-free doorbell camera model (that comes with or without a chime). The camera has a good viewing angle with 1080p video and comes with a rechargeable battery. It also includes a built-in alarm to deter intruders and has two-way audio.

Main Features:

  • Receive video calls from your phone when someone rings the bell.
  • Unique square head to toe field-of-view.
  • Built-in microphone and speaker.
  • Includes a built-in 80 db smart siren.

The Arlo Essential Wireless doorbell camera costs £135 on its own or £189 with the chine.

Arlo Video Doorbell


Our fourth option is the Eufy doorbell, which operates locally and has no monthly fees. The latest model (E340) has two cameras; one falling forward and focusing on visitors, and another backward and filling in the gaps with a view of the floor. The camera is also very easy to set up and the manufacturer offers several good accessories to accompany it.

Main Features:

  • Instant notifications when someone is at the door.
  • Advanced encryption for all footage.
  • Expandable local storage up to 16 TB.
  • Supports Alexa and Google Voice.

The Eufy Security Video doorbell (S200) starts at £99.99. The newest E340 with dual cameras costs £159.99.

eufy Video Doorbell


As we have seen, having a doorbell camera has many benefits, including safety, security, and the convenience of monitoring deliveries. All in all, they can just provide you with that extra peace of mind that comes with taking care of your home protection.

If you are considering setting up an alarm system (including burglar alarms with home security cameras), don’t hesitate to contact us. We provide UK coverage and will be happy to give you a free no-obligation quote.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most smart doorbells have between 140° - 180° field of view.
Blink's Video Doorbell, EZVIZ 2K Wireless Video Doorbell, Eufy Security Video Doorbell and Netatmo's Smart Video Doorbell all have subscription-free plans.
The camera in the video doorbell is always on, therefore if you have motion detection enabled, the camera's analytics software will alert you to ANY movement seen by the camera including passing cars, birds and cats moving and trees/bushes blowing in the wind.
Exigent/Emergency Situation. Ring reserves the right to provide information to law enforcement, without legal process, in order to respond to an imminent threat of harm to any person. See more here.

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